Friday, December 17, 2010

Denver and baby

We just spent the last week in Estes Park which is north of Denver. It was tons of fun and a great time for Mark and I to just get away and spend good time together before the baby comes. I am so thankful that we were able to take this trip. Many thanks to both of our parents for making this week possible by giving us a week of time share and transporting us back and forth to Indianapolis to the airport. I am 17 weeks pregnant. My belly is starting to grow and I think sometimes I can feel the baby move. Sometime in the next 3 weeks we will be able to have our ultrasound. We won't be finding out the sex but it will be fun to see the little munchkin and also make sure all is going well.

This week we did so much hiking in the mountains. It was amazing but I have to say that I worked my pregnant self very hard. It felt good though. Hopefully the baby agrees :-) I know my doctor will be happy since she is all about exercise while pregnant. My husband has been amazing about walking with me multiple times a week. The doctor asked me to be walking 30 min a day, 5 days a week. We have been doing pretty well and not once have I had to walk alone. He is awesome! He has been so good to me while i have been pregnant and has made it an awesome thing to experience together. The only thing I can't figure out is that he seems to think that he gets to eat for 2 as well. I hear him say things like "I am having chocolate milk because I am pregnant." haha. It makes me laugh and love him that much more. When we get the ultra sounds pictures we will make sure they are somewhere for all to see.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A much needed update...

Well as most of you now know, I am pregnant! About 12 weeks now. Which would explain the complete lack of updates, in fact it explains the complete lack of anything productive for the past 6 weeks. I was feeling so sick along with pure exhaustion that not much was getting accomplished. And when I did feel up to something I wanted it to be baby somethings!

We are really really excited about our baby. IN fact we can't wait until May. Who needs 9 months?! I am finally feeling much better and have a good amount more of energy. I am really looking forward to the next few months. Mark and I are going to Denver in December for a trip just the two of us before lil bean comes. And then we have Thanksgiving and Christmas. Such a packed 2 months but really exciting. I am also looking forward to a break from school. Well this is short but about all I wanted to say. Love to everyone.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

busy season...

Tomorrow Mark and I both go back to school. A year ago, I never would have thought that this is where we would be, however I am so very confident that it is where God has us. I am excited for a new adventure and to be doing it together. However, I am also very nervous. You see, right now our life if great. We have a lot of time and flexibility on our hands. Life has been fun and refreshing, but adding school to the mix seems like a lot. With only one car, 2 jobs, and 4 classes things are tight. There is no wiggle room in the schedule. And to be able to manage it all we will have to be very disciplined. It is a big change. But what I am most nervous about is my attitude. Mark is going to be much more busy than I. He will have a lot on his plate which will leave me needing to be patient, selfless and flexible. I am not good at any of those things.

Yesterday I felt God very clearly tell me, "Jenny, it is up to you to make this season of life a great one, or a terrible one". Why up to me you ask? Because Mark changes and adjusts easily. He is patient and hard working. He doesn't complain or become restless. He doesn't nag or whine. He just endures and is content and thankful through it all. Me, i am just the opposite. God is telling me that if my attitude is patient, content, peaceful, thankful, and selfless than this season will be a great opportunity to support and love Mark. But if it is the opposite it will be miserable for both of us.

The saying is true (at least in the Potter, household) "if momma/wife is happy, everyone is happy".

There are a few verses that God brought to mind that I think will help me through this season of life and every day beyond it.

Here is one of them:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippeans 4:6-7

Oh, and one more thing....I thought it would be silly and fun if we took first day of school pictures of ourselves. You know, we could put on our backpacks (do we even have backpacks?) and take pictures of us leaving for class. Fun, right? Mark said no! But maybe, just maybe you will see one on here in the next few days...if I can be sneaky..haha :-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


So, over the last year Mark has really begun to love football. I have always enjoyed football in very small amounts. It was always more about the experience and not so much the game. Since he was really liking it and spending a lot of his free and "fun" time doing football related things I decided I would make effort to get a little more involved. I really like it when Mark shows interest in things I like so I knew he would enjoy me doing the same. Turns out I love being on a fantasy team. It really has been a simple, not a huge time commitment and fun activity. But, the best thing about it? It has given Mark and I lots of laughs and awesome time together. I wouldn't watch football or get that into if Mark didn't, but together I really love it. Today, its just us in our comfy clothes hanging out watching football, chatting, laughing and resting together.

Since we aren't involved in a church at the moment we spent the morning together at Panera drinking coffee and eating bagels while studying the book of Matthew together. It is an awesome day.

I think it is a great practice to try and like what our spouses like for the sake of loving them and being with them. It is worth it :-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So when we moved into our house over a year ago we inherited a mass amount of pink curtains. I never liked them, not once did I look at them and think "they are ok". No, in fact I woke up everyday and grunted at the sight of them. I really, really disliked them. Not only did I have no idea how dirty, how old, or whose they were but I strongly disliked the color. However, they were the only curtains we had and we have not been able to afford new curtains for our HUGE windows. I fought to be patient as I waited for new ones, I sought to be grateful for everything I DID have, and I tried to not complain about how much I disliked them. I was a long ways from being successful at this but it was my desire and I did, also, learn some lessons in this curtain dilemma...

My neighbor and dear friend Rhea completely understood how much the curtains bothered me and had been helping me to come up with affordable ideas for curtains that really needed to be custom made (EXPENSIVE!). Mark and I came home the other day and were hanging out with Neil and Rhea on their porch, when Rhea very excitedly told me she had bought us curtains! I couldn't believe it. They are beautiful and perfect. Her mom sewed them for us so they fit perfectly and I love them. I was thrilled to stuff the pink ones and all of their dust in the trash! It was a huge gift and I am still amazed at her and Neil's thoughtfulness and generosity.

It was a huge reminder that God loves me. I had asked him for curtains and he gave them to me. It wasn't in my timing, it was a year later than I would have liked. I never would have been as grateful if I hadn't waited a year. I love them that much more. People, listen up, if you trust God, he does provide. Always. And even sometimes he provides what we don't need, what doesn't have eternal value and what won't last long but yet he knows will make us happy. Find your contentment and peace in him no matter what and trust that he will provide and just watch. God is good.

Also, a side note. I think Rhea was just as happy if not happier to be able to give something like this. I was reminded again why it is fun to give and why I want to spend my life giving, not receiving. Although this time it was fun receiving!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Go right through for MSU...

Mark and I were really excited to be able to watch the first MSU game of the season. I love that Mark and I share a love for MSU both sports wise and school wise. We both grew up MSU fans because our parents both went there and then we both have amazing memories from the school. Not to mention, we met, dated, got engaged and married all while at MSU. MSU is just a special place for both of us. With all that said though, it is strange that we both, soon, will be bearcats. If all goes as planned we will both have a degree from UC. Its funny that we will both share the same two schools. I may get my degree from UC but I think I will always think of myself as a spartan first. I was raised a Spartan and I'm not sure I could ever truly be anything else. Although it will be fun to have another school to make memories at together and a local school to root for and love, I think we will both always be a Spartan!

Go Green!

Speaking of Mark and I and our lives at MSU. Here is a picture before we started officially "dating".

And we are maintaining our loyalty in our new home in Cincinnati.

Soon I will have a picture to post of us maybe in a bearcats shirt attending our first game as students again?

Who knows?!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Hey all,

So some of you (parents) send me or mark an email in response to the blog which is fine. But I like it to go on the blog if possible. then it is there forever and others can see your thoughts. So instead of responding the email you get from being subscribed to the blog. Go to and click comment at the bottom of the post you want to respond to. That would make me happy :-)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

bubble machine

Today on the radio they read a list of things the will make you feel good FAST. What was number one? Have two bubble machines?! Not one, but TWO bubble machines? What the heck, who would have thought!?1

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I really enjoy blogging. I love writing and I love the conversation that can happen between blog post and between readers. I love that God works things out in me as I write and I hope that the few that read it gain from what God is teaching me. I don't claim to know a lot and I don't really spend time researching my ideas. I know that most people who read this are family and really close friends who love me even what I am crazy or wrong. But sometimes I like the idea of writing a blog that had intention to it. A blog that I spend time on and spent time researching and gathering info to teach others. I spend a lot of time in blog-o-sphere (like my word?) and love every minute of it. I learn a lot and feel like I know a lot of people that I really don't (is this a good thing?). And I spend time dreaming of have a "big" blog. Thats what I named the people who have thousands of readers.

But to be honest there are many things that scare me. Like first, i don't want my blog to be about how many readers. I want it to point people to God whether its 1 or 1000. Also these "big" bloggers know something I don't. Its a whole different world. I mean, they have conferences on blogging! Its a "cool" thing. It is THE thing right now. And honestly I have issues with "cool" things. I don't want to do what everyone else is doing.

But I love blogging. And yes, I could stay here at and continue writing to those who read. I am content with this. BUT I want a new name. I don't want it to be markjenny anymore because Mark doesn't blog here anymore. Sorry Polo, I am kicking you out. And it is easy for Mark to make a blog. But I don't want it to be that I chasing blogland. I don't want it to be a chase to be cool and blog. Although I am sure you can see the war within me right now. I suppose it isn't a big deal anyways since, even if I tried I probably would not become a BIG blog.

I like my happy little corner or the world. We saw Cinderalla the other day. This song comes to mind...

"In my own little corner in my own little chair
I can be whatever I want to be.
On the wings of my fancy I can fly anywhere
and the world will open its arms to me."

Lets just change the words and this is how I feel about my blog:

"In my own little corner in my own little blog
I can be whatever I want to be,
By the tip of my pencil I can go anywhere
and the world will open its arms to me"

I like it here.

Oh and by the way if I am going to be like Cinderella, I would totally wear the dress..

Saturday, August 28, 2010


This is a break in the rat race blogs for just some random things that the Potters have been up to.

First can I say that I have the best husband ever? Last weekend Mark and I were discussing ways to make our cooking and grocery shopping more consistent and planned for. I really love cooking and really feel strongly about eating REAL food, that doesn't come from a box, and as healthy as possible. But in order to eat like this and especially on our budget it needs to planned out. What was happening was when we both got home from work and were hungry and tired, making dinner felt like it would take to much time. We weren't prepared and instead we were eating out more and eating less healthy food. So my husband (this is why he is great) decided that every Saturday we would go grocery shopping. We would plan 5 meals a week and prepare as much as possible on Saturday and then freeze it. So this past week we ate 5, home cooked healthy meals without cooking once. It was great. We are going to do it again today, once we get moving.

Another thing we accomplished this month was eating a food budget of $200. I was so skeptical and did not think we could do but we wanted to get our food cost as low as possible. And we did it! We will do $50 a week on our Saturday trips now. My tips to lower your food budget--start with eating less, most of us eat to much and can afford to eat less. Buy whats on sales. Go meatless once in a while. Don't buy snack stuff. If you eat lots of snacks do fruits or veggies--you won't eat as much of them. And skip on beverages. Water and milk work just as well or you could buy 100% juice concentrate which is half the price.

Random fact: I currently have almost 30 books checked out from the library. I have no idea how this happened. Please know that I have not and will not read them all. I just like to look through and learn random facts on whatever topic the book is on.

I am considering taking full advantage of my husband being a web-designer and having unlimited website hosting by having him make me my own custom blog. We though it would be fun. I want the domain name to have Jenny in it. Any suggestions? We thought of:

those two are my favorites. Any suggestions?

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rat Race, part 2

I left off my last entry saying, “we have to slow down.” In part 2 I want to talk more about WHY we need to slow down. Its not about slowing down just for the sake of being lazy and sitting around, its about slowing down in order to build our life around God rather than trying to squeeze Him in between work, the gym, bible study, grocery shopping, worship practice and girls night out. First stop is to look at what the bible says about our priorities.

The “Proverbs 31 Woman” is a great passage in the bible that talks about a “wife of noble character.” She is hard working bringing food and clothing to her family and extending her hands to the needy. In fact, it says her light never goes out at night and she is up before dawn. She works hard and she is praised for it. I definitely think we are called to work hard. Proverbs 10:4 says 
”lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” So, if the bible praises and encourages working hard, why am I saying to slow down? If you look closely, the woman in Proverbs 31 is putting her hands to meaningful tasks, providing and caring for family and those in need around her. Yes, she is busy but it isn’t a stressful pursuit of the American Dream. When I read about her I sense that her life is a calm and purposeful pursuit of caring for the people that God has placed in her life. She can laugh at the days to come proving that she wasn’t worrying about tomorrow, she wasn’t planning out her days and stressing about how she could make is all work. She laughed at it. My guess is, she was living one moment at a time, each one glorifying the Lord. Also, we can consider Mary and Martha. Jesus praised Mary for sitting at his feet and worshipping while Martha bustled around cleaning and preparing food. Ecclesiastes 4:5 says, “Some say it is foolish to fold your hands and do nothing, because you will starve to death. Maybe so, but I say it is better to be content with what little you have. Otherwise, you will always be struggling for more, and that is like chasing the wind.”—King Soloman (the wealthiest man to live). We have to be careful why we do what we do. It is so easy to get caught up in chasing things or spending our time doing stuff that distracts from God and his eternal purposes. Things that often seem important or like a good thing are only pulling us away from God.

This is where is gets tricky because often the things that are making us go non-stop are good things. In my life, two examples were a job and bible study. Even good, well intentioned things can distract us from God. We have to make time for him and do what he is calling us too. He wants us to put him first in everything. It is fine to work hard and provide a good life your family, if you are also willing to give up everything you have (literally) to follow him. What isn’t ok is working so hard and being so busy that we wouldn’t even know if he was calling us to give it all up.

This past month I gave up several things that were “crowding” and “busying” my life. And in doing that I have found time to study the bible daily with my husband, write letters of encouragement to several friends, spend time with neighbors and more time in prayer and worship. The things I am doing have more meaning to me. They are eternal things that I am investing in. Also in quitting a few things I have had to face several fears head on, such as not having enough money and having no friends. I was working a job because I was scared to death that if I didn’t we wouldn’t have money. And for that reason alone I had to quit. I cared more about the job than I did about trusting God. And you know what? As soon as I quit the job money came from the most unexpected places. My life is slower and more focused on God. It is a work in progress but one I will never stop marching towards. When I die I want to look back on my life and know that I lived each day focused on God, that my children lived a life devoted to the Lord and that I gave up everything for Jesus. I do not want to look back and have only a nice house, a nice car, and a fun life to remember. I want God all over my life. I want a life that sets me apart from those that don’t know the Lord, because that’s what living for Jesus is. If it looks like the rest of the world, what are we doing wrong? Jesus didn’t live like everyone else. He lived only to glorify God and I am pretty confident that it didn’t involve rushing from one event to the other trying to find a way to eat dinner in between. He had time for prayer and fasting, he had time to eat dinner with those who didn’t know him and time to teach others. He only did what mattered. Jesus didn’t run the rat race. You know, even if you win the rat race, in the end you are still a rat. :-)

In part 3 I want to challenge some of the things we fill our lives with. I want us all to take time to think about why we value what we do and why we spend our lives working towards certain things. Stay tuned…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rat Race, part 1

My last post talked a lot about my struggles to learn to be ok staying home, to stop seeking out fun and to learn to adjust and find purpose in the "same old routine". This post has a lot to do with this same idea. It is journey I feel God has me on right now. I am learning a lot about WHAT I do on a day to day basis compared to WHO I am. I think it is easy, and in fact what most Americans feel, to find our identity in what we do. We (Americans) live very busy, very fast paced lives. We say "yes" to everything in order to make others happy, to be a good person, to make more friends, to be the best parents, to be a good christian and so on and so forth. We think we have to do certain things in order to be who we want to be. We often get involved in certain things to give ourselves a certain reputation, or because we want to look good to those around us. As woman we are often trying to become that "supermom" or "superwomen" who can do EVERYTHING (or at least look as though we can). We want a clean house, homemade meals, lots of friends, to be active in a church, to have perfect kids who do well at everything, to be in shape, to look stylish and to have a great house in a great neighborhood. We think these things are what make us the person we want to be so we get involved in everything we can. We run around like crazy trying to do the impossible of working, keeping the house clean, laundry done and family fed. It is one big rat race until we drop dead in our beds at the end of the day for maybe 6 hours of sleep only to get up and do it all over again. MAYBE we create a small space in our schedule for God, and maybe we throw out prayers all day for Him to keep us going and help us get OUR list done.

I'll go ahead and say that I think this is satan's biggest fight against women. Keep us busy, keep us chasing unrealistic expectations and keep us searching for our identity in everything but God. And in all of it he somehow manages to convince us that yes, this is how life with God looks, we are being good christian women. BAH! Not TRUE, Not TRUE, Not TRUE!!!

So, I personally had realized that I was fighting this battle. I was getting so busy and was running around like a crazy women--and golly gee...I don't even have kids yet! And then I was so distressed and confused and busy that I couldn't handle it. I didn't even know why I was doing everything I was doing. And then I felt God tell me to quit all of these things. And with lots of struggle I did. I quit one job (I don't advise quitting jobs unless you really feel like this is what God says to do, by the way), I quit bible study (GASP! Bible study? Yes, bible study), I set boundaries on how many times a day I cleaned my house, I got off facebook (yes facebook can make you more busy than necessary), and I began focusing on slowing down in everything. So here I am, working 20 hours a week, meeting one night a week to have bible study with our neighbors (I quit one, I was in two), and, well, I guess, those are my ONLY commitments for now. Can you believe it? Is this legal?

And of course, now I am struggling with feeling like I am wasting time. "What would others think?" "Should I get another job?" "Certainly I can't have THIS much time on my hands, I must be doing something wrong." But honestly this is where God has called me right now. He has slowed me way down. And the one thing that is coming with all of this is that I see God all through out my life. I was so busy before that even in the God things I couldn't see him. I am growing and learning again. I am falling in love with my Jesus.

We HAVE to slow down. We have to learn to say no. And we HAVE to find our identity in God.

I have more to say but this is already too long. I will continue this blog later this week.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Random thinkings...

I know, that my subject is not proper english...sorry all, but I liked the way it sounded...

Please forgive me now for the random thoughts you are about to read. I fear this post could be long and unconnected. You do not have to read this, however I like to think that there are many people out there who read my blog. I know I am only kidding myself but why think any differently? It makes it more fun.

Lately I have been learning a lot about peace, routine, and doing the same old thing everyday. I always considered myself a "homebody", I enjoy being in the comfort of my own home, with all that is familiar. But really Im not so sure that is me. Everyday I find myself wanting to do something new, something exciting. I think about all the places I could go and all the things I could see. I think about doing something and then I do it and I find myself thinking about something else that would be better. I think this is half bad, half good. I think it keeps me from falling into ruts, it keeps me thinking about life and what I want out of it. It helps me to constantly wrestle with what God is calling me to do and what America is telling me to do. It makes me think. On the other hand, it stops me from being content, it leaves me with a desire that I can't satiate. It stops me from enjoying the moment and ultimately it keeps me from being peaceful. I can't enjoy the peace the Lord has given me if I am always looking for something better and more exciting.

So, what have I learned from this? I have learned that I have to seek peace and quite. Did I write a blog about this before? Forgive me if I have, I guess it is a big deal to me right now. I am learning that going places and doing things is not what I seek. What I am always wanting more of, always desiring is to FEEL. I want to feel love, excitement, romance, peace, happiness, sadness or anything in between. God made us to feel deeply, and so we desire it. And sometimes it is hard to feel deeply about the same old routine. I think its why I love books, so I can feel the emotions of the story. I think this is normal and I think it plays out in everyones life differently. I think this constant drive to feel SOMETHING, ANYTHING is what gets people in trouble. A good desire gone bad. The need to feel loved leads to one-night stands and broken relationships, the need to feel excitement leads to new drugs and dangerous situations, the need to feel powerful or in control leads to violence and abuse. The need to feel beautiful or experience beauty can lead to all sorts of weird twisted forms of art. Sometimes I feel it is what America spends everyday doing. Seeking the need to FEEL something at the core of our being.

No one likes death or tragedy but often there is some odd sense of satisfaction when we are hurt and crying over something that really mattered. We feel death so deeply and it feels so right to mourn something, that big and at the core of who we are. Anyone with me? Or am I alone on this one? Its why we love weddings, and romance.

But is it possible that these emotions are good in the right place but ultimately should be found in God? I find that when I seek God and become vulnerable with Him I FEEL deeply. I am overwhelmed by love and gratitude for Him, I hurt at the core of who I am for the lost and the suffering, I feel total excitement when I think of what He could have in store for my life and I feel a deep sense of contentment and peace. God is what stirs these desires in my heart and I will only find ultimate satisfaction in Him. It won't be in a new restaurant, a new city, a new piece of art or a good book. It is in Him alone.

So, when I start to feel that ache for something other than this (whatever this may be) I need to pick up my bible and escape to a place of solitude. And when I do this I find my thirst quenched and my hunger for "something more" satiated. He is IT. Nothing else can fill the need and desire we have for Him in our life.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

orange goodness

My kitchen is bright orange. This is the number one reason why I love being in my kitchen. It is bright, cheerful and full of energy. The number two reason I like being in my kitchen is that I love creating things and that is about all I do in the kitchen, with the exception of doing dishes. The number three reason is that everything I do in the kitchen brings me joy, feels completely natural and feels as though God would be smiling upon my moments spent there. It is a place for me to serve my family and friends, it is something I am good at and it brings me great joy to share it with others.

This week I spent a lot of time in my kitchen. I made homemade bread, swiss chicken to share with our friends, shepherds pie-full of veggies and potatoes from the farm, biscuits, no bake cookies, fried green tomatoes, homemade whole wheat pancakes and I prepared and froze extra veggies. The past two days have followed a pattern, clean, cook, eat, repeat. The only part in there I don't like is the clean. However I have found that there is something slightly therapeutic about making cleanliness out of mess and order out of chaos.

The best part about my cooking this week however has been--well actually there are two great things. First sharing it with beloved family and friends. A lot of life happens over food, there is so much laughter, heartache and joys to be shared when you gather around a table with those you love. It is one thing we all have in common--we all eat--so start with that and a lot flows from it. This is why we love having people into our home to eat. Jesus shared meals with people all the time so we will too

Second best part (the part that I originally was going to write about until I remember the afore mention "best thing"). Is that almost everything I made this week was natural, from the earth without any chemicals. I cooked with things that had only, real food in them. Some of them even being right out of the fields here in Cincinnati. I never used to be one to care much about organic, natural foods. I wasn't very concerned about my eating habits and what effect they have on the environment but the more I learn and the more I try the more I want to eat this way. My body can tolerate less and less processed foods. I feel terrible when I eat them. Its not real food and that bothers me. My body was not made to digest high fructose corn syrup, some weird concoction we created to make sugar from corn? weird right. I also know that I am supporting a family in my community who lives off of farming, I know that I am composting my scraps and putting them back in the earth and I know that my friends, family and I are eating what God created. That makes me happy.

This my friends, is why I love my orange kitchen.

Monday, June 14, 2010

hard choice

Today I quit the container store. There was a huge sense of relief that followed but getting there was such a struggle. The job was really hard on me. I didn't care for it but more than that it was the schedule. I worked so many days, but little shifts. I was often working stretches of 10-14 days with no break. Even if you only have to work for 3 hours there is something still tiring about it. We, or at least I, need a break once in a while. The other thing that was hard about it was they expected so much from me on and off the clock. It was supposed to be a second job for a little extra income: 10-15 hours a week. I wanted to go to work and it to be fun, simple, and easy and then I wanted to leave it there and come home twice a week. But instead I listen to work voicemail everyday and work 3-5 times a week. In order to perform well at work I really have to think ahead about my days. I had to be mentally prepared when I go in. We were asked to lead our own development, so there was always something more to learn and do and often that involved time off the clock for me. All of these things are great for someone who has the time. But I do not. So all of this was creating a stressed, worn out and anxious Jenny. I knew I needed to quit. I was missing out on the things most important to me because between both jobs I was just tuckered out. I often missed bible study and church. Being stressed out was affecting our marriage and our time together at home. The things most important to me were suffering the most. So with all this said, you might think "well obviously it is an easy choice, of course you needed to quit." However the reason I got the job was for money that we needed. I was so afraid to quit because of the money we would lose. It wasn't just extra money, its money that we needed to pay our bills.

But then my husband told me that I was choosing money over my marriage, my bible study and my relationship with God because this job was affecting all of these negatively. I knew the right decision was to quit. I knew it was what God wanted and what my husband wanted, as well as what I wanted. But I could not bring myself to do it. It was such a hard decision to make.

I did end up doing it. I did it because I trust God. And today I had to make the choice to trust that he would take care of us. I had to put my relationships and mental health first and forget about money. I trust God will take care of us...even if it means getting behind on a few bills, I KNOW he won't let us go without what we need. And I KNOW that I will be thankful I made this choice. The hardest choices are often the best ones. And sometimes it is just a step of faith. Mark and I have decided that we won't live our lives chasing money. We won't let money control us. And this is just one example of how we will live it out.

Today I quit my job because I needed God to be first in my life and NOT money.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Today I am doing all that I can to be content. Being content is what brings peace and thankfulness. It is so hard to be content. I find myself regretting things I think and say a lot. Wishing I had done things differently. Today I want to be content with where I am at.

I also want to remember that today is a new day. And I can always start new. Maybe there is something that I have been doing for the past 10 years and I feel like I can't change. But I can and today is the day. Why not just start new. Forget everything behind and press on. Today I start new. There are a lot of ruts I get myself into with negative thinking, criticism and poor decisions. Today I start over. I will be...







I will not think poorly of others

I will try to be a good friend instead of wishing someone would be a good friend to me...

We will start here...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Be Uncommon"

I am at work right now. But I had a sudden thought and I really wanted to write it down. I heard a quote from Tony Dungee this morning on the radio. He is an NFL coach and a devoted follower of Jesus. Mark and I have taken away several great life lessons from him. This morning he said his advice to graduates was to "Be Uncommon". Really simple but it got me thinking how hard being uncommon really is. That led to another thought. Mark is always pushing me in some way to give things up, to be better and follow God. He is really always pushing me to "be uncommon". I often get frustrated and think "well thats how so and so lives, or this person always does that so why should I stop?" I am reminded that it isn't about doing whatever anyone else does because that is not following God. It is about following God and doing what he wants which will always lead to being uncommon.

I get frustrated when Mark pushes me. I always think haven't I given up enough?? Or haven't I gotten good enough at that? He pushes me to trust God more, worry less. To need less material things and need God more. Sometimes I feel like I can't bear to give up one more thing or I will be so uncomfortable, have no security things left. Nothing comfortable. But today i was reminded that, isn't that just how God is? He always wants us to give up more, to need less and need Him more. Always with God it is just one more thing. He always wants more than we think we can give because then we NEED him, then we HAVE to DEPEND on Him.

I am thankful today that my husband does push me to serve God better, to live a simple life and to always be so dependent on my Father in Heaven.

I want to "be uncommon". I am not a graduate but this advice will stick with me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I have been reading "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns with my bible study. He is the president of World Vision and it is all about poverty and what we are really missing as the Church. The biggest realization I have had in reading this book is how desensitized I have become to poverty. I realize that though I care about it I do nothing in my day to day life to help or change things. I rarely think about it and never do things to learn about and help poverty. I wonder how many of us are desensitized to it. I wonder if we could wake up and make one small step what kind of difference it would make.

I have also spent a lot of time thinking about how I live my life. I figured out today that while Faith and John were living here the 4 of us were using about 150 gallons of water A DAY!! Isn't that insane. And yet some people have none, and what they do have they have to haul from a source to their house just to get clean. I can't even imagine. As some of you know I cherish my baths. I love taking them and i take them all the time. I decided that it would be good for me to give them up. They use so much water and maybe in the tiniest way I can start to live a little more responsibly and with a little less. So I said I won't take a bath until the first of the year. About 6 months. I will still take showers but I know I will save a lot of water and will be foregoing something that is comforting and fun--and a HUGE luxury to a lot of the world.

I have just been so challenge to live on less. We already live on little and yet I know there is so much more we could go without. Even the amount of food that we eat. Mark and I eat on about 8 dollars a day. So 4 dollars a person a day. It seems like so little. You can't eat a meal at McDonalds for that. BUT we have so much more food than we need. I know we eat more than we need and I also know that we don't eat everything we have before it goes bad.

All of this though can be so frustrating because I often I live...does it matter? Am I changing anything? Today I decided that I know if we live on less then we have extra money and I know we can give that to sponsoring a child or to some other ministry and that makes a difference. The key is doing something--anything with the extra. Not using what we save to buy us more things or for us to go somewhere but to feed the world and do SOMETHING.

What can you live without? Or what could you live on less of? Think about it...Im sure there is something!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today I am thankful for..

Sunshine! (did I say this a couple days ago? Im always thankful for sunshine)

The pink flowers in my window sill

8 hours of sleep

Peace--and the realization that I need to SEEK it or it doesn't come

That someone said "work needs to revolve around your life not the other way around"

The fact that Jesus is what matters--not money, jobs, education, food etc.

That I have a bright orange shirt to wear to work today ---when all else fails I know that bright colors will make me smile


Good music

Thats all for now...

P.S. this is my way of practicing starting my day being joyful and thankful. Not negative and annoyed. It works. TRY IT!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I wrote this to submit to a magazine a while ago. They give topics and verses and then you write. I didn't submit it right away because I was waiting for a friend to review it and then I completely forgot and missed the deadline. So I will share it with you... (the magazine requires it to be King James Version, thus some of the funny words...)

“A great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round bout the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.” The power from this passage radiates through me as I read these words. Something about this picture is right and creates an unquenchable desire within me to worship God with thousands and thousands of other believers. It reminds me of a familiar feeling around Christmas time. I love the day before Christmas Eve when everyone is out and about grabbing their last specials gifts and the remaining few ingredients, Christmas music is winding down the aisle and the excitement pulsates through the air. Something inside me becomes overwhelmed and excited participating in this holiday dance. I love being a part of something big and celebrating it with people all across the nation and world at the same time. We are all excited about the same thing and we are all getting ready for the same big event. We all share it in common. We can talk about it, dream about and be anxious about it together. There is something within us –something that God created – to desire and long to be a part of something huge. I believe it is worship.

The Bible gives us accounts of people worshipping God in all circumstances. We see worship come from thankfulness, from sorrow, from joy and from fear. We are beings made to worship God for all of eternity and he is preparing us for the day when “every knee will bow and ever tongue will confess” the risen name of Jesus Christ. But have you ever wondered why God created us this way? I think back to a time when a beloved mentor shared an experience from when she was first married. Life was hard for them, no place to call home, no jobs, no money to buy food and they had no one to share in their pain. They were lying in bed one bleak night at her husband’s parents’ house wrestling with what their lives had become and what they should do next. Overwhelmed with sorrow and grief, they felt God calling them to remember the good in their life. So they began with the simple things. They thanked God for each other, for the beds they were sleeping in, for the clothes they were wearing, and for the dinner that he had provided for them that night. They continued on and on until theirs hearts were so full of thankfulness they thought they might burst. They fell on their knees and worshipped the Lord and from then on things were different for them. They still had no home and still had no jobs, their circumstances had not changed but their hearts had. They saw things differently and were now carrying a new sense of hope and freedom – worship changed them.

Even in the worst of circumstances we can choose to worship our God. I remember this story often, especially when my life feels as though it is falling apart. It is easy to worship God when we have all we need and the sun is always shining, but when winter takes over and life is falling apart worship is no longer a choice – it is a necessity. Is there not always something to thank God for? Can’t we always start with the clothes on our back and the food in our belly? Or maybe we don’t even have those luxuries. Instead we can worship him because one day we “shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore…For the Lamb shall feed [us], and shall lead [us] unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all the tears from [our] eyes.” Can you imagine? To never hunger, thirst or cry again. Now that is something to worship our God for.
We understand God so much more when we take the time to let our hearts and mind meditate on his greatness, his unfailing love and his never-ending grace. Every day we can practice being thankful for all the little things we take for granted, such as food and clean water. We can look out our windows or even walk out our doors and admire the beauty that God has created all around us. We can worship him because of the adorable laugh from our child or because of a great song on the radio. He created it all so why not give him the credit he is due and let our hearts overflow with gratefulness and adoration? God has redeemed us and in the end all that will matter is the God we know and love. One day we will stand among the multitudes of his children and sing “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” May we not let that day be the first time our hearts have truly worshipped our God on high!


Today I am thankful for...

the jobs that Mark and I both have. We make enough money at these jobs to support us and for that I am thankful.

A warm house and food to eat.

Beautiful pink flowers to put in a vase and have in my home.

A warm comfy puppy who loves to cuddle.

Monday, April 19, 2010

just saying...

I just have to say that no matter how much money you make, or how successful your career is--it is no reflection on the amount of happiness and satisfaction one feels with their life...just saying...

Friday, April 16, 2010

The next 5 years...

Here are some things that I would like to accomplish maybe in the next 5 years? Sounds like a good timeline....

1.) Be at a point of eating little to none processed foods at home
2.) Regularly making my own yogurt, granola, and mayonnaise
3.) Eating all of our meat and as much dairy and produce from local sources (eggs-check, beef we know the source)
4.) Run a 5k
5.) Go backpacking
6.) Go on a mission trip
7.) Have a garden where I grow a lot of my own veggies
8.) Finish school
9.) Have our car paid off
10.) Love the Lord much more than I do today.

Ready, set, go....

Friday, March 26, 2010

A poem

I found this poem that I wrote a few years ago...I thought I would share it...

Im not sure why I wrote it or what I was thinking but I like it

Through your eyes there is beauty
Your glory shines in all directions
Through your eyes there is romance
Your love floods the Earth from one end to the other
Through your eyes I am loved
Through you eyes there is only color

I bow before you, my life in your hands
let me see the world through your eyes
Give me your eyes, God Almighty
Oh, how I need you.

Through your eyes no one is lonely
and no one goes hungry
Through your eyes there is only love
and that will always triumph!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

health care

So I usually don't get into politics, and i wouldn't even call this "getting into it" but I do have a few things I would like to say or possibly vent. Im not sure how I feel about this health care reform bill but there are a few thoughts that I have, mostly from others reactions. I have heard a lot of people complaining and I agree there is a lot about this whole thing that doesn't seem like it is going to work out. But I do think the motivation behind it is good. I do think there is a lot wrong with our health care system. And I do think something needs to change. Now whether or not what is going on, on capital hill will change anything? I don't know.

I think a lot of the people to complain about this are those that have always had good health care. People who look at it as a privilege and that they have earned their health care. Now don't get me wrong I do think that everyone willing and able should be working and should not be handed everything. But, is health care really a privilege? I tend to think it is more of a right. I also think that working hard doesn't always equate to good health care. I know my husband and I both work very hard yet, we happen to work for people who don't offer health care. Does that make us deserve good health care any less?

On the flip side of that we do take a huge hit to pay for own insurance and yes at times it is inconvenient and sure we could find so much else to put our money to but this is just what we have to do right now. Would we take advantage of a government handout in health care if thats how it was? ehh probably not until we seriously couldn't afford our own. And by that I mean managing our money well, only buying what we need and still not being able to afford it. I very much dislike a lot of our government programs. Take food stamps for example. In my experience I have known more people who were able and could work but weren't, who were on food stamps than those who were truly unable to make a living. I think it is taken advantage of. Im sure there are plenty of people out there who seriously deserve and need them but I think there are just as many, if not more who could do better with there money and/or work harder in order to buy their own food. I can say this since Mark and i make very little money and yet we still have managed to buy our own health care and our own food. I believe we do qualify for food stamps. All this to say that another government program makes me a little nervous. Will it help those who need it?

I first started getting disgruntled with our health care system when I applied in December for health insurance and they would not cover my asthma or anything related to my lungs, i.e. bronchitis. I have not seen a doctor for years for asthma but yet I do have it and I am on an inhaler therefore they won't cover ANYTHING having to do with my lungs? It just wasn't right. We tried another company and they cover it but at an extra charge. I wonder how many people complaining about this new health care have ever been denied coverage for any reason? Do they know what it is like? I am thankful that it won't happen anymore although I have heard that this fact alone could make everyone pay more.

I would love to see this bill help people who truly need it. I would love to see much less complaining, after all its a done deal. Im not sure what we are accomplishing with complaining. Our health care system isn't right now maybe there is hope it could get better for some? Who knows?!

**sorry if this was confusing and that there are no concrete facts. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts based upon others complaints. Thats all. Now I can go back on with my life***

Thursday, March 11, 2010

spring vs. allergies

I love spring a whole lot. I have been watching my flowers grow taller every day, I have no been able to stand being inside and I can't wait to start bring home my produce from my CSA. BUT one thing that also is creeping up on me are allergies. It has been only 1 week of nice weather and my allergies are full blown. Its a good thing spring is full of good things other wise allergies might win and have me very much disliking it right now. Maybe I will see a flower today...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


After only 11 months I am amazed by how much Cincinnati feels like home. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now. When we came here we brought all sorts of pain and confusion. We weren't really sure if Cincinnati was where we wanted to be but it was our only option. It is amazing how much God had planned for us. I could not be more excited about our life right now. I cannot wait for summer. Life is finally feeling right and I love everything about it.

Today I am thankful for my amazing husband, for our perfect little home, the sunshine and the summer ahead....

Monday, March 1, 2010


"Real freedom is being able to live in the truth in spite of our circumstance. It is living with and structuring our lives around hope."

"Hope looks forward to something that's founded in reality-something that's even more real than what we think or feel."

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Im seeking freedom...

Friday, February 19, 2010


The sun was shining today and, wow, was I happy to see it. This week has been bumpy and rough in every way possible and for it to end with the sun shining was just what I needed. It is amazing to me what a little sunshine can do. Everything is better, brighter, happier and easier. We have more energy and we smile more, we feel like getting up out of bed and are eager to start the day. Its a amazing.

The sunshine reminds me of God. After all He is light. He also is the giver of all good things. I think the affects that sunshine has on us has much more to do with God than our bodies being replenished with vitamin D--although that too is important. Next time you see the sunshine (I know those of you in Michigan could be waiting a few months, ha) see if you can see God behind it all.

*two scared little runaways, hold fast to the break of daylight where- the shadow proves the sunshine, the shadow proves the sunshine*

Monday, February 15, 2010


The last two days have been amazing. Even though I was really sick I was able to forget about all that had to be done and sit on the couch with Mark and watch some 16 episodes of the Mentalist! Wow typing that seems really pathetic but its ok because I never ever do that. It was refreshing and fun. And in all reality there really wasn't that much to be done. We should rest without good reason more often...

Friday, February 5, 2010

shades of grey...

My husband is a very white and black or right and wrong kind of a person. Obviously there are exceptions but in most cases he holds a strong opinion or knows the answer. There is little gray in his life when it comes to the big things. At times this has been hard. For example-- Jen shares a feeling or thought and Mark responds with "No you are wrong". I say "but, uh no, this is how I FEEL" and Mark says "you may FEEL that way but it is wrong."--most of the time this is a very RIGHT answer backed up by evidence and truth.

His right and wrong is always well thought out. It is never a rash decision. My sister put it well today speaking of her fiance and my husband who are very similar in this area, "every decision they have made their entire life has been calculated" and from witnessing this it is rare that they calculate wrong. They operate not out of emotions or feelings but out of what they believe to be true and fact. Rarely do they have to experiment to find out if it is true--they don't need to find out for themselves. If someone else made the mistakes they most likely will not still need to dabble in this or that to find out for themselves. Yes, for most of us, living like this is hard and for a lot of us (females in particular) we could possibly go crazy. I also may add that Mark could probably come up with a million examples of times things weren't like this in his life but for the purpose of this blog I am focusing on the large percentage of time that things are this way.

So for Mark his source for things being black or white, right or wrong is the Bible. The infallible word of God. He has crazy strength and will power. If the bible says no than the answer is no. We don't need to waste one second thinking about it and we certainly will not try to interpret it differently so that we can have just a little of what isn't aloud. No is no. If the bible says we should stand for what is right and something is right then don't think about--do it. Let your voice be heard. It is challenging. I start doing the "well what about this", or what if "he thinks this or she says that". And Im sure he has thoughts like this at times but most of the time he does it no matter the consequences, knowing full well that God is on his side and tomorrow it will feel better even if today it does not.

I think about this a lot. Especially lately. At times I have a tough situation and I know what the bible says and yet I will pray for God to give me guidance. How silly. Is that not what the bible is for? Why do I not act on what it says without thinking. Once my pastor was giving a talk about lifegroups and joining a small community. He said "don't pray about this, the bible says to do it-instead pray about which one to be in." That hit me. No i don't need to pray about that which I have already been told to do or not do. I just need to follow through.

How hard is it to stand for what is right? How hard do we struggle to go against others because it is what God says to do. But what I think about is how hard is it to live with it if we don't obey? How much harder is it to live in a thousand shades of gray instead of black OR white. I often think the later is the easier in the end.

Of course there are tons of problems and situations where the bible doesn't say yes or no. And there are times where no one you know has been there and so you have no one else's experience to learn from. And thus you are left to sort out all of the grays and find which one is best.

But when something is black or white, as Christians, we should stand on it. We should speak up if we must. That doesn't mean be extreme or irrational-don't disown people or kick people out of your life. And It doesn't mean you shouldn't still be very in tune to God when doing ANYTHING. Everything should be done out of love. But sometimes we must say how we see it and then continue to love that person and be in every part of their life when they continue to live in the wrong.

I feel like Christians should be better at standing up for right and making solid decisions based on what the bible says. Something to think about I guess...

Monday, February 1, 2010

No one wants a judgmental, critical or rude heart...

Yesterday I was reminded of the fact that what comes out of my mouth is a reflection of what is going on in my heart. If this is true than over the last few weeks my heart has not been looking so good. My thoughts and word have been highly critical and judgmental. Last night at church I was highly convicted of this. (you should listen to the sermon from last night if you were not beware only do it if you want to be highly challenged). It was a yucky feeling when I realized this. I mean who wants to be mean, judgmental, critical or rude? Not me. I knew part of it was learning to not let my thoughts go certain places but I also knew that somethings in my heart needed to change. New choices needed to be made.

This morning I feel fully dependent on God. My mouth is not something I do well controlling. This I know I need God.

In the book I was reading this morning I found this quote- "Make honesty and integrity the distinguishing characteristics of your speech. Reject jargon and abstract speculation, the purpose of which is to obscure and impress rather than to illuminate and inform. We have simplicity of speech when our words come from only one Source." --Richard J. Foster

Not only do we need simplicity in our life but in our speech as well. Not only should we "let our words be few" but also let them be simple, honest, and meaningful. Its so challenging, especially in a world where we can say whatever, whenever and no one even thinks twice about it.

This week let's remember that what comes out of our mouth is a reflection of what is going on in our heart. Get the root of the problem and may "our words come from only one Source," God Almighty.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Barefoot On Glass

Mark started a blog of his own. He already has some awesome stuff. Things that have challenged me and made me think. You should read it and join in on his discussion.

there is a link to the left of this blog page.

You will see much less of him around here and way more of me since this will be more of a Jenny blog and Marks will be ....well, a Mark blog.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Put both feet the same time.

So as of today I have officially lost 11 pounds!! Woohoo! It is amazing how easy it actually is when you actually give a 100 percent and try. I always would try for a day and quit or a week and then quit and I would get so frustrated because it seemed so hard. But yet when I actually resolved to do it-it came right off.

Aren't all things in life that way? Aren't we continually surprised by how easy something is once we get past actually making the decision to do it. It inspires me in so many other areas of life. If I could just make up my mind to do the things I want to do would they actually turn out to be easier than carrying the stress of not doing them?

Another thing that was great about this is that I ate real butter most days and still had chocolate!

What do you always want to do but have never been able to convince yourself to put everything in all at once? Come on get both feet in the water, besides it might be easier than one foot in and one foot out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Real Food

So, I have been reading a ton of blogs lately. All of them having to do with eating real, nourishing food. I really feel like we eat to much stuff, that is not really food. I desire to feed myself and my family what God created us to eat. Going from where we are forward is so overwhelming though. It is easy to begin cutting out sugars, high fructose corn syrup, white flour and other things of the like. But what is all this talk about soaking my grains? Or grinding my own grains? Drinking raw milk or pasture fed beef? It overwhelms me. I don't even know where to start nor do I know how much of a difference it really will make. The other part of it is it seems so expensive.

I have read a ton about Cod Liver Oil as of late. It seems like the benefits are great and lots of people recommend it. But as I start to research it more I am finding equally as many people saying that it can be harmful in a lot of ways. It has in some cases too much vit A and D when added to your normal diet and that it can also contain a large amount of toxins. What is one to do? How do we know what we should and shouldn't do? And how do we know when enough is enough and what is worth spending the time and/or money on.

All this while I try to lose the weight I have put on since moving to Cincinnati. Ugh. Too much all at once. Step by step guide, please, anyone?


It's January and the birds are chirping. I also have been wearing flip-flops and no coat. AND I saw the sun today. This makes me thankful that I am not in Michigan. Im sure this isn't always the case here is Ohio but much more likely I am sure. Ohio I like you-Michigan I don't miss you that much.

Thats all I guess...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Monday of all Mondays...

I watched Julie and Julia tonight. It reminded me that once upon a time I liked to blog and that I actually did it more than once every three months.

Tomorrow is Monday January 4, 2010. It is that wonderful day when everything goes back to normal after he everything but normal month of December. There is so much of me that is ready for something to resemble a routine again and to have the holidays behind me but there is also is this horrible list of things that must start tomorrow and it is staring and taunting me at this very moment...

those things include...

back on weight watchers
find a job
do laundry more than once every two weeks
think about working out again
begin cooking again
stop spending money

and the list goes on....

At this very moment i am cuddled up in a huge comfy popazon chair with a sleeping dog under my arm. I have a fleece blanket on me and a space heater next to me. The thought of life going back to normal right now...seems like death. But in the morning I know there will be some hope at the thought of counting how many points my breakfast is before I have even had a chance to open my eyes all the way. Im sure I will be sick of it all by Wednesday but I suppose such is life. But the good news is that I will no longer feel like I have eaten enough food to feed a small country, my morning time with God will return to the actual early hours of the morning, and life can once again get accomplished in a timely fashion.

I think God gave us breaks like these for a few reasons. For me I always need the chance to slow down and not feel guilty. My body needs rest and my relationships need quality time. And then when it all comes to an end I go back with a fresh attitude and am able to appreciate the idea of working hard and living in a routine because it is actaully missed during the holiday merry-go-rounds.

So tomorrow it is. the start of a new year.

this year God is my focus. And he comes before the dreadful list above.
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