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.