Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Comfort & Joy

As I was walking into the office today, I realized that Grant & I have now been living in Baton Rouge for one year. We got married on December 30, returned from our honeymoon on January 5, and moved to Louisiana January 6. Grant started his job that Monday, January 8.


And oh, how far we have come. This year has taught me lesson after lesson. It has been a joyful year, but also a year of "growing up". Just a few things that I have learned in the past 365 days:


1. I put together our first home. I used all of our Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards (with some Target ones thrown in here and there) to hang curtains, nail art to the walls, and have a guest bedroom with it's necessary 8 pillows.


2. We got our first puppy, Moxie in January. He has been a joy, and melts my heart.


3. I got a job working as a legal secretary with some of the nicest people on the planet. God blessed me so much my placing me in a work environment that adopted me like a family.


4. The months of March & April consisted of Jen throwing herself a little pity party. The "fun" phase was over. I was lonely, and sad, and I missed my friends. I missed my mom. I missed the familiar, of knowing where everything was. I missed walking into church and getting hugs from practically every person in the building. Everything was just so new and I had to adjust. I pouted on the couch for quite some time until Grantley basically told me to get over myself. (In a precious, loving way, of course!)

5. A smiling, giggling, hairbow-wearing ball of joy came into my life. On May 2, God blessed us with Grace Parker. And my life will never be the same!

6. My repertoire of 6 rotating meals for dinner has now expanded to about 2 dozen or so. I am still learning!

7. My car now has four new tires.

8. Joanna Katherine got herself hitched and moved to Montana, and Sally and her men packed up and moved to North Africa. Lindsee is still in Texas and our "foursome" has officially split up across the world. Yet somehow, we still chat 4 times a week and keep up with each other! I love my girls!

9. The twins are now saying words and getting a little bit sassy, to tell you the truth. I think Juliet really thinks that we should let her be in charge of everything because she is smarter than us.

10. We almost moved. And then we didn't.

11. I lost my Aunt Donna to cancer. Christmas didn't have its usual jolliness this year. There was a distinct giggle that was missing.

12. I fell in love with my husband over and over again. Even on the days where I thought I was the worst excuse for a wife there ever was, he reminded me that he loved me just as I am. And that made me want to be a better wife!

13. We now watch our television shows in High Definition. I have decided that Detective Benson on Law & Order SVU has very large pores.

14. We went to Disney World! Grant and I had the sudden realization that there was a really good chance that the next time we went to Disney World it would be with our children. WEIRD.

15. I met Katie, my Godsend! The Lord blessed me with a precious friend who needed me as much as I needed her. Our instant bond and connection was such a comfort to me. I now have a Baton Rouge bestie!

16. We discovered the "back way" to get to Chase & Ronda's house, which cuts the time in half if the highway is full of traffic!

17. Major purchases of the year: 1 Television and 1 Guitar.

18. We had our first "split" Christmas between Texas and Louisiana. It's all about rotation, ya'll!

19. I learned that Jesus is always my greatest comfort.

20. I have learned that Jesus is the only thing I need. I don't need Texas. I don't need Taco Cabana, (honestly though, Louisiana needs to jump on that bandwagon), I don't need kolaches (if you don't know what a kolache is, then I feel very sorry for you and you are in my prayers), I don't need Highway 290 or the fireplace in my parent's living room. I need Jesus.

I surrendered everything to Him. I surrendered the familiar, and my comfort zones. I surrendered it and in return I have peace and the joy of knowing that the future is not in my control. I have the joy of knowing that the wisest One of all, He is the One who gets to decide where my life is headed.

This year I have prayed for 3 very distinct things- 1) a Holy contentment. I prayed that I would be content in this town and that the Lord would cover me with it. 2) A pure and compassionate heart. I want to be a servant more and I want my sins to be revealed to me. 3) An enthusiasm and a passion for knowing Jesus and growing closer to Him.

1 Peter 5:10-11 says "And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To HIM be the POWER for ever and ever. Amen."

I can't even begin to tell you how much that verse has comforted me. I don't want His power. I am not smart enough nor selfless enough to do anything right with it. Jesus has restored me, and He is continuing to do so, so that I may be strong, firm and steadfast.

Rejoice in the Lord always!

9 comments:

Lindsee said...

1) Yes ma'am, you are right. We are all spread across the WORLD. Weird. I miss my girls more than they know. Texas will never be the same.

2) But, YEA for Baton Rouge besties. I am thankful to the Lord for Katie for you. The Lord does care about friendships. I love it.

3) LOVE that your cooking skills have increased to 2 dozen meals. Look at you, little mrs. homemaker!

4) Miss you. Love you. Coming to visit you. (Seriously, we need to get on that.)

5) Tell Grantly hello for me.

Love you both!

LKE

Jaclyn said...

you make me laugh
you make me proud
you make me think
you make me happy
i love you!

JessicaB said...

Hey Jen! This is my first comment, I have been a lurker for quite a while now :) Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog, there is never a post that doesn't elicit a giggle, a tear or a smile. You're precious!

-Jess Branch
p.s. I got to have dinner with your folks last night, they are a blessing!

Bev Brandon said...

You are such a delight and if we asked Mr. Grant what he thought of his wife, I think WWE ALL would know what he would say. Confident in this very thing that God began the work in Jen and is perfecting it every day. Phil 1. Confident in the Hand that holds you tight. Love your pure heart embracing your good God. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. May you continue to glimpse the Face you live for, the Face you long for. Giggling Aunt Donna is full of total joy now and I'm so sorry for your loss here. One day, she'll greet you, again---giggling. Love your compassionate heart Jen! May you keep on seeing things from His perspective. Enjoyed reading about your year. Thanks for the sweet comment---I'm still singing....My Broooookie Lies Over the Ocean.......

from a Louisiana girl

Joanna said...

That is just about the best post i think i have ever read in all my blogging days :)
Jen i am proud of you!! We both know good and well that moving is hard and it takes alot of time to get normal! but, you have done it my friend and only by that perfect grace of our Jesus!!
I love you more than life itself! You're so dear to my soul! I miss my red haired beautiful bestie!!
Huge hugs!!!

connorcolesmom said...

That post brought tears to my eyes. It was so sweet and heartfelt and I loved number 12. Being a new wife is so full of emotions how wonderful that Grant is there to encourage you along every journey. The two of you are such a blessing to others and to each other!
May God answer your 3 distinct prayer requests and may He surprise you with many more wonders that only He knows and has in store for you my sweet Jen the newlywed!
Much love,
Kim

Fran said...

I loved reading this and learning about you!! You HAVE accomplished alot this past year. Congrats on it all.

I hope 2008 is even better!
Be Gods~
Fran

Anonymous said...

You are officially my new favorite writer!!! As I read, I thought you were writing about me. Thanks for the encouragement...you are a ray of SONshine as much now as when you were little. You're a beautiful testimony of faith and His grace. I love ya!

Rebekah Greenlaw Wedel
Montréal, Québec

jennyhope said...

this is so cute and I am glad you are adjusting!