Friday, November 26, 2010

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with Andrea Bowling Perdue

As I sit before the Lord asking, "Lord, who should I ask to be a guest?" He always leads me to the person who is perfect for that chosen Friday. I love how He does that. Don't you? His timing is perfect and complete in every way. His grace and mercy are there for us all if we will only accept His love. His perfect love. Life can throw us for a loop at times and we are simply lost in what to do. A few days ago while shopping with my mom  I found myself standing in line thinking of how much everything was going to cost. I said, "Oh, Lord help me." My mom replies, "You better call on someone closer than that to help." I looked up at my mom and simply shared, "Mom, there is no one closer than Christ." He is with us always and in every situation of our lives, just as you will see with my chat with Andrea. The Lord has touched her life in many ways and has brought her though some difficult paths along her journey, but oh, what a plan He has set before her. Each day of her life has meaning and value and as she faces each obstacle in her way she knows just who to call upon. I am honored to have Andrea visit the Nest today. Andrea also writes a few blogs and wow, what blessings they are. Arise To Write and All God's Creatures are her current blogs. I encourage you to travel over and take a peek. She is a talented writer who simply shares from her heart. It is my prayer that you too will be blessed by all Andrea has to share. Sit back, get cozy and enjoy all God has for your heart this morning.

(Robin) Tell a little about yourself:

(Andrea) I am a wife, mom, nana, writer, dog trainer, therapy dog mom, friend, and much more. I live life a little outside the box. I look for GOD in every detail of my life, no matter how small. His presence in every part of my life has enabled me to remain focused on HIM. I love inductive Bible study. My husband lovingly teases me saying, "Your Bibles look like coloring books." The more I study, I realize how little I know and how desperately I need to increase my study of HIS word!


(Robin)  Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you have struggled in your faith? If so, please share:
(Andrea) My walk with the Lord began as a young child. I lived with my maternal grandparents, Nana and Papa Coates. My faith grew strong early through their gentle love and guidance. When I was a young teen, both Nana and Papa stepped from this world into the arms of their Heavenly Father within a two year period. At that time, I was forced to return to my biological parents. I felt as if all I knew of safety, real love, and security had been ripped from this earth with my grandparents. With a broken heart and a shaky faith I clung to the thread of faith between me and heaven. Most days it was all I had to hold onto. It has been 32 years since Nana died and in March 2011 it will be 30 years since Papa died. I still miss each of them more than words could describe. Last Friday, I was privileged to walk through and spend some time in the home I shared with my grandparents for the first time in 30 years. Indeed, my GOD cares about every detail of my life. Thirty years later, HE continues to heal my heart and meet my deepest needs.


(Robin) Has there been an "Aha" moment that has changed your perspective?
(Andrea) My "AHA" moment began on the day I realized I could not fix my family, nor was it my job! I can not express the relief I experienced when GOD finally broke through my pride and stubbornness and I received HIS word to me:

"Not your job, baby! I've got it!"

I had always prided myself in being the strong one. Time and time again, I tried to pick up the pieces and carefully glue them back together. The big problem with this is:

1) I am not strong enough to handle the load alone. Only GOD can handle it.

2)My glue was not lasting. GOD's glue is "everlasting!"


(Robin) Do you have a favorite Bible story, verse, song, or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Andrea) Isaiah 43:1b-3a


(Robin) What is the one thing you look for in a close friend and what's one quality you hope others see in you?
(Andrea) All of my close friends exhibit the "unconditional love of Christ!" This is a necessary quality as one chooses to be my friend. I pray, I too am able to meet people (my friends) where they are in their lives and love them in and through each situation they face.


(Robin) What are a few books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Andrea) "So Long Insecurity" Beth Moore

"In The Grip Of Grace" Max Lucado

"Streams In The Desert" Devotional

"Daily Light Devotional" Ann Graham Lotz

"In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart" Ruth Graham


(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Andrea) I grab my Bible, journal, pen, and camera and head out for a local, state, or national park, or anywhere I can walk and sit amidst God's creation. God speaks loudest to me when I am surrounded by HIS wonderful creation. Whether my toes are wiggling in the sand or feeling the waters of a stream trickle through them, I feel HIS comfort and peace. I grew up with a heavenly view of the Blue Ridge mountains. I now live in Richmond, Virginia, 2 hours from the beach and 2 hours from the mountains. Over the last few years, I have been known to tell my husband, "I need to go to the mountains." Recently, my husband, Doug bought me a t-shirt that says, "The mountains are calling and I must go!" (a John Muir quote) If you are traveling through the mountains and see a weary woman with a very large furry dog, her Bible, journal, and camera, propped up against a tree it just may be me! I will be soaking in HIS presence gaining both peace and comfort for the next part of my journey.


(Robin) What is the one thing about yourself you admire?
(Andrea) The sensitiveness God has given me for my surroundings, especially in difficult situations.


(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Andrea)
~my Bible

~pen and journal

~my furry babies

~pictures of those I love and God's creation

~a jar of sea glass I've picked up over the last few years


(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Andrea) Writing and watching God use the words He has given me to help someone else. I am continually amazed when God chooses to use the heart of this broken child for His good will and purpose.


(Robin) What's the best advice ever given you?
(Andrea) When I was a little child, probably around seven years old, I asked Papa Coates, "Why do I have to love everybody? Some people are mean and I don't want to love them?"

Papa said, "Andee, we must love everyone because Jesus loves everyone. We don't have to like them, but we do have to love them."

Clearly the best advice I have ever been given and still the most challenging!


(Robin) In the legacy you leave what's the one thing you hope outshines before all others?
(Andrea) I pray others will have seen and felt the love of Jesus through all I say and do and on those many days when I fail, I pray they too will have been used for HIS glory! If I leave my children, grandchildren and friends with one thing it would be to:

"Love the Lord their GOD with all their heart, body, and soul and their neighbor as themselves."


(Robin)  What are you currently working on?
(Andrea) God has recently been tugging at my heart about writing a memoir or several memoirs about my life. Today, I publicly admit this call. Please pray I will fulfill His call and be found faithful through the process no matter how long it takes.


(Robin) How do you define success?
(Andrea) For me, success is being all God created me to be! I am clearly a work in progress. At the end of my race, I hope I will hear, "Well done, my child!"


What sweet memories you have of your Nana and Papa. Thank you for sharing the love you have for them and the gifts they have added to your life. I could just sit with a cup of coffee and chat all day, couldn't you? I love your answer My "AHA" moment began on the day I realized I could not fix my family, nor was it my job! I can not express the relief I experienced when GOD finally broke through my pride and stubbornness and I received HIS word to me: "Not your job, baby! I've got it!" I had always prided myself in being the strong one. Time and time again, I tried to pick up the pieces and carefully glue them back together. The big problem with this is:
1) I am not strong enough to handle the load alone. Only GOD can handle it.
2)My glue was not lasting. GOD's glue is "everlasting!" I am the fixer. I should say, I was the fixer until I let go and let God. I think He just kind of nudged me out of the way and said, "Trust me." It took me a while to get to that point. But there are no other hands I would rather see my family in than His.  I see something broken I want to do all I can to put it back together again, the trouble is, when I place myself in that position I seem to make things worse. But we have a God in the construction business and what a carpenter of love He is. Wise words my friend. We must leave the fixing to Him and trust in in the process. Thank you so much for taking time to share with us. I hope to have you back in the future. Blessings to you sweet friend. I know Andrea would love to hear from you. Please, leave her your comments and share with her what a blessing she has been for you today. Again, it has been another awesome Friday spent chatting with friends!
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