Happy New Year!

I can see you glancing at your calendars now. “I know time flies but is it January already?”

I’m just messin’ with ya.

Actually, for me, September has always been the new year. January is incidental. I can’t quite remove myself from my years of training from the world of academia to think of September as the new year: In my area, elementary and high schools start the Wednesday after Labor Day. Even in college and seminary, although we’d start the new year at the end of August, things didn’t seriously kick into gear until after Labor Day. Then I raised kids, and the last couple of weeks of August were so filled with pre-September going-back-to-school prep that, again, August almost didn’t count. (Except my August birthday. That counted!)

Photo by peppysis; Used by permission, creativecommons.org.

Photo by peppysis; Used by permission, creativecommons.org.

I love the new year that starts in September. Now that my kids are in college and buying their own school supplies, I miss the thrill of seeking out the perfect notebooks, folders, and pens–clean, bright, shiny, and just filled with the possibility of learning ahead. Once in awhile I still find myself–as computer-oriented as I now am–with a yen to buy a new notebook. Just because of the possibilities of all those wonderful blank pages.

So with this post, we are officially kicking off a new year for the In Their Shoes blog. This blog is, essentially, one big exciting blank page of possibilities! We’ve been hard at work these last few weeks lining up a really exciting list of topics and writers for the 2013-2014 program year. We’ll be addressing some of those same topics you’ve come to rely upon us for, but with new perspectives: economic empowerment, immigration, refugees and displaced persons, domestic violence, multicultural ministries, and advocacy. We’re also introducing some new topics this year–seasonal biblical reflections and self-care in ministry, among others. This year, the blog will contain several “series” of posts that will be interspersed through the year to allow us to explore topics from a variety of angles.

Can’t you just smell the new notebooks, so ready to be written upon with everything you’re learning and inspired to do?

If you’re not already subscribed to this blog by email, let me encourage you to do so right now. It’s easy–there’s a link in the sidebar. That way you’ll get every post in your email inbox as soon as it’s posted. If you use a blog reader (such as Feedly or BlogLovin’), use the RSS feed in the sidebar to make sure you’re subscribed that way. You can also subscribe through NetworkedBlogs on Facebook.

Did you also know you can share posts with others? At the bottom of every post you’ll see share buttons so you can pass along your favorite blog posts to your friends. Maybe they’ll subscribe too!

As I read what everyone is writing for upcoming blog posts, I can’t help but wiggle a little bit in my seat, just like I did when I was in kindergarten. Everything is just so exciting–I can’t wait to share it all with you in the months ahead. So, Happy New Year, readers!

Peace, Sandy

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Welcome!

Welcome to the new blog–a sister, of sorts, to our podcast series, “In Their Shoes: Women Walking with Women Worldwide.” We got thinking about the fact that we often have books we’ve read, documentaries we’ve watched, or just things in the news that we’re keeping an eye on, that don’t always make it into a podcast episode. How could we share those things with people who have the same concerns we do? Why, a blog, of course!

So here it is, “In Their Shoes: The Blog.” We’ll be posting recommendations, news items, stories about people at work in the field, and all sorts of helpful things related to global issues having impact upon women and girls.

We’ll also be looking to you to help us–be sure to leave your own thoughts and suggestions in the comments on the blog. Your voice is important to the conversation!

You can follow this blog in a number of ways: subscribe through email, or subscribe to the RSS feed through your favorite blog reader. You’ll see links for both of those options in the sidebar. You can also subscribe through Networked Blogs in Facebook if you’d like–and be sure to like our Facebook page!

Again, welcome, and we’re glad you’re with us on the journey.