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The Most Memorable Blog Posts of 2015

The most memorable blog post I read in 2015 was Emily P. Freeman's "Learning to Walk Without an Agenda" posted on her blog February 18th. I have absolutely no idea how many times I have read this post.
  An excerpt from the blog post in Emily's gifted words, "Most of the time we walk in order to get somewhere. But sometimes we need to walk in order to remember where we are...... It’s a discipline to walk without an agenda, to let yourself carry concerns with an open hand rather than trying to untangle them."
 ... wow! to walk without an agenda, to have an open hand with my concerns, my thoughts, my dreams, my feelings, and willingly allow God there. 

All of these links below are posts I think of, recall, re-read, and digest often. I hope you will read, enjoy, and thrive because of them.

January 8, 2015: Flower Patch FarmGirl - What It Means to Come Home
  In Shannan Martin's words: Because we never outrun our chances to come home.

February 17, 2015: Flower Patch FarmGirl - Parenting and Adoption Year 10
    Shannan writes: I believe in adoption with my whole heart. I believe in family and forever-love, restoration and redemption. I believe there is no such thing as, "This is all he knows" or, "He doesn't even remember that." It's an unfair loss, one some kids feel more deeply than others.
 
March 31, 2015: Rachel Hollis - Bikini Picture  
  Rachel shares, "A week and a half ago I was on a weekend getaway to Cancun with my husband and I wanted to get a picture of my new bikini top for my Instagram. I asked Dave to take some pictures of me on the beach and in my first attempt at modeling a swimsuit I look super awkward in 99% of them. In fact, the photo above is the one when I started laughing about how ridiculous I felt. When I decided to post it I considered zooming in to cut out my stomach but then I realized I hadn’t ever seen another mom on social media show off her stretch marks… and surely I’m not the only one who has them, right?"
THIS IS A MUST READ!! (IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY HEARD, RACHEL JUST ABOUT BROKE THE INTERNET WITH HER HONEST, GENUINE, BEAUTIFUL POST - ACTUALLY, IT WAS ORIGINALLY A SIMPLE INSTAGRAM PIC WITH A CAPTION THAT WAS ONE OF THE MOST COURAGEOUS THINGS I HAVE EVER READ.) 

April 23, 2015: Lysa Terkeurst - Hope When Mother's Day is Hard
 Lysa invited Holly Gerth to guest write on her blog for this post. In Lysa's words, "I received many heartbreaking comments from women who were really struggling with Mother’s Day. Just the mention of the holiday stirred up deep hurt over infertility, adoption, and singleness. That’s why I asked my friend Holley Gerth to guest post today. She understands that deep hurt from her own journey with infertility, and I just love how she can shine a light into what can be a really dark place..." Holly shares a part of her beautiful story, "God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring us to His very best."
 
April 27, 2015: Lisa Jo Baker - Mother's Day for the Motherless Mother
  My mom used to dance in the mornings. A happy, shameless jig in her PJs right out there in the driveway as my dad drove us off to school. She’d dance and wave and grin and I could feel the love well up from my toes to my nose. It spilled out of me – this being someone’s daughter. Loved. Cherished. Celebrated.
 She’s been dead now 23 years to the day since I turned 18. Time passes and with it go the birthdays, love stories, anniversaries, new babies, first steps, preschool orientations, international moves, new jobs, hair color changes. And each milestone is a mile more in the road that we don’t walk together. 
My heart breaks in reading that last sentence EVERY. SINGLE. TIME! But in sharing her pain, Lisa has reminded me of the type of mother I want to be one day - a joyful dancer! Who makes her children feel loved, cherished, and celebrated. Also, Lisa's words reminded me to cherish, enjoy, and reach out to my mother who God has generously shared with me and allowed to walk through all of life's milestones with me so far.

July 2, 2015: Lysa Terkeurst - What Are You Missing
 "Who gets a gift of love packaged up and sent to them and doesn’t even take the time to open it? But the Holy Spirit has been showing me that sometimes I do the exact same thing to the Lord. Ouch." 

July 13, 2015: Mitch Washer - Shining Bright 
"Baby girl, your name literally means Shining Bright. In a time so dark…so evil… You are called to be a light. It’s a tall order. And it will only get harder the older you get. But do not worry, you have plenty of support to help you. Let me introduce you to a few people that will be instrumental in your life here." 
A dear, dear friend of mine pens this blog, Smiles for Easton. This creative post written to their brand new daughter, Ellie Mae, 'introduces' both parents, brother, and 'most important' God to Ellie Mae and shares the meaning behind her name.

July 31, 2015: Flower Patch FarmGirl - Paying Attention to What Makes Me Cry
    Shannan shares: "A couple of weeks ago, while at the (in)courage retreat, I was in the middle of a pretty ordinary conversation and cried twice in the span of twenty minutes, over two distinctly different things. It got my attention."

July 25, 2015: Emily P. Freeman's - What Everybody Ought to Know About Stress  
 "It’s possible to feel the tension without compromising my intention – love, trust, and gratitude. But it requires acknowledging the pain, becoming aware of God’s presence with me and within me, and releasing outcomes into his capable hands." 

October 7, 2015: Rachel Hollis - Show Up
    "In the midst of all of this soul searching my pastor gave a sermon about 'Showing Up'. He asked how many of us are hiding away and doing our own thing because taking care of others, and showing up in their lives feels too hard? It so resonated with me. I do that, I thought."

November 23, 2015: Emily P. Freeman - A Prayer for When You Need Some Confidence  
  "Here’s the truth: we want to get well but we don’t know how.
  Instead, we know how to compare ourselves to other people, to other ideals, and even to a former, romanticized version of ourselves."

November 30, 2015: Emily P. Freeman - A Prayer for The Waiting Time 
  "Help us to remember that in Your kingdom, the answers we think we want don’t always show up in ways we expect.Like the shepherds who followed a star to a stable, may we be willing to believe the unbelievable. May we remember who we are in Your presence. Our Doctor, our Soldier, our King came disguised as a baby. May we behold the mystery of Your birth with resurrection eyes."

December 17, 2015: Ann Voskamp - A Bit of What I Wish I Knew When I Was 27 
Ann's very first point in this post, "The size of your ministry isn’t proof of the success of your ministry.The very Son of God had a ministry to 12. And one of them abandoned Him."
Wow!

December 18, 2015: Flower Patch FarmGirl - Late for Church 
"Sunday mornings, particularly the ones that Cory doesn't work, are an epic sort of thing. Holy, even. I'm not talking about church yet, I'll get to that. I'm talking about sleeping in….
No time for a proper blow-dry or fluffing.
No time for make-up.
And we were out the door, for our short walk to church. Here's the thing: neither Shepherd One nor Shepherd Two care if my lashes are naked or my bangs are limp. They just need my eyes on them.
…It was exactly as beautiful as it sounds; as beautiful as it always is."
Shannan's words here are so relate-able...and it is absolutely beautiful how she seeks God's glory and sees His beauty in the end.

A very big thank you to each of the author's words highlighted here, and to our Creator who makes all things and gives us the feelings, thoughts, and words. Thank you Lord for making these stories and illustrations possible. 

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