I’ve birthed 5 children in 7 years. 5 children. 7 years. That’s some tough math. You’re right that it’s been…

amazing

overwhelming

HARD

blessed

And we buried one of those five children. She’s now with Jesus, flying straight to him from my womb at 39 weeks, 4 days gestation. You’re right, that was …

awful

consuming

depressing

Then the twins came in 2010. Another mother of twins that I know calls it “life in a submarine.” She’s so right-on I can hardly stand it. We have completely submerged. Life is a series of survivals. I feel desperate and overwhelmed most of time. I barely get time to use the bathroom and I never get a chance to actually sit for a breakfast or lunch. Life is a series of sacrifices.

Through all this busyness, Bible-reading has become one of those sacrifices.

It’s funny how we convince ourselves that the main thing we need for survival of our soul is not a daily necessity. Over time it becomes an every-other-day thing, and then a weekly thing. Any of you with me on the monthly schedule?

One of my mentors is in her sixties. She raised four children. She buried one of them a month before my daughter died. She and I have been on many mission trips to the dark places of my soul after our tragedies. I’m so deeply thankful for her wisdom, her insight, her character. I’m also so thankful for her knowledge of the Word of God. She has studied the Bible for years, very diligently. The Bible was always a priority for her.

I asked her the other day, “How did you read your Bible when you had 4 kids at home?”

She told me, “My father always said, ‘The hardest thing to do is open your Bible.’”

Her suggestion to me was to have a Bible open on the counter. So if I have 2 minutes or 10 minutes that I use it to read there at my kitchen counter, asking the Lord to reveal what he has for me in that short amount of time.

I don’t know about you, but I’m simply awful at doing a Bible reading plan. A few years ago I read this article about Bible reading plans that I so resonated with. The basic premise was that she often fell behind on a daily read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan and often came to the Word guilty, and then reading only to try to check boxes off the list of chapters for the day. And for moms with young children, it’s just the reality that “life” happens.

So she developed her own Bible reading plan. It’s called “Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers.” I was in love. I can’t pretend to the Lord anyway–he already knows I’m the poster girl for slacking and shirking my Bible reading. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I confess it here to all of you.

I’m horrible at reading the Bible regularly.

So as 2011 begins, I’m going to try to do the hardest thing–open my Bible. I’ll shirk and slack my way through it, probably. But it’s better than just giving up, right?

You can download the Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers. Or you can just open your Bible on the counter, if that’s easier right now. Maybe it’s just one verse today. Maybe it’s just one chapter. Go at your own pace with the Lord. He is not a condemning Father, arms crossed over his chest, tapping his foot impatiently, shaking his head in scorn.

He wants to speak.
He has spoken.

And He will welcome all who will come to Him.

I’m stepping forward into the new year, completely confident of one thing: I will fail.

But can I try again and again? Yes.

Is there grace enough for all my failures? Absolutely. Every single one of them.

God sees our individual situations. He knows. And if opening the Bible is a hard thing in this season of life (for whatever reason), He is pleased with our doing the hard thing.

So, go ahead–open your Bible. If you come over to my house and there’s not one open on my counter, you can feel free to challenge me to do the hard thing.

By Molly Piper

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  1. 1

    What a great program! My experience has been much the same as yours. This looks like something I could more easily maintain without getting so discouraged. Thank you for the recommendation!

  2. 2

    I SO needed to read this today. I really struggle with reading my Bible, and to be honest it makes me feel like I’m the worst of Christians! Like you, I’ve tried Bible plans and have failed miserably. But this encourages me that even in reading a verse or a chapter a day, God is faithful, and He will speak. Thank you so much for your words. I know I was meant to read them this morning.

  3. 3

    Molly, oh, it makes me smile to see you here this morning! Thanks for these wise, grace-filled words of yours about THE Word. XOXO

  4. 4

    I needed this today! Thank you!

  5. 5
    Shannon says:

    Thank you for this! I’m always in a hurry to check-off my bits for my Bible reading plan and then I feel so guilty for rushing. Thank you for not making me feel alone!

  6. 6

    This is me, this is me, this is me! Thank you for your honesty. I am a total slacker and am filled with guilt over it. I know I need to be in the Word daily but most days it’s just an afterthought. This post encouraged me to do my best, and not beat myself up when it’s just a couple of minutes that I can fit in, in between the kids calling for me and climbing in my lap and the laundry and the dishes and….

  7. 7

    ‘Keeping one’s face in the Book” is important.
    As important, coming back to it each time you get away. Thanks for pointing that out.
    Wonderful post! Love the ‘submarine’ analogy. So many things in life fit that. A diagnosis, a grief, extreme caregiving…..
    Even when we are under the waters, His Word can be there.

  8. 8
    Sarah Z says:

    I love how you describe your life like a submarine, completely submerged and a series of survivals! I, too, have 4 children, with the youngest being twins. They were born in ’08, so I’m a bit farther than you, but life doesn’t get easier — just different — as they grow. I’m with you on the Bible reading and just had a deep convo. with my hubby about it last night. I think I’m gunna keep my Bible on the counter like you suggest (hopefully away from any spills!!). Not only will I be able to read it randomly throughout the day, but my older 2 will see the priority it should have in my life. Thanx for this post!!!

  9. 9

    Thank you, Molly, for your incredible transparency! I too feel like a slacker many times based on feelings and/or circumstances that are surrounding me. I appreciate being able to know that there are MANY of us out there that God extends His love and grace to.

  10. 10

    We are soul mates, my friend. Slacker soul mates.

    Great post.

  11. 11

    Thank you for your perspective and your honesty! Great post that us mom’s everywhere can relate to and a good goal for the new year!

  12. 12

    Oh Molly–”life in a submarine”, what a great description—I can completely relate. We welcomed twin girls in February 2010. I found it completely overwhelming. It was all I could do, some days, to remember to put on deodorant, let alone read the Bible. Praise him for his graciousness to us in our overwhelmed busyness. Blessings to you.

  13. 13

    Thank you Molly! I loved reading your words today. My friend also had twins 2 1/2 years ago then welcomed another little man right at their first birthday!!! Submerge she did! :) I’ll definitely have to share that analogy with her.

    Here is another super resource for bible reading plans–http://www.ewordtoday.com/year/
    They offer 5 different reading plans in 50 different translations!
    I found it when I was searching for a chronological Bible-in-a-year reading program for my daughter and I. I hope someone else finds it helpful!

  14. 14

    Thank you for this…I needed just this. Lots going on right now in my life and I know the answers are in the Bible just waiting for me!
    I am putting the bible on my kitchen counter TODAY! Such a simple act…now to read and be filled up is my next step!

  15. 15

    In my twins’ early days, I turned on audio Scripture while I went about my day. I caught bits and pieces, yes. But it was nourishing all the same. Love you, Molly Piper!

  16. 17

    I so relate to this post!!! I have 3 young boys and a baby girl on the way. My Bible reading barely exists. I just decided to really make an effort to get in the Word too, hopefully on a regular basis. I picked the Bible reading plan to help me in the back of my Bible, but maybe I will switch to the slacker plan now ;) This is really encouraging and it is good to know that this is not an unusual struggle for moms with young kids!

    In thinking about my struggle with daily Bible reading, I realized I was waiting for some kind of “me” time to read quietly, but that is practically impossible. So, I’ve decided to change my perspective about my time in the Word. I realize it doesn’t have to be “quiet” time hahaha cause that doesn’t exist in a house with young boys. Now I am trying to include them in my Bible reading when I need. I am also just going to read even in the midst of the chaos. I really like the idea of keeping the Bible on the counter or maybe I will keep it in the bathroom when I can sneak in there for a minute by myself!

    Anyways, thanks for the encouragement!!

  17. 18

    Thank you for these reflections. I have found that Satan desires to overwhelm and distract me through tough times, to prevent me from seeking strength from God’s word–thinking I don’t have time. Busyness is such a tool for the enemy. Even through my cancer treatment, something that should drive one to the Word, I found myself slacking. I love the picture of just keeping the Bible open and ready. It creates a symbol for me that I am always ready to hear Him speak. And what a testimony to my children.

  18. 19

    Ahh, it’s hard for me and I don’t even have kids! I’m going to work on making it a habit. Thanks for the post, Molly!

  19. 20

    thank you molly! i just heard about this bible reading plan recently, and am so excited about it. i also had 5 kids in 7 years, including twins, so i am right there with you and have been trying so hard to get focused on bible reading. this is a post which truly speaks to me.

  20. 21

    I know the meaning of submerged, too, having five kids quickly, one of whom also died. To help add to my submerged feeling, I ran a daycare 24hrs a day (shiftworker’s kids) in our house to help my husband finish school.

    One thing that had really helped me was that I had put so much work into memorizing passages when I was young. On those days I could not come up for air, those memorized passages would come back while I rocked screaming babies.

    If you haven’t had kids yet, prepare – learn as much as you can by heart. You’ll need it.

    And for those of you submerged, take heart – eventually you surface again.

  21. 22

    Thanks for this post, Molly. I am going to remember that opening my bible is the hardest thing…and do the hardest thing…

  22. 23

    This is great! My husband and I read through the Bible together 3 years ago, when we were first dating, and I seriously think it’s what connected us at such a deep and honest level that led us to getting married 1 year later. We’re reading through it again and using the same program we did before, which is very very similar to this one. Found at http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html
    I think this is such a great way to read through the Bible.
    I can’t wait to see what 2011 holds!
    God Bless!

  23. 24

    Today is my first day as a stay-at-home momma to my 10-month old son. I have not been consistent about reading my Bible and I want to get into the Word more regularly & develop this discipline, especially before my home is filled with more little ones Lord willing. Since it is a new year and a new season for me, it seems like now is the perfect time to start again…this post was so timely. Molly, thank you for your honesty! I am going to try the Bible open on the counter idea today!

  24. 25

    I just wanted to offer a word of encouragement…not a get-out-of-reading-the-Bible card…just a note of hope and encouragement from one who is beyond your stage.

    This is the hardest time for anything. It’s a time of dying to self. It’s a time of service…every hour. It’s a time of loss…of whatever you thought you and your life would be. It’s a time of doubt, confusion…a dozen times a day I thought to myself, “I don’t know what to do about…” And I was just so very tired. So very, very tired. And so many were around me…sympathetic…helpful…but no one was with me in the same way I was living it.

    It’s also a time where laughter bursts from you…where a smile breaks forth with a look…where small things mean big things to your heart…where God breaks in to show you more about Himself and about you in moments than you’ve known in years prior. It’s an amazing…happy…hope-filled…hard…desperate…tiring time.

    Molly is right. If I can have compassion for you…if I can know your place and know your struggle…if I can tell you that it’s okay to rest and to be free of guilt…then the God of all compassion who made you and knows you and created this chaotic, glorious, tiring day just for you knows very well how to meet you right where you are. Give Him a moment today, but come knowing that His face can do nothing but shine on you…for Christ is your righteous deeds satisfied. He communed everyday. He waited and listened every moment. He spoke then…and speaks now on your behalf. He is the foundation of your acceptance. And you need no other. Go with head lifted to the Father. Christ will usher you in with exceeding joy! (Jude 24)

    If you actually still have time to read this…listen to two of the greatest theologians of our day give you the compassion of our Father…for He placed it in them:

    “Martyn Lloyd-Jones once spoke with a group of medical students who complained that in the midst of their training and the ferocious work hours they really didn’t even have time to read the Bible and have their devotions and so on. He bristled and said, “I am a doctor. I have been where you are. You have time for what you want to do.” After a long pause he said, ‘I make only one exception: the mother of preschool-aged children does not have time and emotional resources.’

    It is important to recognize, too, that there are stages of life where you really don’t have time to do much, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Children will sap you. If you have three children under the age of six, forget serious reading unless you have the money for a nanny. When our youngest finally went off to kindergarten, we celebrated that day—I took my wife out for lunch. Only then could she get back into reading again. It’s the way life is. You have to be realistic.”

  25. 26

    Sorry…I forgot to say that the quote is from D. A. Carson…found here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2010/06/19/why-can%E2%80%99t-we-just-read-the-bible/

  26. 27

    Thank you for your openness and honesty . Thank you.

  27. 28

    Molly, yes, it is.

    I love the idea of having a bible open somewhere…and the great thing about that is that our children will wonder by and hopefully take some time to read as well.

  28. 29

    Great post, Molly! I don’t have nearly the distractions and responsibilities a mother of 4 would, but it doesn’t seem to matter…I always can find something that will get in the way. That just fuels my desire to read the Bible…if it didn’t have so much power, Satan wouldn’t use so many things to keep us from it!

  29. 30

    I struggle too. I always have and though I blame it on the busyness that is my life, I’ve always used that as my excuse even before I had 4 really good ones.

    Margie’s Shirkers and Slackers plan is a good one and worth downloading. I’m kick-starting myself back into gear by drawing out my QT’s via Fun Felt app on the iPad. I know. Whatever works, right?

    I’m 2/2 so far and have had fun with the felt board… http://www.halfpinthouse.com/2011/01/psalm-33-4.html

    *grin*

  30. 31

    There’s a part of me that has always suspected those Bible reading plans were one of the schemes of the enemy. We start out full speed ahead, then fall behind. Eventually guilt and despair cause us to stop altogether. The point is to read the Word! Not in specified segments or on a time schedule! I love the idea of the open Book, available when the opportunity arises. God knows our weaknesses; He remembers that we are dust. How much can you expect out of dust!

  31. 32

    Oh how I can relate to this!! Thank you so much. I struggle with this all the time! I feel like a ‘bad’ Christian, sometimes. Thanks again for your post.
    I looked at the Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers, but didn’t quite understand how to use it. Can someone explain?

  32. 33

    Molly – I love you! This is the perfect, perfect post for me today!

  33. 34

    Listening to the Bible on CD has helped me “open” the Word.

  34. 35

    Molly, thank you for this jump-start post of advice on this third day of the New Year.

    Prayers,
    R

  35. 36

    Wow! I just stumbled upon this reading plan through a friend and started it today.
    This is SO ME.
    Although I don’t have the legitimate excuse of having twins, I have ALWAYS struggled with reading plans and just opening my bible and now with 2 young boys it definitely isn’t any easier.
    So I’m excited. And I think this is the best suited plan for me, my life and already today the Lord spoke to me in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.
    Thanks for sharing!

  36. 37

    Last year our entire family started a read through the Bible plan (half was family devotions and half private reading) and smart husband redesigned the check off list and removed all references to dates and days. So, January comes around again and we can say…”Wow, the Lord was so good to us to keep us on track. … we’ve already finished more than a quarter of that rigorous reading plan in the midst of life with 10 kids! It’s not going to kill us after all!” Keeping the Bible open on the counter is a good plan, too. When I started parenting (only 16 years ago!) there was no internet, no facebook to check and just keeping a Bible nearby was helpful. Even more so today … with more kids, more distractions, more weariness at times. This post is helpful to me, Molly. Thanks.

  37. 38

    I definitely loved this post, it was exactly what I needed to “hear” today. Thank you for your honestly and sharing part of your motherhood journey. I went to your blog after reading this post and immediately became a “follower”. :) Thank you.

  38. 39
    Jessica Chavez says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!! Just yesterday I wanted to catch up with the two days I’m behind… (Yes I’m ashamed to say that it’s only been 3 days in 2011 and I’m already behind) but this plan is just perfect!! I won’t feel I’m letting God down because of the dates. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing this with us!! Happy New Year and Happy Reading!!

  39. 40

    Great post, Molly. One thing that has worked for me is reading The Divine Hours aloud during breakfast and sometimes lunch. My daughter likes to be read to and I get a minute or two to reconnect with the Lord, so it’s a win-win situation. It’s not the same as being alone for 30 minutes with the Bible, but like you said, that scenario is hard to come by when you have little ones.

    (The Divine Hours books are essentially the Book of Common prayer with all of the prayers and Scripture readings for the day all in one spot – so you don’t have to flip back and forth. Each section is 1.5-2 pages long and takes ~5 minutes to read straight through.)

  40. 41

    I have always beleived that the best gift we can give one another is honesty. Is is always so moving for me to find out that I am not the only person who resembles Martha more often than Mary. Thank you fro sharing your struggles and goals.
    (By the way, I had 7 kids in 10 years and my twins just turned 8 so I know where you are coming from!)

  41. 42

    It is the hardest thing to open your Bible. That reading plan is awesome. I found another really great one. http://www.youversion.com/
    First of all it has a ton of different kinds of plans. Second, for me if I miss a day I don’t have to catch up. It allows you to adjust the plan how you like. It is sort of a facebook of Bible study and you could keep you and your friends accountable. And as silly as it sounds, picking up my computer is much easier than my Bible, so I am hoping that the absence of taking that walk to my Bible will help me read it.
    On a personal note, I have five year old twin boys and it gets easier as they get older!

  42. 43

    Great post, very timely for me. I have struggled with being in God’s word since my walk with Him began. I’d like to say that I can blame it on having three kids 7 and under, or the fact that I’m a homeschooling SAHM and constantly busy, but I don’t have an excuse. It’s all about priorities, and I don’t make God’s word a priority in my life. Thank you for your honesty and transparency regarding your struggle, it’s nice to see that I’m not alone.

  43. 44
    Gillian says:

    Thank you for your post. I’m sure that many are be encouraged by it! I was thinking that not all people are readers – some receive better by hearing. Reading the Bible is great, but we can also listen to it. I know of an illiterate woman who listens to the Bible often, and knows it really well! When I read the Bible it is really enjoyable for me if I read as if I am reading aloud – or just read aloud. Silent reading is good too, but different. In your situation where you are really busy with little children and all that comes with that, I would suggest not worrying about recording any reading progress (recording takes time). Just do what you can. Having the Bible open is great. Have a Bible (paperback, secondhand) in the places you go in the house where you might have an unexpected moment. Sometime mums can read while breastfeeding. If you have little ones around at those moments, you can read a sentence or two or more, out aloud to them. They will be interested in what you are doing, because children are interested in what their mums are doing! But if you have an ipod, download an audio Bible and just listen. When I’m tired, my eyes won’t even focus, so it is good for then! With something like and ipod, if you need to you can listen without disturbing others if you need to, but you can also have it audible to others. Let the word wash over you – don’t aim to ‘do too much’ in those ‘reading’ times. There are times and seasons, but we can be so ministered to so beautifully through the word, by just reading or listening. If you enjoy really delving into the word, then when the children are older, you’ll be able to do that, with all the benefit of having heard it over the years. Much blessing, Molly!

  44. 45
    Heather Simmons says:

    I so needed to read this. I, too, am a mother of four. A 13 year old, a 5 year old, and twins that are 3. I find it very hard to open my Bible and read. Thank you!

  45. 46

    I am a fellow struggler as well. I know for me on the days I am really rushed I will only take time to look at a verse or even a phrase and then it’s helpful if I chew on it all day in my head or write it on the bathroom mirror or index card. I usually walk through a book of the bible very slowly and remember that the point is not to make it through that book of the bible but to see Christ and treasure Him in those little words or phrases He will let us look into. My mother raised five children and she was so faithful in getting up very early every morning and spending time with the Lord. I have so many memories of walking to the bathroom early in the morning and seeing my mother in the living room on the couch hunched over reading the word and praying to our Father. I know what these memories do for me and I want to give them to my children as well! May God continue to incline our hearts to want Him more than we want anything else.

  46. 47

    This post is so good and full of truth. Bible plans have never worked for me, mainly because they felt like WORK. Now I read when I want and when I’m hungry and God does not love me any less if I read less!
    FREEDOM!

  47. 48

    I received a copy of the Busy Mom’s Bible from Zondervan sometime last year, and I had never really taken advantage of it. When I was trying to decide what I wanted to focus on for my devotional time this month, I saw the Bible on my bookshelf and decided to check it out. There are 52 “one minute” devotions in the Bible that are perfect for the busy mom who barely has a minute to herself during the day. I’m loving the thought-provoking readings each day! I would highly recommend it to any busy mom as a way to get in the Word daily! {Here’s a link to it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/hRgpNu }

  48. 49

    I love this post. Thank you for being honest.

  49. 50

    Thanks for the great article! I struggle with the “read through the Bible in a yr” plans as well. There is also a site that does 90 day, 60 day, 30 day, 14 day, and 7 day reading plans about different Biblical topics, characters, ideas, etc.. You read the scripture and can journal and everything on the site. You can save all your journal entries or download them to a PDF file or email them to you when you are done. I just save mine in my free account on the site. The beautiful thing about these reading plans is that you don’t have to go through the reading plan in consecutive days! Great for those of us who are slackers =) Anyway, thought I would share the site with you in case you were interested. http://www.examen.me

  50. 51

    This reading plan is awesome! When I first looked at it I thought, “it looks like all the others”, then I realized it had no dates, lol!
    One thing I have done in the past is to read thru the Psalms based upon what day of the month it was (this works with Proverbs too) On Jan 1, you read psalms 1. If you are adventurous, read Psalms 1, 31, 61, 91, 121. Doing this will get you thru Psalms in a month. Now, mind you, I know I missed days but I did this multiple times, so I believe I eventually read it all!
    I will be downloading this reading plan and printing and putting in my bible for sure!
    Bernice
    What is valuable to you?

  51. 52

    This was a much needed post for this stay at home mom of 4 all 6 and under! I have been in “guilty” mode for over 4 months now- since we adopted our fourth. When I recently asked an older mentor in our church to help keep me accountable for a consistent quiet time she simply stated back to me, “pray. ask God to show you a perfect time and a new desire for the Word. and you might be surprised how different your daily quiet time in the Word might be.”

    Thankyou for your encouraging words!
    Judy

  52. 53

    I just had this whole epiphany about this same thing! I started a read-the-Bible-in-a-year program last year and I’m currently on…SEPTEMBER. To say I’m behind is a understatement! And forever I felt horrible about it because it SHOULD be my main priority and I know that….but then I was like, ya know what, I’m still reading…even if I am in September and it’s December…cause quitting all together would be so much worse than just admitting that I’m human. So it’s taken me longer than a year…God’s been in my year…He gets it! And with that said ,I felt completely free of the whole notion of finishing the plan in a year. It was exhilarating to admit that I failed and that it was OK!
    Thank you for making me feel more normal! Happy New Year!

    • 54

      Proud of you! You made it to September! That took some sticking with it! Keep it up!

  53. 55

    might there be a january wallpaper? :)

  54. 56

    I agree that it’s the hardest thing! Sometimes once it’s open it can be tricky too…or maybe that’s just me with my over-analyzing everything and my obsession with doing things “right.” :)
    I used to be pretty diligent in my reading of the word and then went through a dry spell but have recently gotten back into it. I just had a baby 6 months ago and some days find it challenging to get into the word but I CANNOT imagine trying with 4 children!
    I’m encouraged by your desire to figure out a way. I tend to be an over planner and look into the future perhaps too far and lately I’ve been feeling stressed about when I get back to work (I’m from Canada, we get a whole year mat leave) and how I will find time but mostly how I will have energy to spend time in the word. And then when other children come… After reading this, and although I dread the though of just a couple minutes a day I’m encouraged that God can still use it and draw me deeper in that time.

  55. 57
    Susie Lorence says:

    This is so helpful. Thanks.

  56. 58

    I love that there is a reading plan for slackers. God provides for the needs of all of us, doesn’t He?

    Wonderful blog. Thank you for the reminder that something is better than nothing.

    I have the Bible downloaded onto my Blackberry. If I have time in line or waiting for my kids somewhere I have the option to read a bit without hauling around my actual study Bible. Works for me!

  57. 59

    i love the submarine analogy and the idea that if we just leave our bibles open on the counter, something amazing could happen. jon acuff wrote a hilarious post about trying to read the bible through. i laughed out loud! http://stuffchristianslike.net/2011/01/already-being-behind-on-your-read-through-the-bible-in-a-year-plan/#more-4183

  58. 60

    “I’m stepping forward into the new year, completely confident of one thing: I will fail.”

    i love that, molly. i love you, friend! good post!! and thanks for introducing me to shirkers and slackers. i’ll try again this year. may God be pleased to work a miracle in our lives, and thus we would read his word LOTS this year.

  59. 61

    I really needed to read this.
    As one of my new years resolutions, I started a ‘read through the bible in a year’ bible reading plan.
    Day 4 and I’m already struggling!
    As a mother of three, it’s not easy!
    But I find time to blog, and to read blogs…
    So I am going to combine your idea, and my bible reading plan: and keep each day’s chapter or two open on the kitchen bench.
    There, I’ll be sure to find it – and hopefully have much less slacking this year!
    xx
    And if it fails,

  60. 62

    i didn’t read the bible this morning either – i am a teacher and have to et up early in the morning. i am involved in a ministry which happens in the evenings and when you combine these two, the result is a very tired person most of the time. but, what i have learned from my friends – i downloaded audio bible and while i walk to work (and here in prague we generally walk a lot!), i listen to it – sometimes i listen to it while i am brushing my teeth or cooking or doing something which does not require all of my attention…

  61. 63
    Debbie gaston says:

    When I was young with kids I asked God to give me time to read my Bible daily and then came the fall time change! I woke up earlier and read my bible and I couldn’t stop, the Holy Spirit & my spirit were having such a good time in the Lord! Then miraculously things went smoother, I had more energy & God gave me people to witness to I never had before. He will give u the desires of your heart

  62. 64

    Molly!!!!

    I have NO idea what you’re talking about…. {{lightning strikes!!!}}

    What an honest ENCOURAGEMENT to those who stumble across these words of yours. Just to know you aren’t the ONLY ONE who struggles, who ISN’T a Christian Superman is greatly encouraging.

    Coming to the Word guilty is no way to come; there is no guilt where Christ is present, but I’m guilty of conjuring it…. And I imagine God throws up when people check boxes to have a “quiet time” (heck, it makes ME gag!).

    Anyways, love seeing you here, clearly something that resonates with many.

    :)

  63. 65

    For the first time in a long time I feel hope towards reading the bible. As a self-prescribed slacker & mother of 2 young kids, I am relieved to know there are other slackers like me that love Jesus just the same. Thanks fir sharing! – misty

  64. 66

    You are SO RIGHT.
    We let the thing we need the most be the first to go.
    I so needed a plan.
    I found the Daily 10.
    I spent the time to read up on it, print the pages, cut out the bookmarks, put them in the starting spots in my bible.
    Have I actually began reading??? NO.
    I will now.
    Thanks for the nudge!

    ~Jenn

  65. 67
    Michele says:

    Love this post as usual. Your honesty is greatly appreciated and very encouraging. You mentioned your children & I wanted to share a new application I recently was introduced to. I found it’s a good way to get them started on the right track with reading their Bibles at an early age. Children’s Bible is designed for ages 3-13 & is made up of comic books that deal with many of the most important stories in the Bible. It’s a free app & available for most styles of smart phones. My kids have really enjoyed it & we have used it to start them with their own quiet time. I just wanted to share because it is such a cool way to get the children started out young with the Word. Definitely worth checking out.

  66. 68

    Thank you for your honest words!

    My husband set me up with a neat resource this year. At http://www.esvonline.org/devotions/one-year-tract/ each day gives you an audio section to read through the Bible in one year. My sons and I are listening to it at breakfast. This seemed much less overwhelming to me than reading alone. We also have been closing each meal in the Word, a great habit we picked up from Ann Voskamp.

  67. 69

    Molly,

    So fun to see you featured here!!

    Thanks for sharing so candidly from your heart. :) I whole heartedly agree that us mama’s need to extend a good dose of GRACE to ourselves during certain seasons of life with our littles.
    ~h

  68. 70

    Oh my word, Molly. This is wonderful – well-written, wise and witty. (I have Baptist preacher roots. The alliteration is strong in me.)

    Like you, I am in survival mode lately. Dealing with four kids in these early parenting days is flat-out exhausting. I love it. But I’m so tired. So I resonated with every word in this post.

    I leave my Bible open. (It’s gotten written on a few times. But hey. Life is a battlefield around here. I figure God’s Word can handle it.) I also typed up a few chapters I really want to mediate on and laminated them and stuck them on the wall in my shower. If nothing else, I can read those verses in the morning and beg God to use them to renew my mind and soul as I enter another day. It works for me.

  69. 71
    Marlise says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty, encouragement, and challenge! I just wanted to share a challenge I’m putting in front of myself to (hopefully) help with my slacker tendencies. (Perhaps sadly,) I’m very good at keeping up on reading emails and my favorite blogs. So, I found a Bible reading plan that works with me on that. This program http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/devotions/every.day.in.the.word/ sends the Bible reading to my RSS feed. It’s not the same as opening a book, but for me it’s been very good, because (at least so far) it’s helped me be more consistent about reading God’s word.

  70. 72

    That is awesome! Thank you for sharing that. I need it :)

  71. 73

    Reading through these comment one can see you hit on a topic that resonates with many women. I appreciate your honesty and that you introduced me to Margie’s article. So many of these comments have great resources, too!

  72. 74
    Sara Anderson says:

    Wow – catching up on blogs this morning and I needed this. I am already nine days “behind” on a new Bible Reading Plan I was going to follow! I immediately printed this plan you link to and am going to give it a go. I don’t know why I beat myself up over failing a reading plan and thus read NOTHING from the Bible. Wouldn’t even one verse, one chapter be better than nothing….than not following a man-made plan? I agree we need to be in the Word far more than we are…for me one verse in personal Bible time would be far more than the last couple of years of my life. You have motivated me to begin something…anything….even just one verse a day from God’s Holy Word!

  73. 75

    I am so grateful to have read this. I feel so horrible about not reading the bible every day. I was crying to my husband a couple of weeks ago about this and just beating myself up about it. Whenever I do read the Bible though, I feel really good afterward. But recently, I got to thinking, am I feeling good because I “fit” that in and thank goodness that is over with? Or, am I feeling good because I’m cherishing Jesus? Sadly, it was the former. I hate being so rushed and feeling guilty. And, I hate that my guilt has been my motivator. Reading the Bible is hard, so many things get in the way and then when I have a moment to breath I can’t even bring myself to open it. Terrible, right?

    But, I do know that God’s Word fills me like nothing else can and I just have to do it. I will try that plan that you suggested for the slacker and just try not beating myself up so much about it. Thanks for this posting, Molly.

  74. 76

    I am mid way through raising 4 children. My two oldest are 22 & 19 and out of the house for the most part. Then one in high school and one in jr. high. I say all that to let you know I do know where you are at. One tool that I now use but wish I had when I was sitting nursing a baby or putting together a meal of hot dogs and mac/cheese; http://www.biblegateway.com. I use this for my daily or almost daily bible reading because it has the option of listening to the passage. I try to sit down and read along as often as possible but there are days which are so busy that I just listen while I am putting make up on or loading the dishwaster, etc. This might help you accomplish a daily or almost daily reading schedule . Try it and see. Hope this helps.

  75. 77

    I needed to read this post. Hubby and I are very bad about slacking in this area. We will definitely try the slacker’s guide!

  76. 78

    Thank you for sharing – boy did that hit home! I’m going to keep trying.
    Melinda

  77. 79
    Trina Saunders says:

    Oh boy – you nailed it! I am a mother of four and I can relate to everything you said… Thank you for sharing your heart and the Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers. I am going to leave my Bible open on the kitchen counter too!

  78. 80

    Ahhhh…thank you for being real. I think I just took my first full breath today. Just one of those days. I have three kids ages 4 and under. That ornery middle one is quite strong-willed, and his little sister has the same twinkle in her eye. My heart is absolutely at home with my little ones, but it comes at a literal price. Our financial stress is overwhelming me and is overshadowed only by my guilt over not spending enough time in prayer and in my Bible. When I get 10 minutes to myself, I’m not sure if I should exercise (to work off baby weight stacked on baby weight), eat whatever meal I most recently missed, clean something (so much to choose from), do something relaxing, read my Bible, or sleep! Just knowing that there’s another imperfect woman/wife/mother out there makes a gigantic difference for me. Thank you for striving to deepen your relationship with God and for encouraging the rest of us to do the same. You participated in an answer to my prayer today!

  79. 81

    Thank you for your candid look at being a stay-at-home Mom. My wife and I have three young children, and this is, by far, one of the most difficult things to do…simply crack open the Bible. I really appreciate your transparency and encouragement.

  80. 82

    I stumbled across this post today. You can add me to the list of people who can’t follow a reading plan… and to the “hard math” list (I have 5 kids – 7, 5, 4, 2.5 and 1 with number 6 due in July)… and to the “life in a submarine” list. LOL

    Loved reading your thoughts. Lots of truth in there! And encouragement for all of us. I’m off to clear a place in my kitchen for my bible!

    Thanks :)

  81. 83

    I found this because I was looking for a Bible reading plan for moms. I am also a mom of many young children, having had 6 children in 8 years, plus a teenager from my husband’s first marriage. I am horrible about doing anything consisitently – except having babies :) . I was wondering if you’d like to hold each other accountable on the Bible reading? If so, you can contact me via e-mail, and maybe we can encourage one another?

    Thanks!

  82. 84
    Deanna says:

    I stumbled upon your blog, after asking the Lord for some help with getting into His word. The Bible plan I’ve been trying to use, while wonderful, is overwhelming for me with my two small children – who seem to wake up the second I do even if I’m trying to wake up before them. Thank you for making me feel “normal” and for the reminder that there is a season for all things. I’ll be doing my best to keep my Bible open on my kitchen counter, and I’m taking a look at that plan that you’ve posted. I do crave structure, but I just need something less intense.

  83. 85
    Cassidy says:

    Hi,
    My name is Cassidy, Id like to aquire your permission to use your image of the bible on your home page for a Journalism 12 assignment. Thankyou

  84. 86

    I JUST stumbled on this today and I am thinking that I needed this. I am a mom of three kids, one who has been deemed disabled with A.D.H.D, I also struggle with A.D.D. and P.T.S.S. along with depression EVERYDAY, I always say that I don’t have time to open my bible, but yet I have time to sit in front of the T.V, knit, or spend time with the Online friends with Face book. My husband and I have been struggling, and things haven’t gotten any easier, but I want to thank you this is something that I am going to try.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I bought the actual Bible in 90 Days book in an effort to help me… now let’s actually get it open. [...]

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  3. [...] Molly (guest posting at (in)courage) I don’t know about you, but I’m simply awful at doing a Bible reading plan. A few years ago I [...]

  4. [...] know who feels our pain? Molly Piper who wrote this guest blog at (in)courage. Go there. Read it. Follow [...]

  5. [...] just the word “consistent.” Lame? It’s the best I can do. Molly posted such an encouraging article about this very thing, along with a link to the Bible reading plan for Shirkers and Slackers. My [...]

  6. [...] this Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers – The Hardest Thing To Do Is Open Your Bible ~ @ [...]

  7. [...] Here is her post, with the aforementioned Slacker plan [...]

  8. [...]   So, I had been debating whether to just pick up from where I had left off in 2 Chronicles and continue from there or do the by-the-book reading plan the church is doing. Until I found this… [...]

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  10. [...] Blog Post – This one is actually from a few weeks ago, but I started using the Bible reading guide she mentioned & I love it! And I think many of us can relate with what she says – The Hardest Thing To Do Is Open Your Bible [...]

  11. [...] This article talks about how hard it can be just to open your Bible and has a great suggestion for young moms who are just so busy at this time of life. There is also a link to a Bible reading plan that lets you do whatever you can do on whatever day you find time, but at least gives you some guidance so you aren’t just lost trying to figure out what to read. [...]

  12. [...] back I wrote a post for inCourage about my difficulties with regular [...]

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