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~

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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~

Thankful #6: Counsel

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November 6th, 2017…

I am so thankful for counsel.  I am so thankful for the people who truly care to know, listen and guide you to the TRUTH found in the bible!  Life is so trivial, but things seem so daunting and impossible and horrible and big, but the counsel, perspective, wisdom, maturity and advice of those around you is something I am so grateful for, to ground and reassure and knock some sense into you and hold you accountable, and I need to seek in my life much more than I do!  From those around me and the word of God!

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Talking to people has more recently been difficult for me.  I am afraid to open up, I am afraid to share my ‘secrets’, I am afraid to be truly known, and yet I desire more than anything to be real, raw, genuine, honest, and true with the people in my life!  I don’t want to be perceived as fake, shallow, uncaring, or two-faced, yet I’ve realized I don’t want the world to know my struggles, my pain, my mistakes, my weakness, and by insecurities.  It is by those very things though that we truly grow not only in relationships but with God and within ourselves and by those things that we can relate, be really and truly ourselves and understand and know each other!  I cannot hide forever because inevitably light will shine upon my darkness, somehow if I don’t address it, and I will break from holding in and hiding so many little/big things.  Not only must I confide in my family and friends, but I MUST confide in and trust Jesus above all else!  For it is the Lord almighty who knows my heart and every single little thing about me, even what I keep to myself, who who loves me ultimately despite everything.  It is in Him that I can have complete peace, love, joy, freedom and forgiveness.  It is by the blood of Christ that I can freely choose to love and serve the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, strength and soul, and to love others as myself, to uplift, counsel, encourage and support and receive that as well.

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Dear God, I want to thank you for the counsel we find in others.  The discipleship and care from the body of Christ when we are at our lowest.  Lord, I thank you for the caring hearts out there who desire to listen, understand, pray, help, and encourage.  Thank you for the ones who help you stay on your feet, remind you of the truth and hope we have in YOU, and love without question as you have commanded.  Sweet Lord, I pray and ask that I may learn to be one of those people.  May you use me as a vessel of your love and your light, that I may be humble, bold, and confident enough to share my story with the world and help people through their mire which can feel so completely paralyzing and deep and impossible to make through.  In this world, Father, we will face trials, challenges, disappointment, confusion, uncertainty, and so much more, but along with that there is hope!  Not only can we find hope in all the positive things in this life, but in your word, your promises, is our hope!  For healing, clarity, love, wisdom, freedom, joy, peace, and life.  Thank you for those promises and thank you for your blessings which pour out more then we deserve and often don’t realize.  I life up this world to you, this country, and ask for your hand upon us.  May you be with the hearts of those who do not know you as their Lord and Savior, and may seeds of faith be planted and watered in their lives.  I love you, and I pray in Jesus name, Amen.

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Jenny~

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~

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~

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