It's the sunset of another year, and I'm feeling all the feels that I usually do this time of year. Grateful. Panicked. Reflective.
At the end of last year, I picked RESTORATION as my word for 2017. And I wrote this:
"I think God is calling me to be repaired, fixed and mended. I need an overhaul on what rest and quiet and stillness look like. There are too many voices speaking into my life and I’m not hearing enough from GOD. I need to spend time in scripture and plant myself next to the water so I can be restored; then prosper and grow. In order to soak up the living water, I need to ask God to weed out the many unimportant things clambering for my time and attention."
God has been so faithful to my desires and prayers for quiet and growth. Going into 2018, I am still seeking stillness...but I sure feel a lot closer to it than I ever have before. I would appreciate your prayers for whatever God has in store for me in the new year.
Until then, may I share some 2017 favorites with you?
Best Books of 2017: The Hate U Give, This is How it Always Is, and The Mothers are three fiction books that helped me understand other viewpoints. I also loved Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Free of Me, The Road Back To You and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. My GoodReads booklist is here.
Best Movie of 2017: Lion, La La Land (I don't care what you think, Oscars), The Founder, Murder on the Orient Express, The Big Sick, do I even watch movies anymore?! I think I say that every year.
Best Music of 2017: I do not claim to be a music extraordinaire--have you heard by singing voice?--but I loved discovering Leon Bridges, Out of the Dust, Ellie Holcomb and United Pursuit.
Best TV of 2017: This is Us, Hasan Minhaj's Homecoming King, Big Little Lies. We also finally finished the Newsroom and I mourned the ending. It's so good.
Best Podcasts of 2017: Emily P. Freeman's new podcast The Next Right Thing has been life changing (I also love her audio devotionals) / Sorta Awesome's The Truth About Anxiety episode/ Annie F. Down's interview with Beth McCord about the Enneagram / Journey Woman's episode with Jennie Allen / Telling the Truth's two part series on Martha & Busyness and, as always, Modern Love. Best new, weird, and addictive series was Dirty John. (I may not watch a lot of TV but I am a podcast junkie!)
Best Blog Posts / Articles of 2017: Who's in Charge of the Christian Blogosphere? + the entire CT series on women and discipleship / The Invisible Workload That Drags Women Down / A Story and a Prayer About Cake / Lessons in Stillness from One of the Quietest Places on Earth
What Worked For Me in 2017: My Write the Word Journal and this beautiful journaling Bible / this exercise by Liz Ditty called Learning to Listen to Your Life / Using the YMCA childcare to read that journaling Bible a little more regularly.
Best Moments of 2017: Fishing in Alaska as a family, the SBCC women's retreat, seeing The Magic of Motherhood get published, meeting all the C+C writers at the book launch party, growing the Coffee + Crumbs podcast beyond our wildest of expectations, practically touching Bono at the Rose Bowl, time as a family in Catalina, realizing I'm a Type 1 on the Enneagram (and being totally transformed by that information!), learning to slow down, listen better and say NO (this book was helpful), watching Luke learn to walk, my day-long spiritual retreat. Weirdest moment of the year goes to ALL of December which will forever be remembered by the Grinch Fire, evacuations, sickness, ash masks, cookie making and snuggle time.
Looking forward to 2017: my sister moving to Santa Barbara, more beach sunsets, and whatever surprises God has in store.
Adieu, 2017. God, you were so good to us!