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For the past few years, one of my yearly goals has been to read through the entire Bible. Each year, I’d choose a plan. A YouVersion plan, an actual Bible with a plan included in it, various plans from bloggers..and each year, this goal would not get completed.
My personality type is very Type A. I like organization, minimalism, order, and routine. I don’t like when things go out of sorts and when they do, I tend to hide from the thing that isn’t up to my standards. Even when that thing is Bible study.
My life can be crazy, much like yours, I’m sure. I am a homeschooling Mama to two little guys aged 4 and under, I blog, I freelance, I am a virtual assistant and my husband works many long hours. Due to the insanity that is life, I must confess, sometimes Day 14 of my current Bible study gets skipped. And when Day 14 gets skipped, it’s a lot easier to skip days 15-20 as well because “I’ve already messed up!”.
When I set my goals for this year, I wanted to increase my Bible literacy. I wanted to learn more about the Bible and see how it all fits together. So, yet again, I set a goal of reading the entire Bible. This time, with no plan, no app, nothing but my Bible and my bookmark.
And friends, this has actually changed my devotional time drastically. Here’s how.
No Restraints = More Scripture Read
With no set amount of pages to read each day, I sit down and read what I have time for. If I miss a day, I just pick my Bible up and start off where I left off. Or, if the day is ultra-hectic, I will listen to the Bible on audio. This has been freeing for me because I don’t feel like I’m behind. I started out the year saying “I’m going to read my Bible for x minutes!”, but in this season, even that was constricting. So, I simply sit down, pick-up where I left off and go from there.
Straight-Up Scripture Increases Bible Literacy
I’ve completely quit all Bible studies except for straight-up Scripture until I finish this goal. I have the She Reads Truth Bible, so I do read the little devotionals that are scattered throughout each book, but those are far and few between. Having no one else’s input has inspired me to learn things that I never knew and gain insight into Scripture as a whole, rather than just a few choice verses. I’m learning that other people’s insight is GREAT, but it isn’t the word of God. I used to fall into a trap of only reading devotionals with maybe one verse, so this has been a nice change.
Scripture Shows Us Who God Is
I’m learning more about God’s personality. Even through the Old Testament books that I used to give up on because they “dragged”, I’m seeing that God is a God who sees us, who pursues us, who gives us chances and who does ANYTHING to be as close to us as possible. I’m getting to know a God who loves the poor, loves the foreigners, is fierce, and the Ultimate Provider. He notices everything, everything matters to Him! I don’t think you can get the full view of God’s personality through someone else’s words. The only way to know who God is for yourself is to read His word.
What this looks like for me:
Now for the practical! My daily “quiet time” looks like this. I sit at my dining table, turn on my kids Journey Kids Playlist from Journey Women Podcast and set out some crayons and paper. I open my Bible to where I left off last time and start reading. I’m not following a certain plan, I’m really not even stopping to dissect verses. I’m not saying I need to read a certain number of chapters a day, or even minutes a day. My goal is simply to spend time in God’s Word, the best I can and trust Him to fill in the gaps. It’s not quiet. It’s not clean. It’s actually really loud. I have to stop a lot to break up fights over the blue crayon and get milk sippies.
But you know what? It’s mid-April and I’m almost to the book of Ezra. I’m not burned out, I view my daily Bible time as a “get to” instead of just something to cross off my to-do-list. The Bible is coming alive and in this case, I’m happy I stepped away from my routine and into freedom.
Look for my favorite Bible study resources for busy moms coming soon!
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I also, stopped the scripted “reading the Bible in a year” method. As you, I read according to my time and schedule. I just finished Esther. Now that is an amazing story!
Thank you for all your post.
Me too! Now onto Job. 🙂