You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2007.

I am taking on a new adventure – photography. While I am certainly not planning on quitting my job and launching a full-out, full-time photography career (yet), I am ready to get started and learn.

With a few client requests and immense support, my next step is taking some classes annndd…creating a blog :) So go check it out.

aaphoto.blogspot.com

It’s not much right now, but I will be posting some recent work and new work when it comes. If you’d like to be part of that work, just let me know :)

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The other night, I was reading and, for some reason, the hymn “The Solid Rock” popped into my head, particularly the refrain, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”

I have no wise insights or elaborations on that. But I just found myself relishing in those two lines, and in the truth they portray. We shouldn’t be surprised that anything else we try to stand on will sink. I’m becoming more and more aware that I can’t stand on my ability to be a faithful servant of Christ, or even a half-decent Christian husband to my wife. But if I stand on Christ, I am standing on a Solid Rock – THE Solid Rock. If I try to stand on my own knowledge or gifts, they will absolutely fail every time. Last week, our pastor (a.k.a. my father-in-law) was preaching about hope in Christ. And as followers of Christ, we can rejoice that our eternal hope is provided exclusively by Christ’s work on the cross. What a frightening thought, that if not for God’s unmerited act of kindness, I would be absolutely without hope.

This is an idea I’ve been familiar with for some time. But it seems that God, in His grace, has chosen this time to remind me of the gospel that I forget so easily. I believe He’s providentially placed certain events in my life, and certain reading materials, not necessarily to teach me anything new, but to refresh the simple gospel message in my heart. I’ve always associated spiritual growth with learning new things about God. So to re-learn things I’ve already “learned” seems weird to me. But maybe it’s just me learning for the first time that the gospel itself should be the true center of my faith, that I should “know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Co. 2:2) It baffles me how something so simple can be so hard for me to understand, much less live out in my everyday life. Maybe that’s part of why the gospel is mysterious. But God has been faithful and patient with me. So I’m grateful.

I guess I’ve (we’ve) been pretty good about updating this blog every two weeks or so. Usually it’s just a look back at the previous two weeks between blogs…sometimes some fun pictures. This blog, however, is a look backward AND forward.

The past two weeks have been really exciting, really GOOD and really scary. God has busted into our lives in a forceful, welcomed way. Goodness. We have taken a good look at where we are and perhaps been shown glimpses of what the next few years might be like. To be honest, the excitement and novelty of being newlyweds got old pretty quick. This is the nitty gritty, real, messy stuff we’ve been waiting for: the rest of our lives.

It’s funny, when we first started dating and really wondering where our futures were going, we talked about things like, “What if God called you to another country to die there? Would you do it?” or “I want to live in a mud hut.” I remember the excitement and romanticism of those conversations, mixed in with falling in love. What a crazy time. But I can honestly say that our hearts were fully God’s. Maybe even more than they are now. We were so ready to do anything for Him, NO MATTER WHAT.

Now, two years and a wedding later, some of those grand aspirations look a little different. Instead of martyr, maybe it’s mother. Instead of missionary, maybe it’s full-time employee (who says they are that different?). Either way, the past week has been an evaluation of if we are still willing to live a life of worship, no matter what is looks like. I can say with a good amount of certainty that God is not calling us to a mud hut in India (though if He did we might pee a little in excitement and fear). God, in His goodness, is calling us to average American lives. To pay bills and deal with money. To buy “work clothes”. To drive the beltway. To interact with people who’s cars are more important than their spouses and their jobs more important than their kids. Sometimes, I think it’s harder than shacking it up in a mud hut.

Though I’m not giving a lot of detail about what we think might be in store for us in the near future (at least not until a few more things are really solidified), I can tell you that we are excited. And terrified. I will also tell you that God is near. More near than we’ve let Him be in some time. I had forgotten what it was like to trust someone else with my future. It is the most reassuring thing to be led by someone who’s proved Himself, even when you forget He has.

If you read this blog and feel so inclined, please pray for us. Though this is an exciting time, it is also a confusing one. We are so worried of wrong motivations and eagerness to the point of rushing. Pray that our next steps are clear and that no matter what they are that we will take them.

Thanks.

It is a ridiculous life we (all) lead. How great it is to know that we are not missing out on anything. We have been promised a FULL life, the whole shabang. No second guessing or regretting or wishing we had tried something else. Just life.

Until next time…ehh, two weeks or so… :)

You know, now that I’m “grown up”, I feel that the word “cool” isn’t as acceptable. You know, at work when the boss says, “Everybody got it?” I can’t just be like, “Cool.” I’m already the youngest one there, so I say something like, “Absolutely.” or “Excellent.” You know, something adult-y. But here in blogland, I can say whatever I want! So, here’s a list of things that I think are cool lately:

  • I started a new job with ACS and get to sign all my emails “project manager” (!). I also get my own space! Even though it’s a non-private cubicle, it’s nice to have my own domain :) (P.S. I realize I am a huge dork and am obviously a recent, wide-eyed college graduate. I’m okay with it.)
  • Drew and I might be getting the hang of the whole money thing. The other night, we went to Staples and bought a whole organizing station (which really just means a file holder and two paper trays) and went home and organized the mess which was our desk. All of our bills get their own little tabbed folder and there is a designated space for “incoming mail” and “outgoing mail”.
  • We got a magazine from Gospel for Asia the other day. (If you don’t know about GFA, click here. We’ve never given money to a better organization.) It is such an awesome thing; it’s called the Christmas catalog and in it, you can “order” items to be given to people in India. For example, for $5, you can provide a family with chickens. The gifts range from $1 to $5000. There are also items that you can order for yourself, like books. It is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
  • My dad gave me a camera bag that he had laying around. It’s so COOL. It was given to him by a professional photographer friend who got it from the WHITE HOUSE. Apparently, they give “official White House photographers” special camera bags…and I have one. Besides being a great quality bag, it says, “Official White House Photographer” on it. C’mon, that IS cool.
  • We led worship for the middle schoolers for the first time last Sunday! A lot different than what we are used to (you know, LC retreats), there are only about 40 kids and they didn’t really know how to take us. We just decided to go in full of energy and make fools of ourselves…and we did. We’re so excited to be teaching them songs they don’t know. We’ve found a niche for sure!
  • Drew’s taking on a big project…recording his hymns medley from his senior recital. All of the originals are on board (Smizzle, Alan, Steven), plus some new recruits (Tom and Mike). Drew’s going to make some new arrangements, put together CD’s for the singers and then produce the whole thing! We’re scheduled to record with Jason sometime in January.
  • I might be photographing the Brown family this weekend! Jason and Shannon Brown have the most gorgeous kids I have ever seen and Shannon has agreed to at least let me photograph their daughter, Faith (who seriously, is so gorgeous). I’m excited to give it a shot!
  • Tomorrow, we are going to a friend’s wedding – the first since our own. We get to hang out with Jeff and Meg! We’re excited to be going to a wedding as a married couple :)
  • Last, but not least, Katie Kosko is coming to visit this month. I am so stinking excited about this. Katie is one of the coolest people I know :) We’re planning on going out to dinner and just chatting the night away. COOL.

Also cool, it’s finally fall and finally November! I told Drew this morning that I am so excited about this year’s holiday season (he promptly made fun of me for saying “holiday season”). I can’t wait to try and cook a turkey :) We are also going on a sweet Christmas vacation with Drew’s family; a cabin in PA, close to NYC and a ski resort, WITH a hot tub. SO COOL.

So, what cool things are happening with you? :)