Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Kicking Off the New Year with a Question, A Prayer and Most Posts of 2013

In the wee hours of this morning, our family rang in the New Year as we traditionally do, surrounded by family, enjoying board games, eating appetizers and, at midnight, making merry by welcoming the New Year with a flurry of confetti and silly string. 

Tonight, I have decided to welcome the New Year on this blog by doing three things:

(1) Looking ahead to the next 364 days of 2014 by asking you, the readers, what you’d most like to read about here? 

Seriously, leave a comment on this post or over at Facebook to let me know. I appreciate it! 

(2) Offering a prayer for you (and me, as well) as we encounter each other online: 

Lord, as we enter 2014, please bless each of us with incredible motivation to find and reflect you in each encounter that we share online. 
As we read, learn and share, help us to understand what it is that You want us to hear, act or reflect upon in a given moment.
As our fingers tap on keyboards, direct us, ensuring that we act as conduits of Your Light and Love in everything we write.
Whenever we are online, grant us the discipline to know when it is time to pause from our pursuits in order to more fully attend to things offline. For while the Internet has become a great modern tool of encouragement, evangelization and, of course, entertainment, it just that – a tool.  Please help us to remember that in the right hands at the right moment, the Internet can work to build Your Kingdom, but, when used without wisdom, it can become destructive.
Lord, in the year ahead, please let every encounter we experience, on and offline, magnify You.
(3) And, looking back at 2013 by joining in the fun Most Posts of 2103 Link –up

Post with the Most Clicks

When I looked at the Training Happy Hearts stats from 2013, I was surprised to see that the post written in 2013 that got the most clicks was the Stations of the Cross Round-Up.  Until I saw just how many clicks that post got, I thought all the clicks on it may have been my own, since I accessed it frequently last Lent and, gladly, with success.  In fact, although I did not grow up with a Stations traditions, I can now definitely say my children are doing so.  Some of our experiences with Stations last year are still held warmly in my heart, especially the ones I wrote about at A Diary of Starting Stations of the Cross with Special Needs in Mind.

 Post with Most Comments

Hands down, the post in 2013 that received the most comments was A Child’s Geography: Explore The Classical World ~ A Rich Resource Review and Giveaway! I guess everyone loves a good giveaway opportunity.  If you missed the chance to win, but would like to check out the book, be sure to head over to Knowledge Quest where you can download the first three chapters free, and, then, if you like the book, purchase it.  (If purchasing, thank you in advance for using our affiliate link.)

Post with the Best Picture

Because I am an average-to-poor photographer wielding a series of low-end cameras that keep dying, truly beautiful photographs are in short supply on this blog.  (My apologies!)  So, I am going to interpret "picture" in a different way and choose one that my son drew.   I just love what happened when we were Highlighting Virtues with A St. George Resource Round Up (Or What Mama Has the Kids Do When She Is Sick.

However, if I had to pick a snapshot, I think I'd pick this one from my Spotlight on Nina at 5 1/2 Years Old.  As with many of the other photos in the same post, it evidences the true joy that Nina so often shines with.  Yep, that girl just lights up my world so often and cracks me up with what she gets excited about -- like tape in her Christmas stocking!  (It's the little things in life...)

Post that Was the Hardest to Write

Again, I am interpreting loosely here, since A Pre-Christmas Confession was not difficult to write once I actually sat down with my computer.  Rather what I was confessing was challenging for me.  Not wanting Christmas to come?  Really!  Was I really thinking that a mere week or so ago?  And am I ever grateful the Spirit worked on my heart and changed the thoughts in my head.

Post that Was My Personal Favorite

I am so bad at picking favorites!  In fact, I just cannot pick ONE from the posts I wrote this past year.  SO, I'm going with three. And my personal favorite post hard to decide, but I am going with two:

Softening My Heart:  An Anniversary Lesson During Lent reminds me of how much learning I experience even as I choose to be the main educator of my children.  Our Lord is continually drawing me closer, even when I am hard of heart and head!

And, An Intentional, Experiential Day Processed Through Play reminds me of how how full (literally and figuratively!) a day of homeschooling can be and what a blessing it is to experience life with my children.

To check out others' Most Posts, pop over to Amongst Lovely Things.  Before you do, though, I'd love to hear what you'd like to see here in 2013, because, as always, I have a million posts milling about in my head, but only one to three a week that will likely make it from pondering to post.  I'd like to make those the ones that will bless my family and yours the most. :)  Thanks!


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