Monday, August 15, 2011

A picture is worth 1000 words

I am fascinated by the power of taking pictures. When I have been on mission trips the kids and adults clamor to be in your photos. My mission trip experiences were pre-digital, so I can't imagine the power of displaying the image in an instant.
While visiting the Memphis Children's Museum I experienced the fascination of film all over again. My girls each dressed up and danced/acted in front of a green screen. They watched their acting on screen with different back drops. And all the while they called out: "Mom, Mom take my picture.". During a break they asked for my camera and scrolled through the pictures. Each one laughed, grimaced and most of all re-lived their museum visit. Long Live the PHOTO!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"I never get tired of this"

This afternoon we took our kids to see Cars 2. My son, who is 11 years old was particularly invested in seeing the newest Pixar movie. He loves the shorts, the humor and the animation. Following the short feature, the film opened with the signature Pixar lamp. I overheard my son say: "I never get tired of this." His comment actually took my breath away. My preteen, almost 12 year old, approaching middle school son can't get enough of Pixar. My mind flashed back to when my Dad would take me and my brothers and sister to see the Superman movies (the original with Christopher Reeve) and the Indiana Jones movies, and the Karate Kid movies. I think we felt a similar sentiment: "We can't get enough of this." What a blessing that Pixar has made quality movies since my son was born - Nemo, Toy Story, Monster's Inc, Bugs Life, Up... and Cars just to name a few. Every June for the past eleven years has been marked by a Pixar movie.
I know that some day he will get tired of animated movies. He won't go anymore and then there will be a new genre of movie for his kids. But for now, I love that he loves to go to the movies with his Mom! And that I can hear him exclaim: "I never get tired of this."

Friday, June 24, 2011

sticky fingers

The things we do for love! Tonight I am blogging from the floor of the Immanuel Baptist Church cry room in Bloomingdale, WI. I'm here with 38 other Fellowshippers, all serving our friends in the greater-Milwaukee area.
After a long night I finally got Jael asleep. She is curled up next to me with her sticky little arms draped over me.
I can't seem to unwind. While lying here awake I kept thinking how much life has changed since I had kids. In the past I couldn't stand to be touched when I was trying to fall asleep. Now, I love to know Jael is there. Her sweaty limbs drapes over mine reminds me how lucky I am to be a Mom! Oh, the things we do for LOVE!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Inner Peace

Nine months ago a group of my friends embarked on a journey toward self-discovery. Today while watching Kung Fu Panda II, it all came together. Happy Birthday to me! I love it when a movie that brings joy to my kids can speak to me. At the beginning of the movie Po is challenged to find inner peace. He never recieves the formal lesson from the Master but instead gets his education (on the job) in the field. Literally the lesson is learned while in battle. At a critical point in the movie, Po is forced to look into his past. He accepts the challenge and by looking past his vague memory the truth is revealed. His amazing discovery is that although his past was very difficult, owning it allowed him to wholeheartedly accept the beauty of his present.
It's a day after my 39th Birthday. I have spent the last nine months developing coping skills that would protect me as I owned my past to be free in the present. I love that by embracing my inadequacies, my fears and even my losses - God is glorified. Less of me and more of Him, is my secret to inner peace. Accepting the "Andrea" he created me to be. Exposing where the shame has kept me trapped, speaking it and moving beyond it is the best Birthday gift I have ever had.
Thank you to all my friends and family who have allowed me to ask hard questions, sit in my saddnes, and rejoice in my joy. Thank you for traveling with me over the past nine months. Thank you for your patience. Thank you, Jesus, for reminding me that when I am at the end of my resource rope... You are there to catch me... and your one desire is to get all the GLORY.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm not 40 yet!

Today I finally purchased health insurance. I have been dragging my feet forever... but today I filled out the applications and purchased health insurance for our family. It will only cover a catastrophic situation, but it is there and offers peace of mind. At the end of a 2 hour meeting with my insurance agent, the application was aproved but as "standard" not "preferred." Apparently the fact that I had not had a physical exam in more than 3 years puts us at higher risk. Upon review my agent said, well "you are 40." I experienced the warm flash of .... "Not yet." Then the sudden realization that: "I almost am." and Finaly the question: "DId I turn 40 and not realize it."

The agent and I worked out my age... which is not quite: 39 years old.

I came home, put on yoga pants and made a cup of coffee in my favorite elephant coffee mug (thanks Jen Lind). I have to admit that it is hard to admit .... "I am almost 40!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is it the "End of the World."

May 23, 2011
Did you hear the news? It was “prophesized” that the world was supposed to end this past Saturday. It was covered, rather mockingly, on most networks Friday and Saturday. The Doomsday watch was fodder for the late night shows last week, and it was mocked in many online communities and virtually all the social networks. I can’t deny it; I made fun of the absurdity, too. On Saturday night my status on Facebook read that I had evidently not been raptured! But really, this so-called prophecy was anything but funny. One of the biggest events of all time, the return of Jesus, was turned into a Comedy Central spoof.
False prophets; Jesus himself warns us about them! But how do we fight against such lies? How do we know truth when it’s disguised in a Biblical cloak?
Staying alert and being aware of what’s going on in the world are the first steps in combating false prophets. Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:15-16
So, what does Jesus mean when he says, “You will recognize them by their fruits”? I can only think that He means a person’s entire character—who they really are. Do they show righteousness, humility and faithfulness in the way they live? Is what they teach based entirely (and wholly) on God’s Word or is what they say a hodgepodge of Scripture and their own man-centered concoction of truth?
J.C Ryle wrote on this subject, “What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm. 119:105.) The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear. They would have us believe that ‘they are not learned, and do not pretend to have decided opinions.’ The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.”
While we parents might seem reluctant to share with our younger children the ugly truth that there are people in this world who choose to twist and turn God’s Word around for personal gain, I can think of nothing more important than giving them the foundation which will help them discern truth from lies—and that comes from teaching them God’s Word.
Ephesians 6:10-18 teaches us about the Armor of God. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. As stated above, in Psalms the Word of God is as light, giving wisdom and understanding. In Isaiah the Word of God is like water, rain which gives life to a parched earth. Jeremiah refers to God’s Word as fire, that burned his soul until he could hold it no longer. Jesus refers to the Word as seed planted in the human heart, which grows, bearing fruit of faith.
I want to teach my kids that when they build their lives on God’s Word, then they live a life of genuine freedom, happiness, joy and purpose. Deception will always out there, but the truth of the Word will be a firm foundation on which they can stand.
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Written By: Lisa
Found at: What's in the

I always wanted a white picket fence

I am in the last week of my Ordinary Courage Class. Today the instructor Brene Brown answered questions about shame resilence and boundaries. Funny, since I am also wrapping up a 9 month journey with a small group of friends through the book Boundaries. Today during my class Brene said: "boundaries are vulnerable." I was very surprised by that statement. Since part of me thought that by developing good boundaries I would be more protected. Brene went on to explain that having good boundaries is 1) asking for what you need, 2) saying what you feel and 3) believing you are worthy of receiving both of those things. WOW! She also explained shame resilience as understanding what shame is and not betraying your authentic self while traveling through it.

So, here is my synopsis. Boundaries are like a picket fence. They provide space between me and my environment. I can see the outside and the outside can see me. There is a gate on my fence, and I can open it up and close it as I want and need to. When I feel ashamed I can close the gate. Move away from the person injuring me and use my coping skills until I find a safe space to process. Success is when I do not yell, or shut down but rather ask for what I need. Take the space to process my feelings and then respond.

I loved Brene's coping skills: 1) Do nothing. 2) Say nothing (don't talk, don't text, don't email) until you are calm. 3) Find a quiet space (car, bathroom stall, home) and breathe, pray wait until you are ready to respond without betraying your authentic self.

When I was a little girl I dreamed of marrying the guy from the LLBean catalogue. My New England experience told me that those guys, had money, worked hard, carried in the fire wood, drove BMW's, etc. I believed "arriving" would include a house with a white picket fence, a driveway with a Honda Odyssey and a man who wore suits to work. Funny, now I realize that the best picket fence is the one I'm building around my heart and life - to let the good in and keep the bad out. These steps are empowering and exciting. They also seem a bit lofty... God grant me the courage to change what I can!