I am so excited to introduce this month’s Inspired Blogger. I stumbled upon Elizabeths’ blog in a blog hop (my memory escapes me as to which one and exactly when), but I instantly felt a heart connection with her. At the time I met her, she had a daughter ministering at the house of prayer in Kansas City, which is very close to my heart, and she loves worship music just as much as I do! She is always encouraging as she shares the Word of God and about her life on the blog.
Without further adieu, please welcome Elizabeth from Just Following Jesus!
I’m so honored to have been asked by Barbie to be her Inspired Blogger. We have a lot in common, especially our love for God, His Word and worship.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a 55 year old, (ouch), pastor’s wife, mother to 3 grown daughters, mother-in-law to two sons-in-law and nana to four of the most wonderful grandchildren in the world! I love being a wife, mother and nana. I love to teach God’s Word and mentor those younger than me. I love homemaking, decorating, cooking, photography, writing, creating and all things beautiful!
How long have you been blogging and how/why did you start?
I have been blogging since 2009 and, like I’m prone to do, it sounded like fun, so I just dived in! I’ve done the same thing with photography and painting and other creative pursuits. If sounds like fun, so I just dive in and learn as I go. (LOL! I just had to google the correct past tense of the word dive. FYI, “dived” or “dove” are both acceptable. The fact that I feel compelled to tell you this illustrates that I pretty much have no shame.)
What is the purpose of your blog?
I wanted my blog to be about my real life and the things I love, and to demonstrate the reality of following Jesus without being preachy or pretentious. I wanted people who happen upon my place on the web to find hope that an ordinary person can really know, love, and serve God.
What do you most enjoy about blogging?
I enjoy the whole process of dreaming up what I am going to post about, playing with the words until I’ve done my best to communicate what’s in my heart, deciding what photos to include and trying to get the best shots possible, even though I’m just a self-taught amateur. But of course, the best part of blogging is the relationships! I’ve met the best people, even a few of them face to face. I’m excited to be attending my first retreat with other bloggers this coming April.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about loving God with my whole heart. I am passionate about loving my husband and family. I am passionate about God’s church, His people, and I want to be used to encourage, strengthen and build them up. I am passionate about creating and capturing beauty, in my home, through my camera lens, in my writing. I am also passionate about taking good care of myself, body, soul and spirit, so that I finish my life well and strong.
Who or what inspires you?
Wow, this list could go on and on!
When I was a young wife, pregnant with our first daughter, a retired missionary led a women’s Bible study that I attended. I credit her for inspiring me to love God’s Word.
A few years later, two older ladies in the church where we were assistant pastors inspired me to teach a Bible study myself for the women in our church. This inspired me by helping me to discover that my gift in the body of Christ is primarily a teaching gift, with a heavy dose of encouragement and mercy thrown in.
When I was a young mama, James Dobson’s book, The Strong Willed Child, inspired me by teaching me that each of my daughter’s was given a different personality by God for a reason, which totally changed the way I parented.
Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore both inspire me that victims can be transformed into victors and also that middle aged, or above(!), women can still be world changers!
Ann Voskamp inspired me to count my blessings, to focus my attention on the blessings I have, instead of things I don’t have. I began keeping a gratitude journal shortly after I began blogging. This small thing has changed my life.
So many, many bloggers inspire me, some with their posts that encourage me spiritually, some inspire me with creative ways to make my home a lovely and welcoming place, some inspire me with their amazing photography and make me want to improve my own skills in that area, some cause me to hone my writing skills, some inspire me to try a new recipe. There’s a whole lot of inspiration to be found in the blogosphere. The key is to let it inspire you to be the best you that you can be, not to try to become a copy of them.
Tell us something random about yourself.
I have a very random, quirky sense of humor. Seriously. I can be ridiculously silly at times.
Will you share with us one of your favorite posts and what you love about it?
Do I have to chose just one? This is hard! It’s a bit like asking me which of my children or grandchildren are my favorite. The answer is all of them, for their own unique reasons.
Ok, so my favorite just for the good plain fun it was to write would be Ode To A Soup Pot.
My other one, which is just about as opposite from the soup pot post as can be is the post I wrote as a eulogy to my Mama, when she died two years ago. I knew I wanted to say something at Mama’s funeral, but felt like I couldn’t get what was in my heart out. One of my daughter’s told me to just shut myself in my room and write a blog post about Mama. That’s just what I did.
Then, a post that reveals my heart and the journey I’ve been on these past few years would be, Made To Fly.
I think these contrasting posts epitomize the whole concept of my blog, just following Jesus in my real life. My posts are snapshots into my life, the life of a flesh and blood, fallible, leaning heavy on God’s grace, Jesus follower.
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Friends, will you head over to Elizabeth’s blog to say hello? I promise you will not be disappointed.