I am a Writer, Poet, Therapy Dog Mom, Homeschool Mom, Nana, and much more. My days are full, but there is always time for writing and reading. It is my prayer GOD will choose to use me in the "craziness" of each day.
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Heaven sent Our first grandchild Chosen by GOD A special delivery Unplanned and Unexpected
Lives Changed A giggle A smile First words First steps All for us to see.
Beautiful blond curls twirl on her neck. Capturing the view of GOD's world through Savannah's eyes is breathtaking. Life without our precious Savannah is beyond comprehension. Today, 2 years old! She is:
"And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They do not worry or make their clothing. Yet Solomon and all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?" Matthew 6:28-30
Many times we worry about things that never come to pass. We waste valuable time allowing our minds to be distracted with worry. Many years ago, I wrote in the front of my Bible, "If you are going to worry...don't pray, if you are going to pray...don't worry!"
I can not tell you how many times GOD has taken me back to the front of my Bible reminding me of this simple truth. Over and over again, I slip back into the old habit of worrying.
With many gentle reminders from my Lord, I have become better at leaving my problems or perceived problems at HIS feet. Over the years, I have inched along in my spiritual growth.
Matthew reminds us of the love GOD has for us. He does not want us to waste our time worrying about worldly possessions or the potential stormy times in life. He longs for us to focus on HIM and leave our welfare in HIS hands.
This year, the lilies in my yard have been more beautiful than ever. Daily, I have witnessed the unveiling of the words in this passage. One Lily dies and another blooms, giving me hope for tomorrow and faith for eternity.
Today, our daughter, Lauren called to share the news of a new arrival in our family. She has been riding horses for many years. She has an adult horse, named Tiger. He is truly a gentle giant. However, she has been longing for an addition to her horse family.
Lauren went to visit a horse farm where they breed race horses. They had colts they wanted to get rid of. Both she and her friend came home with new babies. They were both taken away from their mom's at 4 days and given to a surrogate. I realize this may be the norm in the race horse world, but in my opinion it is not humane. However, we will not debate horse ethics today.
Each of the babies are a bit malnourished. Lauren and her friend will begin their journey building these guys up. I have no doubt they will both be excellent horses. They are quite beautiful despite sun burn and needing some weight gain.
Our youngest son stayed with his sister to help with the horse. She lives about an hour from us. Lauren and Wil are quite close. Doug and I are both thankful for their bond. We are thankful for an ever expanding family (furry and human).
God is the ultimate healer and restorer! He will use the love in Lauren's heart to grow this baby Colt into a gentle giant.
Macy is my 15 year old deaf Cocker Spaniel. We are thankful to continue to have her presence in our lives. She has been through two cancer surgeries and still bounces around our home. Macy also has a heart murmur. By all doggie standards she deserves to lie around and enjoy the good life. Indeed she does, however, she is eager to greet all who enter our home and share her love with them.
Macy has "never" liked the rain. If it is raining and we nearly have to drag her out the door and into the yard. She looks up at us as if to say, "it is wet out here." Lately, it has rained a lot in Richmond.
As I encouraged and prodded Macy out the door this past week, I began to think about how similar many of us are to my beloved "old lady." Like Macy, we do not like to get out of our comfort zones and we certainly do not want to venture out into the storms of life.
God calls us to special tasks. We are never too old and our handicaps are never too great. "What is impossible with man is possible with GOD." Matthew 19:26
Recently, I watched a documentary about a man in Alaska named Charlie who befriended both the black and grizzly bears. He had a beautiful relationship with each of them. He knew each one of them by name. I was taken by his recognition and relationship with each bear going back for generations.
Our Heavenly Father knows each of us by name:
"See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:16
Today, if you feel alone, unknown, or insignificant, I pray you will know the meaning of true significance. You are more special than gold, platinum, or any precious stone. You are written in your Heavenly Father's hands. You are HIS treasure.
Finding significance in my LORD,
*Disclaimer: I in know way advocate friending wild animals. However, I found the relationship this man had with the bears fascinating and found many life lessons as I watched his story unfold.
Today, I received a beautiful surprise from a "super-special" blogging friend. Allelliuabelle at Humble As I Go has a heart full of love, overflowing into the heart of every person who reads her blog. She is a prayer warrior and beautiful person inside out. I am humbled to be chosen by this dear friend. I am amazed by her strength as she reaches out to others in the midst of her own struggles. Both she and her husband face daily medical challenges, yet she is faithful to serve the Lord and encourage everyone. Please stop by and check out her blog.
I am required to nominate 7 other bloggers for this award and they are supposed to nominate 7 others. (Be sure to leave a comment on their blog about the award.) After they accept the award they are then asked to write a list of 7 things that their blog readers may not already know about them. I would like to pass this award on to the following:
Choosing only seven was quite the challenge. I follow so many "kreativ" blogs. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
Seven things about me:
1)I grew up primarily being raised by my maternal grandparents. My parents were a part of my life, however, my grandparents are primarily responsible for the person I am today. My parents were very young when I was born (mother 15, father 19). They were married, but clearly children attempting to raise children.
2)I love all aspects of GOD's creation. My dream is to live anywhere placing me with both a mountain and ocean view all wrapped into one.
3)Writing is a passion. I began writing at age 12. Writing is therapy for me. It is embedded into my being. My greatest fear is losing my vision and being unable to read and write.
4)I love "alone" time! I yearn for time alone with GOD and I am not a nice person if I do not get it.
5)I eat all foods accept for "liver" and "jello."
6) I am an animal lover as most of you know, however I am EXTREMELY AFRAID of mice. If you want to see me act like a complete fool, let a teeny tiny mouse loose. I will make my way onto your shoulders until it is extracted from my midst.
7)As long as I can remember, I wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore when I grew up. I wanted a 64 1/2 mustang convertible, too.
For those of you who did not know how crazy I am. You now have a glimpse into the crazy life of Andrea. I hope each of you will enjoy this award and continue to live out the "kreativ" life.
Today's picture holds a special man, my husband, Doug. We married February 17Th, 2005and began our journey with a blended family. He lost his first wife to cancer and was left to raise two teenage daughters (both adopted). I was divorced with three sons.
Our journey began with many blessings. All five of our children "love" each other with a love beyond normal. On those days when they did not like either of us, their love for one another never wavered and has not to this day. They also greatly resemble one another even though two of them are not biologically related to any of us. GOD is awesome! His wonders continually amaze me.
The precious little girl in this picture is our first and only grandchild. We adore her. Our hearts skip a beat when she says, "Nana...O'Papa."
Doug assumed the role of father to my boys. He had no desire to take the place of their father, but to fill in the gap (a big one) and meet their needs. He loves each of them as his own. He celebrates their victories and prays desperately for each of them in their struggles.
He reminds me from time to time, "it does NOT take biology to make a family." Our family is living proof. We are blessed to have each other and I am blessed to have a wonderful husband. Today, I celebrate the blessings by honoring Doug with this post.
Last week, I was awarded The Honest Scrap Award by "The Dreamer's Day." You will find hope and encouragement as you follow a dreamer living out her life. I am overwhelmed and honored to accept this award. Thank you, my wonderful friend, Squelly. Please stop by and visit!
In accepting this award, I need to do the following: 1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award. 2) Share "ten honest things" about myself. 3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me. 4) Tell those 7 people that they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving it
Ten things about myself:
1)I love the Lord with all my heart! He is the reason I rise each day!
2)I am the mother of five children (3 biological sons and 2 adopted daughters).
3)I am a grandmother to an adorable little girl. She will be 2 years old on June 29Th.
4)I have four dogs (three therapy dogs and one elderly, deaf dog)and 2 cats.
5)I love to find a quiet spot in the midst of GOD's creation to read and write in my journal.
6)I love traveling with my dogs...enjoying the outdoors and the beauty of GOD's creation.
7)A glimpse from the past: When I was 20 yrs old, I worked in Wildlife Law Enforcement in SC. I enjoyed this career until after my second child was born. I still have fond memories.
8)I have never flown on an airplane.
9)I dream of going to Ireland, Alaska, and Israel one day.
"O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I am far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the fartherest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night-but even in darkness I can not hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Everyday of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!" Psalm 139:1-18
"For I am about to do something new, see I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Isaiah 43:19
Like the Israelites, we often find ourselves in the wilderness. Our wilderness can be caused by many different things. It can be the result of our own sin, the sin of others, or by unrelated circumstances beyond our capability to change.
Isn't it awesome to know, we have a GOD who prepares a way out of the wilderness. HE "makes a pathway through the wilderness" and "creates rivers in dry wasteland." He loves us and does not desire for us wallow in the wilderness.
When we find ourselves in the wilderness, we must keep our focus on our Heavenly Father. We must seek HIM in prayer and continue to bath ourselves in HIS word.
"For Christ Himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in His own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us." Ephesians 2:14
I do not know about you, but some days, weeks, and even months simply do not feel peaceful. It is hard to travel through this life when you do not feel at peace.
Sure, I have inner peace regarding my salvation and many other areas. However, there is often one crisis or emergency in my life and it stomps and tramples all over my inner peace.
I sail along peacefully and out of the blue comes a bomb shell. You know those days. All is good and boom! Now you need the EMS..the Fire Department..the Police Department, and all the friends and family you can gather by your side.
This past week has been one of those weeks for me. I have sobbed and prayed and sobbed some more; and then God spoke to me. He revealed to me the purpose of my suffering and the suffering of others in my life. His message was clear:
Sometimes, I use painful situations to bring about needed change. Your pain and the pain of those you love is not in vain. I have a purpose in "all" things.
I am still emotional and struggling, but I have a renewed since of peace. I know my Heavenly Father has a greater plan for all our lives. Thank you, my prayer warrior friends for praying for me.
These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.
Koralee @Blue Bird Notes gave me this award. She had no way of knowing, but the day I received the award was my Birthday. She said in her post she received it on her birthday. Doesn't GOD have an awesome since of humor.
It is difficult to choose only eight blogs/bloggers. I love you all. Please visit the eight who deserve this "Friend" award! I thank each of you for being more than bloggers. You are friends and prayer warriors! GOD BLESS!!
"For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God." Hebrews 6:7
Last Thursday, I was in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The rain was a steady, soaking rain. As I sat watching the drops pelt the ground I began to think about the above passage.
God waters us like the "tilled soil." When we prepare our hearts....as they are tilled; God sends the rain to bless and grow us into the people HE created us to be.
Tilled: the soil (our heart) is prepared to receive the rain
Brings Forth Vegetation: spiritual growth
Those who are prepared for GOD to "rain" on them will grow spiritually. The rain of heaven pours forth on those hearts waiting to receive.
"Receive me" beckons our Heavenly Father...."allow me to water your tilled heart."
Growing in grace,
*I did not take any pictures while I was away. I had my camera prepared, but was not able to stop and get the pictures. We traveled with another couple and I did NOT feel comfortable asking them to pull off the side of the road when I longed to take a picture. I am sorry.
Our trip to Carlisle, Pennsylvania was beautiful. We began in Richmond, Virginia and traveled through West Virginia and Maryland into Pennsylvania via the scenic route. We saw many cows, horses, silo's, rolling hills, mountains,and an old stone church.
The old stone church sat close to the road in rural Virginia. The only remnant of life was the lonely vine growing up the side wall. The beautiful stone structure sat alone amongst the trees and weeds.
We passed the church by as many others do on a daily ritual to "somewhere." The building seem to cry out to me. It's beauty amazing and it's structural strength intact. Neither the rain or cool air hindered the beauty of this old stone church.
Where did the people go? and why?
How could people leave this roadside haven of tattered beauty?
Thank you for all your prayers. We had a wonderful trip to Pennsylvania. We took the scenic route and absorbed the wonder of GOD's creation as we traveled. Friday was rainy and cold. Saturday was warm and beautiful.
I had planned to take pictures, but I did not take any while we were away. I am trying to recover from the long road trip. I hope to get back into the swing of blogging tomorrow.
I have a few prayer requests to share with you.
1)Frances Collins: Colton's grammy. She has stage 2 Lymphoma and is undergoing treatments at this time.
2)Colton: Pray for guidance as his family makes educational plans for next year.
3)My extended family (Bowling's): We could be the "poster child" for dysfunctional families. One of the significant problems is the lack of recognition that we have a problem. Being disjointed and having "no" relationship with one another is "normal" to many in my family. The choice to change must be in the heart of each individual. Those of us desiring a healthy family can not make the others comply. Only GOD can work to change. That being said....this is why I am beckoning prayers from around the world for my family.
As children and young adults we were not allowed to talk about it. We all were required to pretend our family was perfect. I am an adult now and no longer must live by those requirements. Please storm the heavens with me on behalf of my family.
Thursday morning, we will leave for Pennsylvania. My husband, his cousin, his cousin's wife, and I will be going to a car show (Mustang's). Please pray for safe travel and sweet fellowship.
I am not sure if I will be able to post while I am away. I am taking my laptop, but I do not know whether I will have access to the Internet. I will miss each of you, but we will share fellowship soon.
Today, has proven to be a frustrating day. My laptop has been acting crazy. I could not get in to post, until now. Someone tried multiple times to send my facebook account a virus. I deleted, but the continued hassle was frustrating. My husband ran a virus scan and indeed my laptop is okay. I felt insecure about the process. My husband then called our computer person and friend, who reassured me....my computer should be fine.
The hassle of today, reminded me of fighting the enemy. He is sneaky. He doesn't normally waltz through the front door, but slimely slivers his way through the back. We must be prepared.
First, we must have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Second, we must be in constant communion with HIM. Third, we must not allow anything or anyone to distract us from our LORD, His will, and His plan for our life.
"The Lord rescues the godly; He is their fortress in times of trouble." Psalm 37:39
"He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless." Isaiah 40:39
There is hope in these trying times.
"Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying." Romans 12:12
"I pray that GOD, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. " Romans 15:13
It is my desire for life to be full of peace and happiness. Unfortunately, life does not always sing to the tune I choose. Drastically opposite, my life often takes many twists and turns. It is the norm for me to take the scenic route through life rather than the most direct route.
It may be windy and in some places a bit bumpy, but through all the twists, bends, and relentless bumping I have grown into the person I am today. Each of these places in life are a part of what makes me, me. "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. " Isaiah 43:1b-2
I love these verses from Isaiah. They comfort my heart. I know when the wind is fiercely blowing or the road is extremely bumpy, I am not alone. My Heavenly Father is with me through every twist and turn.