Alright, so I know that I said I wasn’t going to set any big overarching goals for 2020 but I am making one exception to that rule. I do have a goal set for how much reading I want to get done this year. Over the past several years I have attempted (and failed) at following the Christian Reading Challenge put out by Jami Balmet, owner of Young Wife’s Guide. Over the last few years she and her husband have created a wonderful reading challenge with book recommendations and resources divided out in various categories that fall under the Christian reading mantle. These are categories such as: theology, marriage, biography, practical homemaking, and finances. There are a few more but you get the drift.
The challenge is set out in levels. Level 1 is 13 books in a year. That breaks down to roughly one book every 4 weeks. Level 2 is 26 books in a year. That breaks down to roughly one book ever 2 weeks. This doesn’t include any fiction reading you might do. This is purely a growth and renewal with practical application type reading challenge.
Sometimes I look through the list of books she has provided and think “Yep, those are all books I plan to read.” other times I take the bones of the challenge and insert my own reading selections. That is what I intend to do this year. Not that her list isn’t fabulous (because it is) but I have a number of books sitting on my shelves that I intend to get through this year.
A Little Back Story
When I graduated from seminary in December of 2018 I had big dreams of continuing my reading of the deep theological and academic reads I had been going through for the past 5 years as I worked toward me degree. I looked forward to the opportunity to continue my growth at my own pace and on my own terms. I had a number of people tell me that before I even considered another degree (at the time I was heavily researching the idea of PhD work) I should take some time to enjoy life. To read the things I wanted to read and get to know my family again. I shrugged them off and gave lip service to the idea. I just knew I was the type of person that needed to continue to be growing. Boy was I wrong. Well…not really wrong, just misguided.
The beginning of January I started reading one of the many books on the Christian Reading challenge list and I just couldn’t take it in. I felt like I read and re-read the same passages over and over again not comprehending a single word of it. By the middle of the month I gave up. I realized my brain was full. I was still processing and digesting all the things I had shoved up there in the last 5 years and I just couldn’t fit in anymore. So I began reading what one of my favorite high school teachers called ‘brain candy’. I dug out some old murder mystery books my grandmother had given me and I devoured them. I realized I did need to read just for the sake of reading. Fun, light hearted fiction books that weren’t going to require anything of me. So that is what I spent the majority of 2019 reading. And man did it feel good.
But here we are, the beginning of 2020 and I am feeling that itch again. That need to have something solid to chew on. So this year my reading challenge for myself is going to look a little bit different than the one found here on Young Wife’s Guide.
My Reading Challenge For Myself
My challenge is going to incorporate a little bit of both. The fiction and the non-fiction. The brain candy and the meat and potatoes. I am hoping to share a bit of what I am reading as I go along and I plan to keep track of my goals on Goodreads. So if you are on there find me and lets encourage each other as we read some good books this year. My goal is the 26 books this year. I am not sure what that breakdown is going to look like. I don’t know if it will be half fiction half non-fiction. Or if it will sway heavily one way or the other. And to be honest, I don’t really care. I just want to find whatever equates to a healthy balance for me.
My Current Reads
To start the year off I restarted one I had begun back in January of 2019. I started reading a book written by Jen Wilken called “Women of the Word.” It is a short read, only about 140 pages so I am hoping to be through it by the end of the week. ( I am aware that is tomorrow.) I started reading it on the 1st and so far I am already farther into the book in 3 days than I was after 2 weeks of last year. It has already had me thinking about how I look at the way I go about Bible study and biblical literacy.
Monday when we head back to the library I also intend on picking up the 4th book in the “Here, There Be Dragons” series I began reading in August. I gobbled up the first 3 books but then with the holiday season and the change in my work schedule it fizzled out. I even tried checking out the audio version of the book and listening to it so I could continue the series but I just needed a break. I am not ready to jump back into that one with both feet.
So there it is. My one big overarching goal for 2020. I have always said that in my journey as a homeschooling mom the one thing I want to ensure is that my kids are readers. It has always been my opinion that no matter what happens, if you can read, you can find out the answers to anything you ever need or want to know. And I want to be sure I am setting the best example I can for my kids. This year I hope to do less staring at the TV screen and more reading. Reading on my own and reading aloud to the kids. I hope to instill in them the love of words that I was given. I hope you will join this journey with me. Share what you are reading and if you would like, why you chose that particular adventure. Who knows, maybe you will be the one to help me find my next favorite thing.