Sunday, April 26, 2009

Isaiah 40:6-8

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
~Isaiah 40:6-8

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Trying to Sleep...

Deep, Dependable
Creating, Conserving, Consoling
Pillow, Darkness, Blankets, Peace
Tossing, Testing, Thinking
Restless, Rundown

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Easter to Remember

5:00am – woke up to the sound of Mindy’s alarm clock
5:25am – headed out to the lake to watch the sunrise
5:44am – arrived at Lake Michigan
5:55am – Laura read the Resurrection account out of Mark
6:00am – I played “Jesus Paid it All” on guitar and we sang
6:05am – we decided to sing without the guitar because my fingers were freezing
6:10am – the sun rose
6:15am – we sang more songs and talked
6:35am – after taking lots of pictures, we packed up our stuff and walked back to school
7:00am – we got back to school
7:10am – after defrosting, I got ready for church
7:55am – Dawn and I went down to breakfast
8:00am – I ate oatmeal with raisins
8:05am – the other girls came down to the SDR and we were all very giggly
8:15am – Sarah, Allie, and I walked down to Moody Church
8:25am – we met Father John because we stopped to look in a Greek Orthodox Church
8:40am – we got to church and were late to our Sunday school class
9:35am – the main service at Moody started
11:45am – the service ended and we went back to school
12:30pm – lunch time
1:00pm – 4:00pm – laundry, cleaning, homework, email
4:00pm – Cheesecake Factory, here we come!
4:05pm – we walked to the bus stop and took pictures while we waited
4:15pm – the bus finally came
4:45pm – Allie and I decided to split an omelet
5:05pm – Allie and I got bored waiting and went outside to take pictures
5:15pm – our dinner came
5:40pm – Allie and I had a photography adventure in the cool bathroom
6:00pm – we walked through a chocolate store and got samples
6:10pm – we waited for the bus
6:15pm – the bus came and we went back to school
6:30pm – back at school and ready to do homework
6:35pm – Allie wanted to take more pictures
7:05pm – I got cold and left
7:15pm – I’m in the kitchen with Mindy
7:20pm – Mindy took her cake out of the oven and won’t let me near it
7:30pm – I got my stuff out of Mindy’s room. Our sleepover is over. Kayleigh is coming back
7:40pm – Mindy and I are studying in the kitchen with tea
7:45pm – New Testament paper time
7:55pm – Mindy’s homework is done, mine is not. Mindy decides to eat a grapefruit
10:30pm – Good Night!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dear Diary... written on January 18, 2009

Dear Diary,

I was simply satisfied silly!

Music has such a special place in my life, therefore, playing guitar and occasionally singing on worship team is also very special. Especially the Sunday mornings when the stage doesn’t seem like a stage –
the mornings that smiling comes naturally. I had that experience a few weeks ago. And it had nothing to do with me, the pretty instrument I was playing, the people singing, the musicians, the songs, the cute outfit, the stage, the friendly atmosphere, or the congregation. It was all about God, specifically, being satisfied with Him.

It all started about a week earlier…

Saturday was the official reuniting of two best friends. Alicia and I hadn’t seen each other since the end of summer when we both went away to school. Our reunion was a loud and chaotic event that only we could pull off… After the screaming ended, we got in my car and were off on another adventure. Our adventures typically follow the same general plan: lots of talking and giggling, getting lost, trying on strange clothes, taking pictures, and singing. This outing was no different,
but the giggling was at an all time high. On our way back home, we decided that it would probably be good if we practiced our song for Sunday. We rocked out to BarlowGirl’s “Psalm 73” numerous times and fell in love with it more each time. Our normal routine of getting lost on the way home took longer than usual, which was fine. After all, we had a song to learn!

Practice on Tuesday night was full of giggling, second thoughts, strange communication methods, explanations, and smiles. Along with microphones, electric guitars, powerful lyrics, and challenging harmonies. The third time we ran through our song was when it melded into place. The intensity behind the music and the power behind the words caught me off guard. I sang the last three words solo, “enough for me”, and
something started sinking in, but I didn’t know what. I closed my eyes and took a step back from the microphone trying to understand the thoughts sprinting through my head somehow connecting to my heart. All too quickly the moment was over so I traded the electric for an acoustic and poured all I had into practice. When we were done, I packed up my stuff and waited patiently for Rusty to be ready to go to our cars. Chatting and laughing on the way out to the parking lot was such a normal routine…a much cherished and missed time. It’s little and simple things that I love and seem to hold on to.

Sunday morning was full of mixed emotions. The stressful moments from the week weren’t supposed to linger throughout the weekend, but they did. I was ready and confident, but very distracted. I couldn’t focus on God or worshiping Him. Our morning run through of the songs went as planned and we had a few minutes of “backstage time” before the service started.

After a silly discussion (well, an all out debate) on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we were ready to go! With a smile, I walked up to the front corner of the stage, picked up the Fender, and stepped up to the microphone. I looked back at Jacob for the stick count in, took a step back, and started playing. Any nervousness I had melted away when I looked and saw Trina waving to me. And, at some point during all of that, Alicia and I made eye contact…

“I’ve had enough of living life for only me...”

I love that moment in worship where
preparation meets passion. All the time spent singing through harmonies and learning new chords was paying off…my focus was shifting from me to God.

“Who have I in heaven but You? Nothing I desire on earth but You. My heart may fail but not You. You are mine forever.”

You are mine forever. Eric was supposed to sing that alone, but I jumped in and sang it, too. I’ll never fully comprehend what “You are mine forever” means, but I’m beginning to realize that it’s special. Forever is a long time.

“My God’s enough for me; this world has nothing I need. In this whole life I’ve seen my God’s enough, enough for me.”

I don’t know how many times I had listened to that song in the past few months, but the words finally broke through and saturated my heart. And I realize now that the events leading up to the few minutes singing this song all played into the importance of it…all the giggling, late night conversations, strange emotions, hours of practicing…

This world has nothing I need.
My God’s enough for me.

His Beloved Child,
Andrea Rose
P.S. The picture was drawn by Alicia : )

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Brandish the White Flag

Surrender! Surrender? You want me to do what? The girl who likes to be in charge of everything around her has to surrender? Like that’s gonna happen…

What does surrendering my life mean? My example involves a little girl, lots of barrettes, my long hair, and her dad. To set the scene, I dislike having people touch my hair. I panic. I straightened my hair before babysitting Trina, and several times during the day she enjoyed running her fingers through my usually curly hair. After dinner when her dad was cleaning up the kitchen, Trina decided that she needed to put barrettes in my hair to get me ready for our pretend party. Going along with her game, she put about 20 brightly colored plastic barrettes in my hair. I looked in the mirror and played around with it for a little while before I kindly asked if we could take them out. I sat on the floor and she stood behind me attempting to get them out. Most of them were too tight for her little fingers to unclasp, and I couldn’t get them out either. Her dad noticed what was happening and came to the rescue. He sat behind me and removed the hair clips carefully and slowly so he didn’t pull my hair. Since a three year old put the barrettes in, many of them were tangled in knots of hair. He meticulously took each one out. Surrender. What else could I do?

Surrendering involves some amount of trust or hopelessness. Or both. I had no hope of getting all the clips out by myself. I also had a lot of trust and love for the person taking them out. Instead of trying to fight him, I sat quietly on the floor with Trina’s bright pink pillow clutched tightly to my chest. The nervousness I was feeling wasn’t coming from the person taking the barrettes out of my hair, but from the realization that I had surrendered without a second thought.

What would have happened if I hadn't accepted the help? It would have been painful and frustrating. And, in the end, I probably would have still needed help.

Although surrendering my life no longer involves sitting on the floor getting barrettes extracted from my hair, it means letting God have control of my life. He’s the one sitting with me gently taking the clips out of my messy life.

I’m still working on handing my life over to God – it’s a battle I fight daily. Some days I have victory and am able to hand over a white flag; other days the battle is messy and my white flag of surrender looks a little tie dyed.

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Dancing Through Life

And you dance and you dance in an endless flow
In the grace of a perfect design
Stepping out of the dark and into the glow
And the whole world will see when you shine
You can shine

Yesterday Trina wanted to dance, but her toys were all over the floor. I asked if we should clean them up before we danced. Her answer was “No. We’ll dance around them, A.” So we tried to dance around and over them. More then a few times we stepped on them, and it hurt. It’s an awesome picture of how life is. Our goal is to keep trusting and following God through the mess and painful dance through life. We did our best to avoid all the toys while dancing, but we tripped over some of them. It’s ok to step on a toy; we learn from our mistakes, and know not to step there again. And it’s ok to cry when it hurts. As we stepped on toys we moved them out of our way and put them away. It’s like getting rid of the sin and temptation in our lives so we can focus on God without distractions, so we can keep dancing. The more we danced, the easier it was. We remembered where the toys were, and for the most part, we did a good job avoiding them. A few times we tripped and landed on a toy that wasn’t completely put away, and it hurt us again, so we moved it further away. Only when we danced outside of the “safe” area, did we get hurt. The farther away we move from God, the easier it is for us to trip over a toy. When we’re close to Him, we can see His face and to hear His voice more clearly.

Psalm 143:8, 10 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift my soul. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.