the year in review (and what comes next)

Dusts off blog. Tap tap, is this thing on?

What better way to round out a year of writing than to share a few favorites? I love a good listicle, and I bet you do, too. Even though other writing projects (like this book) took time away from blogging this year, I vow to frequent this place more regularly in 2018. I’ve got a few surprises up my sleeve that I can’t wait to share.

More importantly, I always love the rhythm of reflecting on life and grace and God in this space with you. The best readers of the Internet.

So without further ado…

Top 10 Posts from 2017

  1. Prayers for Pregnancy – still the most popular read on Mothering Spirit. This year I launched two new e-books of Prayers for Pregnancy and Prayers for Birth that gather all these prayers plus lots of new content in a beautiful format for expectant moms. (Yes, you can buy as a gift for a baby shower, too!)
  2. The World Is Never Ready – My announcement of our pregnancy after loss. “What I tried to tell her was what the poet means: The world is never ready for the birth of a child. Neither are we. We said yes anyway.”
  3. This Is The Story I Have To Tell You – Abby and Maggie’s extraordinary NICU story that still gets shared almost 2 years later. “I will never again feel that much joy this side of whatever comes next.”
  4. What One Good Doctor Taught Me About Grief – A life-changing encounter about death. “In an era when health care horror stories overshadow every human side of medicine, all I could think was: I wish every grieving parent could hear you say what you just told me.”
  5. Was It A Holy Week? – The triduum of anniversaries of our daughters’ births and deaths. “I remain certain that if you slid my cells under a microscope’s peering lens and compared Before to After, I would show up as a different person. The transformation was total. I am absolutely convinced of God.”
  6. The Spiritual Side of Pregnancy After Loss – 5 truths & Scripture passages on the challenges of expecting again. “Pregnancy after loss is a physical, emotional, AND spiritual experience. It’s intense and isolating and overwhelming. It raises all the hard questions about life and death and God.”
  7. What Love Looks Like Now – A Valentine’s reflection on how marriage changes after grief and time. “A decade of marriage has slipped behind us, only a fifth of the beads on a rosary chain. A small handful of mysteries. At turns joyful, sorrowful, glorious, luminous.”
  8. To Be Vessel and Passage – On birth and Eucharist. “We are carved into channels of grace through which God flows love. Our lives are not held fast and tight and safe for us alone. We are broken apart, over and over, and through the cracks we catch glimpses of the mysteries of living and dying.”
  9. Leaving Behind Limbo – On parenting children here and gone. “Leaving behind limbo moves us into the wideness of God’s mercy. One step at a time, onto more solid ground. Can I trust that promise?”
  10. Introducing… – And baby arrives! The best gift of 2017, hands down. “When I think of Benjamin’s birth story, the word that rises up is peaceful.”

5 New Columns from 2017

I’m now writing a monthly syndicated column for Catholic News Service! Catch it in your local Catholic paper and check out a few here:

  1. The Ones Who Won’t Be Home for the Holidays – Even in absence, we can love in the present tense.
  2. I Didn’t Sign Up For This. Or Did I? – Turns out that year at L’Arche was the best preparation for parenthood.
  3. The Sacred Art of Dishwashing – “Wash the plate not because it is dirty nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” (St. Teresa of Kolkata)
  4. The Lord Hears The Cry of the Newborn – My mom always says that God made babies’ cries impossible to ignore for good reason: that we would always attend to them.
  5. Be Thou My Vision. But What Do I See? – Only then do I realize that this is how God sees me, too.

3 More You Might Have Missed

  1. Instagram – The Gram is my jam. I scoffed when I first heard of micro-blogging, but now I dash off a daily thought (whilst nursing the baby) and it’s a delight: glimpses of beauty and such a supportive community. You don’t need an account to lurk (ahem, husband of mine, I’m winking at you), but I’d love if you’d join along! Posts about life after the loss of our twins, liturgical seasons, and gratitude for ordinary grace.
  2. Facebook – My favorite place to share favorite reads. Sometimes I write a quick new post (like this one on crowded Christmas churches that went crazy viral?!). But usually I aim to curate a selection of thoughtful reads that I discover. Posts with favorite poems each Tuesday (a Grassroots Writer’s Almanac now that Garrison’s gone), well-written long-form essays I’ve enjoyed, and shares from my favorite bloggers.
  3. Blessed Is She – Many new readers have come here from the Blessed Is She Advent Journal, which I was honored to author in 2017. What a beautiful journey through the slow, prayerful preparation of my favorite liturgical season, to share it with so many of you!
    Sneak peek: I got the chance to write the 2018 Lenten Journal, too, which is launching SO soon! Stay tuned…

Deepest thanks to all of you who have read, shared, or written this year. Your encouragement has shined light when I needed it most. I love this community, and you continue to shape my own callings.

Peace and blessings on your 2018!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *