Another school day

For me… In one week I will begin my Master’s program in Social Work. I am excited, scared, nervous, but most of all hope and pray I can continue to be the kind of mother and caregiver God has so blessedly let me.

Following in a path to care for people is one of the greatest peaces I have experienced thus far in my life.

We’re all called to a purpose and that purpose is giving a glory and name to a Savior who is so loving, so full of grace, that I could never be worthy. But still, we live and strive because we love Him. I hope that I am doing that, and today I hope you do the same.

More later…

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There’s only so much I can take…so I have to give it away.

Here is my plea to God:

Please help me to give up my dissatisfaction with the things around me that I cannot control, that I cannot make any better by trying, that I cannot even touch with my own two hands.

Relinquish all this fear and sorrow to you and help me to delight in the blessings that you have given me and to rely solely on you whenever I want to throw pity on myself.

Help me to love others completely and share your love whenever and wherever it is needed.

Thank you for loving me and for being there for me in my lowest times. I hope to never repeat them, but to always remember your hand guiding me out and making a way for me when I saw none. I sometimes forget. Yet I am who I am today because you saw me out of complete darkness and restored a piece of me that I thought may never be restored.

I am a mother, wife, child of God, and the best at these things is all I hope to be, hopefully living and breathing all these things out of the latter.

In your name Jesus, Amen.

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Growing Up

I always wanted to…

Have it all together
Establish a career
Go back to school
Be financially stable

…first

However, don’t we all know by now God has other plans. I might have free will, but that doesn’t mean I’m always in control. Two days ago I saw the sweetest little face peering at me from the shoulder of another woman. He looked so peaceful, so tiny, so perfect. And I thought okay, I may not ever be ready, I may never have it all together, but this is something God put in my life for a reason. Not only can I give this child all the love I have but God has placed that desire in my heart. To pass on the immense love and grace God has given me, a purpose and a calling, onto another life.

Train s child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

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Remember Who You Work For

As I get older I realize that life moves ever more quickly. Each passing day is a smaller percentage of our time here on earth. Still, each day counts. Each day gives us new opportunities and chances. In the past and present I have looked at my jobs more or less as means to an end (with the one very large exception of teaching). The truth is there are some positions where it is easier to remember who we are representing in the world. It’s simple, yes. But I hope that as each of our days passes and every time we clock in or out thinking we are being taken advantage of, that we remember who we ultimately belong to, and that any corporation or boss we have to deal with is not bigger than a God who can forgive us and love us and see through our entire being simultaneously. Regardless of our position, power, or job title, we aren’t working for ourselves or just a company, we are working for our Maker. Representing him in a world that often acts out of fear, rejection, or reaction. We can’t let our stories and our work say the same. What does it seem that our Savior has then saved us from? He has saved us (probably from even more than we would be comfortable sharing), and we need that to be evidenced in our lives.

We ARE Jesus to the world, in our workplace, every place where our identity is known it should also be known some of that identity: love, forgiveness, acceptance despite flaws.

My jobs might not be glamorous or even fulfilling in a worldly sense, but I am not there without a purpose.

Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Colossians 3:17, The Message

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Not Spiritual Enough

Most days I feel not spiritual enough. I look up from where I am and say, no, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You have not read your Bible in a week, you forgot to pray about that one thing you promised you would, you’re just not spiritual enough. You failed.

But it’s all a distraction. It’s all my head and my humanity taking me away from time I could be spending with my Savior. I really believe that there is no such thing as not spiritual or spiritual enough. There is only where your heart is and where you are allowing your heart to be led.

Are you consumed with the day to day mundane? The betterment of your personal situation? Or are you thinking of others, striving to reach out and love them in some way?

I have my good days and my bad days, as do you I am sure. But then I remember why I am here, why I have a hope, a certain peace, a joy, a sense of forgiveness for the all the wrong that I have done. The grace and love of Jesus.

And if I cannot take that and offer it back to others then it doesn’t matter what I’m praying or how much I’m reading. Somewhere along the way though, I have fallen in love with a Savior and now my life, my everything, is about making sure that others can experience that, that others can know their full worth.

So although there may be days where I am distracted, I am neither here nor there on the “spiritual scale.” And that is okay, because I have a purpose that rests in him, and I cannot imagine that anyone is perfect when it comes to their spirituality.

So, live out your calling in Him, and don’t get distracted by the little voice in your head that tries to point out all your shortcomings.

This is not a post to discount spiritual discipline, prayer, or reading the Word. Those things are important and I do very much enjoy my conversations with God and my times in scripture. But you know what? I have faked it too many times, you have faked it too many times. Let’s be honest about what we are doing, who we are, and why we are doing it instead of quoting a verse just to quote it or praying out of rote memorization. Jesus wants us- our lives, not just our empty words or actions, that yeah, to be honest… might make us appear really spiritual.

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The Cold Hard Truth

You are just not the same person when you are expecting a child. You may look the same (besides inflation), smell the same and sound the same, but your body has been taken over by ten times the amount of estrogen that you were used to pre-baby expecting. TEN TIMES!

Suddenly I am reduced to six-year old Andrea where everything is suddenly the biggest deal in the world and my eyes suddenly, instantly even, well up with tears anytime something is disappointing or does not go my way. Then there is the fact that there is this other person inside of you, depending on you to be healthy and smart with all your decisions. Not to mention the person lying next to you who helped you make the little one.  And even if you realize you are being unfair to said person, the estrogen ride will not stop and let you off, no matter how hard you kick and scream (and cry ofcourse).

I cannot speak for all women. I know there are some out there who absolutely love being pregnant and cannot wait to be pregnant again once it is all over. I now know that I am not one of these women. I can only hope that there is some balance for this in the actual birthing of a child. What is that prayer? Oh of course, the Prayer of Serenity.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.

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Disappointment

I am very disappointed, verging on upset, about the response, rather lack thereof, I have gotten to One Year Without. I think I assume that people are passionate about the same things as I am, and sometimes they just aren’t. That’s not a bad thing, we all need different interests and passions.

But I do think this is an important thing. Heck, they don’t even have to acknowledge what I am doing. Just send a little to someone in need!

Trying to come up with some positive ideas to reach people/ make them see what a great thing Compassion is. Any ideas? Maybe my approach has just been wrong. Praying about it, definitely don’t want this to turn into a personal negative!!!

Please pray too.

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Life's little blessings (literally and sarcastically)

babyThis week Andy and I have gotten good news on nearly every front. I am so excited to say that it seems life is moving forward just in time for baby. So…thank God for this week.

However, I wish that I felt that I knew what I was doing. I know it is only going to get worse. Everyday I read something else that makes me go WHAT??? No one tells you that happens after birth. Apparently the world keeps many secrets in order for people to pro-create. Then, just as you are about to enjoy the “miracle of birth” you discover just what lies in store.  For anyone out there that doesn’t want to know and wants to continue on in their happy bubble, I completely understand. For anyone else… keep reading.

  • Leakage- occurs grossly for the day after birth (as in “Oh honey make sure you bring 3 extra pairs of socks because it might run down your legs.”)
  • Soreness- breasts, down there, all that…for about 10 days. Apparently this is how long it takes to acclimate to breastfeeding. Umm….I thought it was supposed to be natural?!?!
  • Hemorrhoids- you’re about one billion times more likely to get these after you give birth. I don’t need to explain them. If you don’t know exactly what they are google them. NO thank you!
  • Clots- Bleeding occurs for 1-2 weeks after. During this time you might pass clots. One healthy pregnancy mag commented “may be painful and as big as a plum.” What the— No comment.
  • Weight- yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone knows about this one. But it’s still unfair. No one likes cellulite. No one. Not even chubby chasers.

Get the concern? These are only the mild wowsers that I learned. I left out more explicit ones for fear of losing 3 of my 4 readers (thanks for being a constant baby).  I will be sure to let all my friends who desire to know the real truths about child bearing in the days after.

Are you already a mom? Do you agree or disagree? This is all merely hearsay right now. Give me two more months!

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Whoah Mama!

I am going to be a mom. I really can’t believe it, every day that passes is one day closer to my being responsible for shaping and leading a small person. I think the hardest thing in becoming a parent is thinking about everything your parents did wrong. I tend to focus on that, saying “I know I won’t….” But I think some of it is inevitable. “I told you so” probably being one.

I have amazing parents, but they did make mistakes, and I wish in addition to teaching me about the love of Christ they would have taught me how him loving me means I can love myself, no matter what I do or go through. And part of that includes thinking about the future, another thing I was never good at in my adolescence. I literally picked a college because it was close, easy, and they let everyone in. Also it was “tradition” in my family, but I cared little about that fact.

Anyway, any advice on how to cope with the lurking fear of “becoming your parents?” Or just send prayers and happy thoughts my way, because I am just trying to stay sane thinking about it! :)

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Learning to really be yourself…

May take a lifetime. But it is so worth it! Don’t ya think?

I don’t know why, I have just been thinking how much more comfortable I am in my own skin now that I have allowed God to shape some part of me. I’m not perfect and I have a lot more God-shaping to let happen, but it is a good feeling to experience freedom from past chains. Things you didn’t even know were chains, but suddenly when they’re gone you realize they were. Because you feel free. Free of abuse, free of alcoholism, free of self-inflicted pain. It is nice. I thank God for that.

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