Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Giving Him Glory

Things have been going really well lately. Do you ever have one of those days when you realize that you really don't have much to complain about? (By the way, thank you all for your kind words of sympathy and encouragement while I was grieving the loss of my make up. You got me through a tough time, and, I know this is hard to believe, but I sometimes forget it happened. Isn't it crazy how you can just bounce back like that?).

My house is spotless right now. My closet is clean and organized. I've cooked dinner the last two nights and it has turned out quite delicious. The dishes are washed and put away. I've spent time in the Word everyday. I have been getting to bed at a decent hour. I'm in the middle of a good book. Sunday we started going to a new Sunday school class that seems like a great fit for us. I am fully prepared for all of the things on my to-do list this week. This weekend we are going to New Orleans for a long over-due visit to see Grant's family and I am so excited. Things are going well.

And ya know what? That whole paragraph that I just typed up there..... it is because of all of those things that I KNOW there is a God. Believe it or not, I wasn't trying to be funny when I just said that. I mean it.

It is because of God that I am capable of doing anything. I can't do anything on my own. I am unmotivated, lethargic, and a procrastinator. But because of His grace, He gives me the fuel to keep going. It would be really easy for me to look around my house and see everything clean and in its place and credit it to myself. I could say, "Wow, look what I did. I'm pretty good". But that is so not the case. I know that anything good that I do comes from Him.

That is how I know He is there. That is how I know He is with me. When I find myself doing a kind deed for someone, I choose to see the truth in the action. The truth is not "I'm such a nice person". The truth is, "Jesus, thank You for showing me that there is someone with a need. I am Your vessel and You can use me to love others". All glory goes to HIM. He is the giver. NOT ME.
He has given me a joyful heart. He has given me motivation and endurance. He has given me rest and peace.

Thank You, Jesus.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


As I was leaving my sister's house last night, I stopped to check my purse to make sure I had my cellphone. My make up bag fell out onto the concrete driveway and I heard a loud pop. It wasn't until I unzipped my bag that I saw the catastrophic outcome of the fall: my foundation bottle shattered. Glass and foundation were everywhere, covering the bag and my hands. Below is a photo of the after affect.

This morning before church I had to run to Walgreens and buy a new Loreal True Match Foundation in the "Casper the Friendly Ghost" shade. It's the whitest one there is. Unfortunately, the cute make up bag that Katie gave me for Christmas (as pictured above, turned inside out) is ruined, and I had to throw away my eyeshadow. They are just 2 of the casualties from this horrific accident. I am currently trying to survive with storing my make up in a ziplock bag.

Your prayers are much appreciated.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thoughts in Traffic

Things are pretty slow-movin around these parts. Houston, Texas, a city of 4 million people, hasn't moved at this slow of a pace since the day it was established. Hurricane Ike has come and gone, but the after effects are still very much here.

The traffic has been the worst I've ever seen in this city, largely due to the fact that many stoplights are blinking, turning each intersection into a four-way stop sign. You are moving rush hour traffic through one car at a time. In the evenings, it usually takes Grant about 25 minutes to get home from work because we live so close. This week, it has been taking him about 2 hours to get home.

There is a part of me that is so over it, it's not even funny. I am ready for things to be back up and running. I am ready for Houston to get back to its usual hustle and bustle where we move so fast that we are breathing like a chain smoker by the time we get home from work.

But there is another part of me that has learned alot in the past few weeks. Pastor Gregg said it best Sunday morning when he said that "to most Houstonians, they will look back on Ike and see it as nothing more than a big hassle. We can choose to see it as more than that". And I have to say, we really have learned alot. We have come together as a city, as neighbors, as families, as friends. Churches are reaching out to other churches. We are talking to the people in our grocery store, asking them if they have power, or if their kids are back in school yet. I met a woman the other day who told me that she had no electricity and had 3 small children at home under the age of five. And I found myself asking this woman if she would like for me to bring her family a hot meal. I had never met this woman before in my life, and she didn't know me from Adam, but she hugged me and told me thank you, but that her mom was taking care of their food.

God really is showing us how to "love your neighbor as yourself". I am so thankful for the Lord and His constant reminder of how good we actually have it. All of these things, A/C, electricity, hot water, they are luxuries and things that we really should not take for granted.

This morning, as I was kissing Grant goodbye as we headed off to work, knowing that some awful traffic was waiting for us, I said to him "Let's have a good attitude today!". We both kinda chuckled, but he knew what I meant. We can CHOOSE to be positive about this situation, no matter how inconvenient it may be.

My heart hurts for those who lost their homes entirely. I think we can all learn to deal with some traffic for a few more weeks. Atleast we have somewhere to go home too...

I know not all my readers are in the Houston area, but everyone goes through things that make you wanna scream. We have to deal with some really aggravating, frustrating stuff sometimes. However, keeping your thoughts on things ABOVE and not on things of this world will suddenly put everything in perfect perspective. All that we are going through is a blessing. Praise Him even in the difficult times. The Lord gave me this thought this morning as I was on my way to work: We are not worthy of all that He has given us, and He is so much more than worthy of everything we have to give.

I may cross-stitch that on a pillow. Who am I kidding, I can't cross-stitch. I can't even stitch. Maybe I'll have Lindsee write it on a plate...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Best and Worst

For the record, everything that was on my to-do list in my previous post was accomplished this weekend. But let's get to the heart of this post, the really important things. Any by "important things", I mean Jen's Best and Worst Dressed- Emmy's 2008. This is serious stuff people.
Let's get right to it. And if you disagree with me then that is fine but this is my blog. So there.
Kyra Sedgwick: Best
I think she is just adorable and looks altogether lovely. I love her hair. She is also very age appropriate and I always wonder if she and her husband Kevin Bacon do the dance from Footloose when they are bored at home.
Marcia Cross: Worst
No, no, no. Typically Marcia Cross understands that red heads need to wear jewel tones and not pale pinks that wash you out. The length of this dress is wrong. The color is wrong. I did not know she was a ballerina.

Christina Applegate: Best

I don't know that I would wear this dress, but I really think it is gorgeous and looks very Hollywood glamorous. I can't decide though if the fabric looks like curtains. In any case, I like it.

Debra Messing: Best
The dress isn't all that jaw dropping, but I just love her. Love her, love her, love her.

Eva Longoria Parker: Worst
Eva usually looks awesome. But last night, there was just something off. I don't think it is the dress that I dislike so much, it is the hair and makeup. The slicked back raccoon look does nothing for her. Loving the shoes though.

Hayden Panetierre: Best

This girl is just a bit too pretty for me. She is absolutely gorgeous and I LOVE the beading on this gown. Hard to believe she was that cutie patootie from "Remember the Titans".

Jenna Fischer: My Favorite
For many reasons. First of all because I love her and I love Pam Beesley ( her character). I love her hair and I want mine to look like that. I LOVE the colors in her dress (I couldn't find a full length pic to show you) but it was full length and fun and pretty. Love her.

Sadly, I really didn't enjoy the actual Emmy awards this year. I got annoyed that every single speech included a political message of some kind. Annoying. I did, however, enjoy Josh Groban's performance. He is mega talented and he was a nice break from all the references to the election.

Please comment, even if you disagree with some of my best and worst. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Things I Am Doing This Weekend

I'd like to take a moment to do the happy dance.

I have electricity in my apartment. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Lord.

So now, when my hair looks like this, I am able to use my hair straightener.

My life just got supremely less complicated.

It has been a LONG week, but now that I have power (as of this morning), I have already begun planning what my weekend is going to look like. It will not involve leaving my apartment much, that is for sure. I fully intend on being a homebody. Here are just a few things on my weekend to-do list:

Vacuuming. (By the way, I HATE how that word is spelled). I need to give my house a thorough clean down from top to bottom. I've never been more excited in my life about cleaning.

Laundry. We have been wearing the same clothes for a week. And let me tell you, we smell heavenly. For the record, the washer and dryer you are seeing below are not the same ones in my utility room. The appliances below appear only in my wildest dreams and fantasies. However, I have an awesome attitude about my washer and dryer now. Even if my dryer does take 3 hours to dry one towel, one pair of socks, and one of Grant's undershirts, I don't even care. I am just so thankful that they work now.

Febreze. My whole house kinda smells funky. It has that mildew-y smell. The fridge stinks and the windows were left open for a day and so everything is just yuck. I plan on making it smell so fresh and so clean-clean. Groceries. My whole fridge and pantry are empty of anything we can eat. We threw everything out since we knew we were losing power. So I really need to spend some quality time at the grocery store to re-stock. Cooking! For the past week, we have eaten OUT for practically every meal of the day. And believe it or not, I am tired of it. I plan on cooking every meal we eat this weekend. The pasta below looks delightful. I have been craving some jambalaya with sausage, as well as these yummy BBQ pork chops I make. I am thrilled to be back in my kitchen.
Church! Our church cancelled all services this past Sunday, and we were so sad. Just 2 weeks ago was our first Sunday in the new sanctuary (as pictured below, isn't it pretty!?) and we are desperately needing worship. This has been a stressful week and it is time we get our hearts back in the right place.

Emmy Night!!! Sunday night is Emmy night, my very most favorite award show. I am really rooting for THE OFFICE, as usual. I also look forward to all the dresses. Perhaps I will do a post on my fave fashion choices of the night!But most of all, this weekend, I am praying for this sweet boy. Carson is five years old. He is the nephew of my dear darling friend Joanna and her husband John. Two years ago, Carson was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. He has been quite the fighter and even as the cancer has spread, he has had many surgeries and has been such a big boy about everything. Sadly, this last week, his numbers sky-rocketed and he has been admitted into the hospital again. John and Joanna flew to Dallas from Montana to be with their family. Please, please pray for a miracle for this sweet sweet boy. He has a precious heart, he loves his Jesus and he really just wants to go to kindergarten like everybody else. His website is linked here.

Love you friends,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And The Saga Continues....

Hi dear friends. I am writing to you from my office. I am back at work, which actually is nice. I feel like things are normal!

And things are NOT normal. Grant and I went back to our apartment this morning on our way to work because we read something online that said that we have power.

When we got there we found that we DID have water (HALLELUJAH!) but we DID NOT have power. I am just thankful that God gave us one out of two!

We have been out of our home since Thursday night. We spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at my parents home with no power and no water. We spend Sunday and Monday night with our friends Scott & Lauren in College Station. We were SO thankful to be in a fully functioning city. Then we spent last night at my parent's house again. They have no power but my dad rigged up a water thing so I got to shower. I did not, however, get to blow dry my hair. And I know that I just look lovely this morning. My clothes are wrinkled (can't iron), my hair is in a messy bun since I slept on it wet and I did my make up in the dark this morning. Lord have mercy.

I am so so grateful though for God's many, many blessings. I am glad to be back at work. I am thankful for my husband who has moved us from place to place without complaining. I am thankful for Scott & Lauren for so graciously opening their home. I am thankful for my sister Jaclyn who let me use her shower. (Jaclyn is also still without power. She misses the internet. Grace misses Barney).

I am yearning for a routine....

Monday, September 15, 2008

After Ike

I have time for a quick update...

Grant and I are currently staying with some friends in College Station. We stayed at my mom and dad's during the hurricane and for 2 days after that, and then we all decided that that was enough. :)

Praise the Lord that we are fine. My parent's home did not sustain any damage. Saturday Grant and I drove to our apartment and while much of the complex was pretty messed up, our apartment was fine. The recurring theme is no power, no water.

We were all prepared that we would have no electricity. But the water outtage came as somethine we were absolutely unprepared for. Plus, on Wednesday of last week, my sister and her husband left for a wedding out of town and left their twin girls at my mom and dads house.

1 hurricane, no lights, no A/C, one VERY loud generator, two potty training 2-year-olds, no water and NO FLUSHING TOILETS equals a very, very chaotic situation. Those baby girls did the best they could. They just kept saying that "evwee -ting at Gwammy's house is bwoken".

Due to the toilet situationa and the news that electricity could come back in "3 to 14 days"- we all high tailed it out of there.

It was a scary night though. It was some LOUD winds and trees snapping everywhere. My mom and I kept reminding ourselves to stop complaining because our home and our cars were not damaged and we are only inconvenieced in this situation.

My parents worked SO hard. My mom never stopped taking care of those baby girls and trying to keep our house in order. I know that she is absolutely exhausted and she still stayed a loving Grammy during the whole thing.... and also making sure everyone had something to eat.

And ohhh my daddy. My dad was outside for 48 hours in a row it seemed, taking care of the generators, moving stuff out of the yard, trying to get our well up in running again so we could flush toilets, and just taking care of his family. My parents are my heroes!

And as for Mr. Husband, I'm pretty proud of that one too. He was such a great help wherever he could be and spent about 3 hours in my parent's front yard yesterday cleaning up debris. We are SO thankful to be in College Station. Since we had a generator at my mom and dad's house, we were able to plug in a fan but they were only running downstairs, so the two of us and Moxie slept on a mattress on my mom and dad's living room floor. It was camping indeed.

Thank you so much for your prayers for us. The Lord protected us and we are so grateful. We are waiting to hear about work and if our offices are open. Please pray that the lights and water come back on in our apartment BEFORE our offices re-open. I just can't go back to work without showering! :)

Love you sweet friends....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hunker Down!

I love that term. I must have heard about 2 dozen native Texans say that they are "just gonna hunker down". And here we are. Hunkerin' down.

Grant and I made it to my parent's house last night. We did pack our valuables, like all of our important papers. We also selected some personal items to bring along. Grant chose to bring his guitar, golf clubs, Xbox, and his Bible. I brought my Bible as well as my jewelry, my wedding album, and my favorite black pumps. Because to lose those would truly be devastating. Atleast we know where our priorities are at.

My dad bought 2 generators and we have more food than we could possibly consume. Well, I take that back. We could definitely eat all that.

To make things a little more fun, we have Scarlett and Juliet with us this weekend. My sister and her husband went to a wedding in Vegas and my parents have been keeping the twins. We have tried really hard to keep the girls outside and active today since it looks like we will be cooped up all day tomorrow.

PLEASE PLEASE pray for safety. From the looks of the radar, the part of Houston my parents live in should be okay, but our neighbors in Galveston look like this is going to be really bad for them. As far as our place, thankfully, our apartment is on the 2nd floor but we still took precautions and rearranged some furniture, etc. Please pray AGAINST tornadoes! My dad has some kind of service that if a tornado is in the area his cell phone and home phone will get an alert of some kind.

So the winds and rain are supposed to start here in a few hours. Thank you for your prayers and hopefully the generators will work and I can update tomorrow!

Love you friends,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thumbs Down to Ike

Ike made the Eagles cancel their concert.

Boooooooo Ike.

Hello Ike

Well, I guess I should get right to it, since it looks like I will be without power this weekend due to a big boy named IKE. Houston is supposed to get the "dirty side of the storm".... i.e. flooding and wind and ALOT of rain. Makes me kinda nervous... because it does not take a hurricane for Houston to flood. If it rains 3 days in a row, parts of H-town will start to retain water, so this could be UGLY. We are still kinda up in the air about where we are going.... but I am praying that it has FOOD. Cause there is nothing else in any of the groceries store here, ya'll!

But on a happier note, last night I got to spend time with my Pre-K choir at church. We were singing songs about what we were thankful for. We asked each child to say something they were thankful for. Here were a few of my faves:

1. "I am thankful for the T-Rex".

2. "I am thankful that my sister got a spankin this morning"

3. "I am thankful the God did not let Bob and Spot die" (Who are Bob and Spot? asks Mrs. Jenny) "Bob and Spot are my Guinea Pigs"

4. "I am thankful for my shoes" (ME TOO says Mrs. Jenny)

5. "I am thankful for the blessings that we cannot see" - says FOUR YEAR OLD JACOB. Okay, little seminary boy!

6. "I am thankful for my friend Chrissy because she has a zip line"

7. "I am thankful for Dora"

8. "I am thankful for toys"

9. "I am thankful for my mommy cause she's so nice"

10. "I am thankful for my daddy's face" (I thought that one was super cute!)

So that was a fun night!

Tonight we are going to the Eagles Concert.... SO EXCITED!

I am currently watching the morning news and it appears that they think we should all start heading out ASAP, and I may mention that to my bosses this morning. Let's see if they agree! :)

Pray for safety for everyone along the Texas coast, and also pray for my dear friend Claire's sister Bonnie, her wedding is on Saturday and that is right in the middle of BAD BAD weather.

I will miss all of you, as well as my electricity.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Grant called me at lunch Friday and asked if I had made plans for us yet for that evening. As soon as I said "No", he said "Great! I'm taking you on a date tonight!". It wasn't until we were almost to the Woodlands Pavillion that I realized where we were going!

The Woodlands Pavillion was the location of our first date. And also, since it was a blind date, it was the first time I had ever even met my husband. The Pavillion is a large concert venue. There are seats, but also, there is a large lawn where you can lay down a blanket and listen to the concert. I love sitting on the lawn. It is a very relaxed atmosphere, and you can still have a conversation with the people around you. On our first date, we went to a John Mayer concert. Grant and I are both big fans and we had a blast that night. It was a HOT night that July 24, and we bought some of those Lemon-Ice things to cool us down. We sat on a red sleeping bag and Grant held my hand. Such great memories.

So this Friday night we headed back to the pavillion. We even sat on the same red sleeping bag. The bands were no one that I am super into, (Augustana, Counting Crows and Maroon Five) but it was a great evening nevertheless. My favorite part was that it was actually breezy and cool outside. It was a lovely evening and it was clear and the stars were out. We had a wonderful time!

Yesterday morning, we went over to help paint the inside of my Mamaw's garage. My Mamaw's house has been on the market for quite sometime now and will not sell!! (If anyone is looking for a home near Old Town Spring, have we got a deal for you!!!) So we are continuing to do some touch ups there and my mom and Mamaw as well as two great guys from church were there getting some stuff done. I was covered in paint and ruined a pair of jeans. Thankfully they are light wash that I don't wear very often! We got home from Mamaw's and I took a nap and cleaned the house and Grant played golf and we took the dog on a walk and I cooked Jambalaya. What a wonderful Saturday!

It has been a wonderful weekend. From singing in the choir for the first time in the NEW sanctuary, to enjoying a nice walk with my husband and my puppy this afternoon, and saving a ton of money in groceries from all the coupons I clipped today (yes, I have become one of those people), it has been a great day today too.

God is so good. In church this morning, I felt Him in that room. I got a little bit emotional during the song "In Christ Alone". It gets me everytime. When we sang the verse about Jesus being in the tomb and coming back to life... when we sang the lyrics, "Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again", the entire congregation started cheering. It was such a great moment and it is one of my favorite things about worship.

I'm off to finish off this wonderful weekend by finishing this meal I'm cooking and folding laundry! :)

Love you friends. I hope your week is great!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


1. Work has been crazy busy, but it hasn't been all bad. I would rather be busy than bored.

2. The lady who lives in the apartment below us loves to feed the birds.... (I call her Mary Poppins) and now she has created a critter problem in our building. After reportedly seeing rats on our balcony, my husband set up many traps and this week he has killed TWO. I think I almost threw up. Grant says he "feels like a champion" due to his rat killing ability. Vomit.

3. Speaking of vomit, ( nice, I know) I was on the phone with my pregnant sister one morning this week, and this was the highlight of the conversation: "So, what did ya'll do last night? Oh, hang on just a second, I need to throw up".

4. I am a fan of Sarah Palin. She is spunky and fiesty. Homegirl was tearing it up in that speech last night!

5. This Sunday is our first Sunday in the new sanctuary, and it is also the first Sunday that I will be singing with the choir. I am super excited and can't wait!

6. God is SO good. We got a check in the mail this week for a insurance refund on my wisdom teeth surgery that I had in FEBRUARY. The Lord had to get creative to bless us with that one! I mean OUT OF THE BLUE SKY! (Plus, the day before we received the check in the mail, we wrote our monthly check to the church... I am telling You, giving to God brings BLESSINGS!)

7. Our lease is up in November. Please pray for us to make a wise decision about whether or not to renew. If we do not renew, please pray for continued wisdom that we will know what our next step should be.

8. I love you, friends!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Goodbye Gustav!

Hi friends. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts for our family in New Orleans, as well as Baton Rouge. We were really surprised that Baton Rouge, our former "home town" was hit with such strong winds.

We are still waiting to hear how Grant's parent's house has held up. Since everyone has evacuated, no one has seen their home, but from the looks of things on TV, it appears that they may have been spared. We won't know for sure though until someone actually goes there and checks everything out.

Grant's mom and dad as well as Chase and Ronda are all holed up in Chase and Ronda's boarded up house. The eye of the storm went right over Baton Rouge and they had some windy moments there. Apparently some trees fell in the backyard but other than that they are all okay. They have been without power all day and I am sure are getting a little bored :) Thank you for praying for our sweet family. We felt really weird not being there with them.... and please continue to pray that the levees hold tomorrow and that the city will not flood!

Our friends Katie and Mo had a rough time in the storm... a series of bricks/tiles/something (Katie's cell phone was cutting out and I couldn't understand the whole thing) apparently flew through her front AND back windshields and the roof of her car, totalling it. They are without power and now without one car... please pray for our friends!

Anyways, I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Grant and I just laid low this weekend and enjoyed our relaxing three days off. It was much needed and I feel really rejuvenated and not so stressed. I am ready to go to work and get stuff done. Yesterday was our last Sunday in the gym at church. Next week we will be in our new sanctuary! SO exciting. God is doing really great things. Lindsee came over last night and I made us dinner and we ate cookies and visited. It was such a treat!

Have a great week precious friends.... I am going into this week with a goal to NOT COMPLAIN. No complaining and NO whining. Anyone care to join me?