Monthly Archives: July 2013

Writer’s Block Always Comes When it’s Most Inconvenient (83.5)

You know how it is when you want something so bad that you know you’re just trying to hard and that’s why it’s not happening?

 

That’s happening to me now.  

 

At least I had fun taking selfies after I played guitar for an hour and a half!  The dogs are not impressed though.  I don’t think they’re big fans of guitar playing.  The big one (who’s ironically named Chico) tends to start barking at me when I play songs open and in the Key of D or G.  Go figure!

 

Photo bomb time!!!!

 

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My guitar and me

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My lovely Fender Acoustic!

 

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Foxy has threatened to knock me out with her rancid dog breath if I don’t go to bed and quit with the silly photos.

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Chico who was incorrectly named by his former owner. He is tired of all the silly pictures I’m taking. He just wants to sleep and be left alone already!

Sometimes having an “adult” job really sucks -or- In retrospect, getting laid off can be a good thing (83)

I work in Payroll and today was the first day that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with my job.  Up until now, I didn’t really personally know anyone who got “termed” but today I did.  I don’t really know the person super well but we had hung out outside of work.  So we weren’t super close but I could still say we’re friends.  It was awkward and sad to have the knowledge that they weren’t going to have a job at the company anymore and I knew about it before they did.  But I knew this was part of the job and I also knew that this was going to be the most difficult part of my job for me.  

 

I’ve never been fired before but I have been downsized.  It came at me and all my coworkers from left field.  We were working hard and our branch was doing well when, all of a sudden, the regional manager comes in, talks to the manager for a few minutes, our manager comes out of his office and calls a meeting, and the regional manager says. 

“I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  As of right now, this branch is closed.  You have 5 minutes to pack up your desk and leave.  Your final check will be sent to you through the mail.”

And that was it.  It was at a crazy bad time of my life for that to happen too.  I had just signed a one year lease on an apartment that I loved and I was living 2,000 miles away from all my friends and family and in a really bad relationship with a guy who just got fired – on the same day that I got laid off!  Luckily, my mom came out to visit for my birthday a week later and she kind of rescued me and told me I could move back home to Cali and start over.  So I did.  

 

I guess, in retrospect, getting laid off was the best thing ever to happen to me.  It was the catalyst that set in motion some really good things that would happen a few years down the road.  It still sucked for a really long time (like 2 years) after but it happened and now it’s in the past so…there ya go.  God used it for good and I ultimately was able to get out of that relationship which I probably would be miserable in right now had that not occurred.  

 

But back to my current job.  I really love the people I work with and the “family” like atmosphere we have.  But the downside, which I know clearly see, is that, when you’re that comfortable with people, it’s hard to see them leave.

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I Butterflying Hate Black Widow Spiders! (84)

This Tuesday has not been very awesome for me.  In fact, it’s been quite crap.  I woke up at 4:30am because the dogs were barking at an invisible intruder.  This is about 40 minutes earlier than I needed to be awake but I thought, oh well, I’ll get a jump on the day.  So I went to the kitchen to get some water and, low and behold, there’s a giant, evil beetle on the kitchen floor.  Scared the you-know-what outta me!  I killed that bugger and decided to hop in the shower.  The shower was wonderful and awakening.  I complete the normal morning routine and sit down at my vanity in my room and put on makeup while watching the morning news.  Everything is hunky dory until it’s not anymore…

 

I feel something brush across my leg while I’m trying to put on my eyeliner.  Due to seeing the horrible, evil, monsterous beetle earlier, I freak out and think it’s come back from the dead to enact its revenge upon me!  I quickly get up and look at the floor and find nothing.  Then, for some strange, unknown reason, I decide it would be a good idea to look under my vanity.  Low and behold, there’s a butterflying ginormous, frightening, devil-spawned black widow under my butterflying vanity!!!!!!!!

 

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PURE EVIL!!!!

 

 

If you’ve never heard anyone scream bloody murder, just imagine the loudest, terror filled shriek you can imagine and multiply it by a hundred.  I thought I was going to die!  I was kinda paralyzed by fear as I remained, frozen in my half crouching position while I contemplated my options.  I stupidly went to the kitchen and grabbed a bunch of paper towels and the Raid Ant and Roach spray, when back to my room and decided that mother trucker was going to die!!!!

 

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Poor bees 😦

 

Not being super smart, I swatted at it at which point it fell to the floor, landed on my purple hat and I sprayed the crap out of it with the spray and proceeded to pound on it with the paper towels.  I then picked it up and ran into the kitchen and threw it in the trash.  You may be thinking that I did the smart thing.  If you’re thinking that, you are incorrect.  You see, now I’m scared that I didn’t thoroughly kill it, just kinda stunned it, and now it’s living in the trash can, plotting my demise and waiting for its opportunity to strike.   Ugh…I’m totally afraid of a quarter sized devil incarnate being from hell that is called a black widow.

 

Somehow, I made it to work and got through my work day, including leading worship at Acton Rehab tonight.  I came home and, as I’m making my way out back to water the veggie garden, I see yet another black widow scurrying along the back slider door.  I lose track of it and go outside anyway and see two more just chilling and doing their evil spider thing.  I’m scared they’re going to jump at me or chase me around so I walk waaaaaay around them and proceed to water the plants.  Surprise!!!  There’s another black widow in the veggie garden!!

 

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Look at its egg sac from hell!!!

 

At this point, I’m done being outside or anywhere near nature so I went back in the house and now I’m scared to go to sleep because the murderous black widows want to kill me…

 

and the dogs…

 

and anyone who might happen to discover my bloated, rotting corpse in three days when people start to wonder what happened to me. 

 

So, if you don’t hear from me for more than two to three days, call the LA County Sheriff to come investigate but warn them that there’s killer black widows on the attack.

 

 

Now here’s some pictures of cute things to try and make this not such a horrible blog post:

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Fluffy, sleepy kitten

 

 

 

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Adorable, fluffy puppies!!!

Face Punch! Punch Faces! -or- I’m part of a super secret revolution! (85)

So my bestie forwarded me an email about punching fear in the face and joining a revolution of people who are setting a goal and working towards achieving that goal, no matter how scary it might be or how crazy it may seem.

So naturally, I decided to face my biggest fear and challenge myself to write songs. Only three songs though since three doesn’t seem super intimidating to me. I can’t decide whether or not to just make them all worship songs or what kind of music I actually want to write. I know I want it to be of the indie folk-rock kinda scene-ish persuasion but we’ll see how it comes out.

Here’s the scariest part…once I’m done writing the songs, I’m going to play them for people! Eeeeeek!!! At least I have some poetry to kinda fall back on and work into songs. The hardest part so far seems to be coming up with strumming patterns that don’t sound like other songs I know. Maybe that’s why so many worship songs sound similar? We worship leaders get used to playing other people’s music and then write stuff that sounds the same-ish?

Idunno. But anyways I’ve now publicly announced to my partner and to everyone who reads my blog that this is my goal. So you might be able to expect some non professional sorta crummy demos to be posted in about a month and a half or so.

Now it’s time for bed. I feel like an old person. I got home after work and was so tired, I feel asleep before 9pm! Oops. Now I’m up and I need to try to sleep instead of staying up reading and watching Back to the Future.

Ciao!
xxJenn

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Leading Worship at Acton Rehab has been the best and worst experience ever! (90)

I love leading worship in Acton rehab. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever experienced. I guess the closest thing I can relate it to would be if I were a rock star on stage in front of a huge crowd and the crowd was singing louder than I was. It’s awesome. And it’s awesome not because they’re singing and then clapping for me, but because they’re singing with me and praising God together and, when they clap when we’re done, I know it’s because they feel the same joy that I’m feeling.

I used to be so afraid to sing in front of others. Well, that’s not entirely true. Back before I started dating the guy I thought I was going to marry, I would sing all the time around anyone and anywhere I wanted. Random people would tell me I had a good voice. In fact, I remember in 5th grade, this guy I had a huuuuge crush on was the first guy to ever tell me he loved my voice. I was flying higher than the moon with that compliment and I actually believed the strangers who told me they liked my voice.

Then I started dating my ex-fiancé. At first he was nice about my singing but he later turned really mean. He would tell me how horrible I sounded and would say that I should just be quiet. Or, if he was feeling nice-ish and passive aggressive, he would just turn the volume up high so he couldn’t hear me. Because of who he was to me – the supposed love of my life – and because of how persistent he was, I actually believed him and eventually stopped singing around people.

Fast forward 6 years and you’d find me single again and wanting to sing again but still insecure. But I had an awesome best friend who was really supportive and another friend who was really encouraging and together, they convinced me to audition for choir at another church. I made it into the choir, gained some confidence and heard clearly from God that I was meant to be on stage leading worship.

A year later, I bought my first guitar and, 8 months after that, I played a worship song in front of my favorite worship leader at church and she became my mentor. She is one of the most talented and amazing worship leaders I’ve ever met and I respected her opinion so, when she encouraged me to lead worship with her at Acton Rehab, I said I’d give it a shot.

It was sooooo scary!!!! I’d played in front of my friends at small group when I first started out but I know I wasn’t very good at playing. I’m still not amazing or great but I’m sufficient. Then, one day, she told me that I was ready to start leading worship in Acton all by myself. Man, that was scary!!! But I slowly started gaining more confidence and became more comfortable leading worship. Eventually I got to a level of comfortability where I could enjoy leading worship and not stress so much about playing the songs right. It was awesome!

I have been leading worship in Acton on an almost weekly basis for about a year and a half now and leading worship for the College Group for about a year as well and the two groups couldn’t be more different! The ladies in Acton Rehab have such a passion and desire to worship that almost all of them are on their feet during worship and usually singing so loud that I can’t even hear myself sing! It’s super personal; I stand in front of them in a small room and play my acoustic guitar without a mic or an amp. At College Group, I’m on a stage above everyone else and there’s all these lights on me and I’m plugged in and singing into a mic. The group reacts to worship differently too. Usually the majority of people at college group are sitting down and I can’t hear any of them singing with me. It’s not necessarily a bad experience; I love leading worship anywhere I can get the chance to worship, but it’s different.

Acton’s been the best thing ever because it’s where I learned how to lead worship while being surrounded by ladies who are supportive and loving and genuinely excited. It’s been the worst ever because it’s spoiled all other experiences for me. I’ll always want to hear a chorus of voices singing praise along with me because it makes it about God and not about me at all. Acton has taught me how to screw up royally while playing a song and still be able to laugh about it. It’s pushed me to be better and learn and grow and, most importantly, it’s where I learned how to trust that this leading worship thing is something that God truly wants me to do. And that’s a wonderful thing.

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