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Author Archives: Andrea

Six Four-Word Prayers for When We Need to Release, Refocus and Reset

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Six Four-Word Prayers for When We Need to Release, Refocus and Reset

For several years now, I have worked my way through the book, A Clearing Season, by Sarah Parsons during Lent. I’ve never finished it. Maybe one day I will. But in one particular reading, in one particularly hard season of my life, I read this:

“’Thy will be done’. These may be the most revolutionary words we will ever say. Saying them can change our orientation to life: we put our little boats into a great stream and drop our oars. We lose a bit of our old control over things; we clear the space and allow God to fill it, agreeing to tend whatever growth God engenders.” ~Sarah Parsons, A Clearing Season

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Gifts of Grace That Will Help In Seasons of Pain

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Gifts of Grace That Will Help In Seasons of Pain

For the past few Fridays, I’ve been participating in the #FridayIntroductions on social media. Here’s where I insert a shameless plug for you to follow me on Instagram and Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter too, but it’s really not my favorite hangout so I forget about it sometimes. Should I admit that? Oh well, I just did.

As a way of letting you get to know me a little better and participating in today’s episode of #FridayIntroductions, I’m sharing with you a glimpse into how I’m navigating this painful season.

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“Did you get the guacamole?” and Other Questions to Ask Someone When They’re Hurting

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“Did you get the guacamole?” and Other Questions to Ask Someone When They’re Hurting

If you’ve ever been through a season when pain, loss, and grief seem to overtake your mind, body, and soul, you are probably like me and ultra-sensitive to certain questions. Anyone requesting anything of you can seem judgmental and/or condemning, and can also add to our already teetering juggling act. If you’ve been on the other side of the coin and you love someone who is hurting, your sincere desire to help could actually add to their pain. Sometimes, albeit with heartfelt intentions, we ask the wrong questions and sometimes we ask the right questions the wrong way.

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I’m not sorry.

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I’m not sorry.

During an online support group meeting I was attending, I had some issues bubble up that began to refuse the gag order they’ve been accustomed to for so long. I muted my microphone and turned off my video. I was crumbling fast. I listened in for the rest of the meeting which thankfully was only about 10 more minutes. Finger poised on the mouse to click the “leave group” button. To make it through, I practiced my labor breathing even though it’d been 19+ years since I’d used it for its intended purpose.

When the meeting was over and with the lightning-quick click of my mouse, I signed out and the dam broke. I cried out to God, the universe, my computer screen, anyone who could hear me. With fists clenched and years of stored up tears flowing, I repeatedly said, “I’M NOT SORRY. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT!”

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I’m an empty-nester and I installed an internet filter in our home for the first time. Here’s why.

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I’m an empty-nester and I installed an internet filter in our home for the first time. Here’s why.

How many people do you know who have stumbled upon pornography as a child by accident? How many people do you know who, because of this exposure, got stuck in the hamster wheel and couldn’t get out? I know a few.

Granted, those who happened upon pornography back in the day would have likely seen it in printed form. While it wouldn’t have been readily available with the stroke on a keyboard, the images would haunt the mind and have the ability to gain a soul-damaging stronghold. Seeing these types of mind-altering images at any age is unfortunate but in a young and rapidly developing, sponge-like brain, the images could change the trajectory of one’s life.

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There’s always more to the story.

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There’s always more to the story.

Dear friends and family,

You know how “they” say, “there’s always more to the story?” Well, if I didn’t believe that before (which I did), I certainly do now.

There’s no easy way to tell you this except to just spit it out.

Due to the recent discovery of my husband’s sinful choices, he and I have entered into a season of therapeutic separation. Our marriage is very broken. I’m sure many of you are stunned but no one could be more stunned than I.

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Red paint will never be enough but red blood will. #endit

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Red paint will never be enough but red blood will. #endit

Someone once told me that she wished everyone in the world would feel like she felt about adoption. That if everyone would adopt a child, it wouldn’t be a problem anymore. I told her that we should all do our part to care for orphans, but we’re not all called to adopt. I also told her that even if every orphan in the world today had a home another would be born tomorrow without one.

Because of sin, orphans will always be longing for a home. It’s a sad situation, for sure, but it’s a situation that is not without hope.

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Who Are You Waiting For? (A Lenten Reflection)

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Who Are You Waiting For? (A Lenten Reflection)

The 2018 Lenten season begins tomorrow. While stricter Lenten observers might not be so keen that the two days collide, I find irony in the season beginning on the day in which we celebrate love. The day that many will focus on romantic love. However, I can think of no better love to focus on than the eternal love that was given to us on the living cross.

As it has been every year, my approach to Lent is organic. There are no Lenten police officers out there making sure we are not logged into Facebook or hiding in the closet with a chocolate bar or ticking the right number of boxes and doing the right things. No, that would be legalism and not at all what Jesus is about. There must always be a measure of grace. At least for me.

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Love is a verb, not a day.

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Love is a verb, not a day.

In the earlier years of our marriage, Valentine’s Day (aka Love Day) loomed in the horizon when the calendar flipped from January to February. We waited for the day clunking aimlessly around with our unspoken and residual unmet expectations. For years, we bought into the commercialization of the day. The 15th of February came with sadness, disappointment and hurt. Our “Love Day” wasn’t always a flop but I must say that chocolate was sometimes one of the few things that turned out right. Can you relate?

My husband and I have been married for nearly three decades. Over these years, we’ve learned a thing or two from the truest form of dumb luck, some things from wise counsel and even more from the school of hard knocks. Throughout the years and tears, one thing we have learned is that love is a verb, not a day.

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When Does Healing Begin?

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When Does Healing Begin?

This post originally published on TheCourage.com.

“Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide.”

(The Hurt and the Healer, MercyMe)

There is so much brokenness in our world today that is hard for our hearts to digest. Devastating storms, mass shootings, the sex-trafficking epidemic, sudden loss of loved ones, life-altering illnesses, marriage betrayal, prodigal children, … the list is long.

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