Happy New Year!


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

I’m all about honoring the tradition of New Year’s resolutions - not necessarily keeping them, of course, but making them. The self-examined life is not worth leading, I always say.

This year I’d like to lose twelve pounds and finish my book. Those who know me well may feel that they’ve heard this before. That’s  because I’ve made those two resolutions for the past three  years. The results?  The weight gets lost and then gained again. The book gets written in fits and starts, great strides curiously coinciding with the aforementioned  weight gain. (When people ask why I haven’t yet had a baby, they get this answer: I’m writing a book, which is like being pregnant - weight gain, moodiness, sleeplessness, and the anticipation that something truly amazing is going to pop out at any moment. Obviously, I can only handle one pregnancy at a time.) 

Anyway, besides the two recurring resolutions, I’ve made some additional commitments to myself, commitments that can’t exactly be weighed on a scale or included in a word count. They include the following: 

  1. To choose happiness every day, regardless of how much I accomplish 
  2. To say less and listen more
  3. To expect to hear from God
  4. To (in the words of Mary J.) “work what I’ve got” without wasting time trying to be like someone else
  5. To only speak well of others
  6. To only speak well of myself
  7. To stop expecting perfection
  8. To follow Jesus as best as I can, right where I am
  9. To recognize the needs of my friends and neighbors as just as important as the needs of those around the world
  10. To truly rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep
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