I can’t believe we’re in the last week of 2016. Y’all, cray-zee. This year flew by, didn’t it??
I was looking over the posts I wrote this year and all the topics we’ve covered around here. The most popular posts covered some of my favorite topics—lopsided living, praying for your daughter, and more. It’s been a good year, you know? It’s been hard sometimes. But there has also been a lot of joy.
The biggest news this year in our house was my book contract with Bethany House.
I’m still a little bit in shock that this fall there will be a book on the shelves of bookstores with my name on the spine. I just finished the first round of edits (and I am so thankful there were not very many needed!). I was reading the manuscript for the first time since I submitted it and just felt a huge wave of gratitude for the privilege of encouraging moms. I’ve been praying for everyone who will read Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most and for the girls for whom we are praying. What a great privilege to intercede for them, right?
This year also had some hard days. Casiday made the very difficult decision not to try out for cheerleader last spring. And, while we definitely missed the fun of camp and the excitement of the games, we all knew it was the right choice. In November, our precious Mamaw Underwood passed away. All three of us were there when she passed from this world into the arms of Jesus and we are so thankful her pain is all gone and her body is whole and healed. But the holidays were bittersweet without her presence.
Mostly, though, 2016 was the year we just kept putting one foot in front of the other. The older I get, the more I’m finding there is something to be said for that. With all the contentiousness and tragedy this year brought to our nation and the world, there is something incredibly brave and wise about living faithfully, looking for the opportunities to serve right where we are, and supporting those who are making a difference in other places.
Here are the most popular posts I wrote this year.
I think they reflect what was going on in the world and in my heart pretty well. And I love that each of them resonated with you enough that you were willing to share them with others.
Without a doubt the most popular post I wrote this year was a follow-up to one I wrote in 2012 — 10 (more) Tips for a Great Quiet Time. A few other posts along these lines were also widely read and shared. If This Then That: A Simple Guide for Choosing a Summer Bible Study was a fun way to help you decide what Bible study to choose based on what your schedule looks like. And How to Develop a Consistent Quiet Time Once and for All definitely met a need for a whole bunch of us.
Prayer has also been a popular topic here. In February I wrote about the way I allow Scripture to shape my prayers. 3 Steps to Praying God’s Word offered a simple strategy for learning to pray Scripture. I was very excited to see how many of you read and shared 15 Ways to Pray for Your Church as well. As a pastor’s wife, it is such a gift for me to know people are praying! When Prayers for Girls becomes Prayers for Myself was a little peek inside my heart and the way all those prayers I was praying for Casiday had become the very prayers I pray for myself too.
And then when I shared about my dread about having pictures made of myself, you all were so sweet and encouraging. There is something incredibly important about Looking at Ourselves through the One True Lens. We talked about being busy and how to respond to the busy seasons.
Of course there was a lot of writing about parenting, because, hello! It’s where I am right now. 🙂 When I wrote Dear Daughter, The Truth about Love it was to remind my girl that the only way to know true love is to know the One who is Truth and Love. I asked the important question: Can We Replace Mom Guilt with Mom Grace? and it really struck a nerve! Because yes … please, can we!! It seems we all like books because My Big List of Great Books for Moms was super popular! And as always, my gift guide seemed to be pretty helpful for those shopping for teenage girls.
But the biggest topic around here was definitely Lopsided Living.
Wow! did you all seem to love that series in October! I was amazed at how many of you took time to write emails and share the posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Guess we’re all interested in A Better Way to a Fuller Life! What a relief to know It’s Okay to Do Something instead of Everything, right? And the reminder to Be Where You Are is one I always need. And since we’re all busy, I suppose we all needed to learn more about Lopsided Living when You’re Busy. But my favorite post of the series was the prayer for all the embracers of lopsided living.
So that was 2016 around here … thank you for being a part of all of it!! And may I invite you personally to join my FULL LIFE CLUB? It’s a way for me to encourage you (and be encouraged by you) as we endeavor to experience the abundant, full life Jesus offers (John 10:10). It’s simple to join and every month you’ll get an email from me with unique content, free resources, behind-the-scenes news, and more. But most of all, I love the way it lets me connect with you a little more personally, like a monthly coffee date where we share what we’re learning, where we’re struggling, and what’s been encouraging us along the way. Just complete the simple form below and then confirm when you get an email from me and you’ll be set to receive your first Full Life Club update in January.
Come back Thursday — I’ll be sharing my favorite books from 2016 and a few I’m looking forward to reading in 2017.
Oh and I’d love to know what your favorite post I wrote this year was … share in the comments!