The Ones

People are one in a million, turns out there are billions so one in a million isn’t as rare

As the ones who stick it out and prove that they care.

The ones who stay up and talk all night just to help keep us sane through our joy and our plight.

The ones who follow and the ones who will lead, the ones who would not hesitate if the moment came to bleed.

The ones who are worth it will stand and be strong, and if we fall down they won’t give up, no matter how long.

They will help us back to our feet at our worst, even if we begin to believe we be cursed.

The ones who value their lives with me, the ones who live on when they’re gone with the breeze.

The ones who will live, laugh, cry, love and share; every momentous and minuscule piece of my life and theirs;

 Our souls laid bare.

The ones who are willing to come rest with me, when life is rough and huge as a tree.

The ones I don’t mind driving hours to see, and the ones who don’t mind doing as much for me.

They are the ones who are worth it,

to me.

 

Be worth it to someone today

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If Only

If only it made a difference.
If only I could show you.
If only you had done this sooner.
If only you miss me like I miss you.
If only I had the chance.
If only you tried.
If only you would come after me.
If only you hadn’t hurt me.
If only that hadn’t happened.
If only I were stronger.
If only I hadn’t…
If only…if only…if only

Many times we hit walls in life. Insurmountable obstacles which impede our progress and knock us back on our rears. Often we look up at this impossible situation and give up while thinking some sentence that begins “if only…” and ends with “then I could…”. I am tired of “if only” and “what if”. Things happen, people change,  people change again, and life goes on with or without us. If you see something you want, go get it because the next turn of the Earth may take it from you. Work hard, love fully, let people you care about know what they mean to you and don’t ever waste time when you finally know what you want. Savor the moments, create precious memories and cherish true love when it arrives. Dont take her for granted, don’t make him wait forever, don’t neglect romance because you’re comfortable with someone. Never make her feel like she’s in competition with anyone for your attention. Don’t break her heart,  don’t hold on to mistakes and grudges.

Rafiki from Disney’s “The Lion king” said to Simba when asked why he popped him with a staff, “It doesn’t matter, its in the past.”  Simba replied, “yeah but it still hurts.” To which Rafiki then said, “yes the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or (pause for dramatic effect) learn from it.” ***Spoiler alert*** Simba went home to fix his mistakes and stop running. He found everything had changed in his time away. Evil had come in and destroyed everything he cared about. He learned a great deal about himself and how to be the leader he was meant to be. Simba discovered that no matter what’s happened, no matter how bad things look from a distance, when we make the choice to push on and fight the impossible, miraculous and beautiful restoration can happen. Simba was able to rebuild his home and save his loved ones from the darkness that tried to consume his world all because he stopped thinking of all the if only’s in the way, let go of his past, stopped running, and did what was necessary to be where he wanted to be; home.

I love you

Grace and Peace,

Andrew

Spare Me

Do you know what I really hate; yeah, hate? Do you know what sets me off and gets my blood boiling and drives me mad? When people lie to someone to spare that person’s feelings. They may not realize it, but they are proving a lack of respect to the person they think they are saving. I am guilty of it also, but i have learned hiding the truth about something that happened, about the way you feel or do not feel, or really anything one may be afraid to say to someone for whatever reason is not doing them any favors. It is still a lie. The lack of respect comes in here; lying to someone shows you do not trust them with the truth. Maybe you think they cannot handle it, so you are saying to them you think they are weak or frail. Maybe you think they will not look at you the same way, you are saying you do not trust their judgement or reaction.
Its all part of responsibility in relationships. Friendships, dating, marriage, co-workers,  siblings, even strangers who have something hanging out of their nose, any type of relationship deserves the respect of honesty and trust. Tell the truth and see what happens. Tell everyone the truth. Tell them how you really feel, what you truly think. Do not play games or manipulate. Trust them to be a reasonable and level-headed human being. If it turns out they are not, hey, at least you learned something about them. Give it a try anyway, maybe they will surprise you.
Give respect to get respect. Its alright to be afraid, we all feel fear, do not  allow that feeling to dictate your actions. Take a time out to collect yourself before acting rashly, examine your motives, try to look at it from the other person’s perspective. Seek counsel and wisdom from wise people, getting out of your own head for a minute is one of the best steps to making better decisions.

Spare us all the attempt to spare us and just be honest. Hiding something you are ashamed of, that you have struggled with, or what you feel or think about something is a great way to hurt someone much more when you finally do tell them. Trust me on that. Waiting and lying may lead them to never want to trust you again. It is always better to lay it all on the table, show your hand, play your cards, any of those, instead of keeping it in and damaging yourself and your relationships. Especially as a Christian we need to lean on our Rock. Have a little faith and move those mountains.

Slightly unrelated but I’m feeling a pull to mention this to you: Maybe you think you are too weak, maybe some of you think you are stupid or not good enough, maybe you think you are too small or young or are bad at speaking. God uses those who think themselves useless to prove how glorious He is. Have courage in Him to be your strength, his courage is your courage God’s wisdom is your wisdom. Believe in Him and the sacrifice of Christ. He makes all things new. ALL things are possible in Christ who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

1 Timothy 4:12
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

Much love

Grace and Peace,

Andrew

Wait

Wait; verb (used without object)1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often followed by for, till, or until): to wait for the bus to arrive.

Wait is an action word. Waiting for something or someone requires a great deal of patience and perseverance. Waiting is made much harder when obstacles and discouraging sights abound at every turn. Choosing to wait is easy, waiting can be excruciating. It will be difficult, it will take time, it will require sacrifice, it WILL be worth it. Anything worth having is worth waiting for. I believe that with all my heart. Therein lies a window to people’s desires and priorities. Do not disguise your heart. Actions reveal what is underneath no matter what is said. Why pretend?

Revelation 3:15-16
I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
God is talking about being all in or all out for Him and we can apply this to every aspect of life. Make a decision and run with it. If you find you have made a wrong decision, then go fix it. Do not worry about it being too late or what has happened since choosing the wrong road. Trek back to the fork and walk the other path.

2. (of things) to be available or in readiness: A letter is waiting for you.

Waiting reveals a state of readiness and availability; as stated above. Letters are a great way to wait. Write out thoughts and words that cannot be spoken, secrets that must stay secret for a while.
Waiting is scariest when you don’t know what you are waiting for. Pour out your heart, do all you can, then give the rest to God and wait. Sometimes we just need to show how committed we are or how much we want something.

3. to remain neglected for a time: a matter that can wait.

Never become a matter that can wait. There is a difference between waiting for the right time and being set aside. Do not hope for or desire something that belongs to someone else. God said, “thou shalt not covet thy neighbors house nor donkey nor ox nor wife.” Wanting someone that belongs to someone else is coveting and means I’m living in sin. If someone says they miss you to you while laying in someone else’s arms, let go man. If it were you doing that to them, they would not wait.  They would be angry, confused, hurt, lonely, and scared. You deserve the truth. You deserve the best. You deserve to be the only, so do they.
Don’t wait for someone who will not prove you are worth the wait as well. No matter how afraid I am, I would want you to know you’re worth it and no one else will do. Easier said than done I know, but the hardest thing and the right thing are usually one in the same. Take your chances while you are able. There is always a way, sometimes the door is hidden, but searching and perseverance will reveal the opening.

None of us can force a change in anyone. People choose what they think is best for them or what is easiest at the time. We on the outside must accept their choice. Sure we can counsel when they ask and encourage one way or the other but the only action under my control is my own. What I do everyday decides what happens next. My choice now decides what options are open to me tomorrow. Some things need to be more than options and cannot be set on the back burner. Some need to be priorities. Of course, we select our own priorities and we make time for what we want. Even small decisions show our heart. Pretending not to care tells everyone who sees that you indeed do not care. Even should you reveal the truth to one or two individuals, if actions, pretend or not, show you going in the opposite direction, those actions are what will be believed. That pot on the back burner may just boil over and evaporate. Then you reach for the handle and slide the lid off only to find its empty.

Parting truth:

2 Timothy 1:7 
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

1 John 4:18 
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 

Psalm 27:14                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

What are you waiting for?

waiting

Grace and Peace,

Andrew

Depressed?

Depression looks different on everyone. It makes us all do things we wouldn’t normally do and can take some time to come out of, especially when we do not recognize it. We are not fully in control of our actions when we are seeking to correct the problem no matter how strong or weak we think we are. For me, when I am uber down I try to talk and reason my way out of it. looking through tainted glass attempting to see MY desired outcome, causing me to misreadother people’s words and think they said one thing when the persons possibly meant another.

I have let my emotions rule me. Longing for days past when things seemed better, even allowing fear, as much as I have spoken against letting fear rule our decisions, I have let the fear tear me apart and now I reap the consequences of foolish, desperate actions now.
Depression rewires your brain. I began to think I had to fix everything. I dumped my advice on people who didn’t ask for or want to hear it.
Depression or heartbreak or whatever you want to label this state of being blinds us to the truth. We see only what we want to see, hear only what we want to hear and do only what we think will bring back the balance that was. Which generally makes things worse for us.

If you feel like you aren’t yourself, sometimes it helps us figure out what we want by becoming someone else for awhile. Most of the time, this change happens whether we want it to or not. Then, after a time, we realize we haven’t been ourselves and see who we actually want to be along with at least the first step to getting there. That’s when real change for the better begins. It won’t stick unless its made from a place of love; love of ourself, using the love of God to become whole again. No drugs, prescription or otherwise, can fix a problem of the heart. They dull or mask the pain temporarily, but ordinarily the body gets addicted while the mind remains broken. I’ve never used drugs but I have seen people who rely on them just to appear normal. Drugs and alcohol are a wall to hide behind and that wall has no solid foundation. With no foundation, walls collapse and destroy the life beneath. If you are suffering, I urge you to seek counsel and loving relationships, not drugs or alcohol or sex. Do not blame yourself for your past. Look to God and your future.

Nothing in this world is worth harming oneself over; not finances, not relationships, not impossible obstacles, nothing. I have never even had the possibility of taking my life enter my mind. Anyone who knows anything about me will tell you the same. Just because I say I do not want to live without something, does not mean I will die if I cannot.  If any of you have ever considered hurting yourself, or anyone else for that matter, DON’T. The worst day of your life is still a prequel to the best day of your life. Give yourself the chance to get there. 

I spoke to my mom today. She told me to stop beating myself up for mistakes and let go of things I can’t change. I’ve heard it all before but, today, from her it just made more sense. She told me God has forgotten my past because I have repented. Repentance means to turn away from. I ask forgiveness and God answers. I am not the fool who does not value people or show them how important they are. Even from just a few short days ago, I am not the lunatic who lets his tongue have control when his mind says silence. Sometimes, God does more with silence than with armies or action. Never give up hope friends. Trust in the Lord and turn to him when you are broken. I am still broken, but I have a few pieces in the right place for the first time. I pray for you daily and look forward to the future, whatever it holds. I am still afraid, but I won’t let my fear choke me anymore. My mom told me, “Time is short love.” There is too much love needing to be shared to keep it bottled up in hurt.

I love you! I love those of you reading and I hope this writing shows some of Christ’s love for you through me.

I am by no means complete, but He who began a work in me will see it through to its completion.

Much love

#heart

Grace and Peace,

Andrew

Checking It Twice

For all you singles out there looking for someone to share your adventure with, I heard a pretty great idea.

I first heard of doing this at a church back in February around Valentine’s day. I did and it really helps with clarity. One Sunday night the speaking pastor told us to start a list. “Take these blank cards and start writing a list. Write all you are looking for in the person you want: what do they like, what do they do, what do they want, what is their faith like, even what do they look like. Be very specific. Every detail you think of will help you figure out what you really want and where your focus is. This isn’t for me to look at, just a tool for you to keep and edit or add to as you think of more.”

I remember when the pastor began her instruction, all I could think of to write was a name. One single person I knew I loved and would be important in my life since the day we met. So I wrote the name. I left the name for the majority of the evening and I could not write anything else in the card until towards the end when the pastor asked us to pray over our list and think about why we wrote what we did. Easy for me, I had been praying for that name I wrote day and night anyway. While I was praying, ideas began to flow. When I opened my eyes I started writing a real list. I had to get a new card because the name at the top made me write what I loved about her instead of participating in the exercise. (On a side note, writing everything you love about someone is a great way to show them you really do.)

So I began writing personality traits, physical features, character qualities I value and want in my love. Things like integrity, honesty, soft-heartedness, family love, hard working and such came first. Those were easy. The more I wrote the more I was able to describe what I hope to see. I got really personal and the longer I stayed focused the more the details painted a picture. When I finished my list I asked God to show me anything I had left out and I immediately began thinking of the name I wrote on the first card. I was overwhelmed. So I kept praying, eyes shut tight, head buried so no one would notice. When I regained composure I opened my eyes and at the top of the list I wrote “Is not perfect and knows I am not perfect”

I found my list today as I was cleaning my room. I have a few new things to add to it and many old prayers to pray. I encourage you singles to make your own list. Isolate your mind from any specific person who pops in there and really get to your heart and soul. Write everything you want in your person. Then pray God takes you to them. Remember no one is perfect and as you write you will learn which bullet points are important and which ones will be irrelevant when love takes hold.

Whether you are already married or single, make a list anyway and see how your own actions match up to it. It will help strengthen your marriage if you become the kind of person you would want to be with, and strengthen your character in general when you know your own shortcomings.

Happy writing ❤