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A good friend and fellow writer/blogger nominated my blog, Ponderings & Promises, for an award—The Liebster Blog award!  Just in case you’re wondering what Liebster means (having spent almost half my childhood in Germany, I had a rough idea already), it’s a term of endearment (Aww…) meaning beloved, dearest, darling or sweetheart… boyfriend, to be exact. A loose translation in the blogosphere is favorite. And bloggers all over the globe are nominating their favorite up-and-coming blogs, having less than 200 followers, for this fun distinction.

Hannah is the friend who nominated me, and I accept! (Thanks, Hannah, for including P&P among your favorites!) Her blog is found here: http://spiritofsocialwork.wordpress.com/, with posts that are thought-provoking and engaging.

Because this award is meant to be shared, upon acceptance there are a few rules recipients should follow:

1. The Liebster Blog award exists only in the blogosphere, as past recipients make the nominations. Spreading the word and extending affirmation will make someone’s day!

2. After thanking the blogger who nominated me and linking to her blog, I have to answer the 10 questions she sent.

3. Then I get to choose 10 of my favorite new blogs/bloggers to receive my nomination (this may take some time and they won’t be in any order of importance…). I’ll also send along 10 questions for them to answer. With each nomination I’ll include the blog’s link.

The questions follow with my answers:

1.  How would you describe yourself in three words? Sensitive. Praying. 19th-century-English-countryside-transplant. (I really do love all the things ladies spent their time with in Jane Austen’s stories: reading, writing, dining with guests at sparkling tables, going for walks anywhere it’s green, making music, dancing, embroidering cushions/needlework, and dressing up in gorgeous gowns designed for sitting, standing, waltzing and generally acting ladylike for long periods of time. But 21st century American life doesn’t leave much room for pursuing these interests. Perhaps it has something to do with my husband not being a duke…! )

2.  What inspired you to blog?  I have always written—since first grade, growing up in a military family overseas, sending thank you notes to grandparents for birthday gifts. It wasn’t enough for me to just write, Thank you for the money and the card. I always felt the need to write more—about my life, my aspirations—and I tried to make my girlish narratives interesting. Over the years I’ve written snail-mail letters, church and school newsletters, newspaper columns, magazine articles, essays, works of fiction in various states of non-completion, lots of “I’m gonna give him/her/them a piece of my mind” letters that THANKFULLY were rarely sent… and now blogging. I think I’m addicted!

3.  What is your happiest moment to date?  When someone very close to me said, I tried to not believe in God, but couldn’t, because there’s too much evidence that He really does exist.

4.  Who currently inspires you?  Friends having tons of faith, who look me in the eye and say, I can’t wait to see what God has planned…! Especially when we’re in the middle of a battle with the enemy!

5.  What accomplishment are you most proud of?  The simple fact that I’ve persevered. So many times in family and ministry life I could have given up. But the Holy Spirit was always at my side, shaking His head at my desire to retreat, and nudging me forward. My life may not look like much to some people, but if they knew where I came from and what direction I could have taken, they would realize how BLESSED I am.

6.  What do you do to practice self-care?  Besides walking regularly and eating lots of veggies, whole grains, unprocessed foods, and the like, I try to spend quiet time, reading, writing or doing something creative for my home (sew curtains, paint furniture, organize a space, redecorate a room, etc.).

7.  What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?  I’ve got this split-personality-thing going on, being Choleric and Melancholy—two temperaments that are poles apart. I’m hoping, trying, attempting, and very definitely working on blending the two… to strengthen the strengths, and debilitate the weaknesses… So far, it’s a challenge that keeps me on my knees every day!

8.  How would you explain your basic life philosophy? To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God. (Micah 6:8)

9.  What is one of your most awkward moments?  Lately as responsibilities pile up, I’ve sort of become scatter-brained (forgetting things, unintentionally neglecting people or tasks or both), and then I’ve had to explain why I didn’t take care of what I meant to take care of. I keep insisting the real me (organized, structured, proper—you know—the neat-as-a-pin-type… whatever that means) was abducted by aliens. And they left this disorganized, half-crazed woman (i.e. clone) in my place! But no one believes me…

10.  What is the funniest moment you can remember?  I rarely remember what starts our family laughing—I just remember the laughter. But one instance I’ll never forget was when my brother-in-law Dan lived with us for a few months. I ran a day-care and one of the kids dropped a small bin of toys. Dan teased the kid and said, Don’t you have a brain? Then he laughed and helped him pick up the toys. The next day when the boy and his mom came, she told me she had dropped something the night before, and her son said, Don’t you have a brain? She wondered if I knew where he got that from! (Note: Check my Just for Laughs category once in awhile for some good, clean humor!)

Those are the questions and answers… now for my first nomination:

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http://jessiniaruff.blogspot.com/ Jessinia’s blog is called, A River of Joy. This young college-age woman currently lives in the Dominican Republic doing mission work, and shares her insights and experiences as she seeks to know her Savior more and enjoy world travel.

Other nominations to come in the near future. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share.

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