Sunday, May 31, 2009
The tadpoles caught Savannah's eye. She squatted patiently for a long time watching them. Quiet and respectful she watched. Uncle Chase stayed close by and together they captured a glimpse of GOD's creation.
Sometimes, I miss the beautiful details in daily life. I run to quickly past them. This picture of Savannah and Chase at the pond reminded me of how special the details in life can be if we stop to enjoy them.
Amazed by HIS grace,
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Everyday is a new day in my journey. I begin with eager expectation of peace, happiness, and love. Somewhere along the way I become discouraged. Some days are easier than others. When I believe I have a good grip on this journey called life, I stumble.
I suppose I am too naive. I have this grand notion everyone will eventually "get it" and begin to love and respect one another. Deep in my being is a longing for peace and harmony.
My extended family could be the poster child for "Dysfunctional Families." No matter the circumstances or loss, each member believes they are living appropriately and there is no need to change. Well, this is my perspective.
Our family has endured separation, tragedy, and still there is little togetherness. Recently, at my grandmother's funeral I became hopeful change would occur. A new beginning. Yes, there has been change. My sister and I have a wonderful relationship with our cousin, J. GOD has truly blessed us.
Yet, there are multiple other members of our family who seem content to disown or alienate themselves from us. Several of these folks are in the ministry. Yes, you heard me. They are serving GOD in churches or retired from service.
My sister and I take full credit for not being normal. We live outside the box. We are crazy and love everyone. We know no socio-economic or racial bounds. We have friends from all walks of life and all belief systems. Neither of us fit into most churches. We find ourselves fighting an uphill battle there, as well.
Last time I checked, Jesus was out ministering to the prostitutes, thieves, and others like them. He defended those who could not defend themselves and poured out love to the unloved. He is suppose to be our example.
Here is where I stumble: Often, I allow the actions of my family to distract my focus. Last night, I was unable to sleep thinking about the craziness abounding in my family. What happened to love? What happened to respect?
Clarity often comes in the morning. I can not change them. I must leave it in my Heavenly Father's hands. I am merely responsible for change needed in my own heart and life. My focus must no longer waver.
God has blessed me with a wonderful support system. I have learned much from each person within this system. Family is not always biological. Thank GOD for all of those in my adopted family.
Clinging to my Heavenly Father,
Friday, May 29, 2009
Yesterday, I dropped by one of my favorite bloggers site to find my daily dose of encouragement. I found far more than encouragement. Rosel, at Off The Beaten Trek gave me an "Aw-summ!!!" award, called "Queen Of All Things."
Honestly, I do not feel "aw-summ" nor do I feel I am "queen of all things." I have not felt well for sometime and yesterday was no different. Last night, I found myself miserable and awake. As I laid quietly beside my husband I began to ponder this award and how it fit into my life.
GOD spoke clearly through my physical pain: "Though you do not feel worthy of this award or capable.......I AM."
I was reminded of the "Aw-summness" of GOD and HIS power to use the words on my blog for HIS good will and purpose. In HIM, I can be queen and in HIM, I can do "aw-summ" things.
The rules for this award:
~List 7 things that make you awesome.
~Pass along to 7 bloggers you love.
~Link back to the queen who tagged you.
1)I love the Lord with all my heart!
2)I have a wonderful husband, who encourages me to write. He supports my efforts and wants only what is best for me.
3)My children (Biological and Adopted: Robin, Lauren, Seth, Chase, Wil) are the jewels in my crown.
4)Being a grandmother allows me the privilege of a "re-do" and I see more clearly what is important and what is not in raising or helping to raise a child. I cherish our little Savannah. GOD again in HIS wisdom and awesomeness has given me the strength to build a foundation of love and faith with our grandbaby.
5)My furry children keep me humble. Using them for dog therapy keeps me grounded. I am able to see GOD in a way I had never seen before.
6)My writing is a vehicle GOD uses to encourage others. I am still amazed when I receive comments of how a simple article spoke to someone. Truly, this is the "Awesomeness of GOD" through my pen.
7)I seek to be an awesome friend.
In each of these 7 areas I fall short, but through my Heavenly Father I seek "HIS" awesomeness!
I find it very difficult to pass this award to only 7 bloggers. Last night, I prayed God would help me choose the 7 who HE would choose. Congratulations to each of you. You are "aw-summ!!!"
1) Mary at Godly Graffiti. Mary encourages writers and pours out her vast knowledge to all who visit her blog.
2)Laurie at Super Natural Living. Laurie has a heart to reach the world for Christ and always encourages each of us who visit in our daily walk with the Lord.
3)Sheryl at We Are Never Alone. Sheryl reminds us we can live amidst the challenges of this world and face them boldly with confidence knowing our Heavenly Father will never abandon us.
4)Just Be Real. Just Be Real speaks from her heart. I began following her recently and have been touched by her honesty and sincerity.
5)Mid at Mid's Point. Mid stands boldly for the LORD. I am amazed as I read her posts. She exhibits strength as she proclaims GOD's message.
6)Patti at Attic Clutter. Patti always finds the cutest treasures to brighten my day.
7)Beautiful Self. Beautiful Self shares her faith and welcomes differing opinions and comments. She challenges each of us as we read her posts.
Blessings and prayers,
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Last night during dinner, Savannah graciously shared her "corn on a stick" with O'Papa. She was devouring her second ear when she realized O'Papa was watching. She held up her ear for him to take a bite.
This morning, I reflected on her actions. She is 23 months old and already willing to share whatever she has with others. She does not know to be selfish. Then the thought occurred to me:
How can we keep her this way?
Furthermore, how can each of us maintain the example of sharing and giving unconditionally?
It seems easy, but most of us struggle some time or another with sharing. I like to think of myself as a very unselfish person, yet I know their are times when I am selfish. Let's all try to find the innocent, unselfish spirit inside of us today.
Blessings and prayers,
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
"The difference between holding on to a hurt or releasing it with forgiveness is the difference between laying your head at night on a pillow filled with thorns or a pillow filled with rose petals."
I am confronted daily with the choice to forgive. Early in my life, GOD allowed me to learn a valuable lesson about forgiveness. My youngest sister was tragically killed at age 17. Hours after her death, I was asked to go into the ER room with the young man responsible for her death. The nurse said, "he is very upset and he has no family here."
My entire family looked at me. I was 22 years old, but clearly had the strongest faith and ability to handle difficult situations. I rose and followed the nurse. Just before entering, I whispered aloud, "help me GOD..because I want to kill him."
The nurse looked at me, but continued to pull the curtain and enter.
As I entered, he began screaming at me, "I killed her, I killed her."
Immediately, I said, "I forgive you."
I know those words came from my Heavenly Father through my mouth. At the time, I did not have the strength to do it on my own. I am thankful GOD allowed me to be placed in this situation. If I had not been there, forgiveness on my part might not have happened. Forgiveness led to healing and healing led to a healthier life for me.
I share this morsel from my past hoping it will help someone else take the necessary steps to a healthier life. Lack of forgiveness only hurts the person who is bitter and angry. When we forgive, we are not saying what the person did was okay.
My desire, after forgiveness was for the offender to become a better person. Nothing could bring back my sister. I do not know where my sister's killer is today, but I pray he is living a happy and healthy life. I pray his life was changed for good. I pray the beginning of good things to come from her tragedy started with him.
Clinging to my Heavenly Father,
Monday, May 25, 2009
Today, we remember all those who have served our country and thank those who continue to serve. Whether you agree with war or you are opposed, we are given the privilege of freedom because each of these individuals made/make a huge sacrifice.
As we reflect and pray for the families affected, I will honor my husband's father, James Bolling Perdue, who died November 11, 1944 in Germany (The Battle of the Bulge). My husband was a baby and only has pictures of he and his Dad. He does not remember him. Through the years, He has depended on others for stories about his father's personality and other traits. He clings and treasures each morsel.
My husband is now 66 years old. He has a tender heart for all the children left behind. He understands their feelings and prays for them daily.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
God often uses many unique situations to get my attention. I call them 2X4 moments, because I often do not respond until the "2X4" swings through the air. In other words, it takes enormous situations to get my full attention or change my mind.
For years, my husband has urged me to slow down coming into our drive way. I always respond by saying, "I am not going that fast." It is a straight driveway and I can see in front of me. I did not understand why there was a problem with the speed I came into the driveway. Why does he want me to creep up the driveway like an old lady?
Several weeks ago, we were out late. Doug met me at a play. He had our youngest son, Wil and one of his friends. Taylor. After the play, Doug took Taylor to her house and I journeyed on to ours.
As I entered our driveway at my normal rate of speed, three of the biggest deer I have ever seen JUMPED right in front of me. I was able to stop. Shocked, I sat there. Echoing in my mind were Doug's words, "you really need to slow down coming into the driveway."
Echoing even louder was GOD's voice, "Slow down." I have run through life trying to make everyone happy and accomplish great things for many years. In this "2X4 moment", I realized I have often rushed past the beauty of GOD's creation and the pleasures He has for me. I have been consumed with too many different things.
Since my late night experience, I have pondered much. God protected me and He lovingly protected the three magnificent deer. He has much more to teach me and I eagerly await the new adventures He will lay before me.
Let's all slow down and enjoy GOD's creation. Let's be safe and recognize GOD's voice when HE speaks.
Blessings and prayers,
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, my husband spent the morning planting two new rose bushes. He worked carefully preparing the the holes to prevent the voles from eating the roots of his new roses. As he worked, our 23 month old grand baby played close by.
Soon it was time for Savannah to come inside and Doug needed another tool from the garage. As he returned to work on his rose garden, he was shocked. He could not believe the vision laying before him. In the place where Savannah had been playing was a copperhead. It was over two feet long and over an inch in diameter.
We are extremely blessed. Certainly, our Heavenly Father was protecting Savannah and everyone who came close to this poisonous snake. We are praising GOD for His protection.
How many times does danger lurk close by and we do not know it? We must be on guard. We need a keen eye and a deep faith. We also must remember, our precious GOD is greater than any situation that may arise in our lives.
Praising GOD for divine protection,
Sunday, May 17, 2009
"God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled we will be able to give them the same comfort He has given us." 2Corinthians 1:3b-4
Lately, I have been bombarded with prayer requests. Each request full of heartache, pain, hopelessness, and deep despair. More than ever, I am aware of the tragic circumstances in others lives. My heart breaks for each of the individuals and families these request affect.
During my prayer time I read the verse from 2 Corinthians 1:33b-4 (above). I began to read it over and over, each time becoming more aware of my duty to pass along the comfort God pours out in my life to those hurting.
How do I accomplish such a seemingly big task? Where do I begin? Can I really make a difference?
As I ponder these questions, I realize I am obligated to love and encourage those in my path. God gives us the example. It is to be a way of life not an occasional occurrence.
Sometimes, encouraging others means making ourselves vulnerable. Some of my past is painful, yet often GOD prompts me to share it. In turn, I am able to encourage someone else facing the same or similar circumstances.
Today, as I journey forward I pray for GOD's unveiling of my sometimes blind eye to those in my path. Journey forward with me, recognizing everyday is a "new day" on the path of life.
By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Saturday, May 16, 2009
For a week, I have struggled to breath (severe allergies and asthma). I have tried to keep up with life despite being sick. By Friday, I became frustrated and miserable. As I began reading the blogs I follow looking for a glimmer of encouragement I found much more.
Yesterday, God spoke to me through every blog I visited. Upon arriving at two different blogs I was given an award: You are Beautiful Inside and Out! Most days I do not feel very beautiful inside and out and certainly yesterday was one of them. These two sisters and many more have become prayer warriors, friends, and much more. Each of them touch my heart when I visit their blogs. They speak honestly, boldly, and deeply from within their being. They reach far beyond the norm of blogging and truly care about their followers. I am not a number to them. The genuineness you will find at these blogs will overwhelm you. Please stop by and visit them. Perhaps GOD will lead you to follow, as well.
Humble As I Go
Heart 2 Heart
As I pondered and prayed about passing this award to five bloggers who are beautiful on the inside and out God spoke to me. Each person who follows my blog fits this category. There is truly no way to choose. Today, I give this to each of you. I pray you will post it on your blog. You are all valuable in GOD's eyes. You are treasures of encouragement in my life. Thank you to each of my followers. May GOD bless each of you. May He use you in ways beyond your imagination.
Serving GOD with you,
Friday, May 15, 2009
We live amidst a diverse group of people. I love visiting our favorite Richmond coffee shop (Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream) for this reason. I love and cherish the environment. Today, I share a few thoughts from my last visit.
All singing songs from every avenue and venue.
The music and melodies of each soul pierce my heart.
Colors of the rainbow abound.
The music plays echoing the the hearts of many.
I in my sweatshirt...he in his jeans.
Dappled diamonds daze the crowd. Who are we?
From the rising of the sun til the setting of the ultimate day when we all dance together on the streets of gold.
Magic plays on the hearts as the coat of many colors is woven at the "Crossroads" of life.
Today, I am thankful for the diversity of friends GOD has placed in my life. I praise GOD for HIS giving me the blessing of many. May GOD bless each of you as you reach out to those around you, embracing and enjoying your differences.
Blessed to be me,
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Pop and Grandmother Bowling and Grandchildren
1963- Written by Ruth Bowling
I’ve tried for many a hour and a minute
to imagine this world without me in it.
I cannot think of a newborn day
without me in it somehow someway.
I can’t imagine an Autumn flare
without me here- alive- aware.
I cannot think of a dawn in Spring
without my heart awakening.
These treasured years will come and go.
With swifter pace, but this I know
I have NO fear, I have NO dread
of that numbered day that lies ahead.
My flesh will turn to ash and clay,
But I’ll be here- somehow, someway.
The body is a perishable thing, but not so the soul. God, through his Son, Jesus Christ, has told us this.
We will live on. How and where is determined by the way we live on earth, while the body and soul exist as one.
While cleaning out some of my Grandmother Bowling's possessions, my cousin found this poem. It was written three years before I was born, while my grandparents still lived on their 600 plus acre dairy farm in upstate South Carolina. My grandmother was raised in an orphanage and spent most of her 92 years struggling emotionally. She was a brilliant woman with many academic and public accomplishments.
I am thankful to have a copy of this poem. It enables me to glimpse deep into the heart of my grandmother. I share it with each of you today as an example of faith and GOD's healing. Many times we do not know what lies within the heart of our love ones.
Love, Blessings and prayers,
Sunday, May 10, 2009
"So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth." Hosea 6:3
Lately, we have experienced "lots" of rain in Richmond, Virginia. Even though we needed this rain, many complained about the inconvenience of sloshing around like a duck. On a few occasions, I joined the complainers.
Pondering this passage brought me to my knees. I enjoy the blessings of God's creation, yet many times I am spoiled and selfishly do not want to be inconvenienced. My focus wavers and I find myself enjoying the material, earthly benefits of being a child of GOD and complaining when it does not suite me.
Where should my focus be? Do I make the needed changes in my life? Am I serious and deliberate in making those changes? Exactly where are my priorities?
My focus should be worshiping my Heavenly Father and focusing on the eternal benefits. Thankfully, today is a new day and GOD gives each of us the chance to start anew.
Blessings and prayers on your journey with your Heavenly Father,
Friday, May 8, 2009
Being a mother and grandmother are the greatest joys in my life. I love hearing the giggles and laughter when all the kids are together. I am truly blessed to have a blended family with two adopted children where love abounds. My husband and I often joke saying, "they may not like us, but they always love each other." Praise GOD for the blessings of our wonderful children: Robin (25), Lauren (22), Seth (22), Chase (20), Wil (16), and our precious grandbaby, Savannah Faith (23 months).
Mother's day represents happiness with my own children, yet a little sadness for myself. My mother was 15 years old when I was born, a child giving birth to a child. Primarily my grandparents raised me and are responsible for the person I am today. My grandmother died when I was 12 and my grandfather when I was 15.
My mother has always been in my life, but not in the role of a true mother. We appeared "normal" to the outside world, yet on the inside things were oddly displaced. My sister nor I blame our mother for her inability to be "motherly" to us. We love her and accept the situation in it's current state.
I have never written about my mother, until today. I pray GOD will grow her into the person He created her to be and fulfill the the longings of her heart.
Blessings and prayers,
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Doug, Andrea, and Savannah Faith, Our First Grandbaby!
"....each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:31
God is definitely a God of second chances. I suffered through a 17 year marriage of pain and heartache at every turn. With divorce came tremendous baggage. It has taken years to overcome the damage to my heart.
Soon after my divorce, GOD gave me a wonderful man, who loves and cherishes me. Most importantly, Doug loves the Lord with all his heart and soul. Ideally, I should have received counseling after my divorce and before entering into another relationship. However, God's plan was different for me. He chose to show me through the gentle hands of the person he placed in my life.
Doug and I support each other in "all" things. He loves to fish and I love to sit on the bank or in the boat with him with my Bible, journal, and pen. We do "everything" together. Early in our relationship, I realized meeting his needs was not difficult. He made it easy for me, because he lovingly supported my dreams and desires.
God always blesses our time together, our journey, and our ministry. We love people and we love our animals. GOD quickly gave us a ministry using our dogs. We are the proud doggie parents to three Therapy Dog's, Sitka, Nanuq, and Trouble. We use them to encourage patients, to perform needed physical therapy, participate in group meetings (psychiatric), and much, much more. For more information on our Therapy Dogs go to: All GOD's Creatures.
My husband awakes happy every morning. I am privileges to live with someone who dances on rainbows with his Heavenly Father. He sees the good in me when I can not see it myself. He encourages me to write and pursue my dreams. Today, I confess if he were not in my life I would not be blogging or publishing other works. I would likely have remained curled in the corner somewhere. GOD knows just what we need and when we need it. Thank you, GOD for giving me a beautiful husband with a heart full of love.
Blessed to be loved,
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Colton is enjoying his homebound lessons and doing well. He is facing another difficult issue, in his life. His "Grammy" has become ill. She was diagnosed with lymphoma last week. Colton and his family are praying diligently, but honestly they are struggling with the battle they are facing. Colton is praying for a miracle for "Grammy."
Colton celebrated his 12th birthday this past weekend with 3 of his friends and family. Colton and his Mom prepared and decorated his Mario cake, giving them very valuable one on one time together.
Colton's birthday wish was for "Grammy to be well." We pray Colton's birthday wish will come true. Thank you, prayer warriors for storming the heavens on behalf of Colton and his family.
Continuing to storm the heavens with prayers,
Sunday, May 3, 2009
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture." Malachi 4:2
God's ultimate healing is our choice. Trusting GOD with our lives equals hope for the future. We are responsible for our own choices. We can not make others change.
Imagine heaven, "we will go free leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture." Have you ever witnessed a fold or calf let out to pasture? They leap and frolic with such abandoned freedom. It's as if they do not have a care in this world.
I long for the day when I am able to frolic in my new body.