what I learned in 2017


I should open this post in disbelief that it’s already 2018, but I was ready. My fresh start began toward the end of the year, and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s changing and what’s to come. Here in Oklahoma, it’s a balmy 16 degrees, and you can find me curled up with a steaming mug of soup, all wrapped up in children and cozy knits.

But more on the present and future later. For now, I will recap the silly, serious, important, and entirely trivial things I learned this year…

  • We went to California in December, and seeing things through the eyes of my children — meeting their animated heroes in real life at Disneyland; dipping their toes in the ocean for the first time — was WAY better than living it first-hand. Same for all the things they noticed about Christmas a year older. You can’t reproduce that WONDER in their eyes as they witness and process and absorb for the first time.
  • My friend Mollie taught me the S-T-A-R-S method for Scripture application, and it gave the practice new meaning in my life. For one, using the word “practice” couldn’t accurately describe my Bible reading habits before 2017. But it gave new meaning to the living, breathing aspects of the Word + the authority, which I learned will always be an unfolding, evolving, mysterious journey with the Lord.


  • After tasting Antoinette Baking Co’s magical strawberry buttercream, it’s official: I am no longer a chocolate dessert kind of girl. What is this blasphemy?
  • Sometimes your football team loses nailbiter after nailbiter after nailbiter, shaving off years of your life by building up hope and then swiftly cutting its legs from beneath you it with last-minute heartbreak. And you realize: this is exactly what you wished for last season. 2016’s team would have lost those games handily, after all. We have to take the bruised bottoms with the stumbling steps forward šŸ™‚
  • Celine Dion is absolutely brilliant live. I’ve always liked her music and thought she was *pretty* talented. But on stage? That voice! I’m still feeling all the feels from her show.

  • There is true RESTORATION in silencing the mind and being completely still on a regular basis. Even for a few moments.
  • Ever since my son was born, I’ve been waiting for him to be old enough for preschool. I thought all of my work-life-home balance problems would be solved, but it turns out that sometimes too much time can be bad for people like me. Sometimes it lends itself to too much navel-gazing, no matter how busy I am or how many things I get done.
  • While I love the romance genre (and, um, write it–shhh!), I enjoy true women’s fiction with a romantic thread just a little bit more. In Muggle-speak, that’s fiction in which the primary storyline surrounds a woman’s journey (or non-romantic relationship), and her romance is merely a secondary thread.
  • Using your own name as your platform can sometimes be bittersweet. I usually give my husband and mom a mini photo book of social media images from the whole year, but this Christmas, there weren’t enough. My 2017 feed was full of carefully curated snapshots of bright books and bowls of oatmeal and tidy workspaces. While there was definitely lots of living happening outside of those social media squares, this year there will be more documenting chubby toddler cheeks, date night hijinks, and soccer princess shenanigans. My 2017 blog will include more of non-authorly me, too šŸ™‚

What is one silly or important, deep or Jeopardy-trivial thing you learned in 2017? Do share in the comments!

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  • Jenn Stevens says:

    Trust the process. 2017 was all about learning to let go & have faith that everything would be alright.

    • Isn’t that the truth? Cheering for you always, sister <3

  • I’d love to know this S-T-A-R-S method that you speak of. Care to share?