Monday, May 26, 2014

A Sweet Nomination - The Liebster Award

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
Psalm 133:1

I came in to check email one day, to find a sweet and most unexpected blessing.
A precious, online friend and fellow blogger, Deborah Bolton,
who blogs at Living Better With Chronic Illness and Learning To Balance Life Changes,
 kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award!!!
Click here to read the blog post with her sweet nomination and a full explanation of what this means.
I'll admit, I'm still somewhat new to a lot of this,
and I had never heard of the Liebster Award before I received her nomination.
I'm not the best at accepting awards and accolades...
and her kindness has deeply touched my heart.
Thank you ever so much, Debby.
I am truly honored.

One of the things about receiving the award,
is that I am to write 11 random facts about myself.
I don't think there is anything all that interesting here,
it makes me a bit squirmy to do this,
and I really don't know where to start, but here are some random facts.....
in no particular order.

I am a Christian.  I think that defines me more than any other one word.
The utmost, most sincere passion of my heart is to Be and Live and Breathe
the breath of Jesus Christ in every, single thing I do and say....every, single day.
I fall so often...but I try my best, just the same.

I am a Kevin, the truly sweetest guy I have ever known.
I could write about him all day long....really.
He is interesting, extremely private, and the wisest man I know.
He is the love of my life...the mate of my soul....the partner of my every dream.
Last year, God blessed us to see and celebrate our 25th anniversary.
I would do it all again....millions of times over.
That's just how much I love him.

I am a homeschool mama to Zachary,
who each and every day fills my heart with more love than it can hold.
I deeply cherish the whole motherhood and homeschooling experience.
Every second I have with him is one I treasure...more than I could ever communicate.
We waited 12 1/2 years for this little guy, and it was worth every second....
just to have the privilege to hold his hand growing up.
Carrying him for 9 months, delivering him into this world, and being the one he calls "Mama",
is truly the crowning achievement of my life.
Living with Kevin and Zachary day by day is the ultimate fruition...and fulfillment....
of the deepest, most cherished dreams of my heart.

I love bluegrass music....I do believe it is in my genes....
my human composition.
Hearing a five-string banjo ring or the lonesome sound of a fiddle or
"You Are My Flower" played flat-pick style on a guitar....
takes me to a place that feels a whole lot like home.

I've had a long-time, nagging dream that just won't go away
to sing tenor/harmony in a bluegrass or southern gospel band.
I am known to sing tenor to the top of my lungs every chance I get.
Any bluegrass groups out there looking for a female harmony singer, by the way????  :)

 Blue Mountain, Warner Press, Gallant Greetings,
and a few other greeting card companies have published some of my work.

I had the sweet God-sent blessing of recording two of my original songs in Nashville,
backed up by some of the industry's finest.
I know that sounds like me, it really isn't.
It was totally God,
the whole experience was very humbling,
 and it still doesn't feel like it was me in that studio.
I dream of making a full-length CD,
but next time, doing it true-to-my-heart-and-roots, bluegrass-style.
If you would like a FREE copy of this CD, just contact me via the online contact form,
and I will get one in the mail to you right away.  :)

Saying good-bye to Dad, and then Mom was the two hardest things I have ever done.
Even though I know they both now rest at Jesus' feet,
I miss them so much it hurts.

I love photography...just taking pictures, especially of family, friends,
 nature shots, old fences, gates, and all things country
I enjoy adding them to this blog.
You never know what you may find here!

We moved over 40 times while I was growing up,
and I lost count of the times I changed schools....
hence, being secure is not my strongest point.

Kevin and I got to meet and talk to Ricky Skaggs
while we were in Nashville on our honeymoon.
Ricky, by the way, is my favorite male singer of all time.  :)

Okay, so there.....11 random the order they came to my mind.

The next thing I am to do, concerning the award, is to answer seven questions
Deborah came up with for me.

Here they are:
  1. What is one work  (book, painting, film, poem, play, etc.) that has had an impact on your life?  Without a doubt, it is the Bible.  It is truly the foundation upon which I have built my life.
  2. What do you enjoy most about writing?  The inspiration & communion I feel with the Holy Spirit while writing.
  3. If you could choose any place in the world to get away from your regular routine, where would you go?  (I am talking about a long trip.)  With Kevin and Zachary, my guitar, & writing materials, all of us healthy & well, to a log cabin secluded in the mountains, surrounded by lots of trees & foliage, with a walking trail and a flowing stream just enjoy the two of them and sing and write to my heart's content.
  4. What is one goal you have accomplished in the past two years?  God renewed my passion for writing, and I actually started writing on a regular basis.  
  5. If you were to write in another genre, what genre would you choose and why?  It is hard for me to imagine writing in any other genre other than the exploration of God and His character and how it applies to everyday life, but I have dabbled in writing Christian romance fiction and have a book ready should I ever have the opportunity of being published.
  6. Name something you like to do to treat yourself or get away from your normal routine. Make it something close to home:  ie.  a walk in the park, working in the garden, having a cool glass of lemonade in the back yard and reading a book, going to a coffee shop, lunch out  with the girls, etc.  I love going with Kevin and Zach to primitive stores, thrift stores, Goodwill stores, & antique stores...any place I can look for old things and bargains!  I also love decaf iced coffee.
  7. What is your favorite quote?  People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
The next thing I am to do is to choose 5 bloggers with under 200 followers
to nominate for the Liebster Award!
I apologize if I broke any rules by choosing any that have over the specified amount of followers.
(If I could determine that, I did, but I had no way of determining that, on some blogs.)

  Nannette Elkins at Hope In The Healing.
Nannette's blog posts are edifying, insightful, and deep.
She has been more of a blessing to me than she will ever know,
and I am so thankful to have her in my life.

Sandra Bartram at Keeping It Simple
Sandra's heart for her home and love for her family shines through in every blog post.
Her soap-making tutorial is the best and easiest to understand I have ever seen!
I thank God that He orchestrated a connection and brought Sandra into my world.

JES at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth.
This blog is chock full of wonderful, Godly suggestions and wisdom about homemaking,
 homeschooling, and homesteading.
I love all of the wonderful quotes, tips, pictures, and the sweet spirit I find here.

Hazel Moon at Let Me Tell U A Story
Every week, I look forward to linking up with Hazel.
The stories you will find on her blog are always interesting,
and she is one of the best encouragers I know, often stopping to leave a comment when I need it most.

Kendra Graber at Living In The Shoe
Kendra is a Mennonite mother of six who writes about the daily adventures of her family.
She often includes the most darling pictures with her blog posts...
especially ones of her squishy (her description!) baby, Dallas.

I hope you will take the time to drop by and visit each one of these sweet blogs.
I promise you will not be disappointed, and when you leave, your spirit will be refreshed!

And lastly, I was to choose 7 questions for my 5 nominees to answer.
So, Nannette, Sandra, JES, Hazel, and Kendra...these questions are for you!

1.  Why did you choose to start blogging?
2.  What motivates you to keep writing?
3.  Name the unfulfilled dream that you hold closest to your heart.
4.  What is on your bucket list of things to do before you die?
5.  If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?
6.  What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog?
7.  Who has influenced your life the most?

(If you click here, it will direct you to Deborah's blog,
where you will find very explicit directions in what you are to do now that you have been nominated.
I hope it is not an inconvenience to you to complete this process, and please feel free to take your time.
It has taken me one year exactly - since May 25, 2013 - to finish this post!)

Again, I love and appreciate Deborah Bolton and this sweet nomination.
Your friendship and support is a treasure.


  1. Hi Cheryl,
    It was fun reading about you! I also enjoy blue-grass music... Perhaps you can upload your song and include it in a blog post, that would be fun to listen too :)

    Thank you also for the honor and kindness you bestowedon our blog! However, I have received this award and shared about it here:

    Happy homemaking! Love, JES

    1. How wonderful, JES! You certainly deserve the accolades and applause. I absolutely LOVE your blog! I just clicked over and read what you shared. That was fun. I wear a denim skirt nearly ALL the time, too. About the only time I don't is when I am going to church or when I am in my pajamas! Sounds like we have a ton in common. :)

    2. I don't wear them to church either :)

  2. What a pleasure getting to know you better this morning! You are a most interesting person, and well deserve this award. Just a couple of comments on a few things you mentioned - my youngest son plays the banjo! I love bluegrass music, too. Where we live they have a festival in the summer, and my husband and I love to go *tap our toes* to the great music.

    And, you and I could get into a lot of trouble. I also love iced decaf coffee, and the joys of looking for *old stuff* in all the places you mentioned! I would love to make a living being like Mike and Frank on "American Pickers" on TV. Except, I'm afraid that I couldn't sell anything - just collect, collect, collect!!


    1. Oh, thank you, Sharon, for your sweet comments and encouragement! I am SO happy to hear from you today! How neat that your son plays the banjo...if we lived near each other, we could have some hoot-n-nannies, for sure!! :) I know you must enjoy those festivals. It is so fun in those settings...the singers and pickers are usually so accessible and easy to talk to. It definitely sounds like you and I are kindred spirits, for sure, and would have great times together!! YES, wouldn't it be neat to be a professional "picker"?? But, you are and I would snatch up anything that caught our eye and overflow our homes with more stuff. :) I loved reading your comments today...and it helped me to get to know you better, too. Love to you, sweet friend.

  3. Congratulations, Cheryl! It is fun reading about all you do and have done :) I like your selections for the Liebster Award moving forward, too! I've been praying for you and your family and hope you are all feeling and doing much, much better now! Have a wonderful, restful Memorial Day :)

    Love in Christ,

    1. Oh, dear Jacqueline! So happy to see you here today! What a blessing! I have missed you and have missed getting your blog posts via email. I am still trying to figure out what happened. We got a new computer, and it is something do with the RSS feeds not being permitted to be delivered to us. I am trying to get it fixed, but so far, no success. I tried re-subscribing to your blog, and it wouldn't allow me to, because I am already a subscriber! I may have to unsubscribe and re-subscribe, if worse comes to worst. :) Thank you for your sweet comments...they meant so much. It means the world to me to know that you are praying for us! Thank you ever so much. Love to you, sweet friend.

  4. Congrats on your award!!! So interesting to hear your favorite kind of music and recording a song!! How neat!! Loved reading your answers!

    1. Thank you ever so much, Caroline! So very thankful for you and your sweet remarks....and so happy you stopped by here today. :) Lots of love and prayers coming your way!

  5. Dear Cheryl, no wonder I like you so much. We have so much in common besides being sisters in Christ. I think we must be kindred spirits like is written in Anne of Green Gables. "It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables . You sing, you love the Lord, you like being a homemaker-wife-mother, you write and so many other things. Three of the things I didn't know were you write music, love to sing, and you have had your work published by card companies. That is so very cool. I love you sweet friend. God bless you always. Debby P.S I love that the 11 things coincides with your 11 series.

    1. That is SO neat! I didn't even notice the 11 factor! God always has a perfect timing, praise His name! Oh, Debby, you are so right! We have so much in common, and it just precious that God brought us across one another's path like He did. I love you dearly, and I can't thank you enough for your sweet words and consistent encouragement to me. God bless you richly, dear friend. :)

  6. Congratulations! How can a girl who writes and performs country not deserve it? God bless, sister. I'm happy for you!

    1. Thanks so much, Floyd! I appreciate it and am so thankful you stopped by. God bless you!