Author Archives: Jen

When you hurt, I hurt too

I had all these thoughts rambling around in my head and wanted to get them out. Now I can’t form a sentence.

I guess I have questions.

Lots of questions.

Why do you go back to the pit when you’ve seen the LIGHT? I get that it’s comfortable, a place you’re familiar with. You’ve spent so much time there. But why is it so easy to go back to that place and dwell there?

Why do you not fight? It’s so easy for you to give up. And don’t tell me you’ve been through crap and back, because I KNOW THAT! I just want you to speak up to those that are doing wrong and stand up for yourself. And maybe even realize everyone goes through their own kind of crap, some of which is far worse than what you do.

Why do you call me to vent about someone yelling at you, that you’re not going to be yelled at again today, and end up yelling at me. How is that right? Why do you not see that? Do you wonder if, or when I will be done?

How can you not see the effects of your attitude? It’s like a riptide that carries everyone out to sea and underwater. It’s not just you.

Why do you shut me out and push me away? You close yourself off to anyone who wants to help. You withdraw when you need to reach out.

Why do you think so little of yourself? You are a child of God, created in His own image. He loves you and He has great plans for you. Believe His promises. Rebuke satan.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. Ecclesiastes 2:22

When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. Psalm 91:15

For He loves us with unfailing love; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117:2

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:35-38

Why not pick up the ball and take a step forward? I’m still here, waiting

It’s part of the journey

Do you ever feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride and the attendant decides to take an extended lunch break? So you’re riding along and having fun, the ride slows down and you enter the chute where you will exit the ride, but the ride doesn’t stop. It goes right on through the chute and back up you go.

Maybe it will be fun to go again, you think.

You come to a slow and enter the chute again, expecting to stop this time, and continue right on through and back up again.

That’s what I feel like right now. I just want to get off of the roller coaster and take a breather.

I mentioned a few days ago that God was moving Big time, and it was wonderful! But ya know what happens when God moves? Satan gets worried that he’s losing the battle and he starts getting ugly. He fights dirty too. Pulls out all the nasty stuff and uses it to pull us back to his ways.

So, there’s a battle going on. It’s ugly. It’s not fun. It makes me cry.

It makes me lean closer to God.

It makes me call my prayer warriors.

It draws me nearer to Christ.

For some, it makes them question.

I know the victor. I will stand firm in His promises, and know that this is working for His good. He has a plan and I’m trying not to step in the way, all the while I’m trying to lead by example.

It’s not easy because I’m human and I fall short every day. The beauty of that is forgiveness and grace.

If only we choose to accept it.

So I will continue to ride this coaster until the journey is done. Each hill gets us closer.

Friday Fragments

I can only think in short bursts right now, so this is going to be in list form.

  1. This has been a really good week in that God is moving BIG time in the heart of someone I love dearly. I’m talking radical changes that make my head spin! It’s a total answer to prayers, but I also know it is a journey that begins with a single step. That step can go forward or backward. There will be good days and hard days. We’ve had a few of both. There’s been lots of tears and laughter, and they seem to go together right now. I am trying to let God run the show and not take over, which is hard for me. I want to step back and let Him lead us. I’d appreciate your prayers for this!
  2. This has been a trying week because I feel under pressure. I feel the pressure to remain positive and strong, when sometimes I’m just lost. I’m trying to remind myself that I’m human, and I need to fully rely on God
  3. Homework has been a chore for the youngest this week. He had a project for a famous American, so there was writing and memorization and nerves. We couldn’t find him a coonskin hat so dad saved the day and made him one out of a stuffed animal. He rocked the presentation this morning! I think part of the problem has to do with playing his iPod when he is supposed to be sleeping. I’ll be keeping the iPod for charging purposes at night from now on. Hopefully that will help with tiredness and attitude.
  4. As I type this, satan is hard at work. He sees the changes that have been happening and he’s trying to stop it from happening. Please join with me in prayer that my loved one can shut out his voices and rest in the promises of Jesus.

Undefeated- The Movie

Undefeated is a coming of age documentary from filmmakers T.J. Martin and Dan Lindsay based on the 2009 football season of the Manassas Tigers. The original plan was for a thirty minute documentary focused on O.C. Brown, and that turned into a full-blown movie project. Undefeated recently won the Oscar for Best Documentary!!

Manassas High School was founded in 1899, and the Tigers had never won a playoff game. It’s a school that doesn’t have the funds for a fancy field, proper equipment, or even a coach. What it does have though, is kids that want to be a part of something bigger.

Bill Courtney loved to coach. It was his dream actually, but it wouldn’t pay the bills, so he started his own business in 2001. He says he never quit coaching though. Coaching was his passion. His passion led him to Manassas, and 17 players that had a 6-54 record for the previous six years.

Courtney and his team of volunteers impacted those boys that were from the inner city. They cared about them and they prayed with them. It was more than just football, but it changed the way that football was played by those kids.

It changed lives.

It changed Manassas football.

There were a few times that I cried while watching. The stories of the boys are so endearing and heart breaking too. I was rooting for them personally and on the field, just like Courtney was.

There’s a line in the film where Courtney says, “If you think football builds character, it does not. It reveals character.” It’s such a powerful moment. I think I can still hear him saying it.

My husband came in while I was watching it, and sat down with me. He’s telling his friends they need to see it. That’s what I’m telling you. See it, it’s great. There are a few curse words in it, so you’ve been warned. It is PG-13, from The Weinstein Company.

Click here to watch the trailer. UNDEFEATED

This Is My Story

My pastor has encouraged us to write our story and share it, in 250 words or less. That’s not a lot of words! I was trying to keep it short and concise and ended up with 272. One paragraph was taken out completely and I ended up with 250, exactly. This is what I sent him.

I grew up spending the weekends with my grandparents, and attending church with my maternal grandparents. I didn’t know why I did it, I just did. I found out a few years ago that my dad was frequenting bars and my mom didn’t know if he would come home, or in what shape he would arrive if he did.

I was baptized at the age of 9, and fell away from God when I was in college. College is also where I met my husband.

We graduated, got jobs and were married. Almost two years later we expanded our family, and two years after that we grew again. Looking at things from a mothers eyes changed my perspective, and I knew I wanted our kids to grow up with Jesus.

It was around this time that my dad was in horrible pain from herniated discs in his back and on disability. He felt useless and picked up the gun to take his own life. Something made him cry out, Jesus help me, and at that moment my dad felt His presence so deeply that he was a changed man. He is now an Elder in his church.

My family began attending church and in 2003 my husband was baptized. He has struggled with depression and anxiety, and I know that God has carried me through those trials. Some days it felt like faith was all I had.

God is currently working miracles in my husbands heart and it makes me so happy.

Post Blissdom Spin

I’m still fighting post Blissdom exhaustion and haven’t had the time to wrap my head around all the wonderful things I heard and learned.

I’m still praying about the changes I’m going to make to this blog. I have to make the change to self hosting and that requires a domain name change. Last time I opened up the bible and landed on Proverbs 24:5-6. Simple, right? I’m open to suggestions if you have any!

I’m also trying to write my story, my testimony, and it’s changing so radically right now that my head is spinning. I sit back in awe and amazement at how quickly God is moving and changing hearts right now! Seriously, if you don’t know Jesus, I want to help you get to know Him. He heals all wounds.

What’s going on with you right now? Can I pray for you at all?

20120301-163512.jpg

My Blissdom Weekend

I only have a few minutes and I’m still trying to wrap my head around all the amazing things going on right now, so this is going to be short.

I won a free conference pass to Blissdom a while back and I was really unsure if I would be able to go or not. Well, I went and had a great time. I also met some crazy talented women! I also made some new friends for life.

I seriously mean it when I say God had this written in my plan from day one. I am blessed and incredibly honored to have amazing people in my life.

At this conference I was challenged to write something dangerous and not safe. This has been brewing in me for a while now, and I’m working on it. I promise I’m going to share it soon.

I drove home late Saturday night with the help of two energy drinks and arrived safely into my husband’s arms a little after 4 am. My family is a huge part of my heartbeat and I had missed them terribly.

It was good to be missed too!

I’m going to be making changes around here soon, so I hope you’ll continue to hang around with me.

Kim and Krickett Carpenter-The Vow

I had the privilege of talking to Kim and Krickett Carpenter last week. They are an amazing couple and I ended the interview feeling blessed to talk with them. I saw The Vow last Wednesday night, and I loved it! If you haven’t seen it yet, please make the time to do so soon.

Me: I have to tell you we were all laughing, crying and cheering you two on! Your story had us from the very beginning. I didn’t know that you never regained your memory Krickett, and I was left wanting more at the end. I wanted to see you two fall in love all over again!

Carpenters: Well thank you very much! We’ve been hearing that a lot, and have to tell you that the movie leads you right to “The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie
Me: How old were you when you met?

Carpenters: Kim was 27 and Krickett was 23

Me: I read somewhere that your shared faith helped you two get back together again. Can you tell me about it? Was that a faith in love, each other, or the Lord? The movie didn’t really touch on it.

Carpenters: Our real strength and  faith is in the Lord. It came from two sets of parents who have over 100 years of anniversaries combined, and a very devout faith.

Me: I have to admit that I was angry with your parents, Krickett, and how they were treating you, but your mothers vulnerability when she said she remembered all of the good and forgave the one mistake, that was so great.

Carpenters: That never happened. The affair never happened. That was something that Hollywood added in, along with portraying me as being alone in all of it, and the divorce. I (Kim) was not alone, I actually have a twin and wonderful parents. We never divorced. At one point, Krickett was living with her parents and rehabbing, and I did move back in with my parents to regain some sense of normalcy, but we were never apart for more than four days. I would fly back and help her rehab.  At one point I felt that it was not going to work, but I wasn’t going to leave until I knew Krickett was capable of  taking care of herself and could look me in the face and tell me to go. It took a counselor to help us understand the aspect that Krickett had no memory of me.

Me: How did you find your way back to love?

Carpenters: On Valentines day 1996 I asked Krickett to remarry me, and on May 25th we rededicated our marriage. We took vows and made a commitment before God until death do us part. The institution of marriage is different for some now, as in the death of the marriage. Lack of commitment has created instability. It used to be death do us part as in the death of your soul mate.

Me: Tell me about your kids. What do they think of your story?

Carpenters:  They are a real blessing, and it’s a great life lesson for them. We are more excited about having them witness this and experience it first hand. We  kept our vow and our word. It’s a priceless lesson.

Our main prayer in this is to inspire lives and lead people to do the right thing. A place where families can grow and flourish. We had the opportunity to persevere and it was a matter of obedience to Christ. The media tried to portray me (Kim) as a hero,but I’m not. I made a vow and kept it. We are in a normal marriage where there are challenges and it takes work.
We are so happy with Channing and Rachel. They studied us and watched us in interviews. There are some things that are just dead on in the movie, and the movie will lead you to the “The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie

My time with Kim and Krickett was too short, and I can’t wait to download the book and read more about them. I hope you will too.

Psalm 55:16-18

As for me, I will call upon God,

and the Lord shall save me. 

Evening and morning and at noon I will pray,

and cry aloud,

and He shall hear my voice. 

He has redeemed my soul

in peace 

from the battle that was against me.