Reading the Bible is tough. If you’re only managing it on Sundays, then join the enormous club! Our free time in the evenings is so precious isn’t it? We need it to hoover, and to puree food, and to catch up with the husband, and to drink wine. So when can we read? All joking aside, I find reading in the evening a big no-no. I’m so tired that I don’t take anything in, and it only irritates me further. So I’m pushing to try and read in spare time during the day – whilst feeding babe 2, or when they’re asleep in the car or something similar. Here’s a lovely numbered list of ideas that have crossed my mind about reading…
1. Buy a new Bible
Nothing is more motivating and exciting than something shiny and new. It’s lovely opening up a new book – maybe a version you haven’t read before, or one with interesting notes. Sticking with an old favourite Bible is great if that works for you, but if you’ve been looking at it recently thinking that you’d rather not open it, then trick your mind with one that looks different. I’ve just got out an old Bible from when I was a teenager (it’s got absurdly large type), and it’s great to read – even the different page layout makes the stories come to life more. I hate to admit that I’m that fickle but hey, why not exploit it to your benefit, if you know it’s true? And why not go ahead a get a lovely new notebook too, because let’s face it, new stationery is fantastic.
2. Get a good Bible app on your phone
This is a cheap version of point 1. I use YouVersion because I like the layout, but any will do. In a later blog I will explore various apps that are available and do some reviews of them, but for now, let’s just get reading! You can even set some of them up to angrily text you if you forget to read one day. We read off our phones a huge amount of the time – at the hairdressers, at the bus station, during nap times. I’ve got my apps colour coded (why?!), so mine is on the third page of my phone – not ideal because I don’t look at it everyday – it would be much better on the home screen.
3. Choose something very specific to read
If you open the Bible in the middle because you don’t know what to read, you will get Psalms. Lovely! However, we probably need to read the rest too. I have started numerous reading planners with very mixed success, as I’m sure you have too. The classic Robert Roberts plan is a bit much to squeeze into snatched minutes, but usually the one that is used for our Sunday readings. So you have to choose between matching up with Sundays for continuity, or doing two reading plans. The YouVersion app has a good plan called ‘Eat this Book’, which reads the Bible in a year, with a daily Psalm added on too. I still find this too much reading at the moment so if you’re in a similar position to me, I think choosing one book/incident/letter is more achievable. That way, you can change the amount you read each day – if it’s a vomit/poo/screaming everywhere day then 1 verse might be the limit. Lets hope its an uplifting one! But on other days like a Saturday for example, you could crack on and get a paragraph read. Don’t be wimpy and choose easy reading sections – we do have to do the hard bits too. How about Esther’s story? Or maybe pick a mum for inspiration like Mary who had to deal with her son being the Messiah, or Hannah who had to give Samuel away.
4. Leave an actual Bible open where you eat breakfast
Not closed! If its closed you won’t open it. If its open, you will automatically read some of it. This trick used to work well pre-kiddies, and before the dining table at breakfast became a porridge-bomb site, granted, but I think the principle still works. if there’s an open book by where you eat, then you will read it without realising.
This week I’m going to try and read off the Bible app on my phone a bit more. Do you have any good tips for motivating yourself to read mid-week?