So September has officially begun & I am so excited (& a little apprehensive) about what this new school & service year will bring.
For the first time in nineteen years I will not have any preschoolers at home with me at all. All my kids are in school or done school.
Life keeps changing, so must I, tho I don’t easily. ‘Mid-life me’ is ready for tea & baking & knitting & ripening into something of a ‘granny’ sort without the grandkids. But, ‘Jehovah’s servant me’ sees a door of opportunity opening. I am still a mother of five. Life is never slow or dull, never as quiet as I thought it may be with my youngest being six, but I suppose when they all start back at school on Tuesday I’ll know how loud or quiet my life really will be.
Last year, my goals of learning guitar & taking more walks & getting more personal study time in, all panned out reasonably well. I didn’t expect how little time morning kindergarten actually affords a mother, & I’m fairly certain seven hours per day with no little kids home won’t be as many when all is said & done as I think it is. There is still laundry, cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, cooking, baking & if time, breathing to be done.
This being duly noted, I have set some bigger goals. I love the ministry. I actually do. Our congregation territory is diverse & shockingly fruitful. Even last week I got an amazing new call with a young guy, maybe twenty or so, (why does everyone under thirty look twelve) humble & reasonable minded, strong spiritual need, respectful of his family’s faith (Roman Catholic, they were gone to church when I got him home, not often that people are at church anymore) but completely not impressed with Catholicism. He is delving into Genesis & Exodus & completely cannot stomach the ideas of evolution, & believes the Bible has the full explaination of why the earth is how it is now, and is trying to understand where we go from here. It was a wonderful conversation. I used only the Bible, that had been my goal that day, no literature—just Teach the Truth. This was perfect for this initial call because he really truly respects the Bible. It stands on its own in his mind. He actually said it was so strange I had shown up at his door that day because he had just been trying to learn how Genesis connects to our day. Anyways. Great start and look forward to seeing the progression.
Meeting spiritually hungry people of all ages in the ministry is why I love the ministry. The appeal to people of all backgrounds, ages & kinds is obvious, and if Jehovah can use me to find sheeplike ones, I’m in.
So, I’ve set my personal goals. I’ve looked at my life and attempted to find an achievable & balanced approach to both home & ministry. These goals, are not for public display. They are private, between Jehovah & I, and he will teach me where I can go, & perhaps, where I am limited. I am willing to accept both. This week’s Life & Ministry Meeting was perfect for self reflection, goal setting, & inspiration.
But, one goal I am willing to share is my new daily Bible reading goal.
Over the years I’m fairly certain I’ve read the Bible several times over. I’ve set the goal before to read it cover to cover in a year, and discovered somewhere in one of the Chronicles, I’m going to fail. Seriously! Anyone who’s done these books knows what I’m talking about. Parts of the Bible are literal lists of names. It’s historical. A genealogy. All serves a purpose, but thick & slow, like reading mud. I mean, if the whole Bible was like Psalms & Proverbs I’m sure we’d have all read it cover to cover uncountable times. Point being, I’m going to attempt something new: a Thematic cover to cover reading.
Broken up so that one day of the week for each, The Law; History; Psalms; Poetry; Prophecy; Gospels; Letters—this seems doable. I’m actually really looking forward to this. It feels like I could truly enjoy the skip around. I’m kind of like that in life, variety keeps me from losing my drive due to boredom.
So my main goal is yes, to read the Bible, cover to cover, over the next year. But my secondary goal in this is to find ‘gems.’ Spiritual gems. The kind we’ve been taught to look for in our weekly Bible reading. I’ve loved the new format of our mid week meeting. It has taught me so many new things about teaching & preaching & our organization & Jehovah, but more than that, it’s taught me that just because I did things this way or that, changing how we do things, is good. Changing focus & our entire motivation or way of being, is productive. I am not reading the Bible in a year for any purpose other than to improve my day to day mind set; to practice what I preach; to improve myself; to draw closer to Jehovah. If I can set goals & accomplish them in small, manageable pieces, it helps me set new goals, manage my time & energy, & the joy of fulfilling set goals is a very personal thing, only you & Jehovah have real joy in these little individual goals. He sees you work hard for them, & you & he alone see how he helps you with them. I want stronger faith. It’s been a main aspect of the fruitage of the spirit I’ve been working on for some time. Daily Bible reading with the goal of reading the Bible in a year is going to inevitably help me with my faith. That I am looking forward to.
My focus this coming year is family & faith. To keep my kids moving forward in their own relationships with Jehovah; to get this home functioning a little smoother; caring for the physical health of my family & myself; using my time & energy for things that I am proud of—study, prayer, meditation, meal planning, cleaning, organizing, ministry, family worship, learning guitar, knitting, exercise, baking…it’s an endless seeming list. But I’ve come up with a tentative yet flexible schedule, haphazard as it may seem. What a busy life. I’m just so thankful I’ve this circumstance to focus on these things. I’m so thankful for this family. I’m so thankful for Jehovah’s patience. I’m truly looking forward to focusing on the inner workings of myself via daily Bible reading. It’s a small thing but such a big thing all in one.