Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sweet Baby Jess

Since September I have been learning a lot about...well, reality. I think I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to forget things that have been hard. But with that, we also forget the good at times. My hope is to begin reflecting on the good, the funny times and sometimes the bad parts of my childhood. I am doing this because, well I'm at a time in my life where I need to be able to say goodbye to my Dad. This isn't something that is necessarily going to happen in person, but I need to at least remember him. Remember him for who he was and not who he is now. I know some of the stories I share may be depressing, but there is also great hope in where God has taken me. I'm not doing this for anyone else. I'm hoping this will allow me to be real, with you all, but also with myself. Running or hiding away hurts doesn't do anybody good.

I'm going to begin with a random story that I remember:

Dad always had big dreams. To this day he tells stories about how he spent time living on a reservation and hitch hiked to Alaska. As a complete daddy's girl, I sat and listened and marveled at his wonderful stories. Then I became old enough to realize that...you can't really hitch hike to Alaska. It is amazing to think about how much I admired him. When I was young he would sing to me. He would sing Sweet Baby Jess (to the tune of James Taylor's Sweet Baby James). I would sit at his feet humming the tune and believing that it was really written for me. "So goodnight, moonlight ladies, rock a bye sweet baby Jess. Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won't you let me go down in my dreams. And rock a bye sweet baby Jess.

I was about 3 years old and my mom had far too much to drink like she often did. Dad always drank too, but he would just become calm. Mom became mean more than anything. I was sitting in my Dad's lap, listening to his heart beat...bum bum bum bum. I remember I would try to hear if my heart was beating the same tune. My Mom was upset at my Dad like she often would be and began trying to hit him. He yelled, "Bekah, wait...let me put Jessica down." I began crying but my Dad wrapped his arms around me and just let Mom treat him that way. It has been so long since I remembered that story. To outsiders it may sound bizzare and sad. Right now, it is liberating to remember that Dad protected me. Most of my life he hasn't, but that day he did. I treasure that memory. I treasure listening to his heart beat.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I have a confession to make, the past few weeks just have not been that easy for me. I wish I could pin point it to one exact reason why. Maybe it is because I miss my close friends in Greenville, maybe it is because of the rainy days or maybe it is something deeper. I hate that feeling of when you know something is wrong, but you aren't sure what it is. I feel as though I have been on a roller coaster. Sometimes just cruising through the days and sometimes feeling down and down really fast. The funny thing about the roller coasters is that you always go up slow. I'm sure there is a physics explanation to explain all that, but I just don't really care to find out what it is. My point being, I have been down fast, cruising and at times feeling like its a slow climb up to being really happy, and I don't know why. It's kind of like when you are hungry, but you don't know what your hungry for. That's another really annoying thing. But it reminded me of this beautiful quote from Mother Teresa. She said, "When Christ said: "I was hungry and you fed me," he didn't mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that's real hunger."
When I read this, suddenly a lot began to click. I think we all struggle with times of loneliness. We may feel hurt, alone, abandoned, forgotten, scarred, abused, manipulated, invisible and broken. When I start to feel this way I usually just get mad at myself. I will say, "Jessica, knock out of it, this is just Satan trying to bring you down. People care and love you....." While all that may be true I think that I have missed the point of loneliness. The times when I am most lonely are times when I am resembling Christ. Christ came and was abandoned by those that should have been by His side. He came, literally giving of of Himself to in turn be rejected. How hurt he must have felt, how hurt he must still feel when His children forsake Him and forget about Him. He was hungry and was fed by few. He was thirsty and only few gave Him water... I know that right now is a point in my life where I'm hungry. I am excited because I know that with that hunger comes a drawing closer to Jesus and the perfect love he guarantees each of us. I also think that even though I may be lonely, it is no reason to stop loving others with the love that Jesus has shown us. We mess up and He still gives us grace. We abandon Him and He continues to wait with arms open wide. We beat Him down with our ways of disobedience and continues to accept us for who we are. We my even forget Him and go about our own ways, but He is there all along saying "Here I AM!" Praise God for this. I am so thankful that at our lows, cruising stages, and at our highs He is there reminding us of His love and power. Last night I went to be beach to just be reminded of how peaceful, majestic and present our God is. I wrote a letter to God in the sand. I have never felt as comforted and filled. To end on a slightly funny note...after that happened a cop came by and asked what I was doing out so late. I told him I was just thinking, praying and listening to the waves. He then asked me out on a date...a cop. Not exactly what I had been praying for. The cop was nice though and was okay with me turning him down. I guess God wanted to provide a little humor in the night as well!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Hey there blog world! So, I'm going to be completely honest. It is obvious that I haven't blogged since, oh February. That's pretty slack. Well, at least from Februrary until May it was. I started thinking that my thoughts tend to just be scattered and not that interesting. So, I stopped blogging. I also made that excuse of not having time. Which is kind of silly. I look at people that have kids, a job and a much more insane life than me and they still blog. So why can't I?

l will tell you why I couldn't. I forgot my password. Add that to the pile of excuses! But then, I realized when I was trying to figure out how to follow Martha's (my BFF) blog I couldn't remember my username either. Wow, forgetfulness stinks. Some of you are thinking, well why didn't you just use the same password or username as your other stuff? Because, I like to be funny and so sometimes I make my passwords something I find funny at the time. It cracks me up every time I use it for the first few times. Then, it just becomes hard to remember. There are, afterall, so many funny things that happen. So, I have decided to use a trick a friend taught me, to use scripture as your password. We'll see how this works. But, don't worry, I told 2 close friends what my username and password is so this won't happen again!

Now that I have successfully rambled about my forgetfulness I have forgotten my point! I am hoping to get back into blogging. For those of you that don't know, I am in Wilmington this Summer. I have been taking summer classes online, have become a professional dog-sitter(which is amazing), beaching it a lot, spending time with family and old friends, and best of all, resting with the Lord. At church on Sunday, the minister talked about how before you train a dog to walk with you, you must teach the dog to stay. We must learn how to stay with God (Be still and know that He is God) before we can walk with Him in obedience. I feel as though God has been calling me to stay and be fed with His word, His love and His beauty. I have been learning so much and have been seeing His work being done in Wilmington and in my life. Praise God and how amazing He is!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Broken Body

Have you ever had a cold?  I'm guessing most of you say yes.  I don't know about you all, but when I have a cold my whole body is affected by it.  Not only do I have a runny nose and a headache, but my whole body just feels drowsy and even my stomach doesn't feel well.  What a terrible feeling.  This is probably why the "common cold" is one of the most dreaded things to catch...and there is no over the counter cure for it.  Now, let's transition that to looking at a letter Paul writes to the church in Corinthia.  He says  in 1 Corinthians 12:25-27, "So there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it."
Lately, my heart is truly hurting for our broken body.  Paul straight up says,  "YOU are the body."  We often like to hear that but I don't think we are taking it seriously.  How often to we let petty things scar the body?  We look to our own selfishness as to why "people aren't doing this for me," or "i can't believe they did that to me" or "I can't believe so and so did this, I never would...." The common words in these complaints are "me" and "I."  What are we doing?  It makes me so sad to think that the body is hurting because of us being blinded by our selfishness.  I know that I am saying "us" and some of you are thinking, "I never do that."  If that is how you feel, then that is great. I just think that I feel like this is something I have seen in my own life and the people around me.  I have seen the bad effects it has on a church and how it stops the work of God being done.  What if we as a church, as one body began to rejoice with one anther and suffer in one another's pain because we love our brothers and sisters so much that we feel for them?  What if we looked at the Jesus in our brothers and sisters rather than focusing so hard on their inperfections?  I believe that if we did, we would have a beautifully unified body.
Now the only way to truly get over the common cold is by allowing time for it get better, and giving yourself some tender, love and care.  I believe for our body to be healed of the hurts we have caused one another it requires the same.  It may take some time for the scars of gossiping, lying or judging to be healed.  It will require giving us truly loving and caring for one another in a Christ love and believing He can restore any hurt, any friendship.  It takes effort.  It takes forgiving one another.  
I know that this may have seemed a bit like a "soapbox" and I am not one who tends to pour out frustrations through blogs or any other method.  I just want us to take a good look at our body of Christ and see where we need to heal some friendships or forgive in order for the body to operate as one body, united in Christ.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have recently been with the flock of people making the commitment to spend more time in the gym and less time eating junk food and taking too many naps. The good news is that I am feeling consistent with it and have great friends that are doing the same. I decided to pay the money to get a pass to take aerobics classes at the Rec. center. I went to my first one last Wednesday. Let me try to "paint a picture" for you. I walk into the room with mirrors surrounding me, reminding me of just how not in shape I am. The instructors tell us all to get the equipment and get ready for a "killer workout," I had no idea how literal the word "killer" would be in the next hour. Here I am with a huge smile on my face eager to begin. A friendly girl helps me out by telling me how much weight to get. So, the class begins with music that has that really loud, constant, annoying beat. The type of music where you really hate it before because it annoying but even worse after because you know from this moment on you will never be able to listen to that song without remembering the movements and weight you had to lift at each beat. The instructor says, "Alright girls, time to get in shape and burn some calories!" I now lift up my big 5lb weights for each arm as she tells us to do so. "Time to do lunges!" I think to myself, "Lunges? I hate these things!" Little did I know that my hate for them was just beginning. We are in our first 15 minutes of the class and my knees are already shaking in pain as if they are telling me, "Why are you doing this to me?!" Then the instructor who seemed so nice and encouraging in the beginning yells, "You are just through the warm up, let's get serious!" "Oh Lord, is this lady crazy? Has she seen how not fit I am? She thinks I can do as many lunges as her?" I thought to myself. Well, the hour continues on as we move from legs to arms to abs and all the areas of the body that we want to look all nice and fit. Lunges were surely my least favorite thing. I woke up the next day in so much pain that I had a hard time moving, let alone walking up and down the stairs to get to class!
I looked up the word for lunge earlier today and it means, "A sudden forward movement or plunge." Hmm. Let us ponder on that. Now, inside the rec. center we tend to "lunge" into a tough workout plan and get so overwhelmed that we never go back. Outside of the rec. center I want us to think about how we tend to "lunge" and get burnt out in our relationship with the Lord. Now, could it be that the reason we get so "overwhelmed" with our quiet times, service, fellowship that we feel sore or worn out. What if we took our lunge into a more consistent thing? You see, I went to that same workout class this week, and worked out the days before so that I wouldn't be that sore and worn out again, and it actually worked! Sometimes I think about how I tend to go on a retreat or hear some great sermon and I decide, "Today is the day I'm going to make things change. I'm going to be a better friend, better girlfriend, better servant, better this and better that!" While it is not bad to make commitments and make changes in our life for the better I think it is important to remember how great being steady in our lives is. If we are consistently in the Word, consistently spending time with Jesus and praying to Him, we aren't going to encounter as many sore times. For now I am going to go lunge myself into some homework which I haven't been so consistent on because blogging is so much more fun!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Fuss

So, I failed! I have not kept up with my blog at all. Honestly, I saw Tim beginning his blog today and remembered I had one. I certainly didn't know I had "followers." I have decided to write again. At least in some way, about something. I am not sure if they thoughts will make sense, but it is ok.

I decided to talk about the Superbowl game last night. Now I enjoy watching sports with friends, but I will be honest that I was more excited to try out my new meatball recipe in my new crockpot than to see who won the game. However, as we all sat down to watch the big game and listened in awe to Jennifer Hudson do a beauitiful job I began to get so excited. The people around me were all hiped up, the commercials, the fireworks everything around me made it impossible to not be excited about the game.

I decided to pull for the Cardinals. For no other reason than I love the state of Arizona and I can't stand the Steelers. As we watched the game we all got fired up about the touchdowns but at times, even more fired up about the "bad calls" being made by the officials. I honestly know very little about "face mask" or "holding" or what all the penalties mean...but I do know that when all the people around me got upset so did I. Looking back, it is kind of funny how I fussed at the television screen like all those around me. After the game I was convinced that the only reason the Steelers won was because the bad officials "handed" it to them. Tim later on told me, "Well, all those calls weren't actually bad. We just all got upset because they were called against the team we wanted to win." Wow, did I feel silly! I had no clue what I was making a fuss about.

Doesn't life often seem like that? I don't know about you but a lot of times if I am around a group of people that are making a big fuss, I decide I will join that wagon. What a shame! What if I used my fuss for good things. Like making a big fuss about social injustices or about the sin that entangles us today! What if I got up and fussed at the t.v. for all the deceptions it gives us about the world today. What if I made a big fuss because I saw a random person on the street get mistreated. Well folks, I guess that is what I need to start doing!

P.S. I understand that some of you sport fanatics out there may be thinking I'm crazy. Maybe there were a lot of bad calls made, all I know that if there were, I'm not really sure what they were.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I have a blog?

The title of this is exactly the thought I have while I sit here writing this. I am going to be honest and say that I'm not fully sure why I have one. Could it be because the enthused Josh Morgan rubbed off on me to get one? Or could it be because I have so many thoughts, often very random thoughts running through my head that I think that typing may help sort through some of them? Or maybe, maybe even that all these thoughts could mean something to someone else as well? Or maybe it is just another tool to procrastinate in the work that covers my desk? I really do not know which of these is my reason. I am actually a little nervous. It takes vulnerability to put your thoughts out for others to read. I'm nervous that this may be another thing that I have a hard time sticking with. But, I am going to kick those nerves to the curb and just write the true thoughts I have.

I want to share why I chose "Awake in Him." I typed several different things. From the "Jessica's Blog" to "I am not sure what to type" to "why not?" all of these got the backspace button. Then, the thought came of "Awake in Him." I thought at first, am I thinking this because I just woke up from a nap? Then I dug deeper into my thought. I pulled my dictionary off the shelf and read the definition of awake, "To rouse from a state resembling sleep, as from death, stupidity., or inaction; to put into action; to give new life to; to stir up; as, to awake the dead; to awake the dormant faculties." Wow. I read this and realized how much I long to be stirred up. How much I long to simply put it, not be stupid. How I want to have that life that is so excited to have risen with Christ that I live my life in constant action for Him.

So, now as I come to a closing in my first blog entry ever, I realize that this is actually pretty neat. I'm not sure if anyone will read this. All I know is that I am being real with anyone that is.

I'm going to leave this with the lyrics from David Crowder's song "Come Awake." I pray that I can all awake, rise and shine, I pray that we can all be stirred up!

"Are we left here on our own?
Can you feel when your last breath is gone?
Night is weighing heavy now
Be quiet and wait for a voice that will say

Come awake
From sleep, arise
You were dead
You’ve come alive
Wake up wake up
Open your eyes
Climb from your grave
Into the light
Bring us back to life

You are not the only one
Who feels like the only one
Night soon will be lifted friend
Just be quiet and wait for the voice that will say

Come awake
From sleep, arise
You were dead
You’ve come alive
Wake up wake up
Open your eyes
Climb from your grave
Into the light
Bring us back to life

Rise, rise, rise, rise, rise

Rise, rise, rise, rise….
Shine, shine, Oh shine
We will shine
We will rise
We will shine, shine, shine"