the carnival turns 5 (aka, i’m getting old)

boy's fifth  birthdayexactly 5 years ago today i was putting the finishing touches on the carnival in my head, my first adventure into solo blogging.  it’s been quite a wild ride & it honestly feels like a year or two ago but not 5!

whether you comment regularly or you’re one of the lurkers, i am grateful for your presence here. that’s what blogging is all about–the ability to take what you need & engage in a way that works for you.  for me, it’s been one of the best things i have ever done. i have had to learn to say what’s on my heart without worrying what people will think. i have had to live with bloggers’ remorse after i hit “publish” too soon. i have had to wrestle with my faith & my crazy church dreams.  i have had to make myself vulnerable in ways that have pushed & challenged & strengthened me.

as i wrap up this year, i recognize i still have a lot to learn, a lot to keep processing, a lot to practice and try so you’re stuck with me for a while longer.

to celebrate my blog baby’s 5th birthday, i gave it a little overhaul. take a look around; i hope you like it.  i have wanted to do it all year but didn’t have the time.  when i changed platforms in early 2011,  i never liked the fonts & some of the formatting so it felt good to clean it up & make it a little more me.  it’ll take a while to work out a few kinks & reformat all the pictures, but all of 2012 is done.  check out the menus; some have been there for a long time & some are new. i also finally updated my blogroll & links to friends doing beautiful things all over the place.  i am sure i missed some but this is a good start.

when i look back on the past year here, one of my favorite endeavors in 5 years was the early 2012 rebuilding after deconstructing series for those of us who are trying to find our way after significant faith shifts.  that whole season was good for my soul.  thank you for sharing so many of your stories, they were & continue to be a gift.

i also loved writing a lot about friendship, one of my favorite topics & i think one that is sorely underrated in the church. loving others & being loved in return is a lot harder to do than rant on blogs about theology & politics.

the “what it’s like…” series of interviews was fun, too, and i have a few more coming up in the next few months. it’s important to listen to what it feels like for others so we can become safer, more loving people.

when easter is hard inspired the when christmas is hard series & i hope it gave a little extra hope to those who might have needed it these holidays.

you can see the top blog posts of all time (many of were from 2012) but here are 5 of my personal favorites this past year. when i think of these posts, they just make me glad for this safe space to share freely.

and #6, one i wrote for another space, was earlier this month on sheloves magazine – God with us.  yeah, i am glad God is with us in the midst of our beautiful messy lives & we can be with others in theirs.

i am not sure what is ahead for 2013 quite yet but i know this–i am grateful for the past 5 years.

you’ve encouraged me more than you’ll ever know.

more tomorrow as we dream for the new year ahead. meanwhile, thanks for reading!

love, kathy