Monday, July 26, 2010

what week are we on again?

I had been doing so well with my reading...and then came VBS. For the first time, after encouragement from a friend and prodding from Ted, I volunteered at the last minute to help at our church's VBS. I was assigned to teach a preschool class. I have a Bachelor's in Education, so I'm no stranger to teaching. But--a big but--my experience is with older children. You know, the ones who can tie their own shoes and open their own fruit cups and mostly sit in one spot for extended periods of time. Between getting my room prepared, reading over lesson plans, and adjusting my schedule for the day, I was tired before VBS even started. Once it did start, each day was a lot of fun but left me dragging. And two days of VBS were Ted's birthday and our daughter's birthday (their b-days are one day apart). Each night I fell into bed with no B90Days reading done.

So a long explanation to say that I am now 7 days behind on my reading--far enough that I had a hard time figuring out what week we are supposed to be in! (Week 4, thank you Amy!) I worked on catching up today and read all of Deuteronomy and started Joshua. I'll still read before bed as well, so I'm hoping to knock a day or two off of that 7 days before the day is over.

Ted, on the other hand, was able to use the days that the kids and I were at VBS to catch up on his reading. He had gotten a little behind due to work and giving in to distractions.

For both of us, if we get out of the habit of reading and get a day or two behind, we lose our motivation and allow it to snowball until just a couple days turns in to several. Normally, that might escalate into not finishing. I'm determined not to quit, though, so now that life is mostly back to normal I'm trying to steadily get back on track. Ted and I are continuing to encourage each other and receive encouragement from our mentor, Amy at Mom's Toolbox, and all the other participants.

Monday, July 12, 2010

week 1, finished!

Hi to all those from the Mom's Toolbox Week 2 Check-in! It has been a busy week for both Ted and I. Beyond the normal activities of everyday life, we had a houseguest for a couple of days and a visit from the stomach bug...twice! Despite the interruptions we were able to finish Days 1 through 7 of the Bible in 90 Days challenge. We read through Genesis and Exodus, and at the end of today will be more than half-way through Leviticus.

I've been wanting to take notes and possibly blog along the way, but I get caught up in the reading and can't stop long enough to write. There's a lot more reading to come, so maybe in the future... For now, we have been processing what we've read through discussing together. It's interesting how we can read the same passages, yet God speaks to us in different ways.

While I haven't taken detailed notes, I have noticed some common themes. The most notable to me is God's faithfulness contrasted with our sin. Genesis is very drama-laden, with the people lying, blaming, feuding, and so on. Exodus continues with the Israelites grumbling, disobeying, and worshiping idols. Yet God chose to redeem the Israelites and ultimately the human race. People are so undeserving of His mercy, yet He offered (and still offers!) it to us. These first two books are full of history, but reading them in the context of the entire Bible, they are most certainly the beginning of a wonderful Love story.

We're looking forward to the next seven days of reading!

Grace and peace,

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Hi to all the Bible in 90 Days Challenge participants who are linking up via Mom's Toolbox!

My introduction will be a bit unique, as I will be speaking for myself as well as my husband, who will be doing the challenge as well---albeit somewhat behind the scenes.

I am Stephanie, the writer/blogger/tweeter of the pair. I homeschool our 3 children, ages 4, 7, and almost 8. I like to cook but hate doing dishes. I like to travel but would gladly stay at home for days at a time without getting cabin fever. I *really* like to read but am still a little intimidated by trying to read the entire Bible in such a short time.

My other, better (of course) half is Ted. He has a career in the travel industry that requires him to have a very flexible schedule but thankfully still allows him to be home every night. He is interested in getting in shape and is currently working through Beachbody's Insanity program. He also likes baseball and is a diehard Yankees fan. He recently bought an old jet ski, so being out on the water is a hobby as well.

We attend a church that teaches through the Bible, book-by-book, so we are used to digging into the Word on a regular basis. Recently our pastor challenged the church to regularly set aside time for Bible reading/study and prayer. Ted and I were both convicted, knowing that many days we would go with little or no devotional time. When I heard about the Bible in 90 Days Challenge, I knew that I wanted to do it the next time around. I've never read the Bible straight through, which seemed odd to me considering every church I have attended since I was a child has had a strong Scriptural emphasis. Once I really felt God tugging me to do the challenge, I asked Ted if he wanted in. He agreed, so here we are!

For both of us, probably the biggest challenge of this Challenge (heh!) will be putting aside the time it takes to read every day. Our schedules are very fluid due to Ted's job, so our routines have to change frequently. I'm planning to read at night after the kids go to bed, and Ted is planning to read during the day as his schedule allows. He will be able to listen on his commute and read during down time at work. Overall, we will have to be willing, able, and prepared to change ours plans as needed while still allowing plenty of time to finish our reading. Thanks to our friends at Apple, we can make that a bit easier by keeping the Bible close at hand all the time on our iPhones.

We will also have to make sure that we make the Bible readings our priority, and let some of our other activities and habits slide a bit. Less Internet, Netflix, library books, washing dishes... Well, promise not to come inspect my sink, okay?

I'm very thankful for the accountability through Amy at Mom's Toolbox, the mentors who've previously done the Challenge, my ladies' quiet time email group, and my husband. I'm praying that God will protect this group during these 90 Days, and that He will soften our hearts, give us fresh insights, and let us hear Him as speaks to us through the Word.

Grace and peace,