Friday, December 29, 2006

... in ten minutes...

In the ten minutes since I last posted:

1) A good friend of mine told me about the best Christmas present shy of an engagement ring. Yay for you (you know who you are!!)

2) I am going to be the facilitator for a bible study at the FBC here in D-Town; the same place I went to the Daniel series. I am honored and excited, especially considering the fact that I am not a member!

3) God just opened a very exciting door for me that I can't wait to share!!!!!!!

It's only 2:20, and today has already been a great day.

12.29.2006

I've been very excited to hear that my friends are reading my blog. I'm a little ____ that you aren't leaving comments, but it's okay. :) (All you have to do is go add a blogger profile. You don't have to create a blog of your own.)

On to other things...

I am totally, completely, ridiculously ADDICTED to CSI: Miami. David Caruso is HOT to me. It's the whole "Redhead" thing. He's just mysterious, and cocky, and intriguing, and I love it. It makes me want to buy all the DVD's and watch them. I had a massive marathon this past weekend, and tonight, A&E will be playing episode for like ten straight hours. I can't wait. I haven't been this into a TV show in a long time. OOH... I have to mention My Boys on TBS. If you didn't watch the series, you can go to TBS.com and watch them all. I need to get on the forum and find out if the station is going to produce a second season. The season finale last night definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. I saved it on my roomie's DVR w/ Moxi so I can watch it again before she gets back.

I'm going to plan a baby shower for my best friend L. I got to see her (and a bunch of other people that I went to school with last weekend), but mostly just had fun with L. I am so proud of the woman and mother that she has become.

I didn't get to work until almost 1:00 today b/c of my lingering eye infection. If the next time I see you, I spray you down with Lysol, don't get offended. I'm actually protecting Me and You. :)

Gotta work a little while... Later!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #4

I know that most people don't make NYR, but I am making a few in hopes that they are realistic and attainable. Here are my New Years Resolutions! What are yours???

1. More intimate/Greater/Deeper time with God.
2. I want to finish 52 books this year -- that's one book for every week.
3. 7 states in 2007. I'm already planning to go to a few different states in the spring.
4. 25 Pounds. I lost 40 this year, so 25 should be attainable!
5. More time with my Dad and his side of the family.
6. Snail Mail. 2006 has been a good year for me to send letters, and I've thoroughly enjoyed doing so. I want to be able to, and make time to send more in the new year.
7. Let Go. Part of the way I was made, and part of the mechanisms that make up who I am give me a propensity towards holding on to things instead of releasing them. This year, I want to fully Let Go of those things that are holding me back spiritually and emotionally.
8. Share. I see stuff all the time that is funny and heartwarming, and I don't share them, through any medium. You all may be getting WAY more text messages this year!
9. Love. Part of #7. I want to love like I have never loved before! Honestly, if I loved people like God commanded me to love, then more people would totally like me. I'm not going for a popularity record, but I want people to see God's love through me.
10. Hugs. I realize this seems redundant and/or synonymous with #9, but I'm a firm believer that a hug can change your whole day. The affirmation associated with this specific physical touch has the capacity to change the molecular structure of the chemicals in your brain and make you feel better. I will try to find a link to show scientific evidence for this. I do realize that some people don't like hugs, but my theory (as much as that can be worth) is that those people sometimes are afraid to be vulnerable and openly love.
11. Handmade gifts. I want to be able to knit a blanket for everyone. I'm still VERY slow at knitting and crotcheting, but I AM working dilligently. :D
12. Being a servant. This was my sorority's motto in college, but I want to be doing MORE. We don't know the tree until we see it's fruit, and I think that's so true for our lives. I can't solve world hunger, but I can feed at least one person.
13. Pray. Maybe this resolution and #1 seem to be the same, which is fine with me, but I think it's fitting to start and end with God. It is the quintessential analogy for life.

So again I ask, What are your Resolutions for 2007?

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirsty Thursday #3
Christmas Jazz!
1. If you want to walk on water, You’ve got to get out of the Boat by John Ortberg
2. Downpour by James McDonald
3. See the Morning by Chris Tomlin
4. Praise and Hymns by Passion
5. Over the Rooftops by Desperation Band
6. an awesome Liz Claiborne black purse -- no picture available
7. Vera Bradley small duffel Lime Green (it’s too cute!)
8. Pink Sugar
9. A new digital camera
10. Hobby Lobby gift card (for knitting stuff)
11. $$
12. Make-up
13. Memory card

12.28.2006

OOh! Lots to post today. I have two Thirsty Thursdays (because I am behind!), and other stuff.

Got to work at 8:40 this morning, and nobody was here. Sort of had one of those rapture moments where I thought I was the one who got left behind. My manager eventually showed up, but it was very funny nonetheless.

My friend A. came to visit her family and I got to have dinner, and brunch with her. We took lots of pictures ('cause that's what we do) and had good, uninterrupted time to talk. I'll try to post pictures later. I'm so thankful for my friends! I know that I don't always make it easy for them to love me, but I'm thankful for those who are true and stick by/with me. Also, a few of us are planning a weekend away, probably to the Redneck Wedding Capital of the World (Gatlinburg, TN) for this spring. For my friend M., I'm going to try to get tickets to the Dixie Stampede, or as she prayed once, the Damn Stampede. (It's a HYSTERICAL story.) Ha ha ha.

I'm excited about the Passion conference over the next few days! God is doing great things! I'm also pumped about a lot of new opportunities in my life! Yay!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

12.27.2006

I'm really behind in posting things, but wanted to write a little note today! Part of me wants to tell everyone what is going on, but the other part of me wants to wait until I have definitive news to share! Either way... life is busy and exciting for me.

The next three months hold an adventure that I am anxious but excited for. They are a time of restoration and new beginnings. My friend M. put this scripture in my birthday card -- "Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history.Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it?There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands." (Isaiah 43:18-19, The Message) Really I like every translation, but the Message works wells. The NIV says "I am making a way in the desert, and streams in the wasteland". Sometimes, life is a wasteland. We get sucked dry of the vigor and zeal that we have. However, I can't help but get excited that God is doing a new thing in and for me! He is refreshing and revigorating the wasteland in my life. I love it!

2006 has definitely been an interesting year. I've already been a little introspective, but the pending NYE will bring much more. Frankly, I think it's okay... because I now know what I don't want to do in 2007! I have more goals, I want new things, different things, excitement in my life like never before.

Here's the nugget that I am sharing though: Stop trusting your feelings. They will deceive you. The Holy Spirit will give you discernment and intuition. Trust what you know. If you feel that tinge in your gut and it's telling you to run, then get your running shoes on. Don't stand around or move forward -- RUN. Too often this year, I have rationalized things to pieces, and in the end, I was the one that got burned. Reading old blogs and journals, I see where the Holy Spirit gave me GIANT RED FLAGS about situations and I ignored them anyway. God is still in control, but I know that I suffered more than I should have because I failed to heed what the HS was telling me. After what happened to me a few weeks ago, I also know that if you seek God about ANY situation, He will give you direction. It won't come in the necessary time frame that you think, but that's only because God gets the glory and we don't. Period.

I am simply Amazed at God's love for us. It is unfathomable and beautiful and unarticulatable and worthy of us giving our WHOLE lives back to God. Nothing less.

Monday, December 25, 2006

12.25.2006

Happy Birthday Jesus.

I don't know how I feel about that statement, celebrating the person who was born to die for my sins. But... I'm glad he was born!

Christmas was an experience, as usual, but I handled it MUCH better than I thought I would.

I will update soon! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with those that you love, and remember what CHRISTmas is really about.

Love,
Jenn

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh Dear...

This is wrong. Just wrong.

Silence is deadly; Silence is golden.

First, let me start by saying that I made a huge step and finally sent the friends closest to me this website. I actually blogged about it the other day. Anonymity is not always a good thing. Anonymity in a spiritual sense is deception and lies, and frankly I want no part of that any more.

In the last 24 hours, I have come clean to my family and friends about me. I am not going to say I'm horribly screwed up, because that is not the case. The reality is that I am human, and imperfect, and have made a lot of mistakes, and haven't always told people how I really feel.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be something different, and looked for means and ways to be different and start over. In some psycho-babble theory that's great, but I'm a child of God, therefore I'm just running away from my problems trying not to deal with them. NO MORE. I'm tired of running. I'm tired of bearing the burdens of secrets. I'm tired of feeling like I am the only one who hurts the way that I do. The bible study that I'm doing calls it seduction. Part if it I call learned behavior. We learn to repress those spiritual things and move on, get better, go higher, leap farther, (you get the picture), to keep those around us from knowing that we are ALL broken and bruised inside. I will not be told that anyone is exempt simply because I know it to be a lie. We have all been tempted and tormented with things. Some embrace them, and refuse to deal with Godly sorrow, others spend years in remorse, trying desperately to erradicate whatever they've done. Jesus, sinless and blameless, even reminds us that he was tempted. Satan wanted Jesus desperately... but instead he got his fate handed to him. Satan knows what is going to happen better than we do. He reads the signs of the times like the Washington Post. And he is pissed off, and wants to destroy us in everyway that he can to get back at God.

But for me... I say no more. I was reminded the other day that the whole armor of God does not include a back plate, because we are never to turn our backs on the enemy. He is out to destroy us. He is out to destroy our hopes and dreams, and families, and ministries, and anything else he can grasp out. He attacks us with sexual sin to destroy the very temple of God. He's just trying to postpone his inevitable demise into Hell. I have allowed the devil to torment me in ways that should have never happened. I have been deceived. Last Wednesday, my Mom prayed for me on my birthday by starting out with "Lord, 28 years ago, I gave Jennifer back to you." Therefore, by virtue of what I know in the deepest depth of my soul, I know that the devil only wants to destroy me because there is something so much greater planned for my life than what I'm in right now. (While I feel this deserves no explanation, I am not making "me" out to be more special than anyone else. God has promised different things to everyone, but this is my blog and this is about me.)

Isaiah 43:18-19 "Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past. See! I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

I've already blogged a few times how wild this year has been. Even the last two weeks have been more tumultous than I could have ever expected. But this verse is now my new favorite, because God is doing a new thing in me. He is ripping away the old things in my life that I have desperately clung to, because He has something wonderful for me... like the old song says "More than Wonderful". There is a cheesy line in a movie that simply says "Times... they are a'changin'." Yes they are.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Emergent Church

Over the past several months, I've been bombarded with information about the emergent church, what it means, and what affect it is having on traditional church. I'm not going to take time to debate what I feel.

What I did, was run across this article, and thought the truths from a man over 40 gave good perspective. Thoughts and comments are appreciated. :)

12.19.2006

Today is relatively unimportant. Okay... maybe to me. I'm sure it's critical to someone, a birthday, an anniversary, something, but to me... relatively unimportant. :)

I've been reading a lot of other blogs lately. I'm totally addicted to Post Secret (I actually bought one of their books), and ran across a similar blog site today, but it's really dirty, so I decided that I won't be reading that one. More than anything, I feel like I'm being nosy, but I justify this by saying that through the progression of technology and the change in what's cool (for example -- reality television) that my reading other people's public blogs is okay. In my defense, I am trying to let people know (by leaving comments) that I do read them, and in fact they are welcome to read mine. The only interesting thought here is that, most of my close friends do not have my blog address. I guess this makes it wrong, huh? I have made great lengths to be a more discreet blogger. I have a few other blogs, and in past have used them as a sounding board to attack people that I felt hurt me. I think I've even done it once or twice on here, but am trying to be hyper-conscious of that.

On to other topics...

Last night, I watched another one of the DVD's for the bible study that I'm doing. (When Godly People do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore) I just love Beth. Can I say that? She's encouraged me, and sparked so much in me. I just love it! I was hoping to get to meet her at Passion this year, but I don't think I'm going to be able to. So... I will probably just write her a letter and keep proselyting like I have been for people (women especially) to dig into a few of her studies.

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day. and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" Genesis 3:8-9

So here are my questions:
1) What does the LORD God sound like walking through the garden? Does He crunch leaves too? I'd rather not get into a debate about whether this was GOD or a theophany because it's not really relavant. So again I ask, Does God crunch the leaves? Or does He make an effort to step over things?
2) What does the LORD God ask Adam a question He already knows the answer to? I'm with Beth in that, God asks Adam (and all of us) questions that He knows the answers to, to incite confession in us, so that we can draw closer to Him.

I wish I had a better medium to share all of the things I am learning. God is so funny to me. He's awesome, (please don't misconstrude me for being irreverent), but He is hysterical to me. In my own weirdo way, I am really intrigued by the first ten chapter of Genesis. God, in all his sovereignty and omnipotence, could have done things differently, and yet He didn't. Everything could have begun and ended in just Gen 1-3, but He allowed the rest to occur. I wish I could articulate all that says to me about God, and all that I think God is speaking through man, but I don't have the words. To know that God fashioned me in such a way, and my husband in a way that is complimentary, all in alignment with His (God's) personality, is indescribable. And breathtaking. And humbling. And just Cool.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Encouragement

"Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God." I Chronicles 22:19a

"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in tents of the wicket. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Psalm 84:10-11

(I'm not blameless... not even close. But, I AM thankful for this promise.)

"Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy." Habakkuk 3:2

What women want

I found this on a blog, and basically just stole it. I think it fairly accurately and simply describes what women need and want from men. If not... it's at least funny.


12.18.2006


Last night, my roommate and a few other people threw a progressive Christmas dinner party. The picture was taken during appetizers. We had so much fun and I thought I would share a picture from it.

Appetizers were fabulous. For dinner, we had spaghetti, and I had the privilege of entertaining Baby H. (She's such a cutie!) Desserts were at my house, and we really had a blast. One of the guy's father came in town, and I had the privilege to talk to him for about 30 minutes. ALSO... found out about a network that places private school teachers. Got online and applied this morning. One of the guys at the party mentioned that he was a math teacher and the Dad asked more questions. Turns out (the guy) just has a business management degree but, through this agency, was able to get a placement with a private school. So... for all of you in cyberland... please pray? I think it would be PHU-nomenal!

Also this weekend, my friend B. graduated from college! I cried at his graduation party. We all were able to say something to/about him and then we released balloons. I know it sounds cheesy, but it turned out to be one of those really special moments. I'm so proud of B. Part of me is sad that we have really grown apart, but I am thankful that he's turned into an incredible man. Yay B!

Other than that, I had a relatively normal weekend. Bought Christmas presents. Spent too much money; you know... the usual.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

So, I was looking at CNN.com today and ran across this article from Jay Bakker (son of former televangelist Jim Bakker).

Having gone through my own ridiculous crisis lately, I have a few questions for you.

I Corinthians 13:4-7 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

So here are the questions and my responses. I appreciate your comments.

1) Is your love patient? No. My love has been patient (and still can be), but I'm notorious for being impatient.
2) Is your love kind? I'd like to think so. I do love people. I don't always know how to express things, but I'd like to think it's kind.
3) Does your love envy? I'm still battling this currently, so yes.
4) Does your love boast? Maybe by virtue of my doing this, I should be more convicted of boasting, even though (again) that is not my intention.
5) Is your love proud? Not sure. I had to keep my love for one person in particular in secret and it felt like it was killing me.
6) Is your love rude or self-seeking? Yes. Very emphatic.
7) Is your love easily angered? YES. (I feel more convicted now than I can say.)
8) Does your love keep a record of wrongs? I'm sad to say yes. That whole "He hurt me" line is running through my head and it sounds ridiculous.
9) Does your love always protect? No. I desperately want it to, but it doesn't.
10) Does your love always trust? No...
11) Does your love always hope? This is one of those questions I can answer a resounding (loud) YES. My love does hope. My love hopes beyond all the yuckiness I see as evidence and wants to see a miracle (not just in my life, but in everything).
12) Does your love always persevere? After the way I've acted the last two days, I must say no. Sometimes, my love does persevere; other times, I allow love to become frustrated and discouraged.

Maybe I should work more on answering these questions better...

12.14.2006

So... (the day after), I was thinking about my rather overly-emotional blog and decided that it needs to stay up. This is who I am. I am over my state of whateverness though. Thank you for any prayers.

Yesterday turned out to be a really good day! One my way home from work, TWO friends called who both had sonograms to tell me that they know what they are having!!! So, technically I got TWO babies yesterday as birthday presents. I know this makes me a giant cheeseball, but I love it. AND... I got a boy and a girl! I'm so excited for my friends!!!! And... I am working dilligently on knitting/crocheting baby blankets for each. :)

For dinner last night, we went to Olive Garden (Yay for Chicken Parm!), and my roommate made me a cake. It was an extremely moist chocolate cake with that creamy buttercreme icing with sprinkles. DE-LISH! They sang to me at the restaurant too,... (I wanted to crawl through the floor), and I turned bright red. But... I had a good time! My friends are good to me; sometimes (most of the time) I don't deserve them!

I talked to my friend M. last night for almost an hour too, and was so encouraged to hear her words. And we're going to make plans for New Years!!!! So... now I'm really pumped.

Tonight, I am going to the Atlanta Symphony with my friend H. and her husband J., and I'm very excited. Here's what I'll be wearing this evening too. (I get to recycle it for a Christmas party on Sunday.)



"For your Maker is your husband -- the Lord Almighty is his name -- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." Isaiah 54:5

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Birthday

Today's the day... the Big 2-8. I have already cried this morning.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Unknown

"Take the cup I offer, and drink deeply of the dreams I dream for you." (Avalon)

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,..." Jeremiah 1:5a

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quote

“When you choose to walk with Jesus in a culture that rewards those who take for themselves before thinking about others, you may end up feeling someone has taken advantage of you.”

Rueben Job A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God

12.12.2006

This morning I began writing this big blog about how I’m not excited about my birthday, and that my roommate is asking me to plan my own party and how that frustrates me… and I never finished.

I instead went at lunch and checked my myspace, and became even more broken hearted, and… here I am.

Here’s the skinny:
Tomorrow is my birthday. I love birthdays, rather, I love the excitment surrounding birthdays, but the actuality is that I have not really enjoyed my birthday in quite a few years. It has to do with my age. Tomorrow I will be 28. I am not married, and this, albeit a ridiculous thought, is something that I cannot shake, and I therefore become discouraged. I know that you’re supposed to be happy and blah blah blah on your birthday (God knows I give other people a hard time when they aren’t excited), but I am now a hypocrite as, I cannot muster up excitement.

Two years ago, I was at a miserable job and had a corneal ulcer on my birthday. A year ago, I had just completed my 90 days on my new job and I was in charge of planning the departmental Christmas party. This year I, have been kicked out of my house, had my ten year high school reunion, lived with a roommate for seven months (that’s HUGE), and had my heart broken. (I allowed him to break it, so I guess that makes me the stupid one, huh?)

I was thinking about the heart on the way back to work. There are an innumerable amount of medical journals and books about the workings of the human heart, defining shape, function, abnormalities, diseases, etc. Medical science has developed ways to correct problems with hearts from using pig valves to pace makers, to complete transplants, expanding arteries, and so much more. But they can’t fix a broken heart. Doctors can’t even see it. I know this is trite to somebody, but I have been praying for God to fix my broken heart. As much as I want to blame somebody else, it’s my fault. In case I have given anyone the impression that all is calm within, the fact is, that is a fa├žade, and within is tumultuous and empty. I know that the process takes time, but I keep finding ways to open up my own wounds and re-injure myself, and frankly, I’ve got to stop. My natural inclination is to run. I have these moments where I want to throw on tennis shoes and yoga pants and run like a mad woman. As though adrenaline will make all my problems go away. (Note: this is probably why I’m NOT a runner.) Other days, I want to move and get a new start and come back in five years and say “Ha… your loss”. But, I know God will never give me that opportunity because I know better and He keeps me humble. Alas, I must endure the brutally painful healing process knowing that God has bigger things in store.

Monday, December 11, 2006

12.11.2006

I have no idea how to start this blog today.

As of right now, I have started it three times, and erased each one.

This weekend... interesting. Life is interesting, you know? There are always surprises. Surprise #1 -- I actually taught myself to crochet and knit this weekend. My roommate has been trying to teach me how to knit, but it's been unsuccessful. But this weekend, I bought books and sat there until I learned. Right now I am very proud. Surprise #2 -- A friend has succeeded in doing something that I wanted to. He took the Math Praxis, and passed, and starts teaching in January. I'm not going to lie; I am SO jealous. I am rather aggravated with myself for being the perpetual procrastinator that I am. UUGH. Surprise #3 -- Church yesterday. My church doesn' t often NOT have preaching. Yesterday... was just one of those days that was different. I had to go to the alter and confess some anger and unforgiveness that I have been harboring. I have allowed a situation to continue to hurt me. And I had to go let it go. And Cry. I had to cry hard to release those things inside me that I couldn't articulate. And... God is good. I love that God wants us to do that, albeit brutally painful, for us to not hurt anymore. Maybe that's an oxymoron on a theological sense, but it makes sense to me.

I bought a few Christmas presents this weekend, but I spent WAY too much money. I did buy my Christmas cards, and even have a few ready to mail. There are even personal notes in them too. I'm excited.

My brother is in Utah, Salt Lake City, as a matter of fact. He's not excited about it either. In his way of being funny, he sent me a text last night to tell me that he would not go overboard and would only come home with three wives. He said four would be too many. (Please don't anyone take offense at that... it's JUST a joke.) He'll be back this weekend.

I went to Atlanta this weekend by myself. It was so theraputic. I miss my days of driving, and hate that I can't do it as often.

Okay... I'm totally boring, but I thought I would blog. Oh yeah... my step-brother is in jail, and in currently being arraigned to see if they'll release him or sentence him. Oi Vay.

Friday, December 8, 2006

12.08.2006

Well.. I hit another blocked site at work. This morning on the radio they played Elliot Yamin's version of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas". Elliot reminds me of a guy I went to college with, but E's version rocks. Go to Aol music or ITunes and download it. It's really good. I may even spring for his Christmas album.

Funny thing... this morning I was putting my make-up on at my desk (at almost 10:00a.m), and all of this sudden this voice says, "Well Hey There Purty!" I almost poked my eye out with my eyeliner. Only in the south would something like that pass for acceptable. It was very funny.

I did not make it to Atlanta last night, because the only jacket I had was leather (not good for keeping out wind), and it was in the teens in the ATL. Plus, my car was almost blown off the road because of the winds, so I decided to head back home and chill. Did have dinner with my friend K., and we had a good time. Bible study was good too.

In other really exciting news... my service engine soon light came on a few days ago. It's repair (had it been significant) could have cost me upwards of $700. Instead, God healed my car and the light went off. (Turns out that I just didn't tighten the gas cap enough the other day and it threw my ultrasensetive Emissions system into a frenzy.) But... God is good all the time. And He heals cars in case you didn't know.

My weekend is now super-busy, but I secretly have a desire to go home and see my family. At the rate I'm going, it will have been an entire month since I've seen them, and sometimes, that's just too long. We'll see. I do have to find something to wear to the symphony this weekend, and may be driving back to Atlanta to find something apropos.

To all my friends who read this, my question is, just shy of world peace, absolving world hunger, or solving the national deficit, What Do You Want for Christmas?

Thursday, December 7, 2006

12.07.2006

First off... we got some snowflakes in Dalton today. Yay! I am hoping for lots of snow this year! I am probably the only one, but that's okay.

Here's my schedule for the next four weeks:
Last night -- Birthday dinner for K. She gave me the sweetest gift ever. I just love her. And... I totally cried at dinner. Sometimes, I'm too emo for my own good.
Today -- Atlanta
Friday -- Dinner with my friend S. from Nashville and J. from Benton (she's a SAHM -- it's a big deal)
Saturday -- Birthday dinner with M.
Sunday -- get to hear Gordon Mote. I may get to see Alan Jackson because of Mr. Gordon too. Now wouldn't that just be fabulous?!?
Monday -- Belly dancing
Tuesday -- God willing, I will be in Atlanta with Patrick Kerney shopping at Macy's. Ya'll keep praying.
Wednesday -- My birthday! (I know this is conceited and is a cheap ploy, but I really have nothing going on wednesday and I needed something.
Thursday -- going to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with H., her husband J, and C. I haven't been to the Symphony in 17 years, and I am very excited. It's so beautiful. I will probably cry again too.
Friday -- Commissioning for my friend B. (I graduated from college exactly five years ago on this day.)
Saturday -- B. graduates and we have graduation party! I'm so excited.
Sunday -- Trip to ATL, and the Progressive dinner with roomie & friends.
Monday - Thursday -- Work and MUST finish Christmas shopping.
Friday -- Work, Home to WP, pick up JM at the airport.
Saturday -- Dad's anniversary, and Christmas with Dad and C.
Sunday -- We do Christmas Eve at my grandparents house. With my cousin being knocked up this year, this should definitely be interesting.
Monday -- Christmas Day!!!
Tuesday -- Chill and head back to my apartment. :(
Wednesday - Friday -- Work. Also, the couch at my house is being fixed by the manufacturer so I will be crashing on the love seat. :) Friday, I will also head back to WP.
Saturday & Sunday -- getting ready to celebrate New Years!
Sunday -- I will definitely be in ATL. I have not finalized what I'll be doing, but I have a few really good options!
Monday -- Happy New Year!! sleeping. :)
Tuesday -- back to work.

So... that's what's going on.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Comments

Okay... so I'm a big giant nerd, and didn't realize that I had to go into the "moderate comments" section and approve them. I thought you all were snuffing me.

Instead... I'm just a moron.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. This made my whole day... 16 comments!

12.06.2006

So today... I am over my temporary insanity blogged about yesterday.

Today has been fairly unproductive for me... but that's mostly because I chose not to be superproductive. Ergo... productivity is down. :)

I did run across an interesting article. (Go Here.) I'm not going to defend it, but I will say that there are definitely parts that I must admit are true. I've run across several articles as of late that discussed what I call diminished christianity, where people are being discipled and taught to disciple others with "feel good gospel". This articles intrigues me... to say the least.

Also (Drumroll please)... I am going to begin the arduous but delightful task of preparing and mailing Christmas cards. My goals are as follow:

1) 100 Christmas cards out. I have 400 friends on myspace... surely I can wrangle 100 addresses.
2) Personalize at least 50. I want to stretch beyond simply signing my name. Including a picture of myself will not happen, but a simple note to say more than a greeting is extremely personal to me. (For the record, I do not expect that from anyone in return. That's why it's MY goal.)
3) Photostamps. I've got to get on the stick and get the picture to them today or tomorrow in order for them to get back to me in time. I took a lovely picture in NYC in May and had them developed into photostamps and have become a convert ever since.
4) In the mail, and delivered to Your Doors by December 19.

I know... it's ambitious, but a girl's got dreams!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

12.05.2006

Do you ever have those days where you just want to scream? Today's that day. The check engine light came on in my car. The teller at the bank processed a deposit $30.00 shorter than she should. And I'm frustrated.

I know this is one of those moments where I'm supposed to count my blessings. Yes, I have many. But I'm totally frustrated. I wish I could say that this was all I am frustrated about, but that's a total lie. I'm frustrated about alot of stuff.

Today I was thinking about my life and how different it is from everyone else (that I know) my age. And I don't think different is a good thing today. I know this is just me being frustrated, and I'll get over it. Just not in the next 35 seconds.

Today... this is not what I wanted my life to be. I am not where I wanted to be ten years ago. Approaching my 28th birthday, I find myself very frustrated. Yesterday, I was very excited about the prospect of winning a contest with a football player. Today, that seems totally inconsequential.

This is not a pity party. It's just lack of contentment with where I'm at. And today, I think it's okay to feel that way. I have more than a handful of friends who are having babies, and it's hard not to be jealous. It is sadly convenient not to be uber-compassionate when their bodies ache or creek, and they can't see their feet, seeing as how all of them wanted to have babies. I've also thought about the guys that have come in and out of my life in the last ten years. One of them, I was just awful to. He was wonderful to me, and I was a total brat. Now he's in a relationship and has a six month old daughter. And I'm still alone. Some call it Karma -- sometimes I call it karma -- others find it to be the consequence of the Golden Rule, and I can completely agree with that too. I'm not oblivious to the fact that I am totally reaping what I've sown.

Contrary to the diatribe, I don't want my life to be all about me. I want more. I just want more now, and I don't know how to quiet my desire. I don't want to be selfish, and self-serving. But I'm having a bad day. And that's my blog about it.

Dear God, there's got to be more. Help me to be patient while You figure out what is "more" for me. Amen.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Year in Review

So, I can't answer a few of these yet, but I wanted to post this for anybody else to answer. I also don't know why a few questions are missing, but ... make 'em up, I guess. :)

Jenn

1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? Tried to learn to knit

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? A few of them. Yes, I wil make more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Merinda. Yay for baby Jude.

4. Did anyone close to you die? A guy in my building. Not really anyone close.

5. What countries did you visit? USA.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? Ha ha... I could be crude in answering this. Financial freedom.

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Not sure yet.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Losing 40 pounds.

9. What was your biggest failure? I don't think I have any big failures this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? My ankle (but it mostly hurt my pride.) :)

11. What was the best thing you bought? A new purse and Aigner wallet.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Why?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My ten year reunion.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2006? Stumble -- Natasha Beddingfield. Dontcha -- Pussycat Dolls. How can I keep from singing your Praise -- Chris Tomlin. Amazed -- Desperation Band.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner
iii. richer or poorer? More blessed!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Read

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Jap my jaws!

20. How did you spend Christmas? Soon...

22. Did you fall in love in 2006? No...

23. How many one-night stands? None.

24. What was your favorite TV program? Grey's Anatomy & Biggest Loser.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No

26. What was the best book you read? The Five Love Languages

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Didn't have one this year.

28. What did you want and get? Later...

30. What was your favorite film of this year? The Devil wears Prada.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Soon!...

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? See question #6. Probably actually knowing who my husband is.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? I'm getting better. Slowly.

34. What kept you sane? God.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Patrick Dempsey. I can't help it. I'm weak.

36. What political issue stirred you the most? GAS PRICES.

37. Who did you miss? My far away friends.

38. Who was the best new person you met? All the women at FBC Dalton.

12.04.2006

I updated the links on the side. Burnside Writers Collective is now one of my favorites to check on a regular basis. It's just too funny. And Post Secret, is not for the faint of heart. Some of the secrets can be appalling, but the premise is what strikes me. We, as people, are more comfortable telling strangers how we feel than those we love. I am not exception. I want to send something in soon. And I might buy the book for Christmas. It would be an awesome coffee table book/conversation piece.

Life is busy. Had friends in town this weekend; as always, it's good to see them. Ran into a random person on Saturday that I haven't seen in seriously ten years. He was either interested in me at one time, or his sister put him up to it, because I still have a card that he gave me. I'm sure he's a wonderful person, but in my awfulness, I never gave him the time of day. Now he's married with a kid on the way. Karma.

I applied for a contest to win lunch and shopping ($1000.00 from Macy's) with Patrick Kerney of the Atlanta Falcons. You had to send in why you thought you deserved to win lunch and the shopping. Here's my response:

Five Reasons I want to Shop 'til I drop and have lunch with Patrick Kerney.

1) My dreams of being a trophy wife won't happen because I don't wear a size 2.
2) Patrick should be able to have the lobster.
3) Because I'm trying to get out of debt and Christmas will be slim this year.
4) Because you had mercy on my slightly pathetic list.
5) My 28th Birthday is December 13, and I can't think of any better early birthday present than lunch and shopping with Patrick!!!

Yes, I know it's a cheap ploy, but who wouldn't love to have lunch and $1000 with a professional football player?

Gotta get back to work... Hasta La Vista.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Holy Cow, it's December.

For the record, my birthday is in twelve days. I'm pumped.

Secondly, I was looking at a friends blog, and ran across a comment, with a link to this article about a scientific study on speaking in tongues. I'm very intrigued to say the least. This in a strange way reiterates what I believe as well. Neato.

Been really busy at work today. But,... that's a good thing!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

11.30.2006

I will try to post a Thursday Thirteen by the end of the day. In the mean time, I wanted to share that I had a dream last night that I won $192 Million dollars in the Georgia lottery, and then (as the dream continued), I started giving money away.

FYI – I went to bed last night at 8:40 because I have a fever. And… I was on drugs (Tylenol Cold and Airborne to be exact.)

$192 Million

Paid tithes -- $19.2 Million dollars.
Paid off my student loan debt, all my other debt, bought a house and an SUV.
Paid off my family debt (houses, cars, etc).
Bought my best friend a new house, and put $$ in her bank account, so she could quit her job and go to school fulltime.
Gave Lee $2 Million and asked them to name something after me. (Narcissistic, ain’t it?)
Bought my friend Jenn an apartment in NYC with no critters.
Paid for my Holly friends’ children’s college funds. (A., B. & L.)
Bought my brother an apartment of his own with a doorman and an elevator. Paid off his student loan debt.
Paid off my friend C.’s vehicle and put $10,000 in bank for C.
Quit my job, and went back to school.
Helped Step-Dad finally retire.
Put $10,000 in my friend M.’s bank account.
Put my cousin and his wife through school.
Put my friend’s husband M. through college, and paid off her student loan debt, and put up college fund for their new baby J.
Bought my friend Michael a store so he could share his craftiness gift (and other talents) with others.

I could go on, but I kept paying off debt for folks. I also bought my stepbrother and his girlfriend a house, forced him into rehab, bought my stepsister a house, and gave her a few ultimatums too. The only funny part in my dream was that, every time I paid something off for someone else, I made them sign a legally binding contract to bless other people. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I did. I just kept rationalizing in the dream that, if I have no debt, and I work, then I am mandated to bless other people. I don’t care how I bless them, but in order to be a good steward, then I HAD to do kingdom work. Does this make sense to anybody? (I sometimes don’t think anyone reads this thing.)

Long story even longer… I love those kind of dreams. I really do want to be a “lender and not a borrower”. In this case, I don’t even want to be a lender,… I just want to help other people, so that they can help others. Yes, I’m a nerd, but this is called a multiplicity effect, and it rocks. Jesus digs Math. Don’t be fooled. Need I remind anybody of the story where Jesus fed the 5000, which by all historic accounts was actually 15,000 because the writer(s) didn’t include the women or children? See… that’s God math right there.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Five Love Languages

I found this quiz searching through a few blogs. Thought I would share the results of my taking this quiz. Apparently I am very emotionally and physically needy. Whoops. :)

The Five Love Languages

My primary love languages are probably
Physical Touch and Quality Time.

Complete set of results

Physical Touch: 10
Quality Time: 10
Acts of Service: 5
Words of Affirmation: 4
Receiving Gifts: 1


Information

Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don't understand our partner's requirements, or even our own. We all have a "love tank" that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.

Take the quiz (I had to edit this link, but it should work right now.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

For Today

"The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched - they must be felt with the heart." ~ Helen Keller


- Happy moments, praise God.
- Difficult moments, seek God.
- Quiet moments, worship God.
- Painful moments, trust God.
- Every moment, thank God.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More

I know there is some friend of mine who is going to get mortally offended at my sharing of this, but I ran across this article at random, and laughed my head off. I hope somebody enjoys it. I am not a feminist even in the slightest. I also CHOSE not to be offended at this article. It's a satire people. Just remember that. Oh, and my personal favorite parts are the comments at the bottom.

Go Here

11.27.2006

I haven’t blogged in a week. This is sad! So much has happened. This blog might be long, but I’m going to try to recap:

Monday night – skipped belly dancing, went home, packed, cleaned, watched TV (I’m slowly starting to really hate TV), and went to bed. Fixed up my myspace a little too… I think.

Tuesday – Got up at 6:00, left my house by 7:00 to be at work for an all day training seminar by 8:00. At lunch, I ran some banking errands to make sure I had some cash and didn’t have to pay ATM fees to pull my $$ out. After training seminar, ran a few more errands before heading to final Beth Moore bible study at First Baptist Church. (I’m so sad… I’m going to really miss those women these next seven weeks. :( ) Didn’t leave Bible study until 9:30 – headed home to West Point. Prayed that I didn’t leave anything I needed in Cleveland because there was no way to go back and get it! Got to WP at 12:30.

Wednesday – 3:40a.m. wake-up call. Headed to airport – great flight! Kinda dragging, but so pumped to see my brother!!! Once we got there, … I don’t remember what we did first. We eventually went eat lunch somewhere. I can’t believe I’ve forgotten already! Anyway… Wednesday night, JM took us to a Mexican place close to his house. I know we went to Home Depot on Wednesday, but I can’t remember what we got the first time. We also went to K-Mart too. We got an air mattress, and Mom and I did some cleaning while JM & Bill worked on JM’s apartment a little. Wednesday night, JM and I went to the Big Balloon Blow-up in Central Park. Had a lot of fun. I took a picture, but don’t have my chord so I can’t upload it yet. Later.

Thursday – we all kinda slept late on Thursday. We had lunch reservations at a place called the Brasserie. We got there an hour early, so we walked around for a little while. Lunch was at noon. The Brasserie is a 5 star restaurant, and lunch cost us $300.00 for four people. And… I wasn’t all the crazy about the food. I can never be one of those people who dines in elegant, upscale restaurants on a regular basis. 1) I don’t make that much money, and 2), I’m ENTIRELY too picky. I offended the Executive Head Chef because I didn’t eat all my soup. How do I know I offended him? He came to the table and asked if everything was okay and if I liked my soup. I’m sure if I liked Butternut Squash soup, that his dish was lovely. Personally, it was nasty, and gold colored, and definitely not appetizing! Thursday night we went to Times Square and didn’t do a whole lot. It was really nice.

Friday – we ran a lot of errands on Friday! We made another two or three trips to Home Depot, I found an AWESOME stationary store right up the block from JM, and then got to see my friend Jenn Friday night. I am so proud of Jenn, and told her. I have a lot of friends in ministry, but only two or three that have stepped out of the “ministry” box and are doing something different. I’m not knocking what everybody else is doing, but Jenn is definitely special to me. She inspires me in ways that I can’t articulate, and am not even going to try. I even WALKED all the way home instead of being a sissy and taking a cab. (See Jenn!) My mother and brother did not appreciate my brazenness, but I was quite proud of myself for not being afraid of the city. Plus, it was only like two miles, and seriously, how hard is that?

Saturday – we got up and went into downtown again, to show my mom a few things. She’s never been in Sak’s, so we took her. She did pick up a $5000.00 scarf, and my brother had a panic attack and made us leave almost immediately. I think he thought my mom was going to tear it or something. Very funny. We ate lunch in silence, because we all knew we were going to be leaving. Those are the times I wish I could just stop being afraid and move up there with JM. He initially said no, until I agreed to pay half rent, then he decided it was okay. :) Right before we left, JM took me into the West Village and showed me an art store that he has been scouring. All of their pictures are only $25/piece and they’re all really good. Definitely think that will be where we get a few of JM’s Christmas presents. Our flight was an interesting journey too. We were supposed to board and leave by 6:30, but our flight didn’t take off until almost 8:40. And we were on the plane for most of that time too. Then,… we lost our car. Apparently in our exhaustion from not getting any sleep Tuesday night, no one remember to text themselves where we left the car. Craziness! But… really funny.

Oh yeah… Saturday, I walked down 2nd Avenue in my pajama pants. Okay, so it was 7:30 in the morning, and my mom and I were walking to the Laundromat, and nobody else was really up, but it was still thrilling in its own right. All in all, I had a good time in New York. I love my brother and am very proud of all that he’s done. He’s a good kid.

Sunday – I slept until noon. I know… it’s awful, but I was exhausted. My step-brother and his girlfriend stopped by for a visit. I went to visit with my grandparents. I came back and fell asleep again. (Horrible, I know.) Then… I came back to TN. I got home late last night.

Today – I am SO behind at work. I’m a little frustrated with me, because I could have gotten things done, and yet, I didn’t. Sometimes, I do not make wise decisions.

I did have a moment where I had to laugh out loud at/with God. There is a situation that I have been praying about for a very long time. In the middle of Times Square, there is a 15 ft high by 80 foot wide giant plasma screen with my prayer on it. I had to laugh. Just too funny, and too large, not too laugh. With that, I know that God is in control. I have NO idea what God is doing, but He’s in control, and I’m glad I’m not.

Coming back to work today makes me so desperate to do more in life. “There’s gotta be something more, gotta be more than this…” I realize its silly to borrow a lyric from a country song, but I think it sums it up best. “Got to be, got to be, got to be…” As a matter of face, I KNOW there is.

Monday, November 20, 2006

11.20.2006

Well... I did not finish my To Do list this weekend. Oh well... I did go to Praise in Motion, and that was actually pretty cool. Makes me miss dancing like that! Got to see a friend from high school that I haven't seen in twelve years... and had a good time! Stayed with my friend in Duluth too; we had a blast as usual. Did leave my charger at her house.. AARRgH. Oh well!

This week... BUSY!
Today -- missed half a day of work trying to tie up some financial matters. Only supposed to take 15 minutes, but took 3 1/2 hours instead. Saw Snow. It was snowing in Cleveland! Yes... this is a BIG DEAL! Skipping dance tonight, because I have to be completely packed and get the house cleaned! Here's my schedule for tomorrow though:

6:00 -- Rise & Shine
7:00 -- Leave for Work
8:00-5:00 -- Championing Diversity Training Course at work -- also must make deposit and withdraw $$ from savings
6:15 -- Final Daniel Bible Study -- dinner with women from FBC
8:30 (Hopefully) -- leave for W.P.

Wednesday
3:30 AM -- Rise & Shine
4:45 -- Leave for Airport
7:00 -- Off to NYC for Thanksgiving!

So, I'm not excited about having to get up at 3:30 in the morning, but I am psyched about seeing my brother. And... the Macy's Day Parade... and not being in Alabama for family drama. (God IS merciful!)

Gotta run!

Friday, November 17, 2006

...

"For love of you I left my Father's side. I came to you who ran from me, who fled me, who did not want to hear my name. For love of you I was covered with spit, punched and beaten, and fixed to the wood of the cross."

11.17.2006

God makes me laugh sometimes. I think I've mentioned this, but lately, God has been pretty quick about responding to some things. Last night, I had a rather lengthy conversation with my grandmother and then my mother about my cousin and all her D-R-A-M-A. (FYI, Keli is 26 weeks pregnant with a little boy now due sometimes in late February or early March. This means she got pregnant around May... coincidentally around the time she graduated from high school. I can only disgusting assume they were celebrating.) ANYWAY... I got on a little tyrade, and my grandmother, of course, didn't approve. I told her that this Christmas I was going to say something! I told her that all these years of us being silent, and a few members of my family acting stupid accomplished nothing. THEN,... last night I was reading Proverbs 17, which begins with this verse: "Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife." (v. 1). I seriously laughed out loud. And... as only God can do, I am reminded to keep my mouth shut, because it would be better for us to have food in quiet, than our usual "feast" in strife and discord.

I told you all that God keeps me humble. Very funny. :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #2

Okay… I’m doing double Thursday Thirteen… and I’m tagging EVERYONE that reads this blog. I know you're all busy, but I think you secretly like it! :)

Thirteen books I HIGHLY recommend:

1. The Bible
2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
3. For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
4. The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
5. Love you Forever by Robert N. Munsch & Sheila McGraw
6. If Men are like Buses, then how do I catch one? by Michelle McKinney Hammond
7. Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning
8. The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley
9. Do You Think I’m Beautiful by Angela Thomas
10. Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Eliot
11. Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Day I was Crucified by Gene Edwards

Thirteen things I need/want to do this weekend!

1. Praise in Motion
2. Visit Michele in Duluth
3. Vacuum my room
4. Laundry
5. Birthday cards to send out
6. Shop!
7. Eat someplace good in Atlanta!
8. Church
9. Finish ALL of my Beth Moore homework
10. Pull all the pictures off of my computer, and either save them to CD, print them, mail them to the person in the picture(s), or delete them
11. Pray
12. Read!
13. Clean my bathroom

11.16.2006

I got Ronald back today for our Biggest Loser group. This makes me smile. :) He's just so cute!

I can't believe I'm going to share all of this, but I know there are probably a few of you who think I'm an idiot at times. I'm not going to defend whether or not you are correct at times. Overall, I'd like to think of myself as fairly intellgent. Anywho... at dinner Tuesday night before Bible study, we were told about a gentleman who came as a guest speaker to Dalton State. This man, James Kunstler, then proceeded to write an article about Dalton (incognito) referring to it as "Peachville". He ate at a local restaurant here, and from the tone of his article, had a horrible experience. The entire article was very disparanging, and frankly, just mean. He made a lot of statements of which he had little fact. So... today, the facilitator for the bible study I'm in forwarded his article, and I was just very taken aback. He was just mean. And I don't normally do this,... but I just felt compelled to write him. So, I did. I don't know how else to attach the article and the three emails that have followed, but I will share them as best I know how. I am not going to attach his article... it's too long, but Here's my email, his response, and my final response. Thoughts are appreciated. :)


Dear Mr. Kunstler,
I recently read an article excerpt from October 30, 2006, where you reference a visit to Georgia, specifically "Peachville". Having not originated from Peachville, but being presently employed in Peachville, I found your writing particularly stimulating. Peachville, as I'm sure you assimilated, is not particularly known for its Southern Junoesque. It has grown into a hodge-podge town over the course of the thirty-five years or so.
For reference that I'm sure you will find boring, I am originally from a tiny town in Alabama, grew up in Georgia, moved to Tennessee to attend college (not far from Peachville), graduated, and have now worked here for a few years. I also have a brother, who graduated with his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Alabama, and relocated to Manhattan to live life in both the city and the North; he was fulfilling his dreams. I tell you this only to enlighten you to the fact that I have visited outside of my illustrious surroundings to experience life in other parts of the United States.
Before I wrote you, I wanted to make a concerted effort to find out who you are. With that said, I did take some time to research you, your website, your writings, some of your many travels, etc. I found the picture of your girl Sally belly dancing quite humorous. I too am enrolled in a Belly dancing class here in good 'ole Peachville. I think her inclusion definitely showed a softer side of you.
But alas, my reason for writing. Sir, I easily conclude that you had a very dissatisfying visit to our little town, respectively to our entire state. I also see that you are WELL disenfranchised at the advent of technology and its rapid excess in depletion of natural resources and brain cells in the entire nation. If I had the chance, I would invite you again to this town, to this state, to show you more. I am confident that another visit would expeditiously produce articles to again berate and belittle the people of this entire community.
Dalton has truly become an interesting town, to say the least. Having spent the majority of my 27 years in another similar, small, textile town, Dalton is truly familiar. It's apparent in only a half mile drive of any part of town, the broad pendulum swing that has occurred economically and socially in this community. However, coming to town with a Northern chip on your shoulder only made you look like a ranting lunatic over a bad experience in a tiny restaurant. For the record, Sir, Dalton is a beautiful city, trying to rebound from economic decisions made in Washington to relocate jobs overseas which directly affect the heart of the community. It doesn't happen overnight. And, in regards to your visit to Vermont, and it's quaintly carved restaurant features, need I remind you of the history of the state of Georgia? Do we need a recap of social, economic, political, and cultural changes? Presumably not, because I assess that you are an intelligent man who does his homework.
Having visited New York on several occasions, I personally find your writings to be hypocritical in that you, Sir, have obviously missed the boat. There are thousands of cities in the United States that mirror both your complete disgust of Peachville and your grand disillusion of Bristol, Vermont. But that fact that you take such sadistic pleasure in writing about this one little town and your dimly lit food, I find you to be very sad.
I am not going to waste time in attempting to discredit you, because frankly, I don't have the credentials or the time. The next time you bathe, and try off with a towel, or wipe your dirty shoes on a rug, you remember the illustriously disenfranchised city of Peachville, and how those foolish people, without sidewalks or sense to get out of the rain, worked to produce those goods which you covet so.
I will share with you one final thought – you are now in my prayers. My finite mind may not fully understand why, but I can assure you that Jesus Christ died to save you, and now, having read your work, I feel compelled to pray for your soul. May God bless you beyond your wildest dreams. With that I am, Sincerely Yours,
Jennifer L. Calhoun


His response:

Sir, I easily conclude that you had a very dissatisfying visit to our little town
Well, you concluded wrongly.
In fact, I met a lot of nice people on the Dalton faculty. My observations on the physical character of the town and the quality of the restaurants were offered in a journalistic spirit.
I have gotten a lot of angry mail from Daltonites the past three weeks, and some themes are consistent -- for example, an aggressive kind of ignorance, which can also be described as a total lack of curiosity as to why a casual observer might say something about the place you live. I'd expect that some of you would be curious rather than indignantly defensive.
You're right, there are ten thousand towns in the US that have more-or-less committed suicide in the same way Dalton has -- by allowing the complete supremacy of the automobile, and dishonoring all your public space -- so you are not that special after all.
If you really believe in God's grace, you'd let a little of it show in your town -- but apparently you think a lot of free parking is just as good.
Jim Kunstler


My final response:

Dear Mr. Kunstler,
Thank you for your surprisingly prompt response to my email. I mistakenly assumed that you were too busy to respond.
I am pleased to hear that you met nice people on the Dalton faculty. I know very little about the college, except that it is in town, and they offer extension programs from other universities. Even in the midst of this town, albeit simple at times, people are more offended at your observation and the audacity in which you presented your arguments than the validity behind them. Ironic I know, but factual, and that is a southern trait at best. Daltonians, as they are referred too, are very well aware of all the depravities of their town -- Trust me. Just be thankful that you can rest peacefully in your home far from here, as the area is still highly saturated with "principle fighters" who might take their frustrations out with a gun and a pick-up truck.
And just so you know, I spent most of my formidable years in West Point, Georgia, (my mother still lives there) which is also the new site the first American KIA manufacturing plant, so I do understand how the automobile has taken over. I understand what a Korean manufacturer can do to my small town, and in the bigger scheme, to the entire state. A chaotic state of frenzy has ensued, and it's going to get much worse.
I'm not going to give you my dissertation on God's grace and mass transit in the South. Frankly, I don't think we will ever have the same level as say, New York. But that's okay. We've got sweet tea, and there isn't much else that can trump that. Thank you again for your response.
Sincerely yours, Jennifer


I feel confident that some of you don't care. And in a way that surprises even me, ... I'm not really that crazy about Dalton. :) I'm very much a principle fighter, I just don't have a gun. And New York, is just fabulous. It offers things that will take a long time before the South ever acquiesces to that point. But don't trash us when you don't know all the fact... you know?

Other than that... work is good.

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16: 18

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

11.15.2006

I received an interesting nugget from last night's bible study, and here it is (in third person).

"Stop overanalyzing and being so introspective. Stop looking for Jennifer. Find Jesus."

That may not be profound for anyone else, but it is so cut and dry for me. I'm a nerd about things, but there is a ridiculous movie that I have seen probably fifty times or so -- Don't tell Mom the Babysitter's dead. Christina Applegate is in the movie, and while the plot is irrelevant, there's a line that her boss says, and then she reiterates in the climactic scene. It is:

"Times... they are a-changing".

For me, times ARE changing. I feel like I've made that statement a thousand times, and no one ever believes me, and while you may not believe me now, it doesn't matter. Times are changing, I'm changing, life is changing. Enough of that.

I really don't have much else to write. I'm kinda focused these days, and definitely think that's apparent in my blogging. Tonight is "church night", so I'm debating on whether to help in the middle school ministry tonight, or just go to my class. I have a few errands to run -- Old Navy to take some pants back that are WAY too big (halelujah!), I need to run to LifeWay in Chattanooga, and take something back to the Dollar Store in Cohutta. Tomorrow night is Girls' Group, and I think C. is speaking. She always does a good job. Attendance is going to be down the next few weeks because of the Holidays, but that's okay. My roomie leaves for two weeks tomorrow, so I'll have the apt to myself.

Works calling (literally), so I've gotta go!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

WAIT

This is my FAVORITE poem of all time. A girl from Lee gave it to me, and I didn't read it at first... just skimmed, and then decided to read it a few hours later while I was on the phone. I spontaneously burst into tears and had to hang up. It spoke so powerfully to me! Just thought I would share it.

WAIT
Desperately, helplessly, with longing, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, with loving God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, “Child, just wait.”
“WAIT? You say ‘wait’?,” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers. I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked and am claiming Your Word.
My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to ‘Wait’?”

“I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I’ll resign.
And, Lord, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And, Lord, I’ve been asking! I need a reply!”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, “So I’m waiting… for what?”

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want
–But you wouldn’t know Me.

“You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint;
You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just knowing I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see;

You’d never experience the fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You’d know that I give and I save (for a start),
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart,
The glow of My comfort given late in the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.
You’d never know, should you pain quickly flee,
What it means that “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
Yes, your dreams for that loved one overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if I lost what I’m doing in you!”

“So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, “WAIT”.

11.14.2006

I've been reading the book of Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month. I've been trying. What's been very funny to me, is the sheer volume of word plays between the righteous and the wicked, specifically those with wise mouths versus those who have "loose lips". Anyone who knows me, knows that being tight-lipped is not my strong suit. I am trying, but breaking 27 years worth of habits is difficult. :)

"A fool's talk brings a rod to (her) back, but the lips of the wise protect them." Prov 14: 3

Doing my homework last night, I ran across this scripture and am very encouraged by it: "... and if you cry out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." Prov 2:3-5. Apparently, I missed it on November 2.

The Lord is totally messing with me and how I've done things in my life... even how I pray, and how their not wrong (per say), but how ineffective and confining they are. Even all my 'trust' issues... I've focused so much on not trusting God -- why would He trust me with anything??? Definitely a toe-stompin' for sure! But I needed it. I know that God is more than good... he's more than enough. In my silly little head, I can't fathom more than enough.

On a non-spiritual note -- in belly dancing last night, we started working on choreography for a drum solo. Very cool. I am quite sore today, but it's really neat.

It's a busy day at work... gotta run!

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm easily amused...

I saw this on a blog this morning:

the name of a coffee shop in a church -- Holy Grounds.

I can't tell you why I laughed so hard that I snorted, but I did.

11.13.2006


P.S. I also started reading John Ortberg's If you want to walk on water, You've got to get out of the boat. He says that your fear will tell you what your boat is.

My boat is being alone. And, I'm ready to get out of the boat.

Take the Cup I offer... and drink deeply of the dreams I dream for you...

Here’s a recap of the weekend.

Friday, I didn’t eat lunch. Left early to go to hear Jesse Duplantis at BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama with my friend Danielle. We arrived late, but all we missed was P&W. Jesse preached a great message based on 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” He spoke about faith, and harvest, and sowing seed (He did not ask for money FYI), and said this (and I love it) “You have what you say because you’ve been saying what you have.” Don’t we though? For instance, I say I’m broke, therefore I’m broke. This is not one of those I think therefore I am dissertations on life, but it definitely applies in the realm of what we speak. So… in faith I say, … I am married, soon! And I’m blessed! God knows the desires of my heart, and I don’t just mean my husband, I mean ALL the desires of my heart. Jesse also preached that God can provide all our needs, but He also wants to provide our WANTS. Anyways… I’m going to get the CD of the sermon. It was good!

Saturday morning, we had a Girls’ Group breakfast at Panera. I had a cinnamon crunch bagel, but was not impressed. Went to Books-a-Million afterwards until around noon. Had late lunch plans with D, but I decided to take a nap, a three-hour nap, and missed lunch. Then I just vegged out the rest of the evening. I have to be honest… I don’t miss my weekends of nothingness. I actually enjoy having lots of stuff to do, even if it makes me a little tired the next day.

Sunday… got sick yesterday morning, but met up with a friend for lunch. Afterwards, she and I went shopping in Calhoun, GA, and just had a good time. Last night, Avalon performed at Lee. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen then perform in concert, but they did a few old songs (Jody was very disheartened to say they actually had old songs – Avalon has been a group for 11 years), but it was really good.

This morning on the way to work, I popped in A Maze of Grace, and listened to a few songs. I think I will always love Adonai… it’s just my favorite Avalon song. But this one came on, (it’s the last song on the CD), and I wanted to share the words. The chorus lines up with everything that has been going on with me… in my heart… in my soul… in my head. My little mind can’t fathom the things that God dreams for me. They are SO MUCH MORE wonderful than I can even imagine.

Dreams I dream for you
You taste the tears
You're lost in sorrow
You see your yesterdays
I see tomorrow

You see the darkness
I see the spark
You know your failures
But I know your heart

The dreams I dream for you
Are deeper that the ones you're clinging to
More precious than the finest things you knew
And truer than the treasures you pursue

Chorus
Let the old dreams die

Like stars that fade from view
Then take the cup I offer
And drink deeply of The dreams I dream for you

You see your shame
But I see your glory
You've read one page
I know the story

I hold a vision
That you'll become
As you grow into the truth
As you learn to walk in love

Chorus
Let the old dreams die
Like stars that fade from view
Then take the cup I offer
And drink deeply of The dreams I dream for you

Friday, November 10, 2006

11.10.2006

I only have a few minutes to blog, but here goes!

God keeps me humble. I think I've mentioned that before. Last night, He did it again. And actually, it's very funny!! God is so good... all the time!!

I'm going to see Jesse Duplantis tonight. Should be very interesting! If I'm lucky, I'll run into a few people I know and love.

Those of you who do, please help me pray -- there is a job opportunity out of GA that is very appealing. My boss has given me the go ahead to apply. It's a very significant raise, but would put me about seven hours from my family. I just need direction!

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Just for the record...

I have two wonderful friends named Holly, who, in light of their ridiculously busy schedules, husbands, children, etc... still managed to respond to my tag. I am sincerely touched. :) Love you Gals!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Thirteen

http://thursdaythirteen.com/

So, I ran across this site somehow, but if I had to retrace my steps, I could not. I do however like the idea of thirteen, seeing that it is my favorite number. I may try to be creative, and Michael, Holly, and Holly… if you still read this – then I am tagging you to do it too. I think these are supposed to be short, but they’re not. :)

“My” Thirteen – funny memories from childhood

1. After my parents divorce, my mom would buy shaved turkey and onion rolls and make ronzoni salad (it’s a pasta salad), and we would have the best lunches on Saturdays. If we were REALLY good, we’d get Claussen pickles too.
2. My best friend and I would take my pink boom box to the front porch and make up dances to songs off of 107.3FM out of Columbus. It was scandalous.
3. I had a Barbie doll named Teresa that I would never let any of my friends play with. Somehow I deemed her special. She was probably a Puerto Rican Barbie, and closely resembles Eva Longoria from Desperate Housewives today. She had a cute beach outfit and yellow high-tops and I thought she was the coolest.
4. At the parsonage on 8th & 8th, John Mark and I had a sandbox and we spent two or three days making the most intricate fort only to have it suddenly infested with ants and later destroyed by rain. Before it’s untimely demise, we were very excited about it.
5. The Christmas after I graduated from high school is referred to as “The blue Christmas”. I was (and secretly) still am obsessed with Navy blue, and everything that I got that year had navy in it. Everything. That’s also the year I acquired the Big Blue Bible, which is by far one of the greatest things I own.
6. I remember the first time I heard the other side of the Radically Saved cassette tape by Carmen. The backside of that tape is the 1) Jericho: the Shout of Victory (also where I learned a little Japanese that I, to this day, still remember, 2) I Feel Jesus, and 3) the God of All Nations Medley. I had been sick with Strep and out of school. My mom brought a lamp in my room and turned the tape over and hit play. I remember crying in bed just in awe. Really, it was the first time I understood missions work. For a brief time, I wanted to learn another language and be a missionary.
7. We played the Most awesome games of Cops and Robbers with all the kids in my neighborhood during the summers between 7th-9th grade.
8. John Mark and I used to play Bank Teller by sliding Monopoly money through the slots on my closet doors. This was Pre-ATM days (circa 1986). I am proud that we were ahead of our time technologically.
9. I had the biggest crush on Davy Jones from the Monkees. My BF Laura and I would watch it everyday at 5/4Central on Nickelodeon.
10. There was a pastor in Alabama named T.P.Allen, and my family used to make fun of him by calling him Wigwam behind his back. The first time I met him, I asked my grandmother (out loud), “Grandmama, isn’t he Wigwam?” I got a spanking for that.
11. I wanted to be a financial investor when I was really little. I somehow scammed my grandfather into giving me $1.05. To this day, he reminds me periodically that I owe him interest on that loan.
12. We used to play E.R. at Mrs. Deb’s house with Robyn and Crystal, and all the neighborhood kids. Everyone died at some point, or was wrapped in Ace bandages from an accident, and everyone knew how to write up a patients chart.
13. Whenever the bug man would come through the neighborhood (every night!), all of the kids would “hit the deck” and fall on faces until we though the smell had died down.

11.08.2006

This is the first song in my mp3 list today. This is the song in my heart. How can I keep from singing your Praise, Lord? I can't. My head is back in abandon, my arms are spread wide, I have a huge smile on my face, I am reminded of your Grace and new mercy, and my soul is excited. I can't keep from singing. I just can't stop.

Thank you Chris Tomlin

"How Can I Keep From Singing"
There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I knowThat I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Emotions

When I am angry and upset, I do dumb things. I say things I regret. I make rash and irrational decisions. I always want to go back and be "un"angry and undo all the things that I did when I was upset.

I am angry right now. At lunch, I saw something that my me angry. My insides are churning, my blood pressure is up, I am shaking, ... because I am angry.

In the parking lot at work, I totally just confessed to the Lord that I can't do this. I can't be angry. I can't make foolish decisions because of my inability to control a situation. I don't want to have to undo something, or regret stuff, or wish I'd never said things and desire to take them back. My prayer is: God help me be angry and not sin. You know I can't do this anymore. You know I can't deal with this situation and I don't understand. My finite mind can't understand.

And then I sit at my desk, and my daily devo has arrived, and it's attached below. I am so humbled. I am broken and teary as I sit at my desk, but I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW that God in his sovereignty already knew what was happening when I didn't. And for that, I praise Him with my whole being. Every part of me... body, soul, mind, spirit, ... everything. Unlike David, I found God in my pain. Where I need him most.

Here's the devo:

"Thanking God for Tests"

Key Verse: James 1:2-3, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (NIV

Devotion: My son sauntered from his room, proudly announcing he was ready for his test the next day. "I've studied all my notes, and I'm gonna ace that test," he proclaimed. "Great!" I replied. "Grab your notes and let me give you a little quiz." We settled down at the kitchen table and I proceeded to ask questions. One question after another was met with a shaky answer, most of them wrong. With his inadequate preparation revealed, he headed back to his room, notes in hand. After another period of study, he did indeed sail through the questions. The pop quiz I gave made my son very uncomfortable. He was sad that he wasn't ready, and sadder that he had to go back and study harder. My intent was certainly not to hurt his feelings, but to reveal the weak areas of his study so he could tighten the gaps and be ready for the real test.

Just as I tested my son, God tests me. He often puts me in uncomfortable positions to uncover weak areas. God doesn't point out my weakness to take advantage of me. Instead, His testing is to reveal areas that need work, so I will be strong enough to persevere and eventually succeed in what He's called me to do. God uses all kinds of life situations to test us. Testing can take the form of difficult people in our lives, times of waiting, or a challenge to step outside our comfort zone to be obedient. Will we avoid the situation? Will we suffer through it and quit because it's too hard? Or will we persevere and overcome?

We might think God gets frustrated with us when we "fail" a test. I sometimes wonder if God wants to give up on me when I repeat the same mistakes. But just because my son didn't know the answers on our mini-quiz didn't mean I would give up on him. Just the opposite! I wanted him to succeed and was willing to give him test after test to make sure he was ready.
God's testing can be to prepare us for something more important, and often more difficult. He wants to see if we can sustain the pressure in preparation for something big. So, the next time your Heavenly Father calls you up for a pop-quiz, consider His desire to see you succeed. If a weakness is revealed, thank Him for helping you move to the next level by strengthening you.

My Prayer for Today: Precious Lord, thank You for caring enough about my character and life to test me. Help me to see Your testing as a sign of Your love, and to be thankful for it. I pray for strength through Your Holy Spirit to walk in obedience and persevere. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

11.07.06

No more Induction. This makes me sad. It also makes me sad that my sorority did not discuss this with alumni. But, it does apply to other groups and that makes me feel a little bit better. For the record, I did not buy my friends in college. I am a huge proponent of clubs, because it really made my Lee experience. And God knows (Yes He does) that if I can go through induction, anyone can go through induction.

Monday, November 6, 2006

11.06.06 More...

I'm totally in love with the fact that David Crowder re-discovered God in a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. He is the giver of good things. Praise Him!



I eat a slice of cheese by eating all the sides off, then folding it in half, and then in half again. I feel like I get the most "cheese" for the bite.

So true... so true...

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Inland North
The Midland
The Northeast
The West
Philadelphia
North Central
Boston
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

11.06.06

Gonna make this short and sweet... if I can!

This weekend was Homecoming for Lee U. Had company and a bad attitude, but really had a good weekend overall.

Heard the BEST sermon yesterday from one of the speakers of the Marketplace conference this weekend in Chatt. He talked about how we have to get our WORK saved, because that's where our joy is. I am totally killing the sermon, but I am requesting a tape or CD, and will try my hardest to post an audio clip. This may completely stretch my html capacity so pray for me.

I've been sick... (I have a rather deep voice b/c of it!), so I know that is a contributing factor in my aforementioned bad attitude. I had the most hysterical attitude adjustment Saturday night though. A few friends went out to Outback, and I saw like 75 people I knew. I somehow dumped an ENTIRE coke in my lap, so it looked like I wet my pants. See... God keeps me humble. I didn't get upset at all... I thought it was hysterical. I mean -- I'm 27! Who dumps their drink in their lap at that age??? Ha ha!

I went through old pictures last night, and threw away about 150. I can't believe I hold onto pictures that are out of focus or are scenic shots of nothingness. I did also go through the 'Bradley' pictures, and am going to send a bunch of them to him. I kept about five for myself,... something that I can secretly show my children one day so they'll know that Mommy really did date. But I'm glad to get rid of them!

I also seriously cleaned my room this weekend, and have about two bags of junk to discard. I would like to go through my storage unit and see what else I can get rid of. I would love to get a cheaper unit if I could!

"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasantt ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed." Prov 3:13-18

Thursday, November 2, 2006

11.02.06

FYI -- it is so much easier for me to write my thoughts down.

In typical fashion, a lot has been happening with me lately. I told someone on the phone recently that my life is pretty boring, but it really is not. My life is busy. I could be busier, I do have that kind of time, but it’s still pretty busy regardless.

1. My cousin (18, unmarried) is pregnant.
2. I have not talked to my brother in … days.
3. I’m a little under the weather.

The worst part about this blog is that I can’t really share everything that’s going on, you know? Some things… are just better left without telling everybody.

I am getting excited about going to NYC to see my brother and my friend Jenn. She is such a blessing, and doesn’t even know it. I have been encouraged more times than I can count by reading her blogs. Maybe reading this she will know how much I secretly appreciate her. I hope so.

I do need to catch up with the Holly’s (Here's one of the Holly's). I hope you two are reading this. Maybe some Saturday Christmas shopping? I’ll have to post myspace comments about it. Oh,… and I have no idea what to do about Christmas presents this year. I don’t know what to get anybody really. I think I want a new digital camera for Christmas, but I may be bad and buy it for myself for my 28th birthday. I like feeling my age by the way. Strange, but good.

Goals by Christmas
1. Make out an official list for Christmas Cards
2. Get ALL of my Christmas cards out
3. Lose 10 pounds. (I figure that is realistic considering my 30 pounds already. Yay!)
4. Pay off one bill.
5. Consider Photostamps.
6. Give to the poor. (This may sound weird, but God is seriously dealing with me about this.)
7. Read 4 books. And finish them!
8. Blog 25 times.

I did buy my cousin’s kids (Andrew is 8, and Kaylee is 3) a calendar similar to an advent calendar for Christmas. They are both smart and so sweet, and give the entire family something to work together on each day until right before Christmas. Plus, the calendar is the Peanuts gang. Too cute! (I tried to find the link online, but it’s only on ebay and we’re banned from that at work. :( )
For now, that’s all I can think of. Later!