Thursday, October 16, 2014


I turn 30 tomorrow.  If you asked me 10 years ago what life would look like at 30, I would have given you my hopes and dreams of what it would be. The reality is, it is nothing like I imagined. When I think about what I had hoped it would be, I smile and laugh and think oh, little 20 year old Andrea, how little you know. And I thank God that I am not in control of my life and that He is.

There is so much goodness in this season.  Yes, there is frustration and pain, and my how easy is it to let that be the focus. But when I sit down and actually think about this last year and all that has happened I am humbled. Even the smallest of prayers. He heard.

One of the things I remember when Chet and I first started dating was gaining a better understanding of God’s delight in me.  In my mind, I couldn’t understand why Chet would like me so much. I was just me. I hadn’t done anything to earn it. It was in that moment that God showed me how much He loved me. I didn’t need to earn it. He just loved ME.

Last night as I laid sick on the couch, in lots of pain, Chet just held me. He brought me soup, emptied and clean the trashcan I kept next to me, ran to the store to get Gatorade and Tylenol and was ready to sleep on the floor next to me incase I got worse during the night.

As good and sweet as this season is and as many reason why I love Chet, what I saw last night alone makes me want to marry him.  He graciously and tenderly loved this sick and crying hot mess and once again I am reminded of how God loves me even at my worst.


I am engaged! It has been 9 days since Chet got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
Those 9 days have had more ups and downs than the whole last year!
Whether it is friends going through hard times, ALL OF THE OPINIONS PEOPLE NOW FEEL INTITLED TO GIVE ME, or just the realities of trying to pick a date that causes the least amount of harm. I say least, because someone somewhere has an issue with every day we chose. I am now beginning to see the beauty of eloping!

This is supposed to be a happy and joyous time for me, right? Ive waited *almost * 30 years for this! As we were visiting Chet’s parents this weekend, my soon to be mother in law kept saying, “just remember why you are doing this.” I get to marry Chet! That is why I am planning a wedding. All of these details seem to crowd out the fact that I am marrying Chet!

From the time I watched my first Disney movie, Ive been told that this is all about me now! My wedding. My dreams. What I want….Chet too, but only after I get what I want. Maybe this is one of the ways Satan does his best work. I have had so many negative thoughts this week!

Isn’t the purpose of marriage to be a picture of the love Christ has for us? Isn’t marriage about serving your partner? Sacrifice. Forgiveness. Putting aside our own desires. And here I am starting this new season of life for us off by being upset and frustrated that I cant get my way!

As we were in church yesterday we say a song that had the words, “Let all the other names fade away, Until there’s only you. Jesus take your place.” I couldn’t help but think about how many other names need to fade a right now. I want my wedding and marriage to be a celebration of what Christ has done and a picture of what it looks like give and receive his love.  And that cant happen if I am upset about not getting what I want or caring about how someone else’s pain will affect my day instead of just simply caring for them. 

Friday, September 5, 2014


I like remembering. I like looking back and seeing where I have been. I have little note cards I fill out with a sentence or two about what I did each day.  I can see what I was doing on this day last year. Seeing those cards gives me hope to know that wherever I find myself God will see me through it because he has before. And I reminds me to be thankful for good times as I remember those dark seasons.

Today, is one of those days of remembering and being reminded.
Remembering the season of life I found myself in a year ago, as I struggled to see and hear God in the “dark night of the soul”. Remembering the news of my cousin’s death on this day last year. Remembering who he was. Remembering the heartache and tears that came. Remembering the questions without answers.

But I am reminded of the work God did in my heart during this time. I am reminded that even though we are all broken and hurting, my hope is in Christ. And I am reminded that I have the greatest family.

There will still be tears today. But there is also hope and joy. So much has happened since this day a year ago.  Prayers have been answered. And God is still good. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

On being home...

I have been home for almost three weeks now. In some ways, its feels like I was in Haiti a lifetime ago. I have been trying to process through the three months I lived there and what it means for me now that I am home. In all honesty, I struggled with my time there as I was faced with my own fears and insecurities that are only heighted by living in another culture.
One of the things I have come away with is the vast need that is before me each day, right here where I live, if I would only open my eyes and see where he is taking me.
Everywhere you look in Haiti, kids are running around their makeshift houses with shoes that are falling apart or have no shoes at all.  I live in a place that is the epitomy of wealth. Shows like The OC and Orange County Housewives all give glimpses of what life is like for a group of people that live around here. This culture needs the latest fashion. The newest car. Bigger is better. More is better. I even find myself being sucked into the those beliefs as I had to shove my 3 new dresses into my already full closet of clothes. But, hey, I only paid $5 for each item!
Then I hear stories like the one below…
Volunteers at Richman Park in Fullerton are learning that VBS is not only an opportunity to share the gospel with children from the community, but also a chance to have unique eyes on their city and be a tangible demonstration of Christ’s love. On the first day, one leader saw a child alone on the swings and asked him to join the festivities. He agreed, but said that the leader would need to ask his mom. When the leader asked where his mom was – the boy reluctantly pointed to a woman sleeping on a bench nearby. Over the course of the day, it became clear, the child and his family were homeless and were living in the park.

The boy’s brother didn’t come over to join the group until Wednesday, and volunteers realized it was because he didn’t have any shoes on his feet. When it became apparent that a few more of the children’s families were indeed living in the park, volunteers knew something needed to be done. Bri Stickney, Fullerton’s new city liaison was able to be at the site and got to spend time with the parents of the kids while they participated in the VBS activities. After working with Bri, one of the families experiencing homelessness is now being placed in temporary hotel housing and another is slated to meet with Pathways of Hope, an organization that helps families with transitional housing and food vouchers.

Families from RHF (and even some who don’t attend church at all) have been moved by the experiences their children are having at VBS and have banded together to support their neighbors. Different parents have taken it upon themselves to bring hearty snacks each day for the children, and some have joined together to purchase shoes for a few children that don’t have ones that fit properly. They are also working to provide vouchers and gift cards to bless the families in need.

This is one of the beautiful things about the community-driven VBS model, communities are able to be in the neighborhoods and are able to see the very real needs of those around them. Relationships are being formed, families are being assisted, and most importantly, Jesus is being put on display in tangible and transforming ways.
I feel grateful to be apart of a church that has eyes to see others as Christ does. I feel heartbroken that in a place of such incredible wealth there are many who are with out homes and such basic things as a pair of shoes. I am humbled that God has chosen his Church, me, you, to show his love, grace, and provision to those he has placed around us. Father open our eyes to what you would have us do. May we not become so busy that we miss what you are doing.