It’s the last day of the year and as I write Boston is gearing up for its First Night Celebrations. I’ve felt too sick for reflections, preferring just to drown myself in tea and books, but I wanted to close out the year on this blog by highlighting posts that you have liked as well as introducing you to a couple of other bloggers that I’ve learned from through this year.
The following posts were this years top crowd-pleasers, meaning they received the most views and shares on Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Saudade – A Word for the Third Culture Kid. This post by far struck a chord with readers and brought many of you to Communicating Across Boundaries for the first time. I loved what so many had to say and find that I’ve used this word over and over in this past year.
- Victoria’s Ethnocentric Secret – The Blue Bra. Who doesn’t love a good rant?! I took it to a new level with this one in two areas I feel passionate about: women and the Middle East.
- Tahrir Square – Walls and Graffiti. Being back in Tahrir Square last Christmas I was struck by how the uprising was captured through street art, something that has been absent from Tahrir in the past. This mostly pictorial post captured some great shots of the graffiti at the square. It was also Freshly Pressed by WordPress.
- What Growing up in a Muslim Country taught us about Christianity. Robynn and I co-authored this and were honored by the response from both Christians and Muslims alike. This post represented the spirit of Communicating Across Boundaries perhaps more than any other. Along with that was a guest post called Muslim-Christian Understanding and the Death of Kenneth Cragg, an excellent post by my brother, Dr. Daniel Brown.
Regular Reader Pleasers – these were the posts that regular readers to Communicating Across Boundaries liked.
- Who ‘Kindled’ Your Parents? This post, inspired by my husband finding out that my parents had received a Kindle for Christmas was so fun in the comments it received, reminding me that the world divides on many things. Turns out people have strong opinions on print vs. electronic modes of reading.
- What’s Mom Doing in My Mirror? Ahh – aging and the sense of connection we feel when others express what this whole aging thing feels like. If you’re over 50, this post is for you!
- 14 year-old Courage. When Malala Yousafzai was shot in Pakistan in October I felt it acutely. It turns out so did many of you.
- And God….. As an American citizen I am an Independent voter and felt compelled to write about God’s sovereignty no matter who holds the highest office in the land. Turns out those words landed on hearts that felt the same.
- The Gifts of Loneliness. This post by Robynn beautifully put into words what can be learned through loneliness.
My Faves…..So, blogging is funny in that those posts that I think might be really good often don’t end up top of the list for readers. I wanted to point out a couple of my favorites from this past year.
- They Want our Symptoms but not our Stories. I shared a personal story that happened soon after coming to the United States in this post, one that resonates with my immigrant friends and patients. This post is for anyone working with a refugee or immigrant population.
- Abigail’s Bread. I was struck by the story of Abigail in the Old Testament. A story of a woman who did what was needed to mend an offense.
- Just One Click. This is one of my most important posts I believe. We have to be held accountable for attack drones.
- It Was an Old Love. My response to seeing an elderly couple in our youth-obsessed world.
And Now….Bloggers that have inspired me.
- Intersections by Deanna Davis. Deanna’s writing is poignant and leads me to love Jesus even more. She has gone through a major crisis this year and leads us to the source of her strength.
- Making All Things New by Amy Lepine Peterson. I found this blog awhile ago but was delighted to find a personal connection. Amy is the sister-in-law of the son of one of my close friends.
- Little Gumnut. Sophie is creativity personified. A fellow third culture kid from Pakistan, she now makes her home in Australia. She writes about everything from creative projects to belonging and what that means.
- Cecily Mostly. Cecily Thew grew up in Pakistan and now lives in New South Wales. She is an award-winning author and her book Love, Tears, and Autism can be found here.
- Outside-In. My friend Joanne, another TCK from Pakistan (I promise there isn’t bias here!) has a witty and insightful approach to all things cross-cultural.
It may sound odd but blogging continues to be something I do to make sense of the world around me. Truth is I’m a nurse and I’ve never even taken a college level English class. (you may have noticed some of the grammar and mixed metaphors?!) There are amazing writers one click away from your fingers but you still come here – I’m honored.
In 2013 you can look forward to more Robynn on Fridays. She has been a wonderful addition to CAB. Also I hope to bring on my daughter Stef. She is a great photographer and my hope is to weekly treat you to some of her work. And I’ll be bringing you more from the world around me.
Have a great evening celebration from Kuwait to Karachi to Kansas!
6 thoughts on “Year in Review”
Thanks for sharing your life and your insights with us, I have enjoyed following your blog (and like many found you through TCK posts, and the Saudade post spoke volumes about my own experiences).
I did want to add one thing about reviewing the year – one person at the new years party I attended asked us this (as opposed to “what’s your new tears resolution?”) : What are you grateful for this year (2012)? and what will you be grateful for next year (2013)? I’m still thinking that one over!
One of my favourite books on gratitude is John Kralik’s “365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life”.
Praise the Lord; praise God our Saviour!
For each day he carries us in His arms (NLT)
Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation (NRSV)
Keep up your good work, dear Marilyln.
I love the fact that I know and love so many of the posts that you mentioned in your Top Posts links! So glad I had the privilege of reading them and hearing your thoughts. Thank you so much for the shoutout. Feeling a wee bit humbled as you are far more faithful blogger and profound thinker! Lots and lots of bloggy love to you Marilyn as you launch into the adventures of 2013.
Marilyn-Sorry you are under the weather-hope you feel better soon!
Thank-you for your discipline in posting regularly about timely, thought provoking issues. It is giving a lot of yourself.
Marilyn, indeed, I found your blog through the Saudade post. Like so much of your writing, it helped me put words to something I felt but was having a hard time articulating. You know how powerful naming something internal can be. I am honored to make your list of bloggers – thank you! And I love your blog. Looking forward to what you will share with us in the coming year!
This is a great review of the year’s posts. Strange, I didn’t remember reading the one you wrote with Robynn about “What Growing up in a Muslim Country taught us about Christianity.” I think I was still in the midst of my back problem and a bit out of it with the pain meds. I started reading the comments and read my own comment! So I did read it when you posted it. Marilyn, you have to keep writing. You don’t need that college level English course. Just being as highly literate as you are is worth more than that. And I hope you’re working on your book! Love you, and Happy, Happy New Year to all of you Gardners!