Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm going!!! wooohoo

Melissa, Zach, Mariah, Sarah, and I are taking Mel's car to Minneapolis in September for the Piper conference!!! I'm super excited. accck! It's going to be so good. Conference title this year: "The Power of Words and the Wonder of God." The conference trailer is great, too, you should watch it HERE.

Alright, that's my exciting news. I'm enjoying my day off: cleaning, doing laundry, making lumenarias, making a few phone calls, napping, coffee, running errands (maternity stuff for the sista!), etc.

I really should work on my independent study class for Moody, too. yikes.

Happy Monday all! Hope the start of the week is a good one :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

sib date and other random updates

I am officially fried. I didn't put sunscreen on, thinking we'd be in the shade (it was morning) as during all other climbs. Not so...and it was the hottest of our climbs yet. bahg! I got super burned. My back is, as we speak, smothered in aloe vera gell trying to cool off. ouch. but it was lots of fun. I mastered my first 5.7. The 5.8's are kicking my butt. I made it halfway up again but couldn't do it. My arms have already been sore from work (carring heavy trays, etc.) and were super shaky. It was funny but frustrating because I couldn't hang on.I slipped and fell but Luke caught me. and i made it up! The view was spectacular. And, as Luke says, the burning feeling after the fact is worth it. I agree. I have always liked that feeling. But ON the rock, its rather frightening.

Some random women got out of their car and were taking pictures of us. It was mildly creepy. Who wants random pictures of some girl climbing a rock-face? Luke said it was because I was "sweet ass" which made me laugh a lot.

I love spending time with him.

he's amazing. He climbed the 5.10 like a little spider--right up and over the large over-hang. crazy.

tomorrow i have the day off. I'll be making lumenarias for the farmer's market on saturday.

oh! My second shift at work was cancelled yesterday. Nice. So I went on a viva burrito run with anne marie and jordan at midnight...for old times' sake :) It was a blast. We hung out until 2am. yeah, I never stay up that late anymore. But it was well worth it. I've missed hanging out with them!

alright. i'm super sleepy. I think I'm going to go crawl into bed with a good book. I am currently reading "Old Men at Midnight" by Chaim Potok as well as "The Four Loves" by CS Lewis.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

do you think there's power in standing before the throne on another's behalf? Pleading for the freedom, joy, and grace that comes when a heart is so awakened to the Lord?

I pray so. O God, do I pray so.

A song called "Living Darfur." I really really like this song...

See the nation through the people's eyes,
See tears that flow like rivers from the skies.
Where it seems there are only borderlines
Where others turn and sigh,
You shall rise

There's disaster in your past
Boundaries in your path
What do you desire will lift you higher?
You don't have to be extraordinary, just forgiving.
And those who never heard your cries,
You shall rise
And look toward the skies.
Where others fail, you prevail in time.
You shall rise.

Awu indoda yam
hayi lapho olelekhona
Hayi indoda yam
Ubaba wabantwabami

Mina lezingane zami sisohlala sikhumbula
mina lezingane zami sisoshlala sikhumbula

(You may never know,
If you lay low, lay low)
You shall rise

Sooner or later we must try... Living
(You may never know,
If you lay low, lay low)

See the nation through the people's eyes,
See tears that flow like rivers from the skies.
Where it seems there are only borderlines
Where others turn and sigh,
You shall rise

(You may never know,
If you lay low, lay low)

Sooner or later we must try... Living

Friday, June 27, 2008

tired eyes

11 straight hours on my feet tonight=exhausted. have to go in to work again at 5:30am tomorrow sleeeepy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

digging in the mud; delighting in the Lord

"for my people have done two evil things: they have abandoned me--the fountain of Living Water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!" Jeremiah 2:13

what a trade, huh? terrible compromise. Read this verse this morning and was thinking about the Gospel story. Free grace to us; repentance and obedience; justified sin; joy forevermore...

i have moments when I feel like i cannot rightly explain or express the gospel story. I can't tell if it is because I don't rightly understand my sin at that moment or if it is because grace is still so profound a mystery. There will always be mystery in the salvation story. sometimes i think i try to demand the mystery out in order to have a good plan of salvation to share with others....

i long for ears to hear and eyes to see the Gospel proclamation aright: the deep mystery and the glorious revelation. i pray to understand sin better so to understand grace deeper. Perhaps it isn't even an understanding I desire but an even deeper love and appreciation.

Teach us to drink deeply of you, our Fount! May we find ourselves delighted to be complete and whole in you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

writing our leaders

some people think it's pointless...useless...i used to be one of them. I'm not anymore. I think it's important. I really do...It at least keeps YOU engaged and articulate about concerns, etc., you have regarding our state, our nation, our world.

to the typewriters!!

ok...just the computers, i guess. Typewriters just sounded way cooler :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

possessed of sacred discontent

"Be discontented with the world. But be respectful at the same time." -Davita's Harp (by Chaim Potok)

Easily among my top 3 favorite books. Phenomenal.

You know that feeling of awe-filled "let-down" when you finish a book that has wrapped itself entirely around you? Yep, that's how I feel. I loved this book.


I remember being "hit" pretty hard with the reality of a broken Zimbabwe while in Africa. We spent a few days in good intercession for the country, cementing even further a desire to see justice reign. Since then, I've been following the situation--sometimes more religiously than others.

Since the elections in March, the country has continued to see political unrest, violence, and coercion by powerful leaders. China tried to send a shipment of arms into the country via SA (denied) and Moz. (denied). Ridiculous. With violence and tension growing, the run-off elections were going to be held this coming Friday. However, yesterday I read that the opposition (to Mugabe), Tsvangarai, backed out. He didn't want to run in an election whose outcome would be determined by Mugabe himself, as violence, bribery, and oppression break out against all that oppose him. Zim officials have said the run-off will still go ahead...

Yes, we must continue to pray that Justice would reign down. We must seek the Lord's will--how would you have us pray, Father? Would hardened hearts soften towards righteousness, truth, and beauty!!

The BBC has several articles online if you're interested in reading further. These are just my own thoughts and reflections. See more HERE.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

a few old ones

i came across a few pics from mozambique (DTS outreach) through a friends blog--a nurse from the states who now lives and works in SA and Moz.
I miss these days...

It's a jungle out there

our back patio is out of control. around our house in general is turning into a zoo. I can't decide why, either, since it seems like the heat would keep the animals inactive. Or, perhaps its the "puddle" out front and the greenery that beckons them. For whatever reason, they're here.

a big black snake above the front door several days ago, curled up in what was previously a dove's nest. feathers scattered on the walkway beneath. creepers.

a quail couple that now have ten WEE little ones running around in the back patio. They had them inside the walls and now can't get them out, they are too small to fly over the wall. hahe. they are THE CUTEST things ever. I've never seen such tiny birds. they are a beautiful family.

second favorite to the quail family is little mr. chipmunk/ground squirrel. He's adorable. I walked into the dining room yesterday to find him just on the other side of the sliding door window pain with little paws (do they have paws?) propped on the sill looking in. I threw some walnuts out to him and he came back today to gobble them up! He lays out there with all fours spread out, flat against the concrete. I think that's the coolest position. It looks hysterical.

Then there's the baby cactus wren flying about. Mom say him this morning with a lizard kicking in his beak! She called to me but he flew off before I could see it.

My LEAST FAVORITE (hmm. but the snake was pretty creepy) are the ants!! grrr. because they come inside. and they get all over everything. and these little black ones BITE. i really really do not appreciate them. I first discovered them at 4 in the morning on tuesday. something was stinging on my feet and when I flipped on the light i saw that the floor was moving with them and they were crawling up my legs!! UG! I get the dust buster out every half hour or so and suck their trail up. I spray them. They come back. again. and again. mom finally put ant poison traps out. hopefully they start working soon.

i think that's all the exciting news. nutso, huh? There was also a road runner on our patio furniture yesterday. haha. pretty birds.

I'm almost halfway through my "new" book: Davita's Harp by Chaim Potok. I haven't read Potok since high school. I remember why loved him so much. Brilliant storyteller. I love the books. It might be on of my favorites of his, next to My Name is Asher Lev. But this one's about a girl, Ilana Davita, and she reminds me of lots of ways. So it makes for even more intriguing reading :)

I got hours at work on Saturday! There are two memorial services and we are preparing the banquets/buffets for each. Hopefully I'll be able to go rock climbing with Luke on Sunday.

Oh. Mom and I watched Kite Runner. It's a wonderful movie. It's heartbreaking. But powerful. Anyway, I recommend it.

I'm off to read or clean or something. Happy Thursday to you all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

pray for Somalia

Here's a BBC Article: Crisis in Somalia.
The situation is worsening every day. Oh Lord, we pray your presence in and over...

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Power and the Glory

I finished my second Graham Greene novel. A masterpiece. He's a phenomenal storyteller and writer.

I went to Bookman's yesterday and bought two more of his books: The Man Within and The Heart of the Matter. I look forward to reading them :) His books are so honestly human and richly spiritual. READ them!!

Right now I am still making my way through A Long Way Gone and now, I suppose, I shall start on another novel. I love days when a book is finished and I get to pick up a new one! Ah, the choices!! hurray for summer.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


new favorite movie: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.


(heads up: there is nudity)

weary of earth, myself, and sin

Red Mountain Church has a song titled "weary of earth, myself, and sin." It kind of sums me up right now. I feel exhausted. So drained. sigh...

I'm having such a hard time "sitting still" and its starting to drive me crazy. Why do I struggle so to rest in the will of the Lord?

Sometimes I feel like my passions are too strong; my desires too big. I don't know...

Friday, June 13, 2008

One Year

One year ago this week DTS started. Wow. it feels so long far away.

I was reading my Africa journal today and one entry in particular grabbed me. It was one I wrote during my last week there. I didn't realize until right now that I wrote it exactly 7 months ago today--on Nov. 13, 2007. Funny how my heart should hurt and ache so much hurts so bad. There are moments when it is almost unbearable. My breath is caught and I feel like I'm gasping. When will I go back? I miss those faces...I miss being in their lives--WITH them. I know there's a whole load of stuff God is teaching me trust, patience, etc., but its freaking hard sometimes. Sigh.

Here's the entry:

"I mind myself in these sweet moments when I feel like I must do everything in my power to remember it--remember myself IN this moment...and remember all I am thinking and feeling right now. I think its sort of a desparate attempt at the impossible. There really is no way for me to "bottle" this moment. Even if I could, the experience of it later wouldn't be true, it will only be a memory. So, here I am, caught up in this beautiful moment--fully enjoying the wonder of this place as I sit on the back balcony and look out over the green hills. The singing hills :) The breeze is perfect and refreshing. It is gentle. It is almost whispering something to me...goodbye? It's hard to believe I say goodbye to Africa on Saturday.

I've been so wrapped up thinking about saying "hello" to America that I forgot about saying goodbye. Not only to the people I love but to a country and a continent I love. It's so rich and beautiful a place.

It's peach season in Swaziland. I bought a bag in town today for 5 rand from a Gogo at teh Kombi rink. it was another of those moments--as I was buying them from her I could totally picture myself living here (some place in Africa) and buying from a fruit market for home. I felt excited and completely confident in my ability to live here...It was a thrilling experience. A foretaste of a future time? Haha, who knows! Only the Lord knows. I thank you for that, Father. Thank you that someday you will bring me back. Until then, help me preserve these incredible memories.

Had a wonderful time chatting and laughing with Phondie and Gladness this afternoon. We sat around in the living room, completely layed-back and relazed--fully enjoying one anothers company. It was a "time I will treasure" like so many others. Thank you again, Father, for these people and this place. I am so grateful You brought me here."


Even in the midst of intense frustration, sadness, and heartache. He is enough. Wow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

saying goodbbye to the house is hard!

So...we are leaving tucson. The house is in disarray as we patch, mend, and modify! Sad. I've been packing up boxes of stuff, taking things off my walls, etc. It's kind of a sad process. I love our house. Hm.

Work is going well. Here' s a picture of me in uniform--its a little hard to see. But I promised Melissa she would get to see what I look like...kind of boy-ish kind of penguin-ish. haha.

I GOT MY CLIMBING SHOES TODAY!! finally. It took a while because the first pair were way too small. I have a few days off this week so Luke and I are planning on going up the mountain either Friday or Sunday. fun!

Hm. What else. Not much is new...same old stuff. Living and learning :) Luke's waiting for me to go slacklining so I have to run...enjoy some pictures!

Monday, June 09, 2008

auntie andrea

I can't believe I'm going to be an aunt. sigh. this is so ridiculously exciting. today mom and I went shopping for several "pregnancy helps" for Kristen. It was fun. It sort of made me wish I was pregnant. haha. not entirely, though.

somedays I feel so very old. 1/2 way to 22. doesn't that seem old? It feels old. Maybe because when I was little 20 seemed ancient...or, at least, an age that represented the "big things" (i.e. marriage, kids, etc). Don't get me wrong, I'm glad i'm not married with kids. However, sometimes i think "when???!" Sigh.

work is going well, for the most part. There's still lots of anxiety about "going in" to work but I'll get over it. The co-workers are really nice. The bartender is one of my favorites. He's not exactly a co-worker (i don't see him that often) though he is my go-to-guy for drinks, etc. (everything from orange juice to gin, he's my man!). He's super friendly--a very "suave" young man. He helps lighten the mood surrounding the sometimes all too obvious truth that yes, I am a newbie. I appreciate his effort to help me feel more comfortable. AND, he's originally from Naperville. So we talk Chicago every now and then :)
I'm not getting that many hours in at all. I only work three days this coming week. Tues/Wed at 5am (yay for mornings!! I'm super glad about it) and Sat. Hopefully I'll be able to babysit more soon. I'm wrapping soap for mom and will hopefully get my torch up and running to make lumenarias tomorrow...

My newest discoveries in music are 1. Red Mountain Church and 2. Breathe Owl Breathe. I must say, i am thoroughly enjoying each!

The itch to do some summer travelling is not really going away. Right now I really want to drive up the coast of California, doing some beach camping. sigh. Doesn't that sound amazing?? I think so...

I'm drinking pomegranate (sp???) juice. yum. and its good for you!

God's teaching me what it means to be me. Maybe that sounds weird. It's a scary/cool journey to be on right now. Recognizing my self in light of weaknesses and in light of strengths. Most of all, recognizing myself in light of CHRIST. who am I? Not the daughter, sister, friend or student...deeper than that. If "all this" were to pass away, who would you be? Hmm. interesting thoughts, eh? :)

God is so very nearby though seemingly very quiet. It's a little unsettling, though I know Him so I can trust Him. My hope cannot die. I am finding that the "quiet times" of growth that are freaking hard are often times of deepest growth. The work He's doing is "unknown" but thorough, if that makes sense...

With so much longing, yearning, and desire within I find myself unable to much else than cast myself on Him who is altogether trustworthy and true. He alone is my place of rest. Isaiah 64:4. He actively works for those who wait upon Him. What a marvelous promise!

Do you ever really want something but you just don't know if its what the Lord wants for you right now? Or, He's not really giving indication or direction either way...? this makes me feel a little confused and frustrated sometimes. Well, it drives me to my knees, I know that much. I run to him. "ABIDE here, child." Yes, I want to abide here.

There's a song I've found (red mountain church :)) that I love. It's called "With Melting Heart and Weeping Eyes." Ah, beautiful words!! I feel this way a lot this summer...melting heart and weeping eyes. There's so much that fills my heart--and so much emotion that comes spilling out of me. Full to its a season of casting it all on Him.


I don't really feel like I'm making much sense anymore. enough for now. Hope you all are having a marvelous summer. Are you living with expectation? With promise? Abiding? It helps me to ask myself such questions :) Helps keep life in perspective during these "in-between times."

Love you guys,

Friday, June 06, 2008

Never Again

(picture from website HERE)

Having spent some time this semester reading about the atrocities of the Holocaust in Wiesel's Night trilogy, and after perusing the horrific images at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C., I can't tell you how many times I have heard or read the words "we will not let it happen again." It even came up in several class discussions and the sober concensus was, indeed, "what a terrible thing; good thing people stepped in and stood up when they did...if only it had been sooner."

Genocidal regimes are not gone.

Just this morning I saw this article about: SUDAN (Darfur) This is, i think, the first I've actually heard the Sudanese regime likened to the Nazi regime. That should strike a chord... "we will not let it happen again," right?

A rebel group entered a Congolese refugee camp and opened fire on innocent civilians. Read HERE.

Ethnic cleansing, the battle for power, call it whatever you want. God grieves.

What do we do in the face of such horrors? We do say "We won't let it happen again" and "why wasn't something done sooner?" With genocide in Darfur, the Congo, Burma, and other places, what MUST we do? NOW.

Can I suggest that we begin with earnest prayer?
We must depend on HIS strong arm or we will despair. We must abide in His HOPE. But we MUST educate ourselves so we can pray, think, and act strategically: in wisdon and with discernment.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Watch your language

I've been thinking about how beautiful language is. I've also been thinking about how misused it sometimes is. I am, in particular, thinking of the "Christian circles"--high thinkers, "deep" discussers...empty speakers. I see it at Moody (but not only at Moody). The heady stuff sometimes gets to me. Theology and doctrine discussed and expressed in ways sucked dry of juicy beauty.

I came across an article today by John Piper entitled "The Poverty of Theological Vocabulary." It's good. Here are a few things I've pulled out:

"Personally, I am not ready to concede that theology must be done in the desert while poetry roams through forests, mountains and meadows."

"To put it simply, without a full and rich language of the sense, we will lose the enduring quality of our sensuous joys, and, what's worse, with the atrophy of our descriptive capacities the power of all our enjoyment languishes. When you cease to use the word "tree" in your vocabulary, you have probably ceased to look at trees.

The relation this has to theological vocabulary is this: The fastest and easiest way to obliterate the language of the sense and the power of the senses is to read only poverty-stricken theology. If we in seminary do not stretch ourselves beyond the pages of our dogmatics we shall all be dead by graduation day. And that evening, diploma in hand, we may lament with Samuel Coleridge,

All this long eve so balmy and serene
Have I been gazing on the Western Sky
And its peculiar tint of yellow green
And still I gaze—and with how blank an eye!"

De Rosset says that preaching is an art form (and, I would add, an art form quickly dying). Fewer and fewer pastors take it seriously. I wish they did.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

take 40 minutes and get away...

Here's a piper sermon "Spiritual Depression in the Psalms." It's a wonderful sermon. I encourage you to listen to it!!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I feel like writing

but i don't know what to write, why, or where. Sigh. So...I guess I will just give a brief update.

I had my first day of work today--just going over paperwork, handbooks, etc. It wasn't bad at all. It was, however, a little intimidating. The serving crew I am joining has been working together for 2 years. So they all know each other and its like a family...that I have to break into. Sigh. The manager is super nice, though, and really helpful/encouraging. His wife went to high school at desert, too. I geuss even though the job is highly intimidating to me at the moment, it is worth noting that my boss seems ideal. He is very very nice. He said I won't really be on my own for two weeks. He and the others will be around helping me, directing, etc. When I walked into the kitchen for a tour Marie Calendar memories came flooding back. I had to push them abruptly out of my mind because otherwise I'll get freaked out and nervous.

So...the summer is chugging along. I'm spending good time with Luke. We went slacklining again today. I've got climbing shoes coming in the mail (dad's summer gift to me...incentive for father/daughter dates).

I've gone through a lot of stuff in my room--throwing out and packing up.

The heat is reminding me of Africa. It's nice :)

Headaches are virtually gone. I've been taking feverfew and drinking LOTS of water (dude, i pee all the time).

I've been reading The Power and the Glory (Graham Greene) as well as Abide in Christ (Andrew Murray).

I've rediscovered my good friend John Piper and have listened to some excellent sermons. I recommend his most recent: Spiritual Depression in the Psalms and an older one called Worship: The Feast of Christian Hedonism.

I have to go help mom and dad get dinner ready. BURRITOS with mom's beans. Yuuuummm!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

why so hard?

why are some decisions so hard to make? and why is it hard to lay these ones down at the throne, even though that's what's wanted and needed most...?

just asking questions.

would appreciate prayer. I know its general. sorry.

look whats coming in the mail...