EP 105: Lessons Learned Along The Way: Andrea Sandefur

Diana WinklerPhysical Violence

We have a returning musical guest on the show today! Andrea Sandefur is here to talk to us about her new song Shepherd King! We catch up on all the goings on in Alaska since her last visit: job changes, the music ministry, creative arts and a recipe for Moose Stroganoff! We will hear her new song at the end of the show, so be sure to stay until the end!

Transcript below!

Andrea Sandefur – Music (andreasandefurmusic.com)

Andrea Sandefur


Andrea Sandefur is a worship leader and singer/songwriter who lives in south central Alaska. She actively serves her local church through her songwriting efforts and helps coodinate and support worship events and projects.

Her writing includes Psalm settings, scripture-based music, instrumental music, and songs about what God is revealing of Himself as she meditates on His word.

One of her favorite activities is encouraging creative artists in her congregation through planning and hosting Arts for the Kingdom events, which are events that honor God through contributed expressions of art and music.

She is also a host for Theophany Media’s Creatively Christian Podcast, which seeks to inspire, inform, educate, and empower creative Christians of all types.

Mom of two and wife to her high school sweetheart, Andrea enjoys life in Alaska with her family through gardening, fishing, hunting and snowmachining.

Website: https://dswministries.org

Email: diana@dswministries.org

Social media links:

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxgIpWVQCmjqog0PMK4khDw/playlists

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dswministries/


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Andrea Sandefur2

[00:00:00] Diana Winkler: Hello, welcome. Come on in. I’m really glad that you’re here with me on my journey towards healing. Thank you so much for your support and being here. I’m hoping that you’re enjoying our guests on the show and

[00:00:25] lots of things to talk about today.

[00:00:30] I don’t remember if I warned you about the ad at the beginning of the podcast. That is called a pre-roll. And I realized that when I was unemployed that as much as I’m enjoying the podcast and doing this for you, it was costing me money that I didn’t have. And so I’ve had to learn [00:01:00] how to make some money at least enough to break even on the cost of the podcast.

[00:01:09] So that’s why there’s an ad in the beginning. Now it’s before the music and the intro, and that’s the way it’s going to stay. I don’t like ads very much. I don’t like listening to a podcast. And then in the middle of the most intense part, an ad for a mattress comes on. That’s not something I believe in.

[00:01:36] I just wanted to promise to you that’s not gonna happen here. I’m not gonna have ads in the middle of my show.

[00:01:46] And also about the ads is these are through Blubrry, my podcast host, and they have told us we are not going to have any ads [00:02:00] about tobacco or anything adult related, alcohol related or anything like that. No politics. And so that’s why I agreed to do it.

[00:02:13] If you hear something that you don’t think should be there, please let me know. I do listen to the podcast before it goes live. And so, so far I haven’t heard anything that would be unusual or out of place, so, So there’s that.

[00:02:37] Now you, hopefully, now hopefully you have been listening to our Bible study series.

[00:02:50] I’m hoping that was helpful to you. I certainly learned a lot.

[00:02:57] It got me so [00:03:00] excited to get into God’s word, and I wanted to mention to you a product that our friend Karen Robinson, who was on the show, she’s a domestic violence advocate and she has a new product out. It’s a bible study journal. It’s like a notebook. It’s to help you record some of your findings in your Bible study.

[00:03:34] It has all kinds of pages for your thoughts and your notes and questions to ponder. She’s somebody that I trust and she puts out great products. She has a wonderful store that I’m an affiliate of, and I have it in the show notes, her link to her [00:04:00] store, and the link to the Bible Journal, Bible Notebook.

[00:04:05] And I know that it’s going to be a blessing for you and a help. I’m gonna get one myself.

[00:04:12] So now onto our show. Now, as a musician, I like to have musical guests on the show and showcase other people’s music that will be a blessing to you. Especially in the journey of healing. And we have back on the show this week, Andrea Sandefur, You remember she was from episode 22 and we showcased one of her songs that she wrote, and she has a brand new song that she’s going to talk to us about and talk about her life in [00:05:00] Alaska and what has been going on this year since she’s been on the show.

[00:05:05] Have been on her show before. Creatively Christian, and just as a reminder, let me read a little bit of her bio here. She’s a singer, songwriter and worship leader living in the beautiful state of Alaska.

[00:05:24] She’s a civil, engineered term stay at home mom of two and wife to her high school sweetheart. She enjoys serving alongside friends in her local church, Bible study, and worship Ministries. Andrea plays piano leads worship at her church and enjoys writing songs about what God is revealing of himself as she meditates on his word.

[00:05:52] One of her favorite activities is encouraging creative arts in her congregation through planning and hosting [00:06:00] arts for the Kingdom events, which are events that honor God contributed expressions of art and music. Andrea is also one of the hosts of a creatively Christian podcast, which aims to inspire, inform, educate, and encourage Christian artists of all types.

[00:06:22] So I hope you enjoy our conversation. So here’s Andrea.

[00:06:29] I’m so excited to have back on the show, my friend Andrea Sandefur. Welcome back.

[00:06:37] Andrea Sandefur: Hey, so good to be back. Diana. Thank you for having me.

[00:06:41] Diana Winkler: I can’t believe it’s been almost a year, maybe since you’ve been

[00:06:44] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah, I meant to look, actually, I didn’t look.

[00:06:48] Diana Winkler: Yeah, it episode 22. So I encourage everybody to go back and listen to that episode because Andrea tells her story about [00:07:00] Alaska and moving there and growing up and all that good stuff.

[00:07:04] So you don’t wanna miss that. But we wanna hear what’s been happening this year. I’m sure a lot.

[00:07:13] Andrea Sandefur: It has been a lot, actually. It’s probably been one for the books and if I were to write a book, this would get a few chapters probably this past year. So yeah, it’s been great. Other than a lot of change in our family, which we were chatting about just earlier that I don’t think our family navigates changed very well.

[00:07:32] Diana Winkler: Neither does mine.

[00:07:34] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah. So it’s, there’s that. But yeah it’s really fun to kind of navigate, change as a Christian and learn how to walk well with God through change. And so that’s been kind of the name of the game is trusting the Lord’s lead on things and trying to get over ourselves when we lack patience and we get frustrated and just kind of really leaning into him.

[00:07:59] Diana Winkler: I was reading your [00:08:00] blog and let me get this straight. You have a moose stroganoff recipe?

[00:08:08] Andrea Sandefur: I do.

[00:08:11] Diana Winkler: That is so Alaska.

[00:08:13] Andrea Sandefur: Cuz I haven’t cooked with beef and I can’t tell you how long because I don’t have any. And when you have a whole moose in the freezer, that’s what you cook.

[00:08:21] So, yeah, I think the other recipe I shared was the creamy moose taco soup. And then, yeah, it’s moose stroganoff. I hardly ever I think I bought steaks the other day for something and they were actually beef steaks and my son was like, What kinda meat is this? It was like shocking to him. So it was kind of fun

[00:08:40] Diana Winkler: But you did put the recipe on your blog. Now, unfortunately, here in Arizona, we don’t have any moose just walking around.

[00:08:48] Andrea Sandefur: That is true. Yep. You guys have elk somewhere down there though, don’t you? Some, Somewhere up in the mountains?

[00:08:54] Diana Winkler: No, They don’t come into Phoenix, but you can go up North Flagstaff and elk or something, but [00:09:00] not here in Phoenix.

[00:09:01] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah, not there in Phoenix. Yeah. It’s funny, we don’t, I used to live in Colorado and we had elk and deer and here where we live, we don’t have any elk or deer. It’s really just the moose that we hunt. And we have caribou as well. Not right where we live, but a little further north of us. So we’ve had caribou in the freezer before too.

[00:09:21] But we eat a lot of fish too. We have a lot of salmon too, so we’re pretty spoiled on that front. So a lot of the recipes I share with people are related to moose or caribou or salmon or halibut and it’s kind of fun cuz not everybody really cooks with that kind of stuff, and if they have ever have opportunity to or if they have a chunk of beef that they wanna try making into stroganoff it, it’s similar enough, but it’s been fun.

[00:09:46] Diana Winkler: Yeah. I like stroganoff. So, FedEx it and we’ll be happy to try it. So you are going through a lot of changes. You started a new job?

[00:09:58] Andrea Sandefur: I did. Yeah. So, [00:10:00] last year I was working for the school district in our area here actually in my kids’ classroom as a teacher’s aide. And it was a great job.

[00:10:09] It was a really wonderful job. It was pretty minimal hours. It was like 10 to 15 hours a week, but that’s not my education, like at all. And the school was needing somebody in my position to do a bit more than what I felt capable or called to do and . So I decided to kind of just step back from that and, if they if they needed to fill that position with somebody else, Then go for it.

[00:10:34] So, I hated leaving the school for so many reasons because I really liked the teacher I was working for. And I miss her a lot. She’s such a fascinating lady. She has lived in Alaska her whole life. I think she’s currently 78 years old and still teaching. And both of my kids have her as a teacher still.

[00:10:54] She teaches second through eighth grade students in her classroom. And that [00:11:00] fascinating lady, and such a good teacher. And really challenging the work for, cuz she expects perfection. But I also kind of thrive in that kind of environment where I know what’s expected and I can get it done. So anyway, I miss certain aspects of that job a lot.

[00:11:17] And I miss the kids, I get, I got to work with second and third graders a lot and they’re hilarious. And. So I miss that. But yeah, at the end of the school year so just this past May, I started working for my church that I’ve been attending and leading worship at for, gosh, 13 years now.

[00:11:38] They had a position open up and the timing was so, God, it was just, I was looking for something for the summer and yeah, I started basically when school ended, I started that new job. And I’m working in the front office kind of as admin assistant, but get to help with worship a lot. And I started leading [00:12:00] my own worship team there once a month.

[00:12:02] I’ve just been kind of serving on teams up to this point, but now I’ve gotten to take the lead on one and we actually lead this coming Sunday. From this conversation here. So preparing the set and kinda looking forward to like what the sermon’s gonna be about and trying to build the set around that.

[00:12:19] It’s really a fun process. I enjoy it so much. But yeah, it’s really different working in, in ministry. Like this, like I, I’ve always volunteered in ministry, but working and being paid it’s just different and it’s a good different, but man, it’s hard work because, you get phone calls.

[00:12:36] I’m kind of that first line of defense. . and I’m learning. We actually have a training coming up later this month on biblical counseling. And I’m gonna go to it because even though like I would never consider myself like somebody who would become a counselor. I just, I constantly find myself in situations and like on the phone with people or encouraging other, [00:13:00] like the artists in our congregation or people on my worship team like in need of advice or they’re in crisis or they need encouragement or they’re walking through something hard and I’m like, Ah, God, I need to do. I need to learn how to do this better, I think, and , or I just need affirmation in what I’m already doing. I’m not sure. But so I’m looking forward to that opportunity of, learning a little bit at this.

[00:13:27] We’re gonna attend an online conference later this month about biblical counseling. And yeah, I’m really excited to do that, to kind of help me toward feeling a bit more- qualified’s not the word, just a bit more equipped maybe in this job. yeah. So it’s been really great though.

[00:13:43] I really do enjoy it.

[00:13:45] Diana Winkler: I don’t think that will ever go to waste getting that extra training and it’s so needed right now. So many people need it and just somebody to listen or maybe you’ll just learn what [00:14:00] not to do. That’s half the battle is don’t say something that probably make the situation worse, yeah. It sounds like a good fit. You working at the church? I was on staff at a church once when I was married to my ex-husband. It was not a positive experience, which I won’t get into here. I usually talk about that when I do my story on the podcast, but I hope that you enjoy it and you get a blessing out of that.

[00:14:28] That sounds sounds like a great fit.

[00:14:30] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah, so far, so good. I feel pretty spoiled. I get to go to work with my friends. I’ve known them for years and it is a little different, like, because now that I am working for them, , it’s just a different relationship dynamic. Yeah. But all in all, it’s been really great.

[00:14:46] So I’m really thankful.

[00:14:47] Diana Winkler: And your husband’s got a new job too, or not a new job? A new business?

[00:14:52] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah. Yeah, a new everything it feels like. And I think that’s been the craziest part of this ride [00:15:00] is that shift major pivot, which he just turned 40 last fall. And then his company who he had been working for a big corporation, gave him basically an ultimatum that he didn’t wanna meet.

[00:15:17] Like, he was just like, I’m not gonna do that. So, He left. He quit. And so at the end of the year, he transitioned out of this steady, high paying corporate job. And as we were talking about what was gonna be next for him, we had always kind of come back to the idea of him doing something on his own, running his own business.

[00:15:39] If I were to like, speak into like what his spiritual giftedness is as a, a created son of God. He is he’s really good with his hands. He works with his hands a lot. He’s very handy. He’s good with people. He’s really kind and he. He loves to [00:16:00] serve. So kind of coupling all those together.

[00:16:03] He started his own handyman business and he has been in the HVAC industry for his whole career. So, with that emphasis being like that heating and ventilation service that’s the aim. Anyway, so at the beginning of the year we started right into that. We were super excited and I was like, You can do it.

[00:16:21] I was the major cheerleader in the background and really excited for him. Cause I could see almost like a weight lifted, like the corporation was really kind of really really causing him a lot of heartache and pain and stress. And it was just not a good fit for him anymore. And when he decided to release that and walk.

[00:16:43] we felt like it was walk in obedience into this. There was an excitement and like it was freeing. So it was really cool to watch that happen in him and in our family. And so we walked into the beginning of the year, like, Okay, here we go. And we got [00:17:00] the business license, I think on January 3rd, and it was like, Let’s go.

[00:17:04] And then everything like came to a screeching halt. We’re like, What’s happening? So the business license is just the first part. But as most of entrepreneurs now know that I didn’t know. That’s not all you need. You need a lot of other things to be legitimate and to legally do business in your state and in Alaska, that meant a lot of different things.

[00:17:27] And long story short, my patients lasted a month. And I started to get really depressed and cranky about it. And he didn’t get to legitimately start working until the end of May. So you can imagine the like and I’m quitting my job and starting a new job all when this is all happening.

[00:17:49] And it was just like, God, did we make the right decisions? Are we making the right decisions? Why are we feeling led to do this? And man, hard, hard [00:18:00] stuff. But you know, I, like we were talking earlier we always had food to eat. We had freezers full of moose and salmon, and we had a savings built up from, his prior job and God is good. Even though I totally dwindled in my patience and in my faith at times I was like, He’s still good. He and it may still not look exactly how I want it to look. Like we, we aren’t making an amazing amount of income now that we, are working, but I’m learning that’s not the point.

[00:18:32] It’s I’m loving being in the jobs that we’re in because I almost feel like we’re better fit for the work that we’re actually undertaking now. Like at the end of the day, and I love this lesson that I’m learning, is it’s not about the income, it’s about the work and the contentment within the work and the the joy that it is to undertake that kind of [00:19:00] work.

[00:19:00] And watching him, watching my husband specifically come home from a job where he helped a little old lady do something that she’s been meaning to do for years and. He was able to serve her and she sends him home with a plate of cookies or something and, it just, it’s just the most wonderful thing.

[00:19:18] And to hear him tell the story from the day and how thankful she was and how good it felt to help her. And I’m like, Praise God. Is just, I hadn’t heard any of that kind of thing out of his mouth since we’ve moved up here and started working up here. So, yeah it’s been a really huge deal.

[00:19:39] So yeah, those are kind of the changes we’ve been going through. It hasn’t been pretty , but on this side of things, I’m really thankful for how patient God is with me. And how, I. I’m learning too, not only is the income, not what we should be focused on, but the [00:20:00] fact that his timing is so outside of ours, he, yes, he called us into this.

[00:20:06] I I fully feel that. Like I, I trust that he did, but he wanted to show me that his timing is also perfect and that now that I’ve learned that I hope here’s, hoping I can take care of that forward in every other change ahead, because that will, I’m sure it will resurface when I’ve gotta trust him like this again.

[00:20:29] Diana Winkler: So, yeah, it’s been crazy. You’ve said so many things. The Instagram influencers make you think that starting a business of any kind is easy and you just make all this money overnight if you just do these four steps and you just buy my course or follow me on.

[00:20:50] Yeah. All that stuff. And you and I both know, cuz my ex-husband had a business and I got hornswaggled into helping him with it, even [00:21:00] though it was not my skill set at all. And it turned into a disaster. But it, it isn’t easy. It’s not an eight hour job, it’s a 16 hour job. Yeah.

[00:21:11] And you have to do everything yourself. It’s not easy. And then when you’re working with your family, which you’re together 24/7 and you say you’re stressed out and you’re crabby because you’re worried about the money and you’re worried about, being legal and you’re worried about all these little things.

[00:21:29] It’s a lot of stress. It’s a lot of stress. Is a lot stress. And even, in our hearts, we know that God’s going to provide, And I’ve just been through this, my listeners, I did two episodes on me losing my job. And all the, what I went through and the feelings and emotions that go with that, and all these changes.

[00:21:49] And I knew God’s gonna provide, but I was still very anxious and oh yeah. I had to work through that. Just like you, we all we’re all there with you.

[00:21:58] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah. And I think [00:22:00] that’s something I’m really excited about is, now, because I’ll be honest, I haven’t had to journey through something like this before in my life.

[00:22:09] I’ve never had to navigate something so uncertain. And I’m really thankful that I haven’t. But now on this side of things, I’m really hoping and praying that I can help others forward through periods of anxious navigating uncertain things. And there’s a sign on our hill.

[00:22:29] We live on the top of a hill in our neighborhood here. And a few years ago, they installed a sign, it’s like right before my driveway. So I see it every day. And it’s just one of those diamond shape, like warning yellow signs. It says hill blocks view. And I’m like yeah, . So, but it’s so interesting to me now when I started to slow down and think like, yes, the hill blocks the view, and as we’ve been, navigating all [00:23:00] this change and stuff, I’m like, of course I can’t see ahead.

[00:23:03] I, nobody can, nobody’s gonna be able to see ahead and tell me that it’s gonna be okay or when the license is gonna come through, or when we’re gonna be able to start working or none of that is ahead. We can’t see it. We just have to keep going and stay in our lane and, hope that when we crest the hill we’ve, I don’t know that we’ve navigated it well, and I got to think, and the other day I’m like okay, here’s the truth though.

[00:23:32] Yes. Nobody can see past that hill, but God can , he knows the beginning and the ending of our stories. And so if we’re gonna put our trust in anything or anyone we have to put, place it in him cuz he’s the only one that can safely guide us through to what’s on the other side because he’s the only one.

[00:23:55] Like, we got so much advice, Diana, I can’t even tell you so much advice while [00:24:00] we were navigating all of this, people that have maybe gone before us in a way, but not really. Like nobody ever traverses the same story that we do. Nobody ever truly experiences what we’re going through. Right. Like similarly.

[00:24:18] And we can maybe come alongside each other, but man, so much advice. Some of it good, some of it not good. Yeah, I was just gonna say . Yeah. Some of it not good. And it was really helpful when I started to think, okay, I need to really be, we need to be as a family, clueing into what God is wanting to show us.

[00:24:42] And what I started to notice if I heard from somebody that said like, Hey, I just thought of this, or, I was thinking of your situation the other day and I thought of this and if I felt almost like a, it’s weird, like almost like a sense of peace about what they were saying. I started to [00:25:00] trust that it was like the Holy Spirit going here with this, take this in.

[00:25:04] But if I started to feel like kind of icky about what, somebody was saying or just uneasy, I would try to discount that and almost trust that Holy Spirit was like, Guarding my heart. And once I started to key into that along the way, I was like, Okay, I think I’m following the right leader.

[00:25:23] I think we’re getting there. And that took a lot, it took a lot of practice. And I can’t say I, I did that well, but over time I started to key into discerning his voice above all others. And that’s tricky.

[00:25:35] Diana Winkler: It’s really tricky. Yeah. I was a recipient of that kind of good and bad advice, man. I told them of the situation and they’re like you should sell your house and, or you should sell your cars and sell everything you have. It’s like, okay, if I sell my house I would not be able to afford to buy anything on this market right now.

[00:25:57] Or rent. Rent isn’t cheap here. You can’t even rent [00:26:00] anything for Yeah, for what I pay for my mortgage and my mortgage is still pretty high because we refied a couple years ago, but I have, I have my garden in my backyard and I eat out of that garden and I couldn’t do that if I was in an apartment.

[00:26:16] So it was kinda like that kind of advice, like thank you so much for your concern. But that doesn’t work for me. I wouldn’t be able to do the podcast cuz we wouldn’t have room for all this equipment.

[00:26:26] Andrea Sandefur: Oh yeah, good and bad and everybody’s got opinions. And I think maybe that’s one of my prayers going forward is, Okay, Lord, help me keep my mouth shut when I need to . But if again, like allowing the Holy Spirit to like if I’m feeling prompted to say something or if I answered the phone, like today, I answered the phone and there was a dear friend from our congregation crying on the other end and, what do I say?

[00:26:53] And I felt prompted to email her a song that our worship pastor had written. Just, it came to mind [00:27:00] while I was hearing her story and taking her prayer request. And it was like that is the leading I wanna follow. I want to like, cuz we need to navigate life and be helpers to each other.

[00:27:11] We do. I’m not saying I, I don’t wanna listen to anybody’s advice ever again, but, and I. I’m always willing to give advice if people ask it. And I, but I’m, I wanna learn to keep my mouth shut, if I need to. Yeah. And how to use the lessons that God has taught me. What he’s grown in me to be to the benefit of somebody else.

[00:27:32] Like I don’t ever wanna hinder anybody’s growth and their faith. Yeah. So it’s I’m really thankful for the ways that God has grown me through this situation. But gosh, I hope he can use it for his glory. Absolutely. Even through me . So, yeah.

[00:27:49] Diana Winkler: One, one piece of advice that somebody did give me that was very helpful was actually a podcast guest that actually lost his job too.

[00:27:58] Oh, wow. He said, Don’t ever make a [00:28:00] decision out of being desperate when it’s the wrong decision. Like I was looking for a job. Don’t take a job that isn’t the right job for you at a desperation because you’re afraid that you won’t pay the bills. That was good advice.

[00:28:16] Andrea Sandefur: That is good advice.

[00:28:17] Yeah. To trust that God has something just for you. Yeah. In again, in his timing, . Yeah. It’s just so,

[00:28:26] Diana Winkler: So I do have a good temporary job and it seems to be a good fit. It’s just, Yeah, that was advice that I did follow, and it was a good one. Yeah. Now you were talking about some books that you were reading in your blog.

[00:28:41] Tell us what you’ve been reading.

[00:28:44] Andrea Sandefur: Oh my goodness. I am notorious for starting a book and getting about halfway to three quarter the way through and then starting another one. So I probably have about five books going right now, but I think the three that I mentioned I’m rereading CS [00:29:00] Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia right now.

[00:29:01] Yes. I so delicious. So, and I mostly am doing it because my son, who is 10 I’m having him read through them this year as book report books cuz his teacher totally approves of that series. And so I’m like equipping myself to when he writes a book report, I can be like not quite. So just refreshing my memory.

[00:29:21] So, because that is the case with this little author of mine So that’s been lovely. I just finished Lion Witch in the wardrobe, so now I’m on my next. My favorite in the whole series is The Horse and His Boy. So I’m really excited to start into that. I’ve got a, our hunting season for moose right, is right now.

[00:29:39] My husband’s out hunting right now, but we joined him after I lead worship on Sunday. And the cabin is always where I go to read. Like, I try not to take anything else to do because I don’t get time to just read for pleasure, hardly. I try to take the time, but it’s hard when there’s so many other things.

[00:29:58] And so I’m gonna take that [00:30:00] little book out with me and just enjoy enjoy that. But I’m reading a couple other really good books right now that were gifted to me. One was with a, a guest I had on the Creatively Christian Podcast. His name is Makoto Fujimura. He’s an artist, is an amazing artist.

[00:30:17] I love that episode. Oh, it’s so, isn’t it just the most delicious conversation? He is so kind and wise and I love his story of how he came to faith and I’m just like, I could have literally talked with him all day. And his book Art Plus Faith the subtitle is a Theology of Making. It is so good.

[00:30:40] It is a super slow read, like I am the kind of reader. If you give me too much information in a chapter or too many ideas, I just have to like process. So I’m reading that one chapter by chapter and trying to underline the things that really stick out to me personally. And almost then go back and read [00:31:00] just what I’ve underlined to just kind of soak in it and let it try to shape my own creativity.

[00:31:06] And especially as I go forward into I’m planning another event where I’m encouraging the creative people and my congregation and whenever I enter into a season of encouragement, I try to go in equipped with the reasons behind why we create. And so his book has been such a gift in that just to reaffirm.

[00:31:28] Why as God’s people, we would even create to start with. Like, what’s the point and what postures could we take in our creativity and in our community? Not only in our churches, but in just in our actual geographic communities and culture. It’s pretty cool. So he’s a, he’s just a fascinating guy.

[00:31:48] His art is stunning. I’m learning so much about he calls it the slowness of art. He posted something the other day about needing to sit in front of [00:32:00] certain paintings for a while and to be still and to really. To slow down and really look and to spend time with it. I think we can have a tendency to, we’re scrolling scrolling, and just catching a glimpse of stuff.

[00:32:14] , I think we’re wiring our brains to be just grabbing things just really quickly. And what I’ve noticed with a few of his paintings, and this was through his encouragement, if you look at them for any length of time, it’s almost like the colors shift and change and you see a different layer or a different dimension.

[00:32:34] But at first glance, you can’t see that it takes slowing down and actually looking and. I don’t know. It’s really, it’s hard to explain, but it’s that slowness. Yeah it’s really cool. So I’m learning a lot from him. So I encourage anybody to check him out. Yeah. And that conversation with him on Creatively Christian was just probably a highlight of my year so far.

[00:32:59] He was really great. [00:33:00] Do you remember which episode it was? Oh, I knew you were gonna ask me that. Let me see if I can figure that out really quick while we’re talking. I don’t know if we even have episode numbers. That is so funny. Let’s see if Jake puts episode numbers on here. I can tell you the date.

[00:33:13] Okay. Yeah. Maybe the date would be helpful. So that one released on May 5th, 2022 here. So, yeah. May 5th so they can find it. Yeah. So you can find it. It was great. He was so kind. And then I led worship recently for a missionary group. Yeah, End of May, early June. And they’re such a great group.

[00:33:35] They serve all over the Arctic regions, so not only Alaska, but in parts of Canada. And I think even in portions of I guess that’d be Eastern Russia, Siberian Russia, and Neat group of people and every year they have their retreat in Palmer, Alaska, just to the east of us. And for the past two years I’ve gone up to their conference and led worship for them.

[00:33:57] And this year they asked me [00:34:00] to lead four times as opposed to, I think the prior year it was just two. And so I decided to form four teams of people. So, I wasn’t burdening any one group of people besides myself, I guess, but that’s beside the point. I loved being there the whole time. It was great.

[00:34:16] But so four different teams to do four different sets of worship. and that’s a lot of practices. . Yes, it’s a lot of coordination, but it was so fun and I got to loop in so many people from my church to help and connect. And so they were so gracious. They handed me seriously a stack of like 15 books and they said, Can you hand these out to your team as a thank you?

[00:34:41] And I’m like, I’d love to. And I forget the author’s name, but the name of the book is Gentle and Lowly. And it’s basically so this is another one I’m knee deep in and I’m really enjoying. It’s written in the Puritan style where they would take one verse in [00:35:00] the Bible and really expound on it and not necessarily.

[00:35:04] At first, I’m like, Wait, is this like an out of the context? Take a verse outta context and write on it kind of book. It’s not, It’s beautiful how they take a verse and they pull it apart and they pull from different areas of scripture and it’s so rich and it’s, it’s all about the character of Jesus being this gentle and lowly shepherd, which has been a fun dimension to dwell on right now.

[00:35:30] With the music I’ve got coming out right now, just this idea of this character of Jesus as our shepherd and our king being both gentle and lowly. And those are terms that he really expands on that are fun because I don’t think we. Those terms. In our culture, I don’t think we fully understand the meaning of them as they’re intended in scripture when Jesus says them.

[00:35:55] So that’s a really another, that’s a fun read. But obviously I like books and I could talk about them [00:36:00] all day, so I’m gonna stop there. But

[00:36:02] Diana Winkler: No, that sounds like a great book too. And, our masculine centric culture, we don’t talk about that. You’re very right. Yeah. So I’ll definitely look into getting that too.

[00:36:14] I did wanna mention about when you were talking about sitting and looking at the art. That is very true because I didn’t realize how busy I was until I went to France and we went to all of the art museums. We went to the L’Orangie and of course we went to the Louvre and they have a ton of art museums.

[00:36:36] Yeah. And it’s just one entire wall with one painting, sometimes, like the water lilies. And it’s, and we did that. We sat there on the benches they have for you. And we sat there and enjoyed the paintings and the art, without just rushing through the museum to get to the next thing.

[00:36:56] So when, we get back to our busy life, [00:37:00] then it’s like, but I wish I could go back to just sitting and enjoying.

[00:37:04] Andrea Sandefur: I know that sounds really great. Right now, actually.

[00:37:07] Yeah. Oh, man. I’m gonna encourage you. It is such a talk about being still and entering into a practice of slowness. Like I, that is something I’ve learned from all the artists that I work with, is these different genres, even though I may not be any good at it, even giving them a try.

[00:37:26] The act of trying something new, like something creative And trying not to be like super frustrated with it. I can be a bit of a perfectionist when I paint and I’m learning that maybe I need to dabble into watercolor, cuz that one you just can’t really be a perfectionist with. You just have to kind of let it go.

[00:37:46] And it is, But when I do paint even with acrylic and I really enjoy just how it makes me feel that it’s almost like a therapy of art. And it’s I’m friends with a gal, another one of our hosts son, creatively Christian. Her [00:38:00] name’s Rachel. She actually does art therapy and she’s taught me a lot about the power of entering into a creative, like artistic process and how it can be therapeutic to us.

[00:38:14] So I don’t know if anybody’s feeling like they’re spinning outta control, go grab a canvas and some brushes and some paint and just, I don’t know, it. It really helps me a lot. And I did more painting this year than I ever have because of the year we’ve had . So yeah, it’s really great.

[00:38:34] Diana Winkler: I lived next door to a famous artist and he taught me Wow.

[00:38:39] He taught me how to paint. He’s no longer with us, but I haven’t had time to do any serious painting cuz I have just too many things going on, but, Yep, I hear you. I did one of those, it was like painting and snack kind of places. I don’t know if you have these in Alaska.

[00:38:54] Andrea Sandefur: Oh yes. Aren’t those fun, like paint nights and Yeah.

[00:38:58] Sometimes they even let you drink wine at [00:39:00] ’em and all those sort.

[00:39:00] Diana Winkler: They have these places and I haven’t painted in a while, I volunteered for a dog rescue and we did a fundraiser at this place with the paint and snack, and they had us paint pictures of our dogs.

[00:39:16] Oh. And you might think that’s like, And these are all beginners. And we brought a picture of our dog and they used like a slide projector, an old fashioned projector. And they traced the dog outlined for us. And then they they gave us the canvas and the paint brushes. Oh. And they showed us how to fill in, how to fill in the colors.

[00:39:37] And it actually looked like our dog. That’s so cool. And we were all, there were a lot of beginners and then we’d have our snacks and drinks. And for those that are not artistic and are afraid to do that, just go and, Yeah. Don’t be afraid to try it. It was so much fun. And it was, you just let go of what’s going on outside and you just focus on what’s [00:40:00] on the canvas.

[00:40:00] And enjoy the process of putting a paint on there. Exactly. Enjoy the process. Absolutely. And it might not be the perfect dog nose, but noses are hard. What’s, what is it about noses? I struggled with the dog nose. It was hard. But when it’s done, it’s yours. And you were creative and you did something.

[00:40:23] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah. It’s so worth it. So worth the time when we can take it.

[00:40:27] Diana Winkler: Now we wanna hear how you wrote your new song. So tell us about that. How you came to, to write the song, The story behind it.

[00:40:37] Andrea Sandefur: It’s called Shepherd King, which again, just has been such a gift and such a fitting theme.

[00:40:44] Yeah it’s a fun song that actually started as a whole different song as most do. I was taking part in online coaching through Nashville Christian songwriters a couple falls ago. And one of the [00:41:00] exercises they had us do was take a song that we enjoyed and kind of pick it apart.

[00:41:05] Like, look at the syllable counts and the phrasing. And not necessarily copy it, but almost try to match that style or that, that rhythm or, the phrasing. And so the song I wrote, it was actually called Sovereign King. That was the phrase. And I had a whole bunch of, words to go along with that.

[00:41:27] And, praising God for his sovereignty. And presented it to the coaches one week and one of them he was like, I like the word sovereign and I know what it means, but that’s a churchy word and not everybody would maybe, Really connect with that. He’s like, I like the idea of King though, and I wonder if there’s a way that maybe you can revamp this and rethink what are you wanting to say about this king and what is, what are you feeling drawn to about this king?

[00:41:56] And just even like that kind of encouragement, I took [00:42:00] that song and reworked it that next week. And it probably took a few iterations of, rewriting. But probably by the end of that coaching session, I had gotten the song about 90% done. And in presenting it to them now being called Shepherd King.

[00:42:16] One of the things they had me do was to consider Psalm 23, once I had landed on that term, Shepherd King, and they liked it. They’re like that’s a wonderful dimension of this savior that we’re following that he’s both a shepherd, that gentle, lowly, and a king. That it, we don’t necessarily connect the two in our culture or in our minds even.

[00:42:39] It’s hard for us to wrap our heads around and this idea of a good shepherd especially in Psalm 23, the pictures that are painted there. That’s where I really started to lean into on the verses and stuff, and it was really fun to kind of look at the content of the Psalm of David. Try to pull those themes out and into the verses and [00:43:00] man, it was just, it was a fun process.

[00:43:02] It was really ch, it’s challenging to take a song and to take input from others and rewrite it and rework it and re present it. And it’s really challenging. But man, when you get to the end of it and you don’t even hardly recognize the first song compared to where you ended, it’s such a gift.

[00:43:20] And so kind of that was like end of 2020 was when I finished, like the first drafts and 2021, I kind of spent trying to consider. I was I still writing and still kind of trying to consider what to do as far as recording and I wasn’t really sure if if I wanted to produce, my own or try to connect with the producer and I had met Jeff Nelson.

[00:43:46] He is a Nashville area producer. I met him at the conference I went to in October of 2020 with the same organization, Nashville Christian Songwriters. He was there as one of the coaches and speakers and I [00:44:00] really connected with him while I was there. Really enjoyed him. His style of music was very similar to mine.

[00:44:06] He’s a pianist and he’s also a producer. And when he would speak about the production process at that conference, I remember really resonating with a lot that he was saying. And so on a whim, I reached out to him and I said, Hey newbie at this, I don’t even know the process or if you’d even wanna work with me.

[00:44:26] But here’s kind of what I’d like to do. And I didn’t even really have Shepherd King picked out. He said, Yeah, go ahead and send me a few songs that you’d like to consider having produced and I’ll let you know. And so I sent him Shepherd King and a couple others. I don’t remember which ones now even.

[00:44:42] And he came back and I went back and reread that email the other day cuz it was an encouragement to me to have a Nashville producer email me back and go, I would love to produce Shepherd King for you. Wow. Because I love the message and I can already envision [00:45:00] what it should sound like.

[00:45:02] And I’m like, ugh. Man, what a gift. What a kind thing. And so, he asked me to send him a few songs that kind of had a similar tone and feel like already produced songs by other artists. That was kind of a, that was a tricky process. I had never really considered doing that. Like, what is it about this song?

[00:45:21] What do I want it to sound like? I had no idea how to do that. And so I ended up, I think I picked like three or four different songs and sent them to him and like, I like how this one comes out of the chorus and or how this one builds to this. And he took all that, suggestions of, this first timer and he ran with.

[00:45:39] And it took him about a couple months, I’d say. And this was early in no, I guess, last fall was when he had started working on it. And I’ll never forget getting the email back from him with his first cut of the audio tracks the instruments and playing it in the car. I was just, [00:46:00] cuz I’m always driving and and hearing it and hearing his interpretation of it and I just cried.

[00:46:06] I was like, I cannot believe somebody would take this level of care on something that I wrote. It was such a gift. And Yeah, so that was, I’ll never forget that too. That was really kind and fun. And I was able to actually track the vocals up here which he suggests, he’s like, You could fly down and, we could do some studio time.

[00:46:27] And I’m like, I would love to. I love Nashville, but that seems really impractical to fly all the way from Alaska to Nashville for one song . So, yeah. I was able to capture them up here. One of my friends at our church, his name’s Dusty. He’s a very talented sound guy, and he built a little vocal booth at my church and we did ’em right here in with Silla and sent them on to Jeff.

[00:46:50] And I think we sent him like six takes. That was really, I was exhausted by the end. Yeah, they were singing. It was fun [00:47:00] though, and he was able to take it and just weave it in. And, honestly the hardest part of the whole process was critiquing Jeff, the producer, like to listen to what he was doing.

[00:47:10] And I’ve learned, through, in encouraging other artists, other creatives within, especially my church family critique is an art . There is a right and a wrong way to ask for or suggest changes. And I’ve never been sure I’m many good at it and I’ve never gotten any pushback from any of my friends at church.

[00:47:29] So I guess I’m doing something okay. But man, that was hard to, cuz I always, I just looked at Jeff as so much more capable than me in such a higher position than me. Not that was necessarily the right position for me to put him in, but still it was really hard for me to go, Hey, would you mind changing this?

[00:47:50] Hey, I, I think maybe this is a little too loud right here, or something like that was really hard.

[00:47:55] Diana Winkler: Yeah, I mean, yeah he’s a professional and this is what he does for a living and that’s why he’s in [00:48:00] Nashville. Yeah. Yeah. He’s working for you. And I know it’s your song. So I think, as long as you’re being nice about it.

[00:48:09] Andrea Sandefur: Oh, I don’t think I could hurt a fly.

[00:48:11] So, it just, it was hard. And he was, so, of course he was like, Yep I can do that. And he, super gracious about it. And the finished product I just couldn’t be more excited about. And yeah, I’m releasing it October 28th. I’ve had it for a while. It’s been one of those crazy things.

[00:48:30] I’ve had the mix for a while, The mastered mix for a while. And I’ve been hesitant to share it. I’ve just been scared, honestly. And I thought, I don’t know how to release a single out in the world and you know how to do that well. And there’s all these, launch ideas that people have. Again, all the opinions out there.

[00:48:50] And finally at church one day as a staff, we were going through a section of Matthew and was talking a lot about trust and [00:49:00] how we, when we can’t necessarily see the direction that things are taking or what the road ahead is holding. And I wasn’t prompting any of the discussion. It was my friends all around me speaking into this.

[00:49:15] And I’m like, This is my song. And so to close our time Time and the word together as a staff we usually close in worship anyway. And I said, we had something else planned, but I think I just need to share this song with you guys that I wrote. And I just sang an acapella for them. And I admitted that I had this mix ready to go out into the world and I was scared to share it.

[00:49:38] And they checked up on me later that week, like, Have you released it yet? Do you have a plan to release it yet? It was really helpful. So, I was really thankful again for that prompting of the Holy Spirit to go, here it is. See, people wanna talk about this. People want to have a song to put to words what they’re feeling.

[00:49:58] And I pray that it can be [00:50:00] that. So yeah, I’m really excited for it to come out.

[00:50:04] Diana Winkler: Yeah, I I don’t have that problem where I’m afraid to release it, but I don’t really care if I get any, like, bad opinions. If I like it. Cause I’m really hard on myself. I am my own worst critic. And yes, Brian my husband mixes and master my music.

[00:50:22] And I want perfect. I want it a certain way and I have to tell my husband he needs to change something. That’s even harder. Yeah. Cause he’ll say I’ve stayed up all night working on this. He doesn’t sleep by the way. And I’ll say this part here sounds a little bit muddy.

[00:50:41] Can you redo that part? And sometimes he gets upset, but I don’t I don’t have that problem with releasing music. If I know that if I’m happy with it I’ll put it out there and I don’t care what the naysayers say. If they don’t like the verse or they don’t like the style, it’s [00:51:00] just too bad. And people wanted me to rewrite my songs. I’m like, Nope. I like it just the way it is.

[00:51:05] Andrea Sandefur: That’s such a healthy place to be, diana.

[00:51:07] Yep. And that’s good. I think I’m learning that there, it is so important for us as creatives, and this is a lesson I’m obviously still learning and I preach this to people, so I just need to preach it to my own heart, is God needs our individual pieces of art.

[00:51:25] In the world. He gave it to us for a reason. He doesn’t want it to be kept just for us kept to ourselves, So my hesitation to share I’m sure I was just listening to the lies of the enemy, just. And I it’s amazing how quickly those voices can flood in. And, the song, one of the parts of the chorus is that we would hear his voice basically this cry of this person longing to follow the Good Shepherd.

[00:51:53] The shepherd king, that we long to hear his voice and follow where he leads. I was having [00:52:00] a hard time doing that. Like I, I was literally holding on to this mastered beautiful song. And I was listening to the wrong voices about what to do with it. And that has been kind of convicting actually. So when I finally got on CD Baby and was like, I’m doing it.

[00:52:20] I’m gonna release this, I’m gonna have them produce it for, like, publish it for me. I’m gonna get CDs made so I can just hand them out to people’s gifts. I’m doing it. It took all I could do to press publish. It was so hard. But once I did, and once I laid out a plan for my release and my launch, it felt so good.

[00:52:41] It felt like there was a piece. And I, man, so I let’s talk about lessons we’re learning here. I think that’s probably the title of this episode, isn’t it? Lessons We’re Learning. Thank you. I won’t have to come up. There you go. Just help you out with that. It’s always the hurdle. What do I name this conversation?

[00:52:59] Man, The [00:53:00] voices we can let flood in and influence our decisions and what can hold us back. It’s really sad, but there’s such grace in that. Like, I trust now that when it releases, it’s gonna be the right time for whoever needs to hear it. And yeah. It’s an exciting process.

[00:53:18] Diana Winkler: I’ll tell you, and I’m not just

[00:53:20] saying this because we’re on the podcast and to flatter you unnecessarily. That’s not how I am. But honest, when I heard your song, and I’ve said to you that it was so tender and so calming, and you know what? The world needs more of that right now, so desperately. And your voice brings us into the throne of God.

[00:53:50] And you mention about Psalm 23, and I’ll say this because I like Psalm 23, but it has been done and [00:54:00] overdone, and it’s really hard to do Psalm 23 or a derivative and make it fresh. And alive like, Oh, I need to go read Psalm 23 again because Andrea made it come alive in a new way for me. And that’s what I heard.

[00:54:19] Andrea Sandefur: That’s awesome. Yeah. If I can point people back to the scriptures through any of my music, that is like, that’s the ultimate goal. Like anything that I ever sing or say, I hope it triggers somebody go, You know what? I think I’m gonna go spend time in that psalm again. Or like, one of my favorite songs I’ve written is out of the book of Isaiah, and that was a comment I got recently was I went back and read that whole chapter and it was just, it came alive.

[00:54:48] And I’m like, Oh, praise God. Yeah. It’s awesome. So, yeah. Thank you. It is very kind of you to say that and that’s I hope it does that for people. I really.

[00:54:59] Diana Winkler: [00:55:00] So, is there anything else you wanted to share with us? I know we were all over the place today, but. We were! It was fun. It was fun conversation and we learned some great lessons today.

[00:55:10] But is there anything that you wanna tell the listeners today before we listen to your beautiful song?

[00:55:15] Andrea Sandefur: Oh and I’m glad everybody gets to enjoy it after all my ramblings because this is a mess of a creative right here, people and I think that’s something I’m learning is we are so messy and it’s okay because.

[00:55:33] God is so not messy. And he’s the right person to follow inner mess. And that’s something one of my other friends helping her actually produce an audiobook right now. Her book is entitled, Mess to Majesty. And it’s so fitting because I feel like so often we can hesitate to bring our messes to the throne of God.

[00:55:56] We feel like we’ve gotta get cleaned up or we’ve gotta [00:56:00] have it all together. Heaven forbid we don’t enter a church because we don’t feel worthy. Hopefully we never ceased to pray because we don’t feel like we don’t have words. But I think I’m really thankful for the lessons I’ve learned this year that when I lack patience, God is an endless supply of patience.

[00:56:22] When I lack clarity, he has all the clarity in the world. He’s the only one who has the clarity. And when I lack grace towards other people or in different situations like on the phone with the state cuz they’re dragging their feet on things, stuff like that. Like to remember the grace that’s been extended to me.

[00:56:42] I’m really thankful for that perspective shift in my own life. Yeah. And that I’ve got this song as kind of an anthem to remind me. It’s feels like a really big gift.

[00:56:51] Diana Winkler: Amen. So remind the folks how they can get in touch with you, your website and such.

[00:56:58] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah. And [00:57:00] I’ll, because my last name is hard to spell, I’ll trust that you’ll link it all for everybody.

[00:57:04] Yes. But . Okay. So my website is andreasandefurmusic.com. And that’s probably the easiest way, especially as Shepherd King gets ready to release to kind of connect there. And I’ll try to have a pre-release page on there soon. And it’s got links to all my socials and stuff. But then I’m also a host of the Creatively Christian podcast.

[00:57:24] That’s really fun. I’m one of four hosts of that show. And we just get to talk to all sorts of people. And Diana’s been a guest there with us. She was one of my first episodes, actually of 2020 I believe it was. So, really fun over there on Creatively Christian and I get to talk to people all over the world, actually.

[00:57:45] It’s really fun. Yeah. And then if you are in the Alaska area and are looking to connect with the church or wanna hear any of our, the music that we’re producing at church, I attend Wasila Bible Church. And I think our website is wasilla [00:58:00] bible.org. That’s a fun connect. And Wasila is W A S I L A.

[00:58:05] It’s kind of weird, so. Wow. I think it was, So is the name of the native chief of the area when the city was first established. It’s really kind of a cool history here. Wow.

[00:58:15] We’ve recorded and released settings of all the Psalms up to, I think we’re up to 113 right now. We’ve sung all 150 of them, but are slowly going back and recording and releasing those. It’s a fun resource to share with churches. . And so, yeah. So that’s kind of some fun ways, all the things that I get to do and that God has called me to connect with people.

[00:58:37] It’s really fun. So yeah. Hope to chat with people. Yeah.

[00:58:41] Diana Winkler: That’s super amazing. And I now have transcripts on the podcast so, You all will be able to get everything in the show notes as well as our conversation on the transcript. So perfect . So thanks so much for [00:59:00] being on the show. It was great to see you.

[00:59:03] Andrea Sandefur: Yeah, good to reconnect.

[00:59:05] Diana Winkler: Yeah, absolutely. So without further delay here is Andrea Sandefur’s song Shepherd King.