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.


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.


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


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...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I did lots of productive things today. Mostly cleaning. I feel good about it.

On my ride home I was thinking about my life lately. This was mostly due to hearing this song for the first time tonight.

I was relating to some of the lyrics. Ofcourse when I pray to God I believe he listens. In the car tonight I said, "I know you're my best friend, but I don't feel like I've been spending a lot of time with you. I haven't read the Bible for more than a minute in a long time, not that that has to define our relationship. It never has. But I never feel inspired to read anything relating to the Bible anymore...

I think this is because of where I have ended up. I never thought our relationship would lead me to where I am today. I was going to be a dance teacher, but that dream died on me, and it was because of you. I never went to Cuba, but I never wanted to anyway, and I don't believe I was supposed to go. It seems like I'm stuck in Georgia and Jefferson, but who's to say I need to leave? I don't even want to leave.

I don't see how trying to know you the best I could got me anywhere. By trying to know you more I mean reading John G. Lake devotionals and such. I was always trying to grab onto what joy meant, what love meant, getting down the deeper meanings. I enjoy just living and going through my daily routines much more. I know that this isn't the right way to think, but this is where I'm at right now, and that is what I've been doing."

So as I wrote that out it all clicked as to what was wrong and what was right about what I said in my car ride tonight.

What was wrong was thinking that reading the Bible so much got me no where. It absolutely got me to the place where I can stay sane. And I was always listening, and hearing good things from God. I dreamed a lot more when I was listening.

I am so disappointed in where I am at today because I feel that it is SO FAR beneath all and any of my expectations. I've started applying to be a school teacher assistant, and feel that it is so far below what I want to be doing daily. I feel like such a cop-out when I even think of it. I can't do it. I could do it for a very short time, but not at all for the rest of my time here on earth. I have to find out where my expectations with myself are. I have to know God more in order to do that, because the more I know God, the more I know his thoughts for me, so the more I know myself. I have to stop believing the lies.

What was right was focusing on my daily routine more. I really began to realize last year how my actions never lined up with what I believed was right. I really began to work on that, and still want to do that more and more. But I saw the difference, and am still seeing the changes I have been making in myself.

I really want to have a dream for my life again, but I don't know what I want.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I iz so tireds. I only been going to gym once a week with twainer. So laaazyyy.

So today was my day off and I did NOTHING. I did not leave the house. I did not take a shower. I look scary.

I did not do one productive thing today. I was involuntarily productive once indirectly. Mom did it for me. She filled out my job application while I held the baby.

I was gwumpy and tireds and hungwys all day!

Ugh. So I'm making a list of things I want to finish before the week is up! It is halfway gone. We must do these things...well, not all of them. I just want to have some goals, but they are not mandatory.

1. Make brownies.
2. Go to the gym everyday.
3. Begin cleaning room.
4. Begin throwing things out (so much mess that is not necessary).
5. Watch The Town with Jon.
6. Go running outside.
7. Make training plan for half marathon that is at the end of February (so close!).
8. Keep reading LOTR's FOTR in bed before lights out :).

I think that is it. Oh, and plan a day to meet up with Megan next week. Yes. And maybe Laura. Yes.


Alright, I am out! Gotta go shower, read my book, and go to sleep!

Monday, January 2, 2012

It was probably a bad idea to nap after I got off work...oh well.

Let's talk New Year's Resolutions.

If you don't like them, then fine. Don't do them, but please don't start spouting off about how everyday is a chance to change, that New Year's Resolutions are a meaningless cliche, and just the whole "I art better than thou" statements.

If you want to change everyday, then just do it. There are those of us who do NOT want to change everyday. We want to wait till we got a bit of Christmas cheer in us (usually our stomachs and rears), and THEN start making the changes. I believe that is okay. Leave us to it, and stop it with this senseless judging. Change that, why don't cha?

Please. And thank you.