Tuesday, December 24, 2013


it's funny, as I sit in the back seat of Moms' car, heading into town for last minute errands and then a church service on this Christmas Eve, I feel so content. content is one word that you don't usually use to describe this girl. I always want something else or want to do something bigger or go somewhere...and it's easy to get caught up in that. 

but honestly, as I think about it, I am so incredibly happy.

 I'm happy that tomorrow is Christmas Day. I'm happy that all my family will be together tomorrow. I'm happy that God has blessed us so much this year. I'm thankful that he never leaves or forsakes his children. 

this year, remember that no matter what your circumstances, Jesus loves you. he loves you so so much. 

"the King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone him." 

happy Christmas, friends. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

nineteenth birthday

my nineteenth birthday started off with my parents serenading me while I tried to get just five more minutes of sleep. having your birthday on a Sunday is a wee bit lame because you actually have to get up and go somewhere. but I love church so it's all good.
                  sleepy 19 year old 
anyway. I got up and ate bacon for breakfast (bacon=extreme happiness) and drank hot tea. i wore a maxi dress and a blue sweater and some brown boots and tied my white headscarf from Slovakia around my head and we headed to church. 

we went to my oldest brother's church that morning (Eden Village) because he was preaching. it was nice to hear Michael preach on my birthday. then we headed to get drinks from Wilco (which for the record is a very nice place). 

we felt a little disloyal towards Parker's but oh well. we ate lunch and drove the hour home. 

when we got home I changed into my favorite black skinny jeans and hopped in Daddy's truck because he wanted me to go look for his dogs with him. (side note: Daddy hunts and he uses dogs. so he lets the dogs out, they run the deer, the deer approach a stand and someone shoots the deer. but then the dogs have to be rounded up and sometimes they don't come home for a few days...and sometimes an alligator enjoys a good meal...just so you know what I'm talking about here). 

usually, going to look for a dog will be a 30-45 minute process...

3 hours later and Dad and I were still sitting in the woods with him sporadically calling the dog and me needing to use the bathroom. it all had clicked that Moms just wanted me out of the house for some unknown reason. 

finally we went home. Thomas and some of the boys were standing in the front yard when we got there. we parked around back, and I told Dad I was gonna walk around front. I did, but the yard was empty, so I awkwardly stood outside, not knowing whether I was wanted inside or not. (it was awkward). 

after a couple of minutes, I was allowed in. I walked into the living room and immediately felt like I was on display. everyone (my parents, seven younger siblings, thomas and Becca) sat there just looking at me. I went and sat down in the only empty seat and said, "uh hi."

daddy brought me a big box that was almost as tall as me. the label said: to Jennifer; from Mom, Dad, Thomas and Becca. I unwrapped it (and I don't believe in saving wrapping paper so it was a quick process) and opened the top. I reached in and pulled out my present. 

a Seagull Entourage Grand Rustic. the most beautiful guitar I've ever played. I looked at it for a few minutes and then hugged Dad and Thomas and Becca and then started sobbing. I hugged Moms while I cried. 

you know from my last post that this has been a rough year for me. the guitar was just another sign of just how much my family loves me. it was all Thomas' idea. he wanted me to have a Seagull and he made sure it happened. 

the day finished up with a video chat with my bestie and supper at my grandparents. 

my 19th birthday was definitely one for the books. 
        and Becca brought me flowers. 

so, here's to the last year of my teens. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

goodbye eighteen

I'm turning nineteen tomorrow. I'm leaving eighteen behind. and honestly, it makes me sad and I have cried about it.

so much has happened over the past year since I turned eighteen. the first few months of being eighteen were the absolute worst months of my life. I cried so much in those first few months, over personal issues, family issues, church issues. issues that no one outside of my immediate family knows about. issues that I couldn't tell other people about and issues that I didn't want to tell other people about. 

but then, when June came along, life got a hundred and eighty times better. in fact, the whole year got better. and I wouldn't change my eighteenth year for anything. because all those tears and rough days taught me lessons that I won't forget. 

they taught me to forgive, to move on, to depend on Jesus when others let you down. they taught me that my family loves me way more than I ever realized, that they will stand by me when the whole world is throwing stones. and honestly, it was worth it. 

bye, eighteen. thanks for the lessons. for the trip to slovakia. for the friendships formed. for the hours worth of good music. for the hugs. for the laughs. for the money made. for the delicious food. for the time spent with my favorite people.

thanks for being better than i had ever imagined.