Remember

A few days ago was 5 minute Friday over at The Gypsy Mama. For my first time ever I thought I’d participate. So today I write for 5 minutes, uninterrupted and without editing or judgement ( I hope). I am very nervous but need to give it a go. Oh…and yes I know it’s not Friday but I’m just now getting around it it. We have had a jam packed weekend!

GO!

I remember when I was small and my parents told me they were going to get divorced. I was sad and did not understand at all. It is one of my earliest memories

I remember when I was about 8 my best friend and I got matching Schwinn bikes for Easter. They were blue and seemed so big at the time. My friend’s name was Jennifer as well and she crashed her’s into the street sign post on our first run down the hill to the cul-de-sac.

I remember a couple of years later when I fell off of that same bike and broke my first bone. It was the collarbone and hurt….I had to wear a very uncomfortable brace for months it seemed.

I remember when I was in highschool and I thought I knew it all. I was going to marry young, start a family and live happily ever after.

I remember the being in college and thinking I didn’t need the education and chose to just start my professional life. While it was rewarding and I met life long friends, it probably was not the wisest choice I’d ever make.

I remember the day I realized I had been living for all of the wrong reasons….

STOP

There it is, my first 5 minute Friday..on a Monday no less.

Blessings and Hugs
Jen

Weekend Update

Hello fellow bloggers! Sorry for my absence this week. We are working hard to get into our new routine and it’s just taking some time. However for the most part we are doing OK! Today is my birthday!….Aw Thanks, for the wishes. This morning the kids and I went to the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic with another HS family. Words cannot describe the scene of 25+ hot air balloons all being inflated at the same time and launching from the grassy area at Anne Morrison Park. I’ve never seen anything like it before and it was worth the 5am wake up call that it took to make it happen. When we returned home we freshened up and then finished our school work for the day. This evening we had a nice dinner out as a family and a quiet night at home. I hope by next week we will really start to settle in and then I can blog on a more regular basis like maybe twice a week.

Enjoy this last official weekend of summer and the long holiday weekend. Stay safe, have fun and watch for the small blessings of the Lord.

Always,
Jen

Summer Break!

We love being on Summer Vacation! It has only been a few days and yet we are fully adjusted and enjoying it to the fullest extent! We are staying up just a little bit later and sleeping in to make up for it. We all seem to be relaxed, most of the time, enjoying being together and creating memories .
So far, we have enjoyed the farmers market, movies in the park, extra swim time at the Y, bike rides, birthday parties, more movies, bowling, sprinkler parks and time at the Library.

This week we are working on a unit about the US Flag. We are learning the history of our flag, the origins of the flag and the meanings of the colors and symbols used. We are watching videos and will be creating our own flags, if we were in charge of a country. I don’t want our brains to turn to total mush over this long summer break so we are also working on our math skills, reading and hand writting.Tomorrow I plan on taking all of our school work to the library and park to work on to change it up and keep it fun for us all! 

I hope that your summer is off to a great start! May the sun brighten you day and God bless your path!

Feeling Wrecked

I’m sure you have had one of those days where you just feel like a train wreck? Well, that is me today. I am not sure why. I’ve been down and blue for a few days now. Maybe a week actually. I have spent a lot of time in my bible, in prayer and the one answer I keep getting is “Just wait, this will pass.” I think God is wrecking me on purpose. For His purpose. Something bigger, something greater.

I’ve been feeling like something bigger is coming. The good season has been upon us for a short while now and I know it won’t last. It never does. And that is fine. With each dry season I get closer to my Lord. I hear him best when it’s barren. Maybe it’s Satan attacking me and getting the upper hand. I did feel that way about 4-5 days ago. But today is different. Today I feel like an emotional wreck but it’s God doing it and it’s for His purpose.

So I will wait. Be patient. Be still and know that in His perfect time this will all make sense. In the mean time, would you pray for me. Pray that I can sit through this being obedient and faithful. That I can use this train wreck to reach or teach someone else.

The Silly Season now begins

I am so glad that today is over. I’m not that into Halloween this year. But, I am partly dreading what comes next. Tomorrow is the Dawn of “The Season”. You know the one. Where everyone runs around like crazy, headless chickens, trying to be more, have more, do more just because it’s THAT time of year. I’ve called it the Silly Season for the last few years now and that is because everyone gets out of control crazy. We all loose our minds and it’s just plain silly!

This year I am going to try something new. I want this to be the Thankful Season. Thankful for all I have, thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, thankful that I live in a country where I can share that Good News. Just thankful for all things, big and small.

I am asking God to help change my heart. Change how I feel and deal with the holidays. Help me see and show what they are really all about. Is it possible to make Thanksgiving be less about food and more about being thankful. Can we make Christ the main focus as Christmas approaches. What can I say or do, and how can I act so that my children and my non-Christian friends can see how God is doing a work in me.

This will be a work in progress, as all life is. The focus of holidays have been heavy on my heart lately and this is just one more way God is molding me to be more like him.

So happy Fall Ya’ll! Let’s see what we can do to shake it up this year!

Counting my blessings

Sometimes it is hard to see the good, abundant blessings that the Lord provides when you are in the midst of trials, hardships or dry seasons. I don’t feel that this is the driest season of my life, but I also don’t feel like it’s a huge growing season for me either. I think that maybe I am somewhere in between these seasons and God is using this time to prep me for what is coming next. I hope that what ever it is, the season will be something that will draw me closer to Him and that I will be used in a way that shows Him to those who don’t know Him.
What ever is coming, I am trying to reflect less on me, and more on Him. And all of the small ways and things he is doing in my life. The blessings in my life may seem small but they are really rather huge. Take for instance the wonderful coupon deals I was able to score last month, and the freezer and pantry full of food that I have to chose from at the moment. Take the offer to go pick apples at a new friends house that has led to me having over 20 cups of now peeled, cored and chopped apples in my freezer, 1 large batch of applesauce in my fridge and more apples left to decide what to do with. Sure, it took hours to prep that many apples to cook or freeze, but will be well worth it in the coming months when I can pull out a bag of apples and make a desert to share with my family or someone else’s.
Take the Payless Shoe Store gift cards that we received to help purchase new boots for both of my children so that they may have warm, dry feet this winter. Take the blessing of a huge bag of clothes from a fellow parent at the school for my son. Sure, some of them may be too big for him right now, but he will grow into them and that will help us down the road. Or the fact that my daughter has friends that can come and help celebrate her birthday with her this weekend.
Most of this is stuff that I would have normally taken for granted. But now, I am trying to be More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, I am trying to Discern The Voice of God, I am trying to not only see His Will, but see Him.
Maybe I need to post each and every blessing I see in my life for the next month. Then I could really look back and see how much He is here, doing life with me.
Hmmm….actually, that is a really good idea!

So, what kind of blessings do you see in your life right now?

Happy Re-Birthday To Me!!

Today is a HUGE day for me. It is my second birthday…yes, you read right. I get 2 birthday’s every year.
You see, 16 years ago today I was given the 2nd chance at life. I was born in 1972 with a heart condition called a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). At that time, it wasn’t as well known as it is today and I honestly can say that I don’t know what kind of prognosis my parents were given. I do know that they took me home, they loved on me and that I had a cardiologist for as long as I can remember. I went yearly for check ups and was always told that as I got bigger, the hole in my heart would get smaller and it would eventually close.

I played sports as a child and even tried out for the Jr. High Tennis Team and the High School Swim Team. I didn’t make the tennis team but I did make JV swimming and really enjoyed it. In college one of my roommates played on the Rugby Team and I even participated in that. As far as I knew I was fine, healthy and my heart was working as it should.

Fast forward a couple of years. I was 20, newly married, working full time at a daycare and loving my “adult” life. It was time for my yearly check up so I went because I always went and knew that it was important. Much to my dismay something was not quite right. My doctor asked me to come back the following week for a stress test. Stress was right – he had me run on a treadmill for at least 20 minutes and I remember getting so tired and not being able to make it the entire time. The following week he called me with the results….my heart was in BAD shape and I was going to need more tests. I had those tests done (of course) and then I got the call….I was going to need surgery. Like, now….not next week or next year but NOW. I don’t remember much about that following week except that I met with a surgeon on a Friday. He explained to me what was wrong with my heart and that it wasn’t going to close or fix itself. He needed to fix it and he needed to do it then. He asked me if I was available on Monday. What??? No…I am NOT available on Monday!! I had a classroom full of kids that I needed to think about, my mother lived out of state at the time and he expected me to be off work for 6-8 weeks!!! Was he totally insane??
He agreed to give me 2 weeks to get my life worked out, get done what I needed to get done and the surgery was scheduled.
So on January 28th, 1994 I had surgery at Swedish Medical Center. Ironically this was the same hospital that I was born at. The surgery went as planned and by late afternoon I was in ICU, awake, alert and hungry! I remember asking for food (which I was denied!) and staying up very late that night to watch Johnny Carson. I had not been able to watch him for years and was so excited! The nurses that night thought I was totally crazy. They kept telling my I needed to rest and I was not going to have any of that until after his show was over.

I was in the hospital for only 4 days, discharged on Feb. 1st, 1994 and my life has never been the same since. If you knew me back then, or ask any of my friends I was a walking zombie getting through life before the surgery but did not know it. I didn’t know what it was like to have a heart that worked properly until after it was fixed. I had several follow-up appointments with both the surgeon and my regular cardiologist and after only 1 year was given the all clear! I would never need to see them again!

So today I reflect on all I have been able to do since then. I was told that without the surgery I would never have children, I would get sicker and sicker and that basically my life was half over! That means that had I not done it, today, at 37 I would be either on my death bed or near that. I cannot imagine! I know that God has so much more planned for me and I am so thankful that I had good insurance at the time that paid almost all of my $24K+ bill, that I had a supportive family around that was willing and able to take care of me during my recovery. That I had a great boss who understood I needed to do this and that I am still here today to share my story!

Today I celebrate my second lease on life!

Living Intentionally

So is there a difference between living intentionally and living with the best of intentions? I mean, if we are good hearted people who try and do good to others and for others isn’t that enough?We mind our own business, pay our bills and taxes, feed, clothe and love our children aren’t we doing that in our own and their best interest?
Or is it possible that there is more out there? What if every morning before we even got out of bed we said to ourselves-“Self, I am going to go out of my way to do something good for one other person. I am going to be sure to take that extra hug or kiss from my child even if I am on my way to change out the laundry. I am going to be sure to get off of the computer early tonight and spend some time with my spouse.” How much better would our lives be and maybe more importantly how much better would the lives of those around us be? How hard is it really to spend an extra few seconds here and there to make sure that we are doing what we are called to do and give those around us the time they need.
How hard would is be to give ourselves 10 or 25 minutes out of every 24 hours to make sure we are doing even just one thing to recharge our batteries, soothe our soul or read a few passages from our bibles? How hard is it to let the person in the lane next to us get over or give a smile to a person we pass by who is wearing a frown? Could it be that our biggest obstacle in day to day life is our “but”…as is, But I need to get to this appointment, or “I will play with you but first I need to make this one phone call” or “I would read my bible daily but I am just so tired at the end of the day, or I can’t get up just a little early to do it”. How could we make the lives of the people around us better if we just got our “But……’ out of the way and tried to live the life that we promised Jesus we would live or for the non believer that we want to live BUT just can’t seem to.
I am trying very hard to put this concept in place in my life. I challenge you do to the same. When and if you do, please let me know how it’s going!!! I would love to be able to love on you, give you encouragement and pick you up when your BUT get’s in the way. I know that mine sure does….all the time! I’m not perfect and know I won’t be in this life. All I can do is my very best each day, ask for forgiveness when I fail and keep on going.

3rd times a charm

This is the 3rd blog I’ve started. Both of the others were solely based on stamping. While I still LOVE stamping I find I don’t do it everyday. However, I do live this life everyday and maybe there are a few things that are worthwhile of sharing. And since we have just started this new life in this new place maybe starting a blog over is the perfect time. I have some good plans for what I’d like to do with it. Please pray that I can actually follow through and keep it going.