Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A year of Change

This will most likely be my last blog for 2009. As I think about what I have to say my mind quickly thinks of all the changes that have taken place.

In Jan- I was 7 months pregnant with our first baby. This was such a sweet time in life.
In Feb - We worked every night to prepare to open Shoppe 3130, A ladies secondhand clothing and home boutique.
In March - We opened the SHoppe on the first friday and then gave birth to our first son - Abram Enoch on March 17th.


We celebrated our first year wedding anniversary on March 29th.
April- My birthday. Easter was our first day taking Abram to church (outside of mommy)

October - God began to speak to us about my time being near an end at BSMC, after almost seven years.
November - I resigned from BSMC after a month of sleepless nights.
I also found out my daddy has liver, colon, and lung cancer.

December - We took over Heart of Augusta (a thrift store in downtown Augusta)
my time at BSMC was ended.
And here we find ourselves celebrating our first Christmas with a son in our arms. How amazing it is!

We are now getting ready to marry Eli, my lil brother in law off to Jessica. They are getting married in FOUR days. Wow!

Perhaps that does not sound like a lot of change to some but it has been a crazy year. It has been exciting... not train wreck exciting... joyfully exciting.

I am looking forward to 2010. I am longing for a slower pace. Time to be wife and mommy. Time to be daughter. Time to paint, plant, sew, design, decorate. Time to write, sing, laugh.... ENJOY. Time ti submit, follow, repent. I'm longing for more of Jesus and less of me. Im looking forward to serving in a new role. Im looking forward to life again.

Im remembering 2009 already as if it is already gone. Guess most of it has. It has been a year. A good year. Ive been blessed in many ways - one of which is because I call you friend!

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Days

Everyday is a new day. Somehow with everything changing in our life right now I feel even stronger that everyday is a new day. Sometimes I wake up and think, "What is going to be different than what we usually do or know today?"

My dad finished his second round of chemo treatment this week. It is still so difficult to think of the future. I have found that for me to find peace with all of this that I have to focus on the One who writes the future - God. I know that in all these things God has a plan that will bring Him glory. That gives me peace.
I love my daddy so much. He has been such a protector and teacher in my life. He taught me a lot about working hard and being a leader. Lately I find myself daydreaming back to when I was a little girl... standing in the old circle driveway waiting for him to circle back around on the tractor to give me a ride around the yard... bringing him a frog that i caught in a jar so that HE could be the one to get the frog out (I didn't like to touch them)... wanting him to pick me up and put me on the counter so I could stand tall like him... wanting him to be by my side when i had my first birthday party...asking for his help moving wood around to form the imaginary walls of my "play" house...the feeling as we walked down the asile arm in arm to meet my groom. He is a good daddy and a good papa to my son.

We have also had some very sweet moments lately and some great conversations about Jesus too.


This is the question everyone seems to be stuck at (and the one that some like to uneducatedly gossip about). Neither of us have a job now - not a job that pays anyway.

I do a few things with art stuff. I have seven tie skirts to make. I have made lots of things for the shoppe (hand and neck warmers, cell phone holders, candies) This gives us a very small amount of income.

Jesse just got his letter from the state to schedule his exam for real estate. He (and I) are excited about that!

We took over a thrift store in downtown Augusta - "The Heart of Augusta".
I know! Have you ever meet two people to work their bottoms off and not get paid for it?! The thrift store provides a lot of ministry to people in the downtown and surrounding areas. We are able to offer nice things to people at low low prices. Most of the people that come in would never be able to afford nice things any other way. AND we get to love on them when we see them! The store raises money to provide funding to Shoppe 3130. Shoppe 3130 is our other shoppe. There we do life and job skills training and suit women in professional attire (women who have job interviews). These are really great ministries and we are honored to lead them (even if it is all as a volunteer / board member).

I met with my former boss. I admit I have had some bitterness growing inside me because of everything at BSMC. If you don't know... I told my board on Nov 18th that I was resigning as of Feb 15th. My boss had previously asked me to give them plenty of time so that the transition was smooth and we could get pass the holidays and train the staff. That is what I wanted too. I LOVE the ministry of BSMC and only wanted what would be best. WELL... I meet with my former early in December and with checks in hand he told me that the board decided that I should just go ahead and go... that it would be best for the ministry and so that the staff there could take the leadership role.
I thought this was the worst decision our board had ever made. There were no conversations with me or our staff to confirm this (and WE are the ones there everyday). There would be no time for training. There was a sharp and abrupt cut of ties. No time for thank yous, no time for farewells or explanations... just bye.
In all of this there is a massive amount of questioning now, a lot of confusion, and the staff (who are some of my best friends now) have too much work to do and not enough direction to do it.
I felt as if one decision made no sense for anyone involved. It made things worse for BSMC, the staff, my family, and the board. Who involved benefited? No one. I say these things because I need there to be clarity.
I LOVE the ministry at BSMC. I love the staff. I am disappointed at our board. Only one member of the board has even called me or sent me email to say ANYTHING... no thank yous, no we will miss you, nothing. That is a bit painful after seven years and countless hours of praying, developing, staffing, speaking, organizing, advocating, fundraising, grant writing, etc. Nothing.

I met with my former boss to tell him these things. He has been such a huge part of my life and ministry and I wanted to (as I intended when I resigned) remain on good terms and in a good relationship. That was slightly tearing from the plan though. God's word says that if you have a problem with a brother, go directly to them, which is what I did. I needed him to know.

He told me that he made the wrong decision and a mistake was made. He asked me how he could make things right. What do I say to that? Sometimes we make the wrong decision and that is that. There is no correcting. The damage is done. There is no making right, there is only moving on. So that is what we are doing - moving on. We agreed to make the best out of a bad situation.

He asked if I would come back as a consultant when they hire someone else. Of course I said yes - I love the ministry and the staff.

So that is what is going on - besides the rumors that make it back my way in the form of a question. "I heard you and Jesse left BSMC to take another job" or "I heard that you were mad so you quit" or "I heard you....." and on and on.
I thought that if I spelled out why I resigned (which was one of the hardest decisions in my life) that there would be no gossip or questions... ha! Sometimes people just need something to talk about I guess.

On a sweeter note... I LOVE being with Abram and Jesse more. I love that I get to spend more time with him (Abram) in the mornings and don't have to rush out. We snuggle and nuzzle our noses. We eat our breakfast together. We play hide and seek. We have a lot of fun and I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!


Jesse and I are so excited about this Christmas! Last year was our first together but this year is our first with Abram. I know he does not understand yet but it is still so much fun. He has already found a gift under the tree. He likes the way the paper sounds. Of course he likes to eat paper - or anything for that matter.

This would usually be our year to go to Grandmothers in La Grange but this year, we are staying here and everyone is coming to our house afternoon Christmas day. How much fun is that!

My brother (oldest) usually takes his family out of town for Christmas but this year decided to stay home so we can all spend Christmas eve together. We all want to be with my dad as much as we can right now. I'm looking forward to this.

We usually have lots of gifts to give but not this year. We expected two more months of salary from my job but since that changed all of a sudden, we are making the most of what God has given us. I am ok with that. I would much rather cut back on gift giving and focus on the gift God gave. I hope everyone else in our life is ok with that.


My lil brother in law is getting married on Jan 2nd - which is right around the corner. I cant believe it. Last year this time he was talking about how maybe God was never going to give him a wife and now look! A wife! Talk about a gift!

I know this was a lot. It was a lot of venting/explaining. Thanks for listening. We are so thankful for friends like you!

Jenny and Jesse

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet Surrender

There are so many things I feel right now - so many thoughts I have - so much I want to do - so much I can clearly see - and so much I simply do not understand. I am full of words and at a loss for words. How does this happen?

My heart is hurting for my dad right now. He went to the doctor on Monday. They told him that his body is responding well to the chemo. They also told him that they are not going to start radiation right now. They will continue chemo for the cancer on his liver. It is in his bloodstream and has already spread to his lungs. What does a daughter say about this? How do I respond? My mind immediately recalls a time when I was standing in Miracle Baptist Church as the music minister lead us in a song. The song... It Is Well With My Soul. Who am I to question the One who made time? 
My heart still hurts even though I trust in the Lord. My love for my dad is stronger now than ever before. I am so thankful for the countless memories I have with him. I am so thankful God is giving me the time I have with him now. I wish I could take his pain and carry it myself but I can not. 
I wish I could carry the pain that my mom has. I can't do that either. I only know the One who can. You guys can pray for my mom and my dad right now. I have never seen a woman love a man the way my momma loves my daddy. For those who don't know their love story... they got married 45 years ago when my mom was only 14. That is crazy huh!? They have been a great example of love and patience to me throughout my 33 1/2 years. I am thankful they didn't give up on each other when they didn't get their own way.

BSMC - This is such a tender spot right now. I met with Don last week. He told me the board thought it would be best if I went ahead and left BSMC. Their reasoning was so that Cathy and Kaye could begin to take on the leadership role there. It was a relief and a burden at the same time. I never intended on leaving the staff there unprepared. Jesse and I also counted on being there through Feb 15th financially. I know that God will provide for us but I feel like I have dumped a heavy load on the staff at BSMC. I also miss the volunteers and Pastors. I wish things were a little different but they are not so I shall run with the goal in my focus. 
 I do know that we have done the right thing. I feel like I have served BSMC well. I have done what God has called me to do there. I have obeyed when He said leave...even though it has been difficult.

On another note - this morning I got to sleep in with Abram. We played peek a book in the big bed. I love these moments. Tonight he took a nap and when Jesse woke him up and brought him into the kitchen to see what mommy was doing he grabbed my neck and hugged me. I love these moments! We got our Christmas tree tonight. Yes! Abram's first tree. He could care less. I bet he will like it more when there are lots of fragile ornaments on it tomorrow night. I wonder what my parents did on my first Christmas. I  never thought of that before now. I can not wait to wake up with him and Jesse this Christmas! How exciting is that!!!

Shoppe 3130 won the Christmas Window Display (people's choice) award. That is pretty cool. I love being able to create and design. I made a tie skirt and put it in the window. I have three orders for skirts now.

A while back, over 10 years ago... I prayed that God would let me serve in ministry full time... eventually He did. I prayed that my family would come to know Him... many have. I prayed that God would give me Jesse as a husband... He did. I prayed that my relationship with my in laws would be amazing... it is. I prayed that God would let me speak to women about Him, He did. I prayed God would let me travel and share what He has done for me, again, He did. I prayed that one day God would let me have a store, He did (and one with purpose!) I have prayed that God would let me design clothing or something like that... is this what He is doing now? I don't really know but I know that I am so excited and so thankful that His hand is forever on my life.

I could go on and on and on. So much for a speechless girl, huh!? Thank you for being a part of our life. We love you so much and are glad you choose to share life with us.

God is so great to us. We are so thankful for Him and for how He loves us and provides for us.