And the Award Goes To…

Today I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Allison over at The Budget Maven!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It’s a way to acknowledge each other and say “you’re doing a great job”. It is for blogs with 200 or less followers, so it’s also a nice way to spread the word about smaller blogs and get them more readers and followers! 

When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person(s) who nominated you. You pass the Award onto 11 other blogs (make sure you tell them you nominated them!) and ask them 11 questions. You’re not allowed to nominate the blog(s) who nominated you! (To get the button, right click the picture on my page and save the picture to your computer. You can then upload to your blog.) 

11 Random Facts:

  • I’m married to a bluegrass musician (and a darn good one at that!)
  • I’m a germ freak. My hands may be chapped but I can’t remember the last time I caught a cold!
  • I’m a closet NASCAR fan. Yes, NASCAR. The love-fest began in 2001 at Daytona. It just happened to be the first race I’d watched in years (my mom dated a NASCAR driver for many of my teen years). When I watched Dale Earnhardt Sr. hit the wall and not emerge from his car, I was emotionally hooked. 
  • Autumn is my favorite season. I’m convinced heaven will be fall-like for an eternity!
  • I feed my spoiled Lhasa Apso by hand. Did I just admit that? 
  • I would like to write a children’s book.
  • I collect vintage chenille bedspreads.
  • I’m not partial. I have one of the cutest granddaughters God ever created. 
  • I have a weakness for McDonald’s Chocolate Chip Frappe’s. Can anyone say 18 Weight Watchers points? Ouch!
  • I watched the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy) so many times that my DVD began to flicker—so I invested in a new one. 🙂
  • The study of The Tabernacle was a turning point in my Christian walk. Forget the idiom “the devil is in the details” — it’s our awesome God who is interested in every minute detail of our lives. Thank You, Lord!

Allison’s Questions for me:
1.What is your least favorite color?

2. What smell makes you the happiest?
Crisp leaves in Autumn

3. What’s one thing from your bucket list that you’ve yet to do?
Make a bucket list.

4. Who would win in a fight between a hard shell taco and a grilled cheese sandwich?
Hard shell taco, hands down. Unless we’re at Mike’s on Main Street in Hendersonville NC. Their grilled cheese with a cold root beer is yummy. I’d best stop now or I may have to change my answer to #2. 

5. What’s your favorite dessert?
Birthday cake. White cake and buttercream white icing. Sweet mercy!

6. If you could trade wardrobes with a celebrity, whose closet would you raid?
Sienna Miller’s – love her style!
7. What overused expression really gets on your nerves?
“politically correct”

8. Vintage or Modern?

9. Coke or Pepsi?
Coke…it’s classic.

10. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
Aubree Sophia Baker (where did that come from?)

11. If someone gave you a check for a million dollars, how would spend it?
I would give a generous check to Summit (my awesome church!) and other
Kingdom causes. Then I’d build a cabin in the mountains where my
family could vacation together (and we could live full-time!)

Here are my nominations for the Liebster Award:
1. Brandon and Megan at This Beautiful Truth
3. Jamie at Encouraging Women
4. Julie at Anti-Writing
5. Susan at I Hope 4 Him
6. Dee Dee at Come Go Home With Me
7. Kim at Hope Lives Now
9. Debra at DL Koontz
10. Ellen at Ellen Andersen
My Eleven Questions for Nominees:
1. Would you rather see a movie at the theater or at home on DVD? Why?
2. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would they title it?
3. Who’s your favorite singer or band?
4. If you had to choose a favorite book of the Bible, what would it be and why?
5. Fiction or non-fiction? Why?
6. How would you spend a million dollars? 
7. Walmart or Target?
8. Do you parallel park or drive around the block?
9. What’s your favorite cookie?
10. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
11. What recent blessing from the Lord would you like to share? 
A BIG thanks to Allison at Budget Maven for this opportunity to share and to help other blogs get noticed.

The Applause of One


Only hours before the awards ceremony at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference, I crossed paths with Julie at the Cloud Cafe. Although I’d received a positive critique from Dr. Donn Taylor the day prior, I had low expectations of placing in this year’s poetry contest and I was disappointed — not in the assumed outcome, but by the fact that I was…well, disappointed. Why did the award mean so much? Did it mean too much? Would a loss deter me from the path of poetry?

God, through Julie, helped me to see how I was on the cusp of believing the lie that a piece of paper could validate my writing—to myself and to others. God alone stirs this heart to communicate and takes the work to places of His making. I simply need to be obedient (is there anything simple about obedience?)

Tears flowed. Hope arose. God’s Validation Gratefully Received. Win or Lose.

Later than evening, as Eva Marie Everson announced the winners for the poetry category, peace sheltered my heart from any possible disappointment. And then I heard these unexpected words: In first place, the winner is…“The One” by Cathy Baker.

Can I be honest? Hearing your name called, while thunderous applause erupts from those you most respect, is an unforgettable experience. And yet, while making my way to the stage I recalled a quote written in my journal many years ago:

“It matters not if the world has heard or approves or understands…the only applause we’re meant to seek is that of nail-scarred hands.” ― B.J. Hoff

To God be the glory.


Not What My Hands Have Done

Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.

These guilty hands are raised, filthy rags are all I bring
And I have come to hide beneath your wings
These holy hands are raised, Washed in the fountain of your grace
And now I wear your righteousness

Thy work alone oh Christ can ease this weight of sin
Thy blood alone, oh Lamb of God, can give me peace within
Thy Love to me, oh God, not mine oh Lord to Thee
Can rid me of this dark unrest and set my Spirit free

Thy grace alone oh God to me can pardon speak
Thy power alone oh Lamb of God can this sore bondage break
No other work save thine, no other blood will do
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through

I praise the God of grace; I trust his truth and might
He calls me his, I call him mine, My God, my Joy, my Light
My Lord has saved my life and freely pardon gives;
I love because he first loved me, I live because he lives.

– Aaron Keyes

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