bloglove: best of the year

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas is busy for everyone, myself included, thus the bit of silence here. Just when I thought my last scheduled event had passed on Saturday, I found out there’s another this next Saturday. Sigh. At least the next few days are pretty clear. Maybe you also have some extra time over the next few days to read some blog posts. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve shared some favorites, so here’s my best of the year posts. Sit with your computer or tablet or phone or whatever you like – just make sure you have a hot drink – and enjoy! (and as always, click through for the whole post and show some fellow bloggers some love)


Several weeks ago in my bible study with my precious mama-friends, we had to pick one word to describe God. Like if we could only use one word to describe God to a friend who knew nothing about Him, which word would we pick? With no question or hesitation, I will always, always pick Love. All the other attributes of God, in my opinion, can be traced back to these three words: God is Love. And so, I give you these two posts that tell the same story in different ways, and both of them are my absolute favorite posts of the entire year. This is the Jesus I know. This is the Jesus I want my kids to know. This is the Jesus that I want you to know too.
On my beautiful, remarkable, redemptive, all-knowing Jesus Love:
Seen and Known - Jonathan Martin for

“This kind of story has the power to transform a city: the story that says, ‘My past has been messy, and so is my present. But I met a man who knows all about it … and still I am fully loved.’”

Finding God in the Ambiguity - Jonathan Martin

“The real God revealed to us in Jesus of Nazareth is the God who is real enough to touch us in our own ambiguity.  When I’m clear or when I’m cloudy, He is no less real, because He does not exist simply to prop up my own limited understanding of how the world is ordered.”

On motherhood and calling:
What my Mother Taught Me - Shauna Niequist

“And the last thing my mom teaches me, through her words and her actions, is that if you live a life of radical and honest prayer, if you allow yourself to be led by God’s spirit, no matter how far from home and familiarity it takes you, you won’t have to worry about what you want to be when you grow up. You’ll be too busy living a life of passion and daring.”

The Beautiful Collision of Family and Calling - Jennie Allen and Rebekah Lyons

"In order to have a calling, you must have a Caller. Calling is rooted in the voice and the whisper of God."

On adoption and all that:
FAQ: About Adoption - The Stanley Clan

“Adam and I have discovered a surprising comfortability with living right there in the tension between ours and not-ours. Often, we will engage in conversations with people about how we want to foster. Typically, the person we’re talking to will say something like oh I’ve always wanted to foster, but I just wouldn’t ever be able to give the babies back. That’s too hard. And because I am a people pleaser/conflict-avoider of epic proportions, I typically nod my head in understanding and murmur something along the lines of oh yes that would be entirely too hard.
But here’s the take-a-deep-breath truth: Just because something’s hard, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.”

When There is Still Hope - The Stanley Clan

“And so we measure our success not with statistics or growth charts, but with love. And we hold our ground, refusing to be moved by what the world tells us we should be doing. Even when we trip over disappointment and set-backs, we regain our footing in the sure and ever-present promise of hope in Jesus. Because the darkness will not win, and success neither belongs to us nor can be measured by us anyways. Don’t we follow and chase after a God who delights in turning things on their head anyways? Where the first are last, and to find your life you lose it? We hold our ground, standing in solidarity with our neighbors, in an unexpected and beautiful kinship with those around us.”

Live While You're Alive - Christina Gibson

“Wake up and embrace a dangerous path, because we know who we are and we know the One who gives strength.”

Forgotten Fridays: Love is Not Wasted - Maralee Brady for The Forgotten Initiative

“Foster moms aren’t magical. We don’t have unbreakable hearts or a different kind of love that protects us from pain. We love and grieve and then love again. We do it because we know that love is not divided. Love is not wasted.”

On parenting:
What I Won't Tell You about My Ballet Dancing Son - Ashleigh Baker for A Deeper Story

“When you ask my dancing son about this passion he carries and you catch my eye, slightly uncertain how to proceed, I won’t try to convince you this was all his idea or give ten examples of his father’s unwavering pride or waste breath assuring you that my second grader isn’t gay. I’ll simply tell you what he said to us after his first Nutcracker performance last winter: ‘Mama, it feels like my heart is flying when I’m dancing. I think God made ballet because he knew I’d love it.’”

On Being a Locksmith - Nish Weiseth

“I told her that finding the key is hard - it's small and obscure and each key looks totally different for each kid. But that's not even the hardest part. The worst thing about it is after finding a key that works for a while, something inside his little brain changes the lock, then you have to go find a new key.”

Do you have some favorite posts from this past year? Link them up in the comments!


[image: Death to the Stock Photo]

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