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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! 

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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.  😉

 

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!

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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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

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The first five days after the weekend are always the hardest! (331)

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You know what’s awesome? I was dreading going to work today because I was so exhausted last week after waking up so early every day.  Today actually wasn’t even bad.  I woke up fairly easily and stayed awake and alert all day long.  Work was actually really good, too.  I had lunch with Joel and Jason came to visit.  My boss and I had visitors throughout the day to break up the monotony of the stuff we were working on.  All in all, it was a really good work day.  

 

After work, however, was really tough!!!  I had my 3rd to last weekday class of VLI and it was hard to stay awake during it.  The material is actually really good and we’re learning about my favorite books of the bible (Genesis through Deuteronomy) but it was so cold and I was so tired, I’m not sure how I kept my eyes open the whole time!  I’m only up now because I had to write out my lyrics for Acton worship tomorrow night and e-mail them to get printed.  

 

We had our first DV College Worship Night with a full band last night.  It was so awesome!  We had Kyle on the harmonica, Bruce on the bass, Lindy, Randy, and me on guitar/vocals, and David on the cajon.  It was so neat to get to play Our God with more than just myself!!!  I am looking forward to more opportunities to play together.  Plus, I had been praying for a bassist and suddenly, out of nowhere almost, God brought us a bassist.  AWESOME!!!!  

 

There’s a million things I want to write about but right now is not the time.  I need to go to sleep.  Until tomorrow friends…

 

~Jenn

Brought to you by one of my amazing 29th birthday gifts! (364)

Tada! Entry #2 is brought to you from my new Kindle Fire HD.  I love it so far!!! Thanks to a lot of my friends, I was able to afford it. Now I can get all the books I want that I couldn’t get from the Sony ereader store or the ones that are cheaper when purchased from Amazon. I still love my Sony Reader but this is also super awesome!

Today was a great second day of being 29. I preached a great message about God faithfully providing our daily bread in the past, present, and future. I also received a call and set up an interview at a company I have wanted to work for for a long time. Hopefully it goes well and I get the job! Then I changed the strings on my guitar while watching Dexter with Alex, Jason, Brandi, and Kelli.  All in all, it was a great day. 🙂

Now I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I have a long day of work and then some shopping for interview clothing and attempting to remove my lip peircing and replace it with a plastic spacer so it doesn’t look like I have a peircing in my interview. Goodnight!

-Jenn

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