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~

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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~

Thankfulness

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Day 1 of 23 days of thanksgiving…

The next 23 days I will be giving thanks for things I am truly thankful for, and here I will share them.  It is important to realize the things we are thankful for and to remember the faithfulness of our God!  No matter what happens in opposition of what we want or think is best, He is faithful and works things out for our good.

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November 1st, 2017:

I am so thankful for God’s forgiveness!  No matter how difficult it has been to find the true humility to come to God with my sins, every day, and recognize how I’ve fallen short, every day, I know though it’s hard to fathom sometimes, that He loves me SO much and forgives me for being human, but also expects me to take the appropriate steps to recover and change and will assist me in doing so.

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Thank you, Lord, for your forgiveness!  Thank you for seeing my heart in the mire of the world around me.  Thank you for your Son who gave his very own, sinless, spotless, pure and perfect life for a very sin filled, dirty, impure and imperfect one.  Thank you for the compassion, grace, patience, love, and care you pour out on us, as well as the challenges, trials, and growth you discomfort we face to make us grow and change for the better.  Thank you for the security we have in Christ and for truth of your word and who you are!  Thank you for the plan and the path for my life; I have full faith that no matter which direction I go, you will meet me there and lead me to and from opportunities, experiences, people, places and things, and, Father, I ask that you lead me in truth, guide me in Your wisdom and knowledge, and help me on this journey to defeat my battles and change and grow to be as much like Christ as I can be and to do your will and share your love and truth with as many people as I can.  In all things I pray and ask that you protect those in my life from any way I could hurt them.  Allow me to see where I am wrong and humble admit it and seek out forgiveness where it is due.  Protect me from myself, Lord!  I can be my worst enemy.  Again, I thank you for your forgiveness; if you can forgive us then we should never be afraid of another persons ability or inability to forgive.  May we humble ourselves, love others, and strive to be more like you ever moment.  I love you, Father, and pray in Jesus name, Amen.

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UPDATE: Hello blog!  Long time no write, right?!  As always, my intentions are pure when it comes to composing blog posts and sharing life on this virtual platform, but that also takes brain power and time; two things I have not had enough discipline with.  Time management I’ve found is not an easy trait I have developed, and my brain has been very overwhelmed lately with life and quite honestly the thought of adding anything extra to have to think about hurts my brain, so!

Having this blog it has been a place for me to simply unload and just write and share things.  It has been a resource for myself mainly, not an outlet for many other to find and use.  I’ve used this blog as an outlet for documenting and discovering things about myself and life and I appreciate those who have followed along; thank you.

This year (which I cannot believe is almost over and do NOT look forward to getting any older if time passes any faster then this year has!) has been very interesting and very taxing and very emotional and very stretching.  I have learned so much about so many things, and I have SO MUCH ROOM TO GROW!!!  I’ve truly begun to learn that you never stop growing and learning and discovering, and it is a sad day if you ever get to the point where you think you’ve “got it all figured out”, because quite frankly my dear, you never truly will.  Even the very depth of your being you will most likely never fully grasp (which is why I am SO thankful God knows every inch of me and I can put complete trust in Him).  It is mind boggling, aggravating, and amazing how it all works.  Mind boggling at how vast, deep and wide life is and how small we are.  Aggravating for an analytical perfectionist like myself who wants all the answers and how to’s and doesn’t like to mess up.  Amazing that there is a God, the creator of heaven and earth, who knows everything and we truly do not have reason to fear, doubt, worry, or dwell on the past or future, even though that is what we do!  That is our flesh, fallen, human instinct and struggle.  Yo, the struggle is real!!

I encourage you hopefully by anything I’ve shared today, but mainly to seek out time to go to God this month leading up to Thanksgiving (appropriate, I know) and thank Him for all He has done!  For the sun and the moon, friends, family, books, food; whatever means something to you.  Dig deep and spend time in thanksgiving.

Also, I want to say with all that’s going on in my “battlefield of the mind” so to speak, that I am growing , learning and finally taking those steps to get out of my comfort and just be.  Just be present, honest, kind, true, loving, genuine, serious, emotional, excited for life, wise, decisive, positive, joyful in the Lord, encouraging, helpful, purposeful, and other things; one step at a time.  AND that it’s okay to move slow and take things one step at a time and that I will experience many uncomfortable things if I desire to grow and move forward, etc, so *gulp*, here I am, Lord.  I am yours. ❤

Blessings to you,

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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