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What Could Go Right?

Battling mental illness is hard enough. When we add the stigmas and confusion around it, it can be debilitating. When considering if medication is the right option, we often will get more anxiety and think of all the things that could go wrong. This post will help us consider what could go right.

The hope of Advent and my need for the Savior.

It’s December and the hope of Advent is in the air. The reality of my need for the Savior is also cruelly apparent. Example: Do you attempt to decorate the house with your kids? Every year, I feel hopeful about how fun and meaningful our experience will be. The reality looks more like y sanity …

Practicing Gratitude in the Messy Middle

Thankfulness is a hardfought choice. We are most inclined to behold our blessings after we’ve brawled with pain and loss. Our tears are often the cleansing agent that clarifies our perspective, helping us see the bigger picture, the grander work at hand.

JUMPING IN AFRAID

Have you ever put your big girl panties on, stepped up to the plate to do something that totally terrified you but then froze in panic when it came time to actually DO the thing?? I’ve found myself in this predicament many a time. The most recent example happened at a swimming pool. My in-loves …

REFRAMING OUR FREEDOM

Can I be honest with you? Sometimes, in my day-to-day life I feel stuck. I feel like a captive. I feel like I just want to get in my car, start driving and not look back. I crave freedom. I crave being able to do whatever I want whenever I want. I crave not having …

TO YOUR HEALTH

Need some hope, help and resources to stay emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy during this strange season?

Then read on, friend!

WISDOM IS A TREE OF LIFE

It is a particularly strange time to be alive, and our need for wisdom beyond what we face on a regular basis grows each day.

When it rains, it pours,” they say. And that is true for the hard times in our lives. But isn’t that also true of the wisdom, discernment, instruction and love of our Father God? I’m puttin’ my money on yes! Otherwise, how do we balance joy and pain? How do we face the ups and down of this messy, marvelous life?

Read on for hope + solidarity.

WISDOM FOR WHEN YOU NEED A BREAK

I think we can all relate to experiencing a place of complete uncertainty in the midst of this messy, marvelous life. From debilitating anxiety to the discomfort of not being able to plan ahead for the coming months, fear has a voice that is loud and obnoxious. Fear tempts us to doubt God’s goodness and His ultimate control over the things that feel out of control in our world…

Theology is complex and faith in an unseen God is mysterious… But this I know: While I can’t see Him face-to-face, I can see His fingerprints ALL OVER THIS WORLD because of the work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Read on for hope + solidarity.

CONQUERING HATE WITH LOVE

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” REFRAMING OUR MINDSET As long as hate lives, innocent people will die. It’s so easy to think that the tragic news stories of today are unique to our time. But the Bible shows us they are …

JESUS IS STILL HOLDING EVERYTHING TOGETHER

I think we can all relate to experiencing a place of complete uncertainty in the midst of this messy, marvelous life. From debilitating anxiety to the discomfort of not being able to plan ahead for the coming months, fear has a voice that is loud and obnoxious. Fear tempts us to doubt God’s goodness and His ultimate control over the things that feel out of control in our world…

Theology is complex and faith in an unseen God is mysterious… But this I know: While I can’t see Him face-to-face, I can see His fingerprints ALL OVER THIS WORLD because of the work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Read on for hope + solidarity.

Staying Connected to the Source of Life

In order to grow and move forward in our lives, we must recognize the things that need to be pruned (removed). Much of this for us right now is unhealthy thinking. Unhealthy thoughts are founded in unhealthy beliefs. Unhealthy beliefs ultimately lead to unhealthy behaviors. It’s a vicious cycle. And it can suck the life out of us.

But when we identify and understand what we believe and why we believe it, we can make better choices that allow the Life and Truth of Scripture to energize us, nourish us and sustain us.

Read on for hope + solidarity.

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON MOTHERHOOD

Each day we live, we are perpetually learning how to hold joy in one hand and pain in the other. And each day, with all of it’s mess and marvel, will pass.

We so often want to CLING to the splendid moments while rushing through the strenuous ones. And that’s fair. But I wonder what we may miss in the process. I wonder what God may be doing through both the joyful and painful moments of our days.

I wonder what it would look like to REFRAME our days, our motherhood, through the lens of God’s love for us. To hold up the good stuff, the hard stuff, and all the in-between stuff to the lens of God’s love and see what He sees.

#SolidarySaturday – The Days “In-Between”

Yesterday was Good Friday. Sunday is Easter. But today is a day of silence, grief and mourning. Similar to the day between when Jesus died and rose again, we face a tension when we’re sitting in-between where we are and where we want to be. But there is a sacredness to this space that we may miss. Read more for hope and solidarity.

#SOLIDARITYSATURDAY: Surviving Social Distancing During Coronageddon

The world is spinning in light of all the shutdowns and lack of toilet paper caused by this ever-changing, quick-spreading virus. There isn’t a corner of the world unaffected and this business is getting serious. It’s sobering to be living this out in real time, isn’t it? We got word this week that our kids’ …

2020 Vision: DOES YOUR NEW YEAR NEED A NEW LENS?

Happy New Year! We’re a few days in and I’m still trying to grasp it all. Where did October go? How is my 20 year high school reunion coming up this summer? How are we half way through the school year already? How about you, friend? What’s on your mind these first few days of …

BE THE “REAL YOU” EVEN WHEN YOU’RE AFRAID OF REJECTION

If you had told me five years ago that this is what I’d be doing with my life, I would have laughed. How could God use a broken mess like me? Yet here I am. Being used by God to let others know they’re not alone in the messiness of life. This week, I gave a …

#16 BEING HELD BY COMMUNITY WHEN FEARS BECOME REALITY.

“She’s alive, but…”

These words stole my breathe and everything began to move in slow motion as my sister proceeded to tell me our mom had been rushed to the ER after being found passed out in her home by a friend. All we knew at that moment was they think she had suffered a stroke. We didn’t know if she would live or die. We didn’t know IF she survived whether she’d ever be able to walk or talk again.

One of our worst nightmares was unfolding right before our eyes and there was nothing we could do to stop it.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you gotten the text or phone call you never thought you’d get?

#15 UGLY CRYING IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

Are any of you hurting? Mourning the loss of someone you love dearly? I lost my cousin in June. June 2, actually. My wedding anniversary. Not that it matters much, but it was a stark reminder that on this earth we will continually be forced to hold joy in one hand and pain in the …

#14 REFRAMING OUR FOCUS FOR THE NEW YEAR

As a photographer, I spend a lot of time honing my craft.  Owning a nice camera will not get you far unless you learn how to use it to its full capacity.  Much of my energy and attention is dedicated primarily to three things:  Light, Settings and Focus.   Understanding how to find light, adjust settings …

#13 THE GLOW OF A CHRISTMAS TREE

There is something inexplicably captivating in the soft glow of a Christmas tree. It is welcoming and warm. Each tiny light holds power that pierces the darkness. Yet it gently welcomes me to sit close and stare in awe and wonder. The longer I sit and stare, the further away the worries of life seem. …

#12 TO THE CHRISTIAN WITH ANXIETY + DEPRESSION: HOW TO PRAY

#TransformationTuesday #AndreaNSpeaks #ThePrayerOfFaith #ChristiansWithAnxietyAndDepression #ReframedThroughTheLensOfLove If you’re a Christian struggling to understand how to pray about your anxiety, depression, chronic illness or any other painful reality – I urge you to give this message a listen! This is one of the most powerful teachings I’ve heard on prayer. Especially from the perspective of someone who …

#11 CHANGE THE TAPE

WHAT ARE THE TAPES THAT PLAY ON REPEAT IN YOUR MIND? WHAT ARE THE VOICES YOU BATTLE EACH DAY? Fear? Insecurity? Uncertainty? Your past? If you’re anything like me, you don’t realize the tape is toxic. The voices are so familiar they seem like truth. But they are pulling you under and making it seem …

#10 IN THIS WORLD, YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE…

Today, I’m met with strong emotional strife over some hard realities in my life.  I’m reminded that Jesus was clear to us in His Word that we WILL face troubles. Jesus declares in John 16:33 (from the Bible) that we WILL face trouble in this world.  He doesn’t say “You MAY face troubles” or “You …

#9 YOUR PAST DOES NOT DEFINE YOUR FUTURE.

There’s no denying our pasts shape who we are. For good and for bad. The list of experiences goes on and on. But no matter what your past holds,  it does NOT limit what God can do with your future. You are never too far gone. You are not “unfixable”. You are not a lost …

#7 CONFIDENCE BLOOMS IN THE BATTLES

“Just as a butterfly has to work her way out of a chrysalis in order to build the strength she needs to fly with her newfound wings, the confidence and beauty that is innately within us often only shows itself after having been met by tension and hardship. These become the untradeable experiences that build …

#6 THE HOPE OF EASTER

Easter is about hope, renewal, new life. The miracle of God coming as to Earth as a baby at Christmas is made complete with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Christ DEFEATED death and ROSE AGAIN on the third day.  Easter is pivotal because without the resurrected Christ, there would be no …

#5 TURNING YOUR “I COULD NEVER” INTO “OH YES I CAN!”

One my Mammaw’s classic lines was: “Well, the thing about is, is that…”  Oh how I miss that sassy gal! She’d begin with this statement when defending an argument, pondering a question, or just plain ol’ wanting to have the last word. I recently changed up my diet in hopes of relieving some ongoing health …

#4 LOOK AT YOU NOW!

I had breakfast with a fellow MOPS Coordinator today and as I reflect on our sweet time together, I’m left with her words to me at multiple points in our conversation… “And look at you now.” This was our first time sitting down together, but it was like we’ve been friends for years.  We each …

#3 GET LOST! REPLACING FEAR, SHAME + GUILT WITH CONFIDENCE, JOY + FREEDOM.

Remember those old Special K commercials where they asked, “What will you GAIN when you LOSE?”  When people stepped onto the scale, instead of seeing a NUMBER they were shocked to see WORDS. Words like: CONFIDENCE. JOY. FREEDOM. I don’t know about you but those are the words I desperately wanted to GAIN in regards …

#2 FEAR OF WHAT OTHERS THINK

When I first felt God calling me into a leadership position with the MOPS group at my church, I was frozen with fear.  I sat silent for months with this ever present nudge in my soul because I was afraid;  Afraid if I raised my hand to volunteer for the position they would only see …

#1: THROUGH THE STORM

Becoming a mom was a perplexing process for me. On one hand, it was pure joy. The sparkle in my kids’ eyes, the pureness of their laughter, the magic of watching them grow and develop. Some moments were like heaven on earth and I would think to myself: “IT COULDN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!” …

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