The holidays are over and another year has flown by. As I look back on 2009 I am reminded of videos, blogs, articles, poems, music, and books that have touched my life – in response I’ve laughed, cried, ranted, been silent, learned, struggled, loved, given, received, hoped, tried, been fearful, inspired, courageous, challenged and changed.
Behind all of the blogs, music, books, poems etc are people, mostly people I don’t know personally, but who, never the less, are having a significant impact on my life. It’s really pretty amazing to think about and I am very grateful for these people. Like the song “For Good” (from Wicked) says …I’M WHO I AM TODAY BECAUSE I KNEW YOU.
So, in honor of these people and 2009 let me say some “thank yous” with a few shout outs. Feel free to share your own 2009 memories and shout outs in the comments.
I thoroughly enjoyed the blog Stuff Christians Like. The posts make me laugh and teach me lessons about myself and others. If you aren’t familiar with this blog check out Lady Gaga, Rum and Thinking Your Naked which lists the top posts for 2009. Thanks Jonathan Acuff – for the laughter AND the lessons!
They were on ABC News, written about in The New York Times and tweeted about by Ashton Kutcher. If you haven’t heard of them you are missing a real treasure … “they” are the PS22 Chorus, a childrens choir from a Staten Island elementary school … their secret: Gregg Breinberg, their music teacher. Mr. B (as his students call him) has a heart for helping kids learn to love music. One of Mr. B’s students said this: “At first, when I sang, I had no emotion,” she says. “I didn’t move. But Mr. B taught me to sing with feeling. With feeling and heart.” Watching these kids brings tears of joy to my eyes – for some reason their collective voices and moves to the beat give me hope. Thanks, Mr. B and PS22 Chorus, for the joy and the hope! Here’s just one of the many videos on youtube of the PS22 Chorus:
Adele Sakler (author of the blog Existential Punk and one of the few people in my blogging community that I have met F2F) started Queermergent in Jan 2009 as a safe place for those who identify as LGBTQ to engage in mature discussions regarding the LGBTQ community of faith. It was through Adele’s acceptance and encouragement that I did my own coming out as an ally of the LGBTQ community by telling my story through a post that Adele published on her site Queermergent. Thanks for the encouragement and acceptance, Adele!
I discovered Spoken Word poetry in 2009. It inspired me to write my own spoken word poem (a fun, creative experience) and eventually led to me discovering poet and activist, Andrea Gibson. She’s a pretty amazing artist. Be sure and check her stuff out – two of my favorites are Ashes and I Do. Thanks Andrea, for your brave, inspirational poetry! You have me thinking about things I never knew.
Synchroblogging (a group of folks blog on one topic on the same day) was still close to my heart in 2009. There hasn’t been much going on with it in the last part of the year but it still could rise again. I like it because it pushes me out of my comfort zone and gets me to reading, writing and posting about stuff that I might not think of on my own, like quantum physics. And I like it because the people who participate are great thinkers who are kind but not wimpy. My synchroblog post, Mary and Martha: A Story About God’s Radical Hospitality, which was associated with International Women’s Day (initiated by uber-blogger Julie Clawson), still gets more traffic than any other post I have written. And my post for the Bridging The Gap synchroblog tops the charts on my blog for the most comments and best conversation. I even received the Bridge Builder Award because of it. So thanks to all the synchrobloggers out there, you know who you are – I am learning a lot because of you!
I want to give a shout out to Eugene Cho, author of the blog beauty and depravity. I love reading his blog because Eugene is so transparent and open. He is a courageous and compassionate person who is an inspiration to me. I have to admit that I sometimes feel bad about myself after reading his stuff as he is one of the most altruistic people I have run across…but he is so full of love and grace that I never feel that he is pointing a finger at me. I really admire his endurance and gumption when it comes to the charity he started, One Day’s Wages, and on top of everything else, he has a great sense of humor. I don’t know if he and I agree on everything theologically but it really doesn’t matter to me, because I like him as a person! Thanks Eugene for challenging and inspiring me. (for more great blogs check out my blogroll)
I love to read books as well as blogs so I can’t reflect on the last year without thinking about the books I read. I usually choose books because of someone’s recommendation or review. Some great books I read because I heard about them through blogs and social media this year (many were published before 2009 but I read them last year) include Pete Rollins new book, The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales; Samir Selmanovic’s book It’s Really All About God; Don Miller’s book A Million Miles In A Thousand Years; Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell (I even went to the tour); The New Christians: Dispatches From The Emergent Frontier by Tony Jones, The Help (a novel) by Kathryn Stockett; The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and a children’s book by Douglas Wood called The Old Turtle and The Broken Truth (which prompted a post from me). So…thanks Pete, Samir, Tony, Rob, Don, Kathryn, Stephanie, Khaled and Douglas for making my life richer!
I can’t reflect on 2009 without thinking about Twitter. I actually joined Twitter in 2007 (I’m so cutting edge:>) but it took a couple of years for enough others to jump on the bandwagon to make it fun and worthwhile. I’ve met so many amazing people through Twitter and discovered an online community that is fluid, diverse and for the most part, friendly. It was December of 2009 before I realized just how real this community was. A fellow twitterer, @Gideony, who was prominent among a particular group of peeps that I follow and interact with, took his own life. Several hundred of us were shook to the core over the loss of our friend. As we shared our grief we realized that through our tweets, replies, DMs and retweeting we had begun to know and care about one another. The virtual had become real for us. So I say to my fellow twitterers – thanks for the community that you have helped form and for allowing me to be a part of it…and to @Gideony: I miss you and remember you with fondness and love. (P.S. I’m on twitter @lizdyer if you want to connect)
Of course I could go on and on but I think that is a good sampling of 2009 so I will stop here and wish you a Happy New Year to you and yours.
May Y☺ū have Peace ♥ ¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Health ♪♫•*¨*•. Wealth .•*¨*• Success ♥¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Love ♥ ♥ ♥ and A Happy New Year! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸♥
I am very grateful to know you! And I wish for you a love and peace filled New Year!
Happy New Year, Liz! I am honored to be your friend & am in awe of your aptitude to always explore new & exciting avenues of learning!
Colleen – You’ve been making me better for years now! Hopefully we can get together in person in 2010!!
great links Liz.
it was great to get to know you in 2009 as well – both online and off.
here’s to more great adventures in 2010!
clink – clink (that was the sound of me toasting you