And then, just like that, I’m two years into writing this blog! This has certainly been a tumultuous year in the world, and it has been a dramatic year in my personal life as well. Many good things have happened for me and my family: changing jobs, moving to a new house, and getting used to having a new baby in the home, but each of these good things have also disrupted my regular routines, leaving me longing for a sense of consistency.
And during all of that disruption this spiritual study has been one of those pillars of consistency that I have come to rely on. Tethering myself to the regular practice of spiritual devotion has helped me fight the tide of distraction, to push against the temptation to give up my self-care and balance until things are more “normal.” I haven’t been perfect at maintaining my course, but I have definitely been better if I didn’t have these practices to anchor my soul.
My great hope is that the third year of this spiritual study will see me putting roots deep once more and moving from a state of survival to flourishing.
Throughout this year I added 275 entries to this blog, bringing my total up to 565. Those made up 18 new essays, bringing that total up to 51, and 12 monthly updates on how I am trying to make the gospel be more alive in my life. This blog has been picked up in 12 new countries during the last year, resulting in a worldwide spread of 55 countries in all.
Each of these anniversaries provides me an excellent opportunity to examine what is working well in my spiritual journey and what could be improved. I have spent some time thinking it over this last week and I have decided that it will be best for me to make a few changes to this blog.
I have been researching specific topics for two years now, putting together a collection of scriptures and life lessons that convey a single, focused message. I like this style of scripture study and I will surely return to it from time-to-time. Lately, though, I have felt a need to shift from hunting out scriptures to fit into a predetermined category, and to instead let them speak for themselves. I want to take some time to just read them in their own context, allowing them to convey just the messages that they want to convey.
To that end I will discontinue the topical studies for a time and instead shift to a more sequential study. I will read through the scriptures chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse, making commentary on the lessons that stand out to me from them. I will not force myself to provide commentary where I have none. I expect that some passages of scripture will be very dense in the impressions that they make on me while others will be sparse. That is alright.
Now from time-to-time I would expect that a category of the gospel will weigh heavily upon me, and when that occurs I will pause my sequential study, get on my soap box, and conduct a topical study on that matter. After that it will be back to the regular, sequential study, at least until I feel the need to change my processes again.
Last year I began a practice of checking my pulse spiritually and deciding where I needed to improve my daily practices. I do see great value in this self-analysis, and I do intend to continue it privately, but I will not continue to publicly post the results of those introspections.
It is not that I am opposed to sharing parts of one’s personal journey. I believe that vulnerability is an essential part of shining our light to the world. But I also believe that we typically don’t know which are the truly significant moments of our lives until after the fact, when we look back at all the events as a whole. I feel like taking time to chronicle all the little ebbs and flows of life is actually distracting me from the broader, more significant strokes of my development.
So for the time being I will limit the publicizing of my life lessons to the times that they specifically relate to the topic of my regular, daily scripture study.
Thank you once again for being a part of this journey. Each of us has a very personal, very individual path to walk which no one else can walk for us, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot have accompaniment along the way. You may not be able to take my steps for me, but you can be beside me as I take them.
I thank you for that accompaniment, and I hope that in some way my words convey my companionship with you on your private walk as well. God bless you.