Thursday, February 5, 2009

Favorite Things

1) Bird's Nests
2) Forgetting something you like, only to discover it all over again
3) The sound of wind chimes
4) Attaining a goal
5) When all of your nails look the way you want them to look all the time
6) Children's laughter and their imaginations
7) Believers singing worship music acappella
8) Getting a genuine letter or card in the mail
9) The smell of old books
10) Finally remembering that thing you just couldn't think of
11) Hearing a good song that you haven't heard in a really long time
12) Remembering a Bible verse right when you need to be reminded of it
13) Krispy Creme
14) Autumn leaves
15) A child reaching out their arms to come to you
16) Your childhood stuffed animal

There are a lot of things in this world to make us gloomy, but God gives us plenty to be thankful for.

"...Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, 
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, 
Silver white winters that melt into springs, 
These are a few of my favorite things..."


I was filling out one of those online surveys a few days ago (thanks to my faithful e-mail buddy Janci) and one of the questions was, "When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?"  I wanted to be a librarian so I could read to kids and use the Dewey Decimal System to assist those crazy, non-library users.  I loved that date stamp they used to use and I would pretend to stamp my own books or, if I was lucky, my borrowed books with that clear covering that always smelled like the library and made that great crinkling sound.  
I went to the library tonight.  It's one of those places that I forget about and love rediscovering again every once in awhile.  What a great idea!  It may be the one good thing government does do right, lol.  It's like shopping without spending money!  You can't do that with cars or clothes (at least you shouldn't!) or shoes.  And it's not just books either; it's cds and movies too.  I went in search of one book and didn't realize until I left that I didn't even look for it.  I got engulfed in all types of genres.  

I preface my next sentence by saying that even though I have red hair and sometimes wear my glasses, I don't consider myself to be a nerd.  I could have been mistaken for one tonight, though.  I ended up spending most of my time at the library reading a long encyclopedia entry about Spain (the place I most want to visit).  I brought home a book on speed reading, something I've always been intrigued by (and jealous of), as well as a book on how to read Spanish more easily (please know that I can't speak much at all - I've forgotten what little I knew and am trying to regain the knowledge).  
I'm currently not taking any classes and I haven't been for the longest period of time since I entered Kindergarten.  I must say that it's weird going home from work with no homework to do at night.  I'm not complaining one bit, mind you, but for the first time I realized that I like learning.  It's a lot easier to say that when you're not being tested on you knowledge, lol.  Now that I'm not taking classes I've been watching way too much television and wasting the brain cells that God gave me.
Therefore, like LeVar from Reading Rainbow, I encourage you to put your remote down and take advantage of the local public library near you :)

P.S.  If anyone has read The Shack, (if anyone reads this blog, lol) please let me know what you think.  I've heard differing views and want to read it myself.  Thanks!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Words to Live By

"Yet I am always with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with Your counsel, 
and afterward You will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail, 
but God is the strength of my heart 
and my portion forever."

Psalm 73:23-26

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I just want to put a plug in for Francine Rivers, a Christian author who is probably best known for writing Redeeming Love  I love all of her books, but my favorites include her Mark of the Lion trilogy.  It's based in the time period after Jesus' crucifixion, when Christians are sent to the arena to be martyred.  They are amazing books and you won't want to put them down.  Unlike some Christian fiction books that can be sappy, these really do convict you; they reference Scripture and give you a desire to read the Word.  Each book has a different overlying theme: sharing your faith, forgiveness and dealing with anger.  You won't be disappointed!  God has gifted Francine Rivers with an incredible gift of writing.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dogs and Funerals....Happy New Years!

My good friend Janci came to spend New Years with me (yay!) and we went to see the new movie "Marley & Me" tonight.  I definitely recommend the movie; it was funny and sweet, but beware: the movie makes you want a dog. Animals are overrated, though.  I love animals (especially dogs) and always have.  Like I said, I happen to want a dog.  However, after seeing commercials inquiring viewers to sponsor a pet for $9.99/month, I get enraged.  Children, men and women with lost souls are dying in every country across the map.  Let me consider my priorities here: do I want my money to pay for a dog to get its shots or for an orphan child who hasn't eaten or heard the Gospel to get food and hear about Jesus?  Should I care more about homeless pets or homeless children?  It almost seems as if our society makes the two equal!  Now, don't get me wrong.  Animals are God's creation and He asked us to take care of them.  We should not mistreat animals, but we shouldn't put their needs above a human's needs, either. 

So, I went to a funeral today (well, it was technically yesterday).  It was for a man in my church who had cancer and I, unfortunately, didn't know him too well.  They asked for the church choir to sing at his funeral.  I haven't been to a funeral in awhile.  I realized that there may come a time when I, like many of the people in the congregation at the funeral today, am at the point where most of my peers are dead or dying.  How different will that Jeni be than the Jeni that I know today? Hopefully she will be wiser, more patient, slower to speak, quicker to listen and have a closer walk with Jesus.  Will anyone show up for my funeral?  Will they come out of obligation or out of sincere compassion?  What will be said at my funeral?  I asked myself that today, while I listened to our youth minister talk about the man's faithful life and watched loved ones mourn for their loss.  Will they say that I've been a good friend? a good neighbor? a good sister? a good daughter? a good wife? a good mother?  I hope to be known as a missionary for God, but since I'm pretty sure that's not what they would say if my funeral were this week, doesn't something about me need to change?  What if my funeral is this week? If I knew I were dying, would that change how I live today?  Would I put down the tv remote and pick up my Bible?  What have I really done in my 25 years on this planet?  It's 2009 and I'm not sure where the years went.  Time does seem to go faster as I get older. It seems like yesterday I was playing in our back yard with my sister and now she is married, pregnant, and a home-owner. What will have happened the next time I blink and open my eyes?  It really seems that I go through life with my eyes half closed.  When I spend countless hours worrying, watching television, and disobeying God (consciously and unconsciously), is it any wonder?  The real question is, will I make any actual lifestyle changes because of this 'lesson'? We talk about resolutions....will 2009 be any different than 2008 or will I be regurgitating this fact for years to come, until it is too late???
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said,

13 I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:13-14)

Maybe, then, I should devote myself wholeheartedly to glorifying God, the one thing that I can do that reaches beyond 'under the sun.'

Happy NEW Year! and thanks to God for giving me a fresh start every morning.