There are 10 ways reading the entire Bible impacted my family
The reality is that it took me two years to read the Bible from cover to cover. Being a Christian most of my life I knew the importance of reading the Bible from cover to cover, but never knew how it would impact my life. It was something that was always on my bucket list of things to do, but I didn’t take the time to do this until my daughter was born. Looking into those beautiful blue eyes of hers reminded me that one day (which is right now), she was going to have a lot of questions that I needed to have Biblical answers for. My instinct as a mother simply wasn’t enough.
Our morning routine
Not everyone is a morning person, but I have to say I certainly am. I enjoy the times my son wakes me up early because that means watching the sunrise as I read my Bible. When I wake up in the morning, I typically push the button to the coffee pot (which is one of the ways I prepare for my quiet time and you can read more tips here), and set up toys around the room for my son to play with while I read. Now, this doesn’t always happen whenever everyone wakes up at the same time in the house.
In that case, I make breakfast for them, make the coffee and then have time reading the Bible as my children play. They have learned that the time with the Lord is important to me, and they have to be independent for 30 minutes. My daughter has started asking for us to read her Bible while I read mine. While they sit next to me, my husband and daughter get special time to read her Bible. I didn’t realize it, but my morning routine of having a quiet time with God also shifted my family’s routine to the point where they want to do the same.
Conversations between my husband and I
We have been known each other since elementary school (you can read more about us here), and grew up in the same church together. Our families knew each other before we ever got together. I say this to tell you that I married someone who matched my faith. When I started reading the Bible from cover to cover, I realized that we started talking about the Bible more than we ever had before. You see, whatever we put into our mind and however we spend our time, is exactly what we are going to talk about with our spouses.
Conversations went from talking about artwork and maybe a tv show to talking about people and circumstances of the Bible. The amazing part was that he is just as interested in those stories as I am. At the dinner table, we end up sliding God’s Word into conversation as any other subject. The more we talk about God, the more naturally it comes to bring Him up into our everyday lives.
Conversations with my children
Not only did my husband and I begin talking about the Bible, but our children overhear us. Okay, maybe the baby doesn’t quite understand us yet, but my daughter certainly does. She listens to everything (even when I think she isn’t). Once I started making that the first thing I did in the day, my husband started reading her Bible with her in the morning too. Do you know what else happens? She relates the stories to things that happen within out house.
For example, her Bible talked about how God took away Solomon’s kingship because of him taking on so many wives and inviting their gods into his house. Of course she didn’t understand the worshipping of other idols thing, but she did relate it to herself.
She said, “Mama, that’s kind of like when you took something away from me today because I didn’t listen to you.”
My daughter understood that Solomon had something important taken away from him, just as she did.
Responding to trial outside of my household
In all honesty, trial happened all around me as I was reading the Bible cover to cover. It may not have hit my own household, but people were going through so much heartache. Fathers of young little ones passed in their sleep. Mothers walking away from their children and husband. Husbands confessing to affairs that had lasted over many years. Financial crisis from the husband losing his job during COVID-19. It seems like trial was looking us in the face, just waiting to strike our home, but God protected us. That isn’t to say it won’t happen eventually, but it is to say that God was faithful even in those circumstances.
Making the 391 page Bible journal and giving it away
Halfway through reading the Bible, I made a journal. This Bible journal features handwritten font, the Bible sectioned off to read from cover to cover, and lines to write down thoughts, prayers and questions as you read. I made it to sell, but God had a different story. The day I finished reading through Revelation, God just spoke. I specifically asked if I need to stop doing my artwork and told Him that I want to bring Him glory. The words “give it away” came to mind and I knew He was talking about the journal.
Do you ever have that thought of being in such disbelief in what God asks you to do? I went ahead and trusted God to be glorified. Well, He definitely continues to be glorified through it. I truly believe that God gave me an intuition to know where to put the journal. He knew what people needed hope, and I think He gave them hope by using my journal for His glory. People from all over the world have downloaded it and used it as a part of their daily quiet time.
Praying for strangers
Before I ever gave out the journal, I had people to serve on my email list. There is one particular email that I ask them to respond to me if they have any prayers they would like me to pray for. That email had gotten a handful of prayers sent to me that way before the journal.
Once the journal became available, thousands of people eventually got to that email. Do you know what that meant? That meant that I got the chance to pray for people all over the world. Not that I have answers for any of the circumstances they are in, but I would reply with scripture. I have never claimed, nor ever will claim that I understand the Bible. All I know, is that the Bible speaks for itself. Scripture speaks for itself. Praying for complete strangers made me take my mind off of me and my own selfishness, and put it back on Jesus.
Looking at needs of others
Reading the Bible from cover to cover, opened up my eyes to seeing others in a different way. He made me see needs around me, and gaps I could fill. Before my children were born, I was an elementary school teacher. That side of me comes out in teaching my little ones, but it has mostly been put on the back burner. During COVID, I realized that my toddler wasn’t getting lessons on her level for church. God laid it on my heart to make Bible lessons for toddlers on Youtube. From there, the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, FL reached out to me. They wanted to know if I could read children’s books on videos for the children in their Facebook page.
There is a food bank around the corner from me. God laid it on my heart to take one of my art pieces and host a giveaway with all proceeds going to the food bank. Now, I don’t say this because I want recognition. I am telling you this to show you that God will reveal the needs of others around you if you are seeking Him and ask Him to bring those to light.
Forgiving over anger
This area is a hard one to even put into words. Little did I know that over the course of two years of reading the Bible, He was preparing me for a trial. Though it wasn’t in my household, it hit me like a freight train because it was happening to someone close to me. I had seen that face before, because the same circumstances had happened to her years before. The one she trusted most had betrayed her. She had gotten the gut wrenching phone call that he husband had been cheating on her for years. YEARS.
In her brokenness, I became broken. Fear was creeping up to my door, but God answered the door before I got to it. He flooded scripture and stories into my mind of forgiveness. God reminded me of His love and forgiveness He gave to me. What an amazing gift and one I needed to pass on. With a phone call, I reminded the husband that I loved him and forgave him. The story of the prodigal son came to mind, and that is what I shared. Divorce was inevitable, but God allowed me to forgive him. His word is a reflection of grace.
Scripture relating to everyday circumstances
Of course, that circumstance reminded me of the story of David and his love affair with Bathsheba. It’s one I have heard a thousand times, but now I knew the full story. How God raised him up above his peers to give him all the success he needed. God laid a foundation of respect and a clear reverence within David toward the Lord. When this man of God committed this sin, God punished him and still gave him his life. David’s story didn’t end there, and he was still able to bring God glory.
Now, I watch and hear of circumstances and they all point back to verses and stories within the Bible. No. The Bible isn’t outdated or simply a historical book, but one that is living and breathing truth into lives even today.
Towards the end of this goal of reading the Bible cover to cover, a neighbor brought by friendship bread. She gave me a loaf and gave me the start of a loaf to pass on in a few days. Once I added all the ingredients, I realized I had a ton left over. My daughter and I began making this friendship bread and passing it to the neighbors that we knew and didn’t know. That lead to conversations of my own neighbors telling us about their lives. Some had just gotten in remission from cancer and others had lost their loved ones. I left them with a loaf of bread and they left me knowing how to pray over them and their families. Now, my daughter asks if we are going to go on a “bread walk.”
“ Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. ” – John 6:35
There are probably so many ways that I have not listed above. Once I ended the reading it cover to cover, I started over again. As I continue reading through the Bible on a daily (or almost daily) routine, I continue to see God showing in my life. I know without a doubt, that He will show up in your family too, as long as you seek Him in His word. If you want to hear more about the 391 page Bible journal and the impact it made on the world, you can read about it here.