This morning my husband admitted he was thankful to say goodbye to 2013. He’s the stable one in the family, the glass half-full man who walks steadily by faith through the valleys and the mountaintops. If he’s ready to bid the year good-bye, it really was a hard year.
In fact, that was part of the reason blogging has been so sporadic for me this year, funerals, illnesses, and other heartaches have interfered with my time, my schedule, and my heart many times.
However, sorrow and joy always mingle together, so we try hard to remember the times of joy, and grow in grace through our sorrows.
To close out the year, I wanted to share the Top Ten Blogs of 2013 my readers enjoyed.
A look back to a time of discouragement. I was flying home to a beloved family, but leaving behind an Innocent Man who had been sentenced to jail.
A challenge to the unmarried and a reminder to the married. Can your relationship survive The Bed Pan Test?
As a toddler, my 6th child was confused that other mommies looked more like her big sister than her mommy.
Tongue-in-cheek reasons why a dog never resided in our home, even though I live in an area where there are more dogs per capita than children.
Sweet ideas for sending a treat and the Gospel home with children who attend Vacation Bible School.
(postcard from Anne Frank Huis, foto by Frans Dupont, in honor of Anne’s 80th birthday, June, 2009)
What childhood reader didn’t cry through The Diary of Anne Frank? It was my first exposure to the horrors of World War II. My husband and I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It wasn’t a tourist destination, it was a life experience.
My 7th grade homeroom teacher was a Vietnam Vet who impacted my life in many ways, including my culinary appetite. This blog post was featured on Freshly Pressed by WordPress, an honor that earned this badge below.
It’s kinda’ like a merit badge for bloggers. It was almost as exciting as eating a pet snake.
This was in follow-up to my #1 blog post, “Things I Would Never Say to a Parent of Two Children.” The comments were so hilarious, I featured my readers in this post.
Laughter and tears are two reactions to unchangeable circumstances. This post was a visit back through my Grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, when I became known to her as only “The Lady with the Kids.” I was blessed that this post was shared through Facebook support groups all across the world, and I was able to laugh and cry with others as they shared their personal stories.
I wanted to recap what it was like to be the mother of six children, highlighting all the inappropriate comments that were made in front of my children. I took the opposite of things I heard frequently and wrote a post. I was astounded at the reaction. To date, I’ve had 43,119 visits to this blog post.
What I’m most grateful for with this post isn’t the number of visitors, it’s what I learned from the reactions to this post. As beautiful women poured out their hearts in the comment section about their lives, I learned that women in all circumstances have to deal with rude and painful comments from others, just as I have done.
Above all, I was blessed that women would so openly share their hearts. Whether they agreed with me or not, they entrusted me with their experiences and their pain.
As I evaluate these top ten posts from 2013, I see the representation of all the things that are dear to me, the Lord Jesus, marriage, mothering, extended family, and my upbringing. And I was reminded of the many joys I experienced through the year.
I was also struck with the encouragement my readers have provided through this year. Your comments, prayers, and private emails have blessed me and upheld me during the hardest times when each keystroke in telling the story has been a dagger of pain. Several times I even wondered if I should quit writing, and one of your dear readers would send just the perfect encouragement to help me press on in my calling. I am incredibly thankful for each of you, you are my support, my strength, and my friends.
May this coming year bless you with joy unspeakable and the ability to find joy in all your sorrows.
Happy New Year!