Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2013

This is the post where I get a free pass on talking about what writing means to me without feeling weird and vulnerable.

Over the years, I've watched this space change and grow and become different things to me at different points. At this point, it's more story than scrapbook, more memoir than photo album, more serious than silly. And I'm mostly okay with that.

I think I'll do some things differently with blogging in 2014, but I can't say I'm disappointing with what came out of 2013.

January was, as it always is, a time for new beginnings.
I Like Myself Better When I....This was one of my very favorites from last year and it was so simple in some ways.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: Cherished- This was one of my favorite FMF posts I wrote. I wrote about how I feel cherished, by my children and by the Lord.

We all know that February is the month of love and it's fitting that two of the three posts I chose as my favorite were about people closest to my heart.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: Bare- This was probably the only time I was able to complete the exercise, start to finish, in literally five minutes. I wrote about Beyonce, baby bums, and writing and the words just came easy.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: What Mama Did- Pretty much anything I write about my mom is going to be really meaningful to me. But this one is especially. Rereading it, I got teary because it came at just the right time. I'm struggling to be patient and kind and present with the children, understandably in a stressful time when Peyton isn't here. And this post just inspired and motivated me so much to get on with the hard work of loving them well.
A Front Row Seat to a Beautifully Answered Prayer- It took me months to get around to writing this post and when I did do it, the screen looked blurry and my keys were wet. It was hard to even find words to put to this beautiful day, but I did my best.

March saw my writing a little less floral, a little more pragmatic, but I had things I wanted to say.
Bears and Dolls and Little Boys- As I said, it wasn't my most poignant post of the year, but it may well have been my most passionate. There is little that makes me as upset as someone trying to send the message that my little boy playing with a baby tool is wrong and unbiblical.
With Urgency, Not with Haste- Another good thing for me to read in the season we're in right now. I want to love those around me with urgency, not haste.
Being Married to a Dreamer- I wrote this on my NYC blog, but it was an important post so I'm including it. I think Peyton and I have both grown so much in our knowledge of the way each other thinks and what makes the other person feel alive and this is a little piece of that. I feel like the post itself is extremely poorly written (it's rambly and at points not evenly totally coherent), but it's too important not to include.
Fifteen Minutes and a Technicolor Chalk Memory- This is another one that's truly one of my favorites from the past year. It's sort of become my favorite kind of post to write. The ones where I feel like I can capture something with my words. It was a simple day and a simple memory, but it was so poignant.

I wrote about some big deal stuff in April- anxiety and faith and the struggles I had when Graves was tiny. I also wrote about the work that was setting my soul free and what a good place we were in with Graves at that point.
Thorns and Trust- This was a big deal for me. It actually sat around in Drafts for a good month or two. It felt good to say I was in a new place, but I was scared to say it.
Meeting Him in the Warmth of the Evening- I wanted to write about what feeling "at home" in church feels like and that's what I tried to do here. I wanted to evoke all (or most) of the senses and really convey the mood- the warmth- of this special time of worship.
Fear and Guilt in the Early Days of Graves's Babydom: A Retropspective- I wrote vulnerably and it was difficult in some ways to write. But I'd come to the point where I really felt like I needed to share it.
The Work That Sets My Hands- My Soul- Free- This post wasn't anything particularly eloquent, but it captured some important things going on in my life.
Love and Bliss in the Early Days of Graves's Third Year: A Follow Up- I don't for a second regret writing about my difficulties during Graves's early days, but it would have been a wholly incomplete story without this follow up.

I feel like I went to some pretty deep places in May and I shared some things I had discovered that really sort of transformed my thinking about life.
Oh, the Places WE'LL Go! (Happiest of Days to the Best Companion for the Ride)- I wrote a post about Peyton for his birthday. No matter how many times I tell our story, I don't get tired of it. It's a blessing to live a story you love.
Deep- There was a little accident (thankfully everyone was FINE!) but it resulted in some big anxiety battles. These posts are always some of my most transparent and introspective.
Stove-Side Lessons- I think the Lord really taught me something about life and I finally came to understand it a bit. So, so often the things that are hard and that hurt are the very things that make life worth living. I know sometimes I feel things "too" deeply, but I'm sort of glad for it in a way.

I didn't write a whole lot of important stuff in June, but I did share about a couple of my favorite guys.
If As We're Walking a Hand Should Slip Free: Five Beautiful Years- a little bit more of our love story again
Five Minute Friday: In Between- Just a post about my baby getting big. I don't know, it's special to me.

I wrote exactly one post in July that feels worthy of a link here, but it was one of my favorites from the entire year.
A Season of Rest: Lovely, Lazy Summer Days- Another one of my very favorites. I think because I felt like I captured the moments well. That's a big part of this and when I do an okay job of it, I feel good.

I didn't write a whole lot in August and that had a lot to do with our trip to New York.
Sharing More About the Search (Part 2)- This post isn't very polished or even super significant, but I think it's neat and interesting and is about something that's super important in my life right now.
The Best Case Scenario for the Worst Case Scenario- Honestly, this post was agonizing to write in some ways, just having to stare down the unthinkable and write about the "what if". But it was very, very important to me to write this post.

Almost every year there's a month where I write nothing of great significance. September seemed to be it this year.

I wrote hard and heavy (almost) every day in October. It's hard to pick a favorite- they all meant something.
31 Days of Mississippi Goodbyes: Favorite Friend Eateries- I love my friends a lot and I'm so thankful for shared experiences discussed over shared meals. I'll miss it so, so much.
31 Days of Mississippi Goodbyes: Being Near My Parents- I definitely cried all the way through writing this. The hard in this is so hard.
31 Days of Mississippi Goodbyes: A Church We Love More Than Ever- A lot has changed in our church in recent months and this ended up being a good place for me to write about it. More tears.
31 Days of Mississippi Goodbyes: My Parents' Backyard- I wrapped it up with this and it was the perfect spot to. Such a place of beauty that has so often been the backdrop of our story.

Honestly, October wore me out mentally and emotionally and I didn't blog less in November than I had in a very long time. I did make it a priority to daily list my thankfuls and that proved, as it always to does, to be an incredible blessing.
Acknowledging Origins: November Thankful List- this was the first of this year's list
Daily Thankfuls- and this includes the rest.

December was one of those months where I was really thankful for a place to pour myself out.
Seasons of Joy and Seasons of Sorrow- a little mini recap of our year, followed by the desperation I was feeling at that time. It felt so good to write it out.
Grace Equal to Every Need- another pouring out post. December was hard and scary and it took me reminding myself a lot of this Truth and I'm glad I'll always have this post.

These posts never fail to make me appreciate what a gift this space is. I so often feel like my pain is decreased ten fold when I write it out and paradoxically, I feel like my joy is magnified ten fold when I write about it. Hopefully it will continue to be such a wonderful place for me to find myself in 2014!

The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2010
The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2011
The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2012

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