I have the honor of being nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This is my first nomination for this peer-recognition award, and it comes from Stephanie M. Gammon, a homeschool mother, fiction writer, and theological blogger whose content is always spiritually uplifting and informative.

Find Stephanie here. Follow her social media profiles: Instagram, Facebook, Flash Fiction, Twitter, and get her Free Prayer and Medication Journal here. You’ll be blessed by connecting!

@stephmgammon is a homeschool mother, fiction writer, and theological blogger whose content is always spiritually uplifting and informative. She nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award, and I nominate . . . Click To Tweet

Thank you, Stephanie, for this nomination! It’s been a true joy to be part of a blogging community with other Christian writers who encourage me and challenge me every week with their solid content. So, I’m thrilled to nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award other writers and bloggers who encourage and challenge me.

First, here are the rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog. (Thank you again, Stephanie!)
  • Answer the 11 questions that were presented to you by your nominator. (See below.)
  • Nominate 11 bloggers. (See below the fold for my nominations!)
  • Ask 11 questions. (These must be different from the ones you answered.)
  • List the rules. (Check. Here they are.)
  • Display the Sunshine Blogger logo in your post or blog site. (Check. See above.)

And now to answer Stephanie’s questions for me:

1. What fictional place would you most like to go?

I would like to go to Civil War-era New England and be one of the girls in the world of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical novel. I’ve always felt like I could most relate to Jo, so, yes, I want to be Josephine in the 1860s in New England.

2. What’s the most annoying question people ask you?

It used to be, “Good grief! How old are you?” while wearing a look of incredulity. I was a young mother, bearing our oldest child when I was eighteen. Now that I’m a grandma, no one asks anymore. I’m actually relieved to be old.

3. When was the last time you changed your opinion or belief about something major?

My eschatological view of Christ’s return has gradually been informed and reformed by my in-depth Bible study. We studied verse by verse through the entire New Testament, and I’m close to wrapping up the same study of the Old Testament. This has taken three decades so far. This long-term meditation on God’s Word has brought my husband and I to a different position than we once held.

4. Who, in your personal sphere, most inspires you to be better?

My husband inspires me. He’s the best man I know. Since he was a few weeks shy of nineteen, he has worked hard to support our family. He’s faithful, hardworking, and loyal. He loves the Lord and travels to difficult locations to come alongside the local people as they reach their own country. He’s humble, a team player, and doesn’t seek to advance his own agenda at the cost of others. Being married to him has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.

5. If you could make one rule everyone had to follow, what would it be?

When asked to name the most important “rule,” Jesus named two, so I will name those as well – to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. If, by the grace of God, we would all live that out, actually treating one another as we would want to be treated, forgiving as we have been forgiven because we love the Lord so deeply, the world would be a far better place.

6. Which Biblical character do you most identify with and why?

I most identify with Priscilla. My husband and I have served together in ministry for many years, and our relationship is much like that of Priscilla and Aquila who labored together equally. Half the time, the Bible lists her first. Half the time, it lists him first. Both speak, teach, and equip others. They influenced Apollos, teaching and equipping him to journey to Corinth to teach. They moved numerous times, from Rome to Corinth to Ephesus, always hosting a church in their home. They worked together to advance the Gospel. We can relate to that and strive to model it.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

While in our twenties, I asked some elderly friends of ours what lessons we needed to learn in our youth. Bob and Mary Taussig served Jesus together all over the world, and he had been discipled by Jim Elliott while at Wheaton. They told us to learn to rely on Jesus for the strength and ability to do what was right. If we relied on our own strength, they informed us, we would have great difficulty when we reached old age and had no strength to lean on. We took that to heart. We also appreciated their transparency, which was refreshing, and we’ve sought to model that as well. Once, when they were leaving for a trip to teach on marriage across Africa, Mary asked the entire church to pray that they not fight all the way across the continent, since they were there to teach about marital unity. I appreciate that kind of honesty. We’ve sought to grow in both of these areas.

8. What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned?

That very lesson described above has been the hardest. Because I tend to be a legalist and self-reliant, the Lord undertook my refining, teaching me to rely on him through a series of trials that have spanned more than twenty-five years. I never would have asked for any of the hard times or sickness, but every trial was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, because each one has been used by God to cause me to rely on him even more.

9. What MUST-READ book or author would you recommend (besides the Bible)?

This book enabled me to begin to understand the passionate love of God for me: The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge. Find it here.

10. If you could go back in time and spend 24 hours there, what event would you visit.

The entire day of Christ’s resurrection, being present with each one of the people who saw and interacted with Jesus, from the women in the Garden, to Peter and John racing to the tomb, and on to the road to Emmaus.

11. Which of your own blog posts would you like to share with a larger audience and why? Do You See Him There was the first of a series of posts I wrote during an incredibly difficult time. We had just relocated clear across the country, and during the move I had acute appendicitis, requiring surgery for that and two other conditions soon after our arrival. My autoimmune disease took a hit from all of this, my pain was severe, and precious Jesus was so near and dear to me during that time. I write to encourage others in similar hard times – the focus of that post and the series.

Next, (drumroll) my nominations. I look forward to learning more about them from their answers to my questions. Nine are incredible Christian bloggers with challenging content, and two are writers whose newsletters are blessedly uplifting.

Read these people. Connect. Subscribe. Here they are:

Melissa McLaughlin (@MMcLaughlinsong) – https://melissamclaughlinheartsong.com/

Karen Friday (@FridayKaren) – http://karengirlfriday.com/

Lisa Quintana (@LisaQthinks) – https://thinkdivinely.com/

Anne Morelli (@EAnneMorelli) – http://thestonescall.com/

Nancy E. Head (@nancyehead) – http://nancyehead.com/

Jessica Brodie (@JessicaJBrodie) – https://www.jessicabrodie.com/

Katie Jo Ramsey’s newsletter (@KatieJoRamsey) – http://kjramsey.com/about

Wendy L Macdonald (@wendylmacdonald) – http://www.wendylmacdonald.com/

Brittany Bonnaffonshttps://ordinarilyextraordinarymom.com/

Yvonne Morgan (@YMMauthor) – http://turningmountainsintomolehills.org

Patricia Durgin’s newsletter (@PatriciaDurgin) – https://bit.ly/2FM5YTu and

Sunshine Blogger Award: @MMcLaughlinsong @FridayKaren @LisaQThinks @EAnneMorelli @nancyehead @JessicaJBrodie @KatieJoRamsey @wendylmacdonald @YMMauthor @PatriciaDurgin & Brittany Bonnaffons. Click To Tweet

Here are the questions I’d like my nominees to answer. Can’t wait to read the answers!

  1. How did Jesus first cause you to fall in love with him?
  2. How did you come to the point of committing your life to Jesus and entrusting him for your salvation?
  3. How has he gifted you to serve him in this world?
  4. How did you discover your gifting?
  5. What’s the most difficult trial the Lord has brought you through or is currently bringing you through?
  6. How did or how is the Lord using that trial for good, or do you know that part yet?
  7. When you were a small child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  8. Now that you’re grown, what have you become?
  9. How did you arrive at that vocation or calling?
  10. What is your purpose for writing and blogging?
  11. What do you imagine eternity with Christ will be like?

Thank you for reading! And thank you again, Stephanie, for the kind encouragement your nomination brings. Thank you also for quoting my blog post in your own acceptance of this award.

God bless you all, dear writers, for the joy, the uplifting words, and the many lessons you bring into our lives through your writing!

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