Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Waiting...

I've been learning a different kind of waiting.

I learned to wait in the dark. To praise Him in the dark. Now I have to learn how to focus on Him in a light so bright I can barely stand it. My future, lit before me all shining and golden, with places that dip out of sight to be sure, shadows crossing it, but still a path more joyous than I'd ever dreamed. I'm ready to leap down it, but He puts His hand out and says "Wait".

Wait, Lord? Isn't that all I've been doing until now? Haven't I been faithful to do that? Haven't I been patient and trusted You? Haven't I shed enough tears waiting for You?

Why is learning to wait so terribly important anyway?

During a conversation I asked a friend that question burning in my brain today. Her answer was enough to shake me off my whining rant and feel humility again.

Because we're distracted and He wants us to look to Him and be satisfied. 

Goodness. Talk about conviction. If that's what He's after me for, if that's what He's trying to teach me...I'm afraid. I'm afraid I will never learn to be satisfied completely with Him. I'm afraid I'll be waiting forever.

Ahh, Jenna. . .

"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" Philippians 1:6

Lord, teach me to still look to You instead of my future. Teach me to be satisfied with You. Teach me to wait.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Last Day

Today was my last day on earth. . .as a teenager. :D Tomorrow I will wake, having completed my second decade!

Just thought you'd like to know that. :)

Me n my youngest niece: The Cutie Pie) :D

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Guest Post: Bella

Today I am very excited to give you my very first guest blog, written by one of my best-est friends, Isabella! (Affectionately known as "Bella")

I have known Isabella for most of my life now and over the years her sweet, truth-hungry spirit has blessed and challenged me in more ways than I could name.

A few fun facts bout Bella: She loves all kinds of tea and everything to do with it. She has a talent for matchmaking. ;) She has a wonderful, easy laugh and enjoys dressing up for no reason at all.

Today Bella brings a simple challenge for us that has already proved thought-provoking for me, as I am sure it will for you. I also highly recommend that you check out Bella's blog over at Once Upon a Rose.

And without further ado. . . Here is Bella. :)

            What were you doing in the morning?  Me, well, I would have enjoyed sitting on the couch, eating toast (spread with a LOT of jam), and reading.  Or, better yet, snuggling deep down in bed and hibernating for another hour.  Yup, that would have been heaven!  Instead, I was sitting on a hard chair in one of the most dysfunctional offices in Newnan.  The DDS department.  (Y'all who live here know exactly what i mean...)  I was there because I needed to get my permit renewed.  And, dumb enough as this may sound, I was actually a teensy bit nervous.  You would think that I'd be nervous about whether my mum and I had all of the documents.  But I wasn't.  Instead, I was crossing my fingers that my permit picture would turn out nice.  Yes, I know that sounds vain.....but being a girl, how could I help it?! 

            Anyway, to fill the time, I ended up reading a little and.....people watching.  There was this one Indian girl, too, that I especially noticed.  She was leaving the "the test room" (a.k.a. the room of immense joy or gloom) to exit the building.  As she walked past me, we made eye contact.  Now, I have to say, that this is always the moment when I make my assessment of a person, during those first few seconds when I have no clue who the person is (and in this case, never would).  The expression that the person makes during that amount of time either makes them stand out in my memory or simply remain a random person.  Looking at me with big, warm eyes, this girl immediately broke in a smile that was beautiful and friendly.  I immediately found myself smiling back.  While this girl could have walked by and simply stared (and I would have returned the doubt), she instead chose to smile, filling me with a sense of warmth.       After she was gone, I couldn't help wondering: what impact could I have if I chose to smile every time I made eye contact with someone?  I have to admit that I usually choose simply to stare.  But, what if, I did choose to smile?  Just like this girl brightened my day, maybe I could be a small ray of sunshine to someone else. 
            In addition, people who smile are far easier to approach.  As Christians, we should strive to make people feel comfortable enough to approach and talk to us.  If people don’t feel like they can strike up a conversation with us, if we come across as distant and standoffish, we will miss many opportunities to minister to people.   However, even if you only get to see someone once in your life, wouldn't you like to leave them with the beauty of a smile?  When someone is having a bad day, a smile can really brighten up their day. 
            So, that being said, I want to challenge all of you to smile next time you see a stranger (of course, not like our family also wouldn't benefit from us smiling more... :D).  Even if they don't smile back, you can walk away knowing you extended kindness.  That being said, thanks for reading this!  For those of you are aren't already following Jenna's blog, I highly recommend that you consider it.   Feel free to visit Once Upon a Rose too! ;)  
            P.S.  My permit picture turned out...!!!!     

Friday, May 11, 2012

Where I've Been

 Whew, where did April go? It's May, my big Two-O birthday is coming up and summer is coming on full-blast!

Since April has flown past without a chance for me to write, let's take a moment to revisit.

1) April was sprinkled with my younger  brother's (can't call him my "little" brother any more) baseball games. Micah has been playing in a homeschool league for the past three years. I always enjoy watching him play.

2) I teach piano to three students and had a co-recital in April with my good friend, Bethany. My students made me so proud!

Bethany and I
My students and I
3) My sister, brother-in-law and three nieces moved here for a little while. My days have been richly filled with colored picture-gifts, searches for shoes, hair-ties, hugs and kisses, no-no's, walks outside and tickling fights. :)

The Birthday girl
The Almost-Five-Year-Old
The Baby

3) My big brother was ordained to go on the mission field with his wife, Sarah!! On the spur of the moment, Caleb and I re-learned The Lord's Prayer in three days and played a violin-piano duet at his ordination service. That was crazy fun!

4) Last but not least, at the end of April/beginning of May my family traveled down to Florida to see Micah in the Homeschool World Series. It was great to see him play and wonderful to have a mini-vacation. This was my first trip to FL and I enjoyed it immensely!

Marvelous sunset

My first view of the Gulf!
Stunning ocean-life
April was full of fast-paced fun but now I'm looking forward to some slow summer May days. :)

What did you do this past April?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has arrived in  Georgia! We had an uncommonly balmy March and the plants really took off. Everywhere I look there are little explosions of color. I love it!

 For Thou O LORD hast made me glad by what Thou hast done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Thy hands
Psalm 92:4

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trip to D.C.

I'm back from D.C.! It was an amazing trip and I enjoyed every single moment of it. Here are a few of the highlights:

The D.C. Metro: It reminded me of being in Moscow. :)

The Library of Congress: The detail in the architecture was astounding.

The Holocaust Museum: Very well done, terribly sad.

Ford's Theatre: The box Lincoln was shot in. ( I was terribly disappointed however to learn that the building had been completely gutted and turned into an office building at one point; this means that the whole interior of the theater is a mere replication.)
The Jefferson Memorial

The cherry blossoms were in!!!! Cherry blossoms are my absolute favorite so I was very excited to see those.

I took quite a few pictures of these! :)

Our hotel room balcony had a fantastic view!
There were so many amazing things we saw but weren't able to take pictures of (or I didn't have room to post about):
 ~The Magna Carta
~The Declaration of Independence
~The Constitution
~Abraham Lincoln's top hat
~Stradivarii violins
~The Star Spangled Banner
~Charles Ingalls' request for a land grant
~A fragment from the Wright brothers' original hangar
~John Adams' chess set
~An original Da Vinci painting
~$1,000,000 in ten dollar bills
~The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
~A Gutenburg Bible
~Shoes from Holocaust victims
~A piece of the moon. . .
Like I said, so many amazing things!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Goal

I'm heading off to Washington D.C. tomorrow!!! I'm going to be there nearly a week and I'm super-excited! I'll be sure to post pictures when I get back. :)

Until then, I will leave you with a picture and a poem I read a few months ago.

My Goal
My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace;
Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God.
'Tis His to lead me there, not mine but His...
At any cost, dear Lord, by any road.
So faith bounds forward to its goal in God,
and love can trust her Lord to lead her there.
Upheld by Him, my soul is foll'wing hard,
Till God hath full fulfilled my deepest prayer.

No matter if the way be sometimes dark,
No matter though the cost be oft-times great,
He knoweth how I best shall reach the mark,
The way that leads to Him must needs be straight.

One thing I know, I cannot say Him nay;
One thing I do, I press on towards my Lord.
My God, my Glory here from day to day,
And in the glory there, my Great Reward.
(Frederick Brook) 

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Hope. That's what I've been learning about. That's also what this picture represents to me.

A few weeks ago an arctic cold front swept through the country and temperatures dropped below freezing in Georgia. A few of my friends were doing happy dances because it finally felt like winter down here, but I was in mourning for all the cheerful daffodils that had succumbed to the weather. (Daffodils are my favorite flower.) On the way to church the next morning I sadly noted the wilted stems. It wasn't the first time I'd seen this happen and I could already picture the drooping patches of yellow becoming soggy, brown messes. I know how this ends, I thought to myself.

But I didn't.

The other day I decided to enjoy the delightful weather outside and clean out some flower beds. As I was working I noticed the daffodil from the picture above. A few days ago it had been lying in the dirt and I had mentally assigned it to its doom.
 But it wasn't rotting or even lying on the ground now, instead it was bravely lifting its dirt-stained face to the sun again.

Jenna, don't give up on "hopeless" situations. You
don't know how the story ends. Hope in Me.

I almost burst into tears right there, kneeling in the dirt by the neighbor's fence. You see, there are some situations in my life that are looking like that daffodil looked a week ago - 
unsalvageable. Until yesterday, my attitude about these situations was the same as it was for the flowers - I've seen this all before. I know how the story ends. Why even bother hoping?

How could I have forgotten that "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37), that I serve "The God who works wonders" (Psalm 77:14)?

 In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; 
Let me never be ashamed. 
 In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; 
Incline Your ear to me and save me. 
 Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; 
You have given commandment to save me, 
For You are my rock and my fortress. 
 Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, 
Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man, 
 For You are my hope; 
O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth. 
By You I have been sustained from my birth; 
You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; 
My praise is continually of You.
Psalm 71:1-6

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Valentine's Day is a special occasion for my family. Though not as big as Christmas or Resurrection Sunday we still have a few traditions we keep. 

I think I added a new one tonight. :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


God is good.

I was thinking that last night as I stared up at a spotlight-rivaling full moon peeking through the trees. My heart was completely full of praise because right now, my life is absolutely perfect. A full moon was like a triple cherry on my sundae. But then a thought struck me.

Hasn't God always been good?

The obvious answer is, "Yes, of course! God is always good!!"

Then how come you've never felt this blessed before now?

Well...because life hasn't always been this wonderful. My teenage years were very full of tears and struggles, big questions and doubts and deep grief. That probably sounds dramatic considering nothing particularly tragic happened to me but my feelings were real nonetheless. The point is, I didn't feel blessed back then. Instead I often felt forgotten. Forsaken. Unloved.

But I wasn't.

Last night that realization came home to me. God has always, always been just as good as (and even more than!) I know Him to be right now! He has always loved me more than my craziest dreams can envision. He has always crafted every particle of my life to draw me closer to Him. Even my most painful, dark, lonely moments have been expressions of His tenderest love guiding, growing and teaching me.

My life won't always be as full of joy as it is right now. Something I have learned is that, no matter who or where you are, life will be full of pain and joy. That's why I want to hold on to what I am learning right now, let it sink in deep, so that when the darkness overtakes the day again I can look up and remember that I am just as blessed, just as loved as I know I am tonight.

The same is true for you.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I was chatting with a friend the other day and we both decided that we couldn't pick one specific favorite flower but here is one of my top three favorites!!

I was so excited to see a few early daffodils blooming today! These happy flowers always cheer me up! I hope these make your day a little brighter too!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ready or Not

When I got on blogger this morning I wasn't planning to write a post. I got on, simply to catch up on the blogs I follow and log off. But after reading THIS post I knew I had to share it with you.

It spoke straight to my heart. Because, I am not ready. This year is bringing big changes (among them my 20th birthday!) and though I have finally learned not to cringe at change, I don't always welcome it with open arms either. Sometimes I just want to pause life so I can bustle around cleaning up the mess. And sometimes God graciously allows me that time to process change and take a deep breath before the next one comes. But then there are also times when they come down like ocean waves on me and I sputter and thrash, fighting every one.

God I'm not ready. Just wait please, let me get ready.

But God doesn't need me to be ready in my own eyes. He knows best when I am ready and I am learning to trust His timing.

And so, today my heart is echoing what Katie said:

"This new season looms and I don't know what is next. But He doesn't need me to be ready for this season because He is ready. He just needs me to be clinging to His feet."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!!!

It's 2012!!! Isn't it funny how things feel different and yet still the same after New Year's Day?

Today someone asked me if I was excited about the new year. At first I didn't think I was, New Year's Eve is probably at the bottom of my list of holidays in order of preference. I cringe at the idea of changing something I am comfortable in, even if it is as simple as one number at the end of a date.

But now, as I reflect a little bit, I find that I am excited about 2012.

Even though it has already come, for the first few days of the new year I always feel like I'm standing in a blank space between the old year and the new one, sifting through memories like old photographs and forming ideas of what I should expect from the year ahead.

As I look back I see how wonderfully blessed I have been in everything, and I don't say that lightly. There has been pain this year: in a friend suddenly turning their back on me, in my brother moving to Madagascar, in a family I know and love falling apart, in a prolonged struggle with depression. But now I can see how God has carried me through every single one of these situations and I shake my head in awe.

How can I fear what lies ahead when Jesus has so faithfully and patiently showed me again and again:

 "Jenna, I love you. 
Jenna I will always take care of you
Jenna, I will never leave you.
Jenna, I delight in you.
Jenna, I grieve with you.
Jenna, I am changing you.
Jenna, I will come for you.
Jenna, I will never change.
Jenna, I can handle the world Myself!"

(Grin Yeah, sometimes I get overzealous and try to take over God's job, but He is really good about letting me know that He is capable and He is taking care of not only me, but the people I love as well!)

"But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, 
And He who formed you, O Israel, 
'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; 
I have called you by name; you are Mine! 
'When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; 
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. 
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, 
Nor will the flame burn you.'" 
Isaiah 43:1-2

If the LORD had not been my help, 
My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence. 
 If I should say, “My foot has slipped,” 
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up. 
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, 
Your consolations delight my soul. 
Psalm 94:17-19

So, in view of all of that: Welcome 2012!!! I am excited to see what God will do in me this year! I am excited about the people I will meet, the things I will learn, how I will grow, the opportunities Jesus is preparing for me, even the things that will change! 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you [and me!] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28