A Graceful Bow: The Liebster Award

Today I take a graceful bow.  I was once a ballet dancer as a child.  I loved it.  Today, I am a wife, mother, friend, and blogger.  I run, I walk, I work, I write, I “practice yoga”, and I am thankful for an opportunity to share a splinter of who I am with you today. Tiffany at simplyforone nominated me for the Liebster Award.  I accept, and I give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow.  I dance alongside Tiffany and other women (and men writers) who blog for small audiences.  He is My Light.

I copied the following from Tiffany (who likely cut and pasted from the gal/guy before her) the following about this award:

The Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers for bloggers. It’s an extension of the “Sharing is Caring” principle and helps draw attention to relatively new blogs – a way of paying forward the blogging love. It’s also a really great way to get to know more about the people who write what you read.

Liebster is a German word with meanings such as dearest, sweetest, kindest, lovely, and valued. I don’t know about you, but I’m humbled and overjoyed to be affiliated with any of those words and delighted to not only share my blog, but point to a few of my favorites that are deserving of this same recognition.

The rules are:

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Offer thanks and link back to the blog/blogger that nominated you. (Thank you sweet Tiffany! @ simplyforone !)
  • Share 5 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 other bloggers who you believe deserve the award and who have less than 200 followers. **(I chose to nominate 3…I have learned not to feel pressured by others’ expectations! 😉 And there is no way to tell how many blog followers a blog has unless you ask the blogger…so I ignored this bullet point too.  I just picked friends I know who blog and are not big time authors!)
  • Answer the questions asked by the person nominating you and ask 5 questions of your nominees.

My Five Random Factoids

1. Yo hablo un poco Espanol cuando necessario.  (Translation: I speak a little Spanish when necessary).  I took four years of Spanish in high school from Senora Mejia, a sweet Cuban teacher.  I stayed a week in a home in Mexico where the family only spoke Spanish with exception of the father who was a VW bug driving English teacher.  Now, I speak Spanish with “Abu” the visiting (semi-permanent) grandmother across the street (also from Cuba originally) and with families that enter into our office at work.  I am a speech therapist in Central Florida so we often have Spanish speaking families from various countries of origin.  We are truly a melting pot here.

2.  I can do a back bend at age 35 years old.  I could not earlier this year, but I can now!  I used to do those when I was ten or so year old!  I really did not thing my body could bend that way again or my arms could support my very much larger than child like frame.  However, with some “yoga practice” and some confident cheering from Shannon, the owner of our local yoga studio…my inner child has been awakened!  I love doing back bends now…it releases a length to my spine and neck that no other pose in the day can do!  So…moral of this fact is that your life may feel like fiction at times.  Is this really me?  Why yes…I am not dreaming!

3.  I love boys!  I have always wanted to be a boy mom.  God answered that prayer.  A lot of moms relish in the girly girls.  I love them when they visit my house and enjoy shopping for my nieces, but I am secretly cheering in my head that they are not my own.  My husband and I wanted a girl names “Hope.”  Instead we have the reassurance in our hearts that God meant for us to have “two.”  Two boys…Addison and Bryan have completed our family perfectly.

4. I drink a lot of tea!  Each morning I rise with a cup of tea.  In the afternoons iced tea (sun tea).  I enjoy being my own at home barista.  Tazo and Bigelow are my two favorite tea providers.  When out, I like to treat myself to an occasional “Original Chai Tea Latte” at Starbucks.  They recently added a lighter version by Oprah…bleh!  The Original is SO much superior and worth the 30 or so extra calories.  psst…little secret: “Ask your Starbuck’s barista for one pump of Gingerbread…I called it the Eddie!”  Thank you Eddie and all the Starbucks employees who spy a customer who truly needs a smile in a cup!

5. I paint my fingernails I am not a true girly girl, but I find it has helped me bite my nails less. I am an anxious girl sometimes.  We cope.

Questions from Tiffany @simplyforone

1. Why do you blog? I was given a link to a blog by Ann Voskamp by a girlfriend who knew I would like her writing.  (Thank you Adrienne for that pivotal share!) I absolutely loved Ann, and I was challenged by her to record 1,000 gifts.  I started that process back when our youngest child was still a wee one.  I was struggling with post-partum depression, living in a community far from family, and I was lonely.  Blogging was a way for me to record my family photos and gifts in a list.  It was revolutionary.  I kept my blog private for years, but eventually I felt like going public in that I enjoyed reading others’ blogs so much perhaps someone would like to read mine as well or find it uplifting.

2. Where does your inspiration come from for your blog posts? I get my inspiration from early morning prayers, scriptures I read, or life events that I feel worthy of venting about or rejoicing in.  I have participated in many link ups which also sometimes have topics on others’ blogs that a community of writers write about.

3.  Share a favorite scripture or quote that encourages/inspires you.

Hebrews 4:16New International Version (NIV)

16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

In terms of a quote I have always loved Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

4.  What is your guilty pleasure (food, book, TV show, etc.)? My husband and I watch some adult comedy television shows that are crude, rude, and inappropriate.  He likes them more than I do, but I have grown to like them more than I care to admit.  We also enjoy more wholesome shows as well…The Middle, The Big Bang Theory, and Grey’s Anatomy as well as lots of college football!

5.  If you could meet one person and ask them one question – who & what? I would like to meet Tom Hanks and ask him, “What sets you apart from other actors? You seem so down to earth.

**Blogs I nominate:

Where My Feet May Fail

I met Sara in Kansas.  She and I were in a small group as a part of Community Bible Study back in 2008-2009.  I was pregnant with my second child, and Sara had one or two children as well?!  I cannot remember Sara!  All I know is that sweet mom friend of mine was struggling with some health challenges, and I was struggling with being a young mom as well.  We were nurtured by God’s Word and the women around us, and we still are!  She and I both started blogging after we parted ways, and we are still good virtual friends via Facebook.  Her words are authentic and funny.  I appreciate her mom wit because mine is similar.  Visit Sara if you want to be encouraged in God’s Word and know that there is glory in the love and loss of life.  Hardy Mums is a post where she shares about the loss of her own father and the wishes we have of seeing are loved ones in heaven.  Until then we will cling fiercely to our memories had with them here on earth.

Stephanie Kelleher, LCSW

Stephanie and I met in high school in Florida.  She now lives in New York and is married to a man from Ireland.  Hence the adorable picture above.  She and her husband have one daughter.  Recently, she bravely started a private practice in counseling.  She lives in New York , and I can tell that her blogging days are just beginning.  Her first (and only two) posts thus far are phenomenal: Self Care 101 Part One & Part Two.  Please visit her and ask her to write more for us!  Her professional and personal insight are outstanding for all of those who struggle with the stresses of daily life.

The Williams Six

Sarah I also met in Kansas.  Can you see a trend here?  As with my name, Jennifer, there were a lot of Sara/Sarahs born and named in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Sarah and I both went to the Florida State University and married our college sweethearts.  One day when I called a number in a parenting publication from the local library in Johnson County, I had the sweet voice of Sarah welcoming to joy the MOPS group of the town where we lived.  She and I became fast friends because we liked to whisper during the meetings and parent with a freer spirit than most.  She and I have cheered each other on as moms, FSU fans, and in blogging.  Sara is my third and final Liebster nomination.   I like this one: You are More than enough And Not too Much.  She will warm your heart and feed your faith if you hop over to her blog.  Her family is faith-filled and funny!

Dear Nominees: You are each deserving of this award, but your participation is voluntary.
Should you choose to participate, in addition to the rules above, my questions to you are:

1.  Why do you blog?

2.  What frustrates you about blogging and what brings you joy in the writing?

3.  Share a favorite scripture or quote that encourages/inspires you.

4.  What has been your favorite vacation destination and why?

5.  If you could meet one person and ask them one question – who & what?

Thanks for reading more about me and my blogging friends.  Please take a moment to visit the three blogs above.  If you like what you read, do let them know.  We often write for ourselves, families, and close friends.  However, when we reach a reader we may not know it is nice to get some feedback and interaction with how our post impacted you.

May God show you His Glimmers of Grace Today,

Jennifer

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