I’ll be the first to admit that I love New Year Resolutions (although, I usually label mine “New Year Goals”). Maybe it’s my obsession with lists or my constant need to plan ahead. Either way, I make a list every year covering various areas of my life. This year the topics included financial, health, relationships, home, creative, motherly, spiritual, and spouse. The goals I choose are based on my priorities and the things I want to focus on for the coming year. Call me crazy, but do what works, right?
As has been custom the last several years, my pastor (who is also my father-in-law) encouraged us to find a specific Bible-reading plan for the year. I believe this is so necessary, as many Christians often struggle with knowing what to read. I’ve been there. The Bible can be overwhelming; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself, I’m just going to read it straight through, from front to back, only to find myself floundering months later, completely bored and struggling to find how it applies to my life (let’s be honest, Deuteronomy and Numbers are hard). Without a plan, I’ve found myself wandering through Scripture aimlessly, choosing books at random, sometime finishing them and sometimes not.
2016 was hard. Not in the sense that life was difficult, but in establishing a routine in my spiritual life. Strong was only a few weeks old at the beginning of the year and I struggled to find time to read and pray. Fatigue became my perpetual excuse when I looked back over my day and realized I hadn’t made time for the Lord. As the months wore on and his schedule became more consistent, I found myself randomly reading bits of Scripture here and there. However, as it typically goes without a plan, my time with the Lord was unfocused and chaotic.
Someone once told me that the Lord sees you in each season of your life; He knows that this one is not going to look exactly like the one before or after it. One season might allow for an hour in the Word a day while the next you may feel rushed and struggling to find balance. 2016 found me in the latter.
One of the things I love most about the Lord is His grace; He is so gracious towards us when we are weak. This past year is evidence of that for me. While I don’t think He was upset at me for the little time I spent with Him, I think His heart yearned for me to draw close each day. And when I felt His nudging in this area, it was my turn to make a conscience decision to change this aspect of my spiritual life. I needed to lay aside my tiredness and to-do list and simply spend time with Him.
With all of this on my mind, I was anxious to find a Bible reading plan for 2017. I wanted to find something that I could sustain throughout the changes that this year is bringing to our family. I didn’t want to set myself up for failure by choosing to read through the Bible in a year, because I know that I would either a) not finish it or b) read through the passages so quickly that nothing would have a chance to saturate my heart and mind. After a quick browse on Pinterest, I found a reading plan that was perfect. It’s called the 5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan with the key components of reading one chapter of the New Testament a day, five days a week. It’s simple and doable which is exactly what this mama needs.
I share all of this to say, the struggle is real. Life is often fast-paced, motherhood can be exhausting, and there are never enough hours in a day. BUT I refuse to continue letting these excuses steal the one thing that always energizes and rejuvenates me: time with the Lord. So here it is, an encouragement to find a reading plan that is doable for your season of life. And while you’re at it, find a friend who can walk with you and keep you accountable, because we are to spur each other forward in this race!
Here is a link to a website that lists 10+ Bible reading plans for 2017. If you’re looking for a plan, check it out!