Top Five Posts of 2015

February 1, 2016

This past year we've covered so many topics from Advent Acts of Kindness to highlighting concerns around the world, to sharing honest stories of struggles and joys, friendship and harder relationships, along with some wonderful guest bloggers. Here is a look back at our most popular posts of 2015.

5. 10 Years Later...The Aftermath of Grief
I sit alone in my room. Kids are tucked into bed. Husband is downstairs watching a football game.

The soft glow of light shines from my bedside lamp. Snuggled against the pillows, this place is my safe haven. A place I find rest and peace from the busyness of each day.

I find a familiar episode of Gilmore Girls and settle in to watch, but more importantly, to remember. My sister Katrina loved this show. And it was one of the last things we did together. We’d sit on her bed, she too weak to get up, hunkered down with drinks or snacks or just each other to watch episodes together.

We’d laugh and cry, interspersing our own conversation against the replayed episodes we’d watched more than a few times.

“I wonder what your kids will be like?” she’d say. I’d smile and tell her my hopes for the future with my then-boyfriend-now-husband Kyle.

Read the rest here. 

4. Why I've Stopped Inviting People to Church

“Why don’t you meet every Sunday? What will you do if a visitor comes that day?”

It came as an honest question, someone wondering why our church community only meets every other week together, spending the other Sundays meeting in smaller groups in homes.

And it's one I’ve had to wrestle with these past few years.

The traditional church setting has been my constant companion since I was little girl—forever, really. As a community, it's been so good to me. Some of my fondest memories are with church people and at church functions. I was blessed to be loved—and loved well—by pastors, friends, and families that attended with us.

When I needed support, the church was there. When our family walked through hard times, they supported us. Not just with prayer, but in very tangible ways—meals, house cleaning, babysitting, cards, hugs—and so much more. When we celebrated, they were right there with us with bridal and baby showers that showed their love and support.

But I realize this is not everyone’s experience. There are those who have been hurt by the church and the people who go there. Christians have been mean to them, let them down, and in some cases even hurt and abused them.

I get that. I hear it. And I will not discard it just because it is different than my own experience.

Read the rest here.

3. When Things Fall Apart

Three weeks ago -- ten days after my third child was born -- life was good. The pain from my c-section was subsiding, our family of five settling into a new normal. With my older children occupied for the morning, I was able to lay our sweet Ashlyn down and get some work done. I spent the rest of the day plowing through overflowing laundry piles and dishes.

On day 11, we fell apart. I woke up with flu-like symptoms. My husband, who had battled neck and arm pain for the past week, woke up unable to move his neck. When my vision swam and my arms felt heavy and weightless at the same time in the shower, I ran out with shampoo bubbles still in my hair to avoid fainting. Panting and praying, I willed the dizziness to pass, even as I called my mom to see if she could help out for the day.

Within 24 hours, I went from burgeoning confidence in my new role as mom of three to abject despair. Life was miserable, and I was so very tired. When the baby cried for what felt like the eighteen millionth time that night, I cried, too. Big, ugly, wrenching sobs that wracked my body, a one-woman pity party at 2 a.m.

Read the rest here. 

2. 25 Simple Acts of Christmas Kindness.

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when a headline along the side caught my eye: "Does growing up in a religious family make you MEAN? Christian and Muslim children found to be less altruistic than the offspring of atheists." Immediately, my heart sank. Less altruistic? More likely to deal out harsh punishments for minor infractions? That was the message I got as I read the study detailed in the news story. It was disheartening, to say the least.  

And I wondered: As a mom, how do I teach my children a better way? How do regular people like you and I show our kids that kindness matters?

A few years ago, Julie, Kendra and I met with those same questions on our hearts. At the time, we all had young children, and were trying to figure out how to balance the giving and getting parts of Christmas. How could we refocus on others during the Christmas season, rather than focusing on an ever-expanding Christmas List for Santa?

Read the rest here.

1. When Everything Isn't Okay.

"I've prayed all these years, and God has never once answered."

The weight of those words hung in the air between us.

As much as I wanted to disagree, to remind her of all the ways God has provided, I chose to simply listen.

My therapist friends have taught me the power of silence, of allowing another to think aloud, of allowing her to grapple with emotions in the sacred space of uninterrupted companionship.

Read the rest here.

Thank you so much for joining us this past year friends, we've loved walking through life with all of you! Let us know what topics you'd like to see more of this coming year!

Kendra, Julie and Kristin

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