Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2015

These posts are sort of tedious and time consuming, but I always enjoy delving back into the archives over the past year and deciding what post where the most meaningful to me. Every year, I consider limiting it to one post a month and every year I remind myself that this is for me mostly, and I want to have a good record of the words I felt were good.

It's enjoyable in its own right, but it's also almost always pretty revealing. I learn things I didn't realize from looking back over the course of the year and the things I chose to pour my heart out over.

I realized, most importantly, I think, that this was a year of great struggle and great growth for me. I struggled with leaving our beloved Brooklyn (much more than I thought I would), I struggled with the changes in Peyton's faith, I struggled (mentally and emotionally, in a very real way) when it took me much longer than I wanted to learn to drive standard, and I struggled through the first part of an exhausting pregnancy (I actually haven't written much about that last one besides in my weekly baby posts and I need to change that because it's worth it's own post). But I also grew a lot and learned a lot from each of those experiences- about my faith, about my friendships, about my marriage, and about my own faith.

Secondly, I sort of thought it was a "blah" writing year. I have spent a lot of the year in a bit of a fog due to the above mentioned circumstances. I assumed that I had (as I sort of have the past couple of months) threw up my hands and refused to write through it. I have also spent a LOT of time trying to catch up on Weekly Happenings posts, Weekly Smorgasbord posts, letters to the kids, and that sort of thing and I assumed that it left little time and space for other stuff. I was not as wrong as I'd like to be, but I wasn't altogether correct in these assumptions, either. I'm thankful for the things of substance I was able to write.

It gives me a lot to think about going forward!

In January, I shared my word for the year and wrote about how different the children are.
One Word 2015: Focus- I shared my word for the year and how I planned to structure my goals around this theme.
Attention, Sense, and Behavior: Differences- I love analyzing personality and it was fun to write about some of my observations regarding the children.

We basically experienced a little blizzard in February and I wrote a bit about my desire to let go of my pride and let others help and support me.
A Frosting in the Northeast- this was one of my favorite things to write last Winter as I tried to describe my feelings and thoughts about the cold and about the city.
The Spirit of Individualism and The Spirit of Community (and How Switching Mindsets Takes Alot of Humility)- another favorite, maybe form the whole year; inspired by an episode of This American Life I weeded through my thoughts on friendships and self-suffiency and how much I need people and how it's important to be vulnerable

I didn't write a ton worth noting in March, but the post I did write was truly one of the most vulnerable and scary ones things I've written to date. It was also one of the most important posts I've ever written.
The Episcopal Church and Laying Down Some Baggage- I wrote about why so many things about the Episcopal Church felt taboo but how comfortable I became there and how I truly learned the reality of Christ and Him crucified.

April was another month where I didn't write a lot, largely because it was our last month in the city and half of the time I didn't even have my computer (we had Peyton's laptop, but NOT THE SAME). I did write a post about leaving that was possibly another one of the hardest things I've ever written, for very different reasons.
Saying Goodbye to Our Second Home (and Thoughts on What Made the Adventure So Lovely)- I reread this one with tears in my eyes. For one thing, it was interesting to look back on me thinking about how I would reflect on the overall experience in the future, knowing what I know now. For another, it was really good for me to read in a good bit of detail about our last weeks in the city and about the things that made our time there so wonderfully amazing.

I wrote more that I realized I had in May. I was processing a lot more than I realized I would need to. It felt like a gut punch and those first few months home were honestly some of the hardest in my life.
Learning to Rest Even When You Are Awake- I wrote this as I was experiencing some really dark days. I was working on readjusting to life in Mississippi but I was also (know to our close friends and family, but not known to everyone) really struggling with the crisis of faith Peyton had had. This post was written with both in mind.
Learning to Live (Here) Again- Honestly, it sort of felt like learning to live again, period. While the previous post was more theoretical and based on feelings, here it feel good to hash out the practical thing I was doing to feel at home.

I honestly wrote very little of substance in June.
he is Silent- This one isn't mine to claim and I don't know that Peyton is necessarily proud of it in anyway, but I felt like it was necessary to put in the round up because it was such an important post. And honestly, though heartbreaking, a very brave one.

I didn't write a lot in July, but I sort of continued sharing about my processing and readjusting to life back here.
Scratch- This was a pretty short post pack with a lot of stuff. Thoughts on food and friendship, fear and faith, picking back up and starting all over. It's good to read back over.

In August, I finally forced myself to talk more about my personal ideas and emotions in dealing with the changes that had happened in Peyton's spiritual life.
Dreams and Doubts, Thanks and Trust- Yet again, this post required a lot of emotional resources to write and honestly, I felt like it took some courage. I wrote about how I had trusted God in the past and how I felt like other circumstances had sort of helped prepare me for this. I wrote about thanking God in everything and trusting Him in everything- things that are difficult and even seem foolish in some sense.
Undignified Honors and New Adventures- I wrote about my deep sadness in letting go of the Buick, which had been my grandmothers, but also my excitement for adventures to come
Feisty- I wrote about my struggles with learning to drive standard- how I felt such a lack of control- and how determined I was to conquer it

In September, I wrote a good bit about Sundays and a little about parenting. 
Sabbath Grace- Bud had a throw up incident and we missed church which we were going to anyway and it prompted some thoughts- about wanting to be good in my own strength, wanting to be productive and accomplish things, and wanting to prove my worth.
Coach- I shared how my dad always wanted to be viewed as a "coach" rather than a boss by his employees and how he manifested that role so well in our family and how I how I deeply desire for parenting to be more of a coach dynamic and not some attempt at and illusion of power.

October was basically devoted to my 31 Days series and I enjoyed it so very, very much. These are a few favorites:
Humanity- This was one of my favorites in the series, and one where I determined that humanity may be one of the greatest wonders of all
Whispers in the Darkness- I wrote about how, when I feel like everything is crashing down around me, God uses my children's voice to whisper to me in the darkness.
How the Gospel Frees Us to Notice- I shared about how the Gospel makes it possible for us to the notice the wonder because we are able to (to some degree) let go of all the "shoulds" of life.

In November, I didn't do much but write baby updates and try to continue to catch up on the blog.
Thankfuls- I did share my thankful lists and that's always a joyful exercise.

December was more of the same (catch up and baby posts). I wrote our Christmas letter and that's the stand alone feature of the month, I think.
You've Got Mail: 2015 Christmas Card and Letter- I really dreaded writing this, but as with so much of my writing, it was so cathartic and good for me.

I know my "audience" is very (very) small, but to you who do show up in this space, thank you for reading my words!

The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2010
The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2011
The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2012
The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2013
The Best of In the Warm HOld: 2014

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