On New Year’s Eve, I wrote a grand list of resolutions and goals in my journal.

  • lose weight
  • purge, organize, and deep clean my house and then repeat
  • build a list of monthly writing prompts and actually use them
  • more quality time with my kids
  • host a brunch every other week so I can see all my friends
  • also host sleepovers every weekend
  • read through the Bible and journal my thoughts
  • walk or workout in some way every day
  • hike on the weekends
  • dang this sounds good!

Then I woke up on New Year’s Day with a kid hangover…

The special cocktail: wait up for a kid till 1:00 am and then get up with a sick baby from three to seven. (I party like a rock star, I know).

The morning after, my goals not only seemed ridiculous and unattainable, but repulsive. …They basically represented everything I would never want to do with my life.  (Ah, the perspective of a sleep deprived woman…)

After some reflection and coffee (and then some more coffee), I saw clearly.  I realized in two hours what typically takes me two months to acknowledge.

I was never going to do all that anyways.

I’d already suspected this, even yesterday, while I thoughtfully wrote brave and aspirational goals on crisp pages in my new journal.  Something was off, but I pressed on anyhow.

In my coffee induced clarity, and with the help of Jesus, I started to remember something…

Do what’s most important first.  

Everything else will fall into place, or just fall off.

I am a Christian. In almost every way, this defines me… Everything I have comes from and is headed toward my creator: creativity, love for family, questions about life, joy in natural beauty, intrigue in and enjoyment of all kinds of people… all of this comes from my creator and is shaped by Him.  Even the yucky parts of me–selfishness, despair, impatience, self-righteousness–are at the very least submitted for transformation and grace.

Jesus is most important to me.  And as important as He is, somehow, the ways in which I nurture this relationship can get lost in the shuffle of dishes, packing lunches, napping, calorie counting, and even in more lofty endeavors; writing, friendship, doing good works…

I’m excited about my new (and old) perspective:  I can’t do it all.  I’ll put this first.  

Jesus gave a teaching, addressing his audiences’ legitimate concerns about material things… clothing, food, and anxieties about tomorrow.  He reminds them that he already knows all their needs and cares about them. The secret is that when He is in the center of their lives, everything else falls into place.  (This is from Matthew chapter 6).

I’m counting on this.  It’s not that I’m abandoning hope of having a clean house, or dropping ten pounds, or making more art, or of brunching and hiking and slumber partying.  I’ve just remembered that these aren’t the things that belong at the center of my life. I get wacky when they are.

So now I have one New Year’s Resolution instead of 40.  It’s to nurture this relationship, and enjoy it and love others out of it.  Whew!  That is really quite a relief.  I look forward to seeing what emerges in this pursuit.  I’m guessing more than I can hope for.





  1. That is really profound and so true.

    When I had small children my 40 X 40 list would have been absurdly unattainable. Now that they’re both in school all day it is waaaaay too easy for me to waste time all day long while all of the things I hope to do (and need to do) pile up all around me. Suddenly it’s 3:00 and they’re home and I’ve done nothing for the day… I’m using my list to try to focus my attention. I’m not very good at focusing, I’m hoping that it will help… I’ve resolved not to feel defeated if I don’t manage to do it all 😉

    I think that your resolution says it all. I love it.

    BTW – I’m a Christian too and I dislike using the term for the same reasons you do.

  2. that’s really the most important thing, heidi. if you write it down and post it, it will keep you on track when you are tired, over-busy, whatever. thank you very much for sharing. also i loved your pictures and how you got our attention! happy NEW year!

  3. I found this post so moving. Spirituality is so important to me, religion…that can rub uncomfortably sometimes. We went to Christmas Eve services with a dear friend this year (the first time for me and my family), and I wept as the choir walked in singing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” It was so beautiful and moving. And then the sermon? It felt pedantic and I felt talked down to. Less moving, for sure.

    I love what you wrote. I think it’ll keep you centered, and you might find it easier to manage the rest of the stuff. Thank you for sharing this journey. xo

  4. What a beautiful post to read first thing this morning. I understand about the label ‘Christian’ and want to thank you for sharing your heart, instead of being afraid of criticism. I’ve been looking for other women of faith in BYW, and I look forward to reading your blog as you pursue your one goal instead of 40. Your post gives me hope! May God bless your 2012.

  5. Resolutions – fewer in number this year, really only one and cribbed from the Happiness Project at that – “be Sandra”. It’s so easy to second guess ourselves and even easier to do so when doing the blogging thing. I am recently back in the blogging game and resolve to be me and authentic and real and honest and let the chips fall where they may! Hah!

    Hoping to find a community locally and on the internets of creative folk trying to live an inspired, creative life…

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