How can I begin to describe 2016? To say it was the “Year of Loss” seems a bit cliché. Yes, I lost my mother and my church family, and my youngest entered kindergarten.
But when I reflect on this year I don’t feel total blackness. I think in many ways the fear of those losses surpassed the experience of them. I went into 2016 dreading what I sensed was coming — in all three areas. And there was fear. But there was also peace and the presence of God, and yes that sounds cliché, too, but any child of God who has ever walked through suffering understands that foundation of peace when everything else crumbles.
I look upon 2017 with hope. All of my fears came to pass in 2016. And I’m still here. And I’m okay.
But 2016 marked me, no doubt.
Like the scar on my back reminds me not only of the relentless pain before my back surgery but also of the healing that took place. That’s what 2016 will look like for me going forward. I’m not the same. The empty spaces in my heart once occupied by my mom, my church family, and my days as a stay-at-home mom to a preschooler will always be there. But they are healing, and I’m looking forward.
Before I want to look forward, though, I want to pause and evaluate — ponder — the year I’m leaving. And with that, I thought I’d share with you my most-read blog posts of 2016. Interestingly, the top 10 posts represented a pretty balanced mix of the three topics I blog about: Faith, Family, & Garden.
Top Posts for 2016 – Journey with Jill
- Growing Blueberries? Avoid these 4 Beginner Mistakes
- Yellow Leaves on the Bottom of Your Tomato Plants?
- When You See a Jonquil, Remember My Mom
- Hospice: The Best Decision We Made + 5 Misconceptions
- 6 Tips for Growing Tomatoes You May Not Know
- The Sin in My Life I Couldn’t Ignore Any Longer
- 7 Items I No Longer Buy at the Grocery Store
- My Mom Points Me to Hope
- My Mom Loved Well
- When You Don’t Measure Up as a Parent
I do want to thank you for following along with me this year. This blog has been an outlet for me, both to process my losses and to move forward in a healthy way by sharing with you my garden journey. In 2017 I look forward to many new ventures, including my new podcast called “The Beginner’s Garden,” and video teaching through the Facebook group Journey through Acts. Plus I have a few other projects I’m excited to share with you.
Thank you for journeying with me!
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