Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stripped Away...

I haven't blogged in a really long time. I could say that I have been too busy lately, but that would be a lie. I could say that things in my life were going so great that blogging took a backseat, but that would be a lie, too. The truth of the matter is that I haven't been inspired. At all. I have laid in bed the last few nights thinking about exactly what I wanted to write. This post today is serving as a way of getting myself out of this deep, dark pit I have been dwelling in for a long time now. There is something freeing about getting your thoughts written down. The last few months have been...can I say "hell"...because that is what it has felt like. There were some things that have gone on in my life that have caused me to truly understand what it means to be heartbroken and hurt. I mean I have been hurt before, but never has my heart felt like it was ripped out of my chest. And to add to my personal dilemmas, so many of the people who I love so dearly have been dealing with intense pain. It is hard to understand. It is hard to even begin to move forward when you are stuck in a place where everything seems pointless. That is the place I have been in. For the first time in my life, I have been in a place where I have started to question everything. My faith. My trust in people. My trust in myself. God's plan. The point of my life. I have questioned the significance of everything. I know in my head that we are to trust in the Lord regardless of what is being thrown our way, and I will be the first to remind other people of that who are hurting. But let me tell you, when you are the one who is in pain, it is incredibly hard to cling to that. Where I have gone incredibly wrong is that I have somehow decided that if I become numb to everything going on around me, I will be okay. And everyday I pretend that everything is going wonderfully, life is amazing, and that I am STRONG. The truth is I am broken into a million pieces. I am stripped down to nothingness. And I am tired of acting like I am "Super Christian." And now that I have finally admitted this to myself, I feel God again. I feel Hope again. I feel like God is doing a BIG thing in my life and the lives of my family and friends. I truly believe that God loves us most when we are nothing. His strength is made evident in my weakness. And I am as weak as I have ever been. I know that I have a long road ahead of me. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of "whys" and "what-ifs". There is still pain in my own heart, and all around me. But I finally feel Hope again. I am excited to see what God is going to do. And I trust that He is going to do something. And soon. He is moving. And it is going to be epic. Be blessed, my friends! Jenn

Monday, April 4, 2011

Praise You...

I have to say that I love this song, "Shackels" by Mary Mary...I heard it today and it struck a chord in me.
Lord, take the shackels off my feet so I can dance...and PRAISE YOU! Despite the "junk" I am facing...YOU are still good. You are still sovereign. And You still deserve ALL of my praise.
I don't want to miss out on God's mercies and goodness because I am stuck wondering WHY...I want to embrace the place He has set my feet...and I want to PRAISE Him for leading my way- no matter where that path takes me.
"I should praise YOU through my circumstance..."
Be blessed! Jenn

Monday, March 28, 2011

Promises, Promises

Today the words of God seem to sum it up much better than my words ever could. Clinging to these promises EVERYDAY and remembering that my God is much bigger than anything this world could throw at me. Praying you will be encouraged...
  • "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." --1 Peter 5:10
  • "Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perserverance. Let perserverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." --James 1:2-4
  • "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance; perserverance, character; and character, hope. And HOPE does NOT disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." --Romans 5:2-5
  • "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps NO record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres. Love never fails." --1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Be blessed! Jenn

Thursday, February 3, 2011

God of the Impossible

This morning on my commute to work, I was praying for some very special people, and it hit me that I have been underestimating the power of God. How often do we look at situations in our lives or lives of the people we love, or even just the world and think "there really is no hope"? We think we should just suck it up and accept what is going on around us because in our finite minds, there is no impossible way for it to change. Lately, there has been a particular situation on my mind. In order for things to be "better," it would literally take an amazing act of God. A miracle to fix it. I found myself already accepting that what was done, was done, and nothing could change it. I pray everyday about what is going on. But then I realized that I have gone about it all wrong. Instead of accepting what is in the making, I should be praying for the impossible to happen. Even if it isn't God's will- HE IS CAPABLE! The Lord is able to do all things, even if my brain can never figure out how in the world He is going to do it! If we don't have hope in the Lord's power, what are we left with? Trust in the Lord--and believe that what seems to be impossible to us, is possible to Him! Be encouraged, friends! Jenn

Monday, January 31, 2011

Stuck in a Rut...

Can I be completely honest? The last month(s), I feel like I have been stuck. Do you ever feel like that? I have been struggling with doubt, self-image, being a good wife and friend, sadness, stress...etc. etc. The list could quite frankly go on and on and on. I guess you could say I have been a little down and out. I think this post can go hand in hand with my last post about Satan's stance in our lives. Not only do I get distressed with the problems I have going on in my own life, but I am so burdened by other people's problems, too. I tend to dwell on the things I have absolutely NO control over. Satan feeds into that...this I know for sure. Sometimes I feel as if he is sucking the energy right out of me. WHY DO I KEEP LETTING SATAN STEAL MY JOY??? I don't want to wake up every morning just wishing I could go back to sleep. I don't want to constantly feel like I am a failure when I know in God's eyes, I am a treasure. I don't want to give up hope in situations where I know that God has the power to change things. I don't want to worry about every detail of my life. I just don't... So, today, I am pledging to myself that I will let the "joy of the Lord BE MY STRENGTH." I am a child of God, and His spirit of JOY floods my soul. I am choosing JOY!
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in YOUR presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." --Psalm 16:11
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." --Psalm 28:7
Be encouraged!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Satan's Death Grip...

I realize by reading the name of my blog post you may be thinking..."Oh, this should be interesting." I am writing from my heart today. The Lord has brought so much to light in my own life the last few months, and it's time I share what He has reminded me of. When you hear the word "Satan" or maybe "The Devil," what do you think of? I must admit that although I am aware of the Devil's "realness," I often dismiss him as the little red guy with the pointy ears and tail. Sometimes, he is more like a mystical character in my head. Just a make believe character. In the last few months, I have been reminded of Satan's "realness." In my own little world, I forgot the power Satan can have over people's lives. I have seen him at work lately--and it troubles me. I have even seen him creeping into my own mind- filling me with fear and lies. I am writing this post in hopes that we will all be aware of Satan's deception in our lives. The Bible tells us in John 10:10 that the theif comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Notice that it doesn't just say that Satan is coming to mess with your life a bit or make you miserable for a couple of days. It says he is out to DESTROY our lives. Everyday we face spiritual warfare, and it is REAL. If we are in the Word, and living like Christ has called us to, our "deception" radars will help keep us from falling into the grip of Satan. We must remain on our guard every day. In Ephesians 4:27 it says, "Do not give the devil a foothold." Satan can weasel his way into our lives if we even let him in just a bit and before you know it, you will end up on a road you really don't want to be on. I will leave you with this verse: "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." --Ephesians 6: 11-13 Be Encouraged and Blessed! Jenn

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I did it!

Well, friends, I realize I haven't posted in several months. Life has been a crazy whirlwind since I started teaching again, but I am ready to be more diligent about blogging! This year has started off with me accomplishing a goal that I honestly thought would never be possible... This past summer, my athletic husband somehow convinced me to train and run in the Disney Half Marathon. Yes, that is 13.1 miles. Now, I will say that I am pretty decent at most sports, but I have never been much of a runner. Really, the thought of running...ME running...was enough to make me laugh out loud. We had to register several months in advance , so I decided to go for it. We registered, and there was no turning back! The training started, and honestly most days it was a challenge for me to get motivated about going for a run. In the beginning, a mile was tough for me (yes, I know that is pitiful...). As time went on, I began to get into better shape, and my pace picked up. There were the rare days that I really enjoyed my run, but most days were a struggle. There were days when I was defeated and thought "I can never run 13.1 miles, I should just give up." If it weren't for the $140 entry fee I had already paid, I may have :) Prayer got me through many of my runs. The day finally came for the race- last Saturday. I was nervous, and anxious, and excited. When we got to Disney at 3:30 in the morning (yes, I said 3:30-that's not a typo), there were people EVERYWHERE! I was so pumped. There were over 27,000 people running that day. It was amazing to me. There were people of all shapes and sizes, some professional runners, some power walkers, and some people just like me. Fireworks went off, and our race was on its way. I was amazed at how much FUN I was having. I can honestly say I didn't start feeling tired until about the 9th or 10th mile. I couldn't believe my body was running like that. It could have been the adrenaline, or the loud music, or all of the people running beside me-but I was having a blast! The last few miles were rough. My good ole cheerleading knees were starting to ache and my feet were tired, but I kept pushing through. It was the most amazing feeling in the world when I saw the finish line, and crossed it! I was seriously about to bawl my eyes out because I had finished! I DID IT! This may sound crazy, but this race changed my life. This was a time in my life that I decided to do something that intimidated me, and challenged me, and I was successful! It just makes me wonder what else I am capable of! The Lord was so incredibly faithful to help me through the race. I give Him the glory! This year, do something that challenges you- I mean really challenges you- and go for it! You are capable of anything you set you mind to! Be blessed! Jenn