Substance and Soul


Whatever you did...

LifeSamantha WetterholmComment

This is difficult to write. It is difficult to have any coherent words regarding what is going on at the border. My mind has been a jumble for days as I think about the plight of refugees, the wailing of terrified children, and the inhumanity of it all.

Over and over, the same words echo in my ears. It is on repeat -- on surround sound -- written on my soul. 

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:40

Today, my priest said something that I felt was poignant, simple, and crucial to remember during this time. He said, we need to take off our political hat and forever put on our Christian hat.

All of our decisions, ideologies, and leanings should be viewed through the lens of the Gospels. Jesus -- our true master and teacher -- has an answer for it all. The King of the Universe should be our guide in every decision we make, in every word that escapes our lips, in every thought of our minds and hearts.

My heart aches for the human rights crisis going on at our borders. I pray that our policy makers view each person with dignity and humanity. And I also pray that we end the barbaric practices going on at the border. And I pray that my heart remains charitable and loving -- even towards those who have different views than myself and especially towards those towards whom I have anger. 

On this Holy Sabbath Day and on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist -- I pray for peace and that hearts are turned towards the Gospel. Amen. 

How I read the Bible in a year

LifeSamantha WetterholmComment

Yesterday, I posted to Instagram that I had finished my plan to read the Holy Bible in one year. And wow! what a response. It sounds like there are quiet a few folks who would like to know the plan I used and how it all came about, so blog post it is!

A year ago, I felt it set on my heart to sit down with the Word every day and read the Bible in a year. I had tried multiple times to sit down and just start, each time failing at Genesis chapter 4 (or something close to it). It felt daunting to sit and read and sift through thousands and thousands of passages on my own. 

So I turned to my BFF, Google. I searched "Catholic Bible in a year" and a few posts popped up. I sifted through a few plans and settled on one and off I went. As a type-A, plan-obsessed person, I responded to having a well-thought out plan with concrete passages to read. It was usually just a few chapters per day and much more digestible than other plans I came across. See, I didn't just want to skim or gloss through the Word. I wanted to truly read and understand and learn and be challenged.

I can say that after a year, I have a new appreciation for theologians and experts on scripture. While I certainly did not understand everything I read and I am sure most of the historical details were lost on me, I have greatly deepened my faith in unexpected and phenomenal ways. I am going to do this plan again on January 1st of next year. 

Here's how to do it. 

Get yourself a Bible.

I used a Catholic Bible -- complete with all the Books of the Bible and read the NAB version. I referred to a study Bible on occasion for some New Testament passages.

Get yourself some supplies.

A while back, I co-wrote a post for Blessed Is She detailing some great supplies for Catholic Bible Journaling. We talked about everything from pens to highlighters and washi tape to stickers and labels. When I first got my Blessed Is She Journaling Bible, I tabbed all the books for easy reference. Mostly, I used my favorite highlighters and some gel pens for my notes and post-its to keep track of where I left off.

Get a plan in place. 

I found this plan when I stumbled upon this great blog post. Meg outlines three passages to read per day while going chronologically through the Bible. She also created a historical timeline of the Books to help orient you on when you are, historically speaking. 

Give yourself some grace. 

Did I read every single day? No. Did I have to catch up on occasion to stay on target? Yes. But I gave myself room to fall and get back up again. There were seasons during this last year that shook my faith and times where I was too tired and sick (first trimester morning sickness, yuck). But, His Word was always there waiting for me -- with open arms too. There are times when the passages dragged and there were times where I could not get enough. But each time, I knew that what I was doing was important and that He would speak to me in that moment, through His Word, every time. 

What about you? Have you ever sat down to read the entire Bible? How was it for you?

In Him, through her. 

Happy Fourth Birthday Emma!

LifeSamantha WetterholmComment


Happy birthday my sweet girl, my first born, my darling fireball of love!

We are so happy to be your parents. Watching you grow and blossom is the best thing in the world. Thank you GOD for blessing us with this precious darling girl. 

Love, momma and daddy