Friday, October 16, 2009
Thank you for taking a walk down memory lane with me today...comment with your own memories!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
With my job, I am in my car a lot driving from one Young Life thing to another. Often times, I witness the most odd and laughable things while looking out the window of Milo (my Mazda3 in black micah). So to deter my sometimes unnecessary road rage and find joy in the simple things, I decided to post whenever something unusual happens while looking at the world from 'behind the tinted windows.'
The other day after I had just finished getting my volunteer food handler's license, I pulled up to a stop light and heard someone honking very enthusiastically. I couldn't tell if some was extremely pissed off, a car alarm was malfunctioning, or someone was just having a good time. I looked around at my surroundings and behold, it was option number 3. The boy driving the car next to me was playing the jembay on his steering wheel. The sound I was hearing was the beat of the song he was playing in the car. The funny thing is, his music was too loud for him to hear the honking noise he was making with his rhythmic hands.
His joy and oblivion gave me a smile.
Thank you jembay steering wheel playing boy.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I will run when I cannot walk
I will sing when there is no song
I will pray when there is no prayer
I will listen when I cannot hear
Sitting in the waiting room of silence
waiting for that still soft voice I know
offering my words up to the rooftop to Your heart
trusting that this closet's where You are
Lord I know if I change my mind
You will change my heart in time
Sovereign Lord this time's from You
so I sit in the waiting room of silence
cause its all about You I will fight when I cannot feel
I will trust when You don't seem real
I will tell when I cannot speak
I will step when I cannot see
So you might be asking yourself from my last post...what are those other words??
The other set of words that accompanied "You are blessed" have been "Wait on the Lord."
When these set of words first started to reoccur in my life, every part of me wanted to ignore them. I found myself responding to God (with my actions, not my words), I don't want to wait, God. I have things to get on with in my life. I think I can do this with out you.
Silly me...God did not let me get away with this.
I have come back to His feet over and over again since all my crazy travels this summer. Wondering, questioning, doubting, curious...what do you want from me God?
A couple years ago, I was introduced to the Shane and Shane "Psalms" album (if you don't have it, get it. It may just change your life). One day a couple weeks ago while I was getting ready and listening to my iPod on my handy, yet very stylish mint green lamp/iHome speakers, "Waiting Room" came on. It was as if His whispers became a firm command. I stopped, got out my journal and wrote, prayed, cried, sang. I know, it sounds cheesy, but I guess this was His way of speaking straight to my heart.
He is the "author and perfecter of our faith." This life isn't about me, but about Him. He gives me breath and a pulse. He has blessed me. It hasn't been easy, but obedience in waiting never is.
So for now, I sit and wait. I have no clue what the Lord has next for me. I am scared at times, but I am reminded to "wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD" Psalm 27:14. Why do we walk with the Lord knowing that He is in control yet take it on the tasks of our own lives as if we are the ones in control? I guess we are only human...flawed and sinful. But this is the glory of it, He is what this life is about. He loves us and pursues us the same. He has greater plans than my own. It's as simple as that.
Lord, I want to join you in this adventure of my life. Help me to fearlessly walk each day trusting your plan for my future. I may screw up, forgive me. Mine is yours.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This morning I woke up earlier than normal and joined Jordan, the newest addition to the Desert Mountain Young Life team, and about 15 other high schoolers at the flagpole for "See You at the Pole." From an outsider looking in, Jordan and I just look like creepy adults hanging out with high schoolers before school. When I started leading Young Life 7 years ago, I had to quickly get over the awkwardness of what it must look like from afar when I am with teenagers on their turf. We met, prayed, and were encouraged as believers. It was a sweet start to the day. As I was weaving my way out of the crazy traffic that consumed the perimeters of the school, trying not to be incredibly frustrated with high school drivers, I heard another whisper. These three words are something the Lord has been whispering to me regularly the past four months. "You are blessed."
When I arrived to my mom's house on my birthday to see dozens of friends screaming "Surprise!"..."You are Blessed."
When I was laughing so hard, I was crying in a cabin full of girls at Frontier in June... "You are blessed."
When I worshipping the Lord on an Italian beach as the sun was setting with 400 "Army brats"..."You are blessed."
When I holding the hands of snotty nosed Ugandan children as they were singing "marching in the Light of God"..."You are blessed."
When I was standing in the very same spot where I gave my life to Christ ten years earlier with my WyldLife leader by my side..."You are blessed."
When I saw my perfect little niece, Stella, take her first steps at just nine short months..."You are blessed."
The hard part is that these four words were accomanied by a few other words that have made these past four months so hard.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Today is one of those days.
One of those days where everything seems to make sense. The ups and downs of the last couple months, the weeks of processing, but still not figuring things out, the time I've spent anxious, nervous, excited, and the experiences I have had since May. I think this may be a series like Jordan's series on "the Boy," so stick with me if you will.
To give you an idea of what my life has looked like since May, let me fill you in.
I rerended a tow truck going 10 miles per hour the day before my birthday. I had just come from the public health clinic where a nurse stuck me with 5 shots. 3 in one arm and 2 in the other and I was on my way to get my international driver's license when, boom, airbag, and crunch. After waiting for 2 hours in 100 degree heat with no food in my tummy and becoming very dehydrated, the police finally showed up. It did put a damper on my birthday, but my family and friends made up for it by throwing me a surprise birthday party.
Fast forward 3 days...Margot was declared totalled and I was left with out a car and a large insurance bill.
May 17th, 2006-May 18th, 2009
But it's just a car, right? In retrospect, I had a lot of memories and life shaping experiences with that car. All of which, I am not prepared to post. She had just turned three. Thank you Margot for giving me more than transportation.
Fast forward another week and I was on a bus with 180 high schoolers on our way to Frontier Ranch, a Young Life camp in Colorado. God showed up that week and moved in ways I didn't think was possible. This is where He started to show me how big He really is.
Four days after I got home from what I was the best week of Young Life camping I have ever experienced, I was off for my 6 week adventure. I spent four days in London with the Irwin family then headed over to Pisa, Italy for three weeks that would change how I really see God.
Camp Darby is a run-down, 1940's, US Military Base about 10 minutes from amazing gelato and the Italian coast. We had no clue the challenges that God would place before us (especially me). With a group of thirty 18-28 year-olds, we served, served, worked, served, and served some more. We gave 800 middle school and high school Military, Navy, and Airforce kids a chance to experience God in a fun and exciting way. We brought Young Life camp to them...on a military base, in the Italian Tuscany. I had to rely on God's strength completely and often questioned why He chose me to be there...this would be clear a couple months later.
After three weeks, I was on a plane headed back to London to meet up with 2 dear friends and my mom (well really after my Ryan Air flight was 4 hours delayed. Note to readers, Ryan Air is NOT worth the cheap ticket!). Instead of spending the day with them (I am still bitter about this. I hate Ryan Air), I was back at Camp Darby scrubbing crap stains from the boys' bathroom. Sick nasty.
I got to London Stansted Airport 4 hours late, felt nasty, took a quick bathroom shower with anti-bacterial wipes, headed to the bus to take me to the next airport, find out that doesn't leave for another hour, jump on a train to the underground, get on another train, and finally arrive at Heathrow airport. But wait, I still have to check my bag, get through security, and meet up with the gang. I made my flight with minutes to spare and was exhausted.
Another day of crazy traveling landed us in Entebbe, Uganda where we were greeted by our now dear friend Charles Mugabi and our driver Patrick. 2 weeks of adventure in Uganda was more amazing than words can tell. We met incredible people, ate interesting food, truly saw stars for the first time and experienced the hope of Christ in a way that I had never before.
Five days after we got home, I hopped on another bus with 120 middle schoolers and headed to Oakbridge in San Diego. This is where I started to hear God whisper to me. It seemed like any other week of camp to me, but little did I know.
Came home, bought a car (Milo is the new addition to the family), and moved into the Allison.
School started and so did my routine....
To be continued...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
These are the Top Ten Reasons Why Mandy is Awesome (in no particular order, really).
1. She leaves me cute little encouraging notes next to my bed.
2. She doesn't snore.
3. She loves my crazy family and prays for them.
4. I can tell her anything.
5. She knows pretty much everything about me and still loves me.
6. She's the most loyal friend I know.
7. She keeps me updated on all that is going on in our friends' lives.
8. She's helped me to discover my own love for some things...Cath Kidston, Shark Week, and sweet tea.
9. She lets me borrow her things.
10. She's has been writing a joke book for a couple years now.
11. She shows me who Jesus is by the way she serves.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Ok, I did it. I finally started a blog. After being a faithful reader to many of my friends' blogs and countless times of telling myself, "I should start a blog, but no one would ever read it," I decided that these following things give me enough reasons to start writing via world wide web blogging.
1) I like to write (although I don't think I am a good writer. P.S. Every year I am my mother's ghost writer for our family Christmas update. I'm revealing the secret now because my brother-in-law could tell after reading the first sentence of the update.)
2) Sometimes I, myself, can't believe some of things that happen in my life.
3) I have so much to be thankful for.
4) I follow my friends' blogs, so I guess they're obliged to read mine, right?
5) Because one of my goals this year is to find a specific hobby and become really good at it, I thought I could post that adventure on here (plus it will keep me accountable to actually doing it).
Will you follow me??