At this time last year, I knew that my one word for 2018 would be a phrase prompted by this wonderful painting by Linda Klippenstein: Walking Strong in the Spirit.
Walking Strong in the Spirit has been a great focal point for me in the past year:
- as I’ve continued to write and celebrated the release of Four Gifts this fall,
- as I’ve walked through saying goodbye to my church of 25+ years and wondering what else God might have in store for me,
- as I’ve imagined myself into this painting many times, walking to pick up the mail, shopping for groceries, and carrying on through all of the ordinary joys and sorrows of everyday life.
As my one word/phrase for the year, Walking Strong in the Spirit has reminded me that it’s in the strength of God’s Spirit that “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)–even when I feel anything but strong, even when my heart is heavy and the days are hard. At those times, I find myself turning to prayer–driven to prayer really, while at the very same time feeling that prayer seems impossible.
I suspect I’m not alone in this. My e-book on How to Pray When Prayer Seems Impossible has been downloaded hundreds of times (and if you don’t have one yet, you can still sign up for it here), and for 2018, my top five articles are all part of my how to pray series.
Here are my top 10 posts for this year:
A few thoughts on “Good Friday” by Christina Rossetti, which is a devotional, reflective poem. Don’t miss this if you’re feeling worn out by compassion fatigue or already planning ahead for Lent.
The unnamed woman of Proverbs 31 is rightly praised for her many accomplishments, but the chapter is also limited by its literary structure and patriarchal world view. Read this post on what’s left out, and what we still need to reclaim.
One of two guest posts in my top 10 this year, a litany for Mother’s Day by Leonard Klassen, co-lead pastor of King Road Mennonite Brethren Church. Published on my website with permission, and thank you, Leonard, for your willingness to share.
Ever since a friend shared his paraphrase of Psalm 23 using the letter L, I’ve been creating and collecting other versions using different letters of the alphabet. This post presents 9 different versions out of the 26 letters of the alphabet, and we’re now up to 13 with I Can Be Brave for You are Behind Me, Before Me, Beside Me.
An earlier article with the first seven paraphrases of Psalm 23 using the letters C, D, G, H, L, P, and S.
A guest post by Catherine Downing, whose son was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 22 years old. Published on my website with permission, and thank you, Catherine, for sharing so transparently and helpfully for families living with mental illness and for those who care for them.
Do we lament and pray for vengeance as we see in the Psalms? Do we pray for God to forgive our enemies as Jesus did on the cross? Whether your “enemy” is a so-called friend who talks behind your back, a difficult boss, or someone or something even more serious, read this post to explore some ways of praying.
In my mother’s final days, I sat at her bedside and read through the Psalms of Ascent. This post shares from Scripture and other prayers that I’ve found helpful.
This is the second post in my top ten that relates to mental illness–how appropriate since it’s estimated that one in five will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
When I first wrote this article about praying for a wedding dinner, I didn’t realize it would prove to be such a popular resource. It’s back again in the top spot for the third year in a row!
Writing/Reflection Prompt: Have you chosen a key word or phrase for the coming year? Why or why not? I’m taking a break next Monday for a little New Year’s holiday time, but will be back with my key word or phrase in two weeks. Until then, may God grant you comfort and joy as you enter this new year.
Like this article? Please share it to encourage others,
and for more on acts of faith in everyday life,
sign up for my free email updates.