Friday, April 10, 2015

observations and actions

i woke up this morning at 
around 7:45.
i talked to jesus about a dream i
had because it kind of freaked me out
a little bit and then grabbed my
phone to turn off the alarm that was
set for 8:15. 

i had two new text messages from one of my
best friends, chris, both sent around 1:30 a.m. when
i was sleeping.
i think i muttered something about
"crazy college kids."

eventually (cough, like at 8:45), i 
rolled out of bed. 
like, literally, rolled off my bed onto 
the floor.
this is pretty easy, because my bed sits
on the floor hehe.

anyway, rolled out of bed,
washed my face, brushed my teeth, the usual.

and then i

started a pot of coffee
threw away the trash on the kitchen counter
started a load of laundry
rinsed out the popcorn bowl that sat on the living room floor
made sure the cat got fed (even though
i hate cats with a fiery passion)
gathered up the pillows that 
somehow always end up thrown anywhere
but on the couches

and i realized something.
i was pretending to be my mother.
(she's currently out of town for a few days).
i was doing all of the things i've watched her do 
for the past 20 years.
and it wasn't like i planned to do it, either,
because Lord knows that i, jennifer noel, would
never get out of bed and think 
to start laundry on her own.
but it just happened, because it's what 
Moms would do if she were here, and she isn't, so 
i just did it.

and it made me think about being observant.
i call myself an observant person.
i notice things about people that a lot of other people
don't notice. 
i get great pleasure out of sitting in one spot for
an extended period of time and just watching

but i realized that watching someone for ten minutes
doesn't show me who they are.
it can tell me a lot about them.
(especially in airports. goodness, the things
i have seen in airports).
but at the end of the day, watching someone for five-ten
minutes doesn't tell me who that person is.

i only know that Moms would do those things
in the morning because i've spent my 
entire life
watching her do them.
i know Moms because of years of 
observations and conversation. 
(that was unintentional rhyming haha).

and as i stood in the kitchen, going
through the motions, i thought about jesus.
 i stood there, putting half and half 
in my coffee, and i teared up a little bit
and thought about my life.
because i'm so guilty of observing 
and not acting.
see, we have the perfect role model. 
we are to "be holy because he is holy.
but observation isn't enough.
you have to act based on your observations.

i like making people smile.
it's my favorite thing, i think,
and so i compliment people constantly.
and usually, i compliment them based on my
for example,
you can tell from a mile away if a girl has low
self-esteem. i target that hardcore and basically 
give them as many compliments as i can without being weird.
i act, because i've observed.

and it should be the same with jesus.
i know about jesus. 
i've read the bible through five times.
i've read the gospels countless times.
i can quote lots of things jesus said.

but do i actually know jesus?
has it just been a five-ten minute observation,
or am i actually pursuing the knowledge of
him and who he is,
so that i can act on those things?

at the end of the day,
knowing about someone isn't enough.
love is a choice. 
action is a choice.
if we don't act, our observations
are useless and don't matter.
i think it's time some of us
(myself very much included)
stop just observing 
and start acting.

"his divine power has granted to us all things 
that pertain to life and godliness, 
through the knowledge of him 
who called us to his own glory and excellence..."
2 peter 1:3

Monday, April 6, 2015

emotions on my skin

i always talk about wanting to be real and
raw and vulnerable on social media and here on
my blog.
i want to be relate-able. 
i want to help people by being open and honest.

and i always think i'm doing a good job
and then i had this conversation the other day
and realized i'm actually doing
a really crappy job.

it started out with the usual,
"so, how are you doing?"
and i said...
"not too good actually."
and they said...
"from your instagram and facebook posts
i thought you were fine!"

i realized that for all my talk about
being open and honest, i'm not doing
so hot.
like, at all.

there's a dead giveaway for me.
you don't see it, and that person didn't see it
but i see it.

that birthmark on my hand.
i used to hate it.
oddly enough, it only ever seemed
to show up when i was extremely nervous
or cold.

now, it shows up when i'm cold,
nervous, or especially worried, sad, anxious or
so basically, it's my emotions on my skin.

that birthmark has been extremely visible for
the past month-ish.
and it hasn't been because i'm nervous or cold.

it's because life is hard.
it's because i have cried a lot.
it's because i've said things like "can
i run away from home now?"
it's because i've been so ridiculously angry.
it's because i have hardcore questioned God.
it's because i have been sad and tired.

and those are the things i should be sharing.
those are the things i want to share.
yeah, there's nothing wrong with a selfie because i'm having
a good hair day, or pictures of my coffee,
or sunset pictures with quotes (i love quotes, y'all).
but those aren't the posts that are going to
encourage or be relate-able.
those aren't the posts that will help you be open
and honest with me.

so here's the truth:
my name is Jennifer Noel Mole.
i'm 20 years old and i
have cried almost every day since March 6th.
i haven't slept through the night in weeks.
i have yelled a lot.
at myself. at others. at God.
i've locked myself away and not wanted to let anyone in
because i don't want to risk getting

and that's my life.
yeah, i still have good hair days.
and i get coffee pretty often.
and i smile sometimes.
but i also hurt,
and i want you to know that.
and if you're hurting, too, i'm here for you.

"so this is my life, and i want you to know that i am
both happy and sad;
and i'm still trying to figure out
how that could be."

(please know that this isn't a cry for pity
or sympathy, because i don't
need that. really.
i just want you to know where i
am, and maybe it'll help you realize that
it's okay to hurt.
maybe it'll help you open up and share, too.
and if you want to share with me,
please do. email me at and i'll
listen to you. promise).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

well, hi.

my name is jennifer noel,
and i'm really awful and terrible and horrible
at this whole blogging thing.
but i'm back now. so we'll move swiftly on.

my friend, rae, is always talking about
dreams and about chasing your dreams
and making them realities.
blogging is kind of, sort of a dream.
i say kind of because writing is the dream, and
this blog is just an outlet, and it takes work.
but hey, we gotta work for our dreams, right?

and so here i am.
but the blog is taking a new direction.
things are changing around here,
because this blog is a reflection of me,
and i am changing.

you see, this blog started out about 
preparing for marriage, being single, and the like.
it started out because i was waiting.
waiting for a guy, waiting for the next thing...
just waiting.

and i'm not waiting anymore. because
there's so much more to this life than that. there's
so much more than just waiting for the next thing.
and honestly, i'm learning a lot about jesus and his goodness
and i don't need to wait for anything.

he has granted me everything pertaining to life and
godliness already. and so, i can just
l i v e. 

i'm not the same person i was a year ago.
i'm not the same person i was when i last posted back
in september.
heck, i'm not even the same person i was
on january 1, 2015.

and so, the blog will be different from now on.
(the name is changing, the theme is changing,
my posts will be different, etc).
and i'm pretty excited about it.
i hope you are, too.

i'll explain more soon,
but for now, i hope you are having a fabulous
week and that you're living life to the fullest.
i hope you smile a lot, friend.

happy-almost-wednesday, you.


Monday, September 22, 2014

a letter of warning to my future husband

dear you:

lately it has come to my attention that there are certain things that I wish I could warn you about before we get married. I figured this was the best way. please don't let these things scare you away. please.

I'll get right to the point: I hate doing laundry. I really do. I apologize, + I'm trying to conquer that hatred, but I really just despise it. but hey, I love washing dishes + I like cleaning bathrooms! (two pros to one con, I mean, really...) doing laundry is just so annoying because you have to put them in the washer + then remember to put them into the dryer + then go fold them before they get wrinkled + then put them away + sometimes you have to iron even after all that. it's just so provoking.

I am very, very fond of spaghetti. especially leftover. you have been warned.

sometimes I write for a really long time + then I'm pretty much emotionally drained. my writing is work for me. (you never want to say that my writing isn't actually work, just ask Jessie). just bear with me when I'm on some crazy writing streak.

I listen to music pretty much constantly. it makes me indescribably happy. especially Coldplay. I. love. Coldplay. just go with it, okay? and if you like heavy metal, please don't play it in front of me. I try to appreciate other people's music, but I can't deal with heavy metal. I'm sorry. (I mean, I guess I could try to bear it. just for you).

oh, and I like rap. you are allowed to laugh at me when I rap along with Lecrae, but only in amazement at my rapping abilities. hahaha.

I am not a morning person. I despise mornings even more than I despise doing laundry. I'm really mean in the mornings sometimes. (more like all the time, but it's whatever). I'll try hard not to bite your head off, but I'll just go ahead and say I'm sorry in advance. in the morning, it's just best to not speak to me for a bit after I wake up, and probably don't mess with my hair. that usually doesn't end well. you could always make me coffee though...

I lay awake in bed at night for an hour or two. I start thinking and it all goes downhill from there. if I say something really random, don't let it bother you. my brain is working overtime. I may also randomly get up and write stuff down on a piece of paper, so I won't forget it the next morning. just so you know.

I hate cats. please never ask me if we can have one. I'll pull the "I'm extremely allergic" card if I have to. I'm serious. 

I love American football. I love it. BUT...if you don't, that's cool. if you're into soccer (the REAL football) or baseball or basketball or hockey that's great. just sit me down + teach me about it. show me how things work in the game. watch games with me + explain them. pretty soon I'll be watching the games whether you are or not. 

I make lists all. the. time. even if they aren't necessary. I buy new notebooks + pens way too often as well. 

I like planning things ahead of time. I like knowing that we are going to do such and such a thing at such and such a time. with that being said, spontaneous adventures now + then would be fine I guess because that's what Moms does to me all the time. 

I feel most loved when people buy me things. I feel selfish saying that but you should know. when someone sees something + thinks of me + gets it for me, that makes me feel more loved than anything else. 

I need personal space sometimes. approach with caution. hahaha. 

if I say "honey" in a really sweet voice you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar that I want something I don't need. 

90% of the time when I'm crying there is no good reason. I'm just crying to cry. it doesn't make sense, but that's that. 

if I ever say "oh go jump in a lake!" when I'm aggravated, please don't get offended or take me seriously. I don't really want you to jump in a lake. well, maybe not...

I'm such a sarcastic person. I say sarcastic...okay, let's face it, downright mean things without even thinking. hopefully you can help me be a nicer person. 

my family is crazy. that's all I'm gonna say about that.

you should never, ever mention the Power Rangers in front of Moms. please. just don't do it. trust me on this one. 

I have an incredibly weak stomach. I can handle blood, but only to a certain extent. I cannot handle deep wounds. (I just found this out last week when I almost passed out after John-boy cut his head open. ugh). 

the thought of having children TERRIFIES me. but I also really want kids. so be prepared for spells of "I wish we had kids" closely followed by spells of "we are NEVER having children." 

if I have to get up early for some reason, be prepared for much whining + complaining. (remember how much I hate mornings?)

I have this weird obsession with brushing my teeth. I take really good care of my teeth. it gets a little ridiculous at times.

sometimes I'm going to say things that make no sense. there's no explanation for that. (my hair is naturally blonde though if that helps at all haha)

I'm an incredibly indecisive human. I can't even pick out a bag of chips. it's ridiculous. you're definitely going to have to make ALL the decisions. and I literally mean all.

chances are that I will buy body wash for myself + then only use your's. I do it to Jamie all the time.

that's all I can think of for now. if I haven't completely scared you away at this point, just know that at least I'm loyal + trustworthy + love you a lot. I think you're swell + I'll make sure and tell you that often.

peace out, boy scout. (I say things like that a lot. don't judge). 

Monday, September 15, 2014

there and back again 2014: camp days

(instead of writing an individual post about every camp day, I just tried to sum it all up in one post. so this is the first post in my Slovakia recap! hope you enjoy).

I smiled a lot during those five days. I also yawned a lot, because let's be honest, I was hardly sleeping at all. (I could've gone to bed before midnight, but what's the fun in that?) I laughed at the antics of those kids that were outgoing + slightly rambunctious + troublesome. I repeated Slovak words after the kids in my group, trying to get them just right. I ran up + down the school stairs countless times. I walked out into the courtyard, breathing in the fresh air + listening to the teens talk during discussion group. I drank lots of Kofola during the course of the day. I followed my kids into the cafeteria, teasing + joking while we stood in the lunch line. I talked to Pica in the hallway, + helped Mrs. Donna + David with afternoon activities. I carried Andrej's and Juli's little girl around the hallway, trying to get her to stop crying.
this is what assembly looked like every morning

 I talked to Jakub + Lukas, + hid from Misko, who liked to intimidate me. I had David Cekov translate what the kid's were trying to tell me, + we laughed a lot at their silly speeches.

I walked with my arm around Dominika, one of the little girls in my group, and called for Denis to stop running for the hundred and eighteenth time. I said the Slovak word for five over + over so that I would remember the way it was pronounced. The kids laughed at me as I spoke.
the cafeteria

I ate a lot of good lunches during those camp days. I carried some of my kids' trays to the counter when they were finished + usually David Cekov or David Mocan would take care of my tray for me. 

I kept up with which of my kids were where, as best as I could. I followed Denis out into the hallway, telling him to come back to class. He just grinned at me. I usually had to get one of the Slovaks to make him come back to class. 
my kiddos
 I wrote down my kids names: Alexandra, Leah, Vanesa, Laura, Dominika, Michael, Patricia, Johanka, Martin, Misko + Denis. I thought that writing them might help me remember, but unfortunately, I still called them the wrong names all week.

I handed out blue camp t shirts and we posed for pictures. I laughed as they made comments in Slovak about how big the t shirts were. (We ran out of smalls too soon). We all gathered together and somehow fit all 62 kids + all the leaders into one picture.

discussion group 
I helped Lenka with doing the motions for the songs in assembly. We laughed + clapped when the kids did them along with us. We sang loudly, trying to keep up with Pica + the two David's. The kids cheered and shouted 'hoorah, hoorah, hoorah!' at the end of each day. 

We went to the pool one day. I didn't swim, choosing to supervise instead. I wore Vierka's wedding + engagment ring for her so she wouldn't lose them. I joked with David Cekov that she had left him for a water slide. The kids splashed each other + dunked each other + tried to get me wet even though I wasn't in the pool.

We ate ice cream cones after being in the pool for a few hours. I can't remember what flavor I got, but it tasted good. It was so cold and made the warm day slightly more bearable.

The kids loved to poke me in the side because they knew I was extremely ticklish. They would poke me and laugh when I jumped or squealed. It got to be slightly annoying (okay, very annoying) by the end of the week.

 I had a sheet of paper that said who each of my kids was supposed to be dismissed to. Grandparents, aunts, mothers, and a few could walk home alone. It was almost impossible to keep up at the end of the day with who was where and who should be with whom. But somehow, all my kids always got home safely. That was always a relief.

Lots of hugs were exchanged at the end of the week. Lots of pictures were taken. I cried as we took all the decorations down + put the school back the way we found it. It was so hard to leave + to have the kids leave.

Those 5 days at camp can be summed up in a few words, I think: hard + wonderful + fun + tiring + magical. All at the same time. I'm very thankful for that school + those kids + the ability to have taken part two years in a row.
me, Jakub + Maddie
me, Lukas, + Maddie

the last day of camp

the entire group of kids + leaders

Thursday, September 11, 2014

there and back again 2014: pre-mission trip depression

post mission trip depression is very real. or as my friend, Amy, once called it, 'mission trip detox.' it's real + it hurts + it can last for months...or in my case, an entire year. but, that  isn't what I wanted to talk to you about in this post; I wanted to talk to you about PRE-mission trip depression. 

it all started in December of 2012. something happened in my life, right before my 18th birthday. something that doesn't need to be shared + it really doesn't matter what it was. it left me hurt, sad, and really unhappy. I hadn't seen it coming + when it did, it really affected me negatively. 

I didn't get over it, either. I didn't have time to process those emotions, because, before I could, something else happened. my best friend told me she wasn't allowed to speak to me anymore. there was a reason, but really, it doesn't matter what it was. I was angry + again, really hurt + upset. I had never had many friends + so losing her seemed like the end of the world. 

I didn't get over that either. in February I was accused of doing something I didn't do by two families in my church, the church my family had been attending for 15 years. I was completely innocent, but nothing was ever done to prove that innocence, even though we took it to the pastors of the church. and so, before we knew it, we had left the church + were left without a church home. 15 years of going to the same church will make it very difficult to leave. plus, I should mention that my two "best friends" were the ones who accused me of doing the horrible thing. so there's that. 

I didn't get over that either. but I learned something about myself. I'm excellent at faking it. everyone (except maybe my parents) thought I was just fine. I 'adapted well' and seemed 'to handle change really well.' ha. ha. ha. I laughed at those comments when the people turned their backs. 

I was in a rough spot, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. on top of everything, I was trying to prepare for a trip to Slovakia. the timing seemed so inconvenient. meetings + raising support just seemed really trivial in comparison with everything that was happening + had happened. I started to view Slovakia as my escape. I wanted to go simply so I could get away from bad memories. but God had a different plan. 

that trip to Slovakia changed my life. I say that all the time, on my blog as well as in real life. and I mean it. I really do. it didn't just change one day of my life or change my literally changed my entire life. you want to know why? let me explain:

it changed my past. I hadn't worked through any of those emotions I was feeling. I hadn't allowed myself to feel pain or grief or be angry or forgive. I did that while I was in Slovakia. (in 2013 AND 2014). I looked back on everything that had happened and I saw how God had protected me from certain situations and I saw that even though the things that happened were totally crappy, I had grown because of them. I cried a lot while I was in Slovakia. this year while I was there, I told my friend David the whole story of everything that happened at my old church. just laying it all out felt so good. 

it changed my present. while I was there, I felt Jesus' presence in a way I never had before. I realized how much I loved Him + just how much He was doing through me + in me. it changed the way I viewed people + the way I wanted to treat them. 

it changed my future. my biggest dream had always just been to get married + have kids, and yes, that's still a big dream of mine...but after being in Slovakia, I discovered a new dream. I want to do longer term missions in Slovakia and see how God can use me there. I want to spend more than 12 days in Nove Zamky. 

my pre-mission trip depression was very real, y'all. as real as my post-mission trip depression. I don't use the term depression lightly either. ask my family. before + after that Slovakia trip, I was in a rough place. it was really hard + it's not something I would wish on anyone. BUT...there is beauty in the mess, and that beauty for me turned out to be a country called Slovakia. 

for the record, I'm not saying that you should pack up your bags and go to Slovakia if you're in a rough place. maybe you should just sit + listen + wait for God to heal your heart in His own timing. it took me over a year and a half to find complete healing from those things that happened. I wasn't completely over it all until this summer when I was in Slovakia again. sometimes, I think, God allows us to hurt for longer so that we discover our need for Him. and also, maybe it's so we can fall in love with something new, with someone new, or with some place that's new. 

at least, that's what happened with me. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

summer + big stuff + a whole heck of a lot of pictures

hey you beautiful humans, you. I'm back! if you remember this post, I said that I would be devoting time to blogging when I got back from my trip to Slovakia. and I fully intend to live up to that. so I'm here to tell you a little bit about everything that has gone on lately and then we'll be moving on to some upcoming topics of conversation here on my little blog.

so some big stuff has happened in this girl's life since I got back from Slovakia on July 20th. crazy, big things. it's really exciting and crazy and God is really working and it's so so good. so I obviously want to share that with you guys.

big thing number ONE: I officially graduated high school. after 15+ years of schooling (yes, 15+), my school days are behind me. I could just cry from happiness. and because my family believes in really celebrating things, they dumped a bag of confetti over my head. (it took me a week to get all that confetti out of my hair!)

big thing number TWO:

I got a job! I actually started on July 31st, and it's been absolutely wonderful. I am working as a bookkeeper for a family friend. he makes cabinets and stuff and I do his computer work and pay the bills and such and it's great. I love it. it's great how God hears our prayers. I was actually praying on my long flight home that I would be able to find another job when I got home and then this presented itself and it's just what I wanted and it's great.
my office (it's in a warehouse without air conditioning and it's dusty from the cabinet-making but i love it)

big thing number THREE: I am just really enjoying life. this summer was a great one.
my best friends (Lawson and Maddie) bought me that. it made me happy.

slovak/romanian/ukranian and american team (more slovakia stuff coming soon!)

we went to a water park and it was AWESOME

my girl Maddie. she's the best

that's my very tall and very awesome friend Gabe (he went to slovakia this year)

late night sonic runs with the kiddos and Moms
so basically my summer was made up of Slovakia + food + milkshakes + sleeping in + sonic runs + church + hanging out with Maddie + Lawson + a Slovakia reunion with some of my American team mates +keeping up with my friends in Europe + reading + working on my novel + LOTS of music. it's been amazing, guys. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. 

that's basically my life up til now. and obviously, it's great, but just like last year, it was super hard adjusting to life in the States. I miss Slovakia very, very much and can't wait to go back (I'm already making big plans for next year, that I can't wait to tell you about!), but for now, God has me here for a reason and I'm determined to be happy and make the most of it. 

up next on the blog will most likely be some Slovakia recaps. I might not go into as much detail as I did last year (depending on you guys and what you want to know about! let me know!)but still just letting you know how things went. and then we will move on to some other posts, including subjects such as modesty, Harry Potter, music and the like. I'm pretty excited about it. 

but for now, I'm off to work on some posts, and make sure my siblings aren't drowning out in the pool. I hope your weekend is absolutely fantastic and that you enjoy your holiday on Monday! love y'all!