africa · Faith

Writing Through 2014

Like any good blogger, as the year closes, I’m reflecting on my writing from the past year. As I meander through a year’s worth of writing, I can’t help but come to one conclusion.

[Tweet “It’s been an interesting year, to say the least.”]

2014 has been a year of readjustment, settling-in, new beginnings, crazy schedules, and all the ups and downs of a typical 20-something. I started new jobs and ended others, all while trying to rebuild a semblance of a “normal” American life after 2.5 years in Africa.

And through it all, I wrote. Some months more than others. And today, I’m making a list of my 7 favorite posts of 2014. They aren’t my most read posts, but they are my favorites. And they highlight a year full of changes and surprises.

So…here goes:

7. Letter to Grief

Dear Grief,

When I was younger, I thought you only had to do with death. And you’ve walked with me through the loss of loved ones, a presence lurking in the corner, waiting for the most inopportune time to make your presence known.

But that’s not the only place you lurk. You don’t just stand on the sidelines after death visits.

You’ve made your presence known in other ways. {Continue Reading}

black eyed susan bw

6. Five Minute Friday: Writer

I rub my fingers over the hardened callouses on my thumb and forefinger, often ink-stained, evidence of a furious session of journaling. My handwriting has never been perfect, but the imperfect letters stumble across the page, weaving together the everyday story of my life. {Continue Reading}

Counting #1000giftsin30 this month

5. A Girl Named Future

This precious child will never know the impact she had on me: that she became the face of poverty to me.


The stories about starving children in Africa now belonged to a name. They had a face. I remember her tiny school uniform, hanging loosely on the 5 year old’s 25 pound frame, a normal weight for a 2-3 year old. I remember the joy springing into her eyes when I stepped into the classroom. How she would rush to grab my hands when I led the children out to the garden, eager to work alongside me. {Continue Reading}


4. Five Minute Friday: Whisper

I pull off the gravel road, roll down the windows, and turn off the radio, willing my self to be immersed in the sounds of nature. Surrounded by a peace found in the aloneness of the great outdoors. As I listen, the beauty of creation whispers into my ears, filling my heart and soul. {Continue Reading}


3. When My “No” Means God’s “Yes”

Even 9 months later, it rarely leaves my mind. Unbidden images and memories arise throughout the day, a wonderful and painful reminder of my time in Africa.Wonderful because despite all the hardships, I truly loved what I was doing. But painful because my goodbyes were all rushed, intertwined with uncertainty, pain, and fear, after an injury that forced me to depart a continent I had come to call home.

It’s comical, because I started off saying “no” to it all. {Continue Reading}


2. For When You Feel “Less Than”

It only takes one look. A sighting of a friend you haven’t seen in years. The flash of sunlight off the undulating waves, sprinkled with bikini-clad bodies. A glance at a candid photo taken when you weren’t prepared.  A quick flip through a magazine. And suddenly, you feel “less than”. {Continue Reading}



1. Open Letter to All the Single Ladies

Dear Single Ladies,

I want you to know something: there is nothing wrong with you.

Your age doesn’t matter. Nor does the number of dates you have been on, or the boyfriends you have or haven’t had. {Continue Reading}



Thanks for reading along with me this year, and I look forward to the start of a new year. I’ve updated the blog a bit in anticipation of a new year full of change, hope, and new adventures, and I invite you to follow along.



11 thoughts on “Writing Through 2014

  1. I love that two of your favorites were 5 minute fridays. proving that we don’t always need to spend hours to write meaningfully. I chose “when you feel less than” to follow the link to and loved that as well. I hope to go back and read some of your africa posts because I want to live vicariously through those experiences too!

    1. I love Five Minute Friday, exactly for that reason!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the “When You Feel Less Than” post…that one came straight from my heart.

  2. I love this review, Jenn! (Not surprisingly, it is much shorter and more disciplined than mine!) I too love that some of your favorites were FMF’s… those are always among my favorites too! I love that I remember most of these posts because I have already read them! So thankful for community and this crazy blogosphere!

    Happy New Year, friend!

    1. Awww Karrilee! You are just the sweetest! I saw your post as well, and haven’t gotten to dig deep into yet…YET! But I shall! 🙂

  3. I think the best time of year to land on a “new to me blog” is the end of the year. I love the roundup posts. And I like that your roundup is your favorites, not necessarily reader favorites.

    1. I was going to do a most read one, but I switched to a self-hosted blog mid year, so my stats were all miscombobulated. So I settled for ones I loved the most!

  4. I love this idea of the top posts. I wish I had time to read each of yours that you linked to, but they seem great! Here’s to another year of writing, blogging, and growing.

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