In the blogging world, there's this little measuring tool called "Google Analytics." Every now and then, for a book launch, or to review products, I need to look at the numbers my blog generates. How many readers, where they come from, how long they stay, what they read... This site offers oodles of information and I'm sure I don't use it to the fullest potential. I've found that if I start obsessing over the numbers, my creativity goes way down. I don't sense God's direction as well. This year, I didn't look at it unless I needed to because someone requested specific information. Until today. I wanted to see which of my stories were read the most, so I could prepare this post for you.
Today, I present to you my top read posts of 2016. 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. Your continued support means a lot to me! Blessings.
This one made the list in 2015 as well, which is the year I wrote it. I had a complicated relationship with my dad, so when I write about him, there's a ton of conflicting emotion. Writings about dad are some of my most heartfelt pieces, and I'm sure that's what resonates with my readers. Not a day goes by that I don't wish my dad could have met my daughter. I hope I'm giving her some memories of who he was - because he's still such an important man to me.
This wasn't my story to tell, but it was such a lovely picture of forgiveness and redemption that I asked the couple permission to share it with my readers. This couple was on the verge of walking away from their marriage, but they found a way back to one another, with God's help. I wish we had more "almost divorced" stories. I sent this article out to the internet world with a prayer that it would save a marriage or two or fifty.
I wrote this piece two years ago, and it also made the 2015 list. I am extremely passionate about Christ's church. I wish everyone could find a safe place there! Sanctuary. Any time I look at my blog stats, a reader has found this one from a search engine. My mom was a woman who took her kids to church on her own, so I lived this piece growing up. I hope it encourages the men or women who sometimes wonder why they keep going to church alone.
I have resolved to share this post every May when Mother's Day comes around again. There are so many women who struggle with this holiday for a variety of reasons. I'm convinced God wants us to see them and acknowledge all the ways this day (and many other holidays) might be hard. I have had some wonderful conversations with readers who have reached out after reading this piece. The greatest memory for me is reading it in our Mother's Day service at church.
This reflection piece was pretty much written in my mind by the time I sat down to put it on paper. I'd attended a mini conference in the spring, where we were led through a Lectio Divina exercise. It resonated with me deeply. I grew up in a faith tradition that never taught me about these contemplative exercises, or a number of other ancient spiritual practices. These experiences have left me wanting so much more. That's the topic of the book I'm working on as well, so I'm sure you'll be reading about it in my writings.
You can read my 2015 Stories Behind My Five Most Read Blog Posts here.