So Where Does That Leave Me?

I have been pondering over whether or not to share this, and after some consideration, I have decided to do so.  Maybe there is someone out there who thinks like I do and can relate.  And, if not, then I suppose this is one way to offer insight to myself for any of my friends out there who would like to know me better.  Surely, there is someone.  😉

I was raised in the church and have had a personal relationship with Christ from the age of 9 years old.  I have had times in my life when that relationship was stronger and more intimate than at other times, but I can honestly say that the past 30 years of my life have been consistently spent serving Him.

Over the decades that I have been a Christian, there has been an area that I have sometimes struggled with understanding.  To put it plainly, I don’t have a broad comprehension of God’s love.  I have heard many times over the years phrases such as, “You mean so much to Him”, “God loves You so much”, “You are so special to Him”, “He would have died on that cross, even if You were the only person on earth”, etc.

I have heard these things so often over the years, but somehow I find it hard to believe that He really loves ME that much.  I’m not really all that great.  And, I know that it is not really about me anyway, it is about Him.  Yet, still, I wonder sometimes if those things are true about Him loving me that much.

I have such a blessed life and I cannot complain about much of anything.  I believe that we all can make a choice concerning how we choose to live life and that God lays out some principles in His word that if we abide by them, then we will be blessed.  Truthfully, it’s not all that hard.  He lays out a formula and we plug in the rest.  I guess that is the Math teacher in me talking.  But lately, I have been having a harder time believing that He really loves me as much as I have been told that He does.  And, just when things are beginning to get me down, God shows up for me.  Allow me to tell you how.

Our daughter Devri had a birthday on May 1st.  I wanted to plan a birthday party for her and due to some work we were having done on our house, we needed to do something off site.  She said that she wanted a bowling party, so I charged ahead with that plan.  I called the bowling alley and got all the details for the cost of the party and then proceeded to book it.  When asked what day and time, I replied that because my daughter attends a private school and we get out at noon on Fridays that I would like to have the party from 1-3p.m.  She hesitated for half a second and then said, “Well, we aren’t open during that time, but for you I will go ahead and open for you.  I’m the manager here and I don’t mind doing that for you.”  I was very grateful and the plan was in motion.

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The next week I found some really cute invitations on Etsy and I ordered them.  I also began ordering these cute bowling pin water bottles that I planned on personalizing for all of the party guests.  Next, I needed a cake.  I found the perfect cake and ordered it from The Great Cakery in Coahoma.  I received the invitations and got them all distributed to Devri’s friends.

A few days before the party, Stacey from The Great Cakery called to confirm my order and to make arrangements for me to pick up the cake.  I mentioned to her that my husband would have to pick it up because I would be working until noon and the party was at 1p.m.  She happily volunteered to deliver the cake to the bowling alley for no charge.

I arrived at the bowling alley at 12:15 on the day of the party to set up.  The manager Tammy and the owner of Big Spring Bowl-a-Rama, Diana were so excited about my decorations and the bowling pin water bottles that they wanted to add to the decor.  Diana gave me two Happy Birthday bowling pins for the party guest to sign for Devri to keep as a memento.  Normally, she sells them for an additional $15/each.  The decorations and the cake were perfect and now we were ready to party!

To my great surprise, out of 22 guests that were invited, all but 2 showed up.   And, thankfully, all of the mammas of these dear children are my friends and they all stayed and assisted me in serving pizza, drinks and cake and in the general running that is involved in a child’s birthday party.  I could not have survived without them.  Another “gift” to be thankful for that day.

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Tammy was wonderful about accommodating all of our needs and she even allowed us a few of Devri’s favorite songs on the jukebox and provided disco lights to set the mood.  The kids had a wonderful time dancing and bowling.  It really could not have gone any better than it did.

For all of this, I was so grateful.  On top of having a great turn out at the party, I felt like God gave me some bonus blessings throughout.  The party was a success and it was over and we were back home by 4:30, in time to still enjoy the evening with the family.

For dinner, Devri wanted to go eat at the Hotel Settles.  It is a historical hotel in Big Spring that was recently beautifully restored and we love to dine there.  When we arrived at the Settles Grill, we were quickly seated at a table directly in front the musical ensemble for the evening-a woman sitting along side a gentleman playing the keyboard.  The thought ran through my head that we were sitting so close to them that the music was going to be bothersome.  Boy, was I wrong.  Throughout the meal we were serenaded with jazz tunes from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.  We tipped the musicians at some point during the meal and withdrew any negative thoughts that had spawned upon arrival.  I saw it as another gift from God that day.

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We also had a wonderful waitress and the food was amazing, as always.  Devri was offered a complimentary dessert for her birthday, which John and I enjoyed very much.  Our daughter is not much for Tres Leches.  When they brought out her cake, our new friends sang Happy Birthday to her.  Then the female singer came over to our table and gave Devri a five dollar bill for her birthday.  We were completely surprised.  We were even more surprised when she returned a few minutes later and gave Sam $3 because she didn’t want him to be left out.  We felt bad that they were giving their tip to our kids.  They insisted that the kids keep the money and they told us that they had so enjoyed our family being there that night.  Again, I was overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness for such a blessing.

When we left that evening, John and I got in our vehicle and looked at each other and at the same time said, “This has been the best night ever.”  I can truthfully say that on May 1, 2015, God made ME feel loved.  I love Him in the good times and the bad times and I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  I know that there are times that I feel Him and there are times that I feel all alone.  But on this day, I laid my head down believing that He really loves ME!

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New School, New Beginning

New School, New Beginning

As a family, we have embarked on a new adventure. We have become a part of a new school, Big Spring Classical Academy. I am teaching 2nd and 3rd grade and my children are attending. Sam is one of my second graders, and Devri is in the Pre-K class. We are very busy with school, new friendships, and keeping up with our home life, but we wouldn’t trade it. We love this new segment of our lives!

God’s Protection

Saturday night, John took our son out hog hunting.  To my understanding, this involves total darkness, a spot light and driving around in a pick-up truck with two silly little boys who care more about laughing at each other’s bodily expulsions than actually spotting a hog.  But, who asked me, right?  I wasn’t invited, nor did I care to attend.  My three year-old little girl and I stayed at home piled up in bed watching a movie.

It was about dark-thirty when our dogs suddenly began to bark.  We have a sunroom that is completely enclosed with glass, so the dogs can spot any random animal, such as a raccoon, that wanders into the yard.  I got up to hush the animals and made sure the back door was locked, then I went back to the bedroom.  Since we moved in within the last year, we have not been able to decide what to do for window treatments in our room.  So, we have done nothing.  We have a sliding glass door in our room that has drapes, but the four windows have nothing.  These four windows look out into our backyard, which is gated.

Well, about 30 minutes after the dogs had been roused, I saw what appeared to be a flashlight beam in the backyard.  I got a little concerned.  Although, I did not hear the dogs bark this time.  I texted John and told him and he told me how to get the gun out of the gun safe.  The funny thing about all of this is that I really was not scared.  I prayed and asked the Lord to protect us and I kept my eye on the window a little more than I would have, but I definitely was not gripped by fear like I would have been in the past.  There was still peace.  Nothing ever came from the light that I saw and the dogs remained quiet the rest of the night.  John got home a few hours after I had turned the lights off to go to sleep.

The next morning was Sunday and we attended church as usual.  After service, one of the ladies in the church came up to me and said, “Jenny, I don’t want to worry you or anything, but last night I had a dream and the Lord woke me up to pray for you.  I’m not sure what it meant or anything, but I kept feeling like I was to pray for you and your house.”  Wow!  I got goosebumps and just thanked her for being submissive to the voice of God.  Chances are there was something out there the night before in my yard and chances are whatever or whomever it was was up to no good.  But the Lord had different plans for me and my daughter that night and I cannot begin to express my gratitude to Him.

God does love his people and He will intervene on your behalf.  Never lose hope and never give up on our big God!

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

All Cleaned Up

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