Saturday, July 2, 2016

Vacation with Jesus

July 2 2016
Festivities of the day before are over, but summer has started and the desire to relax and put aside the regular obligations, the constants of our regular days and embrace the full understanding of vacation is tempting.

I am immersed in family. I haven't seen my sister's and brothers and their kids in two years.  But I am surrounded when counting my kids too 10 kids 8 and under, 8 siblings and my mom and dad.... It is only going to get busier and I am loving it!!!

But today lacking sleep from kids not sleeping through the night and up till 12 laughing and playing games with my sisters and brothers I got up early. I spent time with Jesus. This is not me looking for applause but more so me confessing that it is easier to forget that I committed to Jesus that I would spend time with him. It would be easier to sleep in and chill out when I woke up, or not even get out of bed.
But instead I pulled myself out of bed, and here I am meeting Jesus and I am refreshed in more ways than a cup of coffee and family can ever do for me.

The word was challenging and hard, convicting and encouraging and pushing me into worship, repentance and growth.

I am studying Acts through #shereadstruth. How can we live in the boldness of our faith today when tolerance of everything but biblical Christian faith is acceptable. When speaking truth is not welcome even when spoken in love. When it is easier to live with a veil covering our "faces" then allow for the people to see the evidence of the spirit working in us outside of the safety of our church building.

Do you need to heaar this, do you need to see Christ today? To you need to allow Christ into your vacation time?
I pray that you carve the time out, surrounded by the attention of family and children and the beauty of vacation to invite the Lord into this time too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Music tells a story

I have been finding myself longing for an album that sweeps me away. An album that takes me on a journey, keeps my feet moving and my heart dancing. 

Last winter I had the wonderful privilege of reviewing a friend of mine's Christmas album,go here Lingering.  It was hauntingly, beautiful, warm and comforting while speaking truth and life. If you want to read my review go here
When the opportunity came to review her new album I jumped on it. Karla Adophe has done it again! This time live. What I would have given to be able to see this in action. But I will settle for listening to it constantly on my headphones.
When I first played the album, I was quickly dancing and singing, drumming and thoroughly taken.
In fact so much that I looked up at all four of my kids staring at me!

Trouble Won't Go:
Right away you are carried away by the amazing beat, which only adds to the amazing lyrics and truth. Karla encourages you, and gets the lyrics in your head, for times when we can speak the truth to ourselves. Trouble doesn't go, but we have a refuge.

This song makes you want to sing it at the tops of lungs! This is a song of freedom and break through!

Ice roads:
I have been walking through what it means to trust God, this song speaks what I have been walking through. Ice roads are treacherous, but I will trust that your strength will hold me. This song causes you to look into your own heart and find your own trust in the Lord.

No Grounds For love:
A pursuit for our souls. A song of desire, of longing for relationship, of never giving up.

A Child of The King:
A song of delight, delighting in our Lord and his creations. This song speaks to life in the arms of adoption with the Lord. 

Wait, if you have been listening just put the album on repeat, because it may start at song one, but by the time you reach song 5, the Christian life starts over again. This is an album that so clearly speaks to the constant walking out of a life devoted to God. We never conquer these issues, instead we walk through them again in a different situation. 

I have been a great fan of Norah Jones in her early years, and Karla fills that space now. Karla incorporates her love of Jesus and her amazing talent in a beautiful work of art that I will find myself playing over and over!

This album is released today! If you make one purchase on #newmusictuesday make it this one! You will not regret this. You can purchase here:

If you leave a comment, there will be a draw to receive a digital download of this album for free. This draw is open to all readers, and will be closing Tuesday next week.
 You must comment on the blog and please like and share this post on your Facebook.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I am addicted

Today is the first day where the weather has dropped below zero all day.
Today is the first day there was frost on my garage floor.
Today as I walked around my house and saw the light grey day with the dark clouds approaching. I knew it. I knew what I wanted. It is dark brown and syrupy, it is rich and unique and comforting. MOLASSES.
All i wanted in the house was the smell and comfort of molasses.
I realized that when fall arrives, truly arrives and sweater weather is here to stay I welcome it with loving arms and the smell of Molasses. Years ago I was given the Starbucks  Ginger Molasses cookie recipe. Not only does this mean I can have this wonderful cookie at home on the country but it is also a little easier to ignore them at the store.
So out of my Kitchen Aid came the dough after it was amply sampled onto the cookie sheets and in to the oven. Best part.... The aroma of these baking! I wish you could all come and have some.
Fall, means to me....
Wonderful baking
Beautiful aromas
Cozy times

Cookie recipe below....
Starbucks Ginger Molasses
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup Dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup (or more) of MOLASSES
Add slowly
2 1/4 Cup flour
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea....

Monday, March 9, 2015

Cleaning is Hard! #31daystoclean

February has passed, March is here and it has been here for a while.
At the beginning of this year, I decided I was going to commit to quite a few things when it came to me. My personal daily walk with Christ, my house, my mommy life, and my wife life. I want to provide for my family a home that is peaceful, not consistently messy or dirty, a home where we don't yell at each other and a home of peace, that my husband will enjoy coming home too.

So personal time with Jesus, became more deliberate and creative with #documentedfaith verse focusing, #ifequip daily devotionals, and #shereadstruth devotionals. I also want to dive in to a few books, we will see where that goes. If you want to connect with me through #documentedfaith you can follow me on instagram @jessncommunity

For my house:
I decided to buy a book back in November titled "31 Days to Clean"( See picture)
It took me till February to really crack this book open.
The author was doing a challenge and I knew I needed that kick in the butt.
It has felt like a long 31 days! Let's be honest, cleaning and organizing are not my all!
But, with the help of this book and my new friend the "Fly Lady"(if you don't know her, you need to!!)
My house is seeing progress!! I am seeing areas that normally build up and get in to piles that seem like mountains, not become mountains. I have a reference point for the last time I wiped down the front and inside of my cupboards, my closets are getting a regular cleaning and most importantly, I am less stressed and more relaxed in a positive way about my home.

I wanted to do a bit of a summary of things I have learned so far with 31 Days to Clean.

I have learned that I want my house to be a refuge, a resting place, a place to come, sit and be. I have also learned it can't be that way unless I clean it, so I can properly rest.
I have been able to keep a schedule for the most part that does not make me feel suffocated.
I have learned and understood a real process of "His grace is enough for me" in my home keeping skills, not as an excuse to do nothing, or the least amount, but to do the most that I can and not beat myself up for it when I don't finish my list.
I have taken the time to focus on what I want my priorities to be, and how to walk through what I want to do about these priorities and verses to encourage me.
I have learned that this is something that I need to stay consistent in, continue to prod myself and keep on track with. That it is good to journal and keep these entries so that I can go back and remind myself.

It may have been a long 31 days so far, I am so grateful for the ways in which my house has seen rejuvenation, and I am feeling more on top of the day to day. And God is in the midst of all that!

Till next time, hopefully not too long,

Monday, February 2, 2015

soul amnesia

There are 234 references to the word remember in the ESV translation of the bible.
There are 25 references to the word remembrance in the ESV.
Definition of remembrance:
The action of remembering something

Definition of remember:
have in or be able to bring into one's mind an awareness of  something or someone that one has seen, known or experienced in the past.

Definition of memorial:
serving to preserve remembrance of or relating to a memory

 I have been reading in Joshua through the if:equip study. This is a great way to be involved and seeking after God, together through the scriptures. I have been continually struck by how often God encouraged them to remember, gave them commands to build memorials to remember in years going forward.

Do you struggle with forgetfulness of what God has done for you? Do you forget in the hard times, how God was there before you, how he was there the last time with you? Do you struggle with Soul Amnesia? When things are going well, when the sun seems to shine and you know you are on the mountain? 

Sometimes, I wish I had reminder, a piles of rocks from the Jordan River, an altar to see from afar, a reminder of where God has taken me, a reminder of where I have been. 

I have been constantly hearing a song over and over in my head, from Bethel Music( Author: Jeremy Riddle). A longing from my heart .

Fall afresh
Awaken my soul, come awake
To hunger to seek to thirst
Awaken first love, come awake
and do as you did at first

Spirit of the Living God come fall afresh on me, 
come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul
pour in me to overflow
to overflow

Awaken my soul, come awake
to worship with all your strength

Spirit of the Living God come fall afresh on me,
come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul
pour in me to overflow
to overflow

Come and fill this place
Let your glory now invade
Spirit come and fill this place
Let your Glory now invade

That we would awake, that our hearts would be as they were at first. That we would be filled afresh, that our souls would no longer know amnesia.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Getting back in to it...

.Good Monday Afternoon!
 I am writing this with a big mug of coffee and a few "Bottle Caps" candies (childhood favorite)

Everyone has a Monday in need of a sugar pick me up!

It is a cloudy Monday over here in prairie country, in fact it has been a cloudy weekend. But clouds don't limit us, or what God wants for our time. I had the wonderful pleasure of leading 15 ladies from our church on a Ladies retreat this past weekend. 

The purpose was OUR STORIES. We wanted to hear each other's stories. The heart was to join in community together.

As I worked to prepare, I was so anxious and unsure, I was tense and felt like I was holding on the reigns of a runaway stallion, grasping for control.

Last week you saw me sitting in Starbucks, notebook out, coffee, colors all over the table. I think back on that day and I remember God showing me, grasping that stallion's reigns and having a hard time staying on the horse. 
But God told me, If I hang on so tightly, how is that TRUSTING Him?
Real Trust looks more like this...
(maybe not Cinderella) but without restraints, Real trust is me saying....I won't attempt to control you God. You take me where you want me to go.

And what a ride He took me and all of us women on! We can all say, Our God is Faithful!!

So that said, #31daystoclean took a little break and it has be hard slogging getting back in the saddle. As you can tell you are reading this after it was posted on Tuesday night, not Monday afternoon. 
As my kids Curious George storybook says " Even great explorers bump and crash sometimes."

But, here is my chance to land. The last few days we worked on the pantry and started into the bathrooms. Those can be SCARY places. But luckily a week ago, I was in to my cupboard and cleaning out spilled body wash with paint scrapers, so that I just need to do a weekly cleaning of counters, toilets and sinks. Good thing too, because tomorrow morning, is Ladie's coffee at my house!!! 
But on the 'mary' side of things, I am really enjoying how this book addresses the heart issues and the ways in which we can grow in community.
So in being that I am slightly behind, tomorrow I am working on my Priorites list, organizing my large pots cabinet, catching up on some reading, and working on...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 3 #31daystoclean

Ok, we are on day 3, but the last two have been hard ones for me. I was not home all day today. So, I loaded the dishwasher! I am keeping it real!! The day before was a hard, no energy day for me, I managed to keep my kitchen clean, make a few meals for the freezer and that's all folks. 

Two weeks ago, I was above my cupboards and had to vacuum them the dust was so bad! That was a sight to see!!! Here I am standing on the ledge of my counter to reach with the vacuum plugged into a counter plug and my two part vacuum in hand. The canister in one hand and the small hose in the other!! Oh the things we have to do, in order to clean cupboard tops that haven't been touched since I moved in two and a bit years ago!!! LOL
I loved this quote from Day 2... A good reminder and encouragement:

“Life-giving is about receiving from God in order to give to others.” Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman
“Who is woman? She is the redeemed Life-giver, enlivened by the love of Christ and continuously renewed by Him as she nurtures others.” Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman

In all this, I am seeing room for improvement and seeing room for growth, and room for more of God!

Yesterday and Today I am learning to trust God. He has been speaking to me about areas in which I have struggled in this. It is almost easy to trust God for other people's healing ( even over a period of time) then it is to trust for your own healing. Today I had the pleasure of taking time, just me and God and Starbucks to have personal time. It was amazing, but only after the surrender. With out the surrender it was hard slogging! The pic below, is what I was working on today!

If you need a good study to follow, I highly recommend the ladies over at IF you allow God, you will SEE BREAKTHROUGH.