Tis the season for hospitality. Parties attended and parties hosted. Family gatherings here and there. As we welcome people into our homes here are some things I like to do to try to do to ensure they walk out of my home and back into theirs and take a little bit of joy along with them.
Category Archives: gifts
I woke up in North Carolina. Don’t worry! That was the actual plan!! I’m at a summer camp for adult women, errrr… I mean a women’s conference – that sounds more adult right? Truly it is like a summer camp for women but I just eat better food and take better notes now than I did when I was 15. That probably has something to do with the fact that I had to pay for it instead of my parents. I also get to drink coffee and wine if I want to so that’s awesome.
I flew into Atlanta on Wednesday and my friend, Lizanne, and I drove to North Carolina on Thursday to attend the She Speaks conference. She Speaks is a conference to encourage, educate, empower and inspire speakers, writers and leaders. Today is the last day of the conference and I feel as though I’ve been drinking from the fire hydrant with a never ending flow. They are doing just as they promised. I am encouraged, educated, empowered and inspired.
I took this picture on the first day of the conference. It was the first picture I took, the first thing I saw as I wrapped my beautiful necklace/lanyard nametag around my neck (provided by Fashion & Compassion Jewelry). This quote pretty much summed up where I was at and I had to capture it. When I first looked at the picture itself I was bummed that my reflection was in it because that’s not what good photographers do. But I heard God whisper to me that this conference is for me. It’s about all of my reflections from all of my yesterdays that it took for Jesus to be able to give me today. He gently said, “Andrea, I love you. Let’s make some new stories together.”
I woke up this morning to do the hair check. You know, when you wake up to see how long it’s going to take you to get ready depending on how hard you slept. The hair could be in decent shape or it could be all wonky and in need of a do over. Will I need to wash it and start from scratch or will I only need to touch it up? Much to my happiness, I saw that it was a touch-up day. YAY! Which means I had a few extra minutes and brain cells to push out a few quick words to you through my fingertips.
So while there hasn’t been much activity here on EPFH blog or Facebook page these last couple of days, no stories to tell, there are stories being made. Because some days are for story making. I will be writing about some of these stories soon. I’ll be writing about Lizanne, Barbara, Helen, Sheena, Kai, Cindy, Kristi, and my cyber friends turned real life friends from the For the Love launch team. I’ll also tell you about a few other crazy amazing things God is teaching me. Anne from the launch team said, last night at dinner, “Sometimes God shows up and sometimes He shows off.” He is definitely showing off this weekend. I am blown away by the gifts God is giving me at this conference and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Stories coming soon to a blog near you!
Over my 41 Christ-following years, the parable of the Prodigal Son is one that I grew up hearing on a regular basis. It was almost always taught from the standpoint of the prodigal son, the son who left with everything, the son who wasted his lavish gifts from his inheritance and the son who still found his way home to his loving Father.
While that part of the story is very true there is another side that is also very true that we don’t hear about as often. There are always two sides to a story, right? The other side is the legalistic, Pharisaical, graceless brother part. If I’m honest, or truthful, as this post is meant to be, I’m more like that legalistic brother most of the time. I play by the rules, finish my tasks, I’m on time, I fulfill my commitments even if it kills me, I do my best to tick all the boxes and not just any boxes but just the right boxes, and I’m usually shocked when others don’t do the same. It’s quite exhausting actually. In my adult years, I have realized that this is just a tad unrealistic. While I have learned so much about the amazingness of grace over the last few years, I’m still a work in progress.
The quote in the image above is taken from this spoken word video. It’s worth your time.
We waste our gifts. We waste our gift of time, our gift of love, our gift of provision, our gift of health.
We waste our grace. We waste the grace that is given from God. We waste the grace that is given from others. We waste our opportunities to give grace.
Whether we’ve wasted gifts or wasted grace, THE TRUTH IS
that the Father never wastes gifts or grace.
He longs to welcome us home.
I’m not writing from one who has this down but from one who is on the journey. Working it out. Trying.
If you’d like to read the Parable of the Prodigal Son, you can do so here. Luke 15:11-32