Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yummy Treats and Cool Weather

Recognition night was last night at work. Such a wonderful time to hear the Word, worship in song and fellowship with our men who will be moving on to the next phrase in their recovery program.

My mom and I baked and decorated treats the night before for the reception we host after the service. Below are some pictures of the treats we had. I made creepy crawly bugs, pumpkins, spiders and ghosts. Had to go along with the fall/halloween theme this month.

I apologize for the poor picture quality. Our conference room lighting is horrible. at least the treats were good though.

I was informed to make a turkey cake for the month of November's recognition night. hmmm.... got to figure out how to do that one. Christmas cookies were last year for the month of December. I've already purchased a special "surprise" for my office for employees during the month of December. I'm really excited!!! :)

Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week. I'm excited for Friday to be here... cold front is moving through. High of 72!!! Woo-Hoo!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's here!!!!

Fall is officially here I do believe!!! Fall flowers, pumpkins, crunchy leaves on the ground, crisp morning and evening air, cool breezes.... o i could just scream!!!

It's the most wonderful time of the year. I get excited about it more and more each year. I've already walked down the aisles of Hobby Lobby grinning from ear to ear as I looked at all the Christmas decorations.

It will be here before we know it.... Hooray!!! I do believe I need to warm up my "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" DVD so come middle of October I can watch it. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I wish I may

I wish i was shorter. Being a tall girl isn't the funnest thing. Wearing heels makes you feel/look like Godzilla and people don't tend to think of you as delicate and girly like they do shorter girls.

I wish I was shorter.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things.....

What brings a smile to your face? What things bring back memories for you? What are some of your favorite things? **Please try not to break out into the "My Favorite Things" song that is often played at Christmas.**

1. Jesus (whether talking to Him, about Him to others or just learning)

2. Taking pictures of people

3. Fresh cut grass

4. Elderly couples holding hands

5. Babies/little kids laughing

6. Cold weather

7. Fun colored socks

8. Warm scarves

9. Sitting around a campfire with friends and family roasting marshmallows

10. Walking outside

11. Christmas (obviously this should have been at the top of my list)

12. Vintage anything

Ok, that's enough for now!!!! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Friends, coffee and pottery

I love random outings. They make life so much fun.

Saturday was one of those outings. Met my best friend and her sister to celebrate her sister's birthday. First met at Serda's coffee (YUM!!!) then surprised Hannah by going to paint some pottery at "Paint that Pottery" in Mobile.
We are waiting for our creations to be finished, but I have pictures to show you. I'll put up the final projects when I pick them up in about a week.

The beginning stages of my cup. Before it was painted. I'm loving more and more drinking out of these types of cups rather than regular glasses.

Hannah and Jana working hard on their projects.

The last of my cup. Once it gets fired and glazed the colors will be much brighter. I'll be sure to put the final products pictures on here when I get them. I'm excited about my design. I wasn't sure about it as I drew it, but I think it turned out well. The inside of the cup is teal, but i didn't get a picture of it.

More to come later!!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

3 Blind Mice

This is going to be a short post...
I'll have a more meaningful post tomorrow...
it's been a long day though.

My day started when I left the house at 6:15 this morning because I had to be at work early to work a special event. The Lord provided a beautiful sunrise for me to drive to work to.

I get back to my office after the event and had some unwanted guests I had to ask a man I work with to help me escort them out. Let's just say those mice on Cinderella gave me a false impression...the guests I had today do not sing, dance and wear cute little t-shirts and hats like hers do. I was very disappointed.

After that, chaos pretty much broke loose. Won't go into details... just a hard day.

Came home, tried to go walking.... interrupted by lighting and rain.

I'm hoping tomorrow is much better and smoother. Here's hoping!!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Ok, many of you know I sing. I was standing in our congregation yesterday and had these crazy flashbacks of growing up that I felt I wanted to share.

My Dad's side of the family is all gifted in some sort of music or just enjoys sitting around singing. I have memories of gathering for holidays and my aunt playing the piano and all the his sisters and brother and the adults singing hymns or old gospel songs. Most of the songs I learned didn't come from the Baptist hymnbook or worship hymnal. They are songs that are just gospel songs... nothing special about them, except that they worship Jesus. I have vivid memories of going to a barn on a friday evening as a child with my dad, aunt and grandmother and singing songs out of a book while they had a full band on this "stage" complete with hay barrels and animals in the back. There would be a piano, banjo, drums, cymbal, different horns, guitar... you name it, it was probably there at one time or another. I grew up believing that singing was worshipping Jesus, not if you hit the note or not. I still don't quite understand the whole "singing a special in church" deal.

To this day my dad still sings around the house no matter what he's doing. I do believe his most famous is singing like Louis Armstrong as he cleans the kitchen. Ask my mom or brother, they can testify to this. Well my dad doesn't sing "specials" in church but believe me when I tell you that he can be heard across the church. We have little old ladies who will fight to sit in front of him just so they can hear him sing during the service.

Well I was sitting by him yesterday and of course I can hear him loud and clear. As I was singing I suddenly realized how easily i fall into harmony sitting next to him. It made me think how I fit in my family...though many times I wonder if my parents really listen I know that I am in that family for God's glory. Then it made me think about how I fit in God's family. I have a place and a purpose in His family, in His body for His glory.

Even when we aren't sure why or for what God may have us somewhere, we fit into a specific slot that was carved out just for us so that He may receive glory. Fit into the piece in which He leads you to...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Advice from a good friend....

What you talking about, Willis?

So many times in life we let our jobs, family, money issues, whatever just bog us down. The Lord has everything worked out in His timing and will supply for our every need.
"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:19
He provides the clothes on our backs, a shelter over our head, even the very food we need to sustain us from day to day...

My friend, Max, enjoys his food and would offer to share with anyone he met. I visited with him on Friday evening, well technically with his mom but who's keeping a record. We all enjoyed a meal together and he wanted me to make sure I had bread. His mom can testify that many times he offered me a piece of his bread, though I politely declined seeing as he had already enjoyed it as the picture above shows.

We need to hold onto the things in this life as loosely as we can. Scripture tells us that our treasures are bound in Heaven. Things we hold on to here will fade away. They are meaningless! We need to trust that the Lord will provide for us. Children often teach us how to enjoy the life the Lord has given to us.
Thanks Max for reminding me of the story of David and Goliath and reminding me how many stones it took David to kill Goliath. Also for reminding me that God supplies what you need, right when you need it just like He did with David.

Many times the Lord surprises us with blessings we didn't expect from Him.

At times, things may not go just as we had planned, but we are to remember He has our best in mind. Be slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to listen.

The Lord smiles on His children and desires to give us good things. Sometimes even a candy house with our sister. Right Max? :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Good start to a Friday morning!

I really need to start adding pictures to this blog. No, but I want to share with others my interesting morning. My dad and I stopped to get gas this morning and I always go in to pay. I walked through the door. The man behind the counter screamed something as he then ran to the back of the store.

I stand there not quite sure what to do. I wait about a minute and a half and this other man emerges from the back room carrying a display to put on the counter. He slowly puts the display on the counter, changes the placement, adjusts the display...all the while I'm thinking "dude, come on I'm going to be late to work!". Well i finally pay for the gas so my dad can start filling the car. I walk away from the counter to get something to drink and a snack for the day. I come back up to the counter with a bottle of mountain dew, a pack of crackers (for breakfast) and a mid-morning sweet snack. He rings everything up and says "$1.09". I thought he said $21.09, so I asked him to repeat it. I looked at the price on the register and he said "$1.09". I thought... do I argue with him?

I don't, pay the man $1.09 and gather my items to leave. I'm sure he simply made a mistake because he definitely got jipped! But hey, I got a discount. Yeah for great happenings on a Friday morning!! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Questions, Complaints, Comments....

I’ve been eating lunch at work more frequently trying to save money and honestly just because I’m tired of eating out. Plus it’s healthier than buying burgers or fried food. Friday I was eating with our program men and our chaplains and I sat with some of our newer men in the program. We were having a good conversation and I had swatted at a fly once or twice. With the heat outside and our kitchen doors always being opened we have developed a fly/nat problem. I made the comment “man, these flies are getting on my nerves”. To which the man across from me replied “you know, I didn’t even notice the fly until you said something. Before I got into the program, flies used to live with me, so I didn’t even notice the flies.” That statement stayed with me the rest of the afternoon.

I left work and went to the Christian bookstore looking for some new tracks. I went into the restroom and the toilet paper dispenser was one of those that you really have to work at getting the toilet paper off. It doesn’t just roll like it should; you have to manually roll it with your hands because it only flips so far. I got frustrated and thought “man, these people make enough in the bookstore…you’d think they would buy a decent toilet paper roll dispenser.” Then the Lord spoke! I felt Him calm my spirit and softly remind me of the conversation I had had with the man earlier that day. I felt as though He whispered to my heart “Jessica, there are people who are living with flies whom I love.. why are you complaining about a toilet paper dispenser?”
Needless to say, I shut up real fast. I walked out of that restroom having to ask forgiveness for the fact that I was selfish and impatient to the point of complaining to the Lord about having to work to get toilet paper when there are some who are sick because they don’t have the proper hygiene supplies to be clean.

We are a blessed people. Are these blessings things that make our lives comfortable or are these blessings things that we truly need? If the Lord called us to be uncomfortable for a while…. Do we love Him enough to say “Yes Lord.”?

Isaiah 43:4 says
“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.”

Walk by the Spirit…not by the flesh. Scripture says nothing about being comfortable, but everything about freedom. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Wonder if people actually read this blog or if I'm simply talking to no one.....

Friday, May 14, 2010

oooo girl...did you see what she was wearing?!

Apparently I’ve reached that age. The one where people start asking questions... I’m a single girl in her mid-twenties who is not dating anyone nor has ever been married before. People start asking “when are you going to get married?”, “why aren’t you dating anyone?”. Or they speak to each other phrases like “she’s too picky”, “maybe there are some things she needs to change”, or my favorite “does she not want to be married?” I’m not making these lines up people… I’ve heard them all. I think the worst thing about all these thoughts, questions and comments are that the majority of them come from those who attend the local church.

See I’ve decided that all my Bibles I’ve ever owned left out the book of Jeraboim. See in the 7th chapter and 23rd verse of the book of Jeraboim it clearly states that a female must be married with 1.5 kids by the time she reaches her 25 birthday. Preferably with a second child but at least have a second child on the way. Please tell me where I can find this because I’m obviously missing something. ***Please note, I am not serious about my Bible missing books. My Bible is complete and no lacking in anything (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Now don’t get me wrong…I have a HUGE desire to be married and have a family, but in God’s time, not mine. For the time being I’m learning how He is my groom and my true heart’s desire and anything else He gives is just because He loves me. Song of Songs 7:10.

This blog is to talk about how we as people, creations of the Living God treat those He has created. We believe that our culture has created this mold in which others must fit into perfectly, yet when they don’t somehow it’s their fault. It’s their fault that no one has chosen to share their life with them. It’s their fault that a husband and wife cannot conceive. It’s their fault that a spouse chose to leave them because obviously they’re not getting what they WANT out of their husband or wife. It’s their fault if they feel uncomfortable when lessons are taught on loving parents just because both their parents passed away before they turned 30.

Why do we think that we have any right to try and criticize the life of a child of the Lord? A creation He formed with His hands. A son or daughter that He loves so much that He desires to give good. Do we truly believe our opinions and thoughts will bring them peace and love when they aren’t spoken from the Lord? Do we honestly believe that our looks and actions will show approval and grace to those who the rest of the world sees as worthless?
We find the faults in others and seek to pull them out in hopes to make them a better person. Rather, shouldn’t we cover those faults and blemishes with the love, grace and arms of the Lord and His extension through us? Won’t those “issues” that we see in others be turned into things the Lord can use to minister to others using that individual?

When I look at a girl who is broken because she comes from a family who doesn’t care if she eats from day to day, but I act like she is in my way and taking up precious time I have. What about the two kids who live in a home with their parents. However, their parents have one A/C unit that is in their bedroom and the children have free reign of the rest of the house and the parents never come out of the bedroom because they’re continuously cooking meth? (I am not making that one up). Do we cut our eyes at them in disgust when they walk in and just want someone to hug them because no one hugs in their family… they would rather hit or tell the individual how much they need to fix in their life… their version of loving and mending…

The love that the world has created comes when one meets the standards that the culture sets. The church today believes you must meet a certain physical appearance in order to be “accepted”. One must bath and have clothing from a high-end fashion store before stepping into the newly remodeled facility. What if an individual comes in who hasn’t bathed in 2 weeks? What if they are wearing the same clothes they’ve worn for 3 days? What if they sit beside me? Do I politely smile and ask “how are you doing?” but not really mean it? Do I tell them it was nice to see them as I leave the church but never offer them to come to lunch with me or ask them if there is any way I can help?

I remember growing up when my parents weren’t as involved in church as other parents in the youth group. Other kids would give me looks like it was my fault. Adults would ask questions because they felt it was my responsibility to make sure my parents were involved. I don’t remember one person coming to our house to visit just to see how we were doing. We weren’t “in the right circle”.

I’ve become so consumed with meeting my wants and not meeting the needs of others that Jesus puts in my path. I think as long as I tell them the story of the Gospel that they will want what I have…. But I show no love? People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Didn’t Jesus always meet the needs of others while also sharing His love…. Paul says in I Corinthians 13 “I may speak in tongues of men or of angels, but if I am without love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy, and know every hidden truth; I may have faith strong enough to move mountains; but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may dole out all I possess, or even give my body to be burnt, but if I have no love, I am none the better.”

I want to be the person who sits in the nursery at church holding children even when they smell of smoke or dirt is caked on their face. I want to be the girl in Africa praying with mothers and fathers as they learn their child is terribly sick. I want to stand in the middle of a field in South America leading worship for the local church. I long to sit with a young girl as she cries and explains to me why she feels it necessary to cut herself to make the pain go away. I want to remind her of the one who created her and looks at her declaring her beauty day after day. I want to be the one who kneels to kiss the feet of the Father longing just to hear Him.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dirt and Dust

My mom and I have kept the nursery a few times this year already at church and we always seem to have the preschoolers. Not the bed babies which are easier, but the preschoolers. The ones you actually have to entertain. :)
I won't go into the story of walking into the classroom after the Sunday School teacher had been there and there were 10 cans of play dough out for 4 kids in a carpet room. I mean seriously...

I digress though. One time I had to employ 2 other people in the church to help me. We had quite a few that evening, about 12 preschoolers. That's a job in itself!! I have a point to this blog, I promise.

In the class, there were these 2 little girls..probably 4 or 5 years of age. But they were very quiet and weren't the "favorites" amongst the other children nor the other people in the room. My heart seems to always cleave to these kind of individuals. Call me weird, but ones that others cast out seem to be my favorite.
Well I am always the story reader whenever I have to keep the nursery. I've had 5 kids in my lap at a time while reading a book and had to ask them to turn the pages because I couldn't reach my arms around all of them. Yes that would have been a great picture. But these 2 little girls always seemed to bring more books and would want to be as close to me as possible even when they were in my lap. Let me paint the picture of these girls. They smelled of smoke, dirt, sweat and their appearance fit the smell. When there is clear dirt on a child's face and they're not anywhere near dirt, it can tug at one's heartstrings.

So at one point and time I had one of the girls in my lap and she's rested against my chest listening as I read. It was difficult to breath in because the smoke smell is overwhelming. I look over at the other people in the room with me and they are trying to disguise the fact that they don't approve of these girls. They are talking about who their parents are and saying how the children don't know any better because "look at who their parents are". At one point and time, one of the girls handed something to the one of the individuals and she took it as though it was soaked in toxic chemicals. She quickly brought it over to the counter to disinfect it. The little girl didn't quite understand, but I'm sure she picked up on the woman's body language.

This made me think.... I am just like those little girls. I go out, I get dirty, I smell, I am filthy and all I want to do is climb up in my Father's lap to hear Him speak love over me and remind me of His promises. I am His child. I want to ignore the fact that I have sin, but it's evident to Him. Just as I tried to straighten that little girl's hair while she was in my lap, my Father tries to "fix me up". He wipes away my tears, cleans the dirt (sin) off my face, takes away my smell of the sin and makes me clean and righteous.
The Father's lap is such a place of peace and rest. When You are resting against His chest, listening to Him, knowing He's your protector and warrior.... *BIG SIGH*
The Father's lap is a place of security and is love in itself. Why would we want to be anywhere else?

The other people who were in the room are just like the people in the world. They look on me, ridicule me, tell me I have no place in coming to the Lord in the shape that I'm in. Isn't God good that He doesn't make us clean up our act before we can come to Him? It makes me want to open my arms to all...but then again, isn't that what the Lord wants from us?

Lord, if I never do anything "amazing" in the eyes of the world, may I always love on those that You send to me. May they feel Your love through my love for them.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Love in a box

This is an old post from Facebook...but thought it should go on here as well.

So as many of you know I work at a Rescue Mission. For those of you that don't know..well there you go. We are a homeless shelter and a drug, alcohol and recovery program for men. Well I could tell you stories for hours with how the Lord has spoken to me through the men and people I come in contact with. But I want to share with you something that happened today that the Lord spoke volumes through.

We accept donations of everything and anything at the Mission. This afternoon a man called and said that he had some men's clothing he wanted to bring by. So I got a phone call from the gentleman and he was asking where he could park. I described the lot to the man and told him I would meet him out there considering our transients were already lined up outside the door because it was take-in time and many people are scared or uncomfortable around those kind of individuals. So I meet the man and his wife outside at their vehicle. I become aware that the woman was weeping while she was helping with the many boxes and bags. Her husband proceeds to tell me that they'll hurry but "she's having a moment". I explain that it's completely ok and to take their time.

I learn that these are clothes of her father who has suddenly passed away. I watch this woman as she cries over each box and smells each garment which seems to bring on more memories for her before she passes a box on to one of the men in our program for him to carry inside and store in the closet. It's very clear that she was close to her father and that he had a huge impact in who she is.

I took that back with me to my office as the Lord began speaking to me. How much do we love the Lord that we want to take His smell and each different smell brings back so many memories of what He has brought us from or what He's done in our life that it brings strong emotions to the surface? Do we simply have a platonic relationship with Christ that has no growth therefore that is the reason we don't see the need nor the opportunities to share His pure, sacrificial love with others?

This takes me to my second observation. As we would unload the vehicle with the huge pile of clothes the men waiting in line outside to check in for the evening would watch intensely and their eyes would follow each box as it went up the stairs past them into the closet. It made me think about how it represented their longing for love, for someone to show them the Love of Christ. Their longing showed on their faces as though what was held in those boxes could solve all their problems. There were clean, fresh smelling, stainless, dry clothes as opposed to the clothes they are wearing. Those clothes are dirty, severely stained literally disgusting. We hold what they need in those boxes.

We have what they need in our lives...why do we hoard it? Why do we find it so hard to show the Love of Christ to others? Christ daily presents opportunities and yet we say we don't have time or it makes us uncomfortable. I mean Lord, please don't make us uncomfortable we all know that's the last thing He wants. Get over ourselves!!!

I believe we are missing out on so much because we're either selfish or we don't want to be uncomfortable with comfort. Please tell me where it says in Scripture that God wants our lives to be easy breezy cheesy!!
Please don't think I'm pointing fingers at anyone...if anything I am so convicted that I'm calling myself out. I just felt extremely convicted to share. I pray you seize every opportunity and don't miss out on the blessings Christ has for you just because it's not ordinary.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


“3He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

6All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

7He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.”
~ Isaiah 53:3-7

We have this rule at the Mission that any man who checks in for shelter for the evening is only allowed one bag. Most of the time our clients are very compliant with that rule, other times not so much. Many times when check-in begins, I find myself sitting in the Chaplains’ office waiting for volunteers. They have two windows that face out into the chapel which also allow you to see into the foyer so they can keep an eye on the check-in process. I was sitting there one day watching the men checking in just waiting for my volunteer. This young man came in, probably the same age as me, maybe 1-2 years older. He was about my height, skin was very weathered by the sun, and his hair was so damaged and knotted that Pantene wouldn’t have accepted the challenge. What was interesting about this man was what he carried though. I watched him walk to the front desk all hunched over straining from the weight under his bag. I am not stretching the truth, nor being sarcastic as I tell you the size of this bag. It was about 4-4 ½ feet tall and 3-3 ½ feet wide. It was very obvious that he had stuffed bags into this one bag, but he was following the “one bag” policy and that was all that mattered.

As he handed the bag over to the front desk man, you could tell how he became relaxed. He no longer had to lug around all that extra baggage. It took him about 30 seconds or so to stand up straight but once he did he could walk freely and comfortably. Over the next week as I couldn’t get that image out of my head, the Lord began to speak to my heart concerning this man.
Aren’t we like that man? We have all this baggage and we think if we can all stuff it away and conceal it that others won’t notice and that we can “have it under control”. However, the Lord calls us to Himself and tells us that He will carry our burdens. We are to lay them at His feet and not pick them back up. So we come. We hear from Him and listen to Him declare His love over our lives and realize He knows us and has our best in mind. We lay our baggage down at His feet. The weight and burden is gone. We stand up straight. We can stand upright before Him. We can raise our hands in praise giving Him glory and honor for His love and His salvation. We can walk and run beside Him without having to worry about our baggage. It’s no longer a heavy concern on our minds. Doesn’t this sound wonderful?

However, just like that man who picked up his heavy bag before he left the next morning, so many times we decide we want to handle our problems, our situations and heavy baggage, so we pick it back up. Once again we are weighed down by the worry, fears, doubt, sins, concern of how others will view us, issues with trust, selfishness…..the list goes on and on. We become hindered once more in our walk with the Lord. We become trapped due to the lies we have believed from the enemy.

When will we learn? How much physical and emotional damage will we cause ourselves because we carry this huge weight on our backs? The Lord says to come. All who are thirsty, come. He is enough to handle our “problems”. We can trust Him because He already knows our “secrets”. He isn’t surprised by the amount of baggage we come with. He loves us still. Totally. Without any reservation. All of us. Every nook and cranny of our lives. Who we were in the past and who we will become in the future. He loves me.

1 "Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.” ~ Isaiah 55:1-3