Stone Soup for Five: 4 things to do when your Bible reading plan hits the wall

4 things to do when your Bible reading plan hits the wall

We're at that time of year (or maybe past it) when the shiny new Bible reading plan you chose in December has lost all its fun and excitement.  The slog of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy is real.

Maybe you already hit that wall and are way behind, doubtful if you'll continue.

Let me give you some encouragement to continue on and maybe even get more out of it (in just a few minutes each day)!

1.  Read and summarize
As you read through your Bible each day, when you reach the end of that page, take a moment to pause and think of the main point of that page and summarize it at the top.  Just a few words, not even a complete sentence is needed.  If you finish the page and can't remember what the main point was, re-read it until you can.  I did this in 2012-2015.  It took me 3 years to read through it, reading just three pages a day, but I still have those summaries at the top of every page and use them often!

If there were multiple main points, I would draw a bracket by the verses that went together and write a tiny summary on the side of the page of those verses.  Then when done, I'd write a main thought summary or two at the top.  The main point is to read your Bible thoughtfully, then process it into a brief thought.  Not hard, but challenging.

2.  Read and summarize and praise
In addition to reading and summarizing each page, you could take up a challenge one of my friend's college professors challenged her to do.  He encouraged the class to write, at the bottom of each page in their Bible, something specific to praise God for based on the scriptures on that page, or write a brief devotional thought at the bottom.  For example, turning randomly to Daniel 8:5-20 in my Bible (page number 1166) I have "Ram and Goat Vision" written at the top and a side note of "Greece" by verse 5.  At the bottom of the page for my praise or devotional thought I wrote, "God knows exactly how it all ends."  I really love the practice of digging out ways to praise God from each page of His Word.

3.  Underline passages
I have a colored pen this year (orange) that I am using to underline any verses that stand out to me in my read though.  This is a simple thing to do, but it requires me listening attentively and thinking about why something stood out to me.

4.  Write out the passages in a journal
If you want to take the underlining one step further, write those passages out in a notebook.  Write the verses out on the left hand page of the notebook and why it stood out to you or made you think about on the right hand page.  Be sure to date everything (this is how I know exactly the years I read through my Bible in point one.  At the beginning of each day of reading three pages, I dated the first page.  I love having dates to remember how old I was, how old the boys were, and roughly what we were doing/going through at the time.)  How much better would it be to journal about it!

And a bonus idea:
Read slowly and meditatively though the Bible with the I Will Meditate Bible journal series.  There will be 12 in the series, covering the entire Bible, but the first four are available now.  You can pick one up and start anywhere!  This guide has prompts and journaling space on each chapter of the Bible and will make an amazing heirloom for your family as you create your own commentary on every chapter.  Find the first four volumes on Amazon here.

The main thing is, though, to continue to persevere in reading through the Bible.  Don't catch up, just pick up today's reading and start there!  If you find yourself with time to do more, go back and read the missed sections, but don't power through 28 chapters to catch up.  God's word can speak to you exactly where you are, when you are.  Just read!

I was listening to a podcast this morning (Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem) and the speaker said something that stuck with me:

"I do not think that anybody is ever going to be totally thoroughly convinced that the Bible is God's word by reading other books about the Bible... there are good books to read... but those books aren't ultimately going to convince you...  but we are convinced of the Bible's claims to be God's word as we read the Bible.  Our ultimate conviction that the words of the Bible are God's words comes only when the Holy Spirit speaks in and through the words of the Bible."

Keep going.  Pick it back up and start to read!  You got this!


  1. Kari, i don't have your book, but i have to say, this is saving my bible reading entirely, i'm in a rut and feel no desire to read. So i hope to do this today and maybe get back to bible journalling again.

    1. yes, each day is a new day! Keep trying, keep being faithful, and remember to talk to God about how you are feeling, how you have no desire and are in a rut. Ask for His help. He is faithful even when we are not!

  2. Thank you for these ideas, Kari. Good encouragement. I'm in Leviticus now using your "I Will Meditate" series. I've been so surprised at what God has drawn my attention to in the books I've completed, so I have hope for Leviticus, too.

    1. I had a wonderful time in Leviticus with the I Will Meditate Journal! I'm sure you will too!


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