the things i’m doing

I really really haven’t been blogging a lot these last few months. Don’t get stressed out- I haven’t been journaling much either. I’m finding that the time I have to pour myself out and onto paper is getting smaller and smaller as my wedding draws nearer and nearer. But I did just want to squeeze in a few minutes to share a little bit about where I am and what I’ve been doing since Christmas.

1. As of today, there are only THIRTY-NINE days til I marry Prince Charming. So close and yet so far away.

2. I have been working at Adventures In Missions for almost two months now. I work in the Interview Department and spend my time pouring over online applications and then calling applicants to follow up with them to see how much health and spiritual/emotional maturity they are truly walking in. I love love love my job, and I’m sad that it will potentially end soon. I took the job under a temporary contract so I wouldn’t have to fundraise before my wedding, and the contract ends 4 days before the Big Event. I’m currently praying about if this is something God has for me in a more long-term position. I’d be agreeing to fundraising if I chose to stay at Adventures, and that’s a lot to think about, especially with my soon-to-be Husband also support raising in his job at Adventures. So maybe that’s something you can pray for me/us about!

3. I also have been teaching a course on Discovering Your Identity for the CGA at Adventures. CGA stands for Center For Global Action and it’s kind of like a graduate program for World Racers returning home who want a little more intentional discipleship before launching into whatever their futures look like. I meet with a group of 12 students weekly and facilitate a class that is utilizing Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (one of my top 3 reads, ever- SO powerful!) to sift through topical occurrences in order to get to and work through root issues. In plainer words, the book is helping us recognize and establish tools that will help us do the hard work of emotionally maturing. It’s heavy stuff, but my class is full of people who want to learn and grow and be challenged. Weekly, they come ready to dive into the material, participate in group discussions, invite vulnerability in their personal reflection time, and throw off old habits that don’t serve them. I honestly believe I get more from those students than they get from me. I’m learning so much about the power of vulnerability and willingness and openness. Watching them have revelations about current behaviors that stem from subconscious lessons learned in their school lives, families of origin, etc. is transformative for me. That coupled with my job in the Interview Department is really reminding me of how deeply I want to go back to school to get a counseling degree. A blog will be coming soon about all the incredible truths I’m learning from these two jobs.

4. I have made a habit of cooking dinner for the Professor regularly. I love it. I feel so good about providing for him in a tangible way. And as we spend more time at the Root House preparing it for his moving in, I half expect him to sit on the couch and wait for dinner to arrive. Instead, he is running around the house fixing little things or improving it in any way he can think. I feel like we’re a team, and it’s such a privilege to watch him running around improving our lives and then showing up at the dinner table, hungry for whatever I have cooked that night. I think I could really get into this wife-thing.

5. I have been working out like a mad woman. Every morning I’m up at 6:45 and throwing in a workout dvd: pilates, barre, or a rip-off version of P90x that my old roomie and I used to do. And since our bosses gave us a treadmill desk, everyone in the Admissions, Interview, World Race, and Short Term Missions Department has been signing up for 30 minute slots to get their movement on. It. Is. Awesome. I fall a little short in the dieting portion of wedding preparation, but I am killing it in the workout arena.

ok, this isn’t technically working out, but it WAS a really tall mountain…

6. The Professor and I bought our wedding bands last night. It took us about an hour to choose. He was a little stressed and sad because he loves to take his time and do his research. I loved it because I’m much more of a spontaneous, in-the-moment kind of girl, and the rings we chose we absolutely LOVE.

7. I still have not seen the new Cinderella movie, and I’m dying.

8. Last weekend The Professor and I traveled away to our respective Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties. He dressed up like a cow and ran amuk in the streets of Greenville, South Carolina, and I took my sweet new Georgia friends up to a cabin in the mountains near Blue Ridge, Georgia for a weekend of sugar, hot tubs, and rest. The Prof is convinced his weekend was better, but I’m sure mine was really the best. We both feel like we’ve been released into this season of marriage now that we’ve had a real opportunity to process our single lives and celebrate the beginning of our married life together. Also, he dressed up like a cow.

9. I sent my wedding dress off to get altered today. A sweet Russian lady named Luda regaled me with stories of how she met her husband and what their two-year-old daughter is like while she secretly eased my stress about having all the things altered. I was walking on sunshine when I left that shop.

10. I have made all kinds of sweet friends here in Gainesville! Women I work with, women The Professor works with, women I randomly know because he has known them for years. I felt really sad when most of my friends from back home couldn’t make it to my bachelorette weekend, and even sadder that many of them cannot make it to my wedding. But I also feel really loved and supported here, and if my Kentucky friends were the women who walked me through my single days, these Georgia gems are the women who will walk me through my marriage life. And I’m really good with that.

also happy st patty’s day

11. I turned 30. But then you already knew that! Thanks for reading that blog. 😉 #thirtyisthenewtwenty

12. I started taking voice lessons again. It is terrifying. It is invigorating. I feel like I’m slowly beginning to conquer my fear of singing in front of other people, and taking ownership over the sound of my own voice, rather than just hating it in general. My instructor is crazy amazing. I leave every lesson feeling like I’m on top of the world.

13. The sun has started coming out in Georgia and it’s been so warm I’ve worn dresses more days than I haven’t. And while sitting on my pilates ball at work is supes uncomfortable in a dress, and there aren’t windows in the office where I work, it’s still worth it to be walking forward into spring.

14. The Professor completed his season leading the Fellowship at Adventures. A new class of Fellows are moving in this week, but he has moved on to a new job, and we’re both excited for the freedom that will bring him, both with time and with energy. He loved his time with the Fellows, but is eager to move into a new season and a new job, one that will challenge and grow him in new ways.

15. Wedding planning is going great! Mostly because all the major tasks are completed, and the less-major-but-still-more-than-minor ones are delegated to human beings that are not me. Don’t get me wrong- there’s still plenty to do, but it is absolutely getting done. As The Day draws closer, I find myself caring less and less about the event, and more just about marrying my best friend, but that stresses him out because he then feels like he has to carry the weight of caring the most. So I’m trying to be more helpful. But I’m just so ready to be married!

16. The Root House is coming together! In the last month, especially, we have bought tons of furniture and started decorating. I’m more interested in making a home for him to move into, and he’s more interested in planning a wedding everyone will enjoy. But we’ve been doing a good job of meeting in the middle. ❤

17. I became unnaturally obsessed with chicken chili stew. And then frosted mini wheats. My current unhealthy obsession is honey bunches of oats with almonds. The struggle is real, y’all.

18. I had a bridal shower in Kentucky a month and a half ago. We’re having a couple’s shower here in Georgia this weekend. I love celebrating things.

19. My book club is actually a tv show club, and we finished watching the most recent season of Downton Abbey a couple weeks ago. We’re resuming this Thursday with SMASH. You’re all invited.

20. My fingernails have been polished every day for two months. I dig it.

21. We had a terrible ice storm and were without power/heat/jobs for 4 days. It was so cold, but I didn’t worry, because The Professor found places for us to stay that did have heat, and provided for me in every way. He’s going to be an excellent husband.

22. I’m exhausted. I want to sleep much more than my body needs. Preparing for a wedding is emotionally exhausting.

23. I’m so happy. I love my job, I love my house, I love my fiance. I’m making friends whom I love, I’m making memories I cherish, and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m finding my rhythm and can be myself again. It’s a good feeling.

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book reviews: passion and purity

This book was given to me by my lovely roommate Mary Alice. She’s a big fan of both Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, and has read most of the latter’s books. So when, earlier this year, I told her I was looking for a few good books to read, she not only recommended this one, she handed me her copy.

The subheading for the book is Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control. That sounded like the book for me, for sure.

But, to be honest, I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the book. I didn’t understand where she was taking her readers through most of the book. Her old journal entries, the back-and-forth love letters, even the hymns- while they were lovely and thrilling to read (who doesn’t love hearing old journal entries?), didn’t seem to add up to a lot. I found myself thinking, Wow, that was a good chapter. But I’m still not sure what she’s trying to teach me, or what I should be taking away from this. I wonder when she’s going to start talking about all the bullet points listed on the back cover…

Not to say this is not an excellent book. It is. And we’ll get into that. But I wanted to express my full opinion, from beginning to end.

The only other issue I had with this book has to do with the love story we find in it. The Jim-and-Elisabeth-Elliot love story is quite famous, and really something to behold. They waited seven years for each other. Seven years without kissing or holding hands or any of the common habits we see in modern couples today. Other than the occasional use of an affectionate nickname- a stray darling or dearest– their love letters were mostly encouragements to one another to press into the Lord for as long as He has called them to remain single and chaste. It’s a beautiful, enduring love story to read. She loved him, he felt called to remain single for the Lord (he felt there were things on the mission field he could not do/places he could not go, if married), and so he asked her to release him from her affections, even though- and this is where I take offense- he loved her. He really cared about her, he longed for her, but he felt he could not ask her to wait for him.

Wait a minute.

So he loves her- and basically says so- as well as actually saying if the Lord released him to marry, he would marry her… but he could not promise these things, so please don’t feel like you have to wait.

Okay.

While this is a lovely story of two people who remained sexually pure despite circumstances, feelings, etc… the area that I really struggled with (throughout almost the entire book) (and I kept coming back to my feelings of frustration and indignation for her) is where he should have kept his mouth shut.

Listen, if you’re a man and you feel convinced the Lord has asked you to remain single for only-He-knows-how-long, you’d best keep your mouth shut and your flirtations nonexistent if you want to be obedient. How many women can resist a man whom she has had multiple encounters with (intimate in the cleanest sense of the word), whom she is clearly in love with, and who tells her “If God would let me marry, I absolutely would marry you. I really care for you, and you have so many of the traits that I’m looking for in a wife. But God has told me to remain single for an undisclosed time, so I can’t ask you to wait for me.” VERY FEW.

Just keep your mouth shut. There’s no reason he dragged her into the responsibility of remaining single. Had he not shared his affections with her, she may have released her feelings for him and moved on. Things worked out okay (read their entire story for the truth behind this), but COME ON. It’s not her responsibility to wait for you, but that’s all she’s going to do if you tell her you would marry her if you could. That’s just selfish.

I mean.

I reeeaallly really struggled with some serious frustrations all throughout this book. I couldn’t even concentrate on the beauty of what “waiting” did for her character, or the patience she learned, or the opportunities she had to press into the Lord and learn obedience and total dependence on Him. Which are all incredible, life-changing things which we all need to learn. But I was so overwhelmed with how she should never have had to suffer through seven years of waiting for a man who MAY NOT EVER BE ALLOWED TO MARRY. Seriously. I’m still mad about it.

And I’m happy they finally married. I’m so happy their love story worked out in the end (for a little bit). I’m happy there is a beautiful story about how a girl loved a boy, and used all her time of waiting to improve her heart and character, and to bloom where she was planted.

But I cannot get over a man who dragged her through seven years of waiting without a promise in sight.

UGH.

It’s not really my place to judge someone’s relationship. I’m happy for Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, and the heaven they experienced together for a few short years. But the long-suffering story they both walked through was the direct result of his lack of self-control. And it’s frustrating, because I’ve known so many men like that. I want my cake and eat it, too. You can’t have it both ways, buddy.

Well, I guess you can, but it can have some serious consequences. Not all love stories end like this one. (And even this one had a truly painful ending, even though good still came from it). (Probably due to the time she spent pressing into the Lord).

Anyway, back to the beauty of the book. Now that I have that off my chest. And I’m sorry for the rant.

Mostly sorry.

Anyway.

The entire last quarter of the book was fantastic. Full of wisdom, encouragement, and fulfilled hopes. I raced through the last few chapters, writing down some quotes to dwell on later, and trying to take in the things Mrs. Elliot had learned from all her years of growing while she waited. I found a lot of encouragement and challenge about relationships, and in particular marriage, here at the end.

I’m glad I read this book. Despite my frustrations with the choices of Jim Elliot in regards to Elisabeth (which is none of  my business anyway), I did end up learning quite a bit about waiting on the Lord in joy and movement- blooming where I am planted.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere.”

“The problem starts when we make up our own minds what will give us happiness and then decide, if we don’t get exactly that, that God doesn’t love us.”

“Life requires countless ‘little deaths’– occasions when we are given the chance to say no to self and yes to God. …But even little deaths have to be died just as great ones do.”

“It helped to develop in my soul tensile strength- resistance to stress, the kind of strength that can bear stretching without tearing apart.”

“Don’t walk straight into [the wayward impulses of youth] and then blame God if the temptation is too great for you.”

“Charity, which is always self-giving, says ‘I grant you your rights. I do not insist on mine. I give myself to you; I do not insist that you give yourself to me.”

“There is no ongoing spiritual life without this process of letting go. At the precise point where we refuse, growth stops.”

whimsy musings from an unlikely nanny

People have been asking me what I’ve been up to since returning home from the World Race. Other than sleeping a ton, traveling all over the place to visit friends and family (who have all seemed to move far away since my being gone), and resting in the Lord, I’ve not been up to a lot.

Except I got a job!!

It took a minute, but I accepted a job as a nanny for a swanky family in Cincinnati, OH back in February. I’ve been at it for a little over a month, and I’m really enjoying it! I care for the two sweetest (and sassiest) girls on the planet: “K” and “V”, fraternal twins who just moved back from China, and also turned 9. They have a 10-month-old-ish pup whom we’ll call “J” and is the highlight of my mid-mornings.

A typical day will involve leaving my apartment no later than 6:10 am (which means I’m up and at ’em far earlier, attempting to beat the morning rush into and through Cincy. I grab the newspaper from the sidewalk on my way in, greet the pup (who is always awake and waiting for her meal), and wait for the girls to come to the kitchen. Then I make them breakfast, make sure they brush their teeth and hair, and then walk with them and J to the bus stop. Afterwards, the pup and I take a nice long walk, and when we come back I do a load of dishes. Then, depending on the day, it’s off to laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, grocery shopping, dog grooming, and any other random assortment of tasks and errands that may need to be done. I’ll pick the girls up from school, maybe we’ll hit up the public library on our way home, and then have a snack, do some homework together, do some online math together, and have them practice their piano pieces on the days they don’t have piano class. I finish the day by cooking dinner for the fam, and then hop in my car to head home which takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the ALWAYS TERRIBLE Cincy traffic.

It’s not a bad gig.

I’m really enjoying it.

I’m also beginning to realize what a lonely life nannies ultimately lead. My day begins between 5:30 and 5:45 and ends with getting back to my apartment between 7:30 and 8:30… which is honestly late enough for me to shower, crawl into bed with a book, and drift off to catch as much sleep as I can before it all begins again. My days are spent mostly to myself, which I’m comfortable with, and when I’m surrounded by people, it’s really only two 9-year-olds and a dog. I don’t work in an office or building where I’m having conversations with other adults, I’m not meeting coworkers for coffee or drinks on the way home, I don’t have enough energy to go out with friends once I get home.

I’m realizing how much I miss normal human interaction.

But I’m willing to suck it up and deal with whatever this job has to demand of me. I have the opportunity to pay my bills and drag myself out of debt. I have the opportunity to work unsupervised and to develop a work ethic that encourages my employers to continue placing their trust in me.

And, most beautifully, I have the opportunity to invest in these girls and impress upon them value, identity, and a sense of how special they are.

I read this article a while back about how we as Americans are really missing the ball on connection and communication. For instance, we say, “How are you?” and we are really only expecting a “Fine, thanks” and let’s all move on. God forbid someone actually stop to tell us how they really are and cause us to pause on our way to Somewhere More Important. The article said we should strive to deepen our communication by asking intentional questions seeking intentional answers. I’ve been implementing this in my days with the girls: when I pick them up from school I ask questions like, “Did anything make you feel proud today?” or “Did you feel excited about anything?” And if these prompt no real answers, I ask more basic questions like “Did anything make you feel angry (or sad) today?” The goal is to get them to process how they are feeling and what is creating that emotion within them. For the first several days (up to almost two weeks) they were a little shocked at the questions and didn’t really have a lot to share. After that it become a pretty normal conversation for us to share. I would always have to prompt them, however, before they would offer what happened during their day.

UNTIL this past week when I picked the girls up from school and they both immediately launched into excited monologues about what made them proud that day, and why. I felt like such a proud mama nanny!

Our days are full of laughter and stories and dancing, playing with puppy, practicing piano, and playing games. We make it a very serious point to play Disney songs (of course they love Frozen) every evening as I make dinner. We dance around the kitchen and sing at the top of our lungs and make general fools of ourselves for the love of music and joy. Their hugs goodbye are the best gifts ever, and when they feel bad and need to cuddle, my world is a complete place.

I never would have imagined myself in a role such as this, pouring myself out for the benefit of someone else’s children… but I can’t imagine doing something else in this season. Having this incredible opportunity to impress upon these girls a real sense of their worth and beauty and intellect and value is completing me in a way I didn’t know was incomplete.

This is (hopefully) just a taste of the legacy I want to leave on this planet: a legacy of love and value that I can pour one day into my own children and that they, in turn, can pour into theirs. Isn’t that what life is meant to be? A tabletop full of champagne goblets being filled and then overflowing into the next and the next and the next until the flood reaches beyond the edge of the table and spills over into the Great Wide Somewhere.

Thanks, God, for this season.

 

of computers and resurrection

Remember that time my charging cable melted in the Philippines after a faithful four-year relationship? It was such a good cable: dependable… useful… working.

And then it melted. Literally the cables melted away from the other cables. I would explain more technically but since that’s about as expert as it gets for me in the wide world of electronics, I’m going to leave it at that.

And thus began my month of mooching off other mac chargers. Being so soon off the World Race and back into American society, I couldn’t force myself to spend $100 on anything yet. So I would find myself pushing shame and self-control to the side as I opened my mouth to ask, “Hey… can I borrow your computer charger for an hour? Overnight? Forever?”

Yet finally the shame became too much. The weight of living off the forced generosity of others became too great to bear, and I left my precious mac on my desk to collect dust and the long-lost dreams of search engines and social media.

BUT THEN I found this great website on my phone: Amazon. You could buy a knock-off mac charger for $30! What?? Who knew you could buy crappy versions of real products for a smaller amount of money?! Not this girl! Order that thing I did, and it showed up on my door within 4 days. Can someone give me a Hallelujah??!

So here I am, back in the digital age, with the ability to blog whenever I feel the itch. I want to thank you all for your patience in my absence and my silence, and promise you that there’s some gooood stuff coming your way, and soon! So raise your glass to over-sharing in the wide world of online journaling!

a wintry horizon of endless possibilities

xoxo
andi

13/14

As I prepare to greet the New Year I’m less-than-surprisingly full of nostalgia, wistfulness, and hope. Here’s a few lists to let you know where my heart is:

13 Things I Learned In 2013

1. Jersey knit is worth it

2. Live frugally and travel lavishly

3. Group travel is perhaps not for me

4. The world is bigger than my backyard… but a lot more accessible than I thought

5. I want to make a difference somehow, somewhere

6. Tomatoes are delicious… who’d’ve thought?

7. Genuine community is so, so important

8. Confrontation and conflict are not scary things, and I can do it

9. I love to garden

10. I love cold weather, but I also love to be tan

11. God is so, so, so big… and so faithful

12. I used to be slightly annoyed by small children… now? bring ’em all on!

13. I have value. I am worth it. No matter what

14 Things I Hope To Experience in 2014

1. Get a job that inspires and encourages me…and maybe others

2. Legitimately pursue theatre… in particular to send in headshots/audition for some Shakespeare companies

3. Dates (let’s be honest… it’s about time, right?)

4. Camping in Kentucky (how have I been here this long and not done this yet?)

5. More time with my family and more reunions with friends who live far away

6. Fun In The Sun. things like: early-evening movies at a park, going on actual hikes, outdoor theatre, outdoor concerts, a boat ride somewhere

7. Grow something

8. A boost of self-discipline in the form of healthy eating, a more consistent active lifestyle, and a more positive outlook on my body

9. Something surprising

10. Farm life

11. Find out if my writing can take me anywhere new

12. More volunteering in my community

13. Become a motivational speaker

14. Inspire and encourage others to live bigger and love harder

here’s to esteeming the past and embracing the future

 

in the final round

originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org

Today, somehow, I found myself thinking of a class I took a million years ago in eight grade. It was some kind of computer-y/technical/we-want-our-students-to-get-great-jobs-in-the-quickly-growing-tech-field kind of course. I don’t remember it being offered before that year and, being an altogether artsy/creative type, of course I didn’t want to take it. But take it I did, and I actually ended up learning a lot, and having a lot of fun in the meantime. Fancy that.

Today I was thinking of a particular class we had where we were learning about force and thrust and drag and stuff, and we had to make these little wooden cars that were balloon-powered. It was much easier than some of you are currently thinking.

At the end of the week we were to have a competition: whose car was fastest, whose car went the straightest for the longest distance, whose car could blah-blah-blah. It was great fun, and my little guy actually made it to the final round of something. I think it was the race category: which car could make it to the finish line first. I had won my round and was in the finals against one other boy (I think it was a guy named Matt). I was so nervous and really wanted to win, so I blew up my balloon super-extra big in order to really get a boost.

At least, that’s what I thought was going to happen. Matt only blew his balloon up a little bit, and I erred on the side of being nervous rather than cocky; he must have known something that I didn’t.

Sure enough, his car won by a landslide! It turns out that when your balloon only has a little bit of air in it, the air releases much quicker. Somewhat like Nos, that crazy stuff from the video games and Fast and Furious movies, it gives the car a quick boost of energy, whereas my balloon had a lot of air to let out and took a hot minute to get to the finish line.

That’s the difference: my car was prepared to go the distance, but much slower than Matt’s. He had prepared his car correctly for the race we were in, and I hadn’t. This was a sprint, not a marathon.

And as our teams were riding back home from the volleyball tournament we played in today, I found myself reminiscing about this random day in tech class.

Why? Why would I remember such a strange detail from my past?

I think it’s because I’m in the same situation right now. I have run my Race with endurance, and now I’m in the finals. We’re nearing the end of this season, and with less than three weeks to go, I need to prepare myself for a sprint, and stop thinking I’m still in a marathon.

It’s so easy to tell myself to hold back a little, to save some extra energy for later.

But there is no later anymore. Later has arrived. I have but a few moments left to make my mark for Jesus in this last country, and I need to sprint.  I need to give it my all, leaving nothing on the table (or in the balloon, depending on which metaphor works for you). It’s the last round for me; no more World Race after this. December is just around the corner, and I’m either going to be serious about finishing strong, finishing well, or I’m not.

And I want to be.

I want to know that I have “run with perseverance the race that is set before me” (Hebrews 12:1) and that I have finished this season of my life well. It has been overwhelming, beautiful, exhausting, challenging, hard, good, and above all a catalyst for my own personal growth in Jesus. I want to look back on this season and smile, knowing I held nothing back. It’s time for my sprint.

Let’s do this, Jesus.

mid’monthly montage: philippines edition

originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org

the things blog…

Reading
*
The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis. It’s much slower this time than the first time I went through it. But the creation of Narnia was much more magical.
*Allegiant, Veronica Roth. I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to read this and I did and I AM DYING. Read the series.
*A Dance With Dragons, George R.R. Martin. I figure it’s time to complete the circle. At least, what we currently have of it…

Watching
*I watched Miracle 4 or 5 times…
*I’ve been really into “Family” genre movies this month.

Listening
*lots of PJoe sermons. I’m trying to catch up to the church, so I can be on par for when I get home.

Eating
*THE BEST FOOD OF THE RACE.

Ministries
*skits/songs at church
*leading Kids Klub services
*weeding the huuuuuuge pineapple patch (where giant spiders live)
*ATL (Ask the Lord…wait for His prompting… and then go do it

*building relationships with the people we meet in the village or on the beach
*cleanup for typhoon damage (and we might be doing more typhoon-related stuff later on… hopefully)

Loving
*all the kids/youth here. they are AMAZING
*the food. oh my gosh, the food
*the women who do threads of hope (and having them teach me cool things!)
*having pet monkeys
*living on the most beautiful beach
*swimming in the crystal clear aqua and navy ocean

Not Loving
*it’s sooooooo hot. that’s the only thing i don’t love about this place
*except for the GIANT BUGS (including spiders and other terrifying things)

Looking Forward To
*spending every moment fully present here
*going home next month!
*christmas (it’s the most wonderful tiiiiime of the yeeeeaaar)

sent to china, ended up in tibet

originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org

Long time, no see, Readers! My team was recently stationed in China, where facebook, personal blogs, and anything associated with “M” and “C” and “J” Words was most definitely blocked.  Those words being Missionary, Christian, and Jesus. And so a month away was warranted.

It was an incredible month, even without social media sites.

My team ended up in a remote village far away from anything, in the mountains of the Tibetan provinces. If Tibet were a free country, we would have been in it rather than “China.”

At 9,600 feet, even breathing while having a conversation was extremely difficult, and my teammates and I would often wake in the middle of the night trying to catch our breath.

We did workout, however! I started a 60 Day Insanity Challenge, and was faithful every day we were at our site. I did spend most of my time catching my breath rather than burning my muscles, but it was worth it! I felt healthy, energetic (well, as much as possible), and peaceful. It seems as though if I am taking care of my body, everything else seems to fall into place. My attitude was better, my perspective was more rounded, and my humor increased. I began to enjoy team time much more, and even our ministry was more enjoyable.

Speaking of ministry…

It was a little difficult this month. There were only 3 English speakers in our town, and we were not supposed to use any “Christianese” language; rather, we were just meant to build relationships and carry God’s Spirit with us, living our lives in prayer and worship, and trusting that God Himself would take care of the souls around us.

We learned a lot about trusting in Him: to provide Divine appointments, to break down culture and language barriers, to provide our warmth without heat in our apartment (and it snowed twice). We learned a lot about reveling in the beauty and glory of God’s creation: we were surrounded by the most beautiful mountains, and a sky so blue you could swim in it.

I’m sitting here in a very short layover in Malaysia, on our way to the Philippines (where we’ve heard a typhoon is brewing just north of it), so I’ll keep this short.

Be in prayer for the people of China, and of Tibet. Be in serious intercession for the “M” workers who live there. They need support, and encouragement, and protection in the deepest way.

And trust in our Great and Mighty God to provide.

Because He will.

From andimoore.theworldrace.org
climbing huge mountains to rejoice and pray

From andimoore.theworldrace.org
jumping in prairies with schoolchildren

From andimoore.theworldrace.org
marveling at how blessed we are, and how good He is

mid’monthly mind’splosion: rrrrrrrwanda

originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org

the things blog. a halfway-through-the-month roundup of all the “things I’m…” enjoy.

Reading

  • Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, Rick Riordan. Finished in 2 days. Still not the greatest books, but the Greek mythology is entertaining and it’s a quick read.
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding. Less entertaining than the movie, but I’m glad I read it. I should definitely up my knowledge on British inside humor.
  • Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse, Rick Riordan. See above.
  • Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer. Slow in some places, but I just love anything that Krakauer writes.
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry. Not quite as awesome as when we read it in 7th grade, but definitely a little weirder. …So that’s good.
  • Bossypants, Tina Fey. Straight to the point, funny, and an insight into how incredibly intelligent she really is.
  • Hope Mendola’s Blog. Like, hours of it. It’s so encouraging and insightful and uplifting. She’s an incredibly gifted writer.
  • The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper. After long standing as my favorite movie, I decided to finally open the book. As of today I’m only past the historical introduction and first chapter, but I can tell it’s going to be a really good read.

Listening

  • all the new music I ganked from Shannon last month. thank you, Big Band Music.

Watching

  • The West Wing, Season 1. Only the greatest show ever written, directed, or acted in. Ever.
  • Grey’s Anatomy, Seasons 1 and 2. With almost every other girl in the house. SO MANY EMOTIONS.

Eating

  • bread and butter
  • corkscrew noodles with peas
  • macaroni noodles
  • fried potatoes
  • rice
  • iced lattes whenever possible (not as often as desirable, but…)
  • the sweetest pineapple anyone has ever eaten ever

Ministry

  • teaching in schools
  • preaching in churches
  • women’s ministry
  • youth ministry

Loving

  • every second of watching Grey’s with the ladies
  • iced lattes
  • the atmosphere of a real coffee shop
  • community
  • the rain we’ve had off and on the past couple days

Not Loving

  • the mountain we have to climb in order to get to any sort of ministry or off day.
  • how stinking hot it is ALL THE TIME
  • the incredibly long trip to town on a bus that stops every few feet

Looking Forward To

  • ASIA. Since I was 12.

From andimoore.theworldrace.org

world race reveals… episode 8

originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org

I’m Going To Use The Word “Healing” A Lot

This morning I finally listened to Pastor Joe’s* sermon from Father’s Day, back on June 16. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get to this point, or why it was today that I listened to it. But he was talking about children as arrows, and loosing them at the right target, and about how “God as Father” might be a scary or frightening concept for those who grew up without fathers or with abusive dads or whatever. If you read my blog from last September (WRR Episode 1), I wrote about how the World Race was really bringing up some of the daddy issues I’ve been facing for the last twenty-some-odd years. I talked about some of the open wounds that still remained, and some that had closed but left scars that ached randomly and in the most inopportune times. Really inconvenient, they were.

But as I listened to the message the Lord laid out for Pastor Joe, for the first time in my life, I felt peace. I didn’t feel slighted or hurt or scared or misunderstood. I didn’t feel angry about my childhood or sad about my present or worried about my future. I felt– I feel– peace about all of it. I was not aware that this was something God was working slowly and surely on, and I was overwhelmed with my response to PJoe’s words this morning. I can say with confidence and joy that the Lord my God– my loving Father– has brought me to a new and complete place of healing. No more will I identify myself as a girl with daddy issues, lingering or not. No more will I need prayer for healing for all those holes in my heart. It’s such a strange and light feeling to have this thing, this burden I’ve struggled with for so long, be gone. It’s literally and tangibly as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I can take my first steps in healing, and begin to pray for others. I can walk with joy and hope and potential. I can laugh at the days to come! This is the second time in my life I am fully aware of the depth and healing the Lord has brought to me, and as He is guiding my embarkation into a brand new season of life (stay tuned for more information on this awesome and exciting development), I know this is just one of the many, many things we will be dancing through together.


*Pastor Joe is the Senior Pastor of my church at home, Vineyard Community Church Richmond, and is basically like a surrogate father to all, but especially me. Hearing his sermons is like a taste of home, not just because it’s church, but because the sound of his voice is like the sound of home and family and cold Saturday mornings spent cooking and baking and knitting with his wife and a handful of college students.

From andimoore.theworldrace.org
PJoe, doin’ his thang, in case you needed to know what he looks like

From andimoore.theworldrace.org
love is the aroma of home

safari bingo

originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org

Guys. GUYS. I got to go on an AFRICAN SAFARI. For reals.

It was one of THE COOLEST experiences of my life so far.

Since I was a little girl, I had dreamed of going on a real African Safari, I’m sure spurred on by my love and hundreds of viewings of The Lion King, Jungle Book (Live Version), and Jumanji.

My Mom, who loves me enormously, so much so she is willing to sacrifice her own comfort, sent me money to go on this dream trip. A few of my teammates, joined by handful of two other teams, headed out for Maasai Mara on a cold and early Friday morning.

After passing the first herd of zebra, grazing nonchalantly on the side of the road like common deer at home, I knew I was not sufficiently prepared for the surreality of what was to lie ahead.

11 hours, several pit stops, a riot with tear gas, and a delightful little hotel in the middle of nowhere later, early Saturday morning we arrive at the park where we’ll be making my dreams come true. Our driver, Steven, pops the top of the jeep up so we can stand and look out into real life. After 45 minutes of waiting for our passes, we finally pass through gates worthy of Jurassic Park status, and begin the adventure of a lifetime.

What they tell you about safaris: you’ll see TONS of live animals.

What they don’t tell you about safaris: 90% of it will be zebra and wildebeest herds, who incidentally live, eat, drink, and migrate together. I cannot begin to describe the enormity of these herds. There must have been thousands upon thousands that we saw in the first two hours of the journey. I can only say that that scene in the Lion King where the wildebeest stampede to the detriment of Simba’s and also every little girl’s heart is REAL. Not only do they live in those kind of numbers and more, but when we saw them stampeding later, supposedly being chased by a cheetah in the back of the herd, it was like a real-life enactment of the movie.

After the third hour of seeing only zebras, wildebeests, a smattering of tiny antelopes, and the occasional water buffalo herd (at which point in time I sang a resounding chorus of Larry The Cucumber’s hit Everybody’s Got A Water Buffalo), I was ready to see something different, something crazy. And our God, who is tender and sweet to my heart, answered my prayers.

We saw, in no particular order:

elephants and their babies
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

lionesses snoozing (and this yawning one)
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

a BOY LION (the one thing I desperately wanted to see, above and beyond anything else)
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

of course wildebeests
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

the funniest-looking water buffalo face of all time
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

zebra herds
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

herds of giraffes AND zebras

From andimoore.theworldrace.org

troops of baboons walking down the road, playing and carrying their babies on their backs

From andimoore.theworldrace.orgFrom andimoore.theworldrace.org

hippos floating and yawning in the great Mara River
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

two crocodiles next to them who seemed to care less that their one natural enemy was lounging yards away from them
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

a cheetah who snored himself awake under an acacia tree only feet from where our jeep parked
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

white-bodied and black-faced monkeys eating and swinging through the tree tops
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

storks who look like they wear suit jackets
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

vultures eating at the remains of a wildebeest carcass (and then this stately-looking one)
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

giraffes in the far distance
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

giraffes eating a tree
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

and one who saw our jeep, walked out of the brush, and stood right in front of us like a model striking a pose.
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

We saw towards the end of the day another lioness who sat right beside our jeep and when I purred at her, looked right at me.
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

We saw impalas with horns that were larger than any I had seen in a zoo
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

lonely ostriches who walked with their heads near the earth (except for this confidant one)
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

guinea fowl who resembled what I always imagined dodo birds might look like
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

hundreds of termite mounds the size of a small car
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

warthogs that didn’t look or act nearly as friendly as Pumbaa led us to believe they would (hence, no picture)

every kind of deer and antelope you could imagine
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

a dust devil
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

and some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen.
From andimoore.theworldrace.orgFrom andimoore.theworldrace.orgFrom andimoore.theworldrace.orgFrom andimoore.theworldrace.org

with some yoga action in there, too
(and in the far distance, you can see a giraffe in the shade of my tree)
From andimoore.theworldrace.org

I went home the next day knowing what it felt like to have a long-envisioned dream come true. I went home having seen animals I had only dreamed of and, being an enthusiastic and outspoken animal lover, this was one of the most special moments on the Race so far. I am so grateful to have had this experience, and so grateful to my Mother, who makes dreams come true.

best day on the race

originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org

It really was. It has easily been my favorite day so far. Here’s a rundown of what we did:

We left early to go visit the Havilah Family Orphanage. As we arrived, all the children ran out cheering to greet our car. As we all fell out of squishing into the tight space, children began jumping into our arms, hugging and kissing us.

Every day should begin like that.

We walk into the home, sit down, and cover ourselves with a blanket of children. And this is how we sit for awhile. Just covered in loving children who just want to touch us.

After awhile chores begin. We all peel potatoes, we boil water, we wash the little ones in buckets in the front yard- hair and faces and knees and toes, everything is scrubbed, and the little ones don’t complain while the sit shivering in the cold water.

Time to dry off!  The older girls scramble to wash all the baby clothes and find replacements while dozens of naked babies run around in the sunshine to dry since there are no towels.

After bath time is cuddle time. Sit on the couch and wait for 4 or 5 babies to come love on you, petting your skin or hair, or just cozying up as close as possible to the warmth of your arms. We decide to show The Lion King on my laptop, just as two teammies and our contact show up with a surprise: 2 brand-new mattresses! The kids all run out screaming and jumping, and almost trip the girls bringing them in. Instead of taking them into the bedroom, they plop them down on the floor right in front of the movie, and all 34 kids scramble for a seat, either back on our laps, or on the comfy new beds.

The movie was a huge success; they loved it! And afterwards lunch was served finally, first to the itty bitties, then to the next oldest, and so on and so forth until all have been served, and my own team gets to participate in the rice/potato/cabbage dish. It’s delicious, probably because we are surrounded by the sounds of chomping and slurping and chewing. It was the most beautiful sound that day.

But the day didn’t end there! Oh, no. After lunch was cleaned up, the dishes washed, the floor mopped with a rag, and an imminent rainstorm threatening, Milly and the girls decide to put on a show for us. The daylight dims as the clouds roll in, and the girls start to sing a welcome song. It’s so cozy in that room with no electricity, listening to the sounds of the storm roll in. Each girl, this time beginning with the oldest, stands up one at a time, introduces herself with “Bwana Asifiwe” (Praise God), her name, and her age, and then presents either her own song, a narrative, or a dance. Sometimes all three at once! The afternoon wears slowly on as the pounding of monsoon-level rain demands more volume from the participants, all of whom are smiling and laughing and praising God for His abundance.

But then it’s our turn! One by one the girls cheer each of my team members on, ushering them to the center of the living room to participate in the show; we do pushups, we dance, we sing, we share a little bit about the grace and greatness of Go, we share pieces of our own love for the girls… and by the time it comes to say goodbye, we’re all crying through our smiles, hugging, and kissing, and embracing like we don’t know when we’ll see each other again, hoping it will still be this side of heaven.

And we part, a little piece of each of us staying with the rest. And while it is emotional and difficult to leave these beautiful girls and boys behind, it is with confidence knowing that the Lord is their God and Father and Guardian and Protector and Provider, and how much more so than us does He give good things to His babies.

Bwana Asifiwe.

From andimoore.theworldrace.org