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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"The farmer knows just what to do, God has given him understanding." Isaiah 28:26
Each farmer takes special care to work the soil, weed, fertilize, and give proper attention to his herbs. He knows each one and exactly what it needs. God treats us the same way. He is gentle, loving, and kind. He uses tender, loving hands and sensitively deals with each of us. God created each of us uniquely and he interacts with us accordingly.
I must remember to consider the differences of others in light of GOD's design. I am crazy, outspoken, yet sensitive. I do not fit a mold carved out by others. I must not expect my friends and family to fit a preconceived mold. I must take special care to cultivate relationships, embracing differences and loving with a tender heart of compassion.
Yesterday, four writer friends and I set out on a journey to find the writer's conference we planned to attend. With map quest in hand, a cooler filled with liquid refreshment, and my SUV, we left Richmond heading for Shady Grove Baptist Church, Orange, Virginia.
Our journey blessed us with the presence of large cattle farms, rolling hills, and the quiet gentleness only found in the country. With breathtaking views and a peaceful drive, time seemed to have escaped us. Though we did not grow up in Orange, Virginia, there was a sense of home.
As my friends found their way around the building, I discovered a quiet spot in the hallway. Alone, I sat down...the presence of GOD clearly present. God's words to me flowed clearly through my pen:
Welcome home, dear child. Leaving the hustle and bustle of the city. Finding Shady Grove nestled in the foothills of Virginia. A welcome site to at least one of the five busy ladies making the trek from Richmond to the country.
Early we arrived. Buildings empty. No people in site. Quiet. Oh, so quiet. I love the sound.
Breaking free from a mold imposed by the past, Spurring comfort within my heart. Sweet peace sitting on periwinkle carpet, Tucked in a hallway.
Today's a new day. A new life. A new Generation. Healing and hope we find.
My friends scattered or did they find their own special place to soak in the presence of Almighty God.
To have and to hold the extra measure of grace, mercy, and love given this day.
Assembled as one. One in praise. One in Power. one in love.
Created to be free. Created to be one. Free to be me.
Colton begins today with encouragement and praise. He received an honorable mention for art work submitted to Spartanburg County Water Works. It seems Colton is quite the artist. His award and art work will be mailed to his parents. Mom and Dad plan to frame and display his achievement in their home.
Colton will likely begin the home bound process on Monday. His physician and parents prepared the proper paperwork earlier this week. The school system is in the process of implementing this plan for the remaining weeks of school. Mom is also planning a trip to the local zoo with Colton.
Colton's parents have received three letters from the first attorney they spoke with in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He encourages the family to push forward with the an attorney specializing in educational issues, saying, "there is a solid case." It seemed GOD had a plan from the very beginning to secure the representation Colton deserves. What seemed like yet another road block became a blessing.
I continue to stand amazed as my fellow brothers and sisters around the globe storm the heavens with prayer. Please continue to pray for all involved, but most especially for Colton.
Praising GOD for answered prayers after days of frustration, heartache, and pain. Colton has a solid case as told by several legal stand points, experts, and special education teachers. From this point on I will no longer share details of Colton's treatment or the case. I will give updates of prayer.
Colton is beginning the healing process with his family. Please continue to pray for Colton. I have no doubt God will use this experience in Colton's life to grow him stronger and wiser. He will learn how to treat and value others and how to pursue his goals, as well as stand up for himself and others in a respectful manner. He will rise above his mistreatment and become the person GOD created him to be.
I stand amazed as you, my christian brothers and sisters have poured your hearts out to our Heavenly Father on Colton's behalf. Please continue to bombard the heavens with your prayers. GOD BLESS each of you!!
Last Friday, April 17Th, 2009, "The Blue Box" brought new meaning to abuse within a school system.
Today, I return to you asking for continued prayers. The local news media was to meet and interview the family at 11:30 AM to cover Colton's story. Instead, the media representative called Colton's mother and said, "The district office told us Colton's treatment was within the guidelines of his IEP and we will NOT be covering your story at this time."
Once again, this family is crushed and devastated. With more lies and an obvious cover-up, I come to you in outrage. The treatment Colton has endured is abusive and unhealthy. He deserves a quality education in a safe learning environment. This child will likely need counseling to grow beyond this event.
It is my desire to give voice to Colton. He deserves the best. He is a beautiful child who needs our help. Please help me give voice to Colton!
Isolation as punishment in rural South Carolina school.
Behind "The Blue Box"
Late Friday, I posted a story about a friend's child being place in an isolated area called, "The Blue Box" as a form of punishment for hours at school.
Earlier today, the family met with a local attorney. He told them he no longer handles this type case. Why wasn't she told this on Friday when she made the appointment? It is critical for this family to get accurate advice and specialized representation. On Friday, there was mention of truancy. They clearly want them to back down and disappear.
Today, I come to you with a heavy heart for this family. They are discouraged! Please pray for guidance, direction, peace, comfort and love. Thank you for your continued prayers. GOD BLESS each of you.
Isolation from teacher and other students in rural South Carolina School!
Behind the blue box!
Today has been an emotional day. I learned last night a friend's child had been punished in a way I deem harmful to his emotional health. Her eleven year old son who has dyslexia was repeatedly placed in/behind the blue wall (the children call the blue box) for hours day after day for punishment. When my friend approached the teacher and principle they could not or would not give her an answer as to what he had done, yet both agreed the punishment was acceptable. My friend does not tolerate bad behavior and wants her child properly disciplined, however this method is clearly harmful. He was also placed in silent lunch and had no recess for Wednesday and Thursday. Still she had no answers!
No answers for punishment of this kind and only justifications, she called the district office and there got no real help. She withdrew her son from school on Thursday around noon and took him straight to the doctor. Her son told his physician while in tears, "I am just retarded...there is no hope for me." The physician has given my friend an excuse for school for the next couple of days stating: Emotional Distress at school.
My christian sisters and brothers, I am outraged. I grew up in a family of educators and have many friends who are educators, none of whom would resort to this method of isolation as a form of punishment with a child. This method is archaic at best and in my opinion is clearly abusive.
Please pray for this family, but most especially this precious child. Pray he will be healed, restored, and become the triumphant human being GOD created him to be. I am confident GOD has awesome plans for this young boy and will use this experience for HIS good will and purpose.
"I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain, the lily of the valley. Like a lily among thistles is my darling among young women." Song of Songs 2:1-2
These tender verses from GOD's word speak volumes to each of us. The young girl did not feel as though she was special in any way. She referred to herself as common by comparing herself to flowers that grow all over Israel. Solomon disagreed saying, "lily among thistles." Solomon obviously felt no one compared to her.
God gave us eyes for the person He chose to be our spouse. Today, I am reminded how important it is for me to tell the one I love how special he is to me. I am thankful for his gentle spirit and his loving heart. I praise GOD for bringing him into my life.
When was the last time you shared your heart with the one you love? Begin again today and bless that special someone with the words most tenderly heard from your lips.
"Then GOD said, "Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind." So GOD created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird-each producing offspring of the same kind. And GOD saw that it was good." Genesis 1:20-21
I am fascinated with the intricacy, wondrous beauty, and detail of GOD's creation. I am especially drawn to the vast beauty of the ocean's sea creatures. The detail and seemingly perfectness of it all draws my attention. I love to visit aquariums and simply gaze at the animals. Time is lost for me as I ponder the life of each creature.
GOD obviously loved each of these creatures. He gave them magnificent beauty and made them in complex uniqueness. The colors on each of their bodies span the rainbow.It is only fitting for me to find application for my life during these visits.
GOD made me unique and loves me far beyond my comprehension. He has given me strengths and allowed weaknesses to mold me into the person He created me to be. He has given me a variety of friends so beautiful they span the colors of the rainbow and just as carefully as He placed the sea creatures in the ocean, He carefully placed me in the life I live today.
"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog-it's here a little while, then it's gone. What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." James 4:14-17
Our lives are limited and there are no guarantees. Are we making the most of the gifts GOD has given us? Are we living life to the fullest? Are we living out a life of obedience?
Today, we are reminded of yet another truth: Being disobedient and sinful is not always doing what we know to be wrong. Sin is also NOT doing what GOD asks of us. It is hard to think of sin as not going the extra mile or giving a little extra to someone in need.
Sin can also be not writing when GOD clearly calls us to write and share HIS word with others. Okay, so now I am tromping all over my own feet. There are times when I am tired and frustrated and I simply close the computer. I know what GOD wants me to share, yet I willingly walk away.
Thank GOD for HIS mercy, grace, and a chance for new beginnings. Begin anew with me today. Obey the Father and enjoy your journey.
Serving GOD with you,
*Those looking for the Fan The Flame award: look to the post below.
A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend, RCUBES at Off The Beaten Trek chose my blog for an award. It is called Fan The Flame and is passed to those blogs you admire. I apologize for not posting and passing it along until now. RCUBES also chose Sitka at All Gods Creatures. So I will be posting 3 of my favorite blogs and Sitka will post 2 on his blog.
The following blogs are excellent and always inspiring. Please continue to fan the flames when you receive this award.
1)Mary at Piles of Smiles. Mary always has encouragement and love to pass along to those who stop by her site.
2)Mary at Crayon Chronicles. Mary shares life applications through everyday events with children.
3)Mary at Godly Graffiti. Mary gives practical advice to writers as they seek to follow God's will and live out their fullest potential as writers.
I hope you will check out these bloggers and their sites. At each blog you will find encouragement and a new friend in the Lord.
"Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin." Psalm 51:12
David is crying out to GOD in this Psalm; he is truly sorry for his actions. Time and time again, we find ourselves flat on our face before the Lord in deep remorse for our sinful actions. When we come to GOD with our broken hearts He will forgive.
There is hope, with repentance comes healing. When we are truly sorry, GOD forgives and restores our fellowship with Him. Many times our actions cause us to live with consequences, however, upon repentance our relationship with our Heavenly Father is no longer broken.
As we look upon the cross tomorrow, I pray we will recognize the forgiveness and healing available to each of us. God does not want us to live in the pain and misery of our broken state. He is ready, willing, and able to heal our hearts.
Whistling Grandfather Walks in the evening sun... Hand in hand they go Together each day Days unending No care by either Consumed in their own world Sweet little sight... Protected Sheltered Complete with love Tempered by grace Symbols of faith Awesome streaming hope Playfully guiding Memories past down Cherished to this day Time on earth Ending early Time in the heart Without end
In Loving memory of my grandfather, Charles Aaron Coates.
Tired, weary Worn and beaten down Traveled to my homeland Renewed, revived. Strangers once Hearts now entwined.
"I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt." Hosea 2:15
In this passage, GOD took Israel to the desert to communicate hope without distractions. GOD loves his children and desires the very best for each of us. He often uses painful experiences to bring about growth and change in our lives.
For me, traveling to South Carolina this past week was the desert. I knew GOD wanted me to go, but deep inside I had many fears. However, GOD always proves Himself faithful.
True to form, I was blindsided by the real reason I was there, until the night before we left to come home. GOD healed my heart while healing the heart of another at the same time.
Over the years, I had prayed, sought God's will, and Godly counsel regarding issues within my family and the lack of relationship between all parties. With so much pain and heart ache it seemed hopeless. In the last few years, I had reached out with cards and letters, but still no response.
As a result of my Grandmother's death some of the family came together for the services. All parties were not present, but many came. During our time together, GOD formed a bond between a few of us only HE could will and accomplish. As a result, GOD turned the "Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope."
Hope abounds in the hearts of a few of us and we pray it will be contagious to others within our family. We pray that each member will reach for the true source of hope, our Heavenly Father.
"Do not love this world or the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are NOT from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever." 1John 2:16-17
Lately, I have received much praise regarding my writing, blogs, and other areas of my life. It is easy for me to be prideful and get caught up in the moment. I love to write and I love the fact that it comes naturally to me. However, I must be clear to each of my readers and followers:
The words you read or good deeds you may see are not me or mine. I am only the vehicle GOD chooses to use to share HIS love with you. I could not be more thankful for the gift of writing and a tender heart, but I know it is not my own. My heart is in constant struggle with the flesh over these beautiful gifts.
Thank you to RCUBES at Off The Beaten Trek for blessing Arise 2 Write with this award. I am overjoyed and overwhelmed.
What exactly is the award? I share RCUBES explanation: Premio Dardos means “prize darts” in Spanish. It is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.
Here are some rules to be followed if you choose to participate in passing this blog award on to others:
• First, accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and link to her blog.
• Second, pass the award to other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.
Here is a blog that I think you'll agree meet this criteria:
*Mary at Crayon Chronicles shares life applications through events in the lives of the children she loves and cares for.
"When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer's army until he caught up with them at Dan." Genesis 14:14
How many times in families and relationships do we look the other way when someone is in need, pain, or trouble? My family has looked the other way far too long.
God gives us exactly what we need to help others; He prepares the way before us. Abram heard his nephew Lot was in trouble and he immediately took action. He did not fret over what others in his family would think or how his actions would look to others. He simply stepped out in faith to help his nephew.
My prayer goes with each of you as you step out in faith, standing firmly on GOD's promises. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. He is faithful to prepare the way before you. You will not be alone as you step out in your family to pursue GOD's will.
It's a new day in the neighborhood of life. We stand boldly as we seek the good will of our families. God bless each of you on life's journey.
"For the Lord Most High is awesome, He is the great King of all the earth. He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet. He chose the promise land as our inheritance, the proud possession of Jacob's descendants, whom he loves." Psalm 47:2-4
It is impossible to describe how awesome GOD is with words, yet we have an obligation to share HIS greatness with others. We should begin by sharing what we know in our hearts to be true about ALMIGHTY GOD.
Last Saturday, my Grandmother Bowling ended her earthly struggle with emotional and physical pain and ascended into her Heavenly Father's arms. She spent 92 years in a body tormented by the demon's of her past, forever affecting and entire family. For many years those demons were allowed to rip our family limb from limb. Each member of our family has carried the affects of our Grandmother's scarred childhood with them throughout their lives.
Though many will not admit it, we carry strong values and traits because of our Grandmother's affect on our lives. Each child and grandchild values knowledge and education; we strive for perfection in all areas of our lives.
There has never been a closeness in the Bowling family. Because of the dynamics within our family, the grandchildren were not allowed to be close. We were robbed of the relationship "each of us" secretly longed for, daily.
Our Grandmother genetically left some of us an inner strength and a boldness most individuals do not embody. Our personalities are strong; we are stubborn and outspoken. Each of us work daily to use these qualities in a positive way, rather than negatively harming those in our path.
Today, I could not be more thankful for each of these qualities. Because my sister and I share these traits with our cousin Jennifer, GOD in HIS infinite wisdom brought us together through difficult circumstances. Jennifer now shares a bond with Courtney and I no one can destroy. The enemy has now lost his foothold in one more life. At ages 42, 40, and 28, we will begin anew. Courtney and I do not have a cousinly bond with Jennifer, we have a new sister to love and cherish!
Geographically we are far apart, however, our hearts are forever united. A healing beyond description took place as a result of our Grandmother's death and we are praising GOD for the opportunity He laid before us.
It is our prayer many others within our family will surrender their hurt and pain to a Heavenly Father who heals, protects, loves, and restores. Jennifer, Courtney, and I long for the sons, daughter in laws, and other grandchildren to find the peace, happiness, and healing we now share.