Word of the Week

Recently, I finished reading Rachel Held Evans' second book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself.

I did not read this book because I think there is any such ideal of Biblical Womanhood as these folks claim. What a crock!

I did not read this book (as others have done) seeking to criticize Rachel's theology. Leave her alone, mean ones.

I did not read this book to be enlightened that Proverbs 31 should be read differently than the Christian bookstore trinkets want to make it to be. I am a female pastor after all.

I read it because it seemed like an important cultural text within the religious circles in which I travel.

And then Rachel was on The View last November, so how I could I not read it?

As I quickly turned its pages, I was delightful surprised at the reasons why I enjoyed it so much.

The sub-story of this memoir is Rachel's willingness to get out of her comfort zone and try new things-- again and again and again.

She cooked Martha Stewart meals. She learned to sew (sort of). She visited an Amish community in Pennsylvania. She wore a different style of clothes. She celebrated Jewish holidays with her family. She studied passages of scripture she'd never thought much about before. She traveled to new countries.

I resonated with this aspect of the book because it has become so easy as I'm firmly grounded in my 30th decade of life to already be stuck in a life ruts as far as my daily habits are concerned.

We cook similar meals every night.

Kevin and I participate in the same weekend entertainment activities.

We clean (or lack thereof) our house in the same way each month.

But, in reading Year of Biblical Womanhood, I was challenged to start shaking things up a bit.

Cooking with a new recipe instead of making dinner from a box.

Going to see a play or visiting an art museum instead of just going to see a movie.

Cleaning the kitchen sink with vigor not dread.

Thanks Rachel, for the many gifts you gave the world in The Year of Biblical Womanhood.

For me, it's the gift of a gentle nudge to get off the couch and do something new!