Saturday, April 21, 2018

Show Up and Listen (Plus a Special Invitation!)

Yesterday I went and had lunch with my kids at school. Occasionally they ask me to do this and sometimes I am running around so much that I don’t make it as often as they’d like.

My son asked me a few days ago when I could come, and I told him Friday. Although he forgot about it and was surprised when I saw him in the lunchroom. True mom confession: for a moment, I secretly thought of “forgetting,” but I wanted to keep my word. Especially because one of my biggest moms fails ever was about being there at lunch. You can hear all about it here.

So Friday, I showed up. And I’m so glad I did.

It reminded me there’s such value in being present and listening. I picked up things about my kids and their friends while being in the lunchroom and on the playground.

When I arrived, one of my daughter’s classmates said, “How nice that you come to lunch. I want to spend time with my parents, but they’re too busy.” I talked to her about how sometimes we parents do get busy, but that even when we’re busy, we love our kids. It reminded me about the importance of spending time with my kids.

I also noticed she didn’t have a lunch. I asked her about it and she gave a few reasons for why she wasn’t eating: all they had at home was leftovers, which she didn’t like; and that with five kids in her family, they didn’t buy cafeteria lunches. I don’t know if today was a fluke or if it happens every day, but I’m glad I was there to notice she didn’t have a lunch. I e-mailed her teacher to follow up and see.  

I left the school encouraged to keep showing up and listening. Not just with my kids and their friends, but in other places too. With my friends and neighbors. With my church family. With people in my life who are sometimes difficult to love.

You never know what you’ll observe and who you can help. 

Speaking of which, I want to show up and listen to you. Some of you know that I’ve been speaking and writing a lot about perfectionism these days. I’m working on a book and I’d love to gather a group of ladies who struggle with perfectionism. I want us to talk about its roots, how and why we became perfectionists and how it affects us in our day-to-day lives. I want to listen to your stories.

I’m going to host a luncheon for eight people on Tuesday, May 1st at 12:30 PM in the East Valley. If you’d like to come, e-mail me and I’ll send you further details. Don’t delay, there’s only eight spots!

(If you can’t make it, I plan to host another, so stay tuned for details. I’ll also be creating an online survey you can help me with as well.)

I’d love to see you there!

Friday, April 13, 2018

When You Feel Overlooked

Have you ever felt overlooked? Forgotten? Not invited?

Me too.

Maybe you see on social media that your friends got together and didn’t invite you.

Maybe you find out about an opportunity you think you’d be perfect for, but they asked someone else.

The latter happened to me recently and honestly, I felt just plain jealous. Overlooked. Not appreciated. All the yuckies.

One evening it was quiet and I was thinking about this opportunity I wanted to be mine. In my heart, I felt God say, “Andrea, it’s not your turn, love. Remember what you’ve written about this before.”

I knew exactly what He was talking about.

Two years ago one of my writer friends posted a question about this very thing: how do we deal with jealousy when other people get the opportunities we want? She decided to turn the answers into a blog series at the Me Too Moments for Moms blog.

Here’s my response that was posted in 2016:

Dear Friend,

I totally get where you are coming from, I sometimes feel this way myself. (Just a few weeks ago, in fact). But when I get to this place, I try to remember:

God's Goodness to Me: God knows me and loves me so much that He created me. When someone else has a great moment, I need to remember that it's part of God's plan for them and to celebrate with them. I trust that God has good plans that are just for me!

To Trust God's Timing: Philippians 1:6 (NLT) says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work in you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

I trust that God would not have put desires and dreams into my heart without the intention to carry them out.

I am encouraged by the story of David: he was anointed king of Israel as a teenage shepherd. But he didn't ascend to the throne that day; he went back to the fields to tend his sheep. His experience tending sheep prepared him for the battle with Goliath and for eventually becoming king. As I wait on God, I trust that He is preparing me for whatever is ahead.      

Encouraging Verses: Galatians 6:4 (MSG) is one of my favorites, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Emphases mine.)

Remember that God sees you, knows you and loves you. Trust in Him as you wait for your own opportunities to serve and glorify Him.


I sure needed that, did you?

When we’re so busy focusing on what other people get to do, we miss out on the special things we get to do. Are we being in faithful in what God has given us to do? Or are we too busy having a pity party?

Jealousy is one of those feelings that does creep up on us from time to time. And jealousy is the result of comparison. One of my friends, Jennifer, spoke at a women’s retreat I attended last weekend and she said something so profound, “I believe women struggle with comparison as much as men struggle with lust.”

I think she’s on to something.

So let’s make a pact to stop comparing and to celebrate other people and their opportunities. Let’s be grateful for who we are and the unique plan God has for us. Let’s take Galatians 6:4 to heart and do the creative best we can with our own life, our one and only life. Let’s live it well and walk away from jealousy.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Joy Comes in the Morning

I hope you are enjoying a lovely Easter weekend! I normally post on Good Friday, but this year I’ve been thinking more about Saturday.

Jesus died on a Friday and rose on Sunday, but I wonder what Saturday was like. I wonder what His disciples and followers were doing and thinking.

They had seen the worst on Friday: betrayal, false testimony, crowds demanding to crucify their leader, they watched His agonizing death, felt an earthquake and heard that the veil of their temple was torn in two. I can only imagine how disappointed, confused and hopeless they might have felt.

I imagine that on Saturday, their Sabbath day, they replayed it all over and over in their minds, trying to line up the traumatic events with the words of Jesus.

How could this happen?

We go through periods in our lives a little like this, don’t we? We experience a loss, betrayal or suffering and it just doesn’t make sense. We too ask, “Why God?” Like the disciples, it can leave us disappointed, confused and lacking hope.

But Sunday is coming!

Tomorrow we celebrate that Jesus rose from the grave, it’s such a special day. And guess what? We can continue to celebrate the hope and truth Easter gives us beyond this weekend.

The next time life leaves you confused, like the disciples on that Saturday, remember that joy is coming. God is always at work, even when we can’t see it or make sense of it. While we may experience sorrow for a time, we can trust Jesus and allow Him to infuse our hearts with joy, love and peace. He is trustworthy and true! 

Happy Easter, Friends!