Wednesday, August 31, 2011

living days in faith, with hope

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Sunday, August 28, 2011

up here [in northern michigan]

Up here, there are already pockets of color. A tree here and there splashing the endless green landscape with bright bits of red and orange and yellow. Autumn promises to come. I love Autumn.

Up here the sky meets the water in one huge canopy of blue.

Up here the air is fresh and unspoiled by oh so many cars, buses, and buildings.

I am glad to be up here...glad to be with family...glad to have "pillow talk" with Luker late into the night...anxious for everyone else to get in--Mom and Dad this afternoon, Jay, Kristen, and kiddos tomorrow evening. It's been a long time since we've all had a good chunk of time together. This is just lovely :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

been thinkin' on this

"You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope is strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it?...Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." -C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sandra McCracken "In Feast Or Fallow" acoustic

This is my favorite of her recent songs. I really love it. This morning--while stripping and painting my old dresser--I've been "rediscovering" old Derek webb, which has inevitably led me to some Indelible Grace and, finally, to his wife: Sandra McCracken. I'm sure I will always appreciate this couple's honest articulation of faith-life, deeply rooted in age old truths but never quiet or silent about where we find ourselves living daily, in each new era. She Must and Shall Go Free is an album I haven't listened to in a long while. It's a great album--truthful about living an understanding of Gospel that is difficult and beautiful; painful and pleasure-filled.

Anyhow, give the song a listening to. It's great :)

Back to the project!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

two cuties

Sam and Ailey are so ridiculously cute. Beautiful kiddos--they make my heart hurt!!! Sappy, Auntie...I know. But true. Look at these two...

I think being an Aunt is one of my favorite things. Can't wait to see how these relationships grow over the years. Sigh. Looking forward to Michigan in 2 1/2 weeks!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


i did it. i just enrolled for September's ESL/TESOL certification course. i'm doing it. whew.
i'm nervous.


and the possibility of getting a job with an organization like World Relief makes me really excited.

taking this step scares me a bit. but i've been saying i want to do something that scares me--something that stretches me and pushes me out of comfort zones; something i can't see to the end of but that i know is a worthwhile investment. goodness. life is so interesting these days, eh? :)

Saturday, August 06, 2011

back in 2007

Re-reading old journals or letters is so...interesting. I usually learn things from my younger self. Sometimes I think, "gee, Andrea, you could learn that again you know." Other times I think, "i am so glad I don't think/live like that anymore!"

I just reread my stack of "Africa emails"--the updates I sent out to supporters, etc. Ha. I've grown up a lot since then. I'm grateful for that. When I look back like that I realize, again, what a journey life is. We truly do "travel through"...

Anyhow, I wrote this at the end of one of my final emails:

"Keep seeking the face of our incredible Lord. Remember, He is a great Savior for our great need. It is ok to need Him. Sometimes we need to stop trying so hard to be people that LOOK like Jesus and just need to live like we are...people who NEED Jesus."

I am pleased to be reminded of this again, now. It's true, isn't it? It's ok to need Him. Because we do. But sometimes we strive and strive to look like Him before we are free to need Him. That seems backwards. I catch myself trying to put myself together before approaching Him--even before admitting my need. How utterly preposterous. Ridiculous. In the end, I'd prefer to remember that I can go to Him all messy and such--all needy. Because He's bigger than my big need. Hmm. I somehow "knew" that in 2007 but the Andrea of 2011 needs to hear it still. I have a great need. I have a great Savior. This has grown more nuanced for me through the years, but no less true. I need Him. I do.

And i have a feeling life will keep reminding me of this, year after year after year.

Friday, August 05, 2011

family time

I'm getting SO ridiculously excited for family time up north. Mom has divided us into "cooking teams" so she doesn't get stuck in the kitchen (and so everyone has equal opportunity to spend time with the little ones). That momma--she's a thinker! So, Hannah and I are on for night one and I've been looking through some favorite blogs, etc., searching for the right recipe. I think I've found it...

Bourbon Orange Coriander Barbecue Sauce

I know I can't speak too soon BUT, Joy the Baker always comes through. Did I ever mention I made these for Lacy's birthday? They were...uh-mazing.

Are you getting jealous? Wishing you could join the Childs' (plus a few) for a WHOLE WEEK in the north country?? Who wouldn't be :)

Monday, August 01, 2011

Augusts 1st??!

How is it already AUGUST?! Seriously. The summer has absolutely flown.

Whew, today was quite a day. Full of disobedient and disrespectful children. It has entirely worn me out. On days like today I think, "how did I get here? how is it that i am involved (rather intimately) in the raising of these children?--these children that are not my own." The thing is, I love these children. I do. But that doesn't mean that I don't have these hard days. I'm sure I'm just being prepared (again) for motherhood. The difference for me now is that these aren't my own. Therein lies the challenge. And therein, too, lies the mystery of my deep love for these little ones. Sigh. Nannying is a sticky situation...clearly.

The point is, I had a bad work day. It was long. It was exhausting. The small boys that I normally enjoy so much were rather rotten and, well, downright rude. I didn't want to be around them. I didn't want to be patient. I didn't want to listen to moaning, whimpering or complaining. I wanted to go home. And cry. Because sometimes the buildup gets heavy and the final "all you ever are is mean!" or "can you leave now?" just get to me--it kinda hurts. I want to yell right back, "are you kidding?! Me?! MEAN?! to YOU? Do you know how patient I am?! Do you know how hard I try?! Do you know the ways I serve you??!" Hmm. I'm sure there is a lesson here, I'm just too tired to 1. really notice it 2. articulate it.

In other news, I'm reading A Grief Observed. I just reread A Great Divorce and found it, again, to challenge and inspire some of my my ideas of lasting things--namely, the High Country. Needless to say, I'm enjoying Lewis. What's your summer reading?

Also, I want to acquire new skills. This might sounds cheesy or strange but it shouldn't. In the vein of the pottery class I took last fall, I want to do something like it again. I don't know what, yet, but I'm thinking. I sort of want it to be a hobby. Haha. Ok, this is sounding kind of weird and pathetic. I'll share more once these ideas are developed...

oh yeah! I was going to say, I've been groovesharking Fernando Ortega for weeks now. I really like him. Tonight i heard Light of Heaven and copied the chorus into my journal because, well, it just seems a good prayer for praying...

Light of Heaven
Lord of Mercy
Shine the goodness
of your love upon this day
Till we see you
Till we know you
Till the sorrow and the darkness
fade away
Fade away