Sunday, July 30, 2006

Focus, Where are You?

I have been so distracted lately! Ugh. It's frustrating! My mind is always racing with thoughts and ideas regarding my's so exhausting and is definitely distracting my heart and mind from the duties I face now.

I feel really weak. I have no idea what my life is going to look like in two months. I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing. I have been trying too hard to figure it all out and find the answers. It's fairly obvious I'm not supposed to know the answers right now. God is asking me to wait and it is really very difficult. I feel very lonely...I miss hillsdale friends so much and I won't be going back to school with them in the fall. weird. I miss Kristen and Jay a ton...but it doesn't look like I'll be able to live with them in Philly--at least not for very long at all. I switch from feeling sad to feeling frustrating to feeling alone to feeling angry. God take this weak heart and make it strong! Man....I just don't know. I have no idea what's going on. I'm definitely in the middle of something. I want to use my time wisely but I really need to work on my attitude and outlook first. I have to claim THIS time NOW. I've gotten so wrapped up in the human, temporal perspective of things. It's killing me! I feel like I am dying inside sometimes because i am not focused on the eternal and lasting. These are just my honest thoughts and feelings. I'm really struggling right now. That's the truth. I know God is near...I ask Him to wake me up because I feel so asleep or drugged or I'm living life in a daze. It's an awful feeling. Part of it is that I have just been so tired lately. I've been working late and getting up early...things always look worse when your tired. And I'm really tired right now.

Please pray that I would turn and focus my energy on the Lord and not on myself and my own worries and insecurities. Also, if I'm here all this semester, please pray that God would open up doors and opportunities here for me to serve Him and be involved. And that He would fill me with the discipline, obedience, energy, and drive to follow Him and pursue Him in everything I do--even the mundane work of each day. Thanks!

P.S. I listened to King and a Kingdom (Derek Webb) and read the lyrics again today. It's a powerful song. Here, read it. And then think about it. I am. There's a lot to think about. And then there's the job of doing. Hmmm. Here you go:

who's your brother, who's your sister
you just walked passed him
i think you missed her
as we're all migrating to the place where our father lives
'cause we married in to a family of immigrants
my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
it's to a king & a kingdom

there are two great lies that i’ve heard:
“the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him

but nothing unifies like a common enemy
and we’ve got one, sure as hell
but he may be living in your house
he may be raising up your kids
he may be sleeping with your wife
oh no, he may not look like you think

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hallie is Gone...

We drove up to Phoenix this morning and I dropped her off at the airport. It was sad. But such a wonderful visit. I LOVED having her here. It was just so normal and natural to be living together again! It felt good....I miss having her so close to talk to and share thoughts with. It's different talking on the phone. Still good, just different. It is nice spending time in person. We had so many wonderful talks and did so many things! I am rather exhausted.
Here's a song I've been thinking about today. With all this driving I've been doing I have been able to listen to lots of good music :) I've been listening to quite a bit of Caedmon's Call lately. It's nice. I like them lots. There old stuff at least....Anyhow, this song is so wonderful....and thought-provoking.

There's tarnish on the golden rule
And I wanna jump from this ship of fools
Show me a place where hope is young
And a people who aren't afraid to love

This world has nothing for me and this world has everything
All that I could want and nothing that I need

This world is making me drunk on the spirits of fear.
So when he says who will go, I am nowhere near.

And the least of these look like criminals to me
So I leave Christ on the street

This world has held my hand and has led me into intolerance
But now I'm waking up, but now I'm breaking up
But now I'm making up for lost time

I have been struggling a lot lately with the prospect of this fall. I have been having a very bad attitude--frustrated, hurt, upset--all very selfish. I need to spend time re-focusing and in prayer. I don't want to waste time. I want to seek the Lord's council and search His will. Sometimes I am afraid to see what it might be--to see WHAT He has in store for me. I know this is going to be a semester full of challenges...and growth. I want to take a few days here to think about what God is teaching me and where He might be leading He might use this semester for me to apply things He has taught me recently, so that I might stand more firmly in the truths He is revealing to me. Who knows, but its a thought. I believe He is asking me to be patient and silent right now. It is SO HARD. ugh. sooo hard.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate your encouragement and dedication. Please pray I would be receptive AND obedient to all God reveals to me. I want to listen AND do, not just one or the other. Thank you!

Friday, July 21, 2006


She's here! The drive from Phoenix yesterday was WONDERFUL. It was an amazing time of fellowship and catching up. I love Hallie!!

We stayed up until 1am (4 her time) talking, laughing, sharing memories, looking to the future. It was wonderful. Hallie woke up at 6:50am our time. I was still exhausted so I slept for a few more hours while she read. We stayed in our PJ's till noon talking some more...then I went to work. After work we (hallie and my family) went out for Mexican (YUM) then over to Kyle Baril's for a bit. We talked about Grand Canyon plans...looks like Monday!! up and back in ONE day. Woohoo for ten hours in the car! I'm really excited. I love road trips :)

Tomorrow we're going to Mexico...Nogales! i can't wait. I work tomorrow night, sat. night and sun. night. But the hugest blessing happened today! It is such a God thing....I have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off next week! Apparently people really needed money and requested all the shifts. Since I'm new, I get the left-overs. In this case, there were none! I am SO glad! I get to spend more time with HALLIE. God is so good. Sigh. What a blessing!

I am exhausted. She's asleep right now...poor thing crashed. The time change caught up with her. I can't believe she is here with me. Today at work I kept getting so excited whenever i realized I would see HALLIE after I got off work. It makes me smile a lot. It is such a gift to be reunited again! At the airport we both just about started stopped with watery eyes and shaky voices. Haha. It's so good to see each other again!!

Anyway. I am SO tired....shaky, actually. And we're leaving early tomorrow. Goodnight to all!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I woke up this morning REALLY sad. I must have had a bad dream but I can't remember any....I did dream that they changed my shift at work on Sat from a night shift to a 9 hr all day shift. But that's not true and not reason enough for me to feel sad like this. It's SO weird. Huh.

I drive up to Phoenix tomorrow to PICK UP HALLIE FROM THE AIRPORT. Sigh. Oh so exciting. I can hardly wait. oh man oh man.

So I decided a summer hobby needs to be cooking! I bought this amazing Asian cuisine cookbook. It's a lot of fun. I even went to a couple asian markets yesterday to track down some ingredients. It was so fun! I was the only non-asian in both stores...except for one old couple at one of the stores. It was so neat. I loved looking at all the different things. Anyway. Allie and I made Sichuan Chicken for my family last night. It was super good. Then we made raspberry scones for dessert. YUM!! Cooking and baking is so much fun. I'm excited to do more!

Today I need to clean in preparation for my roommate's arrival!! woohoo.

PS Last night I read my old journal from last year. It's weird to see what I wrote during certain times--my first week, christmas break, first thoughts of transferring, friend issues, leaving...sigh. It's crazy...but really neat to look and see what God has done and how He is using those circumstances still (or similar ones) to teach me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

"She Rides The Eye of The Hurricane..."

It is 1:05 am. I got off work at 12:15. bleh. It was a yucky night. I feel like so much went wrong. I don't know what came over em! ugh. One of those nights that leave me feeling very discouraged...and wanting to be somewhere else. I don't want to think this way. I want to claim this time and this job for the Lord. But sometimes its really hard. Some days I just don't want to be doing this. But it isn't about what I want. That's what I'm learning...and it hurts. I might want to be at a different job--but God wants me at Fry's right now. I might want to be going to school in the fall--but God wants me to wait until the spring. Sometimes I feel really lonely. It's hard to surrender my life to the Lord daily--moment by moment, really. He's really working on this heart of mine...and taking me to a place of realization--that HE is my ALL. So that no matter where I am and no matter what circumstances I find myself in, I can be at peace in Him.

I'm listening to David Wilcox (sing:eye of the hurricane). It's nice. I love this song. I don't work tomorrow. I'm glad I'm not working but I tried to pick up a shift in order to drop one later in the week when Hallie is here. It didn't work out. That's another reason why I was so discouraged after tonight. Sigh. I should probably sleep. Everything looks worse when you're tired.

I have thoughts I want to share about Church today...but I'm too tired. Perhaps I will post again tomorrow. I love you guys.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I Love Rain

I love how clean the air is afterwards...I love that the desert actually looks green because the dust washes off the plants...I love the calming effect of watching the rain fall and run down the windows!...I love the big clouds...I love that it goes form 105 to 85 in a matter of minutes...I LOVE it! I want to take a walk in the rain. Next time I think I will. The only problem is, it usually rains right before work or when I'm at work. So the timing for a walk will be a little tricky.

So. I've been working quite a bit. Every night. I've gotten two paychecks so far: one for $200 and one for $240. My next few should be about $250...or more because they're increasing the length of my shifts. Not bad. I'm pleased for this opportunity to ear some money..even if the environment is not ideal.

I have been in such a contemplative mood for the past few days. It's kinda nice. As I think, there are a few songs that I put on repeat :) Here they are. I recommend listening to them.

I Want You To Be My Love-Over the Rhine
Nashville-David Mead
Indiana-David Mead
Now We Are Free-Gladiator
Deeper Still-David Wilcox
Any David Wilcox (He's good thinking music)

Sigh. What good songs...

My dad got home from Mexico last night. yay! It's good to have him home. He wants to plan a backpacking trip for this fall. Just the two of us. Probably Mt Humphrey or something. We'll see. It would be lots of fun, I just have to see what happens with this crazy life of mine...and if I'm in tucson or philadelphia. Sigh. I don't know HOW I'm going to make this decision. Help.

I'm excited about working at a camp next summer. SO excited. It's going to be such a neat experience. I wonder when I need to work on that application and get it in. Hmmm.

I'm reading The Soul of Politics by Jim Wallis and Anthem by Ayn Rand. I'm farther into The Soul of Politics. I like it a lot. I have been really tired lately, though, and so its hard to focus when I read. I usually fall asleep on the couch. I can't seem to catch up on sleep! I'm sleeping soundly, just not long enough. I'm really sore, too. From lifting all those bags of groceries and cases of water and soda. I'm getting muscle! I'm pleased :)

Hallie comes in FOUR days. I can't believe it. Aaaah. I am SO SO SO excited. AND I have wednesday off so I can pick her up in Phoenix and spend the whole first day with her. WOOHOO!

I think that's all. I need to get out of my PJ's and start my day. Luke and I might play racquetball! :) That and he is also going to teach me how to change the oil in my car. This day is going to be full of new things! haha. I love you guys!


Oh...and pictures of the rain:

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Martin Luther King Jr.

"Throw us in jail and we will still love you. Bomb our houses and threaten our children and we will still love you. Beat us and leave us half dead and we will still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. one day we shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory."
(from "The American Dream")

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lord of Eternity

by Fernando Ortega

"Blessed is the man
Who walks in your favor
Who loves all your words
And hides them like treasure.
In the darkest place
Of his desperate heart,
They are a light
A strong, sure light.

Sometimes I call out your name,
But I cannot find you.
I look for your face,
But you are not there.
By my sorrows, Lord,
Lift me to you,
Lift me up to your side.

Lord of eternity,
Father of mercy,
Look on my fainting soul.
Keeper of all the stars,
Friend of the poorest heart
Touch me and make me whole.

If you are my defender,
Who is against me?
No one can trouble or harm me
If you are my strength
All I ask, all I desire
Is to live in your house all my days."

Monday, July 10, 2006

It Is Well With My Soul

Where can I find strength when I am so weak? Where can I find hope when I feel despair? When I am afraid, where can I find comfort?

Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

I've been thinking about this. What does it mean "God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever?" It isn't too hard to understand what it means for God to be my strength. It's that word "portion" that gets me. So I looked it up...and it sort of has a two-fold meaning. First of all, it means an amount (of food or whatever) suitable for one person. I think this is really neat. God is all of the amount suitable FOR ME (and for everyone). He is, to each child, what he needs--what is suitable for him and satisfies his own unique needs/desires. Secondly, it means ones future or lot. God IS my future. How amazing!

God is my STRENGTH when I am weak...because He is my portion.
God is my HOPE when I feel despair...because He is my future.
God is my COMFORT when I am afraid...because He is my portion now and will be forever, because He is also my future.

As I was driving today I put in an old tape. Because my car doesn't have a cd player and won't read the tape converters, I must settle for muffled old tapes that have sat in the 100 degree weather for far too long and are nearly melted. Oh well. So I put in this old tape of hymns. The second song that played was It Is Well With My Soul. It is such a wonderful hymn. I love it. So I got the lyrics out when I got home and had to share them with YOU! Plus, they tie into this whole network of thoughts I have been having. The words of this hymn are the result of an author who read Psalm 73:26 and really truly believed it. God is his strength and God is his portion...forever. That's why it is well with his soul.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Where is God taking you, Andrea? What is He doing in your life?"

I am not very often straight out asked this question. However, I thank Allie for doing it. It is incredibly refreshing and causes me to stop and look at my life--the path I'm on and where it is taking me. So much is clouded in mystery. So much is ways I didn't expect AT ALL a year ago. My "road" has taken so many interesting and "unexpected" turns. It's sort of neat because, after all, this IS an adventure. The mystery adds excitement but also a bit of unease. Where AM I going? Where IS God taking me? Who knows. I have to trust.

I don't think I have ever really felt like this before. It is so hard to explain. This is such a strange time in my life. I struggle a lot with my human emotions. I find myself battling sinful drives of my flesh and taming desires of my weak heart. I have so many longings...and I have looked to the world to fill them. What a waste! They are not satisfied. I guess you could say I am learning how to give Jesus my heart and all my longings. It's so hard sometimes!! It's definitely a process....and perhaps this "unsettled" feeling is just what I need to find complete "settled-ness" in Him.

"Be still and know that He is God"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Disappear (by Bebo)

On a day like this I want to crawl beneath a rock
A million miles from the world, the noise, the commotion
That never seems to stop

And on a day like this I want to run away from the routine
Run away from the daily grind that can suck the life
Right out of me
I know of only one place I can run to

I want to hide in You
The Way, the Life, the Truth
So I can disappear
And love is all there is to see
Coming out of me
And You become clear
As I disappear

I don't want to care about earthly things
Be caught up in all the lies that trick my eyes
They say it's all about me
I'm so tired of it being about me¦

I would rather be cast away
Separated from the human race
If I don't bring You glory
If I don't bring You glory
If I don't bring You glory

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"By this time next year I won't be here..."

I'm looking out the window and listening to Come Downstairs and Say Hello. It's nice.

I feel sad. For one thing, I don't really want to go back into work after the disasters of yesterday. Sigh. Secondly, I got my letter from Moody yesterday and I didn't get in for the fall. They don't have room. So I will go in the spring. It's strange...before I got the letter I was (or so i thought) fine with whatever it might say. But when I got it yesterday I was really sad and disappointed. I really wanted to go and be in school and get settled again. I think it's going to be extremely hard now to watch all my friends go back to school when i'm not--especially when I won't be able to be with them for a new year. It makes me sad. I'm learning to trust the Lord but sometimes its hard. I feel a little frightened and unsettled about what the future looks like--mystery. Please pray for me.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Wisdom of Ecclesiastes Confronts My Weak Heart

Tomorrow is my first day of work. It's a 5 hour shift--not too bad. However, it is during rush hour and it is also the day before the fourth. This will most likely mean two things: impatient customers on their way home from work and lots of people buying alcohol (which means I'll be carding). Did I already tell you all that I carded two people on Friday? I did. And another of the cashiers in training had to turn someone away for having a fake ID. The lamination was pealing up (that doesn't happen to normal licenses...nice try, buddy). All I have to say is, if youngsters try to get by me because I am donning a beautiful yellow name tag that says "I'm new at Fry's, thank you for your patience" they can think again! Andrea will show no mercy! Haha. Oh man. Sigh.

Today's sermon was really good. It was about Ecclesiastes--and very relevant to me right now. It actually really made me want to do a study on the book. I will share a few verses that especially stood out to me.

Ecclesiastes 3:12,13: "I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil--this is God's gift to man"
-Brian talked about how the "drudgery things" of life are gifts from God. As we trust Him and walk in faith, we take pleasure in all He calls us to do on earth.

Ecclesiastes 3:11: "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."
-I can't see what is in God's mind and plan...but I can trust Him because He is good and He makes each experience of my life beautiful in its own time.

I've been reading the Great Divorce (by Lewis). It is such a brilliantly written book. It has been a conviction to me--about how I view eternity. Here's a quote I like and have been thinking about quite a lot:

"...yes cannot in your present state understand eternity: when Anodos looked through the door of the Timeless he brought no message back. But ye can get some likeness of it if ye say that both good and evil, when they are full grown, become retrospective. Not only this valley but all their earthly past will have been Heaven to those who are saved. Not only the twilight in that town, but all their life on Earth too, will then be seen by the damned to have been Hell. That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, 'No future bliss can make up for it,' not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory....the Blessed will say 'We never lived anywhere except in heaven,' and the Lost, "We were always in Hell.'"

So...the thoughts that I have after hearing and reading all of these things: do everything to the glory of God. Live in, love, and enjoy the little bits of Heaven on earth--Christ in the world. Enjoy Him. Enjoy Him in everything. It's a gift. He makes everything beautiful in its own time.

Sometimes I make life so hard for myself, instead of focusing on loving and enjoying my Savior and all the gifts He gives. Please, Lord, may I be less distracted! Less "easily pleased."

I have been reading bits and pieces of Valley of Vision (a wonderful collection of puritan prayers). The first prayer ("Valley of Vision") is so beautiful. I would like to share it with you:

"Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley."

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Just Been Thinkin'...

I want to go to an ice hockey game...and then someday I want to play ice hockey--just for fun.

Thank you all for your encouragement about my job, etc. Originally they were going to have me work tomorrow (sunday) as my first day. I went in today, though, and I have tomorrow off! Then I work monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, and saturday. Wow. 30 hours. I'm pretty nervous. I would appreciate your prayers. I am not good at laying my anxieties down before the Lord and casting my cares on Him. I don't want them, but I am having such a hard time surrendering my frustrations, fears, and worries. Please pray with me. Thank you all. You are a gift and a blessing. And thank you for keeping me accountable and helping me keep things in perspectives. I love you!