Friday, December 30, 2016

My 8 Most Vulnerable Posts * 2016

mmm ... 

Do I share the posts that got the most hits?  Or the ones that sparked the biggest discussions?

Nah.  Numbers don't say it all. 

How 'bout what saved my life in 2016?  {Here's what did it in 2015.}

Maybe we'll go there next week.




These are the out-on-a-limb posts.  

Complex relationship realities.  The wear and tear of the daily grind.  Demanding crossroads that have forever altered my own personal landscape.

I've discovered that God specializes in comforting and redeeming and growing us right in the midst of our stuff.  That He invites us to lean hard into Him while our hearts our tender or fragile, to learn important lessons that we never would have if we had only sat around with our feet up over on easy street.

I'm guessing that you'll find some 'ah, you, too?' moments amidst the somewhat vulnerable offerings below, listed in the order they were published.  And I'm praying that you'll discover generous portions of hope and grace as you realize you're not at all alone as you navigate loss ... relationships ... illness ... politics ... depression ... marriage ... life balance.

Out on a limb.  That's where the best fruit is.

destructive bugaboos to steer clear of 

we're not talking about entertaining

a letter to my dad a few years before he died

a low level neglect became my reality

a friend saved my life, literally

there's no simple magic formula

musings 3 days after surgery

confessions of a political junkie

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God {2 Corinthians 1:3-4}.

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feel free to leave a link to your most vulnerable post 
& what prompted you to share your story


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a great big thanks to those who've been so generously sharing
what's happening here on your facebook pages
i'm forever grateful.  truly.

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visiting with LeighHolley & Brenda

36 comments:

  1. I still cant seem to make myself vulnerable online. I have a couple of times, and it was a very humbling experience. But I love reading these posts, they are so enriching and edifying.. Happy New Year my sweet friend! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. I hear you and you are wise, Gingi. It took years before I was ready to go there, where I felt safe with the community that had gathered, where I could share in ways that I thought were appropriate for me and yet helpful for those who read.

      Just be yourself, girl. That in itself is a beautiful gift.

      Grace to you as we start 2017.

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  2. When we look back at the end of a year we often decide whether it has been a good or a bad year depending on how it affected us. Sure, we may look at world events, the news over the last twelve months, things that happened in our town or city. But at the end of the day, it is how the year has affected us personally that measures up whether it has been a good one or not. And on that judgement, we hope for a better year still to come.

    I wish you and your family a far better year than the one just ending.

    Now then ... where is that orange sock I lost last January?

    God bless.

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    1. The orange sock?

      Check your refrigerator, 2nd shelf down on the left. That's where I found my favorite Christmas mug hiding out, filled with mulled cider that had been there just a tad too long ...

      Happy New Year, Victor!

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  3. Linda,
    Now that Christmas is over, I will have to do some reading on your "most vulnerable" list. It is hard to open ourselves up for the world to see...but it is also the best gift we can give because we let others know that they are not alone. Daring to be vulnerable is perhaps the best invitation to others into a closer, more intimate walk with our Savior. Personally, I so appreciate your openness and honesty...it invites community and closeness among us as we try to navigate this world we live in. Your words help others not to feel all alone and most importantly they breathe hope.
    Happy New Year and blessings to you sweet friend,
    Bev xx

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    1. Thanks for your affirming words, Bev. Being vulnerable is a dare, a choice, an opportunity, isn't it.

      Before I spill any beans, I want to know that my words have the potential to be helpful and hope-filled, that it's my story I'm sharing, not someone else's, and that the subject matter is appropriate in my role as a counselor as well as a family member.

      And I don't want any regrets once I hit that publish button.

      It's all His story, isn't it ...

      New year's blessings to you, friend ...

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  4. Linda. Thanks for sharing your beautiful, well-crafted colorful and, of course, yielded heart.

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    1. Yielded.

      Yes, that's who I want to be.

      Blessings as we launch into this next year, Christine ...

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  5. Dearest Linda, wishing you the most beautiful 2017! Thank you so much for all your thought provoking posts throughout 2016.

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    1. And thank you for being such a sweet, faithful part of this community, all the way across the sea.

      New Year's Blessings to you and your family, Jandi.

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  6. Numbers don't tell the whole story, but I'll bet these were a few of your most read posts, Linda! Thanks for the recap, and for caring enough to talk about the tough stuff . . . aka real life. God bless you and happy new year!

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    1. It's so encouraging to walk through life with you from afar, June. This has been a difficult year for you, you've shared. May you find the months ahead be filled with hope and promise ...

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  7. My most vulnerable article was Finding God's Delight After Divorce which was published in Halo Magazine. I gave the article to a coworker who is very liberal minded and she never shared what she thought of it or if she even read it. Then I have wondered whether I would want my x-husband to read it cause he may misunderstand something. I really got no input from my sons so vulnerabile I truly feel. But I know God is faithful and He will comfort someone with my words. I may never know this side of heaven but that is ok. I am shaking off the condemning thoughts and moving forward -- again, to write another life-changing article -- if not for someone else, it will truly encourage me as I see our wonderful Savior work out His good in those He loves.

    Happy 2017, pal and it is a joy to see you weather some deep storms and come out the awesome friend and person that you are. Since miles keep us apart, these posts truly help me feel connected to you. Hooorrrray for technology.

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    1. I hear ya', Carol. Sometimes, maybe more than we'd like to admit, we discover with disappointment that 'a prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household' {Mark 6:4}.

      After we recover from the lack of encouragement, we find, to our delight that if we are obeying God's call on our lives, that He will surround us with His very own, 'well done, good and faithful servant' {Matthew 25:23}.

      And our souls respond with worship and gratitude ...

      May He minister peace in the midst of the vulnerability.

      And happy, happy new year to you!

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  8. I'm so thankful for your wisdom. :)

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  9. Oh Linda ... you and I are definitely on a similar wavelength when it comes to all of this. I love what you said in your reply to Bev about what you think about before you "spill the beans." :-) There has to be a purpose--a point to it that goes beyond our own personal needs (for affirmation, empathy or whatever). That verse about comfort is a good filter, isn't it?

    It's hard to pin down my most vulnerable post, but if I had to choose one, it would probably be this one about pride: http://www.loisflowers.com/the-writing-feedback-that-changed-my-life/. I shared it as part of my writing series because the experience I relay in it had such an impact on my life as a writer.

    I will be looking forward to reading about what saved your life in 2016, my friend. Your words and encouragement are gifts to so many, including me!

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    1. Lois, yes! I remember that post on pride. It was a powerful one indeed.

      And the whole vulnerability thing? I think I'm going to do a bit of a follow-up on the subject. I think it's a source of interest for most of us in our relationships ... whether in person or online.

      Can you believe it's January 1?

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  10. Dear Linda,

    What a gift to re-read some of your posts again. I appreciate your wisdom. And as far as my most vulnerable post...how about the release of my book ...that felt very vulnerable before and after it launched. Thanks for your words of encouragement always (here and whenever you visit my blog)...I will link up a post when I can think of one...Blessings and more of His love and joy to you, my friend :-)

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    1. I'm guessing that a book launch must be interlaced with numerous highs and lows ... talk about vulnerability. And feeling like you have to get the word out ... for those of us who are introverted, that can surely be a daunting task.

      You've done it so very well, Dolly ... may you see the fruit of your labor even in these months ahead.

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  11. This was my favorite...The Very Personal Task of Grieving was my favorite. I have not only faced the deep grief of losing my mother this year but also grief at losing a personal space I enjoyed while living in our apartment. It had just the right size patio, a retreat filled with flowers I planted, a fence high enough those outside could not see inside. I still miss my sanctuary. It's a little over a year ago we rented a huge house with our son and family and I lost my little patio. Oh this big house has a patio but I must share it with grandchildren, young ones at that and a dog so it's not quite the same. But in exchange for that I get to feel the sweet arms of the grandchildren a lot, love it when they tell me they love something I have cooked, and a time with our son and daughter in law that would not be there if we were still in the apartment. Also my health has really taken a hit so I have faced the grief that I can no longer do some things, and those I can I must watch not to over due them. All that grief has given me a much better perspective on others who grieve. In an hour we leave to have supper with an older couple who are under water in their home so will lose it soon and must move. I certainly understand moving, done it 29 times, no 31 times now and how it feel to tear a women nest up and have to re nest again. Not easy at any age but harder the older one gets. Yep, it was my favorite. Happy New Years blog sister in the Lord.

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    1. Oh dear Betty ... to lose your dear mom, your priceless sanctuary, your health one right after the other is surely a stack of great losses.

      I am touched that you feel like you can share your burdens here. I am so impressed that you're able to name your sorrows one by one and then see the blessings that are still flowing your way without denying the immensity of your losses.

      God cares. May you find Him repaying this year 'that the locusts have eaten.' Please let me know how you're doing ...

      And yes, I'm with you, Betty. We all need a little imperfect nook
      http://www.lindastoll.net/2016/06/in-which-we-all-need-imperfect-nook.html

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  12. Reflection is good for the soul. As you reflect on the past year, make you keep your eyes upon today and the Giver of ALL good things!
    New Year Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Yes and amen, Lulu. Even as we reflect and anticipate we keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

      Aren't you glad that He doesn't change?!

      Praise God ...

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  13. Happy New Year, Linda! Thanks for sharing these posts. Your "s word" post is one that has really stuck with me and it's such an important subject to talk about. I think it's often the vulnerable posts that connect most with people and makes them realise they're not alone. I've had a few particularly vulnerable posts this year and while it's not always easy to press publish, it's so encouraging when God uses them to bless others.

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    1. Lesley - I'm thinking of your 'identity' post ... powerful, refreshing. So very honest.

      I'm guessing pressing PUBLISH was one of your happiest days.

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  14. So much good stuff here. Glad you listed it all in one place for easy perusing! Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy persuing ...

      And thanks for sharing what's happening here at your place this week. It was a sweet gift and one that brought me joy
      https://onehopefulyear.com/2016/12/29/in-the-company-of-strangers/

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  15. I loved reading your vulnerable posts in 2016, Linda. Those are the ones that usually stick with us the longest. I look forward to more in 2017!

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    1. It'll be interesting to see what God guides us to in the coming months ... the kind of conversations He'll draw out of us, the companionship that will spring up along the way.

      Blessings, friend.

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  16. I loved meeting you in 2016 Linda! Being authentic and vulnerable brings all writing alive, and increases connections in our world that can seem so dis-connected at times. Thank you for creating connections that heal and inspire. Happy New Year!

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    1. Wow, Lynn, was it just this past year? How good of God to allow our paths to cross and invite us to journey together.

      I'm grateful. May this year yield increased connections for us all, so we can encourage and bless those who are yearning for grace.

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  17. Beautiful posts, my friend. I was especially touched by the one with the 'S' word. We've gone through that nightmare of having to ask the question with both of our daughters. Thank you for bravely sharing your story.

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    1. Dear Lord, this has got to be a parent's worst nightmare. Blessings on you, Anita. You, too, have shared your story in ways that impact others and have brought hope when all seems dim.

      To God be the glory.

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  18. Love this look back on the year, and love your take on it too--your most vulnerable posts. I agree, numbers aren't everything, and I love that you shared the posts that were probably some of the ones that made you so relatable. :) Happy 2017 to you, Linda--and thanks for linking up with the #ChasingCommunity launch! So happy to have you along! :) ((hug))

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    1. Congrats on your new link-up gathering, Brenda! I hope it brings encouragement and many new supportive relationships ...

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda