Hey everyone! Today is a guest post from my friend Melody Maynard!
I’m super excited for this topic, since I really stink at studying, as you may remember. She makes some great points, so take notes!
Now enjoy the post!
The word “study” may conjure up images of crowded libraries, a computer screen full of SparkNotes, or a quiet group of teenagers with open Bibles. While all of these things may be accurate portrayals of studying, I want to encourage you to broaden your view of what it means to study.
There have been seasons of my life full of focused study. There have also been seasons where I’ve struggled to focus on anything at all.
Studying can affect so much more than your GPA and your IQ. While it certainly won’t hurt those things, studying can impact more than just your academic life.
It can impact you as a homemaker, as a writer, as a Christian and a friend . . .
Whatever season of life you are in, there is something for you to study.
Studying can help:
Make Every Moment Count
One of the goals of this blog is to make every moment count. I nearly laughed with relief when I read on Rebecca’s about page that she has difficulty having fun. I really thought I was the only one! Getting swept up in the largeness of life sometimes makes it difficult to see the small moments at all.
When I was taking private music lessons on the double bass, I remember my instructor saying something that perplexed me. He said that learning the bass is a lot of work for a small reward. In many ways, he was right. I could have spent months perfecting my vibrato. Yet the untrained ear may not recognize the technique in a performance. Just because something is not applauded does not mean it is not worth doing.
“A lot of work for a small reward” may not seem like a worthwhile pursuit at first. But if I spent three months improving my vibrato, three months studying jazz techniques, and three months working solely on transitions . . . The reward wouldn’t be so small anymore. Studying builds upon itself.
Constantly looking at the big picture sometimes blinds us to the radiance of a single moment.
Learning to study can help make every moment count.
Learning to Study Can Improve Your Focus
While it is difficult to find research indicating that studying can improve one’s focus, there is a massive amount of research indicating that meditation can. Studying and meditating may seem like two completely different things, but I would suggest that they are more similar than they first appear.
Meditation involves emptying your mind of distractions.
When I am truly studying my husband’s body language, I’m not thinking about what we just ate for dinner, or what assignments I have due. I am zeroed in on him.
Psychology Today, among other websites, shares how meditation can improve your focus.
Try it out for yourself! See if studying has the same effect. You might be surprised at what you find.
You Broaden Your Horizons When You Study
One winter I was struggling with my health, and just couldn’t wait for spring to come. I had always loved flowers, but never really studied them. That winter I absolutely devoured gardening books, learned the names of a multitude of flowers and trees, and expectantly waited for spring.
After studying that winter, my view of springtime and flowers has never been the same.
Just knowing that the flowers I loved were called marigolds, and that irises were among the first flowers to bloom in the spring . . . It completely changed my view.
How would your view of the world change if you studied interior decorating, astronomy, or etiquette? (Just to name a few . . . )
Whatever you choose to study will affect your view of the world and broaden your horizons.
But how can you reap all of those benefits above?
I’d like to propose three ways to get the full benefit of studying in your lives.
1. Think Outside the Box
Don’t be afraid to be creative in your studying! Different seasons of life call for different types of study.
Ask God specifically what He would like you to study in this season of your life.
Do you need more dedicated time spent in His Word? (don’t we all?)
Do you need to learn your way around the kitchen to help care for your family? Should you be immersing yourself into your academic studies? Do you need to learn some natural remedies for acne-prone skin or chronic fatigue?
It’s alright to study something fun as well. I began intensely studying blogging in March, and am so excited for where God may lead me with it in the future.
2. Don’t Give Up
The smoke alarm may go off in the kitchen, you might fail an important test, and you might still have break-outs.
But you, my friend, are like the little engine that could. If something is worth pouring hours of your life into, giving up should not be your first instinct when the going gets tough.
Sometimes life gets overwhelming, and you have to cut out certain elements of your life to avoid burnout. I would encourage you to at least keep one area of focused study in your life.
That freshly cooked meal, graduate degree, and healthy lifestyle will be worth the troublesome moments in the end.
3. Share Your Skills
With all of this knowledge that you’ve accumulated from your studies, don’t forget to share your skills with the world. Even if the world is just your immediate family.
Sharing what you have learned with your family, your in-laws, and your church is a great start!
You may think that what you have studied is useless information, or valuable only to you.
Don’t limit God’s work in your life by keeping your knowledge to yourself. Even if your knowledge seems completely impractical, you never know who it could bless.
I hope that some of these points have encouraged you to find time to study in your life.
Study on, my friends.
“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.”
What are your favourite study tips? Share them in the comments!