Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I am going to dance again.

God has been ministering to my heart how he really does have a plan for me, and it is being fulfilled every single day. I just have to believe, and be willing to receive it.

He actually prodded me to begin dancing again, much to my joyful surprise! I really did think that part of my life was long gone. I never saw it in my future since I left the studio 5 years ago. But here I am today, enrolled in the Dance Studies program at my dream college, and getting more nervous and excited everyday to get back into the studio in January.

The past 5 years have been incredible, and I wouldn't take one thing away. It was hard to push forward though, and even harder to hold onto the hope that my future was bright. I have wanted to help others through dance ever since I was 4 years old. My dance teacher then, Ms. Nancy, was my role model, and I wanted to be just like her. She made me feel like I could do anything, and that I was beautiful.

When God asked me stop, because he was jealous (the dance world was beginning to suck me in, and it isn't all tutus and roses, let me tell ya), I listened. He gave me no word that I would ever return, but it was worth it to me if I could only stay with Jesus. He had promised me adventure with him, and that is all I ever wanted.

Adventure is what I got too, as Jesus led me to deal with my battles with anger and codependency. He challenged me to look outside of myself, and at the world around me. He taught me the difference between sympathy and empathy, between empowering and enabling. I went to churches I never would have attended. I made friends I never would have had, and with them I had adventures that changed my life. In the midst of this, I experienced a roller coaster of emotions inside as I struggled to trust God with who I am, for once not letting dance define me.

I have a trust in Jesus that I never had before, after coming through the wilderness with him. It is amazing to look back and see how much stronger he has made me. I would never be the person I am today if I hadn't given up dance. I don't regret where he has lead me, and I certainly have no protests to where he is taking me now. It is going to keep being an adventure.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Casting Fruit and Don Knotts Dream

I should be blogging more. I gotta share this dream.

A little back story before I start: I hate lakes. I think they are nasty, still water, full of bird poop that never moves. Also, all those nasty lake fish/creatures totally freak me out, and I have had bad dreams about them.

The dream begins with me on a lake. I'm in a canoe with two men, and we are casting fruit on the water to see what will eat it. We keep moving around the lake, not waiting to see if the fruit is even taken up.

At one point, I fall out of the canoe, but I just keep casting fruit, and swim from one side of the lake to the other. The men soon jump out of the canoe also, and we're all throwing fruit and swimming.

I realize that I'm not afraid of the lake. I wait to become afraid once I remember my fear, but the fear never comes. I think about lake creatures, but I still feel fine. I keep casting fruit, but am getting tired of staying afloat in the lake.

I eventually wash up on the shore of the lake. I am so tired that I am unaware of what the other men are doing. I lie on my stomach, and let my body sink into the sand. I think, "Finally, I can rest."

I wake from my dream in my bed. I get up, and I see Don Knotts sitting by my bookshelf. He has his arm stuck all the way in the bottom shelf, so his hand is touching the wall on the other side. It's a peculiar position to be in.

I ask Don Knotts what he is doing here, and he addresses the end of my dream, when I was at rest on the shore.

He says, "In life, we go to a lot of places and do a lot of things, but we can not find rest. These may be great things that we are doing, and we may be happy wherever we are, but it will mean nothing until we can rest. The purpose of life is to find a place where we can be at rest, and you can't stay in the same place until you find it."

I woke up for real this time, and realized why a lot of things in my life had recently come to an end, or hadn't worked out. It was because these things weren't a place where I could rest.

I went over to my bookshelf, and stuck my hand behind the bottom shelf. The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers was stuck behind the books, having fallen off of a higher shelf.  I laughed, remembering my dream of Fred Rogers coming to visit me, and knew that I was on the right path to eventually find my place to rest. It was also nice to know that I didn't need to be at rest yet, because I'm not, and sometimes there is pressure to be so calm and peaceful. Like, we aren't having a good relationship with Jesus if we aren't.  But that isn't true. My relationship with Jesus is bringing me to my rest, and it does provide hope in my journey, but I'm not there yet.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A reply from Mister Rogers.

The following happened to me over a month ago. I haven't sat down and typed it all out until now.

I was getting ready to go to a friend's baby shower. I had been invited to a friends' house afterwards. They were providing food, and I was providing the beer.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you what is right or wrong when it comes to alcohol. I'm only going to recount the events that transpired that day.

The night before I had bought the beer. I was excited to be spending the day and evening with friends. But as I was getting ready, I realized that I was becoming more and more uncomfortable drinking beer. I wondered if I needed to cancel dinner with my friends that evening, since I felt to uneasy.

I stopped brushing my hair and looked at myself in the mirror. "I am willing to do that, God. I'll come home after the baby shower."

I heard the Holy Spirit say, "No, you can go, but leave at nine."

I went to the shower. I went to my friends' place. We ate, played cards, drank beer. I was uneasy. I was taking pictures, and we realized that the pictures showed the beer bottles on the table. We didn't want to put those pictures on Facebook. We moved the bottles. I took more pictures. I became more uneasy.

I left at nine.

I arrived home, and walked down the hallway to my room.

Dad was suddenly walking behind me. "Jenny, I want to talk to you about something."

I could tell right away that he had been thinking a lot about whatever he was about to say.

I turned to face him. "Okay, what is it?"

He then talked to me, in the gentle and nonjudgmental way that only my dad seems to be able to say things, about my drinking. He said that he didn't think that it was a good idea, and that he didn't see the point in my doing it. He had been a drinker once, and he knew why most people did it and where it led.

I stood there and nodded my head as he talked, feeling my throat close up.

When he finished, he said, "I know that you have to learn these things on your own, but I wanted to let you know what I thought. I love you."

"Thanks, I love you too." And I quickly retreated to my room, and began to cry.

As soon as I made it to my room and let the tears fall, I knew that this was one of the things Mister Rogers had said in my dream. Being a man called to work with children, and therefore be an example for them, Mister Rogers lived to love and serve. I have the same calling, and I began to realize the weight of my actions. I knew why I was becoming more and more uneasy whenever I drank. The questions that I would ask myself...mainly, "Why am I doing this?" were instantly replaced with "I will not do this. I know that I do not need this."

The way that God orchestrated the whole thing is what made me cry, because I felt so loved and so taken care of after Dad talked to me. That morning as I was getting ready, my thoughts to stop drinking beer were all coming from a sense of obligation, which would have meant acting under a law, a spirit of death, believing I was a sinner who needed to repent, when I am already SO free.

That evening by leaving at nine and arriving right before Dad went to sleep for the night, Dad was able to be an instrument in my conviction to stop drinking. I felt no anger from God for not stopping drinking sooner, only a loving hand guiding me to stop at exactly the right moment. If I had not experienced that love and truth in that right moment, my reason for not drinking anymore would have only been an obligation to my unexplained guilt. Now I experience a freedom instead of guilt. I experience a freedom to give myself to my calling to children without resentment. I know that I want to be God's instrument in their lives as much as Dad is in mine.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mister Rogers has yet to drop me any lines of which I am aware. I know that I'll recognize what he told me in my dream if I could just hear or read it somewhere. It is super frustrating. I am still wondering what I am doing wrong.

I am studying for finals, and I am so glad it is almost over.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mister Rogers, drop me a line.

I kept waking up last night from my dream into another dream where I was in bed. Every time I woke into the dream, I would see James Stewart sitting in front of my dresser using my laptop. I would watch him until I fell back asleep. He was typing so gracefully, it looked like he was playing the piano.

 At one point, I woke up and he turned towards me. It was then that I saw that he was actually not James Stewart at all, but Mister Rogers! He looked at me, smiled, and reached a hand towards me. "Jenny! How are you?"

I sat up slowly, surprised and a little frightened that he had seen me. I was still having trouble not falling back into my second dream, and now I wondered if this was even a dream at all! Mister Rogers was making eye contact with me while addressing me, which doesn't happen to me in dreams.

I said, "I'm good..." and I crawled to the edge of the bed to take his hand, waiting to feel nothing, as I usually do. He rolled his chair closer so I could reach, and this time I felt his hand!

"Is this a dream?"

"Yes, Jenny, this is a dream."

"Then how are you here in my room talking to me?"

"Because we are both in the same service."

I thought about that for a second, and realized that he was talking about being Christians. I thought, Mister Rogers is so clever.

Mister Rogers gently said, "Jenny, I came here to tell you that some things that you think are okay are not okay."

He started explaining a lot of things to me, but I couldn't focus. I was fighting to stay in the room.

I reached out my hand to stop him. "Mister Rogers, I am not going to remember this. Is there any way you could send it to me later?" I gestured towards my laptop on the dresser to imply using email. I doubted he could, though, since he is dead in our world, and there probably wasn't a way to link up to the internet from heaven (smh, my dream logic).

He smiled, "Sure! I can, because we are in the same service."

"Really? Oh, good."

Mister Rogers continued, "So you need to be aware..."

And I let my head rest on my bed as his voice got further and further away until I was back in my other dream.


When I finally did wake up, I found that I could not, indeed, remember what Mister Rogers had said wasn't okay for me to do. I do remember that it made sense at the time he explained it to me, like, Oh, duh. Ofcourse that wouldn't be okay. I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Having weird things happen to me in the past where my dreams meet reality, or I hear a voice telling me to check for something, and that thing is there, I did check my email several times today. Not for anything from Mister Rogers, but just for ANYTHING. All I discovered was that Belk is having a big sale on Tuesday....

This is going to bug me.

So, God, you're going to have to explain it all to me again. And if you want to top having Mister Rogers visit me, feel free. :o)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back to the Basics

I had a long talk (and cry) with Mom the other night about how I've been struggling to find footing in my spiritual life this past year. I'm actually reminded now that when someone prayed for me several months ago they saw me climbing a mountain, but rocks were sliding out from under me. This made it hard to gain ground, but I kept fighting to climb anyway.

It still doesn't make sense to me why I am struggling so hard to free myself from just a painful silence in my spiritual life. My focus got off a lot last fall, and when I talked to God I was complaining ALL THE TIME. This complaining and focusing on so much negativity made me lose focus on just pursuing Jesus.

One thing that Mom said the other night is that when I pursue Jesus, and just focus on loving him, then everything else falls into place. I know that I have not been doing this, and this must be why I feel like my feet are not on solid ground. I lost sight of my true goal. It isn't to find my "purpose" or "destiny". When I was just loving Jesus, I was led so clearly. Not often did I know where he was leading me, but I lived in the moment, trusting, and he took care of me.

Jesus still leads me today, but I don't feel so rooted in the moment anymore. I feel lost. I have lost sight of Hope. I can't see the positive side of the day like I used to early last year. My main focus has been the negative in myself and in others.

I want to shut it all off and pursue Jesus again. I want to be free from the inner conflict of constantly judging myself as I have been these past months. I am becoming more aware how even before I fell into this struggle I was complicating my relationship with Jesus into a big mess of navel gazing. Things are so much more simple than I realize. Everyday he reveals something new, and I haven't taken the time to process any of it with him due to constantly looking at my life in a negative light.

So I have to give it up. Get back to the one thing I used to blog about, spending time with Jesus.


"Madam, my dear, my darling, tell me what all this sighing's about. Tell me what all this sighing's about."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ain't nothin' but a heartache. Ain't nothin' but a mistake.

Boyce Avenue, why must you be so good?



I did finally listen to The Rocket Summer, though. Amazing! Bryce has a way of sounding positive no matter what he is singing about.

Last week is gone! The week of Mondays is no more. The awful hours locked in the basement studying are over. I'll be studying at a music festival this week. WHAT? Yes. Awesome. I am sooooo excited! I'll be more excited once I'm ready, because I feel no where near ready. I'm jamming everything into tomorrow. Shopping, packing, and planning will happen all at once, and that will help knock me into this week and out of last.

Father's Day was very chill. Dad got a grill (not from us, from himself), and Jon did us up some burgers and hot dogs. I pitched in for Dad's new toy, some kind of computer tablet...thingy.


Well, I'm going to bed, because my mind is flying and my eyes are dropping. I have to go journal to bring my mind down a notch before I fall asleep and have those awful dreams about everything that happened during the day. I had those dreams a lot during the week of Mondays. Not fun.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

KEEP CALM AND LISTEN TO BOYCE AVENUE



I can't stop listening to Boyce Avenue. It's a problem, because I still need to listen to The Rocket Summer albums I got last week.

Music has been getting me through this week of Mondays. I just want it to be next week already. ALIVE FEST 2012! WOOP WOOP!

I have so much to do this week in school, and in getting my application ready for next semester. I'm trying not to stress out too much. Just listening to a lot of Boyce. Alejandro's voice soothes the soul.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Watch me walk like a Sasquatch.

Dad and I talk and talk out on the trail this morning, and time flew by! Suddenly we were back at my car, and he told me that I had gone over 6 miles. Awesome.

Plus I had this song stuck in my head the whole run. DEAD SARA ALL THE TIME.


He continued back onto the trail while I started driving out of the park. Dad likes to do looong runs on the weekend, so he was no where near done. We had taken separate cars so I could leave early.

So I'm driving through the park when I see movement to my right. It's Dad loping out towards the road, arms dangling, legs swinging. He is doing The Sasquatch Walk that I had been doing all morning every time we had to cross a road. I yelled "AAAAHHHH!" and honked my horn at him.

Why is my dad so cool?

Running and talking with Dad made me feel less stressed. It helped to let the trail pull all of my thoughts out of my head, making me relax and realize that everything was okay and everything was pretty normal. Staying in your own head too much can make you crazy. You have to process and sort through all of the junk to come to the conclusion of what thoughts are the truth and what thoughts can be written off as you just over thinking everything.

I'm supposed to watch The Avengers with my brothers later today. I think it's going to be awesome, especially since I can stop watching as soon as Thor enters a scene and be perfectly satisfied that my ticket was money well spent.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stress

I am way more easily stressed than I thought I was. Not something I wanted to discover about myself.

Great.


I'm still not doing good at taking time for myself. Still watching some television shows here and there instead. I'm sure that this is linked to all of the stress. I'm not watching as much television as I was, though. And I'm reading more. I even visited my favorite spot in the wood out behind my house last week.

I guess I'm just tired.


I decided to learn how to cook. I made two chicken pot pies, and it took me two seconds to realize that I KNOW NOTHING. They still turned out good though, thanks to Mom and Dad's help...and all the cheese.


School is starting to kick my butt some. But I can do it. And I loooove my job. Kids have a way of blowing my mind. This motivates me to keep pushing at school. Eventually I'll meet my goals.


Going running with Dad in a few hours. Goodnight!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Good Times

I gotta say...I am having fuuuUUUUuuuun.

Doing school (which is mostly reading), working as a part-time nanny (did I mention the new job? I forget), going to concerts with my feeriends, spending time with my family, and hanging out with myself and Jesuuus. Gosh, it is nice. Thanks, God for smiling down at me.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Interviews

I enjoy watching interviews on Youtube. The interviews that Ellen Degeneres does are my favorite. For one thing, she reminds me so much of Great Aunt Nancy it surprises me each time. The second thing is that she is good about bringing back the same people often, and keeping in touch with them between visits on her show, so the interviews feel more intimate than they do on, say, David Letterman (Bruce Willis being an exception), or certainly, Jay Leno. The interviews don't contain the same "So, tell us about yourself and your show" openings every. single. time. It's more along the lines of "I have met you before, I have heard about your show, movie, family, pet...now let's have some fun, and see what happens".

For me, there is something about watching a person answer personal questions and have conversations in such a simulated environment that is fascinating. I mean, you have all of these strangers watching you, in the studio audience, on television, on Youtube who, for some reason, suddenly care that you exist and want to know what you are about. But, it really is, mostly, a fake intimacy that is developed between us and the interviewee. The fascinating part of it for me is how the interviewee responds to this environment, because it will almost always leave that person either entirely naked and exposed, or super fake with automatic, built-in responses.

And watching these interviews inspires me to want to enter any high-stress situations that come my way with an enthusiastic, unflinching, uncompromising approach. If I see any similar approach taken by the interviewees in the interviews I watch, it completely affects how I respond to what they say and how they act. This response from me makes me believe and hope that most people out there in the world react the same way...or at least a similar, recognizable way.

High hopes for the world? Or do I need to be in front of a camera, sitting across from a professional Television Personality for my words and actions to be taken so kindly?


Venti

I was wearing sweats, and had just started an interview Ellen Degeneres did with Jim Parsons on Youtube. It was 10:15 am. The church service I have been attending was at 10:30 am.

I thought, Jenny! It's time to go to church!

I don't like going to church alone, but I do it. God told me that it's time for me to realize that I'm supposed to be inside the camp and that I'm a part of the Body and that I'm the Bride too and need input and that I need to open up a way to let God's messengers speak to me and that it would be hard but that I have everything that I need to go and that Jon Foreman is my secret weapon (not sure what the last part means, but I roll with it, because it sounds awesome).

Most of this God has had to physically come to me in dreams and tell me to my face so that I would go out and do it. I'm good at listening, bad at doing. I'm getting better, though.

So, it was 10:18 am when I left for church today. I wanted to dress up, so I wore my favorite RadioU shirt (#SWAG), and rolled on into the front doors. I was feeling pretty cheery, because I'm feeling more and more like a morning person (still waking up without an alarm clock at around 8:30 am). So, I cheerily greet the greeters, chat up the pastor's wife's dad, and find a seat. This wasn't hard, because I got there earlier than I usually do since I went alone today, and 50% of the attendees were running late.

But after the service was done, I rolled out quickly, rolling right back into Kroger where I picked up a Mocha Coconut Frap, Venti, at the Starbucks conveniently located there for all of your groggy grocery shopping needs. Chatting after service is hard, due to hunger, which is why I got my chatting out before the service with the friendly pastor's wife's dad. Nice guy, sincere, encouraging smile, "I'm always happy you're here" tone to voice.


After I made my slick exit and received caffeine (I may be waking up at 8:30 am every day, but I still find myself not falling alseep till around 3 am.), I made it back home in time to meet with my thoughts.

These thoughts won't be making it into this entry, due to the unfocused nature it would bring to this entry.

So *DEEP BREATHE* I will write another one.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I May Have Had Caffeine Today....

We're out of almond milk and just plain milk, so I put my protein powder in my Greek strawberry yogurt.

OMG, BEST IDEA EVER!

Except, it is very drying. Or maybe I'm just dehydrated from working out...I'll go get some water.

AAAAND, I finished all of my weight-lifting this week. When was the last time that happened? I dunno. I feel proud. IT AIN'T BRAGGING IF IT'S TRUE. :0)

AAAAAND, I have been getting up at about 8:30, even though I still don't get to sleep till around 2 or 3.

AAAAAAND I watched 1 episode of Doctor Who today with Jon. I had already known that was the one show I would be watching, because it is something that Jon and I do together. It was a pretty awful episode, though. The most awful that I had seen yet. A lot of slow motion scenes and a poorly written script. It was the first episode of season 4. Maybe they got a new writer? I'll check...they did get some new writers in season 4, but that episode was written by the head writer of the whole series. Ah, well. Things will probably get better once the season gets rolling. They can't screw up the last season with David Tennant, right? Right.

Oh, AAAAAAAND, I interviewed for a part-time nanny position this morning, and am now being scheduled for a trial day next week. WOOHOO! I was feeling broke as a joke, and I've already moved back in with my folks. ;-)

FAVOR!

Okay, well, I should get off of here. It's getting late, and I'm tired from being at the gym so long. I had it to myself THE WHOLE TIME, because there was a graduation ceremony tonight. Naturally, I relished this rarity and sang Family Force 5 lyrics out loud as much as I wanted.

I'm also crashing a bit, because DID YOU KNOW THAT THE EXON HAS ANY SIZE DRINKS FOR 79 CENTS? IT'S AMAZING! I got Jon, Isaac, and myself huge 32 oz. sodas. :DDDDDD

Anyway, I'm going to go wind down....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Pictures

Mother Joan and Howard went to church with us for Mother's Day. They also came over for lunch (pizza and salad!). Mother Joan made pound cake and Arizona cheesecake! The cheesecake was sweetened with Stevia, and I couldn't even tell! 

Mother Joan and I.


Mom and Mother Joan. 


Mom cooked bacon for her  and I that night. She was saying, "Now I just need a cigarette hanging off of my lip." Ha ha! I also think that Dad on his laptop in the background is pretty funny. 


JON CAME HOME THAT NIGHT! I was so excited. He brought lots of plants, shells, and other interesting things home with him. The snake skin isn't even the coolest thing. The coolest was the cow head. I don't have a picture of that, though. So, take my word for it. It's pretty cool to turn around and see Jon holding the skull of a cow. 


My present for Mom arrived today. I got her the movie, Sorority Boys! We both watched it together a long time ago during a dark hour of our lives, and thanks to it we were able to laugh and forget for a little while. It will be good to watch it again together.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Relaxing with Megan, making decorations for a party her mom hosted. 


And I finally got a bulletin board. It's something I've been wanting for a while.


Then I came home from Megan's to some stressful news, and Michaela came over a couple days later to cheer me up. :)

It worked.

Frying up some plantains and eggs!



Dad was doing laundry and The Zombie Dance while we were making breakfast. #reasonswhydadwillalwaysbecoolerthanme


Confession time: I watched an episode of Lost with Mom tonight instead of finishing the third Mummy movie with Jon. The bright side is I realized afterwards that I'm over it. I'm over the distraction. SO. OVER. IT.

I talked with a couple friends today and this evening about my television show addiction. They were encouraging. I can get over this hump in my life.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rude Gym Rats

I had a protein shake before I went to the gym, and I had the best work-out I have had since I can remember. I also almost threw-up on a weight machine. So...pros and cons?

I think that the almost throwing up came from my sleep schedule still not being right. I don't let myself sleep during the day, though. It will get there eventually.

Wesley, my personal trainer before I quit my job, showed up while I was stretching. It was good to see him. I had been thinking during my leg exercises that there were definitely a couple pros and cons to not working with Wesley anymore. The main con is not having Wesley there during my leg exercises, when I'm not using any machines and have to create my own space. He provided a bubble around us, and no one would interrupt. Wesley was also good at turning around and giving a guy the eye if he seemed to be looking our way too much.

Now I'm on my own. And today, the guy who was working out in front of the mirrors while I was did not know how to say "excuse me". Rude. He was just rude in general. Rude, rude, rude,

I thought that it might be in my head, but then another guy came in later. The difference was pretty noticeable in his gym manners.

So BE POLITE.

A pro is taking my own sweet time during my work-out and stretching. I'm getting tired, so I can't think of anymore. I spent my energy in the blog on venting. :-P Oh, wait, and listening to my music while doing cardio. Family Force 5 pushes me past my walls. "RIP IT UP, RIP IT UP! DON'T STOP UNTIL IT'S OVER!"

I started Hot Fuzz with Jon tonight, who got back yesterday. I've been wanting to watch it for a few days. The dedicated and uncompromising nature of Nicholas is inspiring to me. We got 22 minutes through before Jon started to drift off. I'll probably finish tomorrow while doing some laundry.

I'll tell of last week and share pics from then soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Invitations Strengthen Friendships

I wanted to say that I have some of the sweetest friends in the world.

I won't share why, but I have been upset and stressed about something lately, and it keeps me begging God for help. I shared in my April post, Trying not to stiffen, how I find myself doing this often, but lately, because of private happenings, it feels almost constant.

I canceled a trip I was making to a friend's house this evening to spend the night. Leaving the house isn't something I can do right now. I called up Michaela to let her know that I was upset, and invite her to come visit this weekend if she wanted. It seemed like a weak invitation, since I can't see myself being super fun company right now. But she called me back and prodded me till I shared a bit of what was going on. She said that unless I wanted to be alone, she wanted to come stay a night to pray with me and visit. I was so relieved.

Man, I appreciate the friendship of the Body of Christ. I feel that I am still learning everyday to open up. The Wooden House dream has really helped me a lot. I have been welcoming people to come over more. I didn't realize it before the dream, but I wasn't good about inviting people over because I didn't think they would want to come over. Isn't it funny how our insecurities can trap us so blindly?

The truth is that I already live in that wooden house. Making friends can be easy right now if I am willing to open up my heart.

"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

"Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." Matthew 18:18-20

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Unplugging My Life

I just went and read my blog post about my dreams about my downtime. I had forgotten all about that dream! I have been watching a lot of television lately, when I know that there are others things that I need to be doing to prepare for this summer. I will be able to get through the summer more easily if I go ahead and start prioritizing now.


I read this interview of my favorite music artist, Jessy Ribordy, today.

When he shared that his inspiration for his art comes from his hikes, it inspired me to once again want to get out of all the media I have been ingesting. I feel like leaving Facebook was that first step, but I still find it hard to pull away from television. Do I stop completely? Do I just need to set strong limits in that area? I don't know, but I do know that it inhibits me. And if something inhibits you from doing what you need to be doing, is it an addiction?

In my search for a different music artist's new music video, I found an article about how creativity comes from boredom. That article then had a link for a similar article Was this a coincidence? I think not.


I have been working to regulate my sleep schedule for the past two days. I don't know how long it is going to take, but I figure that if I wake up at the same time everyday, eventually I will fall asleep at a decent hour as well. I hope "eventually" comes soon, because today my skin looked awfully gray. I gotta watch my health.


On another note, it was really nice to read so many long articles/posts today.  My posts usually get long, and I know that with all this ADD/ADHD talk lately I rarely see length on the web/newspapers, or magazines.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Rocket Summer and Switchfoot Concert!

I got back from the Switchfoot and The Rocket Summer concert in Athens a couple hours ago. Oh, yes.

Not being able to sleep, I ditched Megan upstairs (I don't feel too guilty, since she's asleep) to come tell you all about it! Oh, yes. So, with a shot of Jon's Pineapple soda, and my new The Rocket Summer songs making my ears happy, I'm ready to write.

Megan and I fangirled all during getting ready. Switchfoot is Megan's favorite band, and probably my third. I was excited to see The Rocket Summer, too. Bryce Avary has a way of always making his songs joyful and fun, but I didn't have an idea of the extent of his talent until his set. More on that later....

Since Jon is out of town, he gave me control over who got his ticket. I decided that Mom needed a night out, and I'd been missing her, so she went with us and joined the fangirling.

After finding a parking spot on a crowded parking deck, we made our way to the back of the line waiting to get in. 




Once inside, we sprung on a spot behind the soundboard. No tall people in front of us, and a great view of the show!


The Rocket Summer opened! Bryce Avary's creativity and bravery was inspiring. After playing a couple songs, he played a song by himself, jumping from instrument to instrument, layering melodies with the audience clapping along. It was amazing!
He can also sing live like you won't believe. I couldn't believe the notes he was hitting with such ease! Jon Foreman can't quite do that...no offense. His is more of a Bob Dylan appeal in my opinion. 
I only took one picture during the beginning of his set. It came up so bad that I decided to just enjoy the music.


While the stage hands were getting ready for Switchfoot, it was time for more fangirling.


And...SWITCHFOOT.


I am always in awe of how Jon Foreman can inspire the crowd so easily. It's like he speaks into each person individually, letting them know that they can do whatever it is they have to do. At least, that's what I get out of it each time.

He ofcourse had to climb around the venue like a monkey. He gave a little speech about how he lives for awkward moments. He then proceeded to say something really awkward about the men in the crowd growing mustaches like Chad, and the women hopefully not growing any mustaches at all. The crowd cheered enthusiastically and he said, "You're all cheering for awkwardness! I love it!"


When Switchfoot's set was definitely over, and our fangirling had subsided a little, I hit up the merch table. Bryce Avary was standing beside his merch table, and I requested a shirt and album from the girl working. She asked which album, and I saw that Bryce Avary was listening to me making my purchase. I asked him which album, but I guess I put him on the spot. He ultimately decided on his latest one. I told him that he had a great creative anointing, and that Mom had even started hearing words and music in her head when he came on stage. His anointing just flowed out onto the crowd. He said that a lot of people were saying things like that to him tonight, and seemed excited. He signed my shirt and wrote my name on it. "Jenny!"
I forgot to get a picture with him (I always forget!), and he is coming back to Georgia while I'm at a music festival this summer, but I'll remember when he comes back to Athens. He told me that he really wants to come back.



So an awesome night to remember! I'm for sure keeping track of The Rocket Summer's future tours, and hopefully I see Switchfoot again soon! :-D

(The Rocket Summer is still tingling my eardrums. Oh my gosh. GET SOME! He has a free acoustic album on his website if you're broke as a joke. Just click DOWNLOAD. http://www.therocketsummer.com/ )

Monday, May 7, 2012

Scalding Hot Coffee


Jon is on a class trip this week, so I watched Micah alone. He slept almost the entire time anyway, during which I stayed close and watched The X-Files. I finished the 1st season! But, now I find that I can't watch the show without getting a craving for eggs and salad. The price I pay for eating and watching at the same time.

I went to the gym tonight. I have physical goals, but will have to work harder to reach them. I still want to get in shape to get my dancing technique back, so I've been stretching for a long time after each work-out.

Cutting back on sugar has made me feel a lot better. I'm not surprised, since it helped so much last year. During the game yesterday, I found that I wasn't running out of energy, and believe it had to do with my diet.

Today (and I have been doing this any day that I am home for long hours) I depended heavily on decaf coffee. I've been having 3 cups twice a day. I always put creamer in it, sometimes cocoa. When I need comfort, I turn to it instead to something sweet.

Scalding Hot Coffee. That's where it's at.

I always blog right when I'm about to pass out. I should do this earlier.

Frisbee, Football, and Soccer

The party yesterday was a lot of fun. Jon went with me, and he enjoyed the free salsa and chips. I enjoyed the free strawberry shortcake, a little break from my cutback on sugar. The party was an engagement party for two of my close friends, Matt and Michaela. They are so cute! It's fun to see them together after a long, tortured time of not telling each other how they really felt. AT LAST, HAPPINESS!

The location of the party was at a park. Jon had brought his frisbee, and two other friends had brought a football and a soccer ball. These three items birthed a game that had no name or rules, except to keep all three items moving at all times. I was hit a few times, which is no surprise to me. I seem to be more likely to get hit in the head with a frisbee than to actually catch it. Then there was the football and soccer ball. Now, I haven't played soccer since before middle school, but I would kick it when I could (but, I mostly just chased it down a hill). The football was another story. After several times of just watching it hit the ground in front of me, I asked a friend how to throw it. He showed me, but I still couldn't catch it. I hurt my fingers the first time I actually tried, and after that I was just faking the trying. "My bad."

Jon said that it was the most fun he had in a while. I didn't point out the fact that he had almost had his head taken off a couple times by flying objects. He was the tallest person on the field, so an easy target, although, I don't think anyone wanted to actually hit him. I threatened all of them with my wrath the second time Jon narrowly avoided the bright light.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ready to Go

I'm going to a party tomorrow, and I was honestly not feeling up to it. But I am going to it, and I want to be in a good mood with my friends. So, I solved my problem. I washed my car.


Now I'm ready to go.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wooden House Dream


So, I wanna live in a wooden house

Where making more friends would be easy

I wanna live where the sun comes out

I have always loved these lines from Coldplay's song "We Never Change". I pictured this wooden house being out in the mountains somewhere, and friends I have and friends I make would come visit me often. We would grow closer than we are now. Life in a wooden house would make life seem fuller, because of these friendships.

Well, the last scene of the dream I had a few nights ago had me living in a wooden house. The house was located in a forest, was two stories, and had a front porch with stairs that led down to the forest floor. I remember it was fall, because the trees were mostly bare, there were piles of leaves that had yet to settle into the forest floor, and I was wearing a sweater. I had recently bought the house, lived only on the second floor, and was all settled. I remember my front door was open, and I was looking down into the forest. 

I suddenly turned away from the door and started pacing the room. I said, "Wait. Why have none of my friends come to see me? I bought a wooden house, and they STILL won't come."

I then realized that if they didn't come before, they wouldn't come now, just because I lived in a wooden house.

I looked outside again, and saw that a terrier was foraging on the ground. I figured he was lost, and started to call him up. I turned to get a dish of water when I saw movement on the stairs. When I turned back around, though, a big black dog bounded into the room. He acted aggressive, but never bit me. The dream ended there.


My bff's do visit me, just so no one misinterprets why I posted this. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this dream, and it made me think about how we often think that things would be different if we moved somewhere else, had more money, had more resources, or had a different job. Would we be happier? No, because if you aren't happy now, then you clearly are not using what you have to it's fullest. It is up to us to have good priorities now. We should not wait to create good habits when things get better. Things get better because we have good priorities and habits. So start with changing your lifestyle, and go from there. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fireproof


I felt pretty down physically today, so I rested up by watching Fireproof. I thought that the message was pretty powerful, and it made me think about what I do everyday to make my life better. Or do my activities hold me back? The movie makes you think about your own life, even if you aren't married. I recommend it!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Confessions and Wishes

This afternoon Jon and I watched Baby Micah again. He is so cute!!!

I finished the bag of Reese's miniatures today. My self-control is almost nonexistent when it comes to chips and chocolate candy. Also, some cupcakes. 

While I'm confessing, I'll also say that I watched 5 episodes of The X-Files. I usually only watch one at a time, but the shows are focusing more and more on Skully's and Moulder's personal lives. IT'S EXCITING! I'm still in the first season, but am already convinced that I have a good science fiction series to watch for the first time in forever (I just finished the 3rd season of Doctor Who, but it feels more like an epic adventure series than science fiction to me, mainly because it comes across so glamorous.). I started the first season of Fringe once, but it isn't streaming on Netflix. I am very happy to have The X-Files, though. Raw and creepy is what I need right now.


At the gym today, I suddenly realized that I missed not having dancing technique anymore. I fell out love with that scene back then, but I have been having frequent flashbacks to how awesome it felt to be in class and have finished a combination that took so much concentration. I'm going to start working to get my technique back. It is something that I worked hard to obtain, and my parents spent a lot of money and time to make sure that I had access to it. And, I really was good. I didn't believe it then, but looking back, I see it now. It is sad how I believed the words that all the wrong people spoke into me, and refused all of the good ones. It is even more sad that many of these wrong words came from my own self. 


Goodnight.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Making Some Treats

I'm still eating Greek yogurt in the morning, and feeling great! I also feel like baking again, which is something I haven't felt like doing in several years. I would do it, but it didn't feel like therapy like it had then. Sometimes it would just make me more stressed. But I miss the days when I would listen to The Snowman soundtrack year round and bake just for the heck of it, and not for any sort of specific craving.

I had bought this cookbook for Mom in 2010 for Mother's Day. She had specifically requested a cupcake recipe book. I know that the idea of baking is appealing to her, but the time and energy to do so isn't there, so she hasn't made any cupcakes yet. I'm pretty curious, though, to know what these cupcakes taste like. So, I've decided to go through the cookbook myself. There are different variations to many of the recipes, which is why it says "500" on the cover. I don't plan to do all of the variations, so there won't be 500 batches of cupcakes.


The first batch, Spanish Orange Syrup Cupcakes, taste like really sweet cornbread. Dad ate 1. I ate 2. Mom had a bite of one of mine, and Jon ate 3. No complaints, and Dad especially likes it because it isn't so sweet and rich that you feel weighed down after you eat one. 



An another note, a package arrived yesterday for Dad. It contained many bags of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures. Jon and I were standing nearby shaking our heads with mild disapproval. We did, however, happily catch the bag that Dad tossed each of us. The sofa cushion beside me contains many wrappers.

All in all, it was a good day. Cupcakes were made, Jon and I watched baby Micah this afternoon, and I started my college application for the school I'm transferring to in the fall. Looking forward to tomorrow, although I have been helping Mom with Micah tonight, who woke about an hour ago. He usually sleeps through the night, but his growing body seems to be shifting his little schedule around. Poor little guy. So, I don't know when tomorrow will start for me, but I think it's going to be good. 

Getting Outside

I wanted to get outside yesterday. It was Jon's first day off from school, so we went to Fort Yargo Park located in Winder, GA. 


We weren't 5 minutes on the trail, when Jon and I spotted a cute turtle! He was headed toward the trail so fast that I thought he was a squirrel. We watched him hurry across the trail, stopping one last time to turn and look at us before continuing towards the lake.



During our approximately 3 hour walk, Jon and I also spotted 3 rabbits, 1 beaver, 2 salamanders, 1 green spider, numerous birds, and almost countless numbers of lizards, skinks, and newts. And, well, I'll save the best for last. ;-)

Nearing on halfway through our walk, we happened upon a field. In case you haven't heard, fields are for frolicing. 


As Jon was admiring the wildlife during our walk, he kept wishing out loud that a snake would appear. Two-thirds of the way, there one was. Jon exclaimed, "Thank God!" He chased the lethargic creature off the trail before a bike came by.


Jon and I started racing during the last leg of the trail, but I stopped to rest on a bench overlooking the lake. The bench being right beside the road, and Jon still going ahead, I decided to telepathically let him know what I wanted.

I'm going to stay here. Come pick me up.

I had the view of the lake during the gloaming to entertain me until Jon's truck pulled up. I got into the car, and said, "I decided to tell you telepathically that I wanted to wait for you here."

Jon nodded his head, all serious, and replied, "I know. It's funny, but I did actually hear you tell me that you wanted me to come pick you up while you waited there. I doubted that I had heard it, but then I decided to come."

Then we went on home, smelly, happy, and hungry.

We'll pack snacks next time. The absence of Dad was apparent.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Soldier's Stride

I wish I could have seen their faces.
Full of hope as they marched down the street.
I would have wandered out to see their stride.
It was a stride that made you know that you could do it, too.
You could look on your own day with hope and pride.
Your goal was just as important.

They passed, and people stepped out into the street to watch them disappear.
Men of magic, men of purpose, men who knew they didn't deserve the chance to serve.
They served us well. Keeping the enemy behind the lines so we could keep our own goals.

I drove down that street the other day, and I imagined their stride.
I imagined their faces, grave yet joyful.
They knew they would not return.

The city continues about its day, every person with their goals.
We're so important, our simple days so precious.
It was right for them to fight. It was their choice to serve.
But if I could remember them more often, I feel that choice would have more worth.
For what is a faceless soldier to this city? What is a dead man's sacrifice?
And are my goals helping the fight? Or will this city eventually fall?

Monday, April 23, 2012

All I see and hear keeps my prayers near.

Last Wednesday, I went to a prophecy room to get encouragement. One man, Jaime, said that he saw me climbing up a mountain so steep I had to use my hands to pull me up. I was gaining no ground, though, because of rocks being loose. So, I was constantly scurrying, only to stay in the same place. He said that this showed that I was a fighter, and I that I shouldn't give up.

This did encourage me, because it validated how I have been feeling about what has happening in my life lately. It has encouraged me further the past couple of days, as more hindrances announce themselves.

I stayed up into the early hours yesterday to pray, and this evening I went to a prayer group. I admitted to God at the prayer group that I feel helpless in the face of the current circumstances that surround me and my family. All I see and hear has kept my spirit, mind, and heart on its hands and knees this past week. I will continue to seek his face and help in earnest, as I find no rest until I do. All current circumstances do, besides keep my arms reaching for help, are bring to light circumstances that I had forgotten could have solutions if God would only touch them. And I forget to ask.

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
1 Corinthians 13:7

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I dream of nice things, expensive things.

I had a dream today that I fell in love and got married. Always a nice dream. In the dream, my husband showed me a clip that was like a movie of our future. I had bought something expensive and breakable, and I put it in our bedroom. We had friends visiting, and they had a kid. The kid was playing in our bedroom, and ended up breaking the expensive thing. I entered the room and saw the thing broken. I was angry, took the kid by the arm so he was very close to my face, and started telling him that he should have been more careful. The clip ended, and my husband said. "Wouldn't it be better if you had never bought that thing, or anything expensive that could be ruined? How much different would our lives be if we didn't buy anything expensive? We could just use what we already have, and only buy things that we don't mind being broken." This sounded good to me. I didn't want to yell at anyone. If not buying expensive, pretty things would help me yell at less people, I would do it happily. I woke up, and have been thinking about how small the reasons are that I get mad at people. What can I do to avoid these reasons even coming up? It isn't something I have thought of doing before this dream. Instead of stumbling into moments of anger, I could see what causes these episodes, and stop them from ever happening.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

You know what's funny?

I was just skimming through a couple of my old journals, and discovered something. I have changed! I actually am more positive than I was then. I actually am not always thinking about the negative things that I was struggling with then.

The truth is that there is no negative within me with which to struggle. Jesus threw those out a long time ago. All I have been dealing with are dirty, dirty visitors.

So, goodbye, Mr. Lame Lies, and all of his friends.

No, I don't wanna battle from beginning to end
I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge
I don't wanna follow Death and all his friends

Breaking habits...still.

The past couple of days I have felt a discomfort in how I spend my time and where my thoughts go. There are many times when I let inner groaning take over my thoughts. These thoughts then take over my whole day, and then I can barely break through to the other side. I have changed my diet back to consuming the most minimum amounts of sugar as possible, as well as eliminating most unnecessary carbs and all caffeinated coffee. I'm taking my vitamins, eating healthy, and I am feeling the difference. But one thing is lacking...how I spend my time. What I do during my time alone is an investment in my time spent with others, and I spend much of it on negative thoughts about my life and myself.

I also want to change my habits back to what I did when I was younger. I spent much of my time focusing on the beauty of life. I loved bird watching, writing, reading, hiking, worshiping, and watching uplifting movies.

I still love these things, but I hardly make time to do any of them. I have to break the cycle. It is up to me to not make myself a victim of my own thoughts and ways!

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8

I feel like a broken record, always blogging about the same things, but these are my struggles.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Trying not to stiffen.

I know Jesus has a plan, but when I actually sit down and listen to all of the wrong and injustice in the world, I cry. There is nothing I can really do for most of it except climb the stairs to my room and beg God to change it. Change it all.

I am so self-indulgent and apathetic, though. It seems that 2 seconds after I'm crying I forget.

"You will remain the same until the fear of staying the same is greater than the fear of change."

I am so frightened that I stiffen to my core at the thought of how fast Autism is spreading. Many of the probable causes of it are preventable, and could be eliminated. They remain, though, and what can we do about it?

Climb the stairs and beg on the floor as we try not to stiffen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back to the basics

I'm trying to get back to blogging just to blog, journaling just to journal, reading just to read, being outside just to be outside.

The internet really can take things out of perspective. BUT I STILL LOVE IT.

Last night I tried watching The Green Lantern, but it was done so poorly that my jaw was dropping. I stopped it and started The Tourist. The opening was a little bizarre, and it wasn't long before I fell asleep.

I woke up on the couch with my head jammed up against the armrest. I heard Micah (the baby who is still with us, the CUTEST baby in the world who is still with us, THE BEST BABY IN THE WORLD who is still with us, MY FAVORITE PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO IS STILL WITH US!). He was laughing, and that always makes me jump out of bed, or off the couch, to see him.

Mother Joan came over to help with Micah while Mom went to the eye doctor (Micah sucker punched Mom in the eye last week). She showed me an adorable fashion blog that she had spent the entire previous afternoon browsing. I found myself coming close to doing the same, but pulled myself away to do my Monday cleaning.

I folded laundry while finishing The Tourist. I still found it to be strange. It seemed like a chick flick that wanted to be a spy movie that wanted to be grand. There were definitely fun moments, and I couldn't take my eyes away from Angelina Jolie, but all in all it was lacking depth.

I finished my laundry folding with Secretariat. Now, this, THIS movie was beautiful. It left me wanting to be fearless, which seems a long away right now.

I did start reading Hind's Feet in High Places a couple days ago, and am hoping that this will call me away from fear. I know that fear is what holds me in a thick place a lot of the time. I want to move forward with boldness and passion. I want to find something that I want to take a hold of and not let go. That nothing could shake me from it would be a wonderful feeling, and would lead to a fulfilling life.

Googly, googly.


P.S. I did not eat waffles all day. I started the day with strawberry Greek yogurt, and have not felt like I was lagging. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I miss coffee.

I find that the joy of NOT having coffee wore off shortly after my last blog. I had some yesterday and the day before that. I think that one of the reasons why I am so tired is because of my diet. I am eating waffles every morning for breakfast. They are delicious, and I hate to give that up, but it seems to be necessary if I am going to live a non-jittery, awake life. Plus, energy is required to do the things I listed in my previous blog.

No coffee. More fruits, veggies, and good dairy. Less carbs and meats.

Peanut butter sandwiches will always make the cut, as well as decaf coffee.

AND RICHARD SIMMONS WILL ALWAYS BE AN INSPIRATION! :D WOOOHOOOO!
I'm excited to see this commercial.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Open up, you wild one, let me know more than your name.

I quit my job, and yesterday was my last day. It is amazing the weight that has been lifted. AND I haven't had coffee in 3 days, and I'm still sane! After I started working full time, I found I could not survive without coffee. It keeps me awake, but when enough of it gets in my system, I feel really stressed. The stress makes me fearful, which makes me more stressed. I really don't want to go back on it.

My first day off was wonderful, but I am already ready to do something. I'm going to apply for school in the fall, and start looking for a part time job. These are givens, but I am craving MORE! More, more, more!

I think this is partially because I just ate some dark chocolate, and I now feel like a rock star.

I want to go to sleep, but I am making a mental list of everything I want to do! I have been working on getting back to who I was when I was a little girl. I remember how happy I was exploring with my imagination. I want to wake that back up, even if it means less tv (tv...drool).

I want to learn Spanish, learn the guitar, learn the piano, pick the flute back up, pick blogging back up, journal more, read more, pick writing poetry and short stories back up. Aaaaah! So much to learn and do and explore! So much fun to have inside this brain with which God has blessed me. I often find that I have forgotten how awesome I am. When I am constantly looking into other people's lives with envy, how am I supposed to find time to improve my own?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Good Day

I had a case of insomnia last night. I am now out of sync and awake at almost 4 am. Not the end of the world! I'll just blog.

Due to last night's insomnia, I did not fall asleep till after 5 am. A freak thunderstorm woke me up at 9 am. I thought that the window over my bed was going to explode and shatter onto me, but I was too lazy to get up and go to the basement. I hate getting up.

So, I decided that this was an opportune time to trust God to keep me safe. I fell asleep.

At 1 pm I shot straight up in bed. I was supposed to be at work 30 minutes ago. The storm had caused the power to go off, and left my alarm clock jacked up. The store manager had left a message on my phone, thinking I had been kidnapped. I called back, apologized, threw on some clothes, made a peanut butter sandwich, and jumped in car.

During the drive, I was trying to figure out why all of this was happening. I did not feel like a victim, and did not feel like I was in trouble with my boss. I felt that there was some kind of purpose to me being late. It sounds silly. It definitely sounds like an excuse. I still felt it to be true.

I asked the Lord, and listened. He said, "You had to be late today in order to have a good day. If you had been on time, you would have had a bad one. You needed a good day today."

I arrived at work, and no one was mad at me. Throughout the day a lot of things happened that don't usually happen. Inconvenient and even bad things, but I remained unusually calm due to not being tired. I was happy even, knowing that God had handed me a good day.

------

God has been helping break me of a victim mentality that I have slowly developed over the past several months. I am not a victim, because I am on the right path. I am the daughter of the King. I am His, and I am in His heart. I am in His songs. I am in His life. He wishes me to be His shelter, even when I feel I am bad at it.

He knows me.

"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."
Romans 8:6

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Creature of Habit

Sometimes there is more peace in saying goodbye than in holding on to the way you wish things could be.




I am changing my habits, and the benefits have been great so far. I am sleeping 7-8 hours every night at the same time (except for last night I had a strange dream that jerked me awake after 5 hours). I started dreaming like I used to early last year. I'm happier during the day (except for yesterday when I was exhausted from working many hours this week). Overall I am gaining more clarity on what the answers are to keeping me happy, and the answers all involve daily discipline and boundaries. Both are hard for me to follow through unconsciously, but if I'm going to grow up in wisdom I have to follow what I believe God shows me to be wise. It's scary.

Something that I have realized in all of this is that someone is always going to get hurt because of my actions. Even if my actions make sense and are what I see to be best, someone else's weakness or misinterpretation of what I am doing may easily hurt them. Despite this, I have to hand them over to God and keep doing it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My joy will be made full.

Even though seasons in our life get weird, hard, confusing, and painful, we must stick them out. We know we will reach the other side of each one, because we have Jesus closer to us than breathing. He is our rock. He is the reason we keep going.

Don't give up when it starts looking like it is never going to get better. We have a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). If you can't believe that for this life, especially with the world going the way it is right now, believe it for eternity. It is there waiting. Jesus has already won.

I know that usually whenever I am really stressed during certain seasons, it is because I have taken up burdens that are not my own. I have put too much pressure on myself, because I can not do anything without my Lord. I must let him take over. It makes us stronger to admit that we are weak and he is strong. Our joy in him is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." John 15:7-11

"Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." Psalm 55:22

I will keep giving my burdens to God whenever I see them. We will abide in each other. My joy will be made full, and it will be my strength.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

You Still Hurt Me

I had a dream a couple nights ago that ended with me getting pulled over by a policeman for speeding. I was on a back road that looked similar to the one I take to and from work. I have never seen a police car on this road, so I didn't think the dream had much significance.

Tonight, I was about to round a curve on the back road when I remembered the dream. I then felt sure that there would be a policeman on the other side of the curve, so I checked my speed. The speed limit had changed a mile back, but I had not slowed down, and was going about 10 over the speed for this section of the road. Better to be safe than sorry, I thought. I eased off the gas.

Not only was there a police car, but there was a police car in the middle of the road, backing onto the side of the street. Since I had already slowed down to the designated speed limit, I was able to slow down further to avoid hitting the car.

Because I keep having dreams like this, and these feelings that have meaning, would it be wrong or crazy of me to pay attention to other feelings I have?

For example, this week I have not been able to shake off thoughts of a certain ex-friend of mine. She and I did not end things well, although I did what I could to not offend her while drawing my own healthy boundaries. These thoughts of her may have to do with my recent accomplishments in my life. When we were friends, and I accomplished something, she liked to take more than her share of the credit, and it made me uncomfortable. I hated it, and I'm happy to see me succeeding now without her trying to tell me what to do and how to get it done.

And I think I'm afraid that it may happen again somehow, and I'm not sure how to prevent it.

But I'm also sure that my fears are misplaced. That girl is not part of my life anymore, and she never will be. I have the Lord on my side, and he is taking care of me. He reminds me to slow down when I don't see the signs that tell me to do so.

I honestly don't know how to forgive this girl. I'm still pretty hurt, despite the falling out happening last July. Maybe time will heal me. It has before, as long as I didn't ignore the hurt. I had to face it, every single day, until it was out and behind me for good.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"They were kids that I once knew."

I was reflecting on the last several years last night. I hate letting go of such a precious and joyous time. I'm asking God for peace, because it is so hard to see the friends I have made during that time lately. I know that we are changing, growing up, starting careers, getting married...we are doing what we were dreaming of doing. We have moved on from the dreaming to the doing, and it's a good thing. It is bittersweet to look back, though, and remember when I was dreaming right along with them. It is hard to be so far from all of them now.

I know that God led me here for a purpose, though. It would be "fighting against the current" to try to bring those days back. It is time to let go, and be happy to only remember those days, because I won't be moving forward otherwise.

Mom has been bored sitting in the living room with the baby all the time. She's been watching Little House on the Prairie, but she doesn't love that show like I do. I brought down my growing DVD collection to brighten her days a bit. Target's frequent $5 DVD markdowns is a big part of my life lately.

So I watched Men Who Stare at Goats with Mom today. It was probably the 4th time I've seen it. That movie gets me. Something different stands out to me every time. This time the thing that stood out was a line about our destiny pulling us along like a river. If you are pursuing something that isn't your destiny, you're swimming against the tide, and you aren't going to succeed. You know that you are going the right way when you start moving forward, and you aren't stuck anymore.

This part of the movie really struck a chord in me. I have been thinking a lot lately about how when I danced, it finally got a point where no matter how hard I tried and pushed, I could not improve enough to move to the next level. It was a very frustrating time for me, and when God finally told me that it was okay to stop, I had never felt such relief.

When I wanted to become a dietitian, I felt even more stuck. There has only been one other time that I have felt more despair than I felt during those last two months I was taking those classes.

Now things are looking up at work (I can't really talk about that right now, but you'll hear more next week), and I really am starting to believe that slowly working on my Bachelor's for Human Resources is what I'm supposed to do. And I know that if it isn't, then I will see the signs as clearly as I have before now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm just really excited, because I know that God is in every bit of my future. I see him even in the hard season I went through during the latter part of last year. I see him in the future, especially in the hard seasons to come. I know that they are there, but there are also great ones waiting.

I feel kinda powerful knowing this. Like "can't touch this".

And I don't ever want to worry again, because it was SO awful. Almost the worst feeling I have ever experienced. I want to keep letting go, trust God, hold his hand, and expect him to be my friend. I want to give all my secrets to him.


"Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." Psalm 139:16

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anger Management.

I have been getting so mad at customers the past couple weeks! It has really been bugging me. I complain more than I ever did. When I danced, I had to be around some real awful characters a lot, but I never let it bug me like this. I know why too. I talked to God a lot more those days then I have been lately. I was writing in my journal every chance I got.

Last night I finally pulled out my journal and cried and cried. I felt so far from who I really am. I had become bitter and angry. I told God that he was just going to have to give me his thoughts, because mine weren't working.

So I opened my Bible. I found myself in 1 Thessalonians 5 while looking for a different verse. But that chapter was what I needed.

Verse 8. "But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation."

This is about when I started crying again, because I have not felt a lot of love guarding my heart lately, not to mention faith, or as I like to call it at times, trust.

I finally fell asleep after talking it all out with him. Today I was hoping it would be better, but I let one customer get under my skin, and I found myself experiencing the same torrent of thoughts that I have had the habit of thinking lately. These are thoughts that I used to get really annoyed at hearing others voice. These are thoughts that I can't believe I have. It feels like I'm cursing my life by having them.

I voiced some of the mild ones to my closing manager, and she said, "Jenny, you can't let them get to you. You're too pure. I'm already ruined, so it doesn't do anything to me. But you, you still have a nice heart towards others."

(If only this particular manager knew how often she was the voice of God in my life. It catches me off guard almost every time.)

So tonight, after a couple episode of Little House on the Prairie to calm me down (which really didn't, since Mrs. Oleson and Carolyn were having words), I finally made it to my bed. I didn't want to pull out my Bible, because I felt like something was waiting. I was actually thinking to myself, Jenny, pride is what this is. You have too much pride. You judge others, and others are going to judge you. After this thought, I opened it and just wanted to bury my face in the pillow when I read the verse that it fell to. God isn't going to let me stay like this. He knows I'm too miserable.

"I said to the boastful, 'Do not boast,' and to the wicked, 'Do not life up the horn; do not life up your horn on high, do not speak with insolent pride.'" Proverbs 75:4-5

>_>

Thanks, God, thanks a whole heaping lot.

Man, I feel like I can leave this cycle of anger and regret if I take the time to really think when I'm out on the floor at work. So often I've been ready to get angry at people, almost looking for a reason to be, as if it is my food. But it can't be, because it leaves me feeling too bitter and lonely. I must guard my heard with love and trust. I must learn how to do this. I can't let someone else beat me down. I can't give them the power.


A couple nights ago, I decided to prod and poke a bit at God before going to sleep. I say "prod" and "poke" when I mean that it was more of those passing by gestures that I throw at God from time to time when I feel guilty. And I had been feeling guilty due to my anger. Anyway, I was asking him what I needed to do to feel like I did when I was younger. All I heard was, "Will you climb the mountain to my synagogue?"

Whatever that means. I have a couple ideas, but thoughts are appreciated.
Love you all!

(And I just thought of this, but since my helmet is the hope of my salvation, I can know this: that I am saved, and my thoughts are truly one with his, and therefore, all other thoughts must go! Because they do not belong, and are not part of my nature, or my body. And my life is one with his, and no one can take it from me and make it something that it is not.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thinka, thinka, thinka

I was able to finally just sit in my room and stare at my bookshelves, artwork on the walls, write aimlessly in my journal, and reflect on the day. It was something that I had not had the ability to do in months, due to not being content enough with myself to sit still without the internet, television, or a movie on which to focus. Whenever I did focus attention on myself, it got real depressing fast.

THANK YOU, JEESUUUUUS! I am SO GLAD that is over!

Then here I am, blogging on the internet. But, you see, I had caffeine tonight. It wasn't my fault. Sometimes I buy a beverage to drink during my break. I find the extra calories help keep me full during the rest of my shift. I thought I was ordering a drink at Jittery Joe's that not only was decaf, but didn't even have coffee in it. Nope. It definitely did, as I discovered in the first sip. I had no time to get the barista to correct this before I had to get back to work.

HELLO, 2 AM!

Anyway, I'm going to go back upstairs and go to bed. I think I'm ready.

Goodnight!

In honor of me actually thinking about things and not just shouting senselessly. Ha, ha. Hopefully I'll learn to not do this more, even as I meet people in life who frustrate me to no end. Getting mad won't solve anything. Smh.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just in Time

I'm going with my gut, and my passion. Mom said, "Sometimes it's best to just take action and make a decision, go forward with it. Then if it's not what you're supposed to do, God will let you know."

That is how God and I usually do it. He likes me to work things out, and knows it has always been good for me, even though I'm apparently not very teachable when it comes to learning about how I function, as Mom likes to put it...I take on too much, freak out, and shut down. "This has been your pattern." That is what happened to me last semester. I hate admitting it, true. I want to be Super Woman. But I need to admit it, because I don't want to keep doing it. I'm not supposed to be Super Woman. I'm supposed to be me.

I want to thank everyone who has been praying with me about figuring out what I want. It became clear almost right away. I have always wanted to empower others, and I realize that I need to further my education in order to be able to do that more effectively. So I'm going to slowly work towards a Bachelor's in the social work field, most likely Human Services.

I know that I was afraid of pursuing this before, because I get so into it due to being so passionate to see changes in other's lives. But I can't be afraid of myself anymore, and I can't ignore the power that I feel build inside me whenever I hear someone speak of craving change, of craving more. I can't be afraid of grabbing onto what I want.

I'm not going to try to earn this degree quickly. I feel that it is important that I go very slow, not just so I'm not overwhelmed. I feel a lot of changes in me in the last six months, and I feel that there are more I have yet to see, at least I hope. If I throw my whole life into school, I know that I will start ignoring my spirit again as I did last semester. I shut down pretty hard, and cruised so often on auto-pilot, which is exhausting. I was stunted in my spirit.

Since I made this decision, I have felt a great peace wash over me. It's feels like a soothing balm running over my insides. I also find that I am in love with my daily life again, as strange as that is, since it isn't any different than it was before this decision.

My soul feels righted, as if it had strayed from the path a bit, and has found its way back. I think I am going to be okay. I actually believe it, and I have not been able to think this for a long, long time.

God led me to read Jeremiah 29:10-14, and learn about the context. I had not realized that the Jews were being punished for not allowing the land in Israel to lay fallow every seventh year for...I think it was 490 years. The 70 years of exile in Babylon allowed Israel to remain fallow for the missed amount of time. Then the Jews fought their way back to their land. Victory was, eventually, theirs.

"For thus says the LORD, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 'I will be found by you,' declares the LORD, 'and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the LORD, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.'"

Not to say I am being punished, because thank Jesus we now live in full grace, and the old covenant is sunk like a stone in a watery grave, never to be seen again by anyone who chooses (Ah! So good.). But when I read these verses after learning what was going on during that time, I really felt like I was going to have all that I needed, be it a Bachelor's or something else, at the perfect time. I feel like it is all part of God's plan, and that I don't need to rush. God is going to use these next years in great ways that I can't even picture. I am amazed already at how he has used the pain I went through during the last 6 months. I am already amazed to see what he is doing now.

I thank him for every season.

You can all keep praying. That would be so great.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reflections: Chapter 1

So during my shower thinking time I was thinking about my blog last night.

It can't be true that reading the Bible and trying to know God more didn't help me. It is not true. I have no proof that this is true.

These were my thoughts. Then I got the idea that I should start a series of Reflections in this blog. These Reflections shall consist of me remembering and valuing all of the many times that the Bible, Jesus, something spiritual-like has helped me be who I am today. I am pretty awesome, so there should be lots of instances. I thought of about four in the shower.

I am very excited. Ready, set, GO!

Reflections: Chapter 1

My parents decided to send me to a Christian private school in middle school. I had been home schooled for all of my prior school years. My social interactions and friendships came from church and dance classes. I suppose you would have defined me as sheltered, although my parents never seemed to set out with that intention. They both loved, and still love, exposing and sharing their favorite things of the world with us. But beside television and books, I had not been exposed to any sort of real teen angst or depression. Middle school changed that.

I went into the school year with the belief that I was supposed to change the world and set a good example, due to having a relationship with Jesus. Very high expectations for anyone, and I was doomed to fail.

In middle school I read the Bible like a book (ha.). I read 2 Corinthians so much that some pages fell out of the bookbinding. I was always particularly struck by these first verses.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I had always felt comforted during all of my afflictions by Jesus, and therefore felt it was my duty to set out and find those who needed comforting. A few resented this, which is no surprise. I could get pretty intense. There was a group, though, who seemed drawn to me like bees to honey. One boy from the first day, and this is the story I will share today.

He had a crush on me, which confused me greatly. He was the saddest boy in school, and described me as an angel. I would roll my eyes, and try to grab up my books before he could swoop them up and follow me to my locker. We had one class together, and he sat beside me, so we would talk during breaks. I saw him as someone that needed my help, since I obviously had all the answers. I started to press him to share why he was so down all the time. He didn't want to talk about it, and would become very angry, and say something nasty. Then the next day he would apologize, and so it went.

He finally said that his grandfather, who was a good man, had died. He said that this had made him angry with God. That was all he would ever say, and I thought this was a weak excuse to be treat me and all of his other friends like crap, which he did. He would apologize the next day, but it got to be exhausting, and I wanted to be done with it.

He became extremely manipulative with me as the months wore on, and began to call me to vent about his anger. He would say things like, "I know I shouldn't be calling you or talking to you, because I'm such an awful person, and don't deserve your friendship." At first it kept me on the phone, but soon I began to realize that he was just saying these things so he could use me better, since it made me feel guilty for not wanting to talk to him.

One day I was sitting on my bed, feeling exasperated. I said, "God! What should I do?" At the time, not being friends with this boy wasn't an option in my mind, because I didn't think it would be what Jesus would do, due to not learning about healthy boundaries yet. I opened up my Bible and my eyes fell to this verse.

"Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself." Proverbs 22:24-25

AH! I freaked out. "You mean I can just NOT BE FRIENDS WITH HIM? This is OKAY? Not only okay, but the RIGHT THING to do?" I was ecstatic.

For the next couple months, I refused to sympathize with him. I would either not answer the phone, or only talk for a few seconds. I could tell from his tone that he realized he had lost control, and it wasn't long before the phone calls stopped completely.


That story ended up being longer than I planned, but I already feel more satisfied that I had been believing a lie for the past couple months. More Reflections to come...