We all are a bit prodigal in different areas of our life.
Running from the light because it can be vulnerable and scary. However, in the end the darkness is where monsters exist and nightmares are formed. As mothers, we know this common analogy by way of night terrors, sweats or broken sleep with our kiddos. But as adults we have an opportunity to choose where our minds and hearts go.
Just as the waves toss the stone through rough currents and conditions, life has a way of grasping hold of us trying to cause damage and brokenness. But God, our good, graceful, and purposed Father has a way of turning stones to pearls. He has a way of turning prodigals to princesses.
Liz Anderson, mother to 3, wife to Paul, creative business owner and heart driven ministry leader, brings all of the stones to the surface, giving way to the testimony of not what anchors her, but WHO anchors her.
Stay tuned for truth surrounding this woman’s Cinderella Princess transformation – from prodigal to princess.
Connect with her here:
SHOW NOTES: Beauty from Ashes: Prodigal to Princess
Tamra: Yeah. Usually, we pray off the camera. But Liz felt compelled to do it on camera. So may the Holy Spirit be with us. Yes. Jelly Father God, we just thank you for this time that you’ve given us. Lord. We just pray wholeheartedly that you meet us in this place and father that you’d be on our hearts and Lord, that our words are words that you’ve cultivated and conversation that you have brought up, Lord, that just brings you glory and father that whoever’s listening today that their hearts may be open just to receive the word you may have for them or who listened to this in the future. God, we just lift these ladies and men up to you and we just ask that you open their hearts to receive what you’re going to authentically bring out. So in Jesus’ name, amen.
So I’m so pumped to introduce you guys to somebody who has become a very fast friend. And I think I’ve said that on a couple of my podcasts and I was realizing it as I was just kind of thinking about what today was going to be like. And what conversations we were going to come up with. And as I told you before, we don’t really prepare. We don’t even talk, like literally haven’t had a conversation about what’s gonna come out, which always makes it that much more authentic. But I was realizing that my first true interaction though he had been Instagram friends first. She approached me at a funeral reception and just like beelined across the room and introduced herself. And first off, if you are an Instagram friend or follower of any sort to anyone or others receive you as such, like do that.
I was so touched by that day, by that moment and made me like giddy inside to know that there are people on the other side of the vulnerability that I choose to share. And since that conversation, obviously, I immediately followed you back and kind of like went through your feet and knew instantly that there was a connection between us. One, not only because of our families and the size of our families and the age and that but just the dynamic of your heart towards people. The fact that you were at this funeral reception, that you had coordinated, essentially cleaned this woman’s entire house, set up the entire reception and you weren’t even really like that close to her.
It just, it was incredibly moving. And you think when you see things like that almost as if, Oh, this is too good to be true. It’s like when someone says she’s too nice like there’s something not right. Well, I’ve now witnessed and we’ll walk life out with you for months ever since then. And you really are that kind, that sweet and that generous, grateful. I’m just grateful. It’s something that I want to glean from something that I want to pour into others and the way that you love people. So if you haven’t had the chance to be loved by Liz and you connect with her at some time during this podcast or thereafter, I would really encourage you to reach out because she is purposed in her
Time and she dedicates her heart to each person that she gets the opportunity to get to know. So you are blessed and you don’t even know it yet. So welcome, Liz. Thank you so much for having me. I was so excited to be on this podcast. A little nervous too. But just have been praying over this for a few weeks now. I think as we’ve kind of talked about dates and working in coordinating and even the date we had previously, I didn’t feel that that was right either. And you’re like, Oh like it’s taken. I’m like, God, you’re so good. Like I didn’t feel on my heart. And then you said this date and I’m like, yeah, it’s a great date. So I’m glad that we got this time just to talk. And today is extra special because it is. My oldest daughter turned 16 today and I’m having a hard time thinking I’m a mom of a 16-year-old. Isn’t that wild? It is. I just went into, where’d we go Apple yesterday to get her AirPods because that’s a 16-year-old thing I guess. And she was, has been asking for them and the guy helping us told my mom happy mother’s day and didn’t tell me, but I did
Liz Anderson: Take offense. He likes my mom’s like she’s a mom too. And I’m like, Oh, it’s okay. She turns 16 tomorrow. You don’t know that
Tamra: I’m a mom. Yeah, I’ll base washes work. Yeah. Moisturizer, moisturizers doing good is yeah, you do look really young for a 16-year-old. Mind you, how old were you when you had her? Yeah, I was right before I turned 21 we got married. Younger edge. Yeah. I got married at 19 and my kids look at me or like
Liz Anderson: You would kill us if we marry it. 19 I’m like, you are like, don’t even try it.
Tamra: What a devil edge. So did you know, I don’t know that I even know. Do you, did you know Paul for a long time before that? So Paul and I went to high school together. We weren’t not high school sweethearts. There was the freshman year that I was like, Oh, this boy I have an older brother who was a senior at the time and he’s like, no, this boy so destroyed anything that was going to be at that time. And then God brought us back later on together that after we grew after I graduated, that was fast, a fast dating experience. It was you, you’re putting me on a spot now. I know it’s [inaudible]. So we went to high school together. He left before he went to the military. He stopped by my house and was like, you know, I wish we have, I would’ve given you a chance like in high school. And I’m like, Oh sorry, I’m taking it. Like I wasn’t a long relationship with my high school sweetheart at the time. So I was like,
Liz Anderson: Okay, have fun, good luck. And he didn’t know what else to say. So he left and then we connected probably, I don’t know, two years later he went the military and still Carson the Navy today. And I came out to visit him and for two weeks we kind of split time together, did together and he proposed,
Oh my gosh. During that hour you weren’t even dating technically, you were talking I don’t know. That’s so funny. We’re old. I have to ask you to just like to see your old daughter next time I see you. They don’t say talking. They’re just, what are they with social media now? I don’t know what to call it. Yeah, it’s a little weird. We’re tweeting,
Tamra: Snap chatting. They don’t chat, that’s for sure. They can talk online, but when they see each other they become quite silent. Oh yeah. It’s a little strange. That’s a whole nother conversation. Yeah, I think so. Keep going. So where were we? You were saying that you guys were not really talking was like we were talking just like online often and we talk on the phone occasionally. So there was something there and we came and I came out here not with the intention of after two weeks, like him saying let’s get married. So I planned a wedding in three and a half months. People thought I was crazy. I was crazy. Probably. We both were crazy. But I think we both coveted like the family and the aspect of where we both were in our lives. Like, I just kinda think like we both kind of saved each other. Does that make sense? Absolutely. So wow. That’s where that was. That is incredible. Yeah. And then Cheyenne, I found out I ended up being pregnant nine months after we got married. Yeah. About that time. Wow. She, yeah. And then she was born right before I turned 21. Wow. That was really cool. So happy birthday.
Liz Anderson: They’re just having a big beach party on Sunday, which you’ll see us. That’s awesome. So you have Cheyenne and then you’ve got two. I do ask Savannah who will be 10 this year and I have Aisley who is our youngest and bravest and keeps us young who is three. She’s like your PO even though she’s an adorable little sweet girl. She’s like your boy. If I was to compare her to like us, a mixed-gender group of the family because she is, she is just like, I’ll do whatever I am free-spirited. I will climb to that highest mountain, which is the refrigerator in the house and get on top of it. I love that. I love that. I think it’s good to have all of those different personalities together, especially if you hadn’t experienced it is, but I will tell you, nothing has brought me to the cross more than being a mom for prayer. Speaking of mother’s day, which just happened yesterday. That is so true.
Tamra: So how was your mother’s day? It was good.
Liz Anderson: It was good. It was super relaxing. I really wished I was just on the beach, but it wasn’t very sunny. So it’s so funny. We thought about the beach too, but ours was relaxing too. It was relaxing. We did. I did do something with my little guy who is five. And I’m ashamed to admit this to certain people and then really proud to others. So I watched my first-star Wars movie.
I’ve never seen Star Wars. And my son is somehow, I’m not, somehow I know exactly how our incredible babysitter who has been with him for five years is star Wars obsessed and will talk to me about it every single day if I let her. And so my son absolutely loves it and it was my turn to figure out who Obi-wan Kenobi and R two D two and C three PO and all these people were. And when I found out that Obi-wan Kenobi was a Jetta I, which that sounds electronic to me anyway, it was just a person like a dude, like
Liz Anderson: Disappointed. I’m like, he’s just a man. OB one connotes. No, I don’t, I don’t like it. I would rewrite it
Liz Anderson: This whole entire thing. So I did watch it and we went out of order, which again, star Wars fans are going to kill me for doing such. But it was a sweet time with my little boy. And I think additionally a part of the reason it was so sweet is that I was really intentional with it, but unintentionally intentional because I doing a motherly job of doing laundry on mother’s day. That morning I decided to wash my cell phone. No. So it went through a delicate cycle and you just got your phone. I just got my new Apple phone, the one with a really nice camera and all that stuff out a week later. It’s in the washing machine testing. If it’s actually waterproof. It’s so being careful and let Apple know that Apple knows. But it’s been incredible the last 24 hours to be without a cell phone while also coordinating this coordinating a video shoot later for the retreat coming up in October.
Liz Anderson: It was so excited about it, it’s going to be incredible, but it’s very interesting to go backward in time and not have a cell phone. No one can get in touch with you, which is kind of amazing. But then also kind of petrifying, right? Cause I’m like, what if somebody needs me and my kids are at school and like how are they gonna touch base with the day still goes on and things still got done and we are sitting here and the retreat is still going to happen, which is going to be so much fun.
And I’m so excited for you too. So I want to share how you’re kind of being brought into that mix. Because I think it’s kind of twofold and we haven’t even talked about really one component of it, but I know it’s gonna happen regardless because it’s just in your nature. So you have two businesses. I do. And you’re a full-time mom and a military wife and spouse, which is a thing in and of itself. If you talk about a conversation, we could spend an hour on that alone. Yes, we could. I want to do, dive into that a little bit. On what part? Blissfully. Blissfully. So my husband and I three years ago, a little bit more than three years now, have a boutique that is mainly on Etsy and very much local. So
Tamra:In thi s area, in Chesapeake, we do stuff for the high schools and spirit wear and things like that. But we also have the component of our boutique on Etsy, which are shirt designs that I get to design and create, which that’s my passion and not necessarily the business side of it. My passion is to just create and just to get ideas and be able to take them and put them on a tee shirt. On a mug. I love personalization because it’s an identity, like your name, and that is so important to people.
And if you hear when people walk into a store, they’re like, I can’t find my name. Yeah, no, yes. And so it’s easy. When they call, they like, they come to us, can you put a name on it? Of course. Well, we can’t find this person’s name on anything. So it’s just kind of been neat to like, people love seeing their name on things.
So that’s kind of how that started. I also think it was a God thing in the sense that it was provided in a time where we needed financial help in that sense. But I also felt my calling into ministry simultaneous. I did like, this was kind of all a thing, but I didn’t know what that looked like. So I kinda just started scared here in the boutique part. It has definitely been financial, like a blessing in our lives, which then has interned. We just hired our first person who is so amazing. Yes. So she’s an assistant of mine and she’s so sweet. That’s amazing. So bring so much help, which then has allowed me now to slowly start transitioning into the ministry aspect, which is definitely, you know, me, my path. And that’s opened up a lot more times, which, so explain that assigned the ministry component.
So the ministry component I just felt God laying on my heart, a women’s ministry that wasn’t necessarily in one place, but in a place that we could just reach out to all women. And I don’t necessarily know what that looks like. It’s been in the works for three years. We can’t go live in October of 2018. And just stepped out on faith and said, God, whatever you have for us in that time, let’s kind of bring in like friendships that were created and different things of even meeting you and Morgan and just all of these things. Doors started opening.
And I said, God, just as you’ll know when my testimony, I’ll take this step if you meet me with the next one. And he did. And that even led to more things of being able to share a testimony, being able just to encourage women, I mean product called a princess on social media. It’s from a product called a princess on Instagram and Facebook. And then on the website, it’s the protocol to princess.com but that is just to empower women to turn the product, whole areas of their life over to Jesus and just to surrender them at the cross. And that is the whole purpose. So
Liz Anderson: I love that it has like just the, I like the prodigal areas of your life and obviously that in turn is your entire self and your whole heart because generally speaking, there are always goodness in each of us and there are parts of our lives that are good and with the flow and on the right path. And then there are those other spaces that just can get off course, which then causes misalignment, right? Which then it always seems like, Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I’m referring to Star Wars right now. A test, you’re going to be so proud of me, but it feels like the dark side has an opportunity and a strength to pull you in. And I’m, I, I know this from experience of my own life and my own testimony and feeling like, so compelled to out of curiosity and you know, there’s the concept of the grass is greener on the other side, whether that is any facet of your life.
Liz Anderson: You guys as an, as a married couple has and witnessed that individually. You witnessed that. Whether it’s with a job, whether it’s it could be, gosh, anything, even positions that you’re in titles that you’re curious about. It looks like on social media from somebody else’s highlight reel, the grass has got to be greener in sunny California where the sun is always shining and these women look like they’re not actually ever working. Well, we can take all of those pieces and, and realize that it’s not greener. It’s greener where you water it. Absolutely. Yeah. And that concept has literally shifted my entire life.
Every component of that comparison that’s so easy to fall into that darkness. That’s so easy to fall into that. If we just focus on the light and we focus on where the light is shining, it’s not always going to be beautiful bouquets of the flower. You have to pick the weeds, you have to reseed. Like there’s so much to that. So I love that you give people an invitation literally just by the name of your ministry to let people know that there’s an end, that there’s an opportunity that you don’t have to come in perfection. Because that in and of itself can be detrimental to our concepts of identity.
Tamra: That was the whole thing is to invite women as they are who they are so much. We are a society that we go to church and we’re like, how are you fine, I’m great and we’re not. And there were times in my darkest hour that you just wanted somebody to say, I’ve been through it or I’m here and I and we’ve made it or, and that was the whole thing of yeah, product. We’ll like, we’re all products all at one time. And we accepted to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and, but there are areas through the whole sanctification process. You know, where God’s taking us. His purpose for us is there are protocol areas we turn over. I still have areas of my life that I’m like, Oh Jesus. Like I didn’t,
Liz Anderson: He needs some help. [inaudible] And that’s why they say from glory to glory to glory because it’s not just mountain top of mountain top mountain, there’s from mountain top to valley, Mount top to Valley. You can’t just jump across. You’ve got to walk through it. And when you’re down in the Valley there is darkness and that’s pulling that out. But it kind of even circles back to the concept of blissfully vinyl designs is that there is your name and like a, there’s so much conversation in the Bible about how like God names us and you’re given a new name and your identity with Christ. And I remember during my coming back to the Lord when I took like full ownership of my name, which is the same name that I had been given in marriage years prior to. But I just, I took this claim towards the Andrus component of my name and I’d always been really proud of Tamra Lea and I think, and I was, it was TLC at one point with my maiden name.
And so I just, I even had that tattooed at one point. It’s no longer there because I’m not just a TLC. Like I am more an Andrus now than I ever have been in my whole life. And not to say that I forget my roots, but my name, this Andrew’s component of who I am is this run in the symbiotic component of my, of my love life that has created now this foundation for my home and the foundation of the one person that is my person, that we are everywhere together, even when we’re not in person together, that I am his and he is mine and that that identity, it’s a part whether it, while I am just Hammerly Andra solely and Timberly Cornwell if you want to look at it from that perspective too. I a part of my identity, a huge part of my identity is the fact that I’m a spouse to this man.
Tamra: And it’s so funny you bring that up because I’m just praying for this time. The word that kept coming to me was identity. Like that is the word God laid on my heart. And I think it came from a component of with this ministry and this coming up, I was praying to God and I’m like, what? Like what is on my heart? Like what? What is my why in this? And my why, where I thought it was, which I am very passionate about marriage, but there’s so much more in my life and in my identity that was not just the testimony of our marriage and God kept bringing me back to identity. It’s your identity in me. Yeah. And you’re anchored into a source that when the waves got big, you did not move. You did notch. And yeah, I might’ve swayed a little bit here and there, but my source, I was anchored in and I knew my identity.
So because I knew my identity was in Christ when those storms came, I wasn’t shifted. And it wasn’t whether it was marriage, it wasn’t whether it was being abandoned and not having a relationship with my father growing up that I coveted and wanted it. It wasn’t just walking through the different just different things that drug abuse and alcohol abuse brings when you’re growing up. It’s all of those that God says because your identity was in me, then you were able to do it. And I was like, yeah, that’s right. Like that’s the whole purpose. Like, so then my ministry really became a really empowering woman to know, know your identity. I told it, taught it and a Bible study, I teach a Bible study for women on Wednesday mornings and I asked them like if you can’t say where your identity is or who your identity is, then you, when the storms come, you don’t have anything anchoring you in Christ and you’re going to be asking us exactly who the world wants you to be.
You’re not going to have anything to stand on. Yeah. Whereas in my, just in myself, Jesus Christ is a firm foundation. Yeah. And that is what has kept me. And that’s where God said, you know, it’s not in all of these things. Yes, these are your testimonies. It’s where your identity was. You knew who you were. So, and that’s so, and that’s something that God put on my heart. I remember at a young age saying I had to look in the mirror every day and say, you’re beautiful. Thank you, God, for making me beautiful. Yeah. Because there are times when we’re for even young girls that are like, Oh my gosh. Yeah. Who am I? Yeah. Yeah.
Liz Anderson: And that’s what I’m thinking as you’re talking about the ocean and you know, the waves and the ocean means so much to me. And so like that being tousled to and fro and you’ll do so no matter what type of person, no matter who is calling you into their click or into that John the person. And I remember in high school while I had like a definitely my crowd that I ran with, I was also an athlete just as I was in student government. Just as I was able to hang out with people who were athletes who might’ve been doing some other things in their spare time. And then I was in the Christian group or I think we are soul sisters. I, we are. So just like even talking so much back and forth, every time we’re talking I’m like, we’re related. Yeah.
Cause I even in that time I felt like when I was with certain people I was a certain way and I’ve had a conversation with a friend who didn’t consider herself a friend at the time, more so just acquaintances because we would see each other only certain times during that schedule of people. And she told me, this is like a maybe year and a half ago, I was sitting in the car by ourselves because we were going to a women’s conference in Williamsburg with a bunch of girls. And it just so happened that we got this one on one time and she’s like, can I be honest with you? And I’m like, Oh, okay. And I just kind of smiled ear to ear because I have in the last three years claimed my identity so much, so much so that words of any sort don’t affect me in the same way that they did before.
And mind you, I’m human. I am brittle and frail, just like the next person. But as I’ve learned, it’s not about hardening your heart, it’s about thickening your skin and comprehending that God has my heart contained and that while my, my flesh might hurt or be broken, I’ll be okay because God’s got me contained and safe in this Harbor of speaking of the water. So she said, she told me that I didn’t really like to think that you liked me in high school and I’m like, really? Whatever gave you that. She’s like, I don’t know. You never did anything. You never said anything. I just, you would ignore me sort of. But you didn’t intentionally ignore me. We just weren’t friends when you were in certain spaces. And I smiled from ear to ear and I’m like, you’re right. I didn’t know who I was at that time in my life.
And if I could like to preach that message every single day to Amy girl. Speaking of your 16-year-old daughter, that was the time I think of my 16-year-old self and I just want to like literally pick her up. Like I would pick up my daughter and just like stroke her hair and just be like, Oh sweet girl. If you only knew, if you only knew how beautiful you are, if you all value yes, how good you and you alone are that no boy, no girl, no teacher, no mother and father, no tests, no tests, no sport, no metal, no achievement can make you the goodness that I’ve already given you within. And that is literally, I was having a conversation with Gary about it last night. He’s like, my desire and my purpose in life is to just cultivate the heart and the character of our children. And you know, Gary, he is a good man and I feel like he’s got this ministry inside of him. But I can’t from dad.
Yes, but like I’m the achiever and that and he’s just like, I just want to bring it home. I just, I’m here to bring it home. And I admire that so much in him and I’m so thankful for our babies. But to bring it full circle, it’s just that that tossing and turning of the anchor and like when you actually get to that anchored place, no matter what people say or how they previously perceived you, it doesn’t even matter then, right? Because it’s who you are right now. And that we have the access and ability because tomorrow is not promised, but yesterday was already forgotten. It’s already been forgiven. Like literally God doesn’t even remember the brokenness or the wrong step that you’ve made. He’s already forgiven you. It’s just a matter of us comprehending and forgiving ourselves, which in identity is probably the hardest part of the shame and all of that is everybody else is like, okay, no big deal, but we take it to heart. We are the ones. Okay.
Tamra: So our deepest reciprocated need yet so often we don’t take the time to rest, rejuvenate or restore the glass that we are always pouring out of. You are worthy of this time. You are purposed for this space to find your freedom. You are welcome to take a breath. That’s only three you women’s wellness weekend. You will be celebrated and replenished mentally, physically, and spiritually to be your best self for your best people. Join the ocean side. Three days, two-night retreat. Come be free to get home.
Liz Anderson: And how good to is God also reminds us if, if our eyes are open, the people that he brings in our path or just the right time or friendships that are cultivated or things like, there are so many opportunities for him to say, you’re beautiful. You know, I’ve created you. I know you by name. And that’s just taken me so far too. And the times that I wasn’t sure who I was and like he brought up Gary and talking about the passion he has for raising these hearts and stuff. Yeah. He’s raising a son too, as well as a daughter. So where it may not, may, he may have that core within your home that is building a legacy for that boy to go out and do. Maybe not what his dad feels called to do. Maybe he’s called to do it. Chills. So cool to think about, you know, like maybe it is, maybe he’s putting roots down in that little boy and that is amazing in itself.
Liz Anderson: And that is something even, I mean, like I said, as I didn’t have my dad and the idea of just a man like caring and loving and being like God was to me, that’s where like God has released me for that. I have like walking still through forgiveness and all of that, but I’m just God in the sense saying, I’m your father. And he was that to me like Gary, even though you guys, and that’s even encompassed even more as having God there as well too. But that little boy living a legacy, like you guys are building a legacy as a family. You’re talking about identity. That’s an identity that goes on and on. Yeah. Yeah. That’s such a blessing to be able to.
Liz Anderson:Yeah. And I’ve had such a draw, and I say this out loud, sorry babe, I know this, you’re not on board with this right now. Maybe one day. But I’ve just had this since coming into my own identity to this like passion to like mother. And it’s not necessarily, I don’t know who it’s for. I don’t know if it’s for, to have another baby even, but this desire to just pour that part of myself into someone fully. And I didn’t have that when I was pregnant with Waverley or Cooper. I was still tousled the waves if you will. And didn’t even feel like in hindsight that I enjoyed those moments as much as I should have. And so I feel like it was taken from me and I want it back and I don’t know what that looks like. And that’s like a super vulnerable thing to even share because I might not ever have another baby.
Liz Anderson: But I also had these babies who are still so little for me to pour that into. And, and when I see pregnant women, which, you know, I had that pregnant, I would say ministry in hindsight because at the time I didn’t know it was a ministry. It was just a business. But with modern maternity that then evolved into mom and my boutique. I just loved pregnant women. I just love that season. I loved the grandmas in that season. I love the little siblings who are about to have, have this new experience, the glow, the BMD of these women. But talk about not feeling confident or not feeling loved or not feeling like good enough. Oh, just the number of women that would come through those doors that felt, you know, exhausted that felt gross, that felt unbeautiful, that felt unworthy of being admired from a stranger. It always blew my mind. I’m like, are you kidding me? You are beautiful. And this was even before I comprehended the value of the life being created within them. Yes, I knew it was a beautiful experience and I, you know, had my godly sense of goodness, but nothing like I do from the standpoint of identity. Now.
Liz Anderson: It’s funny you said that because with our third that was post after every, like our kind of our testimony, which we might get into this time and maybe save for another, however, it comes out. But [inaudible] Oh, where was I going with that? Just that mental health net with Asia. So when I was pregnant with easily the whole identity component where I knew who I was, like I had already gone through these things and me, I knew that woman I was, no matter what anybody said, and raising her that way was totally different than raising Matthew too.
Liz Anderson: Gary, I get, Oh, I must name Tamra, so I love it. Did you tell him that your daughter told me that you were [inaudible]
Tamra: Oh, did it? I had to tell him he’ll, he’ll just close. It’s like, I’m not hearing it. I don’t know.
Liz Anderson: But yeah, it was, it was saying, it’s so in comparison to before, like with, with the other two, how was it different? I think different is because you allow so much of the world to tell you how to raise them or how you should raise them or they shouldn’t be doing this or they should be doing this. And it was just the thought of, I know who I am, I know who I want these babies to be. And prayer is much, prayer is like God has them. It’s good. And a Bible study that was so good too was a mom set. Have you done
Liz Anderson: That? I haven’t. Jimmy comes amazing. She has a study out there that just talks about what we don’t have to hold the burden of motherhood that sometimes it’s wow. Wow. And it’s just about being free within them, just being free within being a mom and knowing Jesus has them. Like God has them. There are a purpose and a plan and you can’t mess that up because they’re already, yeah. So it kind of goes on that line, but it was life-changing in the sense to say, you know, I’m not, I’m not going to mess these kids up. How many times do we think so true? So it was just coming in maybe to being in my thirties versus being 20. Yeah. I was like, I have a big age gap between the girls and it was just knowing who I was. 30 is a good age.
Liz Anderson: Yeah. It’s my favorite. I love it. It’s been my favorite so far. So I don’t know what 40 has and I can stay away a little bit longer. Yeah. yeah, just to be like I know who I was created to be. So true. And then even when you were talking about that, you can’t mess it up. Like the whole concept of motherhood. I think a big thing that I’m always like trying to break through is that mom guilt component because, and you probably feel it too because you are doing all the things right. And I don’t do it without like full intention and full in the knowledge of the calling of the places that I’m spending my time in. Where before I was doing it because I was doing and now I’m doing it out of being. I know I’m supposed to be at core when I’m there.
Liz Anderson: I know I’m supposed to be creating this retreat that is then going to create many retreats thereafter. Right? I know fit and faith in this podcast has so much purpose for outside of me outside of where God calls me to be. It’s for all of the people in the lives that it touches. And yet at the very same time, I also know God wants me to be a mom and be a wife. And part of that is being present. And so I have this like constant balance in my schedule and making sure that sometimes I just give up to all of the places that are calling me to go somewhere and I just say Nope.
Home is where the heart is right this moment and this is these people need me. But at the, on the contrary, and this is where the conversation was with Gary, he was like, I don’t, I don’t judge you for doing all of these things. I don’t think that it’s a bad thing by any means. This is just where I know I’m supposed to be. And I love that you’re supposed to be in those places too. But it’s just that mom guilt thing just weighs so heavy, so hard. We struggle with it. Like I know I struggle with it and me ha, and it was his Bible study too that was like, you are not going to mess your kids. I like God just makes me so has their purpose and their plan and yeah, we make mistakes
Liz Anderson: And yes we can do things that that hurt them, but God’s going to use that for his glory. And so there’s a beauty from ashes, which I love that saying it’s on a tee shirt. Both businesses. So yeah, just taking God will take what we mess up, you know, and something else. Yeah, I’m getting excited.
Tamra: No, keep going. Like I’m starting, one thing that I’m
Liz Anderson: Really spoke to me was in talking about like not messing up our kids and there’s a saying that came out and I’m trying to remember how it goes. I might not, I might mess it up. Oh, okay. So in that book, she talks about weaknesses and that we can be thankful for our weaknesses. And I was like, my weakness is driving me crazy. You know, like the weaknesses of being a mom. But that’s like in that sense. Sure. And she talks about how our weaknesses draw us back to Christ. Like God, our weaknesses have passed through God’s hands. And it’s those weaknesses that draw us back. That’s to him. And it’s like a light bulb went off. And I’m like, I am thankful for my weaknesses. And I’m okay in saying that,
Liz Anderson: Oh, I feel so much God on that. That is such an amazing concept that our weaknesses have passed through God’s hands because he made us, he knew us before we were here. And so not to hold the burden that we are weak because we’ve created that weakness, but that God’s allowed that weakness with such purpose. And
Tamra: Boom, mic drop. We’re done. Are you Scott?
Liz Anderson: Him the glory. No, I just know it is like that was the, and it really impacted our whole group because so good. You can sit there and at the end of the day, you’re like, I didn’t do this day. Well yeah. And you can be like, you know what, thank you. Thank you for the weaknesses that I had because I couldn’t do this day without you. Right. You know, so we come back to that whole plate. That is so good. Yeah. I was thanking you for sharing that. Well, I got from God, you got me going.
Liz Anderson: I know John [inaudible] love that. So I do want to talk briefly about how, I mean all of this is such incredible, like take me homes for, for women in general. But I feel like there’s also a lot of, take me homes for dads and men that we’ve been talking about and from sharing from our own experiences where in that moment that kind of brought you to your knees and fullness to say, yeah, I, I thought I knew who I was, but now God, I need you to really pick me up and show me fully in this scenario. Explain that to people however you feel like.
Liz Anderson: Okay. being conscientious of people and stuff. So I will go kind of surface DIA, but a little bit deeper. Is that okay right now it’s perfect? And that’s just to protect. Others are like, not everybody knows everything. So, okay. So I would say seven and a half years ago my identity was wrapped. I had always had this image of what a wife was and I think we get married and we do all of these things. And it could have been my, my perception was off, which is, it definitely was at this time, but I did stuff in the sense of keeping my husband. Does that make sense? So I got married and I cooked dinner every night and I had laundry done and we went on vacation and us, I mean, we did set like we were, we were the best of friends.
Liz Anderson: But there was a component in our relationship missing and we weren’t necessarily evenly yoked. I had a relationship with Christ my whole life. And whereas he went to church, it was more religion versus relationship. So there came a time in our marriage that our marriage was questioned and it was the hardest time of my life and where my identity, I wanted to say, look, I’ve been the best wife and I’ve made mistakes, don’t get me wrong, but I came into this thing, I wanna do everything right. Still, things happen. And so really that kind of took the burden of having to do everything right and be right and strive. Because I was like, it happened, things happened anyways. There’s nothing I could have done and those things that were happening and going on and was a personal battle on the other side.
Liz Anderson: Yeah, sure. And so many times us as women, half a week we internalize it. We take that to us. Totally. You know, and so I, you internalize it and you’re like, I’ve been this person but who am I now and where do I go from here? And that’s where God said, who are you? Like I have called you by name since you are young, I have followed you through. And if you just take this one step, I will meet you with the other one. And that’s where it was. So I’m Paul and I walked through a very hard time, about seven and a half years ago where we seek counseling and of course, more of this is coming out because there is a book coming out from product called a princess that will in the couple of years to come. This has been put on my heart, but it just talks about our testimony as husband and wife and where God got ahold of his heart and got ahold of the things he was struggling with his identity as well.
Liz Anderson: I’m living in a separate identity but being a father because he is an amazing dad like that. Like he is the dad that the girls go to. They wrestle with. Like I actually before knowing there were issues or underlying problems lived through my girls because I still got to see the dad. He was so good. Now looking back, the husband that he was disconnected. Sure. And so now I’ve just been able to see God’s grace and mercy and his life and what made, at first I wasn’t in the mindset to be like, we can do this. But it was a friend coming in and saying, no, you’re going to fight. And I was like, okay, God, like I guess I’m gonna fight. I didn’t want to fight, you know. And it was in that time that God told me I would fight and to take one step and again, he would meet it with the next.
\Liz Anderson: And that’s what I did. And to watch a man’s life who struggled with identity and not knowing who he was and come full circle and watch God’s grace and mercy. And that’s where I could go on because I was like, Jesus, I’m a sinner and I have messed up big and I have hurt others. And how can he knows I have a relationship with Christ? You know, how can I say sorry, as the buck stops here. This isn’t going to work. Then to bestow grace and mercy on him, like if I’m living what Jesus is and I’m supposed to be living in the hands and feet of Jesus, this is my time to show my husband who I love, that I forgive you. You know like so that’s incorrect,
Liz Anderson: Rateable and then even to how much better and how much sweeter and how much more intact your marriage has is now the example that it gets to be for your daughters in the glue goodness of that in the ages that they are now in recognizing and seeing, okay, I have an amazing dad, but I also have an amazing father to figure that is the spouse to my mom and that Waverley told me yesterday she’s or knows Cooper. She, he said it’s so neat because you call dad babe and he calls you babe, but really your mama and he’s data so you guys have like the same name but it’s a different, Oh,
Tamra: I love going to though for him to pick your right date on that babe.
Liz Anderson: And so just so interesting that they, they are going to be able to perceive now what you know, you want your daughters to walk into from a relationship standpoint and you can say these qualities and they’re the same qualities that Paul has always had but now are illuminated in the goodness of the Lord. And God again gets the glory, glory. He his name on the billboard instead of Gary Andrus, the miraculous husband. It is God the good father who bred and born and taught and, and sculpted this man. And I love because God, yes, it’s not all is and that’s every angle. I mean, even now I have friends who knew me prior to walking back in the graces of the Lord and see me now. And we’ve had, we were really close then and we’re really close now. There was no break during that time.
Liz Anderson: They wouldn’t even have probably known what was happening internally or even within my home or externally. Cause I do feel like there’s this before and after photo of me. I can literally see it in my mind when I think of myself circa 2000 2010 and it’s so interesting when I have conversations with them, they’re, they just have this look about them and maybe it’s because I’m more present with them that I’m just intrigued just as much as they might be like, what happened to you? What, what occurred? I want to know your testimony. I want to know what it is. And it’s, I can’t give them one, one line. I can’t give them one situation. And it’s just like you, you can’t give one predicament that makes you who you are right now or makes your life the fullness of what it is right now or again, even when your obituary is read.
Liz Anderson: Many, many, many years, many, many meaning there was not going to be, Oh, that one time she did this. She was miraculous. It is so much more than that. Just as God, the Bible isn’t one story. Jesus his life though he only lived there three years in the fullness of his even comprehension of identity, the 33 years that he lived all had such great purpose to go and study to be a rabbi with all the other Jewish cultures. Like there was so much importance to that from the time he was born until he was 12 and then to be a carpenter and work in that like there’s just so much to our lives that no one can pinpoint. We can’t even pinpoint right that that molding process. And I just think of like, again, it’s like being tousled in the wave and like here we are as a Pearl.
Liz Anderson: Yeah. Right. It didn’t start that way. And now someone sees it, they’re like, Oh, you’re gorgeous. Well, it took a lot of shit, excuse me. Many ways and many storms and many very difficult sand particles refining like, yes, does this situation triple part and I’m not even done yet. You’re not even done yet. Your relationship isn’t even done yet. So imagine the shine and the glimmer and like why my word aluminate I want to eliminate women. I don’t know. I want to eliminate those marriages and really just the internal beauty of the Lord on the outside who we are as people because we’re all that beautiful. We all have that ability. We all have the strength and the grace to stand in front of the mirror and say, just like you did it. You’re a little girl. I am beautiful because you’re not yours. You’re his. Yes. It’s so good. It’s so good. Good. I keep hearing that you have such a gift
Liz Anderson: In your word. Illuminate. Like that’s what you do like it is. I wish that even some of these people that tune in and listen, they don’t get the opportunity or the privilege of the gift to meet you. Right. I mean, maybe later they will, but you do. You can walk in a room.
Tamra: As I said, I took, I dashed [inaudible] I was like, I know who she is. Like my heart is connected to her through the stories, through those
Liz Anderson: Things. Just because you can aluminate feelings inside your writing. I’m following you and just reading everything you have, you have a way just to bring it to life, to bring
Liz Anderson: From darkness to light. Do you know what I mean? So, yes. So you have such a gift and you’ve been a gift to me. Likewise. I’m so excited to see, I was like, God continues to paralyze us. Yeah, I’m totally going to use it.
Tamra: I love that analogy, that just a good job.
Liz Anderson: As he continues to do that, like what that process is going to be like. And I think, you know, just as the Bible says, iron sharpens iron. So will two pearls shine and under a light? Yes.
Tamra: I’m writing right here. I might. it’s going in those notes. I know
Liz Anderson: Hurdle, but it’s just so true and I’m, I’m excited about that. And that’s like where that word expectancy comes from. I like how I can walk into the situation by situation and I would encourage people to do that. It’s not about expectation, it’s about the expectancy of what God can do in it. Not about what you would have the other person do or even how you would add.
Liz Anderson: Yeah. And I think that’s where my word, when God put on my heart identity because we’re not all promised that our testimonies are going to come out even in marriage like-minded, we are not. And there are some amazing women that I have met that I got to mentor that some did and some did not. But the component that brought me back to that was if they still know their identity, they are still that person in God and God has them and God sees what he has for them. And though it did not turn out the same because we are not promised, we live in a simple world and people have choices. That identity is still there to keep it. So they still get to clean on that. So I think in the sense where we can share our testimony and Paul and I come from a place of restored and renewed and I tell everybody in that of darkness, which was really, really, really dark.
Liz Anderson: Like I’m talking about turning on plum, this music that she played and just banging on my steering wheel and crying out to God to sing. Why? Like I was abandoned as a kid by my father. I grew up with another dad that had addiction issues like this man too. Like why? But if I didn’t know what I knew then what the richness of it all came to, I would walk through it all over again. But we’re not all promised that it’s going to be exactly like that. However, God is good and there is joy above our circumstances and that is what I held to and we are called to run a race and so identity full circle comes around is we’re not sure like not everybody’s marriages are going to come back together. Not everybody’s, whatever it is, their Valley is going to be completely the same once they go through it. But girlfriend, God is faithful on the other side. Yeah, like God has a purpose for this and though what’s passing through his fingers, he may not have created it. There’s a lot of things he doesn’t. He allows them to pass through our fingers because when we can’t see on the other side, he can. So true.
Liz Anderson: So true. It doesn’t make it any easier when you’re walking through it. But it is the piece, if you can understand that peace that transcends all understanding, all understanding and we so desperately as humans and in this culture, of needing to know the answer to everything, just Google it. You can’t Google stuff like this. You can not Google it. You and, and honestly like I’ve been to many therapists, I go to a therapist on the regular, I think it’s a mandate. It should be a mandate to be an American. I agree. Or a Cuban really. But Americans specifically, things are heavy nowadays. So social media, you’re open to everything. Like things always coming to you. And even my therapist doesn’t have the answer to every situation. I’ve seen her jaw drop and, and we’re both sitting there just like, let’s pray because we can’t figure it out. And, and I would just encourage women to know and men to know because I think that this situation also happens from the vice versa standpoint. And you feel broken and you feel lost and you can’t comprehend why me, just like you said. But it’s not about you. Even still, it’s about God. And so let him take the honor over the situation. Let him provide the peace to the situation by being patient and doing exactly what you did. One step,
Liz Anderson: One step. That’s it. One step. God says, have faith with that one step. I will meet you at the next. And you know what? One day became the next day. That became the next day and the pain became less. And you’re like, God, I thought I would be in this place forever. Like I thought, but God is so good. And he reason renews and restores. He took us through a process of just asking for forgiveness in that sense together. And then redeeming it by being able to come into other people’s lives and other people’s marriages to say, you know, we are here like we believe in you. We believe in the power that God has set out for marriages and we’re gonna walk beside you. And actually, that brings up locally here in Hampton roads area. I am doing a Bible study through reclaimed ministries. I am what, episode three, episode three or four with Stephanie Rose VA.
Liz Anderson: And that actually was one of the doors that were open that you helped open. But locally we are offering it here and it’s just for brides that are walking through brokenness that needs somebody that says, look, I’m in a hard place. I need to walk this out with somebody. So we, can go to social media and send me a message. They can go to reclaim ministries dot com as well. And just send them a note saying, look, I’m looking for that Bible study and we offer that and walk through that. And that’s just one way of God redeeming saying, look, I can take this story, beauty from ashes and we’re going to make it beautiful. And he uses, he uses
Tamra: Every bit of our testimony in some way, shape or form, whether it’s literally just for own heart and, and I am all for vulnerability and honesty and speaking out. But I also comprehend very, very important that there are some things that are our covenant. There are some things that you don’t have to share every single bit of that, that that is just between you and the Lord, right? And that that is something that you can seek forgiveness over, that you can be restored over, that you can be brand new in his creation, that he can give you a new name and it can be the exact same name that you had yesterday with a brand new shine to it. And so just know that that’s also available, that you aren’t necessarily called to open a ministry and open a business and do all these things. Though I do believe God will use all of those things, even the covenant pieces of your heart to restore people because that’s what we’re here. Love thy neighbor as thyself. And if we’re only selfishly keeping the goodness of what God has done in our lives to ourselves, right? We are therefore not walking out the testimony that I believe God has for all of us, which is to shed light on those pieces of our lives.
You can be so delicate and sharing light like you shed and like keeping it. Yeah, surface deep. And that’s just, that’s my own husband’s story to tell too. He has such a component of this that’s so much deeper and that, and that’s his story to tell one day and out of my respect for him and love for him I let him that you can’t, you cannot share somebody else’s identity story. Oh no, somebody else has come to Jesus moment doesn’t work and you both are changed. And I like, I think even Stephanie said, there is the responsibility on both sides and when that responsibility is walked through and you’ve to go through all that, you both are changed differently. So true. And so whereas I am changed differently, that’s my story to tell and I can tell it surface deep that protects still the privacy of it all.
Tamra: But also in the sense to say we’re here, both of us if you want to come to us privately and we will spill the beans. But that’s a place to walk out with other people to say, look, we believe in you. We believe in the power of what God can do in a marriage. That’s so good. Well, I’m just so thankful for the time I prayed to anyone that was listening today just feels touched by you because I swear every time you opened your mouth when you are talking about Jesus or it really even anything.