Monday, September 29, 2008


Andii and Gracie (a.k.a. Little Miss Lou Who), on my lap at her birthday party last year.

I am quite excited to be welcomed into the RevGalBlogPals circle, that I thought I'd better make my online space more inviting. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Andrea, or Andii to my family & friends.

Who am I? a daughter of the King, a wife, a mother, a seminarian

What do I do? I am currently serving my first church as a 3/4 time UMC licensed local pastor and, besides chasing after two beautiful little girls - 15 months old and almost 4 years old (Oct. 16), I also attend seminary half-time.

Favorite verse? many, but mostly...Jeremiah 29:11 - as a control freak, I need to be reminded that He really does have it under control.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Favorite color? I love all the colors, but yellow happens to be my fav.

Favorite season? Autumn, which makes me quite happy at the moment.

Thanks for visiting! I look forward to becoming better acquainted.

Recognition and Appreciation

"Painting Pictures of Egypt"
by Sara Groves

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend
It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
The place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this
I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I've learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned
The past is so tangible I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know
If it comes too quick I may not appreciate it...
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes too quick I may not recognize it...Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

In the past week, I have really gone through a needed attitude adjustment. Though at this point it shouldn't, it still amazes me just how much my attitude effects everything! I have already been held prisoner by the enemy's attacks, without even realizing it.

I have always been able to relate to the Israelites held as slaves in Egypt and who prayed as they cried out to God for freedom. They witnessed His miracles as He mightily answered their prayers and freed them from their captivity. However, at the first sign that things weren't going exactly as planned, they began whining and grumbling and complaining about their present situation.

That is so me, or at least it was before last week. I actually had a moment where I sat at my kitchen table and wept to God and husband about how hard being obedient to God's call has been - leaving our home, which is still on the market (of course, it is the perfect time to sell - ha ha), my husband leaving his job - still without one, leaving us with bills much too much for a 3/4 time pastor's salary to pay and did I mention no health insurance, leaving friends and family, comfort, the past...did I mention that I was whining!!!! OMG!!!

Since I received news that I would be appointed as a pastor, the desire of my heart for the last, oh 10 or 12 years, I have been talking about trust and obedience, but I really have not been living that out. Shame on me. God brought us here and has provided in abundance, not necessarily the way we, okay I think He should be. He has been and is faithful. Satan was using all of those things, and more to distract me from the purpose that God sent me - us, here to fulfill. Then on Tuesday, I was freed from the enemy's bondage. A dear friend, a sister in Christ, listened to my whining, and then prayed with me and the enemy fled.

I am now able to recognize all that God has done, is doing and will do to provide for our family and more fully appreciate it and Him.

Thank You, Lord for placing deep friendships in my life, safe places to turn, a loving, supportive and wise online faith community, health, and a wonderfully supportive and patient husband, among so many other blessings. I confess my weaknesses and my inability to trust You fully. I pray that You would keep me open only to Your Spirit and keep the enemy far from me, my family and the faith community where I am blessed to serve. I know there is a great deal of work to be done and therefore I need to be as close to you as I can get. Thank You for always being faithful despite my whining. I'll try not to do it again, though we both know that I am weak...I love You for loving me just as I am! In Jesus precious, powerful name...Amen!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a Johnny Appleseed Friday Five!

Thanks to Singing Owl for the Appley Good Friday Five! Oh boy, did this bring back wonderful memories of many a youth retreat singing grace for our meals, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....The Lord's been good to me and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the appleseed, the Lord's been good to me! Amen!!!!"

Raise your hand if you know that today is Johnny Appleseed Day!

September 26, 1774 was his birthday. "Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.

As Johnny traveled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels. According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received to churches or charities. He planted hundreds of orchards, considering it his service to humankind. There is some link between Johny Appleseed and very early Arbor Day celebrations.

So, in honor of this interesting fellow, let's get on with the questions!

1. What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS points if you share the recipe.)

I love apples anyway you slice them! Though I would have a very difficult time with my favorite apple dish, my favorite type of apple only comes around this time of year and I just picked up some - Honey Crisp! Yummy!! I also love apple butter on lightly toasted bread! No bonus points for me today, as I am not much of a cook, therefore I do not have any great recipes to share, but I am enjoying all those that have been shared. Thanks!

2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about?
After my very lovey tabby cat Skater died a little over a year ago, my hubby decided for mother's day to buy me a weeping willow tree to plant in his honor. This unfortunately has not happened as of yet because we are not sure where we want to plant it - but it will happen someday ~ I will not let him forget. :)

3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not?
Thanks in large part to my grandparents, I do love to travel anywhere, anytime. However, with two little ones the idea of traveling around the countryside to preach does not really appeal to me at this juncture. My hubby and I have talked about once the girls are all grown-up (not that I want that to happen anytime soon!) to do mission work across the country. I think that would be cool, but only when the time is right. Right now I am thankful for roots.

4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours?
This is an easy one - Harriet Tubman, escaped slave who led many other slaves to freedom, she was also an abolitionist, Civil War soldier, and women's rights advocate. What an inspiration! I love reading about how brave she was and I stand in awe of all that she and those working the underground railroad were able to do. She is quoted as saying, "I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other." If only we had more people like her, willing to risk their necks for others, instead of being so about living your faith out loud!

5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do?
I suffered two miscarriages before I became pregnant with Little Miss Lou Who (our oldest) and so, needless to say that time was very precious to me and of course she was/is very special. Thus, I was determined to memorize a song that I could sing to her on cue, whenever she was scared or hurt. The song that I spent hours learning was "I Will" by Lennon/McCartney. I now use that song as much for me, if not more, than for her. I love it!

Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to--I will.
For if I ever saw you I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same.
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart.
And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall Equinox

Thanks to Songbird at RevGalBlogPals...

Fall Equinox Friday Five

It's that time of year, at least north of the equator. The windows are still open, but the darned furnace comes on early in the morning. My husband went out for a walk after an early supper and came home in full darkness.

And yes, where we live, leaves are beginning to turn.

As this vivid season begins, tell us five favorite things about fall:

1) A fragrance - my daughters right after they have both had tubbys (baths)! :)

2) A color - yellow/gold, red, orange, brown, green - all the brilliant colors of changing and falling leaves, sorry couldn't choose just one!

3) An item of clothing - my pashmina that my DH gave me for Christmas several years ago.

4) An activity - I am looking forward to our family tradition of going pumpkin picking, followed by carving them.

5) A special day - our 6th anniversary is coming up, so I am also looking
forward to a date night! Wahoo!
I just love the smurfs! That's root beer, of course.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Long Time, No Blog

Whew, can ministry get a little crazy or what! I know, I know...I am just learning and am just beginning. Well, in addition to serving my 3/4 time church appointment, and my young family, I began seminary again last week. I am very much looking forward to my classes and getting back to studying.

I met another pastor in town a few weeks ago, our paths crossed doing ministry work - long story, not going to go there now. :) And from that I believe that I have found another mentor, never can have too many of them you know. And I met the local ministerium which I am quite excited about. We are working together to raise money to assist local families in need of assistance with heating costs this winter. Our lofty goal is $20,000, but we believe that it is attainable. Anything is possible with God's help, right!?!

I have concluded four cottage gatherings and it has been meaningful to spend time getting to know my congregation - sharing their memories of significant faith/church experiences and dreaming about our future ministry together. I think that I thought I would have it all figured out and methinks I am more confused than ever.

I believe that God is leading us into a time of reflection and a season of prayer. I really am so thankful to God for His leading and I pray that I will always be open to His spirit's nudgings. Our two worship services have been going well, at least as far as I can tell, though I still need to do some trimming in the traditional service as I have been going over time by about 10 minutes - yikes! Our praise service is looking, sounding, and feeling much more like a praise service, instead of a traditional service with praise music. I really have come to dislike the word contemporary in terms of services. What shall we call our second service, as I really don't like Praise service either? hmmmm...more prayer needed.

I remain grateful to God for everything! Blessings!