This was going to be one of those Best of 2017 posts in which I list in order my 10 most popular pieces of the year. The problem is that analytical tools are sometimes unreliable and numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Some of my favorite pieces generated the least traffic. While some of my work that I was most proud of or that turned out to be the most popular, also turned out to be the most controversial. So, instead of trying to sort it all out, I’ve decided to simply list my favorite things I wrote in 2017. In no particular order, here they are…
As fun and exciting as it was getting my daughter ready for college, I sometimes fantasize about being a mom in 1987.
Teens Tend to Think Marijuana Use In No Big Deal, But They’re Wrong,—The Washington Post
I was surprised by the negative reactions to this piece. While I try not to take comments to heart, I was surprised how many people were genuinely outraged that I dared suggest teens and pot aren’t a great combo.
The Magic of Clutter: An Apology to Marie Kondo—Grown and Flown
After spending the better part of last year’s Christmas break on a Marie Kondo-style extreme decluttering of my house, I realized that some of the “clutter” like Nerf darts and old doll clothes, baseball gloves lying around and my kids’ jackets strewn over the furniture do spark joy for me. Fortunately, no matter how often I clean, there will always be plenty of clutter to make me happy.
When we had our fist baby, we didn’t really have a plan. We sort of fell into attachment parenting. It might not be for everyone, but we have no regrets!
What If My Daughters Just Want to Be Homemakers—Grown and Flown
This is another piece that generated some controversy. There was a lot of support for it, but there were plenty of people who bristled at the idea of educated women staying home and being full-time homemakers. The biggest issue commenters had was that it’s a risk for a woman to rely on a man for support. I found this sentiment cynical and sad. In a truly egalitarian society, the role of both the breadwinner and the homemaker would be valued equally and the couple seen as mutually supportive. Looks like we still have a ways to go.
This piece did not generate a lot of traffic, but it was definitely one of my favorite pieces to write. I loved looking back at some of my kids’ favorite books and thinking about how they could apply those lessons to their lives now.
Why I Find Peace in My SUV—Thrive Global
Like most moms I spend A LOT of time driving my kids around. I’ve finally found a way to make good use of at least some of that time. My SUV is makeshift chapel, my personal path to calm.
I want my children to have fun and to be festive, and I want them to have healthy (and even holy) attitudes toward alcohol. These are my tips!
The idea behind giving up things like television and social media is to make a meaningful sacrifice for God but also to free up more time for prayer and spiritual reading. Lent is a great time to delve deeper into Scripture, the lives of the saints, or an inspirational book.
Still, there may be times during our Lenten journey when we crave some lighter reading. Yes, Lent is a penitential time, but we are not called to deny ourselves every pleasure. This piece offers suggests for some lighter, yet spiritually beneficial, reading.
When I’m really longing for the simpler days of life with little children, it helps to stop and think about all the things that weren’t easy about having small ones and all the things I’ll never have to do again now that all my kids are big.
Five Annoying Things About Little Kids I (Mostly) Don’t Miss—Grown and Flown
Hindsight is definitely 20/20. If only I had known all those years ago that someday I would miss my living room floor turning into hot lava!
Thanks for indulging me as I look back over 2017, and thanks for reading! I wish you all a blessed and happy 2018!