Monthly Archives: January 2013
Tonight, after work, was worship night band practice. I feel like it went pretty well. We went through the majority of the songs, had some dinner, recorded a song, made up some funny songs, and did some dancing. Musicians really do make the best friends! They won’t laugh at you for making up a weird song or singing a song for no reason other than wanting to. They’re crazy, silly, artistic, and fun to be around.
Oh and my particular worship band is filled with amazing people who are some of the most encouraging people I know. They wouldn’t give up on me and they are convinced that I am amazing and need to say that I’m amazing. I don’t think I’m amazing. I try really hard though and put my heart into what I do so maybe they can see that and think that’s amazing? I’m not really sure. But I am in awe of them.
I’m proud of Kyle aka Prince Charming for learning an amazing solo on his harmonica and for being so kind and encouraging and offering his house up for practices. I’m so proud of Crystal for playing her guitar while leading worship and helping us with harmonies and just being a generally great person to be around. I’m proud of Lindy for always encouraging me and giving me gentle constructive criticism to help me learn and grow. Not to mention the fact that she has an amazing voice that I just love singing with. I’m super proud of Jason for jumping in and helping out with the band but also for offering up his home so generously and giving me rides to his house from work. He’s a totally understatedly awesome person. I’m proud of Roni for playing with us but I’m super proud of her for being willing to sing a song with us this coming Sunday!!!! She sounds great and I know she’s going to be great. And I’m super proud of Bruce for being willing to play rhythm on my acoustic guitar for a song and generously allowing me to play his awesome electric guitar. Next up, he’ll be singing and so will Jason! I can hope at least.
I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to practice with and grow with as a leader and as a worship band. It feels like we’re family. 🙂
There’s nothing else to really say at the moment. I’ve been getting way too few hours of sleep lately and it’s starting to effect me. I can’t wait to sleep in on Saturday. Only one day left of work!!! I’m hoping that Brandi, Bruce, Roni, and Lindy will all be able to get hired on at work. I want all my friends surrounding me! Hahaha and the Vineyard is slowly taking over my workplace. Work was okay today but not great. I was really tired and I was doing kind of boring work but, I did get to go to a meeting, and I get to work with great people so at least that makes up for not having an amazing day like I normally do. Still, my worst day at my current job is still better than my best day at some of my prior jobs. Gotta love that!
Time for bed now. Crystal, if you’re reading this, my vocal warmups wouldn’t download. I’m going to have to get them from you on a flash drive tomorrow. 😦
Peace, love, and listen to Cold War Kids,
This morning I saw the most beautiful red sunrise ever. It was like the sky was on fire! One of the best parts of living in the desert is the sunrises and sunsets we get to see. It’s romantic in the classical sense but also in the sense that we get to see God’s beauty in His creation and fall in love with Him a little more. And I really do. You can’t help but be in awe of the beauty of creation and when I think about how much more beautiful God is than the lost beautiful sunrise and how He sees me as that beautiful, how can I not fall in love with God more!?
But anyways, today was a good day at work. It was long but busy for most of the day so that was great! My boss is so funny sometimes! He found this conspiracy theory website that had us cracking up for a while. It made the afternoon just more awesome than it already was. Lunch was even great! I like getting to eat lunch with Jason. It’s nice to have a friend to sit and scarf food down as quickly as possibly because we only get 30 minutes to eat. Not to mention that he’s funny. Lol.
After work was so great! Joel, Bruce, Jason I., Kelli, Brandi, Crystal, and I went to get sushi. I had a baked chicken roll and, surprisingly, it still tasted like sushi. I also had 4 cups of Soju Cocktail – very potent stuff that doesn’t taste strong. I didn’t get drunk but I definitely felt the alcohol. It was good to get out and have a good time with my friends. Especially since Joel was able to come with us and we hardly ever get to spend time with him.
After dinner, Bruce, Crystal, Brandi, and I went to Brandi’s and ended up listening to music, playing guitar, painting, and talking. It was wonderful. I love getting to play guitar! It’s so fun now that I’m a little more confident. And I got to share with crystal some of the accomplishments I’ve had at Acton Rehab. I’m seriously so proud of her for being so brave. She inspires me to be brave and bold. I’m going to be so sad when she leaves. But hopefully I’ll get to go to Australia in the fall for my birthday.
The night was filled with great conversation and learning new things about friends. I love getting to know new people and finding out all the little things they enjoy. I like finding common ground and interests and hidden talents. I’m so proud of my friends for being bold and in awe of their talents! I’m blessed to have such amazingly talented friends who inspire me and encourage me and are such a joy to be around.
Life is just really good right now and I want to embrace it and acknowledge it. Even though there are some bad days, they’re mostly good and I give all the credit to God for that. I don’t deserve these blessings but I’m thankful for them and thankful for my friends. They’re pretty amazeballs. Until tomorrow…
Peace, love, and chai tea lattes,
Today was both amazeballs and horrible. All day long at work I was feeling really horrible; I mean sore throat, cough, sneezy, headache, stuffy nose/can’t breathe from the right nostril, etc. In addition to feeling like the poster child for horrible sinus problems, I stayed up way too late and was extremely tired all day aaaaand it didn’t seem like my boss was particularly talkative aaaaaand I was feeling like I was on the verge of delving into depression…again. Let me tell you, it’s really frustrating to be a perfectly (normal amount of) crazy, joyful, silly person one minute and feel like the saddest, most horrible and insane person ever!
So there I was, working and listening to worship music on Spotify when, all of a sudden, these thoughts just invade my brain. It’s like a sneak attack because I don’t even know where the heck they come from. I wasn’t even thinking anything remotely close to relationships and here come those thoughts, feeding on all my insecurities and making me feel like a monster. What’s interesting is that, this past Sunday, I was explaining to someone how I believe that Satan will use our thoughts to lie to us and get us to believe something contrary to God’s truth and then I get attacked like that out of left field.
So here I am at work, starting to feel worse and worse by the second and worrying that I might have to text Brandi to pray for me when God reminds me that I need to keep every thought captive and to meditate on the Truth. He also said that I don’t have time to be depressed with all the worship I lead so I need to pray and fight this. Know what I did? I prayed and praised Him and it helped! The thought’s didn’t completely leave until hours later in Acton when Rick prayed to open us before I led worship but I was a whole lot better while meditating on God’s truths. The truth is, no matter what man is or isn’t in my life, I am deeply loved by God. He loves me enough to be with me in my time of need in the middle of a work day. He loves me enough to put amazing people in my life who will pray for me and stand by me. He loves me soooo much that He gave me an amazing friend named Lindy to post something totally random on my Facebook that I would check and be reminded of an amazing time at a concert and the amazing blessings God has given to me. Then, on the way home from work, I get a very random text from a friend about my hair in his car. Random, yet funny. But anyways, God totally used a bunch of different ways to pull me out of a tailspin and back on the path to goodness.
The other amazeballs part of my day was when I was leading worship in Acton Rehab. I was still really really tired even though I was really looking forward to worshipping together so, on the car ride there, I prayed for myself and for Rick, the one teaching tonight, that we would both be energized and do a great job. It wasn’t until Rick had finished praying that I felt this huge surge of energy. It was like someone flipped the switched and I was super pumped and had all this energy and worship was fantastic! I was able to play 3 songs continuously, blending them all together to make this one amazing worship set! It wasn’t just me thinking it was amazing either! I heard from some others that they thought it was good. Regardless, I accomplished one of my goals tonight so that felt good and I felt really connected with the ladies and God while leading worship and that’s always a great experience.
Now, I’m home and wanting to send my worship set list with charts to my worship team, alas, the internet isn’t working. So, naturally, I decided writing a blog on my phone would be a better alternative to going to bed early. 😉 I know, I’m so brilliant!
Anyways, I’m going to try and get some sleep now. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Work is going to be grand due to it being payroll Wednesday and after work is going to be awesome because I’ll be meeting some friends for sushi and drinks. Yay!!!
Peace, love, and thousands of kit kat bars!
PS, I wish I could hire my friend Corrie to live here and be my personal stylist so I can have great hair like in this picture every day!
WARNING!!! This Blog Contains Some Foul Language and Some Truths! or I didn’t do anything church related today (259)
Today was one of the best days I’ve had in a quite some time. I seem to feel this way about a lot of days but today I especially felt this way. I got to hang out with some people I don’t get to see very often and who I don’t hang out with very often outside of church or a church related activity. It was great! To be honest, I was hanging out with people in the small group I used to attend before VLI started conflicting with when they met but tonight they weren’t doing any studying or discussing the bible, we were just hanging out, eating dinner together, playing a game together, and watching Anjelah Johnson’s comedy special on Netflix.
Now, if you know anything about me, you might be wondering why I am so excited to do something non-church related. It’s not that I don’t love my church or God or the ministries I’m involved in, it just felt really nice to relax with the people I serve with so often. I wouldn’t be so involved in the College Group or Worship at Acton or be a leader in the College Group book study if I didn’t have a passion to serve God in those capacities. It is extremely rewarding and also quite tiring. Tiring in the sense that, my free time is no longer spent watching TV or movies or getting coffee with friends or playing long board games/card games or even something as simple as getting enough sleep. My free time is spent reading books on the battle Christians face when they have homosexual desires or being a Gospel Centered Disciple or listening to new worship songs and putting together set lists/schedules/practicing worship, or studying for a sermon/teaching I’ll be giving soon. If I’m not doing that, I’m usually at my 7-4:30 job or at church itself or, occassionally, sleeping (which I should be doing right now).
I’m not trying to complain or boast like “Hey, look at the great things I’m doing!!!!” I wouldn’t do it if I thought that I wasn’t supposed to be, if I thought it was all about me and I was doing it for the wrong reasons, or if it was seriously impeding my health/sanity. I think serving God in the church body actually makes me, and probably anyone else, appreciate those moments you do have with your friends and family even more than you normally would. That’s probably why tonight, even though I see Lindy a lot for worship and small group and playing guitar, and I see David and Jason a lot because of work and college group, I still value getting to spend tonight with them not doing anything related to church. And I got to hang out with Adam and Andre, who I very rarely get to see, and Joel, a dear old friend who I also never get to see and miss hanging out with.
There was no drama, there was just genuine fun and comfortability being with them. Not that there’s ever really a lot of drama but it can happen, especially when you combine guys and girls of a similar age together. Throw in some hormones and add some new friendships to the mix and feelings can get hurt (mine) and people can be horribly misunderstood (me) and nicknames can be given that truly piss me off (me – oh wait, I already specified that). Seriously, it’s not okay, even if you find it funny, to nickname a friend “genital.” I laugh those things off because I know it’s not meant to be something mean but it can be hurtful, particularly when everyone starts calling you that. Someone please cue the bwah bwah bwah from the trumpet. That’s how I feel about it. (say that last sentence again but in an Eeyore voice). As much as I hate that nickname, please feel free to call me awesome, or wonderful, or funny, or Jenn. I respond really well to Jenn!
So, at the end of the day today, what nuggets of awesomeness am I left with? Even though I love my friends, I hate their nicknames for me. I love the nicknames God gives me though, such as beautiful daughter, beloved one, precious, etc. I love my friends even if I don’t get to see them that often. I’m so happy God has brought me into the ministries I’m involved in. Anjelah Johnson is one of the funniest gals around and I will never get tired of hearing “nail salon.” And I like turtles and T. Swift vs Carrie Underwood mashups and singing/playing guitar/goofing around with my friends.
Oh and in case you missed it, the foul language I was referring to starting with a “p.” 😉
Peace, love, and vanilla bean ice cream!
PS I got told by 3 different people at work today that I look 21. Hearing that always cushions the “getting old” blow a bit. Yes, I deal with vanity from time to time when it comes to my age. Seriously, prayers are appreciated. Sometimes I think God uses people like that to tell me that my age is literally just a number and I’m not limited by that number and I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Today I was praying and I got a really weird but oddly sweet image. While praying, I saw a human heart that was like a sponge and it was soaking full of water. Then a man wrung all the water out of the heart and it was left dry and fluffy. I then saw myself as a little girl, hugging the heart close to my body and swaying side to side. I don’t know why this made me feel like I have hope that I will find love some day?
All day at work I felt a pretty strong sense of being loved. It was interesting. I’m pretty out of touch with my feelings when it comes to liking someone and I can almost never tell if someone else has feelings for me unless they’re really blunt about it so I’m not sure if my weird lovey dovey feelings have to do with me having a dumb crush on someone or if it’s something else. Regardless, I felt really in touch with God today and a really strong sense that He was with me. That was awesome!
Then, when I was leading worship tonight at Acton Rehab, I felt so overwhelmingly connected to God and head over heals in love with Him. It was as is He were a real person standing right in front of me and I was singing these songs of love and adoration directly to Him. It was beautiful and bittersweet. I really do love God but He knows that I need human connection too. I love feeling in love and I love God’s love because it is completely unconditional and absolutely perfect but I also want the experience of imperfect, messy human love and all that it entails. But, for at least a few hours, I felt like I was in a loving, romantic relationship.
True, authentic worship awakens your soul and sets your heart on fire with love for God and love for others. It makes the sky seem more blue, the flowers look prettier, you feel as if you’re floating on clouds, and you’re more patient with people and kinder towards others. God’s love is absolutely perfect, amazing, transforming, sustaining, life giving, and uplifting. I’m thankful that, while I don’t have any romantic love between me and a man, I at least have the perfect love that God can give me. It sustains me in ways that no human relationship alone can. In fact, I don’t see how any of my relationships would last without God’s love. I just hope that, some day soon, God will allow me to have the love of a man who I too will be in love with. For now, my heart beats for God alone!
(Photo Credit: Jarrid Wilson)
New Years Eve was spent at my bff’s house along with a whole bunch of awesome people. There were games, there were conversations, there was a whole lot of hours of guitar playing, there was a movie and there was a movie marathon after breakfast on New Years Day. It was awesomesauce/amazeballs/__________. It was just a really good time.
But now I feel the anniversary of my birth looming ever closer. It’s creeping it’s way towards me and reminding me in other, subtle ways, that my days are numbered – 279 to be exact (from yesterday since this was really going to be yesterday’s blog).
But the great thing about a new year is that it is fresh with possibilities. There is the possibility that this will be the year that I find or discover the man I might marry one day (please let this be the case because I sure am ready now!). This year brings a whole bunch of possibilities to lead worship and get better at guitar playing. Maybe I will finally start finishing my bachelors since I’m pretty much one with VLI. I will be moving in a few months and maybe this will be the time when I get my own place instead of living with roommates (it would take a miracle/divine intervention). Possibly…the trip to Oregon/Washington will be one of the best experiences of my life. Who knows?
I know that I am in a really good place emotionally and I’m ready to start a new chapter. I’m probably never going to ready to give up my youth though and I accept that. I never want to lose the silly side of myself that tries her best to not take herself too seriously. I want to retain my perspective that if I can make people feel even one little iota of how loved I feel by God and friends, then the day will have been a good one. I want to keep making people laugh but I want to be able to take sarcasm and joking as well as I can dish it. I want to love more and love better and hopefully be loved in return. I know God’s love is the most important and I realize all love originates from Him but I honestly don’t think God would have put other people on this earth if He didn’t intend for us to also want to love them and be loved by them. I don’t want to lose my spontaneity or my passion for anything I’m passionate about. I want to recognize when I’m wrong faster and apologize as soon as possible, as often as possible, and strive to not hurt others. I just want to be better all around and continue to grow into the best person I can be…even if that person is a few years older than I care to admit to.
Behold! Photos from the party and the day after: