Sunday, May 29, 2011


  So much has gone on with my family in the year 2011, I haven't hardly had time to sit down and read my mail, let alone blog... But things are settling down, and life may just be about to turn back around.  So here I am, reading my bible, sitting quietly in my house, and this word jumps out at me.  FAITH...Do I have it completely?  Yes...But was it faltering a little in the past few months?  Yes...  

Most people know that my year started out with my brother in law passing suddenly at the beginning of February.  It was awful.  It seemed like right before me, my whole family was falling apart.  My sister in law was now widowed, my parent-in-laws were taking on a whole new job description as grandparents, my husband was carrying the weight of making sure that my nephews would get EVERYTHING they needed, and my son was so confused as to why his parents were so on edge and why his cousins were so upset.  WOW... I honestly can't really put only a few words to describe all of the emotions that went through our family.  We were scared, we were upset, we were confused, we were mad, and then it seemed like that cycle of emotions would start over again.  
"He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever."  Psalm 136:23

Which brings me back to faith.  At the beginning of 2011, our pastor told us that this was going to be a year of warfare, but if I'm completely honest, in my mind I just figured that it was for other people... not my family.  I was convinced that the God I served wouldn't put anything in our way to throw us off track.  However, this wasn't exactly on track.  You see, in my head I thought that because we had such a good relationship with God, that our life would go just how we wanted it to go, and then He threw a wrench in my plan when we got the call that my brother in law, Andy, was in the hospital and it wasn't looking good.  Still, I had faith that he was going to pull through, because after all, nothing like this could happen to my family.  Then we went to the hospital and we prayed, and we asked God to heal Andy.  However, Andy went to be in God's Kingdom forever.  That wasn't a part of my plan!  That wasn't supposed to happen to my family!  

So back to faith... Mine was starting to falter.  How could such an all powerful God let this happen?  How could such a good person like Andy, who loved the Lord and served Him well, be taken away so abruptly?  I was angry.  I didn't want to talk God anymore.  I didn't want to have faith in Him.  I didn't want to believe that everything was going to be ok.  I stopped praying.  I stopped listening to Him.  I stopped reading His Word.  My faith was dwindling.  And you know what?  My life was beginning to reflect that.  It was like a snowball effect.  One thing after another just kept happening.  What was going on?  Why is this happening to us?  Can we just be a normal family again please?!?  Then it hit me... I was doing this to myself.  

"So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ." Romans 10:17

This verse says it all.  I was removing myself from all of the Good News about Christ.  I was letting all that was good in my life just pass by, because I was holding offense.  I didn't want to open my heart to God, and let a healing process begin, and let His Word speak to me, and my life was showing that.  Slowly but surely, I started to get it back.  I began reading my Word again.  I started listening to worship music again.  I started praying every single day, whenever I'm walking by myself, when I'm in the shower, when I'm making dinner, when I'm putting my kids to sleep, whatever I'm doing.   

And I have learned something.  My faith was always there.  And God never left me.  I just chose not to really listen and look for Him.  I chose to remove myself from His presence, so that I could sulk.  But now, being with my nephews and sister in law, and seeing the joy it brings to them to just be with the family that they have, it's wonderful.  Seeing the impact that Andy had on his kids, and how he has shaped them both to be respectable, gentle, loving, Christians.   It makes me thank God for letting us have the time we did have with Andy.  

"I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations."  Psalm 119:30. 

I choose to walk in faith with my God.  I have  chosen to renew my mind each day, so that I can focus on the good that I can be doing for my family, for my friends, and for any person that I may be able to help.  I have chosen to thank God for the time that he allowed me to have with such a wonderful brother in law.  I am thankful for the characteristics that shaped Andy and that shone through him, so that I could see them and be that much more blessed.  I have chosen to be the best wife, mother, sister, daughter, and aunt that I can be through my FAITH IN GOD, not through my own powers.  Because let's face it... I tried that route, and it didn't work out so good. 

God is all powerful.  God is always with me.  God will never fail me or forsake me.  I like the sound of that.  I don't ever want to lose faith in that...

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Star of the Show!

So, I'm reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  It's definitely an eye opener for me! Especially today.  Have you ever had days ( or maybe it lasted more like a week, than a day) where you just wanted to ridicule everything?  Where you had something negative to say, even if you just thought it in your head but didn't say it out loud?  That would be ME lately.  I think I've done a pretty good job at trying not to vocalize most of the negativity, but after reading parts of this book tonight, I feel like I need to insert foot into mouth.

Francis Chan compares our lives to being an extra in a movie. When people have their debut, even if it is the back of their head for a split second, they feel that the whole world should see this movie about them.. They are so blindsided to the fact that this movie really has nothing to do with them, and they are merely a placeholder for a nano second.  He then goes on to say that we are those "extras" in the movie starring the One, the Only, GOD.  This is not about me at all, but all about GOD.

Sometimes I forget that.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the "are you serious? Did he/she really just do that?" or "Do they not know that what they did was totally wrong?"  Then, because He's God and He knows my thoughts, God gives me a good kick in the butt and says,"Jenna, watch it!  It doesn't matter what you think.  I'M the star of this show, and I call the shots around here."  DANG!  Talk about being embarrassed!

I have been told more than once in the past that I can come off as a little overbearing.  Sometimes I get ahead of myself, and say things that don't sound all too nice, even if I really didn't mean for it to come out that way.  To be honest, I tried to take it as a compliment, that I'm a woman that knows what I want!  Well, in the past few months I've realized that this way of acting can actually hurt someone, even when I'm not trying to.  So I'm trying to change.  I sometimes get back into that rut, like I did these past couple of days, but then I find myself  hearing God tell me once again that it's not my place to judge, or that I need to just let things go out of my control.  HE will take care of everything.  HE will do the judging when the time comes.  Do I want to have those moments of pure negativity on my conscience when He judges me?

Even if my heart is in the right place, I need to make sure my actions and words are showing that.  I truly want to be a person that when you talk to me, or watch me, or whatever, you can see God overflowing from me.  I want people to know that I am all about my God, and I want his Love to pass through me and into others.  Can I do it?  Yeah, Will it be a daily challenge?  Yeah.  But my God is my helper, and He will give me the strength, wisdom, and love to follow through.  I'm so thankful that this isn't really a show about me.  If that were the case, it would definitely be a flop at the box office!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Wow.. Sometimes we take God's grace and blessings for granted.  My family and I have been at the beach for a few days, and over and over I have witnessed God pouring out His blessings on us.  To most people, these occurrences may just seem to be "lucky", but I believe that they are all God' doings.

Right off the bat, when we arrived at our hotel, we got there just as checking in time started.  There were LOADS of people in the waiting room, and the line went out the door.  Tons of people were raving on about their rooms not being ready.  They were slamming their fists, cussing, etc.  However, when we got up to the desk, our room was ready and we were checked in immediately.  Jonathan then told me that he was praying the whole time he was in line.  God answered his specific prayers.  Praise God!

Also. there were many times that we were out and about, eating, swimming, at the aquarium, where the crowds were big.  I silently prayed each night that our kids would be taken care of and safe.  God answered these prayers, but He did more than that.  Our kids were great!  They were patient, they didn't fuss, and they listened to us (for the most part).  Their behavior has made this trip wonderful.  I think that this is because God has placed a spirit of peace within them.  They feel safe, and are able to enjoy themselves, which enables us as parents to enjoy ourselves.  Amen!

Lastly, we switched hotels because the last few days of our trip are due to Jonathan's work schedule.  We had a full day today to wait out before we could check into our new hotel.  I think that God knew what we really wanted.  When we stopped at our hotel, to see if by chance our room was ready early, it was!  Whoo Hoo!  Again, I truly believe this was God's doing.  He has helped make this trip wonderful.  We try to live our lives so that He shines through everything we do.  I sure hope we were able to touch some lives while we were here, just by watching us and our children... We sure do pray that we each and every day we touch someone and show them a little piece of what God has in store for them...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


For the past 3 days, I have been visiting my family. I have 4 rowdy nephews here, along with my kids. It is a houseful! In all honesty, there have been a few times when myself or another adult here have gotten a little "testy" with the boys. It's hard to manage 5 silly boys at the same time!
Tonight was a little different. I had an absolute BLAST with my nephews! My son went with me to get ice cream sandwiches from DQ for everyone. While ordering he was sitting on the counter. Next thing I knew, he was alseep on my shoulder, but still sitting on the counter! Needless to say, I was sort of excited, because I thought that meant I could sort of relax since my child was down for the count. However, that's not how the night turned out.
As I was sitting downstairs trying to watch my favorite TV show, the boys were all there with me. They were a little hyper, so I had to think of a way to calm them down during my show. I explained to them that if they were quiet during the show, that on commercials we would have competitions.
It was great! We did head stands, balancing,pushups, situps, etc. I wasn't expecting them to stay interested for so long. We even ended up playing some races too! We had wheel barrel races, three legeged races, and crab walks. I laughed so hard, and was so excited that they stay so interested and got along so well. No one fought, no one cried or got hurt, it was amazing.
This led me to some scripture on family tonight. It says in 1 Timothy 3: 4b "If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?"
After tonight, this statement meant a lot to me. I always seemed to think that I was capable of doing lots of things in a volunteer status at church, and that I was fairly good at them. However, I often doubted my ability to "control" all of my nephews at the same time. And these kids were my own blood! Weird, isn't it?
I realized tonight that if I thought positively about situations such as managing and enjoying the time that I have with my 5 crazy, silly, wonderful nephews, things can go a lot smoother. I need to be able to understand and connect with my own family, so that I can take these skills and connect with strangers that come into the house of God in which I volunteer. Ineed to make positive impressions on these children's lives, and show them that I love them, relatives or not. I AM a child of God, and I CAN take care of my family!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Patience... What is that exactly? I'm not sure I remember, or even if I have any of that left! As my roof is being pounded on, my baby is crying, and my oldest is refusing to take a nap, patience is thin. This is the perfect time to be reminded of just how important it is to have patience... God given patience.

Romans 15:5 states, "May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Jesus Christ." Wow! This says a lot to me. First off, my family and I are followers of Jesus Christ. So there should be something about us that others can see and just know that we are "different." I don't mean different as in something wrong with us. That's where the patience comes in.

Even during times like today when I have strangers banging on my roof, my kids are a little distraught, and even the dogs are having a hard time staying calm, God gives me patience. God is encouraging me to be patient with my kids. God is helping me to stay calm, so that I set a tone for the rest of my house while my husband is out. I just need to stay close to Him, and tap into that calm serenity. Is this easy? Heck no! I have to recite Romans 15:5 over, and over, and OVER again. I have to meditate on it. I have to be reminded constantly. Just because I'm a Christian doesn't make my ride any easier... what makes it easier is the fact that i can find a place deep in my heart to store the Word that God has given me. I can pull that Word out whenever I need it, and I can live by it.