As a reader of Rest & Chaos Blog, I was honoured to be nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, a blogger-to-blogger award. Visit Collene’s lovely blog for Christian encouragement and inspiration! She is a wonderfully, thoughtful writer who shares from her heart.

I decided to participate because it is great to learn more about the people behind the blogs that I read. And this one is fun, random facts about the blogger! I hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more about me and also check out the blogs of my nominees!

My Seven Fun, Random Facts

1. When I was 23, I gave God a sort of ultimatum. I was frustrated with dating and the “right guy” just wasn’t coming along, and yet I realised that I didn’t want to waste time having self-pity. So in November 2007, I prayed that either God would bring my husband to me soon or take the desire off my heart for marriage, so that I could be more focused on sharing God’s good news with people around me. In February 2008, I met this visiting Englishman named Charlie through a mutual friend. At the time I didn’t think of anything other than friendship, as he wasn’t a Christian yet, had a girlfriend, and lived in England (I was in California)! BUT, we serve the God of all impossibilities and little did I know God was weaving our lives together while I was seemingly oblivious. God’s plans far exceed what we could ever imagine!

2. I’m not sure if I sound American or British now! (Yes, Charlie became my husband exactly two years after we first met!) Ten years of living outside London and British folks definitely know I am from America, but now when I’m home visiting Northern California, I get asked where I’m from. It’s quite amusing explaining I was a local but have transplanted to England. Every now and then I also find it incredibly interesting that I am raising two little ones as their “Mummy, not Mommy,” and they have very British accents! I do smile after Anna and Luke have spent time with their American grandparents because then they start putting on their “American” accents. It’s nice they are learning to appreciate both sides. And the lucky ducks have both sets of passports as dual citizens! God brings people together and cross-cultural children are brilliant!

3. I won’t lie, transatlantic life is not always easy. Being an only child, it was especially bittersweet for my parents when they realised Charlie and I were getting married and I would be moving from San Francisco to London. Maybe it’s a good thing that I didn’t know the heartache that was to come and still surfaces from time to time. It’s especially hard with having children who miss their grandparents and can’t understand that we don’t have the time or funds to just pop back “across the pond” whenever we want. Still God is so kind and the Holy Spirit has kept us all connected despite the miles. I have come to realise that home is not where my heart is but rather where God is…. and He is everywhere!

4. On my first trip to London visiting Charlie and his family, (I only had two trips totalling eighteen days to the UK before I was immigrating as a newly wed) God very clearly spoke to my heart that England was going to be where we would start our married life together. We prayed about both options for living in the UK and USA, but God’s gently whispered wisdom and confirmation over the months to follow, helped bring clarity. Living by faith is often equally exciting and terrifying but God’s plans go far beyond what we can see and He is trustworthy.

5. When I’ve hit valleys in my life, it can sometimes be so easy to doubt what God is doing. Am I in the right place? Did I really hear correctly that we were to start in England? Are we missing anything on the other side? Faith living can be difficult but as we choose to obey and persevere, God brings hope and encouragement along the journey. We have flip-flopped many times over trips back and forth to California and prayed over seriously considering moving to San Francisco. After all, the message I had first received was that we would start in England, not necessarily that we would finish here. A couple of years ago, we got really close to taking the leap and Charlie even took a trip out to CA on his own to pray and see the practicalities of what that would look like. We both received a clear message (while he was still in California and I was home in London) that God’s answer was, “Not now.” Fast forwarding to today and I am SO glad that we listened to God’s voice. We were to be used instrumentally in bringing back together Charlie’s uncle and aunt into the lives of Charlie’s mum, dad, and sister’s family, after two decades of absence. God knew we needed to help restore community within our own family. It took a lot of prayer and nine years into me being here for that to happen, but it’s taught me to never give up on people! God is always working on mending hearts and it takes time. Keep praying for God’s love to penetrate deeply into the hearts of people you know need Him.

6. Being always a California girl at heart, I do love nature and sunshine! Whether it be the beach or a mountaintop, I have always loved connecting with God through nature. When life has become busy, walking or hiking in the great outdoors has been my quiet, happy place. It’s more difficult now to escape to scenic spots with living in a more urban area than where I grew up, but God has helped me to get creative with finding quiet local spots. Whether it’s a walk around the park, or even just ignoring house chores to sit down with a cup of tea, being still before Jesus and spending time with Him can make all the difference in my day.

7. Becoming a mother has been the most rewarding and also the absolute hardest thing I have ever done! I went on maternity leave six years ago with my firstborn and never went back, as I felt that it was the right thing for me and our family. What I didn’t anticipate was the amount of guilt I would struggle with and how my self worth would be questioned. As a new mother, I remember being on a flight back to visit my parents and I got into a conversation with a university student sat next to me. She explained the degree she was working on and then as I talked about being a mother at home with my child, she asked, “Oh…. and what else do you do?” As if having a child and looking after her needs wasn’t enough? I wanted to validate myself and tell her how many hours I worked unpaid and overtime to take care of my family, however it didn’t really seem worth it, as this woman just wasn’t going to understand. So there’s the guilt of spending too much time caring for kids, thinking you are missing out on a career for mothers at home, but there’s also a guilt of working mothers for focussing on their careers or just needing finances and not spending enough time with their kids. It’s been an ongoing battle, but I’ve deliberately chosen to ignore what society says about my worth. Rather I’m focusing on Jesus, believing in my worth as God’s daughter and that I have value because of who God says I am. Our value and self worth are affirmed by what Jesus has done and we don’t have to be defined by anyone trying to judge us. God knows us the best and having His continual love and approval is better than any value I could obtain from people.

My Nominees (These writers are great! Check them out!)

  1. Reflections From An Open Window
  2. The Found Daughter
  3. Jennifer Hayes Yates
  4. From East To West
  5. Lifter Of My Head – Psalm 3:3
  6. HopeFaithLove
  7. Little Miss Pilgrim
  8. My Life In Our Father’s World
  9. Living Under A Hopeful Sky
  10. Living Joy Today
  11. My House Full Of Boys
  12. Notes On Life
  13. Sarah Elizabeth Felty
  14. The “F” Word
  15. My Daily Walk

“When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.”

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you.
Link to the blog of the person who nominated you.
Share 7 facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 more bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

I would love to read some fun, random facts about you, too! Blessings. ❤️

14 thoughts on “Learning To Be Versatile

  1. That was so much fun reading more about you! You love story was beautiful! I can see how it would be hard to live so far apart from your family but it is great that God is using you over in the UK. I really resonate with your attitude about being a mom, too. Our self worth is in Him and who He says we are. And He is good. He always has a plan. Taking care of ourselves and our family is more than enough! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen! When my two oldest children were almost grown, a mother who had children the same age (whose children were not doing as well) asked me to what I attributed their “turning out” so well – was it our church or the Christian school? I didn’t know, so I asked my daughter. She looked surprised and said, “I can’t believe you don’t know, Mom.”
      “We’ll …?”
      “Mom it was YOU. You stayed home with me.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really lovely to read more about you. I resonate with you approach and attitude of being a mom. I have prioritised my family too and as a result my career has taken a step back. I have struggled with that aspect trying to explain or justify to others and feel like I am lacking somehow if I am not working. God has been kind to me and reminded me that my choice is the right one as it was one I made with a lot of prayer and seeking His will.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for sharing! You’re so right, even if from time to time we doubt our choices, we can be grounded in truth and confident as we journey with God and seek His guidance for all the motherly decisions we make. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for the nomination!

    My 7 Random Facts Are:
    1) I was once in a TV commercial for the mall where I worked.
    2) I was the tallest gitl in my class at the start of my freshman year of High School (5 ft 10 in)
    3) I have met several famous people (ZZ Top, Vince Gill, Mike Singletary)
    4) As a kid I was an under the covers with a flashlight reader.
    5) I used to collect stamps.
    6) My grandmothers taught me to cook & bake.
    7) I can’t sleep with out the weight of a blanket (even when it is VERY hot out).
    7)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so enjoyed learning more about you. I relate completely to your struggles to get to the point where God’s opinion of you is the only one that matters. I, too, spent much too much time second guessing myself about not having a “real job.” But now that my kids are grown and married to godly people and raising our grandchildren to know and love the Lord, I am encouraged that I made the right choices. And where I didn’t, He worked things out for good anyway. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When my kids were little I was writing songs, and although Nashville was not impressed, I would sing my little ones to sleep with them.
    When our kids were grown, my husband and I were at my daughter’s house one night at bedtime, and from outside the nursery door I could hear her singing my rendition of Psalm 91 to HER baby. That was one of those moments … ❤

    Like

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