Study, Memory & Reading Goals for 2018

My Study Goals for 2018:

I hope to provide brief updates, from time to time throughout 2018, on all that I am learning about the inner workings of the human heart, vis-a-vis the tutelage of St. Augustine, Jonathan Edwards, and C.S. Lewis.  I am especially interested in developing, over the next couple of years, a deeper understanding (and subsequently learn how to communicate that understanding) of ordo amoris, the right ordering of our loves.


I am also leading a small group of women through a short study of the doctrine of sanctification, using Sinclair Ferguson’s outstanding new book, Devoted to God.

My Memory Work Goals for 2018:

Almost two years ago, I memorized the Book of Philippians.  I thought it would take me 12 months, but it only took me 6, mostly because I had started (and abandoned) memorizing Paul’s letter about five years prior.  So, essentially, I had a good head-start on understanding the teaching and flow of the book, and I was able to recall those first 12 or 14 verses almost immediately, which propelled me forward almost immediately.

This year, I hope to memorize the book of James.  I anticipate this memorization will be a much more arduous task, because I’ve had no head start this time, I am less familiar with the overall teaching of the book, and the use of language is quite different from the Pauline letters I am more accustomed to studying.

I will be memorizing Psalm 139 alongside my kids during the course of our homeschooling day.  If this goes faster than I anticipate, we may begin on Psalm 100 as well (since we already know parts of, having sung it in church so many times).

I will also probably memorize 8 or 10 other random Bible verses throughout the year. This usually happens when I’m reading through one book of the Bible, and a particular verse just attaches itself to my heart (as an encouragement and/or a corrective), and I almost cannot help by memorize it.  I don’t have any written plan for these verses, but know they will appear as God feeds them to me.

I also plan to memorize 4 works of poetry this year:

  • “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • “The Pulley” by George Herbert
  • Sonnet 30 by  Shakespeare
  • “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost

I am also working through the Westminster Shorter Catechism with my three older kids and A Child’s First Catechism with my 5-year-old, so I expect that by simple repetition, I will a few memorize questions and answers as well.

My Reading Goals for 2018:

My reading habits are fairly well-established and have been since my teen years (i.e., I love to read; it is my primary hobby; I don’t watch television or waste my time on anything resembling a screen, so I tend to have a substantial amount of time during the week to read).  These days, I have become increasingly aware that certain types of books lend themselves to certain times of day.  My energy level, my mental alertness, how recently I have consumed caffeine — these are just some of the factors that determine what type of book works best (e.g., difficult theology in the morning, biography or easier non-fiction in the middle of the day, and poetry or fiction at night).

I don’t have any actual reading goals per se, other than to track what I’ve read on this blog.

In the first ten days of January, I have completed An American Childhood (Annie Dillard) and am currently reading:  The Inklings (Humphrey Carpenter), The Collected Poems of G.K. Chesterton, Confessions (Augustine), Devoted to God (Sinclair Ferguson), A Writing Life (Annie Dillard), and Redemption: Accomplished and Applied (John Murray).

For the purposes of this blog, I’ll be combining updates on my memory work and reading goals under the same heading:



(Afflliate links above)