Tuesday, October 28, 2008

God's Word

I actually wrote this last week but of course it is just now getting posted as other motherly duties have been priority this week!...

Well, today has been one of those days of returning home from a trip with bags to be unpacked, laundry to be washed, a car that needed to be washed and emails that needed to be returned. But if you know me very well you know that I don’t unpack my bag until I desperately need something out of it. I got in a 3 mile run this morning and had some time this afternoon in the word. So all in all it was a good day. I was blown away by the Holy Spirit today as something was pressing on my heart and He completely guided me through scripture. As I opened up my bible and turned to what I thought was the passage my bible study book told me to turn to and began to read it was the answer to what had been laying so heavy on my heart. Funny as I finished reading it and turned back to the study guide I realized I was reading in the wrong book of the bible….right verses just wrong book but it was exactly the answer to my issue! Ok so some of you may be saying slow down sister but I truly believe that due to a series of events, much prayer and then scripture colliding that it was the Holy Spirit! It has been so amazing to me over the past few months how God calms my fears, comforts me and comes to me in a fresh way through His word. A friend of mine recently asked me what my favorite scripture was and it was so difficult for me to say because I love it all….I really do love His word!
I hope my son is catching on to the vitality of this awesome book….and I think he understands it is a good place to turn….The other day Jackson came in from school tired and not in the best of moods. Everyday we come in and have a snack. On this particular day we decided to have an oh so healthy snack of a chocolate milkshake. As I handed to milkshake to my son I said “be careful there is no top on it.” So Jackson began to drink his milkshake but got distracted by the power of television and accidentally spilt it on the chair in the living room. I told him it was ok and we began to clean it up…but this is when the tired and not so good mood kicked in….he cried and cried saying that it was on his shorts and underwear…so I told him to go to the bathroom and we would take care of it…no big deal….so after getting him cleaned up I handed him the remainder of his milkshake to him and went towards the closet in his room to get him some clean underwear and shorts when I turned and heard the cup that the milkshake was in hit the wall and the splatter of the milky brown cream all over the floor, ceiling, wall and me. Jackson knew it wasn’t good. After receiving a spanking and told to sit on his bed until I told him he could get up I began to clean the mess. As I scrubbed the carpet I began to cry…not just cry but BOO HOO thinking to myself, what have I done wrong…Jackson really knew at this point it was a bad thing because Mommy had lost it. He sat on his bed quietly watching me. (That’s a whole different story for another day) So after cleaning up everything I went and sat down on the couch and began to watch tv while Jackson was left sitting on his bed to think about his actions. After a few minutes I saw him lean forward and get a book off his side table. He leaned over where he could see me and said “mommy, I’m reading my bible”…he paused…and the said “I like to read my bible.” On the inside I was smiling and I just said “I’m glad you are reading your bible Jackson, that’s a great thing to do.” I wasn’t sure how glad he was to be reading his bible or that he was just telling me this to get brownie points in hopes of getting out of trouble sooner….a minute or two later he leans back around and says…”Mommy in this story they are praying…I like to pray too.” At this point I told him I was glad he liked to pray and asked him to come to me. I turned off the tv and began to discuss the issues behind the milkshake explosion and his behavior. The point of this story isn’t about how the situation was handled but about the fact that my son went to his bible. Of course not being able to read it fully yet….only looking at the colorful pictures…but that he went there in his time of trouble. I desire for him to love God’s word at an early age. He amazes me at how he doesn’t want to go to bed at night without reading a bible story and how he has lots of questions and seems to want to know more. Thank you Jesus for your word! And thank you for your faithfulness to use it to open my eyes to what is going on around me!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


September 2008

I have felt this overwhelming need over the past few weeks to find the "right" job and feeling like I am not being used to my fullest potential....I have had more free time on my hands in the last 3 weeks than I have had in years. Jackson is in school and my day consists of working out, looking for a job and cleaning my apartment...which is small so doesn't take much time. So today as I picked up a book in my frustration and crying out to God as to why I am where I am I came across this..."not overwork but overflow" Since I was 15 I have worked 2 and 3 jobs at a time...always volunteering for something and always feeling the need to be busy....yes I need to pay the bills but I trust that the season I am in at this time is one of resting and preparing for what God has in store. I ask for your prayers that God will continually remind me to rest....being grateful for all He has blessed me with and for what is to come. I want to "overflow." So that even in the seemingly meaningly tasks that I am doing right now I will bring glory to the Father!


May 2008

well here I am driving & writing again...i just seem to have time to think when in the car....so I am returning from an incredible mini vacation to the beach...my favorite place on earth....my son & I played for hours out on the sandy white beaches & while the God sized sand box is absolutely amazing the thing I enjoy the most is the water...the way it sounds...the way it feels...the way it moves....it's unfathomable size...i can't help but think of the words of a friend who described God's grace like ocean waves....it keeps coming & coming! even at the most calm sea the water still flows toward the beach! Beautiful! I'm so thankful! Thankful for His never ending grace. For it is only by His grace we experience a different life....we all fall short, many of you have seen me at my worst but praise God he washes the worst away! He truly is my joy! He continues to bless me by His grace!! So driving back to reality from vacation is not so exciting but I continue to be excited about the future God has in store for me! forever changed by His grace- JJ


April 2008

Though I have always felt at home in Atlanta and want to one day live there again returning home was such a sweet reunion with my son...you see he is almost 5 but makes the most profound statements sometimes :) as I drove home yesterday I continued to wrestle with the thoughts going thru my head of what my next steps are...for a couple of weeks now everytime I consider job opportunites for the future I just am drawn to opportunities that will directly impact the Kingdom...so as I don't know what that necessarily is or looks like right now I am waiting on the Lord to lead me to that! so in the waiting I am sitting here this morning reading, thinking, listening....as I have said before I have been studying the life of David and now I am at the end of David's life and he is speaking to Solomon giving him final instructions....he of course tells him to follow the ways of the Lord but he also talks about his descendants and the promise the Lord made to him that "if your descendants follow me faithfully with all their hearts one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel." so reading this just lead me to think more about my son....as I was reading thinking about ministry opportunities...thinking about the homeless, the children that are so deprived all over the world, the many different mission opportunites that so grab my heart- in walks my son and he says "mommy, my sock has a hole in it....but it's ok...thank you for my socks mommy....you are so thoughtful." first of all I didn't even know that my son knew the word "thoughtful" and second I was remembering what a mission field I have right here with him..& of course i'm getting long winded but I just wanted to ponder the concept of legacy and what I can do to expand my 5 year olds view of this world...of his God and his need for the Creator....woo hoo...God is good & I will forever praise Him!

Last 30 Years

April 2008

This weekend I had the privilege to engage/ listen to our generations most gifted worship leaders challenge college students to live passionately for Christ & His glory! I have to say that the desire for God to change my life that has been burning in me for the last 6 months was fueled! As I have reflected recently on the last 30 years I have learned so much about my God, myself and how I impact others. And from my view I must confess God has remained the same (as you all know) and I have riden a roller coaster of selfishness, head knowledge & desire to please others my entire life. i grew up in a loving home with parents who loved God, I was taught parts of the Bible, and was encouraged to do what is "right"...i went to good schools & my degree is in theology for heavens sake...you would think that at some point I would have surrendered to the Most High God...dont get me wrong, oh I believed in God but I didn't seem to put to action my belief and knowledge....maybe I truly didn't believe He was sovereign....because I sure tried to help Him out so much with my own choices...thinking I knew what was best for me....well now I sit in this car driving up the interstate in silence just thinking....knowing now with no doubts that HE IS SOVEREIGN & HE DOESNT NEED MY HELP! ok I know that's a shocker to some of you but please pick your jaw up off the ground & hang with me a few more minutes...after years of running from God & from what blessings He had in store for me I am now laying my life down....and by receiving His grace through the cross I am a new creation! (SHUT UP!) and only those that were at Passion will understand why I added that :) I am free! free of the guilt....free of the shame....free of the sin that so entangle my life....for the first time in 30 years I have an indescribable peace! in the eyes of the world my past is screwed up to a degree but no longer am I existing to impress the world....my heart is so full of the grace & love my Jesus has poured out on me that I want to share that with this world.....my future is certain & my steps are firm as I walk in the light of His glory & grace! I am so blessed...certainly not in the eyes of this world but definitely in the eyes of my God! He gets me :) and I now serve an audience of One and pray that NEVER again will I attempt to receive glory for anything but that in all things glory & praise will be given to my Chain Breaker...the Risen Lord...Jesus Christ! I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN! PRAISE GOD!

Running Back

March 2008

I am currently studying the life of David and the amazing heart of a human who I so seem to relate to...He was bankrupt in soul, demoralized, and terrified, but after going to the mountain top and then hitting the lowest valley...He was back...back at the foot of the throne...too many months had passed since he had last entered the indescribable place of God's presence, but he still recognized the Father....i so feel like him...through crisis I am reminded of all I know of God's ways...i plead with God now out of my intimate knowledge of Him no longer out of ignorance or naivete. For so much of my life my relationship with Him seemed based off of pleasing others and what I had been blessed with....and now I know that my relationship with Him is because ALL I NEED IS HIM...I so desire to continuly be guarded that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will be pleasing in His sight! I so desire to be used by Him...

Almost a year

So almost a year has passed since I believe my eyes were opened to my desperate need of God.

Here's a little background...

I was raised in a "Christian" home with godly parents who took our family to church every time the doors were open. Parents who loved, supported and cared for their children and modeled the love Christ had for the church. My Dad, a man of integrity, incredible character and who through all the tough times in life was an example of finding Joy in all circumstances, a mom who has a servants heart and cares about others more than herself...longing to take care of and serve people even through her own pain. I was sheltered. I grew up in a middle class family that never had plenty but never seemed to be in want...I was blessed...

I had great opportunities as a youth/young adult to travel, serve and be surrounded by people that encouraged me to live passionately for Christ. I saw people all over the world that desired hope and had a desperate need for Christ...and though I traveled to different parts of the world to share hope and grace with others....somehow? I still didn't "get it" myself. I was so blessed...but didn't realize it....

So there's the background...now....today I picked up my journal and read my first entry from last November after the light bulb came on....in the words of Hank Williams...."I saw the Light"....this may seem odd that I am starting to blog with a journal entry from about a year ago but I wanted to log my steps as I run for Christ...whole heartedly...without reserve....fully trusting....like never before....forever truly changed...

November 2007

Well after years of hurt, uncertainty, loneliness and the big one...SELFISHNESS! I have come to a point of complete brokenness....realizing that the things I have invested my time, talents, resources, energy...life...in for about the past 8 years have not impacted God's Kingdom. I have been so consumed with myself and earthly treasures and they have left my heart empty and aching. It is my prayer that now at this crossroads I will forever change my actions and forever fill my heart with the indescribable grace and love that comes ONLY from Jesus. I want to fall passionately in love with the Creator... I want to have a willing heart that longs to know Him in an intimate way. I want to be emptied of every impurity in me so that I may be filled with the Holy Spirit....and that I will poor that out on everyone I meet.

God's grace is already being shown to me in so many ways. I have been blessed by godly friendships...and of course God's Word never fails. It has penetrated my heart....it seems so fresh...like I have never read it before...It daily opens my eyes to the fact that God can still use people like me...He still has a plan for my life!

So that was the journal entry. As I read back over it I find things that I know are still true today almost a year later and I also read things that God has shown me aren't complete truths...First...I know that even though to me at the time I wrote this it seemed like nothing was bringing God glory through my life...He is continuing to show me now that"what was intended for evil God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done!!!!!!" (Gen. 50:20) And that this wasn't just an issue that had gone on for the last 8 years but one with a deeper root...much deeper...a desire I had all my life to please others and look good in the eyes of the world....Praise God, I sit with a different heart and different hope today!

As I sit here almost a year later...I can admit that there is still some earthly uncertainties but I am at a place of contentment and peace that I have never been before....

I am going to post some other blogs from notes I have written over the past year...just about things God has taught me through life...all I can say is ALL GLORY TO GOD! I don't say that lightly...I truely desire to bring it all to Him! I am nothing without Him!