a thankful me

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(saying goodbye to 244. it was a good first place and holds a years worth of fabulous memories)

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(miracle house/pancake house, we’re trying to decide what’s more fitting. any thoughts?)

i realized last week that it’s easy for me to overlook gifts. i was given an amazing gift in the version of a house, yet i didn’t seem to see it as a gift. it’s a hilarious story actually, here’s what happened:

last wednesday i got a call from mary margaret that the house we had planned to move into for the fall had water damage and basically was not livable. (keep in mind that the poor thing had already moved into the new house cause she came from MISSISSIPPI). so bright and early thursday morning (when i had planned on moving in) mom and i load up and head for boone. we realized that we needed to find a new place and yahooooo we had one day to do it. blessing #1: all three of us and our mom’s were able to be in boone on the same day to tackle this. on the way up, i started realizing house insane this was seeing as how it’s nearly impossible to find a house in boone during the normal “house hunting season.” ladi-da i’m on I-40 and nearly have a panic attack. ‘WHAT ARE WE THINKING?! THERE IS NO WAY WE ARE GOING TO FIND A PLACE TO LIVE. WE ARE ABSOLUTELY GOING TO BE HOMELESS!’ meanwhile, i’m getting these super awesome-encouraging-‘everythingwillbefine’-‘thelordhassomethingsomuchbetterforus’ kind of texts from kaylee. ok cool, i’m glad someone is keeping their cool because i am absolutely 100% not. blessing #2: i have super calm and collected and amazing roommates who talk me down from my craziness. we show and as expected you could sit on the carpet in this house we had already rented and your butt got wet. SICK, we are not living here. blessing #3: the lord protected us from this mess before we lived there. this could have been a serious problem, well it actually probably already is a serious problem. we proceed to spend the next 4 hours driving around town looking at houses and thinking that it wouldn’t be the end of the world to stay in the same place we lived in this year. in all honesty though, none of us were thrilled about this idea. we sat at panera and each had a salad and a newspaper and we just started calling everyone in the classifieds. we got a few leads and looked at those houses too. meanwhile, kaylee had found this super cool log cabin and called the agent. he told her it had already been rented, but he had another property he thought we might like to see. we piled back into our car for the 448930th time that day and followed this guy up some super intense road that i was convinced my car would not be able to travel. on the way up i said to my mom, “chances are we are going to love this house but there is no way we’re living here cause this driveway is out of hand.” (hint: if you aren’t picking up on the irony, this is the house we got-lolz to the max). we get to the top and the house i can already tell is amazing. we walk around inside, see it’s beauty, bask in the blue and green walls, drool over the porch, giggle about how sweet it would be that we could each get our own floor, yadi-ya. too good to be true-right? so i thought…

all three girls and their momma’s headed their separate ways for whatever reason and mom and i discussed it. it was going to cost more than we (mom and i) wanted to spend, but i knew we all loved it. and honestly, nothing was standing in comparison. mom called dad and they decided that they wanted me to live here too and they were really, honestly okay with the price. ‘wow jessie, that’s so great i bet you were thrilled!’ i wish i could say that was my response. i broke down. i totally lost it right then and there. i felt bad. i didn’t want to have to spend that much, i knew there were other cheaper options. my mom finally talked me down and we decided to take it. i still felt that tinge of guilt.

it wasn’t until my drive home later that night that i realized this was a blessing. the lord has blessed my family and we are able to afford this house. i didn’t like the way this blessing was coming about. in my mind, a blessing would have been a cute little house that was well-below what i had wanted to spend. the reality of this situation is that his blessings are further beyond what i could have thought of. my mom and dad wanted to bless me-they wanted me to have this gift. and the lord used them to bless me. how amazing? his blessings are often what we don’t recognize. it’s not until we seek him that we find how much he delights in giving his children the desires of their hearts. my desire was to have this house, i didn’t think that desire would be a reality. blessing #4: AN AMAZING HOUSE I COULDN’T HAVE IMAGINED IF I TRIED.

it was so obvious when we first knew we were getting it that this home would be a blessing to others and would be used for ministry. this house is already covered in prayers and thanksgiving. we can’t wait to host events and welcome people into our home to same way our father has so graciously welcomed us into his arms.

God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.’ [ephesians 3:20, the message]

and this is my week in photos

1: ph had a tournament in chapel hill so i got to see him for a bit-always a trip. 2: snapchats from these two get me every time. can’t wait to see them in 2 months! 3: mary margaret sent kaylee and i this picture today-our first bestie pic! who knew what a gift they would become to me. 4 & 5: two of the things i love most about being home, TJ’s and momma.

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since when do i run?

normally, i really hate running. like really do not like it. but something in me kicked in this summer and i decided to give it another go. i did the whole ‘go to the fancy running shoe store and let them talk me into fancy shoes that cost more than a couple tanks of gas.’ and then i went for it. i run as often as a can. (i should probably throw out there that ‘running’ means more run a little walk more) but nonetheless i’m doing it! yay! and it’s growing on me. this is so strange, but one reason i started running was that i want to be around and healthy for my grandchildren. ‘jessie, you don’t even have a boyfriend so slow down.’ I KNOW! but for whatever reason that’s been like 80% of my motivation. you do the math, you can figure out what the other 20% is. 

tonight while i was ‘running’ i looked up and was reminded how big and fabulous and glorious my God is.

‘therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. and let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us.’ [hebrews 12:1] cloud and running-cool. Image

passions

it’s been a long time since i’ve written anything, and i think i realized why. sometimes i feel inadequate. inadequate to blog, to follow my dreams, to chase something i love. i’ve changed my mind a million times about what i want to do with my major and my life. right now it has something to do with blogging. whether it’s designing or writing i’m not sure. but i love it. and i know i’m not an expert, and maybe you wouldn’t even consider what i’m doing ‘good.’ but i really do love it. even when i know it’s something i enjoy doing, i feel too inadequate to keep doing it. i’ve always valued the opinions of others, although a lot of times i try to deny it. so even blogging has proven to be something i want to do but i’m not sure what ‘other people will think of it.’ but since when does God place desires in our hearts that he doesn’t equip us to chase? he’s put this desire inside of me because i realize that blogging often leads to reaching a multitude of people. so many of my enteries are on a whim-what i did over the weekend, what the Lord showed me when i woke up this morning, the recipe i had for dinner. and i always wonder, ‘what good is this doing for anyone?’ then i take a step back and realize, it’s not up to me how it affects other people. if the Lord places something on my heart to write about, i’ll do it because that is how he is equipping me. 

“Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (exodus 4: 10-13).

ok cool, so here the Lord literally tells moses that he will equip him. i really honestly believe that if the Lord has put a passion or desire in your heart that you know can advance His kingdom and bring glory to Him, he will equip you. by nature, we are not equipped to accomplish life. in order to be sucesfull in our journey, we must ask our father to equip us. and i promise you he will! so do it, chase your passions and your dreams because i know they are there for a reason. don’t give up on something you love. if you had a desire 10 years ago but tucked it away because it seemed ‘unrealistic,’ pull it back out and go for it. you never know what could come of your life if you live in the ordinary and everyday. be someone, do something, and if you don’t know what you’re passionate about, start looking.