I'm coming upon my second anniversary of blogging, which always causes me to look back in reflection at all God has done in me and through me on this journey. I love the times when people tell me they read a certain article and it really impacted them. Often, I had no idea they read the blog at all. If you're a blogger, let me encourage you. Way more people are reading your content than are commenting. Keep being a positive influence.
Today, I present to you my top read posts of 2015. I thought it'd be fun to give you a brief background on the stories themselves. You can click on the titles to read the article. Thank you for choosing to include me in your days throughout this year!
I wrote this one as an entry for a Family Christian contest. The top three winners went on a Duck Dynasty cruise to the Bahamas this past October. The bonus was that you also got to take the pastor couple you wrote about in the contest. I told the story of our youth pastor, Mark Immink, and his wife Brittany. They are a couple of great faith. Our entire church has watched their family grow in numbers through a challenging pregnancy, fostering-to-adopt, and most recently, adopting a newborn. Not one step has been easy. At some point, Mark gave a sermon on Matthew 6. How we're not supposed to worry. The sermon was real and raw. I share a portion of it in telling their story. If I had to mention just one highlight of my blogging in 2015, it would be this article and that cruise.
Before I started blogging myself, I didn't read many online articles. I always had towers of books waiting to be read, so I wasn't sure I had the time. But a big part of blogging is connecting with other bloggers. Now, I read maybe 50 articles a week (I should count it sometime). There's some amazing material out there. I published this post in January and the list still includes many of my favorites. I even interact with a few of them now!
God has given me such a heart for the hurting and lonely during our holiday seasons. I want to reach out and hug every person I know who is just waiting for the special day to pass. Maybe invite them over for a big feast so they know they're not alone. I read this letter at church and have published it two years in a row on the blog now. Maybe someday I'll write a happy happy blog post about being a Mother because it's a blessing in my life. But for now, I just ache for my sisters who call Mother's Day hard.
Speaking of a heart for women… this one came out of a recurring conversation we have at Bible study. So many women attend church alone. My sweet mama did it. She carted us three kids to church every Sunday. We're all faithful today because of it. Also for the women who began attending church after her kids were grown and they don't get it. In Bible study over the years, we've prayed for many adult children who don't attend church. Some posts are popular when you first post them and they get a lot of hits. I posted this one last spring and it keeps showing up as being read through search engines, etc.
Again, just keeping it real over the holidays. We lost my dad on 04-05-06. I hate that this date is so catchy and easy to remember. But then again, I'm sure I would never forget the day my daddy passed away regardless. It comes as no surprise that my most popular posts are the ones that were the most heartfelt and authentic. The years haven't made me miss my dad any less. If anything, as I watch my daughter grow up, and know he never got to meet her, it becomes harder. I want her to know him as fully as she can. Although they never met in person.