Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dents & Dings

Hi everyone!

Well exciting things have happened in my world since I last wrote.  I am thrilled to write that another item may now be crossed off my bucket list.  For years I have said that I wanted to have a VW Beetle convertible so I could grab my camera and go on adventures and I now am the very proud owner of one.  I have named her Sara Jayne and the power of wind therapy at the end of a long day is beyond words.  But, but…this post is about so much more than my new to me, used car purchase. 

Yesterday I stopped by the car wash…yes, she is new & was detailed when I got her, but the rain lately had left some mud in her wheel wells and I couldn’t have that. J  As I carefully washed her I noticed a slight ding on her hood, which is the obvious reason for the touch-up paint in the glove box.  And since she is used I have had a few well-meaning friends voice concern over that fact that she is a VW.  But, but the beauty in all of this came to me in my quiet time this morning.  The words just kind of whispered to my soul.  If we look at the dents & dings in everyone we meet…if we look at how life has put miles on them and we worry that having them in our lives can cost more than we bargained for, then don’t we also risk missing out on more fun than we could have ever imagined.  Don’t we risk being able to sing and laugh and relax like we haven’t been able to do in years.  Don’t we risk missing out on God winks and God whispers.  Don’t we ALL use some form of touch up paint to try and hide the dents & dings that life has brought upon us.  Yes, touch up paint can keep a ding from turning into further damage, which is always a good thing, but ALL vehicles get them.  And I think that is what we must remember about our own selves.  We have to embrace the things that we have experienced in life, both the good and the not so good things, because they shape each of us into the BEAUTIFUL creations that God meant for us to be. 

Once we realize that…once it really sinks into our souls, it brings incredible peace and healing.  Yes, I bought a used vehicle with some miles on her.  Yes, she has a dent & ding here and there.  But, but WOW is she fun…she makes me smile until my cheeks hurt…she says, “Put that top down and let’s go girl!”  She has allowed me to leave the past in the rear view mirror, toss my camera in the front seat and head off to see what beauty God has in store for me next.

So I am sure you are saying, “Yeah Jen, but what if we can’t get a convertible?”  And that is not my point at all.  My point is, don’t be so hard on yourself or those you love.  Life goes by in the blink of an eye.  Embrace who you are, where you are, whether you are in a good or not so good place, because we learn from both.  Believe you me I know this from experience and if you are in doubt then let’s have coffee.  Don’t worry about the traffic when you go to work, enjoy the morning sky.  Don’t worry about the heat of the summer, buy a kiddie pool and get your feet wet.  If you don’t have a convertible you can still roll the windows down, put great music on and take a joy ride down the highway.  Don’t have a car, then bike, or walk.  My point is, no matter your circumstance you can always find a way to feel joy.  You can always find a way to use what you are going through to help others.  And you can always wear your dents & dings proudly like a new tattoo…and no I didn’t get a new tattoo, but I think you get my point.

Well there is a little daylight left and I hear the road calling my name.  Until next time…

Hugs, Jen

Saturday, July 7, 2018

And Then She Bloomed

Hi everyone!
The past week my best friend surprised me with this beautiful little tea cup.  She said when she saw the tag she just knew she had to get it for me.  It reads, “In Full Bloom.”  And what my precious friend told me was “you may not realize it, but you are in full bloom.” 
Yes I cried, but I was also able to accept this sweet complement and really allow it to sink in.  Sometimes things can happen in life that slowly, but surely start to bury us.  This may be taking care of kids or aging parents, divorce, a loss of a job, or other life stressors.  Slowly but surely the aftermath from life events can begin to bury us, slowly, some may go underground deeper than others, sometimes we may think we will never see the light of day again.  But then one day it just happens.  One day things just start to change.  Friendships start to water our soul and their smiles act like the sun sending down the fuel needed to start our growth.  Slowly, but surely the shells that we once used as walls to protect ourselves start to open up.  It often begins to happen so slowly we don’t quite realize that impact of the changes taking place.  It may be small steps, baby steps if you will, at first.  Maybe we start to take better care of ourselves. 
Maybe we quit singing to the squirrels in our backyard and start singing in on a Praise Team, for the first time EVER.  Maybe eating healthy and exercise aren’t just New Year’s resolutions, but something we actually enjoy doing.  Maybe we start to have our nails done again and change our look.  Changes, little changes start to help us sprout and grow.  Life didn’t bury us really, but it actually allowed us to grow and mature, and the tough times actually just fertilized us.  And then one day it just happens.  Oh people may have been noticing for a while.  But maybe we just brushed it off.  And then one day we look in the mirror and we realize we REALLY do glow.  We really ALL are uniquely beautiful creations that God created for a special purpose so others can see His handiwork in us.  It isn’t a conceded or overly confident thing.  No it’s a beautiful gift when we start to bloom.  It’s a beautiful gift when we can look in the mirror and accept all of our flaws and imperfections, not viewing them as flaws and imperfections, but as precious pieces of mosaic that He has used to best illustrate the master piece that is each and every one of us.  
Once this happens, THE most amazing thing starts to transpire.  For me personally, I have found that my faith has become so much more than my mustard seed pendant.  I have REALLY started to believe that He will give us the desires of our heart.  BOLD prayers are written in my journals with excitement and anticipation, because for months He has been gently whispering “write down the desires of your heart, every last detail.”  And to be quiet honest I think I have been a bit afraid of this exercise…after all, there is a reason I am writing books. lol But I have been watching God Wink at me for so many years, hearing His voice, and doing the things He has guided me to do…so why was this so scary???  What am I so afraid of???  THIS, this is what I have really had to lean into this week.  And I keep being drawn to my copy of the book Fervent, so I decided to look up the definition on Google.

Fervent – having or displaying a passionate intensity
....intense, sincere, heartfelt, burning, or glowing.
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, not because I was making light of this book, but rather because anyone who knows me, knows that I approach EVERYTHING in life in this manner.  So if I approach everything in my life in this manner, then why on earth would I not approach placing the desires of my heart at His feet in the same manner?  Tada, the glow, the bloom, the lightbulb going off, the angels singing….okay, maybe not angels singing, but all of a sudden it all made sense.  He has been waiting all along for me to lay my fears down, just step up to the plate, swing for the fence, and tell Him what I want.  Wow!!  Ok, so maybe I am a late bloomer, but who cares, all that matters is that I am blooming!!  All that matters is that I make sure this incredible process is documented in my writings so that other people can see that the caterpillar really does make it out of the cocoon.  Hey, no one said there was an age limit on the caterpillar to butterfly process, because it’s all about His timing in the end.  So as I start to make more exciting and incredible changes I will be sure to share, because I know some of you fellow caterpillars are wanting to find your wings too.  Until next time…

Hugs! Jen        


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