Sunday, December 30, 2012

So.Much.Stuff.

Ok. Soooo I haven't posted for the past week and a half, almost two weeks... I know, I know. I am off work for 12 days for the holidays and I don't go back until January 2nd, 2013! Lucky me, right?! BUT s o much has happened! My best friend over at Little Baby Barnett went into early labor and gave birth to the most precious little girl on Friday (12-21-2012). We will say she kept the world from ending ;-) She's beautiful and perfect in every way! 







THEN, it was time for Christmas festivities... Tons of time spent with family and friends. It was a fantastic, much needed break from reality!! I did tons of shopping and eating. Probably too much. I had planned to post earlier this week, but somehow, I got an awful stomach virus! I thought I was dying. I seriously spent 32 hours of my life sleeping/dying. I'm fully recovered and back to my normal, hilarious self! Ha. Things are starting to get back to normal... I should be back to full-time posting by the end of the week! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and had lots of wonderful family and friend time!

As for New Years resolutions, I'm not making any. WHATTTTTT?!?! I think they are stupid. I never stick to them. Never, ever. So, no more resolutions for this girl!

Instead, I'm committing to myself. I'm committing to make my Savior proud. I'm committing to less of me and more of Him. I'm committing to be healthier, happier, stronger, wiser, braver, and smarter. I'm committing to talk less and listen more, to be more encouraging and helpful, and to be less self-centered and more giving. I'm committing to make 2013 a wonderful year for myself and those around me.

Happy New Year, Y'all!
Jen

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silence for Sandy Hook.

 
 
The Blogging world is taking a day of silence for Sandy Hook.
 
We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services.
 
ANY DONATIONS MADE TO NEWTOWN YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES WILL BE DONATED DIRECTLY TO THOSE EFFECTED BY THE SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING.
 
Please go HERE if you would like to donate.
 
-Jen-

Monday, December 17, 2012

No Words...Errr, some rambling.

I say that I don't have words. That's not the whole truth. I have a few things I want to say. First and foremost, my heart is so so heavy for Newtown and the all the precious lives lost, young and old. I can't even imagine what those families are going through. There are no words to describe the horror. My heart is also heavy for the police officers, medical personnel, firefighters and other special teams that had to view that horrific scene over and over again. Their jobs are so special and often overlooked, but what they have been doing the last few days is unimaginable.

I do not want to downplay what happened in Newtown by any means. Not one bit. BUT this is the reality of the state of our nation. There are tragedies everywhere. Every single day. I just want to share with you what has transpired in and around my small-ish town over the weekend...
-There was a deadly shooting at one of our largest hospitals. An officer exchanged gunfire with a man in the hallway. The gunman was shot and killed, the officer and two others were shot and wounded.
-A domestic dispute left three people dead and two others injured. A child and an officer both in critical condition. After a police chase, the suspect was shot and killed.
-A 26 year old man was shot at a gas station after an altercation at another location. He is listed in critical condition.
-A husband came home to find his wife and 2 young children(ages 4 and 5)deceased. No suspects.

These are just the ones I have been able to keep up with. I don't usually watch the news because it's all bad. There are more. I am in such shock. I know you're probably wondering why I am sharing such awful things. These things happen daily in this country. What's even worse to me is the small tragedies that no one notices... Children who don't get to eat dinner. Parents who don't get to see their children because the divorce rate is so high. Parents who have to watch their children suffer for weeks and months because of horrible diseases. Children who don't know their parents. Elderly people who can't afford their medications. Teenage girls getting pregnant. Someone losing a loved one in a car wreck because of road rage. THESE are all tragedies and they happen daily. Why is it that people only seem to care when it is a tragedy of this magnitude? Yes, its a horrific thing. No words can express my sadness. The way those parents feel is the same way millions of people feel all over this country every single day. Can you imagine being a single mom, working two jobs and still not being able to provide food for you children? For that momma, that is a tragedy. And one that she might not ever get over. Who are we to say one tragedy is greater than another? Does the scale of the event really make it "worse"?? None of them are easy. And hurt is the same in every city and every heart. Don't overlook the tragedies that are happeneing right next door to you.

The media destroys us. Everything has to be political these days and it's all about the next big story. And it's absurd. Since when do we allow what's on TV to dictate what should be important to us and where our focus should be? 6 months ago a man went on a rampage in a theater and shot and killed 12 people and wounded 58 others. Some of which are still recovering. Why isn't the media still reporting about this? Because it's not news anymore. One of the injured said "I thought we were going to be heard, I thought there would finally be some changes. Now, we're just a whisper."

We all face tragedy at some point or another. Who am I to say that your hurt isn't as great as mine? We all hurt. We all have brusises and scars and old wounds. Some deeper than others. I do know that we can't live in fear. It is our responsibility to make the real "issues" known. Crazy things are always going to happen. But, the Adam Lanzas and the James Holmes of the world, can be helped. Mental illness is a disease. But it's a disease that can be controlled. We can't stop tragedies from happening...but we can make the world aware of the bigger issues and hopefully put an end to tragedies of this magnitude and nature.

I pray that those precious families find some sort of closure. I pray that they find a way to glorify God in the midst of this crisis. I pray that they find a way to praise Him in this storm. I pray that they find a way to overcome.

 
-Jen-

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday

During the Holiday season we all get so caught up in all the things we want. We seem to forget about the things we already have that we should be thankful for. So here it is, my Thankful Thursday!
 
I am thankful for...
 
- I am SOOO thankful for Erin at Love, Fun and Football! She created my new blog design! Y'all, she is so precious and fantastic at what she does! Not to mention, she was a blast to work with!! She was so fun and genuinely concerned with what I wanted and what made me happy! Seriously, go check her out. You won't regret it!

-I am thankful for this blog of mine. It's not much, but it sure is nice to call it mine. I love having a place to share my thoughts, randomness and awesomeness.
- I am thankful for my fantastic friends who always encourage and support me. It is so hard to find good friends these days... I got lucky with mine. I think I'll keep them!
Source: polyvore.com via Staci on Pinterest

-I am thankful for my nieces. Seriously, I had no idea what it meant to love someone until they came into this world! It is so sweet to watch them grow and learn. I have no idea how our family made it so long without them!
 
-I have no words to describe how thankful I am for my crazy, wild, supportive, Godly family. Seriously, we are such a mess sometimes but we are so hilarious! I even love our Auburn fans ;-) I could not have asked for a better family!
 
 
-I am more than thankful for my Lord and Savior. I would be nothing without him. He is my way, my truth, and my light. He has blessed me beyond anything that I deserve. I can't ask for anything more than I have in this moment.
 
I hope you are all having a fantastic week!
Happy Thursday, Y'all!
Jen

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dating Part 1: What you're worth and what you deserve.


This post has been a long time coming. This post is my heart. It took a lot for me to write this. I cried and laughed. I got advice and help from friends.

Most of you know that I am newly single. Yep. 25 and single. At first, I wasn't ok with it. I grew up in Alabama. See, here in the south, you go to college, graduate, get married, have babies, live happily ever after. That's not exactly how things worked out for me, and now, I am OK with being 25 and single. Don't get me wrong, I still have my days. But for the most part, I am really happy with where I am and what the Lord is doing in my life. I finally got to a point of surrender and it feels so good to know that God is in control and I no longer have to worry. So I wanted to share with you what I have learned in the last few years.

Two things you should know before you enter into another relationship: What you're worth & what you deserve. Do you know what you're worth? Do you know what you deserve? Not really? Well I am going to tell you...




The Bible is very clear about what we, as women deserve and how a man is to treat his woman/wife. YOU are beautiful. YOU are wonderful. YOU are a one of a kind. YOU have so much to offer.  And YOU deserve to be treated like it. YOU are worthy of every good thing this world has to offer. YOU are worthy of a man who treats you like you are one of a kind and his one and only. YOU are worthy of love and affection, flowers, love notes, whatever makes you happy, YOU are worthy of that. "The One" will know those things about you and he will think you are worthy, too. So many women, like me, are so "ready" to be married that they are willing to settle for so much less than they deserve. I almost settled, and I am so glad I didn't. This is what YOU deserve...
  • You deserve to be pursued- You deserve to be chased. Men are never too busy to get what they want.  If he's not calling, texting, asking you out, actively trying to spend time with you, he's not the one. "He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22
  • You deserve to be prayed for- "The One" will have been praying for you long before you entered his life. If he isn't openly praying for you, he's not the one. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25.
  • You deserve a man who loves the Lord. If he's not pursuing a relationship with the Lord as actively as he is pursuing you, he's not the one. "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14
  • You deserve to be respected, cherished and valued- You should never have to ask for any of these things. If he doesn't respect you, value you and cherish you from the first date, he's not the one.
  • You deserve a man who wants to be there- If you can't ALWAYS count on him, he's not the one.
  • You deserve a man of integrity- If he doesn't do what he says he is going to do in the beginning, he never will. If his words don't match his actions, he's not the one. "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out." Proverbs 10:9
  • You deserve forgiveness. We all have a past. We have all made mistakes. We are all going to continue to make mistakes.  If he can't look passsed the things you did/said and the mistakes you made before he came along...He doesn't deserve you and he's not the one. "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." Matthew 6:14
  • You deserve to be supported- If he doesn't support you in everything you do, regardless how small the task, he's not the one.
  • You deserve honesty and truth- If you feel like he's not being honest or truthful, he's probably not. If you find yourself questioning him, he's not the one. 
  • You deserve a best friend- You deserve someone who wants to know everything about you. Someone who wants to hear your crazy stories, hold you when you cry, take care of you when your sick, and listen to you complain about your mother. You deserve that, and if he's not doing those things, he's not the one.
  • You deserve someone who shares your passions- Love animals? Want to adopt children? Volunteer at the homeless shelter? Love to blog? If he can't be passionate about the things you are passionate about and love the most, he's not the one.
  • You deserve someone who loves your family and friends- Your family and friends were around long before he was. They helped mold you into who you are. If he doesn't love them and accept them, he's not the one.
  • You deserve to be happy- If he doesn't make you happy most days, he's not the one. 
  • You deserve a peaceful life- If his life is constant chaos and he is bringing his chaos into your circle, he's not the one. 
  • You deserve to have an easy life- Everyday won't be easy. Some days will be work. Hard work. But it shouldn't be hard all.the.time. Especially in the beginning. If it is hard from the get-go, he's not the one. 
  • You deserve a secure man- You deserve a man that is so secure in himself that he delights in watching you prosper. If he doesn't love watching YOU shine, he's not the one.
  • You deserve to be complimented. If he doesn't compliment you and make you feel like the most amazing girl in the world, he's not the one. "Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them." Colossians 3:19
  • You deserve to be prayed for, encouraged, praised, defended, honored and adored. There is no reason to settle for less. "For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her" Ephesians 5:25


It's easy to read those things. The hard part is learning to recognize who has those qualities and who doesn't. Watch for red flags. Listen for Gods voice. He will direct your paths. That little voice you hear saying"That's not ok." That's the Holy Spirit. Don't be so "ready" to settle down that you ignore His voice or these things.  99% of the time, people don't change. What you see is what you get. Marrying him isn't going to make him a different person, only God can do that.


You can read Part 2 HERE.
You can read Part 3 HERE.

Happy Tuesday, Y'all!
Jen


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Struggling.

Sometimes, I have bad days. Just like the rest of the world. I find it harder to be obedient on those bad days. Today was a bad day. I'm just putting it out there. I love my family so much and I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. But some days, being alone/single really sucks. I know that God is using this time to mold me and change me and prepare me for what's next in my life. I know that this is part of His plan. And that's great. BUT sometimes, I just want someone to watch a movie with that isn't a family member or a girlfriend. Does that make me selfish? Probably. 

I went to Zoolight Safari with my family and nieces tonight. I had so much fun with those sweet girls. I love seeing their faces light up. BUT, as soon as we left, and I was alone in my car, I realized it was only 8pm. I was alone and had nothing to do. On.A.Friday. What?!? So, my first thought? "I'll go have a drink." Ummm what? "No. You are not going to have a drink by yourself, Jennifer." HA! (I actually had this conversation with myself.) So I invited a friend. She was busy. I took that as a sign that I just didn't need to be having a drink at all. I went to Starbucks and got my usual and since my night was so blah, I decided to pay for the coffee for the person/people behind me. At least one of us had a good evening. I just hope they pay it forward =) Luckily for me, most retailers have kicked their holiday hours into high gear so I did a lot of shopping. Shopping always makes me feel better. At least it did in the moment. 

I came home to a quiet, empty house. I can't stop thinking about why it's so hard to be obedient. Kinda like, why is the right thing always the hardest thing to do. I want more than anything to follow Gods plan for my life. So why is it so hard to be okay with His plan? Why do I question Him? So this is me, struggling to follow His plan. Struggling to be obedient even though I know I should be. Struggling to give up complete control apparently.  I know it was just a bad day. I know I will be fine tomorrow. 

I kinda rambled. Anyway. Sometimes, you just gotta put it out there however you can. 

I hope y'all all have a fantastic weekend! 
Jen