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.


Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

9 thoughts on “Reading Through

  1. Amen to the last scripture, as I first was reading this, it sounded like me. Fulfilling makes all the sense!

  2. Older, yeah. Uglier? Not in anyone’s imagination. We’re both beautiful.

    I haven’t read the Bible all the way through, though it’s on my Kindle. Mom and sister #2 could/can quote a scripture for every occasion. I need to make the time to read it, too.

    • I have a feeling you’re seeing me with your heart, Marilyn. Even more than your outside (which is VERY beautiful) you have a beautiful heart.
      The NIV Bible was one of the first books I put on my Kindle, Marilyn!
      I’m amazed at how much alike our mothers were, even though they didn’t know each other. We’RE so blessed to have had them!
      Which sister? #1 or #2?
      More important than being able to quote scripture is to be able to live scripture. And I’ve seen you do that ever since I’ve known you.
      Thank you for coming by.
      Ps: Good luck finding time. It’s the thing that’s hardest to come by!

      • Thank you!

        Our moms were both products of small towns and good families. I think that’s why they had a lot in common. They were good women. (And neither were strangers to large families!)

        The sister is Sharon. She and Mike have taught children’s church since their own kids were little-bitty, so they’ve learned a lot.

        I don’t have my Kindle handy, but I downloaded one of the more modern translations. I love the language of the King James Bible, but truthfully, it makes me work harder to understand it. For reading/learning, I prefer language I can grasp easier. (Mom’s first response to hearing that would probably be a bit of a cringe, but then she’d shrug it off and say, “As long as you get the message . . .”)

  3. Pingback: I’m in Exodus–Not the Movie :) « Small Town World

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