Welcome, 2019!

New-Year-2019-Unique-bg-picture

Happy New Year!! A new year is a time when many people make resolutions… But instead of “new year’s resolutions,” I’m giving myself a life goal. Ok, so maybe that’s the same thing spelled different. Or differently, if you want to get technical. Anyway. What are some things I want to work on in my life?

Draw closer to God.

Ah. Definitely top of my list. Although I love the personal relationship I have with my Heavenly Father, I want to draw closer to Him. Learn more about Him. Become more in tune with Him. Serve Him more fully.

Attain weight loss goal.

In 2018, I made it halfway to my weight loss goal. In 2019, I am determined to lose the remaining weight I need to lose to have a healthy body.

Get a job. Move out. 

At 23 years old, I feel it is time for me to start making my own life. Within God’s plan for me, of course! I am looking forward to exploring the life He has ahead of me!

Become healthier emotionally and mentally.

I struggle badly with seeking approval from others. And I rarely find it. I’m such an old soul in this Millenial generation… no wonder it is always the older people who really like me.

Throughout 2019, I want to remind myself that it’s ok to be different. And it’s ok if people think I’m wrong. I am who God made me to be. And that means I am going to reach specific people – even if everyone else who knows me thinks I’m weird or just plain wrong.

I have to work on not letting every little thing get to me. I spend far too much of my life mentally and emotionally distraught – when I shouldn’t even be looking for validation from people anyway.

Continue writing and publishing.

Yes, I’m scared. Honestly, because I’m worried I’m not good enough. But I know this is something that God placed in me… and if it’s His doing, then the people who need to be reached by it will be. It may not be for everyone, and that is ok.

 

I don’t really know anything else to say at the moment. Just know I’m praying for you. And I love you –  because God loves me so unconditionally. “God bless us, every one.” Happy New Year!

Love and prayers,

Kerri

Christmas Baking Recipies

Screenshot_20181216-005022.png

Tis the season! I did a LOT of baking this year… I never seem to get any complaints when I give my baking as gifts.

The recipes I am about to share below are the same ones I used for Friendsgiving – things just got crazy after that, and I haven’t had a chance to post them! Also, I tried something new this year. I have never made gingerbread men from scratch! So, I thought I’d give it a whirl. And apparently, they were a hit! My mom said she thinks they were possibly the best or close to the best gingerbread cookies she’s ever tasted. And I got great feedback from my church family on the goodies I shared with them. So, score! Without further ado, here are some of my favorite holiday recipies!

20181216_003212.jpg

First on the list, an Apple Pecan Cake. I found this recipe several years ago, when I was bored with our usual desserts. We’ve loved it ever since, and it’s a pretty big hit with anyone who has ever tried it! My pastor loved the one I made for Friendsgiving, so I made him one for Christmas. Here’s the recipie!

APPLE PECAN CAKE

1 1/2 c. cooking oil

2 c. sugar 

3 large eggs

3 c. self rising flour

2 tsp. vanilla 

3 c. chopped fresh apples 

1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream oil and sugar. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Put in greased and floured Bundt pan and bake st 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

*My notes: I use Fuji apples. And just FYI, I’ve found that 3 large apples is 3 cups when chopped. Also, you may have a different experience, but I tried using PAM in the Bundt pan once… And let’s just say the cake didn’t turn out too well. So, I prefer to use Crisco and flour. Also, as with any fruity cake, you might want to add just a few minutes of baking time. If it is even slightly undone, the cake will want to crumble from the moisture. This is usually another 5-10 minutes in my oven, but every oven cooks differently. (I know. We have 2 ovens, and they don’t cook the same!)*

20181215_225053.jpg

Next up is my recipe for sugar cookies! I have been using this recipe for so lomg, I don’t even remember where I got it! I will also post the recipe for the gingerbread cookies I made this year!

SUGAR COOKIES

3/4 c. butter, softened

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. self rising flour

In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour. Roll out dough on floured surface to desired thickness. Cut. Bake 6-8 minutes at 400°. Cool completely. Enjoy.

*My notes: I personally prefer a SOFT sugar cookie. A lot of people call them tea cakes. The time I cook them varies slightly due to thickness and which oven I’m using, but I usually set the timer for 4-5 minutes and then just watch them until the edges are JUST turning golden. Another thing that my dad likes me to do is to sprinkle a little bit of extra sugar (not a lot) on top of the cookies as soon as I take them out of the oven. It adds just the right touch of extra sweetness. These cookies are always a hit! Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.*

GINGERBREAD COOKIES

3/4 c. unsalted butter

3/4 c. brown sugar, packed

3/4 c. molasses

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon 

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. allspice or cloves – I used allspice

1 large egg

3 1/2 c. self rising flour

  1. In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
  3. Stir flour into the molasses mixture.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap well, and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. The dough may be sticky and hard to roll if not thoroughly chilled, so make sure it’s cold before continuing.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350°F. (Lining  the pan with parchment saves effort on cleanup.)
  6. Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. Flour both the top and bottom of the dough if it starts to stick. 
  7. Cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
  8. Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

*My notes: Again, I like soft cookies. So, I baked these for 8 minutes, then took them out and let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes, then transferred them to the cooling rack. Prior to baking, I decorated them with mini chocolate chip morsels to create the eyes and mouth and buttons. Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.*

20181215_230315.jpg

Last on the list is the recipe for Brookies! These are a HUGE hit with my young adult group – especially one of the guys. (So, girls, if you want to build up some Brookie points with the special guy in your life…. Haha! Just teasing.) They are delicious!

BROOKIES

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

  • 6 tbs. butter, softened
  • ¼ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ½ c. white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. self rising flour
  • 1 c. chocolate chips 

INGREDIENTS FOR BROWNIES

  • 10 tbs. butter, melted
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ c. cocoa powder
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ c. chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven 350 F.
  2. Line a 8 X 8 pan with grease parchment paper, set aside.
  3. To make the chocolate chip cookies dough, in a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Stir in flour until well combined.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.
  7. To make the brownie batter, in a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  8. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  9. Stir in cocoa powder until combined.
  10. Stir in flour and salt until all flour is incorporated.
  11. Fold in chocolate chips.
  12. Spread brownie batter into prepared pan into an even layer.
  13. Drop the cookie dough by the spoonful over the batter until covered.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remember it will continue to cook as it cools so be careful not to overbake. Check it at the 30 minute mark.
  15. Remove from oven and place on a cooing rack to finish cooling.
  16. Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.
  17. Store in airtight container

*My notes: In MY oven, I have to bake these for 40 minutes, then cover them and cook them for another 10 minutes in order for them to be cooked properly. Adjust cooking time to your oven and personal preference.*

 

So there you have it! Some of my favorite go-to recipies! Now wow some people with your skills! Merry Christmas!

Love and prayers,

Kerri

Thankful

thnaks

Well, it is the end of Thanksgiving week.  I hope y’all each had a wonderful holiday!  Although I am already in Christmas mode by the time Thanksgiving rolls around… ok.  Let’s be real.  I am always in Christmas mode!  Anyway.  I do feel that Thanksgiving is important.  It is more than just another holiday.  It is a way of life.  Curious about the definition of the word, I just Googled “thanksgiving.”  The very first definition is “the expression of gratitude, especially to God.”  There are so many scriptures in the Bible about being thankful.  One of my favorites is Philippians 4:6.  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  God blesses us so much.  Do we thank Him for these things, or do we simply continue to ask for more?  A quote that really helped me turn thanksgiving into a lifestyle is “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?”  Just as we need to feel that people appreciate us and what we do, we should be giving that consideration ourselves!  I think you’ll actually find it makes you happier as well.  Because it puts more of your focus on God and on the other people around you – instead of on just yourself.  Thanksgiving is a choice.  I’m not saying I always hit the mark.  But I try!

This week has been a crazy one for me.  Monday, I ran errands.  Tuesday, I baked a cake, then went to my voice lesson, then had to make two trips to Walmart, then baked ALL AFTERNOON.  I was in charge of desserts for my church’s young adult group’s Friendsgiving meal.  Because of the required second trip to Walmart, I was running half an hour behind.  So… I was thirty minutes late getting to the dinner.  But according to the group, the brookies I made were TOTALLY worth the wait!  (By the way, if you are like me and didn’t know this – brookies are brownies with chocolate chip cookies on top.  I had eaten them before, but I didn’t know what they were called!  You learn something new every day, right?)  We had a wonderful time of fellowship together.  Wednesday, I was doing housework ALL. DAY. LONG.  By the time I finished, I was so exhausted that I had almost lost my voice.  Seriously, my voice was barely above a whisper.  When I woke up Thursday morning, I was still so tired that I didn’t feel like talking.  (If any of y’all know me, you KNOW I am not feeling well if I don’t want to talk!)  So, my Thanksgiving Day was spent in my pajamas, watching movies.  Surprisingly, I did not watch Miracle on 34th Street.  It wasn’t an intentional oversight, I just didn’t happen to watch it!  Friday was spent shopping.  I did manage to buy myself a new dress, and I found a few Christmas gifts.  Nothing big.  Today, I am going to watch the Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech football game on tv.  Should be an interesting game!

We all have so much to be thankful for!  For a roof over our heads.  Food to eat.  Our family and friends…  The list is endless!  As for me, this week, I have been especially thanking God for the gift of life!  My niece was born early Wednesday morning via emergency C-section.  Having heard the story, it is plain to see why the hospital staff is calling her a miracle baby.  If even one thing had been different, this precious baby girl would not be with us.  God brought everything together just as it needed to be, and we now have this beautiful baby girl added to our family.  I have not yet gotten to meet her, since our families live halfway across the country from each other.  But from what I hear, the nurses have already nicknamed her Sassy.  This spunky little thing didn’t want to miss out on any holidays this year!  So, I had something to be especially thankful for this Thanksgiving.

What are some things that you are thankful for?

P.S. ~ If anyone wants me to share the three dessert recipes I used this week, let me know in the comments below.  They were a huge hit!  I think I racked up on brookie points.

Love and prayers,

Kerri

Slow Down

Have you ever noticed how stressed out most people are?  How about noticing how impatient people are?  Everyone is in a hurry.  These days, we’re tapping our foot impatiently as we wait for one minute to pass to heat up something in the microwave.  To tell the truth, there are some of us who are probably muttering “Come on!” as we wait for that minute to pass.  We say “What color green are you waiting on?” if someone takes two seconds to get going when the light signal turns green.

WHAT IS OUR HURRY?

What IS our hurry?  It seems all we do is make things faster, and we have less time than ever!  It seems that people are always late to something.  Now, don’t judge me, here.  I understand that people have to work, and that they have responsibilities that have to be tended to.  So do I!  However, may I submit to you that people’s priorities are out of line?

Pastor DaRon mentioned Sunday that he had never heard someone on their deathbed say that they wished they had worked harder or had more things.  People always regret not having more time.  More time to truly be a part of people’s lives.  More time to tell people that they loved them – and show that they meant it.

“Dost thou love life?  Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin 

I have had a pretty crazy, full week, myself!  What started out as a one day deep cleaning project turned into a three-day project when a kitchen faucet broke and had to be replaced.  Then there was a voice lesson.  Then a trip to the grocery store.  Then another trip to the grocery store the next day… which somehow resulted in me spilling chocolate milk in the floor of my car.  (I did clean that up, just so y’all know!)  I also went to soccer playoffs to cheer on some friends of mine on Monday night.  I also finally got to work out, and got some housework done at home.  Finally, last night, I went to a bonfire for our church youth and young adults.

20181108_193110

What is it about staring into a fire that makes time seem to stand still?  It is such a tranquil moment.  Just for that moment, you relax, breathe, and forget about all of your worries.  Also the fellowship of friends and brothers and sisters in Christ builds your Spirit up!  It was a moment for me to remember a conversation with my mom.  We had talked about how many people don’t make the time for life.  I thought back to the old days.  For example, how did young people spend their free time?  Maybe a walk to the drugstore for a soda.  Or listening to records.  Or getting a group of friends together for a game of football or baseball in a local field.  Or maybe bowling.  Or a dance.  A movie on the weekend was a treat.  They didn’t have social media to keep them connected to the world around them.  Instead, they were out in it – experiencing it.  They were connected to their friends and family in a way that has sadly been lost in this age of “connectivity.”  Families actually ate dinner together and talked together.  Wow.  What a novelty!

Maybe I’m not conveying my point well.  Sometimes I don’t.  But I want to encourage you to evaluate where your priorities lie.  Sometimes you don’t have time.  Sometimes you have to make time.  Which means that some other things may be neglected.  Just ask yourself what is most important to you.  For me, God and the people in my life are most important.  They will always have my top priority.  I don’t care if I have the new iPhone.  I’ve actually never even had an iPhone.  I don’t care if I have a new car.  My car is the newest we’ve ever had, and it’s a 2000!  Again, I might not be conveying this well, but my point is – regulate your time.  I am encouraging you to unplug from social media for a while.  It doesn’t have to be a long time.  Start LIVING the moments you post about, and stop worrying about what all of your friends think about it!  Become responsible for yourself and to yourself and God.

Where are your priorities?  What is your hurry?  What are some things that maybe you need to change?  Comment your thoughts below!

Love and prayers,

Kerri

Live, Laugh, Love, and be Thankful

“Maybe I don’t take life seriously enough, but to me, most people take life too seriously.”  If you know me personally, there is a good possibility you have heard me say this.  Don’t take this as permission to be irresponsible and immature.  What I mean by this is… at the end of the day, what will I be glad I did?  I see so many people who work themselves to the ground, striving to have all the things.  I absolutely believe in providing for yourself and your family!  But for me, some of the best things in life are free.

The people in my life mean more to me than any other thing on this earth.  God always comes first.  Indeed, the main reason I started this blog was that I love reaching out to people.  I love being able to bring a smile to someone’s face, or help someone along.  You could ask one of my best friends, Chanel.  I have told her many times, if I make her laugh, I completed my goal for the day.  (All of the housework or errands or writing that gets done is just a bonus.)  The people who tell me what an impact I made on their life… and I didn’t even know I was doing anything… that means the world to me.  Sometimes it is easy to feel like we aren’t really making a difference.  Let me assure you – people watch your life, whether you are aware of it or not.  What a reminder to be following God closely!  My prayer for years has been – when people see me, that they wouldn’t see Kerri Brown.  But that they would see God in me.  He’s the perfect One.  It sure as heck isn’t me!

And now for today’s story…

IMG950039

About two months ago, I started going to Christian Fellowship Church.  I had gone there once with a friend to hear a group sing, and there was something that made me want to come back.  I finally made it back, and the love I have experienced flowing through this church has literally at times overwhelmed me – almost to the point of tears.

This past weekend was packed full of activity with my new church family.  Pastor DaRon and his beautiful wife Becky invited the young adults of CFC to join them Saturday on an outing in Elijay, Georgia.

Our group met at Chic-fil-A for breakfast.  No better way to start off the day, right?  Or that could be turned into a declarative sentence…  No better way to start off the day right!  We ate breakfast, chose our carpool, loaded our stuff, and we were on our way.

Simple enough, right?  Eh, nah.  Of course, I was along, so something had to happen!  Anyone else out there just one of those people that things seem to happen to?  Not five minutes down the road, Michael had to stop to fix something on the back of his truck.  I had not planned on driving, so I didn’t have a full tank of gas.  I pulled across the street to a gas station to fill up.  I had to go inside and pre-pay.  The guys pulled over to the gas station when they finished what they were doing.  The pump was slow getting started, but it finally began pumping.  All’s well.  Or maybe not.  At $7.77, the pump suddenly stopped.  On the screen, it simply stated, “Pump Stopped.”  I messed with it, trying to get it to work again, but it wouldn’t.  I was looking at the girls in my car, saying, “I don’t know what the deal is!”  Michael came over to check it out, and without a word, went inside to take care of it.  We ended up just getting my change, and I decided to just go with the three-quarters of a tank of gas instead of making another stop to top it off.  I have never stopped at that gas station before, and I never will again!

Ok, so – back on the road!  The drive was anything but dull with four young ladies in one car!  Karaoke, movie quotes, mispronouncing words, and – Heaven help me – boys.  I have never been the boy-crazy type.  So being in a car full of boy-crazy girls was very… entertaining!  We also entertained ourselves by pestering the guys in the truck in front of us, sending texts when Michael neglected to use a blinker, or passing them just to be funny.  Before anyone starts a mental lecture, no one was texting and driving, or driving recklessly.  When we arrived at the Walmart in Elijay, Michael decided to be funny and just drive around in circles in the parking lot.  I didn’t know where we were going, so I was following him.  So, of course, I’m following him around in circles.  I finally just parked, taking his fun away.

We met up with DaRon and Becky… half an hour after we were supposed to be there!  We went to the Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia.  If anyone is near there, you have to get their hot cider.  I’m just sayin’.  You’ll thank me later.  We walked through the orchards to the old barn at the top of the hill.  Now, about half of our group enjoys hiking, and the other half doesn’t… so you would get mixed responses if you asked if it was worth the hike, I’m sure.  I thought it was 100% worth it.

Having finished at the orchard, we drove back to Elijay, where we went to a quiet little campground by the river.  It didn’t stay quiet for long, let me assure you.  Not when the tv was set up outside, and our group of sports fans got to watch the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Florida Gators.  GO DAWGS!  Woof, woof!  The guys also tossed a football around.  But the main game that we played was Spike ball.  Now, I have watched the youth play this every Wednesday night for several weeks, and I was still confused as to exactly how this game worked.  But when Michael and Haley took a break, Jake and I stepped in to play Ashton and Ivie.  I had never played the game, so Ashton once again patiently explained the rules to me, and Jake kept encouraging me even though I kept messing up.

20181027_174621

Y’all know me.  Being around water is my happy spot!  So being beside the river with a group of good friends, I was in my element.  We even had a campfire – of sorts.  Shoutout to Jake for working so hard to try to keep the fire going in the dampness!  We did manage to make some S’mores, so we were good.

After a full day on Saturday, we were in for more fun on Sunday!  We spent Sunday morning in church, then a group from our church went to a corn maze that afternoon.  I had never been to a corn maze, but I had so much fun.  Lydia and I took turns choosing which direction we would go, and we managed to find all twelve of the numbers scattered throughout the maze.  After the maze and games, we went to the Pizza Farm.  Our church had reserved a back room, and we young adults all sat at one table, where we were kept very entertained by the cutest little seven year old boy ever.  I told Lydia that he was the master of ceremonies!

It was another full day, but it was one of the best weekends ever!  There was so much laughter and bonding.  I was doing what I love:  spending time with people I love, and who love me.  And I am so very thankful that God blessed me with this crazy crew.  I wouldn’t trade any of them.

I would like to encourage you to make the time to just live life.  I know life gets busy, and it has to be taken care of.  But sometimes you need to just step back and let it be ok that some things go undone.  Make time to live.  Make time to laugh.  Never lose sight of love.  And above all, be thankful.  I love this quote – “What if you woke up tomorrow, and only had the things that you thanked God for today?”  I thank God every day for all of the innumerable blessings He bestows.  And I thank you for being here and reading this now.

Love and Prayers,

Kerri

Interview with Andrea Brooks

I love Hallmark Channel movies, and I am also quite a fan of the Hallmark Channel original series “When Calls the Heart.”  This series was inspired by the book series of the same title written by my favorite author, Janette Oke.  When I started this blog, I reached out to several Hallmark actors and actresses, requesting interviews.  This is the first response of what I hope will be many!  I hope you enjoy the interview below!

photostudio_1539742714648

Me:  Hi, Andrea!  Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview!  I love your work with Hallmark Channel!
photostudio_1539742750706.png

 

Me:  When you first joined the When Calls the Heart cast in Season 2, did you have any idea how much the character of Faith Carter would develop?

 

Andrea:  When I first joined the show in season two, I had no idea if I would be asked back for the third season. The storyline remained a bit open-ended, so it was definitely something I thought about at the time. Of course now we are all promoting season six and I couldn’t be happier! I love being able to play a character over an extended period of time. I think Faith shows a lot of growth this season in particular and I can’t wait for people to see it.

 

Me:  Faith has had quite a rocky road to find love.  I know many people considered her a threat to Jack and Elizabeth’s relationship at first.  Then there was her sadly doomed engagement.  Then, of course, when Carson stepped up for her in the saloon that one night, everyone thought something would happen between the two of them.  And let’s not forget Shane.  Then there was Ray Wyatt.  And finally, in Season 5, there finally seemed to be a special spark between Nurse Faith and Doctor Carson – which everyone is shipping!  What have you thought of Faith’s bumpy road to love, and do you think there is a chance for her to finally find true love?

 

Andrea:  It’s true! Faith hasn’t been dealt the best hand when it comes to love, that’s for sure. That said, I think some people out there might find this storyline relatable. Love can be a tricky thing. Of course I always hold out hope that the characters I play find happiness, but at the same time, the journey can sometimes be even more fun to play.

 

Me:  What is your favorite thing about Faith Carter?

 

Andrea:  I love the fact that Faith is a career woman. She has worked so hard helping the town when in need, and let’s not forget that she set up the infirmary all by herself. I love the friendships and bonds she has with the people of Hope Valley, and the fact that she is incredibly loyal and hard working.

 

Me:  Are there any similarities between you and Faith?

 

Andrea:  Neither of us can cook! (But… we are both learning)

 

Me:  Is there anything special that you would like to see happen in Faith’s life at some point in the future?  Or in Hope Valley in general.

 

Andrea:  I really want to see Hope Valley expand and change with the times. The show has been around for a while now, and I find it fun to see the people of Hope Valley confront issues of modernization (the railroad rings a bell). As far as Faith, I would love to see her find happiness but I also want for her to have a bunch of adventures along the way.

 

photostudio_1539742820512.png

Me:  I and many other #Hearties have been thrilled with all of the #TeamInfirmary behind-the-scenes pictures we have seen for this upcoming season.  Is there anything at all that you can share about what we can expect to see from you two in Season 6?

 

Andrea:  Ask me this question at the end of the season, and we can have a FULL discussion.

 

Me:  What is your favorite thing that has happened to Faith during her time on the show?  Any favorite scenes or storylines?

 

Andrea:  I loved the Shane storyline. It was really fun to see Faith take a chance after all of her bad luck. I also loved everything from the second season. I didn’t know much about the show at the time and working with Daniel, Max, and director Martin Wood was so much fun. We laughed a lot! Of course, working with Paul is pretty fun too.

 

Me:  If you could play any character in When Calls the Heart, who would it be?

 

Andrea:  Hickam and Florence always make me laugh. Ben and Loretta are also extremely talented actors. I’m sure I wouldn’t do those roles justice, but I’m definitely a fan.

 

Me:  How has it been, filming without Daniel (AKA Jack) this season?

 

Andrea:  We all miss him, of course. But things can’t always stay the same in showbusiness. He will always be an integral part of this show no matter what.

 

Me:  How has working on When Calls the Heart affected you?  I know many of the cast members have said they have never had a fan base like the #Hearties.

 

Andrea:  It’s true. The hearties are quite a force! I truly appreciate the positivity and support. The show has been lovely in that I feel like we are one big family.

 

Me:  You have had the opportunity to be in several other Hallmark Channel productions.  What is it like working for Hallmark?  

 

Andrea:  Working for Hallmark feels like stepping back in time to the old studio system. So many of us have worked together on multiple projects (I’m currently working with Jeremy Guilbaut again on… I want to say our fourth of fifth project together). I’ve made so many wonderful life-long friends thanks to the network, and I’m very thankful.

 

Me:  We have heard that there is going to be a spinoff to When Calls the Heart streaming on Hallmark Movies Now.  Do you know anything about the series When Hope Calls that you can share?

 

Andrea:  If I were an emoji right now, I would be the one with a zipper over the mouth.

 

photostudio_1539742788565.png

Me:  It is obvious from your social media posts that you love traveling.  Do you have a favorite place, or do you more enjoy new adventures?

 

Andrea:  I adore traveling and experiencing different cultures. Some of my favorite trips include visits to Japan, France, Peru, Myanmar, and Italy. I still haven’t been to Pompeii yet. That needs to happen!

 

Me:  I have heard that you love classic films.  Do you have any favorite actors/actresses or movies?

 

Andrea:  Some Like it Hot, Mildred Pierce, All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, Psycho, and basically anything starring Charlie Chaplin. I know some will argue that it might fall outside the “old Hollywood” parameters, but 2001 a Space Odyssey will always hold a special place in my heart.

 

 

Me:  It has been lovely to chat with you, Andrea!  I hope we can do it again someday!  Thank you again so much for taking the time to answer these questions.  I know the #Hearties will love hearing from you!  Wishing you the best of everything!  Can’t wait for Season 6, and hoping for many more seasons to follow!

 

 Andrea:  ❤

Tarry, Abide, Wait, Ask, Seek, Knock, Act.

20181014_151425

Something the pastor mentioned this morning was tarrying.  In this day of rushing and pushing everything faster… do we unintentionally set a timer on how much time we spend with God?  Are we indeed so busy that we do not take extra time to just worship Him and praise Him and lay everything before Him?  Are we as anxious to feed our spirit man as we are to feed our physical bodies?  Often, some of the most precious time with God can come when we push ourselves outside of our normal little routine and just worship.  This afternoon, some scriptures are running through my mind.

John 15:4-10
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

What does it mean to abide?  In my mind, it means to stay close and not stray.  In our natural lives, we are told to “abide by the rules.”  Well, just as we are to closely follow the rules, Christ wants us to be in close fellowship with Him.  To follow Him and not stray away.  The results are incredible.

20181014_152251

How often do I just sit and meditate on the things of God and set aside time to fellowship with Him?  This is a question I am asking myself today, and I encourage you to ask yourself as well.

I don’t know about you, but patience is not exactly my strong point.  Waiting does not come easy.  But I also have had enough personal experience to know that the old saying is true… good things come to those who wait.  There are many scriptures in the Bible about waiting  but perhaps my favorite is Isaiah 40:31.  “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  Being sure we are in sync with God is so important!  My mom used to regularly say “There are good ideas, and there are God ideas.”  We can not realistically head off in our own direction and just expect God to bless it.  Believe it or not, He created the universe and everything in it and keeps it all running… I’m pretty sure He knows more and better than we do!

20181014_150343.jpg

Why do we act like we have to beg God for something?  My Bible tells me that He has already provided everything that I need for life and Godliness.  And that He already bore my sins and healed my diseases.  All I have to do is claim what He has already made available to me!  “Ask, and it SHALL be given you; seek, and ye SHALL find; knock, and it SHALL be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)  The promises of God are Yes and Amen.  “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:5-7)

20181014_150835.jpg

Act.  Oh, boy.  It is certainly easy to talk the walk, but are we truly willing to walk it?  Pastor spoke this morning about Abraham, and how he acted immediately upon God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord.  Acting immediately is important.  What can seem simple to you might be the difference between life and death to another person.  I have an experience of not acting that still bothers me to this day.  Several years ago, when I was a teenager, I felt the Lord lead me to speak to someone.  It was during the week of VBS, and as I watched this young man leaving, I felt an urge to stop him.  I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew in my spirit something was off.  I decided not to go after him.  I thought “He’ll think I’m just silly!  I don’t even know what to say!”  So, I let him go without saying a word.  Later that week, I heard that he had gotten into trouble and been arrested.  Oh, how guilty I felt!  If I had just done that simple thing… stopped him in the parking lot and just told him that I didn’t know what was going on, but I just felt led to tell him that something was wrong and to stay close to God… or just said something, he might not have gotten into the trouble he did.  For the record, he got his life straightened back out, but there is now something in his past that I might have helped him avoid if I had been obedient.  Another example for me was delayed obedience.  Another young man that I went to church with.  We worked with the youth together and were good friends.  The hand of God was so obvious upon his life – I declare I could all but physically see it.  I was not at all surprised when he announced his call to the mission field.  At some point, there was a scripture that I kept feeling the Lord tell me to share with him.  Again, I thought “He’ll think I’m silly or something!”  So I let my awkwardness hinder me.  Finally, one night, I could resist the urge no longer.  Crying as I apologized for not having shared it sooner, I shared the scripture with him.  Tears came to his own eyes as he hugged me and thanked me for sharing that word with him.  See, God knew he needed it.  That young man and his wife are now missionaries in India.

I said all that to say this: immediate obedience is VERY IMPORTANT.  Sometimes you may have a second chance, but then other times you may not.  So please, do not risk it.  If God has given you or me an instruction… it’s not just a good idea.  It is something God knows needs to happen.  So let us abide in Him, tarry in His presence, wait on Him, lay hold on what He has provided for us, and act on the directions He gives us.

Love and prayers,

Kerri