At the end of the year I like to look back over the blog posts of the year and reflect on what God has done in my life through the year.
Besides holidays, birthdays, and everyday blessings, some standout happenings this year were:
- Meeting my blog friend Melanie in person when she moved from FL to TN this year, and meeting her for lunch pretty regularly since.
- Spending a night in the ER with atrial fibrillation and having surgery for it in August, followed by a rougher than expected recovery. Things continue to be stable now – a few flutters here and there but nothing major.
- Mittu having a (thankfully non-cancerous) growth removed.
- The solar eclipse!
Some favorite pictures from the year:
My mother-in-law’s birthday:
Timothy at a July 4 parade.
Jason’s 30th Birthday:
Timothy likes to help in the kitchen. 🙂
Meeting Melanie for the first time!
Every Friday I participate in Friday’s Fave Five, where we share five blessings from the week before, then usually a couple of Saturdays a month I share ” Laudable Linkage,” links to Internet reading that I’ve found particularly noteworthy in some way. I usually have a book review or two during the week, and I shared the books read this year and then my top twelve a few days ago. Occasionally I post various other “stray thoughts.” Usually about once a week, lately on Mondays, I share something God has been teaching me. I debated with myself about whether to just share some of my favorites from this last category or to list them all. I decided to do both. 🙂
My own favorite from this past year are:
- Manufactured Spirituality. Had thought about this a long time and was glad to finally work through it.
- 15 Things You Might Not Know About Me. This was more just for fun, not so much something God taught me. 🙂
- Sandpaper Christians
- Problems, Blessings, and Dangers of Middle Age.
- It’s Not For Nothing.
- A Stirred-up Woman.
- The Strength of My Faith.
- My Sin Is Not Someone Else’s Fault.
Here are all of this kind of post. I started out sharing a quote or quick summation, but then it got very late into the evening. 🙂
“Negative” Book Reviews – bad idea or helpful sometimes?
Sandpaper Christians – the kind who rub us the wrong way. What is God trying to do in our lives through them?
The Highest Calling – does the Bible name one?
When the Message Isn’t For Me. Might God have a message for me in a passage or sermon which doesn’t seem to directly apply at first?
Tune My Heart to Sing Your Grace. Interesting look at what the Bible says is to be the subject of our songs.
With All Our Minds. “God doesn’t want to touch just our hearts from His Word, He wants us to use our minds, to engage our brains.”
The Holy Spirit’s Activities. Despite the controversies over what the Holy Spirit does in our day, the Bible is clear about plenty He does without controversy.
It’s Not For Nothing. When caregiving seems like it’s not accomplishing anything.
No Pat Answers. “We should acknowledge the hard places God sometimes brings our loved ones to without being flippant about it.”
Nice, But Still a Rebel. “Is it possible to be thoroughly nice and still not right with God?”
Word Studies in the Bible. Problems, considerations, and tips for doing a word study.
Looking to Jesus’ Example in Discipling Our Children. “There are ways ways Jesus interacted with His disciples that I could apply to my interactions with my own children, who were also my disciples.”
Living and Praying in the Light of God’s Name. “Have we ever prayed for forgiveness, as Daniel did, or help, as Asaph did in Psalm 79, for God’s sake, for the sake of His name, for His glory? I have to admit, most often my focus is on my own need and wanting it resolved as soon as possible.”
Keeping Balanced in an Unbalanced World. “Feeling unbalanced is disorienting, even scary sometimes, occasionally paralyzing. Balance is an essential part of walking. It’s hard to move forward if you’re constantly fearing a fall, but even aside from fear, without stability your mind and body can’t process moving forward.”
Reading the Bible Literally. “The better way to read the Bible is in an ordinary way like you would any other nonfiction, taking it as meaning what the words would ordinarily mean unless the context indicates it is figurative speech.”
A Stirred-up Woman. “The power of a stirred-up woman for evil or for good.”
When God Asks the Impossible. When God asks people to do exactly what they can’t do.
The Strength of My Faith. “It’s not the strength, size, intensity, or maintenance of my faith that makes the difference. It’s the One I have faith in.”
Everyday Gifts. “Sometimes in longing for the “big” moments we can overlook the everyday evidence of God’s presence, love, and care.”
Watching Angels. “Who knows what little babies and elderly people actually see when they fixedly stare at some point like that.”
Keeping Minimalism in Balance. “Like anything, it’s possible to become unbalanced one direction or another.”
My Sin Is Not Someone Else’s Fault. “God has promised a way of escape in each temptation. Too often I am looking for a reason to give in rather than a way to get out of temptation.
Tips for “Managing” Christmas. “There’s more to do, a lot of it enjoyable in itself, but it adds to an already packed schedule and can leave us feeling frantic rather than enjoying the season, much less pondering the meaning of it.”
For God’s Glory. “God doesn’t seek glory because He ‘needs’ it. He seeks it because we need it.”
I like to see which posts seemed to impact the most people, and according to my WordPress stats, my most viewed post of the year is the same one it has been the last few years, one from back in 2011, Coping When Husband Is Away. Most of my most-viewed posts are older ones. The one viewed most from this year is my review of The Magnolia Story by “Fixer-Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino, but that’s way, way down the list. the next most-viewed of this years posts is Thoughts About Women’s Ministries and after that is Problems, Blessings, and Dangers of Middle Age.
If you’re still reading this post, give yourself a pat on the back from me. 🙂 Thank you for sticking with me, for reading, and for commenting and encouraging me.Though I feel like I “have” to write, and I think things through best by writing them out, knowing that God uses some of that for good in other people’s lives is a great joy to me. Hopefully we’ll continue to learn together in 2018.