Wednesday, January 16, 2013

happy birthday(s)

 back row: me, Jessie, Sam and Jamie
front row: John, Jake (bday boy), Courtney (bday girl) and Lauren

Yesterday, the 15th, was Courtney's birthday. She turned 8.

Today, the 16th, is Jake's birthday. He turned 6.

Happy Birthday, kiddos. I can't believe how big you both are. Makes me feel old. But that's okay. Cause 8 and 6 are good ages to be. :) Love you two!

Monday, January 14, 2013

do you see the difference?

"A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left. Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool." (Ecclesiastes 10:2-3)

All of my good friends know that Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books of the Bible. In fact, I would say its in the top 5, along with Ephesians, 2 Corinthians, Genesis and Job. Anyway. As many times as I had read Ecclesiastes, I had never really thought about the above verses until Becca pointed them out to me last summer. 

I've thought about them a lot since then. About what they mean to us as believers.

Basically the first verse is saying that the wise man and the fool are headed in opposite directions. One is going to the right and one to the left. They have nothing to do with each other. 

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 says: "...for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?" The implied answer? Nothing! Believers and unbelievers have nothing in common, just as Christ has nothing in common with the devil and his demons. 

Now, the second verse is the one that Becca pointed out ot me. She said, "Its just so interesting to me. Like, if you were walking down the road and you just randomly think, 'oh she has a pretty sweater' or whatever...well, it would be like seeing someone walking down the road and thinking, 'yep, that person's a fool.' It's just crazy." 

At the time it sounded so strange to me. I honestly wondered how you could tell. 

And then it struck me...

We can't/don't recognize fools because believers don't act any different than unbelievers.

That is the problem, friends. The problem isn't that my eyes aren't very good; it's that fools don't stand out anymore. When King Solomon wrote this passage, you could tell a fool from a child of Yahweh; you could tell a religious person from someone who didn't believe.

It isn't like that anymore. You can't tell.

That saddens me. How can we as Christians be the light of the world, the city on a hill, if we do everything that unbelievers do? The majority of Christians watch all the movies, read all the novels, listen to all the music, wear the clothes, drink, smoke, get name it, they do it. 

Please understand. I'm not trying to be legalistic here. (More on legalism to come soon!) Heaven forbid! But if we, as followers of Christ, don't act like He would, we are not fulfilling our task. Jesus stood out in a crowd! You could tell Jesus from a fool. If you were walking down the road in Galilee and saw Jesus on one side of the road and a fool on the other, I guarantee you that you could tell the difference.

I do not want to appear judgmental. Trust me, I'm guilty in this area. It's so easy to hide the real you. When you are around unbelievers or around believers who act like unbelievers, it easy to just act like one of them. I know from personal experience that it's the easy thing to do to just bring up a secular band you listen to, or find some area of common ground instead of bringing up God, or mentioning your personal standards. 

 Why is there no noticeable difference between the majority of Christians and unbelievers? 

When I think about it, it makes me mad at myself. But I think I know why. We might not admit that this is really what it is, but I'm going to be honest on this blog. (As always).

It's because we're ashamed.   

We don't want to be associated with the name of Jesus/God/church. We don't want to be known as someone who is a Jesus freak. Yeah, we may go to church every Sunday, pray in Sunday school, lead Sonrise choir, sing in Adult Choir, but heck, we don't want anyone to know that. (I just used examples of things I'm involved in).

Why? Why are we ashamed to be known as Christ-followers? Why do we hide inside our shells? I've discovered something. I'm more open and honest about my faith in four different situations. First, when I'm with my family. Secondly, with my best friend. Thirdly, on this blog. Fourthly, in my Sunday school class. But you put me in a room with unbelievers, or even Christians who don't share my standards, and I'll clam up. 

I don't want to do that anymore. I don't want to be ashamed of the God who came and died for me. If He isn't ashamed to call me His, I sure as heck shouldn't be ashamed to be known as His. 

So do you want to join me? As my Sunday school teacher said when I brought this up to her, "You can be the one to rock the world. You can love Jesus like crazy and be different." So let's rock the world. Let's love Jesus without worrying about what anyone thinks of us. Let's be different from the fools. 



Monday, January 7, 2013

liebster award

Hey blog world. It's me, Jennifer. I've been writing this blog since July 29th, and I've just been nominated for my first blog award! :) 
By the sweet Alyse, who blogs over here. Be fantastically awesome and go check her blog out. 

         Here's the rules:
1. List 11 facts about yourself.

2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.

3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.

4. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.

5. Go to each blogger's page and let them know about the award.

6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

On to my 11 facts about myself:

1) I am terrified of sharks. Absolutely terrified. I literally cannot look at them. 
2)  When I was 3 years old, I almost died. 
3) I dislike country music. Okay, let's be honest here, I despise, loathe and abominate country music. Whew. Sorry. 
4) I am also scared of the dark. Really scared.
5) I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 7 years old.
6) I have been playing piano since I was 5 years old.
7) I have taken violin lessons, but it just wasn't my thing.
8) I write music. I have written lots of songs, but only 5 that I consider good.
9) I used to have nose bleeds every day. Seriously, I had nose bleeds like it was my job. Then I got my nose cauterized and that fixed the problem.
10) My hair is naturally thick, curly and frizzy. More frizzy than either of the others though. I flatiron it a lot.   
11) I sing in the Adult Choir, play keyboard in orchestra, direct the 1st-3rd grade children's choir, and help out in Sunday school by giving my opinion. :) 

To answer Alyse's 11 questions:
1. Have you ever cried in church? Yes. Once was the Sunday morning that my great-grandmother passed away. I cried like a baby standing in service during worship. Then I have teared up at other times for one reason or another.

2. Do you adore chocolate? Um, does this even need to be answered? DUH!!! :)

3. Which is more fun, the beach or the pool? Hm. I haven't been to the beach since 2009, so I've almost forgotten. I think that if I want to swim, the pool, but just for laying in the sun, definitely the beach! I'm scared of sharks, so the ocean and I don't get along too well.

4. Ever ding-dong-ditched? Nope. Never.

5. Favorite movie? Ohhh, that's a tough one. Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Little Women (with Katherine Hepburn), Mary Poppins, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice...I could go on...

6. What's your recent favorite song? Currently on repeat on my phone are: Against All Odds and In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins, How Will I Know by Whitney Houston and Sherry by Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons.

7. Did you make any New Years Resolutions? If so, what were they? If not, why? I answered this question here. 

8. Are you a spender or a saver? Most of the time a spender, but I'm working on changing that. 

9. Did you think the world was over on December 21st? Nah. 

10. Favorite color? Blue. No doubt about that one

11. Shoes or purses? Probably purses. Or maybe shoes. ;)           
My eleven questions:
1.If you could meet any actor/actress/person from the past who would it be?
2.What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
3. What did you want to be when you grew up? 
4.Do you like coffee or tea better?
5. If you had one day all to yourself, how would you spend it?
6. What is the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to you?
7. If you could hop on a plane tomorrow, where would you go?
8. What is your current favorite song? (yep, stole it. :)
9. How old were you when you learned to read?
10. Do you play any instruments?
11. How would you describe your life right now?

I nominate....drum roll please...
 Mom from One Faithful Mom :)
Ragan from Touch of Serendipity
Leanne from Simply Beautiful
Amanda at My Love for Lyla
Lindsay from Down by the Bays
Chelsea from Taste and See
Rachael at Held By His Hand
Caroline from Everybody Behave Naturally
Sophie from Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Nicole from The Shea's
GraceAnna from The Castleberry's

Funny thing but I can say that I personally know 5 of the 11 people I just nominated!! Anyway. Thanks, Alyse for nominating me! You're the sweetest!! 

Have a fantastic day, friends!    

Friday, January 4, 2013

goal is a four letter word

Tonight after supper I said, "I need to write a blog post about goals." Mom (without missing a beat, of course) said, "Goal is a four letter word." :) We laughed about it, and I told her I was going to use it in the post. (pictures are from a 10th grade school day :)

Goals. It's something I've been meaning/wanting to write about, and just haven't yet. This past year I wasn't really diligent about my goals, but I also didn't really set goals that were attainable. My goals were things like: finish writing my novel, learn to run a home, learn to cook... things like that. Those aren't goals that you can really attain in a year.

This year, I want to set goals that I can actually work towards. In Sunday school this past Sunday, Mrs. Claudia told us she was going to set a spiritual goal, a physical goal, a relational goal and a professional goal. So I thought about that. Here's the ideas I had:

spiritual goal: spend at least a few minutes every day this year in God's word. Whether that means reading a few quick verses or spending an hour digging into what He has to say. Just spending time getting to know him better!

physical goal: work out. period. I love the way I feel when I'm working out. I just feel good, and who doesn't like that?? =) I want to start running again. A good friend of mine reminded me on Monday that back in 2010 I couldn't run a step and he and his brother helped me learn to run. I ended up running 30 minutes at a time by the next year. But then I got slack. So now I'm jumping back on the

relational goal: get closer to my siblings. work on mentoring the girls at church.

professional goal: I'll be graduating this summer. I want to be a good student for this last little bit. My goal here is to just work my tail off til graduation, and actually feel good about it when I'm done.

So those are my goals for 2013. I'll keep you updated. Hopefully at the end of every month we'll have a little goal post. You remind of that, okay? So I told you about my goals. What are yours??

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


2012 is over, friends. That is so strange to me. I had so many things I wanted to say about it, but due to some circumstances that I'll be posting about soon, words just wouldn't come. So here's 2012 in review in pictures. Not in any order, at all, but just random. Some important, some seemingly unimportant, but all special.

trip to Savannah with Mom (December)

first day of school (August)

Jamie spent 5 days in the hospital (August)

Daddy and our sweet cousin Violet (November)

Cousin Rob (November)

The cousins (November)

turned 18 (December)

went to the State Fair (October)

held this little man a lot (October)

got to see these two people a lot
ate ice cream (August)

fell in love with this band (June or July)

sang in a three musicals at church, an Easter, Missions and then Christmas one (October)
watched him grow 

got a car (August)

watched these two people get married (September)

and posed for fun pictures (September)
watched some of my best friends graduate from highschool and wrote them letters (May)
had dance parties (April)

this little guy was born and my big brother became a dad (April)

Jake learned to drive the lawn mower and gave Thomas rides (May)

celebrated Mother's Day with the best mom ever (May)

took trips to the zoo
spoke at Thomas' and Becca's rehearsal dinner (September)
started working for this boy (July)
grew closer to Daddy
began a friendship with Mrs. Kathy (January)
started this blog and wrote about things I never expected to write about (July)
became more of a thinker and less of a  talker
realized how much I want to be a mom

used sparklers to celebrate Thanksgiving (November)

got to meet my cousin Janice, who laughed at Michael's jokes (November)
2012 was a good year. But I'm definitely ready for 2013. Here's to the new year.