Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Reading Through

I’m attempting to do something this year I’ve never tried before. No, wait. That’s not true. I have tried before, but didn’t have the help I needed, so I punked after only a few days.

I’m trying to read through the Bible in a year.

My church has done it before as a group with SS lessons and sermons to go along with what they’d read during the week. I enjoyed it when I visited, but I lived in Pryor Creek at the time and didn’t join in.

A year or two ago (or it might have been five or ten LOL) they listened to it on tapes. I neglected to order the tapes, and I missed out.

And I resisted. Why? Because, having gone to a Christian college, I know how easy it is for me to let the Precious Words turn into “just” words as I rush to finish.

So when Preacher Dave announced this year we were going to read through as a church family, I started praying about it. I want to do this. Do I want to do this? Will You bless it?

My walking buddy, CL mentioned one day how excited she is about reading through. I stepped up my praying. On the first Sunday of the year I still hadn’t started, and Preacher Dave announced if we hadn’t started, we were already behind. 😦 

This year, there were handouts that listed the scriptures to be read each day. (I think you can find it online at ) I forgot to pick one up that first Sunday, but I figured they had to start with Genesis. Right? So I started there, too. I read.

The Word didn’t turn into just words. It spoke to me. God’s Word to my heart. Fantastic! It was a lot like being hungry and then having a wonderful meal–not only filling but fulfilling. (Does that make sense at all?)

So this past Sunday, I got the reading schedule and found I wasn’t behind–in Genesis, at least. But the schedule has us reading in Psalm, too. NBD–I was able to catch up that first day.

Fast forward–Today (Genesis 27-29) we read about Jacob falling in love with Rachel, working seven years for her and being given Leah, the older, uglier sister, on his wedding night. I think I forgot to stop reading where I was supposed to.

That story and Leah speak to me because my friend, Marilyn Pappano, took the name Rachel Butler as her pen name for some of her books. (Google it if you haven’t read Marilyn’s books. They’re great–full of suspense and love.)

When she took that pen name, I thought how fun it would be to write as Leah Butler. Butler was the last name of my mother’s best friend in high school, and Leah was Rachel’s older, uglier sister. Perfect for me!

But when at long last I sold my first book, Marilyn had (at least temporarily) stopped writing as Rachel, and I was a little (or a lot) afraid I might never sell another book, so I stayed plain old Susan Shay.

Back to this morning: I turned to the other reading for the day. Psalm 10. God put that there today just for me. He knew exactly where I’d be today and what I would need. As I read, the words nearly shouted at me. Verse 15 stood out. I read it again and again. LOL.

I couldn’t stop with Psalm 10. I read on. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen . . . .

Then I got to Psalm 17: 7- Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. 8– Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings . . .  

Thank You. YOU are my portion.