At the end of December 2011 I was reading a post on another adoption friend's blog about a Bible reading plan called B90X she was going to start in January and asked if anybody wanted to join her. The question caught my attention. I had never heard of this plan before. As I continued to read about the plan I discovered that you read the ENTIRE Bible in 90 days! This made me stop in my tracks. Could I even do something like this? I have tried SO many reading plans over the years and around February of the new year I have failed once again. Time and time again I have tried and failed. Could I actually do it this time? She asked to message her if we were planning on doing it and we could help keep each other encouraged. Well I thought I might give it a try, but I wasn't going to let her know I was doing it, because I would probably fail once again. In fact I decided I wouldn't tell anybody until I was well on my way to success.
So on January 1st I began my journey through the entire Bible (in secret I guess you could say :-). I have never had a problem getting through the first few books of the Bible, it is the books of Number, Deuteronomy, Judges, etc. that always seem to derail my plan. This time I vowed it would be different with God's help. You see I had really been struggling to be in God's word on a regular basis (or at all for that matter) and thought that this plan would be the best way to renew a desire to be in God's Word. Finding time to read would be the challenge for sure. It is very hard for me to read and actually remember what I read when there is noise going on around me. Well in a house full of people, quiet is very difficult to find. The late evenings when everybody was asleep proved to be the best bet, but a challenge non the less because I was EXHAUSTED most nights. For awhile Alesha would nap during the day for an hour so I would occasionally read during that time, but as a norm it happened at night. I did enjoy the quiet and reading while everybody was asleep, but would always feel like there was something else I "should" be doing. Bad priorities I know, but when I looked around and saw all that needed to be done I would feel guilty for just sitting there reading.
As the days went by I began to crave my time in God's word. YES, this is what I have been longing for! At the same time I felt like I was under attack daily. Finding that quiet time to read became increasingly harder to find and to actually follow through, but I was determined this time would be different! Having my family sick through the next 3 months was a HUGE discouragement for me and felt like an attack directly from the enemy. We battled high fevers, vomiting, colds, coughs, and ended the last 2 weeks of March with the FLU! Yep, I finished my last day of the reading plan with 103.1 fever. See this time I was DETERMINED to finish this goal no matter what! The lack of sleep, irritability, and falling behind on everything made reading something I had to be VERY purposeful in completing everyday. There were a couple of times through the 3 months that I fell behind a couple times, BUT instead of giving up, I had my husband watch the kids on Saturday and spent 6-7 hours reading to catch up and get back on track.
I will say that it was so different for me to read the Bible in large portions and in order. A lot of plans jump around from the Old Testament/Psalms/New Testament and I always found it difficult to keep a rhythm going. With starting at the beginning and going straight through there is a different feel about it. It doesn't seem so choppy. It is easier to make connections and it flows better. I found a lot of repetition this time as I read through from cover to cover.
When reading through the Old Testament I was so thankful that I don't have to kill an animal and sacrifice it when I sin. I was struck by the sheer number of animals that must have roamed the earth at that time to sustain all the sacrifices that took place. How thankful I am that Jesus paid for all my sins on the cross. I also struggled a lot with the Old Testament. God seems so harsh in the Old Testament. I had a friend tell me once that it seems like there are two different God's in the Bible. The Old Testament God and the New Testament God. It sure seems that way at times. I know this is an entirely different conversation, but something I observed during this challenge. I still will never be able to fully grasp the depth of Christ's love for me to go through such a brutal death. Reading through the betrayal of his disciples, the sheer evil of people, the lack of guts in Kings of that day to stand up for what is right, and the brutality shown to Jesus who did NOTHING wrong was difficult to read even though I have read the account many times before. I for one am so thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus. My prayer is that I would remember that daily and continue to fall into a deeper relationship with He who saved me.
I am happy to say that for the first time in my life at the age of 41 I can say without a doubt that I have officially read every word of the Bible from cover to cover. This is not to boast in anyway. In fact I am sad that it took me to the age of 41 to accomplish this. Yes, I am sure that I have read most of the Bible throughout the years, but I could never say with confidence that I had read the entire thing. When I hear of people who read through the Bible every year I now know what a huge accomplishment that is. I am still surprised that I actually completed a goal that I set for myself. I don't set many goals for myself for fear of failure. I honestly still didn't think I would be able to do it. I am thankful that a challenge was set out there for me to take part in if I chose. If this plan is something that you think you might like to do, please leave a comment for me or send me a message. I would love to encourage you along your journey if you chose to do it.
One thing I wished I had done was to have a plan for when I finished the B90X plan. I have struggled since finishing the last day of March to be in God's word. It is SO easy to fall back into our old ways. I am praying that I will get my priorities in order again and make that time to kindle my relationship with my Savior.