I am so blessed to have met this happy honey! She is an educator, author, business owner and healer. Andrea is sharing her happiness through her new book, Kaleidoscope. It is a permanent fixture on my night stand! Andrea will also be a featured speaker during our Summer Workshop Series.
When did you decide to start on a path of happiness and what is your passion?
I believe I started on my path of happiness in the year of 2003. I consider that year one of the most horrific years of my entire life. My daughter received a full scholarship to college and was pregnant the next month, my mom was diagnosed with lymphoma and died eight months later, one month after my mom’s death, my husband and I separated and I filed for divorce, and two months later my son was involved in illegal activity and went away. These unfortunate chain-of-events was the beginning of finding my path to happiness. This was not the path I would have voluntarily designed for my life but one that was orchestrated by my Lord for an expected purpose. Because of 2003, I’ve grown to trust and rely on Him more during challenging and confusing times in my life. I’ve learned that I’m in control of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and I cannot live this life without His peace, instruction and guidance. What I’ve been through has strengthened my passion for hurting people. I wouldn’t change anything about my past because of the relationship I now have with the Lord. I’ve never known Him like I know Him now. And that’s a true gift.
My passion is helping others strive to their fullest potential despite their circumstances of abuses of all kinds, abandonment, neglect, substance abuse, compulsive behaviors or self-defeating thoughts. I endeavor to help individuals recognize their gifts and oftentimes those gifts are birthed out of pain.
How do you keep yourself motivated to share your passion with others?
Keeping myself motivated to share my passion with others is not always an easy task because low self-esteem and procrastination – the evil twin forces - try to thwart my forward progress. But when I get over myself, the most powerful of all forces (God’s grace and mercy) step in and remind me of the truth of God concerning me – “He created my innermost being, He knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, His works are wonderful and I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14. So when I recognize how wonderful His works are, and I’m one of His words, I am immediately encouraged because I realize once again that He sees me as His special child. He hand-picked me for a special journey. Realizing this blessed privilege keeps me appreciative and motivated.
What do you gain by spreading your happiness?
I gain healing, a fulfillment of purpose and an appreciation for using the gifts God has entrusted me with. I give to others what I need, and in return I’m spiritually, emotionally, and physically fulfilled. That’s “All About Happy” for me!
What makes you happiest at this time in your life?
It’s difficult narrowing this question down to just one answer because so much of life’s circumstances and people are adding to my happiness right now. But if I could say just one thing that makes me the happiest at this time in my life is that my spirit is finally ready to believe and receive the truth of God concerning me. By embracing His truth, I’m able to see myself as He sees me. For such a long time, I saw myself as and felt I was unworthy, incompetent, undeserving, unforgiven, and uneducated -- and I am a Christian! Despite my lopsided thinking, the more I read His word, pray and praise His Holy name, witness His goodness in my life despite my efforts and sins, I can more fully understand His character. He desires to bless me and the only thing I need to do is trust (Proverbs 3:5-7) and delight myself in Him (Psalm 37:4).