Monday, February 1, 2010

Blessed Guest - Elaine

I'm a Blessed Guest!


Thanks for stopping by. You're just in time for my first Blessed Guest of the month. Pull up a comfy chair and grab yourself a cup of tea. This is going to be fun.

It's my pleasure to introduce all of you to a North Carolina gal and my friend. A woman who has a gift of writing that pierces my heart and has refreshed my tired soul more times than I can count. I'd like you all to give a warm welcome to Elaine from Peace for the Journey.




I had read Elaine's blog before (almost) meeting her in person at the She Speaks conference. I caught a glimpse of her in my peripheral, through my tear-filled eyes, after receiving some disappointing news from a woman who was an over-achiever in the discouragement department.

Elaine and I have spent the past two years getting to know each other and our families through our written word. Every so often we will shoot emails back and forth, encouraging one another.

Prompted to chat on the phone last year, our conversations have always been easy and quite humorous. Since her blog is so deep and spiritually filling, I'd expected the same deep well when we spoke. She is truly a godly and wise woman, but I think we were both surprised with each other. I was deeper in my thoughts and she was quite hilarious. I look forward to her books being published because I've told her I will gladly and freely work her book table.

Peace for the Journey is a blog I encourage all believers to subscribe to. As Elaine and Jesus walk hand in hand together, she invites her readers to follow along on their journey. And what a beautiful journey it is.

So, once again, please welcome Elaine.


Elaine, it's so great to have you here today. There's so much I want to ask you. Let's begin in the beginning. Tell us about the birth of your blog.

The name for my blog surfaced long before I'd ever heard of the word "blog." In fact, long before I ever owned a computer. "Peace for the Journey" has been the closing benediction of my correspondence for at least the past ten years. I'm not sure how or even why it intially surfaced, but I have an inkling it had something to do with the fact that my life, in that season, hosted a fragmented "peace."

As for blogging, there is really only one reason I started my blog. I wanted to be able to leave a comment on one of my favorite author's blog, Alicia Chole. At the time, her blog didn't allow for anonymous comments. As someone who dearly admired her work and wanting desperately to be able to connect with her somehow, I decided to walk through the "set up" for starting a blog so that I would be able to share my thoughts with her. Once I saw how easy it was to leave my world of anonymity and join the vast array of other authors who painted their words for public display, I was hooked. Now, two years and nearly 300 posts later, I suppose I'll stick around a while longer.


What do you/don't you love about it?

I love writing. Blogging allows me an open forum for penning my thoughts and for receiving immediate feedback. That being said, one of the drawbacks that I felt early on in the process was the time commitment it required. I don't "do" quick posts. I labor over most of them for hours, simply because the goal of my writing is to point others back to Jesus. I want to be careful and deliberate in that pointing. Honoring Christ with my words is one of the greatest ways I've found to express my love for him. Thus, my desire to do it well and to do so with no regrets.


What has surprised you the most about blogging?

The biggest surprise and joy I've received from blogging have been the relationships I've formed with the community of readers who frequent my blog. In my wildest dreams, I couldn't have imagined on the front end of this blogging adventure how God would bless my life with so many wonderful, deep friendships.


Bloggers are usually writers. Do you write anywhere else or for anyone else?

I've authored some articles with "Exemplify" on-line magazine and had some devotionals published with the Upper Room. In addition, I've completed three full manuscripts and am currently working on a fourth one on the topic of "faith." My third manuscript, peace for the journey: in the pleasure of his company is soon to be released through WinePress Publications.

Do you use your blog for your ministry?
Well, yes, I use my blog for ministry purposes. I believe that God has enabled my pen to write a few coherent thoughts pertaining to him and that he intends for me to use it for his glory. I can't cook; can't paint; can't decorate; don't scrapbook, occasionally clean the house, and am still working on the "fruit" that God desires to implant within me through the power of his Holy Spirit. But when it comes to writing my heart? Well, some days it's "spot on." For as long as God provides the ink, I intend to write for his kingdom purposes since so many other areas in my life lack the polish and shine therein.


Who are a few of your favorite blogs to read?

How do I hate this question? I love so many blogs for so many different reasons. But I'll give a shout out to the three girls who have stuck with me the longest, almost from the very beginning (and please forgive me in advance for feelings hurt, etc.; I'm simply answering the question):

Kristen @ Over the Backyard Fence  http://christianchick-kristen.blogspot.com/

Sassy Granny (who couldn't use some Sas every now and again?) http://sassygranny.blogspot.com/

Joy @ Pondering in his Presence http://ponderinginhispresence.blogspot.com/


Have you ever met your blog-friends in person? If so, which ones?

Well, I almost met you at "She Speaks" if you hadn't been sitting there crying on that couch in that bright and bubbly yellow shirt.


Joy http://ponderinginhispresence.blogspot.com/

Beth http://endeanmom1.blogspot.com/

Susan, a.k.a. "runner mom" http://scrunnermom.blogspot.com/

Angie http://www.theknightlynews.net/

Pamela http://inhisgraces.blogspot.com/

Lelia http://leliachealey.blogspot.com/

Kelly http://aromaofjoy.blogspot.com/

Katie G from Tennessee http://katiegfromtennessee.blogspot.com/


Who has made the biggest impact on your life?

With the understanding that no one person could replace the impact that the triune God has had in my life, I would say my four children. They have magnified my need for more of Jesus in my life; not because they're rotten, but rather because they are deserving of my earnest pursuit of the Divine. I want to leave a soulprint across their souls. I want to leave them a map for the road home. They have pushed me toward my perfection and forced the issue of my faith, and I am so thankful for their continuing prod along these lines.


How about some tried and true blog randomness:

Do you have a favorite scripture?


Jeremiah 9:23-24 "This is what the LORD says: 'Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the LORD."

The overriding goal of my life is to know God more with every passing day.


What would surprise us about you?

For as ponderous as I might appear to be on the blog, I'm actually quite funny and laid back in 3-D. I'm not a funny writer. I leave that to the Joanne's of the world, but I am a funny person who likes nothing more than a good laugh with a good friend. Actually, I don't even really need to know you to enjoy a good laugh with you. We live in an incredibly funny world.


What's your favorite flavored potato chip?
If one comes in chocolate, then that one.

Favorite thing to do with your family?

Our favorite pasttime is eating out together (remember I can't cook); we usually eat Mexican one night during the week and then enjoy the $2.22 pizza/drink combos at Sam's Club on another day of the week.

What book is on your nightstand right now?

Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence of God.

Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest

Margaret Feinberg's The Sacred Echo

Alicia Chole's Intimate Conversations

Last food you ate?

Does Starbuck's count? If so, then a pumpkin spice frappucino; if not, then a cheeseburger from Cook Out.

When was the last time you played the air guitar?

What's that?



C'mon Elaine, an air guitar!? Haven't you ever pretended to play the guitar or the drums to your favorite song? I see I'm going to have to purchase a ticket to North Carolina, get on an airplane and stop by your place, just so I can teach you the fine art of air guitar.

I'ts been a pleasure having you here today Elaine. I wish you could stay longer. Thank you for being faithful to the ministry He has placed in your hands, and through your hands, writing for Him and for us.

It's a joy to be on this journey with you.



18 comments:

Jessica said...

Chocolate potato chips exhist:

http://www.chocolate-sensations.com/site/440574/product/POTA

Mari said...

I've enjoyed this interview and I want to try chocolate potato chips too!

LisaShaw said...

Elaine is a joy to many. Thank you for sharing her even more with us Joanne.

I enjoyed this. Love you both.

The Real Me! said...

It was so nice meeting Elaine and I love the name of her blog!
You can tell by her responses that she is an excellent writer. And the picture on top is beautiful.
Blessings to you Elaine and to you Joanne!
Hugs
KIm

Denise said...

Really enjoyed this.

Runner Mom said...

Ooh! How precious to see Elaine here. I just love her and her heart! Her writing amazes me! I just sit there and go "wow!" and try to absorb the truths that she has shared.

I am blessed to have spent some time with her, and she is just a hoot--as we say in the south! Her family is darlin'! Love them!

Thanks so much for having her visit your blog today!
Hugs!
Susan

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I've been blessed many times by Elaine's blog. It was fun to get to know her better through this interview!

Lora said...

I loved hearing more about Elaine! Reading her posts are a delight to my heart! Chocolate potato chips - you are funny Elaine! Love you!

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

I just found Elaine's blog yesterday. I kept seeing her name in different blogger's comments and knew I had to check her out. Her comments I found were always so uplifting, so I became a follower so I could continue to enjoy her writing and wisdom.

Beth in NC said...

I enjoyed reading Elaine's interview. She seems incredibly sweet.

~Melody @ 6 Feet Over~ said...

What a lovely wait to 'meet' other bloggers! This post was fantastic!

Just found your link via Mari's blog...looking forward to her interview tomorrow.

~melody~

christy rose said...

I know and love Elaine. She is a remarkable writer and it was really fun getting to know her even better through your interview Joanne.

Jennifer said...

I love Eliane! Peace for the Journey is one of my favorite blogs to read. God has used her in so many ways to touch my life.

claudia said...

What a great way to get to know Elaine better. She is a gracious woman of God. Thank you for bringing together so many people this month. Praying for you in your ministry.

FaithBarista Bonnie said...

Hi Joanne,

Thanks for stopping by at Faith Barista. Nice to exchange a faith brew. Elaine sounds like my kind of sister after our Father's heart!

Wonderful interview!

Bonnie Gray

Joyful said...

Elaine has become one of my very dearest friends. The Lord has used her in my life more times than I can recall. When I visit her blog I feel I am approaching holy ground. Elaine has accepted, loved and welcomed me, not only into her words, but into her life. She lives so closely to our Savior that you encounter Him with every contact. She does have a wonderful sense of humour. When I answer the phone and hear that southern accent, I smile immediately, anticipating the 'visit' I know I'll enjoy. Laughter, lessons and love mingle together refreshing my heart.

She's a treasure. Thanks for highlighting her here.
Blessings,
Joy

Tea With Tiffany said...

Elaine,

I hope to meet you face to face someday. I love that you are funny in real life. I am too, but on my blog, I don't know how to be. LOL. I'm also thankful you take hours to polish your posts as it shows. You are a real writer, dedicated to the craft. On my blog, I feel like I'm getting more and more relaxed and less inspired. Please pray for me.

Hugs and love,

Tiffany

Angie said...

Oh I have had the pleasure of hugging this girl's neck! She was actually the FIRST neck I hugged at the She Speaks! It was great sitting beside her as she would jab me with each comment that the speaker made that was funny to us. I learned a lot. Not only that day, but previous days while visiting this dear friend online. Words of Wisdom straight from the Father's heart is what she writes.

Love every word. Pierces the heart, penetrates the soul, causes us to look inward and upward.

I love you Elaine!
Thank you sweet Joanne for this great interview!

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