Romans 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mysterious Ways!

Have you ever wished for something really hard, knowing that it will *never* happen, but you still want it very much so you pray for it??? "It will never happen" you say, but it gets put on a list in the back of your mind. It gets to be a list of "impossible dreams" really! And then, have you ever looked back on that list and realized just how many prayers were answered off that list??? And most of them in the most unusual/creative ways! And then you get convicted for not believing that with God NOTHING is impossible! We know it as a truth, we quote the verse, we have the head knowledge. As the preacher said on Sunday "we believe in it, but we haven't really believed on it".

Well, this year has been like that for me. I had a list of prayer requests like that at the beginning of the year. Things I wanted, but knew they were next to impossible to get. They ranged from wanting to be there when a best friends first child (a miracle child that I have prayed for for a very long time) born, to spending more time with family, and many things in between. As I sit here waiting for the school year to start, I've had the opportunity to go over my list. I was shocked to find almost every prayer was answered! (I know.... not believing on again!) But, imagine my shock when I realized that 1 event enabled every single prayer to be answered!

Sometimes when you go thru something awful, you are tempted to question "Why me God?? What did I do wrong??" Never realizing that God is actually using something bad to work miracles! I lost my job earlier this year. It was a horrible situation that caused a lot of pain. And right here I want to thank all of you who believed in me, and have been such an encouragement to me, and never let me doubt that God was working, even if we couldn't see. So, from something as bad as this, God answered the "impossible dream" prayer list! Yes, that's right! I lost my job, and as a result almost everything on the list became possible! God works in Mysterious ways! LOL

Because I lost my job, I got to stay at home and spend the summer with my family. I got to be a daily part of their ministry again, something that I hadn't been able to do in 4 1/2 years.
Because I lost my job, I was able to visit a dear friend in a burn center in another state right after her accident. It was such a blessing to be there and see God's hand!
Because I lost my job, I got to be at the hospital to see the miracle baby minutes after he was born!
Because I lost my job, I am going to school next week to get my degree. I will walk with my sister in the graduation ceremony! (Her with her Master's, me with my Associates)
Because I lost my job, God moved me to where I have been begging Him to move me for years!

The list goes on and on! And all because of 1 event that most people would say that no good could come from. I can't wait to see what happens next! So when you wish you could do something, Stop Wishing! Start Praying!! You might be surprised at how God works!

P.S. I have an appeal hearing over the phone on Wednesday morning concerning my job and unemployment. PLEASE keep me in your prayers that day! It will be my 2nd day of school and I am already a basket case. I just want to put it all behind me, but it refuses to stay there. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Road Trip!!!

Hey ya'll!
It seems I'm always apologizing for not blogging! So today I'm not going to, and hope ya'll understand! :) Since my last post it has been a crazy time of packing, saying goodbyes and preparing for VBS. We stayed so busy, I didn't get to say goodbye to half the people I wanted to. :( If you're reading this and I missed saying goodbye to you, I love ya'll and I'll miss all of you!
Sunday I said good bye to my Sunday School kids. :( I got the funniest questions! "Does Mickey Mouse go to your school? Can I go to college with you instead of 1st grade? Will Miss Becci be your teacher?" I'll miss them so much!!!
We got to attend the first day of VBS before we left, and it was so much fun, but also so sad! I got a preview of my Sunday School class for the fall quarter (well, now it's Mrs. Hickman's class) and they were all so adorable! After VBS we loaded up the car in preparation of an early start Tuesday. I knew my MINI had more room than I thought, but I never imagined it had quite so much room! My mom and Becci are truly miracle workers!!!
Tuesday we got in the cars at some crazy early hour and headed out. I've never driven longer than about 3 hours in a stretch and we had to make Knoxville by evening. It's about 12 hours depending on traffic!!! I am very proud to say that I made it driving all by myself without being relieved or really getting tired! YAY!!! I think it was due largely to having good music, (I like to turn it WAY up and sing along) comfy seats, and good cookies! (Thanks Don and Amelia!)
Wednesday was another day in the car. About 8 hours! We got in just before church, and it felt soooooooo good to be out of the car!!! LOL
Thursday we made 2 round trips to Pensacola. One to put all of me and Becci's things in her apartment, and one to retrieve my forgotten birth certificate! Arggh! More time in the car!!
Friday I got to do 2 very important things! 1st I became a Florida resident again!!! Yay! 2nd I got to see my friend Shauna whom I've asked prayer for alot! She is due any time now, and her doctor has her on bedrest. We had a great visit and I can't wait to meet her little one!
Lastly, on Saturday, Becci got an answer to prayer! She found out that her job got changed at school! So now instead of going in on Monday, she gets to wait until Saturday. That means more fun with our friends!
I'll try to keep ya'll updated!

P.S. We are currently awaiting the arrival of Tropical Storm Claudette! I've missed this! I just hope it stops raining long enough to get to the beach! It has rained every day we have been here!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Accepted! A Trip to DC, and Packing

I officially got my acceptance letter this week! Finally! :) It's been a week of tying up loose ends and long hours on the phone. yuck! The week started quite nicely though!
We spent some time with Andrea which included a quick trip to Washington DC. It was a great trip and worth the 6 hour round trip drive in one day! :) We were determined to do the Smithsonian's "Night at the Museum" scavenger hunt/tour before we left, and we just had to bring Andrea! :) I am happy to say that we did it all in about 6 hours! This included 5 museums! Can we say lots of walking???? :) So here's some pictures.......
Becci's favorite sign. They had a whole wing devoted to dirt. No lie!
My favorite exhibit was "Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake" I have a crazy dream of becoming a Forensic Archaeologist, so this was AWESOME!!!!! Yes, those are real bones! They had the real case files out too! So cool! I think Becci's face says it for me! :)

I love this picture!!! We had a blast in this place!!! I was examining the skull, and Becci had to force Andrea to pick hers up! hehehehe She warmed up to it later though!
"These are a few of my favorite things....." Becci found hers! Disney, Earnhardt, and Star Wars!

After our day trip I had to get really serious about packing. ugh. My room is a disaster zone right now, but I can honestly say that I have never been more sure of where everything is! LOL It's very organized chaos! I would post a picture of it, but it would scare ya'll to death! :) It's been a brutal process of deciding what to bring, what to get rid of, and what to pack away. *sigh* Thank God I am driving, because I could not imagine packing for 6 months and either mailing it or bringing it on a plane!
So, I better get back to packing..... Pray for me tomorrow! I have to tell my Sunday School class that I'm leaving. :( Thankfully I'm leaving them in better hands than mine! :) OK..... must pack... packing is fun! right? :P

Friday, July 24, 2009

College Bound!

Sorry it's been so long ya'll! Been kinda crazy around here, and I had nothing concrete until Saturday.
So, I submitted my application a few weeks ago. I had no clue how crazy in depth that thing was!!! They wanted to know everything about me and my family! Stuff I didn't even know.... LOL! :) So after filling out the crazy application and getting references, I had to get a TB test. ARRRGGGHHH! Do you know how difficult it was to find somewhere for an uninsured person to get a TB test in New Jersey??? Finally, I got one and 2 days later I got the results. Happily I do NOT have TB! :) This application process turned into a 2 week thing! When everything got submitted I was sitting around waiting to hear if I got accepted, and Lo and Behold! I got a bill for a rather substantial amount. I guess I'm accepted! LOL When I talked to other students they told me that this was typical of PCC! :)
So in 3 weeks I will pack all my belongings in my car, and head off on a new adventure. My family is thrilled! Becci because I am going to be close to her, and actually on the floor above her. Mom and Dad because they get to experience life without kids for the first time! :)

In the next few days I'll try to get on and let ya'll know how the trip to pick Becci up from school was. We got to see the Aarseths, and visit Lindsay and Emma. It was a fantastic visit! Praise God, yesterday Lindsay got to get up and walk to Emma's room and see her for the first time since the explosion!!!!! Such an answer to prayer!
More to come!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Update on College

Just wanted to drop a quick note to update ya'll! I officially applied for college this afternoon. ACK! I can't believe I'm actually doing this! Don't get me wrong.... I have sooooo much peace about this, but I just never in a million years thought I would go to college! :) (yes, I said go to college) So now just pray that the process goes smoothly, and we don't run into any snags or problems!
More to come when I know what's going on!

P.S. Today marks 17 years since I got saved! WOW!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beach Day

Ahhhh... The beach! Now this is New Jersey beaches (not my beloved Florida beaches) So the water was FREEZING by my standards, but Andrea didn't let that stop us! :) In we went! It was a wonderful day of procrastination...... :)
Thanks to Andrea for taking me, and Mom for making me go! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Decisions, Decisions....

So, I need ya'll to pray with me about some stuff.
I just made a rather important decision, and now I just need to be patient and trust God to work it out! As we all know, patience and waiting are not my strong points! Come to think of it, having things out of my hands is pretty nerve wracking for this control freak too! :) So now ya'll are wondering what I decided, huh?? :)
Well, I knew right off when I lost my job that God was preparing me to move. I just had no idea how that was going to work! I didn't know how I was going to afford living on my own, where I was going to move, what kind of job I was going to get, or even when I was going to move! Don't ya just love how God does that?? It's truly a step of faith without knowing what is next!
So, I've committed to this whole process and told God wherever He wanted me to be, I'll be. I'm still not quite sure when this move is taking place, but I'm pretty sure on the where. I'm also getting settled on the what I'm going to do. That's the hardest part for me, but I've really been praying about it, and looking at all the opportunities out there. The one thing that I kept coming back to required school. I have never wanted to go to college, but it appears more and more that that is the direction that God is leading right now.
So in the totally awesome way that God works, the field I'm interested in has just been named as one of the fastest growing with an expected 35% growth in the next 7 years, even with everything going on in the economy! Talk about job security!
So, today I started the process for picking an online school. I'm expecting all kinds of phone calls and information packages in the next little while.
Just pray that I'll stay completely reliant on God while making these decisions, and that I'll not worry about the details that I can't control.
Pray that I'll choose the right school, and that I'll know exactly where to make the budget cuts to afford it! :)
Thanks so much for all the support and prayers! It means more than you can ever know.
I'll keep ya'll updated..... :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This is for Shauna! Hope you enjoy! Becci taped the whole thing in 2 minute segments, but this took so long to upload that I think I'll leave it at this!

For the rest of you... On vacation, I became the next in a long line of relatives who have been an extra in the Indiana Jones Stunt Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios! (MGM)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

VACATION!!!!! :)

Hey ya'll! We are having a blast! Thought you would enjoy these!

On our way to the airport......
View from our balcony...... Yay! We're here!!!!

It rained!!! But just for about 45 minutes.

Luau for dinner! yummy!

Please continue to pray for the Aarseths! They need our prayers desperately! For the most recent updates go to

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request!

Hey ya'll! I have a big prayer request!! Our missionary friends Jay and Linda Aarseth's daughter, Lindsey, had a fire in their mobile home. She managed to get her 2 kids out, but was burned pretty severely. Lindsey has burns over 80% of her body. They are currently transporting her to a burn center. Please keep them in your prayers!

On a happier note.... I did get a check from unemployment today! Haven't heard about back pay though.... :( Will try to keep everyone updated while I'm on vacation!!! Yay!!!!! Tomorrow we leave so pray for a safe flight!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Prayer Request!

So this morning I had a phone interview to determine my eligibility for unemployment. Thank God it went pretty well. Usually it's set up where it's a 3 way call between you, your employer and the claims examiner, but because my job does not participate in those it was just me and the claims examiner. (whew!) Now I'm just playing the waiting game (which all ya'll know that I HATE and struggle on a daily basis with...) until they determine if I'm eligible. I'll find out by Friday. I'll either get a check in the mail or a form telling me why I'm denied. So, just pray for patience on my end!!! And wisdom on their end. Oh yeah.... and pray that my employer doesn't give some crazy story that makes me have to have another interview on Monday.... *sigh* Just in case... pray for me after 3 on Monday! :)
Thanks sooooo much for being an encouragement to me ya'll!!!

P.S. On a much happier note..... 7 days 'til vacation!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Confronting Fears, A Recipe, and Other Random Thoughts!

So I like to think of myself of fearless..... I truly would try anything at least once! I am a HUGE thrillseeker! So imagine my shock on Saturday when I was brought face to face with the realization that I have a huge aversion to raw meat!
Ok, so I will admit that I have not liked to touch raw meat for a very long time, but Saturday I realized just how much it freaks me out! I always look for a way to not touch the meat when I'm cooking.... I'm very adept at using forks! :) But on Saturday we were making sausage cheese balls, no matter how much I tried I couldn't get them to mix! So I had to plunge my hands into the meat.... *shudder* It took mom forever to talk me into it, but I did do it!!! (Aren't you proud of me??)
But thru all this I did figure out where the aversion comes from. It's getting the meat under my nails! yuck!
So anyways... the Sausage Cheeseballs came out splendidly! yummy!!!! And for those of you who can only think "Wow! Sausage Cheeseballs sound good!" Here's the recipe!

Sausage Cheeseballs

2 lbs. (32 oz) sausage, uncooked
1 1/2 cups all-purpose baking/biscuit mix
16 oz. Sharp cheddar cheese (or 4 cups shredded)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery (I use about 1/4 teaspoon celery seed instead)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I use minced garlic)

Preheat oven to 375*. Shred Cheese and mix all ingredients. Form into 1" balls. Bake 15 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet until golden brown. Makes about 6 dozen. Balls can be frozen uncooked.
I always grease the cookie sheet, because they tend to stick. You have to experiment though and it depends on the sausage you use.

In other random thoughts... Becci has made it home safely. Summer has started to come to New Jersey... Finally!! :) The job search is okay... And Vacation is 11 days away!!!! Yay! We just have a ton to do between now and then! :) Hope ya'll have a great holiday!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Vacation and Some Prayer Requests!

Ahhhhh..... Vacation! Though the last 4 days were absolutely exhausting, I did enjoy myself and actually relaxed! :)
Some of things I got to do:
I got to meet one of my friend's husband. (I liked him so he is approved) :)
I spent 2 glorious days at the beach! Thanks Amber!
I saw old friends, most for the first time in 3 1/2 years. Yeah.... I heard about that one alot!
I learned a new card game.
I got to witness what will go down in family storytelling as legend!
I got to meet Jillian! (I read her blog) Sorry we couldn't talk more! Next time I promise!
I got to watch my sister graduate! Wow!
I spent 3 nights on my sisters couch..... ouch!
I got beat in tennis.
I got my picture taken. Thanks Pat! You made us sooo pretty! :)
I got a boyfriend! His name is Cotton! (okay, so it's Amber's dog, but he loves me!!! and he's soooo cute!)
I bought 6 books. Add those to the 4 I brought with..... heavy carry-on!
I spent 13 hours traveling home on Saturday. I travelled Pensacola to Atlanta to Detroit to Philadelphia. LONG day! :)

So, some prayer requests?? :) Pray about the whole job situation. I need a new one! Pray for wisdom and direction on the next chapter in my life. I have a world of options and I need to pick the right one. Pray for patience for me! I need a whole bunch of it!
So pictures will have to wait.... they aren't downloaded yet! But that, in a nutshell, is my trip!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm Home!

Just a quick note to let all ya'll know that I made it home safely! For those who don't know, I just spent 2 weeks in Florida for Becci's Graduation!!! I had so much fun! Thanks to all ya'll who made it enjoyable! I'll post pics and videos and an extensive post on the trip and graduation in the next day or two.....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

All things work together for good!

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

First off let me say, I'm soooooooo sorry I haven't posted!!! I have been an emotional mess, and just didn't want to say something I'd regret. But then I started looking at everyone else who has posted thru such horrible things and realized how much I appreciated knowing how to pray. So I guess I need to extend the same courtesy, huh?? :)

To those who have heard thru the grapevine, thanks for the prayers! They have helped more than you know.
To those who haven't heard what happened but have prayed anyways, an even bigger thanks!
To the rest of you..... I'm sorry, and I will rectify that now!

Basically it's been a really bad week! I lost my job after a 3 day ordeal. Some false accusations were made, and lies were told, and I got the short end of the stick. It was not handled right and I have no idea where to go from here.
I guess I would just say, pray that things get resolved, and that God gives me wisdom on how to handle this. Pray that I find another job, and that this does not reflect badly on my record. Pray that I keep a good attitude thru this. Pray that I always keep in mind that this was a part of God's plan, and that all things WILL work together for good!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Husband List

Can I tell ya'll something about me???
I like lists.
I make lists for everything. What I have to do for the day. Books I want to read. Books I have read. Movies I want to watch. Clothes to wear. Things to pack for my next trip. What vacations I want to take in the next 2 years. Presents to buy for the year.
So of course I have lists for the important stuff! You know, baby names I like. Baby names I don't like. Things to do before I die. Ballparks I want to see. (okay, so maybe that belongs on the other list... or not) and the all important, "Husband List".
Yes, I have one of those too! And yes, it's real. What is the Husband List, you ask? Well, basically it's a list of qualities I'm looking for in a man! Some are crazy, some are really important, some are just wrong that I shouldn't even have to put on there! But I figure one day when I am "crazy" in love it won't hurt to have "the list" to refer to! Just to make sure..... :) What's on the list??? Well, the full list will probably never be disclosed. But, I can give you a sampling! Just the obvious ones. So, are you ready??? :) (as she begins to sing)
"The man that I marry will have to be....."
(and if you didn't get that you are just sad..... It's from Annie Get Your Gun)

First and foremost a Christian
Second and just as important must be a MAN and always have been of the male persuasion (so wrong that I have to add that)
willing to be the head of the family
a sports fanatic (hey, I need some company!)
a lover of all things Disney
able to read more than a comic book
willing to live by faith
must love kids as much as I do
willing to watch chick flicks
open to trying new things
willing to travel
a take charge kinda guy
sincere in his faith and in life
okay with my shoe addiction

Getting the point??? Now the scary part..... the list is 2 pages long. Yeah....... it gets detailed, and absurd, and some made my mommy cry. Some of them are on there sadly from experience, and others as a result of being a PK and seeing way too much. Some are negotiable, some are deal breakers. I know, I know, you may be saying "Jess, you're being way too nit-picky" but, I prefer detailed?? :) Anyways, I think that the more God has to go by..... He knows the important ones anyways! The Bible does say "Let you request be made known unto God" right??? My request is just rather detailed! :)
So the list is in a secure place away from prying eyes, and evolving.... he he he!

So anyways, this was a look into my crazy head! Hope you enjoyed!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thanks ya'll!!

This is just a quick note of thanks for all ya Florida folks! See ya'll got so much rain, and complained so much, that God decided to bless us with some! It's been raining, and raining, and windy! So thanks ya'll! I guess we all get to be miserable, right?? :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Appreciating Spring

Growing up in FL, England, FL, AZ, and then FL again has deprived me in a way.
Now I want to state right now that I am NOT complaining, and I wouldn't trade my experiences for the world! I have just realized lately that, until the last four years, I have never experienced true seasons!
FL is either hot or not hot. We call hot Summer. And then we have Hurricane season. Not hot we call Winter, and then you have starting to get hot, which we call Spring.
England was, in my memory, perpetually a Marchy Spring. Rain with a few absolutely gorgeous, light sweater just in case, days.
Arizona was either Hot, Scorching Hot, or leave the AC and you DIE! Okay, so maybe that was a little melodramatic Mom! :)
Now this isn't to say that you didn't experience the bitter cold, see snow once in a great while, or see the leaves change, it's just that those were rare moments. We actually saw snow in AZ and FL! And in FL it actually stayed on the ground for all of 2 hours!
So now, knowing my mindset, you can envision my great wonderment and amazement when I moved to NJ and experienced the changing seasons for the first time in my life! I have decided that I liked my previous, eternal Summer life. People all said "Give it a chance, snow will grow on you!" Well, I have given it 4 years. I was even open-minded and went to Winter camp. (you know, the one that actually has snow up to you waist that you have to wade thru to get to Chapel) I have Shoveled (people who enjoy that are crazy, MOM), I have Sledded, I have Ice Skated.
I have not changed my veiwpoint. Give me Summer any day!!!!
Now, I will say that I like fall. The beginning that is, before it gets too cold and you can sleep with the windows open. But when it dips below 70 I don't like it anymore, and when it gets below 60 I'm miserable!

All that being said, I am learning to appreciate the Spring! You know why??? It means Summer is coming!!!! And Winter is almost over!!!! Yay!
So now you have gotten inside my crazy head just a bit..... he he he! :) I am planning on enjoying the low 60's tomorrow! Even if it does rain. :) (I have a down-filled, fur-lined parka to help me enjoy it!!) :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rest, Thanks to a Migraine!

Yeah..... I'm one of those people! You know the ones who don't take a break, ever?? The ones who never use their sick days. (If I'm going to be miserable, I might as well go all out!)
Well, today (or really, last night at 2:30am) I got a migraine. The really, really, really bad kind. The kind where the glow from the digital readout on my alarm clock felt like an ice pick in the brain, and my cat snoring in the next room, behind a closed door covered in fifty pairs of shoes (they should count as insulation right??) sounded like a train running thru my room. Yeah, I couldn't read, watch TV, crochet, nothing. All I could do was flip my pillow over every 5 minutes looking for a cool spot. So after about 3 hours and a bunch of pain meds I finally fell asleep again. Only to be woke by the alarm an hour later. Now remember, I'm one of those people! I got up ready to give work a go, and on came the pain again and nausea with it...... I do not lie when I say 30 seconds later I was on the phone with my boss calling in sick!
So now, thanks to a migraine, I am taking a day of rest. See God has to be pretty drastic to get me to take a day off! Don't be like me! Know your limits! Take the time before He makes you take it! It's not pleasant! :)
Thank you God that I could finally get out of bed, but I'm still on meds with a dull ache. So pray that it goes away huh??
(the stubborn one)

P.S. Please pray for my friend Shauna. She just got some potentially scary news, so pray that everything is fine, and that she can leave the problem in God's hands and not worry about it too much. You can check out what's going on at her blog searching for our tree of life... Prov.13:12

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Michael Weiss, Ilia Kulik, John Zimmerman, Todd Eldridge

Me and Andrea!!

Stars on Ice

Michael Weiss
Dubreuil and Lauzon

Sasha Cohen

The infamous Jeffery Buttle!

See how close we were??

So yesterday Stars on Ice came to town and I took Andrea for her birthday. I know! I'm such a cool friend! (ok, so I wanted to go really bad and her birthday was the perfect excuse to go. satisfied?) :) So we had an enormous amount of fun, and had awesome seats! The seats were all God though, let me tell ya! I called to get tickets and not only did I get them half price (AAA discount) the very nice man on the phone (who I suspect was flirting with me, but look what it got me!) gave us 2nd row seats. That's right 2nd row seats! The view was amazing, and I so totally *almost* touched Jeffery Buttle! (can you tell I've been saying that alot in the last 12 hours??)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Kids Say the Cutest Things!!!!

Sunday School
Me: (10 minutes into a 15 minute lesson)
Sage: (raises hand) Miss Jessica, I know what's happening in the picture!
Me: (in a delirious, sleep-deprived state) What's going to happen in the picture Sage?
Sage: They are all lined up for Jesus' autograph! And then they get to drink chocolate milk out of the fancy cup!
Me: .....ummmm no, honey that's not what's happening.... um, let's just finish the story, okay??
Sage: Okay!
Just a sampling of what goes on, on a weekly basis, in my Sunday School class of 4-6 year olds!
Last week's gem??
We've had a rash of Elisha stories in Sunday School. But, in all the stories we have never had a picture of Elisha, just the other people in the story. So the last story of the quarter we finally get a picture of Elisha! Now in this picture, Elisha is in the background going up the steps to a house, and in the foreground is a donkey. The donkey is the first thing you see in the picture because it's right up front. So now you know what the story card looks like. In class: Jessica, Sage' Lizzy, and Zechy. All the girls go to school together. (and yes, it does get confusing sometimes having a student with the same name as me!)
Me: What do ya'll think is going to happen in our story today?
Lizzy: Are we going to learn about Elisha again??
Me: Yes Lizzy!
Sage: Oooohhhh! I get it now! Elisha was a donkey!
Me: Wha... NO! Sage, Elisha was not a donkey, he was a prophet, one of God's special helpers.
Sage: But he wasn't a donkey?
Me: No Sage, the donkey in the picture is Elisha's donkey that he rode on.
Jessica: It would have been cooler if he was a donkey!
Sage and Lizzy: Yeah!!!
What are you supposed to say after something like this??? It's always a struggle to maintain order and not burst into hysterical laughter! It does keep Sunday School from getting boring and stale!
So enjoy a giggle on behalf of my class full of clowns!
Miss Jessica (the coolest teacher ever according to my students! I think they just like the marshmallows I give them for learning harder verses than their older siblings..) :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow, Snow, Snow

This is what 12.9 inches of snow looks like. The side view of the house. The side without the drifting from the 30 mile an hour winds.

The front of my house!! Everything looks so clean and innocent and white, but there is about 2 inches of slush and ice underneath the snow. Just wanted to show ya'll what the snow storm's almost aftermath looked like! It was still snowing and the wind was howling while we were out there. I have come to the conclusion that I hate snow!! It's cold, wet and a nuisance!! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Contentment in the Here and Now

I love this song. It's been playing in my head a lot lately! It's all about that perfect moment of contentedness that we all want to be at. So many of us (me included, see I said us!) fall into the trap of thinking that having that special person in our lives will make everything perfect. Little do we realize.... :) But, listening to the song all the time got me to thinking about the lyrics and about contentedness! We should all strive to be content in the "Here and Now", and not make it reliant on one person or thing. Wow! is that a hard one! It's one I struggle with daily, yes daily! Every morning I wake up to freezing temperatures I wish to be anywhere warmer! So anyways, back to where I was heading with this.... I got to thinking one day, if you just change a few words, capitalize a few pronouns, you have the answer right in front of you! We run all over the place searching for something to fill the void in our lives, relationships, possessions, experiences, money. And all the while God is patiently sitting right in front of us waiting for us to realize that He's what we're looking for! And honestly, looking back, who can say that they wouldn't go right back thru all that pain to get to where you are today? It makes you want to get back to that "first love" too. So enjoy the words, and if you know the song, I hope it is now stuck in your head.... :) he he he!

Philippians 4:11
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

There's a place I've been looking for
That took me in and out of buildings
Behind windows, walls and doors
And I thought I found it
Couple times, even settled down
And I'd hang around just long enough
To find my way back out
I know now the place that I was trying to reach
Was You, right here in front of me

And I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back through the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breakin'
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to You and got me here, right here

It's amazing what I let my heart go through
To get me where it got me
In this moment here with You
And it passed me by
God knows how many times
I was so caught up in holding
What I never thought I'd find
I know now, there's a million roads
I had to take
To get me in Your arms today

In a love I never thought I'd get to get to-here
And if that's the road
God made me take to be with Him

Then I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back thru the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breakin'
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for all the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to You and got me here, right here

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Just a Reminder

Psalm 138:8
"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands."

So I've been running across this same theme in my Bible reading all week, and it hit me that all of us could use this reminder! God doesn't just care if things in our lives work out okay, He's going to perfect our lives! How cool is that! So all this week when I've been tempted to be discouraged about how things are going in my life, or to worry about how things will work out, God has brought this verse to mind. He's going to perfect the things that concern me! Not just me, but things that affect me as well! So awesome! But then, we have an awesome God, don't we? :)
Enjoy your weekend!
*me* :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

God Answers Prayers! (but we knew that already didn't we?)

Even the small "insignificant" ones that you were almost not going to pray, because "God has better things to do than care about that..." I just love when He does that! :)
So why am I so happy??? I am officially, no way out, no refund, booked, for my vacation with Becci and Andrea in June! I have been looking for plane tickets for about a month, not just any tickets though! We have a very tight schedule between 2 working girls!
We have certain times we have to leave, and it wasn't looking good. I had found the *perfect* ones about 3 weeks ago for about $150, but I have commitment issues when it comes to booking non-refundable plane tickets. I just can't seem to make my finger hit that button... what if there's something better out there? What if the prices drop tomorrow?? I know, I worry too much.... :) But anyhoo, today I was doing my daily check, and for some reason I changed my approach. I searched one-ways instead of round trips, and changed the day we came back, and whaddaya know? I found tickets for $150 when all is said and done, and then, just to make sure I got over the commitment issues, God ('cause it's only Him who could do this) popped in a $12 per ticket discount upon purchase! Leaving me with a price of about $135! I am sooooo excited!
So, I just had to share my crazy answer to prayer, so when you see my grin from however far away you are (or the glow on the horizon from it) you know what it's about!
I promise I'm trying to reform and not count down the days as referenced in a previous post, but it's 122 days 'til departure! :) Ok, ok, I can't help it if the website where I manage the reservations has a countdown! Be thankful that I didn't list the hours, minutes, and seconds! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wake-Up Call

You know every time I start to feel discouraged, or overwhelmed with life, or the dull ache of unfulfilled dreams, God reminds me that I have it really good after all. I have a dry, safe place to live-unlike the people down the street who just had their house burn down. I have a (relatively) healthy family-unlike many of my friends. I have a (hopefully)secure job, for now-unlike many friends and most of my town who have been laid off from jobs that were supposed to be more secure than mine. I have friends who love and pray for me.
I see so many people living out my dreams for my life, and either throwing it all away or hating every minute of it. I just think to myself "can't you see what a treasure you have in front of you?" and it hurts. I tend to fall into a depression of sorts when I'm overwhelmed with being a PK, or having a tough time at a job I never wanted, but God obviously wants me in, or when I hear from my friends who are living their dreams, and just want to share their joy. But every time that I fall into the trap, God shows me just how good I have it! He shows me that some of those friends that I envy have so many struggles themselves. The pain they feel is a million times worse than mine. He lets me see just how rewarding being a PK can be, by sending someone along with an encouraging word. He shows me once again just how perfectly this job I didn't want was an integral part of His plan for my life.
One day I'll have to write my life story for ya'll. I tend to shy away from it under the excuse that most of ya'll know it, but I've seen in reading some of your accounts just how much goes on behind the scenes that we looking on from the outside don't see or understand. Mostly though, I'm scared at what I'm going to have to face. I tend to internalize everything, but when I let it out, it really comes out.... :) So be patient with me.... it will come one day, I promise! In the meantime, pray for me, huh? And whenever you think your life isn't making the impact you would like it to, remember you've made a difference in the life of a Florida girl trapped in New Jersey. Ok, I know, I'm working on the trapped feeling, and striving to feel content where God has placed me during this season of my life! :)
For all of you who have posted your stories-Thanks so much. You'll never know how much God has used your story in my life.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Serious Addiction

Can you tell I have a problem??? :) Do I even have to mention these all came today in one shipment??? Or the fact that I had three others in my purse??? Or that I know all of the local mail staff by name, and they know me, and know what is in the box or envelope before asking?? I just cling to the fact that there are worse things to be addicted to, and thru the help of an awesome bonus program at work, (which has just been discontinued... grrr) and, I no longer spend all my money on books! :)

My other addiction.... crocheting! I've been keeping my hands busy while watching TV.... See? Watching TV can be productive! :) I just love when it actually starts to look like a blanket, or whatever I'm making.. :)

Just had to share my happy moments with you! Have a good weekend!

Monday, January 19, 2009

You may be a MK/PK if.....

A Missionary friend of mine sent this to me, and it is so true! I enjoyed it so much! I know many of you might not "get it" on some of them, but it is a good way to get to understand what your PK/MK go thru, and what we deem as funny! :) I know some people I've shown this to think some of these are "just so sad.." makes me laugh even more! :)

You might be a MK/PK if:
- you sort your Christmas mailing list by continents
- you can speak three languages, and can't spell in any of them
- you cruise the Internet looking for fonts that support your "native" language's alphabet.
- you feel you need to move after you've lived in the same place for a month/year...
- you have a name in at least two different languages, and it's not the same one.
- you don't think that two hours is a long sermon.
- you haggle with the checkout girl for a lower price.
- you refer to gravel roads as highways.
- fitting 15 or more people into a car seems normal to you.
- you know how to pack. (really pack... like fitting all your earthly possessions in 1 bag that weighs under 50 lbs)
- you realize that furlough is not a vacation.
- you do your devotions in another language.
- you have friends from or in 29 different countries.
- you speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.
- you can cut grass with a machete, but can't start a lawnmower.
- you watch nature documentaries, and think about how good that animal would taste if it were fried. ROFL!!!
- you consider a city 500 km away to be "very close".
- you have a time zone map next to your telephone.
- you read National Geographic and recognize someone.
- you can't answer the question, "Where are you from?" in less than 20 minutes. Hahaha
- the family gathers round the computer to check the email.
- you forget that your grandparents speak only English.
- you have a passport but no driver's license.
- you watch National Geographic channel and recognize someone.
- you keep dreaming of a green Christmas.
- you wince when people mispronounce foreign words.
- you have strong opinions on how to cook bugs.
- you know there is no such thing as an international language.
- most of your friends can't speak English.
- you watch a movie set in a foreign country, and you know what the local people are REALLY saying!
- you think nothing of straddling white lines to pass between buses or trucks travelling side by side, because There was plenty of room, Officer! Honest! At least 15 centimetres clearance!
- the message on your answering machine is in two languages.
- you habitually buy food supplies in bulk.
- you are cold when it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- you always have music handy because someone will have you sing a special. (even when you can't sing!)
- you've perfected the "genuine" Barbie smile!
- you know they lie when they say it takes less muscles to smile than not to smile.
- you've taught every Sunday School age group by the age of 16.
- you've memorized the major fast food's menus. Prices too!
- you consider someone who you've only met 3 times your best friend. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Car Discrimination

Have ya ever noticed how people react to you on the road? I mean, obviously people are going to drive differently around certain vehicles. You know, you stay way back from sand, dump, and gravel trucks. (no rock in my windshield, thank you very much!) You are extra cautious around cop cars. You get impatient around School buses. (do they have to stop at every house? The school is half a block away for Pete's sake!) But, you don't really expect to notice the difference just changing cars!
Yesterday I had a rude awakening! As most of you know, I have a MINI Cooper. It's a sports car. It has a very powerful engine, and very tight steering. It's a dream to drive, a whole lot of fun! Well, it has been nearly two years of driving in this car and when you drive a brand new sports car you get a certain amount of respect from other drivers on the road around you! People don't try to drag race you at stoplights or play stupid passing games on the highway because they know you can leave them in your dust if you so choose!
Well, yesterday I had to drive Mom and Dad's car to pick them up from the airport. They drive a Mercury Grand Marquis, it's definitely not a sports car, but still nice. So I didn't expect a problem driving it, I mean, I drove one for 2 years!
So anyway, I'm on the highway, and there was this brand new sporty, hybrid, SUV driving completely normal albeit slow, (come on the speed limit was 65!) and I passed it. Now, mind you I'm on cruise control at about 69 so it's not like I blew by or anything. Completely normal, right? Well about 2 minutes later this vehicle starts to pull alongside me, and just hangs out not quite in front of me. It blocked me in behind slower vehicles twice before I decided to get away from it and prevent an accident. I tried speeding up to pass, and it's matching my speed, I try slowing down, and it slows down. You can just tell it's thinking "I'm not letting this granny car show me up, I am a Hybrid, I rule the road!" By this time I'm ticked! I was about to take an exit just to get away, when we start to get passed by this whole group of cars. Hybrid lets the group of sports cars by without flinching. (ever notice how they travel in packs??) Behind the sports cars, a beat up junker comes flying by. Of course, Hybrid ain't gonna let this fly! It rules the road, it's a hybrid! So it takes off after the poor junker who dared pass it, and I'm left in peace wishing I was in my MINI and among the privileged few allowed to roam the highways without being harassed by the Hybrid.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Yay! It's a new year! Full of promise , exciting, who knows what will happen? Could be good, could be bad. Whatever it holds, I'm looking forward to it. Looking back, I have had a pretty decent year actually. So this year I am resolving to:
Become an Actress! Jk :) But I do resolve to have more fun, do more things "just because", and overall just enjoy my life! Why should we spend all our time stressing out about things we can't control? As the song says "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think" I really think it helped me get thru last year. I went on 3, count em, 3 vacations! And I needed every one. By the way the pic is of me on vacation last January in my starring role as Sandie Dessert! :)
I also resolve to go out of my way to make time for friends, and make new friends, and visit old friends, and get them to visit me... hint, hint. :) God has truly blessed me this year in the friend department. I started the year pretty depressed at my lack of friends in the area, and of having lost contact with those out of the area. But, God heard me complaining and sent answers in the most creative ways!
1. Becci introduced me to Facebook, where I have connected with people I haven't heard from in 10 years!
2. Shauna introduced me to the blogosphere, and now I know all about you guys.... :)
3. Becci's best friend from college graduated, moved home, and got a job. Did I mention she's my age and needed a friend?? :) Isn't God great?
BTW the pic is of Andrea, above mentioned friend. :)

I also resolve to cook more..... yeah, Mom! I know you'll help me out with that one! I have always loved baking, but Mom pushed me out of my comfort zone and actually has me cooking. And you know what? I actually like it! And I learned I can fry a mean chicken! Thanks Paula Deen! :) Above see the apple pie that was really good and that I now have to make for Pat next time I see her......

And lastly I resolve to enjoy my kiddos! I know! Not a hard one! But, even when I'm burnt out, and stressed , and sick, I'm going to give them my best. I have a hand in shaping their lives, and I don't want to fail them. Yes, I know, Sunday School is 1 hour every week. But, I had Sunday School teachers who have influenced me and their effect is still being seen. Pic is of me and Zechy, my buddy and class clown/smarty pants. (too smart this kid... learned to read and shocked me out of my wits by reading his memory verse! I never would have caught on, but it was a new verse we hadn't learned. :) Did I mention he's autistic?)
So, to all you out there in cyberland, Happy New Year! May God bless you, and may you allow Him to guide your paths this year.