#FMF – Reach

Joining together with the beautiful writers over at Kate’s place to write for five minutes unedited and letting the words just fall upon the page (I”m not writing on Friday…which is usually the way it goes, but I was working this weekend)

Prompt: Reach



I have worked at Starbucks for 7 years. Three of the four stores that I’ve worked at have drive-thru’s. While my first experience in the drive thru was not a good one, I have since excelled in that area.

One of the things that is interesting about the drive thru is how far people decide to park away from the window. Often I joke about being hired because I’m tall so that I can reach to serve them. In our store, this parking near or far is further hindered by a large yellow cement pole that keeps people from getting too close.

And as I reflect on far away and getting to close and reaching out, I realize that sometimes life and relationships are much like my interactions in the drive thru. Sometimes there are things that are keeping other people from getting close, experiences that they’ve had in the past or just a disinterest in getting very close to anyone. And since I find that I’m made for relationship and long for interaction, no matter how short and sweet, its difficult for me when these far away interactions happen. And I’m often left wondering if I was the cause of this cool, far off interaction.

but I’m most in my joyful spot when people come close and we’re able to share some moments, weather quickly or in a slow savoured time these are the times when I find I don’t have to reach so far, I’m not straining, because they are reaching out as well and we’re meeting in the middle. These are the times i long for. The moments when a smile lights up a face, when a comment of ‘me too’ or ‘I hear you’ are the words that resonate long between us.

I find that in the reaching out, that sometimes there is a reciprocal motion and I find that often this looks like moving closer to one another, one step at a time.


five minute friday

#FMF- Change

Every Thursday night I’ve been hanging out with the lovely #Fmfparty ladies over on Twitter (when I remember) These ladies gather to encourage one another, to pray for one another and to share the daily happenings of life. Around 10 Kate released the word prompt and we all write like mad for five minutes, un-edited, on the topic. Join us in writing and make sure you read and comment on some of the other amazing offerings.

PROMPT: Change


You know that when you deliberately forget the word that is your prompt of the night…its probably one you should write on. Because all this ‘forgetting’ really is ‘ignoring’ or a word hitting a little too close to home.

So change. Yeah, I’m not too fond of that idea. And while life isn’t ever really stagnant for too great a time, I’m usually quite put out when it does find its way into my day-to-day.

I’m always amazing just how much routine means to me, but I don’t see it, until something gets changed and I’ve got to work out my system again.

Work is one place that I’m not too fond of change. I work in retail and in the coffee industry, so expecting change not to take place is like wishing on fairy dust…probably not going to do a whole lot of good.

My former boss just went on a six month sabbatical, we have an interim boss and then we will have a ‘new’ boss come September. All of this has been difficult for me, especially since the interim boss is responsible for two stores and thus we as leadership are left to our own devices to try to figure out how the store shall be run in the two or three months that we are without a dedicated leader. That is difficult for me because I often take on too much responsibility as it is, leaving myself drained before I’ve even begun.

So in that instance change isn’t something that I look forward to.

But change is also something that I see as something that grows me in my life. That if I was to just stay stuck in what I’ve always done or where I’ve always been what kinds of things I’d miss out on. Some of the things where I went way outside my safe comfortable walls have been the stories that I’ll never forget and that thrill my heart when I speak of them. So in that sense, change isn’t something that I despise but rather something I see as necessary to growing me up into the Woman God wants me to be.

So two looks at change. One that I really, honestly dread and which right now is stressing me out.

And the other, which I know is helping to mold and shape me…and keep me on my toes, following Him and holding tightly to His hand.


five minute friday

#fmfpartysnailmail Linkup – Encouragement

you are loved
It takes about an hour and a half to get there. Along the way, the usual twists and turns present themselves to me. But as I get closer to my destination there are secret messages that I find displayed.

Driving under an over past I see ‘I love you’ scrawled in graffiti marks, and my heart quickly skips a beat. There are several other encouraging messages scrawled on subsequent bridges but this is the one that lingers.

The next day, before heading to the funeral, I take myself down to the water’s edge. Water has always had a cathartic effect on me, and I know that today is a day that I can use its comforting. I make my way to a park I’ve previously never set foot on. Its the middle of a weekday and I’m surprised to see several people on the foot path and fishing off the pier. My eyes land on the sand along the shore and I make my way to the waters edge. I spend some time in prayer, seeking God’s peace as I anticipate the sadness and mourning to come. I take a moment to walk along the waters edge.

Stepping carefully around remnants of sandcastles and lake refuse left on the shore, I stumble upon a message scrawled earlier in the sand. ‘I love you’ it declared in vibrant, upper-case letters. My soul that had been so thirst for a word from God drank in these words and I took a picture to memorialize it.

Posting it on facebook, I hoped that the words would also bring hope and a bit of joy to those who viewed it.

After attending the funeral, I made my way back along the driving corridor from where I had come. Stopping off to get a drink and to take a bit of a walk, I checked my Facebook messages and saw one from a dear soul sister. Opening it up, my heartbeat began to quicken. And tears came to my eyes, and a couple escaped and made their way down my cheeks.

There in written form was a message that she said God had whispered to her waiting heart, and it was directly for me. I was attending a retreat in a couple of days. Gathering together with sisters to seek the Lords face in a quiet state park and I wasn’t sure what I was going for, but community and peace in the midst of nature called my name. My dear sister in the Lord shared with me that God had directly spoken to her words that needed to be shared with my heart.

The words – – YOU.ARE.LOVED.

and my friend referenced the fact that when she had heard that word from the Lord she had pondered it deep, and upon checking her own Facebook feed and seeing my post about the words written in sand, she had felt compelled to share those words with my heart.

I made my way to the retreat. Gathering together with several sisters who had been previously unknown to me, but who soon came to be near and dear. A weekend seeking the Lord and waiting to hear from Him can do that for you. And as we indulged in playing with our art journal’s on Saturday my heart was full with all the things that God was speaking to my heart. I had several amazing conversations where He was just pouring out his love and healing in my life. Sunday morning dawned, and sadly we were going to each make our way home. As we celebrated in worship, I felt compelled to work on some artwork and made my way to the craft supplies.

As my hands rifled through the implements, my eyes landed on some stamps that had previously missed my perusal. Turning them over to read the messages, my hand and my heart stilled as I read MY words staring back at me ‘You.Are.Loved’…and I knew in that moment and He was speaking to me…had been reaffirming this in me and in things that people had been sharing with me. I grabbed the stamp, slathered it with ink and laid those words deep onto a page. I knew they were mine, I wanted to leave an impression.

And so as I have stepped forward in this, I find myself being reminded in the twists and turns of life that indeed these words ring heart and soul deep true. I have shared these words with others, and have no idea the impact that they have had on their lives. But I know that when I see them, when I share them….that my soul breathes deep of the reality that this love is completely undeserved and yet lavished upon me in generous portions. I pray that in some part that by sharing this message that God has so deeply used to make a difference in my life, that perhaps those same words will speak deep into the soul of another.



FMF- Fill

Joining together with Kate Motaung as she begins her journey of leading Five Minute Friday. I’ve loved getting to know this community that gathers together and for five minutes writes on one prompt without editing but just soul streaming words. Its been a beautiful way to read other people’s heart glimpses. Gather together with us as we write…and make sure to leave a comment on a couple of your neighbors posts. They’ve got some beautiful stuff to share (and its the only rule of this linkup!)

Prompt: FILL

To be honest this prompt had me stumped. I did read a couple other entries to get an idea on what I might write about, but still not sure what will be revealed in the writing.

The first thing I thought of is emptiness, and how filling that space results in a fullness. This was relating to my soul and how sometimes I just feel like I’m missing the mark, like I’m just not doing the right things. and then i’m reminded that it’s never about what I do but rather what has already been done. So as much as I see my faults and failings (more than I see the gifts and grace I’ve been given), it doesn’t mean that is the reality that I should always be living in. Because there is HOPE and that begins to fill, to inflate my sagging soul

And when I think of fill, i think of holes that have long laid empty. Perhaps wounds from others, or just things that have been carried silently in the heart and there is One who heals with his touch, there is scarring to remember what has taken place but NOT to sit there and focus on the wound but rather on the healing, the filling with new flesh, with renewed hope, with a restoration.

And both of these ideas of filling up…they resonate deep with me, clearly because they come out of my heart. out of my experience. out of my thought process. and I’m left thinking…what does a heart that is filled with Him look like, feel like, beat like? and What is a life that has healed wounds, and wounds that are on their way to being healed up look like. Because for so long I’ve lived in empty. I’ve lived in a place where I’d given up on being full, being healed, being made whole again.

so this being filled…its like a dream. yet its reality. because it can take place. there is surrender required. There is healing required. there are hard things required. and yet this filling, as it begins in drops and then rivulets and then downpour…it is so healing.




five minute friday

You are Named

He speaks in whisper
my heart beat quickens


and the words I hear
I struggle to comprehend


because my eyes, my ears, my heart
are all covered in this filth
this sin barrier


and I cannot SEE, cannot HEAR, cannot KNOW

that what He whispers over me
is what I was named
before my first breathe was taken
before my eyes opened wide to light
before my heart began its rhythm


and yet this truth

my understanding of it
my ‘knowing’ it
doesn’t change its reality


HE has called me His own


and those are things
that I have no say in
they just ARE

now to make them MY heartbeat
to see them with MY eyes
to hear and believe with my ears

that is the next step
in this love journey



written by Janel Andrews    August 6/2014


Inspired by the following verses:

“…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor 5:17

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” Jer 1:5a

FMF – Begin

Joining up with Lisa-Jo and friends as she hosts her last FMF…had a blast with a live tweetchat with her kiddos and her reflecting on the last four years of this beautiful linkup! Check out what others have written for five minutes on the same topic and then comment on their entries. This is a beautiful community that I have only recently found myself to be part of the community.

BeFunky_null_6janel.jpgHolly and I at Jumping Tandem: The Retreat (2013)



It was a sunny day. I found myself in a van with strangers. We were on our way to a retreat…women bonding over the wild ride. Upon arrival, I was anticipating seeing some faces that I knew online and that I had been yearning to hug in real life. It was so beautiful to see soul sisters and yet I kind of felt like I was on the outside. Like I didn’t belong.

My friend Holly suggested we go for a short walk outside around the property, and as we rounded the corner we heard laughter and beautiful voices. There on a hidden patio were some lovely ladies soaking up the sun and reminiscing about shared moments at another conference. Holly and I went over and climbed up on the patio after their calling out to join them, and settled into the sun surrounded by sweet faces.

and there…in those moments of listening to ladies share their heart. In seeing their smiles, in having them ask me a couple of questions it began. a small seed of something…it was a belonging, an understanding that we were all gathered here on the same level, that though there were those whose names might resonate around the blogosphere that they were just women like me.

I sat in the sun, soaking up rays in the midst of a bit of a breeze and I took in this sisterhood. There were old friends gathered, and new friends made that day. There were soul stories shared and mama moments reminisced on, and laughter…oh the laughter. And slowly there were others joining us, creating diversity in the sisterhood, in this place where all our stories were welcome and we were free to begin.

Begin to write. to share. to love. to learn. to see our worth. to see our dreams. to gather as strangers and leave as sister and friends.