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 markjenny.blogspot.com 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.
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