Monday, December 17, 2007

7 days and Counting!

Well I am now fully in the Christmas whirlwind! Husband and I had a fabulous weekend in New Orleans celebrating this precious holiday with his family. It was full of family and fun and fellowship and fun presents! It was a much needed weekend with his fam and we had a ball. Saturday night we ate at this fancy fancy resteraunt in downtown New Orleans (French Quarter) called Antoine's. This restaurant has existed since before the Civil War. For reals! So the menu was in French, and my sweet husband can't pronounce things like that. So when the waiter came to take Grant's order, rather than saying "I'll have the steak", or pointing at what item he wanted, my precious man just said "I'll have the $37.50". Classy.


So I am back in Baton Rouge, frantically getting through this week. I am working my little tail off, getting my house back in one piece, wrapping presents and packing up for our trip to Texas. I have sooo many errands to run this week and I feel like that countdown has begun!


I am thankful today for my employers. This is a hectic, busy, and financially pressing time for everyone, but today I was given a generous Christmas bonus. I was not expecting it and I swear I almost started crying. It was a wonderful little gift and I just truly believe that the Lord's blessings come in all forms.


Take a deep breath ladies, Christmas is one week away!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Upton

Good evening sweet friends! I must say that I have much more free time on Thursday nights thanks to the Writer's Strike. No Grey's Anatomy and No Office = No fun.

My car was in the shop today. The brakes have been pretty musical the last few weeks. The only way I can describe the sound they were making is a wicked old witch melting in a big kettle of boiling oil. That's the sound.

So I take my car to the shop this morning. Upton is the man helping me. I've never met a man named Upton before. I did pretend to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair in highschool though. I totally used Cliffnotes on that one. Holla!

Anyways, so when Upton asks for a number he can call me at, I gave him husband's number. (Honestly, if he were to call me and tell me anything, I'd have to call Grant and run it by him and Lord knows I would forget everything he just told me anyway). My darling co-worker picked me up at the shop on the way to work and I went on with my merry morning. (Not a merry Christmas morning, however, since it was 80 degreess!!!!)

So Grant calls around 1ish, says that Upton has found the problem with the brakes and they are fixing it. However, Upton also informs Grant that there are other things wrong with my car. He proceeds to list about 9 things that need to be fixed. Sweet darling husband asked sweet darling Upton how much all this was going to cost us during this sweet darling Christmas season. Upton casually says "$870".

Now, this is why I love my husband. He had the following conversation:

Husband: Upton?

Upton: Yes sir.

Husband: I need you to do me a favor.

Upton: Yes sir.

Husband: I need you to pick the three most important things on that list.

Upton: Okay.

Husband: How much do the three most important things cost?

Upton: Around $340.

Husband: Now we're talking! Those are what we are doing today. Okay?

Upton: Okay.

:) My precious beyond precious sister in law picked me up from work and took me to get the car from Upton. I must admit, my very favorite part of this entire process is the fact that they cleaned my car all pretty. They detailed the inside and got all the food crumbs out of all the cracks in the leather. And for that I am truly grateful.

I wrapped all the presents tonight for our Christmas weekend with Grant's family. We are leaving tomorrow and I am very excited for my first Christmas with them! How wonderful that Grant & I are FINALLY spending our first Christmas in the same state! Hallelujah and amen!

Monday, December 10, 2007

It Begins...

Well hello friends! I hope you all had a very lovely weekend. We had a WONDERFUL weekend! I realized yesterday though that this will be our last "calm" weekend for quite awhile! CHRISTMAS IS BEGINNING!

This coming weekend we will be with Grant's family to celebrate Christmas with them. We should have a wonderful time and I am going to spend this week wrapping gifts till my fingers don't work anymore!

Then the following weekend we are headed to Texas! I haven't seen the twins since August and it has been far too long, I think they are speaking in sentences now and have IQ scores of 196. But that's okay. I will hug and kiss all over them! Aunt Jen will be in full form!

Then the following weekend is..... drum roll..... our one year anniversary!!!!! HALLELUJAH and AMEN! I don't know if we are going to go anywhere, Christmas is taking alot of our "play money", but just spending a weekend together will be wonderful. I cannot believe one year is almost here! It seems like just yesterday I was puking on my wedding day :)

It is time for my favorite Christmas song of the week:

Silent Night
Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

It amazes me to think of our sweet Jesus as a little baby boy. A baby boy who cried and cooed and snuggled and sniffled and yawned. And I think of Mary, so young and frightened and then seeing her son, the Messiah, and holding Him and KNOWING that everything was gonna be okay. What a joyful, glorious night. That was the night that the Savior, the deliverer from all evil came to earth. That is why we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate Christmas because that was the day that our Savior came! Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fabulous

I am a little bit in love with these:




Okay, I am alot in love with them.



This is my Grown-Up Christmas List.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Glory

It's time for Jen's favorite Christmas song of the week! I am LOVING the words to this beautiful hymn! The 3rd verse gives me chills :) I've heard it and sang it umpteen jillion times but it still moves me!


Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"


Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"


Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"



Saturday, December 1, 2007

A God Given Passion

Just a warning: this is going to be a very sappy blog. But it needs to be written!

Last night, husband and I went to see "August Rush". I had high expectations for this movie, despite all the negative reviews I had read. And let me tell you, my expectations were met and far exceeded. However, I do understand the negative reviews. Allow me to explain: If you are NOT a musician, there is a good chance you will not like this movie. I think non-musicians don't understand the real message of the movie.

First of all, you need to understand BEFORE you see it that there are fairy tale elements to this movie. There is magic and unrealistic circumstances. But also remember that it is a MOVIE and it is allowed to have fairy tale elements! But the reason I said that non-musicians may not like this movie is because some people who are non-musical don't understand the power of music. And that is really what the moral of this story is: Music has power.

I was on the verge of tears the entire movie, and not about the storyline. When we walked out of there, Grant and I talked for the next hour or so (as I wiped tears from my face!) about what music means to us.

This is something I know for certain.... the feeling I get when I hear music performed with perfection, when I hear two notes in harmony that seem like they have been waiting and waiting to come together, when I hear a 100 piece orchestra all make different noises that come together to make one glorious sound...the feeling I get when I hear that.... I KNOW that it is from Jesus. I believe with my whole heart that my Lord wired me to have an intense and joyous passion for music.

I can think of several times in my life where hearing a certain symphony, or a certain song, or even one singular note has taken my breath away. It overwhelms me. I feel like it is the Lord speaking to my soul.

Some people look at creation and say "Look at the mountains! Look at this earth and the galaxy! How can you see these things and not KNOW that there is a God and that He loves us!?" That is how I feel about music. How can you hear those sounds and not KNOW that there HAS to be a higher power! Music has always just been there. No one invented it. No one created it. It simply existed. It has no boundaries and no rules. Music is what you make it.

I also found myself to be very sad last night. As a child, my love for music consumed me. I started singing as soon as I could talk, I started piano when I was 6 I believe, I sang in the children's chorus starting at 9 and never really stopped. When I was in junior high I decided I wanted a new challenge and took up french horn. Then after eigth grade I knew it was time for me to start musical theater. Musical theater seemed to encapture all my greatest loves and tied them all together, and I did that on into college.

But now, I look at where I am today. I am no longer in Houston, so all my avenues of performance and music are no longer here with me. I am married and I would rather not spend every single night of my week in a rehearsal. I don't desire an intense career in musical theater. And the children's chorus is too far away for me to pour myself into and release my creative juices there anymore.

But as I said to Grant last night, "I have this overwhelming feeling of joy when I am surrounded by music, and I am doing NOTHING with that passion. NOTHING". I have ignored music for the past few years. I have no idea why. I am not singing anywhere except my car, I am not playing piano because I don't have one. I am not doing anything with this God-given passion.

I have go to do something! Last night I started praying that God will show me a place, or a way that I can start feeling that feeling again. Grant is actually an incredible guitarist, and last night we decided that we are gonna start making music together. In the 3 1/2 years that we've been together, I can count on one hand the number of times we have done that. How sad is that! I was remembering that when my now sister-in-law, Ronda, was telling me about Grant and why she wanted to introduce us, one of the reasons was because "you are both very passionate about music". Music is one of the reasons the Lord led her to bring us together! And we are IGNORING IT!

I'm sorry about this rant, and if you think I'm a little freaky now I apologize. :) I just know that music was put into my soul and that is something I have cast aside for so long now, because I felt I needed to "grow up" a bit. But it is a part of me. And I am bringing it back to the surface!

Deep breath. I'm okay now. :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Security

Okay ladies! Time for some changes! As most of you know, there is a meanie internet man out there posing as your friends and taking over your emails! Now, I know this doesn't have much to do with blogger, but my husband and I had a long talk last night about blogland, and I think it's time to take certain security measures! :)

Basically, Jenthenewlywed blog may become a little more vague. I feel like I have been relatively careful so far, but clearly, meanie internet man (and others) use those you trust to get to you, so you can never be too careful! (And can I just say how AWFUL it is that someone would pose as a trusted friend to do evil things!? AWFUL!!!)

My main rule is that my last name, nor yours, will never be posted. Nor anyone's place of business, etc. I mean, you may not mean anything by a sentence like "So on Saturday we went to see my friend Suzie who works at Starbucks" but alot can happen from a sentence like that. So lets just be careful, okay ladies?

Be careful sweet friends!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What We Did Today

Here is our front door!





Merry Christmas from the Moxie Fox!

Sweet Husband hanging lights on our very first tree!


Jen hanging ornaments!



Now, I haven't yet been able to find the "perfect" tree topper, so I'll post a new pic when I get a pretty star or angel!



This is a nativity scene someone gave us as a wedding gift.




Now that you've seen pictures of the beginnings of our very first Christmas as a married couple, now you have to know the story about our very firt Christmas tree...


We have re-named ourselves Clark and Ellen Grizwald. We had a painless experience at Lowe's, and my sweet husband securely fastened our tree to the top of my Honda Accord. He looped the rope through all 4 windows and tugged tight. It took about ten minutes or so. We both tugged to make sure everything was snug.


Then it was time to go. I went to open the passenger door. It won't open. The driver door won't open either. We look up at each other and realize: We've tied the tree to the car very tightly and the doors are tied in there with it.


Now, I know my husband. Untying these ropes is not an option. I knew what we had to do.


It was at this moment, in the parking lot of Lowe's, that my husband and I crawled through the windows of my car. My bootie was way out in the air as I tried to dive into the car. We looked SO classy!


As if that was not enough, as we are about to get on the highway, my husband decides that he is worried about the tree. So he opened up the sunroof, and stuck his arm out through the top so he could hold the tree trunk securely as we flew down I-10! Hey hey we're the Clampetts!


I usually don't like to decorate for Christmas until December. I had even considered not decorating at all, since we will be in Texas for Christmas. But then I remembered that this is our first Christmas and it would be so horrible not to celebrate!


By the way, we had a wonderful time in New Orleans for Thanksgiving. The food was delicious and I got ALOT of shopping conquered. We are back in Baton Rouge where it is chilly and rainy and cozy and just beginning to look alot like Christmas! (Everywhere you go......)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Play with me Dad!

Here is a little video of our little Moxie... he was trying to get daddy to play with him, but daddy was just filming :) He is not always this hyper, but he is always this cute!





video

Dissapointment

Wow. Just, wow. If you haven't watched the finale of The Bachelor yet, and you don't want me to spoil the ending, read no further. Otherwise, listen to my rant. Thank you :)

I am appalled. Hot Brad just became not so hot. Let me make myself clear about something: I am not upset that he did not propose. Clearly, if he did not fall in love with anyone, he should not be asking anyone to marry him. However, throughout the season, he has been very verbal and vocal about his feelings for these women. He used the word "wife" when referring to Deanna about 48,000 times. So what I am not understanding is, why did he just send her home altogether? Why not just say "I want to keep seeing you"? He has that option. Past bachelors have given the girls a ring on a necklace, or a one-way plane ticket. He just said goodbye.

But what irks me even more is how much he lead those girls on. He said all the right things and kissed them and talked about marriage and families and babies and then..... nothing. Those poor girls. Both of them, I felt sooo bad for them. And he kept trying to comfort and hug them and I was looking at the tv yelling "GET OFF OF HER!".

The thing is, we've all been there. We've all gotten dumped, even when you thought it was a sure thing. Or maybe it was a promotion that we just knew was ours, only to see it given to someone else at the last moment. Perhaps you wanted to buy that perfect house, only to find out that someone else made a better offer. Our lives are full of dissapointments.

And here is what I have come to realize: As much as I love my husband with my whole heart, and I know he loves me with his, he is a human being. As am I. We are human beings, and by our very definition, we are flawed. We are not perfect and we will hurt one another. In our lives together, most likely my husband at one time or another will say the wrong thing, or fall through on something. He will dissapoint me at some point in some capacity. And that's okay, because I know that I will do the same.

What I am getting at is that Jesus has never, never, ever dissapointed me. Ever. Even when I had one of those horrible heart-wrenching moments that I just knew that God didn't know what He was doing, He did. He knew exactly what He was doing. He wants nothing less than His best for me. He loves me, He has never let me down. I am so thankful that we have that one sure thing, that one promise that can never ever be broken.

He is right. He is always right.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sweet Emotion

I have come to realize that I am really really bad at taking pictures. Well, let me clarify: I am really really bad at getting my camera out of my purse to take pictures. I was in Houston all weekend for Laura's wedding, and I think I took about 2 pictures. I am awful. I think some of the other bridesmaids are going to email some out, so if I get any good ones I will post them here! It was a wonderful weekend and a wonderful wedding. Laura looked beautiful and everything was just gorgeous!

I got to spend alot of time with my mom, Jaclyn and Grace Parker. That child is beyond adorable. I mean it. She is smiley and cuddly and she loves to snuggle. She spent some time snuggling with me on Saturday morning and we just had a ball.

So, Grant and I have been living in Baton Rouge for almost a year now. I have gotten quite settled and have made lots of friends. I love my church and my job and I am quite happy. It was so so weird though yesterday, when we were leaving Houston, I got all emotional in the car! I mean we have made this trip so many times and I have never done that, but I just felt so sad when we were leaving. I think it was a little weird because Lindsee was not home and I haven't seen her or Jo in months, and Sally is in North Africa now and everything is just changing. I won't be in Houston for Thanksgiving this year and we will have a shorter Christmas. I have always had a hard time adjusting to changes and I guess this is just one of those times. So weird though.

So I missed 2 days of work last week for the wedding, and because of Thanksgiving, this week will only be a 3 day work week. For this, I am very very thankful! I am really looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with Grant's family. It's my first holiday with his family and I am very happy to be "initiated!"

Okay ladies, you can't forget! TONIGHT IS THE FINALE OF THE BACHELOR! Tonight he makes his choice! Katie and Mo are coming over tonight to have a Bachelor Finale Party. It will be hoppin'. And by "hoppin'" I mean that Katie and I will be watching the Bachelor on the small tv in the guest room while the boys play Halo in the living room. Drop it like it's hot.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My McDreamy Came True!

Thank you so much to everyone who said such sweet things about Grant! When he got home from the accident that night, we had dinner and he went to bed at 6:00pm, and he didn't wake up until 6:00 the next morning! I am glad he got some much needed rest. He is still not 100% healthy, but he is much better than he was earlier this week!

Tomorrow I fly to Texas. This makes my heart oh-so-very-happy. This weekend I am a bridesmaid in Laura's wedding. I have known Laura since.... I can't even tell you. Younger than elementary school, that is for sure! The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are tomorrow, Thursday, so I am flying out tomorrow. Grant is driving in Friday evening after work so he can be at the wedding with me on Saturday. I am SO excited and hope to post many pictures!

Oh, and remember my whole rant the other day about the writer's strike? Well I had said that maybe they should make Grey's Anatomy barbie dolls and I could make my own show. Well, my sister Jaclyn has informed me that a Patrick Dempsey doll now exists as the movie Enchanted makes its way into theaters. For real:

Now if only they had a Meredith doll. I would force Meredith to marry McDreamy. Also, ladies, I am interested in who you think the Bachelor is going to pick? I am predicting that he chooses DeAnna but he does not propose. That is what I am betting on :) What do you think?


I'll be back Monday with pictures! Love you ladies!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sigh of Relief

This was the call I got this afternoon:

(phone rings)

Me: Hello?

Grant: Hey babe..

Me: Hi! How's your day going?

Grant: Well...um.... I need to talk to you about something. I am fine, I am not hurt, everything is okay.....

I HATE conversations that start like that!!! As I mentioned in my earlier blog today, Grant has been feeling pretty sick lately. He went to work anyway, and around 3:00 he started to feel feverish. Realizing that he was not going to be very productive on the job, he decided to head home a little early and take a nap. The drive from New Orleans to our house is around an hour.

So Grant was in the work van and was on I-10, going about 70mph. The truck in front of him swerved, trying to avoid hitting some debris in the road. As this truck swerved, he "clipped" the piece of debris. What was this piece of debris, you ask? It was a large truck tire. WITH THE RIM STILL ON IT. As the truck hit the tire, the tire flew into Grant's hood, windshield, jumped on top of the van, and then rolled off, knocking off his side view mirror.

PRAISE THE LORD. Somehow, my husband came away totally unhurt! Not a scratch on him! The glass from the windshield was sprayed onto him though. When he finally pulled over, he was covered in glass. The hood of the van is cracked in two places, and the windshield is "annihilated" as Grant called it.

Thank you, Jesus, for protecting my husband today. Thank you for bringing him home safely. Now he has taken Tylenol and is sleeping soundly in bed. Today could've been ALOT worse and I am so so grateful that the only thing wrong with my husband is his bad cold!!

Our God is SO GOOD!!!

All Kinds of Things

I really don't think they should call it "night fishing". I think it should just be "fishing". I was under the impression that night fishing would mean that they left around, I don't know, 7:00pm and returned around 8:00am. That would mean that they were doing the majority of their fishing when it was dark outside. But that is not really what happened. They began fishing at 5:00pm and stopped fishing the next day at about 5:00pm. It was 24 hours of fishing. And Grant got home around 8:30. I think they should call it a "Fishing Trip Where We Spend The Night". That should be the name. I don't really mind it, just don't give it the name Night Fishing! :)


Grant had a wonderful time. I will post some pictures of his big fish later. I didn't know that there were fish this giant. And I didn't know it was okay to have that much blood on you clothes! Eewwww!!


I had a wonderful "Jen" weekend. Friday night after we went on a long walk around the pond, Moxie and I cuddled up on the couch with my blanket and we watched movies on the Hallmark Movie Channel. They are absurdly cheesy and horribly produced, but entertaining nonetheless! Saturday morning I took the 30 second drive to the outlet mall to start my Christmas shopping! I am happy to report that I bought 4 gifts. Woooo hoooooO! I am also very happy to report that ANN TAYLOR FACTORY STORE is OPEN!!!!!!!!! It is beautiful. And SO much cheaper! However, I was a good girl and I only bought something for those on my Christmas list. Nothing for Jen this time. Take a deep breath!


After shopping, I met Katie for some YUMMY Mexican food at Las Palmas. After our bill came, we still sat there for another hour just jabbering away. I am sure our waiter wanted us to leave! I so enjoy our little dates together!


When Grant got home Saturday night, he was sick sick sick. After being hot and then sleeping in the cold, wet boat, and then waking up and getting hot again, my honey has a cold :( He has been feeling awful! However, we have had tickets to see Brian Regan (my favorite comedian) for a few months now, and he was a trooper and went with me despite how cruddy he felt! So sweet!


On a more serious note, my dear Sally and her men has flown away to North Africa. Sally, her husband Jon, and her precious Jude have sacrificed and moved to the mission field. They will be there for atleast 2 years. It is so weird to me to think that I won't see her for 2 years. I have known Sally for as long as I have known Lindsee and for us to go more than 2 months without seeing each other is weird. Please keep her family in your prayers. Pray for their protection in North Africa. More importantly, pray that they would win souls for Christ! How amazing that the Estes family is actively spreading the Word of Jesus and have sacrificed their American life to do so! I have the highest respect for them. I love you, sweet Sally. (Also, go see all the fun pictures of us girls on Lindsee's page) I am thankful for servants like the Estes'!


Have a great day everyone. Remember, tonight is The Bachelor: Women Tell All. Hillary will be trying to defend herself. This cannot be missed.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Night Fishing

So this afternoon, Grant, his brother, and his dad are taking off work a little early. They have to get the boat ready. Because they have to go night fishing. They have to.


The way I understand it, the fish bite better at night, or something like that, so they are going to get in their boat, and then they are going to drive 25 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico, park it, and fish. All night. They are bringing bean bag chairs in case someone wants to take a nap.


Does this sound like fun to anyone else? I don't know about you ladies, but I would not be pleasant company on a trip like that! This morning, he was packing his bag, and I soon found out that "packing his bag" meant throwing some long sleeved shirts and a beanie into a plastic grocery sack. I am so proud! :) He should get back tomorrow around lunch time. I intend on Christmas shopping. Or maybe Jen shopping, I haven't made up my mind yet! :)


So has everyone heard about the Writer's Strike? For those of you who haven't, basically what is happening is that the writer's of Hollywood have gone on strike. Their reasons are that when a television show is aired on the internet, or re-runs, or anything like that, the writers don't get a cut. They have been trying to negotiate this for months, to no avail. They have gone on strike. So what that means: no new shows. Leno, Letterman, all the late night shows have already gone into re-runs without their writers. The Office has only one completed episode left, and so they have stopped filming. No writers means no new scripts, so production has to stop. We are about to be seeing ALOT of made for tv movies! Apparently this same thing happened back in 1988 and lasted for 22 weeks!!!!


So ladies, for those of you that are as pathetic as me when it comes to "your shows", what are we going to do with our time? Learn to sew? Read more? Go jogging? Perhaps they will sell some Grey's Anatomy barbie dolls and I can create my own show, with my own story line. Meredith will stop whining and marry McDreamy. That is episode one.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Longest Day

So Sunday was daylight savings day. Spring forward, Fall back. We got one extra hour of sleep, ladies! Praise the Lord! However, did anyone else feel like that one small little hour added on about 7 hours to your day? Grant and I felt like yesterday was forever long! We got SO MUCH done!

We woke up in the morning, and Grant made pancakes. Katie's husband Mo was out of town so she spent the night with us (it was our first slumber party ya'll!) and Grant made us pancakes! Then we headed up to church and into Sunday school. After Sunday school we went to lunch, and then after lunch Grant and I headed to the store.

When we got home, the following things were accomplished (in random order): Nap, exercise, Bible study, dishes, wash clothes, favorite show, grocery list, cleaned bathroom, dry clothes, play with the dog, iron clothes, Grant went to the gym, put clothes away. AND all that was done by 9:00. We didn't know what to do with ourselves! And when we did go to bed, I didn't feel tired. We need that many hours in EVERY day! We had a wonderful wonderful weekend.

One highlight of this weekend was Friday night. Let me give a little background info: There is a rather large sized outlet mall about 30 seconds from my house. Literally. I can see it from my window. It is not my favorite outlet mall as far as stores go, but there are several useful places that are convenient to have close to home. There is a Gap, and an Old Navy and a Nine West, so sometimes I do run over there for a few things. Well, over the past 6 weeks or so, this outlet mall has been getting a MAJOR makeover. They are repainting and pretty much doing cosmetic surgery on the outside, as well as building an entire new strip of stores, yet to be named. Until Friday night.

As this new section of the outlet mall has been built, I have been speculating as to what mediocre stores would be there. Maybe it will be Jansport or Maidenform (oh, wait, those are already there). I wasn't expecting anything good. Imagine my surprise then, when Friday night as I drove by the new strip, I see it: the beautiful, glowing sign: ANN TAYLOR FACTORY STORE. The angels sang. A light shone down around the building. Jesus loves me. This I know.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Angel

Welcome to November! Can you believe we are already in November!? I feel like October just flew by!

Things have been going pretty well lately. It's been a busy, busy week! I wanted to share a few pictures of my nieces that my sisters sent me!


This is Juliet (17 months old) who was LaLa (The Teletubby) for Halloween. Our passionate little Juliet was very very passionate about NOT wearing the Lala hat. She is still pretty cute though!


This is Scarlett (also 17 months, she and Juliet are twins) and she was Humpty Dumpty. Ya'll, I can't even begin to describe how hilarious this costume is. I love it!


The last of the nieces is Grace, who is 6 months old! Grace thought that it was a little too hot outside to be a chicken....



And still, a little too hot to be Princess Leia....



But she was quite content being a ballerina! Isn't she just perfect!?

Special thanks to Shannon & Jaclyn, my fabulous sisters for sending these precious pictures!


As for me, Halloween was pretty low key. Natalie from the office was really encouraging me to dress up. But honestly, I just didn't have anything. So I wore my normal clothes to work. HOWEVER, I DID wear a tiara. The tiara I wore on my wedding day. Because, hey, how often do you have an excuse to wear a tiara?!


So last night, we had a few trick or treaters. My very favorite though was this DARLING little girl, who looked about 3. She was dressed as an angel, and you could tell this was her very first time trick or treating. I opened the door, and she was looking up at me, looking a little unsure about what was going on. She didn't say trick or treat (although I was already digging into my bucket of chocolate cause she looked so gosh darn cute)... and then her mom, who was standing about 8 feet behind her said "Honey what do you say for the candy?"


She looked up at me.... and said "Umm..... Happy... Um...... Angel...."

I think I gave her everything I had left! What a precious little cherub!!


Today, I was getting ready for work, and I saw my red high heel shoes sitting there in my closet. It has been SO long since I've worn them. So, before it gets too chilly out, I put on my red dress, threw a denim jacket over it to "dress it down", and put those red shoes on my feet! It was wonderful.


Imagine my embarassment when Natalie from work asked me if I was wearing white panty hose. She was not kidding. She was serious. "Nope. Those are just my legs!". It has taken me YEARS to embrace my whiteness. And it is moments like that that send me further back into my insecurity!


This weekend our Sunday school class is having a girls night! Woo hoo! I will post many pictures.


Have a great day precious friends!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Katie & Mo

So, as of today, Grant and I have been married for 10 months. (Woohoo!) And as of today, I have been living in Baton Rouge for just under 10 months. Baton Rouge is actually a cool city and we have met wonderful people here. I have to say though, I still get homesick and I miss my Texas alot. (How could you NOT miss Texas??). However, the Lord's most recent blessing in mine and Grant's life came in the form of a wonderful couple: Mo & Katie.

Mo & Katie go to our church, and they are in our Newlywed Sunday School class. They were married in February of 2006, and they are wonderful! They met while they were both living in St. Croix with their families back in highschool. (How cute is that!?) Mo's real name is Morris but he is Morris III and everyone calls him Mo. Sometimes I call him Moses. :)

Katie and I became super close over Gmail, believe it or not. Since we are in the same Sunday school class, we are on the same email list. For those of you who have gmail, you know that when someone in your address list is online, it tells you. There is a Gmail chat feature that is sorta like instant messaging, and basically, while we are both at work, we talk on gmail. the. whole. day. long. After weeks and weeks of talking on gmail and seeing each other at church, we decided we should get our hubbies together and we should all be b.f.f.

This is why we like Mo & Katie: They watch The Office as religiously as we do. They don't mind driving all the way out to the far far end of Baton Rouge to hang out with us. They make us laugh. One time I was at work, talking to Katie on gmail, and she typed: "Jen, I have a really really personal question to ask you. And if you don't feel comfortable answering it, I understand." I took a deep breath and typed: "It's okay, you can ask me anything".... There was a long pause and then she finally typed: "Did you like Hanson? And if you did, do you still?" I was rolling. She is so funny and we enjoy them so much! Also, Mo & Grant agree that rather than spending money on drapes and window treatments, we should put sheets of aluminum foil in our windows. Katie and I adamently disagree.


They have been a huge huge blessing in our lives and I just wanted to give the official blog shout out to our new friends!!



Here is Katie & Mo in the massage chairs at Brookstone in the mall.







Here is when I kicked Mo out of the massage chair.

We love you guys!!
Oh, by the way! I convinced Katie to get a blog!! Go say hi!!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Ode to Healthy Eating

Oh, health food
How conflicted I am
How confused

You are better for me
Yet, you taste so awful


Shocking
how reduced fat nilla wafers
taste like cardboard
they are not sweet


Shocking
how real nilla wafers
taste like a box of sunshine


Macaroni and Cheese
is comfort
so yummy
so perfectly cheesy
and yet
the skinny people
tell me you are evil
I do not believe it
I will never leave your side
I've got the blue box blues


Popcorn with no butter
Who wants you?
You are dry
You have no flavor
You are incomplete

Last night
I had a turkey sandwich
on whole wheat bread
with a cup of fat free yogurt
I finished it
And I was still starving


Why healthy food? Why?

If your are so good for me

Why don't you taste good?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Popcorn!

What a cozy little weekend it has been! Last night we went to dinner and a movie with Mo & Katie. We ate at Logan's Roadhouse (ya'll, it is impossible to go there without scarfing down about 6 of those yummy rolls) and then we went to see "Dan in Real Life". We LOVED this movie!! I highly recommend it. It is funny and heartwarming and it is just good altogether! However, if you are a mega fan of "The Office", it is kinda hard to watch Steve Carell without thinking of him as Michael Scott. Other than that, it is a great movie!

This morning we slept in (Praise Jesus!) and then we met Mo & Katie at Chick-fil-A. Grant and Mo went to the gun range to shoot things. Katie and I went to Target. Katie and I had a MUCH better time, I promise you! And it was Katie's 2nd Target trip of the day! I bought oodles and oodles of make-up. Perhaps I should put my oodles of make-up in a caboodle! :) Haha, remember caboodles, girls?

This afternoon, after my trip to the happy place, Grant went to play golf and I came home, walked the dog in this GORGEOUS fall weather, and then I watched movies on the Hallmark channel, while my Moxie was sleeping right next to me. It was wonderful!! AND my dad sent us a package! I got this big tin of popcorn from the Popcorn Factory, full of popcorn (obviously) candy corn, chocolate cookies, and all that fun stuff! And the label said "This is for Jen, Grant can not have any. Love, Dad". :) Daddy is funny like that. I have been munching on the cheesy popcorn all evening.

When Grant came home he cooked us some dinner. He made steaks, corn on the cob, and green beans. Now, all of my besties know that Jen never eats anything green. BUT, I am trying to be more health conscious and I realize that I can plug my nose and get through a side item of vegetables. I ate the green beans! I just pretended it was cheesecake. A really, really, disgusting cheesecake.

Annnnnd Grant just beat me in a game of Scrabble. Even though I got 38 points with the word "Oxygen", he still beat me. HOW DO YOU BEAT OXYGEN!? That's okay though. Because he was the winner, he is now playing Halo 3 on the Xbox. I really wanted to come do a little blogging! So he can play that Xbox all he wants!

Anyhoo, I am just feeling really happy and thankful for this very relaxing weekend that the Lord has given to us! This morning, Grant and I were awake but still in bed (at 9:00!!) and we were cuddling and I said "I think this is why God made Saturdays". He just laughed at me!! :)

Thank you Lord, for the simplest of blessings! Oh, and I hope ya'll like the new layout :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Little of This, A Little of That...

Hi dear friends! It has been beautiful, gorgeous, perfect weather these past few days. It is not too cold, yet I can wear my new jacket. PERFECT!! God has been very generous with His beautiful weather!

Speaking of a new jacket, has anyone else been to that store Steve & Barry's? Over the weekend I was in Houston and went to see the Sarah Jessica Parker line. Bless that woman. She made an entire line of clothing that is not over $20.00! NOTHING! There was this fabulous black and white coat for $18! I got this precious black quilted jacket for $14.98. I am so thankful for Sarah Jessica Parker. I recently found out that there is a Steve & Barry's here in Baton Rouge as well. I think I will do alot of Christmas shopping there.

Okay, so my goal is to buy atleast 5 Christmas presents this weekend. I learned from my sister Jaclyn that it is much better to spend alot of money on Christmas presents over the course of several months than wait until December 10 and spend $1000 all at once!! Spread it out over several paychecks!!

So I had a wonderful time in Texas. You can go to my sister, Jaclyn's blog, and see some precious pictures of us with her Grace Parker at the punkin patch! I love being Aunt Jenny! Now if I can only see my twins sometime soon I will be in Aunt heaven!

So tonight we are going to our couples Bible study, and I think this weekend I want to go see that new Steve Carell movie "Dan in Real Life". It looks cute. Has anyone heard anything about it?

Last night me and Grant took the dog out for a walk. It was crisp and I put on my Texas A&M sweatshirt, and Grant was wearing a beanie. I think he was going a little far. We are not skiing! :) It was beautiful, we walked around the pond and the moon was full. I love walks with my husband. We have the best conversations. The Lord has blessed me beyond belief!


Alrighty ladies, have a wonderful wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cease Striving

This Sunday, while in Texas, I got to visit my "home church", Cypress Bible Church. I grew up in this church. You have no idea how literally I mean that. I was there. All. the. Time. It is very much like a home to me, and it was wonderful to be back!

Also, we've all heard Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God". But have you ever heard the words used in the NASB translation? NASB says "Cease striving, and know that I am God". I LOVE THAT. It took on a whole new meaning for me. HE is God. We don't have to try to be. We don't have to do everything. Pastor Dave talked about a time in his life when he said that he was "subconsciously trying to be the Messiah". He meant that he was trying to save the world and do it all on his own. He read a "letter" he received from God: "Dear Dave, thank you for your offer to control and run the universe. I've got it, thanks. Really. I've got it. Love, God". I loved that.

Anyways, while we were worshipping, we sang the hymn, "Praise to the Lord the Almighty". I have sung this song umpteen times. But again, something clicked with me this Sunday. The words are SO beautiful and SO true:


Praise to the Lord, The Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, For He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, Now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord,Who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings,Yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how all your longings have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

That third verse really gets to me. He prospers my work. He defends me. His goodness and mercy daily attend me. And just THINK of what He CAN DO!! I am a worrier, and that verse just comforts me from head to toe. Love it! They wrote some good words back in the 17th century ya'll!

I feel a rejuvenation in my spirit. The Lord has given me the motivation and will power to make a change this week. I pray that He speaks to you this week the same way He has spoken to me!

Love you ladies!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Sickness and In Health


The above picture was taken on my wedding day (clearly). But I want you to look at is the background of the picture. Look at the large bottle of gingerale. Look at the small bottle of hand sanitizer. See the way I am reclined, slouching, in my chair as I waited for 6:00 to finally arrive. Now listen to my story.....

We got home from the rehearsal dinner quite late on Friday night. Jaclyn, my sweet sister was 4 or 5 months pregnant with Grace. (Who is now almost 6 months old!). Jaclyn laid on Mom and Dad's couch... she wasn't feeling well. I was so sad for her. She went on up to bed, but as I was getting ready for bed, I heard her in the bathroom. She was throwing up alot, over and over again. I started praying "Lord, please let Jaclyn feel better, and protect her baby too". I got dressed, and went to bed, realizing this was my last time to fall asleep as a single woman.

I went through all the things I needed to do tomorrow morning. I needed to finish packing, since the Best Man was going to come to my house and pick up the suitcase so Grant could go ahead and take it to the hotel and check in. I needed to get a few boxes of things to the reception hall. And I needed to be at the hair place by 11:00, as I had so clearly told my girls. I was exhausted and really wanted to get to bed so I would feel rested on my wedding day.

About 1:00am, my stomach started feeling weird. "Nerves", I thought. By this time I had heard Jaclyn running into our bathroom about 20 times, and I thought "I'm just feeling sympathy pains for her, this is all in my head". However, at about 1:30, I was up and running. Thankfully, I made it to the toilet in time. (Nice image there for ya). I remember thinking "Oh, sweet Jesus, you do remember that it is my wedding day, right?". I heard footsteps outside in the hallway and then a knock on the door. It was my mom. "Sweety, are you okay?". She opened the door, expecting to see Jaclyn, and there I was crying and just a hot mess altogether. My sweet mom, hugged me, told me we were gonna get through this.

She walked downstairs and said to my dad, "Jack, it's not just Jaclyn, it's Jenny too". My dad replied "Me too". It was at this moment that we realized that my wedding day was clearly not going to go exactly as planned.

Mom, Dad, me, and Jaclyn were all sick with a virus. And it was spreading. I truly believe that by the power of prayer, I stopped throwing up at 7:30am. I was still feeling nauseous, but I was not feeling so awful. Mom, Dad, and Jaclyn, followed by her husband Jeremy were pretty sick the whole day.

Our friend Penny had a friend who was going through chemotherapy. She very generously donated some pills she takes to help with nausea. I remember sitting in that chair you see in that picture, chugging gingerale, and being told by the sweet wedding coordinator that she had places some buckets in the first pew for my parents if anyone should need them. Nice.
But, we did it. We all made it down the aisle. Jaclyn had to sit down in a pew halfway through the ceremony. But I would much rather her sit down than fall down!!

By the end of it all, we counted THIRTY-FOUR people that got sick. Our whole family, several members of the wedding party, a groomsmen ended up in the hospital for dehydration since he was throwing up so much.

It's so funny though, cause when you look at the pictures, you would never know. There was a very short moment when I thought, "I have been planning this perfectly for over a year. Why would God do this?"

I think it was to show me that things are not MY plan, they are HIS. And in spite of it all, my wedding day was perfect. It was beautiful. And even though my family sat at the reception the majority of the time, they had a great time. My mom's fever broke around 9:00 at the reception and she really perked up. Now, that we look back on it, it's quite funny!

Anyways, that is the story of my wedding day. Praise Jesus we didn't have to use the buckets!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Heading to Texas

Friday is here! AND.... tonight we're going to TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be still my heart.

It's gonna be a short trip. You see, my dear friend Laura is getting married next month, and I am a bridesmaid. This weekend is one of her showers, and I haven't been able to make alot of things for her wedding since I am in Louisiana, but I really wanted to come to a shower! So we will get there late tonight, and tomorrow morning is the shower (at my mom's house). I'm really excited for Grant because he gets to play golf with some of his old college buddies. He hasn't seen them in a really long time and he is so happy!

Anyways, we are gonna try to get out as early as possible. It's a 5 hour drive and if we leave too late we don't get there till midnightish.

Love to all!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mercy

I'm feeling a little bit convicted. I've been getting a soft whisper that has turned into a firm statement in my ear all day from our Lord. He clearly is trying to drive a point home. I hear you Jesus, I hear you!!

When I was on my way to the office this morning, I got myself all worked up. I was driving and thinking about something that someone did recently that offended me. Who and what does not matter, but I was fuming. The longer I drove the more my internal dialogue was saying "How dare you!" and getting myself all into a tizzy. This person's actions was upsetting to me and I was thinking of all the things I would say if I could let loose. I would confront this person, quote scripture, and prove that I was right, and they were wrong.

I walked into the office and checked my email. I have mentioned before that I am a subscriber to Oak Hills Devotionals. Oak Hills is Max Lucado's church, and he sends out daily devotionals every morning. It's sitting right there in your inbox, waiting to tell you something. Ironically enough, here's what Pastor Max shared with me today:

Do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. -ROMANS 12:19

Have you ever noticed in the western movies how the bounty hunter travels alone? It's not hard to see why. Who wants to hang out with a guy who settles scores for a living? Who wants to risk getting on his bad side? More than once I've heard a person spew his anger. He thought I was listening, when really I was thinking, "I hope I never get on his list". Cantankerous sorts, these bounty hunters. Best leave them alone. Hang out with the angry and you might catch a stray bullet. Debt-settling is a lonely occupation. It's also an unhealthy occupation ...


If you're out to settle the score, you'll never rest. How can you? For one thing, your enemy may never pay up. As much as you think you deserve an apology, your debtor may not agree. The racist may never repent. The chauvinist may never change. As justified as you are in your quest for vengeance, you may never get a penny's worth of justice. And if you do, will it be enough?

So immediately after reading that, I was like "Wow, God knew exactly what needed to be in my inbox this morning!!" But that's not all. I did pretty well all day, my anger subsided and I didn't think much about it. Then this evening, Grant and I went on a walk and were talking. Again, I started getting my feathers ruffled. We came back from our walk, I put the laundry away, and opened my new Beth Moore Bible study that I started on Saturday. This is one of the scripture verses from today's study:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God"- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

Here is what sticks out to me today. I have read that verse so many times. The word compassion really jumped out at me tonight. God is compassionate and merciful on us, and we are His instruments to show that same compassion on others. He is merciful on ME! How is it that I am not bestowing that same mercy on others? I look at my past, the wretched mistakes and decisions I have made, the times that I have done everything but turn my back on my Savior, and He had mercy on me! How then, am I not showing that same compassion, mercy, and grace on others?

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Little Update....

Well, the hubby and I had a very nice weekend. Grant's parents drove in from New Orleans Friday evening. We just visited and went on to bed. Saturday morning we had breakfast at the Cracker Barrel (YUM) and Grant and his dad played golf while his mom and I went shopping.... holla!

I used my Ann Taylor gift card that my sister, Shannon, gave me for my birthday back in August. I got TWO shirts. (Okay, so I spent a little more than my gift card supplied!). THEN I went to Nine West and bought these really cute little brown loafer type shoes. They are perfect for work, and for fall! I am a major fan of Nine West, especially because they are one of the few stores that consistently carry size 5's. Being a size 5 woman is hard, cause no one carries your size! But they are really cute.

Then we stopped at Lifeway and I finally bought Beth Moore's Jesus: 90 Days With the One and Only. I have been wanting this book for a long time and I finally bought it. I've already done days one and two and I am SO excited to learn more about the life of Jesus. I am eager to see what He is going to do in my life through this book!

Yesterday morning we went to church, had some pretty good mexican food for lunch, and then headed to our newest obsession: house hunting. Ladies, we are looking for houses, AND I think we found one! We would have to build it, but the price is right and the house is ADORABLE. We are probably meeting with a mortgage company this week to see if we could get approved for the loan, so please pray!

This would be our first house and so this is all so new and scary for us. (Personally, I can't believe we are old enough to be doing this!). I will post pictures of the model house as soon as I get a chance!

So I have to make fun of myself a little bit. Yesterday afternoon after we got home from looking at the house, I laid down to take a nap. I was laying in our bed, on top of the covers, with just a little blanket over my legs. Well, I could hear my cell phone ringing in the kitchen, so I was kinda startled and was trying to get up to answer it. I rolled over to get out of the bed, but I didn't realize how close to the edge I was! I rolled right off the bed! And to make matters worse, my legs were all tangled up in the blanket so I couldn't really plant my feet well. AND to make matters worse, in the big fat middle of my falling down, I pulled a muscle in my leg. So I went down with a boom, Grant comes running and I am laying on the side of the bed, hardly awake, startled, and crying cause my leg was hurting. My sweet husband literally sat beside me and prayed for me. Haha.

I hope everyone has a wonderful wonderful week! Love you ladies!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lindsee Lou

Many of my blog readers also frequent the blog of Lindsee Lou. (If you haven't been there, I have linked her there on the left. You should go there, it is fun). However, what some of you many not know is that she is my best friend!

Lindsee and I grew up together. And I could not mean that more literally. I do not remember not knowing her. We were toddlers together and went on up from there. We were always involved in the same activities and church functions. She is like family to me and I love her and her precious heart!

One thing that blogland does not get to experience, however, is her "Lindseeisms". You see, sometimes Linds' mouth gets a little ahead of her brain, and sometimes things come out a little wrong. (In her blogs, she is typing so everything comes out crystal clear). Allow me to give a few examples of the times when things don't come out so clear.

Lindsee and I were out running errands together when I stepped out of the car to get something in a store. I got back in the car just as Lindsee was hanging up the phone with Sally, who we were meeting in a few minutes. This is the conversation that followed:
Lindsee: "Okay, so Sally called, and that's why she called".
Jen: "Okay... I'm gonna need the middle part of that story"

She also has her own words, like when her allergies are acting up, she says she is feeling "Allergetic". For reals. It's part of me and Joanna's vocabulary now.

She went through a phase in highschool when she would say "Lindsee es muy consada" about 45 times a day.

She likes to say "parched" and "famished" instead of thirsty and hungry.

My most favorite though, (which I just remembered recently) happened our senior year of highschool. We were at camp for the weekend. A very sad event occured there, however, as we had just discovered that a VERY close family friend of both me and Lindsee had very unexpectedly passed away. We cried all night. Later that night we went back to our cabin to go to sleep. I was in the top bunk and Lindsee was sleeping in the bunk bed directly below me. I remember thinking all night and crying off and on and just being so sad for our friend. I heard Lindsee sniffling and moving around below me so I decided to see if she was awake... this is the conversation that followed:

Jen (whispering): "Linds, are you awake?"
Linds (whispering): "Yeah, are you?"
Jen: silence.....
Linds (whispering): "Oh wait, that was a dumb question!"

Girls, on that very sad evening we giggled into our pillows for 15 minutes. The cabin was full of other sleeping girls and we were trying to contain ourselves. I remember thinking in my head how thankful I was to laugh with my best friend during such a sad moment. We almost peed our pants!

She was the maid of honor in my wedding.... and now we live a whole state apart!! And to make matters worse, our precious Joanna (the 3rd musketeer) lives in MONTANA now! And our 4th bestie, Sally Ann is moving to NORTH AFRICA at the end of this month. We are all so spread out, but I am so so thankful for my friends.

I am so glad that everyone in blogland gets to see her precious heart and joyful spirit. She truly is a treasure to me and everyone that knows her!! (P.S. We spent 10 minutes cracking up on the phone today trying to decide how you pronounce "meme"- so if anyone could shed some light, we'd greatly appreciate it!)

XOXO

Monday, October 8, 2007

Even Then

More and more everyday, I realize that I am always learning. God is always teaching me something to help make me a better friend, wife, daughter, sister, employee... and He's revealed something to me recently that shows me more about God's unconditional love and faithfulness than ever before. Here's what I have recently discovered about me:

I don't fully come to God if I don't feel like I have it altogether. If it's a bad day, or I'm too tired, or the house is a mess, or the laundry isn't done, or I sat on my bootie and did nothing for 5 hours, or I haven't put any effort into much of anything for awhile, I don't come to God. I don't come to Him with requests, thanksgiving, praise or anything.

I DO come to Him when things are going well. My house is clean. There is dinner on the table. All of my clothes are put away. My car is washed. I made the bed this morning. I got alot conquered at work today. That is when I come to Him fully, and pray with my whole heart. Something in my head goes, "Okay Jen, now is the time you can talk to Jesus. Everything is in it's place". I have a hard time coming to Him if everything isn't just right.

Girls, that is SO not how our God works! It's so sad because those times when I don't have it altogether is when I need Him the MOST. When I think about the subconsious behind it, I see that the reason I am not coming to Him when my life is a mess is because I am ashamed, and I know that my life isn't glorifying Him. However, God loves us more than that.

He loves you even when you can only be classified as a hot mess. He loves you when you spent the better part of your Sunday afternoon watching horribly predictable Lifetime movies. He loves you when you have no motivation, no enthusiasm, and no will-power. He loves you when your house is a mess and your laundry is piling up.

I am (once again) quoting a Nichole Nordeman song that helped reveal this entire situation to me.

Even Then by Nichole Nordeman

It's a fear that keeps me wide awake
In the middle of the night
When the expectations are too great
And the bar is raised to high

So I do the best with what I've got
And hope that no one knows
That I strain to see how high I can
Try to stand on these toes
Until I'm measured, but You know better

So thank You, Jesus
Even when You see us just as we are
Fragile, frail and so far from who we want to be
Thank You, Jesus
Even when the pieces are broken and small
Dreams shatter and scatter like the wind
Thank You even then...

So I put aside the masquerade
And admit that I am not okay
Which may not be the thing to say
But I'm not ashamed to need You more each day

So thank You, Jesus
Even when You see us just as we are
Fragile, frail, and so far from who we want to be
Thank You, Jesus
Even when the pieces are broken and small
Dreams shatter and scatter like the wind
Thank You even then...

We raise the standard and try to reach You
But we'll never get there, and we don't need to

So thank You, Jesus
Even when you see us just as we are
Fragile, and frail and so far from who we want to be
Thank You, Jesus
Even when the pieces are broken and small
Dreams shatter, and scatter like the wind
Thank You even then....

She states so clearly what I'm trying to say. WE DON'T NEED TO BE PERFECT. God asks that we strive to do everything with excellence, but He never says "But I shalt not love you on your off-days". I am so thankful that we serve a God of mercy and compassion.

What bothers me most is that when I am in those pits are the times that I need Jesus the most to pull me out. It's one of those simple solutions that I just refuse to see for some reason. God is not a God of shame.

I don't know if I am the only one who does this, but if I'm not, please know, sweet sister, that He loves you the just the same, even when you don't have it altogether. Take a deep breath.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Picture Time!

Good morning ladies! It's a beautiful Saturday here in Baton Rouge. Grant thinks it's a PERFECT day to play golf, while I think it is a PERFECT day to get a pedicure! :) Opposites attract ya'll!

Last night we had a little date. We decided to try a new restaurant (well, new to us) called Mezza Luna. Not so good. But it wasn't our typical choice and we were proud that we tried something new!

I took a few pictures last night before we left the house.
Here is Moxie and Me, how precious is he??
Here is Moxie and his dad, who shortly after this picture was taken shaved all that scruff off of hsi face :)
And finally, here is the happy couple. I do love date nights with my husband!

Okay dear friends, I hope everyone has a great Saturday! Love to all!