This was a full year for our family: Haiti, book writing, book deals, finishing seminary, working, three small tinies, church, family, friends, life, change, home making, blogging, working, all of it.

Nothing quite like spending an evening reading thorugh a year’s worth of blogging life to make one realise two things:

1. No wonder I’m rather tired, and

2. As Joe would say, “My have lotsa words.’

My 2012 Favourite Posts

These aren’t the posts with the most hits or the most shares or the most comments, but they are my own favourites.

In which I commission you :: Let me stretch my arms out wide, like an Old Testament prophet, my hands are worn and lined, I have mama-hands, and let’s do this properly.

In which (love looks like) room to change :: How do you disagree so strongly on something as vital as your spirituality or your expression of faith? How do you fall away from everything you believed, and yet, yet, not fall away from each other?

In which I tell you the truth about telling the truth :: I’m pretty sure not a single homosexual in the Western world is unaware that most evangelical Christians believe their desires and/or lifestyle to be sinful.

In which God doesn’t look the same anymore :: I think I got born again, all over again, tonight, and now God smells like sweat, like shit, like charcoal, like pineapples, in addition to my northern lakes and pine trees and clean air and water.

In which I dive into the water:: So I took off my glasses, surrounded by yet another church, I was braver than I was alone, and this was for us all. I dove into the water, head first, still in my clothes.

In which I am here, breastfeeding, but not for much longer :: So I want to remember, for the real rest-work, and for the metaphors of struggle and let-down and release and feeding, and for the weight of responsibility, the lightness of giving, and for the ordinary, every day, pausing holy-wonder. I want to remember that I was here, over and over again, and I was profoundly changed.

In which this is saving my life right now :: I could write big long theological treatise about the saving powers of my trees out back and the sound of the creek and the Psalms and ordinary radicals and the Gospel in real life with the real Church. (This post also gave rise to a gorgeous synchroblog.)

In which you are loved and you are free :: Stop waiting for permission.

In which it is this one ::  This one moment, after you’ve dropped off the babysitter, when you’re driving home in the dark night, alone, in the quiet, in the gratitude, in the starlight and the streetlight. Your babies are all sleeping in their rooms, the windows are open, your husband is waiting for you at home, he’s made a few promises, and your hair still smells like pool water.

In which God has restored Church to me ::  I loved God. I struggled with loving His Church.

In which I have an Evangelical Hero Complex :: All of those years of hearing sermon after sermon, youth camp after Bible study, about doing BIG things for a BIG God with BIG visions and BIG plans left us with crazy-high expectations on ourselves coupled with a narrow understanding of following Jesus.

In which I want to turn my life upside down (as usual) :: I want to paint the walls white and have a yard sale, I want to move, I want to burn something down and start over. I want a farm, I want to make soap.

Favourites, Elsewhere

A Deeper Story :: In which I am practising 

SheLoves Magazine :: Most Beautiful

Prodigal Magazine :: In defense of the cafeteria

Elsewhere :: This Sacred Everyday at Micha Boyett’s site


I imagine I’ll wrap up Fearless in a few days. Boy, did God ever call my bluff with that one… I also have my 2013 One Word ready to go.


And finally, first, always: thank you.

My entire life has changed because of writing on the Internet, and that is a strange and beautiful thing to admit. But this space, this sacrament, has changed me profoundly over the years. And I love it. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my Christmas post, with your greetings. Meant so much to our family as we are laid out with the flu this holiday season.

Thank you for doing life with me, thank you for reading and commenting and sharing my words. Thank you for loving us well.

You have made 2012 a very rich year for me, and I won’t forget it.




In which I catch a glimpse of heaven
In which I am fearless - sort of
thank you for sharing...
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  • Love you to the moon and back, friend.

  • Great wrap-up! Some of my favorites as well! May 2013 be a Blessed year for you and your family!

  • Miz Melly

    So sorry you’ve been sick. Get well soon. Love M

    • Thanks, Melly – getting there at last. If I ever see another load of laundry…

  • Sarah Westphal

    Can’t wait for more in 2013! Take care of yourselves and hope you are over the hump of sickness. Could you possibly write a post of your fav books read in 2012? Or did I miss that one? Cheers, Sarah

    • I didn’t do a favourite books but I did do a Gift Guide and had a few favourites on there. (I thinkt he link is on the sidebar still.) I also have an account at GoodReads so you can check that out for my 5-stars, if you like?

  • mmmk. in response to your last Christmas post, I’ll de-lurk too. I’ve been reading the blog for almost all of 2012. Almost every time it makes me cry. My good friend Abby told me about your blog. I am so glad she did. I made the mistake of reading your first post from Haiti in the middle of a workday. Tears ensued. I then emailed Abby to warn her of reading it at work. Thanks for writing the way you do. You make me want to love Jesus more.

    • So glad to know this, Brooke. And thank you for de-lurking! I appreciate it.

  • melody a

    in which i comment: oh my word how did i JUST NOW find your blog? am absolutely totally obsessed. you are my new favorite, sarah bessey. the breastfeeding post made me cry, as did all your other faves of 2012. that is all.

    • Well, so glad to “meet” you at last then, melody!

  • Olivia

    Just as writing on the internet has changed your life, reading on the internet has changed mine. Your blog hooked me from the first word I read and opened up a whole new world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  • Becca Schwartz

    I love your post on breastfeeding. It brings me to tears every time I read it… you have such a lovely way with words.

  • Jessica Stock

    My 2012 was richer because of you. Thank-YOU!

  • Janice DeFluiter

    I loved your breastfeeding post when I first read it and today it brought me to tears since just yesterday I ended breastfeeding my youngest. It took me by surprise that I ended up liking nursing, but it’s such a beautiful tangle of pain and peace and snuggling and nourishing and longing and mourning the son I lost but clinging to the ones I have. So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing yourself here.

    • A beautiful tangle – love that phrase. Well said, Janice. Thank you.

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