When I began writing this article, I re-read many of the posts I’ve written this year. That was quite an experience for me!
I revisited feelings that were difficult to put into words, I re-experienced the raw emotions that come from sharing things I’d always kept tucked into my heart, and I was reminded that I’ve let you see insecurities I’d prefer to keep hidden.
Why did I do it? Because, to me, writing is healing. And I hope that sharing what I write will be a blessing to you.
My prayer for this list is that you will be inspired and encouraged by the articles I’m linking to. Please don’t feel like you need to read all ten articles right now. Choose the ones that will bless you the most and leave the others for another day.
My Top Ten Articles in 2013:
This article was one of the most difficult articles for me to write this year, but the e-mails, Facebook messages, comments, text messages, and phone calls I received after it was published made me realize that I was not alone.
I was hiding behind a mask – a facade I’d created for myself. And even though I had a few friends, I still felt incredibly lonely. When I think back to that time, my heart aches for the hurt I used to harbor inside, the walls that I’d built around myself, and the people I’d hurt by refusing to let them in.
Who doesn’t need more grace? This is something we should generously offer to ourselves as well as to others.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about grace, and about how the desire for grace is often one-sided.
For example, how many times have we wronged someone else and made excuses for our behavior, then turned right around and uttered something like, “But that person doesn’t deserve my grace?”
Don’t we all love for things to be perfect? Perfect weather, perfect hair, perfect home, perfect food, perfect kids, perfect spouse… But the desire for perfection can be a dangerous trap if we’re not careful; if we dwell on the desire for a perfect anything, we can easily become dissatisfied with the imperfect everything.
Too often, many of us will mentally zoom in on our perceived flaws while simultaneously minimizing the good. This short post, followed with a powerful video, is meant to encourage those who struggle to see their own beauty within.
When I look in my backyard right now, I see grass in desperate need of mowing. My children, however, see wildflowers waiting to be picked. Don’t we do that with ourselves, as well as our things? Too often, we focus in on the imperfections.
But the thing is, beauty is always there, around us, and within us – we just need to choose to see it.
More than any other article on my blog, this post reveals my heart regarding my fears about writing. If you also struggle with fear, or with not using your talents wisely, then this is a must read.
Here’s a snippet:
I also get that if I don’t write, then I’m burying my talent. And while talent-burying is a safe and comfortable way to live, it’s not what I truly want to do.
This is kind-of like the buried talents we read about in Matthew 25:14-30.
… That servant didn’t lose his talent, he simply tucked it away for safe keeping. And he was condemned for it.
The parable could be about me… I bury my talent and think of every reason imaginable not to use it. But really, I am just scared. Scared of rejection, and ridicule, and losing my readership, and saying the wrong thing in the wrong way, and, and, and…
This article is a must-read for every parent.
I tend to get a little nervous when I’m away from my children. Each time I leave them, I wonder what if something happens? Then one day it hit me that something will happen – Lord willing, my children will grow up.
And, yes, that’s what I want, but it’s coming sooner and faster than I can even fathom right now…
I can choose to be there, intentionally fighting to keep our schedule and routine under control, or I can choose, by default, to blink in 15 years and wonder when and how my children became adults.
For those of you going through a difficult circumstance, my prayer is that you will be encouraged by this article, which was quoted in part from the book Plan B.
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, that scene looked like chaos. Complete and utter chaos. It felt so desperate, so dark, so hopeless. There was so much grief and agony, so many people saying, “Why, God? How could this happen?” What they didn’t know was that Sunday was right around the corner…
Often when we’re at our most discouraged, when we’re so weary that we’re ready to give up, what we don’t know is that our Sunday is right around the corner. Maybe it’s a game to Satan – he enjoys getting us to stumble right before our Sunday comes so that he can laugh while we say, “If I only knew that my Sunday was right around the corner, I could have held on just a little bit longer. If only I knew.”
I lost four family members in nine months and this was a very difficult article for me to write, but it’s one that I hope will encourage those who are grieving, as well as offer a little insight for those who have grieving loved ones.
Lingering, being comforted just by being close, and not needing words to express sorrow helped so much…
Through this, lives have been forever changed. My relatives and I are all more aware that each breath is a precious gift. Many people’s day-to-day lives have been drastically altered. Holiday gatherings will never be quite the same. Gathering with family now, knowing that some of those missing will never be back, is a difficult concept to wrap my mind around.
Think the internet opens you up to all kinds of connections? Think again.
We have so many sources to stay connected to the world around us. Yet, the more we use technology to stay connected with others, the more disconnected we become with the things happening right in front of us.
If you only read one article on my entire blog, read this one.
Since hindsight offers perfect vision, I mentally fast-forwarded our lives 50 years to create this list of a dozen habits we’ll one day wish we’d practiced:
As 2013 comes to a close, I’m going to take my own advice by focusing more on my family and less on the Internet so I won’t be blogging again until 2014. I will, however, check back to moderate comments and answer questions.
I’m planning on starting a new series in January about decluttering, so make sure to subscribe in the right sidebar so you don’t miss out! (Remember, subscribers also get a FREE copy of my eBook “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms.”)
Happy Holidays from my family to yours!