More than a nice story 

I hope there are movies in Heaven. I hope there are story times with the patriarchs and prophets and everyone else in between. 

Because the Bible gives us glimpses, but there are details I want to know!

One of my teachers joked with us in class that the Bible would read much differently if women wrote it. 

The cool thing, though, is that God told us about the important areas in great detail. 

He even set the story in cultural contexts that have been thoroughly studied out by scholars for hundreds of years. 

I love the fact that there will always be more for me to know about God’s Word. 

Everyday I learn more and more about my Father, about how He wants me to live. 

The Bible is not just a nice story–it’s God’s rescue plan to save us from the darkness of sin. 

The Bible is God’s will written out, so there’s no need for us to wonder what He wants us to do. 

And maybe you don’t get why I love the Bible so much, maybe you find it hard to understand. 

Here’s my advice: Pray and ask God to give you understanding–even if you’re not the praying type–and I guarantee that He’ll answer that prayer. 

God’s heart is for every man and woman to know the depths of His love for mankind. 

BFFs and such

One of my best friends lives in Canada. She’s actually more like my sister, which is awesome because I always wanted a big sister growing up. 

You know the cliche that friends are the family that you choose?

I wholeheartedly believe it to be true because I have a small group of friends who have become my family. 

We’ve weathered many storms together and I know who to call whenever I need prayer. 

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know my personal stance on the idea of doing life alone:Just don’t do it!

We need family. 

We need friends. 

We need a community. 

The Bible says that loners rage against all sound wisdom. 

I’m so blessed to have great friends. The Lord has always put people on my path to encourage me and challenge me towards spiritual growth. 

Friendship matters. And all of the cliches and warnings from your elders are true. 

You really do become like the people you hang around. 

When comfort doesn’t come

I struggle with being assertive.

Being nice? Having fun? Keeping things light and fluffy?

Welcome to my comfort zone or my discomfort zone, depending on the day.

Lysa TerKeurst says it best:

Having a comfort zone doesn’t mean you’re always comfortable.

I’m being stretched in this area at work. Accountability in the work place, especially for those of us in management positions, means holding meetings to discuss progress.

Guess who’s the bearer of bad news?

Yeah. Fun-loving Audra.

And most of the time it’s not terrible news. Managers are just trained to notice things that are not going well–and then come up with strategies for improvement.

I’ll be really honest with you. I have to pray a lot when receiving instruction and correction. When my thoughts are allowed to go off alone, I take it personally–and even my controlled thoughts find me vulnerable.

Receiving instruction with grace is always a choice I have to make.

This is one struggle that can send my emotions and relationships into a tailspin. One of my goals for next year is to deconstruct this area and come up with a battle plan.

IMG_1566For now, though, I’m sitting in a hard place. Things have gone wrong and all I can do is clean up the mess.

Can I give you some advice?

Don’t ignore warning signs.

Don’t put off conversations.

Pretending everything is okay, will be okay, can be okay is not helping.

Which brings me back to being assertive in the workplace…..

If management teaches you anything it’s how to conquer fear, especially when your fear pops up as a subject in a meeting about your personal performance.

Here’s what I’m learning as I face up to my insecurities about giving/receiving instruction and correction:

Dealing with a problem is always uncomfortable. Stop waiting for comfort to come along. It won’t.

Confessions of a Word Collector

I am a word collector.

I collect inspiring words.

brain depositoryI write them down in my brain depository, which is really just my notebook. (Yes, I used the thesaurus to find a synonym of notebook. I am that person.)

It’s impossible to listen to smart people without writing down their words of wisdom.

I encourage you to become a word collector too. Buy a notebook or use one of the million note taking apps.

Here’s 10 of my favorite quotes from this year. If I got it from a book, I’ll give you the title.

  1. “To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.”  -Dr. Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
  2. “How can we be loved if we are always hiding?” -Donald Miller, Scary Close
  3. “Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace up shoes.” -Stephen King, On Writing
  4. “You know what it is about someone that makes them a friend? A friend doesn’t just say things; a friend does.” -Bob Goff, Love Does
  5. “Passion is often found in the crucible of work.” -Jon Acuff, Do Over
  6. “Servants can go places kings can’t.” -Jon Weece, Jesus Prom
  7. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” -Sunni Brown, The Doodle Revolution
  8. “Grace treats us like we already are what we fear we will never become.” -Beth Moore, taken from Wednesdays in the Word on Life Today
  9. “If you stay in a rut long enough, it will become a grave.” -Christine Caine, taken from one of her many teachings on YouTube
  10. “The ministry of the heart is the sole responsibility of the individual, yet few people ever learn how to consistently influence their hearts in a deliberate way.” -Dr. James Richards, How to Stop the Pain 

Movie Review: The Age of Adaline

Imagine having the wisdom of age while standing at the cusp of youth.

It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? We’ve been told–especially us girls–that you can’t have both.

Enjoy youth and beauty while you can because it’s fleeting.

Here’s a short synopsis of The Age of Adaline:

Adaline Bowman experienced a weird scientific phenomena that stopped her aging process.

She was forever 29.

Of course, she couldn’t explain what happened, so Adaline spent the next 60 years hiding in plain sight.

No one really knew her and she preferred it that way.

On New Year’s Eve, Adaline meets a charming young man named Ellis. Everything changed for her on that day.

And that’s all I’m going to say.

age of adalineThere are some twists in the plot that I want you to discover on your own.

Now, I want us to talk about the meaning of life–in 150 words or less.

Let’s give it a shot.

Adaline spent her whole life running.

Running from her past.

Running from love.

She didn’t know how to live when she would never age, never die.

The line that stuck with me most was:

“All these years you lived, but never had a life.”


How many of us are living, but have no life?

We’re so busy running that we forget to enjoy the present, to dream about the future.

Meanwhile, time is slipping through the hour glass.

Age and wisdom are normally synonymous, right?

Not when you refuse to move forward.

Not when you refuse to be known.

Time is slipping through the hour glass….and you’re stuck.

The Age of Adaline is really about getting unstuck.

I find the premise of the movie fascinating and it’s one of the best movies I’ve watched in a while.

I encourage you to watch the movie. Let me know what you see, what you learn.


A Woman’s Wisdom

A proverb a day keeps foolishness at bay. 

The book of Proverbs is full of great advice and wisdom. The wisest guy in the world (Solomon) shared with us the things he learned. 

I think Solomon’s a wonderful example of what to do with God’s gifts–use them to help others. 

Sure, he was human and had a lot of wives. Still, though, it doesn’t discount his contribution. 

I’m excited to read A Woman’s Wisdom: How the proverbs speak to everything by Lydia Brownback. 

  She talks about the role of wisdom and all the things we can learn from Proverbs. 

Check it out if you get the chance. 

I just started it, but it’s been great so far. 

Circle of Counsel

I have found a downside to being young. It’s the invincibility complex. Do you remember when I hurt my knee? That was the result of feeling invincible. And you see how well that worked out for me.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to punch fear in the face and conquer the world. I think everyone should live with that attitude.

But like most things in life there’s a fine line between confidence and stupidity.

And in a lot of ways I wouldn’t even call it stupidity.

It’s actually an unwillingness to heed sound advice.

My dad would call that not being teachable. I am not saying to only try something when you’re perfect at it.

Who has ever benefited from that busted philosophy?

Not being teachable is an attitude of stubborn rebellion against those who not only are trying to help you but also those who are trying to teach you how to do something the right way.

If you’re familiar with the book of Proverbs, an ancient wisdom book found in the Bible, a lot of proverbs talk about the wisdom of sound counsel from a multitude of people.

More often than not, I fail when I refuse to heed the advice given by those in my circle of counsel.

Here’s my list of those in my circle: My parents, my grandparents, and a few close friends. I can always trust their advice and I always seek it out before making a big decision.

Who’s in your circle of counsel?

Choose wisely.

Put the right people in that circle and you’re bound to be successful.

But if that’s the case then the wrong people will point you down a path of destruction.

It matters who your friends are and whose advice you’re following.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Future

How often do you think about the future?

I know that I think about the future quite frequently.

Sometimes the future is scary because I begin to plug in the variables.

I start thinking, “If I don’t change this area of my life, then this will be the result.” That’s when I get really wigged out.

Years ago, I caught a few episodes of a pretty cool show. Don’t go asking me the name of this show because I don’t remember and it wasn’t on the air long. Anyway, this health and nutrition team would show people what would happen if they didn’t change their diets. It was scary. They looked like Goodyear blimps. I’m not kidding, these people were huge! And all of this because they couldn’t give up Twinkies and Coke…

The cool thing about this show was that there was hope. This team of experts would reveal the inevitable, but then say, “Wait a minute! You can fix this!” Needless to say, a major change in diet and exercise would solve 95% of their problems.

Do you know that changing your thinking will alter your future?

Listen friends. My thinking is constantly being challenged. Just when I believe that I really understand something I find out that I don’t.

I could get mad, pitch a fit, and stay ignorant.

But why?

Why would I want to remain ignorant?

That is the most dangerous thing I can do because I will be held accountable by God for my knowledge and my ignorance! Now that’s a sobering thought.

I can hear God now.

Audra, I’m so glad that you figured this one thing out, but what about this other area? Why did you refuse to learn? Why didn’t you listen?”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be standing speechless because I refused to open my eyes.

If I can leave you with one thought it’s this:

What would happen if you made a few changes? If the course of action seems a bit extreme now, will the end results be worth it?