TTC Tuesday

Where The Grass Is Greener

Tuesday

Often, as I walk through Target, Wal-Mart or the grocery store, sit in the pew at church, scroll through our Facebook and Instagram feeds, I find myself discontented and jealous. I watch the news and become utterly enraged. All because I want what those people have – a child.

Their grass looks so much greener.

grass-is-greener

But as a friend of mine spoke wearily of her misadventures as a single mother – hoping and praying for a husband like mine… I realized this coin has two sides.

While I sit and pine away for motherhood, I have already been blessed with that which another is praying for…and oh so much more! In fact, being contented with my own blessings isn’t enough.

My circumstances aren’t where my joy is found.

Recall Acts 16:22-24:

The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Paul and Silas – Attacked, beaten and thrown into prison. Yet the very next verse says:

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God…. Acts 16:25

Quite obviously, Paul and Silas didn’t find their joy in what they had or where they were. In the midst of what I personally would label tragedy, they praised God and sang worship songs to Him! They were filled with the Holy Spirit and were joyful – no matter what was raging on around them.

Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

The most unbelievably, abundantly joyful you can be on this Earth is in the presence of God – not with a certain fellow human, not while possessing the most beautiful diamond, not in the beauty of having the most amazing spouse or the most perfect and well-behaved kids and the biggest home on the block. No, as John tells us in his Gospel, Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Callie Opper writes, “We’re called to stand on our grass, no matter how torn up, shriveled, dirty or dead it may be…God calls us to contentment, knowing that His story for us is the best story. He wants us to thrive where He has placed us, without fear of the future, without damaging comparison, rid of any lingering bitterness towards the path He has set for us. He wants us, free of “what if’s” and “if only”. Instead He wants us to focus on the “right now.”

So, right now have joy in the Lord. Follow His leading and allow Him to be your true joy, happiness and strength. Trust in Him enough to know – beyond a shadow of a doubt  – that if He is calling you to a certain circumstance, it isn’t for naught. It is for a purpose – His purpose.

The grass may appear to be greener on the other side of the fence…but it isn’t your yard.

signature heart

 

TTC Tuesday

A Speech I Was Speechless About

TuesdayFor those of you who know us well, you know that after this past weekend, we have such a praise to the Lord, such a ‘Thank You Jesus’ kind of Tuesday! As I continually remind the teens in my youth group, the story God gives you – His miraculous work in your life, is meant to be shared for His glory. Having a blog that reaches over 400 people with every post is an awesome platform for sharing, to be sure, but being able to reach an additional 240 women who may never have otherwise come across our humble blog, is quite another reason for praise!

Several weeks ago – weeks that I was absent from blogging – yes, I know – I was approached, completely out-of-the-blue (to my mind), and asked to give my testimony at the Maine Catholic Women’s Conference. What?!? Wow!

Craig & I have complete faith that God called us to Maine for a reason – but He really works FAST! We’ve only been here since the end of August, and already He has placed the opportunity, the sheer blessing in front of me to share His Mysterious Ways in my life through a large public forum! Really and truly, from the moment I was asked to speak, I was speechless.

So, without further ado, Craig and I have prepared a video of my testimony to share with you! There is about a minute of the talk missing, due to some technical difficulties, but if you’re really interested in the missing piece, send me a message and I’ll forward the full audio clip to you.

Psalm 115

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
    but to your name goes all the glory
    for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

I encourage all of you to write your story. When you hear from God, make a note of it, and discover His miraculous ways at work in your own life!People often stop me and say, “I wish God spoke to me in the way He speaks to you…”

My reply:

Matthew 7:7-12 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?

Have a beautiful day! Check back in tomorrow for What’s Up Wednesday!

signature heart

TTC Tuesday

So Much To Be Thankful For!

Tuesday

Today’s Blog:

signature heart

TTC Tuesday

Pack!

Tuesday

When we listed our home for sale on the morning of March 28th, it was with excitement and a sense of the unknown. We knew we wanted to move into a new home, but we weren’t sure where…or when…or what it would be like; we just knew that we were not living in “our” home. But besides the feeling we were living somewhere that wasn’t ‘the place for us’, there were no onlookers to our home, not many bites, no phone calls of interest….and frustration set in.

Not too much later – some time in April, Craig came to me and said, “God is asking us to pack.”

But, sadly, we didn’t listen. Each weekend there was a different excuse:

“I’m tired.”

“We’re too busy.”

“Where will the boxes go?”

“What will we eat off of if we pack up all the plates?”

…so we never really packed…

Until, one day, we truly decided to delve into making Maine our new home. We had chosen that I would take my Post-Baccalaureate pre-requisite courses through the University of New England – in Maine, and Craig would be flying out of Portland…On a whim, I sent out applications for several positions in the Portland area…and like a rocket got some responses…Then an interview…and then, I felt a still, small voice whisper that I needed to be looking in the local church bulletins, not on Craigslist.

And so I did… and lo’ and behold the first bulletin I found was for “Cluster 22” which included 3 parishes and a parochial school just outside of Portland…and they were looking for a Youth Minister…and contemporary musical talent.

Thank you, Lord, for your bluntness.

I need that. 

I e-mailed the contact person…and she e-mailed back…and we scheduled an interview…

And before I knew it, I was standing in the narthex of St. Bartholomew’s in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, after just having seen what would be my office, and discussing Athens, Georgia – the common birthplace of both me and my interviewer!

The flight I non-revved home that evening was supposed to be full – as in no way, no how was I going to make that flight. And before I knew it, OVERSOLD turned into 7 available seats…and my name was miraculously at the top of the list.

I returned home excited. We talked things over. We prayed. I got a job offer from St. Bartholomew’s to become their Youth Minister. And then a phone call for a ‘shadow’ with the other position I had interviewed for.

I turned in my notice at work, and we began making plans to move. Packing.

And later that week, I received a phone call from a real estate agent. For some reason, she had chosen my number from the three listed – our realtor (my Dad), Craig and me – but I was at work and able to talk which is very unusual – and also in an extremely ‘tell it like it is’ mood.

She asked if she and her clients could view our home that morning. Craig just ‘happened’ to be home, and was able to spot-shine the house and take the dogs to the park – so that worked out perfectly. But before I let the agent get off the phone, I told her, “Please tell your clients, if they like our home, to make an offer. We are very motivated. We are moving to Maine, and we are ready to sell and move forward. Make an offer, ANY OFFER! Oh, and by the way, we have upped our commission to 4% for the buyers’ agent – just wanted to make sure you had seen that in the listing.”

And that evening, we received a phone call. Not only had we received an offer on our house. We received a full-price offer with (only) a 3% commission – not even taking the 4% we had offered!!!!

And today, when Craig was waiting for the inspector to show up the couple who have our home under contract made it a point to let him know, and to share with me, that our home was the answer to their prayers. They feel led by the Lord to our home!!

Whoa….

When we submit to His Will…the things that can occur are nothing short of miraculous!

The moral of the story is: “When He tells you to pack, don’t wait one single second. PACK NOW!”

signature heart

TTC Tuesday

Endless blessings; Endless Thanks!

Tuesday

OK so today will not have any fancy editing and pictures all around as I am not nearly as talented as my wife in this area! I am lucky to have figured out the banner at the top and I am definitely thanking Jesus that I got it to work so that the day can be known to all. When Pier asked me to do a blog post for today I was delighted to say yes and help in anyway that I could (it is rare that she ever asks for my help no matter how busy she is!). Then came the  thought of what can I write about. Then realizing that it was Thank You Jesus Tuesday I knew that this would be an easy topic because what is there that we can not thank Him for? Every thing, big or small is given to us by Him! The first thought that popped into my head was I need to thank Jesus for my wonderful wife. I feel that I can never thank Him enough for who He has blessed me with.

Thank You Jesus for my wonderful wife Pier!!!!

This is a little more about the amazing girl that selflessly sits down and writes this blog day in and day out. When I read the inspiring posts that she writes it is only a mere fraction of the inspiration she brings to my life! Pier truly has a heart for our Lord and nothing excites her more than to be able to share His love in this world. She is blessed with the gift of being able to help others to understand Christ’s love on a deeper level and when I see the people and hear the stories of people she has touched I can relate to exactly how they feel because I have experienced the very same feeling. Pier’s heart is always open to God. Not only is her heart open but when she feels called by the Holy Spirit to do something she does not let that go idle. She will put in action what ever it is that she was called to do. Some people would get discouraged by the constant calling of doing things that sometimes seem impossible but she is always energized. This is because she has 100% faith in God and she knows that He would never call her to do something that she could not obtain. She knows that with God anything is possible! Not only can Pier inspire us with written word, ability to help others and her determined mindset but also in her God given voice to sing. Her voice is able to touch many in many different ways. I love every moment that I get to hear her sing praises to God.  Now I know that Pier’s ultimate desire for this blog is to reach the hearts of people and to draw them closer to God and so I want to close out with a little piece of Scripture. What does the Bible say about giving thanks?

 Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”

Pier and I start off every prayer time with a time of giving thanks. We feel that is important to always thank Him for what he has given us. It could be something as small as thanking Him for the peaceful moment in your day or something much larger. No matter how big or small giving thanks to God is what we are called to do.

What is one thing today you can sit down and say thank you to God for? How about two things? There are endless opportunities to thank God for blessings in our lives.

signature heart

What's Up Wednesday

Icepocalypse

WednesdayYou may have noticed yesterday’s post was a little bit late being published…and it may have seemed a little bit…unfinished? Well, the reason why is because in the midst of writing it during my lunch hour at work, we were told to leave and head home…the forecasted 1-2″ of snow was falling hard outside, and with the temperatures where they were, everything was turning to ice. So, at 12:30, I left the office and slid my way over the ice covered parking lot to my car…This is what I found:

snow car 1

For the end of January in Georgia, this is NOT a typical scenario…and with the temperature at 21 degrees, and the pavement already turning to ice…I was beginning to realize my journey home to Craig (whose flight for the day had already been cancelled – thank you JESUS!) and the furs was going to be a bit of an adventure. Little did I know…

This “vlog” was taken about 5 miles, maybe less, away from my office – 4 hours later.

The video was taken while I was stopped for HOURS on a narrow road, and very steep, windy hill that was covered in a sheet of pure ice. When I was finally down that hill, hours later, I made it onto the interstate – several hours even later than that – after being stuck on the middle of a bridge. Luckily, by the grace of God, once again, two men got out of their own trucks to push my car across the bridge. Here’s an article and video for a little more clarification on the situation I was caught up in last night. Click here, and then watch the video below. (Note: You will need to view this post in an internet browser to playback the videos – below and above.)

It was like something you would see on a horror movie about the apocalypse. Trucks were literally stuck on the interstate in rows of 3, blocking the entire roadway. Cars were inching along in the emergency lanes, weaving in and out of the stranded vehicles, sliding all over the place on the ice. On one empty stretch of the interstate it was like a true ice skating rink, and once more, my guardian angel was sent to guide me safely to a safe place, off the roadway, where my sweet husband (and our four wheel drive truck) rescued me from my ten hour nightmare!!!! Yes, that’s right. I did not make it to even within 15 miles of our house until 10:30PM last night!!!!! Praise Jesus, Craig was home!

Today, the snow is beautiful, and we have been able to be outside and enjoying it:

Lucy says, “Thank you so much, Aunt Jenna, for our Frisbees!!!”

back yard 1
Our Backyard
front yard 1
Our Front Yard

Aaah! Now that we are all safely home and warm, Craig and I are going to settle in with a bowl of popcorn and a funny movie. All of you stay warm out there, and thank the Lord you are SAFE and WARM and somewhere you have the luxury of reading this blog post!

Until tomorrow & Thirsty For Christ Thursday,

All Our Love,
Signature