Ever Been Interrupted??

For the past couple years I have lived with an unsettled feeling about life…about our life.  I couldn’t quite place my finger on it but I felt like God was stirring my heart about something.  It’s so easy in this day and age to just tolerate everything, get complacent, become apathetic.  Forget the reason we were placed on this earth and instead put extra value in our possessions, create false gods, and do whatever we please.  Which can be super fun.

Except.

Except it’s all so temporary.  I started thinking “there HAS to be something more than this”.

I started reading books like 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne.  Kingdom Journeys by Seth Barnes.  Love Does by Bob Goff.  I read more Scripture.  And the same themes kept arising.

The least.  The last.  The lonely.  The meek.  The poor.

And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God

Micah 6:8

I realized I was excellent at following the rules.  Did great with attending church service, serving in the children’s ministry, volunteering on the dotted line, and more.  Don’t get me wrong…all that stuff is great and important.  But I was neglecting to actually walk the walk.  It was easy to just give money to those in need (which is oftentimes necessary).  But did I actually know their names?  Did I know their story?

This is where Interrupted comes in.

interruped book

That unsettled feeling in my stomach?  Jen Hatmaker basically put it into words and published it as a book.  So I think I should get some of the royalties even though we don’t know each other (but would probably be best friends if we did).  She read my mind.  I had the privilege of reading this revised and expanded edition of Interrupted and highlighted almost the entire thing.  Which is totally the point of highlighting right?

Jen started by saying she had similar unsettling feelings and one day prayed for God to raise in her a holy passion.

And holy passion He did raise.

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Jen and her husband prayed a life-altering prayer that led them to plant a church in South Austin.  They changed the way they “did” church.  In Romans, Paul says we are all the “body of Christ”.  The root meaning of the word church (I’ll spare you the Greek) is “an assembly” or “called-out ones”.  Church is about the people, not the building.  And so often we are so worried about what happens IN the building, AT the building, AROUND the building that we completely forget to consider those that don’t even know about “the building”.  Jen and Brandon began serving the last and the least of South Austin.  Meeting them where they were and forming meaningful relationships.

Because really, when it comes down to it, we have but one life to live.  We don’t get second chances.  Jen says, “It won’t suffice to claim good intentions.  Saying ‘I meant well’ is not going to cut it.  Not with God screaming, begging, pleading, urging us to love mercy and justice, to feed the poor and the orphaned, to care for the last and least in nearly every book of the Bible.  It will not be enough one day to stand before Jesus and say, ‘Oh?  Were you serious about all that?

PEOPLE.

“We stand at the intersection of extreme privilege and extreme poverty, and we have a question to answer: Do I care?  Am I moved by the suffering of all nations?  Am I even concerned with the homeless guy on the corner?  Am I willing to take the Bible at face value and concur that God is obsessed with social justice?  I won’t answer one day for how the US government spent billions of dollars on the war in Iraq, nor will I get the credit for the general philanthropy of others.  It will come down to what I did.  What you did.  What we did together.” (JH)

Y’ALL.

Interrupted has caused me to search my heart. Search my motives.  Reminded me that people matter.  And not just “my” people.  ALL people.  When all is said and done, most people probably won’t remember exactly which sermon impacted them the most.  They will remember the people that lived life with them.  That met them where they were and accepted them with the love of Christ.  I feel like I lived so many years in judgment of others.  Which is truly ridiculous and just exhausting.  Thank GOODNESS I can leave the judging up to God.  We are all imperfect.  We can all be lost.  A life in Christ doesn’t promise us relief from ups and downs.  But it does promise us a loving, merciful, graceful God that walks alongside us each step of the way.

“Jesus’ point was clear:  Don’t get sucked into the game.  Be counter cultural.  Be the opposite of great.  If that means others are ahead of you, so what?  If people criticize your method or motive, what difference does it make?  If you’re removed from the map of recognition?  Good.  About time.” (JH)

“If the kingdom of God belongs to the poor, the bottom dwellers, then rich American Christians are going to have the hardest time finding it.” (JH)

YIKES.

I really could fill this post up with quotes from Interrupted.  So in the essence of time you should probably just buy the book and read it for yourself.  It will wreck you.  If you like being comfortable, get ready to be uncomfortable.  Jen does an amazing job of encouraging you to look beyond the protective walls we build around ourselves and families and break them down to advocate for those who truly need Jesus.

If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

James 2:16

“If we claim affinity for Christ but turn a blind eye to those He identified Himself with, there is no honor in that. There is no truth in it.” (JH)

Maybe it’s because I’m 30 and rapidly approaching old-age (jokes).  But we don’t have time to waste.  Challenge yourself to do something for someone beside yourself.  Do something uncomfortable.  Talk to the homeless person on the corner and learn their name.  Take time to serve a meal to someone in need.  Be bold in sharing your faith with those you meet.  Pray intentionally for God to raise a holy passion in you for those he came to serve.

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:17

**Check out Jen’s blog this week for other blog link ups.  Over 300 of us reviewed the book and I know the rest of the launch team has even better posts!**

So I can post from my phone now

On an app. Is this a thing? I felt like I was super on top of technology until I talked to the teenage employee at the AT&T store and instantly felt elderly.

Perhaps this will encourage me to post more. And I may start with the great phone debacle of 2014, also known as it was almost the end of my life as we know it. Really, no drama here at all.

Confused? Intrigued?

Stay tuned.

We’re Baaaaack

So.

This is me.  Sheepishly hiding behind the pillow.  Life has happened.  And I haven’t blogged about it.  Hopefully all of you have avoided checking yourself into a rehab facility and have found other ways to pass your time.

I’m a little stressed because to catch up I’d have to go back to Halloween.  HALLOWEEN.  Not sure if I can handle that right now.  It’s nearly Easter for goodness sakes.  So let’s just take this step by step.  I’ll insert some pictures.  You oooh and ahh.  And I’ll list out our whereabouts instead of writing a 40 page long post.

SO let’s start at the beginning because it’s a very good place the start.

The beginning of Halloween that is.

Except, drat, the pictures loaded in reverse order.  I know, you may need a stiff drink to read this.

1. (except not 1) Christmas.  We had a busy Christmas visiting all our family.  We spent a few days with Seth’s parents, came home for a few days to do our family Christmas and wait for Santa (and it was touch and go there for awhile if he would actually come due to ahem…behavior), and then we went to my Mom’s house.

DSC_0114 Everyone is looking…everyone is smiling.  A complete miracle.

DSC_0052 DSC_0050 So happy to see that Santa pulled through!  Drew was happy for anything that had wheels.  Jake, on the other hand, had some very specific requests and was irritated when Santa brought him some extra things he didn’t ask for.

DSC_0044 Not sure what is going on here.

2. Family pictures.  Nailed it.

IMG_5347 IMG_5339 IMG_5326 IMG_5317 IMG_5247 3.  We visited my mom before Thanksgiving.  A couple weeks later Jake broke his arm at his great-grandmother’s house.  I have yet to find those pictures and am wondering when the last time I loaded pictures from the camera was.  Also, I don’t have a “2014″ picture folder on the computer yet so that’s never a good sign.

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4.  Halloween!  Are you impressed with the advanced pumpkin carving?  This was quite a feat for Seth but the boys loved it.  The next day it rained, the pumpkin got soaked, and became moldy.144 180Jake was Raphael, the Ninja Turtle for Halloween and Drew chose to go as himself.  This kid does WHAT HE WANTS.  He was supposed to be Batman but there was zero chance of getting that costume on.  He has been a challenge in a whole different way from Jake but is just hysterical.

So in mid-December we also put our house on the market, sold it the next day, and had moved into another house in our neighborhood by the end of January.  So I’ll blame my absence on all that, deal?  The move was something we had prayed about for a long time.  We wanted a little extra space but still wanted to stay close to our friends.  Everything worked out so smoothly (well, as smoothly as all that can be) and we are now settled in a new house on the other side of our neighborhood.  There are tons of kids on our street and we are starting to adjust.  I’ve worked like a maniac (Seth might use psycho) on our house because I was so sick of boxes and wanted them gone ASAP.  So it’s nice for everything to feel like “home”.

Drew’s sleeping habits have gone from great to poop since we moved and now he sleeps like a newborn at night.  He is up every couple of hours and we are so tired.  And if you leave him to cry, he vomits everywhere, so that presents a whole new challenge!

Life is fun.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

Merry Christmas Y’all!

I mean, never mind that this blog hasn’t been updated in 2 months (3?).  And for all you know, we’ve been stuck on a deserted island in the Pacific.

But we are alive and well and I have LOADS to update you on…after Christmas.  Hope you enjoy this special time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Final Christmas Card 2013

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name…

Butterflies and Kayaks

Earlier this summer I bought a butterfly habitat for the boys.  Y’all.  I kind of think I bought this for myself because it was the coolest thing!  You got a coupon to mail in and have live caterpillars sent to your house.  Then, we got to watch the entire metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.

Education at it’s finest.  Not sure why we pay for preschool.

IMG_4731 It took about 10-14 days for all 5 caterpillars to complete the process but Jake and Drew were so excited to see the butterflies!  They enjoyed giving them fresh fruit and sugar water to eat…I’m not sure how we didn’t manage to kill them because they loaded that thing down with fruit.

IMG_4735 The most exciting part was releasing the butterflies and each of them crawled onto Jake’s finger before the flew off.

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I know every bird in the mountains,
    and the insects in the fields are mine.

Psalm 50:11

IMG_4746 Then, since we never do anything else, Seth and some of his friends decided to take the kids kayaking down a creek near our house on Saturday.

IMG_4762 Expectations were set high for this amazing adventure in the wild.

IMG_4766 IMG_4773…and 3 hours later they completed their 1 mile journey through the mud.  The creek was only about 18 inches deep so they had a little trouble…er…kayaking.

18 Years and Counting

This past weekend Seth and I got away to Fredricksburg (sans kids!) with some of my dearest friends and their husbands.  We realized that we have been friends for 18 years.  It just blows me away.  Never in a million years could I have guessed how these girls and their families would bless my life.  Many of you know how wonderful friends just become your family and that’s exactly how they are.  I would do anything for them and them for me.  God carefully orchestrated this friendship and for that, I am forever grateful.

IMG_4597 This is the first “reunion” trip where we have included the men.  They may have whined and complained a little about not getting any say in what we did but they secretly loved it.  I love how our husbands are all friends and get along great!  They really had no other choice.

(Ben, Britt, JC, and Seth)

IMG_4604 Dabney, Susan, Paula, and Me

We all went to different schools, participated in different activities, and are at different stages in life.  God is the one constant in our friendship and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good friends.  I talk to at least one of these girls every single day.  I pray over and over that my boys will have close friends like these!

IMG_4610 Paulice and me (the nicknames are awful)

IMG_4611Me and Suzbabe

IMG_4612Me and Dabs

IMG_4616 We stayed at the cutest bed and breakfast and ate, shopped, and toured a couple of wineries on Saturday.

IMG_4629 Love doing life with him!

IMG_4630At the Grape Creek winery we got to tour the wine cellar and see how it is made.  It was really interesting and I realized a lot more goes into wine than just stomping grapes!  Wine isn’t my favorite thing in the world but it was neat to taste the different kinds.  I was actually pretty into the chocolate used to clean your palette. Pretty sure that’s not what we paid for though.

IMG_4637 Love the beautiful hill country

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The Sensats, Anderles, Bayles, and Fletchers

We had a great time, great conversation, and great company.  I hope we will still be doing these trips in 20 more years!

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother

Proverbs 18:24

And PS, this trip would not have been possible without my wonderful mom!  She came and stayed with the boys for the weekend while we were gone.  I’m pretty sure they had a great time and thoroughly wore each other out.  Jake has already been asking why I can’t take him to the store to get a new toy like Nana did.

Well if I’m not the meanest mom ever!

Maybe Not So Essential

I have been trying to focus on being a healthier person.  This coming from the girl who eats Blue Bell every night and could live on Little Caesars.

But as I approach 30 (shock, horror, I know), I am coming to realize how important it is for us to take care of ourselves…physically, emotionally, and spiritually!  This is so against my nature, but I have started seeing a chiropractor, taking vitamins and supplements, and using essential oils.  I even bought flaxseed and organic snacks.

I don’t even know myself anymore.

HOWEVER.

Do not put aforementioned essential oils on your wrist while wearing a $2.99 bracelet from Forever 21.

IMG_4644Perhaps sterling silver is the way to go.

BlogLovin

If you’ve been using Google Reader to view the blogs you follow, it’s disappearing on July 1…boo!  There’s a new app called “BlogLovin” that will do the same thing…link is below.  Set up your account so you don’t miss out on what’s happening with the Anderles.  Except you probably won’t miss anything life changing!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Next up…a discussion on why there aren’t more boy bands in today’s society.

Happy Birthday Party to You

We decided to have a small family party for Drew this year…and let me tell you.  It’s a lot easier and was just as fun!  All of Drew’s favorite people came in town to celebrate.  Since most everyone lives out of town, we were so thankful to our family for making the drive!  We all went out to eat at a local pizza place and then let the kids play in the fountains outside of the restaurant afterward.

And I’m pretty sure all the adults were about to jump in since outside birthday parties in June equal SWEAT.

019 Me and the birthday boy.  He did not care about his birthday and just wanted to play on my phone.  Typical.

027 Uncle Michael, Aunt Rachel, and Grandpa (or Peepaw, if you ask Drew)

029 Drew isn’t exactly my water boy so this probably wasn’t his dream come true.  He was a good sport though!

045 051 This kid on the other hand…you would’ve thought it was his birthday.  He kept saying things like “Oh, I hope Drew gets lots of Transformers!!  I hope Drew gets a new robot!”  Wishful thinking big brother.

061 084 So sweet.  Drew and his Popo looking at the ducks.

085 087 And of course we had to cool off even more with popsicles!

099 102 103 Family picture – love all these people!

112Nana stayed an extra couple days to play with the boys and they couldn’t have been happier. I think she couldn’t have been anymore worn out!  They kept her busy, that’s for sure.

Let’s hope it feels like eternity before Drew turns 3. Although sadly…it will be here before we know it.

I’ll be crying in the closet if you need me.

Snuggles and Strawberries

We have had lots of visitors lately and the boys have loved the extra attention.  Nana came to visit, along with my sister and her husband.  We were glad the visit coincided with one of Jake’s soccer games…I’m sure they were all super excited to drive all this way and see Jake sit in my lap the entire time…

006 He actually sat in a lot of laps…

034 Chillin’ with Aunt Rachel

037 Playing robots with Uncle Kyle

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Drew was around too, I promise.  We played soccer, went fishing at the creek, and had lots of good family time!

048 We picked strawberries last week with some friends…I just love this picture!

(Kennedy, Lexi, Drew, Macie, and Jake)

These girls are some of the boy’s best buds and I hate that they’re all growing up too fast.  Jake loved picking all the berries and Drew just re-distributed them among everyone’s buckets.

053 058

I just noticed that Jake is holding applesauce while also picking berries.  My kids would seriously rather snack all day than eat a solid meal.  They are eating all day long!

We are looking forward to a relaxing weekend and quality time with Daddy.  Seth has been gone this week for work so we are all ready for him to come home!

And I am ready for a pedicure.

Hint hint, Seth.