Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What If?

"Andrea, you are going to be a wonderful woman of God one day."

My mom would tell me that every night as she tucked my little girl self in my little girl bed. 

I remember believing her, but the idea of being a "woman" was so far away, it was a bit hard to wrap my little girl mind around.

After that mom would ask me "what-if" questions. 
"What if  a stranger asked you to get in their car?"
"What if you got lost at the mall?"
"What if a friend tried to influence you with drugs?"

What if?
She was trying to equip my little girl self with a little big girl wisdom. 
She knew the importance of asking good questions. 

This morning, as I sit in the quiet of the day's beginnings, I have so many "what if's." 

What if  I lived every day fully surrendered to Christ?
What if  I set aside one hour of my day to read the word, and meditate on it's truth?
What if  I let me anxious heart, rest more in the peace that surpasses all understanding?

What if?

Attending the Proverbs 31 ministries, She Speaks conference this weekend was a gift. I learned so much in 2 days and am still processing all of the truth and beauty I heard from the hearts of some amazing women. 

But, what if my mom wouldn't have funded that trip?
What if  I had not met those women who changed my life and the way I think?
What if  I had not had the courage to meet with a publisher?

What if  God specifically placed every single woman, 750 of us, in that time and place for a reason and a  purpose?

He did. 
I know it.
I felt it.
I saw it.

What kind of what-if questions do you have?
Try listing a few today, and begin listening to what God has to say?

Because what-if he has an answer that will change your life forever. 

What if a blessing is waiting right around the corner for you, friend.
Don't miss it.
Don't miss a thing.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

What if we humbled ourselves and prayed?

What if we heard from Heaven?

What if our land can still be healed?

What if, my friends, what if?

Hope you enjoyed your landing

Sunday, July 28, 2013

How many times have I missed it?

Tonight I'm wondering how many times I've missed it.
You know.
His voice.
The voice of the creator.

Because the more you hear Him, the more you realize He's been there all along.
And then you start to realize it's you.
You're the one who missed His voice. Not because you're a bad Christian or don't love Him. It's just what as humans,we've learned to listen to the voices of other humans because we can see the mouth of the voice we hear.

It's sometimes hard listening to an invisible voice.
But friends, listen longer and let your eyes see new things.

Let the invisible become visible.
Hear him tonight in the thunder.
Let the rain leave you listening for the next drop of his voice.
Listen to Him in the form of your child.
Hear His whisper when your head graces your pillow upon the evening's end.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul and yours.
Remember that it doesn't matter how many times we've missed it.
What matters most is that you are open and willing and ready for the next moment.
Because he is already there with words for you.

I hope you sleep soundly and awake satisfied. (Psalm 17:15)
Hope you enjoyed your landing.
(I love hearing from you, friends and value your comments.)

Belonging...Do you have a place?

Three questions for you, reader.

1. Where do you feel your best? In other words, what place allows you to embrace your best self?

2. What do you do in that place?

3. When do you go to that place and how often can you be found there?

Got your answers?

Here's mine.

1. Although I have many places that I love, right now that place is my studio. When I am there, I am embracing the unknown. My studio has evolved since it's humble beginnings back in November. Each day the shape of it changes and in turn changes me. I like that.

2. When I am at my studio, I think. My curiosity for life sparks. My imagination takes flight.

There, I tutor 8 brilliant students. These students are my teachers. They teach me about who they are and what they want to become. We spend time building upon their passions, while recognizing their areas of need and intended growth.
There, I teach creative classes. I watch people create and I encourage them to say yes to their ideas. I have witnessed some serious creativity in this creative place. They are my teachers and my friends.
There I throw parties. I've seen princesses paint and an expectant mom open gifts of expectation.
There, I meet with God and friends over coffee and bread.
It is there, I learn about life and love and living out what I learn.

3. I go to that place on Monday's, Tuesday's, and Thursdays, just for a few hours at a time. Sometimes I go down late at night when my home is quiet and my baby is in bed. I am away from this place more than I am present, because my other place is my home and I cherish my time with family.  I hope to one day spend more time there, working full time. But that's not my choosing. It's God's.

Think about that place  today, friends.
Think about what that place looks like, sounds like, and smells like.
While you're thinking about that place, embrace the place you're in at this very moment.

It's sacred. So belong there for now, and dream about what it may become.
That's all I did.

Enjoy your next flight

Friday, July 26, 2013

For when you're running late...

Late was a word I never really liked. 
It was a word that sent anxiety though my body.
It was a word I didn't want attached to my name.
Because I am an "ON TIME PERSON"

Until today. 

Today taught me that sometimes late is just a wait. 
A wait to get you to a place where God wants to use you.
A divine appointment. Not scheduled. Not planned. 

He can't always do His greatest work in plan books and calendars. 
Sometimes His greatest works are done in the waiting. 

I am thankful for the waiting I had to do today. 
I learned about the condition of my anxious heart and how time
had been ruling the deepest dwelling in my soul. 

Today every moment was a precious gift. 
And I never thought the gifts of today would come because of being late. 

Thank you God for teaching me. 
Continue to work on my heart. 

Until next time, 

>>>>>>>> Enjoy your flight

Monday, July 15, 2013

Yard Work

Tonight's words come from the heart of the greatest man in the world. The man who mows our lawn every Friday, and works hard to make our home look great. He is my best friend, my love, my husband.

(Daniel Noles)
When I was a child, growing up at my parents house, one of my spring and summer tasks was to cut the grass. When we first moved to the house, where my parents still live, the only thing we had at the time was a push mower. Now, to begin with, as a child I never really enjoyed cutting the grass. You sweat excessively, sometimes the mower would clog, checking the oil and putting in gas was always an after thought that only occurred when for some mysterious reason the push mower would slowly die. These, among countless other reasons, were just a few reasons I loathed having to cut the grass. That and the fact that we owned almost an acre of land. Yes, even you right now are thinking, I'm glad that wasn't me! My mother even stated to me that at one time I said I would have a yard full of concrete when I owned my own home just so I wouldn't have to cut it! Oddly enough, I think I recall actually saying that.

Fast forward 25 years and my how things have changed. NowI must admit that I don't look forward to mowing on a North Carolina summer day, when it's only 97 degrees and the humidity makes it feel like that of an oven ready to bake something. I still get upset at times having to deal with a lawn mower that doesn't want to start right away, and yes I did check the oil and gas first. However, I do enjoy what yard work has become for me. It's a time to return to the simple task of toiling the ground, getting dirty, and getting back to my roots of what really makes us who we are.
As I've gotten older, I appreciate more of what my parents and grandparents had to do to get to where they were or are now. Things weren't easy and if you wanted something you had to work at it. I'm sure they got frustrated, maybe let a bad word slip once in a blue moon, but they got in there and they worked at it. Besides the sweat, frustration, and dirty clothes, what else did they get from it? I believe a sense of accomplishment. A sense of pride and self worth. A better sense of who they were. A more refined sense of character.

Now I don't claim any form of supreme intelligence on my part and I certainly can't claim wisdom, but I do know that yard work can teach me, maybe us, a lot about who we truly are, what lies deep within us, and at the same time, a way to connect with our past that takes us into our future. I'll take that any day when it comes to doing yard work. You can't put a price tag on that friends!

Now, I think I'll go out and work in the yard tomorrow morning...maybe!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How do we define holy?

Before you read this post, I encourage you to scroll to the bottom and listen to the music in the background of your reading. "What do I Know of Holy," by Addison Road, is one of the most beautiful songs I know. I hope you enjoy it.

According to the dictionary, the word "holy" has two definitions. 

But what do we know of this word? What do we know of a word that seems so untouchable because we struggle with sin daily?
  1. Dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred: "the Holy Bible"; "the holy month of Ramadan".
  2. (of a person) Devoted to the service of God: "saints and holy men".
To me, you can't really put your finger on holy. Because holy comes in many forms. Holy can be ugly and it can be beautiful. It can be dull, bright, easy, difficult, but mainly it's grace-filled. I've experienced it in the dark of the night, when I can't seem to breathe and I've met holy in the dawn of a new day, when my breathe somehow catches itself back into my body's rhythm. 
To me holy means listening. It means learning every single day, by meditating on the word. But it's mostly about loving people like Jesus did. That's what I know of holy.

Tonight I read a blog about a woman who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010. Here are her reflections on the word "holy" She truly has a gift with words. You can read more of her thoughts at

This morning God reminded me that perhaps it is precisely right here, where I sit, that holiness is discovered. 'Holy' might just be found in holding a hand through anxiety or cleaning that which is dirty or picking up what has been spilled. Because holy is not, has never been found in pristine and perfect. Instead it shines through the messy brokenness that defines our lives.

Holiness shone brightly in a dirty, dung-strewn stable. Holiness advanced through washing dirt-caked feet. Holiness radiated from the wounds of a thorny crown and the horrendous reality of a brutal, criminal's death on a splinter-infested cross. Now that was holy. And there was nothing pretty or desirable about it. It met no one's definition of perfection. Nevertheless, holiness found its definition in Jesus.

Think about how you define holy. How you live it. How you see it.
Play hide and seek with it this week.
You may find you in a dark, lonely place- when you're just not sure if there is an ounce of care left inside you.
Or it may find you in the dawn of the morning and kiss your face and say, " I love you."

It's there. 
I'll leave you with a video from a great band, Addison Road. The title is, What do I know of Holy. (Kind of fitting, huh?)


Thursday, July 11, 2013

lights of heaven...

July in my studio has looked a little like the sky on July 4th.
Lots of lights. Sparks. And constellations of inspiration.

The greatest blessing my studio has lent so far, is that of seeing inspiration spark in a moment's notice.
I love the lightbulbs above heads. The "oh wow's" and the "flickers of fearless creating" and the moment you know the greatest creator is there, working the hearts of minds of children and adults, for good, for a purpose.

A favorite song of mine is "Fix You," by Coldplay. The song was written for Gwenyth Paltrow after her father died. The best line in the song is, "lights will guide you home." I love that notion. I love knowing a light will await when I am away. I loved this line so much that I put it on my chalkboard sign in my studio.

Trays are available for purchase for $10.00 at A Place to Land

And today, I knew the reason I had cared enough to carry it from song to sign.

I am constantly encouraging my kids to use the walls in our studio to inspire their thinking and especially their writing. One of my students looked at my sign and said, "hmmm, lights." "I think I'll write a book called Lights of Heaven." Then he said, "What if we write it together?" Of course I accepted his very serious request.

The next twenty minutes consisted of cutting apart magazines to look for inspiration. Looking for words that reminded us of heaven. (He cut an ice cream cone out, and said that was definitely heavenly). It.Was.Amazing.

We completed the title page today. I like it.

I loved the beautiful firework picture we found.

Thank you Lord for the gift of inspiration. You always provide, always inspire.

 Inspiration is what moves us forward and brings us back home when our light is almost out.

Thanks for letting the lights of heaven shine down on us time and time again. We notice.

We love you.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Look past your perimeter.

A path that surrounds a two dimensional shape and is found by adding up each side of the shape.

Perimeters close, divide, and create walls.

Perimeters provide safety.

Ahhh, safety- a favorite American word. A word that is the reason for so many new laws, regulations, and rules. And yes, some rules are for good reason. Others just instill deep fears and keep us closed up in our safe little boxed up lives.

We like boxes thought, don't we? We box our lives in and set up walls of safety. We peer out the sides and once in awhile we may jump out, just to play, just to remember how free it feels not to fear. But we usually jump right back in.

Our world needs people, more than ever, to look past their perimeters and break down the walls. There are so many walls people. TOO many.

In the book of Joshua, we read about this man who had courage. He answered God's call and faithfully led the Israelites to the Promised Land. He looked beyond his anxiety and fear and pressed on past his perimeter. You know his legacy. Joshua commanded his men. They shouted and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.

Bring a wall down today friends cause this world needs to breathe again.
Bring down your perimeters and watch God move you into His walls. His plan. His safety.

May the sum of your life be filled with purpose and intention today, tomorrow and the rest that follow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

When life is a question mark...

Of all the punctuation marks in the grammar world, which one can you most identify with as a representation of where you are on your journey?

Periods mark the end of a statement.
Exclamation marks celebrate
Commas are bridges to the next thing.
And question marks are waiting on an answer?

For me personally my life is a question mark with little exclamation marks, celebrating little things I am experiencing that are new to me.

And sometimes when life is a question mark, we have to wait.
We have to wait on God and what He wants.
And that's a hard thing.

But what if we entered into the question of ourselves, giving each day a chance to change us, to make us new, and prepare us for the answer stirring inside? What if we really let our lives be lived out in fervent faith, pressing onward our prayers, and setting ourselves down to what's next?

What is the overwhelming question punctuating your life right now...
Everyone's carrying around one. We are all wondering something.

It's a terrifying thing to do, really.
It's being okay with unknown.
It's saying yes to what may be next.
It's letting go of what you want the end of your story to look like.

Sue Monk Kidd, author of The When the Heart Waits (well known for her book, The Secret Life of Bees) compares the waiting to the metamorphosis of the caterpillar to a butterfly. Within the chrysalis, the caterpillar awaits renewal. In the waiting, chemicals are released, its insides are turned into mush with no parts, and from that emerges a brain, internal parts, head, legs, and beautifully painted wings. If you have never witnessed a miracle, then watch the transformation of a butterfly. I can't think of a better miracle to witness.

So while you wait, remember that creativity and beauty are found in questioning and wondering.
Wherever you are in your journey, let what's punctuating your life breathe. Give your marks space to do their work.

God's changing you friends, whether you are entering into the chrysalis, already inside waiting, or you have just broke free--- He loves you and is working all things for good (Romans 8:28 gives us that promise).

Here is a prayer for you today from The Daily Bread

We stand amazed, God, at the awesome creation You allow us to enjoy. From distant galaxies to beautiful butterflies, You have given us a world that speaks loudly of your love for us. Thank you, Lord, for creation. 

Enjoy your flight~~~>