Day 1: June 16- Mathew Chapter 1. By verse 3 I had already made a huge mistake and had to scribble out an entire line. Despite trying to highlight lines to keep on track, I skipped a line and started copying the next one. In some ways this eased the tension. Page one already had a mistake so there was no fear of getting 20 pages in and then “ruining” everything. Also, I realized quickly that I couldn’t write on the back of the pages. While I still don’t regret my choice in notebooks, I will go through twice as many notebooks as I initially thought as a result of single sided writing. I am already thinking of ideas for the backs.
I am aiming for complete accuracy. As I write I am reading the verse. Then I go back one or two verses as a time to check my work and make corrections if needed. Most often a mistake is a missed punctuation mark. Sometimes I need to insert or scratch out a word. Because I am working slowly I am thinking about each word and phrase. I am amazed at how many times in this first month that I have thought about verses in a new way or really pondered the meaning of something. The Spirit has so much room to speak because I am not hindered by someone else’s interpretation of the text, and I am not going too quickly through the verse to just miss something.
Several days in I realized that the red-letter aspect of the text complicated things. I had always thought the red letter versions were highlighting the words of Christ or God, but in this particular version they are highlighting conversation. Anyone’s words can be highlighted. However, they are not always highlighted. When they are highlighted they are not in quotes and when they aren’t they are in quotes. Rather than appear to be grammatically incorrect I decided to make mine a red letter version. That meant adding a dry highlighter to my supplies. Now I am going back a third time at the end of each section and underlining the appropriate places. My underlining skills are similar to those of a preschooler, but I’m getting neater.
The five year Bible reading plan that I found is for 6 days a week. Because each day of the week provided a different book to be reading, it provided a nice balance. The issue of juggling 6 (actually 7 active journals because Psalms and Proverbs alternate in the same day of the week) made be opt out of that plan. I opted to do the plan 7 days a week, in part because I know myself. I miss days. I get busy and forgetful and a day or two or seven go by and I haven’t written anything. Another thing I decided, was that I wasn’t going to double up to make up for missed days. If it took me 6 or 7 years to finish the plan, then it took 6 or 7 years. This isn’t a race and there is no deadline. I am going to be reading and studying the Bible until the day I die, and if I die before I finish this up, I am certain that I won’t be upset. I also decided that I didn’t want to double up and then miss out on the meditative aspect of the process. If I was reading chunks that were too long, would I really be able to recall the passage and reflect on it throughout the day. I did occasionally break this rule. Most days I was writing 3-4 pages in my composition book, but some days I would find the schedule only giving me one. I did at times double up, but with care. I really appreciated the shorter passages in general, knowing that there would be times that I would only have enough time for 6 verses. I did decide to bust out a second consecutive journal and start working through Psalms as a book to work on those days in which the passage was short, rather than continue on in the book I was working on. I figured this would be less important on days I was in a gospel or epistle than those days in which I was copying genealogies or the law. A break from those things might be nicer.
So where am I? 6 weeks in and I am about half way through the book of Matthew. I am almost finished the first of my composition books. I am thinking I’m going to need a lotos composition books to complete this task. We have a small house, so this could be problematic from a storage perspective, but I really want to keep them all and end up with a full Bible. By the time I’m finished all of my kids will be off to college, so perhaps I can take up some of their closet space. The reality of this is that the final product isn’t the goal. If I threw each notebook out as I went along and only kept the check list that tells me what I’ve finished, that would be enough. But I’d really like to see what it all looks like together. I hope my husband agrees.