Tuesday, January 24, 2012

::Tuesday's Tea With Me::

Golly it has been so cold in the mornings. It was so cold the other day my hands nearly stuck to my steering wheel. However... it's been perfect for a nice hot tea to start off the day No?

So I was fiddling with my new record player yesterday and I was trying to get certain radio stations to come in clearly. I was turning the knob this way and that, and out of the radio pops this voice that says, 

"Good intentions will not provide spiritual strength." 

I sat there thinking on that for a second and the voice kept going...

"We cannot possibly be prepared for life's challenges without practicing spiritual discipline such as fellowship, prayer, and reading about God's promises."

The man kept talking but I quickly fumbled for the off button so I could process those words before my brain moved on. That's pretty deep. 

How will I have time for spiritual disciplines such as prayer (connecting with God) if I have 5 gadgets in front of me, that with the touch of a button, connect me to people? I can become so over-connected with people that there is no opening to hear that still small voice. And frankly that quiet gentle voice is the one that really matters. It's what guides me along my very own unique path. I don't want to follow the masses. I want to be Jenna.

How can you observe a discipline daily, that will strengthen your spirit? That will cut your attention loose from all the wires and let your soul take a breath of fresh air? Is it a morning walk? Is it charging your phone in the kitchen instead of your nightstand? Is it keeping electronics out of your bedroom? Spending 20 minutes of undivided attention with one child, or one pet? Not answering phone calls for a day or two and returning messages later? How can we block all those things that seek to grab our attention and distract us. Because meaning to slow down, is not slowing down. And delayed obedience is disobedience.

Just something to think on. Love you guys. Hope this cold weather affords you a quiet moment to reflect and be intentional with your time. Your life.

-Jenna Jill

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

::Tuesday's Tea With Me::

Let's take our tea out onto the patio this afternoon. Oh and look who came out to join us in this graceful day... LADYBUGS. I love ladybugs!

In other news, Rose (the character in my book) and I both have poison oak at the same time. I was pretty tickled about that. What are the odds of that? Mine is almost all cleared up though. What would hiking be without an occasional fee?

And onto other matters of the day... Facebook Sabbatical update:

So far my life has not been drastically altered. I thought something was going to "happen" and I'd miss it. So far... nothing has really "happened." Then I started thinking since when has the responsibility of knowing "the scoop" fallen on us? Didn't it used to be, that if something happened that you were unaware of, someone would let you know? Preferably someone that was involved. When did it shift to me needing to check Facebook everyday to be sure I don't miss it? And then I started thinking that maybe my need to check Facebook so often was actually due to my own need to feel like I was in control. 

You know the person at work that is always trying to get the scoop first. But she gets it in an unorthodox way, creating boundary issues along the way. Why is it so difficult for us to lean back, and let information find us? Because if we are first to know... what? If we know first we are important? We are smart? We are what? Stressed if you ask me. If I don't know, I don't worry.

So far I haven't noticed anything that I have missed but I have discovered an overwhelming since of peace and rest. Shoot, I pulled out cards today to write a couple hand written...with a pen, paper, and a stamp... letters. Remember those things? (That just gave me a thought. I shall write them by candlelight, while listening to a record next time.)

Yep. This is the life for me. Candles. Letters. Records. Reading. And my friend Camille got me back into poetry mode. Yes. Been a while since I wrote a poem. Ahhh... Satisfaction. How costly it is, and oh how worth it. [deep sigh]

Love you guys. May you go into this day with a deep sense of God's powerful presence with you. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I really don't know how to express what joy this little fur ball brings me. She's just so cute and cuddly. And she loves the sunshine just like me.

Friday, January 13, 2012


You know I might not claim to be a fabulous cook, but I sure do like baking. I love the way it makes the whole house smell like a delicious treat. 

I opted to pull together something a bit more complicated than brownies today. I think making pie crust actually requires some practice, but that's not bad for my first try. Plus I didn't have a rolling pin and I had to find a pinch-hitter. (A can of Pam. Lol.)

But the house smells heavenly.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Little Dandelion

"Simple and fresh and fair from winter's close emerging, 
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter'd grass--innocent, golden, calm as the dawn, 
The spring's first dandelion shows its trustful face." 
"Leaves of Grass," by Walt Whitman

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

::Tuesday's Tea With Me::

"The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?"
-Henry David Thoreau

Approximately one week into my Facebook sabbatical and I am coming to see the following truth in a touchable way:
Less... is more!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Going To Grandma's

It was my favorite kind of Saturday today. The kind where I get to go over to Grandma and Grandpa's for breakfast. Plus they both have green thumbs and while I'm there I like to try to figure out how to get one too. Today was beautiful and sunny so Grandma and I explored the garden and I received some big fresh lemons right off the tree. Mmmm.... they smell magnificent. 

And I love Grandma's blue and white dishes. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Celebrate Serenity

 Truly... I don't even know what to do with myself. This Crosley turntable is the most fabulous thing I think I have ever purchased. It sings to my heart for hours. I'm glued to the spot. If I had known listening to records would feed my soul like this I'd have bought one years ago.

In fact the idea first planted itself in my heart several years back when I was completing my undergraduate degree at Point Loma Nazarene University. I  had parked off campus and was walking through a quaint little neighborhood on my way to class, when I passed a home with the garage door open and heaven floating out of that little space. I stopped and looked into the garage which was very neat and tidy, where a man sat tinkering at his workbench. I could hear the sounds of classical music floating through the air and I remember I was so mesmerized I even turned around and walked back to take it in longer. 

Sometimes in life there are things that speak to your soul, long before you know it is a part of you. I think my heart saw a piece of itself in that man's garage. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I found a baby skunk! We were best buds until she actually saw me. I don't know if she was deaf or what but I was following her all around for about 10 minutes while she was digging and gathering food, and then Bam! Stiff as a board she went. I took that as my cue to exit.

[The name Chicago in the language of the Potowatomi Indian tribe means, "wild and smelly."] 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

::Tuesday's Tea With Me::


Well. I wasn't going to talk about this. Because it seemed rather vulnerable. [deep sigh] BUT... since my friend Meghan had the guts to share a similar type matter, I took my cue from her and mustered up the courage to share.

As some of you may know my New Years Resolution was to take a Facebook sabbatical. Now I had a feeling it would be hard to do. Kind of. But I didn't realize the impact it would have in only a 24 hour period. Without Facebook there to make me "think" that I was connected, I had to come to grips with the reality that I'm really not. Damn! 

So this morning I have been taking stock of my relational life; the connections I do have, the ones maybe I should have, and what in the world I have been feeding off of in the mean time. This whole year has been a theme of increasing the quality of my life in a variety of areas. So here I am facing yet another opportunity for improvement: relationships. How do you develop quality over quantity in that regard?

Stay tuned. I don't have the answer yet. But I'm hoping to develop some insights. :-)

P.S. Grandma brought me over more fresh roses from her garden. Yes!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Little Boys

I love cows and I love little boys. This cracked me up. 

Of course hearing "Hey look at that lady taking pictures of the cows" ring across the field leads me to believe that they were wanting to get in on some of the camera action.

An Unspoken Rule

I am totally loving my book right now. I want to share this excerpt because it hit me like a sack of potatoes..
"Aaron caught a glimpse of an insight and latched onto it. He'd broken an unspoken rule --- one person did not reach into another person's life and make decisions for her... or him. It seemed this was a lesson he should have learned long ago. As his thoughts followed that trail, he understood something else. It wasn't his place to pry his parents' grip free of this farm. He wasn't wrong in showing them options for a different life or in sacrificing his time to help them. But his way was overzealous. They were mature adults with the right to hang on to this black hole until they or the bank said otherwise. He'd learned in rehab that a spouse, friend, or parent can't make someone want to get clean. And he couldn't make his parents want to leave this place. He'd banked on having more influence over his parents than he really had."                                           -The Harvest of Grace
 An unspoken rule. One should not reach into another persons's life and make decisions for them. [hand raised in the air.] I'm busted. I'm guilty.

Here's a quote I've been letting soak into the soil of my soul:
"For I am convinced that everything as it is in itself is holy. You've got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God. Forget about deciding what's right for each other."                                                                                 -Romans 14:13 
Oh crap. I totally haven't lived this way. At all. I'm telling you I was totally convinced I was supposed to tell other people how best to live their life. I believed that for 29 years. Ha ha ha... That's pretty dumb. I think it's pretty funny right now. What a pinhead. Overzealous is a gentle way to put it if you ask me. Arrogant and presumptuous is another way to say it. I just didn't know. But I DO now. :-D Hip hip hurray! YAHOOOOO!!!! I get it. I get it. I get it.! YES!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It Is Well

I found this old piece of wood when I was out hiking way back in the hills one day. I couldn't part with it so I strapped it to my pack and carried it all the way home with me. 

I decided to make a sign out of it.