Thursday, October 29, 2009


Can Christmas really be only 2 months away?

It is not even Halloween yet and I am are all of my friends.

Yes, this is the busy season of my life.

I feel like it is passing so quickly that my vision is blurred by it.

These past two weeks have been unusually busy for me...kid's getting parties...costumes to to gall bladder acting up....dinners to fix...bumps and bruises to kiss...oh yeah....and don't forget to love the Lord your God with all your heart...and have an amazing marriage....and raise incredibly grateful and disciplined kids.

Scary, isn't it!!??!!

We act like this isn't really how our lives are. But it is.

And let me be the first to tell you that I have fallen----hook, line, and sinker----for the devil's scheme. I have put down God's Word and put off my prayer time in exchange for what I thought was some peace of mind.

Doesn't the devil tell you that?? You need some "you" time.

Actually the "you" time usually turns into "doing" even more and stressing out over all the isn't done. That is how it has been for me.

In reality, I am exchanging His peace for my pleasure. Two totally different things.

The truth of it is....being peace filled takes time. Time we don't act like we have. Time that we act like is too precious to use on useless things like peace.

The enemy is sly. He knows just how to sell it to us.

Anyway, my confession is finished. I have acknowledged the lie I believed.

I can't run through the express aisle with God expect to be filled to overflowing with all that He has to offer. I want to though. And if I could I would.

The question is will I MAKE TIME when there seems to be so little of it?

Lord, sometimes I am scared when I think of how easily I put down the things You think are important because I am busy, or because my children get sick. Those are the times I need you most. Please help me stay diligent. Help me prioritize my time with You. Help me to know that it is more important than my marriage, my children, or any duties in my life. Please forgive me for letting my life get too busy for You. I know me and I am sure this will happen again...pull me in close quickly. Don't let me be okay with going days without You.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We want to act like...

the Bible is just for us...Christians that is.

We don't say that, of course, because saying really does sound absurd. But we do think it.

How would you feel if you saw a murderer, robber, molester, or any other unsavory character holding that blessed book?

Would some protective instinct in you rise up?

Would you want to yank it from their hands?

A part of me would. A part of me would not want anyone nasty, perverted, or evil touching the Word of God. They seem too unworthy.

So, what am I saying? That because I clean up nice, smell good, and act like I don't sin in my heart every day that I meet the "worthy" qualification to hold that book.

Now that is absurd.
God said if you hate someone in your heart...then you are a murderer.

Well, He showed me that this weekend.

I got wrapped up in the story of the missing Florida girl who was snatched away by someone while walking home from school. Whoever this was, did horrible unspeakable things to this baby girl and then dumped her in a land fill. I am sure that this story resonated with me and so many others because we have baby girls.

Anyway, I hate whoever did this. In my heart...the deep places....I hate them. Why would God hold back his wrath? How could someone do such a thing?

Then, God illuminated my thoughts and showed me something in His Word.

1 Timothy 1: 8-10
We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.
We also know that law is made not for the righteous
but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful,
the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers
or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts,
for slave traders and liars and perjurers-and for whatever
else is contrary to the sound doctrine"

Well, is someone you hate mentioned on that list?

This person who did this heinous crime is on this list.

He is described perfectly....murderer....pervert....

But God says His law is for this person.

Did you know that I made that list too? Where it says "righteous"...that would be me...but not in the good way.

Self-righteous would be more appropriate.

As I finish these thoughts I pause at just how prideful I can be. There is a verse in Micah that God has had rolling around in my head. I think He is preaching a 3 point sermon to me.

Micah 6:8

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

1. Act justly
2. Love mercy
3. Walk humbly

Those seem so simple....but I guarantee you I will screw that up even today. But, I will try. I don't want to hate anyone really. I just need to hate WHO is behind all of the sin. He is evil and shrewd.

But for the grace of God go I.....

We want to act like...

Friday, October 23, 2009


This is a picture taken by me of Shep and myself staring at the stars on Wednesday morning just before daylight. We got snuggled in some warm clothes, took a blanket and laid in our driveway at 5:50 a.m. We wanted to watch our Creator God do His thing and enjoy the meteor shower.
It was fun! We wanted to see a lot more than we did but we got to see a handful of shooting stars.
I think what I enjoyed more than the stars was just being quiet and snuggled with Shep. There was something too cool about being out there when no one else was...kind of like the world around us hadn't woken up and we didn't want it to.
Of course, I should know better than to ask God to help me overflow with thankfulness.
What was I thinking??(my last blog entry!!)
I have been to the doctors office 5 times this week.
Me-twice (possibly gall bladder issues)
Zeke- double ear infection
Ava- severe sinus infection
Caroline-dentist appt. (very difficult with her)
On top of all of continues to just be hard. I wish there was another word that accurately describes it but "hard" is probably best.
So, in my best attempt to be thankful and not lose my mind during my present circumstances...I am going to be thankful for God's Word.
Ps. 18: 16-19
"He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of the deep waters,
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The key

Shep and I have been talking about contentment a lot lately.

Are you content?

I feel like on any given day I whine about so much I want or don't have.

Anyway, Shep said to me the other night that he felt the key to contentment was thankfulness.

As God often does.....He confirmed this with scripture.

I am mentoring a girl about 8 years younger than me and she had suggested that we memorize Colossians 2:6-7.

See if you get the message too....

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving."

Dang that is good!

Those verses could preach all by themselves.

I try to be very transparent on this blog. Live out my faith so to speak....

Man, I have got questions. Big ones.

But I believe God is handing me a key here.

Andrea, continue on in Me...
Be rooted and built up in Me..
I can strengthen you in faith by My Word...
Could you just do something for me???


Overflow with thanksgiving. Overflow because of
My Presence
My pursuit of you
your amazing family
your enduring friends
the roof over your head
the transportation you have
the food you eat

Need I go on??

God, help me overflow for you today!!

Friday, October 16, 2009


In the past few months I have felt an overwhelming sense of loss. Loss of faith...loss of what I want to be...

It has been like a death to me. I hate it. The truth is...(my mom pointed this out to me) when everything is going good-then I trust God. When things starts to veer off the projected path and the days become dark-I don't trust God.

It is just that simple.

Shame on me. But I do admit it.

I have felt like a balloon that was once full (full of hope, faith, promise) to a balloon that is losing air everyday. Deflating .....a little at a time.

Last week, I felt a surge of new air and new life when I found out that Caroline had walked on her own in the gait trainer. ( You all don't know the extent of this but we have tried for years to get her to walk in that thing at home---with no luck) And for her to do it by herself and walk approximately 40 feet was thrilling to me.

Today, I had another surge of new air and new life. Frankly....I am still (hours later) amazed and perplexed.

Caroline has participated in some standardized testing this week. Due to her limitations, she requires a lot of one-on-one time in order to be tested accurately. Today her teacher called and told me how she had done on her reading comprehension...

Let me remind you in case you don't know...she cannot speak...she cannot eat...she cannot eat...she cannot walk....but today she defied my expectations...

She read and answered questions on her own. (mouth open and still reeling)

Her teacher told her that the test was 5 paragraphs and 20 questions. She asked Caroline if she wanted to read it herself. Caroline shook her head "yes". Melissa (her teacher) had already told Caroline that she thought this would be too hard for her but relented and let Caroline try her best.

They put the paragraphs up on a computer screen and highlighted a sentence at a time. Caroline would verbally make sounds as if trying to read each sentence. When she finished she would look at Melissa to highlight the next one. She came to one word she didn't know and looked at her teacher. Melissa asked her if she was having trouble with that word and Caroline indicated "yes". The word was everyone. After Melissa told her the word, Caroline continued reading.

After each paragraph Melissa would ask her questions and give her multiple choice for the answers. She would answer using a button that she pressed when the correct answer was given.

She could only know the answers if she had read the paragraphs. Her teachers DID NOT help her read them at all. They also did not help her with any of the answers.

So, is it safe to guess that my girl can read???? Who knew??

I don't know what to say or think or feel. I am a little bit in shock.

I sat in the car and prayed trying to find words to say to God Almighty. I just kept saying...."No way. This was a fluke. She can't really read."

What I kinda heard back was..."Do you believe I am going to do extraordinary things through this girl or not???"

If I am this stunned at learning she can read....what will I be like when she speaks, or stands, or eats, or walks or runs?

It reminds me of that song, "I can only imagine"

Surrounded by your glory
what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for ya Jesus,
or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence
or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing alleluia
will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine......I can only imagine....

Thursday, October 15, 2009


We got to spend a long weekend with Shep's family on Isle of Palms. It was too fun!
This has become a yearly tradition. We try to plan it over the kid's fall breaks.
Mr. and Mrs. Helton find a house that can accommodate 22 people...over half of that number being kids...Lord help us.
The weather was cooperative all except for one day. The other days were perfect. A light breeze, blue skies, and warm water.
Zeke especially enjoyed the beach...or should I say the sand???

He baptized his face in it on each visit to the beach.
Caroline and Ava loved it too!
It was our last taste of summer fun before fall and winter truly set in and it was worth it!

Hope you enjoy the pictures of my beautiful family.

I sure am smitten with them!!

Gracious God..thank you for these gifts. Each member of my family adds delight to my life. Grant me grace and wisdom to be the best wife and mother I can be. I treasure this role more than any other in my life and I want to leave a lasting legacy in my children's lives. Thank you for the blessing of marriage. Thank you for giving me this man, my best friend to just be with all the time. I get to see You and Your handiwork through them all the time and I am so grateful.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another answer.... my last post I asked God to encourage me about my girl (that would be Caroline) and HE did!!!

The VERY NEXT DAY her teacher called from school because she was in her gait trainer (like a big walker) and she was walking in it by herself. It was slow going...but it was ALL HER....that is a first!!!! Usually a teacher or her therapist has to help push her....

Thank you Jesus for that encouragement. Thank you also for teachers who teach in the public school system who cry and get excited when they see your children making great strides.

Thank you also for encouragement from your Word. Hebrews 3:7-14

So, as the Holy Spirit says
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,
where your fathers tested and tried me
and forty years saw what I did.
That is why I was angry with that generation,
and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray,
so they have not known my ways.
So I declared an oath in my anger,
They shall never enter my rest.'

See to it, brothers that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

I am in the desert and I don't want to allow my heart to grow hard or to let my heart go astray. This passage spoke strongly to was a warning, a challenge, and an encouragement all at the same time!!

Lastly, I wish you all could have been flies on the wall during our bedtime routine with the girls. It was too funny. Ava has been having bad dreams so in addition to our prayers we decided to also start doing a devotion time. As we got ready to start our devotional time tonight we told Ava (and Caroline) how any time they got scared that they could talk to Jesus out loud or sing songs to him. Ava began to ask us to sing her songs that we knew about Jesus...

-Jesus loves me
-I've got the joy,joy,joy, joy down in my heart
-Jesus love the little children
-Deep and wide
(we must have gotten a little bit giddy on this one because me and Shep both began singing and doing the hand motions. It was as if we were stepping right back into children's church or something....needless to was a hit!!

Thank you Jesus for laughter and silliness. Thank you for fun memories. Thank you for my heritage growing up in church and learning songs about you. Thank you for allowing everything to go well today. Thank you for daily provision. Thank you for helping me be thankful....on my own I am a bag full of wants....but through You....I can be truly thankful!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I am studying the apostle Paul right now in an older Bible study. As you might guess, I admire the tenacity and passion that Paul exhibited as a follower of Jesus.

He was born into religion but died for his relationship with Jesus.

He was beaten, harassed, persecuted, and homeless all for the sake of sharing Christ. Something drove him....something that I don't think I have.

He loved Jesus and others before himself, his comfort, his reputation, and even his life.

That is the difference.

I don't.

I have asked that God would deepen my love for Him so that everything else pales in comparison to pleasing Him.

(Is that what this wilderness experience is all about?? Putting things into perspective...what all do I love more than him??)

The Bible says that the Lord stood near Paul and told him to "Take courage".

Do you find it interesting that Paul didn't just feel courageous?

He had to take what the Lord was offering...

Paul couldn't muster up courage or strength or bravery any more than I can in my own yucky circumstances.

Instead, he had to take it. Just as I do....

Lord Jesus, you spoke these words to Paul in the book of Acts but I am receiving them for myself. I take your courage. I am shaking in my boots when left to myself. I need the full measure of your courage, your strength, and your bravery to face my giants and endure the harshness of this wilderness. Help me not to just be obedient in my heart but to also tell my face. I walk around and pout and look downcast so often because of how I feel. I believe that is silly....sometimes I don't think I can help it. But, you gave me self-control and joy and long-suffering and many other fruits that should be evident in good or bad times. I am embarrassed to say that more than not I WEAR my fears on my face. Forgive me Lord. I know you want me to be real....and the pain and fear are all very real....but you also want me to take you up on what you offer. I take courage!!

Please encourage me again about my the flames of my faith...A

Friday, October 2, 2009


I hate the wilderness.

I am certain I will love and appreciate all of the lessons that I am learning here...but I hate it here.

It is no surprise that I have watched the movie "Facing the Giants" two times this week. I tend to do that. I need to see something encouraging or I need to hear something uplifting.

Although that movie was not the best made and it did not achieve accolades for the actors....the message was and still is HUGE to me.



God can do the impossible.

I cried when I saw it the first time and I have cried every subsequent time since.

The part in the movie that I have identified with most this week revolves around the main character, Grant Taylor. Everything in his life is falling apart and he feels himself giving in to that despair.

His team can't win, his car won't work, his stove is broken, the dryer only works half of the time, there is a dead mouse hidden somewhere stinking up his house, he can't provide his wife with children and there are people (even a friend) trying to get him fired.

He confides to God that it feels like "giants of fear and failure are standing above him just waiting to crush him".

BINGO....ding ding ding...

That is exactly how I feel. Giants are looming....I am grasping for feet are looks dark...

I know that God can put a sling shot of hope and victory in my hands and skill me to kill these giants just as David killed Goliath.

I am calling on Him.
I am clinging to Him.
I am looking for His salvation.

I just don't see it. I just see the giants.

God of all creation, you know your servant. I am so tired. I am drained almost dry. Please send deliverance. Please send provision. Please increase my faith and give me the "want-to" to fight. I don't want to right now. I want to give up. I want to quit. Your resurrection power can change me. I surrender to you again. I say I trust you but I am so embarrassed to realize I must not trust you much at all. Will you show up? Will you come to our rescue? You are God and you can do as you please. If we have been wrong about Caroline for all of this time....that is OK. Help my heart to rest in the truth...whatever that is. Nourish me with Your Word. I ask forgiveness for doubt, self-pity, anger, bitterness, and apathy. You deserve better than that from me. I am forgiven because you took my place. Help me rejoice in that. I love you...