Some of you avid readers who look at this list might think, “only 40??”, but those who know me know that reading 40 books (36 completed and 4 to finish before the clock rings in 2019) is probably more than I’ve read in my entire former life. And in ONE year? Inconceivable!
Author Archives: Andrea
I gave up sending Christmas cards years ago. I tried for a long time but it came to feel too much like an obligation. Sending Christmas cards takes so much time and is hard on the budget. And for something that would probably get tossed when the Christmas décor came down? Nah, not worth it. Cards and stamps are not cheap!
I love getting Christmas cards, though, so if anyone sends me one, know that they don’t get tossed. I keep them and on years when I can keep track of them in the middle of moving from place to place, I keep them out, rotate them off and on and pray for each person or family who sends me one. This is not the point of this post but I did want to acknowledge all you do-gooders out there. Your efforts are not wasted on me. I know there was sacrifice involved. I wouldn’t be offended in the future, though, and I would actually applaud you if you chose chocolate for yourself instead of a stamp for me.
By Georgette Beck
What is transition? Merriam-Webster defines transition as a “passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another” and as it relates to music; “a musical passage leading from one section of a piece to another.”
No one is exempt from experiencing transition. Growth occurs from a transition in all realms of our life. We progress through mental and physical development as we pass through the various stages of our lives. We transition from losses suffered and from blessings gained. Transition in and of itself is not meant to be a bad experience. The transition is a necessary component of what comes next.
I need to tell you something. I’m coming to you vulnerable, emptying my heart in hopes that it will fill yours. When it (the thing I need to tell you) happened recently, I knew it was a hug from God that had to be shared. My hope is that this piece of my story that has been private for seven years of September 3rd’s will encourage you as you wait on the Lord even when He seems to be moving at a snail’s pace.
JJ Heller’s song, Braver Still, is playing as I hit “publish”. I know this is not a coincidence.
Today is my 51st birthday. Happy? Some of it has been. It’s been a weird one. A reflective one. And even a bit of a sad one. 51 greets me with a measure of pain and an unknown future like I never could have imagined. But it also ushers in great joy from the good parts.
“Nous prenons le mal pour le bien.” or “We take the bad for the good.” I learned that in Paris earlier this year and I’ve taken it to heart. The bad things that come can be overpowered by the good in my life. Honestly, some of that is the power of positive thinking but mostly, I really do believe it to be true.
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
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.
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!”
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.