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Category Archives: community

100th Post!!! A Reflection of Smiles

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100th Post!!! A Reflection of Smiles

On March 4, 2015, this blog was officially birthed. I’m not sure I smiled out of fear of being vulnerable but I’m quite sure God smiled. And He has continued to smile over us here at EPFH throughout the last 99 posts. This is post 100. Wow! Immeasurable blessings!

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That Time I Went To A Party In Jen Hatmaker’s Backyard

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That Time I Went To A Party In Jen Hatmaker’s Backyard

goldenticketlaunchpartyI’ve mentioned here before that I was blessed to be on the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s latest book, For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. One day, someone on the team threw out the “what if we had a party to celebrate the launch and what if we had it at Jen’s house” idea. And Jen said (not her exact words), “Sure!! Come on over, all 500 of you. Why not?? We’ll get food and margaritas and ice tea and chat for a few hours in my back yard. Oh and we’ll take lots of selfies!” And the party planning began.

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Saturday Share (August 22)

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Saturday Share (August 22)

Your Saturday might be used for any number of things but here at EPFH, Saturday is for sharing.

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FOR THE LOVE: The Birth of a Book Baby!

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FOR THE LOVE: The Birth of a Book Baby!

It’s like Jen Hatmaker has given birth with the help of 500 doulas and we’re all screaming, “WEHADABABYITSABOOK!” And I’m here to tell you that this baby is about to be “ON THE BEAM”. You’ll get that when you start reading the book.

TODAY IS THE DAY!! AUGUST 18TH!!
THE DAY WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!
THE BIRTH OF JEN HATMAKER’S BOOK BABY!!!

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This Is the Church

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This is the Church

This is the Church.

Forgive me for taking pictures during church but it was a sacred moment that I had to permanently capture. It needed to be more than a mental memory because those memories (at my age) are all too fleeting these days.

This is about a woman who was sitting in church alone… with tear-stained cheeks and a used up tissue. 

 

 

This is about a woman who was alone. Until she wasn’t.

 

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Get Some Help to Put the Door Back On

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We’ve never had to take our kid’s doors off but I have heard of several parents who have. Although… we still have one child left at home for a couple of years so there’s still time. ha! I honestly think it’s a fairly clever consequence. One that makes a strong impact while skipping the heated argument. I would also think that the kids would hate it. I certainly would have! This would go along the same lines of changing the password to the wifi. Want a good way to get them to come downstairs?

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We’re all just walking each other home.

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We're all just walkingeach other home.There are times in our lives when it is so very clear that we are not meant to walk alone. Like pretty much all the time. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard on how to find our mate or find a friend or two is to walk your walk, live out your faith and while you’re doing that, look to each side and see who is walking with you.

I recently found myself looking to my sides and being so overwhelmed with God’s gracious provision. There was a particular day I was not meant to walk alone. A day when my kids were hurting, I was hurting and life was just heavy. And I couldn’t fix it. There really was nothing to fix. I just needed to know I wasn’t walking alone. This truth, “We’re all just walking each other home.” was more than evident in my life on that day.

It did, however, take a solo step from me first. I had to express the need. I had to share my hurt. I had to ask for prayer. I had to look to my side and see who was there and take the risk. Oh, vulnerability is such a risk. That is not an easy thing for me. I know how to do alone. I’m pro at that. I’m not so great at doing community. Walking with people means they know your stuff. It means you have to trust them. It means they see you. Maybe some of you or maybe all of you. It means they might hurt you. But it also means you’re not alone. We were made to live in community and when we don’t, our souls ache for more. God knew Adam didn’t need to be alone so he made Eve. Even God Himself didn’t want to be alone so he made us! He wanted to share His goodness with us. We all desire to be loved. Even God. We all want to walk with someone. Even God. I mean, who wants to go to the party alone?

Isn’t it always better to show up at the party with someone else? 

So we have a choice. To walk alone or walk together. Two sets of footprints or one. I hope we’ll choose the together option. To those who were by my side when I needed you, to those whose footprints were beside mine, to those who have chosen to walk me a few steps closer to “home”, may God bless you as you have blessed me. I am so thankful for you!

THIS is what the whole purpose of this blog is about! Walking each other home.

“SO LET’S DO IT! —full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in ENCOURAGING LOVE AND HELPING OUT, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but SPURRING EACH OTHER ON, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25 (The Message)

~Andrea

A Harmony that Hisses

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Four Part Harmony

Harmony: the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect. An interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative.

Synonyms: accord, agreement, peace, peacefulness, amity, friendship, fellowship, cooperation, understanding, unity, sympathy, rapport, like-mindedness.

Origin of HARMONY: First Known Use: 14th Century. Middle English armony, from Anglo-French armonie, from Latin harmonia,from Greek, joint, harmony, from harmos joint

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I love harmony. I have as long as I can remember. But as far as I can tell, we don’t just know harmony. It is learned. We know melody, well some of us do. 🙂 We hear melody. We need to then train the brain to learn the harmony. If we choose to. Some people do and some people don’t or maybe they can’t. I’m not sure. I’m not trained in musical theory. Some people only hear one layer of harmony, some two and some three. Four part harmony jazzes me. I love it so much when it’s done well (aka everyone on pitch). As the definition above states, it has a pleasing affect.

I have been in choirs and sung in multiple groups and played instruments. Harmony is my thing. It is the part of music that speaks to my heart. It brings me peace. It connects me to my Creator. The Creator of all the parts. I hear and learn harmony parts of songs before I even know the words to.

I mostly grew up in an traditional Southern Baptist Church in South Texas. Maybe SBC churches don’t do it all right (really none do) but they know how to “sang”. As a young girl I would sit by my Mom in church and listen. Listen to the congregation belt it out, some not so well but you know what they say about a joyful noise. My mom had great pitch though and a great ear. She either sang alto or tenor to every song and sometimes switched back and forth in the same song. She knew harmony. It was beautiful. I listened. I heard. I learned.

I recently was accepted to be on a launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book, For the Love. It comes out in August and you should pre-order it now! Here’s the link and the shameless plug. There’s no shame in plugging this book because it’s fabulously written with laughter and tears. It frees a part of us that we may have kept locked up for a while. You’ll be hearing more about the book here in the coming months.

Anyhoo…. the launch team is made up of 496 women and 4 men from ALL walks of life. The diversity among this group of 500 has the potential of causing something far different than harmony. But, miraculously, it doesn’t!

As I’ve sat back and watch the communications happen (oh my, you wouldn’t believe how much is happening!! These people have some words!) on the closed fb group, people are sharing themselves and being accepted. People are asking for prayer and getting it and then being encouragement on top of that. People are being nice to each other. Like crazy nice. Even in our differences. Accepting. I haven’t seen one judgmental or condemning word yet. And there have been lots of words. 🙂

It’s been like watching a choir sing together. Not like a well trained, professional chamber choir but more like a small town church choir. With all the hisses. You know when the choir sings and the phrase ends with an “s” it’s like you here “s s s s s s”. Right? That annoys so many choir directors. Makes the rebel in me smile just thinking about it.

As best as I can determine, this launch team is singing in harmony with all the s’s because of one common denominator – our love for and devotion to Jen Hatmaker and wanting the best for her and her book that we’ve agreed to help promote. To share what she created with all of her heart. Oh yeah, you know where I’m going with this right? We will sing in harmony, even with all of our s’s, when we have one common denominator – our love for and devotion to Christ. To share what He has created with all of His heart.

Some days, weeks, even years, music may escape us. Harmony may be something we can’t even reach much less hear. May I encourage you to find the melody. Christ sings it over us. When we can hear His melody. Sit with Him and listen to Him sing over you. Sit with His people as they sing harmony around you. It is beautiful. Listen. Hear. Learn. One day you might just find yourself in smack in the middle of harmony. Interweaving different parts into a single song. Even if it hisses a little.

We sing because we’re happy. We sing because it frees us. We sing because it pleases our hearts and it SO pleases God’s heart. Even when the harmony hisses a little. We’re different but we can find a way to sing together. Whether it’s 2 part harmony, 4 part harmony or 500 part harmony. Beautiful hissing to follow. Our Choir Director doesn’t require perfection. But He sure does love harmony.

A harmony that hisses…. let those “s’s” fly free!

~Andrea

Sing because you’re happy… Sing because you’re free!