When I decided to embark on this more serious blogging journey (my 5th blog, no need to remind myself) it was a way for me to take my writing a bit more seriously. It was a way for me to put some ideas out there and see what was most engaging to my audience and who my audience even is. All of this was a platform to a book that I would write. Truth be told there is a book and a short story but I need to start the editing phase and looking at how/if I even want to publish.
… and while I am happy that there is a book, having this blog was a bit of a cart before the horse. I was attempting to start a brand before there was anything to market. So, thank you dear readers for reading my stuff anyway. 🙂
As with any growing company, it is important to have a year-end review. Even our own country has a “State of the Union” that serves the same purpose. So I spent the last week going back and running my analytics, looking at data from Facebook and Google and learning about my audience and what seems to be most engaging and what were the topics that garnered the most presence. While I’ll keep the data of each blog post to myself, I did want to share with you dear readers the top 5 blog posts (out of 58) of 2015 (I would reenact David Letterman’s top 10 but that would be dreadfully boring I’m afraid).
5. Living With Fear: I think as I am becoming resolute in His calling for me and His love for me, the fear of what others’ think has shrunk substantially… and I believe this is why this post was so relate-able. We have all, at one point or another, suffered from this fear. Some people have taken the stance to find someone else’s weaknesses to sort of elevate themselves above to ease the pain of fear, but it is not a solution. It’s not even a short-term fix, and it DEFINITELY isn’t Godly. “Fear exists because we cannot control outcomes or other people. We cannot play chess with someone else while also switching the table around when it’s their play and move their pieces to our advantage. I mean, we can try to do this, yes, but it won’t win favors with anyone and it doesn’t make the fear go away.”
4. Grief and Christmas. With this post being so close to the end of the year, I was surprised to see it round out so high. Maybe people needed to hear those words during the season. I do sincerely wish that it was a comfort to some as I know how those hard Christmases are. “I sat in my corner and pouted to my Lord who had punished me with this. It didn’t matter how loving or empathetic other people were to me, I still felt very much alone… even in my own home with busy littles.”
3. Sanctification – Why the Bad Stuff Happens. For it’s age (posted on 1/29/2015), I’m surprised at the continued popularity of this entry. I still think about little Kylie and my heart still breaks when I think about her beautiful young parents. Yet, life goes on and her parents are now embracing a beautiful baby boy. I doubt that Kylie’s family will ever truly understand why God allowed that bad thing to happen but I am still amazed at her mother’s words, “If there wasn’t bad, how would we know good? If there was nothing ever to be angry or sad about, how would we know what happy was? We would be selfish, cold-hearted and greedy. What would make our hearts love and be soft?…”
2. You’re as Sick as Your Secrets. Maybe it’s the catchy phrasing, mainly used by people in a recovery program, that attracted the readers. Same theme as usual, share your ever-loving heart out (to safe people, of course). “We are burdened by the trials of life, and if we don’t allow ourselves healthy ways to unburden them we will become sick. We will be keeping up appearances. We will be covering up shame and guilt. … and we won’t be giving and receiving love to others who need to hear our words and feel our genuine love. You can’t be honest with other people if you are incapable of being honest with yourself.”
1. Getting Un-Friended. I think this was the most interactive post I had the pleasure of responding to on Facebook, and I think it was so because it is a common pain experienced by so many. Just the other day an old college friend posted a link to a story about a girl who was dealing with a similar problem. The girl kept reaching out to someone whom she thought was a great friend, only to get the cold shoulder and unreturned calls. Yet, this girl kept reaching out and used the word “grace” to describe how she was handling her repeated attempts to put herself out there – only to keep getting burned by the same girl. Proverbs 26:11 is the phrasing I would use for her actions. At any rate, “My heart broke a little. To be honest, it bothers me when I know I’m not liked. It bothers me even more when I don’t know why I’m not liked.”
I cannot thank you readers enough. I appreciate all the interactions we have on Facebook, this website and private messages I receive. I am constantly reassured of the call to share my life (obviously not at the expense of the privacy of my family and close friends) as it seems to be a comfort to others, and I am pleased as punch to do so without an alias, hiding from my community of friends and loved ones. With all of your interactions, it inspires me to keep going.
May 2016 bring you the peace you deserve. Amen!