A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I have a Trampoline in my backyard!

Reasons Why I Love Having A Trampoline in My Backyard:

  • I laid on it this afternoon and it was SO relaxing! I felt like I was laying in a hammock or floating on my back in the water.

  • Jumping on it is a great workout! Who needs to join a gym when you have a Trampoline in your backyard?

  • It brought laughter to my day! My roommate Rachel (I have 3 roommates) and I were out there jumping on it together and I was laughing hysterically. Imagine that! :) Seriously, I felt like a kid again I was having so much fun!

  • It will be a great way to entertain my guests when they come to visit.

A Complaint Free World

One of my Pastors talked about the "Complaint Free World" and the Purple Bracelet that goes along with it. I purchased 2 bracelets for a total of .75 cents (basically I was just paying for the shipping) from this website: http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/. Here are the suggested rules which I took from the website. They explain it better than I could.

Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing (it’s ok, everyone does) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again. If you hear someone else who is wearing a bracelet complain, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first! Stay with it. It may take many months but when you reach 21 days you will find that your entire life is happier, more loving and more enjoyable. I think it's a pretty cool idea! A Pastor in Kansas City, MO originated this. It's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at it's best! :)

I've been wearing this bracelet every day for the most part. It starts off on the right wrist as stated above, however I must admit the past few days it has been moving to the left wrist very early on in the day! We have had mandatory overtime at work, however there is often no work to do because we are all working overtime, and the lack of work is hurting our individual production numbers. Ok, so maybe that statement was a fact, but I have been complaining about it! So tomorrow is a fresh start and I'm going to try hard not to complain. It took me what seemed like forever to get a job in Mishawaka, and I am thankful I have a job! :) Tomorrow is a new day and His mercies are new every morning!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Joys of Aunthood

Is Aunthood a word? Well it is now! :) I love being an Aunt! It's like having the best of both worlds. I can love my nieces & nephews, be a Christian role model for them, play with them, spoil them, be someone they adore to pieces, and then I can go home and get a full night's sleep! :) Trey was my first nephew & first Godson. Wow did I ever spoil him! I got to see him on Mother's Day and he is doing great! It broke my heart when he had to have open heart surgery. It was really tough seeing him in ICU and I'm not even his parent! I praise God that he has fully recovered. Life truly is precious! Trey (13) is pictured below with his Mom (my Sister Pam). This picture was taken at Whirlpool where Pam works. It was "Take Your Child To Work Day"!

Now that I'm 3 1/2+ hours away from the little ones in Milwaukee, I don't get to see them as often. Lexi (in the first pic up above with her sister) is 5 1/2, Hannah Lynn (my Goddaughter who was given my middle name, and is in the picture below with me) is 3 1/2, and Tyler (pictured up above) will be 2 on June 8th. When I lived in Milwaukee, I saw them approx once a week/once ever two weeks. The great thing about not seeing them as often, is they are all the more excited for "Aunt Jenny" to arrive at their house! I really miss them, but I've also realized that I was in a way using them to make myself feel better when I was down, rather then dealing with the issues I needed to deal with. Yes, children are a source of Joy, and a true gift from God, but I think at times I was trying to get my worth from them/feel better about myself because they "approved" of me and loved me. It does and should add Joy to my life that I have nieces & nephews who love me! However, children shouldn't be made to feel responsible for the happiness of the adults around them. Actually, as I've learned from my Boundaries class, no one should be made to feel responsible for the happiness of those around them. Each person is responsible for his/her own feelings. Anyways, I don't think I would've realized I was doing this had I never moved away from them. In a way I was forced to deal with my issues because I couldn't just rush over to my sister's house to see the kids whenever I was having a bad day. Now my visits with them will be all about them, not about ME! Am I making any sense? Now the times I do get to spend with them are all the more precious. I love kids! Only God knows what the future holds for me, but if I never become a Mom, the Joys of Aunthood will be enough for me! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Life at Liberty!

Here is the building which I now spend the most of my time in! It's a pretty cool building! Liberty Mutual Employs approximately 700 people in the Michiana area. For those who don't know, Michiana is for the Michigan/Indiana area since we are so close to the State Line. I am very blessed to work for such a great Company. It is a very structured environment, which is good for me. Plus the vacation time you earn by working here is unlike any other Company in the area. I have worked there for approx 2 and a half months. By June 17th I will have earned 10 days off already and I will only have been working there for 3 months at that point! I love my hours, which are 11:00am-7:15pm. Well, lately it's been more than that since we currently have mandatory overtime. That's fine with me! It's helping me to get out from under financially and get caught up so I can save! The less mature Jen would have taken that stimulus check and used it for a plane ticket to Austin, Denver, you name it! :) I do love to travel! But I have matured in this area of my life and realize that first you work and pay off debt, and then you can play! :) It's about time I learned this lesson at 34 years of age, huh? Seriously, I'm a firm believer that we all mature in different areas of our lives at different times. God has a way of molding/maturing us in ways that we never could have dreamed of. I'm so thankful for the blessings He has given me. Another thing I've realized is that I wasn't putting God first in the financial area of my life. I am now, and you know what...money isn't so important to me anymore! I'm working on figuring out what I spend where and am going to set up a budget. Amazing huh?! :) Please pray that God would continue to give me wisdom in this area of my life. I'm giving up trying to be perfect, because I've finally realized I can't be perfect! But I'm working on taking baby steps. This new way of dealing with life is so much more achievable!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Fun!

Today I had another relaxing day. I took a long walk down by the St. Joseph River in Downtown South Bend and also walked along the East Race. I thought you might enjoy some more scenery pics. The intertwined trees in one of the pics below served as a reminder/symbol for me that God is always right there beside us. Later this afternoon I went with my roommate Alaina and her family to a Cookout at a Church. It was a fun time! Thanks for inviting me Alaina! Tonight Alaina and I watched the "Bacchelorette". I know...I can't help it! :) It's so nice living in "community" with others. I thank God that I had a wonderful and relaxing 3 day weekend! I hope you all did too! Have a great week!

I Posted This Blog On My MySpace Page On April 28th (Exactly 4 Weeks Ago Today)!

I can’t believe I’ve been back in the Bend for a full year already!
Wow! What a year it's been! May 1st, 2007, after spending 15 years of my life in Milwaukee, WI, I moved back to South Bend/Mishawaka. South Bend, IN was the LAST place on earth I ever thought I'd end up moving back to! There is no doubt in my mind that God sent me here. I'm stubborn, so He had to have something drastic happen in order to get me back here. I had no job and no place to live. Yeah, I'd say that was pretty drastic! :) I finally got the message! I really thought that since He sent me back here, things would fall into place right away. WRONG! I think He was trying to teach me patience, because that's not the way it worked out! It was a very rough and challenging year for me.
September 6th, 2007 my 12 year old nephew had open heart surgery at the University of Michigan. It was a birth defect they had just caught. God was watching over him for almost 13 years. We are so thankful his condition was caught before something catastrophic happened. I spent 5 days up at the U of M and I will never forget it. Trey was my 1st nephew and 1st Godson. I am still in awe of how God protected Trey's life. Trey was just cleared to play contact sports again last month! AMAZING!! If God can handle that, He can surely handle my little problems.
Well, I really didn't think the job market would be as bad as it is in the Michiana area. I started looking for jobs here in March of 07. My unemployment from WI ran out in Sept and I still had no job. So, I applied at a few Restaurants to be a Server again. I am so thankful for the friendships I made while working at Hacienda! Thanks to my Haci friends for listening to me all of those months, and for your encouragement and support during one of the toughest years in my life. You know who you are! I worked at Haci for 6 months. Relying on the public to pay your bills is extremely stressful, along with other difficult situations I was in. Every area of my life was difficult, plus it was winter..ick!! I couldn't understand why I didn't have 1 job offer after a year of looking for a job here. I needed a stable income!
Finally, after over 10 months of living here, things started falling into place. It was in God's timing, not mine. I tend to want to be in control, but God wanted to teach me that HE is in control. He knows what's best for me! March 15th I moved into an awesome living situation that is affordable and will enable me to get back on my feet financially. March 17th I started working at Liberty Mutual. It is an awesome company to work for! I finally have health insurance after a year without it! It is SOOO nice to know what I'm going to be making on a bi-weekly basis. I can plan! I don't have to stress!
Mom's cancer is currently in remission! Another answer to prayer! She's battled this disease for over 8 years and I'm so proud of the strength and courage she has shown through her health issues.
I'm getting more involved at Church. I'm active in 2 Small Groups, a Women's Small Group on Sunday nights and another group every other Tuesday evening. This past Saturday I got trained to be able to go visit people from Church who are in the hospital. I will get the opportunity to pray with people before their surgeries, visit people and just show people that they matter to God, to me, and to GCC. I can't wait to make my first visit! It will help me to get my mind off of ME! YEAH! I am also going to be volunteering at Second Saturday when I can. I learned SO MUCH about myself at a Boundaries course this year at GCC, and I'm learning to look at me instead of placing blame on others. Looking back, I have grown so much in my faith this past year. Thanks to all of my friends from GCC who have also supported and encouraged me during this past year. You also know who you are! :) I appreciate it more than you will ever know and you will always be my first group of friends here in South Bend!
What a year it has been! I'm not saying life is going to be a bed of roses from here on out, but things are definately better than they have been in over a year for me. For this, I am truly grateful and cannot thank God enough for all of the blessings He has given me. I am a stronger person b/c of this past year. I hope and pray He will use my struggles to help me be a witness of His love and to help others. I've come a long way baby, but God isn't finished with me yet! I still have lots of lessons to learn and lots of life to live!
Keep in touch and thanks for everything! =-)


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lazy Sunday!

Today is my Lazy Sunday! The weather here in Mishawaka is absolutely gorgeous! I couldn't have asked for a better day to have off of work! I went for a 2 mile walk along the St. Joseph River near Central Park, through Beutter Park and Kamm Island Park. I tend to sense God's presence most when I'm experiencing the beauty of His creation. I've been vegging at home the rest of the afternoon, as you can see from the last picture I have posted below! Don't you just love Lazy Sundays sometimes? Have a great Memorial Day tomorrow!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Jen + Jen + Chick-fil-A = A Great Evening!

This is turning out to be an awesome weekend! I had no set plans for the weekend, and that's the way I like it! This afternoon I went on a long walk down by the River with one of my roommates, Rachel! It was great to get to know her better. Then I went to the 5:30pm service at GCC and happened to sit next to my friend Jen. Neither of us had plans for the evening, so we hung out together after the service! First we went to run an errand at Target, and then it was on to UP Mall so I could stop in and say "hi" to my Mom who works at a store in the Mall. Jen & I were both hungry, so we went to the food court to grab a bite to eat. I chose to get some food from Chick-fil-A! I really missed Chick-fil-A when I lived in Milwaukee! Many of you know that Chick-fil-A was my very first job besides for babysitting. I was 16 when I started working there. This was WAY back when there was no food court at the mall, and it was located where the "Motherhood" store is now. Yes, I know, this really and truly shows you I am officially getting old! I'm so glad that age really is a state of mind! :) So Jen & I had some fun and some deep conversations, and I really enjoyed my time with her. I hope we can do it again soon! I'm loving the freedom I currently have to do things like this spontaneously. I've learned the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side of the fence! I'm choosing to enjoy my life and all of the benefits which come with the stage of life I'm in. Thanks for a great evening Jen! Chick-fil-A, thanks for the food! It was as tasty as ever!

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Will Not Be Moved!

I just added Natalie Grant's "I will Not Be Moved!" song to my MySpace profile. What an AWESOME song! Read the lyrics and you'll understand why!

I Will Not Be Moved
Relentless by Natalie Grant

I have been the wayward child
I have acted out
I have questioned Sovereignty
And had my share of doubt
And though sometimes my prayers feel like
They're bouncing off the sky
The hand I hold won't let me go
And is the reason why...

I will stumble
I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes
I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

Bitterness has plagued my heart
Many times before
My life has been like broken glass
And I have kept the score
Of all my shattered dreams and though it seemed
That I was far too gone
My brokenness helped me to see
It's grace I'm standing on


And the chaos in my life
Has been a badge I've worn
Though I have been torn
I will not be moved


Steven Curtis Chapman Family Tragedy

I am a very new blogger and have been having a hard time deciding what to write about. I was reading up on blogs I follow tonight and found out about this horrible tragedy.

Steve Curtis Chapman is one of my favorite Christian Contemporary Music Artists of all time!! Please keep the Chapman family in your prayers!!

NASHVILLE, TN...5/21/08... At approximately 5pm on the afternoon of Wednesday May 21st, Maria Sue Chapman, 5 years old and the youngest daughter to Steven and Mary Beth Chapman was struck in the driveway of the Chapman home in Franklin, TN. Maria was rushed to Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital in Nashville, transported by LifeFlight, but died of her injuries there. Maria is one of the close knit family’s six children and one of their three adopted daughters.