What You Can’t Give Up in the New Year

December 6, 2011

in Personal Disciplines

Jason and I talk about skipping dessert and giving up caffeine when the calendar switches to 2012.  Living with four children under five, I’m sure I could let go of the dessert, but the caffeine might be a different story.

There are lots of habits I should release from 2011, but there is at least one thing I can’t.

Before we married, Jason and I had both made a practice of reading Scripture daily.  But after marriage, {quiet} time alone became challenging and I let days and months and even years pass without reading a substantial (or adequate) amount of God’s Word. I’d try to read about a certain subject, a certain need I was facing.  I’d attempt to read the Gospels or just the Psalms or just something.  But, I just continuously found myself giving up and going without.

When the clock struck midnight and we were suddenly living in 2011, Jason and I made a new commitment for the new year…we agreed to read through the Bible together.  We read the list of Bible plans here and based on our church’s suggestion, chose the Discipleship Journal plan.

It’s now December and we sit across from one another in the dark hours of the morning and I say I can’t believe it…can’t believe we’re only a few pages away from reading all of God’s Word this year.

I’m certain any Bible reading plan will do, but here are a few reasons why we didn’t give up on reading this year:

  1. We did it together.  When one of us would fall behind or miss some mornings of reading, the other one was likely still on track.  Jason would ask, ‘Did you read that crazy thing in chapter 42?’ and I’d find some way to grab my Bible and catch up so I could find out what he was referencing.
  2. The plan fit us well.  The plan has you reading in 4 different areas of the Bible.  So, when you’re in a tough section of Leviticus or Isaiah, you’re also reading one of the Gospels or a Psalm to keep you encouraged.  Also, there are only readings for 25 days, so if you get behind, there are days planned to help you catch up.
  3. We were in need.  This year brought lots of challenge and change.  A surprise pregnancy, family illness, frustrations with friendships, and some big decisions.  When we felt like falling apart, the words we read would hold us together.
  4. We got to pass it on.  Apart from talking with Jason about our reading, one of the greatest encouragements to keep me in the Word was you…the thought that I could share little insights with someone else was more powerful than I’d imagined.  Even more so, talking with the kids each day about what I’d learned and read and watching the truths of Scripture come out in our daily lives made me not want to miss a day…for fear I might miss something He wanted to teach us all.  Jason and I have both had a semester in Bible Study with other men or women and now we together are teaching the 3 year olds.  It seems that passing the lessons along is one of the best incentives for reading and studying more.

When we wake up to January 1st next year, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do so without a cup of coffee.  But caffeine or no, this past year has proven that life giving energy is found elsewhere…here in the Word of Life.  So, before all the hustle and bustle begins, I’m praying for grace to start again in 2012, and never again give up on getting God’s Word into me.

What reading plans have worked for you?  If you don’t have a plan, would you consider joining me with this plan for 2012?

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How I Got into Shape in 2011 — Burning Bushes
January 4, 2012 at 7:28 am

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