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Top 5 Posts from the Last Year

We are less than a week away from meeting our new baby boy, and I’ll be taking a break from publishing on my blog for a month or so. I’ve so enjoyed getting to share what God has been teaching me this past year, and I pray that it has been encouraging and challenging to you. I heard this quote recently from Jen Wilkin, and it reminded me the purpose of my writing, “Everything you write is either going to obscure or illuminate the character of God.” It’s always my goal when I sit down to write on my laptop (or even type on my phone) that I will love God and serve others with my words. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing my blog posts this year, and I can’t wait to write more about what God teaches me as we transition to a family of four. In the meantime, enjoy these five most-read posts from the last 365 days on my blog!

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#ThursdayThings: Books by my Favorite Female Authors

With our due date for baby #2 just around the corner, I have savored my reading time lately, knowing that time alone to relax and read will be harder to come by for the next several months. I have worked my way through the pile of books on my nightstand—from Christmas presents to impulse Amazon purchases. As I finished these books over the last few months, I realized how these female authors have profoundly impacted my faith journey through their writing. While some of these authors I have only recently come to know and others I own their entire collection of writings, I am thankful for how God has used each of these women and their books to speak into my spiritual journey. (Note: While these books have female authors and beautiful covers, they are just as applicable and important for men to read as women.)

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#Thursday Things — Books I Read During Quarantine

Without the constant travel to our church, library, playground, etc., I’ve had a little extra margin time in my day. While life is still busy—working from home while entertaining a toddler and serving three meals a day—I’m thankful that I’ve gotten the chance to make a dent in the pile of books sitting on my nightstand since Christmas. Here are a few books that I’ve read while in quarantine, and if you have a little margin, too, these days, I highly recommend you add any of these to your list.

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Resources, Spiritual Growth

Our Easter Hope

When I first realized that we would be under “shelter-in-place” orders during Easter, I’ll admit that I was disappointed. I’ve missed worshipping alongside my church family in person, and to not be with them on such a day of celebration was discouraging. I began to remember all the other unmet expectations of this Easter season—no neighborhood egg hunts, no big family dinners, and the loss of so many other traditions I had hoped to enjoy with my daughter this year.  

After I let myself grieve again the losses from this global pandemic, I reminded myself that our celebration of Resurrection Sunday is not centered around egg hunts, new dresses, or even a physical church gathering. Christ is risen in April 2020 amidst a global coronavirus pandemic just as he was risen last year, and as he was risen over 2,000 years ago. I began to think about how to make this particular day of quarantine, Resurrection Sunday, a true celebration despite it looking quite different than past Easters.

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#ThursdayThings — Scripture Memory Tools

A few weeks ago, my sister Myrissa shared about how scripture memory has made such an impact on her walk with Christ. She also wrote about the spiritual discipline of memorizing long passages, chapters, and even books of the Bible. That may seem like a daunting task to someone who has no regular scripture memory habit, so I wanted to share a few tools that both Myrissa and I have used to grow in the discipline of scripture memory.

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Prayer, Resources

#ThursdayThings: Books about Prayer

At the beginning of 2019, I felt God wanting to teach me more about prayer. I began gathering suggestions for books on prayer, and ended up reading several, but these four were my favorites. I felt like each added something different to my understanding of prayer and challenged me in my practice of prayer. My prayer for you as you read this is that one of these books might encourage you to grow in your prayer life as well.

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#ThursdayThings – Advent Resources

It’s my favorite time of the year! I have always loved Christmas time, but in recent years, my joy during this season has grown as I learned to celebrate Advent. Not having grown up in a liturgical tradition, I had no clue what Advent calendars or candles were or how the entire Christmas season could help me grow in my faith.

Advent simply means “coming.” In church tradition, the season of Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and represents a time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christ’s birth. The past few years, I have spent these four weeks focused on what God teaches us through the birth of his Son into the world. I have learned how waiting is a part of every human’s story. I have meditated on the fact that God is with us in every season. I have gained hope remembering what was accomplished through Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. Advent is a time to remember Jesus’ coming to earth in the past, but also looking forward to his second coming in the future.

You can read more about my love of Advent in my blog post from last year, but this year, I wanted to leave you with a few of my favorite Advent resources.

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Top 3 Posts from the Past Year

This is my birthday week, and birthdays are a big deal in my family. It’s a month-long celebration filled with special meals out, lots of desserts, and everyone calling you to sing happy birthday.

Last October was also when I got back into the swing of blogging. I had written on-and-off for five years but working from home had given me more margin in my schedule to write for pleasure. It also was a way for me to exercise some creative muscles I wasn’t using in my freelance and teaching positions. While I was writing for myself, I shared my posts on social media and was amazing when people actually read what I wrote! Every time one of you messaged or commented saying how you were encouraged from my post, it reminded me why God gave us the ability to create in the first place—to give him glory!

In case you’ve just started following my blog, here’s a recap of the three most-read posts since my last birthday. I can’t wait to see how God uses this platform in the next year!

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#ThursdayThings – 5 Books that Impacted My Life

Do you have a book where you remember right where you were when you read it? You remember the moment that you read that line, letting it sink it. It changes your heart and your mind so that you’ll never be the same.

Other than the Bible, I have only a handful of books that meet this description. These aren’t necessarily my favorite books (I don’t think I could ever narrow down a top five favorite books), but these are books that God brought into my life at the exact moment I needed to hear their message. They are books that are seared into my memory and have transformed me.

The five books I’m going to list aren’t necessarily “must-reads” for you, but maybe you are in a similar place I was when I read them. Maybe you are in the same season and need to hear their message, too. Or maybe you have a friend that is going through what I did, and you can share these resources.

That’s one reason I started this series, #ThursdayThings, because I saw the value in finding worthy resources when our phones, bookshelves, and earbuds are constantly being flooded with information and entertainment. Here are a few books I believe are worth the read, and I pray, like me, will impact your life.

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