{Seminary Journal} One Year DOWN!

10342448_10152463688788109_3686387471429485253_nTwo semesters. One (school) year. Done. It’s crazy! I can hardly believe how quickly that FLEW by. One moment I was crying ten gallon buckets of tears as we hugged our families goodbye, and the next, Andrew is finishing his second semester and we’re getting ready to watch dear friends graduate…friends we didn’t even know nine months ago. Three years sounded really long when we first made plans to move, but now I feel like if I blink, it will be Andrew’s turn to graduate. That’s not to say that some of the days didn’t feel long; they did. But overall, the weeks and months sailed by.

There is much to be grateful for as I reflect on these past two semesters. Andrew has certainly grown, not only in his Bible knowledge, but in his passion for it. How could you not, when you spend hours and hours immersed in it each week? I love to get a window into his experiences when he gets home from class and spills over highlights from his day. I love when he is so excited about what he learned, that he can’t tell me sitting down. I love when I get a mini off-the-cuff sermon and a tiny taste of what it might be like someday to sit under his preaching. I love to meet in person the guys he raves about to me at home. I love to hear about the conversations he is having with fellow students who love Christ. There is so much to love, I could go on and on!

Andrew has been not only an exemplary student thus far, but also an A+ husband. While somehow pulling off amazing grades, he has not neglected to care for me and see that my “emotional cup” is full. Sure, there is give and take. I have to be content with homework-filled weekends and evenings, and days when we don’t get to really connect the way we’d like to. But overall, despite a ton of homework, work, and other ministry responsibilities, Andrew chooses to make time for the two of us, usually at the cost of sleep or some extra studying. Not only does he spend time with me, he serves me in so many ways. Today when I got home from work, for example, he’d taken a break from his last homework assignment to wash the dishes, clean out the fridge, make the bed, and start two loads of laundry. With my current state, he’s a better housewife than I am! ;)

I don’t say this to brag, I say it to build up my husband and “publicly” thank him for being such a servant-hearted guy. I am immeasurably blessed to call him mine.

The next two years will be more challenging than the first, as we juggle this apartment manager thing with harder classes and a baby. But God’s grace is truly sufficient for all things, and I am confident that it will be another sweet season to treasure Christ and each other as we grow in new ways. Praise the Lord for His many undeserved blessings in our lives!

Sweet Days

10012987_10152362752693109_1585019742_nThese are sweet days of seminary life. Andrew is quite buried in homework, but continues to love everything he is studying. In addition to my administrative job, I am enjoying a few hours a week at the bookstore, checking customers and shelving books.

Over the weekend, we enjoyed time with my grandma, uncle, aunt, and cousins. My grandma had just had a round of chemo so I had the opportunity to help out with a few things around the house and just spend time with her. It was a special time.

Last night, Andrew took me to a fancy little organic bakery in Sherman Oaks. They have an amazing selection of gluten free desserts! I have been nibbling on a delicious blondie and I am saving a mouthwatering piece of salted caramel chocolate cake. Mmmmm. Afterward, we popped in on a few of our good friends and enjoyed some spontaneous fellowship.

Lord-willing, we will be moving to a smaller apartment in a cleaner neighborhood next week. It’s time I started thinking about packing, but I haven’t done a thing yet. This weekend, we are looking forward to a couple of nights at a lodge a few hours away. It is owned by a Christian couple who lets seminary students stay for two nights free! Andrew will be taking homework and I will bring a stack of good books.

I miss my family a lot, but I know that June will be here before we know it. We are making many small but sweet memories during this season, and I am so grateful that this is where God has us.

{Seminary Journal} Our First Shepherds’ Conference

    1972323_10152333440573109_40077871_n Life has been bouncing along down here in LA. Last week was our first Shepherds’ Conference at Grace Community Church. Thousands of pastors from around the world flocked to the campus for fellowship with one another and refreshment, encouragement, and exhortation from God’s Word. It was a tremendously joyous week for many of us involved in various capacities. I already can’t wait for next year!

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The conference kicked off with the seminary student body singing O For A Thousand Tongues and Lift High the Cross. I proudly watched my dashing hubby from the conference bookstore, where I enjoyed working most of Wednesday.

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The event’s highlight for us was having my parents fly down. My dad attended all three days of the conference with Andrew, which was a blast to observe, and my mom and I spent hours cooking, laughing, eating, and talking books, marriage, and ministry. Both my parents were able to meet most of our close seminary and church friends throughout the week. It is always a huge treat for me to introduce my family to my friends, and vice versa. I also had the privilege of taking in one of Al Mohler’s sessions online, and John MacArthur’s closing session in an overflow room. Andrew and my dad came home every day overflowing with all the excellent teaching they had taken in and spilled it over to my mom and me. It was a joy to see them so encouraged and built up in the Word.

Andrew and I came home with stacks of new books, many of which I’m excited to dive into and hopefully review here in future months. The biblical resources available to us were endless!

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There’s no way we could have planned the events of the week to work out better. It was a special gift from start to finish. My parents spoiled us rotten with a couple of delicious meals out, and my mom and I squeezed in an IKEA field trip as well. That store is a lot more fun with her than by myself! All-in-all, last week was one we’ll look back on with fondness for years to come. I miss my parents, but my heart is overflowing with the precious memories we shared.

{Marriage Journal} The Best 15 Minutes of My Day

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Here we are almost halfway through the semester and I haven’t written anything but book reviews! I thought I’d share a brief post about my favorite thing about this semester.

I haven’t been able to join Andrew for his prayer class, but I’ve reaped some of the benefits nonetheless. His main assignment is to pray for an hour every day, seven days a week. He is allowed to pray with me for part of that time.

Every evening, probably six out of the seven nights, we spend 15 minutes praising and thanking our Savior together, and then offering supplication for one another, family, and friends. I can’t tell you how incredibly sweet and rewarding this time has been. And we don’t run out of things to pray about, we run out of time! I’ve requested a few times recently that he save 30 minutes for us instead of 15. It’s humbling to admit, but we have never had a regular, scheduled time of prayer together. We usually prayed before going to sleep, and of course before meals, or when specific situations came up, but it’s been a tremendous blessing to devote special time almost daily to come before the throne of grace as a couple. It’s my favorite thing about this semester and my favorite 15 minutes of every day.

It’s also grown my individual prayer life as I recognize how little time I intentionally give to praying. I “talk to God” throughout my day, but there is such a sweetness to setting aside everything else and just zeroing in on communion with Him.

I am praying (no really, I am) that we would continue to make regular prayer time together a priority going forward, after it is no longer “homework”. This has to be the most rewarding and wonderful assignment ever! And it complements my study of Hebrews perfectly as I am reminded of what a privilege it is to come straight to God through Jesus Christ, instead of through priests. What a loving and gracious Heavenly Father we serve!

Christmas Letter 2013

If you have a church mailbox in Washington, or I saw you in person while here, hopefully you received a Christmas letter and picture. If not, you can read it here! =) With all the busyness of visiting friends and family, addressing and mailing everyone on our normal list just didn’t make it into the schedule this season. {You can click on the letter to view a larger version. The original hard our contact information on the bottom left; if you need that, feel free to let me know in the comments section.}

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{Seminary Journal} Update Letter October 2013

For those of you who don’t attend our home church in Washington, this letter went in the church mailboxes last week. =) I loved that Andrew thought of and made time for doing this…it was a fun way to feel connected with everyone back home. If the text is too small, you can click on the letter to enlarge it.

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Cubed 09/13/2013

Here’s a quick photographic glimpse into just a few pieces of the past month.

Our homemade bows for Bow Tie Sunday.

Our homemade bows for Bow Tie Sunday.

California driver's license came!

California driver’s license came!

Homework by the sea.

Homework by the sea.

The beautiful Grace Church courtyard.

The beautiful Grace Church courtyard.

A good book and iced coffee, poolside.

A good book and iced coffee, poolside.

Bringing lunch to my favorite student.

Bringing lunch to my favorite student.

In-N-Out shake date!

In-N-Out shake date!

My work spot in the TMS library.

My work spot in the TMS library.

Boogie boarding is our new favorite.

Boogie boarding is our new favorite.

Cooking meatloaf on a cooler day - 83 degrees!

Cooking meatloaf on a cooler day – 83 degrees!