Monday, May 2, 2011

Bible in 90 Days - What was it like?

I did not intend for my 90 days of Bible reading to turn into a 90+ day sabbatical from blogging, but that is what it turned into.  It was not all because of the dedication to reading, though that did take up much of my time.  I just found to be true what my husband said before I started - "You are going to have to give something up."  Blogging is just one of those things I gave up.

So, what was it like?  Well, reading the Bible in 90 days was, in a word, intense!  It was overwhelming, wonderful, difficult, enlightening and joyful.  Although I gave things up that I enjoy in order to read, I am so glad that I did it.  I did fall behind from time to time, and on the last week I was two weeks behind schedule.  I did some really intense reading and finished on my deadline.  I did mess up my deadline, though.  For some reason, I had put in April 4th, instead of April 2nd.  So, technically, I did the reading in 92 days!  I wanted to write down some of the thoughts that I had about the experience so that I would remember it.  I am also hoping that it might be an encouragement to someone else to take the challenge on, even if they think it will be hard.  Here are some of my reflections on this time:
  • There is a LOT of repetition in the Bible
      I knew that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all told the same story in different ways, and from different perspectives, but I don't know that I put together how much of the Old Testament repeats the same information in different ways.  I read a lot on my iPod (more on that, later) and I found that it was better to start new books by reading the synopsis of the purpose of the book in my Study Bible before reading the whole book.  It helped to frame out what the book was and why it was important, so I knew why I was reading about the same King for the third time!
    • I don't need an "Aha!" moment every time I read the Bible for it to affect my life
        I am used to reading the Bible for study purposes or to meditate on it.  I would get really disappointed if I didn't feel I had gotten some sort of revelation from my time reading.  In this challenge, I had to let go of that because I had to just try to keep up with the reading.  What I found, though, was that just reading the Bible each day affected my attitudes, my speech, my thought life...It really brought home that God's Word is truly alive and active (Heb 4:12).  My mind does not have to understand it any better for it to change my life.
      • I never found my "groove"
          When I began this challenge, I was hoping that I would be forced to find a time in my day that would be consistent to read.  Instead, I found that I had to find time wherever I could.  I sometimes had to make decisions to skip housework in the evenings to catch up, or grab my iPod whenever I could get a few words read; but I never did really find a consistent reading time.  I also learned, though, that that is okay.  If all I can do is read a little every chance I get, it is enough!
        • I could not have done it without support. 
            Ryan was a great supporter during this time.  He did extra housework for me and encouraged me when I wasn't sure how I would catch up.  The last night that I read, Ryan actually took over all the night time duties with the kids so that I could finish.
              I am also so glad that I had to be accountable.  I am grateful for my team leader, Laura, and Amy at Mom's Toolbox who provided the challenge and check-in opportunities.  I would never have finished without them.
            • Tools
                As I said, before, I read a lot of my readings on my iPod.  I found a website and iPod app called "You Version."  I was able to sign up for the "Bible in 90 Days" reading plan right from their website and it would check off the chapters for me as I read them on my iPod.  You can also change the dates for the reading plans to customize them even further.  There were a few glitches with getting started and using the app, but overall it was a great help.  I would have liked having the plan from You Version printable, but I was able to print the copy from Mom's toolbox.  I found that keeping the printed reading plan in multiple places was helpful.  I had Bibles in different parts of the house and it was helpful to have a copy of the reading plan with it to help me remember approximately where I was.
              • The pressure of not finishing is gone!
                  I have tried to read the Bible cover to cover so many times and never actually finished.  Upon finishing the 90 days, Ryan and I began reading through the Bible together on the Chronological plan and I am finding there is not the same pressure to "perform" as I have had in the past.  I am not afraid of not finishing.  I am not afraid I won't be able to do it.  If I fall behind, I know I can catch up - I have done it now on a much tighter schedule.  I also am finding that I am putting people and places together more than I have before.  Reading it all in such a tight time frame gives a perspective on people and places because you have not forgotten the background and history before you move on to the next parts of the Bible.
                I enjoyed this experience on so many levels.  I am covering Greek history with Princess in school right now, and it was amazing to read through the New Testament while reviewing the history of the time period.  It changed the experience of reading it.  There were also times that I read things and thought, "Wow!  The kids just asked me about that and now I have an answer from the Bible that I can point them to."  Ryan and I chose the Chronological plan this time because I want to see how the overlapping history of the Old Testament looks side by side.  We are about one month in, and I can already tell it is going to be a good experience for us both.  I am excited to see what the experience will bring out of God's Word this time around.

                In the time I have been "gone" from my little bloggy world, so many things have happened!  I look forward to sharing some of the things we have done around here over the last few months, as we have had some good times.  I also have been using the last month to read some of the books I skipped out on during my Bible reading months, so I hope to share my thoughts on those, too. is good to be back!

                1 comment:

                1. That is so encouraging! I love that your husband helped you in this venture too! Awesome awesome!!!


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