My new year started off with a pleasant surprise when Paula Mowery nominated me and other bloggers with the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award.
Here are the rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
3. Answer 10 questions you’ve been sent.
4. Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.
1. What is something you would count as a “success” from this past year?
Seeing Entrusted published.
2. Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Obviously, as a Christian the immediate answer is Jesus. When I finally surrendered everything to Him beyond salvation, I embarked on a relationship full of friendship and intimacy I never would have imagined. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my mom. She had so much adversity growing up and challenges as an adult. She’s got tenacity and faith.
3. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Have the heart of a dove and the skin of a rhino.
4. If you could have a week to retreat, where would you go and what would you do?
Adirondacks to write, read and refresh.
5. Looking back on this year, what are five things you are especially thankful for?
Family. Our home. Health. Writing direction. As much as he drives me crazy, our 80 lb puppy, Tucker.
6. What is one lesson you feel you learned this past year?
I keep referring to it, but the picture on Facebook where Jesus is asking a little girl to give up her teddy bear. She’s telling Him she loves it, not knowing Jesus has an even bigger and better one for her. We were on a faith journey for a new home last year and thought we found “the one.” It fell through and I was so angry. That picture came to mind and helped me surrender that anger and home. In less than a month we had “THE home” and it was so much more than we prayed for, for less than what the first house was. It’s cozy and a sanctuary for others to be encouraged.
7. If there were no limits, what is one goal you would like to achieve this year?
I’d love to have control over what my kids have to deal with and hand them the tools to succeed. With a tween and teen I know that’s not possible. There are times I have to let go of some rope and see what happens, within reason. There are choices I’d love to jump in front of, not bad ones, but ways they could go about things a little better.
8. What is one Bible verse that is special to you and why?
Hosea 2:14. It absolutely delivered me during a wilderness season and I refer to it again and again.
9. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?
I don’t. I think they set me up for failure. I do, however, pray for a word for the year and will listen all year long for the ways I’m to learn from and utilize the word. This year is revive.
10. Do you set goals for yourself in your spiritual life? Give an example.
I do. I’m working through a Bible study, Red Hot Faith by Cindy Bultema, to get that kind of faith back. I let life get in the way and put time with the Lord down on the list, and it showed. I was getting burned out. I set a goal to do things to work on putting Him first and keeping Him there. I’m also journaling, doing a plan on Bible.com, and set a timer to make sure I do these things.
Here are my questions:
1. What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
2. What temptation is hard to resist?
3. If you weren’t doing what you do weekdays, what would your life look like?
4. What book could you read over and over?
5. What motivates you?
6. What are your pet peeves?
7. What are your goals for 2015?
8. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
9. Would you rather stay in a five star hotel, a bed and breakfast, or a cabin?
10. What’s your favorite season? Why?
I’m nominating Jill Barlow, Holly Hrywnak, Penny Frost McGinnis and Jennifer Slattery! I enjoy your blogging!
Each year I look over the books I reviewed and choose the ones I enjoyed most and remember even after I finished the book.
Today I choose the fiction book.
I chose this one because it was more than a romance. It was a message, an invitation by the author to draw into a relationship with meaning. She went even further and on Facebook created a Bible study that not only re visited her book, but walked readers through the story of Ruth.
Beyond I Do by Jennifer Slattery.
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed, socialite psychiatrist. But as Ainsley’s wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream, a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. If she wants to embrace God’s best and find lasting love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Even though it’s been a couple months or so since reading, I’m still thinking about the story. The message. The Bible Study she had on Facebook.
If you need a book to see you through Christmas vacation, I definitely recommend my favorite fiction reviewed book of the year, Beyond I Do.
To purchase Beyond I Do, click here.
It’s a chapter in the Book of Ruth I’ve read several times but I saw received fresh insights that I really could relate to as I compared my story to Ruth’s and to Ainsley, the heroine in Beyond I Do.
I’d love for you to read what I wrote.