The Year that Was : Highlights and Top Posts from 2014

Originally published Thursday, 18 December 2014.

So we’ve come to the end of another year, by God’s grace.


As I reflect on the past twelve months, I’m so grateful to each of you for the encouragement you’ve provided by reading and commenting on this blog. My prayer continues to be that the Lord would use this space for His glory.



A definite highlight for me this year was the privilege of taking over Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday link-up. If you’ve never checked it out, you’re missing out. Five Minute Friday is more than just a weekly link-up with a one-word writing prompt. It’s a whole community of dear, sweet bloggers who link arms and fill the internet with all kinds of goodness. So very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it all.



Another highlight was the 31 Days series we did in October. Last year I wrote 31 Days of Defining Home. This year, I invited anyone who wanted to participate to write all of their 31 Days posts in just five minutes each. Over 100 people accepted the challenge! It was like a month-long Five Minute Friday party! The theme of my posts was 31 Days of Life in South Africa, and I so enjoyed reflecting back on the ten years I spent living in Cape Town.


Besides the regular Five Minute Friday posts and the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, here are the 14 most viewed posts from 2014:


1. Coming in at first place by a landslide was a post I wrote called, I’m a White Girl from Michigan, and I’m #goingthere I’d like to thank Deidra Riggs for inspiring this post, for #goingthere in the first place, and for her boldness and persistence in fostering this ongoing conversation.


2. Even though I wrote this post in 2013, An Open Letter to Grief continues to be a popular read — which is largely what prompted me to write my first e-book, called Letters to Grief. The e-book is an expanded version of this original post, so if you were impacted by the first letter, check out the rest!


The next two posts were prompted by the events surrounding Ferguson, Missouri and the death of Michael Brown:



3. Should Parents Have Children of a Different Skin Color?


4. A Screwtape Letter on Racial Diversity If C.S. Lewis’s created demon character, Screwtape, were to write a letter to his nephew protege, Wormwood, this is what I think he would say.


5. When Love Looks Like Toilet Paper – a spur-of-the-moment, morning after Valentine’s Day post


6. It’s so uplifting to see search results pop up in my stats when people look for “ways to encourage Christian missionaries.” Here are my suggestions: 12 Ways to Encourage Missionaries


7. It was so much fun to feature this beautifully written guest post by my sister, Sarah Baar, called, When it’s Hard to Find Hope in the Rubble


8. I love checking out book lists from other people, don’t you? Here are My Top 14 Books of 2014


9. This Letter to a New Bride came to me while waiting in line for a passport application, of all places.



10. Another post written in 2013 that still gets a lot of attention is Compared to Her : An Interview with Author Sophie deWitt


11. Such a treat to come alongside Lisa-Jo Baker and so many others to support this community kitchen and welcome center in Maubane, South Africa with this post: Fall in Love with the World Next Door


12. And then, of course, we have A Memoir : The Day I Almost Died


13. And we can’t forget about that time I read The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith and it changed the look of my entire summer … and my house. True story in The Wallpaper Diaries


14. It was my privilege to be part of Lisa-Jo Baker’s online book club video series. This post was inspired by chapter five of her book, Surprised by Motherhood. It’s about my mom’s funeral, and How to be Sad and Well at the Same Time


Besides blogging, I’ve had such a great time this year writing for other online publications. The article that seemed to resonate most with people was called, When We Don’t Use Our Gifts … a sweet story about my son buying me a gift, and an appropriate reminder for all of us at this time of the year!


I also loved being able to share on Lisa-Jo Baker’s site, with a post called, Why a Mom of Three Compares My Book to Multi-Layered Cake and Includes a Shrek Reference.


And that’s the year in review! Thank you again for reading!


What were some of the highlights for you?