Thursday, July 24, 2008

We spotted the ocean...

What a wonderful TTWS song. We got back this afternoon from our Vacation #2 to Crystal Beach. This is going to be a serious post I guess. Last night I couldn't sleep, so I decided to go sit out on the balcony of the beach house and watch the waves and spend some time with God. It was amazing. As soon as I sat down, I started talking to Him about all the stuff that was going on, and He quickly interrupted me. See, usually I feel like I have to talk for a little while to God before He'll start talking to me. Last night, He was basically saying, "I've been waiting for you, Jenni, and I really want to talk to you. Could you just listen for a minute?" Immediately, He was speaking. And sometimes I can't really tell if it's Him or what I want Him to say, but it was unquestionably Him, and I thought I'd share some of it.

We spent Tuesday at the beach with some inner tubes. We'd walk down a ways and go into the water. Our goal was to get on the other side of where the waves were breaking so that we could just ride the easy waves back to where our group was. This proved to be much, much harder than I thought. The breaking waves were rough--you'd take a step and then they'd knock you back 3. Kaleb came up with a jump-jump-run method where you'd jump the waves then run hard so you could get as far as possible before the next set came in. Some times we made it to the other side, some times we didn't. It was fun, but it was tough. Getting smacked in the face with nasty water isn't always pleasant. But once you got past those breaking waves, it was smooth sailing. The water just carried you over it. You didn't have to worry about getting knocked over or anything. It was peaceful and wonderful.

While I was watching the waves crashing on the shore last night, God used them to show me how that's exactly what life is like. It's so easy to get caught up in the nasty water of life...drama and gossip and depression and whatever else is bogging you down...that we don't think we can handle it. But at the same time, we just stay there because maybe we don't realize what's on the other side of it. It's hard work, but if we can just get passed all of it, passed the point where everything breaks, then our ride will be so much smoother, calm, relaxing, peaceful. And of course it isn't always like that...there are still those really tall waves that you just can't get over before they smack you, and sometimes the waves carry you back past the breaking point again, but then at least you've had a taste of the smooth waters, and you know what you're working back to get to. God just really spoke to me through all of this. He wants me to get past all the junk that happens that's so superficial so I can focus on things that matter--namely: Him. I am so thankful that He shared this with me. I don't like sand, but I sure love the ocean.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vacation #1

Ahhhhhh. We got back this morning from a much-needed vacation! It was short, but so sweet! My mom, dad, and sister came in Saturday night and we left for Galveston after church on Sunday morning. We got some beach time, some attraction time, some pool time, and some great family time! I'd post pictures, but I just got finished uploading 71 to my myspace AND then to my facebook! So I'm sure we're myspace or facebook friends and you can see them there. Because they really are great. Ella had a great time. She LOVES the beach. Watching her in the waves was hilarious. We spent Monday at Moody Gardens, where she said her favorite part was the Rainforest. Every animal she saw was, "Idn't he cuuuuuute?" Including the snakes. We tried to tell her snakes weren't really cute, but she wasn't having it.

It ended way too quickly, but I am so glad we got to go together! It's our first vacation since we got married (except the honeymoon) and Kaleb and Ella's first vacation with my family. I had such a wonderful time!!! I named this vacation #1 because we leave for vacation #2 with Kaleb's family on Monday!! So at least we've got stuff to look forward to still:) We're going to Crystal Beach with them Monday through Thursday, coming home for the weekend, and then leaving the next Tuesday for Austin for a business trip with Kaleb! It'll be my first trip to Austin so I am PUMPED. We'll come back to Houston Friday night, stay with his cousin, and go to the JOHN MAYER concert on Saturday. We have got a very business next few weeks!!! Woo HOOOOO!!! I LOVE SUMMER!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Good friends, Good times, Goodbyes

This past weekend was the best I've had in a really long time. It's pretty likely it was the best one of the year thus far. We drove up to Many on Thursday to spend the night at my parents' before we took Ella back to her mom's. On Friday, we went to Natchitoches to have lunch with my wonderful, beautiful best friend, Blaire, and my wonderful, beautiful best photographer AND great friend, Amy. That was fabulous. Afterwards, Kaleb went to play golf with his cousin, and I went back to my parents'. The evening was good. On Saturday, my parents and I woke up bright and early to head back over to Natchitoches to move my sister in her 2nd place in about 3 months. We were done by 10:30! Amazing! Then I discover that a WHOLE bunch of my favorite college friends were in town for a wedding! So I stayed in Natchitoches and went to hang out with Blaire and Jamie, two old and wonderful friends/roommates, and Joshua and Matt, two new friends. We had such a great time just catching up and fellowshiping with one another! Joshua and Matt were throwing a party that night, and I kept saying how much I wished we could stay (I had commitments at church the next day). Kaleb kept saying how we totally I got someone else to do my commitment (I felt really bad, but how often do I see these people?? It had literally been more than a year!!) and went and bought a dress (I didn't bring one...good excuse, huh?) and decided to stay another night! We saw SO many old friends, and met a bunch of new ones. We both realized more than ever how much we feel that God is drawing us back to Natchitoches. Kaleb's been feeling it, but I haven't until recently. We still feel like God's telling us to wait for now, though. And we are some impatient fools!!

Sunday morning, we went to church at The River, the church I went to while I was at NSU. I'll be honest...I mostly wanted to go because Mary Dirks was going to be leading worship. Man. It was just exactly what I needed...the memories flooded back and everything God has done and continues to do for me and for our families just rushed in. All I could do was praise Him. He is amazing! He works all things for His good. And no matter what situation I'm in, no matter how unhappy I feel with my job, it is so important to know that He's brought me here for a reason. When it's time to move, He'll let us know. But for now, I have to be open to let him use me in any way possible to reach the people I come into contact with here, especially my kids. Praise God! I love Him so!

So that was our weekend. It's left us yearning for more of what we experienced there, but we're trying to be patient until it's time for us to go back.

That was the good times and the good friends...the goodbyes was leaving them AND the fact that today was the last day of summer school!!! And while I've been looking forward to it for FOREVER, it makes me really sad because this was my last day with Leslie:( I have NO clue what I am going to do without her next year. I will miss you, my friend!!! We have GOT to still do stuff together!