Friday, January 2, 2015

New Years Resolutions

Well, you might have noticed that Christmas came and went and I totally didn't finish all the 25 days of Christmas posts that I said I was going to ;P  It's not that I didn't do the projects and take the pictures, but when it came to sitting down for an hour for each post, I just honestly didn't have the time.  I've contemplated going back and doing the rest of them now, but I feel somehow dishonest doing that.

Instead, I'll share my New Year's Resolution with you all.

Wait, let's back up.  Let me share LAST YEAR'S New Year's resolution first.

I realized last year that I was in my 30s, had been a Christian for as long as I had known what that meant, and had never read the entire Bible.  I mean, really?  There's not much excuse for that.  Let it be known that I am one of THE MOST undisciplined people and it is insanely hard for me to be organized and intentional about most things.  I think my failed 25 Days of Christmas illustrates that perfectly.  I get all excited at the beginning, and that momentum holds on for a little while, but usually fizzles out by the end.  Last year, I was determined to not let that happen.

So, I downloaded the free Bible Gateway app and used their Chronological Bible reading plan to go through the entire Bible in a year.

I LOVED that I could read the Bible on my phone, because it's smaller and easier to hold.

I LOVED that there were a ton of different translations to choose from, so if I was confused in one translation, I would switch to a different one (or 2 or 3) until the passage made a little more sense to me.   I read the Amplified version and LOVED it!  It expands on certain words in parentheses and gives the multiple meanings for them in the original language.  It's amazing what you miss when you read just one translation!  I actually had a Shakespeare teacher say that to me in college - when you speak a certain language (in her example, Shakespearean English), so many words have double or triple entendres.  When you pick only one of those to put into another language, it strips the text of some of its meaning.  That's why, with Shakespeare, you have to do your research on what so many of the words actually meant to get what he was saying.  It's the same with the Bible.  It is so rich, and no one translation can capture it all.  I'd LOVE to be able to learn Biblical Greek and Hebrew, but being honest with myself, I don't see that happening.  Which is why I loved the Amplified version.  When that left me confused, I switched between the NIV (New International Version), ESV (English Standard Version), ERV (Easy-to-Read Version), NASB (New American Standard Version), and the Message version.  All of these are free on the app.  SO AWESOME!!

Reading it chronologically was not my favorite way to do it.  I mean, I'm glad I did it once, because it showed me how things are connected, how many stories are told in multiple places, etc., but it got REALLY repetitive in certain sections.  I don't do repetitive well.  I tend to get the attitude of "Yeah, I got it.  Yadda yadda yadda, let's move on," when what I really should be thinking is, "Hmmm, maybe if God is taking the time to say this over and over again, it's because He thinks it's important and I should really think about it some more."  Sometimes, I did do that.  But it was tough when I got to Chronicles and the like.  I won't lie to you.

There were times I missed a few days, but I tried to never let it go beyond 5 at the most, because catch up was brutal!  I would split it between a couple of days to get caught up and just read 2-3 days worth each day until I was back on schedule.

Some days I read before bed, some when the kids had gone off to school in the morning.  It just depended on what the littles were doing and it they were still asleep or not.

Things I learned:
Honestly, there are way too many things to mention in a blog post.  When you grow up in a household that is a particular faith, it can be easy to think "yeah, I know all of this.  Heard it all before."  But that just wasn't true for me this year.  Things I have heard so many times were put into perspective and made so much more sense!  It was so cool to be reading and have these epiphany moments and be all excited to tell someone about it.  They'd be like "Yeah, I knew that."  And I'd be all, "Well, okay then.  I didn't, so be excited for me!"  Ha ha!

All in all, I loved doing this and being able to say on December 31, 2014, that for the first time in my life, I had read every single part of the Bible.  At first, I felt like there should be some kind of fanfare for this, but then it occurred to me that I was just finally doing what I always should have been doing ;P  This was confirmed to me when I told my Dad what I had done, and he nonchalantly said "Oh, I do that every year" - so, yeah ;P  I'm thrilled that this wasn't so much about "having" to read the Bible, but in being obedient to what I was supposed to do, God gave me an excitement and a passion to do it.  That's my favorite part of this whole thing - something that I have wanted my whole life (a passion to study the Word of God) came when I finally sucked it up and was obedient to just read it.  Amazing how that works ;P

This year, I resolve to read the Bible more in depth and study certain sections more carefully.  I won't get through the whole thing, but ultimately, that's not the point - to check something off my list.  It's to learn about the God who created me and give Him all glory and honor :D

What are your resolutions for this year??

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