Our favorite non-boring thing to do...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feeling low? Broken?

 So was I. All day, actually, until I said as much to my Jesus-loving friend, who simply asked if I’d spent any quality time with Jesus today. You know my answer was a sheepish, “no” quickly followed by an excuse. “So… go do it!” Best advice…EVER. How could it not be? Feeling badly about who I am; what I can contribute, how what I do contribute gets trampled on or bastardized? Turn to the only one who knows me inside & out – who MADE me the way I am – who I’ve supposedly surrendered my life to? Huh, wha…?? Yeah. Picked up my purse and asked Jesus if He’d have lunch with me. He said, “Yes”. Just like when He said “Yes” to leaving his Father and Heaven to come to earth to show us who He is and who He wants us to be. Just like when He said, “Yes” to the woman at the well. “Yes, I love you. Yes, you are worthy. Yes, I made you.” Just like when He said “Yes” to the prodigal son (‘cause you know the dad is God, and the son is us, right?). “Yes! Welcome home, son! Let’s throw a party!” Just like when He said “Yes” to the cross, which was about him enduring the pain of separation from God, his Father, so that we would never have to endure that pain if we accept the gift of His sacrifice. Just like when He said, “Yes, I’m getting a place ready for you, and I’m coming back for you.”

So, Jesus loved on me from the moment that I asked for time with Him. Got into the car, turned on the radio, perfect worship leader that He is, He gave me two songs that spoke to the inexplicable emptiness and sadness I was feeling. And right after, He turned my attention to worship of Himself and God my Father. While I drove, I cried, sang and was utterly amazed that Jesus came and met me right where I was. That phrase sounds so trite and overused, but oh my word, He did. All I had to do was ask.

He is indeed the air that I need to breathe; the water I thirst for. Jesus, I never want to spend another day without spending time with You.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Good gifts

Ok, so I got a text from my 14 yr old daughter on Saturday with a picture of some BIG hoop earrings that she wanted to buy. She has the money to buy them, just wanted to 'run it by me'. I review, trying to be as objective and un-"OH, Mom!"ish as possible, and I reply in the vague... well, they look ok - a little big, but I need something to compare them to. So she sends another picture with them in her hand. I reply less vaguely this time - they look OK - IDK, I'd have to see them on you. Fast forward to Monday evening: I'm cleaning up the counter where she's doing her homework and I find these BIG hoop earrings. I look at her, she looks at me with a trace of 'uh-oh'. So, I said, where did these come from? You can guess the rest of that conversation. Long and short of it is that she bought smaller ones than the first picture she sent me, but they were still pretty big. Never told me she bought them - never sent me a picture with them on -nada. So, did she have the desire to have hoop earrings? Yes. Was the desire to have them evil? No, not at all. Did she have the resources with which to buy them? Yes. Was she able to do this for herself? Yes. And did she? Yep. Flashback to earlier on Monday, as I'm getting ready for work. I put on my small hoop earrings and think - hey I could let her wear these for a little while so she can get used to wearing hoops - just to try them out, and then we can get her some nice (maybe bigger) ones for Christmas. I'll do that when I get home this afternoon. < Yay! - I get to surprise her; I hope it makes her happy.> As I'm mulling this whole thing over this morning, Jesus steps in and reminds me that its a great picture of my relationship with Him. How many times do I do stuff for myself and never even ask Jesus what HE would have for me? How much better are the gifts that He gives than what I rush to get and do for myself? The earrings she bought are heavy - she didn't expect that - and they are sterling silver. The earrings I was going to give her are super-light and are real gold. It comes down to control. How is it that I think that what Jesus has for me - everything, every day - is going to be somehow less than what I would do for myself? Matthew 7:11 (NLT) says, "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." So, Jesus, I give you control - again, today - and I'll be relinquishing it again tomorrow, if not sooner. I believe that what You have for me is so much better than anything I could imagine or do for myself. ~jrenee

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Really?!? Did I really think it was all for ME?

Wow. The Experience Conference this past week @ Disney (Coronado Springs Resort) was AMAZING! I got dumped out, filled up to overflowing! Woohoo!! Jesus!!! Thank you!!! Yes!

And at the first request for a little outpouring of what I so overwhelmingly received this week, I found myself begrudging the request and the requester. wow. What an obvious and extremely embarrassing example of me believing that its all for my consumption.

Jesus, I know that You gave me this week; spoke to me, comforted me, encouraged me, corrected and refined me, gave me new friendships and connections ALL so that I could pour these same things out to others. Lord Jesus, help me not to be a consumer, but just the middle man... er, woman. ;) I love you Lord Jesus. Thank you for giving me the 'ahem' and 'the look' and for making sure I heard it.

You are my loving King.

Take it all...


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Family Changes

Just have to share! I cannot sleep!!! Lauren, our 12 yr old, accepted Jesus as her Savior tonight!!! I am so ecstatic!!! :)

        We were on our way home from LiveWire (youth grp) tonight and she was reading over the EQUIP reg. form (weekend retreat for youth grp) and came to the question worded something like "if you died tonight, where would you go and why?" Well, she answered it exactly right, but added a caveat that she hadn't personally prayed to accept Jesus yet. When I asked her if she'd like to, she began to cry and said, 'that's a dumb question, mom!!' ;)

        Long story short, we went through the whole 'salvation story' to make sure she understood it all and then came to 'praying the prayer'. Well, praying out loud is not big on her list... in fact she's only done it once (another story)...and she began to melt down over it. I remembered that my friend Charlie (yes, the one responsible for us being at RiseCC ( (for my WPB friends!)), had lent me his Rick Warren CD, The Invitation. I hadn't even listened to it yet, but figured it MUST have a sample prayer for accepting Christ...WOW, did it ever! I popped it in - went right to the prayer track and Lauren instantly bowed her head and whisper-repeated the prayer after Rick and took Jesus as her Lord & King. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! By the time she & Rick were done, we were both in tears.

        I can hardly believe the changes that God has made in my life, much less in my family. Jason is walking with Jesus, begging for more, more, more...and now Lauren's His child too. Un...well, I was going to say unbelievable...but its VERY believable, just hard to comprehend that its all happened in so short a time. God is faithful to His promises. We are walking with God as a family and it FEELS GREAT!

        Thank you all for what you mean to me (whether YEARS ago or just in the last 5 weeks!) and to my family! Each of you are truly women and men of God and we are blessed and count it a privilege to know you.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Oh geez.
I'm sitting in a giant fishbowl all alone. Well, I'm in a giant high school auditorium with about 650 students' parents. We're all here for 9th grade orientation. Some of us, haven't been here, ever, 1st kid in high school; others have other previous kids in high school or even gotten all the way through it already and are starting on the next kid. For me, its the first time with my daughter, and until God grants us the pleasure of a second child, it will be my only time. Anyway, it feels an awful lot like this orientation is for us - for the parents - more than it is for the kids, er, uh, teens ( makes W out of thumb & forefinger on each hand). It's a sales job... we're being sold on "how great Lake Mary HS" is...why? Because, parents (at least in Central Florida) have a choice of even public schools now. If you're not familiar with the 'magnet' program, check this out. So, I could put her in a magnet school of my choice, or go so far as to pay for private school. So, no wonder we got all the academic & sports stats for the last 4 years... particularly the 'we're in the top 2.1% of all high schools reviewed by Newsweek'. What he failed to tell us is that Lk Mary HS ranked #373 out of 500, while another school, close by, ranked at 238 out of 500.

So then we move on to the 'high school survival' part of the orientation. They took all the teens out of the room and just left us 'rents for this part. They said they would be doing some type of 'pep-rally' style high school survival thing for the kids... apart from us. Bogus. I sit in meetings all the time with dull to coma-inducing slideshows. I wanted to go with the kids for the pep-rally version. :( We covered the dress code, peer connectors (sounds a little bit like bossy seniors who get to practice their know-it-all-ness on freshmen), school start/end times, absences and all that jazz-z-z-z-z-z. Snort, huh? what? Oh.

Ok, snooze fest is over... now we're supposed to go meet the kids in the 'Ref' room (cocked eyebrow... W). Now I head with 650 other sets of parents over to the Ref room to hook up with our kids so that we can walk the campus, find their locker, find their classes, and generally hang out in a place we'll barely even get to visit over the next four years. Looking for her... don't see her... 15 mins... still don't... 20 mins. Ok, now I get to board the emotional roller coaster. Where could she be? Well, I raised her to be smart and independent. She's already gotten her schedule I'm sure... probably finding her locker, etc. I'm lonely! I want to be with her! Where is she?? Maybe she doesn't want me to hang with her for this part. Did I want my parents with me for these kinds of events? No. But then, I never got to make that conscious decision... we moved back up to Titusville from West Palm at the last minute, just before school started, no orientation. Anyhow, back to the coaster... I begin thinking that we're never going to connect. Should I just go to the car and wait? No, I don't want her to come out to the car and find me there, and think that I didn't *want* to be with her on this momentous occasion. Ahhh - the torture. On top of it all, I had no phone signal; no texting, no calling. The only way I'd have signal was to go outside - but then I might be missing her walking into the Ref room. Ugh. Now its 30 minutes. I'm a bit beside myself - I really start to worry - what if something's happened to her? What if...?? Eek! I can't go there. I keep thinking that the kids must all be wandering the halls, so I start wandering the halls too... circling the building - found administration - found the media center... and I'm back in the Ref room. Grrr... no kid. I do it again and there she is!!! Thank God! And, ha ha... she did find a friend and they did find their lockers and almost all of their classes already. Giant sigh of relief. And the friend that she found, is a girl from gymnastics from a few years ago... her mom and I got to know each other a bit during gymnastics, so I get to find her (she's hanging outside, waiting on her daughter) and chat with her. So, given that Lauren's OK, and that she found a friend to hang with, I opt for letting them go and finish their thing while I go and catch up with Ellie. :) Good times... whew, and that was the end of that roller coaster ride. Too many twists in that one...


So, it sounds kind of silly and funny, but I am feeling a little weird about having dumped off an icky part of my job to another person. I didnt want to keep that disgusting, time using part, but I kind of feel like its my kid. I got this process started and now I have to turn it over to a person that I don't think will attend to issues like I did.
Ok, so I did it. I did the transition. I told everything I know about all the different areas of support to the BA/PM and 2 developers. And its okay; really. A couple of things have come up since the transition (7/29) and its actually kind of nice to not have to worry over it. And when I say 'worry' I mean worry like 'worrying' as a verb on something. Have you ever heard someone refer to another person worrying a situation - like working your hands? It has a WHOLE lot to do with needing to control it. So, its not so much that I let go of all of the production support, I let go of the need to control it. That, is so much better. I can still get involved; still feel ok advising the new support folks as to what might be going awry or what might be best to check, but I don't have to 'worry' the issue - I don't own it, I don't control it. Ahhhh... feel the cool breeze on sun-burned skin while swinging in the hammock 'tween two palm trees on a secluded beach? Yeah... me too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Nothing nor any person could have rescued my day today, except Jesus. Thankfully, Jesus came in the form of a friend, Marie. Marie lived Luke 10:27 today; she loved 'her neighbor' as herself. I was not able to imagine any kind of resolution to today's events except to leave the building and work from home. Instead, she listened, offered solid, valid advice, and best of all? prayed with me. And you know? Jesus answered our prayers. His hands were all over the rest of the day. I even forgot about today's mishaps until much later at home. :) Thank you, Jesus, for loving me so much that you orchestrate support, just when I need it most, even in the tiniest details and miniscule issues of my life.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Straight Driving

When I was first learning to drive I would travel all over my lane from left to right yellow line to curb. I was told by a friend that it was easier to stay in my lane if I changed my focus. I was looking right in front of the car instead of down the road where I was going. By focusing down the road ahead of me instead of right in front of me judging my every action and its result: it smoothed out the drive and my path straightened out .

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 9 of 90 Days with Jesus (Beth Moore study)

Ok, so 90 days with Jesus... today's question after reading about how Mary & Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple for circumcision, redemption & purification -- What is the difference between being obedient to custom - in merely being traditional - and being faithful to do what God has commanded?

Here's my thought - but I want to hear yours... so, comment away!
I think that being obedient to a custom is just because you feel obligated; being faithful to do what God's commanded (tithe (first fruits), fellowship with other believers, love others more than yourself, continue in discipleship, etc.), because we LOVE Him - and moreover, because He loved us first and most.