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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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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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Saturday Share 5.7.16 #LinkUp {Focus: Stages of Motherhood}

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Saturday Share 5.7.16 #LinkUp {Focus: Stages of Motherhood}

I am so excited to share this series with you! Several blogging friends and I joined forces to put a series together for another blogging friend, Jessica VanSumeren at The Mama Revival Series, to help her out during a busy season. I am so blessed to get to be a part of such an incredible and generous writing community.

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Saturday Share 1.16.16 #LinkUp {Focus: New Finds}

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Saturday Share 1.16.16 #LinkUp {Focus: New Finds}

Today’s Saturday Share LinkUp is focused on some new things I’ve found recently. I want to be careful to notice new things. So much of our lives are caught up in what we already know. We often get stuck in that rut and it’s easy to slide right by the new without taking notice.

 

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Who are you?

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Who are you?

{Vulnerability alert!! This topic… highly vulnerable. But I’m doing it anyway because I’m always up for the introspective challenge and I know others who are doing this as well so I know I’m not alone. (See the Friday Five Link Up below)}

Andrea, who are you? I’ve been on a journey over these last several months asking myself that very question. Over and over and over again. I went from being my parent’s daughter straight to being my husband’s wife to my kid’s mom. And for so many years I’ve been all three at the same time. I’ve never really taken much time (any time) to figure out who Andrea is. Just Andrea. The Andrea that is Andrea and nothing else.

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Saturday Share #LINKUP 11.07.15

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Saturday Share #LINKUP 11.07.15

I want to welcome as many of your stories as I can so on this Saturday, and as long as life and the living of my own story allows, all the Saturdays to come, I’m hosting a link-up post sharing extravaganza.

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EPFH GIVEAWAY – And the winners are…..

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Last week I announced our first ever giveaway. I’m so pleased to announce the 5 winners of this incredible book. It has been such a gift to me personally. I mentioned in the initial giveaway post that I haven’t had breast cancer but I have experienced unexpected and unwanted pain and loss. I was so surprised to see how Erin’s story of surviving breast cancer paralleled with my stories of survival.

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I Have A Craving

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I have a craving.

I’ve been craving it for a few years now. It’s kind of like a craving I have for chocolate, Peanut Butter Captain Crunch (childhood fave) or a good cup of coffee but it’s a craving that is not so easily satisfied. I can’t just go to the store and pick this up.

I’m craving easy.

easy button

Seems living in a foreign country for four years where everything goes against all the familiar you’ve ever known is not easy.

Seems relationships are not always.. rarely… never… easy.

Seems transitioning back into the familiar that I hoped would be easy, even after almost 2 years… is not easy.

Seems that life milestones and the mental shifts those involve are not easy.

The list goes on and on…

When we moved back to Texas from Singapore we immediately got busy. Really busy. We got a puppy. We did some much-needed renovation on our house, we pulled off a very hands-on and wonderful wedding for our oldest daughter and enjoyed the holiday season. We did all of those and lived to tell the stories but so much was put on the back burner. Out of necessity but still.

January hits. About 6 months later. The busy stops. The transition hits. The brain has time to process all those feelings that have been shoved aside. It’s hard.

Fast forward a few months and another move to a different house with more renovations, we’re blessed with our first grandson, our son gets engaged, graduates from college and brings a wonderful daughter in love to our family. Our youngest daughter starts learning how to drive, more holidays (It’s crazy how they come around every year!), added another dog of the rescue kind with lots of needs, toss in the wonderfulness (insert sarcasm) of aging and all the fun stuff (insert sarcasm) that comes along with it for us and our parents and thinking through how to do life with an empty nest because that is coming at us like an unrelenting freight train.

Living in a foreign country for 4 years was hard. Not all bad. But hard.

Relationships are hard. The keeping and the losing of them.

Transitioning back into our home country is hard.

Life milestones are hard. Not all bad. But hard. 20,000 of them over the span of a 1.5 years, though… that’s hard!

Seems there is no easy button. I know, I know… this is old news, but it helps me to write it out.

Life is hard.

No one ever said life is easy. Not even Jesus got easy.

But oh, how we long for easy. We love easy. We crave easy.

But easy is just not realistic.

In fact, Jesus said that we are assured to have trouble in this world.

“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33 The Message

Being unshakeable assured and deeply at peace sounds amazing about now!

On my/our quest for easy, let’s at least not do stuff that adds to the hard.

Live well. Love well. Rest easy…

~Andrea

Jesus and Wine

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When I saw this video about blending wine, what they eloquently call “hyperdecanting”, and making a $7 bottle taste like a more expensive one, my thoughts went immediately to the comparison between it and our spiritual life.

Cheese alert… We put our $7 selves in the blender of life, blend for 30 seconds to add some air (Holy Spirit), age 5 years (wisdom) and come out tasting like at least a $50 self.

Hey, it all works out in my head. Plus I really wanted a way to write about Jesus and wine.

But seriously, if this can be taken seriously, let’s “blend” ourselves, add a little Holy Spirit and some wisdom and see if we don’t taste better. It could work!

~Andrea

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/make-bargain-bottle-wine-taste-expensive/story?id=29691513