A Walk in Winter

On this chilly, gray overcast, windy winter afternoon, I took a walk in a garden near my house. I saw this beautifully red flower with raindrops on its petals. Such beauty! I took a photo and just had to share it with the world.

As with enter this winter season, we tend to fear the ravishes of cold and the uncertainty of a new year. We look behind ourselves and oftentimes regret those things we failed to accomplish in the past twelve months.

The past slaps us in the face as it slowly dawns on us that we wasted precious time with empty pursuits, such as scrolling websites on our phones or binge watching Netflix.

We can never get back wasted time.

Truly time waits for nobody.

Such are the thoughts that ran through my mind as I walked in the garden and noticed flowers in various stages of life and decay. This beautiful flower was still aflame with life and vibrant beauty. But, one day it will, too, fade away.

So, I captured its image with my camera so that I can be reminded of beauty, of the brilliance of life.

Before it fades away.

As we move into 2023, into a new year filled with the unknown, please be reminded that time is fleeting, but life is still a blessing.

Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Do not waste a second being fearful; have courage; trust in God and know that you are never alone in your despair.

Have courage to accomplish your goals for 2023. Do not waste a second. Life is precious; life is fleeting.

And, life is magnificently beautiful.

Take a walk in a garden on a chilly winter afternoon and be amazed by flowers that are still in bloom.

Copyright Jenny W. Andrews 2022

Trying. . .

“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try-” Jack Canfield (keepinspiring.me/inspirational/quotes)

Late night and I am experiencing a bit of insomnia so I thought I would search for a bit of inspiration. And, then I decided to share it with the wider world.

Yes, I have decided to submit my poetry manuscript to a publisher and not listen to those irritating negative little voices that discourage me. I have found a small press that excepts manuscripts from new writers, and I intend to submit my manuscript on Monday for consideration. Say a little pray for me (or wish me luck) whichever you are so inclined to do.

Like Canfield said, chances are missed if you don’t even try. I have a 50/50 chance either way. One sure thing is that I am guaranteed failure if I don’t even submit the manuscript, right?

So, I am getting a bit sleepy. . .My dachshund/beagle BoBo has already fallen fast to sleep under the covers next to me. I feel better now that I’ve found this quote.

It inspires me; I hope it inspires you as well.

Have a good night.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Success and Failure and Courage to Continue. . .

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts”- Winston Churchill (keepinspiring.me/success-quotes/)

Sometimes, continuing in the face of failure is difficult, to say the least. But, as Winston Churchill has pointed out it is the courage to continue that is important. Courage can be in short supply especially when faced with multiple attempts at something that result in failure.

But, I have been thinking about solutions, new avenues to take when faced with failure after multiple attempts at a goal.

I’ve decided to review my approach to my goals. I’ve decided to consider alternative approaches. What can I do differently? Do I need to breathe a breath of fresh air into old thought patterns? Am I spinning my wheels in the same rut? Do I need to step out of my comfort zone?

What can I do differently as I near a new year? What can I do differently in my writing?

Do I need to take more inventive chances?

Most importantly, do I have the courage to stand up to disappointment?

Like Churchill said, failure isn’t fatal.

But, I do think that giving into despair and deciding not to try something new can be damaging to our mental health and soul-crashing to our spirits. “Fatal” might be a bit strong, but then again just think about how damaging despair can be to our spirit, and as we have learned, our social, spiritual, physical and mental health are all intricately intertwined. When one component is broken, the rest soon follow.

So, for me, I have decided to focus on new strategies, step out of my comfort zone, and have the courage to do so.

I encourage you to do the same, as well.

After all, if you never try, you will never know just how successful you can be.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

A Quote to Consider

“A man must make his own arrow-“Native American Winnebago Proverb (www.idlehearts.com)

A few months ago, I stopped by my favorite coffee shop to have my favorite caramel macchiato latte. The young man behind the counter had a quote on his shirt that read “A man must make his own arrow.” In the area where I live there are many people who are descendants of the various original peoples of the Americas, primarily the Lumbee and the Waccamaw-Siouan.

As I drank my latte I thought of the meaning behind the quote that he wore on his shirt. “A man must make his own arrow.” Autonomy. Personal responsibility. Independence. Pride in self. Standing on one’s own two feet. So many words and ideas came to mind.

I watched him as he happily attended to customers and I thought of his people’s history, how they are still thriving despite the odds that had been stacked against them. He stood proudly there behind that counter in that small family owned coffee shop and looked out at a world that just a few decades earlier would have scoffed at and discriminated against him and his people.

I smiled and sipped my latte and thought of that quote and how it had probably inspired him to be in charge of his life, to be in charge of his destiny, and “to make his own arrow.”

I considered how I can forge ahead in my life and be in charge of my destiny. I thought of the choices I can make that will move me forward towards my goals.

We all have obstacles to more or lesser degrees in our lives. Some of the obstacles are of our own design; other obstacles are put in our path by others, by situations beyond our control.

But, I believe with perseverance we can overcome the obstacles that are in our path. We can stand proudly and not give into fear and discouragement. We can take charge of our destinies if we dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to our goals.

I think of the history of the Lumbee and Waccamaw-Siouan and how they are still proudly standing and thriving and I can only hope that I have their courage and perseverance to “make my own arrow” and to focus on my goals and not surrender to discouragement.

Tomorrow is another day; tomorrow is another day that the sun will rise.

Rise with it and turn your face towards the rising sun and its warmth and move forward.

Always move forward, after all this life is, like the arrow’s path, on a forward trajectory.

We cannot go back; we can only go forward (whether we want to or not).

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Let’s Be Courageous

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is what it also takes to sit down and listen.“- Winston Churchill

Over this past year and a half, this world has become far too hostile; people have lost the ability to listen to the other side’s position. People have forgotten, it seems, that we all belong to one human family.

Most importantly, this is God’s world.

We are being divided into groups, rather than being united by our humanity. We are all God’s children and worthy of speaking our minds and worthy of being listened to. We do not always have to agree, but we can all agree to respect each other’s humanity.

Unity rather than division is what can salvage this mess that has transpired in the past year and half. Let’s find common ground and agree that in order to move forward we need to listen respectfully, and that when we do speak that our words build up rather than tear down.

Let’s be courageous and build each other up rather than tear each other down.

Let’s be courageous and reach across the aisle, across the table, across the fences, and find solutions that will make this world better than when we first entered it.

One inescapable truth is that tomorrow is not promised to any of us; another inescapable truth is that our lives are brief when we consider the centuries behind us and when we consider the centuries that are yet to come.

God is in control, not us.

He has put each of us on this earth for a purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Joshua 1:11 says: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This past year and a half has been absolutely dreadful with all the fear-mongering.

Truth is, God has commanded us to be courageous.

He has given us promises to prosper us.

God always keeps His promises.

Let’s be courageous.

Let’s have the courage to listen and to speak up for what is right with a spirit filled with respect for every human being we encounter.

We all, after all, are God’s children. We are all equal before God.

God is eternal; this life is temporary.

Let’s unite in a spirit of love and respect.

Let’s pray to God for the courage to make this world a better place, a place of peace for everyone.

Let’s be courageous.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2021

A Favorite Quote

photo of white and brown horses standing under tree
Photo by Visual Tag Mx on Pexels.com

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”- Vince Lombardi



Life has it’s ups and downs.  In my last blog, I wrote about my cousin Betty and her passing from this earthly existence to her eternal home.

Nothing in this life stays the same. We are all moving forward on our journey. At times, it is easy to give into despair and anxiety. It is difficult to accept this life’s twists and turns, but we must accept these changes whether we feel like it or not.

Like Lombardi implied, it is getting back up that truly matters.

These last few days I have prayed and read scripture, shared my feelings with my best friend, and released my sadness at the loss of my cousin Betty. Life is about changes, nothing remains the same. We have to grieve; we have to also honor this precious, fragile existence and not give into the abyss of despair.

This morning as I was eating breakfast I looked out the window at the majestic oaks in my back yard, and I watched hawks gracefully soar across the light blue sky. The sun peaked through the branches of the cherry laurels. Squirrels darted from branches high above oaks. The world in the early morning hour was truly beautiful.

I am thankful to God for this life that He has blessed me with. It isn’t always easy, but I know that He is with me just as He promised. God keeps His promises and I know that I am not alone. God gives me the strength to get back up even when I don’t think that I have any strength left.


Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2020

There is Always a Sunrise

silhouette of mountains during sunrise
Photo by Rohit Gangwar on Pexels.com

2019 is quickly coming to an end. Soon enough it will be history. Endings can be sad; in fact, depression increases this time of year. We tend to dwell on those goals we failed to accomplish; we tend to dwell on what could have been and what should have been. We tally up our losses and oftentimes neglect to consider our gains. The truth is that we cannot undo what has been done; we cannot go back and do what we should have done. We have to reconcile ourselves to our choices. It is too easy to search for someone or something to blame for our failures. Of course, we are influenced by conditions beyond our control, such as downward turns in the economy and illness.

We can, however, control whether to watch a movie on Netflix or write a chapter of our novel. We can control whether to spend money on buying shoes we don’t really need or donating money to a reputable charity. Our time is precious and once spent it is irretrievably gone forever.

We must reconcile ourselves to the consequences of our choices. If we waste our precious time dedicated to actions that do not move us towards our definition of prosperity (spiritual, physical, emotional, mental) then we have to reconcile ourselves to those consequences.

It takes courage to accept consequences for our own actions.

In 2020, define what your purpose is in your own life. What matters the most to you? How are you planning to achieve your purpose? What will this time next year look like to you?

Jeremiah 29:11 states: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Clearly, you do not have to go it alone. God is ever-present and is supportive of you. Lean on His support. He wants you to prosper and he offers you hope and a future.

A quote of which I have not been able to attribute to an author is:

“God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggles, and a reward for your faithfulness. Don’t give up.”-unknown author (spiritualcleansing.org)

Don’t give up. Just don’t give up. God has a purpose for your life. Find that purpose. You have a purpose. Ask God for guidance to find that purpose. Lean on Him.

Unfortunately, in our world people tend to define success in monetary terms; in truth, success has a far greater definition than just money. When I think of a successful life, I remember my mother and how she shared love and joy. She genuinely loved from her heart and soul. She was never monetarily rich, but her spirit was rich beyond measure.

Define what success is to you. How will you achieve your definition of success?

Zig Ziglar wrote: “You are a success when you have made friends with your past, are focused on the present, and are optimistic about the future.” (Ziglar.com)

2020 is a new year. It is a new decade. This life’s journey only goes forward; there is no turning back on this road.

There is, however, always a sunrise.

With each new sunrise, how are you going to spend your precious time?

Copyright 2019 Jenny W. Andrews