Thursday, July 30, 2009

Calling the Prayer Warriors

On Tuesday, Grant and I flew home from Orlando. I have many pictures to post and many stories to tell about our wonderful vacation. But before I spend time revisiting our trip to "The Happiest Place on Earth", I feel that I need to share with you some very unhappy news we received while there.

Monday morning I got a call from my sweet friend Katie. It's one of those phone calls you absolutely hate to receive: Mo's father took his own life Monday morning.

Words cannot describe the pain and sadness they are going through. Grant and I are devastated for them. We felt so sad that we weren't in Houston to help walk them through this. Tuesday morning they got on a plane and flew to St. Croix to be with his family.

We first became close friends with Mo & Katie when we were living in Louisiana. Then they moved to Houston in February. They have gotten very involved in our church and in a small group. Just last week, Katie and I were talking about how many friends she has made and what a community they have here in their new city. I am so very glad that that is the case, because when we were not able to be present for our friends in their time of tragedy, our small group swooped in and loved on them. I felt so much better knowing that people were taking care of our sweet friends. People were there to bring them dinner Monday night and pray with them. Today I am going to pick up their dogs from the kennel so they don't have to pay for weeks of boarding the dogs.

More than anything, they need prayer right now. They are sad, mad, confused, angry, devastated, and exhausted. Please pray that they would be able to sleep. Please pray that they would find comfort and peace in our Most High God. Pray for the members of the family who found him Monday morning. Pray for Mo's mom who has lost her husband. Pray for the kids and grandkids who have lost their father and grandfather. This family is hurting and needs our prayers.

Thank you for your prayers. Later this week I will get to the "happy stuff" but all I can think about right now is this family.

Love y'all...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Admitting That You Have a Problem is the First Step

I finally said it out loud this morning:

"Grant, we have a sleeping problem".

I don't know what has happened to us. We have always loved to sleep. Our bed is the most comfortable bed in all of creation, and we rather enjoy being in it. But we've always been able to pull ourselves out of it. We can get out of bed at a decent time, have our morning prayer, get ready for work, make a lunch, and get out the door in a non-rushed fashion. But something has happened over the last few months.

I guess it was around six months ago. We hit snooze. And then we hit snooze again. And maybe 3 times after that. So we started setting 2 alarms (one on a cellphone, the other on the actual alarm clock that sits on the nightstand) and it still is not working.

Pretty much every morning we give ourselves an hour to wake up and get out the door. And pretty much every morning we don't actually get out of bed until 15 minutes before it is time to leave.

Every morning is rushed! We forget things all the time and are driving like crazy people to get to work on time. We aren't eating breakfast and we are cranky and groggy still when we get to the office.

We tried going to bed earlier, and that doesn't really help. We simply cannot get out of bed!

We've never really admitted this though. We've never discussed it. It wasn't until this morning when I was frantically straightening my hair (with the chi!) that I said to my husband (who was still in bed) "Grant, we have a sleeping problem".

He took a deep breath. "I know".

"What are we going to do?"

"I don't know. I'm sleeping right now, can we talk about this later?"

So we are going to have a talk about how we can force ourselves to get out of bed. I believe that part of the problem is that we sorta egg each other on. If he is still sleeping, then I'm still sleeping, and vice versa.

Does anyone have any advice/suggestions about this? How do you get out of bed?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seize the Day or Maybe Seize Tomorrow

Grant said something unintentionally the other day that kinda hurt my feelings. He said it and I bottled everything up and didn't say a word about it. But then we went to bed and I couldn't sleep. I was laying in bed and he was already asleep and I was really considering waking him up and listing out for him everything that I was feeling and when I started feeling it and what I think he should have said and what was he feeling and how does he feel about it now and what will he do in the future about my feelings and feelings feelings feelings FEELINGS!!!

Somewhere, deep down, I felt the Lord whisper, "Go to sleep, Jenny". Boo. That wasn't what I wanted to hear. "BUT I AM A LITTLE IRRITATED RIGHT NOW AND I THINK I SHOULD WAKE HIM UP AND SHARE THIS WITH HIM. YOU SAID WE SHOULDN'T GO TO SLEEP ANGRY!!" And that little voice came back and said "You aren't angry. You're annoyed. Telling him right now will do nothing. Go to sleep".

Well, fine.

So the next morning, when my husband was well rested and in a pretty good mood, I said "Hey, I need to tell you something". And it was then that I calmly, unemotionally told him that he had hurt my feelings. He was shocked to hear it and told me how sorry he was, and that sometimes he says things without realizing how it sounds and he asked for forgiveness. Then he kissed me and then I got all weak in the knees and then I thought "gosh, I love him" and then I realized that if I had woken him up in the middle of his REM cycle then that would not have played out like that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Houston Project: Wrap it Up

Houston Project is over, and it was amazing. I am amazed at how many lives were touched and how receptive people were to hearing the Word of God. Not only were they receptive, they were desperate to hear it. Our evangelism team was out walking the streets when they said a car full of rather intimidating looking young men stopped and asked "Are you out here telling people about Jesus?". Our team said that they were and then the young man said "What do you have to do to get saved?". Ummmmm are you for real?! Two of the gentlemen in that car definitely seemed to want more answers. Their names were Rooster and Junebug. :) Keep praying for them!

After everything was all wrapped up, a big group of us went to Sonic. We were in need of some fruity fluids. We spent almost 2 hours there just talking about our weeks and getting to know each other more. It was a good 2 hours solid of belly laughs. Oh, it was fun. And then I didn't get to bed till 1:00am but it was so worth it.

This weekend is going to be crazy hectic but that's okay. We are attending a wedding in College Station tomorrow night and then driving back to Houston right afterwards. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. But we are so glad to be at this wedding. Grant worked with this couple while he was in college. They met at work and started dating there, all before Grant's very eyes. So he is glad to see this day finally come!

While at Sonic last night, one topic that came up was "guilty pleasure" television. People seem to be embarassed to admit that they watch certain shows. A few examples that came up in this conversation last night: Cops, The Real World, Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Bachelor, Wife Swap, Family Guy, The O.C. and Antiques Roadshow.

So let's hear it: What's your guilty pleasure show?!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Recap: Houston Project Day 2 & 3

Let me tell you what's awesome: HOUSTON PROJECT.

I am blown away by what the Lord has done this week. The kids have grown in numbers each night. The adults have DOUBLED in numbers each night. People are asking questions and the Lord is moving in their hearts.

Tuesday night, I saw 3 young guys in their late 20's walking by our site. They looked like they were just wandering the neighborhood, just aimlessly walking. They slowed down as they passed our tents. They were curious as to what we were doing.... someone shouted at them to "Come on in! Get something to eat!". They didn't speak English, so one of our Spanish translators approached them and they begrudgingly came into the tent. They ate, ALOT, and then stood up as if they were going to leave.

Somehow, someone convinced them to go into the adult Bible study. They went, they stayed the whole time, and as they left, we gave them a Spanish-language Bible. They walked off down the street together, just as they came, and I thought to myself, "Well, maybe we planted a seed...."

Last night, guess who showed up, with their Santa Biblia in tow?! ALL THREE OF THEM!! They all came back, with their Bibles. They ate, went to Bible study, and wrote down on a card ways we can be praying for them. Their Bible study teacher shared with us that they are from Nicaragua and that they are really taking in everything and God seems to be really moving in their hearts. I am SO GLAD they came back . I am so glad that they knew how that we were so happy to have them. Please pray for the 3 men from Nicaragua, I do not know their names.

I worked in the nursery last night. I got to love on some sweet baby boys. Santiago and Joel were my little buddies!

God is doing great things. Grant mentioned last night that Houston is so so big, sometimes it feels like you're not making a dent. But when I saw those 3 guys come walking into the tents last night with their Bibles.... I really felt like we had done something big.

Praise God!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Houston Project: Day 1 Down

Last night was the first night of Houston Project. Houston Project is a week-long in town ministry through our church. Over 1000 adult members of the congregation have signed up to volunteer. We are spreading ourselves out all over the inner city of Houston to love on some people. Our site location is a spanish-speaking Baptist church in a low-income area. There wasn't as high of a turn out for VBS as we had hoped for, so we are really praying that word of mouth spreads and that we have a higher number tonight. We are ready to love on some people!
We had so much extra food last night, our transportation committee traveled to some low income apartment complexes and gave away free dinners. No one knew how to say "corn dog" in Spanish though, so eventually someone decided to call it a "Tamale Americano". CRACKS ME UP.

Please pray that the numbers would go way up tonight. Pray that there will be more adults and more children. Also, please pray for our friends, Ben & Lynn, who are our site leaders and have spent months planning for this event.

We want God to move in a mighty way. Greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city....

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Knee Hurts

I'm pretty sure I'm about to write an entire post about my knee. Consider yourself warned. Buckle up. This is going to be THE MOST INTERESTING BLOG POST YOU HAVE EVER READ.

So yesterday at the end of the work day I was in the kitchen here at the office and opened the fridge. Things came tumbling out because people shove things in the fridge that don't fit. So... I got down to business. I squatted down and started rearranging things. That's when it happened: A coke can fell from the sky. IT FELL FROM THE SKY.

(Note: in this case, "the sky" can also be called "the top shelf".)

So it twirled and twisted through the air and then the hard metal rim of the coke can aimed itself towards my knee in a way that can only be perceived as malicious. The lip of this coke can had a mission, and it was to hurt me.

And it did. It made a loud sound and so did I. I immediately grabbed my knee, started rocking back and forth like a mental patient while saying "Mmmmmm....MMMMMMM...ooowww....OHHHHHHH!!!!" a few dozen times while willing any curse words to stay inside and not come out. I was at work and most of the people here think that I don't know any bad words.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening gimping around like a pathetic wounded gazelle and told Grant every 10 minutes "my knee hurts" or "did I tell you about what happened to my knee?".

So this morning, I expected a big ol' bruise. But it is the strangest thing. The bruise is there, but it is a vertical line.... which I guess would make sense since the lip of the can is what hit my knee so it was just a thin piece of metal that would leave an impression. But underneath the bruise is a big bump that was causing some serious pain as I drove to work this morning. I almost thought that I should call in sick.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th Weekend

Friday was a day off of work for me and Grant, and for that we are very thankful. Grant spent Friday playing golf (can you imagine that?) while I drove out to Cypress. My mom and I laid out by the pool and went for a little dip. Then we went to lunch with my dad. I had such a nice visit with my parents. Then my mom and I went out to see Laura and baby Matteo and I almost stole him.
Friday night the Coopers invited us over to their house. Oh my gosh it was fun!! The guys grilled lamb-kabobs which were YUMMY and then we ate dessert.
Lynn had asked Katie to bring the dessert for our little party but Katie had to work on Friday, so Mo made this cake on their behalf. First of all, what is it with all the men and the cake making?! Secondly, this was a cheesecake and it changed my life it was so good. We are so proud to be Americans and so proud of Mo.
This is Mo posing proudly with his dessert that he so lovingly made for us.
After dinner, we busted out the Guitar Hero. It was INTENSE. I was mostly surpised with the amazing vocal talents of Ben. Here he is singing a mind-blowing version of "Beat It" in honor of Michael Jackson's passing.
Katie on the drums, looking cute.

I am a very impressive percussionist.

Lynn was the best drummer out of all of us girls.

This is the face of focus.

Ben totally stole the show though. I think he should join the church choir with me.

Saturday morning, Grant and I woke up waaaaaay later than usual (10:30, anyone?!?!) and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING all day long and IT WAS GLORIOUS. And I won't forget the men who died and gave that right to me.

So Saturday evening the Larkin's invited us over for their 4th of July shin-dig and I have not stopped telling Grant about how much fun I had! We got to their house and visited and ate chips and queso and hot dogs and burgers and the guys played horse-shoes in the backyard and it was too fun.
Then we all piled into the cars and drove downtown where we laid a blanket on the lawn and watched fireworks together. Y'ALL IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! It was breezy and calm and beautiful and it was just a great time with great friends in a great country!

All the girls. And my white legs. They cannot be ignored.
(Left to Right: Holley, Christen, Liz, Me and Pasty Legs, Sarah and Katie)

All the guys.
Henry and his hat, Andy, Jim, Daniel, Grantley and Mo

Below are just a small selection of my favorite firework photos from the evening. Kudos to Grant, the photographer!!

So Jim and Liz are pregnant with little Lily and her nursery is pink and green... when this firework lit up the sky I mentioned how sweet it was for the people to do one for little Lily :)

This one blinded me for about 45 seconds.

Aren't they so pretty?! After the show was over, we all headed back to Jim and Elizabeth's where we ate homemade ice cream and the chocolate chip cake of my life and I almost died of happiness.

So after a great service this morning at church, Grant and I had mexican food and headed back home where I napped and did laundry and watched Princess Diaries and it was just altogether a great weekend.

God bless 3 day weekends. And God bless America.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I've Been Awarded!

Yes, that's right. Someone brilliant decided that I should be awarded. I really have no idea what I've done to receive this award, but I would like to think Jessica for deeming me worthy.

I've been given the Honest Scrap Award. See, there is even a picture to go along with it!

The rules are:

1. List 10 honest things about yourself that your blogging friends do not know about you.

2. Give the award away to 7 bloggers.

3. Let them know they've received the award.

Let's begin shall we?

1. I love detective shows. Law & Order SVU. Cops. Cold Case. Without a Trace. There is a reality show on A&E called "The First 48" and I am seriously addicted and will watch when the marathons come on. I am a nerd.

2. I'm pretty good at air hockey.

3. When I'm alone in an elevator, I sing. Different song everytime.

4. I hate cooking chicken/steak/porkchops in a skillet because the oil burns my arms and I do this weird little dance when I'm trying to flip the meat in an attempt to not burn my skin. Grant says I'm "special".

5. If I cause any kind of scratch/damage to my car, I don't tell Grant. I just wait for him to notice. Sadly, he always does. Example: I was pulling up to the office parking garage the other day and pulled up to the card-swiper to swipe my parking card, and the thing scratched off a centimeter of paint on my side-view mirror. Grant just realized yesterday and that was a lovely conversation. "WE CAN NEVER BUY NICE THINGS!"

6. Just now in this very moment while watching golf, I thought to myself "Wow, I'm surprised that he chose to use his hybrid here". WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME?!

7. Ryan Reynolds is getting cuter and cuter.

8. I am okay with the fact that Grant is attracted to Reese Witherspoon.

9. I am adamently against mustard.

10. I feel better about myself as a human being when I have a fresh pedicure.

Okay I am tagging:

1. Lynn at The Happenings of Lynn

2. Claire at Life With the Lamberts

3. Sarah at The Ratpack

4. Ronda at Living for Later

5. Kelli at Breathing His Joy

6. Joanna at The Adventures of Joanna and John

7. Cristina at Slabic Family

Have fun everyone! And Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hi July, Please Be Cooler Than June

June was totally not cool. June was dry and made me not want to go outside. June was deceiving because when you looked out the window you thought June was really pretty and nice and inviting. And then you walked outside and you realized June was a liar.

You could only handle June in small doses. And by "small doses" I mean 35 seconds.

June was hot, but not in a sexy kind of way. June was hot in a "I feel disgusting" kind of way.

Welcome, July.

We understand that you will not be cool, but cooler than June would be helpful. Maybe you could bring some rain to this summer party we're having. And perhaps a breeze. I have high expectations for you, July. I hope you live up to them and exceed them.

July is already better than June for a few reasons. First of all, nine years ago today my sister married her highschool sweetheart. Happy Anniversary Jaclyn & Jeremy! Secondly, July brings Disney World!! July also gives me a paid day off on Friday due to the holiday. Also, July brings the finale of The Bachelorette where I am hoping our girl Jill shows that she is indeed not stupid and that Ed is her choice because he is a doll and he looks like Denny Duquette from Grey's Anatomy.

So already, July is better than June cause July actually brings something to the summer party. June was just hot. In a gross way.

In June's defense, a really precious denim summer skirt from Ann Taylor Loft was brought into my life and I'm pretty sure it is my summer staple. I will give you that, June. I will give you that.