Monthly Archives: December 2012

Reader’s Choice ’12: Hope Blooms

My husband Jeff Whetstine is the eternal optimist.

Aimee and Jeff Whetstine

me and Jeff

Consider the three reasons he gave for his selection:

1. We planted those seeds.

2. They were among the few living things we found to thrive in the harsh, arid conditions of Wichita.

3. They were beautiful.

Yes, they were. And we were there to see them. Hope does a lot more than float.

Jeff’s Reader’s Choice is:

Hope Blooms

Hope Blooms

click to read Hope Blooms

readers choice

This post concludes our Reader’s Choice 2012 series. I hope you enjoyed meeting the readers and revisiting their selections as much as I did. Special thanks to everyone who participated. On to 2013!

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Reader’s Choice ’12: Standing Up for Chick-fil-A

Pam Thompson knows timing is everything.

Pam Thompson

Pam Thompson

The mother of six children (six!), Pam’s blog is understandably called It’s Time for More Coffee! Pam makes every second count.

You may recall the battle boiling back in the sweltering heat of July. Gay rights activists sniped at Chick-fil-A’s founding family for personal contributions they made to organizations that support the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. The activists’ irritation with the Cathy family had been building for years. Last July it reached a fevered pitch.

BlogHer published an op-ed from a woman who was boycotting Chick-fil-A and the Boy Scouts. I watched for the rebuttal post. I waited and waited to see the other side of the story. When no alternative response came, I pitched BlogHer my own.

First published here as Why I Will Eat Mor Chikin, BlogHer accepted my story and syndicated it the week of the BlogHer Conference in New York, vaulting the post to my most-read story this year.

The BlogHer audience came unglued with its publication. Many readers dialogued with civility, but many did not. I received hateful comments and tweets from strangers. More importantly, I received messages of support and solidarity from strangers, too. People were reading, relating, agreeing, and praying. One message of courage came from a pastor in North Dakota whom I’d never met. Soon I connected with his wife online. She is Pam Thompson.

Timing is everything, and everything belongs to God.

Pam’s Reader’s Choice is:

Standing Up for Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A cow at family event

click to read Standing Up for Chick-fil-A on BlogHer

readers choice

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Reader’s Choice ’12: Chicago Songs

Lisen Stromberg

Lisen Stromberg

Lisen Stromberg and Anissa Ward Hutchins are worlds apart. 

Lisen is my co-blogger on Finding (Un)Common Ground. She and I met this year at the BlogHer Conference in New York. Lisen is a self-described progressive humanist living on the Left Coast with her family. Her writing has been featured in countless major media outlets. Steve Jobs was her neighbor.

Anissa Hutchins

Anissa Hutchins

Anissa is my childhood friend. She and I went to the same schools, cheered on the same squads, and ran in the same circles. This year, I was tickled to learn she was reading my blog. Anissa lives with her family near the town where we were raised in the most beautiful Old North State. She is a Christian.

Both women chose the same post for their Reader’s Choice. Normally, I would have asked one of them choose something different, but I was intrigued by their responses to this story. When it was first published on November 8, both women shared the story with their Facebook networks. Lisen wrote:

Please take a moment out of your crazy day to read this beautifully written post by my friend and co-blogger Aimee Whetstine. Her words are gracious salve to the “losing” side of this election. Her faith and her call to others to remember their faith in a time that might lead them to believe they have been forsaken speaks to her own wisdom. I may not come from her world, but I understand the beauty of her words.

At the same time, Anissa wrote:

When I woke up this morning I was feeling just a little anxious and nervous about what the future may hold for our country, but as I was going through my emails, this blog post came up. Aimee Whetstine is a friend from middle school and high school. Her wonderful post just soothed my soul, my nerves calmed, my anxiety diminished. Thank you, Aimee, for reminding me that my future holds promise. My hope is in my saviour JESUS and my stand is the Word of God.

Two women. One post. Lisen and Anissa’s Reader’s Choice is:

Chicago Songs

Moody Church entrance

click to read Chicago Songs

readers choice

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Reader’s Choice ’12: What Organic Food Is and Is Not

Nothing ages me faster than calling my niece “Dr. Whetstine.” 

Jena Whetstine & Jessica Brotherton

Jena Whetstine (right) with sister Jessica Whetstine Brotherton at Jessica’s wedding

Professor Jena Whetstine has her Ph.D. in chemistry. My collegiate career, on the other hand, did not include one hour of chemistry. Does psychology still count as a science? 

Our family is exceedingly proud of this accomplished young woman, all her siblings, and cousins. She is, and they are, beautiful on the inside and out with the easy-going, never-met-a-stranger warmth and sense of humor my husband’s family exudes.

Jena picked this post because as a chemist she found it “very entertaining.” Humor wasn’t exactly what I was going for, but you never know with chemists.

Jena’s Reader’s Choice is: 

What Organic Food Is and Is Not

bell peppers

click to read What Organic Food Is and Is Not

readers choice

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Reader’s Choice ’12: Poetry Slam Party

Like poetry, Corey Turner is an old friend of mine.

Corey Turner

Corey Turner

Corey’s quip about turning 40 inspired last year’s most-read post, I Like My Bike. He’s a poet the same way I’m a poet—unpaid, part-time, hobbyist. We have a thing for words.

It should come as no surprise when I asked him for his Reader’s Choice post, Corey delivered it along with the words for its introduction. And so I yield the floor to the gentleman from South Carolina.

Aimee and I shared a classroom once, a rogue’s gallery of earnest and earnestly irreverent undergraduates who each of us thought perhaps we might have something to do with Poetry. Someday, anyhow.

But in the intervening years, many of us from that classroom have fallen sadly out of touch with the stanzas that spoke so powerfully to us when we were younger.

April of this past year stood duty as National Poetry Month. And via the magic of the internet, that month rapidly became something of an opportunity to reconnect with those all manner of old familiar friends on the page. Aimee’s post here was part and parcel of that, her readers sharing poems that had leapt off the page for them.

Long ago, some. More recently, others. Regardless, it was immediately apparent if they had ever leapt once, they are still leaping, those poems.

And so sharing good poetry is still, as it always was, a dangerous game. What leapt for one reader will often strike another. Sometimes in unexpected, usually in exceptional, and almost always in provocative ways.

But then again, that’s why we read and share these sorts of things in the first place, isn’t it?

Save the date, everyone. Come April, you’re all invited to a party. Corey’s Reader’s Choice is:

Poetry Slam Party

poetry sign

click to read Poetry Slam Party

readers choice

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Reader’s Choice ’12: Where’s the Beef?

Anna Petersen

Anna Petersen

Many of you met Anna Petersen (aka Chef Nusy) earlier this year when she requested I add her selection to the Reader’s Choice 2011 list

When I asked what her choice for 2012 would be, she was ready. “Having kids eat healthier is a great thing,” she said. “But trying to do it in a one-size-fits-all manner has never, ever worked.”

Law school is on the horizon for this fencer-immigrant-chef-student. Anna’s lobbying skills combined with her determination and common sense promise to make her one excellent attorney.

Anna’s Reader’s Choice is:

Where’s the Beef?

Where's the Beef?

click to read Where’s the Beef?

readers choice

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Merry Christmas from everyday epistle

snowy Christmas

first snow of winter, 12.20.12

He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:10-14 NLT

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