Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Power of a Christmas Card

Two nights ago I found myself blown away by the power of a Christmas card. Now you might be thinking all those gushy, holiday thoughts like "Oh how sweet, someone I haven't heard from in a while sent me a Christmas card" or "Now I feel the holiday spirit", but the power of this specific Christmas card really awakened my spirit and in all honesty, my view of myself.

As a lot of you know there is an amazing woman of faith that I have admired and looked to for guidance in the last year...her name is Lori Salierno. I had first heard her speak at GCC a few years ago and she completely blew me away. She not only was on fire for God, but she was on fire for her husband and her ministry with youth as well. I immediately liked her. Granted she had no idea who this small-town girl from Mishawaka was, but I was okay with that.

Then last year GCC had Lori as the guest speaker at the Women's Retreat. Our group from nevaeH was blessed to spend an hour with her in a question and answer about life. I learned so much that weekend and there were so many improvements I knew I needed to make in my life.

And then, are you ready for this excitement, in the fall of 2004, GCC made the announcement that Lori Salierno had agreed to partner with GCC to mentor the women leaders of GCC for the 2005 year! We had three different weekends this year with 150 women and Lori. I was able to talk with Lori a few times about life and my ministry and by the last session we were all, Lori included, sad to see it end. Every time the weekend would end, I would be on fire for God and I knew what changes I not only needed to make in my life but wanted to make in my life as well. The only problem was, I often continued with life and never made those ever important changes. To be perfectly honest, I just forgot about them. I believe Satan didn't want me to make those changes because then I would be growing closer to God and farther away from him.

Then Monday a Christmas card came. It was from Lori. All the women in our group received one, and it was just a simple photo Christmas card of Lori and her husband. And it hit me...I hadn't done any of the things I had so desperately wanted to do. Ask anyone who would see me during or after one of our sessions with Lori...I was on fire! God had spoke to me and I knew without a doubt what I was supposed to do. And over this past year I hadn't done hardly anything.

Monday night and yesterday I knew something wasn't right inside of me...I wasn't as happy. I wasn't sad. I wasn't anything. I was dormant. I was conflicted and twisted and didn't know why. And then before I went to bed last night I saw the card sitting there on the table. And I knew what was wrong. I knew what I needed to do. It's time for me to begin on the next leg of my journey with God. I have been in the same place for too many months now, occasionally taking a step forward, only to move back again. I am choosing to move forward. It's time for me to keep those promises I made to myself and to God.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Pictures of my nephew...

Isn't he cute!?! He just couldn't stand still to have his picture taken...what can I say, he wanted his Aunt Jeanna!

WOOHOO! He caught the ball (with a little help from dad of course...) Look at that smile! He's gonna have the girls falling all over him someday

Opening up a present....

This was just too cute for words...George is leading my dad's dog through the kitchen by a toy...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Things to be thankful for...

With today being thanksgiving and all (well, barely still Thanksgiving, but technically speaking, it is) I decided it would be well worth my time to write down my thoughts of what all I am thankful for (cliche I know, but tough, read it anyway) :)

- First and foremost, for the health of my dad...he is still don't completely okay (he now has a staph infection from all the open wounds of the fire ant bites, but he is on strong medication and is recovering fine - especially if his spunky-ness is any clue...)
- For the love of my family - they have loved me through good times and bad and still claim me as their own
- My nephew and the time I have been able to spend with him over this many cute stories I will be sharing later
- For time...time to spend with my family and friends, time to live my life, time to better myself, time to get closer to God
- For my completely awesome friends! If you would have asked me a few years ago if I ever thought friends like this existed, I would have adamately said I can't imagine living without the love, support and insane craziness of them all!
- For being employed with a pretty good job...granted I do complain sometimes because I get the shaft and I don't make much, but I am good at my job, I like it most of the time, and a lot of the people I work with are like family
- For some freakin awesome food I got to eat today!
- That I am in Zionsville, aka Indy, and not in Mishawaka to drive through the nasty snow...I will just get to play in it when I get home :)
- For the fact that I am alive and still get to see snow
- For the freedom I have in this country to complain about snow, and my employer, and politicians but most importantly the freedom I have to serve my God without the fear of death
- For the men and women who have served in the military, who are serving in the military and who will serve in the military in the future that give me that freedom
- For my health - I have no major health problems and I am fully functioning - woohoo!!

I am just rambling now - I am tired, and yet am not in bed, even though I have to get up before 6 to go shopping...yes I am getting up early to shop!

(side note - pictures of my family to soon to come...)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Songs always seem to speak worlds to me...often when I least expect it.

This morning was one of those times.

I was minding my own business, driving to work in the crazy traffic and road conditions, and even though I had put in the Nichole Nordeman CD none of it was really registering since I was being a responsible driver and was focusing on the road...

Then something in a song caught my attention.

And I have been listening to the CD all morning.

This is the song that has really got me thinking on this chilly, snowy day.

Live(Nichole Nordeman, Jay Joyce)
Did you come that we might just survive?
Did you come so we could just get by?
Did you walk among us
So we might merely limp along beside?

I was bound, I have been set free
But I have settled for apathy
Did you come to make me new
And know I'd crawl right back into the skin you found me in?

It's where I am, not where I've been

You make me want to live
You make me want to live
You came to shake us
And to wake us up to something more
Than we'd always settled for
And you make me want to live

We've all been up on the mountain top
A golden glow that's bound to soon wear off
Then it's back to the mundane telling tales of glory days
When we were hopeful that this change was here to stay

So why would a young man
Live in a waste land
When the castle of his dreams is standing by?
Why would a princess
Put on an old dress
To dance with her beloved and a chance to catch his eye?

You make me want to live
You make me want to live
You came to shake us
And to wake us up to something more
Than we'd always settled for
And you make me want to live

The words just and merely in the first verse really hit often do I go through the motions of living a life of "just" and "merely" - This song is my life right now...I want to live, not for me, but for Someone bigger, Someone more important, Someone amazingly wonderful, I want to live for Jesus.

The other line, It's where I am, not where I've been, is something I think we are all sometimes guilty of forgetting.




I shouldn't live in any of these.

Jesus died for me so I don't have to live in these anymore. They are gone. Now I just need to remember...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Finally the People agree with me...

All is now right in the world due to the fact that People magazine finally agreed with me and named Matthew McConaughey The Sexiest Man Alive!

Monday, November 21, 2005

No Longer Struggling....

As I am sitting here thinking about life I realized that while I posted a week or so ago (Nov. 12th to be exact) about the struggles I was going through, I never posted about the amazing thing God did in me that night....

So as a small recap, I had realized that day why I have such a hard time being emotionally weak - the best friend I had through most of high school and college would use my emotionally weak times to build herself up- and I was having a hard time trusting the people around me to be strong for me when I could not be strong for myself any longer. I cried a lot that day, I hate to admit it, but I did. But something was working in me at the same time...once I realized why I couldn't be emotionally weak, I started praying about it...I didn't even know what to pray just that I didn't want to be that person anymore. I wanted to trust those around me enough to hold me up when I couldn't any longer. A part of me didn't want to go to church that night for fear of "losing it" in front of everyone but I knew that more than ever I needed to be there that night. I ended up having a lot of fun that night at church (It was the 80's weekend service) but then afterward I kept feeling close to tears. I knew that I still had to tell Jeanie (an amazing woman!) about what was going on with my dad, so with my eyes filling up with tears, Tara and I headed downstairs.

By this point I had told multiple people about my dad and I was able to talk about it without crying...after all I had been through that day, the only words I got out were "Last Sunday my dad almost died" and I lost it....she held me tight as I cried and cried harder than I had yet, and then whispered words of love and support in my ear. I felt a huge release that night as for the first time in years I became completely emotionally weak. And I had trusted someone to hold me up and they did. While I was still emotional for a few more days and occasionally I still am, something inside of me has a good way....I didn't realize until just as I was typing this, that God answered my prayer in a matter of hours...ask and ye shall receive....

Freakin Cool Friends...

You know how while you know your friends love you, sometimes it just hits you smack in the head that WOW they really DO love you? Well this is what wow-ed me yesterday...

I was stressed about Son City Kids (as always) and was worried about not having enough help to put together food containers for Thanksgiving to pass out. Things weren't going as planned, I was feeling stressed, and then I looked around the kitchen and family room where we were doing all our work, and I realized I was surrounded by people who love me! They all gave time out of their busy days to help. They smiled at me, hugged me, made me laugh by doing insanely crazy things, gave me bible verses to read, and reminded me of why we were all there. If I got nothing else out of yesterday, it doesn't matter...I finally realized and saw with my own two eyes that I am loved. Really and truly loved. And I hope they all know how much I love all of them as well. (Even those that weren't there for that specific time...)

I wish everyone could have friends like I do....and I hope I can be a friend like that to them....

Saturday, November 19, 2005


So I just realized that in the last few hours I have been in what I refer to as a "funk"...Of course I am at work on a beautiful Saturday (so that is, ahem, probably part of it) and I am overly stressed about Son City Kids (so that is probably part of it too) I decided that I was going to find something to cheer myself up, and so...what better to cheer me up than insane pictures of my friends!! These all came from a few of the times Rich was *smart* enough to leave his camera behind...hehe

A Funk...

Friday, November 18, 2005

This is me and Lindz....I believe this was one of the MANY times we decided to fill poor Rich's camera with random pictures...and once again, the batteries died before we got more than a few pictures sad...


This is an example for those people who choose to mess with women....

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Matter of Perspective

When I awoke this morning, silly me didn't think to look out the window. While I knew before going to bed that there was a chance of the white stuff sticking to the ground, I believe I was in denial and pushed it to the back of my brain. Then I pulled out of the garage. The whole way to work I was thinking...uggg...snow! Then I passed by two girls walking to school. They had huge smiles in between their rosy cheeks and were trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues. It made me stop and think, have I started taking for granted the beauty of snow? Have I become cynical? If one of the ways I connect with God is through nature, then why am I complaining about something so beautiful?! Sure everyone hates driving in snow...and if it is raining...and if its foggy...I mean shoot we even get ticked off at the sun when we are driving and it is blinding us or pounding down on us through the windows! When did I lose the beauty of new fallen snow? When did I start groaning at the word snow instead of jumping up and down from too much excitement bottled up inside of me?

When I was a kid my dad would always wake us up the morning of the first snow by singing Winter Wonderland...I would always get so excited when it snowed because not only did we get fun stuff to play outside in, my daddy would sing to us...even as we got older and kinda gave him that "Daaaaaad what are you doing" look, he did it anyway and we secretly loved it! It was our thing and we still look forward to it. Even though my dad lives in Florida now, whenever he sees on the weather channel that it is snowing here, he calls us and sings.

I can tell that child inside of me is still alive and kicking...God is still trying to move me to be in awe of the things He does and to praise Him for everything...even snow...last year God was trying to get through - one night I was walking through the Meijer parking lot with Tara and I just stopped and looked up...all I could see was the black sky, and HUGE snowflakes falling slowly down around me. I just stood there in awe of the beauty of it all...and of course Tara (and I am sure most of the other Meijer guests) thought I was losing my mind...God apparently didn't care where I was at- and I am glad. Last year my sister and I built snowmen and some of us had a snow fight and I made snow angels, but this year I have decided I want to let the inner child - scary I know - out to play in the snow ...many many times...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Jesus Take the Wheel

Last night I was watching the CMA Awards (big surprise I know) and I heard Carrie Underwood's song Jesus Take the Wheel....the chorus hit me so hard. It was one of those times when you can't put into words what has been going on inside of you and then suddenly you hear a song that explains it all so well. Last night was one of those times. Here's the lyrics for those of you who are dying of curiousity right... about... now...

"Jesus Take The Wheel"
She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy
with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go
and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It would been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
She was going way to fast
Before she knew it she was spinning
on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives
flash before her eyes
She didn't even have time to cry
She was sooo scared
She threw her hands up in the air

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this all on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

It was still getting colder
when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on
Oh, Jesus take the wheel
Oh, I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
From this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
Oh, take it, take it from me
Oh, why, oh

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Full Moons and Public Places don't mix...

So...I already posted today about rainy day blues - how the weather effects those people who tend to visit the place known as the public library. I didn't realize at the time that today is the full moon. While many people may shrug at the thought of the full moon correlating with strange things happening, those of us who work at your local library vehemently disagree....

For morning....

I'm working, doing my thing, when very concerned woman comes up to the desk and whispers that she thinks we need to call the police because of a man in the library. I asked her to explain (thinking in my head that she is just spazzing about something that isn't important) And she says he is talking to himself, that she wasnt concerned about it at first... until he started talking as if people were around him - telling them to get away and threatening to kill them. At this point she was freaked out and I must admit, I sure as heck was too! I mean, we don't have security during the day at the library and we only have one man who works here and I could protect us better than he could - but anyway - I asked her to tell the head of the library and I ran to find my boss. Since my boss is a intelligent woman, she wants to hear if in fact this is going on BEFORE she would call in the police...after about 2 minutes the police were called...

They show up and ask the man to go outside with them. Apparently he decided to reach into his pocket while being lead outside, which caused the officers to start reaching for their guns. Yes guns. Thank goodness the guy put his hands at his sides so no firearms were needed in the library.

THEN as he was outside apparently he told the police that he was undercover with the CIA. Is this sounding like something out of a movie or what! So the police, after 15 minutes of calling people and having 3 cop cars outside the library, they determine that he is delusional and has a history of this kind of behavior, but THANK GOD has never acted on it! They went ahead and took him in to have him taken to Madison Center for our own safety to have them check on him.

Oh, did I forget to mention, that I KNOW THIS GUY! I grew up with his family in my church!! It's kind of disturbing to see someone you somewhat grew up with (he's 4 years older) causing a stir at my place of employment! He comes to the library somewhat regularly and occasionally visits the other library as well, but has never been like this before that any of us had witnessed...

Maybe he hasn't taken his medication...or maybe it's the full moon....who knows....all I know is that I was thoroughly freaked out...and all this before 11 AM....

And people think the library is boring!

Rainy Day Blues...

Have you ever noticed how much the weather effects our moods...

Take today for instance. It's cold. It's rainy. It's foggy. It's just plain BLAH! Today is the kind of day when I just want to stay in my warm PJs and cuddle up with a good book, in a nice warm blanket with a cup of Chai or Hot Chocolate. makes me all warm and cuddly inside just thinking about it. And then I look outside.

I dread today. For one simple reason. I have to deal with the public in 12 minutes and this kind of weather always brings the worst out in people.

So here's a picture that brightens my day and hopefully will brighten yours too....

Monday, November 14, 2005

I must admit....

I think I have some of THE coolest friends in the world!! Not only can we have insane, crazy fun together...act like complete dorks together...we can also have GREAT conversations and we are always there for each its a bonus that we can play practical jokes on each other and laugh hysterically whether it has been done on us or someone else....

Speaking of jokes...some of us girls have been looking to even out the score with the guys since Labor Day...The guys got us so good so many times that payback was way overdue...we had done a few things here and there, but Friday night, the unsuspecting guys got hit...and it was FLIPPIN AWESOME! Coming soon will be some pictures of the guys' vehicles...its classic!

But hey, we wouldn't do it, if we didn't love them...we do it with love......

Of course, now I am scared to death to leave my car anywhere near where any of them will be...I know that payback is coming back around........

My nephew....

So everyone...this ADORABLE lil guy is my nephew...for those of you who have seen recent pictures of him know that this was obviously a while ago, sicne he is now a year and a half, but I must say this is one of my favorite pictures!

How can you not love it...he has his little fist in the air like he's saying "Put um up!"

Saturday, November 12, 2005


So apparently this last week has been harder on me than I could have imagined....lately I have been so stressed about Son City Kids, but I was still holding up okay....but then Sunday happened with my dad...I thought after a few days of crying I was okay...then I noticed I was having trouble focusing on work (which has happened before, but never to this extent) Someone I work with said it was to be expected after almost losing my dad and that I was probably still in my head I was thinking I was fine...still a little shook up but I was praising God for performing a miracle in my dad's life...

I was feeling yesterday like it was all going to come crashing down soon, but I didn't actually think it would happen...I was wrong.

This morning I had a breakdown...and for those of you who don't know me real well, I am not good at being emotionally vulnerable...I cry when things happen to other people and I am a very emotional person, but when something hits me deep in the core of my being, I have trouble being I say...I don't "do" weak. (This first hit me when Doug Coney died in September and I was refusing to completely give in to my emotions...I was struggling with letting someone be there for me...I guess I have a hard time trusting that when I am vulnerable people won't hurt me...I never had this problem before, until high school....then for years I had a best friend who would use my vulnerable times to boost herself up or to control me. She would use those times when I was the lowest to benefit herself...ever since I have a hard time letting people be strong for me) But back to today- I realized that I am not okay with the fact that my dad almost died. I am so grateful to God for saving his life and I will praise Him for giving me more time with my dad, but I am still upset about how close I came to losing my daddy. I have been crying off and on for most of the morning...not sobbing...but tears falling from my eyes when I least expect it.

I am still trying to figure out how to let others be strong for me, and I know that I need to realize that it is okay for me to be vulnerable....I just don't know how....

Friday, November 11, 2005

So last night a group of us got together at LAU-RA's house to hang and talk about our visit to Rob's Bell's church, Mars Hill, Nooma's and Velvet Elvis...I have to say the conversation was awesome and it really made me think...a little too hard at times probably, cuz I am exhausted today! But anyway, it really made me think about what I believe and why and that I am getting to the point in my faith that I really need to start figuring out why I believe what I believe and start digging in deeper...last Sunday someone offhandly asked me how long I have been going to church...I told them pretty much my whole life...and then she asked why I keep going....of course the generic B.S. answers came to mind that every Christian wants to answer, but knows that someone on the "outside" of the Christian faith would not understand. It made me question why DO I believe what I do and HOW do I verbalize this passion inside of me....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

God is good??? Yeah, He really is!

So last night I actually asked myself the God really good? I mean, if he was, would I be going through such turmoil...and why put my family through all this...then I stopped and realized, dang, God is good! God had just performed a miracle in my life and I was questioning Him!?! It really is true that you grow in and through problems, and crisis' and hard is excerpts from the email I sent out early explaining the ongoings of the "turmoil"...

Sunday was my sisters birthday and when we got home from out of town there was a message on our machine from my stepmom letting us know that my dad had been helping someone and knelt down in some shrubbery and was bitten by fire ants. She said they were at the hospital and my dad was fine but they wanted to keep him overnight and that he would call my sister when he was assigned to a room. She said again that he was okay. My dad called later that night and talked with my sister for only a few minutes. We all just assumed that was the end of the story...

Last night he called our house and told my mom (I was at work and my sister was at a meeting) that he needed to fess up and tell us what else went on. My dad almost died Sunday. We already knew that my dad is allergic to fire ants, but apparently he was bitten by hundreds of them. After he got bit, he went home and took some benadryl and thought he was going to be okay. He started to get dizzy so my stepmom took him to the hospital. On the way, he blacked out and either in the car or once at the hospital he went into convulsions (I am not for sure of where exactly this happened). My stepmom called 911 and they told her she could pull over and an ambulance would meet her...she refused to stop and drove 90 mph to the nearest hospital. When they got to the hospital they had to give my dad a drug (I think it was called epinephrine, but I am not sure of if that is how it is pronounced or spelled). The amount of the drug needed to stop his allergic reaction should have killed him. My dad thought he was dying and started making peace with God and even told God he was ready if it was his time (my dad was a Christian already). I guess God knew there was more still for my dad to accomplish here on earth. My dad has always had a surprisingly strong heart for a 56 year old overweight man who has some family history of heart problems! When he had called Sunday night he didnt want to tell us all that he had been through because he did not know yet if the drug had caused heart, kidney or brain damage.

Yesterday they tested my dad, and he is completely fine! He had no damage at all to his brain, heart or kidneys! He asked his doctor (who is a friend from church) if the doctor thought my dad was going to die on Sunday, and he said he had. I have never seen such a miracle so close in my life!! Against all odds, everything fell together and my dad is alive and fine today! He is actually going back to work part-time today!

So many factors could have led to his death, but everything happened to keep him here on this earth...the fact that he took benadryl might saved his life...the fact that my stepmom never stopped driving...the fact that the nearest hospital which was not my parents favorite, happened to have the best trauma center in the area...the fact that the medicine to save his life could have killed him...the fact that he knew he was dying and God saved his life!!!

My dad is an amazing man who has a heart for helping people...he has a gift of helping hurting young men and helping them get their lives in order, and I believe that there are many more young men out there in need of my dad...and God plans on using him for a while longer!

Even though it still sometimes upsets me to think about that I almost lost my daddy, I can see the bigger more amazing picture that God gave us a miracle! It motivates me to really re-evaluate my life and see if I am really living my life with my all for God.