Saturday, January 2, 2016

Bible Reading in the New Year

No baby. Yet. Still nine days until my due date so I shouldn't be getting impatient. Yet.

It is that introspective time of year - looking back on the past twelve months, evaluating what worked and what didn't, and setting goals for the next twelve months. As usual, I hope to be a better wife, a better mother, and a better follower of Christ in 2016 than in 2015. I want to grow in Christ's likeness; I want to do more fun projects with my children; I want to read more books. I want to pray more, reach out more, love more.

But today, as I struggle to even roll over in bed, I have a vivid reminder of my human frailty. Whatever I may dream, plan, and wish to have more of in 2016 needs balanced with the knowledge that I have limited time and energy - and a new baby will most likely hog a great portion of both in the next months.

So this year, I'm keeping my goals small. No grand plans. I'm not going to turn-over-a-new-leaf and uncover Super Mom. My closets probably won't stay organized in 2016 or my garden weed-free. And I'm choosing now, today, to be okay with that reality.

But there is one goal I do choose to make, which is likely to affect all other areas of life. And if there is one goal I want to encourage you in, it is this one - Make God's Word priority.

In a society that promotes lies and distortions, I feel more desperate than ever to spend time with God's Word. I want to know His Truth. I want live Truth. I want know Him.

Last January I wrote about Bible reading. At that time, I was starting the One Year Bible. I really liked using this resource last year, though I will admit that when pregnancy fatigue hit last summer, I usually only read the New Testament portion of the daily reading so I did not read much of the last half of the Old Testament.

This year, at least the first few months, knowing the reality of the newborn schedule, I'm planning to read through my Amplified New Testament. I like how the Amplified version slows me down when reading familiar verses and the size of the New Testament will be easy to hold while nursing. I'm not making any plans on how much to read, hoping to focus more on grasping the truth of the Word instead of checking off that I read my day's portion.

A few weeks ago, Ed suggested that our children start getting up a little earlier to read their Bible before breakfast. I was shocked that they loved the idea. They started setting their clocks for 6:30 (their normal rise time was 7:00) and it has been fun to see them curled up on the couch with Ed reading their Bibles. Over the holidays, Ed and I have enjoyed some sleep-as-long-as-you-can mornings, but the children have gotten a thrill out of being up before mom and dad. Maybe the thrill will wear off, but I figure if they are enjoying it now, when it is still dark in the early morning, it will be easier for them to get up when the sun is shining in their window. So far, it looks like maybe they will have more self-discipline than their mom in rising early. It is sure not a genetic predisposition that they got from me.

The children started the Beginner's Bible Reading plan. I think it will be perfect for them. Each day's reading is only about 15 verses. If they follow the whole plan, they will read chronological through the entire Bible with excerpts from every book of the Bible. It will give them a good survey of the Bible while giving them practice in finding Bible references. The older ones are also reading the Proverb of the day as well.

I think the Beginner's Bible reading plan, though designed with children in mind, could also be good for a busy mom, especially of a newborn, who is overwhelmed by most Bible reading plans. You could always read more verses, or the entire chapter, but most Bible reading plans require so much reading that it is easy to get overwhelmed and just give up when one is in the stage of not enough time to even take a shower.

Have you  made Bible reading goals for the new year? What tips do you have to keep going all through the year? What do you hope to gain from your Bible reading this year?

10 comments :

  1. Gina, blessings to you and your husband as you raise your children in the presence of Christ and anticipate the arrival of another! I'm glad you found the Bible reading plan I put together for our oldest (now 7). Blessings as you put it to use. And yes, I agree that it is also suitable (and easily "expandable") for adults in those trying busy seasons of life. If you have any stories along the way of how the plan is working for you, or if your family has any suggestions of how to improve it, I'd be happy to know. God bless!

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    1. Thank YOU for giving us this tool. I know that it took time and effort and it is nice you are sharing it with other families.
      Gina

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  2. Thank you for the link to the Bible reading plan, I shall use this and let you know how we get on with it, I have felt the need this year to have more structure to my Bible reading, during prayer time I always read a few verses of the Bible, but feel this year, like you, that I need to read more of Gods word. Keeping you in prayer. God bless sue

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  3. All the best to you as you anticipate your newborn. Last days always seem to drag on. Bible reading is good for all ages, even the baby. Enjoy.

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  4. Ohh! So sweet to think of your little ones reading the Bible like that.

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  5. Happy New Year Gina,

    This year I've embarked upon a Bible writing plan. One of my children gave me a new drawing journal for Christmas this year. A lovely friend from church gave me a list of Bible scriptures to write each day. I've chosen to write the scriptures in my drawing journal and embellish the page(s) with colored pencil artwork. So far, I've really enjoyed this creative method of meditating on God's Word. I think I'll write a post, with photos, later this week if you are interested in taking a look.

    Praying you and your family welcome a healthy addition very soon.

    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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  6. I am taking on the challenge once again.. in fact even had a post done on it as well. I figure its not only beneficial to be a doer of the Word but actually a reader of the WORD.. :)

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  7. I love the realistic approach you are taking. I often get caught up in trying to do too much ("Super Mom"), and this is exactly what I hope for in our new year too - to read more of God's word and to become more like him.
    Thank you & God Bless.

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  8. I am very interested in the Bible reading plan. I am gonna check it out!
    lifeofaplainlady@blogspot.com

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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