Stone Soup for Five: "Ruining" my Bible. Slowly. And on purpose.

"Ruining" my Bible. Slowly. And on purpose.

I have been (slowly) reading through my Bible, cover to cover, for a year now!

I've tried the 'read through the Bible in a year' programs and got STRESSED out and gave up after I fell days, then weeks, then months behind.  So I just never felt pressed to do it.

But on May 3, 2012, I committed to reading just 3 pages through at a time. 

Just 3 pages.

And when I would read those 3 pages, I would MARK up my Bible.

I used to be against marking up my books/Bibles because then I would ruin them...

Then I got over it.

And started 'ruining' my Bible.

And you know what?  I LOVE it even more.  

Through my reading and studying and post-it notes inside, I've learned more than I ever have before.  (Even through Leviticus!)

I have absolutely LOVED each book of the Bible I've been through so far.
(I think the hardest are the big genealogies, but I can skim those.)

But there is a method I've been using that I think really enhances my learning, making it more than just read-through-the-pages-trying-to-stay-awake-then-I'm-done sort of thing.

I mark off each section of the scriptures when the topic/idea/subject changes, then write what that section was talking about in the margin....

Then when I'm done reading through my 3 pages for the day, I write what the main topic was for that page.  I don't even use complete sentences, just a few words... there's no rules, just something for me to glance at and remember.

 and if there's ever something that I just DO NOT understand, I'll put a big ? next to the passage or use a post it to mark that area.

This was so cool when I had just read through Genesis and our pastor was going through the book of Genesis and he directly answered TWO areas that I had but big question marks on.

Another cool benefit is that I'm kind of making a Bible Study guide too. When a passage is mentioned I can flip to that verse and have an instant view of the context it is used in.... and if you're like me, you retain a lot more if YOU do the work yourself.  In an age of instant 'google' answers, doing it the old fashioned way has helped my retention and understanding way more than anything else.

Even when it got to the tricky parts in 2 Kings with all the kings of Judah and Israel and who was ruling who at what time... I was able to keep track for the most part.

Later in my reading I found a great guide online to kind of help me think through what I read even more, but I cannot for the life of me find it anywhere online now!

But if you were wanting to add that to your reading, I've started keeping a notebook/journal and answering these questions (that were on the original worksheet I had found) after I read for the day:


1. Summary of passage:

2.  Is there an example to follow?

3.  Is there an error I should avoid?

4.  Is there a command to obey?

5.  Is there a sin to forsake?

6.  How can I apply this to my life today?

Have you read through your Bible entirely?
Is there anything that has helped you stay focused to the end?
Let me know!



  1. I love looking at "ruined" bibles.... Thank you for sharing as usual

  2. I love those questions Kari! I will have to use them. I've read through the Bible, but kind of just logged the time. I really enjoy the method where you read it multiple times, do a background, author, setting study and then go through it verse by verse with sentence outlining and word studies. It really helps me to understand more in depth. My Bible is so marked up, there are some places that have absolutely no place for additions, but I love reading what I wrote (or usually what a pastor or teacher said) from the past. I often do not remember what I had written... making me very glad I wrote it :) Are you and Corey doing this together?

  3. This, as all your other Bible Study materials, is wonderful! It so gets to the core of how I study and absorb- an honest to goodness right-brained learner! I just love it! I found you via Pinterest and am a blogger and homeschool mom as well. If you would ever want to collaborate on some sort of Bible study that we could present on our blogs, develop together, I would LOVE to talk about it more with you! Please pray about this and let me know if this is something that would ever interest you!

    Most sincerely,
    MacKenzie Monroe

  4. Hmmm... I tries to publish a comment it I think something went haywire when I signed into my google account. :-/ Please accept my apologies is this is a duplicate and fee free to delete it!

    ANYHOW! I just adore your Bible Study methods! The way you process things on paper is SO like me- true, honest to goodness, right-brained learners! It makes me want to dive into my Bible and start ruining it bit by bit!

    Which brings me to the other reason I wanted to comment. I found you via Pinterest and I am a blogger and homeschooling mom myself. If you would ever be interested in collaborating on developing on some sort of visual/journaling/Bible ruining Bible Study that we could present on our blogs, I think it would be awesome! I KNOW there are other mamas out there who learn the same way we do, and if we could come into community and somehow design a Bible study to go along with it I think it would be awesome and well received. Please pray about this and let me know of it is ever something you would be interested in doing!

    MacKenzie Monroe

    1. Okay, this is crazy but I think I just came across your blog when searching for a crate file system idea!!! I'd love to talk more about this. Can you email me when you can? Kariandcompany AT Thanks!

    2. MacKenzie and Kari I am also a homeschooling mama, and a published author. Also a Bible Journaler, and Bible Lover. I would love to help out with this project if you would allow me. You can email me at Leslie AT hisgardenofgrace DOT com. While at my website, you can see who I am and how I write, what God is teaching me and a little about my crazy journey to joy in Jesus. Thanks for the consideration!

    3. ok, just realized the date. You have probably done this and moved on to other wonderful projects. In fact, I have seen some of your Bible studies, and they are great!! sorry to bother you! But if you are still looking for help, I am available.

  5. Kari, thanks for sharing your genuine love for God's word. Isn't it incredible that the more you read, the more you want to read and ingest what you have read? I was challenged by my pastor a few years back. He just mentioned while he was preaching that he reads through the Bible every year. And "it occured" (ie- God spoke) to me that I could do that. I had tried many times and would get bogged down with one of those "One Year" Bibles, so I just grabbed my faithful friend (the Bible I had used for years, but never written in) and jumped into Genesis. I gave myself lots of grace and did almost the same thing you did, figuring about 3-4 pages a day would get me through. But lo and behold! I found I was reading more and more and finished way before my 1 year deadline. So I bought another Bible; this time a chronological study Bible. I wanted a fresh start; a clean slate so God could speak and I wouldn't be distracted by all the notes I made in the other one. And I finished that one, too. Now I am slowly reading through, doing major art journaling in the large margins of my current Bible. I haven't made it through yet, but I know I will. I just love God's word so much, and I love Him so much more than I ever have. It is truly His love letter to us. I just wish everyone would grasp that. Thank you so much!


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