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Liebster Award


Let me set a scene for you.

Imagine you've floated back in time. You're sitting in a theater watching the newest John Hughes film starring Molly Ringwald. Think Pretty in Pink, 16 Candles, or Breakfast Club (…for my readers that don't know what I'm talking about you're seriously missing out). Though this movie is set in the 80's, with all its big hair and bright outfit charm, somehow time travel has introduced the world of blogs to the year 1987.  Per usual you're smitten with Molly's character. You feel her pain. You feel her joy. So when the music starts and she breaks into a celebratory dance with her pooch because she's just found out someone other than her best friend and her dad reads her blog you can't help but stand and slow clap along with the other movie goers.
In this moment I am Molly (so clap for me y'all! Or at least smile a little, gosh tough crowd). I'd like to thank Joanna Appel at Faint Not Mom for plucking me from blog obscurity and nominating me for the Liebster Award. Since I'm not one to toot my own horn *chuckles because I totally am* I'm going to copy and paste Joanna's explanation of the award:
"The Liebster Award is a way for new bloggers to be recognized for their great content AND to recognize other up-and-coming blogs for their wonderfulness."
What happens next? Now you get to listen to me ramble on about myself, lucky you. And then you'll see my list of nominees.

How did you decide on the title of your blog, and what is it about?
This is really deep y'all so brace yourselves *drumroll* my…blog name…was inspired…by Pinterest!
Before you become outraged by my lack of originality let me explain. I saw this pin inspired by the chorus of the Mumford and Sons' song After the Storm so I googled the song.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there.
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair. 

I heard the song awhile before I started the blog but it stuck with me. I identified with that girl I imagined sitting atop of a hill. Even though the storms of life beat against her she never lost her ability to see the extraordinary qualities of the things most people take for granted (like the flowers she plucked and put in her hair). And the grace overflowing from her heart was the grace that only came from Jesus (because I'm a Christian and all other definitions of that word are null and void to me).
I knew my blog would be faith-based so incorporating those two words seemed like a no brainer. I flipped the order because 1-It's alphabetical and just sounds better. And 2-I come from the YoungLife school of thought that teaches you need to "earn the right to be heard". First one must be relational (Who are you? Who am I?) and then one can share the teachings of Jesus.
Where does your blogging inspiration come from?
My blog started as I entered into my first year of middle school ministry. I was used to working with high school students who being able to drive, stay out later, and having less social media restrictions were able to bond with me more quickly. The blog was a way to supplement "coffee dates" I wasn't able to have with my 6th graders and to touch on issues they were too shy to talk about in our larger group setting.  
Then a funny thing happened. Some of my former students that were still in high school told me they loved what I was writing, then some of my girls that had moved on to college, and finally my twenty-something year old friends. This discovery caused f + g to "grow up" a bit but my inspiration is still centered on girl talk from a Christian world view.
Can you give 11 random facts about yourself?
-I love tea! Earl Grey and Thai are my favorite types.
-British shows make my heart flutter.
-Santa STILL sends me presents even though I'm an adult.
-I've had a ton of near-death experiences.
-One of which left me with a huge scar on my tummy.
-So you'll probably never see me in a bikini (and that's only partially because I value modesty).
-I sew…or rather I enjoy altering my thrift store finds.
-I love wearing sunblock on dreary days because the smell reminds me of the beach.
-I was that geeky kid that went to Harry Potter book release parties and opening night at the movies with her dad (but I didn't dress up).
-Dancing, especially on stage, is my happy place.
-I'm actually really really shy so people sometimes think I'm stuck up (ouch #IntrovertProbz).

What was your biggest accomplishment of 2014?
2014 was a huge year of growth and self-discovery for me. I'm a big people pleaser (I think most adopted kids are…we feel obligated to be worthy of the love we've been shown or something). So finally being able to shrug my self-imposed restrictions and be honest about who I wanted be and what I wanted my life to look life was a big deal.  

What is it you love most about blogging?
I can officially call myself a "writer". English and literature were always my favorite subjects in school (though the informalness of my blog might suggest otherwise). Also I'm able to be more transparent on "paper".
Most important is the people I get to touch. Each time I hear from someone on the other side of the country or in another country that I've never met I feel so honored that God has allowed me enter their sphere of influence…it seriously blows my mind *wipes tear from eye*.

If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
If you've been around since my first post you'll know I'm a former pageant girl so my answer would have to be world peace!
But seriously, my number one wish is that everyone could know the love of Jesus. Not just the facts but the overwhelming relational love that pushes one from a head to a heart knowledge. I think that would solve the other problems like ending hunger or sex trafficking because people filled with love look out for those that can do nothing for them in return #LoveDoes.
But to lighten the mood my second wish would be that more people owned dogs because dog people usually aren't jerks. (Unless they like those little yappy purse sized things disguising themselves as dogs. Unfortunately my parents own one but I still think they're pretty great people. We all have moments where poor judgment takes over. ) My third wish would be more wishes because I'm a rebel and the rules don't apply to me!

What are you currently watching or reading?
Reading: Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
I received a pre-released rough copy of the book about a month or so ago but didn't start reading it until my trip last week. When I got back I found out it wasn't actually available in stores until 4/14. Needless to say I felt like a VIP and I've already seen some heart changes in myself due to Brant's advice.
Watching: (yes I can read that the question says OR… #rebel) The first order of business when I got home and had wifi access was of course to turn on Netflix. It recommended Death in Paradise, which based solely on the picture, seemed like a good thing to fall asleep watching. What I didn't know was 1-it's British 2-I totally related to #IslandLifeProbz after my trip (is that a sea urchin?! ahhh) and 3- it's a series not a movie. I'm 2 1/4 episodes in and I'm hooked.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
People ask all the time if I'm from Cali. Though I'm not it has a special place in my heart and sometimes I think my soul yearns to stay there for longer than a week at a time.
What is something you do when you need to take time for yourself?
I'm a firm believer that bubble baths soothe most things from a hurt knee to a broken heart.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
I used to be super obsessed with planning my future; what my career would be, when I would get married, what school district I'd raise my imaginary kids in. But last year God totally turned my plans upside down and reminded me I'm not in control. I'm a lot happier now so even though it makes me sound like a total flake I have no earthly idea and I'm more than ok with enjoying the journey.

Thanks again to the amazing Joanna Appel from Faint Not Mom for my nomination!

I now nominate the following blogs (with instructions below):
Instructions for Nominees

Answer the eleven questions given to you by the person that nominated you (see below).

Comment on this post with your link when you are done. So I can see your awesome answers!

When you post, link back to the person/blog who nominated you and give a little thank you, shout out.

Then nominate 11 bloggers with 200-ish or less followers on the social media platform of your choice and give them eleven questions of your choice.

Notify your nominees of their nomination, and provide a link to your post so that they know what to do.

Here are your questions:
  1. How did you decide on the title of your blog, and what is it about?
  2. Where does your blogging inspiration come from?
  3. Can you give 11 random facts about yourself?
  4. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2014?
  5. What is it you love most about blogging?
  6. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
  7. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
  8. What are you currently watching or reading?
  9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  10. What is something you do when you need to take time for yourself?
  11. Where do you see yourself in five years time?