Saturday, August 31, 2013

Turn away and listen..

Turn away from the world today and begin to listen.

Listen to the cadence, the rhythm inside.
The music that frees up your soul.

Listen to the place desiring peace.
May that place be comforted.

Turn away from the world today and begin to contemplate.

Listen to your creative voice, instead of your inner critic.

Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and be moved by truth.

Turn away from the world and go.

Go gracefully.
Go searching.
Go open.

May God's kingdom come today.
Turn away.
And see Heaven on Earth.

Have a blessed Saturday.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Greatest List


Stay with me now just for a bit.

This list (according Matthew) is the greatest of lists.
This list gives us hope.
It gives us peace.
It gives us salvation.
It gives us Jesus.

As I typed this list I realized there were so many people in the lineage of Jesus that I didn't know.
So today, my aim is to fix that.

Today I will begin my research at the bottom of this great list.
I will begin with Matthan.
He is the first unknown man to me.
Not even sure if there is much out there about it.
We will see if Google knows him.

Have a blessed day and as you write out your to do list today, remember the greatest one.
It's not a to do list, it's a to whom list.

And to whom do we all belong friends?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Seek and Seek

We've all played the popular game, Hide and Seek a time or two.
But then we grew up.
We stopped playing didn't we?

Because how silly would it be to see grown adults out on a Friday night playing hide and go seek.

But guess what?

I think we play it more than we think.
But we play it with our Father.
Our creator.
And I can't speak for you, but for me...

I play this game daily.

The rules go something like this.

1. God speaks to us.
2. We run.
3. We hide.
4. And we wait.
5. We expect Him to find us.

Now I like to say I am seeker. I really do try. And some days I am a good seeker.
But other days, I run. I hide. I let fear abide in me. And I just wait in the hiding.

What if as Christians we played a different game?
God's game of Seek and Seek?
A game with no hiding, only chasing after one another.
And by one another I mean God.
A chase, a race, a seeking.
What if we started our day seeking, instead of hiding in our cozy beds, under our cozy sheets?
What if we sought first the kingdom of God?

I know what the word says about this game.
The winner of this game will have the righteousness of God granted to them.
Because Matthew 6:33 tells us that all things will be added unto us.

Maybe it's time to change the name of the game we play with God.
Maybe it's time to open up, listen up, and SEEK His face.

What will you seek when you wake up tomorrow?

The snooze button
The news
A big plate of bacon

To be honest I make seek 3 out of the 4, but FIRST, first I will seek the kingdom of God.

Have a blessed weekend.
Enjoy your flight>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, August 18, 2013

When your Bible gets beat up...

I love my Bible.

It's been through a lot these past 6 years.
But today, it took it's most horrific beating of all time.

It all began after church.
Daniel and I had driven in separate vehicles and I decided I would take Weston home with me.

As I opened the back door, I set my Bible along with a few papers on the back of my car.
I put Weston in his seat and spoke with a few people as they headed to their cars.

In the meantime, THIS GIRL completely forgot about the b-i-b-l-e and drove right off with my favorite book, riding on the trunk of my car.

Thankfully, someone noticed the papers flying from my car and gave them to Daniel before he drove off.

My Bible however, held on for the ride.
Now, keep in mind I had no idea I had anything on my trunk. For all I knew, everything was neatly tucked away in my car.

So I get home. Still, not thinking about my belongings.
And about five minutes later, Daniel walks through the door and tells me that someone gave him my papers that had flown from the back of my car.
I asked him if my Bible was with them.
"No," he said.

I knew then, that my Bible was somewhere between our house and the church. Which meant I had 4 miles of searching to do.

I drive slowly, drawing my eyes to the edges of the road. I get to the stop light about a mile from our home and I see a white truck with a man standing outside of it, looking down at something.

Could it be? Could it be my Bible?
I edge by him and I see the turquoise spine.
YES, YES, YES! There is my Bible in the hands of a stranger on the side of the road.

I take a deep, thankful breath, and quickly turn my car around.
I walk up to the man and tell him I think he found my Bible.

He says, "Yes ma'am I did, if your name is Andrea Hussell." (My maiden name was still written on the inside)
"That's me, except now I'm Andrea Noles," I said.
Apparently, he and his wife were driving and noticed a "book" in the middle of the road and decided to stop and pick it up.

What a great Samaritan.
He rescued my Bible.
And although it did get run over a few times, and bruised and torn a bit.
It is safely back in our home, ready to feed me soul tomorrow morning.

So there's a few lessons I took away from this experience. Because there is always a lesson people. There is always a "Danny Tanner Full House Lesson" attached to the mess ups we make.

1. Don't forget about your Bible. Don't toss it aside. Guard it with your heart, just as you would a child.
2. When something is lost go look for it.
3. Take the time to notice. You may find something someone is looking for.

Have a blessed week friends.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I went to church today...

At 9:45 a.m I walked into church.

I was greeted, as always.

And was able to catch up with the fabulous barista.

And then I ordered a chai tea.

You see, I go to church every time I go to SPLAT, Mount Holly's local coffee shop.

Ya wanna know why it's church?

Because every.single.time I have been there. Jesus has been there too.

You can hear Him in nearly every conversation.
You can see Him working in peoples lives.
And you can certainly smell and taste him in the coffee.

It's true.

So I sat down and started reading a book, while I was waiting on a friend to arrive.

I couldn't pay attention to what I was reading because Jesus kept popping up.

I saw Him in a little girl who was reciting scripture aloud, even proclaiming John 3:17 to a stranger.
I saw Him in a young boy who drew pictures for the manager to hang up.

I closed my book because Jesus was too loud for me to concentrate on the words in front of me.

It's true.

My friend arrived.
She ordered her coffee and we began talking about her trip to London.
We sat for nearly two hours as she shared stories of her mission work and what Jesus was doing in her life.
She opened her heart and Jesus poured out.

I've never been to church at 9:45 am on a Wednesday.
I've never seen Jesus work in a coffee shop, like He is working there.

Church is everywhere, everyday.
We take the name of Christ into every place we land.

Take Him with you tomorrow and watch Him work.

Love and Light~ andrea

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When you can't cut a straight line...

My kindergarten report card said I couldn't cut a straight line.

So that summer, my mom had me cut
 and cut,
 and cut some more.
And yes, by the end of the summer I could cut a straight line.
Not perfectly, but I could do it.

But what if I was never meant to cut straight?
What if I was meant to think in waves, and unevenness, and lopsidedness?
What if the one thing on my report card that I couldn't do was actually a gift.
What if the reason, I couldn't cut straight was because God knew I would
grow up and design things that weren't straight.
Like my classroom.
Notice the wall...

NOTHING about it is straight or perfect.
But I like it and I think kids will like it.

Now, don't get my wrong-- there is a time and a place for "straightness"
Like picture frames and parking your car, and getting from point a to point b.

I appreciate all the brilliant people in our world who have a linear perspective.
I really do.
Lines are their art and waves are mine.

So just know, whatever your report card says about you, there is also a lot it doesn't say.
Use your strengths, yet don't ignore your weakness.
They could too become a strength one day.

What did your report card say about you?
I would really love to hear back from you on this one.

Be blessed friends!

Monday, August 12, 2013


Surrendered hands look different.

They have a ruggedness.
They are imperfect.
They are used.

Surrendered hands have surrendered palms that face upward.
Palms that say, "Anything Lord."

They serve willingly.

Surrendered hands don't belong to us.

They are instruments.
They are stories.
They are His.

Surrendered hands are weak.
And strong.
And still.

Look upon your hands today.
Use your hands to serve, to love, and to share.

For every handful you take today.
Give, yet another.

Fold them in prayer and open them as you go.
May the hand of God, cover both your hands today
and bless you with his eternal love.

Surrendered hands look different.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lessons from The Sandlot

This past Tuesday I took a trip back down memory lane.

Yes, friends! I watched THE SANDLOT.

And, yes, I still remembered most every line. 
And yes, Jennifer, Ashley, Melissa, Jessica, Kristen, and Brandie, I thought about us and our crazy obsession with Mike Vitar, and all the BIG BOPPER magazines we collected, and our silly clubs. 

My husband and step-dad set up an outdoor theater in the backyard and we projected one of best movies of all time, up on the big white sheet of a screen.

I love re-watching movies from my childhood. I truly felt like I was in sixth grade again. The same characters made me laugh. The same lines stuck out to me. And the same quotes made me think about life. 

So the rest of tonight's post is dedicated to all you fellow Sandlot lovers and the lessons we can all take away from these baseball crazy, smore-makin, Wendy Peferrcorn lovin', beast fearin' boys. 

This is what Benny tells Smalls as he is trying to help him get over his fear of catching a ball. Clearly, this fear is a direct result of never having played much baseball, but Benny gives him faith that he can do it. AND HE DOES. So what can we take from this? When we are afraid and unsure. Our Savior is there just asking for our hand, our trust, and our faith in Him. Stick our your glove and let him do the rest.

These are the wise words that Babe Ruth shares with Benny in a dream. Benny is faced with the fear of jumping across the fence to pickle the beast and retrieve the Babe Ruth ball that Smalls took from his dad's trophy room. This simple statement gave Benny enough courage to jump the fence and face his fear. What we decide to do is much more important than who we are. The decisions we make will be remembered and when we let courage talk, our lives are lived as legends.

LESSON 3: "For-ev-ER…  For-ev-ER… For-ev-ER"
If you've seen the movie, you can get a picture of Squints saying this again and again as he is
explaining the story of the beast and that he would be chained up For-ev-ER. He is so serious in his storytelling and really believes what he is saying is true. From this, let's remember that this life is but a glimpse, a speck, a small dose of what is to come. One day, some day, when we are called to heaven. We will remain with our Savior. For-ev-ER!

These and so many more lessons can be learned from the summer adventure of boy being boys, playing baseball at the sandlot. There are only a few short weeks left of summer vacation. Take some time to rewatch a childhood movie. Watch with new eyes and hear with new ears. There's always a lesson to be learned. You know you want to.

Ahhhh, childhood. What a gift.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Let "It" Be

"Speaking words of wisdom, let it be."

Everyone knows this song.
Everyone knows who sang it.
Everyone can at least sing the chorus.

But can we really live this song?
Can we really walk around and believe the part of this song
that tells us that there will be an answer and to let it be?

Some things are so easy to sing.

I want to give into the it part of the song.
The it is whatever God has planned and purposed for my life.
I just want to trust today and let the it happen.

The funny thing about it is that it can't be defined in the "now."
Once it is found, it suddenly carries meaning, and from there can be lived out.

For instance.
I knew last year I wanted to rent a studio.
I knew I wanted to tutor students there.
I knew I wanted it to be something more.
But I wasn't sure what that it was.

So I started dreaming.
Little dreams.
Big dreams.
Scary dreams.
God-sized dreams.

I kept replaying the line from "Field of Dreams" in my head, "If you build it they will come.

I turned the studio over to God, promising to use it for good and for His glory.
9 months later, I know a little bit more about my it and I've been letting God work, letting him build, letting him lead.

It is surrender.
It is faith.
It  is hope..
It is God

Let's let God do His work.
Let God Be.
Because He has the answers friends. 

What's your "it" you need to let be?

Remember, when you let it be, 
it can be well with your soul.

And that's the heart of life.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Goodbye 30...

Goodbye 30. It's been fun.
I enjoyed my trip around the sun.

Goodbye 30. You were great.
You gave me chances to create.

Goodbye 30. You gave me a boy.
The greatest gift, the greatest joy.

Goodbye 30. At times you were rough.
But I found more strength
when things were tough.

Goodbye 30. Thanks for the show.
You gave me wings.
You helped me grow.

Goodbye 30, you were a friend.
You were a teacher.
But it's time to descend.

For 31 waits at the dawn of the day.
And when I awake, here's what I'll say.

Hello 31, let's start this year.
God is our pilot,
and the runway is clear.

Hello 31, it's time to fly.
Let's take off and head toward the sky.

This has truly been one of the most amazing years of my life.
I have learned so much from so many people.
I am blessed beyond measure.
Thank you for every single landing my friends.

Goodbye 30.
Hello 31.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Oh, these hills of West Virginia...

West Virginia gave us a warm welcome last night.
The falling sunset said, "Good to have you back."
"I hope you enjoy your stay."

Oh, these hills, these West Virginia hills.
They become more beautiful with every trip.
Maybe because my eyes keep changing.
Because the more you notice beauty, the more you notice.

Oh, these hills...

They taught me and brought me to right now.
They let me run through them barefoot.
They gave me ingredients for my mud-pies.
They gave me pokeberries for my art, rippling creeks for my music, and blackberries for my belly.
They grew sassafras and sour grass, paw-paws, and honeysuckle.

There's somethin' about these hills that will always take up residence in my heart.
These hills have so many memories and so much goodness and so much Jesus.

I found Jesus here many years ago.
And I always will.
I can always see Him.

Wherever you find yourself today, look around and thank that place.
Because that place is shaping you and getting you ready for your next memory.

Thank you West Virginia.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

because we are all the least of these...

because there is always a reason to use your gifts

because there are people in need everywhere you land.

because most of us have more than enough.

because God talks when we quiet ourselves.

hold on.
because God is right there friend. And he loves you and knows your needs.

because he hears every cry of despair and every whisper of thanksgiving.

the least of these.

because when it comes down to it...
we are all the least of these.

Matthew 25: 31-46

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Enjoy every single landing today!