Thankful #5: Loneliness

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November 5th, 2017…

I am so thankful alone time.  Being an introvert (to whatever extreme people may think), and someone who is naturally to herself, finding time to be alone with no interruptions or responsibilities or anything is something I’m truly thankful for.

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Lord, I thank you for this day, whatever it brings.  Thank you for the times where I can steal away and be alone; no one else around, no interruptions of my thoughts, no extra noise…time to think and focus and evaluate.  Father, in these times that truly I am thankful for, I ask you, Lord, to allow me to use it wisely.  May I learn to give these times a purpose and a meaning, and not to get distracted with over-thinking, social media, movies, or music.  Help me not to completely zone out unless that’s what I need, because sometimes that’s just necessary.  Lord, may I enter these moments of solitude not to isolate myself and hide, but to pursue you and your word, your truth, and to grow as an individual.  May I use these moments of loneliness, away from the world and other people, to focus on you and reevaluate my life.  To grow my relationship with you which in the end is all that matters.  I am a very relational person, as you know, and I care deeply, often too deeply, for the people in my life.  So much so, Lord, that I give up what I need and what I desire for the happiness of those around me.  Father, assist me in the art of finding balance.  Balance between helping myself and helping other, between being with people and being alone, between analyzing and over-analyzing…help me, dear Lord, to find that balance that is so very crucial.  Thank you again for this day.  I love you, Lord Jesus and pray in your holy and precious name, Amen.

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Life is interesting to say the least, and when it piles up hanging over you like a monster, it’s quite simply the easiest thing to duck and hide from the world and everything to do with it.  I do this.  I am very good at “hiding”.  My truest thoughts, feelings, and emotions.  And from this exercise (if you will), which may I add I am NOT proud of or recommending to anyone, I have learned many things.  Firstly, you lose yourself.  What you love, what you need, what you believe, what you enjoy; who you are.  It all becomes muffled and fuzzy in your mind when you hide everything.  Secondly, it’s easy to give a false reputation of yourself because how to you defend and promote who you are if you don’t confidently know?!  No matter the sincerity, if you have let yourself get buried alive under thoughts, feelings and emotions, how do you represent yourself?  And lastly, you so easily begin to doubt.  God, family, yourself, the world and the meaning of life.  This, my friend, is also called “depression”.  I can best explain it like being stuck in a viscous cycle; a never ending circle where with all your might no matter how much you want to you just cannot seem to grasp reality.  You don’t believe in who you are, how big God is, and your own strength and ability.  I could go on and on, but I’ll save that for another time…

Moral of the story, and something I am trying to learn myself, is this…do NOT hide!  No matter how easy, no matter if you’ve convinced yourself it doesn’t matter, no matter if you may hurt someone, no matter what.  The truth is it’s the hard things that make us stronger, what bothers you whether it seem small or silly MATTERS, and you will most liking end up hurting someone and yourself even more if you hide.

Whether it’s shining light in the darkness, seeking forgiveness or an apology, doing what’s right in a sticky situation, or fill in the blank, seek counsel, speak out, let go, do what’s right, never ignore your gut, and take a big deep breath…everything is going to be okay…

Jenny~

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Thankful #4: Creation

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November 4th, 2017…

I am so thankful for creation.  SO THANKFUL!!!  The sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, the grass, the trees, the seasons, flowers, bugs, birds, human beings; every single intricately designed living thing that lives and breaths on this earth.  I am so so SO thankful!  Thankful for the magnificent beauty found in it all…it’s just fascinating, jaw-dropping, incredible, inspiring, and truly magical. ❤

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Today I went on a drive.  A looong drive.  It ended up being a beautiful two hour drive in a big figure-eight around where I live…guys, it was just what I needed and when I say beautiful, it was amazing *sigh*!!  The trees have not failed this fall to bring a tear to my eye with how beautiful they are!  They are all so vibrant, rich and colorful!  Even just around my home they are bright yellow, orange, and red and it makes my heart SO happy!  I drove around and just couldn’t help but smile the whole time; my windows down, my music on, and the perfect scenery surrounding me everywhere I turned…it was just so perfect.

Lord, I thank you for the time I got to spend exploring little roads right by my house and finding new places to watch sunsets and being able to witness your creation.  Father, I am in awe of what you have made!  Thank you for the eyes you’ve given me to see it and experience it!  There is so much beauty in this world, no matter the ugly, dirty, or darkness; Your light shines through always.  Thank you for the autumn weather, the cool breeze, the vibrant colors that make me feel so alive and excited and happy!  Truly, if there isn’t anything else to be happy about (which there is), seeing and being in your creation is enough.  Through what you’ve made you proclaim your power, ability, might, creativity, love, miracles, and so much more.  Help us to see the beauty in this world and in each other when things get ugly.  Allow us to help each other see the beauty in your creation and in your word and in your truth!  May we seek to be an example and light to those who cross our paths.  Open our minds and hearts to love, know, learn more, desire, and live for You, Lord!  Inspire us to live a life that reflects your grace, love, and magnificent glory!  I love you and thank you again for this day, the drive, the trees changing, and the promises that everything, no matter what happens, will be okay…there is no need to fear while we are in Christ, except for the power of God; may we respect and fear you, Lord, for you are capable of anything and everything!  It s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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Hello!  So, during these thankful posts I will be sorting out some other posts as well, and if you haven’t noticed, some days might pile up on each other depending on my schedule.  I’m going through pictures trying to re-organize them (and my whole life, really), so I’m excited to get things rolling on my photography blog as well.  I hope you are able to see and enjoy the beautiful changes during this autumn!!  I encourage you to take a drive, a walk, a road trip even, and soak it all up. ❤

Happy weekend!

Jenny~

Thankful #3: Truth

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November 3rd, 2017…

I am so thankful for the truth!  I am so thankful for the freedom there is found in the truth!  There is no lie great enough that trumps the light of the truth, and light will be shed on the truth, no matter what.  “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”.”-John 8:31-32

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Dear God, thank you for your truth!  For your word which is the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth!  You are so faithful in your word though truly you are serious about it as well.  Nothing is sugar-coated, and I am SO thankful for that!  No matter how we try to go about sugar-coating things; Lord may we be convicted of that and have the confidence and boldness to share your word exactly how it is written.  Thank you for the capacity of our feeble human minds!  The very thought that you have equipped us to be able to grasp even a little bit of your word is so amazing and I am so grateful to you for trusting me to read, learn, know, love, and share your precious word.  You are incredible and I love you!  I love you so much!  Thank you for your great, unfailing, love for us.  It is in your precious name I pray, Amen.

 

Jenny~

Thankful #2: Fellowship

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November 2nd, 2017…

I am so thankful for my family and friends.  My family is my group of friends most of the time, but that’s easier said for me because I have five brothers and six sisters!  Truly I love that I can call my family my friends because, generally speaking, family is forever. ❤  I am thankful for each one of my siblings, and my parents, individually as well as together; it is the strongest team and support system.  Also I am so thankful for my friends who are not blood related.  Many have left and I’ve had to let go, but to those who have stayed…wow!  I am so thankful and grateful them and for their different perspectives, encouragement, support, advice, company, getting together, study, and all the other things that my family can possibly never offer!

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Thank you, sweet Jesus, for my family!  I thank you for my parents and for their guidance and love, for the freedom they have given me to follow the desires I have for the things I want to do in this life, and for their wisdom that allows me to humble myself in knowing there is so much road to travel in my life before I can declare to truly “get” or understand anything.  Thank you for my siblings, for the additions to our family, and for the future additions as well; I am thrilled to find out who gets to be a part of this family that I love.  I thank you for the friends throughout my life.   Thank you for those who have stayed as well as those who haven’t.  Thank you for the lessons I’ve learned from both parties and continue to learn more and more from.  I life up to you, Father, my family and friends, and Lord, I give them to you completely, for you are mighty to save, you love us ultimately, and you are the only one who can truly help any of us, protect us, and make us into who you created us to be.  May we all be inspired by each other to seek just that; who you created us to be and why you’ve put us on this earth, in each others lives.  You are magnificent!  I love you, Lord!!  Thank you again for these people I know and those I have yet to meet, for the fellowship they offer, and the life we get to experience together.  May the bonds of those meant to be become stronger and unbreakable, may we stand up, encourage and help each other, be faithful, true and accountable to one another, and not let our brothers and sisters isolate themselves no matter how uncertain, scary or hopeless life becomes.  Make us strong so we can shine brightly together for you!  Thank you.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

Jenny~

A Poetry Prayer

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Lord, I thank you for this day,
For every opportunity I have to pray.
Thank you for the spring flowers that bloom,
Thank you for the warm sun in June.
Thank you for the crisp autumn air,
Thank you for the winter snow everywhere.

Father, I come to you today,
Humbled, on my knees, as I pray.
I ask you this, if I may,
To guide and protect me through each day.
Help me choose appropriately,
What I should do, say and believe.
Open my eyes when I am wrong,
Show me where I am weak and where I am strong.

Help me know your every word,
That I may speak Your truth and be heard.
Allow my life to be a part
Of the light others find within their hearts.
Use my mistakes and lessons learned
To influence others so they, in turn,
May choose differently and help even more
Then I could have ever helped on my own before.

God, Creator, Father and Son.
Spirit, Comforter, Healer; the only One.
First and the Last, Beginning and the End.
Thank you, sweet Jesus, for being my friend!
Thank you for loving me when I feel alone,
For encouraging, supporting, and providing me a home.
A home that is promised for eternity
When I opened my heart and said “I believe”.

I gave you my heart, my very life,
As you gave us yours as THE sacrifice.
The love you portrayed I will never lose sight,
And no matter what happens, I’ll endure the fight.
I will fight for you and the truth of your Word,
And through my tiny being may YOU be heard!
The most important decision to this day,
Was choosing to love you as you love me.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, forever, Amen.

–A poem my Jennifer Barger (2017)

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People…

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Hello blog!  It’s June 30th, the last day of writing every day for a month!  I managed to write only 11 (eleven) our of 30 days!  Haha!  Not even two weeks, though it seemed as if I posted every day for at LEAST two weeks…oh well!

There are a lot of thoughts going through my head at the moment, but here is something I would like to share…

This passed weekend I attending a retreat.  We name of the retreat was “United” and it was a great retreat!  Wonderful experience, the kindest girls, and a great worship leader; like crazy good *cough cough* (I lead worship with a friend)! 🙂

This weekend, and life in general, as showed and or taught me something and that something is:

  1. How important Unity is.
  2. How toxic relationships can get, even if you don’t realize it.

On both topics I can, and did, say so much, but below I have copy/pasted from an email I composed about my thoughts, though they may seem scattered, on the topic.  Without further ado.

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People are so interesting.  We come, as they say, in all different colors, shapes, and sizes; all different personalities, characteristics, fill in the blank!  People, you and I, you and your sister, you and your friend, are completely different people.  There is no one exactly like you in this entire world, past, present, or future.  Isn’t that a crazy thought?

  When I think of people, the human race, I wonder sometimes why it’s so hard to accept each others differences and move on living together in somewhat peace in this fallen world, having a good time and doing what we love.  What I don’t understand are people who hang onto and pick up on superficial “blemishes” other people have and because of those superficial imperfections they can’t have anything to do with that person!  Instead of digging deeper and truly learning the persons heart, they get so caught on actions or reactions of the flesh and just completely disregard who the person, their spirit and soul and heart, truly is!  I believe that we show a lot through our actions, but I also believe it’s so important, if you care about someone, to know their heart so that you truly know how they feel about things.  If you pay attention to someone you care about, you know how they react to things when they’re in a “good” place or “bad” place.  You know that somethings wrong if they react negatively in a situation that they would normally be very calm or positive in.  Anyway, forgive any rambling.

  What I was getting to with our differences and all is that, although there are SO many differences, so many divided people and opinions, so many people…there is one thing that makes us all identical, united and tied together as one and the same.  Do you know what that is?  Well, friend, it is our amazing God!  It is the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for our sins!  Because of Salvation through Jesus we all have the identity of Christ, therefore we are all united in Christ, our Lord and Savior.  That is the only thing in this life where there is complete unity and oneness.  Stop and look at your life, look at the world and notice how there is segregation all around.  But having the Holy Spirit in you, you are a new creation, you are joined by faith with your brothers and sister in Christ, granted with the blessing of eternal life!  And guess what?  Through all of our physical differences, all the things we can see with our eyes, through our different personalities, ways of thinking, etc, we must, I repeat MUST, stick together and stand up for each other and also for the Word of God!  The Bible and God himself are bible trampled by every power that be; but guess what God’s word says: “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 esv).  That is what encourages me.  But it also motivates me to live a life, the best of my puny little human ability way, a life which honors and brings glory to God and that shines brightly to others as well.  We can’t be lazy!  We can’t keep rejecting those who are not just like us because, like I said, though some may have similarities we are all different and we need to support each other and love each other and live our lives seeking the Lord and asking for His perspective and guidance.

  So, I encourage you, as well as myself, love thy neighbor as thyself.  That is not to say if someone is being mean to you, saying things behind your back, believing lies about you, using you, trying to have unnecessary power over you, the list goes on, then you need to let go of those relationships, no matter how hard or unthinkable it may seem, give it to God and ask Him to replace it with peace and joy in Christ, and just let go of the toxic relationships(s) that may be in your life; we don’t need them.  We can still love someone, as a follower of Christ, and not get along all the time.  Maybe this is sounding hypocritical, but I think most of you (hopefully all of you!) understand what I’m trying to say.

  One last little story.  In my life I have experienced countless (so it seems) situations of confrontation.  My biggest weakness probably!  I have experienced situations and gone through friendships and relations during my life that seemed so pointless or I really just couldn’t understand why I went through them if the outcome wasn’t going to be positive.  In the moment I didn’t understand what the reason(s) was that I had to “suffer” through uncomfortable confrontational circumstances.  Today I’m happy to report that God has helped me over the last few years SO much and confronting people, though scary, nerve wracking, or intimidating at times, is very necessary and it’s not up to me how someone reacts to what I have to say!  Nothing about someone else is up to me!  I, with God help, am in charge of my actions, responses, decisions, you name it, and other people, you, are in charge of your actions, responses, decisions, etc.  So, what I’ve learned is that no matter the outcome, whether you lose something or someone you though was dear to you, it is okay.  Even if it’s confusing at the time, God is amazing guys!  He is there always when you call upon His name!  As the Bible says “Ask, and you will receive…” (John 16:24 esv).  If you are going through a difficult time with a person, whether you know them very well, you’re related, you love them, you hardly know them, whatever your situation may be, don’t forget about God.  You are fully equipped by God to handle every situation.  You are strong enough, you are powerful enough by the power of the Holy Spirit in you!  You are worth it to stand up for yourself and end a toxic relationship!  You don’t need to have any excuses, any reasons, or any apology if you are involved with someone who is superficial or degrading or mean, fill in the blank!  I keep saying “etc” or “fill in the blank” because I truly want you to choose the word(s) for these situations/circumstances and relate to my rambling words!
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I don’t know your story.  I don’t know if you’ve been hurt by someone or multiple people or if you haven’t experienced that yet (I say yet because in this world, you will experience it!).  Through many different times in my life I have experienced loss of friendship and relationship and even unity.  Within myself I battle flesh and my faith.  All these things I’ve said are things I have struggled with or experienced myself!  But I have chosen to seek God in all things, especially when life lets you down, because it is overwhelming how amazing He is and how much He loves us!  We need to seek God in the good and the bad in our lives because we need to thank Him for giving us life, no matter what we get to go through in our lives.
This has been long, I know, and if you are reading this paragraph, thank you for staying committed!  I hope it was clear to you what my thoughts are and what I was trying to say!  Remember that you are amazing and you are worth being in healthy, positive and uplifting relationships whether romantic or friendships.  Remember how important it is, as a declaring Christian and follower of Jesus to have unity in the church and to love those, no matter their differences, who truly love our God; the Creator of all things living.
Have a very blessed weekend and a safe 4th of July!  God bless you and God bless the United States of America!  Much love.
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Jenny~

Not Feeling It

Didn’t feel like writing yesterday…or the day before, or the day before, or the day before, or the day before…you get the picture.  It’s been a week (and June daily blogging is almost over!), so let me fill you in…

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We have been moving!  Some of my siblings are moving upstairs and I am moving downstairs with Skylar who came back from Korea earlier then expected and it’s been a long 4-6 months trying to decide where everyone is going to go!  Susanna and Skylar are currently in Israel; they have been there since the last week of May.  Skylar is coming home on the 24th, and Susanna is coming home on July 2nd, I believe.

So, along with moving which has been QUITE the task, and I won’t lie, I’ve been a bit stubborn because I loved my room upstairs, but it’s just a room at the end of the day and I’m so grateful for my parents home and a place to live!  Anyway, along with that, I have been preparing for a retreat where a friend has invited me to not only participate in the retreat, but we are going to be leading worship for a whole weekend!  So that has been keeping me busy!

We have had two litters of puppies (Day Break English Setters) and when we have puppies my second job is photographing them for the website.  One litter is all settled with their new owners, and then second ones are home bound in the next couple weeks.

Well, lastly, but CERTAINLY not least, the Miller’s are coming home from South Korea and we have been preparing for their arrival and SO excited and anxious to see them!  I can’t believe two years has gone by, but at the same time it has seemed like forever and I am so so so extremely happy they are coming home!  We’ve missed them terribly.

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I was going to write about something, but I think I will save it for another day.  Sadly while I’m at the retreat coming up I won’t have access to blog for 2-3 days, but it’s been pretty easy for me to miss a week so that shouldn’t be a problem!  For those who don’t know, I have been trying, for fun, to challenge myself to post something everyday in June.  I have missed quite a few days, but it has still been fun!

Time to take a shower then finish moving some things around.  Oh, and if you want to see some pictures I’ve taken recently, here’s a link to my photography website: https://jennafifiphotography.wordpress.com/

Have a lovely evening!  Stay hydrated during these warm summer days, and I will be writing soon!

Jenny~

 

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