January is the month when we start working on our goals for the new year. Many of my writing friends are busy setting up their writing and publication schedules for 2017. It’s summer in Australia, school is out until February, and the beach is calling. Avid Aussie readers can get a jump start on their new year reading list at the beach.
Goodreads offers a variety of reading challenges to suit everyone, including avid readers and occasional readers. I haven’t attempted a year long fiction reading challenge, but they do sound like a lot of fun.
The last reading challenge I did was the Read the Bible in a Year challenge. This year long Bible reading challenge isn’t easy. It requires self discipline and a daily routine that I confess I struggle to maintain. I will get off to a good start in the first few months of the year. I reach Numbers and Deuteronomy in March, and I remember why I found it difficult to maintain the daily reading momentum during my previous attempts. Life happens, and I get distracted. I’m pretty sure I’ve read the entire Bible by doing these challenges, but just not in a single calendar year. I stop and start, knowing the reading catch up is too big to fit into my schedule.
I was browsing in my local Christian book store before Christmas and found my new diary for 2017. I’d been pondering whether or not to do a Bible reading challenge in 2017, and I opened up the diary to find this.
My new diary includes the Bible readings for the 2017 Read the Bible in a Year challenge. I received my answer. On the first day of January I’ll be reading Genesis 1-3.
The last four months of 2016 have been rough. My husband had a health scare in early September that took until last month to resolve. In early December my mother was admitted to hospital for treatment of an ongoing health issue. She spent 5 days in ICU and it was touch and go. She’s slowly recovering and will likely remain in hospital for most of January, possibly longer. My father had a fall at the mall on the Friday before Christmas. He was taken by ambulance to the ER, and was in and out of hospital over the Christmas weekend. He’s doing well and making a good recovery.
I’m in a season where writing is taking second place to family and caring responsibilities. I have one writing deadline for a project in 2017, and I’m learning to be content where I am. I have no idea what 2017 will bring, but I will prioritize reading the Word and walking with Him.
Have you set a reading challenge for 2017? Or, finished a reading challenge in 2016? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.