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Archive for September, 2007

As I prepare for this journey on Wednesday, I find myself thinking about a friend that I lost.  For those of you that know me, understand that I think about her constantly and she had an impact on my life as well as my friends that knew her.  For those that just happen to glance at this blog, her name was Lisa.  Lisa was killed in 2006 at the hands of her mother, Sharon.  Sharon is in prison in Ypsilanti.  I know this, because I have been writing her for over a year now.

For some reason, about four months after Lisa’s death, she sent me a letter from jail.  She wanted to make amends, she wanted to send her apologies to all of Lisa’s close friends.   At first, I felt that I should try and do something with the letter, that I should give it to the friends that she mentioned…but then I felt like that would be a tremendous burden to have to give these people her letter and not know what to say…

I decided the best course of action would be to meet with people that would know what do to with the letter and how to distribute it.  Her first letter was one of desperation, she didn’t want to live, she only wanted to die to be able to see her daughter again.  There was no hope in this first letter, only the wish that she could find a way to end her life.  Sharon troubled me so, that I contacted her case worker, I contacted her mother to make sure she was alright and I wrote her a letter.  Ever since, Sharon and I have been writing.  At times, the whole process can be absolutely overwhelming.  Yes, she took one of my closest friends away from me, she stole the life of someone very important to me and very close to many, but then…..

Sharon changed.

I got a letter from Sharon this past week.  I was nervous to open this one as truthfully, my last letter to her was letting her know that she needs to change, she needs to move on with the rest of the path the Lord has for her.  In this new letter, she spoke about her grief, her sadness, her endless misery.  Then she spoke about this hope that I honestly found so refreshing, I smiled at her letter.  She spoke about her new roommate, a believer who had lost her way, that was bible trained, was a missionary in two foreign countries, and somehow was brought to Sharon in her very prison cell.  Now while I continue to wonder how this particular bible school trained woman ended up in a correctional facility, I was very moved by her recent letter.  Sharon is making an effort to understand God’s word and is now beginning the steps to forgive herself for taking the life of her daughter.

For those of you that did know Lisa, I understand that this may be difficult to read and even more difficult to understand…however, I believe (as does Sharon) that the Lord has forgiven her of her sins, however, Sharon needs to learn to forgive herself so that she can move on with what the Lord has for her now.  It has been really hard for me swallow, but I am learning about how wise the Lord is, how great and perfect He is, and how much He loves people; even when they seem unlovable.

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Good Evening, Folks.  I haven’t been blogging lately because lately, I have bogged down with planning for Germany.  My friend whom I am going to see in Germany told me about this group called ‘ALO’ or ‘Animal Liberation Orchestra’.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  From the name, I was thinking it would be Emo.  I was definitely wrong.

My favorite song on the album right now is called “Barbeque”….


The road is long and windy
Like a good mystery unfolding
It twists and turns
In colorful subplots and sunburns
And fake out endings
And sometimes my patience in the whole process starts bending
 
As I attempt to unravel the web
By rehearsing and reversing and perversing and traversing
Along the doubt laden extension chord threads
Of my life
 
And in this life we're free to dream what ever we want to
But that doesn’t' mean that your dreams are gonna come true
Instead as a way of getting us to move
Life dangles your dreams in front of you
And unable to resist the temptation
We continue
 
And it's clear to me that this life is gonna be
All about the dangling possibilities that keep turning in and turning out
 
Yes it's clear to me that this life is gonna be all
About the dangling possibilities that keep turning in...
The road is long and windy
Full of twists and turns
But before you can rise from the ashes
You've got to burn baby burn
 
Welcome to your Barbecue
Where we roast all the dreams that never came true
Welcome to your Barbecue
Pig out and dream a new
 
Welcome to your, welcome to your, welcome to your barbecue...


I encourage each of you to dream away and I really really hope to see you soon. In the meantime, consider listening to ALO. 🙂 Happy Sparkly, shiny, pretty thoughts everyone…..

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I am currently maxin’ and relaxin’ here in my grandfather’s old easy chair resting my bum that will soon be smaller than it was.  Why?  Because this Bunny jabs and weaves now with her pink kickboxing gloves.  That’s right my dear friends, I am now in a kickboxing class.  Why?  Because I strive to look like Halle Berry….well, not at this particular time since she is with child, but I think you get my drift!

So today, friends of mine Annette and Laura and I went to this Martial Arts Advantage place on Jackson Road.  I was really not sure what to expect, as I was getting pretty intimidated by the guy right outside the building working out with a pair of what looked like rope that he was swinging around with the greatest of ease.  He proceeded to go inside to do these amazing stretches and I started assuming that he was our instructor and that this would not be the easiest of classes.  Small but effective, our group started preparing with the wrapping of our wrists, then we proceeded out onto the mats.

What happened after that could honestly be a blur because the warm up in itself could have been my workout.  With the songs of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Nelly Furtado, I could have easily lost 2 pounds by vomiting up what I ate for lunch five hours prior to the class…however, somehow I managed to get through the warmup.  Now for the embarrassing portion.  I lost weight.  NO! Not during the kickboxing, but prior to wearing my workout pants this afternoon and also the fact that the elastic was giving way; OoPs.  Picture Jenny, putting on her boxing gloves trying to open her water bottle.  Picture Jenny’s workout pants being so loose that she attempts to pull up her pants with her gloves on.  Picture Jenny taking off her gloves every two minutes and then having one of the instructors help her get the glove back on!  It didn’t stop there.  I almost had to abandon doing the kicking for fear that my pants would fall to the floor; hmmm, the whole point of kickboxing! 😦

We finished the experience with an interesting mix of yoga and stretching.  This was my favorite part.  I seem to enjoy strengthening and stretching.  We proceeded to work out the hamstrings and then we were finished.  I can honestly say, I have never been worked that hard.  Our instructor was telling us that he helped train a group of high school football players who came into the class pretty cocky and left groaning and panting for air. 

Ahh, cardio actually CAN be fun.  Yes, I said it.

Long live my pink kickboxing gloves!

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About one month ago, my church had a flyer in the program regarding World Vision’s “Step Into Africa”.  Someone showed a video and expressed the importance of being aware….blah, blah, blah.  For some reason THIS TIME, it didn’t fade into the background for me.  I wanted to help in any way that I could and I really wanted to be a part.  So, my small group signed up to volunteer on Saturday night for a four hour block.  I had no idea what to really expect just to perhaps hear the story of a child who was growing up in Africa in the midst of the AIDS pandemic. 

I will not share too much detail, because it should be something that you experience for yourself, however, there is a genuine desire on World Vision’s part to realize how crucial this is for our world’s survival that we understand what these children are going through and also the future of our planet in the wake of what AIDS is behind.  I will say that if you do go to this exhibit, the “clinic” in particular had special meaning for me because that is where I volunteered last night….it can be a huge turning point for so many children living amongst the infected.

After being through the experience myself, volunteering made it all the more meaningful.  People from all walks of life came through the church doors yesterday evening and I got to see them sign in, and also leave with a better understanding of the hardships that they seldom think about.  I honestly thought I had seen and heard it all until I walked in the path of a six year old girl who never knew her father and whose mother died of AIDS. 

The “Step Into Africa” experience is continuing its tour into December 2007 with stops all over the United States.  Here in Michigan, they will finish out their 4 day stay Monday, September 17.  Their hours at Huron Hills Baptist Church tomorrow (Monday) are 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Be salt and light.  Do Something.

STEP INTO AFRICA AND SEE.

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It recently occurred to me that I have been letting myself be rushed along in life in accordance with what other people are doing and how they are living.  Oh fudge, I guess I have to explain why I am going through this current train of thought.  It is time for my 10 year high school reunion.  It’s this weekend and I am NOT going.  Why?  I am too scared of the fact that I haven’t accomplished enough to go back there just yet.  Stupid answer? Yes.  Original Answer?  No.  I think a lot of people have avoided their reunions (or other types of situations) with different sets of people because society and even their own peers have told them (indirectly) that they could have done so much more with their lives by now.  For me, I have been noticing so many people backing out of the high school reunion because of the fact that they have a new baby on the way, or no babysitter.  Some other reasons for being unable to attend was living in other countries, states, on vacations, or the expense of the reunion fee, ($50 by the way…ewww).  So what?  Why am I so scared of everything?

Not too much has changed for me since high school.  I am still quite single, can’t picture what I want my own wedding to look like, never even thought about having children.  Should I be in a different country conquering all that my eyes rest upon!?  Should I have had amazing adventures and at least two well paying jobs by now?  By American Dream standards….yes.  By Jennifer Jones Superdiva standards, um, hell no. 🙂

I really am starting to believe that my time is God’s timing for me.  I have had this problem with comparing my life to other people’s lives for a while now.  It has kept me from enjoying the people and the things around me and I have let them pass me by because I did not know how to react to them.  Sure, I wish that I could have had two well paying jobs by now, been through at least one serious boyfriend, or even married, but that is not the plan that The Father has had for me….yet.  I enjoy seeing Him work his ways through the lives of others and myself and how perfect He is at it.  Has anyone ever noticed that?  I’m not talking about it always being absolutely beautiful and flowery all the time, I am just talking about how perfect His timing is for everyone.  So, as awkward as it’s definitely going to be tomorrow night, I fully intend on making a genuine effort (because I never know what I may decide to do) to go see the high school peeps at the Cavern Club tomorrow night after 9pm.  Who knows what will happen…I sure don’t, but at least I will make the point at displaying God’s handiwork and his perfection in His creation…Him giving me strength in my weakness.

In closing, (y’all need to rent/watch “Thou Shalt Laugh”, Michael Jr.) I live at home (*gasp*), I have another year of college (*double gulp*), I have absolutely no male prospects (ok, I am fibbing a bit, but truthfully, I let that Marine go a while back), AND…I am a reflection of Him who put some really awesome peace in my heart.  Who knows where He will take me. But….I will definitely let you experience some of the voyage.  Oh, if you sometimes get seasick, you may not want to take part in my voyage; I have a lot of bumps along the way…..

Blog for Next Time:  TV/Movies/Music — their parallel to everyday life, love, happiness, and stupidity (no, I’m not kidding, that’s my next silly blog)

P.S.  Sorry to those who have seen the movie “Fallen” with Denzel Washington and got creeped out by the title.  I meant to do that. MUWAHAHAHA.

Marriage?

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While taking a quick glance at my blog title, it has crossed my mind that I could be speaking of Jared Leto (le sigh), Viggo Mortensen (ahhh), Brad Pitt…(alright, alright, I understand the list could go on for days).  But I am talking about someone closer, more accessible, someone that knows that I am alive, but just doesn’t get it. 😦  Ah, the finite sadness.

I say finite sadness because I am sure that this will pass.  You see, this happens to me at least once (or even twice) a year.  Some guy comes along that seems absolutely amazing, however, something always takes him away from me in the end.  Perhaps it is because I admire from afar.  Well, not in this case.  Before you start reading faster, no names or places will be revealed that will give away the identity of this person.  Truthfully, only three know who I am referring to (1-God, 2-Me, 3-aha!…not telling!) and we are all keeping quiet.  Person number 3, you know who you are and what I hold over you. 😉

I guess this whole crush thing happens to everyone, however, let me attempt to explain the mindset of a 27 year old woman.  After a substantial period of time, we women (and even men!) start to realize what we want and begin to settle down with those wants and preferences and needs.  It’s pretty darn hard to get out of that mindset and truthfully, we don’t really want to.  In a relationship, I am looking for someone mature enough to realize that imperfections make us beautiful.  That we can share those things which we think make us unlovable; and in actuality, it is a truth that the other person is just dying to hear.  A comedy of errors, a train wreck you cannot look away from, a match made in singles heaven, even.  Hee, hee, hee.

But….with this guy, it’s hard to find a substantial flaw.  We both have our issues with friends and family, but who doesn’t?  He handles many a situation with grace and a willingness to learn and grow from it!  This, my friends, is absolutely irresistible to me.  So much so, that…I wrote a song about him 1.5 months ago.  It’s gotta be something because I have never been able to write a song so easily about something like this.  I am so pining for his guy and…..that’s right, ladies….he is totally and utterly oblivious.

Dear Readers:  I learned my lessons long ago.  I am a pro; I know where my heart wants to go, that it wants to show how it feels openly in the hopes that he will respond positively, however….after losing two crushes to overseas missions and eventually, *ahem*, their wives, I have learned to keep quiet until he decides this is something that he wants.  I could be bulldozed by his words in seconds.

So, I was in my basement on Sunday and was frustrated at something and looked out the small window and started to get tears in my eyes.  Questions and old memories and feelings filled my heart and my mind.  I had felt this before; it was right after I never heard back from the Marine; a feeling of infinite sadness that I wouldn’t be able to function if this person wasn’t communicating with me in some way, shape, or form.  I was almost rendered motionless in the basement in front of the pickled cucumbers, cha-cha, and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce.   That Marine messed me up so bad that I forgot about the Lord!  That He was the only one who loved me and thought about me when no one else was around.  God was the reason for my joy and ability to love and I had turned my back on Him. 

It was then that I decided not to take this man too seriously, because it would totally crush me (again) if something happened that I did not intend…(ha, I didn’t intend). 

It’s just safer this way, ya know, “To Guard Your Heart, Because It Is The Wellspring of Life” (Proverbs 4:23)Me at Belle Isle, June 2007

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Silly Day, Room Inventory!

Hee! Because I have decided to make an effort to write an interesting entry almost everyday, I have opted to share my room inventory with you.  No, no, it’s not going to be some boring list of everything, these are some key items in my room that have particular importance to me:

* Olga – This is my cello.  Well, not really my cello.  It belongs to EMU, however, they haven’t called or written about it and I already graduated with a B.A. degree free and clear; for all intents and purposes…it’s mine. 🙂

* CD Rack – These CDs contain millions upons millions of memories.  There are some amazingly crazy CDs (Thee Spivies, “The 60s” Soundtrack, Five Iron Frenzy, The Elms, Point of Grace) in this collection that have made me smile, laugh, cry, and want to destroy things.  I love this collection, but I hardly ever take them off the rack now since all the music is on my iPod… except Point of Grace.

* Worship Team Folder – This folder contains some memories of my college ministry’s worship songs that have been sung over the past 10 years; amazing huh?  There are also songs that friends have written as well as some of my own music inserted in the flaps.

* My Dresser – Not just any dresser.  This dresser was my great grandmother’s.  Sure the knobs definitely need to be replaced, but it has character!  There are secret notes hidden in every drawer and jewelry from my grandmother kept on top.  Currently, my travel books to Germany occupy a portion of the dresser and a case containing trinkets from my past (notes from a Marine I will probably never get to meet) that hold some pretty interesting secrets.

* THE Ikea DVD Case (cue the heavenly chorus, please).  This six drawer case, oh man, I must be crazy, contains over 100 of some of my favorite DVDs.  Seriously, if you saw my collection, you would seriously question my sanity….and my faith.  Hey! Just being honest.  Some of the shockers I own:  Monster’s Ball, Secretary, Taking Lives, Big Trouble in Little China, Cold Mountain.  I am also a LOTR fan, Pride & Prejudice fan, and of course (hello!) an Alias fan.

* The Book Shelf – Over the past 10 years, I have accumulated the “typical” Christian books that you would see on any believer’s bookshelf.  While there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule, I have at least four C.S. Lewis Books; Elisabeth Elliot books; 3 books from the ‘Left Behind’ series; a Frank Peretti book; and of course….The Bible, Concordance, Bible Dictionary; and at least seven journals from the last 13 years of my life.  There are old course books, two Dan Brown books, chord books, magazines, and a ton of Calvin & Hobbes.

* My Bed.  This is the first major major purchase of 2006 I made…the next was my computer, then my car, but I really needed a new bed.  Yet again the previous bed belonged to my great grandmother (you can imagine how uncomfortable it was in more ways than one!) and had served me very well since I was in junior high….whoa.  This new one, I went all out.  I spoiled it and purchased a beautiful comforter/bed spread. (A picture can be found below).

* My laptop and external hard drive – I think this would have to be one of the most valuable things in my room because of all the pictures that are contained on the external hard drive.  Every since my friend Lisa passed away, I have really never been anywhere without my camera, taking pictures of the most mundane things, to special events like weddings, parties, and work outings. 

* Veron – My sweet guitar.  When I got my first substantial tax refund, I took the opportunity to begin my music career.  I purchased my first guitar over 4 years ago.  She has been the source of joy, frustration, and tears.  I don’t know who I would have become if I hadn’t been able to write music and express myself through her.  Maybe someday, she will have a companion….I will call him Compy (for compliment).

That’s it for my room inventory.  I haven’t covered everything, but those are the most prominent items of substance in my room and I am glad to have shared them with you.

Olga & The Bed with The SpreadOlga & The Bed Spread

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