Much to be Thankful for in 2008

As I sit here tonight in my living room, I am reflecting on the many changes that have occurred in my life this year. It has been quite the ride I must say…

I’ve lived away from home for over a year, I’m only 3 classes away from finishing my bachelor’s degree, three of my friends got married, I took my first road trip with 20 (that isn’t completely accurate but not far off either) other people, and I’ve grown in my relationship in God which is the most important change this year.

Through it all, these are the things I’m thankful for this year:

  • Jesus, my Saviour. If it wasn’t for my relationship with God, I’m not sure where I would be. I know I wouldn’t be here. He is so faithful and his grace and mercy are so abounding. My life has been so enriched by His Love for He is Love.
  • My family – not just biological, but my ENTIRE family. The people in my church have become so close to me and I have made a strong connection with many of them. It is amazing to see God working in the midst and to see Him knit us together.
  • My roommates. Although we may disagree and argue, I love them all. They are my sisters in every sense of the word. I will thank God every day of my life for these Godly women.
  • My job. Not everyone has one right now, including one of my roommates. I enjoy the people I work for and the people I work with. Right now things are tight but God has provided everything I need.

I know it doesn’t look like much but it would be alot longer if I named everyone I was thankful for. I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I pray that we all realize what this season is for – to reflect on what we have been given instead of what we want and showing love to those around us instead of buying stuff for those we love. Just a thought.

Jesus is the reason for the season. 🙂

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,

Jen

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God’s Faithfulness is Amazing

Last week on Veteran’s Day, I had the day off from work like many people so I decided to run some errands early in the morning so I could just chill at home and work on my school stuff. Well, that day I guess God had other plans. My day started out pretty ok – I stopped at the local tire store to have a tire replaced (I had gotten a flat the Friday before and they couldn’t get a tire for me til that Monday) and it only took about 45 minutes for them to change the tire.

Since it was relatively early in the day – about 8:45 am – I decided to try and get some grocery shopping done at the local Wally World down the street. I was making good time since there was no one in the store – in and out in 30 minutes! As I proceeded to put my groceries in the car, I noticed a woman waiting for my spot. (I had prime front row parking.) I hurried to finish putting my groceries in the car and put my cart away.

That morning I didn’t grab my purse, just my wallet. I wasn’t planning to be gone long and didn’t want to lug it around. So, as I was pulling into my street, I realized that I forgot my wallet in my cart!

Panic set in. I checked all my bags – nothing. I checked everywhere in my car – nothing. I rushed back to Wally World. The cart was where I left it but not my wallet. I went inside and checked with customer service – no one turned it in. I immediately called my banks to cancel my cards. Then I went to the RMV to check their hours for the next morning since they weren’t open for the holiday.

There were two police cruisers parked in the lot and one of the officers sitting in the car let me know that they weren’t open. At that time I told him that I was just checking their hours for Wednesday. Now, by this time I had been crying and just completely upset by the circumstance. The officer must have seen this and asked me what happened and if I wanted to fill out a report. I gave him the information and then went on my merry way.

Fast forward until yesterday… in the interim, I had received my replacement license but was waiting for my replacement debit card and credit card. During my lunch break, I went home to see if at least my debit card had come in and it had, along with my credit card and a notice from the post office that I had mail waiting for me that needed extra postage to be paid for it but it wasn’t available for pickup until this morning.

I contemplated not picking it up because I wasn’t expecting anything but something told me to pick it up. So, this morning on my way to work, I went to the post office, paid $3.08 and picked up the small padded manilla envelope. As I was walking to my car, I opened the envelope and just started to laugh because it was my wallet! Everything except for the little bit of loose change was still in it – my license, my debit card, etc. All I could do on the drive to work was laugh! I laughed because I knew it was God and I knew my prayers had been answered. I didn’t really care if I got the wallet back. I mean, it’s a nice wallet and I like it but I mainly just wanted to know that my information didn’t get into the wrong hands.

From the stamps on the envelope, it looked like someone just dropped my wallet into a mailbox. However the post office received my wallet, I just want to let whomever it was that put my wallet in the mail, THANK YOU. I appreciate it that you were honest and made sure I received it back.

I also wanted to say that God is AMAZING and so FAITHFUL, even when – especially when – we are not.

Psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

But You are a shield around me, O Lord;
You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
To the Lord I cry aloud,
and He answers me from His holy hill.

I lie dow and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.

Arise, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May Your blessing be on Your people.

Lord, my prayer is that Your people will arise as an army of Love. Lord, I pray for those who persecute Your children for worshipping and praising Your name and that they may come to know Your mercy, grace and LOVE. Lord, I pray that I can be a light to their darkness and a vessel of Your love. Lord, use me in Your army. God, I love You and I pray that people will see that instead of me.

It’s Been A While

So it’s been over a week since I posted. It’s been pretty busy with school, work, birthday party & losing my wallet at the local Wal-Mart. I don’t have too much to write about right now as it is almost 11:00 p.m. on a Friday night before I have an early morning class tomorrow morning. I’m pretty tired but I will try to post tomorrow.

Jen

Run Baby Run

I’ve been calling you to go to the city
I’ve been watching you every day
Now I’m paying for a one way ticket
for a ship that sails the opposite way

And you laugh and you cry
and you live and you die
cause you don’t really know who you are
All alone in this world
orphan boy orphan girl
cause you don’t really know who you are

Run baby run
my hands release you
baby run baby run just as fast as you can
Run till your legs lead your heart to the real truth
You’re my daughter my son
so run baby run baby run

Hear me laughing as you run from your calling

See me crying see me crying in the storms that rage
One way or another you will be going
To obey is such an easier way

So finally after months of hearing my friends talk about Jason Upton’s CD, “Dying Star” (ok, yes, I know it was recorded in 2002 but I just got wind of Jason Upton over the summer so work with me :D), I finally got a copy of it. Amazing! Part of the reason why I wanted to get a copy was because my roommate, H, who is a worship leader at my church, has been singing parts of the song for the last couple of months and I just wanted to hear the whole thing.

When I hear it, it makes me thing of my friend, S. Some days I feel like he is just running away from what God called him to be. (Some days I feel like running away because it seems too hard but I know that it would be harder for me out in the world knowing what I know if I walk away now.) I have constantly been praying for him.

There’s a story behind it all. S and I have known each other since we were 15. We met when he was “dating” my best friend, D, in high school. Although it didn’t work out between them, S and I stayed friends. Over the last 11 years we’ve lost contact but always found each other again. I think the longest we went without speaking was 2 1/2 years. Sometimes it was because of a misunderstanding or, like most of the time, it was because we were walking different paths that just took us away from each other.

Back in the summer of 2005, I was struggling with a lot of stuff left over from my break up a year and a half earlier. I was going through just a lot of stuff. I was looking for something that I couldn’t find in man. I was raised Catholic but always knew there had to be more to God than just what we did every Sunday during Mass. I decided to go back to my old Catholic church in Chicopee. I went to service every Sunday for a month but no one spoke to me, not even the priest, and I just wasn’t getting anything out of the sermons.

At that time, I was hanging out and talking to Sean again and I knew that he was going to church with his parents so I asked where they went. It took me a couple of weeks after he told me, but I eventually went… and the rest is history. That first Sunday I went, I found out that one of my friends from elementary school went there. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. It felt like home from the moment I walked through the doors. That was three years ago this past October. I was baptized that December along with S and 3 other people (5 total, the number of grace).

Our lives, mine and S’s, are connected somehow. I’ve tried to figure it out but I can’t. I pray for him every day… God knows that all I really want is to see S in a local church and serving God. There is just so much more to this life than what we see in the natural and I just hope he is learning that.

Like I’ve said before, this life is just a vapor. I just don’t want to spend my life with regrets or “what if’s.” I want everything that God has in store for me. I’m walking this path the best I can with the knowledge I’ve been given and I’ll keep walking it until and when Jesus comes back.

Please pray for me and my friend. Pray for his soul and strength for me that I know when to let go if it comes to that.

Jen

Whatever you do today – just VOTE!

We all know who I am voted for (yes, I already cast my vote at 8:30 this morning before work). I have been quite outspoken about it. However, if you are 18 or older and are registered to vote, PLEASE VOTE. I don’t care if you vote Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or Independent – just VOTE! It is so important. Especially with the state of the country today that each person who is eligible to vote does so.

I know people will say that one vote doesn’t count but did you know that the 2000 Presidential election was decided by 537 votes! (That and the Supreme Court but we won’t go THERE.) Your one vote could determine whether someone gets the electoral votes in your state, so please vote.

Jen

Name Change

So I’ve gone through three names and a few different layouts/backgrounds for this blog and, finally, I think I have the “perfect” combination for what I want this blog to be about… the title will most definitely stay but that background may change more than once! Lol… the nature of a woman who changes her purses almost as often as I change my underwear (ie. once a day people!).

I originally wasn’t sure of what I wanted to name my blog so I think I just used my own name. but then, after a church service, I thought about what I was going to eventually write about, who God is to me and who I was in God’s Kingdom – God is my King and I’m a daughter of Zion, so I am a daughter of the King. Hence, my former title – A Daughter of the King. However, after listening to the newest Little Big Town CD (which I had finally downloaded from iTunes), I kept thinking about one of the tracks, “Vapor”, and how it sums up a lot about this life.

Although I truly believe in an eternal life with God, sometimes our bodies just aren’t up for the job even when our spirits are. With all the death I’ve seen in my short time here on earth, it’s true – This Life is a Vapor, especially when it has no purpose. In the last almost 27 years I’ve been walking this earth, I’ve seen both of my grandmothers pass away, 3 uncles, 2 aunts, the 16 year old sister of a dear friend, multiple friends of friends and members of the church I go to. Some walked with God, most did not. Either way, they are no longer here to walk out this life – their lives were like a vapor. Here today, gone tomorrow.

I believe that humans can live to be 120 years old but that may not be in the cards we are all dealt. Of course, our own choices play a part in that as well. I want to live as long as I can but while I’m at it, I’m going to serve Jesus Christ and live it to the fullest. For me that’s growing in my relationship with God, living in a house with 4 other women, going to school and working full time, being involved in my church, getting married and having kids, and seeing my family come to know God, too. I think that’s why the lyrics to the Little Big Town song really struck a cord in me. The last line of the third verse says “I want to leave a legacy like that.” Count me in! I want to leave a legacy just like Jesus… you may not know my name but I pray I effect as many people in this life time as Jesus did.

Blessings,

Jen