Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who, me???

Well, I'll be! My friend, Jen gave me a blog award. Thanks, Jen. I appreciate your kind words. Jen is an amazing woman whose life is full of caring for and teaching her six children. She is one of the most creative people I have ever met. I'm not sure where she comes up with all the ideas she does for activities to make learning fun but she is always doing something amazing. She also has the largest collection of children's books of anyone I know and she's always discovering more reading treasures to share with her gang. Honestly, I don't know how she does it all...and what's more, Jen does all she does with a smile on her face while living with fibromyalgia. I do not think I've ever heard her complain about her health. She is, instead, full of thanksgiving to the Lord for his goodness. I know she would say it is the Lord's enabling. In April, 2006, her youngest, Camden, was born 3 months early. I remember seeing him the day after he was born in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He was the tiniest baby I've ever seen. Today is a healthy, happy, adorable 2 year old and such a blessing to this sweet family.

When Jen and her family lived in NC, I taught some of her kids in Sunday School. I loved having them in my class. They were always inquisitive and fun, but for the first few months her daughter, Annie, never spoke. I was just getting to know the family and didn't know why Annie would not talk in Sunday School. Was she shy? Did she have a problem with her speech? What was going on? And then one day, I invited the kids to come over to our house to play. For the very first time, I heard Annie talk!!!! After that, she always spoke in class. How I enjoyed her comments and her artistic bent. I do miss those kids and their lively little selves - always something interesting going on with them.

Here are the rules of this "I love your blog" award that Jen so sweetly bestowed on me:

1. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Include the award on your blog.
3. Pass it on to 7 worthy bloggers with links to their blogs on yours.
4.Notify your recipients.

So here are my picks:

Ann at Holy Experience and Tonia at Study in Brown are online friends whose blogs always encourage and inspire. They are women of deep spiritual insight and grace.

Amber at brighthouse is my dear, dear friend who juggles mothering her 5 sons, homeschooling, gardening, and many, many creative endeavors. Her husband, David, is the artisan in wood whose etsy shop is in my sidebar. I wish Amber had more time to write but she's way too busy with life at brighthouse to sit down at the computer and write about it very often. She is a faithful friend, walking companion, gardening collaborator (when she has time to garden!) and creative inspiration for me. I love to sit and drink tea with her and I can't wait to go to SAFF with her this fall.

Bonnie at Being Transformed is more my age. Let's just say, an "experienced" mom with grown children and some still at home. Her blog is full of art, poetry, books, and vignettes of daily life.

Erica at The View from Africa is a young woman who moved to our city, joined our church, blessed our lives for two years, and then followed God's call to move to Kenya to teach at Rift Valley Academy. I am so glad she keeps us posted on life at the edge of the Rift Valley. I love her writing and her amazing photographs. I hope, hope, hope I will be able to return to Kenya and visit her one of these days.

Lisa at Scotty and Lisa's big fat blog. Scotty and Lisa were also at our church a few years ago and we have the high privilege of supporting them as missionaries in Bolivia. I love to read their stories of God's leading as they plant this church, their adventures in their new country, their home life and food talk. And I can't wait to hear about the birth of their first child any day now!

Kristin at Getting Stitched on the Farm is another creative inspiration. I don't know Kristin personally, but I feel like I know her life a bit. She lives in NW Massachusetts near where we used to live and reading her blog evokes memories of a different time and place in my life. I love reading about the sheep, the farm projects, the land, and knitting. Kristin's love of color has encouraged me to branch out a bit and play with color.

Now, I know the award rules said pick 7 but I would be remiss if I didn't mention my two favorite bloggers in the whole world. Neither of them write very often, but when they do, I love to read. They write about very different things.

Erin speaks mostly of husband, home, and horses. She very sporadically chronicles her life as a young married woman living and working in the country. After training horses, teaching lessons, and managing a very large and busy horse farm all day, I expect she doesn't have much energy left to write. I love the life she is carving out with Luke as they grow together. She is a beautiful daughter, inside and out, and I don't get to see her nearly enough because she lives so far away. I miss her like crazy and her blog is one little way I get to feel a bit closer to her.

Jonathan, my oldest son, has been a traveler these past few years; to Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries his junior year in college and this past summer after graduating, to India. He is a passionate, funny, thoughtful young man who asks lots of hard questions and doesn't accept pat answers. He loves music, children, traveling, his friends and his family, and more. And we love him. We all miss his humor and I especially miss his hugs and long conversations. I can't wait to see him at Christmas time and maybe, just maybe, Lord willing, I'll go to India with him next summer. As my friend, Lori, says, "dreams are free."

Erin and Jonathan are two very different children. They grew up under the same roof and went to the same college but they are traveling their own distinct paths. God has his unique plans for each one and the unfolding is exciting to see. I count it one of the greatest gifts of my life to be their mother. I also thank God that they continue to walk with Him. That is a very great joy to this mother's heart.

Erin might write a blog post when I let her know I mentioned her in the context of this award (I hope so!) and Jonathan will probably roll his eyes. I don't expect to see the award graphic on his blog, but I do hope he knows how much his mom loves to read every word he writes.

Thanks again, Jen. I feel honored by your words and have enjoyed the opportunity to think about some of my favorite blogs and why I love them.


Scotty and Lisa said...

Thanks Beth! I didn't realize you had given me an award- so sweet! :) The blog has been a really fun way for me to keep everyone up to date with our lives and post pics. We'll be even happier to do this with you soon in person!

Jen Unsell said...

Oh Beth- thanks for your sweet words about our family. You have always been such an inspiration to me. The older kids still talk about you guys too.

It's fun to check out the blogs that you have listed. We too love Scotty and Lisa's and Ann at Holy Experience- but the others were new to me. Always fun to meet new blogs. ;-)

By the way- I love the new church button you have on your blog for DGCC.

the Olsons said...

I don't think there are 7 blogs I read frequently enough to pass on the award - in fact I know there aren't! But I will try and write a post before the weekend - it's been a month, it's about time! :)