Happy 2016, y'all. As you all know, 2015 was not the kindest year to us (and true to form, on New Year's Eve I found myself at both the DMV and at the dentist due to a dental emergency. Good riddance to that year!). 2016 is going to be all about our new normal, dealing with anxiety (several members in our family get anxious due to change), slowly building on the foundations we have been working on for some time now. We want to work on beating back the blues and getting out of the apartment. We want to invest in our neighbors and community, which might look like starting ESL classes and attending the "failing" elementary school and/or sampling every single taco to be had within a mile radius. Who knows! I am entering into this year fragile and determined, aware as ever that the Spirit of God is wild and weird and never meant to be cooped up in a room of people who all look and think and act the same. We are all supposed to be bringing that weirdness out into the world, wherever we may be.
Soooooo, December was real weird. I wrote a post during nap time and it went viral (well, viral for me). Over 500,000 views and 300+ comments. What the what? (Of course, it was one of the few posts where I posted pics of my husband/kids. Naturally!). Thank you all who read it, identified with it, shared it, and shared your own experiences. I am gratified and also feel pretty sorrowful that so many could relate. Then Vox.com had the awesome idea to illustrate the piece and the results were amazing. Merry Christmas to me!
I also published a bunch of other stuff in December. Like a piece on Hallmark Christmas Movies (which is also about cultural elitism/classism). Or this piece (which was super fun to write--both deadly serious and completely not) on who the *real* protagonist of Home Alone is. I also wrote about how we don't do Santa in our family (but I do feel conflicted about it). I then wrote a pretty serious piece about racism and violence against black bodies (with an underlying theme of how the Pacific NW is more a place of exclusion than it is out-and-out oppression). And lastly, I helped Christ and Pop Culture decide what our favorite 25 things of the year were. This list is awesome, all over the map, and genuinely diverse (POC! Women! Books Galore!). I wrote the blurb for our #2 pick, and if you want to hear me get feisty about things like Russell Moore and Mad Max, you can listen to the deliberations podcasts here (number 1 and number 2).
And finally, 2016 is going to be the year of the book (official title: Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith). I'm starting a once-a-month newsletter where I will update you on the book (cover designs, excerpts, probably some sort of cool printable or something), link to various publications (like I just did up there) and end with whatever is making me happy at that moment (a la Pop Culture Happy Hour). I'd be so pleased if you would sign up!
Thanks again to everyone for reading along! It means more than I can say.