Motivated Moms and I am loving it so far. I am somewhat "housework challenged", so I was drawn to it because it broke down housework and cleaning into weekly checklist and a few additional tasks for each day. What made me choose it among other planners, however, was the option to include daily Bible reading along with the chore list. The Chapters for each day are listed, along with a checkbox to mark when you've completed the reading. I've used similar Bible reading plans and schedules before, both on and offline, and had never really thought about it before.
Last night, that changed. I was reading the Bible, getting ready to tick off a few chapters and finish my to-do list for the day, when I realized I was just skimming and rushing through. Yes, I'd read that same chapter many times before, but I was reading it like I was scanning over a textbook in preparation for a test, not like I was reading the holy word of God. Thinking on it, I realized that I've spent a lot of time doing this. Instead of allowing scripture to speak to me by reading slow enough to understand and let the words sink in, I was just hurrying through so I could say I had read it. I feel like reading plans and checklist sometimes make this tendency worse, especially when they links a certain chapter to a certain date or are supposed to be completed in a set time frame.
Looking back, I realized that the most life-changing experiences I have had with the Bible have been not when I was trying to read through several books a day but when I have spent time focusing on just one passage or a few verses at a time. Reading through the Bible slower, at my own pace, means there is time to pray and meditate on scripture, to look up the meanings and connotations of words in the original language, to study the meaning of a passage in context in culture, and to pray and seek understanding of what I need to learn from it and how to apply those lessons to my life. It turns Bible reading into a conversation and communion with God, rather than a cram session or a chore to check off.
So, for this year, I'll be reading through the Bible but not following a strict plan. I do plan to keep track of my reading, but this will be on a simple list where I can mark each chapter as I read it. I will be using a bookmark and telling myself it's OK if I concentrate on a smaller passage and don't finish the chapter in one setting. It's about filling my heart and mind with the Word of God, not racing to the finish line or competing against other people. I may not read as much of the Bible this year as I have in the past, but I hope this allows me to read and study deeper, and to immerse myself in scripture rather than just skimming over the surface.
If you'd like to do the same, here are a few resources:
- How To Study Your Bible - advice from Grace To You
- SOAP - an online tool for the SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer) method of study
- BibleChecklist.com - a simple, book by book, online checklist for Bible reading
- Bible Reading Checklist - a printable, book by book, Bible Reading Checklist