Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's the little things that fill me with joy

Today I woke up actually awake! I wasn't quite sure if I would because I went to bed after 11pm after celebrating Grandma's birthday. I prayed that I would though. I want to wake up sharp, alert, and ready. I want to wake up and have a little time to read and pray instead of snooze and then drag myself out of bed, into the shower, then scramble to get to work on time. I still barely had time for my devotion. It was about Trust - such a continual theme that I need. Again, the note about the cares of the day. My cares of the day equal worrying about how to use every single minute of my day to the maximum productivity. I try to go through all the products in our pantry and fridge and figure how I can make dinner in the time I have when I get home. I won't have time to go to the grocery store so it makes it that much harder. It's amazing how one little thing such as what you are doing for dinner can be such a concern and worry for the day. This time I just kept telling myself, "don't worry, God takes care of our needs. He will help, and pull through. It will work out." Oh how hard it was to put it out of my mind. But I just had to trust. Then when I was home on my break I found out my uncle who randomly comes home was home. One of the first things he tells me is how he brought some vegetables back and some sausages and starts talking about ways he could make dinner and what time I would be home to eat. At that moment I felt so grateful and overcome with a giddy joy. Once again He had pulled through right when I needed Him. I could just hear Him saying, " I told you to trust me."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

For the Love of Adventure

I'm following my older brother through the neighborhood salvaging loose pieces of discarded boards from the construction sites of the new houses in the neighborhoods. I'm following him through the woods around the edge of the water. Together, along with his friends, we scout the woods and find the best place for a secret hideout. The months spent in those woods we explore new territory, we create new paths, and discover hidden places. These are the woods that soon I will lead my younger siblings through as well when my older brother moves on to new things. The place where I will be the leader. I will pass on what he taught me. I'm riding my bike behind my brother through our small town. Today we ride miles into the city where the stores are. I learn new roads and routes. I explore new territory. Territory I will explore again and again, once again bringing my younger siblings and telling them about the first time he brought me here.

Every little girl needs an older brother to have adventures with, to teach her how to explore, to show her the love of the great unknown. If not a brother, a father is needed. Men seem to be the ones naturally prone to cast out into the great unknown. We women long for adventures, but we need the man to who casts out to turn around grab our hand and say, "Come on! It'll be fun! Just follow me." And with pounding hearts, racing minds, and eyes wide open soaking everything in, we do.

After my explorations with my brother I led my own. I was the leader in familiar territory. Even when I "grew out" of playing in the woods, I still went back. I go back to those spots whenever I can.

When I was in high school some of my favorite memories are of the times my friends and I talked each other into going out into the woods. Once it was just to do it. Kara and I went back in to the woods in the park and attempted to cross it into the neighborhood on the other side. I felt like a leader leading her though with just my sense of direction.
Once my friend Nicole and I stayed at her grandma's house on some land. She had a small spring that flowed through her property and started somewhere in the middle of it. We set out to discover the head of the spring. There were times the underbrush was so thick we were crawling on our bellies through mud just to get through to follow this spring that at times was nothing but a trickle. And why would high school girls do this?? For the adventure of it!

Many times we think of the males as wanting the adventures, but we both do, we just have to help each other discover how to make them. I have so much to thank my parents and brothers for helping me.
Still today I love to just escape. I love to hike, to ride my bike, to move! I love to go somewhere I have never been. I love to walk down a trail and then just go off of it into the woods. To be where no one else is. I still do that today every once in a while.
I love to do these things, but I always feel something is missing.
I want that guy, that guy that has the wild heart, that wants to cast out fearlessly into the unknown while looking back, giving me an excited smile, grab my hand and say, "Come on! It'll be fun! Just follow me."
Until then I need to remember that God is right there with me, leading me on new adventures every day. And He longs for me to make Him a part of them, just as I long for someone to come take me along with him on his adventures. So instead of continually waiting for this person in a stand still mode I need to get moving! I need to tune into God who is standing next to me, holding my hand, and excitedly saying "Come on! It'll be fun! Just follow me." <3

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

May, June, July Oh MY!

Wow, let's just say a lot has happened, which is a very good excuse for not blogging. I don't really want to go into details about it all. This blog post would have no end. I will just start from now. It is now August and I am going to work at Oak hill Day school again in basically the same position as I was in last year, except I have less hours as a TA so I will have to make up for it with more after school hours. Which totals to a more stressful year. I'm not very happy about that. It's really hard right now too because I am seeing all the pictures of class room decorations my friends are posting.
I never grew my garden, but I did set up a pretty shepherds hook with flowers and a hummingbird feeder on it that has attracted many birds for my Grandma's enjoyment.
I have bought a mountain bike and am now adding trail biking to my hobbies. So far I have gone on one good ride. I am excited to continue that. I have talked more friends into playing tennis so now I practice that weekly. It's so fun having hobbies.
I just returned from an awesome trip to Colorado. The ACTS group at my church planned a trip to Estes Park, Co. It as amazing besides the freezing rain. I love hiking and woods, so it was a great adventure. This was my first time West at all. I hope to be back again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Is it really almost the end of April??

I feel like I'm missing spring, although it is still very beautiful here in Missouri. I have mixed feelings. There aren't many bright ground flowers(which I hear there are more in May) but the tress are beautiful with their soft colors. Here the trees bloom! I have seen a few in Florida, but here they are everywhere! But now they are starting to change to the light green baby leaves. I feel like it's leaving to fast. And I'm still unhappy with the weather. One day its warm and perfect the next week its gotten cold again! Gah!
Speaking of flowers, I'm hoping to plant a flower garden. All I have done is talk really, but I just got my paycheck so maybe I can budget some tools and flowers in. I'm mostly putting this information up to keep me accountable to it. I don't want to write again (probably next month at my rate) and say I never did it. We shall see how green my thumb is in the garden. Is it a green thumb if you are good at it or bad at it?
Once again, my monthly due of sickness has come. I really hate being sick. Everyone says its because I'm in my first year, well I hope it gets over with soon. I already feel so pressured with all I need and want to do. When I get sick I feel like I get even more behind. My room was slightly messy, now it's a complete disaster!! *sigh*
Update on the job situation: I got an interview!! I received a call Wednesday from a school wanting an interview with me the next morning! So I made frantic calls, ended up picking the 9:30 and my teacher said it would be O.K if I was gone the first few hours. So without any preparation, along with suffering the first mighty blows of the flu I went to the interview. I was able to really take time to pray the day before and right before the interview. I feel like that really helped a lot. I felt very relaxed and just knew that God was looking out for me. I know He is anyway just from all He has already done. I didn't cough, sneeze of suffer nose drips the whole time I was in there. Of course as soon as I left I was overcome with it :-p I felt like the interview went really well. Of course we will still have to wait and see. Just because the interview went well doesn't mean I was the best or most capable for them. Either way it helped me feel better about myself, know God's in control, and get some interview practice. Maybe even if they don't hire me my current boss will feel the pressure to keep me more and help me out a little bit with a little more pay and responsibility :) I plan on sending a "thank you" note soon, and a little late a return call asking when I will know if the position has been filled. I'm really praying that if this job isn't the best for my situation now that it just won't even be an option. I don't want to have to worry about it. I know it might be hard for me to take on more responsibility and help my Grandma out, but I hope that I can take on the responsibility and still do a good job and use the extra pay to help out even more. I also know that at times I find it hard right now, so who knows. At the same time, is life, being responsible, living for others, using limited resources wisely ever easy?? :)
On the down note I just found out my Grandma Monks ( on my mom's side) is not doing well. She is in the hospital and there is nothing more they can do. Its all up to her how she recovers her strength. She seems to be giving up and not wanting to try to get better. I'm worried about that. I don't want her to let go. I need her to stick around. I was just really getting to know her better, not much, but better. It's hard when so much of my life she's been so far away. If you read this please pray for her. She will need it.
To sum it all up: God is great and He is in control.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Great Thou Art

God continually amazes. He blesses me when I deserve no blessing, He blesses me, when I need it the most. When I came home from vacation Chris had caught the stomach flue, shortly after AmberDee had it. I was popping Vitamins like crazy trying to keep away from it! Both Friday and SAturday night I felt a little off, but did not get sick. I"m so thankful for that because Friday, Saturday, and Sunday proved to added up to a wonderful weekend all which helped me to prepare my mindset for the next few days. Monday night I woke up with the stomach flu. So I took it as positively as possible and used the time to get some applications filled out and was able to catch my brother online. I went to sleep dreaming of being able to eat food the next day and feeling better.
The next day, even though I felt like I hadn't slept at all, I was wide awake at 6:30, and I felt miserable, but excited. For some reason I felt like God was right there waiting to hear from me. I can't explain I just felt it, so I propped up my pillow and talked. I was filled with comfort from sharing, and excitement as I thought on the future and all the possibilities God could have in store. I was reminded of old passions and ideas and given new ideas, and I just felt so revitalized even through the nausea. I opened up my daily devotion book and read for the day(thinking it was the 29th) about how God is in control and we need to take one day at a time. THat there is a time for everything, and we need to see what God has in store for us for that day and not worry about the agendas of the future. I was comforted by that throughout the say as I focused on what I was capable of doing, and not the much needed tasks that needed to be done that I had no physical ability to do at the moment. THat first half of the day I assumed I would soon be well, ate a little whole foods, and did a little work on my computer, and enjoyed the sun. I even told the secretary of the school when she called to see if I needed another sub that I was feeling much better and should not need one.
Then I got worse. I threw up everything, lost all energy, and felt a fever coming back on a chills come all over. I called and asked for a sub for the next day. I felt like a dam of doubts were trying to overwhelm me. I was pushing to keep away the thoughts of how little my next paycheck would be with the missed spring break weeks and these new missed days. I was pushing back worries about getting any kind of supper ready, the possibility of getting Grandma sick, when I would be able to get back to work, and even if this would be the kind of work I would have to have next year too. On the couch I lay half in and half out, hungry and dying of thirst. I stumbled into the kitchen to get my water bottle I left there. I glanced at the clock, I don't really remember caring what time it was, but I noticed it said it was the 30th. It dawned on me that all day I had thought it was the 29th, and my thoughts went back to this mornings devotion. So I went to my room and opened it up to read the days.
There it opened with capital letters, "I AM TAKING CARE OF YOU." And continued with, "Trust Me at all times. Trust Me in all circumstances." And continued on trusting when we are weary, how before our day has even begun, it is laid out. THat He is there taking care of us, and we must turn our eyes to Him, and Trust.
What a perfect passage for the perfect time. So once again I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed by His care for me, His love for me, and how He uses so many things to speak to us. If we would only look for them. So through it all, I will continue to trust in Him, and know He cares.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's March! The month of wonderfulness! Part 1: My Birthday!

March is wonderful for many reasons. The biggest is it's my birthday month, and yes I celebrate the whole month. It is the beginning of Spring, my favorite season. And it is the month of Spring Break. Let me start out by saying I had a wonderful Birthday!! Thanks to wonderful family, friends, coworkers and parents. I have been getting nonstop birthday wishes and every single one has put a smile on my face. About a week before my birthday I went into a low foreseeing a lonely sad and much different birthday I would ever face. That same day God taught me a very important lesson about thanks and joy in all situations and it completely changed my outlook. Ever since that point He has been blessing me continually through everyone I know. He truly is the God who sees, and I feel my name, Jessica - blessed by God, truly describes me.
I was able to get a great ticket price to go home after my birthday, even with the late date. I am taking off a week from work during the Spring Break period, and was easily able to find a sub. Last month I worked extremely hard hours, and was very much feeling it. Those hours were thrown to me, and where not sought out by me at all. I had no idea how much those hours would add up the next month. THe hours added up so much that I doubled my paycheck and was able to not only afford the good price for my ticket but also to pay for all the extra responsibilities that were coming up this month that I was worried about, while giving extra and actually saving some. All of this unplanned by me, but I know foreseen by God. He really works things out for good when you let Him take control.
The Friday before my birthday I was thrown a surprise birthday party by my class. I felt so loved and appreciated when I saw all that the teacher and the children's parents had done for me. I received a very cute Alyssa Milano Gators shirt and multiple gift cards! They made me swear to use them on myself to buy myself some nice clothing and not give them away :-p I felt so blessed and loved by them for what they did.
Before my birthday even arrived I received a package from my brother, Jon, but I waited until Sunday to open it. On Sunday right after church I went to check my email and Jon was on Ichat!!! this is only the 2nd time I have ever been on at the same time as him! So I opened my presents from him with him "there." It was so much fun, and so wonderful to be able to talk to him and share my joy over the awesome movies he bought me. He bought me three Jimmy Stewart movies: Bell, Book and Candle. Rear Window, and Harvey(MY favorite!!!) All three wonderful movies! I'm so excited to get to watch them with Grandma. He is an awesome brother(all mine are of course <3)
My uncle( who is the best uncle in the world) bought me two books, one being Blindside which I am very excited about, a balloon with a ladybug on it(I love ladybugs!) and a yummy berry cake. Grandma was able to get out and go out to eat for the first time since her fall and it was such a wonderful experience to get to do that together again.
I got a phone call from Nicole, from my brother josh, from Jamiie, and my Aunt Trish! It was so nice getting to talk to them all (minus Nicole because I couldn't get a hold of her when I tried calling back :( but it was nice to hear from her!) I truly have a wonderful loving family. <3
At church that night AmberDee was soooo thoughtful and bought cupcakes and then they sang me happy birthday when I came in. :)
And now I am on my way home - Everything is wonderful :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's A New Year!

Happy New Year!
To all my nonexistent readers. Upon further review of suggestions from experts I have decided to try to do a little more with this blog. I will still include my occasional thoughtful ramblings on my new found philosophies or insight into the world, but also I will try to keep this a little up to date on my life and the oh-so major changes and happenings I experiences.
So besides being sick over most of break and Christmas my Christmas was very nice. I received many wonderful gifts and was able to buy gifts for everyone thanks to the generosity of coworkers and parents of the children in my classroom who gave me many gift certificates. I received many wonderful gifts from my family and friends, and am so thankful for them. The best of my holiday time has been being able to see my family everyday. It is so wonderful to have them around. They are a constant joy around me, it is so wonderful. I can't believe how much Landon has grown!! He knows so much! I feel a little sad that I am missing out on so much at home, but I know it is all for the best. While Grandma has been in Rehab the family has made some major changes to the house and it is great. We now have a projector to watch movies with in the TV room and a new recliner. Krystle has done an amazing job straightening bookshelves and dusting and reorganizing. She has no idea how much she has helped me out. I constantly feel burdened from the many unaccomplished tasks here and the need for them to be done and my inadequacy to finish them. Krystle has so much talent with those types of projects, and I lack extremely in that area. I feel like crying almost every time I see it. These things being done give me more time to work on basic things such as shopping, household chores, cooking, running errands, attempting to keep my room clean, keeping pets happy and healthy while working a little to ends from being to tight. It is such a relief and a big boost to me when I needed it the most.
I have been able to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Trish, and Aunt Christy. I miss them a lot and wish I could see them more often. It is sad that even though I live there I hardly see them at all, still only when the rest of the family is here. But I know they are all busy, and it is just good to see them when I can. I do get to go out and see Grandma and Grandpa Monks a little. I haven't for a while since the snow has come in. I hope to do better with visiting them when Spring comes around.
Grandma is finally back, and it is so wonderful to have her back. I have a few snow days to spend with my family on their last few days here, and it really has been a wonderful Christmas time. <3