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3 Things It Took Me Awhile To Finally Understand…

A few things I’m cherishing as I come nearer to my 40s are the simple things…

1. Whatever that dream is on your heart…be brave–and jump when the opportunity presents itself.

For us…it was–

The farm.

Just wished we had followed our dreams sooner…but following them is better than not…no matter if it took a little bit of faith and far too long to finally jump.

I see now why it was on our hearts. Far more than just a dream. But where we would connect…grow…be still…and really find even “us” again.

2. Argan oil.

Hilarious right? This stuff is am-aaaaaaaa-zing!

No pyramid plan, scheme or sign up under anyone required. Just buy that liquid gold at Wholefoods or Amazon Prime…this organic goodness is my favorite thing over coconut oil. If you want healthy skin, strong nails or longer-strong hair…it’s liquid gold I tell you. Trust me and buy a bottle. It will be your new best friend.

3. Slower, wiser–older friends.

Friendships with friends 30 years ahead in life as you.

Cherish these friendships…and embrace slowing down enough for them.

They ground you and bring such sweet wisdom and joy to your world. They teach you that 90% of what you worry about or fill your time with…really isn’t that necessary at all.

If you don’t have them–be intentional and seek them out. They won’t mix well with the busy world and you can’t check your phone in their presence without being properly put in your place…and you learn and remember what the simplicity of life and friendships are supposed to look like.

And their sweet tea and ‘nana pudding is superior…to be learned from;). Thank you Pat and Hugh for the kiddos there;) And the 2nd batch of cilantro seeds after I didn’t correctly follow your directions on my first batch;)

Thankful for these days…where you might not be hearing from me as much unless you happen to stop by and sit a spell on the porch. Life as it should be.

Blessed!! And blessings back to you!

andrea

 

June 2015… {here lately}

It’s official.

I’m the world’s worst blogger;)

But here lately–a few fun things…

Parker and Laney just got back from a week of camp–and it was Loo’s FIRST overnight camp experience. They both had so much fun…white-water rafting, tubing behind the boat, horse-back riding–and lots of fun worship with their friends.

And we left camp with more than just our kids:)

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The camp cat had kittens! And we left camp with two of them!! They still don’t have names but they are sweet–and the kids are LOVING having kittens!! This is a sacrifice for me and Richard…both allergic to cats! BUT–as long as they stay outside…the hives stay at bay;)

Every farm NEEDS barn cats–and although we just have 13 acres–we have field mice that like to try and swim in our pool or swim in the goat’s bigger water bins…and I’d much rather the cats get the mice than our kids find them in the morning during morning chores after they didn’t survive their swim:)

June has brought so many sweet things…

Like Richard going to Africa and getting to see our precious B…we have been sponsoring her since she was little–and she’s looking FAR too big for my liking;) So proud of her!

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I hate to fly. Like you don’t understand. Like the last time I flew to Africa for Wiphan I told the Lord-NO MORE. I rationalized how it made more sense to donate the money it cost for a trip to go (despite the fact His Word makes it clear we are to visit)…but I told the Lord what I thought and how I felt about it–and that I would appreciate it and be forever grateful if there were NO MORE flights or trips…and I could support from America:) I did leave a “clause” in the prayer;). I told the Lord I would fly on a long international flight if it meant I was bringing home a child.

So Richard just got home from Africa–and his excitement sharing about his trip stirred quite the fire in our girl. She asked when she could go. I told her she could go on the July trip or a future trip when she was old enough to pay for her own ticket. She took left over wood from her daddy’s garden project and got to work. And I watched. Holding my breath…

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She asked me if I’d put her work in an album on Facebook for an art auction. I obliged. And in 24 hours the auction ended. With just 19 pieces–she raised $2200. Her art was beautiful–and so were the hearts of so many who wanted to participate.

And that meant. That momma was going too. And Richard reminded me of my prayer…telling the Lord I would only fly around the world if it meant I was bringing home a child–and IN FACT…I would once again be bringing home OUR child with me when we came back. I guess I need to be a little more specific in my prayers;). Amazing though how He listens and how He knows exactly what we need–and that for some reason…He does call us to go and visit…and be in relationship with each other…because we need each other. Our friends in Africa need us…and we need them–and if we are missing out if we settle for anything less.

This month has also brought Father’s Day!!! Wiphan ran a campaign to raise money for the unsponsored kiddos. We have 750 kids in the schools in Ndolda. Less than 200 of the 750 are sponsored–so extra fundraising helps support the other loves. It was so sweet to see different friends and family make their donation honoring their father for the fatherless this Father’s Day!! Here is silly Zeke our FOUR YEAR OLD…honoring his daddy this Father’s Day!!
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June also brought our 12th wedding anniversary! Yes we left on a golf cart:) BEST part was when the golf cart tire ran over my dress and almost threw me out. Just 3 more seconds and we could have won the jack-pot on America’s Funniest Home Videos!

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This Tuesday we welcome 4 more chickens to our farm!!! So…we will have 3 goats, 11 chickens, 2 cats and 2 dogs…and I think we need…a pig–and a few more goats:)

This is definitely a lot more work than neighborhood life–but I wouldn’t trade it and I’m so thankful we are slowly growing our farm!! We are in the middle of updating our front porch–so as sons as it’s one I’ll post lots of before and afters!!!

Hope you all have a great week ahead!!!

xoxo!

Andrea

The Find – Nicaragua {Light Gives Heat}

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Tomorrow morning Dave and Morgan Hansow board a plane with a film crew and with their two children (8 and 10) to leave for Nicaragua. Their goal? To film The FIND: Nicaragua and tell the stories of hope, love, redemption, and beauty that await them. They will be traveling with Love, Light & Melody, Beauty From Ashes, Club Hope, as well as LaCrosse the Nations.

The production quality is top-notch and the impact potential this show could have on the world is grand! But here’s the catch, the doors for Nicaragua opened quickly and with a narrow travel window. The Hansows said ‘yes,’ and committed without knowing how the funding for Season 1 would come in. They board a plane tomorrow morning in faith the funds will come in by the time they land in Nicaragua! They are currently in the final hours of a Kickstarter campaign to raise the complete production funds for The FIND: Nicaragua. It’s all or nothing! They are still $17,500 away from their goal and the campaign ends at midnight (MST) on Friday, June 5th (tomorrow)! Pledges over $125 are tax-deductible since LGH is a non-profit. Would you please consider pledging and then sharing? The world needs more stories of the hope, love, redemption and light!

Short link to the campaign: http://kck.st/1KWa17D

Dave and Morgan founded Light Gives Heat (LGH) in 2007 after moving to Uganda to adopt their daughter, Jadyn. For 6 years they provided weekly consistent income through the SUUBI and EPOH product lines to over 120 women. Two years ago they handed over the operations in Uganda to the company All Across Africa which freed the family to ask the Lord what was next for LGH. After creating the award-winning documentary, Moving On, Dave and Morgan felt their hearts being drawn to storytelling.

Last year they went to the Realscreen Summit in Washington D.C. to pitch a show concept to Network executives. The show was The FIND which would include the Hansow family traveling the world finding world-changing people, people who are putting love into action and bringing hope into communities.They sat down with Discovery, TLC, National Geographic, A&E, and The Travel Channel amongst others and were told that while the footage was beautiful, it was ‘too earnest’ and unfortunately Americans wouldn’t care about such content. Morgan even had someone suggest that she could add drama to the show by worrying about her hair and nails while in the developing countries! What the…? Dave and Morgan realized pretty quickly that if they were going to walk forward with the The FIND, it wasn’t going to be in the traditional cable television world.

Last September they did a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for production and an online release. The Hansow family traveled to Northern India in November to film Season 1 with the Murray family. Mel and Dave Murray run JOYN and a custom-made guitar company. Their story is inspiring and the diverse community they have cultivated in India is bursting at the seams with love, hope, redemption, and healing! The 6 episodes of The FIND: India are family friendly and available for viewing here for free: http://www.lgh.tv/thefindindia/the-find-india-episode-1

Enjoy!

U.S. History – Time Period Elementary Novels

“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

(These novels are selected to line up with Heritage Studies 4 on U.S. History from BJU Press. Sweet Friends—I may not love every other—but after reading the reviews to each piece—I think it’s worthy to note the title and to consider checking out or buying to read! Please also note that I’m preparing these for 4th and 5th grade children while 1st and 2nd grade children learn along. I am noting literature that is geared for the 1st/2nd graders. All other works are suitable for the older or as read alouds to all. If you are not using Heritage—you will notice that many of the chapters and time periods overlap in the text’s chapters.)

If there is one that you love that you think should be added to this list…DO TELL!!!

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With you and for you as you teach your loves!!

xoxo!!

Andrea

Learning from the Wise {the forgotten leaders}

A trend I’ve been noticing at conferences and retreats is more and more popular bloggers, more people with a huge instagram following and younger authors are the speakers at more and more Christian conferences, retreats and even our churches.

I’m scratching my head–simply because…there was once a time where we learned from leaders who had gone before us…not as much from those right in the boat with us. Sure we can learn from each other. My children impart deep wisdom and lessons to me on a daily basis. But it’s interesting to see our pulpits, our conferences and other events having more and more young speakers (made popular through their social media) rather than older leaders who have journeyed the road and who are now at a place to impart their lives well-lived to us.

Job 12:12 “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”

I certainly believe we aren’t to look down on one another because we are young–but we must be very cautious that we are seeking wise counsel from. I think the young can be wise–but I also think we’ve tipped the pendulum and we have more young people on our panels of wisdom than old.

Wisdom will not always be as quick to find…and certainly not always a fingertip of social media away…especially when very few people with grey hairs use it.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6-7

Bringing in older, wise counsel verses the latest writer of a popular gone viral blogger or Christian novel will never make for the coolest retreat to attend. Leading a retreat for adoption and foster moms–I really sense the Lord calling us to focus and call in moms who maybe the world doesn’t know…who are not in the spot light…and they might be really, really hard for us to find. But often–those who have been quiet…who haven’t vented every frustration…who have already run the race of mothering and are now in a place to pour back all the nuggets of wisdom through a bigger picture to those in a boat still in the storm while she’s now safely ashore…these are those I believe we need to seek out and ask for wisdom most from.

And while there IS a place for women in our same boat sharing–I think we need to just grab one another’s hand and be in it together…while keeping Jesus in the spotlight–and listening to someone who has already traveled our road that it WILL be okay and it really all WILL be worth it in the end…from a perspective that can truly speak from seeing and experiencing His faithfulness all the way through.

I want to not only remember but to sit at the feet of the forgotten leaders and learn from them…to receive wise counsel as the scripture encourages us to and to hold on to their legacy as not only sisters in Christ but also mothers who mentor us and lead the way for us.

I want to see more greys and wrinkles up front…and I think with our loud voices and social media that often older people do not use…we have quieted them for far too long. And I think there may be a really wise reason we aren’t seeing that generation overtaken or jumping on our social media band wagon of where we gather our wisdom from too. What does Proverbs mean: verse 4:7 “Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.”

For me…I confess…much of my wisdom has not come from those who have gone before me. But not any more. It will be costly to change…requiring time and effort…and not following suit of easy or even the Christian world or trend. But I know He is speaking…and His voice…I want to always follow.

With you and for you in Christ…

Andrea

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