Feeling Honored: Sunshine Blogger Award

Yes, I’ll admit it: The Sunshine Blogger Award DOES feel a bit like the blogger world’s version of a childhood chain letter.


Today, I opened my e-mail and was pleasantly surprised to read these words:

Hi Sara,
I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award:https://authenticjoy.org/2020/01/19/sunshine-blogger-award/ I enjoy your down to earth musings. Keep writing!


Huh. Apparently, when you’re the one receiving the nomination, it feels like much more than a chain letter.

It feels like appreciation and kindness.

I clicked on the link to read Matik’s blog post, which was encouraging, and also revealed authentic pieces of who he is and why he writes his blog.

Thank you, Matik, for thinking of me. I’d like to pay it forward.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community. The rules are:

  1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you for a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Below, you’ll find my answers to Matik’s eleven questions.

11 Answers From Sara, Living Free:

One: Who is Your Favorite Author and Why?

Just saying, this is an impossible question to answer.

Today, my favorite author is Ted Dekker, because I just finished reading his psychological thriller, THR3E.

Tomorrow, my favorite author will be the person who penned the book that’s inspiring me tomorrow.

I don’t really play favorites.

Two: What was your biggest life lesson from 2019?

I learned that I will continue to make mistakes.

I mean, I already know that – I’ve made and will continue to make countless mistakes as a friend, mother, sister, daughter, wife, employee, etc. – but, in 2019, I was given a crash course on how this imperfectness plays out in the writing world. And I hate it. I hate making big, big mistakes for all the world to see; yet, I can’t avoid them. Why? Because I won’t stop writing.

Three: How do you normally hear from God?

Usually? During my quiet time with Bible, journal, and pen in hand. He also speaks to me through friends, books, sermons, songs, etc., but it’s often during my time alone with him that the messages I’ve received through those outside sources will be confirmed in my spirit.

Four: What country would you like to visit and why?

England. More specifically, I want to roam the English countryside.

I have no good reason to want this, except maybe the fact that I read too many Victorian Christian romance novels when I was a teenager.

Five: What do you most admire about your spouse and why?

This is tricky. I can’t dig too deeply, and then display my answer all over the internet, because he’s a private person.

I can say, however, that I admire Justin’s self-discipline. He’s a routine guy. His follow-through when he makes a plan is inspiring to me. Also, he really thinks things through before he makes said plan – a skill I’m trying to emulate.

Six: What do you do to fuel your passion for God?

Step One: Notice I’m spiritually drained and feeling withered.

Step Two: Try, and then fail, to be more disciplined with practices like quiet time, listening to praise songs, praying, etc.

Step Three: Realize I can’t muster up passion. I just can’t.

Step Four: Say, “God. I don’t want to pray. I don’t want to read your word. Please help me to want to.

Step Five: Wake up one day with a sudden desire to do the things that seemed so boring only a short while before.

Step Six: Say, “Thank you.”

Seven: Describe an event or revelation that significantly changed your faith journey.

It’s difficult to describe this in just a few words, but I’ll try…

I struggled with doubt (about whether my faith in a god named Jesus Christ is the right faith, if there really is a god, if I’m merely playing pretend, etc.) on and off for years. During times of dark doubt, I knew in my heart that Jesus is real, but my head argued furiously.

Then, one day, I fell into a hellish pit of doubt. It was darker and deeper than anything I’d ever experienced before. I questioned everything. Even reading Bible stories to my children at bedtime felt like lying.

So, I asked a friend to pray for me. When she finished, she said something that changed my faith journey forever:

“Sara, your greatest gift is also your greatest weakness. You think, contemplate, dig deep, question, feel deeply, and express opinions easily. This is how you’re made and Satan knows it. He preys on your strengths.”

Ever since that day, the doubt is gone. I don’t know why that did it for me, but it did. God knows best.

Eight: What is one way in which you think that you are often misunderstood?


Click here to see what I mean. (Being emotional is NOT being weak.)

Nine: What is one pet peeve you have about the church?

I don’t like that churches make people feel like they have to fit into a certain mold. When you don’t fit that mold, you’re labeled as rebellious or not a “mature” Christian. Drives me crazy.

Except… that in the last two years, I’ve found a church where I truly feel at home, and that makes all the difference. I don’t fit a perfect mold, but I see so many around me there who don’t either. And I don’t feel anyone judging. I can just be me.

Ten: What is one thing you love about the church?

There is no better place to connect with the body of Christ than in a room full of other people who love Jesus, too. Somehow, we all become one when we’re together. It feels different than the alone time I have at home with God. I believe we need both – corporate and quiet.

Eleven: Why do you blog?

Because I like to talk (and write).

Because I want to share my stories with others, hoping they will be encouraged to be their whole, free selves.

Because I feel like God told me to write, and unless he says otherwise, this is part of how I’m obeying.

Because – and, I know, this is maybe the ultimate shallowest of reasons – one day, I’d like to publish my middle grade adventure novel, and I figured having a blog would help with sales???

5 Nominees for The Sunshine Blogger Award

(Disclosure: My list of nominees includes both faith-based blogs and other blogs, because I’ve grown to love all sorts of personalities through this blogging journey.)

  1. Somehow Surviving
  2. The Romantic Vineyard
  3. Millennial Life Crisis
  4. My Good Time Stories
  5. Fruits of Addiction

Dear nominees, please answer the following questions, if you will:

  1. Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever talked to?
  2. Describe the moment that you decided to start your blog.
  3. What is your greatest hope for 2020?
  4. What has been the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
  5. Describe your personality in five words.
  6. Not including the job you’re in right now, what was the last job position you held?
  7. When do you feel most embarrassed?
  8. Name two books that have impacted you the most.
  9. What is your favourite supper meal?
  10. If you could speak any language, which would you pick? Why?
  11. What is one of your greatest weaknesses?

Once again, thank you Matik at https://authenticjoy.org/ for your kind nomination.

With love,

Sara Jane Kehler

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