End/Beginning Rambles – Blogging and #WCW

I’m spending these first couple weeks of the year now that the kids are back in school reflecting on last year and making some new goals for the new year. It’s pretty shocking that I hadn’t written or posted anything since August of 2016. The fall was definitely the most busy I’ve been in a while, and I got out of the habit of writing.

Besides being busy, I think I’ve really struggled with what to say. I had lots of thoughts during those times, and my blog is, of course, supposed to be the spot for thoughts…but none of them would come out coherently. There was (and to some extent, still is) too much jumble – election politics, racial division, worldwide unrest and refugee crises, and on a personal level my own new life stage and several close friends dealing with major life moments.

But I do miss this writing and I want to do more to add something kind and beautiful to the world. It sounds pretentious that I could create something beautiful, and I doubt I’ll succeed every time. Hopefully the pursuit will itself be positive in the long-run.

As I’ve looked back over the year and sat stumped about what to write, I marvel at many of the people around me. I have some really amazing friends who are doing such great things. I’m going to challenge myself to write something each week, coinciding with Woman Crush Wedesday (#WCW) and tell you all about one of my amazing friends. The goal is to write one each week! I’m excited and hopeful that this venture will get the juices flowing and will allow me to brag on some of my favorite people 🙂

I’ll end with this quote from an unknown source:

Here’s to strong women.

May we know them.

May we be them.

May we raise them.

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End/Beginning Rambles – Spiritual

It’s the new year and I’m still thinking about last year’s events and experiences, trying to figure out if there was a theme or a direction and wondering where to go from here.  I started the year (2016) thinking I’d do the one word thing, but that didn’t really stick. It was a year of a lot of experiments – new job, new baby, new ministry opportunities, new volunteer priorities, etc.  It’s probably obvious that it was hard to nail down one idea or thought for the whole year.  But one thing I did do last year that I’ve never done before is to read the entire Bible in one year. I’ve started to try this multiple times, but have never succeeded. So it was pretty great to spend the last few moments of my awake time on the 31st reading the last few chapters in my reading plan.

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This picture is what my app opened to every day – pretty sweet in my opinion!

I ended up loving the plan I used – it was the Solid Life Full Bible Plan on YouVersion. Here’s the description: “The Solid Life Reading Plan helps you understand the entire Bible. The Old Testament is read once in near chronological order and the New Testament is read twice, beginning the year with Luke and Acts, the first 60 years of New Testament history. Psalms are often read on the same day as corresponding events. Historical books such as the Kings are read along with contemporary prophets. May you hear God’s voice as you read!”

I loved the chronological nature and the matching up of the prophets with their corresponding events. The sprinkling through of the Psalms was great too. Reading about David’s experiences running/hiding from King Saul and then the Psalm written during that time was a really rich experience.

I highly recommend this plan for anyone wanting to try and read through the whole Bible. It was a commitment of reading several chapters per day, but it was doable for sure. I started it knowing I would be “stuck” for multiple nursing sessions per day in the beginning of the year and just made a commitment that I would read at least one chapter on my phone per nursing session before I played a game or scrolled Facebook, etc. It worked perfectly for the stage of life I was in. There were definitely times where I just did it to put the check mark down on my mental to-do list but I really experienced a renewed love for scripture as well. Going forward, I’m not sure where to land.

 

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more bookmarks – the searchable bookmarking ability is one of my favorite parts of reading on the phone.
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a sampling of the verses I highlighted this year.

 

I’m not nursing as much anymore and will soon be totally weaning my son so I don’t feel as tied to my phone. Without that, I’m wondering if I should go back to doing more Bible reading in my paper Bible, or journaling more. I still haven’t landed on a plan. The more I think about it, the less I want a ‘plan’ – I think it was really good for me to have gone through the discipline of reading the whole Bible, but it’s super easy for me to get task-oriented and I need to find ways of building in a habit/routine/discipline that is not focused on completing a task but instead is an internalized intentional spiritual practice.

I’ve enjoyed watching what other people are putting in to place this New Year and plan to spend more time this week figuring out my next steps too. I love the possibilities the New Year brings and want to be purposeful in spending my time.