Thankful #13: New Beginnings

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November 13th, 2017…

I am so thankful for new beginnings!  Though they feel few and far between, difficult to really achieve, they are very achievable.  You can always move forward no matter what you’ve done in the past, and I am so thankful for that truth.  For new chapters of life…

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Not going to lie, new beginnings is a topic I often doubt.  How can you move forward knowing what you’ve done in the past and just “start over” forgetting everything you’ve ever said or done?  How can you move forward and begin again when you don’t know what the future holds or what you want to do or be or believe in this world?  How can you write a new chapter when many old ones feel unfinished?  All questions I’ve asked and wondered and thought about…

We will never have all the answers and that is something we must accept.  There is no use in sitting around wondering “why this and why that”.  That, my friends, only keep us stuck in the same place over and over and over again.  It is not fun to be stuck, to be stagnant, idle, or anything of the sort.  Focusing on what we simply will not know is pointless and one of the best ways to seemingly waste time.

Your past never leaves you, but it also doesn’t define you.  It’s helped make you who you are today.  Even with that, I realize some people want to completely forget their past and want no one to know of it.  That can be understandable especially if there was a lot of pain or negative influence or what not.  I encourage you though that your past and how you’ve conquered it, or how you will, is an amazing testimony to the people around you, people going through the same things and feeling hopeless just as you did or maybe do now.  Don’t lose hope!!

If you’ve come to a place like I have recently where you are beginning to let go of so much that has held you back from truly blossoming and become who you were created to be, I congratulate you!  I am so excited to be on this journey with you!  It’s terrifying to let go of everything you know and find comfort in and to move forward, towards a new beginning redefining who you are.  I trust in Christ alone to help me with this new chapter of letting go, forgiving and forgetting, confiding in other, believing in myself, and living moment by moment instead of dwelling on the past or being scared of the future.

That’s all I am capable of thinking about today. ❤

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Lord, I thank you for this day.  Thank you for new beginnings and new chapters of life.  Please, Father, be with me every step of the way.  May my steps forward honor you more and more with each passing day.  I love you and I need you, God, more than anything else.  Guide me to forgive, apologize, let go, and find my confidence and, sweet Savior, to put my trust in you alone!  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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Jenny~

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Thankful #12: Moving Forward

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November 12th, 2017…

I am so thankful for the ability we all have to move forward.  Taking life into your own hands, believing in yourself, but trusting in God full force…moving forward is so very achievable and I am truly thankful for this.

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Today was the step I’ve been waiting to take but truly feared, until now.  This year has taught me a lot, no matter how much I felt like I was stagnant and going nowhere fast.

Today was a huge step for me in moving forward and conquering certain doubts and fears in my life.  A step which I didn’t use to believe was possible to achieve.

Today was a big step in an exciting journey; the journey of my faith and where my identity lies; in proclaiming Christ’s love, and confirming what I have lived.

Today I was baptized, and it was a thrilling experience!  It wasn’t just being dunked in water; there was no great revelation or profound feelings or drama; nothing crazy, but it was incredible.  Just me, God, and my testimony being shared with other people.  Truly, there are few words for how incredible it was…open is the best word to choose; I feel so open and ready for life. ❤

Trying to process it all.  Being able to accept where I am and start to move forward, not holding myself back, is so huge for me and so difficult to explain, but that’s not the point.  I’m not trying to explain, but trying,rather, to share with those who doubt and have fear that it is truly possible to put one foot in front of the other, no matter how daunting, and move forward, grow, learn, experience, mature, let go and be just as amazing as you were created to be!

God is so faithful and amazing, and He hasn’t failed me, not one bit.  Where I have failed endlessly He has been there, never disappointed or ashamed, but loving me and giving me more chances then I’ll ever deserve, and for that truly I am grateful.

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I love you, Father, and thank you for this step taken to move forward and proclaim your truth and love. There is so much to learn and ways to grow, but my faith lies in you alone, no matter what is ahead. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness, promises, and healing.  For opening me up to the realization that through you I am capable; it is not my power, but Christ’s that equips me to go forward and live this life without fear or doubt in who I am.  Yes, there will be fears, and many doubts, but not in my Savior, in my identity being a daughter of the Creator, or in my faith which can move mountains; it’s already moving mountains and I am so sincerely grateful to you, God.  Thank you for the gospel, and for salvation, peace, love and joy found in Jesus Christ alone.  It is in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”                                Philippians 4:13

“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”…” Revelation 21:5

Jenny~

Thankful #11: Freedom!!

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November 11th, 2017…

I am so thankful for freedom!  Not only the freedom of this great country, America, which is taken for granted much too often by the world, but the freedom found in the bible!  I am so thankful for the freedom we can find within ourselves, in all the things that may seem little to someone else, but are so big to us!  We don’t have to stay in bondage to things.  No matter the uncertainty, no matter if someone may get hurt, no matter what, there is always a chance and a choice to find freedom and that is something to be thankful for.

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Firstly, I would like to say thank you to the men and women who have sacrificed their “normal” lives for the freedom of their country.  Because of there services, we can do our day-to-day tasks at home while they are overseas fighting, we can be with our families while they are apart from theirs, and we can enjoy all of life’s little things while they are making it possible for us to continue to do so.  Thank you to every person I know who has given his or her life in this regard, and please know that your choice to do this, your sacrifice, whatever motivated you at first, it is one to be honored, no matter how deep you get into it, no matter what happens…no matter what, you are greatly appreciated and your experience, stories and life as a whole is an amazing testimony!  Through what you’ve given up, may we learn true sacrifice of our comforts and never take things for granted.  Prayers to our serving men and women and their precious families; Godspeed and many blessings.

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Finding freedom from certain situations or circumstances is something that seems impossible.  So much time can be “wasted” by believing you will never be free from mental, emotional, or physical struggles.  It is valid to be in a place where you feel the whole world is against you, or looking down at you, and you feel so inadequate to reach the “standards” and “expectations” all around you.

Something I’ve discovered very recently is this: the things we assume or believe other people expect of us or think of us are often, in fact, what we think, expect, and believe of ourselves.  How we handle, respond and react when we feel confined by life in general often reveals the truth of how we see ourselves or view certain situations.  If you are unsettled about a decision, a person or an issue and you’re trying to hide it away and figure out a solution all alone then someone happens to confront you about it whether they know what you’re dealing with or not, usually you get defensive and deny it, or you break down and cry, or you hide even more!  What I’ve discovered about myself anyway is that when I am stressed, scared, fearful, uncertain or just completely exhausted, I am very obvious with what I’m feeling or thinking when I’m trying so hard not to be!  I’m trying so hard to have it all under control and let the world think nothing is ever wrong.  And when someone asks me about it I will deny it even more because it’s become a habit, to say “I’m okay” and keep going, hiding away every care or concern, but wanting to share and find that freedom within myself.

No matter how scary it is, no matter how you’ve messed up, no matter how confusing a situation has become, no matter if someone may get hurt or dislike you, no matter if you feel utterly overwhelmed, no matter what…there is always freedom from whatever is keeping you captive.  Always!  You cannot lose faith or hope in that.  As a young woman, a people pleasure, a perfectionist, an analytical mind, and a middle child (lol), I often feel that my issues or struggles or problems are not necessary to confront, not valid to deal with for my well being, and not important enough for anyone else to care, so why mention them?  Why ask questions?  Why seek counsel?  Why find freedom?  “Why why why” if my issues are so little compared to SO many other things?!

Bottom line is that it’s not okay to stay stuck like this.  Whether it’s a relationship, a bad habit, an unhealthy belief system or thought process, or maybe you just need time to be alone and find some peace with God, whatever negativity is present and keeping you hidden, quiet, afraid, isolated; it’s not okay to hide and it is very important and completely valid to seek freedom and help from those things, no matter how scared you are!  Whatever scares you only makes you stronger, right?  Whatever fears you have are SO small compared to the freedom that can be revealed by the truth!  And guess what?  We have an amazing God who is waiting to take every fear from us, every burden, every hurt, every pain, every care, every concern; every single thing.  He is waiting with open arms to help us find rest in Him, and the freedom we yearn for in our daily lives.  In Christ who has conquered death and the grave, there is freedom.

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Dear God, thank you for freedom!  Freedom is real and it is in You, Father, that there is true, complete, freedom!  I thank you for the freedom found in this great country.  Thank you for giving and trusting us with America.  We have fallen and been so unworthy of your blessings and provision and protection, but Lord, I ask for your hand to be over this great nation!  Lead us to acknowledge, know and respect who you are!!  Creator God!!  Open up our eyes and be with those who do not know you as Savior.  May seeds be planted within this nation as well as all of the world.  Thank you for the many men and women who have given up their lives for this country.  Past, present, and future, they are amazing individuals and I ask you Lord, in Jesus name, to guide them and guard them, to equip and prepare them, to provide for them and bless them, Father, to achieve the tasks set before them.  May your blessings overflow upon these men and women and their families.  I come to you, sweet Savior, and ask for your continued assistance in my freedom; freedom from within.  Freedom from old habits, from lies, from any trespasses I’ve done or that have been done against me, from unhealthy relationships, from toxic belief systems, and from any negative areas or people in my life.  So many things are easier said than done at first, but in you, o God, we are capable!  And we CAN overcome this bondage and fear and confinement.  Thank you for the truth in your word that states “…where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom…” (2 Corinthians 3:17).  May we acknowledge your Spirit, God, when we are convicted of our wrong doings, when we are encouraged by your word, when we desire to praise and worship you, may we walk in obedience and in that may we find freedom in you alone.  Thank you.  I love you, Father, and pray in Jesus name, amen!

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~*~Happy Veteran’s Day~*~

Jenny~

Thankful #10: Breathing

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November 10th, 2017

I am so thankful for breath!  Deep breath.  The breath of life.  Breathing in the new, breathing out the old.  I  am thankful for the ways in which our breath can heal us and console us.  I am thankful that in the midst of anxiety, our breath can keep us calm and steady.  I am thankful for fresh our that feeds our minds when taking a nice deep breath in.  And I am truly thankful for the many breaths I take each day so I can continue to declare the glory of the Lord!
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It is extremely difficult to take a breath sometimes, can you agree?  I’ve experienced the very breath I take to cause pain at times, or to not be as satisfying as needed.  Sometimes I don’t think I’m capable of taking another breath.  Sometimes it is like life has just begun over and over with each breath I take.

Breathe and breathe deeply.  Sit up, stand, or lay flat on your back and breathe in all the air you can through your nose, then let it all out through your mouth.  Try breathing in for 5 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds, then letting it all out for 8 seconds…do it a few times in a row and focus on how peaceful the rhythm of your breath is.

If life is piling up and throwing things at you, just breathe.  DEEP BREATH.  You are not alone.

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Dear God, I thank you for giving us the ability to breathe!  Of course without it we would not be alive on this earth, but without your Spirit we would not be alive at all!  Thank you for the breath of life mentioned in your word.  You are our breath of life, Father, the very air we breathe day to day.  We take in your truth and love and joy, and put out the lies, hate, and negativity from within.  Thank you for giving us something to steady us and find a balance, like our heart beat as well, in this crazy world.  Thank you for all we can do with our breath!  Sing, speak, swim, exercise, settle down, smell things, blow, and simply live.  You are amazing!  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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Jenny~

Thankful #9: Perspective

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November 9th, 2017…

I am so thankful for perspective.  The perspective we have of ourselves, other people, God, the very world.  The ability to take on different perspectives, how crucial of an art that is to learn (taking on a different perspective), and for how helpful it is to see not only eye to eye, but in a whole new way.  I am thankful for the things, people, situations and experiences that help put things in perspective which is generally much simply than we first see it.

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(I had some specific thoughts about at work, but…I have forgotten!!  hmmm…)

Perspective is an art, one that for me hasn’t come easily.  I have always been empathetic, sympathetic, and somewhat able to put myself in another persons shoes (that was all redundant!), but having a changed perspective of myself, my life, my struggles, my strengths, my weakness, me…that has been a true challenge!

Taking on this challenge is something I have recently attempted.  Not only because I wish to grow in this area, but also to understand myself more and other people.  Knowing how people truly see you and learning how they see themselves.  Not just other peoples perspective, but God’s perspective, which is so vast and huge and incredible!!

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Lord, thank you for everything.  I ask for your assistance, Father, in taking on a new perspective of life.  There are so many ways to look at a situation and so often we look at it so much more complicated than necessary.  I believe it is quite necessary for us to learn how to put things in perspective, especially your perspective, God!  May I be so bold to ask you to allow me to glimpse through your perspective of life, circumstances, situations, and other people!  May I learn how to look at life through your eyes, Lord, and see people for who they are.  May I see myself, who you created me to be and how I am to step forward in my faith and towards the plan and will you have for me.  Thank you for the incredible human mind which has the ability and capacity to take on a new perspective, to create new habits, and to attempt to see things the way you see them.  Open my eyes to see, my mind to learn, and my heart to know what is true.  I love you,  Father.  Amen.

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Jenny~

Thankful #8: A Good Read

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PHOTO BACK STORY!!

So, this picture was taken four (4) years ago for a post I was composing about books.  I came across it sorting through all my pictures and thought I’d use it for today. 🙂

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November 8th, 2017…

I am so thankful for BOOKS!  As silly as that sounds, they are something to be grateful for.  All the nights my mother read bedtime stories and I sat on my bed imagining the whole thing; it felt so real.  I’m thankful for the stories that are true and made up, for knowledge and wisdom you can gain, for facts, fantasy, characters; a land you can get lost in.  I am so thankful for books and how they smell (yes, seriously!), and I just love books! ❤

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Lord, Thank you for the wisdom and knowledge we can learn and retain from ready books!  Thank you for all the lessons and endless wisdom and truth found in the bible!  Books are so wonderful whether they are fairy stories or real stories and I am so thankful, Father, for the ability to read and comprehend and understand the words written within the pages of a book.  The capacity you have created for our brains is so incredible and amazing, Father!!  To think we were made in your image and have the ability to know you, God…I am so completely humbled by this.  That you would even care to know me makes me want to cry tears of joy!  Thank you!  May we never belittle how special and fun and important our ability to read and comprehend is!  Amen.

Jenny~

Thankful #7: Healing

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November 7th, 2017…

I am so thankful for healing.  I am so thankful that we are able to heal.  I am so thankful for the process of healing, no matter how long it takes, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually; it is possible and something to rejoice in!

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Healing…
This is a word that is hard to grasp or understand most of the time.
It sounds wonderful but seems so hard to obtain.
“Healing”…it taunts us, a deep desire, always out of reach…
 
Just like most things, true healing is a choice I’ve come to find.  It takes some form of action to really heal from physical pain, emotional hurt, mental struggles, spiritual battles; fill in the blank.  It takes an immense amount of humility and pride; humility to seek help and pride/worth that YOU are worth it…you are worth healing.  You are worth solutions.  You are worth happiness.  You are worth closure; you are worth it.
 
2017 has been a year I labeled “Healing”. I didn’t fully grasp or understand why until now, and what I’ve realized is this; God, through me, is capable of anything and everything.  No matter my personal doubts and struggles, HE is so much bigger and fully equipped to handle everything.  All I have to do is listen and take certain steps and trust in Him alone, completely.  And it is now that I finally have said “I trust you, Lord”, and let me just say…I am so excited!  True excitement where your heart is racing and you can’t stop smiling, no matter what happens next, is something I haven’t felt in too long.  The thrill of letting go and giving everything to God is like nothing else!  No matter what great experiences we can have on earth, everything with God is so much better; everything!
This is a place I never dreamed I could be in.  These realizations are things I just dreamed and thought about, but never believed I could achieve…and that’s just it…
I.  Me.  Myself.  You see, no matter the problem or desire of power, control, pride, false humility, or simple deception, I absolutely could not/cannot achieve anything!  I have lived in a world, a tiny little bubble, of self-pity, being an Eeyore, a Debby Downer, a pessimist, glass half empty, indecisive, ‘negative’ perspective on life, not believing in myself, unable to obtain true confidence in who I am and what I can do, and having faith/trust issues because of this truly heavy doubt, and often times this doubt leads to depression, and when you struggle with depression, man…you are stuck and truly believe there is no hope, no light, no way of healing or getting better, and that nothing pertaining to you matter at all.  You truly want to curl up and die.  It’s terrifying and so easy to fall into fear, anxiety, and isolation; the enemy is trying to steal your happiness, kill your hope, and destroy your faith and any positive progress in your life.
Healing.  This is a word, a concept, a reality, that I have begun to take by the reigns, no matter my fears or anxieties, no matter what doubts arise.  I know that my Lord is faithful and that my faith and trust in him can move mountains, specifically the mountains in my life that are standing in my way of moving forward.  It may be a steep climb, things may get harder, but I am ready…I am so ready!  And I am so extremely excited for life and what God has in store for me.  This is only the beginning, and I have so much room to grow, learn, change, and heal, but truly I can’t explain how very real my doubt has been.  You know what you have that thing that is just always there and sometimes seems to haunt you?  That is doubt for me.  Of course I will still struggle with it, but I am finally realizing my power, through Jesus, to confront this doubt and make positive changes to keep moving forward, no excuses, no matter what.
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Father!  Thank you for healing!  Thank you for creating our bodies that are so incredible, with the ability to heal.  Thank you for the scars that are left behind to remind us that ‘we did it’ and now we can attest and share with the world just how we succeeded.   Thank you for healing in physical ways as well as internal, mental, emotional healing.  Lord, there are times when all around us we see darkness.  We lose faith, hope, trust and the ability to see the positive side of things.  From personal struggle, every day, I’ve experienced the lowest of lows and it is scary; it hurts.  And there are people out there, God, experiencing worse battles then I may ever experience!  Thank you for your mercy!  Father, give me the perspective, your perspective, to see how little my struggles are compared to how gigantic they feel, and that the sun will come out tomorrow, this too shall pass, and these very struggles will only make me stronger.  May I be able to grasp that.  May I cling to your truth and promises of complete healing, and joy, peace, happiness, and so much more, Father.  I love you so much and cannot even begin to know how much you love me and wish for me to see the light when I fall into darkness.  Thank you for loving and caring for me so completely and so extraordinarily…it hurts to try to comprehend, but makes my heart so glad.  I pray these things in your precious name, Amen.
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Dear person reading this entry, I wish to encourage you to persevere no matter how terrifying it can be, or how alone you feel; I promise and can’t reiterate enough how much you are not alone!  Have faith!  You are capable of coming to a place of complete healing in your life, in your relationships, in yourself.  Do you want that?  Do you desire to step foot onto the water, the unknown?  Or are you comfortable sitting in your fear, doubt, anxiety and worry?  I will tell you right now, I have done that for far too long and allowed it to eat me alive.  I’ve lost opportunities, my confidence, my identity, friendship, and true passion and desire to live fully and I just want to encourage you to seek the positive changes you need to make in your life, and to call upon the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to assist you in that decision.  Give your want to control and fix and do it all yourself because it doesn’t work that way.  Depend on Him alone, and my friend…just wait and see how amazing it will be!
Again, I am young, I have SO much to experience and learn, and I am no expert…I am just finally learning how to choose and give my struggles to God and truly completely rely on Him as I take steps forward to change and be the very best Jennifer I can be for Him and the people around me.  One step at a time.  One breath at a time.  Don’t rush…
Much love and blessings to you. ❤
Jenny~

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