Monday, March 22, 2010

#fail (Bible in 90 Days)

I hardly know where to begin. This post is a bit long, and it wasn't easy to write, so maybe it won't be easy to read. But it is (eventually) about the Bible in 90 Days, and I feel compelled for some mysterious reason to be completely honest, raw and open about this. So here goes...

I have pondered whether to write this post or not... and ultimately decided that I promised myself (and you) that in this place I would share my journey.

The good parts and the bad parts.
The highs and the lows.
The challenges and the triumphs.
(Does anyone else think this is starting to sound like marriage vows?)
The successes and the failures.

Of course, that's easy to say when you've just begun a new journey. If you'll remember, Dorothy began her journey on the yellow brick road with a catchy phrase, a song and a dance.

That's the easy part of the journey to admit to and to share with others. But we all know that even for Dorothy, the wheels came off the wagon a few miles down the road.

Well, folks, the wheels have come off my wagon. I am surrounded by my own failures, and I have been left bewildered, wondering... Is it possible to fail at everything? All at the same time?

"It can't be that bad," you're probably thinking. "Get over your pity party, pull yourself up," you're probably saying. I can hear you. It's okay.

This is not a pity party. Well, not the "all the bad stuff just happens to me" kind, anyway. This is more of the "I really and truly and completely suck. I have let people down, I have let myself down, I have failed at so much. I have been lazy and undisciplined and I have made poor choices, and I have made myself into a huge failure," kind of pity party.

What are the current failures, you ask? Here are some of the highlights (though this list is not at all exhaustive):

Bible in 90 Days = #faithfail
Stl Slimdown = #healthfail
Wife/Mom = #homemakerfail
My job = #musictherapyfail
Tyson's Sensory Issues = #momfail

Since today is Monday (and is therefore #B90Days Check-in Day), I'm going to focus on my complete & utter failure to read the Bible in 90 Days. This is of particular importance to me, given the spiritual impact it will should have had.

Read the Bible for about an hour each day - 12 pages a day. It sounded so easy. I read & knit for about an hour a day, so if I just cut back on that it should be smooth sailing. I started out so hopeful, so optimistic. I tore through the first week, when I was still on Christmas break from work.

Then school started again, and one of the wheels on my wagon started to wobble a bit. There were days when the hours just seemed to slip through my fingers. I got about 2 days behind. Then I caught up. Then I got four days behind and I briefly considered throwing in the towel. While considering this, I fell behind about 3 more days. Then I caught up by 2 days...

You get the picture.

By the time spring break arrived last week, I was nearly 14 days behind. No worries, I thought. I've got no work for a whole week.

But I promised Tyson I would paint his room. That took about 2.5 days. And I had to reorganize my household notebook, which took a lot of time. And, well... I didn't make good choices concerning my time and my Bible and I think I may have actually fallen even farther behind. (I've lost count given up counting. It's like rubbing salt in a self-inflicted wound.)

"Pray." People told me to pray. God would help me through this. I considered it.

But let me ask you this:

Aren't there things, no.

Shouldn't there be things that we do on our own?

I mean, I expect my seven year old to do things that I know he is capable of doing, without help from me. He can make sandwiches, and get his own drinks, and get himself ready for school... and he can do them without my help (most days). Therefore, I expect him to do these things all by himself.

I am capable of managing my time. I am capable of making responsible choices. I am capable of reading, for crying out loud!

Shouldn't I be expected to read for one stinking hour a day without Divine Intervention? Doesn't God expect me to do for myself things we both know I am capable of doing? I mean, I don't pray for God's intercession when it comes to brushing my teeth or reading the latest Stephanie Plum novel. Why should I request help with reading the most important book I will ever read?

So, I didn't pray. I didn't ask for help. Because if I can't do this one small thing, then what good am I?

And I failed. I am so far behind that I could only finish on time if I quit my job, send my boys to my grandmother's house, and give up small luxuries like showering and sleeping.

I should be clear: I am still reading. But it is not called the "Bible in 137.5 Days." So I failed.

I won't be done by Easter.
I won't be done with everyone else.
I won't feel like celebrating when I finally finish.

Because, really, what's to celebrate finishing a race when the race officials have already taken down the finish line because all the good people are already done?

I failed. I hate myself for it. I have failed at so much lately. And I hate myself for all of that too.

I don't know where to go from here. I don't know how to climb out of this pit I'm in. (Ever seen The Princess Bride? Remember the "Pit of Despair?" Or the "Bog of Eternal Stench" from The Labyrinth?)

I don't think I even feel like I deserve to climb out of it. 

So, there it is. Me, in the raw. I promised the good, the bad & the very, very ugly.

I think I've delivered on those last two, so at least I haven't failed in that.


  1. OK> pep talk time. You have a big heart and big visions...that's why you overcommit. But it is too much and too heavy. You forget that taking on a "couch" means getting rid of a "couch". Taking on a whole "sectional" = getting rid of one!
    They are all piled up and you are getting crushed by them! Time to simplify and prioritize. What comes first? God and family, perhaps? Then list the rest. NOW...

    Let's get creative. Find Daily audio Bible online and listen to it...while knitting, or making a meal, or right before bed. Listen to it.

    Always pray after you hear it. It takes 15 minutes and takes you through the Bible. Brian has a pleasant voice. Got it, sister?

    New plans, new simple days. What else needs to go? No more adding w/out subracting. Love you, my funny purple friend who God adores whether she did her to do list...or not.

  2. A couple of things to keep in mind:

    1. Reading the Bible isn't like reading any other book (or brushing your teeth) You are no threat to the devil when you brush your teeth or read an entertaining book or knit. There is no spiritual pressure against you doing those things. But....reading the word is powerful and has the potential to be a threat, so I find I am often attacked during that time. We all need God's help to stand up to those attacks and to be prepared for them. It is a spritual task as much as a the Bible....task.

    2. My understanding of read the Bible in 90 days is to get you to read the Bible. Seriously read it. You are doing that! So what if it takes you 135 days (that is still amazing!) Don't beat yourself up, it becomes even hard to finish! My suggestion is to try to read the same size chunk you had planned each day (not mega chunks to catch up) This really isn't a race, it is about your relationship with God and spending time with Him and getting to know Him through His word. Look at how much you have read and keep reading.....everyday for the rest of your life (in a perfect world that is)

    Didn't mean to get preachy there, so please don't take offense!
    L :)

  3. You've received some good advice and encouragement already. I just wanted to hopefully give a word of encouragement. Are you daily in the Word? Then, you are achieving what the Lord wants you to achieve.

    I think sometimes one of the reasons we fail at so many things is because we take on things that the Lord may not have wanted us to take on in the first place.

    Any time we are reading His Word or striving to know Him better, the devil will want to bring us down. It's spiritual warfare. That is why we need to pray.

    Just as troops don't go into battle unprepared/unarmed, we can't go into battle against the devil unarmed.

    Please don't beat yourself up. Keep reading the Word. Keep praying. Keep loving the Lord. He will lift you up. He will guide you...

  4. Oh I feel so much for you, I really do.

    This is a VERY tough challenge... I think everything I wanted to say has already been said so, please, take all the points above to heart.

    This book is like no other. You need God to help pull you through. Satan DOESN'T want you to finish and he'll continue to make you feel like the failure you are NOT until you give in and give up completely.

    Don't let that happen.

    If you need to set a new goal for yourself, go for it and find yourself an accountability partner to keep you to it. I'm happy to serve as that person if you'd like. You are NOT alone. I'm actually in prayer quite a bit lately trying to figure out how to keep those who won't finish on time going. I want you to finish. I want you to taste the beauty of his Word in in its entirety.
    And I will help you provided you keep me posted.
    Ask the Lord to help you.. He wants to see you lean on Him.

  5. Everyone said what I would say, and Amy tied it all together beautifully. The whole point here is that you are taking in God's Word daily. I confess, I have used an audio Bible a few times! When I know I'm too busy and have to do other things, I can pull up iTunes on my computer or on my iPod, pop in my headphones, and listen to it. It's a free podcast available on the iTunes website, in NIV. Just take it in. And I'll be praying for you, too. Hang in there. God's Word cannot return void. You aren't doing this for a prize, but for a Crown from God Himself. ;)

  6. I never realized how hard this challenge would be either. I'm behind as well. But just remember that this whole point is to just read the Bible! Praying for you!

  7. First of all I want to give you a big {{hug}}. It sounds like you could use one right about now. From reading your post, it seems as though you are feeling overwhelmed in your life right now, not just the Bible in 90 Days. Remember, God and your family love you just the way you are! Stop and breathe and remember if you are out of sorts, everything else is. The Bible in 90 Days is a challenge, yes, but just reading it or listening to it is what matters, not achieving it in 90 days. Everyone's circumstances are different and I am sure you will not be the only one that doesn't finish in 90 Days. Be kind to yourself and remeber God loves you just the way you are...and so do all your sisters in Christ!!

  8. I am checking in years later--- I am POSITIVE your growth as a Christian has been great. I still haven't read the Bible cover to cover. This doesn't bother me. I read when I can and when I can is good -very good! My love of the Lord takes me all over the Old and new Testament. I rely on him to show what He wants me to learn. So find the passage He has open my heart to and study right there. Being open to the teaching is more important than the moniker "I read the whole Bible".


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