(Oh, and Happy New Year, too!)
It is one year ago (tomorrow) that I wrote my very first blog post and Mary and Marie got to introduce themselves.
I'm so thankful for how supportive and wonderful my readers have been, and for the community that I've drawn from this-- and I hope you have too.
Heading into year 2, I have some new ideas that will unfold slowly as the year goes on. I hope you'll all enjoy them and be as excited about them as I am!
For the past several years, though, I've become bored with the standard New Year's resolutions. Exercise more. Eat healthy. Save money. We make them, we break them, we move on. We're no different. Also, there's no plan. They're New Year's hopes at best. So, for the past several years, I've made-- stranger resolutions. And resolutions with legs, with a plan. Because I wanted to keep these resolutions. (And, maybe, in part because A-type personality that I am, I also wanted to measure how successfully I could keep them.)
The resolutions themselves varied. And some I kept, while others I failed at. In 2013, just to name a few: I wanted to be more generous, even on my tight budget, and do some good in the world. So I decided to pick a charity I cared about every month and donate just $5. I wanted to be more comfortable being myself (didn't really have a plan for that one). I wanted to keep in touch with people I loved, so I decided to try to be diligent about sending cards for events and holidays.
In 2014, I continued some of these, and added others. I wanted to travel, at least a little. I wanted to read the whole Bible cover-to-cover, which I'd never done before. And read more for pleasure. I set the bar low: 2 books, because I didn't want to overwhelm myself, and I was accounting for my slow reading, the influx of school-reading, and the Bible-reading goal. I also had the vision for a theme for the year: I wanted to love more, and take more risks.
Last year, I upped the goal to 4 books. And I wanted to write my weekly blog posts here. And really listen when other people spoke to me. And stop being busy. My theme was "Be Brave." And brave I was (if I do say so myself)... writing on here about things that drive me crazy, and get me riled up, and hurt my heart.
This year, I haven't made any specific resolutions yet. But my theme for this year is grace. It has become a theme in the drafts I've written that I've yet to share on here. It's become a theme in my mind and heart and how I experience the world. It's become something that I admire in others. Something I can't always find quite the right words for- yet. The desire, and need, for grace. To give it, and to receive it.
And while this post, this New Year, First Anniversary post, has nothing directly to do with science, or faith, or feminism. I'd venture that it has to do with all of them. Grace. To ourselves. To others. Our friends and enemies. The people on the other side of the table and the people on our own side of the table. Regardless of how we feel or what they've said, or what we've said.
Grace makes it possible to have the hard conversations. It makes it possible to disagree without killing each other (figuratively and literally). It makes communication and learning and change possible. And we all need grace.
To give it, and to receive it.