Speak Life, will you?

Toby Mac created a video to “Speak Life”, a song off of his newest album “Eye On It”.  If you don’t have it you should go get it at Family Bookstore!

When I think of our power to speak life into someone, I think that is a powerful ability we have to give life breathing words into another person or words that tear another person down.  

I think of it like this, you meet a new person, you start talking and you discover that they are “home schooled”.  What do you do?  Do you make jokes about them being home schooled because YOU are insecure and KNOW nothing of this amazing opportunity that they are being given OR do you choose to dig deep and learn more and break down the unknown barrier that you have up because of what society has said about home schoolers?  

Do you realize that your predetermined knowledge or lack there of can rip a person to pieces to that point that they shrink up and don’t ever want to shine again or you can learn about the uniqueness and bask in their awesomeness!  

I am grateful for those who have spoken life into me.  Those who have encouraged me and continue to encourage me on this path of life.  I think of the current person Ellen, she is our pastor’s wife and every so often, we get a few minutes to chat but those few minutes are filled with encouragement, and keep pressing onward.  “Your doing the right thing Jennifer”, I was just told Sunday.

I am NOT saying that all life speaking words are going to be happy, joyful words!  We all need people in our life who are going to speak words that we may NOT want to hear but do so in LOVE!  For me that person, well there are many but the one has helped me the most and when I choose to listen to her life speaking words have been dead on, is Judy!  Judy is my friend, she has helped me blaze the path of life and she is not afraid to speak to me in truth done in love!  

Who will you speak life into this week?  Who will you encourage and cheer on in the path of life?  

Be encouraged!

Jennifer

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Joys!

While the past few weeks have been a huge struggle, this week has been up hill!  Saturday started off with a 6:30a.m. get up to finish packing, when at 9:30 the crew arrived to help me pack!  I’ll post a separate blog on the crew that helped because well they are that deserving! Image

Yup!  I had my “Keep Calm” shirt on from Sheila Walsh!  

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Boxes were loaded and 3 pizzas later and 4 hours later we were ready to roll to Anderson!

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Unload a FULL 16′ or so truck!  One person kept saying “Are You SURE it will all fit??”  And I kept saying “YUP!”

After being up for 17 hours I finally hit the sack!  I don’t like moving but boy when you have friends to walk beside you in life it makes it all the better! 🙂

Oh and did I mention I won tickets on Friday night to the Third Day/Skillet show a week from Friday!  Now who to take with me??

Had a rough start to the week but it only got better with a phone call from my supervisor at work when they told me I would be going back on the phones and chatting with people this weekend!!! So, excited because I have been answering questions!  Do you know how hard it is for this talkative girl to sit and answer questions for 8 hours?!?!?!  

Tomorrow another jam packed day filed with my first ever WinterJam tour with good friends!  And then work, work and more work!

He is faithful even when we waiver!

Be encouraged friends!

 

Big Dreams

I know, I know two posts in one day!  Isn’t that against blogging guide lines?  This post is more for me than for anyone.  I have some dreams that have been stirring in my heart for a while now and I want to make them happen but I am frustrated because I am NOT where I want to be and at times I think that the dream will NEVER become reality!  Last week in chapel pastor Jim Lyon was given a message on how to get where we want to be.  And one of the things he said that stuck out was we have to EARN the right to speak.  That has had me thinking.  How can I EARN the right to speak?  I mean after all one of my dreams that I want to make a reality is to speak with Women of Faith.  Yup, there I said it!  But how will I get there if I have not EARNED the right?  That is what I am trying to figure out where I can begin earning that right.  I am just a girl with a dream who is going to passionately pursue my dream.  If that means serving at the bottom and working my way up, I’m in.  Use me!  I need to start praying and asking God for opportunities to share my story, my passion, what he has laid upon my heart.  What I have learned from Him and what I am continually learning from Him.  I know that God has not brought me through many of lives storms to sit silent. I tend to get discouraged when life is overwhelming at right now it is.  I look around at school and there are young kids that are going after there dream with one thing and that thing is focusing on school.  Sure they have other worries as well but they are able to focus on school.  Where I go to school 2 days a week and work the others.  Life is busy and I wonder to myself am I in over my head.  Wouldn’t it be easier to quit and never get my degree.  But I am NOT a quitter and I will continue to complete the course that has been set before me.  I already feel better about my dreams.  God’s given me a passion, a fiery passion that I won’t let die until the story has been told!

The Storm Inside

 

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Y’all!  How have you been doing?  Some of y’all have had ice, while others have had freezing cold temperatures!  If any of y’all had WARM weather, we need to talk! Ha!  Well, for the past month I have been slowly plugging away at reading “The Storm Inside” by Sheila Walsh.  It is her latest book and in my opinion her BEST one yet!  This book has 10 short chapters and discuss different storms that we all face.  For you that may be Shame or Guilt while for me it is Insecurity.  I love how Sheila wrote this book as if she is sitting across from you in the same room!  If you have ever heard her speak you may have heard her use the word “Girls”, she uses that word a lot in this book which makes it all the more authentic!  Grab a cup of coffee and a box of tissue as you dive into “The Storm Inside”!  Oh, and did I mention that I am giving AWAY a signed copy of the book????  All you have to do is leave a comment below!  I will draw the winner in one week!  Y’all will be one up on me as I don’t even have a HARD copy of this book yet! 🙂

Jen

Emotions! Like them, Hate them…….

Emotions!  We all have them!  Laughter, tears, sadness, grief, joy, happiness, anger, hurt, contentment and many more!  I am sure if I thought long enough I could come up with a list longer than Santa’s list of children!  

This past Friday, the emotions of sadness, grief, tears and uncertainty crept in.  Friday morning I woke up to an email from my dad’s lawyer, with details wrapping up his estate.  He died in December of 2012.  My brother and I have been waiting for a long time to get this closed and this chapter BEHIND us!  My brother contacted the hospital where dad left a gift to and I had to call the church.  I could hardly get the words out.  The church that has wrapped my family in love and prayers many times, was receiving a gift in honor of my dad.  It was the first time since the funeral I had heard the pastor’s voice, soft and gentle voice.  I got through that phone call and went back to work.  Holding in any more emotion.  

When I got to work, my co-workers were talking about how the schedule had been changed for this week.  I was praying mine had not gotten touched because I had a schedule that was finally allowing me to see my kids!  Of course wouldn’t you know, it had!  I have a schedule for this week where I won’t see much of my kids at all and to top it off the one day that I get to spend with Lily, I have to work to make up for taken Saturday off to move!  UGH!  YES, I am complaining!  I am grateful for a job but am having a hard time right now with the amount of time I get to see my kids.  Yes, it’s just a season and yes this too shall pass but does it make it any easier in this moment NO!  I was actually very proud of myself because my usually self would have either a) quit right there over my schedule or b) found a way to leave.  I did neither.  I called my mom on my lunch and cried and cried and cried and she said “Your an OVERCOMER!”  Ah, I love my mom, quoting Mandisa! 🙂

Friday night I picked up my kids and we went to see “Frozen” per William.  On the way home, I called my brother so he could wish William a Happy Birthday.  After he hung up, William started crying and nothing was going to make him happy!  45 minutes later we arrive home and the others got out of the car, he crawled onto my lap and said “you know why I was crying?”  “Why Buddy?” (crying) “Because I miss Grandpa Jay and your brother!”  Little did he know I had been missing my dad that day too!  I started crying and said “You know what Buddy, I miss him too!” Then I went on to tell William how we hold on to the good memories we had with Grandpa and how with Jesus in our hearts we will see him again in Heaven.  That is the promise I hold on to!  

I think I am finally dealing with the emotions that I stuffed just so I could survive when Timmy was sick and in the hospital as well.   Yes, he is healthy and a normal 8 year boy now but when you don’t deal with those emotions and allow yourself to cry, they will surface at some point.  And I guess I am now dealing with them!  

To top off all of this, I am struggling in two of my classes.  I can do this, I know I can!  Hopefully once I am moved, there will be a little more balance.  You know how I shared I have moved a lot!  And how I can’t wait to put my roots down!  Well, today has been one of those days, that I wish I had a friend to call up that lived close to come over and just hang out!  Sometimes that’s all you need!

Any one of these would have been workable but ALL of them at the same time!  Oh my!  I know that God will never give me more than I can handle but man, this weekend, I think I am maxed out!  I cried on the way home Friday night.  I cried “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” there is no other name to cry out when you are where I was and am!

Your prayers are appreciated more than you will ever now over this next week!

Boxes of life!

I Do NOT like moving!  Growing up I was blessed to only have to move twice.  Even those two moves were hard.  I did’t make friends well.  I was are you ready for this an INTROVERT!  Yes, I had my two or three solid friends who I’ve shared about but was not the outgoing person I am today!  Being in the ministry I quickly learned how to make friends and find people!   Maybe that was part of God’s bigger plan.  As I sit here and type this beginning to be surrounded by yet more boxes for my eighth move.  The first move of this kind.  You see God work’s in ways that we may not always understand!  Last week or was it the week before, I can’t remember now!  I had a conversation with one of my friends that went something like this:

Me: I’m moving to an apartment in a few weeks!  It’s less than what I pay now and closer to work and school!

K: Well, can’t you find something cheaper than that?!?!?!

Me: NOPE!  (God knew better)

So, that night I went shopping with my daughter and I got a FB message from another friend who asked if I was still interested in renting a ROOM from her house?!?!?  I asked how much, she told me I said YES!!!  God knew exactly what he was doing!  Here’s the kicker though!

This is my 8th move y’all!  I don’t know WHY I keep moving but it’s part of God’s bigger plan!  I may not have a ton of friends that I go hang out with because I haven’t spent tons of time in each place to put deep roots down like some of y’all have BUT I have friends sprinkled out all over for each season of my life.

This move is different in the fact that I am having to carefully pack and label stuff because I won’t need everything I have right now.  Over half will be in my friends garage.  I kind of feel like a missionary preparing to go to the mission field!

When my ex and I first went into ministry, I’ll never forget that first move!  I was young, 21 and boy if you could have seen how poorly the truck was packed, it’s amazing that nothing was broken!  The feeling was like being in a foreign land.  Moving to Iowa was a completely different culture (as in the stores are actually closed on Sundays and the grocery at the time didn’t take debit cards!)    The first year or two of living in Iowa we made the trek back to Indiana often.  Here I was in a foreign land AND a pastors wife AND newly married AND a rough relationship with my mom!  God is the God of restoration though!  It wasn’t until I had kids that I started to find a group of mom’s to connect with but just as I was putting down roots we had to move back to Indiana.  Let me tell you though the move back to Indiana, we had the biggest U-Haul you could get PACKED TO THE HILT by church people and family!  There was no way another thing would fit but every nook and cranny was utilized!  It was a miracle, 6 years of stuff all fit in one truck!

Next stop Fowler, IN!  The people there loved well but after four years it was time to move to Shirley, IN.  It was the summer of 2011 and I don’t think I had ever been more nervous to have my stuff packed in pick up trucks and trailers!  All my worldly possessions were being tied down with ROPE and moved across the state!  It was a test of faith for sure!  Nothing fell out and nothing was broken!

Last year at this time I moved out due to my divorce.  My brother helped me move.  That U-Haul looked about the same as the first one, when we moved to Iowa!  I wish I had pictures to share with you but I don’t!  I am grateful my brother helped me!  He was exhausted from being on a trip but we did it!  My BIL helped unload the truck!

Now we are at this next week!  Preparing to live  and share life with an amazing women of God!  I am excited about this next adventure and to dig in to what God is preparing and stirring my heart for next!

I could write so much more but I would loose you!  So, how many times have you moved?  What kind of stories do the boxes of your life hold?  Dare to dig deep into them!  I’ll be sharing about my boxes of life some more!  Do you think of introducing yourself or taking a plate of warm cookies to the new neighbors down the road?  Your area may be a foreign land to them!  You are in your own mission field!

Struggles!

I want to share this song with you!  “Glorious Unfolding” by : Steven Curtis Chapman

Because this is just the beginning of the the ending!  Over the past 24 hours I have struggled with being single again.  I am not going to lie!  It stinks!  But God has blessed me with some amazing guy friends who encourage me and know how to make me laugh and say just the right thing at the right time!  For example last night I was complaining to one of them about being single and how it stinks always having the “Friend” card and wasn’t their any TALL, Christian, honest, men of character and integrity out there?!?!?! If you single I’m sure you’ve had this same thought!  He laughed and said well maybe God wants you to focus on other things!  I was like WAIT, WHAT did you just say????  Yeah, not what I expected at all from this particular friend!  I was grateful for his refocus, guiding me to where God wants me and in his perfect timing will provide what I need!  I know what God’s plans are for me as far as ministry goes.  I know that God wired me for that!  He has gifted me for that!  He is stirring my heart for that!  He is preparing me for the big picture of sharing my story for His glory!  Even tonight he gave me the opportunity to share my story with some people at church!  I NEVER get tired of sharing what God has done and is doing in my life with others!  The storms he has brought me through, the way he has faithfully provided, I could go on and on.  So, your wondering to yourself WHY are you doubting God now?!?!  Why isn’t your trust fully in HIM for a relationship!  After all He is GOD and He know’s the desires of my heart, RIGHT?!?!?!  Well, the selfish part of me wants that companionship!  That person to do life with!  NOW!  Does that mean I get what I want now?!?!  Nope!  Does that help my fear of being alone forever?!?! Nope!!!  What His will is for me to DAILY place my trust in God, providing what I need in His perfect timing!  Is that always EASY NO WAY!!!!!  But will I choose to do so, Yes!  So, after being humbled, knocked down and encouraged with verses from my friend last night, I can see better that instead of worrying about being single, I need to put my trust in Him and know that He is for me!  And I need to focus on full filling His plan for my life!  And the really cool thing is, it was late at night and I was beyond ready for bed and he was like wait, one last verse for you and it was Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know I the plans I have for you declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE!”