So, while I was busy working on my vertigo in Alaska, the fabulous JennyLynn at JennyLynn Author/Book Blogger nominated me for a Liebster Award. This award is aimed at recognizing new blogging talent. (I mean, the Pioneer Woman and Jen Hatmaker did not start out as household names, and there was a time in United States history when people said “Beth Moore who?”). I am gushing that a busy writer, mom, pursuer of ministry, publisher of novellas for new adults, devotions for all of us walking the Christian walk, would think my start up blog would be worth a mention. If you read this, click on her link and go check out all the amazing ways this writer is sharing her faith. For more information and official rules on the Liebster Award, click on this link: The Global Aussie, Liebster Award
As part of my nomination, I am required to a: answer some questions provided to me by JennyLynn, and b: create some new questions for some fellow bloggers I would like to nominate. As I answer the questions, think of this post as a way to get to know the girl behind “A Girl and Her God”.
Also, because JennyLynn publicly declared that she is a purveyor of corny jokes, I’d like to throw this in as a bonus, brought to you courtesy of my 17 year old.
Why does a chicken coop only have two doors? Because if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan!
You’re welcome, and THANKS AGAIN, JennyLynn! JennyLynn Author/Book Blogger
What is your favorite smell? Yes, I said smell. LOL
The smell of ocean water rushing up onto the sand. I love the salt andsharp air, mixed with coconut because it reminds me of home. The beach is like a sanctuary to me, because I feel simultaneously at ease and in awe.
What has been one of the hardest moments of your life?
Wow. This is one of those times I didn’t realize it was the hardest until after I could exhale. It was when I gave birth to our only children, twins. Baby A was born, and the operating room filled with sounds of a newborn crying, of people smiling, and, the best, of a richly colored baby placed on my shoulder so I could tell him how much I loved him. And, all too soon, it was time to begin pushing again. I was in a teaching hospital, so there was a squadron of medical professionals and students learning how to handle twin births. About halfway through Baby B’s birth, I heard the panic in both the obstetrician and my mother’s voice. I heard a terrible snap, like a hiker stepping on a twig, and asked my husband what happened. His job was to lie to me so I wouldn’t pass out. So he said everything was fine. But, I’m a writer. I sense things bubbling beneath the surface, and I can tell when the air gets sucked out of a once celebratory delivery room. The pediatrician said words that should not be repeated in front of patients or students, and the obstetrician yelled at him to be quiet. I am sure there were monitors buzzing and people in and out. But, the only sound I heard was my son’s silence. His complete contrast to his brother’s healthy wails minutes before. And when they placed him on my shoulder, he was so sallow. So. Quiet. So different than his brother. And my mother who is a chameleon like the rest of us could not find the shade of strong to turn into. And in my panic, I’m sure that God heard my prayer that went like this” “Help! I don’t know what’s wrong.” It turns out that he broke his shoulder as he was delivered, which set out a chain of reactions involving newborn shock, which affected breathing and skin tone. After a week in the neonatal Intensive Care Unit, he was released, and, after another week, x-rays showed that his bone had grown back completely. We are indeed wonderfully and fearfully made.
What I didn’t count on was how the snap would track me down like a well seasoned hunter as this child grew. It took years to drown its sounds out, to replace them with sounds of his laughter. To realize that all is well, and that God heard my cry. I am blessed to see him using that arm to play lacrosse and to pin his nine minutes older brother down at the dinner table when we’re trying to pray. But for an excruciating moment or two, it was one of the hardest moments of my life thus far.
Are you a chocolate OR vanilla ice cream person?
Team chocolate. And it doesn’t have to be ice cream. Pretty sure they eat Nutella in heaven during bikini season.
What do you like to do when you have down time?
What is this thing you speak of, down time? When I have down time, I usually enjoy stepping over the laundry and taking a nap. Or going to the beach with my people. Or enjoying God’s creation. And Nutella. (see previous answer)
What is your favorite movie/book genre?
My favorite movie genre is anything that is not dumb. And, in particular, Star Wars that features Yoda prominently. As far as books go, I read Jane Austen like crack when I am stressed out. So, her.
Tell us the silliest thing you’ve ever done in your life.
Just one? There is definitely a top ten in this department. I actually received a Young Life “Oscar Meyer Wiener” award in front of my peers when my cousin came home and ratted me out. Some girls change their personality for guys they have crushes on. Maybe giggle or flip their hair. Nope, I decided to visit him when he was a freshman in college, accompanied by my cousin. Whom, I thought had my back. Turns out he was staying in a no-girls-allowed dormitory on the third floor. But, no problem. All I had to do was wait for him to hang over the balcony, climb up on the first floor brick ledge, hoist myself into his arms as he pulled me up. I assumed my cousin would be right up after me. But, even though love is blind, she was not. So, she parked it downstairs while I went all Cirque du Soleil over the guys’ dormitory. And, then my cousin told our Young Life leaders when we returned. Hence the “Spiderwoman” award I received my senior year, which I proudly display in all of my classrooms, giggling like a smitten schoolgirl when I’m asked the story behind it.
What’s one of your most embarrassing moments?
I was in seventh grade and my best friend and I were in the school talent show. And, because we were extraordinarily popular and ahead of our time, not awkward at all, we had selected tapdancing to ragtime music as the best way to climb the junior high food chain. We did three shows, one for parents, one for seventh graders, and a final one for eighth graders. The final afternoon came and I was waiting in the wings for the sound of blaring trumpets and trombones to commence. The curtains opened and we began dancing. My mom had arrived to cheer me on, and I saw her in the front row. The nerves melted and I did my time steps. Take that 8th graders. Don’t see any of you up here dressed like flappers and shuffling with your Dorothy Hamill haircuts. And everything went well until I decided to put a little extra swing in my step. With my arms. The ones that operated like flung spagehtti. As my best friend twirled, I brushed my skirt ever so slightly. Ever. So. Slightly. And my hate/hate relationship with velcro commenced. The golden fringed skirt came loose and the junior high talent show just got a whole lot more interesting. There was no strip tease in the program! At first I froze, but, being the professional I was, I kept dancing. Even with that gold skirt now mocking me from the stage. I went to church. My mom made us write Bible verses a hundred times when we messed up. Now every boy in 8th grade saw my white leotard, which might as well have been underwear.
The show had to go on. But, this was junior high. It started out as a low rumble, like the onset of a thunderstorm, but then, suddenly the industrial building transformed into a runway for a jet plane. And the loudest person, the one, who was in fact bent over with laughter was my mom. Holding her pants, screaming for me to just keep on dancing. But, not holding back so much either. I have forgiven her. I don’t blame the woman. In fact, what might have taken years to accomplish happened overnight. I was a junior high celebrity! “Hey, aren’t you that girl who lost her skirt in the talent show?” I heard all of 8th grade. Why yes, yes I am.
Name your favorite song.
Evolution of Julie’s favorite songs:
In high school, my room was a shrine to Duran Duran. I was going to be Mrs. Duran, until I realized that most of them had a girlfriend and none of their song lyrics made sense. And, I decided “no” to guys who wear eyeliner.
In college, I loved The Cure and James Taylor, more for the memories of concerts and bus rides that each one brought to me–soundtracks for exploring and angst ridden Julie.
Now, I can’t say I have a favorite song, but I have lately gotten into listening to Tasha Cobbs. “Your Spirit” is like my own personal Rocky Theme song when I am scared or happy or meh or need to feel like God is real and staring me down and filling me up. I can’t help but feel on top of some spiritual mountain when I hear that song. Jesus, Tasha Cobbs, and Nutella.
Who is someone who has majorly impacted your life and why?
My dad. He is quirky, quiet, and was the glue that held our family together when we skidded down the highway of life. He always believes the best in me, and has a knack of forgiving me. Anyone can do the Sunday school Christian speak about grace. It comes to life when someone extends grace to you over and over when the world tells them it’s OK to give up. My dad used to drive home from his dental office in his large truck with me in the passenger side. He would put an old Air Force helmet and goggles on and drive like he was flying an airplane. People would swerve because they were laughing or scared. I am a better wife, mom to our sons, and follower of Jesus because of my dad. Score one for all the weird, intelligent people in the Kingdom of God.
If you were a Scooby Doo character, who would you be?
Velma. Nerdlicious. Brave. I mean, did she ever go hunting for bad guys with a partner? If she did, it wasn’t for long. And, she seemed to be able to communicate with a dog. I would love to be able to tell my Boston Terrier to stop starfishing on our bed.
What is your passion in life?
My passion in life is to use creativity to reach other people for the cause of Christ. To allow humor, writing, blogging, book writing to help a hurting world, and in particular, to let other people know that God is Who He says He is. To use a gift to bless and connect them with the crazy love of God is something worth being passionate about.
I am tasked to nominate some blogs to keep the momentum going. Yes, it’s like a chain letter, but it is also a way to get exposure for great bloggers. The following blogs have touched me. Some have made me think. Some have made me a stronger writer. Some have made me grow closer to God. All are worth a little love and traffic– they might have a couple hundred followers (give or take) right now, but after reading one post, it will become clear they are on their way to somewhere awesome. Just blessed to be on the ground floor with these people.
The questions I have for these bloggers, should they choose to accept, are:
*What are three things found in your kitchen or office “junk drawer” that tell your story?
*What is one recipe you know by heart?
*If you had the chance to relive one moment, with the hopes of changing the outcome, would you do it?
*What organization would you want to donate a life-changing amount of money to?
*What is a piece of advice you received as a child from a parent/grandparent/mentor that you have already passed on to someone else?
*What celebrity would you like to read and comment on your blog?
*What is the meaning of life in ten words or less?