I Don’t Want To Read This Post

Some Days.

Some days I don’t want to read.
Some days I don’t want to write.
Some days I want to go to the movies and eat popcorn and let someone else inspire.

Some days I don’t want to care.
Some days I don’t want to hope.
Some days I want to leave my sunglasses on and let someone else see the depths of others.

But other days I do read and write and care and hope.
And on those days I tend to the weeds growing through the foundation of my soul.
On those days as I soak in the sun, I plant and water and nourish and share the harvest of kindness, hope and love.

Because I don’t want to forget the other days on some days.
I care too much to let the some-day weeds overtake my other-days garden.
So on some days I walk slowly through the other-days beauty and try to remember the passion and power and joy of the other days.

And then I go to sleep praying that I’ll not forget to rest in the grace of the well-tended garden of the other days.

Rest in the garden

Be More of Who You Are

Be More Of Who You Are

I have a friend in Wisconsin who recently discoveredChristina Klausen her great love and talent for knitting. She’s made some amazing things this winter! I adore this picture of the smile on her face coupled with the display of her fabulous craftsmanship. Chris has found something special – a way to express her strong attention to detail, perseverance and love for her family.

There was a time I thought I would find those things in knitting, too.

Eight years ago when we lived in Wisconsin I was pregnant with our first child and exploring what it looks like to be a homemaker. My friends were particularly adept at the art of homemaking. I was inspired by their passion and ability to garden, cook, sew and…knit. I didn’t have much interest in these skills until the reality of motherhood began to hit me. As my baby bump grew I felt an increasing desire to imitate my friends so I could create a similarly homey atmosphere for my little family.

I went to the store and purchased knitting needles and yarn. One of my friends taught me the simplest knot and started me off on my very first knitting project. It took a couple of weeks but I was excited to see the scarf grow from the labor of my hands. I finished and held my triumph before me, then realized…scarfone end was twelve inches long and the other end was six! I have no idea how I lost so many stitches! I looked at it and just started to laugh. My knitting project was quite similar to all my other projects requiring precision of hand: a hot mess! I made the instantaneous decision that I would never knit again.

My declaration was not made out of embarrassment or defeat, I simply accepted that I am not made to pay detailed attention to projects I do with my hands. It was an empowering, exciting moment. In minutes I was at my knitting mentor’s home, surrendering my needles and yarn.

And I never looked back.

My heart swells when I see friends in their game – doing their thing. I celebrate them, learn from them, benefit from them and am inspired by them. But…

I don’t need to be them.

Through trial and error I continuously explore what it means for me to be a homemaker. Now that I’m not nurturing tiny children, I’ve found that I can nurture a garden. I enjoy cooking healthy meals for my family. I write. I think. I have deep conversations. And I throw parties. When I focus on developing my strengths that are highlighted in these activities – rather than tying myself in knots knitting – I feel more alive.

This morning my friend and Strengths Coach Laurie Hock led our small group in discussion about our strengths (take the Clifton StrengthsFinder here). With her guidance we are all beginning to understand how things that have made us feel different, weird or wrong in the past may actually be our brightest and most unique contributions to the world. She offered this very important point: “You can’t be anything you want to be, but you can be more of who you are.”

Another friend, referring to her small stature, said “The idea that we can be anything we want to be is not true! I will never be a great basketball player (no matter how hard I work at it)!”

You can’t be anything you want to be, but you can be more of who you are.

I could have spent my entire pregnancy working on knitting a scarf with equal ends. But what interests and strengths of mine would I be neglecting to develop or offer as I trudge through the effort of becoming simply proficient at knitting? I ended up spending that time painting items for the nursery and reading.

Here’s the thing:

I could huff and puff on my weaknesses and end up with a nice bunch of party balloons but no energy left to party.

Or I could apply effort to developing my interests and strengths and find that the fire I ignite fills a hot air balloon that brings the party to the sky!

Hot Air BalloonsSo here’s to you, my beautiful friend who knits up in the clouds! 
I will meet you there with ideas and questions.

You will offer me warmth. I will offer you depth.
And together we will make a home for the world.

For more information about Strengths Coaching and Speaking, contact Laurie Hock through her website www.growingpoints.biz. She has helped me tremendously in the past few months as I’ve begun to step into my calling.

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your follow here (sign up for email updates on the side or bottom of your screen) and on Facebook (Andrea Joy Wenburg). If you find this post helpful or inspiring, I’d love it if you’d share it with your friends!

What are your interests and strengths? Are you willing to offer them?

Let’s meet in the clouds!

Click to Read this related post: Stretch Into Who You Are – like it’s your JOB!


Andrea Joy

Your Voice Matters

I know what it’s like to choke back the words that rise from my guts – for all kinds of reasons. I know what it’s like to hush myself or BE hushed by someone else. Sometimes I hold back because I assume others will judge me in the same way I judge them. Gut-check! Let’s all agree not to do that, shall we? Let’s strive to look deeper than the surface of what people say to hear what they’re really trying to say.

Your Voice MattersThere are certainly times when holding back is wise, but friend, what you have to say is important.

I ran into some deep friends this weekend who shared various thoughts about what I’ve been writing and their own experiences. Their words stirred passion in me to say what I want to say today and ideas of what I might want to say in the future.

We can do that for each other. We can stir up wonderful things…

If we don’t hush.

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to cry

The pain throbs deep and doesn’t subside

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to leap

The joy flips you over and you only tumble

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to think

The curiosity bubbles and hope only fizzles

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to preach

The passion is fire and doesn’t inspire

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to speak

Justice rolls like a river and is only a trickle

With silence

Don’t hush my darlin’

It’s OK to care

Your love soothes and and moves and is sadly unused

With silence

Speak from your guts. You’ve got them. What do you want to say?

Would you consider signing up for blog updates via email and sharing this blog with your friends? Thank you. You matter here.

Here’s why I say what I say on this blog: About The Blog

Here’s what one of my sweethearts wants you to know: What You Can Do Today

About #heatwave2015: Warmth For Cold Hearts

When I Should Feel Joy #4: True Love

I was so afraid that God was shaking his head as he looked on me that I couldn’t bring myself to look at him, either. When I did lift my gaze, all I seemed to see was God’s profile. Maybe he was not only shaking his head at me, maybe he wasn’t even looking. Maybe he turned his head when I called out to him. What’s the point of talking to a god who doesn’t see me? It’s humiliating.

And yet, I felt something stirring. Deep-seeded belief kept whispering                Don’t give up…Wait for it…

From When I Should Feel Joy #3

Seventeen months after the experience of childbirth that sent me in a tailspin, I joined thirty other men and women for a week with Dr. Larry Crabb for his School of Spiritual Direction. Attending had been a goal of mine for years but when I arrived I knew it was much more than an item to check of my bucket list. Red RockI pulled into the Glen Erie retreat center, greeted by an enormous red rock standing tall and strong and beautiful. It was time to take a leap of faith off of Mount Self-Protection and trust that God was going to catch me. I simply couldn’t live there any more.

It is amazing how much can happen in a heart that is open to receive what Love might offer.

At one point during class, something hit me. The words spoken weren’t magical. I think sometimes we over-estimate the value of words and forget to listen for what might be stirring in the heart.

My openness to Love was greater than my resistance to pain.

In that moment I was stirred up. My openness to Love was greater than my resistance to pain. I had to leave. I barely made it to the bed in my room before the sobbing began. Heart-whispers of Love held me securely as I recalled my physical and emotional and residual pain.


I heard you when you called for me to save you.
I held you when you writhed in pain.
I stood watch when you lay awake in fear.
True Love was there
when you couldn’t find its shadow.

I am here.

Cry your heart out, my love.
My Love is unending and does not depend on what you bring.
You can depend on me.
True Love is dependable.
Shadows depend on light.

True Love is here.

I hear you now as you call to be filled.
I hold you now as you weep with hope.
I stand watch over your heart as you rest in peace,
Come out from the shadows.

You are here.

True Love.
Make shadows.

What happens in a relationship when someone says, “I am bursting with longing to love you freely, without demanding that you make me feel good about myself?”

Let me tell you.
There’s a lot less expectation, demand, dependence, pressure and ugly.
There’s a lot more forgiveness, sacrifice, offering, freedom and beauty.

When you know you are deeply seen and you carry deep weight that makes a difference, you do not have to demand others see and approve of you.
You seek forgiveness. You love regardless. You give boldly.

Sometimes I live like that. Sometimes I love like that.

I want to do it more. How about you?
Live and Love Deeply

When I Should Feel Joy #1: Unprepared

When I Should Feel Joy #2: Postpartum Depression

When I Should Feel Joy #3: Shame

When I Should Feel Joy #4: True Love

When I Should Feel Joy #5: Deeper Joy

11 Tips for Preventing and Fighting Depression

An Extra-Special-Kind-Of-Sensitive

This morning our youngest was an extra-special-kind-of whiny and clingy. He didn’t want to run errands with dad or go to preschool, which was out of character. “I want to be with you, mom.”

And then I remembered: I was a mess yesterday. I felt overwhelmed with all of my failings and an extra-special-kind-of sensitive to perceived criticism. And when I am a mess, the next day our youngest is a mess. I hate it when my emotional intensity comes out in ways that negatively impact others. I have more thoughts on this subject, but for now…

I want to share a little ebook I made. It is a short, illustrated poem. It takes just a minute and is free to read.  I read it again tonight and was encouraged by a vision greater than my mess. Click on the link at the bottom of this post (not the picture) to view the book.

Enjoy.  And share.


Illustrated by, PascalCampion

Link:   http://storybird.com/books/the-dreamer-121/