The Young Family Farm »

Masthead header

Listening to God…

When I was 18 years old, I heard a still small voice speak to my heart for what I wish I could say was the first time. However–I know I’d heard Him for 18 years–it just took 18 years for my stubborn heart to REALLY listen. We all hear it…just some people don’t want to listen–or just shut Him out in fear of what might have to change…what if their husbands don’t hear it too…what if my life has to change…

But–oh…to LISTEN…and FOLLOW…there is nothing sweeter.

What if I lived life hearing but not listening?

What if I stopped listening–and my life got too busy and loud to even hear?

Then–I would be missing THIS.

I would be missing His BEST for my life.

It’s not about what you might have to change…but about knowing and experiencing His perfect love…and loving others through Him…not in YOUR strength…but in HIS.

What if I thought this world was about ME? What if I planned my days around WHAT I WANTED? What if I scheduled my children’s lives and schedules around what was most convenient for ME? Because…it’s just not about ME…there is SO MUCH MORE TO LIFE THAN…me. YET–God looked down and saw ME. And said it was really about HIM–but He loved me enough to come down and die for me. And for you. So it could be about Him.

I was dying eggs with the children today…and I was thinking about how they are changed as they sit still…

By the way–to make you smile…Frank is our “official egg cooler”…he blows on them to cool them off before we dye them…(and yes–we experimented with a brown egg–which doesn’t dye well so don’t try that at home)…

The children wanted to dip these eggs in the dye and see IMMEDIATE change. But…they had to sit…they had to wait…they had to be still…

And then…much more was able to be added to them…so much more…and how much brighter–how much more vibrant…spilling over with joy each and every one…

Lately, the Lord is really teaching me to not live by looking to the right or the left–looking to see how others are living but to LOOK TO HIM and follow. And it can be awfully hard to follow when I don’t know what He wants me to do. Mother Teresa said, “In the silence of the heart God speaks and this is the time that He will speak to you.” I need to slow down more often…I want to be still in His presense…I want my heart to be transformed to REST in His will for my life.

Richard and I often make decisions that makes others look at us like we are crazy or say things to us that would be hurtful–BUT because God is the one who led us…we can smile with joy and confidence that we are choosing to live by His guidance rather than what the world holds in high esteem…

We said goodbye to the country club membership and we’re convinced golf courses in heaven are sweeter…and my husband can still take the boys out to public places that offer the same sweet father/son bonding. For us–that just made sense. We said yes to adoption–although the American dream says 3 kids is pushing it because how will you send them all to the college of their choice…and we thought 4 sounded sweet because God said He would provide and promises in His Word to meet all our needs. We rested when people told us it would be hard for us to have a black son and for him to have white parents…because we think having a family to love you is best of all–and following the Lord is even better. Nothing we have changed in our lives has been a SACRIFICE at all…but a complete transforming us from the inside out–freeing us to love others and rest more…and truthfully enjoy life as I’m convinced it was created to be lived. For His glory–for His sake…and not for ME.

All the things we have said good-bye too…is change in the bucket–traded in for so much we do not even deserve. And to think…had I never listened…we might have missed all this. Sitting here tonight I have to actually THINK of what we might be doing if we weren’t following Him on whatever He calls us to. The countryclub I chuckle at…I can’t believe it was ever a question for us. HEAR THIS–I am NOT saying you can’t be a part of a countryclub!!! Ministry happens there too folks! BUT that is just not where He was calling us!!! I chuckle because at one point 5 years ago it was actually a struggle to what to do…but I’m so thankful we listened as it freed us up to do things in Africa which eventually led us to grow our FAMILY!!! We are forever changed by saying yes and being obedient in the little tiny things that we thought we needed to follow Him on!

Some times following is hard. Some times it is a complete leap of faith. And it ALWAYS involves listening.

Lots of listening.

In the quiet.

And learning to listen when it’s loud too.

When is the last time you just sat and listened?

That you spilled your heart to your Creator…and then you just sat–and listened?

At first you may hear nothing…like the egg that goes into the dye and comes right out to say, “Nope…nothing yet”…but as you sit and soak and wait…bit by bit…your heart will be transformed as you wait on Him. And your day will and eventually your LIFE will reap the beauty of listening to the One who created your life to be lived for His glory…more beautiful than you could ever plan it yourself.

Rachelle - April 21, 2011 - 12:58 am


Tonight I realized what it is that I enjoy about reading your blog.

Today I had a chat with a friend and we talked about the topic of raising children to love the Lord and love others. I referred my friend who has a very large family, to read your blog because it allows someone to get a glimpse of what a family who loves the Lord looks like. She is a new believer who wants to bring Jesus into the lives of her children. I referred her to your blog because it’s a place to see into the life of a family that lives to love and serve the Lord. And that my friend is why I like your blog. 🙂

God Bless, Rachelle

Christy - April 21, 2011 - 6:00 am

Oh what amazing words the Lord gave you to speak to us! Funny how we dyed eggs yesterday too, and I got a different lesson out of them. Without Jesus, our lives are boring, plain, and missing much life. The more time we spend with him, the more He changes us and makes us full of new life and color and shining to a world around us! 🙂 it was a cool lesson to teach the kids. I love your lesson as well! Be blessed today, my friend. You certainly have blessed me!

Makenzie - April 21, 2011 - 8:05 am

Love this, Andrea! It reminds me of our “Date with God” sessions at Created for Care. Ever since then I have been so much more open to God’s voice in my heart. I often think about what my life would look like if everything went according to my plans… I could never have planned something this beautiful!!

Staci - April 21, 2011 - 8:23 am

Especially loved this post… reminded me of a plaque on my office wall that says, “Make time for quiet moments – God whispers and the world is loud.” So much easier said/intended than done. Thanks for the important reminder during this Holy Week when our hearts should be particularly reflective in the midst of the busyness and anticipation of the great celebration! Hope your family enjoys a blessed Good Friday and Easter!

Joy Kinard - April 21, 2011 - 8:32 am

Your story is so beautiful. Our sweet God whispers here too. Just a few months ago we chose to turn off our cell phones and switch to a cheaper plan. This required us to be cell phone free for about 15 days while we waited for the next offer to take effect. We had brought home our sweet foster baby just weeks before. We were making changes in our budget to further ensure that I could stay at home with her, just like I did with my boys. A close family member called our home and repremanded me for taking in a foster child when she felt I could not pay my cell phone bill. She would not listen to our story of God, or using our resources wisely, she just knew that our phone was not working when she called it, so she assumed we could not pay the bill. She was in such a tizzy about it that she cancelled our Christmas gathering at MY house with them, and refused to come. This broke our hearts. Not because she was upset, or that she would not hear reason, or even because she did not come. We were heart broken because she didn’t get it. She could not see following God’s call as being worthwhile. In the end we have realized this reaction came on the heels of her realizing our baby is black. What a loss of joy for HER to not get to be involved in this precious treasure’s life. We are so blessed to be following God, whatever the cost!

Dawn - April 21, 2011 - 11:38 am

VERY MUCH AGREE!!!! What if we thought such and such was too important to give up or push aside (not a sacrifice just decisions that help grow us)? What would we miss??? WAY TOO MUCH!!!!!! Praising God that we listen…praying for more listening…more growing….more giving….more doing for HIM.

Rory Cookman - April 21, 2011 - 1:22 pm

Andrea, thanks for sharing your heart. Several pieces resonated with me. I have struggled in recent weeks with “others” in my life, knowing that following after God’s heart will be foolishness to some–yes, even some family and close friends. It is always a challenge to walk in love and yet continue to move forward, knowing that there is a cost to following. It is hard to feel rejected at times for doing the hard thing, for laying down your life, for being “radical” (which I find funny because I always feel like I’m barely touching the edge of radical when I look at the book of Acts and all the disciples of Jesus)…anyway, God has given me Hebrews 12:1 and reminded me to keep my eyes on HIM, and to not compare my race to anyone else’s. I know as believers we are ALL running the race, but each of us has our own “leg” to run as well, and oh do I want to run it well and with ENDURANCE. I am thankful God uses so many around us (including “friends” like you in the blog world) to encourage us along the journey. I keep telling my kids that this life is NOTHING compared to ETERNITY. God bless you guys!

Kelly - April 21, 2011 - 1:41 pm

The verse that popped in my head after reading your post was Matthew 16:5- “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” I’m finding this to be sooo true! The more and more that I listen, the more and more that I “lose” my life to the world’s standards…the more and more that God is glorified and then as a bonus, I get to experience some pretty incredible things! Heres to losing more of our life…. 😉

allie - April 21, 2011 - 2:12 pm

this was enough of an answer! Thank you for writing this post and reminding me to listen to and follow the only One who matters

Alison - April 21, 2011 - 2:16 pm

Love this, Andrea! Thanks for always being encouraging and reminding us of the truth of God’s Word! Hope that ya’ll have a wonderful Easter!

Sandi - April 21, 2011 - 3:04 pm

Each year at Easter we forgo buying the super expensive outfits & shoes & give to as many families in need as we can. Boy it baffles my mother-in-law’s mind when we show up & don’t have those 50 shoes on our kiddos. I can’t help but think that Jesus who wore worn sandals & robe would rather that we “clothe ourselves” with the fruit of the Holy spirit when we celebrate his resurrection. Kudos to you for listening to your heart & turning your eyes on him instead!

Dennis Neal - April 21, 2011 - 10:27 pm

I really enjoy your blog. My wife and I are in the process of adopting from ethiopia so that is what has brought me to your blog. As i read the blog the scripture in Jeremiah 29:11-13 come to my mind, I pray Gods blessing on your family.