All Lives Matter

I don’t usually write poems, and I have definitely never shared one that I have written. But I felt I needed to share this one. So don’t judge too hardly 😉

This morning my heart hurts, and I feel weighed down by all of the hate that I see. I wrote this poem to try to make sense of all of the grief I was feeling. Of course I have opinions, we all do. I just don’t think voicing them would make a difference right now. I think what the world really needs is a little silence. Some time to process.

So here it is (yes I am very nervous about this but stepping out in faith here):

Hate breeds hate

Fear begets fear

Lives matter

Son, daughter, father

 

Our hearts ache for what is

What is going to be

Begging for our lives

We shouldn’t have to plea

 

It is just the beginning

Hate always breeds

It will get worse

An unknown future is all we see

 

There is sin in the world

History has taught us this

It is devious

But somehow we dismiss

 

The bible has the answer

Love never fails

And only with God

Can we prevail

 

Conspiracy theories

And planned murders

I fear for my children

I am only a mother

 

Violence has always been

And will always be

 Prayer is the answer

From you and from me

 

Let’s not place blame

And judge what we don’t know

Don’t let the media

Entrap our soul

 

Each story has two sides

The truth in the middle

As children we are taught this

Let’s try to remember

 

You don’t know everything

Neither do I

We must be open to learn

Because opinions do lie

 

Black, white, brown,

Color shouldn’t be the factor

Civilian, officer, political,

All lives matter

 

Two wrongs don’t make a right

It only leads to blindness

What the world really needs

Is just a little kindness

 

~ C.C. Andrews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time in 15 years I do not have a cellular device, internet, or cable TV. At first, the boys were horrified. Poor Jackson cried because he couldn’t play his games online. Every day they asked if it was getting turned back on. But there has been positive too. They started pulling board games out of the closet. They started to play using their imagination instead of constantly playing video games, which I tried to limit before the accident and had become slack on. Jackson even admitted me to me that it wasn’t so bad not having internet and they were having “fun” playing. They were forced to get creative, and that isn’t such a bad thing. 

It has been an experience for me as well. We often wonder what we do without technology, and I have had the opportunity to learn firsthand. The only time I have access to the Internet is through my husband’s mobile hotspot. It is nice not having to check my phone every 10 minutes of the day. I am OCD and unread notifications drive me insane.  Now, I only see them when I am able to connect. It is frustrating however when I need to be connected to reach a customer or reply to an email. I cannot even print documents because literally everything has to have wifi to work. 

When my two oldest were growing up I would never speak of finances with my boys. Speak as though you have instead of what you don’t have. Your words are powerful so don’t proclaim negative. My answer was simply no or not right now. As they became older, I realized I wasn’t really teaching them truth. It is okay to teach children that not all of their wants are in the budget. Children need to understand that some things are luxuries, like Internet and cable, even though we believe we have to have them. They too will have to make sacrifices, learn to budget their money and make smart decisions. I pray that they are all so successful that they don’t have to go without anything, but the reality is at some point they will have to choose between paying the mortgage or electricity bill over buying the newest iPhone. I hope as parents we are teaching them the foundation of that concept. 

Through it all I have learned that I can indeed survive without technology, but it is a luxury I enjoy and will be happy to have again we can afford to do so.

Before the accident, I would have never shared something like this. Now, I feel the need to be brutally honest. The reality is we are still struggling from the aftermath of the accident and the impact it has had on our lives and our finances. But even if that wasn’t the case, most people struggle to make ends meet. Parents have to decide how to use those times to teach positive example instead of feeling shame about their circumstances. I hope that by sharing our story others know they are not alone out there, and just maybe it will make their day a little better. 

Love and blessings, 

C.C. 

Let God Bless You

Today, Pastor Randy of Life Restoration Church sent me a Facebook message inviting me to church service this morning. I immediately replied that I couldn’t come because I was moving my store. His response? “If you come this morning, I will send a team of young men to help you move today. And you can come to church, and get filled up by the Holy Spirit, get a word from the Lord, and get some help at your store today.” I immediately replied, Deal! Not because I expected anyone to help, but I figured that if he was that willing to get me to church, then God obviously had a word for me that I needed to hear.

When our lives are falling apart, church should be the first place we run. Me? I am hard-headed to the core. I try micro-managing every thing by myself. I become a doer. I think that if I work hard enough I can fix it myself. Of course I never do, and everything continues to fall down around me until I finally have to hand it over to God. Which I should have done from the beginning.

Growing up, I had to be tough. I learned to be independent and strong. It has gotten me through a lot of trials, but it has also been one of my biggest flaws. I don’t know how to ask for help. I just do it myself. Now ask me if I do it quietly or without anger? Nope, my feelings get hurt because people I love don’t want to help me. My anger just pushes me forward until yes, the job is done, but I am one bitter person. Did I mention I can hold a grudge? Like, forever? It is another one of those flaws I am working on.

After church, Pastor Randy messaged me and said, “Hey! I got about 10 men ready here!! Where are you?” I explained that he really didn’t have to help, I came because I knew God had a word for me. And he said, “You HAVE to let God bless you!!” Isn’t it amazing how God wants to bless us, but we are the ones in His way stopping Him? He was right, and I knew it. God can’t bless me when I won’t let Him.

Why is it so hard to hand things over to Him? I wish I could tell all you that almost losing my boys brought me to a place of total trust and faith. I am and always will be a work in progress. Did I mention that the message today was about faith? One of the things Pastor Randy said was exactly what I needed to hear, “The harder the thing is that you have to go through, the more magnificent your testimony.” God knew I needed the reminder. I needed to hear the words. Immediately after the accident God told me that He had a plan and a purpose for this happening. I held on to that Word and it helped get me through one of the most difficult experiences of my life. I knew then that what our boys were going through was for His testimony.

Someone reminded me this week that God is using me for His purpose. My story and my voice has helped others, and continues to do so. It seems like my dream of Vintage is ending, but God has bigger plans in the works. And that when you use your voice to give God the praise, the devil comes in to try to steal it. I refuse to shut up. I have said it from the beginning, and I still say it. God has done too much for my family to not get the praise He deserves.

Not just 10 young guys come to help, it was more like 20. They had trucks and they were ready to work! I had spent 4 days packing and moving what I could in the back of my Tahoe, and barely made a dent. What would have taken myself and Heather (who has been so good to me and agreed to stay to help me until the very end) 2 weeks to do took them a few hours. They literally moved my entire store with me. I cannot begin to express my gratitude.

While I was watching them fellowship with one another and moving furniture, God reminded me that what I was witnessing was church. Church is belonging to a family that loves one another. Belonging to a family of believers that loves people that they don’t even know. These people didn’t have to spend their Sunday afternoon in the sweltering heat to help someone they have barely met move. Yet they did, full of love and with no questions asked. They loved on me and encouraged me the entire time. And God did I need it! At the end of the day, they prayed with my husband and I. This group of young men are what church is all about. If you don’t have a church family, I highly recommend Life Restoration Church.

As I showed them the car that the boys were in the accident in so that they could see why we were having to close my store and move furniture, God reminded me too. My heart aches because I had to give up my dream, but I must have faith and trust in God that this isn’t the end. Our journey isn’t over. We still have a long way to go. We have had to make many sacrifices as a family, and I am sure there will be more to make in the future.

Do I wish that our lives were back to “normal”? Absolutely. Would I love to be without all of the stress I have endured for the last 10 months? You bet I would! But I also would have missed out on all of the good things that has come from the accident: Hearing Jackson talk about his trip to heaven. Watching God work miracles time after time. Learning to let go and allowing Him to bless me. Hearing from people who’s lives have forever more been changed because of our boys story. And having a group of young men show up to not only help me move, but to love on me when I needed it the most and to remind me that I should have handed it over to God from the very beginning.

Love and blessings,

C.C.