Category Archives: blessings

Africa Update or Mama Smiles…Whichever you Prefer

new post over at www.reallyjennifer.com

If you’re familiar with my blog, then you know that my one and only daughter, Katie, is spending 2 months is Swaziland, South Africa this summer.  I posted about it HERE, when I was still nervous, and she was still fund raising.  Then I posted HERE when the fund raising was over… She has just passed the half way mark, so I thought it might be fitting to post about it…

I thought we would not be able to communicate with her, at least not often, but to my pleasant surprise, READ MORE

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Faith?

New post over at really jennifer… check it out HERE  Be sure to subscribe while you’re there!

Today was starting out as any other day… I tried to sleep passed 8AM and laid in bed silently going from cursing the sunrise to praying and going over my to-do’s for the day… all at the same time. Really.  This is the reality of the OCD-ADD mind.

As I gave in to the light, and headed in to wake the man-child, my Africa bound daughter screamed, “MOM!!”  Thinking there was a bug bigger than her, or she was stuck in the closet or… sorry, I guess you would have to know her…  and I digress.  READ MORE


Dancing, ER’s & Gallbladders, Oh My…

A new post has been added over at www.reallyjennifer.com

This week has been one of the strangest yet.  Saturday night my husband and I went to a formal event, complete with filet mignon, open bar, and a big dance floor.  I was in a gown, and he wore his tux as we danced and laughed and had a fabulous evening.

Sunday morning I had a stomach ache, but I was up and around.  Sunday night I woke around midnight with intense pain in my back and chest.  I was short of breath and nothing was making it better.  I woke my husband around 1, and he took me to the emergency room.

After the EKG and blood work, they did an x-ray and an ultra sound.  Then the doctor pushed on my gallbladder and I went though the roof.  It hurt so bad, I saw stars.  Apparently my gallbladder was so full of stones, that it was enlarged and stones were even backed up in my liver duct. I needed antibiotics and I had to have surgery that day. Really?  READ MORE


Wordless Wednesday…Unanswered Prayers from a little girls diary

With permission, taken from the pages of my daughter’s diary from 2003… 🙂


Friends

I’ve been thinking about my friends lately, and how blessed I am to have them.  I then began to ponder each relationship I have, and I gleaned a new appreciation for the diversity and intensity of the cast of characters I call friends.

I think many of us have close friends and the rest fall in the category of “friend”, just at varying levels.  Then we have the “just Facebook” friends and acquaintances.  I do consider most of my Facebook friends, friends though.  I’ve tried to stay away from the acquaintances on Facebook, but there are a few…There’s only a small group of folks that I haven’t really communicated with in decades, but have fond memories of from my youth.  It is interesting to see how they grew up.  Some of those old friends still look the same, and some I wouldn’t know if I walked into them at the mall.  Either way, I am glad to have reconnected.

My “friends”, are those that I really do enjoy, but I don’t get to see very often.  I think about them every now and then, and will offer up a prayer on their behalf .  They are on my Facebook and I may actually comment on their posts… I always realize how much I miss them when I do get to see them.

I spend most time with my close friends.  I have a group of ladies, that are not all friends with each other, but all mean the world to me. They are a very diverse group, which is kinda funny to me when I think about it.  My girls range between 3 decades in ages, they are all different shapes and sizes and occupations.  Some are married, and some are single.  Most of my BFF’s have kids, but not exclusively.  I have friends that pray for me, and with me, and some that just send me good vibes and happy thoughts.  I even have friends that are on both sides of the political fence and we can always meet in the middle and agree to disagree without hard feelings. Really.

Several years ago, I heard a pastor say to look around at your friends.  If they are all exactly like you, there is a problem.  If we are truly trying to be like Christ, we should have friends that cover a broad range of life.  At the time, all of my close confidents, could have been my twin.  Now, I can truly testify to the blessings that abound in diversity in friendships.  I have been challenged, and confronted.  I have been forced to step outside of my comfort zone at times, and truly see people from the inside out.  I have had the opportunity to share my faith, and pray for them and I have given them lots of opportunities to pray for me!  I have served in love and have been served in love. I have even changed my mind on more than one occasion and I have definitely grown more as a person because of my friends.

My husband is my best friend, (really) but after him, the Lord has brought some fabulous women into my life. Women need girlfriends and my friends rock.

How about you? Have you told your friends how much you appreciate them lately?


Gratitude

Most folks have heard the term “gratitude list”.  Usually when things are a total mess in ones life, someone will suggest making that list.  That’s how I learned about it anyway.

It was many years ago, and I really didn’t have much hope, to say the least.  I got a notebook, and tried to list the things I was grateful for.  It was hard at first, since I really didn’t have anything at the time.  I was freshly single, with 3 kids, no job, no savings and I was in a new state, without any family or friends.  I didn’t even have my salvation.  I found that notebook recently and this is a few of the things I wrote:

My daughter’s eyes. My son’s eyes. My children’s giggles. My mom & brother. Birds. Fall. My friend Lees’ laugh. The Bible. White clouds against a blue sky.

That was it for my first list.  The short list did grow and eventually I had a whole book of lists from that season in my life. There were a few more seasons that came, where I had to go back and just read those lists to remind me what my blessings were.

Today my list is miles and miles long.  I am Job before Satan messed with him… well, maybe not as wealthy.

The top of my list is my salvation.  I know that no matter what happens in this life, I will be with my God for eternity.  I didn’t deserve it, and I am always in awe that it’s mine.  Second, is my husband.  He’s the bomb.  Really.  My kids are always on my list, even when they are driving me nuts and my mom and family are permanent happy sighs as well.  My friends are like whipped cream and chocolate syrup on my ice-cream.  Some days, when I am noticing,  I will thank God for a green light or even a red one.  There’s that perfect cup of coffee and humming birds hanging out by the window.  A song, a word, a prayer, a hug or a smile.  Laughing to tears and making someone’s day are some all time favorites. There’s lots of food on my list and books, my health and even my occasional sanity.

So, do you have a list?  What is your silver lining in this messy world we live in?  If you have never made a list, I suggest that you do.  It will open your eyes and your heart to all that you are blessed with, and it will be there for you in those times that you might forget.


A Week in the Life…

This week was eventful and uneventful…

My mood ranged from ecstatic to forlorn… stressed to carefree, and disappointed to satisfied.  You could say it sounds like I’m a mom, but I can’t monopolize the roller coaster, as anyone could have a turn…I will share some of my week, in hopes that you can relate and share yours with me.

I finished a book (Weird) and started a new one (Heaven is for Real), and went to my women’s group study to watch a Beth Moore video, and fellowship. I made it to a few business appointments that went well, and learned some things about the community where I live.  I participated in lively conversations about homosexuality and christianity, as well as government and morality, and didn’t loose any friends in the process.

One of my kids needed lots of reassurance, and one needed hope, one needed cash and they all needed time.  I visited a doctor, and a hospital, and watched my sons be brave.  I met a “new” potential girlfriend, that I actually really liked, and I had a couple soul searching conversations about the future.  My daughter surprised me with her new tattoo and then I had to social network my “approval” of it…

I ate really well this week, and was rarely alone.  I had a few fabulous lunches, with good friends, and even a date night with my handsome man.  Some marvelous live music was part of the week, from a jazz band to an oldies band. I even attended a birthday party, and made some new friends…

The homeschool expo was in town, and I got out with just a few purchases… my bag was less than 10 pounds… I think.  I visited a non-profit that deals with homelessness on levels that I’ve never seen.  I gave a few dollars to a jobless man sitting on a corner.  Both experiences convicted my heart, and made me reflect on the billions of blessings I have.

I prayed, studied, cleaned, cooked, shopped, banked, and did some laundry. I even tweeted, texted, emailed, facebooked, checked in, and linked in…The bills got paid, and the account is balanced, although my desk is still a mess, and my file pile should have it’s own zip code.  I watched some stupid tv, and some not so stupid…mostly stupid.

I did enforce some rules, and debated some negotiables… I lamented over my youth when physical exhaustion took over, and I lamented over my children’s youth… because they are just so dang grown.

I entered a weight loss contest, and finished a huge project that has taken months of my time… and now, I attempt to blog.

I’m sure I forgot something, but I’m too tired to reflect any longer.  My life is good, and I don’t take it for granted.  Even when the trials come, I know how blessed I am and my gratitude list is long… Really.

How was your week and what are you grateful for?