Best Blog Posts I Read in 2008

December 31, 2008 | 17 comments

After my 8 Things I Learned in 2008 post, I couldn’t resist ending the year with one more list! This is absolutely not a comprehensive list of every great post or article that I read, just some highlights, with an emphasis on links that didn’t get around much so some people may have missed. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! (Those of you who have been following my links blog all year will have seen most of these.)

  1. By far the best post I read this year was the Raving Atheist’s Christmas post. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with his site, for a long time he was one of the biggest atheist bloggers on the web.)
  2. Barbara Curtis’ series of posts about her 90+ pound weight loss (and learning to let go of the entitlement mentality) have had a huge influence on me as I think about my own relationship to food. Some particularly good posts: Diet Update; More Diet Discussion; and When Your Spouse is Overweight. I look forward to joining her in the new Google group she just created.
  3. This article about the concept of creating a domestic monastery really inspired me throughout the year.
  4. Serial killer Ted Bundy’s last interview, with a focus on how pornography impacted his life, is one of the most chilling, fascinating things I read this year.
  5. This post about when feminists become mothers, along with its fascinating look at the idea that autonomy is the most important goal for a person to seek, has kept me thinking throughout the year.
  6. I gained so much wisdom from reading The Philosopher Mom’s series of short posts about Teresa of Avila’s spiritual classic The Interior Mansions. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with the work, St. Teresa describes spiritual growth through the analogy of the soul being like a castle with God at the very center.)
  7. Throughout the year I have often thought of the beautiful words in this post where a mom describes the love she’s experienced with each of her adopted children, some of them who came from difficult backgrounds: “Love is what life is about.”
  8. [Deleted – turns out the story the article referred to was not true.]
  9. I’ve referred to The Cynical Christian’s post about God and objective good many times throughout the year for his clear articulation of the important point that “when we say ‘God is good, ‘ we’re not describing what God is, we’re describing what good is–good is God.”

  10. Scribbit’s post about children and extracurricular activities gave me a lot of food for thought (and a much-needed reality check) as my own children get to the age where they will have more options for groups, lessons, sports and other activities.
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien’s words about the Eucharist have strengthened and inspired me many times throughout the year.
  12. This interview with Peter Kreeft was fascinating. I especially liked his answer about the biggest obstacle facing orthodox Christianity.
  13. Matthew Archbold’s post about how he went from a career-obsessed newspaperman to a stay-at-home dad is touching and well worth reading.
  14. I often think of Finslippy’s post about art and fear when I struggle with the writing process, particularly the fascinating example she shares of an experiment with a ceramics class (it’s right under the video).

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!


  1. Umm Yasmin

    Just wanted to leave a little comment saying congratulations on being a fellow finalist for the Best Religion Blog category in the Weblog Awards!!

    I’m really fascinated to read your blog, especially given your conversion from atheism to belief in God!!

  2. Jane @ What About Mom?

    The Rosenblat love story was just that: incredible. Was very, very sad to learn that he and his wife had made it up.

    Thanks for the other links! You’ve introduced me to some interesting people.

    I so enjoy your blog; I’m a life-long believer, but conversion is not a one-time thing.

  3. Jessica

    Jen, thank you, thank you, thank you for posting that link to the domestic monastery article. It gave me the key to understanding a lot of what I didn’t have the words to understand about the past year of my life. I never feel like I understand things until I can verbalize them, and that article describes exactly the phenomenon I’ve been trying to put words to for the past several months.

  4. Robert

    The Holocaust story you linked to is a hoax. It’s been all over the news. The guy lied; he met his wife in the States after the war was over.

  5. Patterson's page

    I am going to check into a number of your favorite blogs ASAP. I love your blog and check it often. I am a mother of 5 kids under 10. I have been experiencing many of the same struggles/learning points as you this last year and your posts really hit home. I have been working on efficiency in my home/trying to establish daily prayer etc. I had also read Holly Pierlot’s book this year so have been working on a schedule which I must say hasn’t really been working for my super-undisciplined self. I have a blog which isn’t really a blog but more of a post-pictures for grandma type of website.

    I noticed that one of your favorite stories is the one of the incredible reunion after the Holocaust. I was also amazed by this story and had heard it told at a retreat one time. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the other day, on Dec 28th, it came out in the media that the story was made up. I can’t remember which paper I read it in but if you do a quick google search you will find numerous articles about the latest details.

    I look forward to reading your blog in the coming year and I plan to follow your advice and take my new year’s resolutions to Adoration.


  6. Judy

    I am really enjoying your posts – you are in my reader! Due to your suggestion I am now trying to pray the Office of Readings.

    Just FYI: re:#8 – it was revealed this week that the story is untrue and that the couple duped their editor, publisher and Oprah. They are Holocaust survivors – but did not meet as they claim.

    I hope you have a wonderful 2009.

    God Bless, Judy

  7. Adoro

    FYI ~ Are you aware that the Holocaust story you linked to was fabricated? They made it up and have admitted to it. 🙁 I loved that story, too.

  8. Eli's Lids

    Found your blog while blog hopping. Wow! I can’t wait to read all of these links. I think my hubby will enjoy them too, so I’ll wait till tonight. Thanks!!

  9. Bender

    I don’t have a list of individual “best blog posts,” but I frequently find that Conversion Diary gives me something to think about.

    Now, I’ve not read any of the posts on this list, but a word of caution about Ted Bundy:
    Ted Bundy was a psychopathic, narcassistic, manipulative liar. Porn is a bad thing, but porn did not cause Bundy to be a monster. Ted Bundy caused Ted Bundy to be a monster.

    His deflecting his own personal responsibility is perfectly consistent with being a psychopathic, narcassistic, manipulative liar. (Even though he says, “I’m not blaming pornography. I’m not saying it caused me to go out and do certain things,” that is exactly what he goes on to do in a Manichaeistic fashion.) And his telling Dobson, et al. what they want to hear is equally consistent with being a psychopathic, narcassistic, manipulative liar.

    Again, porn is bad. Porn is very bad. But it is far more extensive and readily available today, including disgustingly grotesque and violent porn, and yet we have not had an explosion of Bundyesque serial killings. It was not the evil of porn that made Bundy a monster. It was Bundy who chose all by himself to be a psychopathic monster, and was thereby readily attracted to psychopathic violent porn.

    That, and the fact that Bundy was a master manipulator should caution anyone into gaining any insights from his own self-serving words.

  10. Ken & Carol

    Almost every author I really like has been devoured once I’d read one of their works. And often some of the authors that the original mentioned, and so on. So I will check out your list of ’08 blog posts. Thanks for the tips.

    Word verification: “anani” Is that one of those people you hire to take care of your kids if you can afford it?

  11. Kristen J

    Thanks, Jen, for a great year of blog posts and these cool links! I often mention/link your blog to others; you have a real gift for analysis and writing — and a similar family life to mine.

    Happy Christmas Season and New Year to you and yours!

  12. Lauren

    Thanks for sharing these links! I really enjoyed “the philosopher mom” and I find that I am totally falling in love with Peter Kreeft’s writing lately, so the interview with him was great.

  13. Douchemaster

    Jesus is like a drug for simple minded fools, but you seem to have overdosed on the christology. Seek help soon.

  14. Scribbit

    Thanks so much for including me–I’m glad you liked the post!

  15. Anonymous

    All Catholics (like me) who complain about the shortcomings of a celebrant of a Mass, or s choir or a liturgy, need to read Tolkien on the Eucharist. He helped me let go of all those preoccupations and focus on the miraculous gift of Jesus in the Eucharist. The truth has set me free. Thanks Judy

  16. Tres Angelas

    “Jesus is like a drug for simple minded fools.” Hey, there’s an original thought.

    No, wait, Karl Marx said pretty much the same thing about religion in 1843: “It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.”

    Mm-hmm, as clearly demonstrated by all the happy people who thrived under Marxist dictatorships in the Soviet Union, Red China, North Korea, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola, Cuba… Well, you get the idea.

    Of course, why I’m responding to a, um, gentleman calling himself “Douchemaster” is beyond me. I’ll stop now.

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