He's never letting go!

Okay, I realize I am the type of person who gets stuck on something and can't let it go! If only I were this passionate about my God. I hope that I am! I realized last night, how much time I am spending watching my favorite shows, reading a great book, listening to good music, filling my schedule with all these events and activities----when I should be spending as much time with the Lord? It is not enough, it never is. Thank goodness He doesn't keep track of that. I would be in serious trouble if He did! "Hmmm, let's see here, Andrea, yeah, you gave me a whopping 20 minutes of your day yesterday...thanks for that." I don't want to hear something like that from Him, and I know I won't but it appears in my imaginative mind as a result of my deeply convicted heart. Looking back at my schedule this last year, I realize I cannot be my best for God with so many distractions in my life. So, I am turning over a new leaf this year. I want to spend more time in the Word and in the presence of my Father, and less time on the other stuff. I want to reflect to my Lord, my family and my friends that my priorities are shaped around something that is of worth. I am sure I will return to this again and again as new pressures and stresses and temptations surface in my life. I am thankful that despite my wavering, He will never let me go. He never changes, no matter what this life throws at me I know I can count on Him.

Disappointed, but not surprised....God is still God

The last few days are a little blurred, and it is no wonder! So much has happened in the world around me it is enough to make me go out and buy a copy of every major newspaper just to get caught up. Life keeps rolling forward. I don't take bad changes well, but a good change is alright. That can be interpreted only by what I define as good or bad changes, cause we all have our own definition of what we think is a good or bad change right? What is wrong or right--John and Kate plus 8 stars, the Gosselin's divorcing and yet the show is still on the air. Oh, but they are taking a hiatus while they settle in to this newest change in their lives. What a cop out on so many levels. I would think a mature human being who truly cares what is best for their children would see that a crumbling marriage is the best reason to turn the cameras off! How is it benefiting the children now anyway? All it says to me is their focus is on one thing only---the fame and the money. There are eight children in that family who will suffer the consequences of their parents' behavior right now for years to come. Whatever happened to stepping back, downsizing, finding a regular job and working your tail off to live like the rest of us? Yes, it would be hard but it would probably be the best lesson and example for your children in the long run. I am so disappointed but not surprised by people anymore. Christian or not, we are really stupid. All it takes is one slip up, and the waters are divided, sides are taken, friendships die, feelings are hurt, and ultimately someone is left alone and suffering without any support whatsoever. I am sure that is how John and Kate are feeling, and I have had several friends over the years experience this when crisis has occurred in their lives. Whatever happened to loving one another unconditionally? What role are we playing as Christian brothers and sisters, and what the heck is the church doing? Hate the sin, love the sinner---do we really believe that or do we just like the sound of it? God loves them all, every single one regardless of how we feel. But what if they don't know it cause what we are showing them sends the opposite message? What a poor example we are, and how sad it must make our God to see us behaving this way. Seeing crisis play out on tv, and in the lives of dear friends makes me stop and think first and foremost---what could I be doing differently to show that person they are loved? I know I could be doing more, and I am sure you could too. So what's it going to be? Shall we remain caught up in the same excuses as the world around us, or will we be set apart, rise above it, embrace the truths of Scripture and love others unconditionally as Christ did? I choose to be set apart. I know God loves me and I know He loves those around me who are struggling, so I will do my part to contribute to the minority. Maybe some day that minority will become the majority. We've got a long way to go.

Giving up or pushing through it..what will it be?

I am a big ball of emotions tonight as I write this. It is not surprising to the world to see another marriage end, especially on national television. Ryan and I watched the famous show about the family with twins and sextuplets tonight announce they are separating due to the problems they have been having for months in their marriage. It is both sad and disappointing to me, but frustrating as well. I had naively hoped they were going to work on it, seek counseling and say they were hopeful. I guess that is not the choice they have made. None of us has the right to judge them, but we all feel for them whether it is genuine concern or all out anger and inapporpriate lashing out. The heart of the matter is the state of their marriage. I listened to comments like "I am hear for my children, and what is best for them is the most important thing to me." What about your marriage? When did that take a backseat and at what point did either one of you think it might be a good idea to start working on it? We are all guilty in our marriages of getting busy with life, children, circumstances out of our control taking over. So at what point do we stop and listen to the warning signs? You know, the signs that start out as a mild flicker, but by the time it gets spinning out of control it is a bold, flashing red light. At what point do we decide to throw in th towel, and how bad does it have to get to make the decision it is not worth fighting for anymore? Every marriage will face struggle, it is guaranteed. So do we choose to ride it out, work through it and learn from it? Every life experience has a lesson to learn, so do we choose to really experience it or walk away and give up? I have been reading in Judges today about Gideon, and his remarkable story of God using Him in incredibly difficult circumstances. Despite where he came from, his own opinion of himself and the state of the Israelite people's faith at the time, God chose to use Him and deliver His people. God can make the impossible possible, and He wants to help us. But, we have to be willing to admit we've screwed up, that we need Him and that we need one another. A marriage is not 50-50....it is 100-100! We should strive to be the best we can be for our spouses, and not get hung up who does what for whom, start the list of comparisons that is sure to end in one way alone: anger, bitterness and resentment toward each other. Why is it so hard to let go of our pride, our selfish agendas, our need to keep track of every little thing good and bad. It would appear to be built into our nature which sucks, cause sometimes I really wish I could just power down like a robot. It is exhausting and not worth the time and energy wasted. Looking at my life and my marriage, I find that I am relieved, convicted and inspired all at the same time. Relieved that we have come this far (almost 15 years) when it could have ended. Convicted to be a better wife to Ryan than I have been so far. I know I have room to improve--don't we all? Inspired by the truths we have learned from God along the way that echo in my ears even as I ponder what we saw play out on the show tonight. God has not moved from His throne, and He has promised us a plan--Jeremiah 29:11. How good is He?! He is too good to us, and we don't deserve it. I will go to bed tonight with a heavy but thankful heart. Ryan, I love you more today than ever, and I look forward to many more days with you. I am not giving up, and you cannot get rid of me!

It's Monday..yet again...

I find it frustrating how the crazy busy cycle of life has become my excuse for not doing better than I am at this moment. I am at that place again with my health, so tired and so fed up with my current state, so I need to whip it into shape and stop making excuses. It is easier, more comfortable for me to make those excuses. I have a a husband, three children, a full time job, and a schedule full of other activities to keep up with during the week. My day starts at 5:15 am and ends at 11:30 pm. By the time I complete my day at work, get in some form of exercise, fix dinner, bath time, bed time, chores that are waiting for me when I get home like ironing/laundry/dirty dishes--take my pick!--and maybe some time to sit and relax, it is gone. I have no time left, and I am spent, done, ready to crash. Some days I feel like I am running on empty, not fumes, EMPTY. I don't like that feeling, but I find I barely have a moment to slow down and process that feeling. How perfect His timing when He gives me the Word: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Phillipians 4:13
I try and get so much done on my own steam all the time, find myself wrestling with God over who is in charge of my life. That is ridiculous, cause the reality comes to me when I realize, "Psh...yeah! I don't have it, never had it and never will have it--God has got it!" It is not comfortable for me to admit that I am helpless, but I can admit I am wrong...with some reluctance. It is that pride thing, why is it so hard? He is still working on me, that I know. I am not perfect, and this day---whether it is Monday or any other day---will go on as I choose to live it. I can let go of my worries and trust Him, carry myself confidently and with joy in my heart, or I can be a miserable, grumpy and worrisome person who cuddles with doubt. I am so thankful for my God--He knows me so well and delivers me without fail.

my Ebenezer...

“…Thus far the Lord has helped us.”-1 Samuel 7:12 There are moments in my life when I look back and can see how God in His perfect yet my...