Blog Archives

This is the end, the story’s old and it goes on and on until we disappear. (1)

Well, this is it. My last day as a twentysomething.

I really would like to have some sort of epic last journal entry but I just don’t have one.

My twenties have been hard. Sometimes they were downright horrible. Other times were the best of my life this far. I’ve traveled up and down the California coast, to the South, across the country to the Midwest, and across the world to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

I’ve made some amazing friends, fallen in love, gotten my heart broken, found God, lost my way and sorta found it again, and discovered that I have the strength to pull through difficult times with enough help from my friends, family, and God.

I’ve had a couple of okay jobs, a very horrible job, and finally have a job working for a company I love. They’ve all taught me something new. I’ve had a lot of money, a little money, and practically no money. Somehow, I usually have enough money to get by.

I’ve taken risks. I’ve had some wins. I’ve had some losses. I’ve wished and hoped and seen some come to be and others have remained a dream.

I’ve lost two of the most important people in my life – my grandpa first and my grandma second. I had the privilege of holding a newborn baby, hours after she was born. I’ve met some amazing little girls who aren’t my own nieces but whom I love just like they were. I see hope and a future in them. I can only imagine the life ahead for them and how they will grow and experience some of the same things I’ve experienced.

I’ve learned that, as alone as I feel sometimes, I’m really not that alone. There’s always going to be someone to reach out to. Things aren’t always going to be easy but they won’t always be tough either. I’m not a twentysomething anymore but I’m still me.

I don’t feel like I should be thirty but I am. Time to deal with it and face this new day tomorrow with a hope for a future that is fulfilling, meaningful, and full of love.

20131007-203904.jpg

Advertisements

Eek! Only 20 days left… (20)

So, I haven’t been writing because, well, life got in the way. I wouldn’t trade the past few days for anything though.

There’s been some way crazy stuff happening but there’s been some really, really awesome stuff happening too! Hence, why I haven’t written.

I’m getting nervous for my birthday. Despite #alltheamazingthings that are coming up in the next 12-13 months, I’m still not ready to leave my twenties behind. I know that I’m still going to be me but that stupid 2 changing to a 3 seems to signify the end of my youth and the beginning of my adult life. As if now, I’m not allowed to silly or go on crazy adventures because that’s the sort of stuff that goes on in your twenties not your thirties.

I feel like a broken record and I don’t want to anymore. I am looking forward to going to San Fran for the dreaded day. I’ll be helping out/staying at the YWAM base there. By helping out, I mean that I’ll be tagging along with my friend who’s a missionary there and hoping to get to do some ministry. I also hope to meet up with some people from the #STARTexp if we can arrange it.

Today was a really positive day. Good things are happening. Good, crazy, amazing things are in the works. I’ll share when the time is right. For now, I’m off to sleep way past my bedtime.

Peace, love, and pumpkin spice lattes!
xxJenn

20130919-011213.jpg

Insidious 2 was so scary I almost cried!!!! (26)

I’m not really a fan of horror movies, mostly because they’re filled with a lot of gore and usually someone gets naked.  I am a fan of suspenseful, scary movies with good plots though.  When Insidious came out, I thought it looked really interesting.Image

 

 

What I didn’t know was that I was about to be scared out of my mind!!!  But the story was so well done and I thought the acting was so great that I didn’t mind being terrified.  And yes! I do mean actually terrified!

 

Then, when I saw the previews for Insidious 2, I knew I had to go see it!  Image I thought it was just as scary, if not more so!  I literally almost cried a few times during the movie, that’s how terrified I was!!! Now, if you’re looking for an in depth kind of movie review, I’m definitely not the person to ask.  I would have to watch a movie a few times in order to give you a really great review.  I have two awesome friends, Jason and Alex, who review movies for me and give me a synopsis of any that I forget!  (Thanks again, Alex!)  But I would highly recommend watching the first Insidious and then seeing Insidious 2.

 

Oh, and what movie night or any other night would be complete without a silly selfie with your BFF?  Well, I have two of them!  Boom!  Here you go!  

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image

 

 

 

Peace, love, and white chocolate mochas!

xxJenn

I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea! Or…I got brave and posted a cover on YouTube (27)

Man oh man do I have the travel bug right now!  I blame the #STARTexp and #SS peeps.  They all live all around the world and that makes me want to visit all of them!  People say a lot of stuff about how horrible facebook can be but, honestly, I’ve found more community in that group than I have in some other areas of my life.  They’re a great group of super supportive people who only wan to be uplifting, encouraging, compassionate, silly, and sarcastic with one another.  It’s loads of fun! 

Image

But I’m soooo bummed that I can’t travel to see them all.  I already have a friend who lives in Atlanta who I want to visit so there’s the whole “I want to go to Atlanta” bit.  Then, there’s the allure of the white sand beaches and the crystal clear water of Florida that makes me wanna fly there and visit real bad!  Seriously, I would go to Florida tomorrow if I had $700 for my plane ticket and transportation money and money to stay in a hostel.  Hint hint…my birthday is coming up soon after all.  Want to fund a trip to Florida for me? 

 

And then there’s Nashville, TN!!!!  Oh to be in the land of soooo much amazing music and talented musicians and rich culture.  Not to mention the whole Start Conference going on this weekend.  But I wouldn’t even care if I couldn’t go…I just want to be in that city!!!  Granted, my musical talent is no where near the caliber of all those musicians but I would love to try and hang with them and catch some concerts.

 

And Colorado…oh how you tempt me with all your beauty.  Portland, OR is always going to be my go-to city to visit because I love oh so much!!!!  And hello…I would get to meet Genevieve West there and see Xavier and get some more tattoos!  Dude…Portland is me just without the beach (which I would miss like I miss now but obviously I got used to being so far away).  

 

And, as boring as it may seem, I really want to visit the midwest.  I’d like to go back to Dayton, OH and see where I lived for a year.  That year held so much pain and so many trials but I really want to see the good in it and not just remember all the pain.

 

I want to go to Texas so I can visit my original #STARTexp partner, Sarah!  She’s awesome and I want to get to know her in real life.  

 

There’s  a million other places I would like to visit (Thailand, Belfast, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, South Africa, etc) but I’ll have to be content with just going to San Francisco in less than a month.  I am really looking forward to going.  I can’t wait to see my BFF Bethany and, hopefully getting to meet a few STARTers.  

 

If you don’t know what the #STARTexp is, you should google it and look into how to get in on this awesome ride!  And read #allthebooks by Jon Acuff too!  It’s really changed my life and I can see a little bit more of what God has in store for me in the future.  I’ve gotten bolder and stronger in my faith and I feel God’s presence more than ever before.  

 

I love it and I love all of the my #SS friends!  Hopefully we will get to be 3D friends sometime soon!

 

xxJenn

 

PS  Here’s a link for the song I put on YouTube.  There isn’t a picture, it’s just black with audio because all I’m working with is an iPhone.  😉

 

I’m down to the last month! Start with the black clouds and rain now… (29)

To say that I’m scared would be an understatement.  Here’s my reasons why I’m not looking forward to being 30:

1. I’m no longer going to be in my twenties and saying I’m “in my thirties” sounds really old to me.  I don’t feel like a 30 year old.

2. I’m single.  Like, really single!  I don’t even have any prospects for a potential guy I could realistically be interested in or start a relationship with.  There are literally no more single guys in my church!  And forget online dating.  That’s a complete bust when the only guys who seem interested in me are only interested in sex.  Le Sigh…

3. I’m stuck.  I feel as though I’m in a rut and I have been for a while.  I feel as though I wasted a lot of my early twenties on stupid things and people who only hurt me.  I try hard to live without regrets but, even though I learned some really good lessons, I have regrets.  Regrets totally suck!

4. There’s a chance that I will never be able to have children with each passing year.  I really want to be a mom but that takes having a husband.  I know there are other options available but I really want to experience creating life.  Does that make me selfish? Maybe it does.  Or maybe I’m just human and it’s a natural thing to want?

5. I’m not doing what I’m passionate about and I can’t really fully decide what that passion is.  There’s a lot of things that I love and a lot of things I really want to do.  I really want to be a better worship leader and all around musician.  I really want to be a missionary and serve God on a global capacity.  And I really, really love reading.  Is there any way I can combine all of those things into a job that allows me to survive?  Because that would be just super fantastic!

 

I’m really trying to be optimistic though.  As young as I feel and look, I guess the fact that I am thirty won’t mean all that much. Maybe I can get away without telling anyone my age and they can just assume that I’m in my early twenties?  Yeah…it might get out anyway.

 

I am looking forward to a new decade of possibly not making the same mistakes I made in the past.  

A) I now know what I don’t want and what I would like to have in a significant other.  

B) I am stronger in my faith than I have been before and I have more knowledge of the character of who God is and who He isn’t.

C) I have better priorities and I actually do what I want to do and not only what others want me to do.

D) I have a good support system in place in the shape of a great online community (StartSingles) and a great real life, 3D community.

E) I have a church that I love and that loves me back.

F) I’m closer to my mom and have a better relationship with her than I’ve ever had before in my entire life!  This is probably the best thing that’s happened in the past few years.  I’m so lucky to have her and to have had a chance to be closer to her.

G) I have all these friends who live all around the world which opens the doors up to more possibilities than I’ve ever had before.

H) I’m learning how to punch fear in the face on a daily basis!  Whether I’m afraid of looking stupid, being vulnerable, being a failure, or being successful.  I guess this means people might one day be able to read a book I’m writing or listen to music I’m making?  

I) The future is wide open…

 

Okay, that last one might be a little too optimistic, even for me, but I feel like I need to throw that in there for my own good.  After talking with some friends recently, I have had some mini revelations about what’s to come in the next few months and what I need to do starting right now to reach the goals I want to reach.  That’s pretty exciting to me!  

 

So maybe when I turn thirty I won’t have a husband with a house of our own and children playing in the yard.  Maybe I won’t have my dream job and maybe I won’t have everything all figured out.  But maybe, just maybe, I’ll be one more day closer to doing all that and fulfilling whatever purpose there is for my life.

 

xxJenn

 

Image

Some of my support system of awesome friends

 

Image

My BFF who bravely faced turning 30 a few months before me. She’s inspiring!

 

Image

Me, Rosie, and Brandi at a costume party. Just because costume parties are a part of our awesomeness. Also, knowing Rosie helps keep me feeling young!

Image

Some of the awesome people (including my BFF) who are a part of the online community of friends who happen to not be 19 years old. They’re awesome, supportive, and help me be me. Thanks #SS!

 

 

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.

 Image

Candy Crush Saga Might Just be Ruining My Life!

Candy Crush Saga might just be ruining my life! Well…not really but it is quite addicting. I held out for so long and didn’t play and now I’m hooked. The worst thing ever happened tonight too. I had to uninstall and reinstall the app and when I reinstalled it, I had lost two of the levels that took me forever to get past originally!!!! Aaaargh! Frustrating…but oh so much fun. Must keep playing. Must send requests to friends. Must send lives to friends. Must try to not be a zombie!

I’ve been feeling sick for the past few weeks on and off. It might be time to go to the doctor soon because it’s getting annoying. I came home after work and crashed for a few hours, woke up, took a shower, and then played Candy Crush Saga. You might be thinking at this point that I have a problem with playing that game, well… I don’t have a problem, okay!?!??!! So stop thinking that!!!. Lol it’s just fun.

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing a series of short stories and self publishing them. I don’t think I’d have the patience to actually write a full length novel before deleting it but I think I could probably stomach writing some short stories. I usually get a great idea, write about 30-70 pages, and then decide it is all crap and trash it. The few people I’ve confessed that too have seemed appalled that I would work that hard on something only to get rid of it before anyone saw it. So maybe, like my poetry and the few songs I’ve written/shared with others, it just needs to be put out there? I don’t know. It seems so cliché but there’s this story stuck in my brain that’s waiting to come out but I just won’t let it. Inside my head it’s protected against scrutiny and judgement. Out in the world, it’s practically defenseless!

I’ve been trying to take inspiration from a few amazing authors whose books I love. Were they not bold when they shared their stories with the world? Even if only a few of my friends read it, wouldn’t that be worth it? Or maybe even a few strangers? I should probably stop acting like this is an actual journal and get back to what I really wanted to write about today.

I don’t remember what the whole point of this was supposed to be about. I’m going to go see if I have any more lives so I can play more Candy Crush Saga. Goodnight!

20130529-231058.jpg

I Can Hear You Louder Than Ever! -or- Musicians Make the BEST Friends! (256)

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,

~Jenn

 

Image

I’m Not a Huge Fan of Sushi but I Love My Friends (257)

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,
-Jenn

20130124-010354.jpg

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 Image 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!

~Jenn

 

 

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.ImageImageImageImageImage

Dustin Kensrue School Of Theology - #DKSOT

Christian Theology, Wisdom, and Inspiration from the Works of Dustin Kensrue

Worthily Magnify

Helping Worship Leaders Lead Well

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

The Mojave Foundation

Improving quality of life for citizens in Mojave

The Ugly Volvo

Attempts at Adulthood

a sight-specific extrovert

Hoping to touch a few lives and the world for God in a small way and have some fun doing it. I say a lot about some things and a little about others. Let's get cracking! - Jarrod

I Kissed My Date Goodnight

Embarking on motherhood through the miracle of adoption.

Improbable Dreamer

"I am and always will be the optimist, the hoper of far flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams." Eleventh Doctor

Thusianzosan's Blog

Romans 12:1-2

Groovitude's Musings

Dreaming and thinking all the time.

Not Drinking Coffee

~stumbling through life in my own unhip way~

Heart Burn

hearts burning for the truth...

But Not Before Coffee

My quirky take on God, life, and what's really important. But not before coffee.

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

Ella Brooke Photography

Photograpy, design, & random thoughts.

City on a Hill(ing)

Apart from Christ and caffeine, I am nothing.

Reformedish

incompletely reformed thoughts on God, ministry, and life

Lauren's Weblog

Just another WordPress.com weblog