10 Favorite Blog Posts of 2011

While my family and I are gallivanting around this week, I want to share with you my own personal picks for the 10 Favorite Blog Posts of 2011. (When you capitalize things, it makes them Super Official). I have nothing to offer these 10, no award or certificate or badge or banner. But great writing deserves some attention. All of these posts have moved me, some even months after I read them. Of the many lovely and soulful posts I’ve read this year, here are 10 that seem to have lingered for various reasons (listed in no particular order).

Unstyled Life by Jules at Pancakes and French Fries:: Having just recently watched my family sort through the many collections of everything from manilla envelopes to Waffle House pins that make up the remnants of my father-in-law’s earthly possessions, this post struck a chord somewhere down deep. She writes beautifully and I am left standing right next to her, shaking my head. For anyone considering the purpose of all our stuff, this post is a must read.

Please Don’t Miss It by Sara Frankl at (in)courage :: She wrote this on her birthday, the last birthday she had on earth. She wrote to us, begging us to see, to open up, to live fully. She wanted us to learn from her life: don’t miss your own. Read it. You won’t soon forget.

The World Needs More Artists by Jeff Goins :: Jeff is a great voice for those of us who work hard at our craft but have trouble with the last five percent. He reminds us that making great art is its own reward and that we have a say in the kind of legacy we want to leave. His blog is one of my favorite new finds of 2011.

We’ve Been Conditioned to Not Make Mistakes by The Nester at Nesting Place :: She reminds us that while home is supposed to be the safest place on earth, some of us manage to make it our biggest source of shame. It’s not supposed to be that way. Read at your own risk.

What is Deployment? by Ashleigh Baker :: Think of honest writing and then go two steps deeper. That is how Ashleigh communicates on her blog. She spent many, many months alone with her two boys as her husband served overseas. And then he came home, and she wrote about it, and it was beautiful, and I still think of it sometimes. So here you go.

Hold Your Fire by Jenny S. Allen :: I met her on Canadian Thanksgiving in a Toronto hotel restaurant, she with my lost luggage and stories so similar to mine it made my head spin. We chatted over pizza until we closed the tired place down and shared nervous laughter over the interviews we had the next morning. And in that magic way that doesn’t happen all that often, a girl from Texas and a girl from North Carolina connected like girls who grew up only miles apart, swimming at the same pool. For any woman who feels a tug and a pull but is terrified of leading, read this post.

Here and There by Shannan Martin at Flower Patch Farm Girl :: She writes about home in ways that make me wish I had one. Not that I don’t have a home, I do. But we moved around so much when I was a kid that the roots she talks about didn’t have time to burrow deep. So I read her words and I know I feel that way about something but I just haven’t figured out what yet. So while this post is one of my favorites of the year, her entire blog is one of my favorite finds ever.

Because God Really Knows How to Meet Needs by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience :: She wrote this post in November and I’ve thought of it more than I can say since then. Because The Farmer didn’t want to leave his pigs, but he did it anyway. And God has lovely ways of weaving our giftedness and our passion into our service and our worship. That is what he did on a small plot of land in Ecuador. I simply love this story.

These Are Magic Hours by Tara at Pohlkotte Press:: I found this post just a week ago. Tara linked up with Tuesdays Unwrapped and I’m so glad she did. She makes words dance. A taste? “These are the hours that make the years fly, folding us into life with grace and love.”

My Dead Hope by Gary Morland at New Life’n :: Don’t let the title fool you. It’s a post about broken dreams, yes. But it’s also infused with a beautiful, rich, scary hope that weighs even heavier than the dream. If you had goals for this year that never quite came to be, read this before the next year begins. And as a bonus? Gary has an ebook based on this series available for free download any day now – just look for Scary Hope (I’ll let you know when it’s available). And also he’s my dad so you know. There’s that.

Cherry Bomb by Megan Jordan at Velveteen Mind:: Whenever I feel wimpy in my writing I read this post by Megan and it makes me brave. She has a way of bossing without making me defensive, instead it just makes me get to work.

What do you think of these 10 posts {ok it’s 11}? Which ones would you add? (Feel free to share links in the comments, but if you leave more than one link, the blog will think you’re spam and block you). Would love to hear some of your favorite picks of the year.

And to you who have gathered here for yet another year, thank you for writing, for speaking truth into this chaotic world, for making your art, and sharing it with us.


  1. says


    Great choices. I personally loved Sara’s. Oh lovely Sara with her joyful outlook on life while in her situation. I still think about her. I like to consider her the best friend I never had the pleasure of personally meeting. But the one I really identify with is Ashleigh’s just because I have been through so many deployments, except the shoe is on the other foot and I am the one that usually goes away. Her post about deployments is so simple and heartfelt, and oh so true. I just loved it! Thanks for reminding us of these beautiful posts.

  2. says

    My heart has been churning, telling me not to let another year go by. As I reflect and plan and write out my new goals I feel encouraged and blessed by these posts. Thank you for sharing these, Emily.

    • says

      As a result of this post I downloaded the Writers Manifesto. They are perfect words at the perfect time. Thank you, Jeff Goins and thanks again, Emily.

  3. says

    Thank you for these Emily. I will savor them a little at a time.
    I just started your book – so I’ve been carrying your words around with me for the past couple of days. You speak to my heart. So, although it isn’t a blog post, it’s still one of my favorite reads for this year. Thank you Emily!

  4. Sami says

    As someone who has to clean out her parents house (lost them when I was 27, 3 years ago) this year, I really resonated with the Unstyled life. And the Magic Hours. I’ve started hating everything I have and trying to cling to people, especially my little people.

    Reading your book right now. Its kinda wrecking me, but hopefully in a healing way. Thanks so much.

  5. Claire says

    On the first post by Unstyled Life by Jules at Pancakes and French Fries … I can relate. It was horrifically sad to sort through 80 years worth of my husband’s parent belongings when he passed away a few years ago. One old movie video taped from television would be a lovely moment but boxes and boxes of them are a burden. One card that they exchanged would be precious, but we found drawers full of them. The process made me want to come home and sell everything we own so we could live in a tent. But that isn’t practical.

  6. says

    what great reads. The Jeff Goins post … wow, good stuff! And Megan Jordan @ Velveteen Mind … it scared me … in a good way I think! Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  7. jane@flightplatgformliving says

    thank you so much for these links a great wayto start the year! happy new yearx jane xxxxxxxxx

  8. says

    You and Elizabeth Foss have inspired me! I began the New Year by starting a blog, uploading entries I previously had shared with friends via e-mail. I never would be able to homeschool successfully without the grace of shared thoughts and friendships-in-faith. Thank you so much!

  9. says

    You and Elizabeth Foss have inspired me! I began the New Year by starting a blog (www.AveMomma.blogspot.com), uploading entries I previously had shared with friends via e-mail. I never would be able to homeschool successfully without the grace of shared thoughts and friendships-in-faith. Thank you so much!

  10. says

    dude…cherry bomb by velveteen mind kind of turned me inside out.

    gonna think on it some more…..gotta get these thoughts together.

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