Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's time

Every day at least one thing happens or crosses my mind that morphs itself into blog post form in my brain. I realize you never would have guessed it because it has been WAY too long since anything took physical form.
Let's approach this classically...where I've been - where I am - where I'm going...

August 10: Completed a most INCREDIBLE summer with YouthWorks in Puerto Rico.
My team! Juan, Johnny, Me, Andria


August 11
: Moved back to Chicago with my parents.

August 19: Registered to get an associates degree in Criminal Justice at College of DuPage.

August 27
: Went to Mexico City for a week and a half with my good friend, Ali.
Subway, subway, subway

Epic soccer game - the winning team!

September 8: Began working with Oasis High School Ministries at Grace Bible Church.

While I may have believed and even sworn at times that I would never do two things - 1) move home after college, and 2) go back to school after I graduated - I am convinced this is where God wants me right now. He's funny like that...He saw me making my plans, watched as those plans fell into place, bringing me fleeting happiness through manifestations of what I thought were the greatest dreams and passions imaginable...and then allowed them to fall to pieces. Why??? So that I would finally lift my hands to Him and say, "I can't do it on my own. Put the pieces where YOU want them." He leads me with greater peace and endless joy as I walk toward an unknown future than I ever could give myself as I walked toward my own man-made facade.

The journey certainly continues!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Positivity Week!!!

There are many decisions in life. I’m not just talking about what sports team to go out for in 6th grade, or what college to go to, or who to marry. These are all difficult decisions that may be faced, but I’m talking more about choosing virtues.
It is necessary to CHOOSE to:






Be Joyful

I had many opportunities this summer to make the decisions to: get up in the morning after another 5 hour night, continue having conversations in Spanish even though everything takes me twice as long to come up with, keep serving people who didn't want to be in Puerto Rico, and most of all BE JOYFUL through every circumstance.

After one particularly trying week, my supervisor had the genius idea of having positivity week - no matter what happened, we were going to find the joy in EVERY situation! And you know what? We did! No one can steal your joy away when it is grounded in the Lord! Never give up hope :-)

Saturday, July 17, 2010


The Lord works in mysterious ways…at exactly the right time.
After a particularly trying group of participants I was feeling the wear and tear of living in another country, communicating in another language, and being responsible for what is the highlight of many teenagers’ summers. I missed PROCESSING, I missed CONVERSATIONS, I missed FRIENDS, and I missed HEARING GOD speak into my life. I felt tired and very alone. My body was crying out for rest and my spirit was crying out for attention. This was God’s response:
- On Friday evening I got to talk to my supervisor and friend for an hour.
- On Friday night I spent 3 hours connecting with friends and family from home.
- On Saturday morning I had the opportunity to journal while I waited for my laundry.
- On Saturday afternoon I got to have a great conversation with one of our community partners for a few hours.
- On Saturday evening I was able to feel like part of a family as we watched the Arecibo basketball team win the championship with some community friends.
- On Sunday morning we sang these words…
…and tears poured down my face
- After service the pastor’s wife prayed for God’s strength and restoration to empower me
- Sunday afternoon a friend from another YouthWorks! site called me just to pray with me before our groups showed up for the next week
- Our group didn’t arrive until late so my staff and I had enough time to prepare and feel really on top of things for a GREAT start to the week!
I’ve told several people that this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. But I’ve also learned firsthand that God will not ask us to do anything we are not equipped for. No matter how many times I have to reach into the depths of myself to find those remaining smiles and chipper mornings, I will never run dry…y signo cantando! I keep singing!

To Know About Driving in Puerto Rico

• It’s okay to park in the middle of an entrance ramp if you’re grabbing dinner to go at Wendy’s
• Shoulder = extra lane
• Flashing stoplight = free for all – the bigger you are the better chance you have of getting through the intersection
• If there is no color lit up…just assume it’s your green
• Honking is how you communicate everything – “Of course you can merge in front of me!” “You just cut me off!” “Hey, it’s my buddy from high school!” “Don’t back out of your driveway.” “I’ll take 3 mangos while I’m waiting for this stoplight!” “Oops…my hand slipped…”

Catching up...What in the world am I doing here???

I want the joy of the Lord to be the first thing people notice about me!
I want God’s love to be what people remember about me!
I want the peace of the Holy Spirit to be what people experience with me!
I don’t want them to remember Adrienne, from YouthWorks! I want them to remember God’s presence in Puerto Rico.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico!!!

It’s been 9 days since I first touched down on the island of Puerto Rico. After much uncertainty this spring on how to spend my summer, I accepted a position as a Site Director with Youthworks!
What is YouthWorks?? It’s an incredible short-term missions organization dedicated to “providing life-changing, Christ-centered youth mission opportunities.” There is a special place in my heart for YouthWorks’ purpose because 5 years ago on my first missions trip it did just that, as for the first time I heard God calling me to something: leadership. It was during the following year that I received the call also to youth and to overseas missions, but YouthWorks was the vessel for that first step.
Now, combining all three of those passions, I find myself in the position to be a part of life-changing experiences in other students’ lives this summer. It is my responsibility to ensure that my site in Arecibo, Puerto Rico runs smoothly; that my three incredible staff members are enabled to do their jobs well; and that our relationships with partners in the community grow stronger and healthier throughout the summer. The next few months will be a fun mix of opportunities to be involved in kid’s lives, work on service projects, and organize things as I bounce around between my staff’s ministry sites and my administrative responsibilities.
Last week and this week is a time for us to set up our site and begin getting to know people here in this incredible, relationship-oriented culture. It’s been exciting already to see God stretching me through things like the necessity of speaking Spanish and leading a staff team who is just as outgoing and energetic as myself.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Smells like SPRING!

Some people laugh at me, but I can smell the seasons. You may not have thought about it, but I bet you can too ;-)
Let's face it: Spring smells like mud and worms, and it's awesome.
Winter smells like water and COLD (yes, it has a smell...)
Fall smells like trees and leaves.
...and Summer, oh beautiful summer...just smells like happiness :-) (and sunscreen, if you like that kind of thing)

This afternoon will see my first outside run of the season. And I can't stop smiling :-)
Get out there and take a walk! Go for a run! Or at least open the windows!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Health, Wealth, and Relationships

Sitting with some friends tonight, the question arose: "What is most important in life - health, wealth, or relationships?"
Some felt that health was the most important - "without health, you will die" was the argument, and then what good would any of the others be?
However, there were also those who felt that relationships have an effect on your health, so if the relationships die the health goes anyway...
BUT, without money, will people be willing to have relationships with you? and could you afford to have good health?
My opinion? Wealth - it's important to be financially responsible, and it gives people a certain security to feel they have that "suitcase under the bed", but is that really where I want my identity? Health - Honestly, I take my health for granted because there is nothing physically wrong with me, but I still would choose to be surrounded by people who love me if I was in the midst of a medical crisis.
I believe that healthy relationships are the most important of these three. Now, when I think of the word "relationships" I think of my family and my friends. Above all else, if I am building relationships that are held together by the love of God, I think the other areas of my life will be healthy as well.
As the conversation progressed, it became obvious that different people had different definitions of certain words. When we said "relationships" did we mean family and friends or boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse? When we said "health" did we mean physical, mental or overall?
Different definitions led to different answers, and different backgrounds led to different priorities, but for myself I was reminded more and more that the most important thing was my relationship with my Father and Savior, and to let Him guide me through these other areas of life.
Which is most important to you?