Monday, November 29, 2010

the blessing of encouragement...

Dianna (the most wonderful administrative assistant that any ministry could ever ask for) sent me this email early last week, and it has been oh so encouraging to me. Because I have had to reference it several times since receiving it, I figured I would share it with you all.  It's short, but oh so reassuring!


When you feel overwhelmed...

Doorknob photo by andycoan (flickr creative commons)Demands knock on my door.
Burdens beckon me to answer.
The to-do list stretches for miles.
I whisper, "I feel overwhelmed."
And in the stillness it seems I hear...
"Child, open your heart to Me instead of the demands of the day.
Lay those burdens at My feet, not on your shoulders.
Let go of your list and dare to embrace My grace.
I do not require you to beoverwhelmed.
I enable you to overcome.
And with Me, you always will."
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Dianna found this here if you are looking for more little bits of encouragement for your day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

speaking in spirals...


I am experiencing one of those lovely moments. 
The kind of moment that can't quite be summarized in words. 
Not even eloquent words. 
It's not any one particular emotion, and not any one thing in particular has led me here. 
I will try to describe my thoughts, but you'll have to excuse me.
There is no order to these things I am about to write.
Just my random thoughts.
I know I will be speaking in spirals.


Colors seemed more vibrant today.
I give the rain credit.
Well, the rain and the One who made the rain.
Bursts of color all over the place.
Each with it's own magic, capturing my gaze.
The smallest, simplest things were the most enchanting.

There's something about Regina Spektor's music.
The sounds usher in a haunting nostalgia.
Haunting, but comforting as well.
It's bittersweet and beautiful.
Memories are special like that.
And so is the autumn time.
This particular song has the slideshow of my mind in sepia.

I haven't been writing on this blog very much lately.
And you'll notice the past few posts have been lacking in depth.
I apologize to those of you that rely on this thing to know what's happening in my life.
(Those of you that actually know me.)
I have not been very informative.
Sometimes there is just too much to say.
Too much to process.
And to try to put it all in a reader-friendly form just takes too much effort.
At least for me.
Right now.

A couple of months ago, I picked up the book, Captivating, by John & Stasi Eldridge.
A mentor of mine told me to read it.
Honestly, I used to roll my eyes at that book.
I thought it was going to be like all of those other cheesy books out there...
It wasn't.
It was a bit life changing, actually.
I wasn't expecting that.
It's amazing, some of the ways God speaks to us.

Speaking of the voice of God, I've been hearing Him a lot.
Over the past two weeks, He has been speaking through the music of Lisa Gungor.
Well, she and her husband.
"From the Ground"
"Beautiful Things"
"When You Come"
"Please Be My Strength"
Those four are my favorites.
I highly recommend.

Remember a couple of months ago when I posted a verse from Habbakuk?
I've been keeping my eyes open.
I've been watching.
And I've been amazed.
I have a feeling He isn't finished blowing my mind yet.
Good stuff.

I think I am ready to put my laptop down and just enjoy this peace for a little while.
It's a pleasant thing, to rest in Him.

Monday, October 11, 2010

and he sings...


Zachary Levi is by far my biggest tv crush. 
This is no secret. 
I, however, had no idea the boy could sing.
Do I love him even more?
Most definitely.

Monday, September 13, 2010

so my lil newlywed sister has a blog now...

And I think you should check it out here
While were are talking about my dear little sister,
why don't I share with you some of her beautiful pictures!
Enjoy!



Karissa & her husband, Kyle.
Aren't they just absolutely, perfectly adorable?!


(Check out the TOMS that are represented on this occasion.)


The complete family picture...


Kayla & I love having a new brother!


The ceremony couldn't have been more perfect.
It was held in the City Park of New Orleans.


I might have cried the most during this beautiful moment.
Dad led such a touching prayer of blessing over them.
To have both Kyle's dad and our dad up there was so special...


These two are perfect for each other.
No question about it.


I couldn't be more happy for them!
So I would like to introduce to you all,
for the first time on this blog,
Mr. & Mrs. Ferguson.

Rissy-sissy, I love you.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

look and be amazed...

"Look around at the nations;
look and be amazed!
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you wouldn't believe
even if someone told you about it."
-Habakkuk 1:5

I don't really have much more to say today.
I've been a little burnt out when it comes to blogging,
but I am hoping to make a come back soon.

Until then, let the Spirit and this exciting Scripture stir up something within you. 
I know it has in me....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

i am still alive...

I just haven't been able to blog in a LONG while. I haven't even really been in town to read everyone else's blogs, so I am completely out of touch with blog-world. Summer craziness. Things have been busy, but awesome! Things should slow down a little bit in July, and maybe I can fill you all in on the awesomeness..

Hope you all have a great week!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

busy, busy, busy...

I really haven't posted anything in a while,
but it's only because I've been SO busy
and had SO much on my mind!

Here's what I will leave you with today:

the cast of Glee is on tour

and if they end up anywhere near me, 
I SO want to go!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

exciting things from cali; part iv...

And the fourth (& best) thing I loved about Cali was:

the conference itself... 
catalyst west
was such an incredible event, and personally,
I left feeling challenged, inspired, convicted, & filled.


(Matt, me, Ashley, & Cody between sessions on the sunny day!)

The speakers at this conference were incredible: Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Mark Drissold, John Ortbery, Dallas Willard, Reggie Joiner, Donald Miller & Erwin McManus to name a few.
Chris Tomlin even led worship on the first night. 



(Ashley & me when it "snowed" inside the conference center)

I think one of my favorite moments at the conference was when I stayed behind at lunch the 2nd day to spend time at the chapel (the beautiful building behind us in the first picture) where Prayer Stations were set up. It was in that space of quiet time that I was really able to process all that I had been hearing. 
It can be a little emotional, coming to certain realizations; I really needed that time. 
And God was good to me... we had a very nice conversation.


(on stage: Tripp and Tyler.  Two of the funniest people ever.)

I am sure you can tell that I really enjoyed my time in California. 
(I mean... I have posted about it 4 times now...)
I hope that I will take these things that I have learned and be changed by them.

Curious as to what I learned?

Don't let everyday realities & disappointments smother your dreams.
Hold onto your dreams.
Want God to do big things.
Believe He can.
Believe He will.
And take steps in faith towards those things.
Don't always let the urgent trump the important.
Do not fear.
Be confident in who He created you to be.
And live that abundant life of faith, hope, love & joy that He desires for you.


(The last night: fish tacos. Such excitement.)

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go to this conference! 
And definitely looking forward to going again sometime!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

exciting things from cali; part iii...

And the third thing I loved about Cali was:

going to 
newport beach!
Sure, it was windy, cloudy & cold...
But hey, it's the OC.
And that, my friend, was very exciting!



(me & Ashley taking advantage of a good photo op)


(Cody, Matt, Ashley & me. Cody loves these kind of pictures, can't you tell?)


(Ashley & Cody. Aren't they precious?)


We had a really good time for the 15 minutes we were on that beach!

Dear Cali,
Next time I visit,
how about you show me that 
famous California sunshine?
Just sayin...
Sincerely,
jenna


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

exciting things from cali; part ii...

And the second thing I loved about Cali was:

umm.... 
meeting donald miller!
and getting my picture with him!


Yes, it is true that I have a crush on him.
Yes, it is true that I wish I had given him my number.
Yes, I do {not so} secretly hope he sees this.
And yes, I know that I sound like a middle school girl.



exciting things from cali; part i...

Let me tell you.
I love me some California.
Love it.

Because there were so many things that I loved about last week's trip, 
I've decided to break it down into multiple posts.

And the first thing I loved about Cali was:


pinkberry

 Naomi had blogged about pinkberry a long time ago, and I remember thinking that it looked so good in her pictures. As soon as I saw the place, I knew that we had to stop for some.  SO glad we did.  It is, by far, my favorite frozen yogurt place ever!
(I got the pomegranate flavor of yogurt with blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry toppings. 
Absolutely amazing.)


I'm pretty sure we had some fro-yo everyday after this. 

Somebody please find me the nearest Pinkberry...
I am currently going through withdraws.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

it's true.. i ran a 5k...


Even with 3 hours of sleep, I ran that 3.1 miles like a champ.
And by champ, I mean a slow paced person that didn't stop to walk once!
That and the fact that my time was quite a bit better than I expected,
I consider this quite an accomplishment!

Yay for setting goals & living good stories!

it's probably not a good thing...

... that it is 3:oo in the morning & I can't seem to sleep.

Yep. 
Wide awake.
Have been all night long.

Oh yes, tomorrow morning is that 5K,
followed by the Girls Retreat.

I am praying that I am still getting rest,
though I lie awake in my bed.

And who knows, maybe I'll get a nap in before morning...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

a quarter of a century...


(image found here)

yep, that's how old I am now...
Can you believe it?!
I can hardly.

A spiritual mentor of mine told me to "Expect big things from God this year..."
I must say, I am excited to see what all He has in store for my 25th year!!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

my calendar tells me...




... that my birthday is only 5 days away!
It also tells me that the day of my 5K is fast approaching.
It, along with the MYM Girls Retreat, is only 9 days away!
California trip - 12 days.
Karissa's graduation - 22 days.
Family vacay - 30 days.
Senior Sunday - 38 days.
Summer Interns arrive - 43 days.
JH Family Beach Retreat - 50 days.
Karissa's WEDDING - 72 days.

And that is just to name a few.

My life is pretty crazy busy.
(But I love it.)

(For the month of April, my calender also happens to have this picture of a girl that kinda looks like me, don't you think?)

it was time for a makeover...

So I was ready for a new look for the ole blog, but it needed more than just another template switch or a new header. 
I wanted something completely different. Something more exciting.

There was only one problem. 

I had no idea how to change it. You see, I am not all that technologically savy.  
Example: For a year, I'd been wanting a counter at the bottom of my page and couldn't even figure that out! 
There was no way I could re-design by myself.

But I knew who could...

The ever-so-talented Annie Butterworth Jones! 

Annie took all of my ideas and inspirations, combined them with her skills and resources (and some of her own ideas), and here we are!
She did an amazing job capturing the essence of what I was looking for!
I couldn't be more happy with the finished product!

If you are interested in a blog makeover, check out the graphic design services that Annie offers.
I definitely recommend her!  You can contact Annie at anniesbutterworth[at]gmail[dot]com.


(Me & Annie at last year's Girls Retreat. 
Not only does she design beautiful blogs, she is a very gifted speaker!)

Thanks again, Annie!!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

captured moments of easter...













a truly beautiful day with my wonderful family...
i am so blessed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

meet the team..

So I haven't really said much about this on the blog, but several transitions have taken place for our ministry in the past 7 months.

First of all, in August, one of our youth ministry teammates, Corey, moved away. Now this was a pretty big deal. Corey had been at Mayfair for 10 years, and he thought he would be here for 10 more, but God had other plans. Corey and his family are now in Atlanta, serving the teenagers at the Campus Church. It's exciting to see how God is using him in this new place, and it is powerful to see the impact that he has left here. It's going to be fun running into them at different youth events this summer!

Soon after Corey moved, we began the process of finding a new youth ministry team member. Most of you probably haven't been through a process like this from this end of it. It is SUCH a difficult, frustrating, stressful, crazy thing! I don't want to have to go through this again for a very long time! But thankfully the search process is complete, and someone else has now joined us!

So...

Meet the new team:

(pictured: Aubrey, Dianna, me, & Cody)

Aubrey Wood and his family joined us two weeks ago, and let me tell you, it has been a great two weeks! Transitions are scary, and I was anxious.. worried about how things would go. You know, fear of the unknown. But God has been at work helping this transition to go so smoothly. I can't describe to you the peace that I have felt over the past two weeks. Cody, Dianna, and I are all very excited about the new addition to our team. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that God is at work, and we can't wait to see all that He has in store for our teens and this youth ministry!

For those of you who have known about the transitions we have been going through and have been praying about it, thank you so much! I am seeing prayers answered daily.

Praise the Lord for all He has done and all He plans to do!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

as i watch my favorite show on hulu...

...I am reminded of how much I love this show.
And really, it just keeps getting better and better...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

it's going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day...

And for that I am thankful!
I hope you enjoy your beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

hungry...

(That was really supposed to sound like "hungry?" but I use ... at the end of my titles. Tradition. I can't break that.)

Anyways...

Hungry?

Well chew* on this.

And while you are at it, read this too.

And who knows, maybe you could even make a comment?
(I know. I am shameless.)

(What is the "this" that I am talking about? It is our February discussion on the subject of Lent on chew*.)



Oh yes, one more thing...

If you are in the mood for some more food for thought, check out this post from Donald Miller. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. Maybe I will have more to say about that later.




Tuesday, February 23, 2010

cup o' sunshine...

(found here)

I am tired of the cold & glummy days of winter!
I am so ready for springtime..

God,
is it almost time
to fill my cup with
some rays of sunshine?
Por favor?

Sincerely,
jenna

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

first day of lent...

So yesterday was Fat Tuesday. Marci, Ashley, & I celebrated with pizza & gelato at Sam & Greg's in downtown Huntsville. It was so good. It was just another reminder that I am so blessed with the friendships that God has provided for me since I moved to Huntsville (almost 2 years ago).

(borrowed this image from here)

While at dinner, we talked a little about Lent. We didn't really go into great depth in our conversation.. We mostly talked about what we were going to give up for the Lent season. (I've decided on Diet Coke. But really, I am just going to do sodas in general.)

After this conversation and reading this blog post yesterday, this whole concept of Lent has been on my mind. If I am going to participate in Lent this year, I want it to be more than just giving up Diet Coke. The real intention of Lent is for the believer to prepare himself for Easter, which is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

So for the next 40 days (technically 46, but this explains that), I want to focus on Jesus.

I want to focus on:
Why He came to live amongst us.
The way He lived while He was on this earth.
The ways I can model His life... to make His life my own.
The sacrifice He made.
The powerful gift that His grace is.
What that requires of me.
I will fast from sodas, recognizing that it is only a metaphor for the greater sacrifices I want to embrace and exercise in my life.

So these are my thoughts on Lent as of now.

Anyone else participating on Lent?
What are you fasting from?
What are you focusing on?
Your thoughts?


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a few random thoughts...

image found here

I want a reason to own and wear a dress like this.

And I want it to be warm enough to wear it.

I am tired of being cold.

I am really enjoying going to the Y.

I've been able to spend some quality time with family recently, so that's a big blessing.

Life is going well.

That's all my random thoughts for now...

Wishing you all a very wonderful week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

my snowy weekend recap (a few days later)..

So last weekend I went to Boone, NC with some of the Young Pros at church for a weekend of skiing. And let me tell you, I was not confident that I would master the art of this snow sport. I was so nervous when I woke up the first morning. But as I have been learning (and making an effort to practice), God's peace can guard your heart in all things. Even something as silly as a fear of falling down a snow covered mountain.

Now I am definitely no pro. I would still consider myself a beginner, but I did really well! By the end of the trip I was going down those greens like they were nothing! (Keep in mind, the green slopes really are practically nothing, but for me, it was huge!)

I seem to be doing this a lot recently.

Facing little fears.

Fears of all kinds.

And setting goals.

And following through.

(Ex - this was a successful 2nd week of 5:30am classes at the YMCA. And I love it.)

I am in a place where I am growing a lot right now. I feel it. And in some things, it has been a little painful. In other things, it has been so liberating. I am excited to see what God is preparing me for... Please be praying about that for me.

Now for some pictures of the trip!

Ready for a day of skiing! Just look at all of that snow!
(pictured: Marci, me, Ashley, Christy, & Allison)

Me & Christy on the van. We look so hardcore.

Meet Sugar.
The most incredible snow-woman I have ever helped build.
Seriously.
Just look at that face...
So much emotion in those eyes...

The group responsible for this beautiful creation.
(pictured: Matt, Ashley, Marci, Jamie, & myself)

And finally, a roommate picture with Sugar.
(We pretty much consider Ashley a roommate. She lives in the same apt complex.)

It really was such a great weekend,
and it's been a really good week.
Growing pains and all...
God is good.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

i would love to find this somewhere...


I want this journal.
I wonder if they have it at Barnes & Noble?

Just thought I would share.