The Little Mermaid 🧜‍♀️

The innocence of a child. Is there anything more beautiful? Such wonderment in simple things.

I bought this little mermaid for my granddaughter. The jewel is her birthstone. It was very inexpensive but this tiny treasure means a great deal to her as she loves the sea and it’s mystical mermaids.

She has a routine before bed. Her blankets have to be placed on her in order with the last one over her head. Then tuck her in tight with a “snug as a bug in a rug.” She turns on her little mermaid and watches the changing colors until she’s close to sleep. Then she turns it off. She’s good about that as we’ve already changed the battery once.

What does she think about as she gazes into the crystal ball of changing color? I don’t want to disturb her by asking questions. Those thoughts belong to her. To me, for this moment in time, she is a little mermaid swimming happily through a frothy sea with other mystical creatures and friends…and without a care in the world. Grandma’s little mermaid.

I couldn’t resist taking these pictures. I treasure these quiet moments. These won’t last forever. Before you know it, she will pack away these simple things and swim off to start a life of her own.

Cherish the little things for they are often the most precious moments of your life. ♥️

Andi

The Hands of Time

A little over a year ago I worked in long term health care. I so enjoyed my time with the elderly. There is something special in each one of these people. And their hands are as unique as they are.

Tonight, I am reflecting on hands. I am thinking of all the life lived through them from infancy to the very old.

I watched elderly hands work while crafting and playing games. I watched as they held onto a walker or a favorite treasure. I felt the gentleness when they touched the waves in my hair. I felt the warmth of their hand in mine.

I examined their hands. The thinness of the skin. The blue veins that seem to have tripled in size. The crooked boniness. The strength. Scars and age spots. All the tales of a life lived wrapped up in hands.

If only their hands could talk…

The babies held, cradled, and burped

The wiping of tears that were cried

Gardening and planting; covered in dirt

The mountains of dishes, washed and dried

Blisters and callouses; the pain and the hurt

Saluting in honor, reverence, and pride

Folded in prayer; sinful ways to avert

Holding their spouse; true love by their side

Decades of loving and living. Of laboring long and hard throughout their days.

Cherish the hands in your life this Thanksgiving. The young and the old. Think about their life story. Be grateful they are here. Many who were around our table last year are gone today. Including my father.

From birth to death, our hands tell a story. Our story. Make yours a good one. ♥️

Happy Thanksgiving!

Andi

The Artist is Exalted

Sunrise, Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Moon, this morning, November 20, 2021

Genesis 1:4
And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

Moon, April 21, 2016

Sunrise, Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Sunrise, February 24, 2021

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Sunrise, Monday, November 15, 2021

Sunrise, Monday, November 15, 2021

Day sky, February 24, 2021

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Sunset, Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Psalm 50:2
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

Sunset, Tuesday, November 16, 2021

I am forever fascinated with the sky. It’s splendor points to the Creator, the Artist. He is exalted through His creation. His glory is magnified in the heavens and throughout all of nature. His design, perfect. His canvas, brilliant.

Praising God this morning. ♥️

Andi

Perspective

When it comes to hardship and difficulties the world can seem pretty big. We feel lost and buried beneath the weight of it all. Distance from loved ones can seem, at times, to be a million light years away.

But in other aspects, the world is pretty small. What once took days, weeks, or even months to travel now only takes a matter of hours. We can talk, text, or email anywhere within seconds.

But the world doesn’t change its size. It’s dimensions have remained the same since the beginning of time. What changes is us. And it’s all about our situation and it’s perspective.

Yesterday, my day began in black and white according to my post. Today, my day begins in full technicolor. I’m waking up in the same room as yesterday and getting up out of the same bed. But my perspective has changed.

Nothing lasts forever here in this life. Both good and bad times cycle throughout our lives. Whatever season you are currently in won’t last forever.

Nothing nothing nothing lasts forever or remains the same…except for God.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Psalm 119:89
Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.

Our perspective of people and situations, even those about our own self, can change daily. Don’t give up. Tomorrow is a new day. Even the next text, phone call, or Bible verse can change your perspective.

Just don’t quit on the bad days. You need those days to make the good days even gooder. 😊

Rejoice in this day and be grateful to God for it. ♥️

Andi

Photo: unsure of origin

Life’s Challenges

Life’s challenges will either make you or break you. I’m teetering today.

Trying to excel in all aspects of life is probably just a little too much to ask of oneself. But where do you draw the line? How do you not try?

When trials bombard you in a variety of ways and from every.single.direction possible…what do you do?

And when others tell that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle…um…could you back that with scripture, please? Because I don’t know that I believe it.

When I have to be dependent on others to make it through my stuff, I’m not so sure I’m handling it.

My sleepless mind is weary, yet it won’t rest. My body is fatigued. My heart aches. A ship without sails on a motionless sea.

I move on through each day with no sense of time. I can’t fix everyone else’s problems, although I wish I could. I have many of my own to contend with.

Life’s challenges. Can you relate? I don’t think I am alone in this although I feel it at times. Trying to pull strength from God. Am I not listening, or what?

Gratefully, I am able to see blessings in every moment. And I am truly blessed beyond measure. But the trials are just so much.

The only scripture that’s comes to mind this morning is this beautiful one. My focus for the day.

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God.

I know tomorrow will be a better day. ♥️

Andi

Photos: Ferris wheel, county fair 2021; covered bridge near me; ship off the coast of Maine, 2017; chair, 2021; Lake Michigan, Pointe Betsie Lighthouse, 2009

Give Me the Country

Give me the country over the city any day. To me it’s worth the longer drive to the grocery store, to a restaurant, to well…anywhere!

Hilly, windy roads lined with wild flowers, beautiful ponds, decades old fencing, a covered bridge, and even cows make a country drive more inviting.

Plowed fields or a colorful woods, rocky creek beds, farmhouses, combines, century old barns are all sights I’d miss if I was planted in the city.

A farmer near me paints scenes on round bales of hay every year to be enjoyed by the young and old who happen to venture out through the countryside.

I couldn’t find my favorite one of Mike & Sully from Monsters Inc. A train was passing directly behind the bales. I’m can’t find my Sponge Bob bales either. But if I wasn’t in the country, I’d have missed these simple treasures.

🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂

No…keep your city lights. I prefer the full moon, bonfires, starry nights, and fireflies.

To each his own, but I love the country. And I am grateful for the opportunity to live in it. ♥️

Andi

The Light

John 1:5
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Follow the Light. ♥️

Andi

Photos: my back yard; Sand Beach, Acadia National Park; Pathway by my home

An Autumn Walk

I knew if I wanted to enjoy the beauty of the Pathway it would need to be tonight. A harder frost is lurking around the corner and that would take out the last of the color. Add in an autumn breeze or a cold rain, and the trees will be buck naked in no time. Yep, days like today are numbered.

Tonight I had a couple of walking buddies and, of course, Nyx, who wanted to play fetch with every stick (or branch) she could grab ahold of. It was a most perfect evening to walk this brilliantly carpeted path.

🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🍁🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

Crunching leaves, are ya listening?

The sun goes down, trees are glistening

A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight

Walking in an autumn wonderland

🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🍁🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

Enjoy each day with those you love. Don’t wait another minute…

…because time sure doesn’t. ♥️

Andi

November 1st

For some reason my life seems to center around this particular date. I began to compile a list of significant events because they all seemed to have one thing in common. They all happened on November 1st.

It’s not all been good, but they are highlights; meaningful in one way or another. Here are a few of the most notable.

November 1, 2011
I began my first job after being a stay-at-home mom for a couple of decades. It was part-time at first as I still had children at home and was homeschooling. This job was with an amazing floral company. It was much more than just a flower shop. The gift line was spectacular along with its specialty food items. It finally closed in 2020 after being in business for 110 years. I was with the company for 7 years but left one year prior to its closure. The holidays there were magical. Especially Christmas. I will post holiday photos closer to Christmas.

November 1, 2013
I bought my first home. I walked in and knew it had to be mine. Oh, how I loved it. I realize that there are pros and cons to being a homeowner. The last couple of years though I focused on the cons. It was kinda inline with all the other details in my life. But I had an awakening of sorts and have fallen in love with it all over again. Today marks my 8 year anniversary.

November 1, 2016
That day was one of the absolute worst days of my life. My best friend had passed away in her sleep. She was the best of the best. I could write volumes about this amazing woman but tonight, it hurts. So I won’t. Five years ago today.

November 1, 2020
I brought Nyx home. She came with some big issues. Almost to the point of me taking her back. But in reality, she needed me as much as I needed her. One year later, we have this amazing connection. I couldn’t ask for a better dog. We are still both imperfect but perfect together.

November 1, 2021
I entered a fall photo contest sponsored by an insurance company. Two of my photos made it to the final five and people were able to vote on them last week on FB. I’m not on FB so I didn’t know how the voting was going. So it was a surprise today when I received an email of my winning photo.

November 1st will always stand out from other days. I’m not sure why this day was chosen, but every year I wonder what’s next.

Is it unusual that out of the 365 days in a year to experience so many remarkable events on one day? Do you have a significant day such as this?

When I was told today that I won the photo contest and it was November 1st, I knew I was going to write about this curiosity.

Have a great Tuesday. Our fall is about two weeks behind what is considered the norm and the leaves are now in their peak color. Be grateful for this beautiful season. ♥️

Andi

Photos: all mine except for Chelle. I believe that was taken by her daughter.

Butterflies & Roses

Butterflies and roses,
gifts from a friend.

Treasures I’ll keep
from now to my end.

Dragonflies, rainbows
bring tears to my eyes,

Of both joy and sorrow,
of hellos and goodbyes.

The moment you left us
many hearts broke.

But loving kindness
was the story you wrote.

So I’ll treasure these gifts
and remember your smile.

And the warmth of your love,
I’ll carry each mile.

I miss you beyond measure
as everyone does,

But you left us your legacy
of compassion and love.

Butterflies and roses,
gifts from a friend.

Treasures I’ll keep
from now to my end.

By Andi
November 11, 2016

My Chelle ♥️
02/01/1962 – 11/01/2016

A Sociopath

Yesterday, I was told that I am a sociopath. Hmm.

So I did some research. Basically, all the references said the same thing. I will be referencing The Very Well Mind in this post.

Sociopathy Symptoms
A sociopath typically begins to symptoms of the disorder before the age of 18. This includes behaviors like:

Having a disregard for the law and engaging in acts that can lead to arrest

Using deceit to forge relationships, or to swindle others of their time or money

Having a persistent inability to plan ahead

Showing a poor, non-committal attitude towards work

Disregarding financial obligations like paying back debts

Having no remorse after physically or emotionally hurting another person

And to this I’d like to give another hmm.

Let me address each one of the above points.

• I am a law-abiding citizen. I may drive over the speed limit at times but I am 60 years old without a single traffic violation. Again, I am a law abiding citizen and I support law enforcement.

• My relationships are solid and true and I do my best to maintain them for life.

• I may not be the world’s best planner as I am focused on surviving today. I do have dreams of the future. Does that count?

• My employers have always been able to count on me to show up for work and do my part for the success of their business. I do not call off even though sometimes I probably should have. Do I complain? Yes, sometimes…but it’s while I’m still giving 100% of me to the business.

• I am debt-free with a credit rating of 823.

• No one feels more remorse than me. I feel the pain of others. I carry their burdens. I think the posts I’ve written here acknowledge the person I claim to be. I am over-the-top apologetic. I apologize so much that I’ve been told many times to just stop apologizing.

Hmm.

So when I look back at the sociopathic symptoms and my responses…nah, I’m not a sociopath. But…the one who told me that I am…hmm, let’s just say they would not be able to respond the same.

The sole intent of this person was to cut me in the heart. I’m not gonna lie. It hurt. But I got over it because it is untrue and I am considering the source. This person hurts and hurting others gives them bandaid comfort for their own pain. Regardless, I will continue to love them.

The purpose of this post was not to shame or point out a particular person. Otherwise, I would state their gender (of which, there are only two) and maybe give their first name. There are always going to be those who hurt you in life. There’s just no getting around it. You can remain wounded or you can let it roll off your back. Which is the healthier solution?

As with all of my posts, I hope to make a connection with you. It is my wish that you never feel alone in what life throws at you. No situation is ever so unique or isolated from what others experience. Knowing this will perhaps give you strength to push through it and insight to see truth over fiction.

I hope this last day of October is a good one. I’m not much of a Halloween person myself, but others really enjoy it. We will have a bonfire and all goodies that go with it. Enjoy!

🎃🍁🌭

Andi

Photos: a UNIQUE shop window, off the beaten path, summer 2021, appropriate for Halloween

Using Scripture

How do we use scripture? Do we hunt and peck for verses to suit our own purpose? To rationalize what we want to believe? Or, do we try to rightly divide the written word? Do we use scripture to make others feel guilty? Or, ourselves more righteous?

To use scripture with loving intent is decent and right. To hold another above yourself is honorable.

Hurling scripture at someone purely for the sake of making them feel less than the person they are is ruthless. The manner in which it flows from your lips is an indicator of where your heart lies. No one is obligated to give audience to a recital of scripture that is fueled in anger and hatred. When that happens to me, and it has, I raise my shield…

The Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;

17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.

Put on the whole armor of God. The battle is real. Use scripture in love and solely for God’s purpose. ♥️

Andi

There is a Season

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)

For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

Use your time wisely. Know when it’s time to cry and when it is time to get busy. Remember that a season doesn’t last forever; regardless if it’s good or bad. Our lives cycle like the earth, and all that it holds. Nothing remains the same. Well, except for God.

In all seasons, be grateful. ♥️

Andi

Photos: sunrise at home, taken by my daughter, October 2020; St. Pete Beach, March 2021

My Favorite Color is…

…O C T O B E R.

I hope you enjoy October’s last days. Even the rainy ones are beautiful to me. Just like today.

Be grateful for the change of seasons. Each is unique and filled with delightful pleasures, beauty, and blessings. My love is autumn in October and I’m sad to see it go. I wasn’t done with it yet. ♥️

Andi

Photos: all mine. First six, Maine, October 2019; last eight, near my home

Something Special

I love being something special to someone. I just can’t be someone’s everything. Nor should anyone expect that of anyone.

God is our everything. Or, should be anyway. Everything else is a bonus in life. Gifts. Treasures. Blessings.

Embrace the fact that you mean something special to someone. (Or to many someones.) What a beautiful thing. Handle that responsibility with great love and care. ♥️

Andi

One Adventure

Plan as we may, sometimes life has other things in mind. I guess that would be God showing us Who is really in charge. Regardless, life is an adventure.

How we view our adventure is totally up to us. We can be depressed because we don’t get our way or because multiple things seem to go wrong. We can be content and happy in any circumstance. We can be giving. We can live selfishly and for our own gain, or open our hearts to others.

We get one adventure; a compilation of many small ventures. How will you live yours? When you are gazing into your last sunset, what will you see when reflecting back through your life? Hopefully, it was for the most part, fulfilling and not just empty tracks.

One lifetime. One adventure.
Make it a remarkable one. ♥️

Andi

The Beauty of Eyes

You’ve heard it said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that is most definitely truth. But I see beauty in the eye because the eye shares the beholder’s story.

I didn’t notice eyes as much I have since mask-wearing. I was more of a mouth reader. But the eyes truly are the windows to the soul. They don’t lie even if you do. They reveal contentment, happiness, pain, and heartache. Some are empty, filled with loneliness…while others are full of life. But to me, they are all beautiful.

The beauty of eyes. What a gift. ♥️

Andi

Needed vs Wanted

A long, long time ago, somewhere in the middle of my marriage, my husband said, “I don’t need you. I want you, but I don’t need you.”

I will never forget how that made me feel. Those words cut through my heart like a knife. They took my breath away and made me feel weak.

Being needed gives me purpose. Being wanted gives me everything else.

I am a very capable woman although I do have a weak, fragile side. But being needed is a huge part of who I am. I want to be needed. To say you don’t need me is almost like saying you don’t love me.

Being wanted is wonderful. That’s where the beautiful part of a relationship lies. It is that special, intimate part of marriage or the closeness of a friendship.

To complete my personal circle of life, I need to be wanted and needed. That gives my life meaning and purpose. And I’m perfectly fine with desiring both in my life. It’s who I am.

I hope your day is good. Mine is. ♥️

Andi

“Gama Fixed It”

This morning my two year old grandson was holding his thumb with his other hand and almost in tears. I asked him what was wrong. He said his thumb hurt. I examined it and didn’t see anything that would explain his pain. I asked if I could kiss it. And he said yes. So I did. I asked if it felt better and he said yes again. His sister came over to check out his thumb but he didn’t let her. He simply said, “Gama fixed it.”

Oh, how I wish I could fix many things. Try as I might, I fail…often. But at least I try. I don’t want to be a hero. I just want to take away pain and hardship.

There comes a time though when I have to hang up my cape and lay all the problems out before Jesus. I am getting better at letting go. Maybe because I’m old and tired.

I went shopping tonight before heading home after work. I ran into someone I haven’t seen for a year. As we talked he kept looking at my hair. Finally he just came out and said, “You changed the color of your hair.”

“No, it’s been a very hard year. It’s turning all on its own.”

This is the second time in a week that someone has mentioned my grey hair. I think I am tired. And maybe there’s a little wisdom in this grey head of mine. I realize I cannot fix everything. For the most part, I’ll stick to kissing boo-boos.

I hope your day is good and if you can fix a boo-boo simply by kissing it, you are indeed blessed. ♥️

Andi

Answered Prayer, Part 2

Sometimes answered prayer is lying at the feet of someone else’s tragedy. That’s a hard realization. But I was prepared to step in to nurture the wounds and love broken hearts. I have been shown my purpose.

When your prayers are answered, handle them with the greatest of care. Be ever so thankful for God’s love and compassion.

Things aren’t always what they seem. And I’m glad I cannot see into the future. Be patient with prayer and answers. God is in control and knows exactly what you need and when you need it. Trust Him.

Have a blessed new week. ♥️

Andi

Answered Prayer

An important thing to remember is that God doesn’t work on our timeline…unless it’s HIS timeline. He will always be better at seeing the whole picture than we are.

We tend to be selfish, shallow, and impatient. But God doesn’t give in when He knows the timing isn’t right. We have much to learn during the wait-time. I know this firsthand.

Remember what you prayed for days or even months ago? All of a sudden it’s there staring you in the face looking totally different from what you thought you were praying for. Be grateful. If your prayer hasn’t transpired after a long wait time, you can perhaps understand why it hasn’t. Maybe the answer is no, this isn’t good for you.

God’s wisdom is greater than ours.

I have prayed for many things as you know from my blog. I have struggled with not understanding why my prayers weren’t answered…on my time. After all, my timing seemed like perfect timing to me. Little did I know was that I was being prepared for when they are answered. Now I am receiving an avalanche of answered prayer in ways I never imagined. With answers are challenges but things make sense now. And I truly am grateful.

As my long-awaited prayers are being answered, more prayer is petitioned. I will always need Jesus.

I thank God for my place in life and for His trust in me to handle all the prayer He has recently answered. I may not be able to write as often as I have been as my time is divided now between beautiful things.

Patience is a virtue.

Praising God today and everyday for His love and wisdom. And answered prayer. ♥️

Andi

Photo: Cocoa Beach, FL, October 13, 2021

Life

Life can change in a heartbeat.

Or with that next phone call.

It can stop on a dime.

Life isn’t consistent.

Nor is it fair.

We live in an imperfect world where selfishness rules the land.

These are tumultuous days both publicly and privately. Only with God’s help and direction can we accomplish the tasks set before us.

Pray without ceasing. Ask God to strengthen our homes; the very foundation of the world. We desperately need Jesus. ♥️

Andi

Photo: tumultuous waves, October 13, 2021

Humility, Part 2

Humility is needed in all areas of our life. But I guess when I think of humility I think of our relationship with God. Since God should be first and foremost in our life this is where my focus is.

Before I continue please know that my friend referenced in this post is one of the most important and influential people in my life. And I love him dearly. My intention is not to run him down. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. This is a spiritual lesson on handling sensitive biblical matters of the heart in love, with humility, and in obligation.

I may have lost my friend because we didn’t see eye-to-eye on a spiritual matter. It began with me sharing a situation concerning forgiveness. It ended with that phone call and a couple of texts shortly thereafter. Basically he believed I was wrong and he was right and for some reason he said he was not going to discuss it with me. Then it was just over. Short, but far from sweet.

His reaction was unexpected. He became defensive with no allowance for discussion or further bible studies. It was just done. I’m not going to discuss it with you is the very opposite of humility. It hurt me terribly.

I am not angry with him although I disagree with how he handled the situation. I do feel dazed from my lack of understanding of what exactly happened between the best of friends. I agree with him that people make Christianity harder than it’s supposed to be. But I think it’s quite possible to go the other direction as well and not do enough. Of which, he disagrees.

It’s okay to disagree. It’s not okay to shut someone out who is willing to try to understand your point of view. Humility.

According to scripture:

1) We must be able to defend what we believe.

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…

2) We must study to know spiritual truth. (I admit that I do not study enough.)

Acts 17:11
…they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

3) We must rightly divide the word…I guess that means there is a wrong way of dividing the word.

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Many times in my life I thought I was right. I was insensitive, brass and arrogant, only to be shown that I was wrong. I was humbled, and rightfully so. I admitted my error. What a relief though when things fit together for God’s purpose and not mine.

We humans tend to be a proud creature. Admitting we are wrong isn’t typically easy for us. But it is part of humility, and it is necessary. Accepting God’s truth over our own truth is humbling, to say the least.

My wisdom will not get a single person to heaven. Neither should I take anyone’s word as gospel unless it’s backed with scripture.

If anyone believes I am seeing scripture incorrectly, they have a god-given obligation to help me understand…especially since I have a willing heart. And I have that same obligation to do the same. God wants us to know His truth and the bible contains that truth.

I realize that this blog may not help my situation. But I think there are a couple of lessons here to be learned.

1) We need to be mindful of the souls of others.

2) We need to approach one another in the spirit of love and humility.

3) We need to rely on God’s wisdom above our own.

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

I am currently away on another journey and it’s a tough one. I am exhausted. But this blog has been days in the making. I wanted love to shine through the heaviness of my heart. I hope I succeeded. Prayers would be appreciated. ♥️

Andi

Humility, Part 1

Humility (noun)
1. The quality or condition of being humble.
2. The state or character of being humble; freedom from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind; a low estimate of one’s self; self-abasement.
3. An act of submission.

I have been humbled greatly over the years with one circumstance after another. And today I stand before you clothed in humility. The last couple of days have been difficult for me.

At 60 years old, I’m still not beyond being humbled. I am not above being able to say I’m wrong when I am. I still am…a lot. I will often apologize even when I’ve done nothing wrong…just to keep peace. That’s not always a good thing but it’s who I am.

I admit I have had a haughty, prideful, arrogant spirit periodically and all through my life. Thankfully, the spirit of haughtiness isn’t around as often as it once was because I have been put in my place so many times, both publicly and privately. And after, oh….thirty or fifty times, you begin to realize you really don’t know so much.

The Bible talks extensively about humility. It’s only when we have set aside pride and arrogance that God can truly use us.

There was once a hot biblical topic that I fought against, or for…depending on how you looked at it. And I fought diligently. No one was going to convince me that I was wrong in my thinking. I made complete sense…to myself. I was happy in my little world. But it was because of pride that I didn’t want to consider anything contrary. Nor did I listen. And this went on for more than a couple of years.

Finally, an older man took me under his wing and gently taught me using scripture. I still bucked him but we would laugh about it as we went along because we were great friends. That’s what friends do. As it turns out I was basing my belief more on my personal feelings than truth, and feelings fail. That is an example of pride. It wasn’t until shortly after he passed away that it finally (FINALLY!) made sense. And I did a complete turn about with my conviction on this particular topic. It wasn’t my way after all. I finally understood it God’s way.

Just because we want something to be true doesn’t mean that it is. Perception is not truth. We can rationalize all we want in all of our “infinite” human wisdom. But that’s not reality. That’s not God’s reality nor is it how He works.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Have a great weekend. Keep love in your heart, humble yourself, and allow others to see it.♥️

Andi

MaCayla

I was introduced to Bill earlier this year by Steve, one of my best friends, and as it turns out, one of Bill’s too. It wasn’t until recently though that Bill and I have become better acquainted. I first met his lovely daughter, MaCayla, at the county fair.

On October 1st we had our last First Friday event of the year on the town square. MaCayla came with her daddy. She was a pleasant presence in our popcorn tent.

That night, a handsome young man named Josh came to the tent. It took me a second to recall that he was one of my daughter’s friends. I gave him popcorn and he stepped in front of my table to leave. As he turned to leave, MaCayla yelled hi to him. He responded hi to her and turned to leave when he looked back at her a second time. He changed his direction and went to MaCayla. He got down to her level and had a short, but sweet conversation with her. I was so impressed with this young man. And it gave MaCayla such happiness to have this special attention.

MaCayla is a hugger and so am I. She gives the best, most heartfelt hugs too. I don’t know if I will make it to Heaven. I am trying. I don’t know if you will make it there either. But when I hug MaCayla, I know for certain that I am embracing Heaven. And that alone gives me hope with an inspiration to try even harder.

Blessed are the meek and the innocent. They are gifts sent from Heaven above.

I’m grateful for people like Josh who don’t avoid situations that many find uncomfortable.

Be thankful for all the blessings in your life. And whenever you have opportunity, embrace Heaven. ♥️

Andi

The Monarch

The monarch butterflies you see today are the the fourth generation of the season. The Methuselah generation. They are heading to Mexico soon if they haven’t started their journey already.

4th generation

God amazes me. He gave to one of the most fragile of all living beings the innate ability to travel thousands of miles to a warm winter home.

The sad news is that the population of the monarch decreased by 26% of those that successfully made it to their winter home in Mexico just last year. The use of pesticides and the loss of the milkweed plant are the two largest factors in this major decline.

We should change this.

The monarch is quite remarkable. It would certainly be a tragedy to lose them permanently. They won’t be placed on the endangered species list until October 2023, as there are a great many animals on the waiting list ahead of them. I do not understand that process.

Appreciate the monarch and it’s life’s journey. When you feel you cannot go one step further, remember this fragile butterfly with its strong will to live and determination to succeed. Not only for itself but for the next generations to come.

♥️

Andi

Photo: Denae, 4th generation monarch, September 2021; last two photos are mine, probably both first generations, March 2021

When is Enough, Enough?

I sat in a parking lot for an hour and a half waiting for my daughter who was in karate class. I could have gone for a walk or something, but I didn’t. Instead, I was involved in conversations with friends that ended up burying me deep with their hardships and burdens. All on top of my own.

Life is hard for most people right now and their conversations, decisions, and life choices reflect that stress. And I am a sponge.

So my head was pounding and my spirit became weak. I felt energy leave my body. All I wanted to do was go home. To my home. To my bed.

I know the breaking point varies from person to person. I’ve teetered on that point several times. When/ where is the point when you just can’t teeter anymore?

When is enough, enough?

I could tell you my thoughts on what’s happening to the good people of this world, but instead I will tell you of our need for God Almighty. The evil of an elite society is great. But my God is greater. We need to be sitting at the feet of Jesus. My prayer tonight is that I become stronger so I have less nights like tonight. My prayers are for you too.

Today is my 75th day in a row to post. A few days I posted twice. Prior to that I posted over 40 days but had a three day lapse before this last streak of 75. That’s a lot of writing. Don’t get me wrong. It’s my passion. But the streak really means nothing to anyone but me. It’s a personal challenge, yet it is a subtle pressure. After last night I am feeling burnt out on life. I might need a break. I will see how this day progresses. I am just giving you a heads up.

Have a good day. Keep your chin up and your eyes focused on God. We need Him more than ever. ♥️

Andi

My Spirit Animal

Do you know what your spirit animal is? Do you even know what it is? I think Brainfall best describes the spirit animal. I found this definition on their website:

In many spiritual traditions and cultures such as Native American cultures, a spirit animal refers to an animal which guides a person on a journey and whose characteristics that person embodies. In more recent times, it is used as a metaphor for someone or something which is a good representation of a person.

I think I relate to so many animals it’s hard to decide which one resembles me the best.

When I think about my spirit animal, elephants first come to mind. They are family oriented. The momma’s are loving mom’s. They are protectors too. You wouldn’t want to mess with an angry momma elephant. They can be strong and mighty, or ever so gentle. Elephants have great memories. Oh, okay…um…I guess elephants are not my spirit animal.

Dolphins are sleek and graceful. They are great moms as well and brave against the threats to their family. They love being in the water. Okay, no. Dolphins won’t work for me either.

Grey wolves…awesome animals. Together, the parents raise their pups. They mate for life. Um…two divorces. It would be a discredit to these beautiful creatures to claim them as my spirit animal.

An owl with all its wisdom? No.

A sleepy sloth? Possibly. I do come from a long line of nappers. Nah…

A dog? They forgive and forget a little easier than I do sometimes. And I would get bored chasing the same toy for hours on end. Geminis have a tendency to get bored.

Okay, okay…I know what my spirit animal is. I saw it on my way home from work today. Hence, the inspiration for this blog. My spirit animal is (drum roll, please)….my spirit animal is….a fainting goat.

Yes, I believe that is correct. A fainting goat. Goats love to have fun. They can be mischievous. They are curious. They have attitudes. They are never boring. Goats are forever looking for something delicious to eat. They like to conquer hills. (I climbed my mountain, remember?) And fainting goats startle easily.

I can’t tell you how many times a day I about fall over from a startle at work. I will be intently working on a project when someone stops at my door and simply says “Andi”. I will almost jump out of my seat as my heart beats one final time. Or, I will meet someone around a corner and gasp. Maybe even jump a little then too. If I was a fainting goat, I’d spend half my work day laying on my side, stiff as a board. My boss and coworkers all know how easy it is to scare me so they now try to gently get my attention. Gotta love ‘em. Yep, my spirit animal must be a fainting goat.

Something light and maybe a little fun for your Tuesday morning coffee with me. I hope your day is awesome and that your spirit animal represents you in a good and positive way. ♥️

Andi

Photo credits: elephant, kwanzatours.com; sloth, news.com.au; fainting goat pics in order, simpleenglishnews.com, petsworld.net, whitmore.blogspot.com, quadcitydaily.com, interest.com

Why Do I Love the Sky?

I know I already posted today but really I cannot keep from posting another. Not tonight. Not when the sky is adorned such as this.

Why do I love the sky so much?

Well, it’s ever-changing. It’s mysterious. It beautiful and sometimes sinister. It’s romantic. The sun, the moon…connections of hearts.

The same sun that shone brightly today stood still in the Old Testament.

Joshua 10:12
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.

Maybe it’s because Jesus will be coming back in the clouds.

Revelation 1:7
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

All I know is I love the sky. It’s filled with wonder and dreams and beauty. It cleanses our earth and waters a thirsty land.

This is my sky tonight. I just had to share it with you. Have a wonderful night. ♥️

Andi