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~

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~

Rubber Balls and Letting Go

I was going to post yesterday about how crazy the weather was, but I decided to post today!  It was crazy yesterday.  Sunny and HOT then sunny and breezy then breezy and cloudy, then it started raining!  Today there have been a few sun showers but mainly really pretty breezy weather.

Ok, so a few days ago (Friday, to be exact) I thought it might be fun to do a little experiment with Eli, John and Cael…so here’s how it went.

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We found a recipe online for how to make rubber bouncy balls (The 36th Avenue).  The ingredients were cornstarch, Elmer’s glue, Borax, warm water and food coloring.  Sounds easy, right?

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Everything started out fine.  We actually didn’t have any Borax so I THOUGHT I could substitute something for it, but apparently, as you will soon find out, it wasn’t a Borax substitute.

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With that said, we mixed our cornstarch and glue together and got out the food coloring and were having a great time!

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All the boys were so excited about it!

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Who wouldn’t be excited to make your very own bouncy ball?!

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Well, once all of our colors were mixed in it was time to pour it into the warm water and “Borax”.

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I went first.  Here I go pouring it in to the water and everything is fine.  I let it sit for 10 seconds and then take it out of the water and start forming it into a ball…

Oh…my…gosh!

All of a sudden it was like my hands had turned purple and my skin was melting off!  It was SO sticky!!!  So sticky in fact that it just kept smearing all over my hands and dripping down my arms and I couldn’t even wash it off (hints why I don’t have a picture of it)!  It was crazy!

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Turns out you were suppose to keep it in for more then 10 seconds and you really should use the right ingredients!  Oh well!  The boys made a mess and John almost got his to stay in the shape of a ball, but once it dried it fell apart.  So much for bouncy balls!

Still it was fun, but next time I will be sure to have everything we need for our crafts and experiments.

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Lately I have noticed that I have accumulated a lot, a mean a lot, of stuff!  My closet seems to be bulging with boxes and clothes and my desk has a never ending supply of already-written-on paper and I just can’t seem to keep it all under control!  I used to be (and still am) very sentimental with certain things and sometimes I wish I wasn’t, but I have found that recently it has been easier for me to let go of certain objects and items that I really just don’t need to keep.  It is hard but also so necessary!  You can’t be relaxed or happy with your living environment when things are all cluttered and piled up!

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It has been four years, which is hard to believe, that I haven’t been a dancer.  But, I have ALL of my dance stuff still!  Leotards, tights, ballet shoes, pointe shoes, costumes, etc etc etc!  And all I’m doing is attaching myself to it for all of the memories I have made from that time in my life, and in reality it’s just taking up a lot of space in my little square room and collecting a ton of dust!  I have had at least 9 pairs of pointe shoes and I wanted to keep them all and make some sort of collage out of them, but I haven’t and most likely won’t, so I have decided to keep my very first pair and maybe my very last pair and then get rid of the others.  Phew!  What a relief!  It feels so good, even though it’s hard, to let go of them!

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I went through a box of childhood items that I used to play with every day.  The star above was given to me by one of my Mom’s friends who came to visit once.  I believe I was six or seven years old when she came.  Well I still have this star and found that it started leaking the liquid that’s inside it and I had put it in a plastic bag because I wanted to keep it, but really I’ve had so many years with it and for a lot of them it has been in a box where no one can see it, and now that it’s broken, it is time for me to say goodbye!  That was hard because I always loved that star (see!  I’m sentimental about plastic stars!).

One of the main reasons I think I am so sentimental and hang on to items and letters, pictures and clothes, etc, is 1.) Because I’m human!  and 2.) Because I fear that I won’t remember those times when I had those things.  I think to myself “if I don’t have that star, even though it’s leaking, I won’t remember when I was a little girl!” or “what if I get rid of all of my ballet stuff and forget the whole five years I was a dancer!” it’s a little bit ridiculous but true!

If I really want to remember these things and if they are really important to me then I need to give them to God and store up my riches in Heaven!

 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 (John 16:33 also)

I’m not sure what kind of riches exactly will be in heaven, besides being with Jesus and living eternity with Him, and I don’t really know if God will give us new pointe shoes or non-leaking plastic stars when we get there, but I do know that we are not to trouble about the things of this world.  We are not to idol over the latest fashions or trends or focus entirely on the things we can get more of and that we want.  We should be content with the necessities and thank God for the extra stuff that He has blessed us with and give it to Him!  That’s what I believe Matthew 6:19-21 means; to give thanks to God for all of the things we have and while we have them we should love and take care of them but not make strong emotional attachments to everything and try not to be greedy about having more.

We live in a world that is constantly updating so it is beyond easy to “want” or “have to have” the latest whatever and not even realize our actions as ungrateful or a bit greedy.  As an example, my family, all twelve of us put together, amounts to a LOT of stuff in one house!  Even though we have a decent sized house and very decent space, it still looks and feels as if stuff just pours out of the walls!  Granted, it is troublesome with little boys who don’t instinctively think about putting their toys away after every time they play with them, and having older kids who are starting to keep bigger items and stuff for when they move out or get married, but it all comes down to being sentimental about things that are simply unnecessary to hold onto or wanting and having to have things.  But we will all learn the importance of being responsible for our things, and my family and I are so grateful and thankful for the many things we have!  I’m just stating that it easy to keep stuff and get bonded to it in one way or another and then all of a sudden you can’t put anything away!

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Don’t worry about letting go.  Especially of material items!  First aim for the things you truly need and then try and be good about going through things and really making decisions about holding onto every little thing you come by!  If it’s something you really don’t need or even don’t want but still have a hard time getting rid of it, just pray and ask the Lord to allow you to trust Him and know that we can store our riches and desires of our hearts in Heaven and give your bond to Him and thank Him for your blessings.  We live in cluttered lives, but I assure you it is good to declutter.

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Well, I was not planning on writing all of that!  It just came to me while I was sitting here watching, yet again, the sun come out and the clouds go away!  I guess it’s not going to rain this evening?  Well good, we need the sunshine.

I hope in some way what I had to share was inspiring or helpful to someone.  It’s just something in my life right now that I am learning and have found it to be beneficial for taking a load off and being able to relax and live in a nice organized room.  I have not even gone through my whole closet or the boxes next to my bed full of papers and random things, and the thought of it is a little intimidating, but I know that it will be a really good thing to do to go through and weed out the stuff I’ve been keeping month after month and year after year.  You just got to let go!

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Cute little mushrooms!

Enjoy the rest of your week and have a wonderful evening!  Again, don’t be afraid to let go and if you are inspired or motivated to go through stuff and weed out then good luck to you and have fun!  Keep the things dearest to your heart and praise the Lord for the many blessings in your life and provisions He has given you.

God bless,

Jenny~

P.S. Jana Alayra is one of my FAVORITE Christian kids artists.  Her songs are energetic, really good and all in all awesome. 🙂  The song below I wanted to share.  Kind of goes with my post!  Please enjoy!

Friday Post

It’s late, but I’m posting real quick just like I said I would! 🙂

Phew…

Once again, I was inside for most of the day and now that I think about it I am very sad that I spent most of my day inside…oh well!  I have tomorrow and the day after that and so on, if the Lord wills it.

Today was a fine day…not quite fabulous, but very fine.  The weather was warm but breezy and the day went along well.  I woke up early and sat in my room and read Jesus Calling which I enjoyed today; it always says something that I need to hear or have been thinking about!

Sylvie and I are eagerly awaiting the email from our cake instructor for what we are suppose to bring for our next lesson!  We really can’t wait! 🙂  I have to add music to my “project”, which I spoke of yesterday, and then I’ll be done with it!  I’m putting together a slideshow from our vacation to the beach, which I will share pictures on my blog soon!!!

God is so good, truly.  He has opened an opportunity for me which I have been thinking a lot about and wondering about and it’s so cool and wonderful to know that God is really looking out for us and in control of everything in our lives and He always gives us a choice.  I am so thankful.

Well, goodnight and I will be posting soon…can’t promise anything tomorrow though.  Much love.

Jenny~

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