Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Seems that the Lord Himself must do. I cannot, cannot even pray aright for you."

-Jim Elliot

"tears in a bottle and wounds that are sore
no one beside you to battle your war
but i cannot rescue
your heart from the empty
i must release you for I've given plenty."

Monday, November 27, 2006

"Be stunned and satisfied that we know God--and that he knows us."


(So...I've been trying for FOREVER to upload this update. I wrote it on the plane from tucson to philly on the 18th. I've been debating whether or not to post it after all...since it's working now. I decided to go ahead and do it. I haven't told a lot of you what it was like leaving the store, etc. so i thought you might be interested in hearing about it. I had a great thanksgiving in the UP and now I am spending three days in Hillsdale. It's wonderful seeing everyone again. I leave wednesday with Kristen and Jay to drive back to Philly. More updates to follow. with love! -Andrea)

My last night at work was really good. It was full of mixed emotions, that's for sure. I was telling Heather and Lina that I am ready to leave the store (I have no attachment to the corporation, that's for sure), but I am really sad to leave the people. Denise and Jim bought me a cake from the bakery...it said "Andrea we're going to miss you...good luck!" They also gave me a card that they had everyone sign. It was so special. I was in shock for a good while. I didn't expect them to send me off with so much love. It was a huge blessing. My two managers Naomi and Maria went together and got me a red fleece jacket "so I won't freeze to death!" I cried when I left. It was the weirdest feeling to walk out of the store knowing I will not be back in (as an employee). This morning on my way to the airport mom dropped me by the store so I could say goodbye to Anne Marie one more time. It was hard. She walked me out and we exchanged hugs and tears. I love her SO much. I can't even express it. She's so amazing.

It's crazy...this life. God has so much in store for us that we have NO idea about. He asks, "Andrea, trust me for this time. Let me take you to a new and exciting place." I say, "Please, Lord, make it quick. I don't want to work this job and I don't want to be home alone for this semester." Before I know it, it is all over. I look back and the time was rich...so full of blessings. Trusting God is such an adventure. When he puts me in these situations and I lean into Him, the reward is great. Thank you, Father.

I was telling mom this morning that I feel like I don't know where I belong on this earth. It's a hard reality for me to swallow sometimes but it's also a neat thing to be learning...this is not my home. I've experienced a lot of wonderful people and places...and I always have to say goodbye (at least for a time). I have a whole group of friends in California from a part of my life that is over (not that those friendships are over, I don't mean that at all). I have a whole group of friends (sort of a whole "life") in Hillsdale. I love them and I miss them. I look back with fond memories and strong emotions on that time. Now I have this life I'm leaving at Fry's. My relationships (at least some) will remain and grow, that's the beauty of being in relationship with others. I am about to step into a whole new life at Moody...new people, new places, new adventures in the Lord. It's amazing. Sometimes I feel lonely. That's probably a good thing because I'm afraid of earthly loneliness. God has shown me that this semester. He has also shown me that He is everything I need. And life in the will of God is better all the time. When I hear the Jonathan Edwards phrase, "Joy's Eternal Increase" this is sort of what I think. Even though his meaning was something different, I feel that life in the Lord is like joy eternally increasing. It's like Jim Elliot's "progressive joy." It's a wonderful gift.

Every once in a while I feel like my life kind of stops and I am in a spot where I can rest and reflect. I have a few weeks of that right now. In the middle of each new adventure is a wonderful "in-between" time...very daunting and sometimes downright terrifying. But always rich. Lot's of learning...lot's of surrendering...lot's of relying on the Spirit. Lord, take the glory in this life.

I am excited to see many of you again soon. This is another thing I love about building relationships....sometimes you say goodbye but then you get to say hello again :). Some might say it isn't worth it if you have to face the pain of saying goodbye. To that I say "bologna!" I will steel some of Lewis's brilliance and say "The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal." It is so worth it. I love meeting up with friends again...old ones, new ones, whatever!
I love people. I love that we reflect the image of God by our relational nature. I don't want to blab much more so I will just say this. Invest in people. Invest in people for the Kingdom of God. Trust Him to take you places that you are afraid to go...trust Him.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oh, Mr. Lewis!

I had forgotten, for a moment, how much I loved The Great Divorce....how much I appreciate lewis' brilliance.

"Overcome us that, so overcome, we may be ourselves:we desire the beginning of your reign as we desire dawn and dew, wetness at the birth of light."

"But what we called love down there was mostly the craving to be loved. In the main I loved you for my own sake: because I needed you."

"Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering, whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed."

"Every one of us lives only to journey further and further into the mountains."

"'No,' said the other. 'I can promise you none of these things. No sphere of usefulness: you are not needed there at all. No scope for your talents: only forgiveness for having perverted them. No atmosphere of inquiry, for I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers, and you shall see the face of God.'"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I feel like taking a long walk down a quiet country road. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately...it seems there is a whole lot to think about. Or maybe I'm just letting too many things overwhelm me. Sometimes I just need to stop thinking. That's where the walk comes in...long walks help clear my mind. At this particular point in time (12:41am) sleep is probably the best option. So...goodnight!


Why does EVERYONE think I am so hard to read??? And is that a bad thing?......because I'm beginning to think it is. Sigh. What on earth.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hanging my feet off the edge of the Grand Canyon...

It's the most amazing feeling. Overwhelming. Majestic. So full of glory. I am so small and creation is so big. God's creativity is incredible.

I just got back from the Grand Canyon yesterday. We left at 6 friday morning (Anne Marie, David, Jaydin, Jordan and I) and drove up through Sedona. We stopped at Oak Creek Canyon for an hour or so and just goofed around. It was beautiful. Lot's of the leaves had already fallen but a lot were still bright yellow. We got to the Canyon and set up camp at Mather Campground. It's a very nice spot...on the South Rim. It was COLD. We bundled and bundled. The low friday night was 14!! But I actually got HOT. I think because I had so many stinkin' layers on!! We played Mad Gab in the tent friday night. It was tons of fun. Anne Marie and I kicked the guys' butts. We rock at that game.

We didn't get a ton of sleep that night because Jaydin was fussy. He developed a bit of a bad cough. Poor guy. When we did wake up the next morning it was 9:30!! I have NEVER slept in that late on a camping trip. It didn't get dark until later in the morning, though, so that was part of it. The sun woke us up later :)

We spent Saturday seeing the visitor center, bookstore, and driving down the Desert View loop. We stopped at Grandview to hike. It was a very steep hike. Luckily we found a baby backpack for rent for only $6 a day! It was a great investment....2 yr olds don't like to stay still. Especially not on the edge of the Grand Canyon. It was cloudy all day saturday and pretty windy. I think the temp was right around 50. We went back to the campsite kinda early to build a big fire and warm up. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. YUM. I love roasting hot dogs over a fire. So good. It started to sprinkle a little bit later that night...not good. We went into the tent and played cards for a while but we ended up going to bed around 8:30. We woke up at 5 in order to get on the road by 6. Jordan had to get back for a wedding he was going to and I had to work at 5. Bleh. The drive back was fun also. I just love road trips so much! And that is such beautiful country up there. I loved driving across the wide open country of the reservation and then on through flagstaff. We stopped in Phoenix for In-N-Out on the way home. good food.

I was so bummed I had to work...especially since I guess I wasn't supposed to go on the trip with my manager....its a major no no and people aren't supposed to find out. I guess she could get in some trouble. I hope not. I requested those days off a month before with our head manager, Denise. AND I was thinking earlier about just quitting before the trip and not working this week...which would be ok because I wouldn't have been a fry's employee and it would have been no big deal that I hang out with the manager. But since I AM working this wee, it's this big drama. Sigh. I'm kind of upset about it all. Hopefully it won't make my last week a bad one.

Anyway. The trip was lots of fun. I love Anne Marie SO much. I am going to miss her like crazy.
Here are pictures...OH! I forgot to tell you. When we woke up Sunday morning, there was snow! Only on the table at our campsite but once we started driving out of the park we saw a lot more. On the higher parts of the canyon, the mountains were covered! SO BEAUTIFUL! I almost hit a family of Elk leaving the park. They were right in the middle of the road!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I feel very small

do you ever say or do something that you immediately regret moments after doing or saying? And then all you can think about is how much you wish you could go back in time and fix what you messed up?...heal what you hurt...mend what you broke...

I wanted to say it, or else I wouldn't have. But I felt sick after the whole idea left my head and went off my tongue. How could I be so stupid? So unthinking? So...sinful? We don't like to use that word much. That's probably why the situation is more painful. At certain times, sin seems very real and very close. This is one such time.

Being reminded of God's love is a good thing during a time like this. Realizing that He is teaching me to trust HIM alone by FAITH alone through GRACE alone is also a pretty amazing thing. It's really hard, though, not to focus on the negative--how stupid I am--and to instead focus on the good--how great God is and what work He is doing in me and through me.

I was leafing through some old books tonight and came across this verse. It is a comfort. "Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgement for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication." Micah 7:8-9

I am really tired. Good night, all. I will be seeing many of you soon! I am so excited. Is it bad that I wish this week were over before it has even begun? Sigh.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Two Weeks From Today...

I'LL BE IN MICHIGAN! And I'll get to see my Sarah!!! I am so excited. I fly to Philly Saturday and then Sunday we drive up to Detroit, where Sarah is going to pick me up! I'll go back to her school with her (she has a single with an extra bed!) until Wednesday...when we road trip up NORTH. woohoo. I can hardly contain my excitement :) Yesterday was my last saturday at work. It was a huge relief but felt sort of strange. I keep thinking I'm going to keep working when I come back from my trip. I wish today was my last Sunday. I really dislike working on Sunday. Yuck. It's too busy and everyone is stressed out or grumpy and impatient. Can I just say that I am SO glad I won't be working here during the holidays. Oh man. ALL of you, please be nice to your cashiers!

Next Friday and Saturday is the Grand Canyon trip. I got both days off! Actually, Anne Marie got me both days off...she's good at arranging those sorts of things :) It's going to be so fun!

I have my voters guide and booklet I'm going through. I went through one the other night and still have all the propositions to read through. It's rather overwhelming. I'm excited to vote, though. I'm excited to be learning things about the whole system and truly determine HOW I want to vote. But the more I try to learn and understand the more I realize how little I actually do know and understand.

I am so tired. I had a wonderful 2+ hour phone talk with hallie last night. It was wonderful. We laughed a lot, that's always a whole lot of fun :) I think I am going to take a nap before work. Hmmm....sounds nice. Talk to you all later (or SEE you soon).

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Letter-head makes it very official...

That's right. I received my "official" letter of acceptance to Moody today. "Dear Andrea, We're delighted to inform your that your application for enrollment at Moody Bible Institute has been approved for the spring semester of 2007."


I am so excited. I am quite nervous. So much change is about to happen. Wow. Can you believe I'm here? God has brought me to such an exciting place. I find myself needing to lean into Him a lot...because it's sort of a strange place of vulnerability. Anyhow, I wanted to share the news :)

Thank you for walking beside me and being excited with me.

Yep, that Kid

I'm the kid who ran away with the circus
Now I'm watering elephants
But I sometimes lie awake in the sawdust
Dreaming I'm in a suit of light

Late at night in the empty big top
I'm all alone on the high wire
Ladies and gentlemen, there is no net this time
He's a real death defier

I'm the kid who always looked out the window
Failing the tests in geography
But I have seen things far beyond just this schoolyard
Distant shores of exotic lands

There's the spires of the Turkish empire
Six months since we made landfall
Riding low with the spices of India
Through Gibralter, we're rich men all

I'm the kid who thought we'd someday be lovers
Always held out that time would tell
Time was talking
Guess I just wasn't listening
No surprise, if you know me well

As we're walking down toward the train station
I hear a whispering rainfall
Across the boulevard, you slip your hand in mine
In the distance the train's last call

I'm the kid who has this habit of dreaming
That sometimes gets me in trouble too
But the truth is
I could no more stop dreaming
Than I could make them all come true

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

For Halloween I was a Farmer

I thought my "costume" was obvious....but a lot of people said "what are you supposed to be." Dumb. Hardly anyone dressed up. My manager Naomi did, and Anne Marie did. She was a dark sorceress/vampire. She wore her old prom dress (dark black flowers over red), a long black cape, and fang-like teeth. This other guy, john, was superman. His costume was amazing. He was the clark kent with the superman shirt underneath. It was really cool. anyway. I rather enjoyed NOT wearing my uniform for once.

It was cool to see some of the costumes that people came in with....and there were some that I could have gone forever without seeing. As Anne Marie says, "Halloween is just a holiday for girls to get away with dressing like whores."

At one point, these girls came in--one the little mermaid and one alice in wonderland. The alice in wonderland girl had one a SHORT dress that bounced up when she walked and it was just so ridiculous. Well, this new bagger, Joseph (He's Old...like really old. Maybe 40s) watched them from right when they came in until they got to the bathroom. Then he turned to me and karen (the only cashiers at the time) and said "Well, she can walk into my Wonderland anytime she wants." I wanted to throw up. Sicko. Now I feel even more uncomfortable around him....YUCK! It's true, though, halloween must be hard for the guys. There is so much sleaze.

We had another burrito night last night. It was fun. I didn't get home till 2 something am and i slept until 11:25!!! I'm crazy...

It is November 1st. We go to the Grand Canyon in 10 days. woohoo! I'm super excited. I go to Philly in 18 days!