words

Somehow, I've let seven months slip by. So, there's that. 

It occurred to me a few weeks back that I've been blogging since 2005. Nine years. I should probably deduct 2013, but I shan't. 

So much has happened this year. 

I BOUGHT A HOUSE!

It's crazy and lovely and I get to call it my own. I am so thankful. God is SO good and my family was amazing.  My brother flew down, and in what I can think of as a genuine labor of love, helped me paint the blue mayhem into cozy and serene. 

Even with all the goodness, this year has been difficult. 

I also find myself overwhelmed emotionally, more so than in the past. My fuse is shorter and more stern. The reclusive side that I've tried to hide is pushing to come out.

Growing pains.

This weekend, I get to recharge my soul with people I love dearly. 

And so I continue to pray that this season, necessary as it may be, passes quickly. 

xoxo,
Jenn

hello.



I didn’t mean for a year to go by.

I’m not sorry the time has passed, because the last twelve months have been oh-so-full of interesting and not-so-interesting things.  Life has been busy.

I’m another year older, and by my assessment, slightly wiser.  I’m still working on paying off debt, getting one day closer at a time.  I still see my little friend Nene (now daily), as I take her to preschool.  On our quick trip from her grandmother’s house to Pre-k, we recite the alphabet, and numbers, and directions, and the like. I’m in the early stages of buying a house.  Mostly saving that last little bit that I need to make all the regulatory requirements for a down payment.  I had to move this summer because the crazy landlady is, well crazy.  The little row where my condo is, is now full of new people who do not understand the concept of minimal, and marked parking.  There may have been a few incidents where I educated the neighbors. They may now think I’m the resident crazy lady.  Surprisingly, I’m less bothered by that than you would think.

2013 was hard.  I got more jaded than I already thought I was.  Hurt from places and people that I did not expect.  Friends and relationships changed. Ebb and flow. 
Writing this is not as fluid as the constant internal dialogue would have led me to believe.  I am rusty writing down what I’ve been reciting in my head.  Hopefully this will get easier.

Insert adage about riding a bike.

xoxo,
Jenn

exposé.

Recently, I finished a book.  For me, and maybe only me, there is something deep inside that inspires me to write.  I would also like to assume that, based on my lack of writing, it’s obvious that I haven’t read anything lately.  Life, it happens.

The subject matter, ultimately a story of coming clean, only drives why I think I need to write.  To be vulnerable.  To be honest, even at the prospect of not getting any response in return.  I have a date.  And I’m terrified.  I think I’ve finally hit that place where I’m equally as terrified to move forward as I am terrified that I’m going to stay in a state of permanent singleness.   It’s the relational version of Schrodinger’s cat.  (Five points if you can tell where I referenced that from.) 

I took an entire year (May 31, 2011 – May 31, 2012) where I took dating completely off the table.  For the first time in my life, I genuinely put it aside, completely acknowledging that there is more that I want God to do in me and through me.  To be alone with just Him.  At first it was easy.  A sweet peace.  Until a guy crept in.  And flirted.  And flirted so shamelessly that friends pulled me aside in bathrooms and pointed out that He. Flirted.  It was all very Saved by the Bell.  Except that I’m the girl that falls hard and fast and can’t move on. But of course, he can, and did. (Without a doubt, this is a perfect time to mention that he moved on by trying to ask out not one, but TWO of my friends.  You are not as smooth as you think, Rico Suave. Girls talk.) And so I tried to regain my focus.  And repent and just love on Jesus.  And my year ended, just as seamlessly as it had begun. 

And here I am, two months post commitment.  A boy asked for my number. (I shudder.)  He calls.  (I am so terrified that I contemplate throwing up or showering instead of listening to the voicemail.)  I listen to the voicemail.  (I also take a shower.)  I call back.  I am judgmental of him based on what I heard.  He asks me out.  I say yes, with only hesitation in my head not my voice.  I am completely freaking out. (Present tense intentional.)

I do not have an inflated image of who I am.  I know I struggle with a gaggle of insecurities that would baffle most men, including all of my friends.  I work tirelessly to hide them, only showing them when I have to, when the cracks are so large in my heart that I can’t hide them, or at least can’t hide them all.

I pray and I hope and I dream, but when I am presented with reality, with this reality, I can’t help but find my stomach in my throat and my knees shaking.  Singleness is safe.  Saying you want something and actually pursuing it are two completely different things. 

What I know (and MUST accept) is that I have doled out enough advice that it’s time for me to shut up and listen to those who love me.  Who will pour into me the same way I have poured into them -- with love and respect for their advice. 

I have no idea what sharing this means.  It’s just me being vulnerable.   I guess this also probably means that I should keep you posted.

Over and out.
Jenn

... On my iTunes...

I’ve not really posted a play list in almost a year.  Music is still KEY to me!  Right now, my heart is happy and the songs I’m listening to (I hope!) reflect that!  Here is my current playlist:
We Are Young – Glee Cast – I’m totally addicted to this song!
We Belong – Pat Benetar – I’m a sap.  I will not apologize for it either.  This is a classic!
I’m Not That Girl – Wicked Soundtrack – This song resonates with me for reasons I can’t articulate yet, but still – LOVE.
A Drop In The Ocean – Javier Colon – such a beautiful song.
Not Over You – Gavin DeGraw – for the single heart. I adore!
The Only One – Joel Piper – This song just makes me happy.
Lessons In Love – Fire & Ice w/ Kaskade – this is one of my new favorite running songs.  Gets my heart racing!
Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People – this is not new, but I can’t bring myself to take it out of my active play list.
Faster – Matt Nathanson – (I never said these were all appropriate), but I still love this song.  And Matt. J
I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bon Iver – this song is so hauntingly beautiful that it made me cry the first 20 times I listened to it.  It’s a cover, but still… wow.
We Found Love – Glee Cast – I’m a sap.  What more can I say? J
New York – Snow Patrol – I’ve been an open Snow Patrol hater for a while, but this song… just something about it.  Repeat and repeat again.
Dark Blue – Jack’s Mannequin – this song makes me want to run a marathon.
Hold Me Together – Royal Tailor – I still can’t remember how I found this song, but I absolutely love it.

2012 Word

2012 Word.  
I could give you a litany of excuses as to why I haven’t posted this already, but it has more to do with what I’m posting than anything.  :)
My 2011 word was intentional.  Although I mentioned this earlier, it’s important for me to write again, that I could have never imagined living out last year’s word like I did.  If I had any idea how intentional my year would be, I don’t know that I would have meditated and prayed on that word!  I’m kidding.
Honestly, there were (and truthfully still are) some fractured relationships in my life.  I want to heal those, but I don’t know how.  But last year I was able to mend a few of those, not to the same level as before the fissure, but to a new level of respect. I actually like that better too!
For the relationships that are the most precious to me, I tried to be and am still working to be more intentional with those friends. I will still fall short, but instead of beating myself up and being fearful, I’m learning to own it.
What I hope to do, is not forget integrating intentional-ness into my relationships, but to add with it this year’s word:
Balance.
I firmly believe this is the word that scares me the most because it’s so hard to achieve.  My prayer is that, through 2012, I learn exactly what balance is and am conscientious that balance in my life doesn’t look like balance in the lives of others.  I do not walk in your shoes, and holding myself to any standards other than me is unfair and ridiculous.
Here is my hope and prayer:
Finding balance in my heart and mind.  Remembering that 18 inches is the most critical and if my heart and mind aren’t in line, nothing else will be.
Finding balance in my emotions.  As a woman I feel like one of my greatest struggles is always “feeling”.  It’s exhausting and I want to find balance (or maybe accountability?) in putting my emotions in check, primarily in scripture.  God’s word is the BEST place to find balance for all my feeings!
Finding balance in my daily routine.  I struggle with this so bad!  I know that’s silly to share, but years of living alone is not cultivating the good habits I want to exhibit.
Finding balance at work.  I’ve historically been all over the place in most areas of my life, but I’m really seeing the magnitude of finding balance at work.  I spend most of my week with these people.  I love them, but I need balance in cultivating relationship as well as getting things done.  Balance in this area really looks like I need to realign my pyramid into God, ME, Family, Work, Other – instead of it’s present order.
Finding balance in health.  I still haven’t blogged about my health issues, so I’ll be brief.  Around Thanksgiving, I had some blood work done.  My dr. gave me a diagnosis as to why I’ve gained some significant weight over the last four years.  Things in my body have been broke, and while I shouldn’t praise God for that, I’m thankful for HIS touch on my physician, and that she caught it.  The result is that I’ve lost 20 pounds in the last month.  I feel SO MUCH Better!  But now with this diagnosis, I have a long way  to go, but I see the light!  I think it’s time to put on my running shoes again.
Instead of focusing on every single area to find balance, I’m going to stop here.  I think that’s where balance starts.  It’s one foot in front of the other, with God at the beginning.
Here goes!!!
Xoxo,
Jenn


personal care.

I feel like I need to be light-hearted.  I went back and read the last few posts, and it appears that I have lost my funny bone!  (This is totally not the case.  I make ME laugh daily, and either my coworkers are just kind, or they're laughing along with me too.)

But I'm sitting here trying to think of something that is funny, and I can think about is what happened yesterday.

I am intrigued, on a regular basis, at things we do as women, to "maintain".  Regular visits, shaving, tweezing, straightening, bleaching, frosting, texturizing, shadowing, layering, coordinating, and accessorizing – all in an effort to impress somebody else, or the collective somebody's.  And sometimes, we do it because it's just the thing we're supposed to do.

(Warning – this may be TMI – you've been advised.)

Yesterday was a Girlie Doctor Visit day.  I would honestly rather be SHOT AT than endure that visit even though it only takes like 3 minutes.  Yes, I realize that most of it is preventative, but still.  BLECH.  I put it off as long as I can.  

I feel like a woman's body (especially her intimate parts) is a roadmap of sorts.  Some girls are the Indy 500 track.  A few are the Autobahn.  Some of us are drying up like a pathway through the Sahara. Some of us are surrounded by terrible landscaping.  And some of us need to be repaved.

 And maybe I'm a weirdo, but I don't like everybody seeing my roadmap, you know?

Plus, I always get tickled when I have to visit this Dr.  I mean, where else (besides a family holiday gathering) can all your failures in life be condensed into one room?  Oh you're single? (As you're being started at the by the young guy across the room.)  Oh you're childless? (As the very pregnant lady across the aisle eyes you like a holiday turkey.)  (In her defense, sometimes it's hard to tell if her expression is pity or envy.  Totally depends on the size of the ankles and her levels of morning sickness.)  Oh, you're really childless? (Silently says the pregnant mother while her three kids under 4 run around the waiting room like banshees.)  THEN… when you walk into the actual room, the nurse will ask you a litany of questions that are a balance between "Are you a whore ?" or "I've never met a 30-year old virgin ".

And to think… most of us do this under the guise of preventative care.  I don't want any type of cancer and so I know it's good, and should be necessary.  But I can't help but laugh hysterically at the set up of it all.

That is until the nice doctor accidentally pokes my cervix so hard that I fly off the table.  Dear Really Nice Dr that I will visit again, my cervix should not be mistaken for a dart board at a pool hall.  Thanks.

Good times I tell ya'… good times.

 

renew.


What an interesting month October has been!!!  Because my blogging has been so inconsistent, I have not captured all the things that started this year, and strangely changed in October.


In July, I got so overwhelmed that my body freaked out on me.  Stress manifested itself in a new way, and I got thrown a curve ball.  I spent the month of August trying to reign things in.


Some of those things are things I've been transparent about.  I don't even want to be one of those people that writes, but writes from a hypocritical perspective.  I have started to write, and promptly deleted posts after getting in, and realizing that I was preaching to the choir.


I've had issues with money as far back as I can remember.  Some people are gifted savers.  I am not.  I struggle with finances on such a ridiculous level.  I've had some amazing seasons of my life where I get out of credit card debt, but only after I become deliberate daily about staying on top of things.  This summer has not been one of those seasons!  But I am determined to get things back on track.


Lately, my friends have been nicknaming months -- Janky July, Snatchy September, Oh-no-You-Didn't October.  It's funny only because it's been indicative of the month.




But I?  I am taking November as New November. 


One of my favorite scriptures, and one commonly referred to at the beginning of the year is: 


"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19


So, I'm taking November as new.  I'm going to do some NEW things... like be extra aware of my finances and my relationships and my weight.  I'm reminding myself daily to reNew my mind, but focusing on good things, God's word, and prayer.  


And I challenge you to do the same.


In three weeks, many of us will sit down at our collective tables and reminisce about what we're thankful for...   while I have so many things to be thankful for, I want more.  I want New.  I don't want to waste any time anticipating the new year, I want to blast through the remainder of this year with a renewed energy and zest for life.  :)


Out with the old October... in with the New November.


xoxo,
Jenn