Sunday, August 30, 2009

the song playing in my mind..

Can't close my eyes
They're wide awake
Every hair on my body
has got a thing for this place
Oh empty my heart
I've got to make room for this feeling
so much bigger than me

It couldn't be any more beautiful - I can't take it in.

Weightless in love...unravelling
For all that's to come
and all that's ever been
We're back to the board
with every shade under the sun
Let's make it a good one

It couldn't be any more beautiful 
It couldn't be any more beautiful
I can't take it in

All that I wanted. All that I ever needed.
All that I wonder. So beautiful.

Can't Take It In - Imogen Heap

Friday, August 28, 2009

napping can be a very spiritual thing...

Today, I took a 4-hour nap.

I woke up early this morning to bring one of my freshman girls to school. (Her parents went out of town for their anniversary, so I spent the night at her house and stuff. We watched Hannah Montana. We laughed. I cried. It was fun. Okay, back to what I was saying...)

So this morning around 7:30am, I was sitting in front of Grissom High School (having flashbacks to my HS days). I dropped Sarah off for school, dropped Hannah Montana off at the Red Box, and then headed home to my apartment. 

I had things to do.
Lots to do actually.
With so much going on at work, the state of my home is a little disheveled.
Laundry is piled up in my floor.
I should really vacuum again.
There is some pile up of both dishes and garbage in the kitchen.
I need to get all my bills ready to pay.
And I have been doing a lot of reading, so I wanted to finish the last chapter of my book on spiritual warfare.

However, I went to sleep.
And I slept.
And slept.
And slept.
And it was good.

When I finally dragged myself off the couch a little before noon, I didn't feel any guilt. I felt refreshed. 
I really needed that sleep.

You see, Friday is my day off. And let's be honest, most Fridays I am not honoring my off day. I am going into the office to finish something or prepare for something... Some weekends there is more going on than others. (Last weekend, for example.) But, especially recently, I have found some reason that I need to be there.  

I tend to pat myself on the back for being such a "diligent worker" that I would go in on my off day. But I've come to realize that while I may be pleased with myself, but I know someone who may not be so pleased.

Check this out:

"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no on will fall by following their example of disobedience." Hebrews 4:9-11

I need to be honoring my day of rest. It is the day set aside for me to be obedient to the commandment & example that God sets before us. 

So see what I mean?

Sometimes napping can be a very spiritual thing.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

i have a confession...

my name is jenna.
and i struggle with an addiction.
to diet coke.

It's true. For some of you, this comes as a shock. For others, you have seen this coming.. For those of you that have known me for a while, you know this is nothing new. I have been fighting this addiction for years.

I haven't had one yet today, and I already have a headache. It is just 10:30 am! 

I can drink an entire case, by myself, in less than a week. 

I know I can overcome this. I've done it before. Once I suffer through the withdraws the first couple of days, it gets  a lot easier. 

But here's the problem.

I don't want to quit.

Can anyone relate?! Am I alone in this?! 

(and is it really THAT bad?)

Monday, August 24, 2009

help me! because everything is still in boxes...

Remember that time, a couple months ago, that I was talking about redecorating my office? That goal has basically been on the back-burner since May. I knew it would be. Summertime is crazy in my line of work. It was completely expected. But now it is fall, and sure, life hasn't slowed down any. at. all. But still... I at least want to get my books out of the boxes!

Let me take a moment to update you on the progress.

My office walls used to be dark blueish gray, and now they are white. Check.

I found some awesome vintage chairs to use as additional seating. Check.

My desk was way too big for the small space it was in, so I made the trip to Ikea in Atlanta, and brought back the desk and chair I wanted. Check. 

Here comes the part where I need your help.

I need some shelves. And I think I want them to look like the shelves in the picture below.  White. Simple. And covering the wall behind my desk. (It's a small wall.) 

Here is my question. Does anyone know where I can find some shelves like these that meet the following criteria:

1) They don't cost a fortune, and
2) They don't come from Ikea. (I don't want to drive 4 hours or pay twice the amount to ship them.)

Any suggestions?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

i have found myself a hiding place...

 "I love you, O LORD, my strength. 
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise."

Psalm 18:1-3

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

today i will...

... be positive in the way I see things. Even in the things that appear to be negative, I will look on the bright side. I will seek out the silver lining

... give God the glory. In all I do, I will point to Him. Without Him, I couldn't do anything. He is the one that is at work in me, and He is the one working through me. All the glory belongs to Him.

... keep my eyes open. I want to see what is really going on around me, not just my immediate perception of things. So I will keep my eyes open. See from a point of view outside of myself. Keep a heavenly perspective

... smile more. 

... love without boundaries. Keep the walls down. Let my heart overflow with the love I experience in Christ.

,,, work diligently. Be efficient in how I use my time. Have passion for the work I am doing, knowing that the effects of my words and actions can go further than I will ever know..,

"Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O LORD my God,
with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever."
Psalm 86:11-12

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

wish i could be there...

I'm with Annie, I so wish I could be there for this.
It makes me miss where I came from too.

Praise God
 for the things He has done,
for the things He is doing,
and for the things He will continue to do.

Want to know more about Project Montgomery? You can find more information here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

the bad part about going to the beach...

... is having to leave! 
I had so much fun on my beach vacation last week! I went with 2 other wonderful youth minister girls - Beth & Abbey. Beth & I interned together at Mayfair back in 2005. That summer, we met Abbey at Impact; she was also working as an intern for a church. Now, just a few years later, we are all three working full time in youth ministry. Crazy, the things our God works out!
(me & Beth)

(and me & Abbey)

So anyways, early last Monday morning we loaded up my Vibe and headed to Gulf Shores for 4 nights. It was absolutely wonderful. We spend our days by the pool (that we had all to ourselves) and our nights out on the town! (Don't worry, by "out on the town," I basically mean eating. And shopping. And maybe driving down the coast with the windows down singing along with the Black Eyed Peas at the top of our lungs. Don't judge. haha). One night, Amber (one of the children's interns from the summer) even joined us for dinner at Lulu's. 

Curious as to where we ate? Here's the lowdown on our dining experience:

Night 1 - Gulf Island Grill. Probably my favorite meal of the whole trip. I don't remember exactly what I ordered, but I know it was fish, there was lemon butter involved, and parmesan. Oh yes. Good stuff.

Night 2 - Lulu's. Jimmy Buffet's sister's place. It was such a fun place! The wait was SO long, but worth it. There was a fun play area for little kids (where I secretly wanted to play), but warning for parents. The children playing were covered in water and sand. Don't bring them in their nice clothes. haha

Night 3 - Lambert's. A favorite. But honestly, I don't love the food. I am never hungry enough to actually feel like I've eaten my money's worth, and the food really isn't that spectacular. But let's face it. I love bread. And I love that they will throw it to you from across the room. Plus it is just a really fun place to eat! (There is usually a very long wait, but we got there at 8:30. No wait for us!)

Night 4 - The Hangout. I had never been here before, and it didn't disappoint. Good burger, and great place to.. well.. hangout! haha. I did almost have an anxiety attack when they called people who were celebrating their birthday and made them dance on the table. It wasn't even my birthday, but I DID NOT want someone to decide to come up with some reason to make me get on a table! There was a little Cupid Shuffle that went down, but that all stayed floor level - not as scary, and there was live music, which is always a plus.

I loved getting some time to relax and recover from the crazy summer, and really, I couldn't have been with a better group of girls from such a thing! Youth ministry is one of the most incredible jobs in the world, but it is also exhausting, and there are just some things you can't understand about it until you find yourself in it. We were able to share ideas and stories of the incredible things God is doing, vent about frustrations, seek counsel from one another, find accountability, be inspired by one another's strengths, and find comfort in the fact that you aren't the only one with weaknesses. 

This trip was much needed. I feel so refreshed. 

Beth & Abbey -
I love you girls! You are both such blessings in my life! Praise God for what He has done and will continue to do!

Wanna see more pictures? You can find the rest of them in my Facebook album. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

afternoon inspiration...

First of all, this incredible woman. I always find her to be indescribably inspirational.

And some other various thoughts and Scriptures...

"Keep the view from the throne. If we will look at life's experiences from God's perspective and what His Word says, then we will not be deceived by Satan who is seeking to defeat us by his lies, distorting reality from God's kingdom perspective." Spiritual Warfare: The Battle for God's Glory by Jerry Rankin.

"So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel, but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8

"But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may live properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one." 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12

"He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

letting the walls crumble...

I never thought I was the kind of person that put up walls...

I've been told that I am an open book, incredibly easy to read. I wear my heart on my sleeve. As much as I hated hearing it (I hoped that I was more of a mystery than that), I knew it was true. Just talk to some of my closest friends from school. They can tell you how I am feeling in any given situation based where I am looking with my eyes or what tone (or accent) I am using when speaking. I am quite transparent. And it's not just that, I have always been very quick with my affections. I would leap into friendships and with my crushes, I would certainly fall hard. I have always had a desire to be known... to be understood... and that desire runs deep. 

I still have that desire, but over time, I have grown cautious. 
I have turned to my defenses. 
I have built walls.

Maybe I grew tired of being vulnerable. 
Maybe I stopped trusting people... trusting them completely, that is. 
Maybe I just got tired of being misunderstood.
The more my expectations weren't met... 
the more I found myself "on my own"... 
the thicker the walls got.

I don't like the walls. 

And I don't believe we belong trapped in them.

I believe the Evil one lurks in the shadow of those walls.
The Deceiver takes refuge there.
And from the shadow of my walls, he attacks me.

He sees when I don't feel appreciated, and he whispers thoughts of doubt.
He sees when I have felt disrespected, and he taunts me with feelings of inadequacy. 
He sees my busy schedule, and he floods my mind with all the things left unfinished, people left untouched. He makes me think I have to do it all.
He sees when I long for meaningful friendships & deep spiritual community, and he fools me into thinking that the walls are too thick. That we are just too different. That I will never experience those relationships like before.
He sees when I am exhausted from a long trip, and he finds ways to turn that exhaustion into a deeper weariness.
He even sees when I am excited after a powerful night of worship, and he is quick to rob me of the joy by pointing out what I think is missing.

I could list so many more examples. I am not even talking about one particular area of life...
The walls cast shadows everywhere.

And I don't think I am alone in this.

So tonight, I am going to be bold.
I am going to let go of the walls.
I don't want them anymore.
Tonight, they crumble.

And as they give way, 
I find that I can breathe a little easier.

With these walls gone, 
I can walk without such burden.
I can love without boundaries.
And I can have a spirit of joy that won't be broken by circumstances and disappointments.

The evil one will not rob me of these things any longer.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10

Praise the God that brings victory to those that give their lives over to Him. Praise the King that always overcomes the evil one, no matter how sneaky the deceiver will try to be. Praise the Son that gave His life in exchange for mine, and the Spirit that supplies the peace I feel tonight.