Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Respect”

Almost doesn’t Count – College Edition

Gone to College.

It’s that time of year,  primary school starting, college students leaving and families grappling with big changes in the household.

We’ve got one son in the final semester of his senior year (graduating early, oh yes he is!) our middle boy leaving for his freshman year at PLNU and our third son entering his sophomore year of high school.

The third child, is the main reason for this post. I’ve already reminded you well meaning folk of what not to say to parents of college students in my post “Five Thing Not To say To College Parents.”

Turns out we’ve got more “don’t say its” regarding only having one child left at home. I thought we covered this in bullet number two in my 5 Things post. Go ahead and click the link above, I’ll wait.

Apparently now, people have taken it to the other extreme.

I cannot tell you the numbers of people that comment on how the empty nest is in sight. People encouraging us to” just hold on, the end is near!” Telling us we’ve “almost made it”, that we “only have one more to get behind us!” “So you’re not quite empty nesters, but pretty much!”

And sadly they say it in front of our son.

See here’s the thing, we have 3 1/2 more years to enjoy him while he’s under our roof.

Three-and-a-half.

I know of no scenario where 3 1/2 years is “almost”. Almost refers to situations of immediacy like “I’m almost over this cold, the chicken is almost done”, and the ever popular “I almost hit the target with the grenade.”

I guess we’re just different, but we are grateful for the gift of the next years to focus on our third child. Due to birth order, he’s been last to do everything. We certainly don’t plan to short change him now.

In the 5 things post I suggest if you don’t know what to say, that it might be best not say anything at all. I further suggest that you simply ask yourself what it would feel like if someone referred to you as “something to endure or get through” and then again, don’t say anything at all.

Go easy on us college parents, separation is one of the most challenging things we as humans endure.

 

Learning and Serving with Thanks

Learning and Serving with Love

Valladolid. Hundreds heard of our great God. Many chose to live for Him. All chose to love.

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. We could not have done it without you.

3 John 1:4  reads ” I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” NIV

It is with the greatest of joy that I profess that we did just that.

We came alongside the underserved, took them by the hand and walked with them in truth.

Amen.

5 Ways to Support Our Medical Mission

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Keegan and I are deeply blessed to be going back to Valladolid, Mexico in June. We’ll be serving with International Medical Assistance and working in the same hospital, Centro Medico San Lucas. This is IMA’s biggest trip of the year. Our team will perform hundreds of surgeries over 5 days, as well as 300 dental procedures, build an eye clinic, and see hundreds of children in the villages. We will play with them and run medical clinics. And best of all, every patient will hear the gospel. We will love and care and support and come alongside the sick and the poor. We plan to once again, give our brothers and sisters everything we’ve got.
A few significant changes are happening this year though. Keegan is coming back, but in a medical capacity. The trip touched him so deeply last year, that he changed his major at U of A and is pursuing a Family Studies Major with a pre-health minor. His ultimate goal is to become a pediatric oncologist. I came back to the US and went back to school. I’m now a Licensed, Certified Nursing Assistant and plan to pursue a nursing degree. Can’t wait for pictures this year as Keegan will be in scrubs too!
We must thank all of the donors from last year, who made the trip possible for us. As you can see it has changed our lives. Our only desire is to continue to serve those who need our help while continuing with life-long learning. Keegan and I are committed to assisting people at the highest level.
We have raised a good portion of funds this year, but as you’ll see below, we have a little gap to fill. We appreciate in advance, any and all support. We love you all and look forward to partnering with each of you to get our boots on the ground in Valladolid.
5 Ways you can help:
1.) Pray for provision in every way, for the safety of our team, and for those supporting us from home.
2.)Donate readers. You know those cute reading glasses from Dollar Tree? There is a desperate need for those and we’d be more than happy to take them to Mexico.
3.) Donate Advil, Tylenol or other pain killers. Please note, we cannot take expired medication into Mexico.
4.) Donate airline funds. Keegan and I are using points to purchase our airfare and are one round trip ticket short. Airline tickets are about $850.
5.) Donate to our individual trip fund. If you give to Scottsdale Bible Church it is tax deductible. Keegan and I are $350 short (total) on our trip fees.
Instructions for online giving are as follows:
Click Online Giving
On the right side of that screen click on Mission Trip Giving
In the drop down for Trip/Project select the team (Mexico, Yucatan #756)
In the individual drop down select Participant-Put name in memo (Audra Krell or Keegan Krell)
The donor should type in the team member’s name in the memo box
Hit next and complete steps for donation
We are truly grateful for your precious friendship. Thank you for your prayers, we couldn’t do this without you.

How To Know if You’re A Bully

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

Bullying is a pervasive problem which I believe stems from abandonment issues. It’s defined in multiple ways and some countries have no legal definition of bullying while the US has state laws against it. Bullying is a form of abuse which covers a gamut of emotional, verbal and physical scenarios. It is abuse, harassment, mobbing,threats and assault. Bullying by any other name, stinks just as bad.

While the definition and recognition of what exactly bullying is, is growing rapidly, our culture houses bullies of all ages and stages, who do not not know that they are abusive. Even people who are viewed as good and upright are bullying their peers and family members. Instead of jumping to judge others, we would do well to look inward and make sure that we are not contributing to the bully culture.

The following may be extremely difficult to consider.

Eight ways you might be a bully:

1. When you don’t get your way, you intentionally make others feel uncomfortable.

2. You put people’s dreams on a leash and then parade them about and mock them in front of others.

3. You hold people’s past against them and threaten to expose your knowledge.

4. You threaten harm verbally and in your actions, even though you believe you will never act on your threats.

5. You subtly and constantly try to coerce others to do anything and everything you want.

6. You try to isolate others from social circles at church, work, school or any gathering place.

7. You indirectly bully your loved ones and others by refusing to speak to them.

8. You verbally abuse people in front of others even though you  follow with “I’m kidding,” or “I’m just sayin”.

Bullying includes name calling, verbal or written abuse (Cyber bullying), exclusion, physical abuse and coercion to name a few. We all fall down. But if after reading this you realize that you have a pattern of harming people by repeatedly doing one, some, or all of these, I encourage you to seek help. Learning about your behavior can lead to positive change and a healed soul who isn’t looking to others to fill a God-shaped hole.

Banana Love

I spent my last day in clinicals climbing in and out of isolation gowns. MRSA, C. diFF and HIV patients required that I wear a clean, full gown, gloves and a mask in each patient room. If we forgot an item, we had to take everything off, go get the item and then start the process all over again.

The MRSA and C. diff patients cannot have visitors. MRSA is a very serious antibiotic resistant staph germ and C. diff is a bacteria that causes severe intestinal problems, both of which are highly contagious.

So we were it for them today. It’s easy to get depressed when your only contact is with a masked woman who looks like a walking banana. I tried to be ever- so- kind with my eyes.

Then I came home and read Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter’s timely prayer request for her husband. He has MRSA and is in the fight of his life. He cannot have visitors and his only contact is with the medical staff.

It gave me pause and made me realize we’d all do well to remember that every patient is someone’s son-in-law, someone’s mother, daughter, someone’s little boy, baby girl, mother-in-law, father, aunt, uncle, cousin or grandparent.

We just might be the only love they see.

Here is Anne Graham Lotz prayer request:

Please Pray for Danny LotzBilly Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, has been a good friend to the Christian Writers Guild, having spoken twice at our annual conference and being a real encouragement to me personally.

Her husband has suffered from Type 1 diabetes for years. Today she says:

We’re in the fight of our lives.

Dan has a MRSA staph–the very worst and most contagious kind. They just did an ultrasound of his arm, and his stent is leaking. They will have to repeat surgery they did last Thursday. None of this is good. And our entire family–especially me–is now at risk.

He is on isolation, so no visitors to perk him up. The head of nutrition for the hospital just came in, put on her gown and gloves, then held his hand and prayed a very powerful prayer for his healing! The little nursing assistant who bathed him and pricked his finger for his blood sugar came in, put on her gown and gloves, then held his hand while I read this morning’s Daily Light–which, as usual, is exactly God’s Word to us. So God is here. But we need urgent prayer.

Please pray:
that he can overcome the infection. And if not, that God will take him quickly and painlessly.
that God will comfort his heart and give him peace. He is afraid.
that God’s presence will fill this room for all who enter.
that no one, including me, will get this infection.
This poem was one Mother (Ruth Bell Graham) wrote in the flyleaf of my Bible when I was a girl. Amazing how the words have come back to my mind:

Trusting Him when dark doubts assail us
Trusting Him when our strength is small
Trusting Him when to simply trust Him
is the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him then through tears or sunshine
All our cares upon Him cast.
Till the storms of life are over
And the trusting days are past.

Author Susan Cottrell On Men

Today I have Susan Cottrell weighing in with an excerpt from her upcoming book. I’ve written before about how men need to have their heart question answered and Susan agrees. I’m grateful she has taken the time to share her thoughts and I highly recommend her new book.

Susan Cottrell is a writer, speaker and teacher. Married 25 years, she and Rob have five (nearly) grown children. Susan homeschooled for some twenty years… until she ran out of energy! She is set to release her newly expanded book: How Not to Lose Your Teen: Raising Kids who Love God and You Too. Her second book, The Marriage Renovation, is soon to be published. She loves to lead retreats and seminars, teaching women, couples and teens about the freedom for which Christ has set them free (Galatians 5:1). She loves to travel, watch old movies and eat chocolate. Contact her directly at FreedHearts.org.

The following excerpt is from Susan’s upcoming book: How Not to Lose Your Teen: Raising Kids who Love God and You Too.

Men and Boys

Men are more vulnerable than we realize, and I believe that inside every man is a little boy who needs to know he’s enough. Boys need to hear, regularly and authentically, that they have what it takes to be a man. Whether your son is an athlete, a pianist, a writer or anything else, he needs constant affirmation that God has equipped him fully as a man, and God will faithfully complete the good work He began in him (Philippians 1:6). Dads especially need to engage with their sons – affirming, including and accepting them as the person God designed them to be.

Mom’s job is to let their boys grow up, let them separate, encourage them to take risks and trust them to become men. Tell them you know they can do it. Hold the crown above their head and let them grow into it.

I failed at this when my family was at a rock-climbing wall at the fair. Our David, barely four, wanted to climb. I immediately decided $5 was too much to pay for him to climb two feet and then quit. I foolishly told Rob that Dave was too little and could not do it. He said, “I can do it, Mom.” Rob paid the money and David did climb – all the way to the top. And when he got down, he said, “See Mom? I knew I could do it.” Risking my son’s view of his manhood is not worth $5.

Not only do our boys need to believe they have what it takes to be men and to succeed, they also need to understand that their job is to love and protect the women in their lives – mothers, wives, sisters, daughters. They need to esteem girls, encourage them, treat them with dignity, and not use them for their own pleasure. If boys would treat the girls in their lives as they hope their future wives are being treated, what a sweet impact that would make in our culture. Dads can lead their boys this way, by their own example of kindness and respect.

I learned disdain for men growing up, from my father who was constantly disappointed in my brothers for not reaching his impossible standards. God had to break that old paradigm so His love could prevail. I had to surrender to Him, to let Him do His great healing work in me. But He did. It’s what He does best!

Thank you again Susan. These short paragraphs are packed with great thoughts on what every man needs.

Question: What have you done lately to help the men in your life believe they have what it takes?

Even WowWow is A Boy

Candi Card Williams

My sweet friend Candi had a wonderful response to my posts last week and her thoughts are too good to keep to myself. She’s an amazing mother to a beautiful 5-year-old boy and wife to a hard working and godly man, Tim. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, I’m so glad she got out of the humidity and now calls Scottsdale home. I also love how she calls me Ms. and always offers one of her southern hugs. I’m just better whenever I’m around her. 

Ok, Ms Audra!!

I am loving your new series!!!!

I have had to wipe back the tears at some points and then at others jump up and say “Preach it Sista!!”

You and I have a lot in common. I was raised by a single mother with 3 older sisters – no boys in my house.

Now, I am the only girl – even my cat WowWow is a boy – well he used to be . . .

I read your last article and thought how gracious God was to give you a great husband and THREE sons!! And how thankful I am for my Tim and Wesley (ok and WowWow).

I think it’s really cool that what the Enemy intended for evil, God will turn out for good. Follow me on this . . .

I can’t speak for you, but for me, the Enemy broke apart my home of origin, yet God in HIS wisdom gave me a son. My prayer is that the generational sin stops with me and Tim, and that we are now ushering in a new generation of blessing with our LITTLE MAN.

I see your family and read your posts – what the Enemy intended for evil, God is turning to good. You and your husband are ending generational sin and ushering in a new generation of THREE YOUNG MEN that love our Heavenly Father.

Praise be to Jesus!!!

Hugs and keep the posts coming!!!

Candi

Doesn’t she just crack you up? I love the line that “WowWow used to be a boy”….hysterical. And Candi, you can speak for me anytime sister. You are right on. I was deeply inspired by your words, and it brings tears to my eyes every time I think about being intentional about ending generational sin. That God would give us a chance to help raise boys who will be a blessing, who will help not harm, who will love not hate.

And just so you know, we’ve got your little girl in mind. We want to raise boys who are tough but tender when need be, real men who know how to love and respect a lady. We’re praying for a generation of blessed young women to rise up. Women who want to be co-creators the way God intended, women who want to walk worthy and walk beside a good man.

So what’s your story? Is God showing you a new way?

On Choosing Well

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

One thing I’m very passionate about is men. When I started walking with God about 13 years ago, I wanted to be a minister to men. They aren’t catty, they don’t talk a lot and often just want a buddy to work or play alongside them. They don’t want to analyze everything and certainly have little use for the drama we women employ.

I see the inappropriate, ridiculousness of that desire; and now know that men become men in the presence of other men. They are designed to be ministered to, mentored and raised by men. As women, we have two choices. We either emasculate our men or can affirm them as great.

I’ve been married to an amazing man for 19.8 years and we have three teenage sons. I know a lot about men. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always understand them, but I know a lot about them. As an abandoned, fatherless daughter, I survived brutal years of trying to let every man know that they were useless and women were better at everything. It was a horrible way to live and I lost good people whom I loved.

And then God, in His grace, ended my anti-men campaign. Today I strive to affirm our men; all of them. So, I’m starting a written series on the topic of men and how we can stop marginalizing them. How us women, “ain’t what we used to be”. I’ll talk about how not all of us mind, if men want to hold the door open or pay when you take us out. How we aren’t weak and don’t desire to walk behind our men, but long to walk alongside, as a co-creator, the way God intended.

I don’t take a public stand on politics. I do however, take a public stand on what I know to be true.

See, we’ve got a defining problem in our culture. We’re a fatherless nation. We are told to look to and follow our leader, yet the government encourages a female dominated society and wonders why we don’t view our fathers in Washington with respect. We experience legislation that allows men to turn away from their children and wonder why they don’t turn toward their fathers. We are a culture brought up by women and everything they believe their rights to be and then blame our men for not knowing how to be fathers.

I’m so grateful for everything my mom has done to raise my brother, sister and I. But the truth is, I know what it’s like to grow up without a father and everything in my pre-teen body knew it wasn’t right. I’ve experienced the devastating effects of a single parent, fatherless home. The tragedy continues to play out even today, over 25 years later.

It’s never too early to be smart about voting in November. Children are our future. Vote for the candidate who values human life and agrees that all men and women are created equal. A leader who isn’t trying to find new ways to elevate women above our good men. I’m voting for leaders who know the value of children being raised by a mother and father.

November 4 isn’t about standing around shaking your head with a pitying look on your face.

That day is your chance to choose.

Feelings Don’t Define You

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

Whatever you feel today doesn’t mean you are.

If you feel sad, it doesn’t mean you are a sad person.
If you feel mad, you aren’t an angry person.
If you feel frazzled and out of control, you aren’t crazy.
If you feel discouraged, you aren’t a negative person.
If you feel empty, you aren’t alone.
If you feel unloved, you aren’t unloveable.
But…
If you feel loved (or even when you don’t), you are.

Everyday. Feelings and all.

Creator God loves you no matter what. Forever.

Crying in My Cruffins

Photo courtesy @Istockphoto

I emotionally “hung in there” until he walked thru the door with two chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. If you know me at all, you know I’m crazy for everything pumpkin. This blog should be called Pumpkin Lover’s Anonymous. But then it wouldn’t be anonymous I guess. Anyway. . .

Yesterday was Keegan’s last day at work; as he left for his sophomore year of college today. His boss brought in food to celebrate a great summer and to wish him well at school. So he stole TWO cookies, just for me. What 19-year-old does that? Keegan, that’s who. I ate my cruffins (cross between a cookie and a muffin) and choked back a flood of tears.

It’s moments like these that literally bring me to my knees. All the thoughtful consideration, the respect and love symbolized in two little nuggets of pumpkiny goodness. I’m so thankful and grateful to God for all that Keegan is. And being honest, I really don’t want anything to change.

I’m reminded though, of the words of the great British theologian John Henry Newman.

“To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often.”

I believe that Newman means “to have lived well” when he writes of being perfect in this sentence. As a recovering perfectionist, any chance to legally be perfect is one I’ll always attempt.

So in the spirit of a new school year, new dreams and the possibility of the ever elusive perfection, I’ll throw my arms around change.  Which brings us to our final quote from an unknown author.

“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.”

 I wish you cruffins, butterflies and every blessing as you all begin again.

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