One of my favourite things about blogging is the sense of community. I love that we can encourage one another, and it was a lovely surprise that recently two different bloggers nominated me for blogger awards!
Bethany from First and Second Blog passed on the Liebster Award and the Blogger Recognition Award and Ali from Humble Mumblings nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you both! This post is my attempt to somehow combine all three awards which each have slightly different rules!
The Blogger Recognition Award asks the recipient to share briefly about how their blog began and give two pieces of blogging advice.
The Liebster Award and Sunshine Blogger Award both call for answers to questions provided by the nominator, and the Liebster Award also asks the recipient to share 11 facts about themselves.
All three awards give the opportunity to nominate up to 15 other blogs for this honour!
This is going to be a long post, but feel free to skip down to the bits that interest you!
How this Blog Started
For a while I had felt the call to start writing. I had written in journals for years but had never shared my writing. Browsing online, I discovered Five Minute Friday and found a book study taking place on the same website, looking at “On Being A Writer” by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton-Craig. I signed up and committed to giving it a shot. By the time the study was over, I knew writing was something I wanted to keep going with and I was amazed by the community I’d found. Two years and three months later I’m still going. I’ve never had a great master plan for my writing but it’s been exciting to see where the journey has taken me.
Advice for Bloggers
- Keep your focus on God and not on the number of page views. I know that the times when I’ve had one person contacting me to say that my writing has helped them or impacted them that has meant more than having good statistics.
- Visit other blogs and participate in the blogging community. Especially if you take part in link-ups, take time to encourage other bloggers. You will be encouraged in return, both by their posts and the friendships you make!
11 Fun Facts about Me
- When I was a child I had a red birthmark below my nose. People used to stop my mum on the street to tell her that my nose was bleeding! (Fortunately it faded and disappeared by itself as I got older.)
- I can remember not being able to read words, but I can’t remember not being able to read music.
- I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I love The Apprentice. (I’m not into business at all but I’m fascinated by the team dynamics.)
- I love musicals. I don’t have one favourite but three: The Sound Of Music, Les Miserables and Wicked!
- Walking is my preferred mode of transport whenever possible (except in torrential rain 🙂 )
- I never learned to ride a bike as a child and I have pretty much concluded it’s a skill I don’t really need.
- I had a (very bad) poem published when I was 14 and earned the princely sum of 65p!
- When I was a child I always wanted to go on the game show Supermarket Sweep- I was convinced that my brother and I would be the perfect team (and I’ve just heard it’s making a return soon so maybe it’s not too late!)
- I enjoy cross stitch but find it hard to make the time.
- I enjoy baking when I have the time. My favourite is cherry bakewell cupcakes.
- Along with my band I’ve played at many memorable events. One that will always stick with me is “Le Doudou” festival in Belgium where a fight between St George and the dragon is re-enacted in the town square. I accidentally got a bit close to the action and almost got crushed by the crowd and trampled by St George’s horses!
Answers to 11 Questions (a combination of Bethany and Ali’s questions to stop this post getting any longer!)
1. What is the most beautiful place you’ve visited?
The island of Arran (off the west coast of Scotland)
2. What’s your favorite movie quote?
“Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end” (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
3. It’s a beautiful day and you are reading a book outside. Are you sitting in the sun or shade?
Shade, definitely! I burn far too easily!
4. Favourite ice cream?
This is an unusual one, but I tried Parma Violet ice cream this summer and it was amazing! (For people who have no idea what I’m talking about, Parma Violets are little purple sweets that taste like flowers. You either love them or you hate them!)
5. How many states have you visited?
Just one- Florida! (but I think I have blogging friends in at least 20!)
6. How do you find God’s presence in your day?
Reading the Bible in the morning, listening to worship music, trying to make time to walk and pray.
7. What’s one thing you would want said about you at your funeral?
That I encouraged others, gave them hope and pointed them to Jesus.
8. What is your favourite book and why?
The Bible because it’s God’s Word and it has power. (I know that’s the “right” answer, but it’s also true!)
9. Name one song you’ll never stop listening to?
I’m sure there are loads, but one I listen to a lot right now is “Fighting Words” by Ellie Holcomb.
10. Worst travel experience ever?
A five hour bus journey by myself on a bus that was far too hot, squashed into a seat next to the toilet (which smelled really bad), surrounded by a group of guys who were drinking and talking loudly over the top of me to one another the whole way!
11. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
It comes from Psalm 18:19: “He led me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because he delights in me.” It’s a verse that is special to me and I liked the idea that this blog was about exploring the spacious place and the freedom we have in Christ.
My Blog Nominations
I love several of the blogs Bethany nominated, but since I have so many to choose from I’m going to select different people here. If you have time, I’d encourage you to check out Bethany’s list too!
Freed To Fly- Trudy Den Hoed
Trudy’s posts are always full of encouragement and hope. Look out for her end of month round-ups with quotes, songs and amazing nature photos!
Where Faith And Grace Hold Hands- Jeanne Takenaka
Jeanne’s writing is authentic and thought-provoking. She is a great photographer too!
Along The Way- Marie Gregg
I love Marie’s boldness- that she tells it like it is and that she is not afraid to tackle the tough topics.
Praying On The Prairie- Tara Ulrich
Check out Tara’s Write 31 Days series on Jagged Grace for beautiful reflections of God at work in the brokenness of life.
Back On The Floor Again- Gabriele Burgess
Gabriele has the skill of writing posts that are concise but profound. I often find that her reflections make me think, and I love her art work too!
Linda’s posts are full of wisdom and I always feel a sense of peace when I visit her blog.
Journey Pink- Michelle Viscuse
Michelle’s writing is powerful, and she is courageous about shining light into the darkness of childhood sexual abuse and speaking hope.
I never fail to be inspired by Debby’s stories of her work with men in recovery and her testimonies of God’s power transforming lives.
Grace With Silk- Valerie Sisco
Valerie is a great storyteller. I enjoy the humour in her posts and the way she draws spiritual truths from real life experiences.
Surrounded By The Spirit- Ceil Ryan
Another wonderful storyteller who can see the divine in the ordinary- always full of encouragement.
I love Mary’s honest and thoughtful reflections on life and faith.
Hope And Light- Barbara Robbins
Barbara’s posts are full of wisdom on looking to God in the midst of life’s challenges. She has a particular focus on living with chronic illness but many of her posts are more widely applicable too.
Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart- Andrew Budek-Schmeisser
Andrew’s insights are drawn from his journey of living with terminal cancer and they are always thought-provoking and challenging.
Embracing Every Day- Barbie Swihart
Barbie’s writing is honest and vulnerable, and always contains encouragement to look for glimpses of beauty in the midst of the challenges of life.
The Gritty Pearl- Meg Gemelli
I’ve enjoyed getting to know Meg over the last few months through her #GritUp Writers’ Collective linkup. I love her writing and her honest reflections on life and faith.
If I’ve nominated you to take part and you’d like to (absolutely no pressure!) then please do whatever parts of the challenge you want to and we’ll stick with the same eleven questions!