It’s the beginning of a new year, marking five years of once-a-week blogging for me, which is significant because I can barely keep a houseplant alive. (And don’t even get me started on goldfish. Poor Long John Silver….)
To celebrate, I’m walking down Memory Lane and highlighting some posts you should be sure not to miss. (aka I spent my entire New Year’s weekend playing board games, getting caught up on letter writing, and researching the Civil War and not writing a new blog post for today.)
Gold Medal: Theologian Valentines
It was extremely gratifying to know that something that took me twenty minutes and a glue stick to make entertained so many people, including a few who actually printed them and gave them to a significant other. The comments on this post are also hilarious.
Summary Quote: Well…this one is basically all images. So here:
Silver Medal: When You Want to Give Up on Our Culture
This would have been in my Favorite Posts list if it hadn’t been here. I love it when I remember a story that helps clarify how I think about life and culture and theology. The men of Gerig during the Taylor Riots had been in the archives of my brain for a while, because I knew it was significant, but I wasn’t sure what the application was.
Summary Quote: “The stories we tell matter, because they show what we value. What we are proud of matters. What we are ashamed of matters. The actions of other nations we’ll defend or decry, the occupations we overpay or underpay, the fictional heroes and villains we cheer or boo—all of these tell the rest of the world what we value most.”
Bronze Medal: #LoveWins?
There is no better place to think about the issues surrounding gay marriage on the day of the Supreme Court’s decision than a booth at a Christian music mega-festival. But really. It was an odd juxtaposition that got me thinking about grace and culture and what it means to hold firm opinions while still caring about others.
Summary Quote: “Think well, have good reasons for your opinions, don’t be afraid to have beliefs and express them. Do so in a gracious way, and we’ll get through whatever new crisis or celebration or confrontation we might face in our newsfeeds and our lives.”
Here are five of the posts I enjoyed writing last year, in no particular order.
By nature, I am a very selfish person. Also a coward. Also ridiculously independent. Which is why sometimes I have to remind myself of the sort of things I say in this post: love is always worth my little risks and sacrifices.
Summary Quote: “The letters we send and the words we speak will be incomplete, and that’s okay. Maybe that’s even part of the point. God uses weak people, after all. He uses our less-than-eloquent speeches and half-finished thoughts and awkward silences. And that’s a beautiful thing.”
Easily my favorite just-for-fun post. And I still really, really want to play Mafia with the disciples.
Summary Quote: There is no good way to summarize this one. Just enjoy.
I seriously do not understand the people who think “Let it Go” is a happy song, because it totally is not. This was my attempt to correct that error, and to talk about loneliness and the importance of community in the church, even though the church isn’t perfect.
Summary Quote: “Can I suggest that if we glorify pre-transformation Elsa we are rejecting Jesus’s most important command to the church?”
As November came to a close, I had a list of heavy, painful topics, related mostly to current events, to blog about the next month…but I just couldn’t do it. There was too much darkness, not enough hope. So I wrote the Advent Stories instead, and if you read all four of them carefully, you’ll see some of the issues creeping in there—fear of being forgotten, the refugee crisis, loneliness, God’s justice in suffering, doubt and faith. It reminded me that the first Christmas wasn’t a perfect, quiet night full of serene Nativity scene characters. It was full of real people with real problems…and a God who didn’t take away those problems, but came to live among us instead.
Summary Quote: “The men, they can decree and proclaim and teach and command. But we women—we can sing. We sing back the things we don’t feel, not yet, the promises we believe because the Lord has done great things for us…and he will in the future, too.”
Because this one, I think, is a message my generation particularly needs to hear, although I think we could all use a reminder, especially on those long, tired Mondays when faithfulness isn’t dramatic or rewarding and we can barely make it out of bed.
Summary Quote: “You have to believe that God doesn’t play favorites among his children, putting only some of our school pictures on the fridge and hiding others in a drawer somewhere to collect dust.”
That’s it, everyone! Thanks for sticking with me this year! (If you’re a serious archivist, here are my favorite posts from 2014.)
Any topics/questions you’d be interested in reading about in 2016? I can’t make any promises, but I’ll certainly consider them!