op 10" width="300" height="300" />Here we are. We’ve come through another holiday season and we’re still in a pandemic. I honestly thought we would find ourselves in a different place by now. But we keep on keeping on.
Every year I look back at the most visited posts on this sight to get an idea of the kinds of things you want to read.
What thrills me even more? That I get to keep doing this thing. It brings me joy and satisfaction to put words to my heart – and the fact that you come along for the ride makes it so much more rewarding. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every blog post you read, every comment you left, and every time you shared a post from here by e-mail or social media. Each time you interact with this site, you take me one step closer to my dreams.
In case you missed them, or would like to revisit:
Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021
I don’t read as much or as quickly as I used to (maybe there’s a New Year’s Resolution in there somewhere), but I do love to get carried away by a book. I listed my 10 favorite from 2020 – and the rest that didn’t make the list. Some good. Some, not so much.
As gymnast and GOAT Simone Biles and Tennis player Naomi Osaka very publicly prioritized mental health over their carriers this year, I wanted to dive a little into the subject. Having some personal experience, but no expertise, I chose to endorse other resources I found helpful and informative – all of them from a Christian worldview. Topics range from depression, suicide prevention, bipolar disorder and finding the right counselor.
The Bible calls believers in Jesus to be set apart. Different from the world. And many things about our theology seem foolish to the world. God’s word predicted this thousands of years ago. The “I am enough/ you are enough” philosophy seems like a great self-esteem booster at first glance. A way to view yourself that combats depression and inferiority complexes. The only problem is that it’s a lie. Sufficiency is only found in Jesus. He is the only one who is enough. And once we understand that, but also understand how much he loves us, we find true contentment. He makes us worthy.
I definitely enjoyed recapping this weekend comedy of errors more than I enjoyed living it. It’s hard to believe now that this many things went wrong with a simple family reunion/ camping trip. If you’ve ever had those days or events when nothing seems to go right, I hope you can look back and laugh at it now. And I hope you’ll read this account to relate, giggle and feel better.
I came across the words of this post by accident. In 2015, I fell off a bike and tore my ACL and MCL. Since I was unable to put weight on one leg and hobbled around on crutches, I called on a sweet friend to help me get my daughter to her special needs camp. What my friend Heather saw there touched her so much that she wrote a post on her own blog about it. And I stumbled across her words just days before taking Shelby back to camp. She gave me permission to share her thoughts here.
5. Hurts So Good: Enduring Hard Things for the Greater Good February 5, 2021op 10" width="150" height="150" />
God has a funny way of showing himself to us through suffering. This post emerged from my daughter’s hospital room after spinal fusion surgery. I am struck looking back at this by God’s goodness and the ways He sustains us. Her recovery was challenging, but Shelby is so much tougher than I ever give her credit for. We put off this surgery for so long – believing it would be too hard on her. And us! But her strength amazed me. I still don’t know why God allows some of the things He allows into our lives, but I see evidence of some reasons. I’ll ask Him about the others some day. And by the way, Shelby is 3.5 inches taller with a straight spine!
Y’all like the funny! I don’t blame you. I love to laugh and make others laugh. Years ago I posted a lyric my then toddler sang incorrectly, and it started a comment chain that made tears run down my leg. It came up in a memory and I decided to crowd source for this post. Great job friends. You brought it. And brought so much of it that I did this second post. Read them both if you need a good giggle. But don’t drink anything while perusing. I can’t be held responsible for loss of containment!
More on books! I don’t listen to as many audio books as I used to. Podcasts have overtaken my life. But I shared these 8 that, for one reason or another, are even better when read by the author or a trained voice. I love books in all forms, but would love to know if you have any you would recommend on audio instead of on the page!
2. National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day: 5 Things Not to Say October 15, 2021
I didn’t write this one. But if you saw the author you might think she was me! My twin sister graciously invited us into her journey with infertility and pregnancy loss for this post. Although well-meaning, we often don’t know what to say to someone who has experienced this tragedy. Kristen shares from her experience some things that helped and some things that hurt. I am so grateful that she was willing to dig back into this for our benefit. I’ve learned so much.
I had the privilege to share this sweet article written by journalist Harriet Blake about my family. I don’t find us very interesting, but your curiosity pushed this post to #1. Ms. Blake interviewed us, our family members and friends and we got a photo shoot with a newspaper photographer. It felt flattering and weird, and we did our best to glorify God through it. The article is kind and I cherish it. We feel so grateful to have had the opportunity.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog this year. It is an honor I don’t take lightly. And although this list gives me an idea of the kinds of things you like to see here, I covet your opinions. Please share a comment below or in a private message any topic or issue you would like to see me address here in 2022. Chances are if it’s on your mind, some others are thinking about it oo.
Thank you for being a reader friend! And Happy New Year.
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
I am always drawn to posts with book recommendations, and this time there were so many good ones that I couldn’t narrow it down. Maybe you can get some good recommendations for your New Year’s reading lists! The December Book Talk: Old Acquaintances and Old Books for a Happy New Year by Michele Morin, 6 Books I Recommend – December 2021 by fellow Grace and Truth host Lisa Burgess, and My Top 12 Favorite Books Read in 2021 by Barbara Lee Harper. Come back here next Friday for my book post!
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