I don’t know about you, but 2018 was hard.
In early January, my sister had a horrific car accident, followed by days spent in the hospital and months of recovery. January was also the month that my daughter got her helmet to assist in re-shaping her head, as one side had become flat from the torticollis she had early on in her little life. This meant frequent appointments with her therapist and chiropractor which were both far away, and juggling my son from car to babysitter and back again.
2018 was the year I came face-to-face with my discontentment in our small home. It was also the year I struggled with body image in a way that was all-too-familiar. Not to mention, my family ended the year with a bang as all four of us were sick from Christmas to New Years.
Looking back, I didn’t start the year with any sort of spiritual plan, and the end result showed. The year before, I had had a reading plan that served me well. Sure, there were days (and sometimes weeks) where I missed the reading, but I was always able to return where I left off.
That wasn’t the case for this past year.
I’m not really sure why I didn’t choose a reading plan, maybe lack of planning or busyness or simply laziness. No matter the reason, my Bible reading became chaotic at best, and my spiritual life mirrored it. I allowed my highs and lows to dictate my spiritual life, living in the ups and downs of emotional turmoil, rather than remaining constant and steady.
But, despite my failures, God was present.
He healed my sister in the most miraculous way. He brought us through our time with Éowyn’s helmet (with a perfectly round head to boot). He kindly pointed out the discontentment in my heart and directed me through my journey of being satisfied in our current home. And He loved me for me, showing me that my identity is not dictated by my body, but rather by His unconditional love.
As I look back, I stand in awe of how deeply God loves me.
He met me right where I was, hopping from one side of my Bible to another, taking my anger, frustration, pride, and selfishness. And He spoke truth and wisdom when I needed it most, regardless of the muddled mess I had chosen.
While I’m thankful for His kindness in meeting me right where I was, I want 2019 to look differently.
A few months ago, I was listening to The Happy Hour with Jamie Iveypodcast (which is, hands down, my absolute favorite), and happened upon an interview with Tara-Leigh Cobble. They were talking about Tara-Leigh’s journey through the Bible and how this will be her 10th year reading it from cover to cover. Her joy and love of the Word was tangible, as I listened to her describe the things she’s learned about the character of God and how she’s not afraid to cross out things she’s written in her Bible from years past because of the ever-increasing knowledge and enlightenment the Holy Spirit brings.
A strong desire for that to become my story rose up within me, and I realized one thing: 10 years of reading through the Bible has to start with year 1.
I’ve been in the church my entire life, but I’ve never read the Bible through in its entirety. And while I know a lot about different stories of the Bible, I’ve never looked for a glimpse of God’s character in each and every passage. Tara-Leigh was so passionate about how God is evident in every part of Scripture, and I want her passion for myself. But in order to have it, I need to read it and see it. So, this is the year.
Maybe you’re like me and you want to zero in and get focused. Maybe you’re new in your journey and you simply want to discover what the Bible has to say. Either way, this reading plan is for you. I’d love to invite you to join me this year in dedicating only 2o minutes a day to diving into the Word and discovering facets of God’s character that you may not have seen before. So, here are the deets:
- Download the YouVersion Bible App and add the plan “Blue Letter Bible Chronological Plan.” You can either start today as Day 1 or go to your settings and click on “Catch Me Up” which will bring you up to date for the year.
- Subscribe to “The Bible Recap” podcast on iTunes if you have an iPhone or Google Play, Stitcher, or SoundCloud if you have an Android. Listen to her daily podcasts after you complete the daily reading.
- Invite a friend to join you on this plan to a) keep you accountable and b) to share insights with each other as you journey through the Word together.
Whether you choose to do this plan with me or not, I encourage you to intentionally choose a Bible reading plan this year. I’ve decided that life is too short to be wandering from book to book with little to no understanding of how God has orchestrated our salvation. I want to be known as a woman who oozes love for the Word. I want to grow in knowledge and wisdom. And I want to leave a legacy for my kids, displaying for them that a life of pursuing God is full of abundant joy and overwhelming peace, no matter the circumstances that surround us.
This is my year to be focused. This is my year 1.