Hi, I'm Andrea! Our little family of four lives in South Florida and leads worship. We are here to share the love of Christ and live life together. We're learning a lot here and enjoy looking for opportunities to grow. Thanks for listening and coming alongside us!

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Previous Entries

Monday, November 28, 2016

Forever Home

   As she flipped through the stack of paperwork, sitting among the packaged cardboard version of her belongings, she took deep breaths. She'd done her research, found the best valued mortgage and interest rates, visited hundreds of houses and listings to find the perfect place. It was a good time for her family to be in a home, to establish their roots, make an investment and commit to stay. Even still, when a friend asked, "Do you think this is going to be your forever home?" she was unsure how to answer them. 

   Yes, it checked about half of the boxes on this mile-long list she had crafted (after renovations were completed, mind you). Yes, she felt safe in the neighborhood, although there was a noisy dog next door. It was not huge, but it was a nice size, well-suited for guests. It was all pretty good. Yet, she just  didn't know how to answer her friend. Could she really say this was her forever home? 

   She'd thought her forever home was going to be the one that they used to own, built from the ground up. The one she and her husband carefully designed and poured themselves into. The one with the four bedrooms and large living spaces for entertaining -- back then, she called it her dream house. But someone else lives in that house now. Another family, another chapter in their story. It wasn't her forever home, though they'd thought it would be. 

   Parting a few boxes to create a blank space on the floor, she laid down, flat on her back. She started staring at the ceiling fan whirring in endless circles, and thought to herself, "Maybe there's something not quite right with calling any of these houses my 'forever home'. I mean, the term rolls off of the tongue because I've watched so many HGTV specials that toss the phrase around like a hot potato, but maybe it's wrong. Maybe it's wrong in light of my real Forever Home." 

   "Why in the world would I call a home in the world my 'forever home'?" She felt perspective swirling around her as she stood up to take a walk around the neighborhood with her thoughts. This was the first time she'd ever thought of the concept quite like this -- as a temporary home paired in comparison to her eternal Jesus-himself-preparing-a-place-for-me home in heaven. 

   "This is a big deal!" she actually said aloud. "Not only does this ease the pressure that this new house has to be 'perfect' and everything I would ever want or imagine, but it flips the whole thing on its head and gets me focused on the awesomeness of the home Jesus is preparing! It's going to be the best thing EVER!" 

   She looped back to her new home quite refreshed, and far more content. The home they just closed on would serve its purposes for their mission-life here on earth, hopefully reflecting the love, peace and joy of their true kingdom Forever Home along the way. However, it would not have to fulfill every hope or dream in this world. 

   That true sense of home will come one day in heaven. That's where we're going to be at peace that everything is finally the way it is supposed to be, reunited with our Savior, justice fully played out, love fully realized, and finally...forever...home!

John 14:1-6
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Punch Hurricane Matthew in the Throat!

It is the morning of Thursday, October 6th, 2016 and we are waiting. We are waiting for updates, we are waiting for unknowns, and we are active in prayer. Hurricane Matthew looks like it is heading for my friends and my family in South Florida, and I am 1,400 miles away. BUT you guys are going to rock this hurricane!
We live in South Florida, literally that is where the weathermen are pointing. So unsettling. BUT this guy is pointing to where the strong people are, where the brave community of hardworking-serving-loving-faithful people of Coastal Community Church live and build their lives! God is faithful in this storm!
Our church body is taking care of each other -- helping provide shelter and finish preparations like installing crucial hurricane shutters, some have even opened their homes to one another. Everyone is stocking up on water, food and fuel, and sharing it around! I am so proud of my community!
There is a yearning to be near to one another. I cannot be there. Not even close. My prayers are with my boys, my prayers are with my friends! You guys are going to overcome and come out of the other side more bonded and strong than ever before!
Prayers for our Haitian brothers and sisters: My beloved Haiti was devastated and we prayed as we received word from our friends in Ti Goave. Pastor Brucelee shared that the people took shelter in the church building. Their lives were spared as they remained together in the church, while their homes were swept away. Some homes that our mission helped them purchase were round metal structures, anchored into the ground. Those that were anchored did not get destroyed. My heart is broken for Haiti and my Haitian friends. You are so treasured, you are so strong. 

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Help Educate World Changers - Give a Scholarship!

Back to school time is right around the corner! Our church has chosen to invest in a few organizations and go deep with them, rather than spreading themselves thinly and anonymously. We invest in our neighbors both locally and internationally! One of the organizations that they have chosen to support, is one that my family has partnered with as well! It is a ministry called Children's Cup! They equip local churches to transform communities through holistic child development, and we love being a part of that mission. Give a scholarship HERE!

Get to know the mission of Children's Cup in this 3 minute video:

For the past year, Josh and I have supported our very first sponsor child! He's a handsome young man who loves soccer, friends and pizza -- his name is Bravo! We have exchanged photos, letters, verses and prayers for him. Next summer we hope to meet and encourage him in person in his hometown of Thubelisha, South Africa! 

We have two opportunities this summer to help kids who are in need of education. One is a local school supplies drive put together by our Coastal Kids ministry for those in need in South Florida, and the other is through Children's Cup to support the education needs of so many children! YOU can make a difference today, right now -- wherever you are! 

Here is an avenue that may be right up your alley! I have a goal of raising $200 for Children's Cup for their Back to School scholarship! Will you join me? Here's my link: I hope that together we can impact some awesome kids!
Help "Throwaway" Kids Become World Changers!
Bless you all!
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Our Favorite Educational Shows for Preschoolers!

Sometimes it's just time for a show!!! 
For me this is when my son wakes up 2 hours early in the morning, and I've stayed up late working the night before. OR when I was exhausted when I was pregnant with my second! OR when I need to get the baby down for a nap, and she is having a hard time settling down OR make a phone call OR it's been raining for days OR .... well you get the picture -- sometimes it really helps! Here are some shows that won't give you any mom guilt! I want to feel good about my choices in screen time -- and I want you to have more options too! So, I've complied a list of some of my son's favorite shows or programs that I feel are educational and beneficial! Click on the titles below for the links!
Youtube Shows
We use the Chromecast and cast Youtube to our TV
Language + Math

Endless Alphabet, Numbers, Reader, Wordplay, and Endless Spanish (playlist) teaches spelling, numbers and phonics in a silly way that makes my little Marshall giggle and learn at the same time! This has hours of demo from the entire iPad app, but for FREE! FYI -The Endless Reader app is a free download, but you only get a few words for free. 
Socratica Kids (playlists) teaches how to write letters, phonics, seasons, science and reading -- and much more. What I like about Socratica is that it doesn't "baby" your child, but gives them lots of information to glean. It is like being in a classroom with an energetic teacher!

Phonics Songs (1 hr 30 min) is a phonics compilation that doesn't have any commercials, because it is one complete video.

Physical Education

Cosmic Kids Yoga (playlist) is yoga especially for engaging kids! It is taught in a fun story-telling way and includes stories like The Hungry Caterpillar, Frozen and more adventures! Marshall will do all of the positions on his own yoga mat -- it really keeps him moving! *uses the namaste greeting and a few references to "magic"

Workout for Kids (playlist) here are some of Marshall's favorite kid workouts!

Christian Teaching 

The Jesus Storybook Bible (playlist) select stories from the Jesus Storybook Bible curriculum, free for watching on Zondervan's channel. I've complied a playlist of the stories!

What's in the Bible (playlists) has fun puppets teaching and singing about the Bible!

Netflix Series
We use the Chromecast and cast Netflix to our TV

Little Einsteins teaches music, counting, composers and art terms as well as positive friendship values and problem solving. They are very sweet and encouraging to one another!

Super Why teaches little ones how to read, spell and rhyme and fosters a love of reading adventures!

Daniel Tiger does an amazing job teaching how to deal with everyday life as a preschooler! Learn how to calm down, share, deal with frustrations, make believe and develop interactive life-skills. 

LeapFrog has several episodes on Netflix -- teaching shapes, counting, phonics, numbers, alphabet while singing songs and building friendships and communication.  

Puffin Rock is a precious show with lovely UK accents that teaches about nature and friendship!

Those are some starters for you! Enjoy! xo

Linking up with #mamasharesmonday 

Comment below, because I'd love to know!
These are just some of our favorites shows, but I'd love to hear some of yours!
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