As we close out another year, it’s a great time to review where we’ve been, what we’ve learned, and celebrate all we have accomplished and overcome. It’s like finally reaching the summit of the mountain and being able to look back down on the trail we have traveled.
In the spirit of looking at the trail we’ve climbed, I thought it would be fun to share with you the top 10 posts in 2015 from Blessed Beyond the Mess.
This time last year, I had no blog at all. The fact that I even have more than 10 posts I’ve actually published is surprising to me. I know it shouldn’t be surprising. I mean, I wrote them and all.
But just the fact that I mustered the courage to hit “publish” and send my thoughts out into cyberspace is itself a win for me—even if my mom was the only one who read it.
But the shocker is she’s not the only one! So many others have joined me on my little adventure here in cyberland. I’m so humbled and grateful that you take time from your busy schedules to read what I think.
I pray for you often. I pray that you will find encouragement and inspiration here and that you will be able to see the beauty and the blessings in whatever messes you may be dealing with right now.
You have made this Top 10 List possible and I am very thankful.
#1 The most popular post of 2015 was 40 Ways You Know You Are a Military Wife. Interestingly, I didn’t intend to write this post at all. I was busy moving at the time and had put my blog on hold. While I was packing, I kept thinking of all the quirky things about my military lifestyle and jotted them down. I wound up making a post out of it and now it sits in the number one spot. After I first posted it, my son quipped, “Don’t you know you are a military wife if your husband is in the military?” (He’s my very literal child.)
#2 The one question I get asked more than any other is, “Are They ALL Yours?” I included my common answers to that question and 9 others in this post. If you read this, you won’t have to ask me these things when we meet IRL. So study up! That way we can bypass all the formalities and just jump right in to being friends.
#3 I like to link up with other bloggers from time to time. One group I really enjoy writing with is Five Minute Friday. Each Friday we are given one word and 5 minutes to write. When the word of the week was “yes”, I published I Said Yes. It talks about surrendering to God’s will (and subsequently winding up with a super-sized family).
#4 In October, I participated in the Write 31 Days Challenge. I joined many other bloggers in writing every single day for a solid month on the same topic. My series is called 31 Days to Unshakable Faith and touches on several topics that are covered in the book I am currently writing called Stand Strong: Your Battleplan for Living and Undefeated Life with an Unshakeable Faith. Watch for it to be released sometime in 2016.
#5 Eight children and two parents make us a family of ten, so when the Five Minute Friday word was “ten”, well . . . I HAD to write about my family, right? Our Tribe of Ten tells you ten quick facts about our family of ten. Is that enough “tens”?
#6 Number 6 is my most recent post, 20 Reasons We Love Our Big Family. Are you sensing a trend here? It seems people enjoy reading about how we do life with 4 times the average number of children. I interviewed the whole family and compiled our favs.
#7 10 Ways Motherhood Changed Me Forever is a mix of humor and heart that tells why I will never be who I was before I had kids.
#8 Eight years ago, our son Timmy was stillborn early in the second trimester. The pain of losing him, my subsequent struggles in my faith, and my journey toward wholeness provide much of the motivation and reasons why I write. Searching for the significance and meaning in such a brief life has led me to ponder my own purpose and press in to know who God really is. My post Stay in Heaven touches briefly on some thoughts about Timmy.
#9 I was delighted to have my sister, Rev. Christina Hildebrand, write a guest post for Blessed Beyond the Mess. She is a gifted communicator and a compassionate and selfless servant. Her post What are you doing HERE, God? has been a favorite with readers ever since it was posted. You don’t want to miss this one!
#10 My struggle with anxiety has prompted me to seek out ways to fortify my faith and banish my fears. Choose Faith Not Fear points out that courage is not the opposite of fear. True courage can only exist in the presence of fear. Faith is the opposite of fear. Our faith is what we must feed to conquer our fear.
There you have it—the 10 most popular posts from the first 8 months of Blessed Beyond the Mess. Which one is your favorite? (It doesn’t have to be one on this list.)
I can’t pick just one. That’s like choosing between my children. My brain just shuts down and stubbornly refuses to make a decision.
What about you? What are some of your wins and highlights from 2015?
Where have you succeeded?
What have you overcome?
What do you want to remember about 2015?
If your life over the past year had been recorded on a blog, what would be your most popular posts?
THANK YOU all so much for being such awesome readers. Without you, there would be no popular posts, just me and my computer staring at each other.
I pray that no matter where you are in life right now, you can gaze out into 2016 and beyond with HOPE—not because of who you are or what you’ve done or your great plans, but because you know God’s got this and He’ll never let you go.
Elizabeth is a military spouse, veteran, and mother of eight. Above and beyond caring for her family, her mission is to offer words that sustain weary moms and to empower and equip them to live and parent with purpose.