“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”
– John Jakes

These words by writer John Jakes are words that I aim to live by here in this space.

I started blogging five years ago without having a clue what I was doing; only that I wanted to write what I knew so I wouldn’t forget it. I wanted to document my journey, see the person I was becoming the person I am. I didn’t know if anyone would read it, or even want to. Still, with every sentence I wrote, I shared pieces of my truth, my life.

For years, I wondered if that was enough, if I was good enough. I compared myself to other bloggers, wondered if any readers were silently judging me, and even restrained myself. But now I try not to do those things and instead, focus on the message in everything I post.   However, I still get excited when someone tells me they enjoyed reading my words, or was encouraged by them. I accept their kind words, feeling God is moving in a way that only He can and validating the tug I have on the inside that my purpose is somehow wrapped up in my writing.

Today, I am writing to give a huge thanks to Holly Brown at The Brown Tribe for her kindness. She selected me as one of her nominees for the Liebster Blog Award.


The Liebster is an award shared by bloggers,  and a nomination pretty much means that you may not have thousands or even hundreds of followers, but your space is one people should know about and would appreciate.

In Holly’s nomination post, she asked her nominees to answer ten questions. Here are my answers:

1. What do you hope for in blogging?
I hope that my words can be used to encourage, inspire, or help at least one reader see that no one is perfect, and life is what you make it…so you have to make it count.

2. What is your blog niche and why?
I think of it as inspirational. I like to share things that motivate me to live better, have better relationships, and clear my space (mental and physical) of things that can inhibit that. I want my readers to be inspired in that way too.

3. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
Everywhere: friends, family, music, movies, television, pop culture, etc…

4. Who is your favorite blogger that you follow and why?
Deidra Riggs of Jumping Tandem. She tells stories in such a beautiful way. I feel her heart in each one of them, from the lighthearted to the ones that tackle the tough stuff. I found her blog through the (in)courage online community, and immediately identified with her (not just by appearance). Her presence in that community and her writing inspired me. I soon linked up with her Sunday community, and she took the time to welcome me and let me know she appreciated my presence. I never forgot that.

5. You are more than your writing. What are you passionate about, or what are your hobbies?
I can answer both parts of the question. When it comes to life in general, I am very passionate about sharing the love of Christ, and doing all I can to prevent and/or help victims of abuse, and sex trafficking. And although I don’t have much time for many of my hobbies these days, I still enjoy singing (especially in choirs), dancing, trying to teach myself to play instruments, reading, drawing, and organizing.

6. If you could relive any day in your life, what day would it be?You might find this surprising, but I’d relive the day I gave birth. My labor and delivery was pretty short compared to a lot of other women, and it was all so surreal. Going through natural labor made me feel so powerful, yet powerless all at the same time. I saw how big God is, and how amazing women can be.

me maddie birth

7. What is your guilty pleasure?
Reality TV. I’ll pretty much watch anything with families, especially those where I can see housewives, new moms or moms with young children.  They are my modern-day soap operas.


8. What has your favorite project been? Tell us about it.
My favorite project is a project that wasn’t necessarily mine, but one I got the opportunity to take part in. My husband was asked to help edit and format the manuscript for Jeet Kune Do: Pure & Simple. Then he got the chance to make an illustration and design the cover for the book. The author, Jason Korol, is a friend and one of my husband’s Kung Fu instructors. My husband was ecstatic about doing that type of artwork, and I was really interested in book publishing. Jason later found out how much I enjoyed editing and proofreading, and allowed me to be another set of eyes during the process. It turned out to be a great book that looked amazing, and helped me learn a bit about something my husband enjoys.

9. How do you balance your writing with your home & parenting duties?
I’m still working on finding the right balance, but right now I use an app to create color-coded to-do lists for writing, household chores, and other reminders. I’m very visual, and if I don’t write things down I tend to forget them. I do a lot of writing during nursing sessions and late at night. I also write during my daughter’s early afternoon nap if I’m closing in on a deadline I’ve set for myself. Otherwise, all nap times are for rest or taking care of things around the house.


10. What is your favorite movie and/or music album?
That’s a hard one. I definitely can’t pick one movie, and I don’t think I have a favorite album. But one album I can still listen to now without skipping a song is Israel Houghton’s “Love God, Love People”.


Now as mandated, I’m passing on the Liebster love, and nominating some amazing men and women. I’m not sure if they’re looking for the recognition, but I want to give it anyway. These bloggers share who they are in such a real and honest way, whether they’re writing about food, faith, marriage or parenting:

The Life of Mrs. M
The CarrNote
The Little Things
We’re in this Together
One Rebel Heart
Gone Dishing

In order for any of these bloggers to accept their nomination, they should write their own Liebster Award post displaying one of the award’s many online images and answer these questions:

1. There are a lot of blogs out there. What made you start blogging?
2. What is one thing blogging helped you learn or discover about yourself?
3. How do you come up with your post ideas? What’s that thought process like?
4. How do you make time to write when life can get so busy?
5. What is your favorite post on your blog right now?
6. Who is your favorite blogger and why?
7. What is your favorite quote or saying?
8. What would be your life’s theme song right now?
9. What do you like to do when life gets stressful and you need some “me time”? In other words, how do you get back to your happy place?
10. Who inspires you most in your everyday life? Why?

From here, each accepting nominee should pass on the Liebster Award to 5-10 bloggers and choose 10 questions for them to answer.

The rules to accept the Liebster Award have changed a few times over the years, but the goal remains the same: to help you discover new bloggers. So be sure to check out these blogs.

Are there any blogs you love that people should know about?

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