Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interview with Chantel

The first interview on my blog is here now, by my online friend, Chantel Brankshire! Her blog, Life, Laughter, and the Little Things is that and more. I especially love her cheerful, thankful outlook and encouraging words. She also writes book reviews, which I enjoy.

So, without further ado, here is my interview with her.

Could you tell me something about your family?
My family is a growing, wonderful group of people who I am so honored and privileged to be a part of. I am the middle child of three, (making me the sandwich filling, so to speak!) and have 9 siblings-in-law total, and two sets of parents, and two nephews and a niece. I also have the joy of having two childhood friends as sister-in-laws. I love each one of my family members, and love being an auntie!

Some of Chantel's family at Thanksgiving time

Could you tell me something about your courtship and/or wedding?
Scott and I lived over 1000 miles apart, and it wasn't always easy to have so much distance between us, yet all the times apart make all the times together so much more beautiful, and while romance is a part of every relationship, we were able to become best friends and then lovers, and that is one of my favorite things- being married to my best friend. We got married in Washington state on March 15, 2009 in a little white church not far from the river. Our wedding was small and simple, but we were so blessed to be surrounded by our families, and even though I was so sick, it is a special day that I will always cherish.

Is there a word of encouragement or advice you could give to single (and/or married) young ladies?
God's way and His time are always perfect. It is hard to wait, and hard to not know, but don't let the waiting and the not knowing- whether you are single, newly wed, or an old married lady- keep you from really living, from finding the gold in every day moments, and from the sweet contentment of knowing that He is good, and that He does all things well. All things.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I've always had a really hard time picking out a favorite hobby, but I love writing, and letters, and books, and gardens and barefoot days and sunshine and raindrops. I like to sew and crochet and cook almost all our meals "from scratch". And every day is busy, but when every day things are hobbies, it makes every day very satisfying.

A moose in her AK garden!

Home canning

What is your favorite Bible verse, or book of the Bible, and why?
For some years, I have treasured a good portion of the 18th Psalm. Often, it feels as if it was written just for me, as I am reminded that "as for God, His way is perfect." and that He can make even my stumbling, halting feet like the feet of a deer, jumping on the mountains. It gives me courage, and hope that no matter what today looks like, He sees what I cannot see. He will make everything perfect in His time.

What are some of your favorite books? (Hard question to limit, I'm sure.)
I grew up listening to and reading Pilgrim's Progress. It is a book I turn back to often in my daily life, and feels like an old and trusted friend and counselor. I also find so much of myself in Much Afraid of Hind's Feet on High Places, and enjoy reading about the March Sisters in Little Women. I love books about Christ's life, and love to read my Bible through slowly and savor it.

What are your guidelines for what you read?
When I was a child, I made the words of Philippians 4:8 my standard by which to measure the books I read. A number of years ago, I also read this quote by Susanna Wesley that I try to also make my motto in living.

“Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.” –Susanna Wesley (Letter, June 8, 1725)

What are some of your long-term and everyday goals?
I guess I don't feel like I have a lot of important goals right now. My husband and I would love to one day own a small farm or ranch, but while it is a cherished dream, I couldn't exactly call it a goal, for we are learning to hold onto things with an open hand for God to give and take as He sees best.

I suppose my one big goal would be to be more like Jesus, and to not fight against the things that He brings into my life to change me, even if they are often hard and painful. Every day, I am striving for greater perfection in organization and time management and in keeping the most important things, like my spiritual health, marriage, family and the people God puts into my life, first and not be so easily caught up in other peoples' goals for my life.

Chantel and her husband starting their first garden

Who are the people who most inspire you?
People like Noah and Abraham inspire me with the amazing depth and intensity of their faith in following God no matter if it makes sense or not. Early missionaries like Hudson Taylor and Adoniram Judson, and David Livingstone, and Amy Carmichael inspire me by the way they gave so much to serve Him. Corrie Ten Boom, and others inspire me by their faithfulness and forgiveness. But often, it is the simple, trusting sweetness of people who I meet that inspires my heart every day in so many ways.

If you could travel through time, which three people would you most like to meet?
I think this might be the hardest question to answer. Not including Jesus, who I long to meet more than anyone else, I would love to meet Noah and Paul and Elizabeth from the Bible, and Patrick Henry, Galileo and Abraham Lincoln otherwise.


Thank you, Chantel, for taking the time to write these excellent answers!

I'm planning to interview several people whose blogs I admire, so stay tuned for more in the coming months, if God wills!


Anonymous said...

As a friend of Chantel's, I loved reading this! :)
And I learned a few new things about her too.

Adina said...

I appreciate the quotes she posted.

Melissa M. said...

Glad you enjoyed it--so did I! :)

All Things Lovely said...

Love your blog and your header! :)

A couple friends and I are starting up a new website/blog for set-apart sisters to connect and share. We'd love you to be a part of it! We are also looking for guest bloggers. Blessings, Hannah Rose

Miss Linda said...

I came across your lovely blog quite unexpectedly and I'm so thankful to have found it. I enjoyed "looking around", learning more about your godly family and the faithful life you are living, and look forward to learning more about you as well.

Have a blessed week! :)

Melissa M. said...

Hannah Rose, thank you! I have to think/pray about that some more. I'm tending to think that I may be able to be a guest blogger or submit things once in a long while, but not regularly.

Thank you, Miss Linda! You sound so sweet. May you have a blessed week as well!