The Surprising Joy of Daily Struggle

Practice every day? For one year?

“No,” most of us will respond. Whatever it is, “I don’t want to, I don’t have to, and you can’t make me,” we defy in toddler-speak.

As adults with much to do already, there are few endeavors we willingly pursue daily for the long haul. Maybe brushing our teeth—hopefully most of us practice that daily. Breathing seems to be high on our willingness to practice regularly!

An instrument? Maybe.

Prayer? Yes . . . Well, most days . . .

Whatever it is, every day for an entire year, we will only make such a commitment when we deem it worthy of our time and effort, rewarding on multiple levels.

Some of us have been reading our Bibles every day for years on end, living in the fullness of God’s replenishing and guiding messages. While others of us have only dreamed of being able to accomplish one solid week, let alone one solid year, reading through our Bibles.

Holy Scripture can be hard to understand, even emotionally and mentally taxing in difficult or confusing passages. We want to read God’s Word but are often unsure where to start, how to follow along, and whether His Word is relevant for us in all we face this day.

Is it worth my effort? Will God speak to me? Can I really do this?

I have certainly known this challenge very personally. So when I was invited by Tyndale House Publishers to write daily devotions for The One Year Bible for Women, I felt the enormity of such an undertaking, and I resisted.

Yet ultimately, in reverence and with reluctance-mixed-with-compulsion, I made my decision and accepted the invitation to write—with one caveat. Since I am not one to gloss over hard stuff in favor of fluff, I determined: I would go where the Scriptures led, and likely straight toward the hard stuff. So it began.

There were tears and struggles—and gifts at every turn. I’ll get to those, but first, my invitation for you: What are you doing for . . . say . . . the next 365 days of your life?

Ladies, would you consider joining me (or gentlemen, my husband Steve, who authored devotions for The One Year Bible for Men) for a journey through Scripture this year? It would be my honor and, I trust, our mutual enrichment.

We can read God’s Word together, a day at a time, and see what we find in epic adventure and camaraderie.

Whether it’s your first time through or you’ve followed this method of Scripture reading for years, I also trust that within these pages you will experience a fresh move of God in your life.

Women, together, we will encounter the leadership of Deborah, the sorrow of Job’s wife, the bravery of Jehosheba, and critical contributions from female disciples of Jesus. We will lean into the hard spaces and dare to keep seeking and growing. We will practice new skills, because practice makes progress. And I love to make progress.

What might God have in store for you as you pursue him this year? I received three special gifts while writing for this project, and it makes me wonder: What surprises await you?

I first received the gift of obligation, which did not seem like a gift at the time. I’d committed to read and press for answers, so no longer would I put off troublesome passages until a more convenient time. Now was the time. I would dig for answers until answers came. And far better than that, spiritual awakening came.

This resulted in the second gift: strengthened assurance that answers are there if we want them. God wants to be known and will faithfully reveal himself to the seeker. May we ever move toward him in reaching for truth.

The third gift was born of my own moving toward him. Through reaching and seeking, protest and wrestling, striving, and struggling for yet another year—as with every new season, time and again—I unfailingly landed on one persistent conclusion: God is good.

He is good. And he is for us.

He is for humanity, for women and for men, for everyone.

He is for me, and he is for you.

He is for children. And he has invited us to come to him as such—eager to learn and openhearted.

Will you join us in responding to him? Let us read our Bibles, every day, for one year, and see what God has in store.


The One Year Bible for Women, with daily notes from Misty Arterburn, and The One Year Bible for Men, with daily notes from Steve Arterburn, are now available at or wherever books and Bibles and sold. 

Posted on November 17, 2022

Misty Arterburn is an author, speaker, Life Recovery group facilitator, and mother to five children. A hoosier native, Misty is a graduate of Ball State University, and has spent more than 20 years studying and creating recovery literature, practicing the principles personally, sponsoring members of 12 Step programs, founding new meetings and recovery programs, and experiencing the benefits of recovery herself. She has authored or coauthored multiple books, including Lose It for Life Day by Day Devotional, One Year New Testament For Busy Moms, The Mediterranean Love Plan, and various material in the Life Recovery Workbook and resources, and was general editor of The One Year Bible for Women and associate editor of the Every Woman’s Bible. She is an accomplished conference and events speaker and facilitates two Life Recovery groups for women at Northview Church. Misty founded Recovery Girls, a growing organization for women on all paths of recovery, which offers group startup materials as well as help, hope, and life-changing resources.
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