Saturday, August 28, 2010


I have been alive 22 years now. That seems like a long time, but it doesn't sound like all that much. Whatevs, I think I'm going to love this year. I don't want to begin this birth-year by trying to impress you, so instead of trying to be deep and meaningful*, I'm just going to share 22 things with you.
*All of the following things are crucial in the construction and existence of my personality, so I guess as such, they unintentionally give meaning to this post. Furthermore, the mere fact that I pointed out this fact with the use of asterisks and shrunken type, I think, adds a certain depth to the post. ...Carry on.

6 Things I never get tired of:
1. Hugs. Side ones, bear ones, surprise ones... I love them all.
2. Volleyball. I love a lot of sports, but that is the only one I would play until my body gave up.
3. Silence. It scares some people; it comforts me.
4. Pride and Prejudice. Call me cliche. It's so good, every. single. time.
5. Yoga. People always say "that sounds so boring," but it isn't at all.
6. Ingrid Michaelson. She's always so fun to join in with, and her voice makes me smile.

4 Foods that compose the bulk of my diet:
1. Organic Peanut Butter (because it tastes best) and Unsalted Almonds
2. Goldfish
3. Popcorn (without butter)
4. Cereal (oatmeal squares, wheat squares, cheerios)

3 Things I would never willingly be a part of:
1. A Lady Antebellum concert
2. Mud Riding
3. Broccoli

2 Things I really want to be a part of:
1. South by SouthWest / Austin, TX in general
2. Fashion Week in Paris

4 Words/Phrases I probably couldn't live without:
1. Rude
2. Dear ______,
3. Oh no
4. I know right?!

3 Important Lessons I learned when I was 21:
1. It's not at all the big deal you think it is.
I always thought it was so extremely important to make the best grades and be liked by everyone. It's not. Last Fall I had some amazing teachers and some amazing classes, but one day I was reading comments on a paper, and I thought, there are more important things than strengthening that point in my argument and finding a better adjective for that thought, which I realize sounds simple, but it was new to me. Maybe some of it was senioritis, but I think the bulk of it was God reminding me that the purpose he created me for was not to rearrange words and impress people, but to serve Him whole-heartedly. Remembering that makes those "big deal, big problem" situations seem a lot more unnecessary.
2. "God is sovereign" really means that God is sovereign.
Knowledge and understanding are not the same thing. I know God's sovereign, but oddly enough I find myself needing Him to remind me all the time. And He does, and then I'm amazed and awed and grateful. I don't know why I need to be shown things before I can rightly assign emotions to situations, but God really is sovereign whether I act like it or not.
3. You should never take people for granted.
I have so many wonderful people that God has blessed me with, and as I learned this summer, I don't realize just how supportive and kind and loving and considerate and thoughtful they are. The people God has brought into my life are such a tremendous encouragement and blessing and I can't say I honestly don't know what I would do without them because I do know, but I can say that it isn't pretty. So thanks friends, for caring and loving me, even though I'm weird and difficult. You made 21 special, and I can't wait to share 22 with you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Learning Never Ceases

Lately my life has been full of:

Post-It notes
Foreign Languages
Mix CDs

It's been lovely, really it has. When I first got back from camp I really had a tough time with the whole "rest" thing. When you go from having 16hrs of your day planned and full of activities to having 16min of activity planned in your day, it's kind of crippling. I didn't know what to do- with myself, with my time, with the hundreds and thousands of thoughts running through my mind... and that was only week one! However, a very wise woman [Lesley DeVaughn] spoke wisdom and encouragement into my life, and I feel like God's really been showing me how sweet resting in Him truly is.

I don't mean that I've become okay with just laying in bed all day with cucumbers on my eyes and Mozart playing in the background, but I have become increasingly aware of God's presence just by being okay in the silence and solitude. This summer one of the lessons I taught was about Jonah, and pretty much every week I focused on God's love and compassion and the importance of making missions a lifestyle. Lately, however, I've been a little sad that I didn't spend more time focusing on the silence and solitude that allowed for the Spirit to move Jonah to repentance and cause him to actually obey in going to Ninevah.

It's funny how so often we know things, but never act like we do. I know that the very spirit of God dwells in me, guiding me in order to bring Himself glory, but I wonder whether or not I will ever fully comprehend how powerful this is. By trying to rest more and surrender my restlessness to the Lord, I feel like He's blessing me with a sensitivity to His spirit-a stronger desire to seek what brings Him glory in every area of my life (whether by what I eat, who I encourage, or how I react) and a better consciousness of the opportunities He gives me to witness the work He's doing around me.

My prayer partner, and one of my most favorite people this summer, Kaycee, is always so diligent to "practice His presence" and I think that a big part of that coincides with resting in His presence. In the book Practicing His Presence, Lawrence writes, "this year I have started out to live all my waking moments in conscious listening to the inner voice, asking without ceasing, 'What, Father, do you desire said? What, Father, do you desire this minute?'"

This is what I want as well, and I feel so blessed to have been given a season where I can focus solely on the Father's desire for my minute to minute life. I'm learning to embrace the beauty of the unknown and the enchantment of the unintentional. I'm learning that God is good, faithful, and more than enough which is wonderful because I do, after all, love to learn.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Since I've been home from camp, Tori and I have been making Thursday nights craft night, and we've been on headband making kick. As none of you were in attendance at said night, I will share with you some of what's been happening.

First up, cute headbands:

And Barrettes!

And then, things just got silly.

I love craft night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yes, Please.

My sister is the coolest and recently she introduced me to this song...unfortunately I forgot about it, but when she reintroduced it to me today, I remembered that I am IN LOVE with this song. Not so much ol' Jimmy and the video is a little (ok a lot) cheesy, but I adore this song.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


As I have recently acquired some spare time, I have spent a fair amount of it perusing on one of my favorite I found things I like, and I want to share.

And then there were pictures with this general vibe that I want to take...

I should probably start reading more.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Lately I've learned something about myself, and it's weird because I felt like at this point I knew myself pretty well. I have recently figured out that I am very stubborn, subconsciously. I don't try to have a contrary spirit, but I have noticed that one certainly exists. When I get a notion in my head, a desire for something or even just a suspicion about something, I cannot get rid of it! It doesn't matter if I know it's something prideful or outlandish or absolutely capricious, I can't stop thinking about it until it works out like I want it to. As you can imagine, this sets me up perfectly for failure. Life-1 Jenna-0.

On a related subject, I am still trying to process camp. It's such an awesome experience, but there are so many different levels of service and learning that happen, it takes some time to work through everything. One issue: memories aren't as sharp when marinated in time. Another issue: I am an over-analytical person and I don't do well interpreting things on my own, in text, or after the fact. And that is unfortunately how everything at this point must be examined for understanding.

I feel perfectly at peace with my future, this fall, my friends and family, but I cannot figure out how camp fits into any of that. Right now it feels like camp was a parallel universe, and one where I only knew some of the language and none of the customs... ok, I'm going to stop because I feel ranty, and I hate that, but that's where I am. Maybe next time I'll have something more placatory to relay.
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