The Liebster Award / Four Times Around the Sun

This morning, I discovered a pleasant surprise.

It was snowing.

With dizzying speed, the snowflakes closest to me skydived from the clouds. They crashed upon our patio, sometimes pressing upon the glass right before me, revealing intricate designs that only our Maker could create.

My eyes wandered up, towards the trees. As the winds blew, it carried the snowflakes tenderly in its arms.  Why did it seem so peaceful, in this perspective? It was like seeing snowfall for the first time, breathing in the sheer breadth of its beauty, as the whiteness shimmered across the expanse of the landscape. Like a male lead with his gentle but firm hand behind her back, the wind guided, and the snowflakes followed, in a delicate waltz.

Life has been a frenzy for me, the past few weeks, like those snowflakes crashing right in front of my eyes, aiming for the ground. Oh how dearly I need to pause, take a step back, to reflect upon the bigger picture.  I could see myself as one snowflake falling towards doom, or as one amongst many, performing my part in a grand waltz.

Let’s dance. =)

~ ~ ~

I’m humbled and honored to have been chosen by Lani at Life, the Universe, and Lani for the Liebster Award.  With witty humor, sincere storytelling, and a unique voice, she writes about working and living in Thailand.

The rules for the Liebster Award:
1. Each person who is nominated must post 11 things about themselves.
2. You must also answer the questions that the tagger set for you in addition to creating 11 questions for the people you nominate to answer.
3. Nominate 5 – 11 of your favorite bloggers and link them in your post.
4. Go to your nominees’ pages and tell them.
5. Thank and link back to the person’s blog who nominated you.
Like Lani, I will change up the rules a bit. I won’t share 11 things about myself, but I will answer the first 5 questions and nominate more bloggers. Yea!

1. How do you decide what to write about?

I write when I feel inspired and/or compelled to write; inspiration usually comes from my patients, my family, or the community in which I work in daily.

2. What inspired your blog name?

When I was in college, facing life and death situations as a nursing student was humbling and horrifying at the same time. “Searching for Substance” describes my attempt to look beyond the surface, dive deep, and truly find meaning amidst it all.

3. What was the best present ever given to you?

The gift of music. Growing up in a refugee family, my parents didn’t have a lot of money, nor were they trained in music. Despite this, they wanted me to learn piano, and they worked hard to pay for my lessons over the years. Through their sacrifice, I learned the gift of music- to turn nothing into something, the meaning of diligence, how practice makes perfect, and how music transcends language and expresses emotions in such a poignant way.

4. Where is the most beautiful place you have ever been?

A glimpse of one of the most beautiful places I’ve been…

Ravello, Italy

Ravello, Italy

5. What is the best job you’ve ever had?

If you’ve been a subscriber to my blog, you can easily guess what my favorite job is… Read why I love being a nurse and why it fills me with such gratitude. =)

Now I’d like to nominate a few other awesome bloggers for the award…

1) Judy at My Skin and Bones are a Rental – A blend of her daily musings, learned life lessons, and reflections upon God. Her blog is a breath of fresh air that is inspiring and encouraging.

2) Asha at Parenting in the Wilderness– I stumbled upon Asha’s writing through the Yeah Write! community. She weaves beautiful stories of nonfiction, based upon her identity, cross cultural experiences, and parenting wisdom. She’s one of my fav bloggers/writers to read, in how well she articulates her memories and connects her personal history to her readers.

3) Hsiao at Shouting Chow – Hsiao is my good friend who blogs about her travels, beauty, and food. She’s my official go-to person for all things beauty, and has awesome restaurant and travel recommendations, whether local or international. =)

4) Ruth at China Elevator Stories – Recently discovered Ruth’s blog (that looks like a magazine ^_^) and was enthralled by her stories of culture, identity, and raising a family in China.

5) David at The Urban Resident– Some people just talk about making a difference; David works and lives in the inner city, living out love in action. He writes passionately and boldly about justice, faith, and medicine; check it out.

Currently listening: Four Times Around the Sun- by N.E.L.L.

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10 thoughts on “The Liebster Award / Four Times Around the Sun

  1. I love learning more about you! Such a poetic beginning, too. I miss snow. You are lucky to see it and capture it so beautifully. And the gift of music…sounds like more “sheet music” stories that I hope you will share. Hugs ^^

    • aww, thanks lani!! you know, i never experienced snow until i moved to new england. it’s magical! well, only when you are being entertained or mesmerized by it (by playing winter sports or watching it from the comfort of the indoors). other times it can be loathsome, like having to walk through very heavy snow and wind to take the bus (and nearly getting blown away.) -_-

      indeed. i have hundreds of sheet music stories… =) i usually like to write about nursing but music stories will most likely surface on the blog from time to time because its such a central part of my life that’s difficult to suppress. =)

  2. Congrats on your Liebster award, you must be over the moon 🙂 I love how you think of music – creating something out of nothing. That is so beautiful. I used to play piano and was never good at it. But I’ve always liked music. Now I feel like playing again 🙂

    • you should try playing piano again! in the beginning it’s always the toughest, because of lack of confidence, doubt, and fear of making mistakes. but you HAVE to make mistakes to know how to improve.. it’s apart of the beautiful (mostly painful) process of practice. =)

      DO IT. =) think of a song you hear on the radio or that you always wanted to play and just tackle it girl. =)

      • So true. We learn the most from our mistakes and the most challenging of times. We all make mistakes anyway, so we should really think we’re not perfect.

        Thank you for the encouragement, you are so positive. Maybe I will pick up piano again. When I used to play, I always followed sheet music. Maybe I should improvise 🙂

  3. I love how you feel about nursing. It’s how I’m feeling about this new path I’m stepping into in my life. When you’re doing what you’re meant to do, the gratitude overflows. It really is beautiful. 🙂

  4. I feel blessed to have such a talented, compassionate writer/person in my life! Maybe one day I’ll sit down for more than five minutes and really let my love for writing come out again. Such inspiration everywhere and from your page and those that you recommended!

  5. Congrats on the Liebster Award and thanks for the nomination!! I’m so behind on my blog due to travel and the holidays. *sigh. I also had to look up what exactly is this?! Haha … do i just answer the same questions you did and nominate others? haha i feel like such a newbie.

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