Sunday, March 31, 2013

I can't make this stuff up! Snapshot Sunday (Day 21)

Okay... this day is supposed to be a day with little words. I am supposed to allow the pictures to do the talking; however, I think it is necessary at times to have captions and some of my Sunday Snapshots NEED a caption:

Yep, let that picture soak in. I know you are probably shocked...Flabbergasted that I would put this up here, but this blog is about me being honest, real, and myself. Are you wondering why I was googling "penis your tips"? Well let me explain... In true Jessica fashion, I decided to wait until the day a paper was due to start writing it. Nope, my paper was NOT about a penis or tips, it was actually about creating a curriculum development schedule. As I was writing my paper, I wanted to look something up on my phone. A friend recently made me download the Google app on my phone and showed me the voice I whip out my phone (no pun intended) to use my cool voice feature. I say "initiatives".... look down and in the search box I see "penis your tips." I truly can't make this stuff up! It made me laugh. It forced me to take a snap shot and send it to friends. It called for me to put it on this blog. You're welcome!

Who's church doesn't have a mariachi band playing on Easter Sunday on the bridge to get to church? If yours didn't, you should check out my church!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Here it is again... (Day 20)


......... what do I have to report today on Sweating it Saturdays!?!? That the same thing has occurred. Work is time consuming. School is time consuming. And I am good at making excuses. Need I say anything more?

There's always next Saturday, but I have a feeling with the week and weekend I have coming up....that will be nonexistent, again. Dear God rescue me!

Things I know about 28: It's tough.... Just as tough as 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21,.... were but I can BE tough  to get through the hard things. I can. I will. I hope.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Faith and Eggs (Day 19)

So today was a fun day. Not only was it Good Friday and a day off, but it was the Egg Drop Challenge. Jordan and Sandra geared up their kids to having a egg drop challenge on the day we were out of school. It was time for us to get together (and for the kids) to have a fun time together. I truly had this grand plan to go to Wal-Mart and get the best things to make my egg drop THE I could beat the KIDS. Yep, I am that kinda of person. Life had other ideas, as I was CRAZY busy with work and school. Needless to say, I got nervous when I saw Thursday night that Sandra and her kiddos had already constructed their egg drop contraption... I also called her a cheater. let me get back on track. Friday morning comes and I head on over to Jordan's, where I am greeted with the kids at the door blowing up balloons to make their egg drop device. I quickly panic and decide to grab a couple of things to make it happen. What do I grab... a diaper, yarn, a plastic cup, a trash bag, and tape. Worked my mad skills and ended up with this....

So we were all ready to go! I had my egg, also known as Eggdar, ready to go. Not going to lie, I didn't think I had a chance.....

As you can see Eggdar survived!

So we decided to go to bigger and better places... I mean we needed eggs to die here! We packed up the car and headed to the park. My mission was to win; however, once we got to the park, the kids mission was to play... I just wasn't having that! We climb to the top of the playground set, which gave us a higher altitude than the top of the stairs. We all drop and....... .NOTHING they all survived! What can we do to make these eggs die!?!?!? Take off all the parachutes! Okay, this has GOT to work. I mean they have nothing to break their fall. One of the eggs will surely die! I will go ahead and tell you, they didn't. They all survived. I was disappointed. But we had fun. so we let the kids play and the adult girls talk. I must say, I am thankful for my growth in faith. My new and blossoming life has allowed me to come into contact with some AMAZING people! Two of them being Jordan and Sandra. We had a great time talking about kids... guys... and life. It was nice to have some voices of reason! (Thank you ladies) As the temperature started to drop, it was time to get the kids all back and go warm we went to get ICE CREAM! Yep, who doesn't do that!

What did I learn about being 28 today? I am still a kid at heart, and I hope I never lose that since of wonder, excitement, and imagination! Oh, I also have some pretty cool friends!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Throwback to 18

So it's day 18 of being 28, so I thought it was only fun to go back to being 18.... then I realized I was disturbingly gross at 18, so I decided to throw back to a conversation my brother and I had during the Teacher of the Year banquet this year. I am just going to make this fun. You can decide for yourself, which comments are mine and which ones are Jeremy's, enjoy!


What I learned about being 28 today? I am glad I have mature older brothers to look up to. It really shows me what 29 will look like when I get to being his age. :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 17-And they keep coming...

It's a great day... it's Wondering Wednesday! I need to get better at this. I need to start carrying paper with me. I need to REALLY write down the things I wonder throughout the day. I wonder when I will start. I wonder.

Wonderings about being 28... life was easier at 8.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tanzania Tuesdays (Day 16)

African Cats....

Duct Tape Style. I probably wouldn't mind them so much if they came in this form.

I did however get confirmation on a few things this week in regards to my trip to Tanzania:

- We will not be sleeping in tents. This has been the question I have asked at every single meeting and never seemed to get a response; however, I spoke with the e3 lady this week and she confirmed we will actually get to sleep in a hotel.

- The flight is roughly 17 hours...the trip from the airport to where we are going is 2 days. We were told to wear comfy clothes. Simple... NOT! We recently had a meeting with 12Stone and a air marshall who spoke to us on travel safety. He spoke on things from safety on airplanes (and during a crash) to what you should do if you get kidnapped. So how does this have anything to do with what I wear?!?! Well, tune in next week to hear ALL about what to do on an airplane to be safe!

- There's a good chance we will be working with a new church to build its children's ministry. SUPER excited about that!

- And probably the most important thing I learned with talking to Kathie from e3. I probably will NOT get attacked by African cats; however, she did tell me that the tribe we will be working with suffered great losses in prior years from their crops being trampled on by.... AFRICAN ELEPHANTS! I guess you can say I have a new African animal to fear!

So let me get real here.... I still have a LOT of money to raise. I still have a LOT of prayers that need to take place. I have only raised about 25% of the funds, which isn't good since I was suppose to have half of it by March 19th. So I guess this is my plea and cry for support. Really any amount can and does help...and is greatly appreciated! You can go directly to the online giving page, which is included below and select the Tanzania trip leaving May 23rd and my name...

As for prayers in regards to this trip:
- Pray for God to shine light on exactly what He wants us to do while we are there and He provides us with what we need to do to prepare for His mission
- Pray for the people we are going to be working with in Tanzania.
- Pray for our team as we continue to prepare both financially, spiritually, mentally, and physically for this trip.
- Pray for the e3 leaders who we will be working with (many are just getting back from Africa this past week)
- Pray that God softens and opens my heart and eyes to what He needs me to do individually to prepare for this trip.
- Praise God for allowing me the opportunity to be a voice to His Kingdom.
- Praise to those who will get to hear the Word of God.
- Praise to those who are willing to support both through prayers and funds the trip to Tanzania.

What I have learned about being 28? While I often think things are about me....they are NOT! There's a bigger world than the great city of Grayson, Georgia. God offers more to me than I can imagine; therefore, I must humble myself to truly appreciate the gifts He gives me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Moron Monday (Day 15)

Since Mondays do not have a name yet... I decided to give this Monday to the morons of the world. So here we go...

If you weren't aware, I am single. Shocker, I know! Anyways, I dabble in online dating from time-to-time. It really is quite an art...a jungle...and many times a terrible tragedy! Well, recently I stumbled across this delicacy of a man boy. Let me set the seen for you... the moron's guy's profile picture is the epic douchebag picture... you know what I am talking about. Come on, you know the guy working out at the gym and believes he is looking great, so he takes a picture of himself flexing in the mirrors at the gym and snaps a mirror picture. It gets me every time (insert sarcasm here). While I worry over this guy using this picture as his profile picture, I am quickly amused to see he has MANY of these great pictures in his photo album. I know, you are thinking I must be interested since I looked in the album. Believe me a girl can go to a bad store and still window shop....there was not committed taken. So you may be wondering how this guy is such a moron with just gym mirror pictures...Well let me welcome you to his profile....

Let me tell you, if this is Prince Charming I will remain single FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! Thank you God for reminding me often that I am a good catch and that I mustn't settle!

What have I learned about being 28 today? While I had dreams when I was younger of being 28 married with little kids, I have learned from actually being 28 that it's okay to be single, especially when the pickings are slim. :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Snapshot Sunday (Day 14)

For the first time since deciding about going to Africa I had dreams about the pleasant things that are going to happen....and not just the cats.

What I learned about being 28? Dreams are great! I hope I always have them. I hope I always remember them. I hope...because I dream!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sweating Saturday?!?!?! (Day 13)

Really!?!?!? Who's idea was this to write on Saturdays about my fitness!?!?! It was a TERRIBLE idea! I hate strongly dislike the person who came up with that idea! Why, you ask. Well, it's because I did NOTHING in regards to fitness this week. Honestly, I do NOT know what's going to light the fire under my butt to get me up and going!! I know you are thinking I need an accountability partner... I've tried. I need to get on a plan... I've tried. I need to want it for myself.. I thought I did.

Really, if you can help me find the motivation I need to get me up and going....please send it my way! PLEASE!

It's hard getting sweaty when my tush is on the couch!

So what do I have to report about my fitness this week... I SUCK! This seems to be a common situation this week!

Better luck next week!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Faith...and Friday (Day 12)

Today's daily devotional was about facing temptation...

...yeah, the pause was needed there, because honestly lately I have succumbed to some of the worldly temptations. I won't go into detail, but that's partially the sucky days previously. I am still amazed at how God puts the right passage in your life at just the right time. He KNOWS what I's enlightening and FRIGHTENING. I kind of think of it as one of those Godly nudges...It's His nice way of saying straighten up. I welcome them... I fear them...but I am thankful He doesn't stop giving them to me.

Here's a few of my favorite parts of the devotional, which stemmed from Psalm 81:16

- How often have you neglected the place of blessing? There is a counsel and comfort in God's Word but you have spent little time reading it. There are rich mercies to be found at the throne of grace but you have neglected prayer. There are joys and blessings to be found in God's house but you have been attracted by the empty promises of the world.
- The next time you are facing temptation to sin or to squander God's blessings, remember this: God is willing and able to bless his people. Today, heed his call to return. Call upon Him, knowing He is willing to hear and ready to bless.

What have I learned about being 28 today? That things do not get easier....that they especially do not get easier if I don't place God at the forefront of my decisions... That I've got to call upon God in my times of temptation (and every other time) to bless me with better decisions...That I don't have all the answers, but He does.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Throwback to before 28 (Day 11)

I came across this picture just the other day when I was looking through the picture album my mom gave me when I was back home. Many were pictures from my college/sorority days (I am sure some of them will make Throwback Thursdays), but this gem was hidden in the mix. It was a tad bittersweet. Just recently losing my Nana, it was hard to see this picture. I miss her.. I miss Granddad... I miss the fun times we had in Georgia and Marco Island.... I miss the radiance their loving relationship had on the people around them. I've always told myself that I want a love like Nana and Granddad had for one another. It was like everyday was their first date. I miss the songs Granddad would sing to me... I miss the milkshakes Nana would make us, especially if they were banana, because it meant extra for me and Jeremy since Jason didn't like them. I miss the rides on the boat to find our own little island to eat lunch and fish. The list of things I miss when I think of these two wonderful people could go on forever, but while I miss these things I am thankful for so much more. I am thankful Granddad made us try something yucky before we had our "normal" food. I am thankful Nana taught my brothers and I the importance of loving and looking after one another. I am thankful for the adventures they took us on that I can share with my kids. I am thankful for the family!

So what have I learned at 28 and 11 days... I have truly been blessed by some amazing people. God selected my Nana and Granddad especially for me and my brothers. He knew what we needed. He knew that these people would leave a positive lasting effect on our lives. He designed them to love us unconditionally. He provided me with the heart to be thankful for their love.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The wondering mind of a 28 years 10 days person.

I really wish I had someone to narrate my life...or more importantly, my thoughts. I truly catch myself off guard on some of the things I wonder. Case in point, as I was driving around town and the wind was blowing I couldn't help but wonder about traffic lights...and how many traffic lights fall on average...and how many people die because a traffic light falls. Crazy, I know! However this is something I truly wonder. I spoke with a friend about this and he completely thought I was crazy, and dismissed my idea of traffic light falling deaths because said there were safety measures in place to ensure it wouldn't fall; however, this answer was not good enough for I decided to research the topic, and you want to know what I found out..........

............ absolutely NOTHING! I found FAQ on how many traffic lights were in New York City...the actual name of the little icon on the walk traffic lights work... how to request a traffic light...if traffic lights are the solution to traffic congestion. Basically, EVERYTHING expect how many people die from a traffic light falling. Moral of the story: I need to find better things to wonder!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

African Cats (Day 9)

Tanzania Tuesday...

If you are one of my close friends you probably laughed when you read the title of this post. If you didn't laugh, let me catch you up. Back in the fall, information was surfacing about mission trips for the upcoming year. I knew I was being called to go on another mission trip, and honestly felt my heart was calling me to go to Colombia, South America again. It was an amazing experience last year, and I absolutely fell in love with the people and the work going on there; however, God had another plan for me. After a bonfire with the singles community from my church, I realized that at my age (which was still 27) I shouldn't get stuck to one country. This is the time to experience different countries and cultures....and so Tanzania, Africa was the result. Exciting, I know!

So I know you are wondering where the funny comes here we go. Since my decision to go to Africa was finalized, I have had a weird obsession with watching various TV shows about African animals, specifically the African cats.

I have scared myself more by watching these shows. I worry more about the African cats than about some jungle mafia taking me hostage. I tell myself I need to stop watching the shows, but catch myself watching them over and over again. Honestly, I watched African Cats the entire time I was putting my support letters together... ironic, maybe?

They truly are beautiful animals, but in the back of my head I have this tragic scene in my head.....

African Cats are a source of fear for me in terms of the mission trip, but honestly the cost of the trip has raised my blood pressure a little bit too. I know, I know, I am suppose to put my trust in God that the money will come and the trip will happen, but it would be silly for to say that I don't worry about the cost. The trip is almost double the cost of last year's trip, and I am not getting the feedback from support letters like I did last year. Today, I am suppose to have $1900 raised to pay for my ticket. I am roughly $600 from that goal. It's a lot, but I keep putting my trust in God that everything will come through. I know that leaning into Him and praying for his guidance in support then the money will get there...somehow...and in some way.

With that said,
The best way to contribute financially to my trip is by visiting the following website:
Select the Tanzania Trip leaving on May 23rd
Select my name
And donate away.

What 28 means today... I am still a little kid at heart! I mean really, who worries about the African Cats!?!? Side note: When my nephew and I were watching Madagascar 3, the opening scene is where the animals are still in Tanzania, Africa. I told Hudson that I was going to Africa, and his response, "To see talking animals?"...."Yep to see talking animals"....or animals that eat me!

I also think this is appropriate:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 8 of 28 SUCKS!

Not going to lie (not that I do, but felt it was relevant to say that there)....the last couple of days have SUCKED! It seems like I am playing a constant game of catch up. I am playing a constant game of building myself up. I am playing a constant game of pity party. I am playing a constant game of things just suck right now and nothing is going to change.

Yep, I just had myself a little rant... a rant to say how bad things SUCK right now...but you know what!?!? I know exactly why the stars are not lining up correctly. Why my life isn't going smoothly... Why things just SUCK right now... I have lost my spiritual foundation the last couple of days. I have let the worldly concerns and commotions influence me lately... I have strayed away from being active in my daily devotional and my small group readings. Now, don't get me wrong those things don't put me on some crazy Christian high, but they do seem to calm my nerves on the days that try to suck. I have a sounding board to boast me when things aren't going right. And honestly, God has a hard time guiding me down the right path if I am too busy trying to drive my own car without a navigation system.

So what am I going to do about this SUCKY feeling...the only thing I know to do... pray and get in His Word.

On a side note, I know I have SUCKed (yep, had the chance to use the word again) the last couple of days with posting each day. Honestly, it is hard sometimes to be consistent when I don't have something profound to write about, because some days I really do not think you guys want to know what my day was would get boring fast and you would no longer wonder why I am still single. :) With that said, I think I am going to institute a catchy phrase for each day and will stick to writing along those lines; however, the posts will conclude with some "What 28 was like today..." response. So here's my ideas (some have been stolen):

Snapshot Sunday: A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. So I am going to use my Sundays to give a snapshot into my world...this may mean less words and more pictures.

Monday: Ummmmm....not going to lie, I have nothing creative or catchy for Mondays, so this will be a work in progress...if you have any suggestions, feel free to share

Tanzania Tuesday: (Warning: This will change after I get back from Africa) I need to prepare myself for the trip to Africa...what better way then to get to know the culture, the people, and the work I will be doing there. This will also be a chance for me to fill you in on how things are progressing for the trip.

Wondering Wednesday: I think...a lot! But I also have constant wondering of things, so I am going to devote Wednesdays to my wonders that I have throughout the day and/or week.

Throwback Thursday: Yeah, my blog is about moving into the future, but so much of what we are today is what happened to us yesterday (and further back). I will spend this time to recount stories and pictures of the past that make me the 28 year old I am today.

Faithful Friday: I am going to use this to express how my faith has moved me this week... give any insights on my readings, devotionals, or other items that I feel I should put out there for others to see how things are moving for me.

Sweating Saturday: This blog has three parts... Faith..Fitness...Future, and as many of you know the fitness has been lacking. I am going to devote my Saturdays to reflecting on how I tested my fitness that week. I will challenge myself to be brutally honest to confess my workouts and my eating habits for the week. Maybe this will kick me into high gear again!

Now, these ideas will not necessarily rope me down to only covering the topics at hand...also, it doesn't mean I can't have an additional post that allows me to rant on something else. I just think this will give me more direction on the days I am having trouble getting something out.

So what has 28 been like for me 8 days in? I think you can tell from the title of this blog.... IT SUCKS!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 6 and 7...

Sooooo.... I am a day behind. I know, I can't slip up already, but it was a busy day on Saturday from sun up to sun down. There's nothing like waking up early on your off day, NOT! It was a fun day filled with judging kiddos competing in the Odyssey of the Mind competition. A small shout out to my friends, Amy and Jennifer, for their 5th grade team winning a BIG award at the competition! I am also proud of my past and current students who competed this weekend. These competitions take a lot of time and preparation....and they all worked hard to get to this point.

Now on to Sunday...I've laid around most of the day dealing with a bad headache, but it has been a day of LOTS of thinking...kinda like everyday. But here's what's on my mind:

- Why do I fall into the trap of bad mistakes? It seems like when I am chugging along on the good road there's a traffic stop that puts me on a delay of achieving what I really want out of life...including my spiritual life. I know temptations won't stop, but how I do stop and control my own actions?

- Africa...Yeah, I leave for Tanzania in a little more than 2 months...not going to lie. I am anxious about raising the funds and the preparation for the trip (but I plan to make an Africa post in the next couple of days).

- I talked about timing the other day, but it seems to come up over and over again. Case in point...the other day a certain person came across my mind. Thought about contacting them, but realized I didn't need to walk back through that door again. Then I wake up this morning with a from a message from that person. It brought a smile to my face, but also kinda scares me. Is this another road block on my journey to something else? Or is this part of the good journey? I know I shouldn't and won't rush into things, but should I even go into things that I have experienced before...

- As a teacher this is the time of the year that's crazy! We are trying to prepare for testing and our minds are wondering about what's going to happen next year. As for preparing for the test, I am trying not to stress about the things I still need to cover. I know it's crazy to cover the things we have to cover in the time frame we are to cover them; however, teachers do this each and every year without fail. I am proud to be in a profession that deals with problems each and every moment of the day (yep, we are working even when we aren't in the walls of a school building) to bring about a growing generation. We not only have to tackle the standards, but we have to be moms, counselors, nurses, and friends to these kids. We truly are a profession like no other!

- Fitness and health. I said this was going to be an avenue for me to begin focusing on it, but I have done nothing to start that. I must...and will start soon!

- It's Sunday...and I didn't really have a weekend! Full, regular days at school this week. It is going to be weird for me and the students, so I must plan accordingly. It's going to be fun.

So what has being 28 meant the last couple of days!?!? I am still just as confused with things happening in year 28 as I was in year 27....HELP!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Puzzled about Day 5

Life is about making decisions. Some small. Small big. It's in the midst of making those decisions that a person truly reflects on what they ultimately want.

God's timing is quite interesting as well. It seems the moment we say one thing, God opens our eyes to other possibilities, which calls for us to make decisions.

Decisions. Timing. All a part of His big picture, but something that really gets me realizing that God sees the bigger picture is when He places pieces of what seems to be different puzzles in the same box. The pieces don't seem to line up and won't go together. Then God shows you the picture on the front of the box and you see how the pieces can fit together.

Case in point. Today, my daily devotional was about....

Yep... Decision making. When I first read this devotional I thought the intentions were to share with a friend who is in the process of making some big decisions. It wasn't until some big decisions walked through my door that I started to see how those different puzzle pieces really were apart of the same puzzle. So what's a girl to do? Stand in amazement of the picture on the puzzle box... Or put the puzzle together to see what He has in store for me.

I knew 28 was going to be a great for many reasons. I just need to lean in and trust that the pieces He is placing into my life do work together...they may not seem to right now, but they will.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Too tired to be 28 today. Day 4.

I'm not going to lie, I'm exhausted. It seems the shorter work weeks are the most draining. It's been a great week teaching my kiddos, but I just can't seem to get a good night's sleep. I tell myself I'm going to go to be early, but don't. With that said, today's post is going to be short... Actually I think the card my student gave me for my birthday sums up what being 28 means today.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3 days of being 28

That moment in the morning where you are well aware that the temperature outside the comfort of your blanket is many degrees cooler.... Yeah, I'm having that right now. I wrestle with running quickly to the thermostat and adjusting it or just staying here a few more minutes. I think I'll stay for a few more minutes.

Gratitude. That was the topic of my daily devotional. Being thankful for what we have. (That's easy) Being thankful in times of tribulations (that's tough). I often find myself showering God with praise when things are great, but cry out in sorrow when things are tough. I'm learning more and more in my walk with faith that it is in those times of hardships that God grows me the most; therefore, I must be thankful for those times.

What being 28 has meant to me today...
I have had 28 amazing years of life. Full of friends. Full of family. Full of great memories. But it's hard not to want more. It's hard not wanting to go to the next stage of life. It's hard seeing Facebook notifications of another engagement, wedding, or baby announcement. By no means am I bitter, but anxious for some of these things to occur to me (in the correct order that is). While I have moments of dwelling on not having these things, I'm thankful with the same tongue because I have had the opportunities to do things that may be hindered from some of the things above. I'm able to pick up and move with whichever way the wind blows me. I get to solidify my faith before bringing in others to the world... But a girl would be lying if she said she didn't want to feel that love from a guy from time-to-time. Which brings me to my next point... Where have all the good guys gone? Honestly, I think growing up in the bar environment like I did has tainted my picture of guys. I catch the pick up lines before they're thrown out. I catch myself being "too easy to talk to". I catch myself locating the douchebags (yep, that word was necessary for this) in a crowd. I catch myself getting entangled with the wrong guy. How do I fix this? How do I know when to let my walls down? How do you "just know"? So what has 28 meant for me today... I'm 28. Single. Completely confused by guys still.

Pro.Con.Pro will be the method of attack for this blog post; therefore, I will end on a positive. I'm truly grateful to be in two small groups in this season of my life. Each group brings such different dynamics to my spiritual journey. Tonight is when I get to meet and lead a group of single ladies...aka my friends. We have great laughs, great good, and even better talks! I feel that in the last couple of months out core group has really grown deeper in our relationships with each other in order to deepen our relationship with Christ. With that said, here are some highlights of the night:
- There is only one thing a carousel does well--go around and around and around... This is not a good place to be if we want change. What in my life is riding on a carousel?
- We have a choice: the easy reaction (like a carousel) or the good reaction (challenges us to move forward). Easy doesn't mean good. It typically means we keep doing the same thing we've always done because it is comfortable. So do I want good or easy?
- I can attach myself to the four categories of unglued reactions in regards to different pieces of my life: exploders who shame themselves; exploders who blame others; stuffers who build barriers; and stuffers who collect retaliation rocks. Each of these reactions carries a burden and directs me away from the soul integrity, which is honesty that's godly.
- A roller coaster is how I would describe my progress with my faith. I'm constantly moving forward, but experiencing highs and lows. An obstacle course is how I would describe my progress with fitness (no pun intended), but it's challenging and causes me to get out of my comfort zone... I stumble and get back up in order to make it to the finished line.
- Challenge partners... Time to step on some toes!

I had a great hair day; therefore, it's a great day to be 28.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Only 363 more days to go!

It simply doesn't make sense... How can I wake up at 3:30am wide awake and feeling like I can tackle the day, only to lay back down to go back to sleep and wake up at 6:30 to feel like I didn't sleep at all? Still working on how that works!

So teaching... It's what I do... It's what I love... And honestly, I think I'm pretty good at it (at least my students think so). Not only that, my kiddos get my sarcastic sense of humor (and give it back to me). So let me relish and expose you to some pieces of evidence which support my information above.

Photo above: I had asked her for a husband for my birthday. She said she would look for him at Walmart... I asked her to look for him at Target (it had better quality items)...and this is what I got today.

Picture above: I had asked one of my kiddos for a car for my birthday. He walks into my class today and says, "Here are your keys to your car. Your car is out on the playground."

Picture above: Sweet gifts and breakfast from my kiddos.

Picture above: Just some of the cards and letters from my kiddos this week.

Side note: Homemade cards are my favorite. They take time, effort, and thought to what is placed into each card. Looking at the cards I can tell my students know and understand the kind of person I am. They know that not only am I a teacher, but I'm a person.

Faith... I am discovering more and more the importance of having spiritually knowledgeable in my life. This does not necessarily mean they can quote every verse of the Bible. This means that I understand people who have God at the core of their being. Tonight at small group was a great reassurance that I am not alone in my struggles in life. Tonight's focus was on a confused mind (guilty). A doubtful and unbelieving mind (guilty). An anxious and worried mind (guilty). While I know and understand I'm guilty of all of these things, I'm realizing the power God has in comforting me in these weaknesses. And I'm going to picture review of some key points from my reading (Joyce Meyer's The Mind is a Battlefield)and of the night's discussion:

This last picture really goes deep for me as I often do things today for the purposes of tomorrow. I must look at doing the things of today for the purposes of day. It even makes me reflect on the title of my blog (Faith.Fitness.Future). Should I worry about the future or worry about today?--But today doesn't go along with my alliteration!

So what did I learn about being 28 today? It's important to live and accomplish the things that 28 years and 2 days Jessica must do and not fret over 28 years and 3 days Jessica.

Now to my challenge to you (oh faithful and loyal reader)... What are things that are on your today's to do list for tomorrow that can be put aside to rejoice in what needs to take place today?

Day 1 of being 28

I would be lying if I said I didn't wake up this morning hoping some strikingly good looking man was delivering me breakfast in bed. Instead, I woke up to the buzz of my cell phone with Facebook notifications from people wishing me 'Happy Birthday!' Not the cute guy, but still a good start to the morning! I grabbed a pillow and my sheet and made my way to the couch. First order of business, finish watching the television show I fell asleep to last night (I've realized this occurs more often as I've been getting older).

I'm hoping with these 365 days of writing that I become more consistent with my quiet time with God. Whether it is directly in my Bible or through my small group study readings, I want to reflect more in the Word. This relates directly with part of the name of my blog ( indirectly links to my fitness. I've mentioned that I've slacked on my fitness and health, but can't understand why. Until recently. As I have been reading for the two small groups I've realized a few things... 1. I've labeled myself as a person who will always struggle with my weight. As a result of that label, I have allowed it to define me rather than inspire me to change that label. Well, you may wonder how I was able to lose the weight before and be so diligent with my eating and fitness... Honestly, I was living on false pretenses of why I should get healthly. I wasn't getting healthy for me, I was getting healthy for the people around me. Healthy in order to get a new label. To be defined by the labels prescribed by the materialistic world. I've been tossing and turning in the struggles of getting back on the bandwagon and frustrated that I haven't been able to do it until my second point. 2. Doubt and unbelief. See I know I can do the necessary steps to get my fitness and health back on track. I know God believes in me. And there are moments I believe in me; however, it's in those moments I slip away from my faith that the devil fills my head with doubt and unbelief in myself, in my willingness to change. Why does he do this? Honestly, he understands the damage a sound mind and body can do to his work against the Kingdom of God. With that said, this platform is my place to disclose my struggles in my It is the place to disclose my triumphs in my It is my place to take away the labels I've been defining myself as for the last 28 years.

So what does a 28 year old do on their birthday?
Laundry, of course!

Everyone uses tea candles for a birthday cake.

28 is tutu fun!

28... Don't take it so serious!

Send mature texts like this...

Make duct tape crafts

Perfecting my question asking (picture was not taken in my pure excitement of running on stage to be a volunteer.)

Adult beverages with a friend...

And pick-pocketing (just kidding)

As I get ready to go to bed, I thank God for giving me great friends, great church, and a great day. 28 is going to be a great year!

The things that have floated through my mind today as I think about year 28:
1. Is this the year I stop getting ID'd when I order a drink?
2. Is it 28...30... Or 40 when my bones start to really ache?
3. Today means I'm wiser, right?
4. Does this mean I can't round down to 25 anymore?
5. Are guys at a bar really that crappy?
6. I will not let 28 define, but refine me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

365 Days of Being 28

Today is the day 28 years ago that God deemed for me to make my mark on this world. What a roller coaster these last 28 years have been. I've had my fair share of highs and lows like anyone, but something is stirring inside of me. Something is telling me 28 is going to be a year of great things for my life. I'm excited, scared, anxious, thankful, and full of promise. For once, I'm leaning in on the trust of God to lead me in my journey.

With that said, my goal for the next 365 days is to track year 28... To share. To write. To confess. To give thanks. To laugh. To just let it all out. While this will be a challenge for me to be diligent in my writing each day, I pray that through these writings I can grow closer in different aspects of my life.... With my friends. My family. Myself. My Creator.

Like I said, God chose this day 28 years ago for me to begin leaving my mark on this world...and I'm ready to get started!