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! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

a guest post from my favorite Amy.

hiii guys! I'm currently sitting on a bed in Nové Zámky! it's awesome to be back and I'm so happy I could cry. anyway. I have a guest post for you guys today because this girl is amazing. she loves Jesus and has a heart for His people. be sure and show her blog some love! talk to ya later! 


Hi! My name is Amy, and I blog over at Sweet Home Santa Barbara. I'm so delighted to be guest posting for Jennifer while she's on her mission trip. Can't wait to hear all the stories, and praise God for them when she gets back!

When she asked me if I would guest post, she mentioned that it could be a post I had already written. Off I went, searching through my archives, when I landed on this puppy that was originally published in The Charming Magazine. If you follow me, you know that the Lord recently blessed my socks off by leading me into a relationship with this dream boat: 

I loved rereading this post, and I realized that this advice isn't just for dating. It's for anyone, in any season, and it certainly resonated for me. I hope it blesses you, too!


I was the girl who was always looking for a boyfriend. 

The girl who bounced from relationship to relationship, swearing to myself that each man was my future husband. 

I envisioned my future as a young newlywed, always assuming that I would be married in my early twenties. 

Well, here I am, 23 years old and far from marriage. Not even dating anyone currently. 

And you know what? I've learned more about dating in the last year and a half that I've been single, than I ever did in a relationship. 

So coming from someone who likes to learn everything the hard way, I give you my advice on dating:

1. You are enough. 

Yes, you. You are enough. More than enough, even! 

You are wonderful, beautiful, unique, incredible. All on your own. 

A relationship isn't meant to add to what's missing in your life, you are meant to add to the strength of the relationship. And in order to add to the relationship, you have to know your own worth. 

Do you know your own worth? Do you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the universe? Do you know that the King of kings is passionate about having a relationship with you

Once you understand that you are enough on your own, your relationship will no longer be a means of validity or self assurance. It will instead, be a wonderful way for you to contribute your strengths to something bigger than yourself.

2. What do you want?

What are you looking for in a significant other? What are you not looking for in a significant other?

It's incredibly important to establish thisbefore getting involved in dating. Once you find yourself with feelings for a person, you'll be amazed at how much you are willing to overlook.

We all have so many unique qualities. We have many strengths, and we also have weaknesses. It's not a bad thing to be specific about what you are looking for in a relationship. It's a good thing!

Make a list of strengths that you want in a significant other. Make a list of deal breakers. And remind yourself of that list when you start dating people. 

 It may take time to find a person who fits what you're looking for, but it will be worth the wait!

3. Talk, talk, talk.

You've heard it before, I'm sure. It's all about communication. And you want to open those doors as soon as possible. It might be easy to keep things surface level for a bit there, but sooner or later you will face challenging things in your relationship. And you will have to talk about them. 

Talk about the future. If all goes well, that future will include both of you. So where do you see yourself living? Do you want to have kids? If so, how many? 

I'm not saying whip out these serious topics on the first date, but sometime before walking down the aisle is preferable. 

And while on the topic of communication, talk about your feelings. Did something happen that made you upset? Talk about it. 

I will be the first to raise my hand and say that I dread confrontation. But a good communication system is key to developing a strong relationship. So time to talk it out!

4. It's not a competition.

"You are not in competition with your friends."

That advice was given to me not too long ago, and I think it's some of the best dating advice I've ever been given. 

Even though it has nothing to do with a dating relationship, it has everything to do with human nature, in general. We live in a world that tells us we are all competing for the same things. We're competing for the best jobs, the best houses, the best bodies, and the list goes on and on. 

Dating is not a competition. There is no right or wrong timeline involved. Take the pressure off yourself, and realize that everyone's love story is going to look different. The goal is the same for all of us: a happy ending. But we are notcompeting with one another to get there. 

Let go of that competitive nature, and enjoy the fact that we are all walking through this journey together. Laugh over your dating mishaps with your friends, and celebrate with each other as you enter different seasons. 

5. Have fun!

Relationships are not supposed to be stressful. At some points, of course you will encounter stressful moments. But your relationship should not be consistently causing you stress, like mine used to. 

Relax! Remember that you are enough on your own, and trust that things will work out as they're supposed to. 

Once you've both confirmed that this relationship is what you want, rest assured that communicating will carry you through the hard stuff. 

Enjoy your relationship! Remember thatit's not a competition, and just have fun getting to know one another. 

Dating can be stressful, but it can also be fun. Focus on the fun

And last but not least, make sure that you enjoy this season! Because it won't last forever :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

this is a good story. you should read it.

let me tell you a story (about a man named Jed...)

once upon a time I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. on March 8th, 2014 in order to finish a short story. the story was called, quite simply, "jackson and june." (no capital letters were used in this story cause it was late and the words came way too fast).

jackson and june is the story of a boy and girl who spend the summer together in a small town called Camden. jackson is funny, sweet, kind, polite, everything you would expect a perfect boy to be. june is sweet, pretty, and likes coffee, books and wildflowers. in the end, you find out that june is mute, but for the entire story, all you know is that they swim and read books and have a jolly good time together.

this short story is different from anything I've ever written because there's so much that isn't told. I never really describe the characters physical features, or tell you anything about their backgrounds; and at the end of the story, you are left wondering what ever happens to them. but oddly, its the best one I've ever written.

ANYWAY...on to my original story....

last night, I was at Chick-fil-a  my home away from home, with Jessie, Holly and Abby, (sister and two best friends). Holly stepped up to the counter to place her order and I stood to her left, at a different register. when the guy at Holly's register spoke to her, I thought to myself, "oh my gosh, he has jackson's voice! that's how I hear it in my head!" so I looked over at this guy and blinked several times because he LOOKED just like jackson, and as he took Holly's order, he WAS jackson. his mannerisms, the grin, everything. it was him.

at this point I'm like 'whoa! so crazy that he looks and talks like him!' and then I placed my order (#5 eight count with a large cherry coke, in case you wondered) and as the girl made my cherry coke, I looked over at the guy and happened to see his name tag for the first time...

the end.

just kidding. his name was jackson. at this point, my whole world flipped upside down. I legit freaked out on the inside and took my cherry coke and food. I walked over to Holly, Abby and Jessie and just said, "that dude is Jackson! from jackson and june! it's him!!!" they (all having read the story) turned and looked at him (subtly of course) and were like "omg it totally is!"

basically my mind was completely blown. and it still is. a dude I thought I had completely made up is now working at the Chick-fil-a in my town. it's scary. my sister who is infinitely braver than me had the guts to go up to the counter and ask Jackson for his picture because, (as she told him after he was like "ummm whyyyyyy?")," my sister wrote a story about a guy and you are the guy. name, looks, everything. you are him!"

through much peer pressure they made me talk to him, because "this might never happen again! you HAVE to talk to him!!" and I went to the counter to "get a refill" and managed to say "so are you new here?" and he said "I am new here" (insert Jackson's adorable grin here) and I said, "I thought so. I'm in here a lot and I usually notice new people" (insert one more grin). then I thanked him for my refill and he said "my pleasure" with one more grin for good measure.

I was so done with everything at this point. I'm pretty sure I was lame to be with after that, because my mind was so boggled that I literally just kept saying "what the heck? he's real! oh my gosh!!" over and over again. sorry Abby, Holly and Jessie.

anyway. that is the story of how, on June 27th, I met one of my story characters in a chick-fil-a in Beaufort, South Carolina. still not exactly sure how the heck it happened, but it did and even though it's really freaky, it's pretty darn cool.

and sorry random chick-fil-a dude named jackson for probably freaking you out by taking your picture and asking you questions and being weird. thanks for being cool about it!

happy weekend friends!

Friday, June 20, 2014


hi friends!

so it's been 3678162 years since I blogged and I have 0 excuses.

now that we've gotten that out of the way...I do miss y'all and your comments and all that, and I fully intend to get back into it. I'm working on a couple of posts right now (3 drafts) that will hopefully go up next week. hopefully. don't shoot me if it doesn't happen though!

as a little catch-up:

I leave in only 19 days for Slovakia! the excitement is real, y'all. I cannot wait. it's gonna be epic, and of course I'll tell you all about it when I return. in the mean time, if you like, you can follow me on Instagram (cause that's what the cool kids do) and then you'll see lots of pictures of what's going on in my little life. (IG-jennifernoel94)
that's where you'll find me. i post cool stuff. 

I've been working and reading and stuff lately + I did VBS two weeks in a row. (youth one week and kids the next). that was great fun. we have some best friends (guys. they're legit the best) who invited us to their vbs' so that's where we did that. the end of the two weeks, I was so tired I swore I would never get up early again.
some of my favorite people on earth <3
I am finally graduating high school in December. or at least that's when I'm getting my diploma anyway. I only have to complete two more courses and I'll be finished. but...I'll be taking my sweet time on those last two courses because, hello, I have a social life. just kidding.
I'm too cool. hehehe.

after I get back from Slovakia, I'm gonna devote my time to four things: blogging, finishing my novel and eating-sleeping. because eating and sleeping are my favorite things. :)

okay that's all for now. love you all and I'll be back soon!

have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

summer missions trips

It's been over a year since I sat in a room with a man who I had only met once before and shook his hand. That meeting led to me taking paperwork to fill out, which led to letters being written and sent out to family and friends, which led to checks coming in. Those checks led me to climb on a airplane for the first time ever and travel to a country that I had previously never heard of. All because of one 45 minute meeting. That meeting changed my life.

The trip to Slovakia was definitely life-changing, and this summer, I have been given the opportunity to go back. I jumped at it. I knew right away that I wanted to go back and be with those people again, doing Jesus’ work and loving on the kids in camp.

But, after I go to Slovakia, from July 9-20, I get to do something totally amazing: I get to go to Romania from July 23-August 3. We’ll be in a city called Cluj-Napoca, and doing a teen camp. It’ll be different from the camp in Slovakia, where it's mostly children. To say I’m excited would be a huge understatement. I cannot wait to visit a new country, meet new people and see how God works.

You know, it was obvious in so many ways that God wanted me to go to Slovakia last summer. So obvious that no one questioned it. This summer, because I’m going to Slovakia and Romania, the price was super high, and there were some doubts on if it was a wise thing to do. If it was worth other people’s money for me to go. So, I prayed about it, and God wouldn’t let me say that I wasn’t going to either place, but what he did make clear was that I could pay for some of this trip myself. That’s what I intend to do, but I’ll be honest, the trip isn’t cheap. For me to go to Slovakia and Romania, it will cost $4,000.00. That’s a lot. I’m going to pay at least $1,400.00 of that myself, which leaves $2,600 to raise. The deadline for the money to come in is June 30th. Last year, I needed $2,400.00 and God provided that through 32 people. And, if you were one of those 32 people, thank you for your help in spreading Jesus’ name around the world. You blessed many people through your support. I trust God. Nothing is impossible with him.

More than the money, though, I need the prayers. I will be away from home for 23 days. That means putting my own personal preferences on the backburner. It means working in a camp with kids who speak a different language and who test your patience sometimes. It's loving on kids who don’t get that love anywhere else. It’s sharing with people who just need Jesus. And it's simply not easy. When Jesus gave us the great commission, he didn't promise that it would be, he just commanded us to spread his name.

So pray for me, friends. Lord knows I’ll need it. Pray that I’ll be equipped for every good deed.

If you are interested in supporting me financially, you can send me a check. (Email me for an address!) Make the checks payable to Community Bible Church of Beaufort, and you can put “Jennifer Mole-missions” on the memo line or if you would rather use paypal, email me! And if you have any questions at all, please email me at I’d love to hear from you.

love you, friends. 

"For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Romans 10:13-15)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Obama, politics, government, and other things i know nothing about...

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..." (1 Timothy 2:1-5)

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." (Romans 13:1)

this post has been a long time coming. I honestly have put off writing it for months. but I guess it's time to write it now. 

if there is one thing in the world that I would classify as my biggest pet peeve it would be this:

when "Christians" trash-talk the government, president, Washington...etc...

why is that okay? why is it okay to slam Obama? why is it okay to continually share articles trash-talking the government? why is it okay to say horrible things about another human being? why? 

see, it is in our nature to think that we are better than everyone else. ever since the beginning, we have this thought that we are so lofty and know best and just have it all figured out. (news flash, people, you aren't as smart you think you are...) because we think that we're so great, we think its okay to trash talk other people...

it's not okay. 

in the book of Mark, the Pharisees wanted Jesus to basically slam the taxes Caesar had placed on them. this is what happened...
"And they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap Him in His talk. And they came and said to him, 'Teacher we know that you are true and do not care about anyone's opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?' But knowing their hypocrisy, He said to them, 'Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.' And they brought one. And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?' They said to him, 'Caesar's.' So Jesus said to them, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' And they marveled at Him." (Mark 12:13-17)

Jesus just blew them out of the water. He doesn't talk about how much the taxes are. He doesn't talk about how much He hates having to pay taxes. He doesn't say that its unfair. He doesn't call Caesar names. He just pays the taxes. He says, "give to the government what belongs to them and give to God what is His." Jesus paid taxes even though He is the Son of God, and He did it without comment.

of all the people on earth, it would've been okay for Jesus to say something negative about the government. He is king over everything. and yet, He says nothing.

I'm not saying that I think Obama is a good president. I don't claim to know anything about politics. I sin, too. I'd just like it if my Christian friends would take an extended absence from their job of trash-talking the president/government. maybe even a permanent absence....

please remember that the prayers we offer for our leadership are good and pleasing in the sight of God and Jesus. next time you're feeling like posting something negative about the government, maybe think about that, and say a prayer instead. you just might feel better afterward.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

a little hello

I'm at home with a family who've been suffering from a slight stomach virus. I didn't get it so I'm happy about that. fingers crossed that I stay well.

anyway. I have some blog posts brewing in my head that will be up sooner or later but just wanted to pop in and say hi and show you some pictures. hope you're doing well. 

have a lovely week, friend. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

january 15, 2014

hey grandmama,

its been awhile. exactly five years today since the last time we hung out and talked. five years. a whole lot can happen in that amount of time, you know. although, where you are, that's no time at all. I bet you're having a blast. man, I wish I could have seen your reunion with granddaddy. bet y'all are both having a blast.

I guess I've changed since you left. being fourteen is different, very different, from being nineteen. its weird though, because I still feel the same. things never really change on the inside. I'm still the same old Jen, and I guess I always will be.

remember your strand of pearls that you left me? I gave them to Moms for her birthday a couple of years ago. she's always wanted some and I knew it would make you happy. I can still wear them if I want to. thanks for giving them to me, by the way. and my china. its packed away at Mimi's house for safe-keeping. I can't wait to get it out and in my kitchen cabinets someday.

I got a guitar for my birthday last month. its a Seagull Entourage Grand Rustic. its a beauty. I can play it so-so. I'm nothing spectacular. I wish you could hear me play it. I hope they have guitars in heaven. me and Thomas can jam together. I'm just teaching myself and Thomas helps me out when I need it.
I had to quit piano lessons in late 2012. I took a break because Thomas and Becca got married in September 2012, and when I was ready to go back, Mrs. Cuttino had gotten sick. she has Alzheimer's and Mr. Cuttino eventually had to put her into a home. I miss her a lot. she reminded me of you, except she was a lot more scatter-brained. hahaha. I love that woman. you were right when you said that time that she opened me up and let the talent out.

I still play...maybe not as often...and its not the same anymore. I've always loved it, but at the same time, its an emotional thing now. I write my own music. its an escape I guess. kind of like writing stories.

speaking of writing stories, I'm writing a book about you and granddaddy. its historical fiction because I didn't know enough facts for it to be a biography. I honestly have had so many questions while writing. Uncle Bob and Aunt Berta have helped me out as much as they can. and one day I went to Double Heads Baptist Church and sat on the ledge like you did the day after you got married. why in the world did granddaddy call you Dutchy in his letters? just curious.

Michael and Heather got married in 2011, and they're pretty awesome together. Heather brings out the best in Michael. you'd be proud. him and Thomas work together now, saving windows and roofs everywhere. haha. oh and I'm an aunt now. his name's Zeke and he came in April 2012. he's the best. you would have loved him. he has so much personality and he's smart as a whip. they all say that he's just like Michael was as a baby.

I went to Slovakia last summer. it was life-changing. I spent twelve days telling people about Jesus and how much he loves them. I told a group of gypsies about you, about how much you loved Jesus and us. I'm going back this summer, and then I'm going to Romania. I can't wait. I'm quite the world-traveler.

I never really got to say goodbye to you. maybe its best that way. I was a wreck after you left. I felt guilty, I thought that somehow it was my fault. I wish we could go back and do it over again. I'm know that you wouldn't want me to go through that. I'm sorry for being angry at myself and you and God. I'm cool now though. I quit listening to Satan's lies.

I miss you though, every single day, and I can't wait to see you again.

love you.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

on being single (a different kinda post)

can I just be honest with y'all for a minute? I can just see you grinning, maybe even shaking your head and saying, "when are you ever not honest, Jen?" very true.

okay then. so here's the deal........

being single is hard. 

let's just not water it down or try to make light of it. it. is. hard. 

it's lots of loneliness, and being sad when you watch certain movies or see cute couples going on dates and being in love, and it's lots of wishing and dreaming and praying and hurting and it's a lot of tears. am I right? 

I feel like we are taught that we are sinning if we are honestly just depressed by our singleness. can I tell you something? feeling lonely is not a sin. let me say that again...

wanting a guy to be your best friend and sing to you and play with your hair and call you to tell you he loves you and give you hugs and buy you food and just be there for you is not. wrong. it's not. 

please read this:

"Then the Lord God said, 'it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'

...he made it into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, 'this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'

therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

do you know why you were created? do you know why women were created? we were created to be a helper to a man. a helper to our man. not just any man. a special man. the man he has for you. how could it be a sin to long to be what we were created to be? 

let me tell you, I have spent countless nights, crying, simply because I'm "single." I've fallen silent in conversations because someone started talking about how great their boy is, and I don't know who my boy is. I've said "oh, I'm single" in answer to that awful question people ask. those two words, I'm single, are like a knife in the heart sometimes, aren't they? I've watched my friends fall in love with great guys and be so so happy and I've been happy for them, but at the same time, wished it was me. I've gotten angry at God because (direct quote from my journal) "where the heck is MY guy??" I've watched my brothers with their wives and thought how lucky my sisters-in-law are, because they're married to their best friend. and you know what?

I'm not watering this down. 

being single is hard. it hurts. it's just not easy. 

so why? why aren't you in a relationship? why hasn't that guy pursued you? why do you not have a guy? what's wrong? why why why?

now, read this, because there is hope:
“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine." (Ezekiel 16:8 ESV)

wondering what the heck that has to do with anything? let me explain:

one night I was really struggling with being alone and just pouring that out to Jesus. I grabbed my bible and randomly opened it and looked at Ezekiel 16:8. and it spoke to me. 

"behold, you were at the age for love..."

God is not sitting there, just chilling, not caring about our lives. he cares so much. he cares so ridiculously much that he crushed his own son for us. he is watching, and darling, when you are at the age for love, love will come to you.  it won't hold back, it won't run away, it won't be like your 5th grade crush. it will be beautiful. it will make your heart pound and your eyes water just thinking about how good God is. 

someday...maybe this week, maybe later on this year, maybe 5-6 years down the road...he knows. he cares. and he loves you so much. 

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11 ESV)

he doesn't hold back when he gives to us. if he would give his own son, then you better believe that he'll send you a guy to sweep you off your feet.

don't give up, girl. don't lose hope. keep smiling. because someday is coming and it's gonna be pretty doggone amazing. 

"I might have to wait, I'll never give up
I guess it's half timing, and the other halfs luck.
wherever you are, whenever it's right
you'll come outta nowhere and into my life

and I know that we can be so amazing
and being in your life is gonna change me
and now I can see every single possibility
and someday I know that it'll all turn out
you'll make me work so we can work to work it out and
I promise you, kid, I'll give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet."
Haven't Met You Yet~Michael Bublé

(do yourself a favor and go listen to Dear No One by Tori Kelly. it fits this post really well).

love you.