Monday, May 24, 2010

Things I Love and Adore Part V.

Items in my purse that daily remind me of home...

  1. Lip Gloss I “stole” from my Mom (Check)

  2. Favorite chap stick (Check)

  3. Ice Breakers gum...who doesn't love the cubes? (Check)

  4. Cucumber Melon Hand Sanitizer from Bath & Body (Check)

  5. Westside Church pens...I love these little guys-never run out, always there when you need 'em!

    (Check, Check)

  6. Cruel, cruel joke from some beloved friends who secretly hid a reminder of my LEAST favorite word in my purse...Can't seem to throw it away, however. (Check)

It's the little things. I'm thankful.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good Answer, Good Answer.

That night God appeared to Solomon. God said, “What do you want from me? Ask.”

Solomon answered,“...Yes, give me wisdom and knowledge as I come and go among the people...”

God answered Solomon, “This is what has come out of your heart: You didn't grasp for money, wealth, fame, and the doom of your enemies; you didn't even ask for a long life. You asked for wisdom and knowledge...”

2 Chronicles 1: 7, 10-11 MSG

It's like a dream. Just as young Solomon was busy taking “a firm grip on the reigns of his kingdom,” God chose to appear to him and asked him a vitally important question. “What do you want from me?Ask.” Just like that, the King of the Universe offers Solomon any little thing his heart could imagine. Sheesh, I have always been astounded by Solomon's response. Solomon does not delay. He does not hmm and haaa. He delivers a brilliant answer. Wisdom. Such an answer would surely have gotten a round of applause or an enthusiastic affirmation of “Good answer, good answer!” had he been on Family Feud. (Oh, was that just me that watched that show?) I have always been struck with the cleverness of this young king to ask for more cleverness. Today, however, when I read this familiar passage something new popped off the page in technicolor hues.

In verse 11 God responds to Solomon. He states that this brilliant answer or request came straight out of Solomon's HEART. I finally get it, it's not a cleverness thing, it's a heart thing. God was impressed that Solomon had the kind of heart that would desire wisdom above all else. He did not grasp (cling to and pursue) the things of this world, the very things in fact that most young people spend their lives trying to grasp. Solomon had established deep in his heart a value system that caused the things of this world to pale in comparison to the wisdom of God. Wisdom that comes straight from God. Wisdom to accomplish the task God had laid out. Wisdom that in fact led Solomon to all the other blessings that God wanted to pour out. But this wisdom began with a humble heart.

I often pray for wisdom. My day to day life has a habit of screaming reminders of how desperately I need it. I desire God's wisdom. Wisdom that goes down deep and draws me to the only source able to complete all that is on my plate each day. However, if God were to appear to me today and say, “Jenna, what do you want from me? Ask,” would the answer that came from my heart truly be wisdom? Do I value the wisdom of God above all else or do I choose to spend my time grasping for so many less worthy pursuits? The challenge stares me in the face on a day like today.

I don't just want to be wise. I want a heart that seeks wisdom, a heart that reflects the maturity and knowledge of my God. A humble, teachable heart.

How about you? What do you want from God?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Things I Love and Adore Part IV.

My Mom.

There are frankly no words to express the love and adoration I feel towards my Mum. She has always, always been there for me. She is such a rock in my life because I know I can always count on her for a listening ear, a good story about her littles, a kind word, and a sincere prayer. The fact that I never in my life have had to doubt her love for me or the fact that she would be there on the other line ready to be my Mom, is simply breathtaking. I am overcome not only with gratitude that God would choose her to be my Mom and best friend but so very humbled that she has again and again made countless choices to put me first, to sacrifice something of herself so that I could be cared for. On this list of things I love and Mom is at the top.

Happy Mother's Day Mum O' Mine.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Things I Love and Adore. Part III

The Sensation of Pulling Up Socks Nice and Snug.

(I realize this is strange, but then again, so am I.)

Winter is fast approaching this side of the globe and with my little toes getting cold I am reminded of this marvelous sensation. There is something so comforting and securing knowing your feet are toasty and your socks are firmly in place. Sounds a bit odd, but it is true, I love it and am thankful for it. Thankfulness is thankfulness if you ask me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Word on Joy.

Since arriving back in Bots in January, there has been an underlying theme of my life...JOY. Though it is not something I necessarily always have, there has been this insatiable desire growing deep within to really understand how to truly obtain it. I NEED joy and my guess is so do you. Now, I am not talking about sunshine and flowers kind joy, I am talking about the kind of Joy that can be my strength when challenges come, the kind of Joy that will steady and sustain me and cause me to walk in faith and hope in otherwise hopeless situations. I have desperately needed it and thus have begun a deeper pursuit of the source of all my Joy. (Psalm 43:4). Through the consistency of the gentle, yet powerful Holy Spirit, God's Word, not to mention a little help from my beloved friend Bo Stern's, The Joy Project, I am learning to live it out. I have discovered a few things about this treasure that is found in the JOY of the Lord and wanted to encourage you that you too can walk in true joy. Things have not been easy in the past few months to say the least but God's delightful Joy has kept me.

A few words on TRUE JOY...

When circumstances demand despair, this kind of Joy remains.

It is only found in God's Presence.

It is a CHOICE made from your will not your emotions.

God causes it to well up from the deepest places in your heart, in the most unlikely moments.

It purely reflects, as in a mirror, the goodness of God.

It restores a weary soul.

It's contagious.

It will make you laugh, and sometimes cry “happy tears.”

It steadies you.

It's always available.

This JOY well will never run dry.

Over the past few months when I have been...



internally weary,

dealing with naughty students,


carrying burdens,

facing impossible circumstances,

aching deep within,

...God's JOY has faithfully had the last word each time.

I find myself utterly humbled by a God who delivers TRUE Joy when it is needed most.