Sunday, April 13, 2008


I thought I'd take a minute and write about what I've been learning, particularly in the past 2 days...I know it's a short amount of time, but I feel like I'm being blindsided (maybe that's what I need...), so I'll write about it.

Here's the context:
I've been reading Breaking Free by Beth Moore since about November (thanks, Hil ;-) )...The chapters are short and I tend to read it in spurts. She writes very well. A quote that stood out last night was this:
"The only way we can love with agape [unconditional love] is to pour everything else from our hearts and ask God to make them pitchers of his agape."

For the past couple weeks, I have also been reading The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg. This is part of a small discussion group through my [new] church..they started it on Ash Wednesday, and met once a week during lent. I started going to the group on Palm Sunday. Lol. Anyway, they are now meeting only once a month, but I want to continue and catch up with the group. I really enjoy the book so far. It's very dense, and requires much chewing (figuratively speaking...although it is a hard-cover book... ;-) ). Anyway, the chapter that I read last night was called, "Training vs. Trying." It was all about how following Jesus is not about trying to be more like him and striving to be more like him (for this means we are doing it by our own power and/or willpower), but it is something to be done through training (and the guidance of the Spirit). Training is different because it provides us with practice in Godly ways to respond in life's circumstances.
"Our primary task is not to calculate how many verses of scripture we read or how many minutes we spend in prayer. Our task is to use these activities to create opportunities for God to work. Then what happens is up to him."

I think that in recent times I have been striving, trying very hard to be more prayerful, more intentional, more loving. What has happened is I've become more irritable, more frustrated, and more exhausted. It's not supposed to be like this.

One more time I have been reminded of training was at church today. My pastor, speaking in the context of Acts 1:6-11 when the disciples were asking Jesus when the time will come for his kingdom on earth, said that we cannot know. We spend much of our lives waiting for one thing or another, thinking, "is it time yet?" What do we do now? Pastor's response was, "Train yourself. Prepare yourself. Right now, are you preparing yourself for what God has in store for you?"

My answer to that? probably not. My big questions of God recently have been "Is it time to move out of Michigan? Is it time to live on my own? Is it time to teach and be solely responsible for a child's education for a whole year?"

It's almost time for at least some of those things...

I need to start training, slowing down and separating myself from the cares of the world in order to train for life's circumstances. I think I need a date night with Jesus...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Feeling Better

Christian is home from the hospital.

Crazy week is over and now I have time to get more prepared for next week.

All in all, I think we're both feeling better.

There was something else I wanted to escapes me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What a Day

Maybe it's me, maybe it's the time of year, but I feel like I'm behind. I feel like I'm out of touch with people's expectations of me and falling short. Again and again.

Every year with school, I start out doing really well, trying really hard, and I succeed. Somewhere toward the middle to end of the school year, though, I get into a groove and by the end I am so worn out that I don't care anymore. Maybe it's just my pride, but I don't want to be known as a girl that does well in the beginning but doesn't follow through. Or someone that slacks and coasts. If I do that when I'm teaching, I'll never survive. The kids will never survive. I want to do more than survive. I want to thrive. I want to encourage and stimulate growth, not just prevent death.

Am I doing the same thing spiritually? Getting into a groove and coasting? I should be asking myself that question more often, I think. How am I challenging myself/trusting God more today than I did yesterday? How am I loving people more than I did yesterday?

I'm tired.

Christian's back in the hospital. Pneumonia, high fever, and abdominal pain. I've never been around during pneumonia season, but I've never seen him this sick. He doesn't seem himself. Doesn't even want to keep his eyes open to chat...Lord keep him safe tonight and may your will be done. Ease his pain, Father, it breaks my heart.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Well, that didn't work...this one will, though! :-)

This is from a non-profit called D-PAN (the Deaf Performing Artists Network). The organization makes videos connecting sign to music for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Here's their most recent video:

Here's the first one I saw of theirs:


Saturday, April 5, 2008


Here's me reading a story in ASL. It's not the best, but it's something! After looking at it, I know how I can improve (including not second-guessing my spelling abilities...the first 10 seconds have me spelling "the great" and then thinking that I spelling it wrong, so starting over...hahaha)

"In the Water...?"

I may have mentioned this before, but I thought I'd share a story.

Here I am, sitting in my classroom one morning by myself. The teacher that I work with is pregnant (due in September) and went to get another ultrasound the day before. Our aide just had a baby on March 27th or so. There's the context.

I'm working on the computer, getting ready for the day when one of the other aides from the building comes in. Now, I know her pretty well, but don't talk to her very often. It doesn't really matter that it was her, either, this is just an example. She comes in looking for my teacher because she wants to see how the ultrasound went. Since my teacher's not there, she says that she'll check back later.

Before she leaves, though, she says, "You'd better be careful, Jess. It's in the water."

Can pregnancy be, "in the water?" No.

Do I need to be careful? No, because according to the plan God designed in the beginning, sex should be the culminating intimacy between a man and his wife. I'm not married, therefore, not worried.

I just think it's interesting. That's not the first time I've been told to "be careful. It's in the water," either.