In Which I Wrap Up 2017 with a Little Introspection . . . and a Whole Lot of Anticipation

Dear Friends ~

While visions of sugarplums, last minute menu items, shopping trips, and complex travel plans danced in many a weary head in recent weeks, I've spent more than a few nights writing blog posts in my sleep.  It could only mean one thing ... that I've missed putting pen to paper, even through the supposed busyness of the season.

But the truth is that things have been very calm and still around here.  All quiet like.

Maybe too much so.


Thanks to all of you who dropped in during the daily Advent gathering.  It was like a month long open house, casual and relaxed ... so much fun to chat with you here and there, to share snapshots and Scriptures, to focus on God's great love for us.  I felt recalibrated and soothed by the experience of observing Advent in a more focused way ... and your willingness to take time to leave kind words in the midst of the holiday bustle blessed me.

It was a stressless online experience, it was a joy.

Some of you mentioned that you'd like to jump on in and do the same thing next Advent ... let's plan on it when the time gets closer, ok?


Our family switches off holidays each year with the in-laws.  So the 12 of us celebrated this year's Christmas down in Annapolis at Thanksgiving.  I didn't have to do anything more than lend a hand, follow suggestions in the kitchen, occasionally set the table or wash some dishes.  No large meals to figure out, no crowds to corral in our tiny kitchen here at the Cape.  I could relax, hang out, and enjoy the festivities.

Delightful.  A bit exhausting, but delightful nonetheless.

On Thanksgiving Saturday, we took the family to see The Miracle of Christmas performance at the Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania as their Christmas gift.  Fabulous.  I love sharing an experience rather than buying alot of stuff that no one really wants or that doesn't fit or breaks in ten minutes.

The older I get, the more I value memory-making activities and events over objects and stuff.  

The bonus?  No steady stream of boxes from Amazon arriving on our doorstep once we arrived back home.  Little shopping to do.  No endless marathon gift-wrapping sessions.

More delight.

Tim and I spent a quiet Christmas afternoon with my mom.  Mom is much loved and adored by everyone who knows her.  Each day she models what strong persevering faith while living with chronic pain looks like.  We're inspired by her and honored to do life with her in this season.  Christ's peace radiates from her very being.  I love her so.


Like every other family, we have encountered our fair share of challenges and sorrows intermingled with joy and victories this year.  Most of these stories are not mine to tell, yet I've found my faith tested, stretched, enlarged because of the hard lessons that the roller coaster of frustration, hope, disappointment, and uncertainty tend to bring.

As I shared in October's On Being Unraveled ... and Re-Knit Together, I have not always responded well to what's going on around me.  But God has been faithful to teach me the power of praise, of inviting endless verses of old hymns to play in my head during the night's wakefulness, of making choices to turn from my default grumbling / fear / what-if's to speaking words of praise right in the midst of the most unsettling circumstances.

I've seen Him answer prayers in recent weeks in ways that have left me weeping in relief and gratitude, awed by His timing and His mercy.  Sheer, matchless grace.

Praise You, Jesus.  Thank You, Lord.

What's ahead for the blog?

For sure, blogging's shifting and changing these days, with Facebook groups, Instagram, podcasts, and monthly newsletters vying for our creative attention.  But, being technologically ignorant and a creature of habit, I'm sticking with the tried and true.  I love doing community with you and I value our ongoing dialogue, whether substantial or light ... and it makes me smile when I hear that you're returning to a post a few days later to scan the comment section to see what's going on.

November's Emotional Health Series was intended to have a short little run, but the four posts birthed such vulnerable, powerful sharing online and off, with many of you telling me how helpful the conversations were turning out to be.  More and more topics kept coming to mind and it wasn't long 'til I realized that God was whispering that maybe emotional health should become more of a focus around here, that there are endless conversations to be had, that our yearning for healing and wholeness is great because God has designed our emotions and our spiritual lives to be so beautifully intertwined.

So that's the direction we'll be heading in the days ahead.  And yep, there'll still be book reviews, faith issues to explore, monthly wrap-ups, giveaways and resources and random surprises.  As always, I'd love your input along the way in the comment section or via

I'm grateful for what God's doing as I head into my 11th year of writing online.

Please plan on celebrating with me as I give away a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card in a few weeks.  I hope you'll jump right on into the book discussion that will prompt the party.  Be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss out, ok?


Well, I didn't touch on half the things that have been floating through my mind.  They'll wait for another time.  Enjoy this final week of 2017.  I can't tell you how delighted I am to do life with you.  God has been so incredibly faithful, hasn't He ...


i'll see you at