Just Start Somewhere

I love coming home after a long day at work and school to find this…


My little sister began 2017 with the determination to read the Bible through, and I couldn’t be prouder. 

I was about her age the first time I ever attempted to read the Bible through.. and little did I know how hard it would be to get through Leviticus, much less the whole thing!

Over the past six years, I’ve tried different things every year as I attempt to read God’s Word cover to cover. Some things worked, and a lot didn’t, but I’ve learned so much about what’s really important… so if your New Years’ Resolution to read through your Bible is already crashing and burning… here’s my advice 🙂
1. Don’t let getting a day (or a month) behind stop you!!

I’ve been guilty of this one so many times. I like following my checklists to a T, and when I don’t, I feel like a failure. I trail off, or I try to double up to catch up and just end up even more stressed and behind. Now don’t get me wrong, I think following a plan and setting goals of when you want to finish is great, but that’s not the point. Just read!! Open your Bible and spend time with your Savior!! Don’t let getting behind on your plan stop you, please, please keep reading!
2. Start with what you can handle

The first time I set out to read my Bible, I started in Genesis and took off straight through. I made it through the stories of Creation and the patriarchs, but before long, I got bogged down in Levitical law, dimensions for the temple, and the counts of all the Israelites by family. 

I know those are there for a reason, but if you’re just starting, try the New Testament first or you’ll lose morale way too quickly. Find a plan that fits you — whether it’s alternating an Old Testament chapter and then one in the New Testament, just reading through one or two books that interest you, don’t make it about tackling the whole thing, just start!!
3. Make it yours


My Bible honestly looks like a coloring book. I used to envy the girls with Instagram accounts or perfectly color-coded journaling Bibles and wish I could be like that. But you know what? I’m not. And that’s okay. 

Read your Bible — whatever that looks like for you, just start somewhere, and I promise it will be worth it. God speaks so clearly through His Word. It changes hearts and lives, and I’ve experienced it firsthand in my own life. 

Let the perfectionism go, let the perfect plan go… life happens, and our God is a God of grace, just start somewhere:)
Taryn

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New Year, New Me

I am 100% a goals and tasks oriented person. 
Todo lists are my lifeline. 

I always set crazy *unrealistic* expectations for myself, and then set about trying to prove to myself and everyone else that I can live up to them. 

This semester is a very good example of that. I took 7 college classes, I worked about 30 hours a week, and amidst that, I still kept looking for new and more ways to prove that I was enough, that I could do it all. I would write myself task lists a mile long and burn myself out trying to finish them. Because I felt like I had something to prove. 

I was wearing myself down mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore. I was leaving myself almost no time to rest, no time for the most important relationships in my life, and no time to be in the presence of my Heavenly Father. 

One day, I sat on my best friend’s bed and completely broke down. I cried and cried telling her how I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be enough. I didn’t have the strength left to please anyone. 

Her answer was matter of fact and to the point, “Taryn, why are you trying to please everyone? They don’t matter. You just have to please God.”

I don’t know why I had over complicated my life to such a degree that I forgot to believe such a simple truth. 

I love the way Paul puts it in Galatians,

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” — Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

All of that to say, I love my goals, but this year, I learned that they can’t be about pleasing anyone else. They have to be about me and my life and honoring God, not about making myself into what I think the people around me need or want. 

The last week of December every year, I think about what I want to change in the new year. I think about what I want the “new me” to be like. Healthier, prettier, smarter, more organized, more productive, more spiritual… once I start the list, it’s almost impossible to stop. 

But the Bible has something to say about what that “new me” is supposed to be and how I achieve it. 

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away and behold, the new has come.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17

That right there is what makes me a new creation. 

Being in Christ. 

And that’s what I want my biggest goal of 2017. To be in Christ. That will penetrate and manifest itself in all the different parts of my life but at its core, it’s so simple and freeing. All that’s expected of me, all that God wants, is for me to be in Him. That’s all that it takes to be a new creation. 

Yes, I have plenty of goals — the number of books I want to read, habits I want to form, but what will truly cause my life to fall into place is the Savior who directs it all in the first place. So the “new me” this year won’t come from an exercise regime, a color-coded planner, but the new me came when Christ redeemed me 11 years ago, and that’s the only new me that really matters.