What's your word for 2024?
I know, I know, it's a bit of a Christian trend, but it's one that I really like. Like most people do in December, I started looking back at the last year. It was a really good year, full of travel, Bible teachings, family restoration, a very intense foster care journey, and new friends. Probably one of the best years I've had in a long time And yet, full transparency, I struggled in some areas. Why did I have to jump through so many hurdles in foster care? Why was it so hard to make friends? Why was it so expensive to live here? I was complaining to the Lord one week, and He, lovingly, took a chancla to the back of my head.
"Why are you being so discontent, Andrea? It's ugly. This pattern of thinking isn't okay. Foster care is hard and these hurdles are nothing compared to what is coming when you have kids. Suck it up. You struggle with making friends because you don't put yourself out there. That's on you, not them. You loved your apartment when you moved in. What changed? You and your comparison of yourself to what you see on social media. Stop. You are letting discontentment come in and steal your joy. Be content with what I have given you, where I have placed you, the wonderful people who surround you, and my timeline."
It was a very humbling and tear-filled week. But it's good when the Father disciplines us, when He loving shows us the ugly in our lives so we can be made holy for Him. So, my word for this year is contentment. When these thoughts come in, I remember to be content, to not compare myself with others, and to trust the Lord and His plan for this year, even if I don't always understand the 'why'.
I'm a licensed foster momma!
After a long year of paperwork, training, inspections, and loads of prayer, I am happy to say I am officially licensed! I got the call this past week and it has been a whirlwind of emotions and final preparations. Now I wait for my first placement. I am so thankful for the people who have walked with me this past year, in prayer, finances, gifts, and advice. I hope y'all know how blessed I have felt because of your love and support. I have zero idea what this next season holds, but I expect it to be full of some crazy twists and turns, struggles and blessings. Knowing I have so many in my 'corner' makes a difference.
A spontaneous visit to Wisconsin
I thought this last summer was going to be my last visit to Wisconsin for quite a bit, but between timing with licensing and a ridiculously cheap ticket, I found myself back with my family for one of my favorite times of the year. This year was extra special because, for the first time in over 15 years, we were together as a whole family. My dad came to Madison for a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving and help us decorate for Christmas, following the traditions we used to do as kids. I can't even begin to explain the joy I felt during these days, seeing continued reconciliation happen in my family.
YWAM Ships Corpus Christi closes out 2023
Our group ended the year with a bang! We gathered for fun, games, and great barbecue before everyone headed out to visit family over the holidays. I spent days planning and prepping the games and decorations and had a blast doing it! Hospitality is one of my heartbeats and I get so much joy in seeing a beautiful area come alive with fun. I love that our base is so family-oriented. Seriously, seeing how much fun the kids had made my heart smile 😊.
Teaching in the Chronological Bible Core Course
We are halfway through our current CBCC! I am loving my time with these guys, and enjoy hearing how the Bible is impacting their lives. This time around, I've been able to teach 3 different books and let me tell you, I never would have imagined how much fun I'd have. There's something so special about seeing someone get a new revelation of the Lord through reading His Word.
A piece of the puzzle
Over my years in missions, I have learned many things about partnerships. One of the biggest lessons I've learned is the importance of interdependency. We are all pieces of God's Kingdom puzzle and need each other in different ways. It's been a beautifully hard lesson, having to let go of my very independent nature. But I have found that there is so much joy when we share in each other's journey.
This past year, I was blessed with enough finances to cover my basic living expenses, due to the crazy generosity of friends and family. THANK YOU!! Now as the cost of living has increased for everyone, my pledged support for 2024 has changed and is no longer enough to cover the increases that have happened to my rent, utilities, medical, and car. I need to raise an additional $700 a month to cover the support changes and the cost of living increase. If you would like to be part of the work and ministry that I do in Corpus Christi & the online Bible world by becoming a financial supporter, let me know! The link below will take you to my website which has all the information needed to make a tax-deductible donation.
If you're like me, you LOVE worship! Here are some of the songs that are always being blasted in my house.
A flawed and imperfect girl who loves a perfect and gracious God.