Friday, July 23, 2010


Dear Sweet Friends,

 I have not left blogging or lost my heart for you.  On the contrary, you are always on my heart.  My scarceness in the blogging world results from overwhelming tasks and honest exhaustion.  Be assured of my thoughts, prayers, and love for you, as I reestablish my home and try to recover.  I pray Philippians 4:19 for all of you, knowing that our Father God sees you and loves you and longs to be your everything in every situation of your lives.  

Your Heart-Partner in Jesus,


With a deep breath, and unabashed thanksgiving, I can proclaim that we have returned to our home.  Yes, after eight months of separation from our own small piece of earth and earthly possessions, Jeff and I have crossed one major hurdle in this current race.  I never expected our extended itineration from personal property.  Yet, God in his sovereignty, knew and chose that we have that separation and return. 

And, as you know, anything God allows, anything He touches, He makes good.  For, "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28, NKJV).  Years ago, I heard Elisabeth Elliot, with her precious voice of humility, talk about the "good" in that verse.  She said that it is not a particular state of happiness spawned by circumstances.  The good, Elisabeth said in her wise way, is that God, with omniscient, Fatherly vision, does what is for our best.  Our best is that which is for our eternal good, whatever draws us nearer to God's heart, whatever conforms us to the image of Jesus Christ. 

His desire for our good is the condition behind all our personal trials.  God views and weighs the pain, the process, and results:  physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and eternal.    

In light of God's complete vision, He ordains and allows the events of our lives, for He knows what will purge us, renew us, and conform us to the image of Jesus.  Because of God's grace and his Fatherly good, I can work through all the moments of November 8, 2009, the process of the fire, and the outcome, which is yet to be known.   

Speaking truthfully, it has been very difficult to deal with the memories of the fire:  watching my home in flames and my grandchildren scream in panic and cry with fear.  The aftermath of petroleum fumes hovering in our home and attaching to our things continues to linger, and the pain of not knowing the final results of our insurance claim, along with the sting of anger for insurance adjusters and contractors makes me lean the harder on God and His grace.  I stand in His grace and by faith alone as I try to grasp the idea of loss and what ifs, and deal with many other issues that are always attached to trauma and major life events.

Attached to everything are true feelings that are very human.  But there is a divine issue greater than my human comprehension and fleshly experiences.  To find peace in all things earthly, in all things humanly spoken, I must complete my thoughts with two words:  but God.

But, God!

 I have always loved that two-word phrase that grammatically unqualifies as a sentence, but supernaturally qualifies as victory.  But, God made, makes, and is making all things new and all things good.  And just what the good of our experience is will be fully revealed in eternity, though yet even with my darkly glassed vision (1 Corinthians 13:12), some details are already tangible.

As I write, there remains a lot of physicality to our situation.  Don't mistake me.  I am thankful, ever so thankful for all God has done and brought us through.  My thankfulness, however, doesn't change the leftovers we now face.  Much is left to sort through.  If I fix my vision on the leftovers and see only the mess of it all, I will miss the miracle of God's ability to multiply His grace and provision. 

God is the faithful One, and One particular mighty provision lies amongst the chaotic condition of our home.  It is powerful and eternal.  It is exact and undeniable.  The voice of God, with the power of all His names, speaks through current disorder and pain.  Reigning above earthly mystery of things lost, piles of  dishes, clothes, books, papers, pictures, and other residuals is the presence of my Shepherd.  He speaks peace in this confusion.  I therefore do not just see eight months of pain and more months of stress and work, I hear the mind of One most holy, who alone understands and knows me and searches my heart and is working on my will and vision.

Thus far, my Father has chosen to share a few truths that have captivated my heart.  God has faced me down with all of them.  His words are very easy to accept in my mind, but my spirit is weak and battles, though self will not win, for I am locking in on that divine voice of reason.

One truth I will share with you now.   Perhaps it is the most prolific and the sum of all God's teaching sessions. 

That mighty truth is new eternal perspective.  Whatever my eyes see or my mind conceives is being framed with words that can comfort and heal, shatter and cleanse, or shake and refocus.

A chair is a chair.  It has a purpose.  It provides a place for one to sit.  If it is a beautiful piece, then I am thankful for its aesthetic gift, but its form and presence are a very simple part of my life and have nothing to do with my joy or quality of living.  Only God can give me joy.

And I may choose to receive joy in my life through things or through God.  If I receive joy through things, my life is based on what is only earthly valuable.  That choice makes for shaky faith and contentment that is very timid.

If I choose, however, to receive joy from my walk with God, my life is based on what is heavenly valuable.  What is heavenly valuable will never depreciate.  It will remain forever.  I therefore have no fear of loss, and my faith has firm foundation. 

Eternal perspective:  seeing through eyes that look for eternal purpose in all things, in all situations, in all trials, in all relationships, in all joys, in all of life.  It is a framing of grace only God can give, and I am finding it a process, not a photostatic change.

Thank you, Father God, for your patience.  It is your longsuffering that pilots us to our knees.  It is your grace that guides us so faithfully to eternal vision, for You know without it our conformity to Your Son is limited by our fleshly dreams. 

I love you, friends! 


  1. Andrea, your post is amazing. As usual. A fire is so completely devastating. I know from personal experience. Thank God the ones you love have been spared. Everything we own can be replaced. The keepsakes, maybe not... but nothing can take our memory away. A friend who lost her home in a fire chose to keep one upholstered chair with a burned hole in the back. She kept it that way as a reminder of all the family and friends who came to their rescue with a place to stay, food, clothing and furniture. I get teary-eyed everytime I think about this.
    Well, you have a fresh start. A lot of people would certainly love to have that.
    What a blessing you are to us bloggers!
    Thank you and take care!
    God is good.
    Ladybug Creek

  2. So true, Andrea. That eternal perspective is a framing of grace that only He can give. As I read this, I said aloud, "Oh, I just can't imagine." How much you have gone through, and it sounds as if there's more to do.

    My prayers are with you, that His perspective will be ever before your eyes.

  3. Hi Andrea! It's so nice to "see" you! Wow, this road HAS been a long one, hasn't it? I'm so glad you are back in your home. It provides such a restorative and peaceful base for you as you seek Him and share Him.

  4. Andrea, I want you to know that it is so hard to even read of your loss and knowing of the struggles and memories that are apart of this.
    We just came back from a camping trip from a place that had a terrible forest fire a couple of years ago. And all I could do was walk around and see all the most delicate wild flowers and fresh green grass. And the brook just flowed so clean and strong. I weeped over it's beauty.
    You will overcome and He will make All things new in His timing. Love Roxy

  5. Rejoicing with you that you've come home again!

    Love seeing your smiling face.


  6. I am so happy for you to be back in your home. I can't imagine how difficult the past months have been for you and your husband.

    Thank you for reminding me of God's goodness and His hand in our lives.

  7. Andrea, Sweet blessings to you today dear one for sharing this. I haven't lost a home to a fire but been in a bad earthquake so know a bit about losing our nest(not nearly what you lost though). I loved your comment "In light of God's complete vision, He ordains and allows the events of our lives, for He knows what will purge us, renew us, and conform us to the image of Jesus." because I've walked in spiritual singleness for 31 yrs but never thought of it like this thank you. Praying God's provision is so far beyond what you need-in all areas.
    Hugs & prayers,

  8. Hey Andrea! So glad to see that you're back and re-nesting! I couldn't agree more about the phrase "But God". That simple two word declaration is one we say alot in our home when we have an "ah-ha" revelation that only God can change or rearrange a situation!

    Thankful that things are moving forward in your home now and trust that He will guide and strengthen as you get settled.

    He is Faithful!

    Sweet Blessings!

  9. Oh the photo of ya'll and your grands! Beautiful! You are truly is good!

    Sweet Blessings!

  10. I loved seeing you and Jeff and your grands...there was genuine joy on your faces. Your words on this post are beautiful, as usual, but I realize that there is so much more than cannot be verbalized or articulated.

    You will be strengthened even more because of what you have been through.

    May your new season bring you to greater heights.

    Love always,

  11. Andrea, praise the Lord that you are back at home now, after such trials.
    Please may I use some of your wise words in a service in our church in August? Do e mail me if you would prefer not.

  12. Andrea:

    It is a blessing this Sunday morning as I head to church, to come and see you and Jeff and the precious little ones... HOME!!!

    One step at a time,, this is a big one, and the rest is also going to come.

    You bless my heart, as always!



  13. Hi there Andrea! And welcome home! I rejoice with you my friend! Love the picture too!


  14. The Lord is good. He will return to you what was lost! Welcome back. :)

  15. Precious sister...such a long journey...and you have come through victoriously...your words are always a blessing...and I pray a 100 fold blessing of strength and mercy as you head towards the end of this path...

    "What is heavenly valuable will never depreciate."...I think that includes our brothers and sisters in you!

  16. There seems to be time, or many times, when taking a breather is the wise, prudent choice. Sounds like you're applying said wisdom!

    I love seeing your face & comments on FB; so I'll be looking for you there. In the meantime, I'm praying, knowing the best is yet to come for you, and for me.


  17. Eternal perspective...seems like God is speaking that to many of us. I'm so glad to know that you are okay in all of this. I'm asking God to bless the transition back into your home. I know we will be reading more and more of life's lessons revealed in the days ahead. Sending a big hug to you, Andrea.

  18. Andrea, I am a little behind on blogging myself, and have been playing catch up these last couple of days. I just want to offer my encouragement and love and blessings as you move in to your re-newed home. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Much love,

  19. My heart aches for the description of what you and your family have and are going through. You are indeed in good hands, clearly He is working something eternal and gleaming out for you. I pray He will continue to encourage, strengthen and sustain you, and that you will ever and always cling to His hand.

  20. I can hardly wait to see what, how & when the Lord is going to use this episode in your life to bless a bunch of people. You ALREADY bless a good many of us with your warmth & candor, but I have the feeling the picture's much, much bigger. 2 Corinthians chapter 1 comes to mind ...

    Thank you for your authenticity & forthrightness. It is good for believers to hear and know that life is, at times, truly tough. What a wonderful testimony you provide, and a model of how to stand in the face of a storm.

    Bless you!

  21. Andrea, So very glad you are able to stand in the newness of your home.
    God bless,

  22. Hi Andrea,

    I'm so glad I was able to drop in today. I read your message above and was blessed in it (on Psalm 23rd etc.) but my eye then dropped down and I read this one.

    I'm praying for you and your family this moment. Thanking GOD that you are both back home and that clearly all is well in the LORD. Your grandbabies are precious! I know I have two myself :)

    You're a beautiful blessing to all.

    Love and hugs!


Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,