This blog post has been in my draft queue for weeks. To be honest, I’ve not really known how to write it. I’ve done a bit of digging into the purpose of the One Lovely Blog Award and I’ve come to the conclusion that it was created to give bloggers encouragement and support in the world of blogging. Heaven knows we all need encouragement, especially in a “world” where it’s easy to get lost in an ocean of faces, where diversity is as wide as the ocean is long, and hope for acceptance as fierce as its rolling waves. This award is a “pay-it-forward-kind-of-award.” I was nominated by another blogger and I, in return, will nominate 7 more and I’ll share 7 things about myself that you may not know.
To be honest, I started my blog a year ago completely ignorant to the ways of the blogging world. I just wanted an outlet for my thoughts, but because I love to write (and read) it would be so easy to just sit at my computer reading blogs all day long. I could lose myself in other people’s stories and writing styles. There are some amazingly gifted and talented writers out there with some very inspiring stories to tell, but I believe that most bloggers just blog for the love of writing. They have all this passion bottled up inside of them and blogging is the way they unleash their knowledge and insight. I’m just one of the thousands.
To be nominated by another blogger is huge for me. Her name is Karen. Karen Taylor. She’s the first blogger I connected with when I began my blog in the fall of 2013. She, with her “Rosegardens and Thorns” and me, with “my thorn…God’s glory.” No, I’ve never met her face to face, but I feel like I know her. Karen is Jamaican. How cool is that? To connect with someone across the vast ocean that separates us is one of the coolest things ever.
You’ll find Karen at http://taylorkaren.wordpress.com. Her blog is titled, Rosegardens and Thorns. She writes honestly, openly, and sometimes heartbreakingly about her life experiences and struggles. She covers a wide-range of topics. She researches. She journals. She pours it all out. She lives and breathes in the God of second-chances. One of the things I love about her is that she’s an honest-to-goodness-natural-born-encourager. Even though my blog has very few followers, receives very few comments, and has few readers per blog post, Karen continues to lift me up and encourage me to press on. She believes in me.
Wow. You have no idea how much this means to me, Ms. Karen. Thank you for nominating me.
S-o-o-O-o-o-o…here are the 7 random facts about myself…
1. I try to eat healthy. I don’t consider myself a true vegetarian because I do eat fish. I eat little dairy and go light on the bread. I struggle with a sugar addiction.
2. My father took my family to the Holy Land with a side trip to Greece when I was 20 years old. I had my most spiritual moment of worship ever on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee.
3. The first time I ever learned to fish as a child I caught an eel. I’ve never cared for fishing since.
4. In the 90s (1990’s, that is) I was a self-employed decorative artist. Long before this present craze for chalk paint furniture, I painted furniture the hard way…with proper sanding, primer, 2 coats of paint, hand painted flowers, vines or whatever I was commissioned to do, and 2 coats of sealer. I don’t paint much any more, but at the time I had a lucrative business.
5. I love junkin’…thrift shops, flea markets, antique shops, and the occasional yard sale. I need a bumper sticker that reads, Caution: I Brake For Goodwill.
6. My favorite food is Italian. I would eat pasta or pizza every day if I could, but I don’t. Too much cholesterol and too much “sugar.” My body can’t take it anymore.
7. I ran track in high school. As the second leg of the 880 relay team, we were 2nd in district, 2nd in regionals, and proud to represent our district at the state track meet in 1975. As an adult, I never took up running, though. Walking is my #1 form of exercise.
Now…aside from Rosegardens and Thorns, here are 7 blogs that I follow. I occasionally read more than these, but these 7 I read on a regular basis. Most of them have already received the One Lovely Blog Award and most of them already have hundreds of followers, but I read them because they inspire me and speak to where I am in this season of life…
1. Michele Cushatt at michelecushatt.com. She’s a writer, speaker, author, and storyteller, a wife and mother of 6 children. She’s gracefully transparent and, wow, her life is an amazing testimony to the beauty of God’s grace.
2. Lara Williams at tooverflowing.com. She’s a writer, speaker, and author, a wife and mother of 3 children who tells-it-like-it-is. She shares her heart openly and honestly about her life’s struggles.
3. Sherry French at thesplendiferouslife.com. Isn’t that the coolest heading for a blog? The Splendiferous Life! Love it. And it suits Sherry. She’s one of the most creative women I’ve ever met, a beautifully talented and creative artist, wife and mother of 9 children, both biological and adopted. Her heart is for the orphan and Ugandan missions.
4. Renee Bullock at therefinedrelic.com. Renee believes that “every home should have a story” and filled with cherished reminders of the past and present. She and her husband have a passion and interest for historical homes, antiques, and vintage furniture and accessories. She weaves Grace and Truth, Faith and Family into her love of all things “home.”
5. Debbie Wilson at lighthouseministriesnc.org. Debbie and her husband started Lighthouse Ministries to be a “beacon of hope, providing biblical help through counseling, coaching, small groups and weekly articles.” Their passion is to “help people thrive in faith and life.”
6. Edward Roads at mytwosentences.com. Edward’s posts consists of 2 sentences each. Yes, it’s true. It’s amazing to read what he packs into just 2 sentences full of creative, descriptive words that paint beautiful pictures in the mind’s eye…and, yes, there are even amazing photographs that accompany each post.
7. DevotionalDiva.com. This blog was started in 2008 by a published author who recently passed the editor’s baton to Maggie Winterton, another editor, writer, military wife and mom of 2 children. She helps and guides others in sharing their stories on Devotional Diva. I love this site because of the many guest posts. You never know who’ll be writing, what they’ll be sharing, and how they’ll touch your heart.
I guess that wraps it up for my One Lovely Blog Award post. Thank you again, Karen Taylor, for considering my blog “lovely.”
Sweet Blessings to you all today…Nina