Jan 7

Growing in Reading

2009 at 4:26 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

Starting the New Year with two kids has me wondering what I did with all my time when I only had one. Accomplishing anything more in a day than keeping my family fed and clothed requires some serious strategy.

As I consider the year ahead, one of my goals is to read more beyond the reading that I already do in my quiet time. Yet my nights are full of interrupted sleep (Like last night when MJ had a cold that made her sleep fitfully and we lost power for two hours during which Caly was wide awake waiting “for the workers to fix her fan.”) And the days can be long and hard. (And yes, I know what you moms with more than two kids are thinking right now!)

Given my season, I can’t imagine carving out an hour each day for more reading. Even 30 minutes seems a bit scary. I have tried this before and failed. But thanks to John Piper I’m reminded that a very small daily investment can yield a big return.

He recommends setting a goal to read for 15 minutes a day:

“Suppose you read slowly like I do—maybe about the same speed that you speak—200 words a minute. If you read fifteen minutes a day for one year (say just before supper, or just before bed), you will read 5,475 minutes in the year. Multiply that by 200 words a minute, and you get 1,095,000 words that you would read in a year. Now an average serious book might have about 360 words per page. So you would have read 3,041 pages in one year. That’s ten very substantial books. All in fifteen minutes a day.”(When I Don’t Desire God, p. 129)

I’m sure I read more slowly than Dr. Piper, but thinking about it this way helps me see that even with only fifteen minutes a day, I can accomplish something significant this year. Even with two kids, two and under, I can read ten good books!

So, my plan this year? Read 15 minutes each day during the first part of Caly’s play alone time in her room. If I miss that slot than I will try to make up for it right before I go to bed. My prayer is to make this a lifelong habit that will increase my love and passion for my Savior.