Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pay it forward

Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story and Jennifer at Snapshot didn't even know it was my birthday, but they both gave me the nicest gift - one that more than made up for the nearly-dismal end to my day Saturday. It is the Thinking Blogger Award, something that has been making its way around Blogland for a while. Anybody know where it all started?

Anyway, Susanne, Jennifer, and I go way back. They were both some of my very first blogging buddies when we all first started out about a year ago. Susanne is a refreshingly unpretentious friend who makes you feel like you're sitting in your sweats at her kitchen table, even while she's challenging you to know Christ more, be a better mom, or plan a menu that includes delectable entrees like Apple Stuffed Chicken breast. Jennifer is an incredible person who writes for Faith Lifts, reviews adult and children's books, writes about travel, and still manages to be, like, normal. Both of you have inspired ME, and I'm just mad you beat me to nominating YOU first!

Now as I understand it, the idea is to Pay it Forward to 5 people who have made you THINK through their blogging.

This award has some rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme (I couldn't find the exact origin and the original link--if someone knows, leave a comment!)

3. Optional: Proudly display the Thinking Blogger Award with a link to the post you wrote.

This is really a toughie, because there are so many of you whose blogs I read for different reasons. But for now I wanted to nominate a few of my favorite "thinkers:"

Elise at A Path Made Straight - Elise doesn't write every day, but when she does, she's always got a funny story. I'm reading away, and while she has me chuckling, I realize she has somehow (so sly!) managed to show me a side of myself, of my need for God, and His ready grace to intervene. She also has some beautiful little ones, and being a Southern gal, I love the way she refers to herself as "Mama!"

Gwen at Ivey Elizabeth Sirmans - Gwen is an extraordinary lady whom God has chosen, by His hand of Providence, to entrust with a baby with serious physical needs. Her blog is about Ivey, but when I go there, I see a little bit of God. I am challenged to look at the minutia of my life (which seems so big at the time) in a perspective of thankfulness. She candidly yet contemplatively shares about her struggles raising Ivey and her two big brothers, with an inspiring mixture of faith and grit.

Beck at Frog and Toad are Still Friends - I see that Beck was already nominated by Jennifer at Snapshot, but I'm going to do it anyway. Beck is the only blogger I know who can successfully bypass the 500-words-and-I-tune-out Rule of Blogging. She can write about her cat and make me get choked up. But what I love is her refreshing absence of airs - what you see is what you get - that keeps me coming back for more. When she writes about everything from almost dying, to watching her children grow up, she paints vivid pictures that keep me thinking and feeling well into the 1500-word range. Or more. And I'm reading EVERY WORD.

Ann V. at Holy Experience - Ann is another word picture gal. Most of her posts are short but thought- and Christ-imitating-provoking. She has a calmness about her that is almost palpable. Her ability to look at the simple things in life - rain, grass, children's laughter - and see God's hand is truly an inspiration to me.

Laura at Org Junkie - I need Laura in my life. She takes this organization thing very seriously and has stayed true to the purpose of her blog - helping the rest of us, who subsist on flying by the seat of our pants, even though we should know better by now. Laura is even organized in how she posts - get a load of her sidebar; it's arranged by category, and is to die for. I have made workable systems for several things, including my medicine cabinet, thanks to Laura, and have plans to do much more than that. I just have to get organized first.

As a side note, in the days since my birthday, the kids have been much better behaved. Of course, we haven't lit any matches or had any more parties, so I guess that explains things.

Life is good.


Susanne said...

This was great Katherine! Two of my faves, Beck and Laura, love, love, love them. And you've introduced me to three new bloggers. Congrats, you very much deserve this award. And I'm glad it turned out that I could give you a birthday gift that wasn't going to burn the house down! :vD

Wendy said...

Happy Birthday Katherine, I hope you have a great day!

Beck said...

Oh, Katherine! Thank you so much! That means a lot to me. I'm off to check out your other nominees, too!

Anonymous said...

Happy B-Day Kat :) Sending giggles and hugs galore your way :)

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday! I love your descriptions of Susanne and Beck--very apt.

And Happy Birthday. It's one day when we want it to be all about us (well that and Mother's Day), and it's hard. I often find myself saying, "Can't you just be nice on my birthday!?!"

Laura said...

Katherine you have no idea how much this means to me today especially the part about me staying true to the purpose of my blog...it hasn't been easy and often I second guess whether or not I should have done that. So nice to know that it is appreciated. You are so sweet and your words so kind. Your blog was one of the first ones I ever read and I've never left since!
Thank you :)

Gwen Sirmans (Ivey's Mom) said...

Thank you for the award!!!! Hope you had one incredible birthday, you deserve it!!!

I always pray that whom ever reads Ivey's blog will get that there are many struggles, but many more joys and accomplishments. Thank you

Elise @A Path Made Straight said...

Katherine - thanks so much! I forgot that you had mentioned you did this in one of your comments at my place! I'm going to edit my "thinking blogger awards" post to add your name!
You bless me so much. I have little extra time to visit friends, but you are one that I always need to make time for - I need peeks into your wisdom, your advice, and your chaos! :) Bless you.