I have the pleasure of writing another blog award post!

I love these, really, because it’s another great way to pass some props along to fellow bloggers, while simultaneously learning a bit more about them and sharing some things about yourself (and, let’s be honest, we as people typically enjoy receiving things).

So thanks to Courtney from 1 Timothy 4:12 Girl for nominating me! She’s got good stuff to say and it’s always with some sunshine. I don’t care it that sounds cheesy since it’s also true. So, y’know, maybe you should check it out.

I’ve heard it said that “This blogging award is given to bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” Being positive and real and inspiring/encouraging others is always something I’ve tried to do with this blog (and my life), and also something my nominees listed below have done with their blogs – whether the light and encouragement they share is fluffy or formidable or both. So be prepared, guys, because this might just be one vicious cycle of sunshine and goodness. If sunshine and goodness could be vicious, that is.

Here are the ‘Rules’ (the quote “[they’re] more what you call guidelines than actual rules,” is definitely applicable here):

The-Rules-of-the-Sunshine-blogger-award.jpg

I’ve also seen some people use 11 as the hitherto preferred number for their nominees and questions, but I’m sticking to the “guidelines” Pirates philosophy for this one.

Here are my 7 awesome nominees (some of you may, perhaps, be sick of my nominations by now, but I maintain my decision steadfastly):

In the Desert with Jesus

Anchored Freedom

My Eternal Life

She Is Bound For

The Sunday Bliss

BeautyBeyondBones

Dextercardia

For my nominees: again, this is in part to return some of the encouragement I’ve received from your writing. It doesn’t demand you respond, only gives you the opportunity. So, if you should so choose, go ahead and pay it forward, awesome people. Or just continue being awesome – that works too!

Here are the 11 questions I was asked:

1) What is your testimony? How did you find God, or if you were raised Christian, when did it really feel real for you? 

My testimony is something I had actually once thought boring, being raised in a Christian home with nothing seemingly exciting or drastic happening in regards to my faith (even though the exciting things were there, and I just couldn’t see them at the time). The beginning of my relationship with Jesus is marked by a hazy memory of 4 or 5-year-old me sitting on the end of my parent’s bed, talking to my Mom. I know the decision I made that day was real, though, because of everything that’s happened since then. I can’t exactly pinpoint a time when it “felt real” because it was more like a slow burn as time went on. There were definitely times when emotions were heightened as moments were had and I was “levelled up” in faith (and not just in that game of Destiny I played the other day).

2) What has God been teaching you lately? 

That I should expect him to do good things. After all, Romans 8:28 says that he works for the good of those who love him. He’s been showing me that over and over, which is good because sometimes certain messages really need to be drilled in. I’ve been expecting him to show up and do his thing, as he hasn’t disappointed – even though it’s definitely not always the way I’d prefer. I think I see some heads nodding out there…

3) What is your biggest dream? 

Hmmm…well, simplistic as it might sound to some, I simply want to make my own family. (and right below that is to write my own published book, and I have faith both will happen in their own time). Even if nothing else does, that family will become my legacy. God has given me this desire, and I will fully embrace it. To the max. And by the max, I also mean taking full advantage of being able to dress little people up as Jedis and Jawas and such.

4) What is one quirk you have that you don’t mind sharing? 

Tough question. How am I supposed to choose? Actually, how am I supposed to distinguish them from everything else? (sort of kidding…).  Well, one thing I know is a quirk (thanks to my…ahem, ever adoring family and friends) is how I will compulsively and fervently and loyally defend some show/book/movie/character/other aspect of a favoured story, even though I know I really don’t need to for them. Sometimes they do it just because they think it’s fun (and it is). And I fall for it. Every. Time. We all laugh in the end – after I finish my breathless ‘tirade’.

5) Where do you see yourself five years from now? 

You know, I really don’t know. Asides from teaching and writing in some capacity, along with general geekiness, you’d have to ask Jesus for that one. I have/am/will.

6) What do you believe the purpose of life is? 

To learn to love Jesus more and more, to live the awesome life he’s planned out for us, and radiate his awesomeness. AKA, to glorify and know him, in ALL the ways.

7) What is one piece of advice would you give your younger self? 

I would help myself to understand more fully how much Jesus truly does love me. It’s not just the words to a song I grew up singing. It’s more real than the keys I’m typing upon, than the words I’m conveying to you in this instant. It is. He is. And he always will be, his love will always be mine, yours, ours, in some simultaneously exclusive and communal way that defies logic. He wants to stand beside me and say “I’m with her,” even if everyone knew every little unsavoury thing about me. I would tell my teen self to stop fixating on relationships and the lack thereof, and start focusing on the one person who loves you, and will love you in a way that makes all others seem piddly. I would tell myself, “You’re already in a relationship.”

8) What has 2016 been characterized by for you? What things stand out about this year? 

2016 for me has been a year of transformation like never before. And change. Buckets of that. It’s the year I moved to Korea for a year, the first time I left home, they year of my ‘walkabout‘ of sorts, or as I like to call it, my “flyabout.” It’s a time when I’ve deepened my relationship with Jesus in ways I never have before, a year when I’ve finally succeeded in leaving things behind that should have been ditched long ago. It’s a time of transformation. Y’know, like that exciting time in a story when a superhero develops superpowers? Minus the spider bites, looming crisis of identity and need to lie to friends and family about how you’re that person speeding/swinging/flying through the city. Well, at least that’s how I like to think of it.

9) What was your hometown or the city you grew up in like? 

For starters, it’s classified as a semi-arid desert, but we get all four seasons – which I love! It’s a bit of ranching town, which might be where part of my cowboy phase came from as a child (maybe…maybe not). It’s got rivers, lakes and hills, it’s just close enough to the bigger cities to visit, but small enough that it’s still got some small town feel (or, perhaps that’s just my present-Korea nostalgia talking, along with the realization that in Korean terms, it certainly is a “small town.”). I’ve never lived outside it before Korea, and since leaving I realize more how much I really do love it. Despite hearing people here and there back home complain that there’s nothing to do there, I always loved it – despite its quirks.

10) What have those closest to you taught you about life? 

That it really is okay to be me, to be who God created me to be, and that some of the best times you can have are with friends and family who love you and are maybe a little crazy sometimes (in a good way!). They’ve taught me to look beyond what I see, to give of yourself, to always seek truth and seek Jesus, and to have fun doing it.

11) What was a defining moment for you? 

I think one that still sticks out in my memory is when I was in high school and went to a summer camp with my youth group. Summer camp memory: classic, I know. One night the speaker was talking about…I know it involved having courage or confidence in Christ and maybe transformation? He used the metaphor of mild-mannered Clark Kent using the phone booth to change and transform into Superman. I believe it was about transforming into someone with courage, someone who was confident in Christ: to be bold. I already loved Superman by this point, and the kicker was that I was wearing a Superman t-shirt that night! I mean, how cool is that!? Up to that point, I was a real wallflower and not very brave at all. A shift happened that night, and it started another slow burn within me. I slowly started to become more and more confident, both in myself and in Christ. And now…I’m living abroad, teaching English in Korea and writing about it. Back then, I would never have imagined this for myself.

Alright! Now for my 7 questions:

  1. What is your opinion on Superman? (It’s always interesting to ask!).
  2. Have you had a defining moment? Something that’s changed you forever?
  3. Do you have a “quirk” you wouldn’t mind sharing?
  4. Do you have a favourite book? (Fiction or non-fiction).
  5. Have you ever been to Canada? What was the occasion?
  6. Coffee or tea? Or both?
  7. What is your favourite part of your faith?

Well, that’s it, folks! Thanks for reading, and may you have some sunshine – whether fluffy, formidable, or both – in the coming day.

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