Monday, December 29, 2014

4 Essentials That Matter To You . . . and Me

Just a few crumbs of Christmas cookies remain on the once overladen platter.  The lights are still sparkling bright on the tree and we're beginning to enjoy some of the gifts that we received.  Our garbage cans are filled to overflowing, yet there are piles stacked from here to there that remain untouched.  We're a tad exhausted and we're craving more than a bit of solitude after the jolly hustle and noisy bustle. 

And we're wrapping up 2014 online.

Like most other bloggers, I've taken a bit of time to look at this year's stats.  By the time I was done my rather unofficial analysis, I discovered that there were four threads that consistently wove themselves among all the words spilled out here this year.

And I learned what you valued.

You let me know via clicks onto specific posts.  Through our ongoing conversation via comments day in and day out.  Blog coaching conversations over the phone.  Emails where you've shared your deepest joys ... and sorrows ... and a caution or two.  And face to face talk where I had no choice but to look in your eyes as you spoke truth I longed to hear.

We learned from each other.  For iron sharpens iron.




What matters to this community?
 
Blogging
 
Relationships
 
Homekeeping
 
Soul Care

And I'm delighted because these fundamentals are joyous gifts from God that I treasure, too.  These four complex values can't be separated one from the other.  They are beautifully intertwined and are loaded with deep meaning and life-altering impact.  And they just can't be placed into separate little boxes, for each unique attribute weaves its powerful beauty into the next, creating a richly layered life story that we embrace and call our own.

Below are this year's top 11 posts, the conversations that captured the most attention, the offerings that somehow soared ahead of all the other verbiage that poured from my heart to keyboard to your screen. 

I hope you'll take the time to savor the ones that grab your attention, either for the first time or yet once again.  Simply click on the title to go there.

The Blog Forum  : :  A Creative Little Series
Your blog is your own unique canvas.  Let's roll up our sleeves, pull out our paintboxes, and begin to unfurl the masterpiece that's waiting to emerge ... 


5 Ways to Be Safe For Your Spouse
Most of us seem to be able to muster up the ability to be polite and gracious to those we run into during this daily grind.  So how come our spouses too often get the short end of the stick? ...
 
 
For if we're not clearly in touch with what's deep within and we're not all that sure about what we want to accomplish, we're liable to wander around aimlessly and produce little of lasting value ...
 
 
Gratitude floods me deep, fills me to overflowing ...
 
 
Yes, I can be Lil' Miss Cranky Pants. Just because you've got a bunch of letters after your name doesn't in any way mean you've arrived ...
 
 
They're traveling light.  And I love that in a few dozen years they won't end up like so many of us who are held hostage by way too many accumulations, overwhelmed by endless piles of miscellaneous stuff that means absolutely nothing ...
 
 
My energetic youngest daughter called one afternoon a few weeks back, all kinds of breathless and excited.  She had decided to pull off 'a little living room makeover' to surprise her husband when he returned home ...
 
 
Good listeners are hard to find.  We're way too busy planning our brilliant, witty responses.  Or juggling our endless mental to-do lists.  We're all about focusing on what's coming next.  Or figuring out how to make a fast exit ...
 
 
We each create our online homes one step, one post, one image, one connection, one powerful word at a time.  If your mission is clear, your words true to your heart, your design compelling, and your hospitality evident, before long you'll have created a beautiful online tapestry that uniquely reflects who you are ...
 
 
I did some heavy duty journaling while I've been gone, a number of conversations with God scrawled across lined pages in a blue leather book, a long ago gift from a friend.  Together, the Lover of my soul and I simply sat with life as it is in this season.  The sheer joy that strangely co-exists with deep sadness.  The avalanche of intriguing challenges that keeps me on my oft' weary toes as we wend our way ...
 
 
The answer to these two words will be the key to our stress-less delight and His sacred honor this year.  It's a meaningful question that's meant to be calmly pondered somewhere deep and still.  There's no one right or wrong answer, no one-size-fits-all ... 
 
*
 
Blogging.  Relationships.  Homekeeping.  Soul care.  These essentials ... and a whole lot more ... are what we'll be sharing here together in 2015.  Because our personal faith in Jesus Christ impacts absolutely every aspect of who we are and how we spend our days.
 
Come along with me, my friend.  I can't wait to do the next chapter of life's journey with you ...
 
 
* subscribe here to get every 2015 post
 
* wrapping up 2014 with Emily  .  Kristen  .  Holley  .  Leigh

32 comments:

  1. Hi Linda! I took a little time off to focus on my family this month and wanted to stop by to visit. What a perfect post for me to come to! Now I can catch up on all the greatness I may have missed here earlier this year.
    The 4 essentials you mentioned are definitely at the top of my interests list. One of the many reasons we have connected so well :). I think you do a great job touching on all of those areas. Looking forward to reading more.
    I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, my friend.

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    1. Hey, welcome back, Candace! You've been missed! God brought you to mind from time to time and I lifted you right back up to Him.

      I look forward to doing 2015 with you, friend ...

      Happy New Year!

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  2. I have missed you! I love your words and ideas-they make me smile and give me comfort and peace. Can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for us! :)

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    1. That you find comfort and peace here? Well, all I can do is praise God for the presence of His Spirit that wends His way through the words that emerge ...

      I love that we head into 2015 together, Sarah!

      New Year's Blessings ...

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  3. Y'all missed the two most important essentials.

    First, God, as He directed your heart and your words, and how He led people to your blog...and led them to comment.

    Second, YOU, dear friend. God can only stand at the door and knock. You were the one who opened this treasured door to all of us, and who kept it open through days that were both easy and impossibly tough.

    You invited God in, and invited us in as well.

    What a gift you've brought, one beyond price. Thank you, Linda.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/12/not-on-same-page.html

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    1. Thanks for prompting me to go back to the post and boldly highlight the most important line in the whole thing, Andrew.

      'Because our personal faith in Jesus Christ impacts absolutely every aspect of who we are and how we spend our days.'

      He's the Author and Finisher of our faith and how we live that out, isn't He. And I lean into Him for every idea, every word that ends up being published. I pray often that He will prosper the work of our hands as He continues to guide this community.

      And that He will continue to bring the people around this little table who need to be here.

      I think I need to get a bigger table.

      And I am grateful for your perspective as we move into 2015.

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    2. Well, if you need a bigger table, I know this carpenter who'll be glad to make one for you. Jewish guy. Talks a lot, but worth listening to.

      And works cheap, all you need to do is ask Him.

      But I bet He wouldn't say no to a Powerbar and a Diet Coke.

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    3. Ah, He's got alot of loaves and fishes in those baskets right there!

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  4. I joined your conversation/world late in the year Linda. I look forward to being part of it in 2015.

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    1. You are such a welcome addition to this space, Bill. I have always had a special heart for pastors and ministry leaders ... and to have you bring your wisdom to the table is a blessing for all who gather here.

      New Year's Blessings!

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  5. I am off again for one last trip to ring in the New Year with my oldest and dearest friends--so will have to come back and soak in all this wisdom when I return. Love your voice and blessed I happened upon your blog!

    May you be blessed in the year to come, Friend!

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    1. Thanks for squeezing in just a few minutes to visit before you go off for what sounds to be a very special trip for you! Looking forward to reconnecting together as the New Year rolls on in.

      Thanks for your faithful friendship, Lulu! Blessings as you celebrate the fresh start that the coming year brings ...

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  6. I'm stopping by from Emily's. This is awesome. Thankful to stop by your bloggy world. Great words here.

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    1. Welcome, Alene! So cool that you've taken the time to leave a few words. It means alot to me!

      ;-}

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  7. I can't wait to do the next chapter with YOU, friend. I have no idea what writing will look like for me in the coming year but that's okay. I don't need all the answers today. Thank you for being a part of my 2014. It was challenging but so many blessings . . . YOU are one of those blessings.
    Happy New Year!
    Much love.
    xoxo

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    1. It's been a real ride, hasn't it, Beth. Lots of valleys ... but those mountaintop experiences with Him sure did keep us going. God is good.

      I'm with you. Not quite sure where all this writing is leading, but I can't help but believe that God has something for us in the coming days ... can't wait to see what that is!

      And yes, you bless me, friend. Thank you for the gift of your presence in my life ...

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  8. You are such an encouraging, inspiring presence in my life, Linda! You always have something valuable to say, and that's a gift. Thank you, friend. Looking forward to our time together in 2015!

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    1. Your kind words are a sweet start to this New Year's Eve, June! Yes, we've been blessed to visit back and forth this year ... and your inspiration has been a gentle, steady, lovely presence in my life as well.

      Happy New Year, dear friend! I know God has something for us to be, to do in this coming year ...

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  9. How great that my first visit to your blog greets me with a "Best of the Year" roundup. Looking forward to clicking around.

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    1. Welcome, welcome, Jenny! I hope you've had fun wandering around here a bit ... may there have been some words of encouragement and hope for you to savor.

      Thanks for finishing out 2014 with us ...

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  10. Linda, I love your website, all your many encouraging posts...always a deep well of Truth and grace...many blessings to you in the new year! Thank you for stopping by my little blog and leaving your sweet comments :)

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    1. Iron sharpens iron, doesn't it, friend! I'm grateful that all those Wednesdays have brought our paths together. May we continue to bless each other in 2015!

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  11. Love stopping in here, Linda. I can't believe we are at the end of another year. There have been a lot of changes for us the second half of the year and it's made my time online sporadic. I see many new and exciting opportunities for 2015 as we have answered God's call on our journey. My unWord I'm working on is procrastination, but I can certainly throw whiny in there too. I think my word for the new year will be trust. Blessings to you.

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    1. I've got an unWord coming up in the next week or two! It's not particularly attractive, but it is what it is, right?

      Kim ... I hope that the changes you've mentioned will bring you room to breathe and space to grow. New Year's blessings, friend ...

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  12. Thank you for baring your heart so often to help us understand our own hearts. May God continue to bless you, speak to you and guide you as you share, encourage and uplift others.

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    1. If sharing a bit of my own soul / struggles / journey / learnings can help another? I'm there.

      Happy New Year, Anita!

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  13. These are thought-provoking reminders. I'm off to reflect on them now. :)
    Happy New Year!

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    1. I'm glad you've become a part of this little community in recent months, friend!

      New Year's Joy to you ...

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  14. I love this and this beautiful blogging home that you invite us into each week. It is such a blessing. I have found that one of the biggest components of creating a space is relationships and I work hard on this daily. I also believe deeply in the soul care aspect because I wouldn't have a blog without God. Thank you for you and thank you for your friendship. New Year blessings to you and your family!

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    1. Absolutely! Where would we be without the Lord? And what of deep value would we have to share? We hear each other's hearts, Mary ... and I thank God {and Beth!} for bringing us together mid-year.

      Bountiful blessings in 2015 to you, dear friend ... I do look forward to us walking together along the way.

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  15. I love these link ups and finding new sites! Wishing you the best in 2015!

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    1. Yep ... gotta love a good linky party! So glad it brought you here, Mimi ...

      Happy New Year!

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Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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