Sunday, December 29, 2013

So, Now What?

As the sun begins to set on 2013, I have a few confessions to make. While the beginning of 2013 started out well, during the last few months I've found myself in a pit of sorts. I began soaring atop a beautiful mountain focused on God. In August, I faced challenges I was not prepared to deal with. I thought I could stay the course and continue to persevere. Instead, I fell and I fell hard. My addiction is food. When stress comes my way, I eat and I eat constantly. It does not have to taste good, nor do I need to be hungry.

I knew it was happening and it was as if I could not stop myself. I was fully aware of my actions and what I needed to do differently, but I could NOT gather the strength to get up and move forward. The greatest problem with my pattern are all the "I's." You see, I will NEVER be able to do this on my own. Somewhere along the way I began feeding my pain with food and not God and His word.

Over the last few weeks, my health has declined all due to weight gain and chemicals from processed and unhealthy foods. Christmas day I found myself flat of my back in pain. I was forced to stay home while Doug enjoyed visiting both grand-babies for several hours each. While he played with their new toys and loved on each of them, I lay in the bed with two fur babies praying.

As I prayed I was reminded of several important facts:

~God loves me just as much when I am in the pit as He does when I am faithfully running the race of life accomplishing what He sets before me.
~I absolutely can NOT do this alone! No Way! No How!
~I must trust God when things are going well, but most importantly I must trust Him when things fall apart.

Okay, so what now? 

~I've began again! I began by repenting!
~I've committed to trust God for each moment of each day!

First BIG test:

Last night I was feeling pretty good about making it through two days successfully. I made wise choices while clinging to my Lord for TWO DAYS. TWO DAYS is a long time for someone who can barely make it from one moment to the next without going back to old habits. I am one breath away from a relapse and I realize it.

While sitting in bed with both dogs, Sitka and Trouble reading my Bible, and writing in my journal I faced fear of relapse. My handsome husband brought a big bag of Cheetos and sat beside me. He opened the bag and begins eating.

There were so many things going through my mind:

~For real, Cheetos???
~What are you thinking?
~Are you trying to sabotage me?
~Doug doesn't bring food to bed, why? especially now? why?

Then I realized, I had asked God to forgive me and begged Him to help me. I acknowledged I could not do this alone and HE was my only hope to succeed. I proclaimed to my Lord that I was all in, fully committed. I admit it was pretty easy to confess and proclaim my trust until temptation came in the form of a bag of Cheetos to my bed of all places and escorted by a handsome old man. Temptations come when we are least expecting them. Many times they are carried by an unknowing messenger who has no desire to test our faith or commitment. It's not about the person holding the temptation. It's about me and my relationship with God.

Back to the NOW WHAT:

Just when I was ready to reach for the Cheetos, I began to think about my commitment to trust God when things were going well and when things were not going so well. Instead of going for the Cheetos, I grabbed my pen and began writing a prayer in my journal. I poured out my heart to God. I begged Him to help me. The more I unloaded my feelings the more I realized I did NOT want those nasty Cheetos. I want more of GOD. I want to be a usable vessel. I want to be healthy in every way, but most especially spiritually and I promised to allow Him to use my weakness to help others.

Recognizing my spiritual health is vital to my physical and emotional health is a huge step. So, here I am sharing an article full of run on sentences and jumbled thoughts, praying my journey will help someone else who is struggling.

Verse of HOPE:

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13 NIV

By His mercy and in the grip of His grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


As Doug and I look back over the past year, we are beyond thankful. Our path has been filled with both obstacles and blessings. Actually, we count those obstacles on the path of life as blessings. Why?, you may ask? Well, it's because through each one we grew closer to our Lord. Time and time again, we've learned to trust God and cling to His sustaining grace.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Beautiful Messes and Daily Struggles

Lately, our lives have been crazy. I've come to realize most peoples lives are no different than ours. Sure our struggles are not the same, but many of us are struggling with something. If you are not struggling, I praise GOD for your season of peace. For those of you who are struggling, I pray GOD will pour His peace, love, and comfort out to you as you grow closer to Him. Every season and every lesson is different, but all have the potential to grow us closer to our Heavenly Father and mold us into the person He created us to be.

Many times our seasons of difficulties are where we are suppose to be. Doug and I often refer to them as "beautiful messes!" Beautiful because we are right where God wants us to be, but not always easy. Life is often messy, especially when we are in the center of His will.

Today, Sitka (our fur baby) shares some of my weaknesses on his blog, All God's Creatures. If you choose to visit his blog and read about my struggles, I pray you will find encouragement knowing there are others out there who do not always have it all together and I am one of them.

I take comfort in knowing my Heavenly Father loves me even though I do not get it right every day.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Life Happens A lot

Sometimes life happens and sometimes life happens a lot. The road of this earthly life often beautiful, yet its ditches littered with difficulties, pain, and disaster. Beautiful at a glance while muddy and treacherous when one takes a step or two off the paved road.

Stay on the path you might say. Great advice, but not always the way of my life. I stumble and the next thing I know I land in one of those holes carefully hidden amongst the beauty. I find myself face up toward the heavens after rolling through the muck and looking toward the light. You see I don't always instinctively look straight toward my Heavenly Father. It takes a little rolling around in the muck before I realize I'm not making any progress. It's then I find myself focusing on the only hope, my Heavenly Father!

If your life is like mine and it's been a little difficult or a lot difficult lately, let's re-focus on our Heavenly Father and get out of the muck one step at a time.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Use Your Words

Lately, I keep hearing the phrase "Use Your Words." I have a deep appreciation for words and I quite enjoy using them. "Use Your Words" is a powerful phrase. Expression of emotion is good for the soul. Our hearts need to purge both the pain and the happiness.

Now, for the tricky part. I need to "use my words" and not injure others in the process. My grandmother Bowling longed for each of her children, grandchildren, and all future generations to be educated and intelligent human beings. This was her desire above all else and at all costs. Because of a challenging childhood and difficulties in relationships she often expressed herself in less than loving ways. Her intent great, yet somehow it became diminished or shadowed by the execution process.

Recently, I stumbled upon the truth or at least a nugget of truth about grandmother and how she felt. Grandmother wrote: "My boys are the best thing that's ever happened in my life." My uncles and others in my family may be less than happy I've chosen to write about this or share grandmothers words. I, however find it healing. Healing not in the warm and gushy kind of way, but healing through knowledge of the love that lived deep inside of her injured and hardened heart. She loved her sons and she loved the rest of us.

For me, it's time to examine and re-examine how I "use my words." Sometimes, I use them wisely and in  a loving way and other times like grandmother I injure those along the path of this life. I must forgive grandmother for those times when her words hurt and I pray others will forgive me when I do not choose my words wisely.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Thursday, August 1, 2013



Questioning? That's me! I always want to understand why something happened? What good can come from it? How can God use it to make me a better person? Will He use it in and through my life? And how can/will God use it to help others?

Some say, "What difference does it make? Stop all that 'thinking' and just move on!"

That's just not the way God made me. I have a deep need to know imbedded in the depths of my being. While some life events never make sense; my questions eventually lead me to a place of peace. Peace with God comes when I start looking at how God may choose to use my pain or mess instead of looking at the pain and mess.

Peace....Sweet Peace, my friends!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it's still the right thing. I am forever thankful for all those who have sacrificed their lives in order for me to live freely in America. Our freedom comes at a high costs to many!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mount Washington and Trust

On June 5th, 2013 I defeated the enemy. I, with GOD's strength did not allow fear to rob me of an amazing adventure. We drove or shall I say Doug drove while I prayed the EIGHT mile journey to the summit of Mount Washington. The summit is over 6200 feet in elevation and you make the drive on a very small road that carries you along the edge of the mountain all the way up. In many places it is you, the mountain, and the breath of GOD along side you. Did I mention there are NO guardrails? and we had to pull the mirrors in on Doug's truck? So, when they say there is enough room to meet a car they mean "just enough" room to meet a car.

Amazingly, I was only mildly anxious going up and even less anxious coming down. Over the years, Doug has taught me a lot about trust. In learning to trust my husband I have learned many lessons about trusting my Heavenly Father. Just as Doug loves to share beautiful blessings with me, God loves to share even greater blessings. God often wants to share extravagant, breath-taking, life-changing experiences with me and too many times I've refused. Thankfully, June 5th was not one of those times.

I am reminded of the words of Priscilla Shirer, "Just go with it. Follow Him, impossible as it may seem."

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

~The picture above was one of many I took while standing atop Mt. Washington. They call it a "presidential view."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Looking Back, Looking Forward!

In a few weeks I will be 47 years old. That's almost half a century. As I reflect upon where I have been and where I am headed I have many questions.

~Am I living out my life being who God created me to be?
~Am I living out God's love to the world around me?
~Now what?

Notice, my questions do not reflect regrets, but rather where God may be leading. I can not undo the past, but I can try to do better in the future. I can choose to step outside of "my comfortable" and move into the messiness of this earthly life confidently.

Looking back toward past mistakes breeds insecurity in my heart. Looking forward into the messiness of earthly life, but staying securely in my comfort zone also holds me back. I desperately need balance. I am doing my best to stay focused on God rather than the mistakes or mess ups of the past and the sometimes scary adventures of my future.

Please join me as I embrace the messiness of the path before me with confidence and trust. God will continue to lead us and give us grace for each moment of the journey He has called us to. He is constant and true and the only One we can fully trust. So, let's keep running......

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Journey Continues

Life is full of "fun" adventures as well as "not so fun" (complicated) adventures. We learn and grow through each of them. Recently, I embraced a 12 week journey to become a better me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. During this journey I lost 7 pounds and several inches. My most profitable gain has been recognizing triggers leading to emotional eating and beginning to address them.

On April 13th, I completed my first 10k. I power-walked the Ukrops Monument Avenue 10k in 1:42:25. I can honestly say, "It felt good and I want to do it again!" Completing the 10k was not about setting a record or beating someone else's time. It was about me and my relationship with God.

While participating in a 10k may not seem to fall under the "spiritual" category in other folks world, it does in mine. I prayed God would change my heart toward exercise and He did it.

The journey continues....

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, April 22, 2013

Run With Purpose

Each of us are at different places in our walks with the Lord. We continue to put one foot in front of the other as we climb the mountains and dip into the valleys of this life. Sometimes we crawl...sometimes we walk...and occasionally we run.

On those days when the journey seems overwhelming or the terrain seems to treacherous remember you are "not" alone. God is with you. Look for Him along the way.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance." Romans 5:3 NLT

"So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing." 1 Corinthians 9:26

Let's be found "running with purpose!"

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Friday, March 29, 2013

Inside or Outside

I love old barns. For me, each broken and tattered structure embodies strength and character. I am also reminded of the old saying, "you can't judge a book by it's cover." Often, we judge others by what we see. This is not a good plan. God created each of us with a purpose. Let's be found faithfully looking past the ruff and broken exterior of others lives. Instead, lets look into the hearts of those along the path of  this difficult and challenging life.

Jesus loved Judas even though He knew he would betray Him. WOW! As we celebrate this Easter season with our family and friends, lets embrace Jesus unfathomable love and rejoice in the love and acceptance only He can provide.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, March 11, 2013

Message from our 5 year old!

Message from our 5 year old!

Savannah: "Papa can we go to the book store and get a new book? I want a book I can read."

Papa: "Did you bring your money?"

Savannah: "No, my money has to be used as an offering for people who need food, shelter, and water!"

Papa: "Don't you need shelter?"

Savannah: "Papa, I already have shelter!"

Papa: "Point taken!"

And we were off to find a book for Savannah to read. Minutes later our precious little 5 year old pulled a second grade book of the shelf and began reading it to Papa and I. 

Savannah's heart speaks loudly without needed interpretation from Nana. I pray you will let her words touch your heart today allowing GOD to use them for HIS glory. 

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

~URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for my friend Dianne's sister, Sheriann. She has Stage II Breast Cancer and was admitted to the hospital last night (3/10/2013) with multiple blood clots. Sheriann needs a miracle and her family has requested prayer on her behalf. Please add this request to any prayer group you are a part of. THANK YOU!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Soul Training Plan

Soul Training Plan
(Unedited Journal Notes)

I will make a conscious effort daily to allow God to make a difference in my life, so I can make a difference in the lives of others. By beginning each day with an intentional purpose of seeking God's presence and fellowship, I will better cope with my own day and become better equipped to share God's peace, love, and comfort with others through my actions as well as my written and spoken words.

As I begin each day "trying to become a better me," I'm embracing new beginnings with joy only God can give and I'm trusting in areas I have not been able to trust.

My plan may sound simple on paper, but deep within the plan embodies much work--work only attainable by a heart ready and willing to accept the love, peace, and healing Christ is patiently waiting to administer. As I am ready, He will heal....and with the healing of each wound I will reach out to those around me being sensitive to their wounds.

Hopefully, others will realize God has a better plan for them....a place of living life above the rubble. So, you will find me off and running--running my way out of the rubble and into the Light, God's Light!

"My race" is the race God has chosen for me....a race only I can run, a unique race.

I was asked yesterday not to refer to myself as "crazy." As I prayed about this request, God gave me a new word, "Unique." So, I will run the race before me realizing God will use "my unique self" for His purpose and I'm thankful my race will weave in and out of the lives of treasured and faithful friends.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, February 25, 2013

Are things really the way we see them?

Are things really the way we see them? 

Are the numbers real? How important are they? What do they really mean?

For the third week in a row, I gained a pound. Yes, again, I gained!

Last week, I had a mini melt down. This week, I said, "oh well!"

What's the difference in the attitude?

The difference is realizing I am healthier. I am becoming more physically fit. I am now able to power walk a little over six miles without thinking I'm going to die along the way. During our weekly boot camp with a personal trainer, he said, "You are doing a lot better this week! How are you feeling?" I was able to say, "Good!" and mean it!

So, Are things really the way we see them?

Yes and No. Yes, the number reflects my weight at this current moment. No, things are "not" the same. I have gained a lot of muscle and lost many inches. I am becoming a healthier me no matter what number is on the scales. I must continue to persevere! 

"2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 NIV

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, February 18, 2013


Often we do not view ourselves correctly. Most importantly we do not see ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to God. It is easy to get discouraged and frustrated.

As I weighed in this week and received the news of "gaining" another pound I had a meltdown moment.

"Another pound".....WHAT?

Gaining distracted me from all the progress I made. I allowed ONE POUND to over shadow the facts of my progress.


~Excercised every day!

~Two days in a row, I power-walked just under SEVEN miles. I even jogged "a little" of it! This alone is HUGE for me.

~My clothes are lose.

Refocusing and remembering a very important Bible verse:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ups and Downs

There are ups and downs in every journey. Last week, I "gained" a pound.

Do you know how much a pound is? It is four sticks of butter.

Do you know how hard it is to get that pound and others back off? Well, I'm sure you do, but I needed to scream at someone other than myself. Now would be the time to metaphorically duck!

On top of gaining a pound this week my joints have continuously screamed at me. If you are thinking, "she is not a happy camper." Well, my wonderful husband would say, "you are absolutely correct."

Each week we have a weekly challenge. I don't think it co-incidence my challenge is to memorize James 1:2-4.

"Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face troubles of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 NIV

As I consider my memory verse, I am reminded we all face "trials of many kinds" on a daily basis whether they have anything to do with weight loss or not. Each of us must persevere! I must keep working on becoming a better me until I step into heaven at the end of my earthly life.

Let's remember, God completes us as we allow Him to work in and through our lives. We can NOT do this on our own, but we can do this by embracing our Heavenly Father in each moment and in each step on the path to health and freedom. God promises to be with me/us!

In one way or another we are all on the same journey....a journey of faith, healing, and happiness. Yes, we can be happy in our circumstances, happy knowing "we're a work in progress" and we are all in this together!

So, do NOT allow the "Ups and Downs" of this life to get you down. Grab hold of the hand of your Heavenly Father and cling tightly as you continue putting one foot in front of the other on your journey.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

~Answered Prayer: Doug and I received the results from his last biopsy and there is NO cancer growth over this past year! Yes, you heard me right...NO cancer growth. We are praising GOD for all HE continues to do in and through our lives. We thank each of you for your prayers, encouragement, and support. You will never know what you mean to us.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Go BIG or NOT at All!

"Go BIG or NOT at All" seems to be a way of thinking common in our world and one we often get hung up on. We all like to see "BIG" results when we work on a project. So, imagine the project remodel is your body.....your heart! At first, the prospect of a remodel may not seem overwhelming, but the more closets you clean out and the more mess and excess baggage you uncover reveals a huge task.One you are not sure you are ready or want to take on.

Next, you sign up for an accountability group at church. What in the world were you thinking? Each week you weigh in. The first week you lose 4.4 pounds. The next week you lose 1 pound. For real, all that hard work and you barely lose a pound the second week. Sadly, you realize the real work of heart reform isn't going to show up on the scales. The heaviest weight is not going to count in monetary form.

Yes, it's Me! Lifestyle change can be difficult. The greatest reform is going on in my heart. I realized I was using food to self medicate whether happy or sad. They say the first step is acknowledging it. For me, that was the easy step and the first brick of a heavy load I tossed. The real work is a daily battle. I am learning to fill my heart with God, His love, and His word rather than food or other unhealthy choices.

Now, back to the numbers, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who loses focus on the real goal of heart reform and gets caught up in the numbers. I'm very thankful for the five pounds and four ounces I lost. So thankful, I'm including the four ounces. After all, four ounces is a quarter of a pound of fat and in my world it's worth not forgetting.

What I've recognized is there are at least two ways of looking at these numbers:

1) Five point four pounds...that's all I lost in two weeks. This is too hard. I quit!

2) WOW, GOD helped me peel away five point four pounds of physical weight from my body and even more from my heart and soul. Some days this is very hard, but it feels good! With God's help, I can do it! And on the days when the work of heart reform and obedience is too hard I will lean heavily upon my Heavenly Father and trust Him with the journey.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Thursday, January 31, 2013


The word "Praise" is not near a big enough word! We can not express our thankfulness adequately to our Heavenly Father for answering our prayers.

Yesterday, as we sat in the doctors office waiting for test results there was a peaceful quiet. Both Doug and I sat in silent prayer as other patients came and went. The commotion of nurses, doctors, and staff hummed as they proceeded with daily tasks; Time moving forward as it most certainly does and will continue to do until the end of all time.

Dr. Morgan bounced into our room with a HUGE smile on his face and said,

"It's great news! This is what we always want to see! NO growth in cancer in a year!"

What sweet relief and excitement we both felt. Victory unlike I have ever known or felt. Today, we continue to praise GOD and thank HIM for what HE is doing in and through Doug's body.

We also thank GOD for each of you, for your love, encouragement, and prayers. We are truly blessed to have so many lifting us up in prayer. May GOD bless each of you.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, January 21, 2013

Prayer and Promise

Stumbling through this earthly life has prepared me to come here with a heart full of humility seeking prayer. Over the last few years, I've tried desperately to become "a better me!" Some days I've been successful and others I have not. Along the way, I've realized there are many facets to "becoming a better me." GOD has graciously given me a community to come along side in prayer, encouragement, and on many days to simply listen to the rambling words of a crazy lady. You, my friends are a very important part of my community and I love how GOD brought each of you into my life. You came here as readers, by the grace of GOD you stayed, and along the journey you became friends.

A few of the areas in my life that need renewal and recovery:

Spiritual: Abetter heart relationship with my Heavenly Father.
Physical: Health issues
Emotional: A need for total dependance on GOD every moment of every day.

Well, did I cover everything? Probably not!

Yesterday, I joined a group at New Life UMC. It's called, "Choose 2 Lose." I've made progress on my own, but after prayer I realized the accountability and encouragement of others could be a great asset.

Then the thoughts of  defeat and failure came:

"what if you fail"
"now you have to chart your progress or failure"
"you know you don't want to answer to other humans"
"you know you have health issues and they will not understand them"
"you know this is horrible timing"

You get the picture. The enemy just wants me to fall short of my goal.

NO WAY am I going to give in this easily. So, here I am today confessing to the entire world my desires as well as my fears. GOD knows my heart and HE has promised to be with me every step of the way. I may not be able to do this on my own, but I can do this and anything else my GOD calls me to do through HIS strength. 

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

~An added prayer request for my best friend and husband, Doug. He will have a biopsy tomorrow.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Life Lessons from The Perdue Zoo

As we stumble through this life, we think we are training our dogs and children. Instead, GOD is molding and training us through them. Through every jerk of the leash and exuberant defiance of the child, we become more pliable. With each challenge comes opportunity to grow and learn. We rise to the occasion on most days, yet on other days we crumble falling head first into a heap of laundry or a large pile of dog poop. As we gather our last ounce of strength, we stand a little smelly, but taller, stronger, and even a bit wiser.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Beginning 2013 With Purpose

As we begin 2013, let us focus our lives on making a positive difference in the lives of others. Lets be found walking away from negativity and embracing the love of Christ. Most of the time it is just that simple. The hard part is often keeping our mouth shut when walking away. It may not be hard for all of you, but it is for me.

~Praying GOD will use the craziness of our lives to make a positive difference in the lives of others!

~Keep loving, keep writing, keep being all God created you to be!

~Keep your purpose focused on HIS purpose! 

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue