reading the WHOLE Bible. so far.

I've had a lot of people ask me how my attempt to read the whole Bible, cover-to-cover, in a short period of time is going. I have a few thoughts on it, some I think will be highly encouraging and others less so (though I doubt they'll come as a surprise!).

So reading the whole Bible. Is a really lofty goal, especially the way I'm trying to do it, but such a worthy one. Guys, in short, It's been a blessing.

I've often struggled to spend time reading the Bible daily and ever since I had kids my time in the Word has been shorter than I'd like. Sure, I'm comparing myself to the me in university who would spend hours reading and studying, but let's just say I'm far far far from that girl these days. Which partly is understandable, and you adapt and evolve and prioritize God in various ways as he blesses you with children who take up way more of your time + energy than you ever spent back then. But I did want to get back into a healthier, more robust Bible reading time this year, and this crazy challenge has been an enormous help.


First of all, I'm behind. Way behind. I won't finish in a month at this rate, and I'm 100% OK with that. I think some people shy away from making lofty goals because they fear the disappointment when they fail to reach them, but I thrive on challenge so a high goal was needed - even if I'll miss the mark in the end. I'm finding that I look forward to my time in the Word because of this challenge, and I'm disappointed when something comes up that may take that precious time away. So whether I finish in a month or two months, this challenge has cultivated just what I'd hoped it would: Joy in reading the Bible, and a desire to do so daily. And this is from reading massive chunks of the OLD TESTAMENT, people. Not always known as the easiest to digest of the whole book ;)

Second, some parts are VERY difficult to get through. Genesis was a breeze and I finished it in two days easily. Filled with exciting stories and so many ways to catch glimpses of God's grace and love towards his people, I was eating it up. Then Exodus started similarly, but the later half was harder to get through (a lot of directions, a lot of rules and Laws, a lot of lists), and Leviticus and Numbers, well, they were pure Law. But while reading Leviticus and Numbers was especially challenging, my heart was reminded time and time again that WE DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS STUFF TO MEET GOD ANYMORE. The lists and lists of things the Israelites did to please God and be "clean" enough for his presence have been satisfied in Jesus, so I could read with a very thankful heart, even through the hard chapters.

I've also learned what works best for me in terms of a consistent time with God daily through this challenge, which I'm so thankful for. I've been taught for YEARS that the best time to open up your Bible and "get alone with God" is first thing in the morning. Various Christian leaders and churches have recommended this to me, and the reality is, it's not for me. And I'm thriving by breaking away from that traditional schedule. I know for many people a first-thing-in-the-morning Bible + prayer fest is ideal, but it's just never worked for me, and now I'm confident enough in that to say I'll probably never have my times with God before the sun sets. For me, I've got too much going on during the day, and sleep is too important for me. I'm not at my best when I wake up in the morning. I'm groggy and slow, and can't think a coherent thought to save my life. I once was a morning person, that's what's funny! But no longer. And during naptimes I still have a packed To-Do list and a filthy house and the kids could wake any second, so it's not the right time for me to quiet my mind, pray, journal, etc.

But nights. Oh nights! They are so perfect for me and for this goal of mine. Here's what it looks like right now. The kids go down at 6pm or so. I finish making dinner for Brad and I, tidy the kid's various messes, we eat and I tidy the kitchen, and then I'm free. It's usually no later than 7pm and I have a silent, clean living room to curl up in and get reading. I read in an arm chair by the fire or in the bath. There are no distractions, no one needs me, and I'm comfortable (I can find it tricky to relax in a messy space). Sometimes Brad and I eat separately if he has something in the evening, or we eat with the kids, so my alone time starts closer to 6:15pm. I would never trade that for a harried, groggy 6:30am Bible time. I just wouldn't.

One slight issue is the evenings that we have plans. I've been fairly disciplined with certain friends. For example, my friend Morgan was coming over to watch Downton Abbey the other night so I told her to not come until 7:30pm, so I could get an hour of reading in before she came.But other things, like dinner plans and church (which we have on Sunday evenings) make it almost impossible to get my reading in. In those cases I'll usually attempt to read at naptimes, but it never goes as well and I never cover as much ground as when reading at night.

Also, I have to share this! My friend sent me a link which calculates the amount of reading time it would take you to complete the whole Bible should you aim to finish in 1 month, 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. It has given me so much direction! Check it out here.

Turns out, to finish the WHOLE Bible in a month, you'd have to spend 2 hours reading it per day. That sounds like a lot right? DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED. It is a lot! I'm struggling to keep it up and averaging about half of that, but seriously, it isn't a lot. It's probably the amount of time most of us spend consuming media per day, so we know we've got the time available. At first I didn't think that applied to me since we're not big into TV (I only watch The Mindy Project and Downton Abbey and Brad doesn't watch any TV at all), but then I remembered hockey. Oh hockey. Glorious hockey. Why is each game close to three hours? And why are there several games per week? See. What. I. Mean?

Another way to do it would be divide the # of chapters in the Bible by how many days you want to finish it in. The Bible has 1189 chapters in it, which is 40 chapters a day if you want to finish in a month. Or 20 chapters a day if you want to finish in 2 months (which is the pace I'm currently reading at).

After one week of this crazy challenge I'm loving it, I'm behind and guilt-free, I'm finding joy in the Gospel, I'm a little tired of genealogies and lists of rules, I'm looking forward to my evenings with God, and I'm about to start Deuteronomy. Boom.


  1. This is a great goal Em! I am still struggling to find a time that's good for me too. I am up before Levi but have to go straight to the barn. Naptime (for the same reasons as you) just doesn't seem to work. And our evenings are vastly different. Chores from 4-7pm. Supper around 7:30/ Levi in bed by 8/ then cleaning up etc. I usually don't get quiet time until 8:30-9 and by then I am WIPED. I really want to get into the word, I am just really struggling to find a good time to do it.

  2. Reading the Bible in a year was one of my few New Year's Resolutions. I'm a week behind so I can't imagine how you are trying to do it in a month! I've noticed though, that the reason I am behind is because I actually have to go back and re-read parts of it...I really want to grasp it.
    How do you get your little ones in bed by 6?!! My 1-year old is such a night owl-even without a nap. Thanks for sharing!