One of my goals as a Christian who feels call to write for God is to write a blog that I wouldn’t feel embarrassed reading aloud to my mother, my children or Jesus Himself. Success in this area is hard. There are so many negative influences around and the world often feels like a hard and dark place. I have a lot of thoughts and ideas about these matters, and yet the last thing I want to do is stir up debate.
While I’ve never so much stated it here, Philippians 4:8 happens to be one of several verses to help guide me as a I choose what to write about. That verse states:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
So imagine my surprise when a fellow blogger awarded me with the “One Lovely Blog” award.
My heartfelt thanks go to John Mark (who blogs at The Artistic Christian) for making my day with this award! He even gave it to me when I felt unsuccessful as a writer, inspiring me to put my hands to the keyboard and get back into the swing of blogging. John Mark is a fellow blogger for Christ. His blog, where he writes about a wide variety of life from book and movie reviews to pieces of flash fiction to antics from parenting his foster children, is entertaining, enlightening, and encouraging. I hope my readers will check out his blog as well.
Now in order for me to accept the award, I must agree to the rules of acceptance.
Rules of Acceptance
The rules of the “One Lovely Blog” Award are simple. A nominated blogger must (1) link back to the person who nominated them, (2) list these very rules and display their award, (3) share seven facts about themself, and (4) choose 5-15 blogs to nominate.
Seeing as I’ve now taken care of items 1 and 2, I need to move onto the third rule of acceptance. Oddly enough, this part is the most difficult, not because I mind sharing information about myself but rather because it’s hard to think of seven interesting facts about myself. I’m a housewife and mother of five. My life is relatively mundane, which is why I call my blog “Tales from the Laundry Room.”
Seven Random Facts About Paige
Don’t expect to read any earth-shattering information here! I have led a very stable, quiet life for the most part. There are no wild tales from my past. Trust me. What you are about to read would likely bore even the most inquiring minds. And yet, this is not made up stuff. It’s all 100% true. You have my word.
1. I graduated valedictorian of my high school class.
Now please, don’t start thinking I’m some amazing genius. I’m not. I only managed to graduate from college cum laude … which means I’m a relatively “smart cookie” but definitely not another Einstein. You see, this valedictorian thing is not nearly as impressive as it sounds. There were only 21 members of my high school graduating class. (I’d leave that part out except then people start expecting me to be smarter than I really am … and that’s annoying.)
2. I actually had to repeat Algebra I in high school, and later, in college, I accepted a bribe from a professor in order to pass my math elective class.
Yes, random facts 1 and 2 are in direct opposition to each other. I always like to mention #1 first because it makes me feel better about myself. Besides, this fact only goes to prove what I was trying to say about #1 … I’m really not a genius. I may not even be all that smart, though I am exceptionally smart when compared to cookies in general.
In regards to repeating my freshman algebra class, I must point out that I did not actually receive a failing grade. In fact, amy grades were high enough that I still managed to maintain a honor roll GPA. It was my mother, who upon helping me study for my final exam, discovered I had not the first clue about solving algebra problems. No amount of memorizing formulas was going to help me out. It was so bad that I didn’t understand what she was talking about when she asked me to show her how to “balance” an equation. She informed me right then and there that I would be retaking Algebra I, no matter how embarrassing I thought that would be. Surprisingly, the second time through algebra, I actually managed to learn quite a bit about solving equations … not that it helped me in college.
Which brings me to the second half of this random fact … the part regarding a math professor and a bribe. Yes, it really is true. I took a bribe in order to pass a class. (Believe me. I am hanging my head in shame as I type.) The class was business algebra. I didn’t need it for my degree, but I did need a math elective. That semester I was involved in a teaching practicum, which involved me writing myriads of lesson plans, spending hours at the elementary school observing teachers and students, and finally actually teaching two weeks of lessons. Business algebra was not at the top of my list of priorities. When the final grades came in, I was 1/10th of a point from the grade I needed to pass my math elective. I did the only thing I could do. I went to the professor’s office, sat down across from his desk, and cried. I don’t know if he was just a nice man in general or if he decided to take pity on me. Either way, he said if I was willing to give him 1/10th of my first million, he would give me my passing grade. I told him I would never make a million as a teacher. So he said, “Give me a dime and we’ll call it good.” Luckily for me, I had a dime in my purse. I put it in his hand and walked out with a smile on my face.
(I have’t done a single algebra problem since then … well, not until Maddie and Joel started doing algebra in their school. Fortunately, I am quite able to learn along with them. And should a problem stump us all, I’ve always got the teacher’s guide to help me figure it out!)
3. I have moved more than 15 times in my adult life.
Many of these were military moves I made while married to my first husband, which took us from one duty station to another all across the United States. Others were just moves across town. Still, we moved so often my oldest child never spent two Christmases in the same house until he was 8 years old. This is the crazy part: I actually like moving. (Shhhh! Please don’t tell my husband, but we’ve been living in this house for a little over two years and there are days when the urge to pack hits me hard. Luckily for him, God definitely put us in this home, so I imagine we will be living here until He decides to move us into a new one.)
4. When I married Jon, he was nearly dead.
This is a very sad fact. Poor Jon barely had enough energy to stand upright at the front of the church while we made our vows. Ten days earlier he was hospitalized for a severe heart infection, and only managed to be released from the hospital about 48 hours before the ceremony. In fact, on our wedding day, he still had a PICC line in his arm to deliver the powerful antibiotics to his heart. (The traumatic story of Jon’s illness doesn’t end with our wedding day. A month after our wedding, Jon underwent open heart surgery to replace his infected mitral valve with a mechanical one. During the first six months of our marriage, Jon spend about half of that time in various hospitals, almost dying two more times. But today, three and a half years later, you would never know he had been so desperately ill. I thank God daily for our happy ending!)
5. My passport is unused.
And it nearly kills me every time I think about it! I have always wanted to travel overseas, particularly to Scotland, Ireland, and England … places my ancestors would have walked. The trip for which I originally got the passport fell through, and no other opportunities have been available since. However, I am willing and ready to travel if one does arise! (Truthfully, my passport is going to expire within another 2-3 years, and I figure the chances of me getting overseas before then is highly unlikely (unless God intervenes). Seeing as my children are becoming well-seasoned at world traveling, I’m learning a hard lesson in patience and contentment regarding my unused passport.)
6. I bleed green.
Okay, not really. But I am definitely a die-hard 4-H’er! I’ve been involved with the 4-H organization in one way or another since I was 9 years old. I’ve been a 4-H member, a contest judge, a club leader and even employed as a 4-H agent for a short period of time. Today, 4-H still keeps me busy as I am the mother of five active 4-H’ers, the parent leader of the club my children participate in, and a volunteer in many of the local 4-H activities. (Sometimes I really do think 4-H is in my bloodline. My paternal grandmother was an Extension Agent and very involved with the 4-H program, as were several of her siblings, nieces and nephews. To this day, my dad remains actively involved in the local 4-H program, serving as a board member and judge for contests.)
7. I am not a picky eater, but I cannot stand to eat canned peaches.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good, fresh, juicy peach. But I do not like the canned version … not even in cobblers or pies. Canned peaches are slimy and nasty, especially when compared to the way a fresh peach tastes. Actually, I don’t enjoy eating any fruit that has been canned, especially those canned in heavy syrups, but for some reason I find canned peaches to be especially unappetizing. (And even though my husband completely disagrees with me, the grossness of canned cherries is a very close second to that of canned peaches. It’s the mushiness that makes them practically inedible. YUCK! Still, every December 29th, you will find me baking a gluten-free cherry pie, made with his beloved canned cherries, just for him in honor of his birthday. Now you know that’s a sign of true love!)
There you have it. Seven really random facts about me, and I’m sure your life will be much richer for the knowing.
Now it is time for the really fun part! Nominations! As a teacher and 4-H agent, I particularly loved giving out awards and prizes. It’s so much fun to recognize another person’s diligent efforts and hard work.
It is with great joy that I nominate the following bloggers with the “One Lovely Blog” award:
2. Work for the Cause, Not the Applause (a Jewish Girl’s Journey to Jesus)
4. Janice Heck
I hope you’ll check out these lovely blogs, too!