A few weeks ago Todd Foley of scribbled revisions honored me with the Kreative Bloggers award, but I was enmeshed in Relay and didn’t respond appropriately to the honor. My apologies, Todd.

Then, yesterday, Claudia Cruttwell awarded me the Inspirational Blogger award, and again, I found myself so touched by the honor.

These blog awards inspire me because, first, they tell me someone is reading what I’ve written (not a minor thing in this inter-world) and secondly, they tell me someone cares enough about what I’ve said to share it with other people. That’s a writer’s dream – sort of the online version of saying, “You have to read this” and handing your friend a copy of a book. So thank you, Todd and Claudia.

***

Now, to accept these awards, I need to tell you all seven random things about me that I haven’t shared here before. Brace yourselves

1. I lost most of my baby teeth in a tireswing.

2. I used to collect Poirot clowns. (If anyone has need of some, they’re probably still in a trunk here – let me know.)

3. I may never be able to afford actual art, but I have a fine collection of art postcards from museums around the world.

4. My toes are crooked, especially the baby ones – I practically walk on the side of those suckers. (Thanks, Claudia, for the baby toe inspiration.)

5. I have owned a skirt for almost ten years, and I’m not sure I’ve ever dry cleaned it.

6. I’m an absolute sucker for comic book movies. Just saw The Avengers last night and loved it.

7. If someone were to play me in the horribly boring movie of my life that mostly involves sitting at a desk and reading, I hope that someone would be Laura Linney.

**

On to my nominations for both the Inspirational Blogger and the Kreative Blogger awards. These folks write the blogs I read regularly because their writing inspires me, fires me up, and challenges me to be better.

1. Shawn Smucker – Shawn’s writing always touches something in me. He’s honest, he’s self-aware, he’s funny.

2. Jamie’s Rabbits – Jamie blogs about random stuff, and I love it. She’s always funny, always sincere, and always teaches me something.

3. Ordinary Servant by Pilar Arsenec – Pilar writes these book review of Christian books that spur me to write something she would be proud to read.

4. Chatting at the Sky by Emily P. Freeman – I’m not sure how I came to Emily’s blog, but it is honestly one of the things I read every day. She’s honest and broken, and sometimes, I need to see other broken people.

5. In a Mirror Dimly by Ed Cyzewski – Ed writes these crazy brave posts about the church, particularly about women in the church, and he hosts these profound guest bloggers writing about these topics. I never leave his blog unchanged.

6. A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp – Some days I just need the washing out of powerful emotion to make me a little more whole again. Voskamp’s words do that.

7. Sayable by Lore Ferguson – Lore has a simplicity to her writing about life and faith and womanhood that I truly respect. But don’t be fooled – simplicity does not mean lack of depth. This blog is eons deep. (If time can be measured in depth – can it?)

8. Alise Write by Alise Wright – Alise is bold and brazen in what she says. She doesn’t hold back, and she pushes the boundaries, particularly for those of us in the church. I love it.

9. Leanne Penny – Leanne doesn’t gloss over pain, nor does she wallow. Her blog peeks into pain and walks through it to the joy beyond.

10. Cold Antler Farm by Jenna Woginrich – Farm, single woman, bravery, homemade bread – what’s not to love?

11. Jennifer Luitweiler – I have to love anyone who can write a book where “poo” is in the title and still inspire me. Everyday, I find something Jen has to say makes my day better.

12. The Daily Retort by Tor Constantino – First, with a name like Tor Constantino, you have to just be thrilled he’s such a gifted writer and not a soap star. Secondly, Tor writes beautifully about family and faith in such a way that you feel like you’re having great coffee with a good friend.

13. Janet Oberholtzer – If you need a little kick in the pants to get you going in the day, Janet’s the woman for you. So inspiring, so challenging, so real.

14. Rachelle Gardener – A literary agent who doesn’t hide her secrets. You like her already, don’t you?

15. Mai Time on the Road/Kitchen by Maile Silva Smucker – Maile writes true. She explores her life as chef and wife and mother and teacher with the bareness of soul that I so appreciate.

So there you have it, my fifteen recommendations today. Which do you love the most? Share your favorite of these 15 (after you explore them all, of course), and on Friday, I’ll select a random winner to get a $5 gift card to your local bookstore. (Double/triple/quadruple entries for RTing, sharing, blogging, telling your grandma.)

Winners, please consider passing along the honor on your own blog (you can pick either the Kreative Blogger award and nominate 7 blogs or the Inspirational Blogger award and nominate 15 blogs). Tell us seven random things about you and post the badge for the award. . . . if you’d like. I know I’d love to read the blogs you love.