Recent Reads, Journal Snippets, + Highlights of April 2021

Recent Reads, Journal Snippets, + Highlights of April 2021

Another April has come and gone… “and what will be the proof that it was here?”

Fields greening under the joint effort of thunderstorms and sunlight. Planters and soil finishers emerging from the sheds to work in the fields. Bugs… because… there must be bugs.

Also…

these are the days

we will long for.

live wide-eyed;

live wide-eyed.

a.m.b.

Aagh, the beauty and truth in that. I feel like this month has reminded me to do this. To stare at the world in child-like wonder, while recognizing the responsibility that comes with living life on this spinning mudball. To face down the evil while delighting in the good. To treasure the moments that can slip by unnoticed. To keep my eyes on what matters, and let the rest fade away.

To live wide-eyed.

I guess that’s my little ramble for today.:) On to the rest of the post…

Highlights of the Month

  • holding and binge-reading the proof copy of my novel
  • shoving myself outside of my comfort zone
  • creating a character collage for the first time
  • brainstorming with siblings
  • attending Story Embers‘ Engaging Plots Summit
  • starting work on another novel… more on that in the future!
  • discovering Alan Gogoll’s music
  • listening to Nadine Brandes speak at the aforementioned summit… I love her heart in writing.
  • a trip to the library (this one seriously deserves more than a quick mention on a list. I hadn’t been inside a library for over a year… and the amount of emotion that overcame me as I stared at all the books was very weird. Very. Weird. I now long to haunt the library frequently.)

What I’ve Been Reading

Devotedly: the personal letters and love story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot – Valerie Elliot Shepard

I became interested in the Elliots’ story while reading Shadow of the Almighty, so getting to read more about them in this book is really awesome. I love the humor, genuine love, and passion for Christ that’s infused in their letters. Also, the author’s commentary and perspective on her parents’ story is so sweet.

Courageous – Randy Alcorn

Courageous is one of my favorite movies, so when my sister laid hands on this novelization of the movie, of course I had to borrow it.:) I haven’t finished it yet, but already it’s gone far above and beyond my expectations. The way Randy Alcorn weaves so many more elements into the original plot… i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. For mature readers, I can’t recommend it enough.

You Need to Define Your Writing Voice Before You Can Refine It – Daeus Lamb

“Self-discovery is nebulous, so approach it carefully. Don’t allow your culture or subculture to influence you. That may sound as clichéd as Disney’s “follow your heart” gospel, but rather than a call to indulge in your sinful instincts without regard to others, it’s a call to embrace the fragment of God’s image that you most represent.”

I highly recommend this article to any writer who is trying to find their voice! Or to anyone who’s just trying to get comfortable in their skin.:)

Systematic Theology – Wayne Grudem

I’ve been wanting to study theology for awhile and finally started taking it seriously. This book has been so helpful!

Journal Snippets

God, I want to want You desperately. I don’t want to be satisfied with my life and human relationships, though I thank You for making them so sweet. I want to crave You desperately. I want to pursue You relentlessly. I want You to be first in my heart and mind, always. Let me desire to know and love Your ways, and to walk in them faithfully.

Oh, God, it truly is all about You! Not about how I look to the world or what I do for the world… help me to take the focus from me to You and keep it there for eternity.

“Lead, kindly Light amid th’encircling gloom. Lead Thou me on.” Let me bounce that Light into this dark world. Make me patient and faithful in the dark.

God, bare my heart to Your instruction and correction, no matter the cost, no matter the pain. I want to be but a channel in Your hand. Make my life soft clay between your fingers; shape, twist, smash, and form it into proper shape, then hold it to the flame. Remove the dross, O Lord. I say so a bit tremblingly, but know this is what I want… what You want.

Help me to love others extravagantly – to live intentionally and boldly so I may do so to the fullest.


What made this April stand out to you?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something through one of the links I share in this post, I receive a small commission… at no extra cost to you.:)

Writing/Life Update

Writing/Life Update

Hello, peoples!

I have no idea if anyone’s noticed, but I’ve been consistently posting on the blog here every Monday and Thursday since last August. Until this past Monday.

Most of the years I’ve spent writing have been driven more by random bursts of inspiration rather than me sitting myself down and forcing myself to write… so having the “2 posts a week” rule for myself for several months here has been incredibly good for me.

Yes, your sense of the impending “however” is correct…

I’ve been doing a lot of self-evaluation lately… evaluation of my writing life included. One piece of wisdom I’ve kept in mind while doing so is this:

“We must determine to be limited and concentrate our affinities.” – Oswald Chambers

This is a challenge for me.

I’m realizing that I’m moving out of the phase where posting twice a week is beneficial and even healthy for me, because I’ve come to grips with the fact that it isn’t exactly my goal to be a successful blogger. My goal is to write quality books, and to use this blog as a place to connect with you, update you on my writing journey, and share encouraging, amusing, and thought-provoking bits I find glinting light on life’s road. In scaling back here I hope to be able to better pursue both of these goals.

So… if you happen to look forward to reading my posts, then you’ll (hopefully) look forward to a weekly post all the more! And if notifications for my new posts make you cringe or groan… well… I’m cutting your suffering in half. You’re welcome.

Also…

I just want to thank you guys for sticking with me as I try to get this writing show on the road. Your encouragement and support blesses me so much!

If there’s anything you’d like to see me share more often on the blog, please let me know. I’m here for you guys, and your feedback is much appreciated.:)

Let’s go live this lovely day to the hilt!

– Laurel

Favorite Songs of 2021 – 1st Edition

Favorite Songs of 2021 – 1st Edition

Earlier this year I shared some of the songs I enjoyed in 2020… so I thought I’d do that for 2021, as well. Instead of doing a big ginormous post at the end of the year, though, I thought I would spread out the joy a bit and share some of the songs now.

Also, I’ve linked the songs here in the titles so you can go ahead and check them out on YouTube right away! If ya want to.:)

Stay – Big Daddy Weave

Break my heart with what breaks Yours

Until You’re all I’m living for

Show me what it means not just to believe but to remain

I’m noticing that several Big Daddy Weave songs make my list of favorites! This is one of them – the reminder to stop living for myself and my own desires and instead remain faithful to God is one I need often.

Less Like Me – Zach Williams

Somebody with a hurt that I could have helped

Somebody with a hand that I could have held

When I just can’t see past myself

Lord help me be…

A little more like Jesus, a little less like me

Another one about looking past oneself…

One Day Too Late – Skillet

Today I’m gonna love my enemies

Reach out to somebody who needs me

Make a change, make the world a better place

Cause tomorrow could be one day too late

The lyrics in this one… totally amazing and convicting.

Dream Small – Josh Wilson

Dream small

Don’t buy the lie you’ve gotta do it all

Just let Jesus use you where you are

One day at a time

Live well

Loving God and others as yourself

Find little ways where only you can help

With His great love

A tiny rock can make a giant fall

So dream small

‘Nuff said.:)

Help Me Find It – Sidewalk Prophets

Even when it hurts You’ll have Your way

Even in the valley I will say

With every breath

You’ve never let me go

I will wait for You

You’ve never failed before

I will wait for You

This song is one that blessed me greatly last year as I stared at graduation and all of the unknowns that lay beyond it. It’s a blessing to me again this year as unknowns continue to be an integral part of life.:)

I Lived – OneRepublic

I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

I don’t listen to a great variety of secular music simply because I’m pretty picky about lyrics, but this one I want to play on repeat! I love both the sound and everything the lyrics make me think of.

Lead, Kindly Light – BYU Vocal Point

I do not ask to see the distant scene

One step enough for me

Another beautiful song for seasons of uncertainty. Also… this arrangement is just incredible. It’s hard to beat well-done a capella music!

What are some of the songs you’ve enjoyed in 2021 so far?

Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash

Recent Reads, Journal Snippets, + Highlights of March 2021

Recent Reads, Journal Snippets, + Highlights of March 2021

April… it’s here.

Hooowwwww???

March 2021 was an epic month for me. Some pretty exciting and awesome stuff happened… plus some not so awesome but still exciting stuff. Here ’tis.

Highlights of the Month

  • Watching medieval sword fights in the name of research
  • Reading and writing outside!
  • Trying to contain ridiculous amounts of laughter while alpha reading a slice of life/comedy/romance story
  • Reading with my little sisters
  • Going on a date with my dad
  • Trying my hand at blackout poetry
  • Discovering an artichoke painting at Hobby Lobby… if you’re a YDubber, you might understand.:)
  • Gaining firsthand experience for future writing projects by smashing my toe against a bed frame. On accident.
  • Finding a brutal editor in my youngest sister. Case in point: “Yuck. Why rosy face? … you should delete his third biscuit. … how does that help? Delete that.” Ooookay???
  • In spite of aforementioned editor, completing the first draft of a novel for the very first time!!!
  • Thoroughly enjoying a weekend brimming with cousin craziness

What I’ve Been Reading

Frindle – Andrew Clements

“Who says dog means dog? You do, Nicholas.”

I’m rediscovering my appreciation of good MG fiction with this book. I hadn’t read Frindle in years, so it’s been super fun to read it to my youngest sisters this month!

From the Grave – A.W. Tozer

“Whatever a man wants badly and persistently enough will determine the man’s character.”

I shared about this book in last month’s post, but it’s definitely worth recommending again. It’s written as a devotional for Lent, but honestly it would be amazing to read at any time of the year. I’m really appreciating A.W. Tozer’s no-nonsense way of writing about the hard truth. It’s very easy to understand, and very convicting, as well.

The Bear That Heard Crying – Natalie Kinsey-Warnock and Helen Kinsey

I enjoy reading books that I really enjoyed as a child to my little sisters! This is based on a true story, and I really enjoy the illustrations, too.

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear – Audrey Wood

I loved this book as a little kid, and so it was really fun to read it again to my sister the other day. The illustrations are so adorable!

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch – Jean Lee Latham

Elizabeth rolled her eyes gravely from one to the other. “It’s his brain, don’t you think? I mean – it’s awfully restless. He probably reads Latin to keep it quiet. The way girls stitch samplers, you know.”

I remembered really enjoying this book several years ago when I was assigned to read it for school… and when I dug it out of the bookshelf again the other day, I had a hard time putting it down! It’s extremely well-written, and following Nat Bowditch and his ever-present troubles and love of arithmetic is fascinating and enjoyable.

Journal Snippets

Convicted on Sunday that oftentimes when I feel super “Christian” when I’m drawing near to God, I don’t deserve the title. I’m just doing what anyone else in my circumstance would do. But when I seek God when my flesh doesn’t feel needy… that’s truly seeking God.

Christianity has been twisted and melted into this safe, feel-good cure-all. That’s not what it is. It’s a radical, life-defining commitment to God and God alone, and if we don’t treat it as such, we can’t call it Christianity.

What were some of the highlights of your March?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something through one of the links I share in this post, I receive a small commission… at no extra cost to you.:)

Reflections Blog Tag

Reflections Blog Tag

Last week I was tagged by JadeSky over at Stepping Stones Book Reviews for the Reflections Blog Tag!

The rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you (Thank you so much, JadeSky! I’m excited to do this.:) )
  • Share 8 things that God has blessed and/or taught you in 2020
  • Tag 5+ bloggers

Let’s get started, then! Here are 8 of the things God taught me and/or used to bless me in 2020.

1. I graduated!!!

photo credit: @thru.t.h.e.lens

Yep. Definitely a big one. That was pretty awesome.:)

2. My thirst for living an unordinary life was finally (partially) slaked.

Oh, so you think your life is boring? You think nothing exciting ever happens in life? Here ya go. *2020 hits me in the face*

3. I was reminded of God’s role as the ultimate plotter/storyteller.

As I studied the ins and outs of developing plot and characters last year, all while watching many Dickens and Austen-esque plot twists/complexities play out in my own life, I was reminded of God’s amazing planning abilities.

Honestly, growing as a writer has helped me to grow as a Christian. As I seek to develop complex plots, I’m able to understand how God works just a little bit more. When He allows my life to get out of control, I remember that a good author makes no mistakes in his plot. “Problems” and seemingly impossible situations are there to be resolved… and so bring glory to the author.

I know God will be glorified through the craziness that I fail to understand in my own life.

4. I gained some quality blogging experience.

I started my blog The Farmer’s Daughter in April of last year and began posting three times a week until late July, when my blogging self crashed a bit for graduation. After that I hopped back up, got this blog rolling, and started posting consistently here in mid-August. The self-imposed deadlines have been really good for me, pushing me to write even when I don’t feel very inspired.

Also, blogging is just plain fun. Most of the time.:)

5. I was thrown out of my comfort zone multiple times.

Being interviewed and judged for a contest, writing and delivering a couple of speeches, initiating conversations and/or keeping them going… yes. It was terrifying, difficult, and so good for me.

6. I came to realize that I really love working on the farm.

This was definitely a surprise for me!

I almost always enjoyed being a farm kid, but never really wanted to keep working on the farm after high school graduation. Enter a fun plot twist in June of 2020, and I land the job of feeding cows several mornings a week… and find that I actually like it. Now I’m enjoying my role on the farm and anxiously awaiting the days when I can once again get scorched on an open station tractor during harvest. XD

Aren’t God’s plans so much better than ours?

7. I learned that, in the long run, it’s easier to remain faithful in the difficult and the mundane than it is to regain lost footing.

With all of the craziness in life last year, I let some of the daily disciplines I’d maintained for years slide. Not a good idea. But… live and learn.

8. God gave me some amazing friendships.

Last year I was able to meet so many new people and forge new friendships. That was pretty amazing.

And I would like to tag…

Makayla

Keziah

Daniel L. Amador

Maya Joelle

Grace

As always, thank you for reading! What were some of the ways God blessed/taught you in 2020?

(Very!!!) Exciting News + Another Poll

(Very!!!) Exciting News + Another Poll

Yo!

Yesterday, for the very first time in the history of ever, I finished the first draft of a novel!!!

I may be slightly excited.:)

I started working seriously on this project in August of 2020. I had no idea of what lay ahead! The process was much more challenging than I had anticipated it would be. It took longer to write than I thought it would take. It pushed me so much more than I thought it would…

But I’ve learned so much.

I’ve been able to see firsthand what I can accomplish if I set a (reasonable) goal for myself and hold myself to it, which means…

I want to continue to push myself to the limit and see how far I can go, how much I can accomplish. Not just in writing, but in all areas of life. I’m a bit scared… but terribly excited.

Right here I want to be very cliché and say that I never could have done this on my own. Ever. I’m amazed at how God filled my life with just the right people at just the right times to inspire and build me up, to critique and offer advice, to brainstorm and help to develop my characters/world/plot, to motivate and cheer me on, and even to just say, “Hey! I loved that part!”

If you’re one of those people… thank you. You bless me so much. You helped me get to the place where I can say, “Yes! I wrote a book!”

Yes, it’s a small book. Yes, I cringe at the clunky, awkward parts. Yes, it needs major editing. Yes, there are pieces of the plot that are hanging loose.

But it’s a book. And I wrote it.

In my soul, I am bouncing off the walls. XD

But anyway…

I said something about a poll!

I was wondering if you would be willing to give me some feedback on a few ideas. I’d like to keep writing novels, but am not planning to start publishing them in the very near future. What I would like to do in the near future is publish something that is not a novel. I’ve got a few ideas… and if you would vote for your favorite one, I would be super thankful!:)

Recent Reads, Journal Snippets, + Highlights of February 2021

Recent Reads, Journal Snippets, + Highlights of February 2021

Happy March, all!!!

I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited to see March before… I’m so ready for spring. But we saw what happened last March, so… do I dare get my hopes up?

I do. I most certainly do.

Before we plunge into this new month, however, I’d like to conduct a review of February, and you’re certainly welcome to join me.:)

Highlights of the month

  • Participating in a heated debate about soda during a family game night
  • Suddenly landing in a sitting position on the gym floor after a failed attempt at a throw in dodgeball
  • Having my patience tried during a freezing and eventful excursion with the youngest sisters
  • Appreciating my incredible friends
  • Finding that watching mysteries past midnight might not be the best idea… especially if you’re babysitting
  • Feeding cows without wearing a stocking cap!!!
  • Driving with the windows down
  • Falling in love with this version of The Greatest Showman soundtrack because… a cappella. And the songs.:)
  • Enjoying spiteful and malicious games of Spite and Malice

What I’ve been reading

The Resolution for Women – Priscilla Shirer

“Right now – whether you realize it or not – you’re choosing to treat people a certain way, to stay committed to certain activities, to live a certain life, to be a certain kind of person. You’re already a woman of resolutions.

I snagged this at a thrift store earlier this month, and while I haven’t been reading it voraciously, it’s been really good. I love Priscilla Shirer’s way of drawing spiritual parallels from ordinary stories!

From the Grave – A.W. Tozer

“People must be told that the Christian religion is not something they can trifle with. The faith of Christ will command or it will have nothing to do with a man.”

This book has a devotion for each day of Lent. I haven’t been reading it consistently (that’s hard to do when you misplace the book!), but everything I’ve read so far has been so thought-provoking and convicting.

Time Management Isn’t Enough to Build a Powerful Writing Habit – Josiah DeGraaf

“When you combine time management with mental energy management, you create a dynamic that will supercharge your career.”

Even if you aren’t a writer, I would highly recommend giving this a read! It’s a great resource for anyone who wants to take control of their mental energy and boost their productivity.

The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien

” ‘Drownded?’ said several voices. They had heard this and other darker rumors before, of course; but hobbits have a passion for family history, and they were ready to hear it again.”

The serious tone with which Tolkien treats his hilarious characters is the best. And his descriptions… perfection.

Stuart Little – E.B. White

” ‘Bother arithmetic!’ snapped Stuart. ‘Let’s skip it.’ “

I love how E.B. White’s stories have such a humorous tone, yet touch on deeper issues in a way that leaves you thinking.

Journal snippets

If, in trying to protect myself I disobey God, I will end up having to face the very fears I fled. Oh, God, let me always choose obedience, no matter the cost… my pride, my comfort, my safety. Help me to get out there and follow You in dogged obedience.

Don’t let me waste or misuse my sphere of influence. Help me to be surrendered, Lord… even if I can’t see the fruit of what You’re doing, help me to be faithful.

…help me to love, to seek counsel, to serve, to lose myself in Your love.

“Count my life dear to myself” – I always thought this meant being unwilling to die for Jesus. I think it means more. If I’m counting my life dear to myself, I’m clinging to my own pithy dreams for my life and refusing to live out God’s.

***

What did you get to read/do/consider last month?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something through one of the links I share in this post, I receive a small commission… at no extra cost to you.:)

They’re Watching – A Poem

They’re Watching – A Poem

It’s poetry time again, friends! Don’t tell me you aren’t excited.:)

Most of my poems are just the overflow of my emotions and reflections. However, on rare occasion I’ll be inspired to write a poem based on something I’ve seen or experienced. This piece is the product of just such a rare occasion.

A few nights ago I was with my youngest sisters, telling them a bedtime story. I noticed that when I would pause for dramatic effect (and let’s admit it, a few extra seconds to come up with my next words:) ), they were leaning over me, eyes big, hands grabbing my arm, every part of their being poured into waiting and watching for what I would say next. It got me thinking…

their eyes are wide

gaze into mine

as I twist the words into

stories.

I’ve captured their minds

and the rhythm of time

grinds now to a stop as they

listen.

little eyes

little ears

always there

always here

on my words

on my deeds

every act

is a seed

falling soft on the

ground of their

hearts –

fertile ground –

precious hearts

of the leaders

to come.

little words

little deeds

I will watch you –

no weeds

can survive

in this life of mine

rest in the dust of times

hated, you beasts

may you never find feasts

in my heart to fulfil

the base lusts of your will

for

their eyes and

their ears are upon me

I need

to remember

remember

I’m leading

the leaders

the world-shaking leaders

to come.

Assorted Bits of Thoughts, Humor, and Inspiration

Assorted Bits of Thoughts, Humor, and Inspiration

Hello, friends! Today I offer you a random smattering of quotes, anecdotes, and observations that God’s used to bless me, challenge me, and make me laugh of late. I hope they can do the same for you.:)

***

In my own little corner of the world (to quote Junior Asparagus:)), we’ve been having some cold weather. Very cold. With wind. Since I get to work outside, it’s been a little… rough. And trying. But the temperature is now in the teens!!! I’m crazy excited… and ready to go tearing through the pasture with a sweatshirt and no hat.:)

***

“The altar means fire – burning and purification and insulation for one purpose only, the destruction of every affinity that God has not started and of every attachment that is not an attachment in God.” – Oswald Chambers

***

Has anyone ever noticed the uncanny way that snippets of the lyrics from Frozen songs can be pulled out of context to relate to the events of 2020?

“For years I’ve roamed these empty halls – why have a ballroom with no balls? Finally they’re opening up the gates! There’ll be actual real live people – it’ll be totally strange. Wow, am I so ready for this change! … For the first time in forever, I won’t be alone.”

“A kingdom of isolation… don’t let them in… turn away and slam the door.” (But Elsa, why bother? A cold never bothered you, anyway.)

***

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4

***

Heart’s On Fire by Sidewalk Prophets is a beautiful song with wonderful lyrics. I think you need to listen to it.:)

***

One day during lunch this week, the conversation turned to the exciting things that my sisters would be able to do come their next birthday. Play in a piano recital, get their library card, etc. Finally they asked, “What will you be able to do when you turn nineteen?”

The general consensus was that there is nothing exciting lying in store for me beyond the threshold of my nineteenth year. Woe is me.

***

“The bias of nature is toward the wilderness, never toward the fruitful field.” – A.W. Tozer

***

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. This was rather unexpected and rather difficult. There was some scattered clapping, but most of them were trying to work it out and see if it came to a compliment.” – from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Shared with me by my brother, this quote alone is more than enough to convince me that I must read The Fellowship of the Ring in the near future.

***

“There are few things harder to bear than uncertainty – but He holds my hand, and I am certain of Him.” – Elisabeth Elliot

I love this thought. Being certain of God’s hold on me makes all the crazy uncertainties of my world bearable… even beautiful and exciting! He truly does make life worth living.

What has been blessing/challenging/entertaining you of late?

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Liebster Award… Again! Twice.

The Liebster Award… Again! Twice.

Hello, friends!

If you remember, I was nominated for the Liebster Award last year in December. I’ve been nominated again… two days in a row… so you guys have another long post filled with random information ahead of you.

First off, the rules.

1. Thank the person who nominated you, include a link to their blog, and add the Liebster Award badge to your blog and/or post. 

2. Answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you. 

3. Give eleven random facts about yourself. 

4. Nominate 5-11 fellow bloggers. 

5. Notify your nominees that you nominated them for the Liebster Award. 

6. Ask your nominees eleven questions.

The first nomination was from Maya Joelle, who blogs right here. Go check her out, especially if you’re a fan of the fantasy genre. She’s got some fun book/music reviews, blog tags, info about her WIP and more! Head on over there!

Maya’s questions were…

1.) What is your favorite summertime drink?

Oh, man. Must this be so hard? We’ll go with an iced coffee.:)

2.) Have you ever met someone whose first language was not English (or was your first language not English)? What was that like?

Yes… I’ve known people who grew up in Mexico for as long as I can remember, and I work with several now! It’s been really neat… although a bit of a struggle when they can’t find the words to express what they’re trying to communicate, or when I can’t understand what they’re saying because of their accent. Thankfully, they’re so gracious with my confusion and laugh it off. A sense of humor covers a multitude of sins.:)

3.) Do you fluently speak any language other than your first? Which one? How’d you learn it?

Not really… although I can usually decipher Spanish sentences. I learned Spanish through a combination of Duo Lingo, Rosetta Stone, stories read in Spanish, and other sources. Oh, but I can say “Please listen – do you speak English?” in Hindi. Because that’s just so helpful.

4.) Have you ever made up a language, or do you want to?

If creating a howling code with brothers and cousins counts, then yes. Been there, done that.

5.) Is it snowy where you live?

FYI: Princess Anna is actually me.

6.) What song did you last listen to? Did you like it?

I’m currently listening to a song called “Hope Now” because it popped up on the station I’m listening to… I would say I like it! It’s not outstanding, in my opinion, but it’s not despicable.:)

7.) Would you rather be Lizzy Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) or Peter Parker (Spider-man)? (Ignore whether you’re the same gender for this question and just think about the situation/personality.)

*looks up a synopsis of just who Spider-Man is*

Lizzy Bennett. Books, long letters, walks, sarcasm, interesting interactions and lots of plot twists… sounds fascinating and familiar.:)

8.) Have you ever been to Michigan? If so, what did you think of it?

Not yet!

9.) Favorite non-official holiday?

Grilled Cheese Day – April 12. A few years ago, our family started a little tradition for our farm… we host a grilled cheese lunch on that day for our employees and other people who work with our farm. It is so much fun! Sadly, last year we canceled due to *unintelligible muttering and sputtering*

10.) Does your church follow the liturgical calendar?

Until I was eleven, we were members of a Lutheran church, and we did there. Now we’re at a non-denominational church that doesn’t follow the liturgical calendar.

11.) Do you like being asked about your future plans? Why or why not?

Ooh… *cringes* Not really. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 22, people seem to automatically assume that you’re in college, so answering “where are you going to school?” with “I’m not going to school, I’m working on my family’s farm while working towards a career in writing” is challenging at times. People either ask for my back-up plan (nothing like boosting a girl’s confidence!) or treat me like I’m about to win the Newbery Medal, and both of these reactions make me shrivel up inside. So, no. I don’t really like being asked that question… and yet somehow I do at the same time. It’s complicated.

Thanks for the questions, Maya! That was fun!:)

Okay, next up…

Mia Harden nominated me, as well! Thank you so, much, Mia.:) You can check out Mia’s blog right here to read some of her super fun posts. Go do it!

Mia’s questions were…

1.) What Food Do You Want to Like, But Just Can’t?

Omelets. I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with them. I’m not a picky eater, but if I’m going to enjoy an omelet, it has to be absolutely perfect. Not scorched, but with zero runniness. With mushrooms and onions… lots of them. And ham is nice, too. No salsa… that pulls away from the mushrooms and onions. But sour cream on top is great, because… dairy.

2.) If You Could Go Anywhere In the World, Where Would You Go?

Europe. Mountains, history, and a different culture… need I say more?

3.) Excluding Any Instruments That You Might Play, What Is Your Favorite Instrument?

My favorite are the piano and guitar… but I play both. I think that the cello is so beautiful – and I’m such a terrible cellist, I think I can get away with saying I don’t really play it.:)

4.) What Is the Funniest Thing That Has Ever Happened to You?

One Sunday evening, after my mother’s reputation as one of the best chocolate chip cookie bakers in the region was well established among the kids in our youth group (they had scarfed down a box or two, leaving nary a crumb for yours truly a few weeks before this), I began the slow and painful process of trying to drag three siblings away to the car.

After telling the siblings that it was time to leave, I ran to grab the cookies. I was stopped by one of our youth leaders, who asked if she could grab a few cookies before I left. Then, as I began my pilgrimage to the car, I was attacked by a multitude of panicking friends. I’m serious – there were grabbing hands everywhere. It cracked me up, and I still grin every time I remember it. (Maybe this wasn’t the funniest thing… but it’s one of my favorite funny memories.)

(You can find the recipe for these amazing cookies here, on my other blog.:) )

5.) What Is Your Favorite Day of the Week?

Sunday! Although I love the routine of my weekday schedule, it’s such a treat to be able to refresh and refocus on Sundays. Spending time with my church family, spending extra time focusing on and drawing near to Jesus, just hanging out with my family, and (let’s admit it) Sunday afternoon naps are simply the best.

6.) What is Something Random that You Like to Do?

Strike up conversations between characters whose personalities and situations I invent as I go. One of them is usually in tears or upset about something. I’d say that’s random.

7.) Early Bird or Night Owl?

Lately I’ve been a night owl… but I function better when I’m an early bird. I just struggle to tell my brain to stop working and go to sleep.:)

8.) On a Scale of One To Ten, How Excited Were You For This Nomination?

Good question! I was nominated for this last year, and then my excitement was definitely a 10! It was the first blog award for which I’d been nominated, and I was pretty much bouncing off the walls.:) This time around I was more like, “Oh, cool, another nomination!” So maybe a 7 or 8?

9.) You Have the Opportunity to Go on an All-Expenses-Paid Trip to See Your Favorite Singer Perform, But It Happens At the Same Time As Something Else You’ve Always Wanted to Do. What is The Other Thing, And Which Would You Choose?

The other thing would be marrying someone amazing… and I think that choice is a no-brainer. Besides… concerts are usually in big cities. With crazy traffic. And tons of people. I can listen to Sidewalk Prophets anytime I want to at home, anyway.:)

10.) When Did You Decide You Wanted to Start a Blog?

I had to think about this one! I think it was in the spring or summer of 2017… and I started my first blog in October of 2017. I pretty much got hooked on blogging for life after that.:)

11.) And the Question For the Win, How Many Other Blogs Are You Following?

Ooh… I actually have no idea. Maybe… 20? Or 30?

Random Facts About Me

  1. I used to be an avid bacon grease collector.
  2. I wrote a horrible story once, and knew it was horrible. To scare me, my brother wrote up his own version on the same type of paper and pretended that my story was in his possession. His version was so much better than mine and is still in existence. Mine was ripped up by my own two hands years ago.
  3. My family laughed at me when I informed them that taking Geometry helped me to think more logically.
  4. If a game involves words, definitions, or acting, I will probably love it.
  5. This blog has been cracking me up, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s chock-full of my kind of sarcastic humor. Please. Go read it.
  6. My favorite musical is Fiddler on the Roof.
  7. The first scene in an HF novel I started writing was set by a brook in my favorite park.
  8. I once dropped a plate, shattering it, and promptly landed on a shard. With my bare foot.
  9. Phone calls terrify my introverted soul. Texts or letters, please.
  10. If I didn’t love writing or working on the farm, I may have ended up pursuing a career in law or politics. (please refer to random fact #3 and laugh with my family.)
  11. I love to debate.

And I would like to nominate…

Tabitha Rutto

Sarah at The Sarcastic Elf

Hannah at The Striped Plaid

Rachel at Kinetic Intent

Rachel at Joyful Creations

My questions for my nominees:

  1. What are some of your favorite quotes/Bible verses at present?
  2. What has been one of the happiest days of your life so far, and why?
  3. What is your favorite book genre?
  4. What is your favorite movie, and why?
  5. Why do you blog?
  6. Do you prefer talking face-to-face or communicating through writing?
  7. What is your favorite outfit?
  8. If you could spend one full day with your best friend, what would you do together?
  9. What would you say is your biggest goal in life?
  10. Do you plan your blog posts ahead of time, or leave them ’til the last minute?
  11. How would you describe your personality in three words?

If you’re still here… you’re either one of my nominees or a gem. Or both.:) Thanks for sticking with me.

Have a lovely day, folks… and feel free to answer any of these questions in the comment section!