Is It Hard To See God’s Plan For Your Life?


Hi there! I know it has been awhile and for that I am greatly sorry.

A lot has changed since the last time we spoke.

I wanted to share with one of the newsletters I had sent out in July. At this point in my life my circumstances were very different than they are now. But as I read the letter again I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you. Well, at least I hope it will be! Because I know it was good for me to be reminded of how God takes all of the not so good and turns it around for our good and for His glory. In doing this it also points us and others towards His love, peace, grace, and mercy which are new every day!

So take a seat, sit back, and enjoy!


July 23, 2021

Oh how I pray this finds you well!

I also pray that this week has given you many blessings!

Can you count them all?

I know at times we can get caught up in the day to day of things that we miss opportunities and blessings that God is so gracious to give us. I know I have had to step back already this week, take a deep breath and remind myself that, “this too shall pass”.

This week is a bit hard for me and well, I’m at a loss of words.

YES ME!

For that I am truly sorry. I also apologize for getting this to you so late in the day.

For some reason our WiFi isn’t working the greatest and so I am doing this from my phone.

Thank God for cell phones!

So, this Saturday was the day I was supposed to walk down the aisle. Although, I am still upset and hurt over the postponement 5 months ago; I know God has His reasons and He still has a plan for my life.

I also have to remember that nothing is done by accident. Of course, at times it’s hard to see the good from all of this, but then again God finds a way to open my eyes, as well as, my heart to see things from His perspective.

I have waited a very long time for this day since losing my fiancé and children’s father 13 years ago. But God has shown His great love for me over the years and especially now during this season of my life. He is so good to remind me that no one will ever be able to love us the way only He can. And He reminds me that His ways are higher than ours.

8″For My thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9″As the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” ISAIAH 55:8-9

I also know that everything God says He will do. He will bring healing, comfort, and joy to the broken and hurting heart.

“For where there is great pain there is forgiveness and healing!”

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the big picture on this side of Heaven or all of the work God is doing behind the scenes.

But one day as we stand face to face with Him, He will show us exactly how He used every situation and circumstance for His good and ours!

10As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields the seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” ISAIAH 55:10-13

Oh how I long to see how God is working even this out for His glory. How every tear that falls and every heartbreak brings forth beauty from the ashes!

I do pray I will able to walk down the aisle to my future husband one day. I also pray to keep trusting God and to press forward no matter the outcome.

Ok ok, I guess I have something to say!

On that note… Until we meet again my dear sweet friend.

May the Lord bless you and keep you always,

Much love,

Athena


And there it is all in a nutshell.

I do hope this letter brought you some hope of encouragement.

Of course as I said in the beginning my circumstances have changed drastically since I wrote this newsletter. I am now looking at all of this from a very different perspective. I did not get to walk down the aisle to my future husband. My wedding has been postponed indefinitely.

Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever get to walk down that aisle in the ‘perfect” dress, which now sits in a closet.

This chapter of my life has ended and I am at the beginning of a very new one. I don’t know where the story will take me but I have to believe that God has already paved the way. Unfortunately, my faith is smaller than a mustard seed right now. But I’m doing my best to trust God and stay steadfast. I am very tired and I feel very empty.

But with all of the refining and growing and changing these past two year has brought me there will be victory! I will continue on this road of great healing to overcome the things of this world that the enemy has used to keep me captive.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

ISAIAH 61:1-3

I am very thankful to be able to share with you all of my hurts, hang-ups, and habits, as well as, my victories and the things I have and will overcome! I hope you found some peace and comfort knowing that whatever you are facing God is already making a way and bringing the good out of it.

God doesn’t want us to be perfect, but rather do the best we can by remaining faithful to Him and steadfast.

May you keep pressing forward in perseverance and I will also!

Courageous

Athena, I need to apologize and ask for your forgiveness. I should have written a lot sooner. I have read your posts and you are by far the bravest person I personally know. I know you’ve had some unbelievable hard roads and I’m glad to know Jesus has been, and still is, your main focal point in your life. Your compassion and love of our Lord has been an inspiration to so many. I’m privileged to be a huge part of your life and I’ve seen you grow firsthand as a Christian. Every time I look at the picture of the lion with Joshua 1:9 (Be strong and courageous), I think of you. Know which it is? I love you BabyGirl and I look forward to learning more and more from you. Stay STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!!!!

It’s Not Fair

Have you ever said these words?
Have you ever said these words to God?

I certainly have! And, I really want to say these exact words right here in this very moment. Today, October 30, 2020, we witnessed yet another parole hearing for the murder of my fiancé (my children’s father) Eric, and another man. We had two weeks to complete Victim Impact Statements for the defender. This, mind you, is our second statement for the same woman. She lured her ex-boyfriend over to where the murder took place and both men lost theirs lives.

My children’s father was at the wrong place at the wrong time. We still don’t have all of the facts and answers surrounding the murders, but we do know it was an act of selfishness and deceit. I honestly don’t think Eric would have survived another day on this earth, let alone in his earthly body. I know deep down in Eric’s heart and soul he just wanted his addictions to be gone; this way he could serve God and raise our children together.

Eric was not ok with the addictions of alcohol and drugs that he had faced since his childhood. He struggled all of his life to be rid of them. He never had the chance to fully do all God had set out for him to do. Eric hurt every time he disappointed his family, as well as when he was hurting me and or children.

He longed for forgiveness and peace, to hold his children and watch them grow up in the Lord. He loved to sing, write his own music, and act silly, especially when he was with his children! I remember a time when he told me that he had written his first rap song for the guys at one of the half way houses he was released to after spending some time in prison. I remember chuckling and being in awe when he read me his lyrics!

These memories bring a smile to my face and tears to my eyes, yet still as I reminisce with thoughts of him. These thoughts do not just bring feelings of sadness that I still seem to feel today, but thoughts of great joy and comfort. A joy and a comfort knowing that Eric’s death wasn’t in vain.

If anything, his life and death have played a significant part in my life and in our children’s lives. Both have been the center of God’s love and strength we desperately needed and still need to this day. It has been the means of continuing to raise our children up in the Lord. God’s great faithfulness and provisions have fallen upon us every single day since I can remember. I have learned that God never fails and He is faithful to keep His promises; no matter how long the waiting is.

Although there has been many times where I couldn’t see God’s hands upon our lives, He has gotten us through. Today, there are times I still struggle in seeing God’s plans and His promises for my own life. But I believe He is not idle and that He is working all things together for us who love Him and only according to His great purpose.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NKJV

That’s the key here… It’s not according to our doing or for our great purpose! It all boils down to the God of Heaven and earth and His will for our lives. God is not here to hurt or harm or condemn us. But rather to heal and restore us! He desires for us to know His heart and His great and unconditional love for us. A love only a never changing, never failing, and all sufficient God can supply. No man, woman, or material thing can or ever do this for us.

Oh sweet one, I am praying for you and I hope that you are praying for me too. I know the aches of a broken heart and spirit. I know the pain of wanting to know the many answers to the “Why’s”, “Buts”, and the “What if’s”. The only way we can truly rest in these questions is if we cling to Jesus. He knows all and controls all! There is nothing we face that God hasn’t already placed His hands upon.

I won’t promise that He will answer all of your questions exactly how you want Him to. But, I do know in the midst of the confusion and the doubts He will be there to lift up your beautiful tear stained face, and meet you where you are. He will love you and comfort you beyond all measure, and give you a peace that will surpass all understanding! There are so many things God doesn’t call us to know; because we could never begin to wrap our minds around them. Believe this, I know it all too well!

I still wonder why Eric had to leave us when and how he did. It is something that I am still wrestling with at times, even now as I write these words to you. But, that is something God only knows and will bring it all to light when I see Him face to face. Until then I must remain faithful and have complete and unwavering trust in Him. This I am struggling with and asking God for help; but it does grow stronger the more I grow closer to Him.

If anything I pray this will give you a hope and a comfort as you walk the many paths of life! If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus or you do and are struggling, please feel free to reach out to me. I am here to help, guide, and pray for you the best I can and of course how God allows and leads me to.

And remember you are truly Treasured Beyond Compare! God is fighting for you and so am I!

Much love to you and yours and may God bless you richly!

~A~

10-30-2020 (started)
11-25-2020 (finished)

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.”
Psalms 139:14-18 NKJV

What Are We Longing For?

Are we longing for Hope?! Peace?! Joy?! Or are we all longing for Love?!

Whatever it is that your heart desires and longs for God sees! I believe that the one thing we are all truly longing for is love and a sense of belonging!

Without love can we really have a sense of belonging?

Without love can we really have hope, peace, and joy?

Can we have love without the love of Christ burning so richly and deeply within our souls?

With 2020 closing and coming to an end, I have been reflecting on how hard this year has been. But, I also realize that every year we journey through has had its fair share of heartaches and disappointments, as well as, losses and failures. Lord, knows my family and I have had more than our share. I do agree that some years may have been worse than some, but as I walk with my beautiful Savior it is hard for me to not only focus on the circumstances of defeat, but also on the good each year has brought out of the not so good.

LOVE!

We don’t just need hope, peace, joy, and love only for the advent seasons, but for every single day we have breath in our lungs to live with passion and empathy. To live with honor and dignity, honesty and integrity each day God gives us. We not only need to stand united when the enemy comes to take our freedom and defile our rights; but we must stand united as one nation, one race, one creed, and one people under the God who made us in His own image. God made both, you and I, His prized possessions no matter our background, where we live or come from, or the color of our skin!

God provided us with His great LOVE; His Only Son to come and show us exactly how we must live and treat one another. Hope, peace, joy, and love make up just a few of the many attributes of who Jesus is, and who He calls you and I to be towards one another.

God also provided us a way of freedom from our own sinful ways that’s many of us take for granted every day. Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb who died on that old rugged cross in our place. He gives us eternal life of many riches! He wants us to have a long lasting, eternal, close and intimate relationship with Him. He wants the same for us as we walk life with those around us.

16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” John 3:16-17 NIV

As we step out of 2020 into 2021 and the many years that follow may we step into faith! May we step into hope, peace, joy, and most of all LOVE! May we strive to not only do our best to see others through the eyes of our loving Savior, but through each others eyes. May we live each day asking for more of Jesus and less of self. I have been praying for this very thing for the last several years. And y’all, God is so faithful to answer the very prayers that strip us from ourselves and personal gain in order to let love reign.

This LOVE is the very thing that casts out all darkness and brings it into a great, marvelous, radiant and glorious light!

I am no scholar nor do I pretend to be; but one thing I am sure of is this: God is the very asset who keeps us loving and fighting! I am thankful to God for His Holy Spirit and for the many gifts He has bestowed upon me! Without Him I could not have great joy of writing His words of truth, love, and wisdom for you to hear and ponder upon! Whether you have a relationship with Christ or not, I pray for you and that these words would not stop you, but instead encourage you to “keep fighting the good fight”!

“Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life which you were called when you made your confession in the presence of many witnesses” 1 Timothy 6:12 NIV

May God bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you and give you His great love and peace that surpasses all things! Numbers 6:24-26

Always remember you have a Mighty Warrior King who fights for you and you are more treasured beyond all compare!

May the LORD Almighty bless you and yours richly!

~~A~~

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Loss And Grief Go Hand and Hand, But There Is Hope!

There is nothing in the world that can prepare you for sudden loss.

I believe grief, rejection, and loss, are three of the most difficult things to overcome in this life, but IT IS possible!

As we grow into adulthood, and face new losses and rejection; I believe it’s harder to heal if you haven’t already processed the grief and healed from past hurt and losses.

Grief is a process, it is not taken in stages, only time.

Since childhood, I have had to deal with both rejection and loss. I am so grateful God called me at the young age of 25 to have a changed and renewed life. He used all of the right people, at all the right times throughout my childhood and young adult life to set the stage for the day I committed, and surrender my life over to Jesus. He saved me from a life of continuous rebellion and selfishness.

Although, I never considered myself a selfish person, because I have always tried to put others first. But, by always saying, “yes” to people, it set me up for a lot of failed relationships and mistreatment. I eventually learned to say, “no”, well, sometimes!

I mentioned in a previous post that God had used my grandmother to plant the seed of prayer in my life; and in doing so it helped me in times of heartache and suffering throughout my life, even before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

I believe that through it all, God was preparing me for the day I would lose not only my best friend, but the love of my life. I have always said that God knew my kids would be fatherless. You can read a little about our loss in my previous post, When He Leaves Without Saying Goodbye, by clicking the link below!

https://treasuredbeyondcompare.com/?p=69

I needed to change, grow closer to and cling to Him.

This way I would be able to withstand the trials of this life and the hardships my children and I would later face. I know there are still trials that we will have to face as we continue to walk this journey together.

But, God has developed strength, joy, peace and a deep love within us throughout the years. I am now living with His joy and peace, as well as, learning to trust Him through all the chaos, and in the “not knowing” what is around the bend.

Do I doubt? Yes! Do I question? Yes! Do I need to believe and trust Him fully?

YES, oh YES!

I have not mastered this, nor do I know if I ever will. But, I do know I have learned so much about love and sacrifice, forgiveness and healing as I walk with my Warrior King!

He is fighting for me, and most importantly with me!

And I know He is fighting for you! He has a great purpose and plan for me, and for you. 

What is it that you are struggling with? Is it doubt? Is it trust? Is it belief?

Oh, dear sweet one, I want nothing more for us to have unwavering and complete trust and belief in our One True God! Let us both be praying for this for the both of us.

No, I have not found love again. At one point, over a year ago, I thought God had finally sent the one who would help heal and restore the broken love I once knew; not to mention our broken family. This of course was not God’s plan or will for me or my children and this new found relationship.

After about ten months… he walked away. Talk about a shattered heart, I thought I would never have to experience this heartache again! But, as a couple of close friends had told me, God is restoring our family, He has been and has always been “The One”.

I have been looking at my situation from my point of view instead of from the eyes of the One who truly loves and knows me. He has ordained our lives before we were even thought of and even long before this sin-stained world existed!

Now, the “love” thing. I am asking God to help me open my heart to Him. The One who can love me the way I am supposed to be loved. I believe this is what is needed before another man can come in and share me with Jesus. And of course, if God wills for me to be with someone again.

 I am learning to accept that His plans for me may not be what I expect them to be. 

Even when I can’t see, I am leaning on Him, and His will for my life. Especially, when it is hard to accept it and simply let go.

Ugh! This crazy, hot mess of a girl has a long journey ahead of her; but she knows she’s not where she once used to be! For that I am grateful!

And as my children grow and move on to college, and hopefully one day, to marriage and families of their own, I live on one truth alone….

God’s NOT dead!

He is alive and active and He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

He is my Hope (Psalm 31:24), my Strength (Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 30:29-31), my Love (Romans 8:38-39, 1John 4:9), my Defender (Exodus 14:14), and my constant Shield (Psalm 33:20, Psalm 119:14).

If you had asked me eleven years ago, if I had thought I would ever get through losing my fiancé, I would have said “NO!”. But, as I stand here today, and truly with all honestly, say I never thought it would be possible.

But it has been possible, “FOR WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!”

Matthew 19:26.

He is the Only one who has brought me through the crushing pain, the searing loss, and the sleepless nights; and He continues to get me through every giant and obstacle I face in this life.

Do I hope to find love again one day? Yes!

There’s a part of me which longs for a relationship. Although, I often wonder why I still long for a relationship after all the heartbreaks I’ve had to endure. But, there is a longing I can’t seem to shake.

As I get up and dust the dirt off of my jeans, I continue to walk with honor and in God’s truth; not in my own perception of reality, despite the circumstances, or how hard it is to not want some of the things of this world.

I cannot do this in my own strength, but only in the strength that Christ gives to me.

My story isn’t finished yet, and neither is yours! I now choose to lay my pencil down and let the One who has designed my life, pick it up to finish writing my story He had laid out before time began!

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

How do you cope with loss and grief?

I am curious to know your thoughts and any questions you may be wrestling with. I am also interested in knowing the ways you cope with loss and grief. Leave me a comment or any questions that may be spinning around in that beautiful head of yours. I will do my best to answer and encourage you in any way the Holy Spirit leads me to!

May God bless and keep you close! Know that I am praying for you, dear sweet one!

~~~~A~~~~

Original Date July 7, 2019

Revised Date October 10, 2020

**Edited by Tara C, BJ, & Myself

Continue reading “Loss And Grief Go Hand and Hand, But There Is Hope!”

When He Leaves Without Saying Goodbye

Photographer Nissen , Lars. “Bubble Affect .” /Pixabay/, 0AD,

Have you ever had someone promise you something and never own up to that promise?

Has this ever happened to me? Yup, I can contest, more than once.

Nothing hurts more than when someone you love makes you a promise and never fulfills it. 

He promised he would never leave.

He promised to always be here.

He even said if I was ever ill with cancer and lost every inch of my hair, he would be by my side. But then he also said that if one day he couldn’t be here, he hoped someone would come into my life, to take care of and love our children and me.

I thought, “yeah right, no one was ever taking his place because he would be with us forever and ever.”

Right? Wrong!

The promises he made all changed in a blink of an eye.

It has been 10 years and 5 months, 545 weeks, 3,819 days, 91,656 hours, 5,499,360 minutes, and 329,961,600 seconds since the day he left.

Honestly, I can’t believe it’s been so long. Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday, the last time I saw his handsome smile or heard his soothing voice. I can still picture his smile, but I don’t recall the sound of his voice anymore. I guess that’s what happens over time. It all becomes just a faded memory.

This day, back in June of 2008, was the day that love was ripped out of my hands, and my heart, forever. It was the day our children lost their father, and the day our lives changed forever.

I remember the phone call. You know the one I ignored, thinking “Oh gee, what has he done now?” So I let the answering machine pick up.

I mean, I had just gone to bed, and couldn’t imagine who could be calling at this time of night anyway. As I think back, I remember that the day was a good day, filled with such peace.

It was Youth Sunday at our church…. and well goodness, now that I think about it I don’t even remember what the kids had performed. I just remember having a sense of peace come over me, despite the fact my fiancé had gone off on one of his wild goose chases again, and I hadn’t heard from him in a few days.

Hearing the voice on the machine made me ponder for a minute before calling back. I remember thinking, “seriously, what kind of trouble did he get himself into this time,” and “honestly, do I have to deal with this again, and right now!?”

At the time, I didn’t even put two and two together that it was a detective calling and not the police (there is a difference). In fact, I remember afterwards, maybe months later, someone asking me if I had realized it, and well, no I didn’t.

After a few minutes of not so very pleasant thoughts going on inside of my now tired and frustrated mind, I called the detective back. He answered and said that they would come by because they needed to talk to me.

There were two detectives instead of one, which made me more concerned. They came in and sat at the table, one on each end and me in the middle of them.

Thank God the kids were sound of sleep, or so I thought. 

As we sat around the table they began to ask me a bunch of questions. Questions like, “do you know so and so”, “when was the last time you saw him”, and “why was he taking this medication.” My thought was, “just get to the point!”

I mean really, they clearly knew where he was, so why ask me all of these questions? All of this led up to me asking the obvious question…..

where is he?

They exchanged looks before answering. And then it comes; the words no one longs to hear. The skinnier detective looks at me and says..

he’s dead”.

Seriously?! Your kidding! I just saw him a few days ago,’ I thought. I leaned over and began rocking back and forth repeating the words..

he’s not dead, he’s not dead.”

I look up and see my youngest daughter standing in front of me. The rocking and chanting ceased as she asked me, from what I recall, “mommy, what’s wrong?”. I told her that nothing was wrong, and to go back to bed. She turned around and walked back to her bedroom. As soon as she was out of the room, the rocking and chanting resumed.

This my friends is denial, the first emotion of grief. I don’t recall the next emotion that came. All I know is, once denial was gone, the rest came rushing in. Sometimes at once, and sometimes one at a time. Sadness, anxiety, depression, regret, sorrow, abandonment, and anger are just some of the many emotions that washed over me. The questions and the ‘what if’s’ also came, continued in waves as the years passed.

I remember wondering how I would tell our children that their daddy wasn’t coming home. This was my new life. This was our childrens’ new lives. This was our new normal, our new reality. The detective asked if there was someone I could call. They waited until my dad showed up before they left to announce to my (well she would have been) mother-in-law that her baby boy was no longer alive.

On that night, June 22, 2008, not only did Eric lose his life, but another man did also. Eric was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Caught up in some hideous, egotistical situation that had absolutely nothing to do with him. There were seven people involved in the deaths of two men who would never see their children grow up.

YouVersion Bible App

I remember it clear as day.

Funny, I can’t remember the wake or the funeral, or even who told me Eric had been murdered. It’s all a blur to me still today.

10 years ago, we became part of a club no one ever wants to be a part of. But to this day, Survivors of Homicide has been not just another support group, but a family to us.

And though the tears still flow as I am reliving one of the hardest times of my life, I want to share the deepest pain, but also most, deepest, powerful miracle of healing. This is where God came in, to rescue, heal, and restore what has been broken for so long!

YouVersion Bible App

Today, I miss Eric deeply, but I can say I have joy and peace knowing that one day I will see his face again!

Eric T Kimberley and our baby boy, Thaddaeus

~~A~~

Original Date December 2018

Revised October 10th, 2020

**Edited by Myself & Tara C

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Artist At Age 73

Norell Gudaitis

Norell Gudaitis picture of Moses

Norell Gudaitis “Reach For The Moon” 2013

My Grandmother has been painting since she was the age of 73. Her technique and style are very unique. She started out painting Folk art, I personally enjoy her pictures of my children!

Norell Gudaitis March 27, 2017

Norell Gudaitis March 27, 2017

Norell Gudaitis May 6, 2017

Over the last few years her paintings have transitioned from Folk art into colorful and more abstract.

Norell Gudiatis 2018

She has always let God speak through her to inspire her work. My grandmother has used numerous objects to creat her amazing work. She has used the wild weeds and flowers from out doors to make exquisite designs in her paintings. She has also used wax paper, as well as any thing she sees that she can use to as she says “make something out of”.

Norell Gudaitis 2018

Norell Gudaitis 2018

She has always inspired me, especially at a young age; not only with her singing in her very own bands, but also how much she loves her family and God. Every time she walks in a room she is like a magnet; people just cling to her radiant glow.

As my grandmother has gotten older, she doesn’t let her age hold her back. Truly an amazing woman!

Not only does she paint, but she also knits.

When my brother and I were younger we would anticipate every Christmas on getting a pair of our grandma’s booties. As we ripped open the wrapping paper, with gleams of light in our eyes in excitement, we would slip those babies on our feet.

We would run and slide to see who could go the furthest. It was a time I pray I never forget.

The joy never faded, but only grew as I would watch my very own children do the same exact thing with their set of grandma’s booties! As time went on my grandmother no longer made booties, but instead she made us hats, scarfs, and neck warmers.

Still at the age of 90, she continues to knit, as well as paint for those she loves.

Norell Gudaitis

Thank you for taking this journey with me. I do hope you have enjoyed looking at just a few my grandma’s many artistic masterpieces!

Athena

October 2018

*Edited by Tara C

Introducing Grandma G, And Yes She’s 90!

I cannot begin to express how much this lovely lady means to me.

She is my grandma, my best friend, and my mentor.

When I was a little girl, it was my Grammy who God used to plant the seed of prayer into my life.

I don’t remember a summer growing up when my big brother and I weren’t visiting her, and back then, when we were younger, it seemed like time stood still. It was like our summers lasted forever! I remember I was always sad when it came time to leave her and venture back home.

Growing up, my home life was very hard at times. We faced a lot of difficult things, but there were also times when there was laughter and we enjoyed being together. I remember movie nights the most. Those times were the best.

Here I go chasing that squirrel again! Ok, Grammy, yes Grammy. Focusing! Focusing! I figured I couldn’t have a blog without having the wisdom of my 90 year old grandma being a part of it.

You will never ever hear her say that she had a hard life. Instead she has always said what “a good life” she has had, and is always giving glory to God. She is forever saying how good He has been to her.

My grandmother’s faith reminds me of the faith Job of the Bible had. This man lost everything, and when I say everything I do not say it lightly. But still through all the suffering and questioning God “why?”, Job remained faithful in trusting God to get him through.

I only know this because I had started a study on Job and have been questioning the “why’s” myself. I have yet, to finish the study, but I know God does restore Job!

And as time goes on, and I continue to write, all will be revealed as the story for my life unfolds.

In the meantime, back to Grammy once again! Not only does this women absolutely love the Lord, she also loves to sing, dance and paint! She has been painting since she was the age of 73 and has sold many of her paintings.

Hmmmm, maybe I will have to share some of those paintings. Until then, I do hope you enjoy my Grammy’s words of godly wisdom (post to follow) as much as I do!

~~A~~

October 1, 2018

*Edited by Tara C

A Little About Myself

This is my first time ever having a blog.

I am quite excited and nervous all together! When I told my children I had set up the blog my oldest had laughed. I guess if I had been your mother for 20 years you would too.

This idea did not just come to mind, in fact my friend Kristin suggested it. I had no clue why, but I do know that God always has a way of executing His plans for our lives.

No matter how long or how far we run, He has a way of bringing us back to His intended purpose for our lives.

So, here we are! I will start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I am a single mom of three of the most beautiful children (and yes, I am bias).

Although, I really can’t say “children” anymore or can I? My oldest daughter will be 20 tomorrow. I have a 17-year-old daughter who just started college, and a 13-year-old young man who just entered the 8th grade.

Wow! Time sure does fly when you’re crazy busy in life. Our life has been filled with a lot of loss and heartbreak, but It has also been filled with a lot of joy and perseverance. We have overcome a lot of trials and tribulations thanks be to God.

I have always had a passion to write a book, while that hasn’t happened yet, it is still a goal of mine one day. Maybe, one reason why it hasn’t happened yet, is because there are way too many things in this brain of mine to write about.

Talk about too much information, I feel over loaded a lot. It’s hard for me to focus sometimes. I’m thinking maybe the blog thing is to start me off with little tasks before the big one!

I need to put all of my trust in God and let Him lead the way. Doing this requires me to stop taking matters into my own hands, which I do often.

So, here I am and here we are!

I can’t promise I will post daily, oh don’t get me wrong, I want to. I just know how I can be and how crazy my life can get at times.

But I do promise to give my all and be faithful with every writing God places in me as the pencil meets the paper.

~A~
September 2018
*Edited by Tara C

Hello Rejection, My Old Friend

I thought this was very insightful, especially for me just starting out..

Holland Rae, Writer

I was getting up for that mid-afternoon cup of coffee when I got an email.

Any writer – author, journalist or poet – who has work out in the submission pipeline, knows the email moment. The notification pops up on your phone or in your inbox and your heart takes a wild, insane ride. First, it goes up – way too high up – as your expectations soar. Then, you ground yourself, reminders of just how much the deck is stacked against you flit through your mind. Your heart plummets. Finally, finally, you get the email open – your eyes scan, searching for those all important words – pleased, unfortunately, with regret.

It does get easier. I have gotten a lot of rejections. In fact, I pride myself on being pretty good at divorcing the rejection of my work from the rejection of me as a person. There are a…

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