Welcoming In the New Year…

It’s almost New Year’s Eve. Soon it will be 2010. I can’t believe another year has come and gone. Like I mentioned in this post, I think my birthday is a better judge of growth and change.

It’s also when I start to think about how I am going to change by my next birthday.

One thing I am going to start today is Scripture memorization. I’m not great at it but I found a method I want to try. I am hoping that it works.

Here’s a visual of this method.

From the Bible Memorization page on Facebook

Here is a picture from the Bible Memorization page on Facebook.

I am starting out with 7 – one for each day and then I will add one more Scripture each week. I am supposed to spend 20 minutes a day going over the Scriptures. Hopefully by writing them instead of typing them it will help for me to retain them also. Eventually I should be able to switch out the Scriptures I have already memorized when I add new ones.

I read Pete Wilson’s post today about his New Year’s resolution. In January, I set goals for myself for the year instead of making a resolution.  After evaluating what my 27th year was like, there is much I want to change about how I live. In a typical day for me, there are things I want and need to change. It is just a matter of actually changing them.

I don’t want to come up on another birthday and feel like I’ve missed out on this life that God has given me. I don’t want to look back 5 years from now and wish I had done things differently. As a single woman, many people tell me that this is the perfect time for me to travel, to start my ministry, etc. They are right. I don’t want to just be sitting around waiting for my husband to “find” me. If I did that, I’m not sure I would be the type of woman he or anyone else would want to date let alone marry!

This year will be a year of praying about and stepping into what God has planned for my life.

I believe that 2010 is going to be better than 2009. Although, I’m not sure how I will top my trip to China. I guess we will just have to wait and see…

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It’s A Girl!

No, I am not pregnant. But my bestest girl friend is! And she’s having a little girl! Much to the shock of all of us. We were sure that her and her husband would produce a boy.

I must be THE MOST EXCITED “auntie” to be. Although we are not naturally related, I consider Heather my sister by the blood of Jesus. She has seem me through so much that I couldn’t imagine not having her as a part of the rest of my life. I can just see us rocking away on a porch somewhere complaining about the men. Haha!

It looks like I am going to be busy with another scrapbook for them. 🙂 This is going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to spoil this little girl with the rest of my “nieces.” I am so blessed to have friends that I consider family.

Baby Rivera! (Taken from her mama's facebook page.)

I can’t wait to meet her little girl! I’m sure she’ll be just as crazy as her mama. And just as good of a friend too.

Christmastime Is Here Again

Every year I think I truly learn more and more about WHY and WHO we are celebrating at Christmas. It has nothing to do with the gifts (although I enjoy giving them) and the parties (although they are fun) but it is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. Its about remembering the day that He came from His heavenly home to dwell among men for 33 years.

This year, I think I intended to not let the hustle and bustle of what the world has made Christmas out to be, get to me but, instead, it did. I got so concerned with what to buy for family members that I almost forgot about why this is usually my favorite time of year.

I could go without receiving gifts. It’s not necessary for me to receive. However, I’m not sure I could go without giving gifts. I just think that I will need to start thinking of other things I could do for gifts…

I’ve been sort of emotional these last few weeks, too. I feel like I am going to cry at the drop of a hat if I hear a happy or sad story. I think I will need to stop watching Find My Family just for that reason alone. I have some theories as to why I am feeling this way but I think I’ll leave that between God and me.

Well, it’s off to bed for me. I have to be up early so I can go into my office early to finish up preparing documents for an appointment first thing this morning. Oh the life for a paralegal. One thing I can say about my job – it is rarely boring.

Good night all and Merry Christmas! May God Bless You!

Yaay!

I’m so excited because my friend, Danielle, is in town!! Her dad, Pastor Dale, is my pastor’s (also named Dale) son and he comes out with the kids (Danielle, Rebecca, Dale and Nate) every year. Danielle writes over at trees like giants and she also just got engaged to her boyfriend, Corey, on Saturday.

They are only here for about a week so I’m hoping we can get some hang out time in! Hopefully tomorrow night we can do that. I’ll try to post some pics tomorrow night cuz I’m going to be teaching her how to crochet.

Blessings,

Jen

How Do You Remember Scripture?

So one thing I would like to start to do for myself is memory verses. I can remember some Scripture – usually my favorites, ones I’ve read dozens of times – but otherwise, my memory for Scripture isn’t all that great. I know this will probably sound like I am trying to take too much on at once, but I would like to start with Romans 6:1-11.

I’m looking for ways to memorize Scripture for myself. Also, I teach a Sunday School class so I would welcome any suggestions you may have on helping my two eight-year-old students with their memory verses.

Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

Blessings,
Jen

So You Think You Can Dance

UPDATE 1/2/2010: The link below will now work. I found another upload of the performance on YouTube by someone else.

UPDATE 12/18: The video I posted below was actually taken down from Youtube due to copyright infringement. I am currently trying to find another video of the dance. I will update again to let you know the progress.

I have to admit that I am a BIG fan of So You Think You Can Dance. It has a lot to do with the fact that I danced when I was younger. I absolutely loved how I felt when I danced on stage. There was nothing like it… except for when you are in the presence of God but I didn’t know Him back then.

I don’t have too many regrets because I have forgiven myself for my past. I have accepted it as a part of the journey that got me to where I was in October 2005 that brought me to God. But, I do regret not being more serious about dancing because I enjoyed it so much. I think I know how David felt when he would dance before God…

Anyway, so back to my favorite show, really one of very few that I like to watch. The video below is of one of my three favorite performances of the season. It was from the beginning of the season, the first or second week. They don’t show it here, but the choreographer says that it is a piece about fear. I think that is why it really moved me because I’ve been gripped by fear before. Fear has had a death grip on me before but no more. I won’t let it have any hold on me because I am a child of God. I am an heir to His Kingdom and as such I should not fear anything. He has not called me to be fearful but to lean on Him. This may sound odd but my favorite part is the end… You’ll see why.

I pray this blesses someone. On one of the ‘elimination’ shows, Kathryn was in the bottom three and had to dance a solo. That week she danced to “Beautiful” by Bethany Dillon and she said that it must have happened for a reason because someone watching that night had to see her performance. (The next week she performed her solo to “Shadowfeet” by Brook Fraser so I think the girl just has really good taste in music but that’s just my opinion.) Well, the night this dance was performed, I needed to see it and maybe you need to see it, too.

Blessings,

Jen

I Left a Part of Me Halfway Around the World

This past April, I spent a short time in a small city in China (well, I’m not sure if you would call about 1 million people a small city by American standards, but in China it’s a whole other situation). In total, I think I was there only about a week (minus travel time) but the people I met there changed me forever.

Our Surprise Farewell

The students met us at our hotel the morning we left.

It wasn’t what I expected. And yet it was everything I expected. I went with an open mind and open heart and when I came home, my heart was filled with love for the people I met there.

In the last 7 1/2 months since I’ve been home, I’ve tried to put my experience to words. It’s been a challenge. I’ve talked about it with friends, but again, it’s a challenge to discuss my experience.

The best way I can describe it is this:

You leave a piece of yourself wherever you go.

I left a part of me in China.

Me and Joan after I got my glasses in China that matched hers!

I’m not sure I can say more about my trip. Instead, here are a few of my favorite pictures of my time there.

The choir at church our only Sunday there.

After the most terrifying experience of my life... I rode horseback up a mountain with only a yard between the horse and the steep edge!

This is an example of one of the signs on Five Dragon Mountain. Their English translation wasn't all that good.

This was kinda crazy - They were building a outdoor stadium and they were putting together scaffolding to help. Yes, those are men on it.

Ok, that’s all for now.

Blessings,

Jen