Natalie Ogbourne

At our Christmas celebration the cover image of a magazine in my parents’ living room caught my eye. It featured Adele. I like reading about celebrities, usually in germ-infested copies of People magazine at the doctor’s office. I wasn’t at the doctor’s and this wasn’t People.

It was Time magazine.

All I knew about Adele was that she’s known for taking a different-than-usual celebrity path.  So I picked up the magazine and read about her decision to step back from the limelight for a few years after the birth of her child, that her next album will be released too late to meet the eligibility deadline for the coming year’s awards, and how she writes her music in an old-school way largely left by the wayside in today’s pop music industry.

It was a list of the ways that she’s taken the road less traveled and how it’s working for her.

They say she has a beautiful voice, but it’s the way she looks at life I find myself admiring, the way she summed up when she told the interviewer that we discover things too easily and let go of them too quickly. It was a strong indictment on the times and the way we live.

There’s a whiteboard on the wall at our local coffee shop that features a quote for each day: Chuck Norris-isms, jokes, scripture, movie lines, and serious words from long-dead men. G.K. Chesterton’s words filled the board yesterday: The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. They reminded me of Adele’s observation about the ease and speed with which we find and let go of the discoveries we make.

Whether into a new day or a new year, moving forward well requires that we take a long what we’ve learned along the way and that, for me anyway, means an occasional look in the rearview mirror.

So in this season of looking ahead to this new year, the ways we’d like to be more healthy or more disciplined, I’d like to encourage you to look back toward the discoveries, the bits of wisdom, the hard-won lessons you’ve picked up along the way and take them along into the new year with you.

On the topic of looking back, I’m offering up some favorites of 2015: the books, internet reads, and even movies that have made me laugh, gave me something to think about, or made a difference in my journey, as well as some of my favorite and most viewed Along This Road posts.


  • Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist–Her words offer companionship for the journey. This is one of her earliest books and probably my favorite.
  • Art and the Bible by Frances A. Schaeffer–Interesting perspectives on art and the Bible, as well as valuable insight and encouragement about how our life should be the best art.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee–My oldest two read this for school and I reread it with them. I was amazed at how much was lost on me when I read it back in high school.
  • Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson–On the topic of taking responsibility–for your life, your faith, your marriage, your parenting, your home, just to name a few and written by one of those treasured older women.  She’s a season further down the road than I am and I appreciate her gentle way of challenging and encouraging those of us who come after her.

From the Internet:


  • The September Issue–Fashion may be a little frivolous, but clothing is necessary, and the insight, creativity, and choices behind the biggest issue in the industry was fascinating.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens–It did actually give me something to think about. Plus it was old school Star Wars and I went not just with my husband and our children, but also with my mom and dad and my brother and his family. It was nearly reliving moments from my childhood.
  • War Room–Encouraging and convicting. That’s a good combination right there, one that’s not always easily achieved.
  • Age of Ultron–What Can I say? We’re Marvel people around here.

Top Viewed Posts from Along This Road:

My Favorite Along This Road posts:

And you? What from this year do you want to take along with you into the new one? Have you read anything, watched anything, seen anything that has impacted your journey? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.