Casual Friday + Why I Stopped My Yearly Bible Reading Plan on Day #311

A shout-out for any local readers. A friend of mine is on the board of Campaign for Kids. It's a non-profit charity that provides support for children and youth in Kings County. One of their annual campaigns is a Winter Wear Program. As a mother to two young children I can't imagine them having to brave cold winter weather without suitable clothing, but that is the difficult reality for too many kids. Unfortunately, demand this year is outstripping donations. For $100 an elementary school student can be outfitted in full winter gear; for $150, the same is provided for middle-schoolers. If you're able to support this valuable program, please see their website for more information on how to contribute (donations are tax deductible). 
  • Am I the only one that isn’t a fan of Daylight Savings? I do enjoy the extra light in the morning, but it just throws everything else off kilter. Every time. Admittedly, it’s a lot easier now that the kids are older (DST time with a toddler is the worst), but even with our age advantages, everyone has been off their sleeping game. It just doesn’t seem worth all the hassle. One perk: we’ve started lighting my favourite Danish candles at supper and it does feel very hygge (my brother married a Dane, so I feel like I can own the hygge concept with some validity; they gifted us these Georg Jensen candlesticks years ago and they still make me so happy)!

(Here’s a stock picture of what they look like in normal light – I leave them on our hutch year-round but have to steal them for the table when we start eating in the dark)!

  • After some grumpiness on my end, last Friday ended on a high note. The kids were off school all day and I participated in a game of morning soccer, arranged an impromptu playdate and packed a pinic. All good so far. But then we needed to run errands in Halifax, culminating in some thrift-store shopping. I was cold and tired and wasn’t. feeling. it. I couldn’t bear the thought of traipsing through IKEA (we didn’t actually need anything, but the kids do love eating there), so we opted to come home much earlier than planned, grab Subway (with coupons!) for supper, and put on a movie. It is getting challenging to find something that appeals to everyone as there are some strong opinions from certain children. But the kids were intrigued by the trailer for Maleficent as we panned through the offerings on Disney. I had no desire to watch it, but ended up really enjoying the movie! The kids have a high tolerance for scary things, and it was relatively tame (PG). Also, Subway was just…easy and deliciously loaded with veggies.
  • The weekend was okay. Daylight Savings and/or some mood cycling threw me off my game. But we fit in two family walks. I was feeling extra distracted Saturday morning on our walk, thinking about all sorts of things and I added guilt to the mix because I wasn’t really engaging with Levi who was happily chatting up a storm (when he wasn’t stopping every 5 seconds to throw a rock into the canal…which was frustrating me more than I care to admit). Abby and John were way up ahead absorbed in their own conversation. Levi suddenly stopped (literally, yet again) but before I could sigh he said “I bet they’re having just as good a time up there as we are back here, Mom.” And it just made me so happy – even though I wasn’t 100% “present” in that moment with him, he really was content to just be with me. He didn’t need me to engage, he just needed my presence. And then we stopped so he could take this selfie; a budding photographer.
A haircut has been scheduled!
  • Also, I am now officially “Mom.” It’s making me sad. I’ve been Mama for years, occasionally Mommy. Now I’m “Mom” and it feels very old and grownup and I just wasn’t ready for it. Maybe if I don’t respond to it, they’ll revert to Mama?
  • It has been a low-key week. Very busy, but all good. Productive at work – and I fit in some enjoyable networking events – and also got to spend quality time with friends. I survived my second consecutive week of solo-parenting (should be the last one for a while, so it felt more doable) which went smoothly. The kids were on their best behaviour in months! I hosted some of the kids friends for a supper. We had waffles for the first time in weeks. Friends stopped by for an impromptu visit. It all felt nice after a lot of ups and downs the last few weeks.
  • We walked to school most days, and it’s still warm enough that I’m pleasantly toasty by the time I get home. I have been wearing my heated socks religiously in the house. I fit in two runs (aiming for 3/week, which makes it a habit according to Laura Vanderkam).
After Monday’s post, I took a picture of the cement perch Levi seeks out each day en route to school. Someday – and likely soon – he’ll stop climbing this. But now I’ll have pictorial evidence of this stage forever.
  • We went back to the school playground twice after school this week, and then yesterday morning (a holiday in Canada), we gathered yet again. A group of us coordinated and moms talked while the kids played. It was fun and reminded me of all those pleasant afternoons pre-COVID when this was the routine.
  • Today I’m going to fit in a visit to my soup-and-sandwich oasis. It has been far too long.
  • I bought kombucha for the first time because a friend recommended it and…why not. I’m actually loving it.
  • I cashed in on freezer meals – I’ve been stashing leftovers away and it felt so nice to come home and have something hot, delicious and relatively healthy to put on the table with a little help from the microwave and/or slowcooker.
  • And then there was the day I took at shower at 6:30 and told Abby to handle shutting off all the lights and I hopped in bed at 7:00 and worked on writing projects and vegged and then turned out the light before 9:30 pm because even when things are going well life is exhausting and DST can be brutal and sleep is a magic elixar that I’m just not getting enough of lately!

thoughts on abandoning a streak

A few years ago I got a One-Year Bible; it’s a great concept. Instead of printing off a schedule, this Bible is actually pre-arranged with all the readings (one from the Old/New Testaments, Psalms, and Proverbs) for every day of the year. You literally flip to a date and it’s all laid out.

I’ve never made it all the way through. Some years I’ve skipped around (reading when I could but not going back to re-read days missed); another year I made it to about May or June consecutively.

This year I didn’t actually set out to complete the reading schedule. But I started in January for lack of another plan and just…kept at it. For the first 6 months it was great; I underlined and tagged verses and really enjoyed the study.

But lately it has felt like a chore. I joined a 7-week Bible Study on the side, which came with a lot of “homework” – not required, but I wouldn’t imagine not doing it!

So I’ve been checking this off, dreading the current slog through Ezekiel more and more each day.

And then on Sunday morning in church, I realized there is no reward at the end for checking this off. What I want is spiritual growth. So better to read one verse in a day and benefit from it versus continuing on with something that is net neutral at best (I had started skimming, definitely no longer absorbing much of anything).

So I stopped*. I stopped a 365-day reading plan on day 311. And it was absolutely the right decision. It feels like a weight has been lifted and the last few days of Bible reading (short sections at a time) while taking notes has been wonderful!

*I originally wrote “I quit” but this doesn’t feel like quitting and it wasn’t even choosing to fail. It was a mindful, purposeful stop. Also, to be fair, I missed plenty of days, but would always catch-up, so it’s more accurate to say I completed 311 days worth of readings, but that wasn’t on 311 consecutive days.

Let’s hear it. How was your week? Have you abandoned a project or a streak lately?

9 thoughts on “Casual Friday + Why I Stopped My Yearly Bible Reading Plan on Day #311”

  1. Sounds like your week is loaded with so many actives and live.
    I love kombucha and I actually plan on doing it myself. It is on my bucket list.
    I know what you mean with reading the Bible because you wann get through it but not really catching what is going on. I had that feeling and always told myself I can come back read again and then think more about it. Never did. Maybe one day. I wanted to read the Talmud this year but I just didn’t feel it. So I hope I can do so next year.
    I actually don’t really struggle with DST. Maybe one or two days I get up earlier and am tired earlier at night but that is about it. I actually like that it is darker outside in the afternoons.

  2. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to become mom instead of mama hahaha… same wise, I’ll never stop calling my little one bebe (baby).
    good idea to put leftover in freezer for days that you don’t want to cook. will adopt it when we don’t have helper anymore in the near future.

  3. The word Bible, in your title, caught my eye. Many years ago, my husband was gone for a 4-month stint for the Air National Guard (He remained in the States, thankfully, but he was half a country away). I began a journey of reading my bible daily. It was a mom’s devotional bible, so there were themes each day, with key scripture segments. I decided to read each day’s devotion, then read everything in between up to the next day’s devotion. SO, I did read the entire bible in a year, but it was a huge commitment. After that year of daily reading, I did continue reading through all the devotion material but didn’t read all the “extra” stuff. That routine continued for almost 17 years (?), then I started reading less frequent. I need to get back to that daily routine, so this may be the prompt to get me there. But, huge congrats for persevering through 311 days! That’s a big accomplishment, and you had a very mindful, purposeful stop…so well done!

    1. Wow – 17 years! I know a few people that read the Bible through every year; it’s a worthy time commitment, but I don’t think this particular season of life is conducive to me pursuing it (or at least doing it this way and expecting to absorb much practical application from it)!

  4. I love that pic of you and your son! What a SWEET moment!!!

    Too bad about the Bible streak, but I totally get it! I have tried multiple times the last year or two to do “streaks” of things and have “failed” every time. I think my life is just too busy/unpredictable right now. Maybe if I were just a single person, in full control of my time, it would be different. I currently like the idea of just aiming to do things consistently/often- not necessarily “every single day”.

  5. Well, in Germany it’s always “Mama”, so you can tell your kids that they’re learning a new language if they can keep up saying “mama”. Haha 🙂

    DST doesn’t bother me so much (probably because I don’t have kids) and I am torn between earlier sunrise or more daylight at night…. it seems like, in the end, we don’t really “win” either way, so why not keep it simple for everyone and stay at one time?

    1. I definitely prefer lighter mornings (I don’t mind earlier nights in any season; I find them cozy)!!!

      I think we’re finally getting back into the groove of sleeping; the kids are fully independent at this point, but we’re all just waking up extra early…I just think it would be easier to keep things the same all year round, but I don’t get much say in the matter. Maybe we should be a rogue family that forgoes DST, so we show up early/late to everything in silent protest?

  6. Our son already calls me Mom occasionally, I think because my husband calls me mom around the kids. It’s too soon!

    I hate the end of DLS. I wish we would just stay on it. Springing ahead is hard in the spring but I appreciate the morning daylight and would not like it if it was light out until 10pm! But I hate falling back now that I have children. It threw them off for a good week. One or both were up at 5;30 every day for about 8 days straight. The toddler is doing better now but the baby isn’t sleeping great since he has a double ear infection. I just feel perpetually exhausted!

    1. I feel DST like this year has been worse for some reason; the kids are older (so handle waking up earlier by themselves), but we’re all extra tired at night and I’ve been waking up in the 5-am window too.
      My daughter walked out the other day and was so excited to say she had woken up AFTER 6 am. She was giddy!! About a week ago she woke up at 4:00! Ugh. I didn’t know it at the time. My husband was leaving to fly to the US for business and so she saw him off to the airport at 4:30 am. I was oblivious, but boy she was exhausted by supper time!

      And Levi called my Mommy today for the first time in over a week, and it warmed my heart!

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