long time...no blog...long blog...

So, I totally don't know what my problem is...I swore I'd blog more often...even thought about it during Christmas break, but did I do it...nope...I'm a total looser...

HOWEVER...here it is…

On Facebook, there's this new trend to list "25 Random Things" about yourself...to my amusement, it was even mentioned on the radio (Mix 106.5) yesterday morning...It is quite fun to do actually. You can take it one of two ways...you can either just list things that you think might be interesting or unique about yourself, or you can just be...to put in a word...random. I went the, "I'm trying to let people in on who I really am" route...I'm not so sure I'm really glad that I did this because more people read it than I had planned, but I've learned something pretty revealing in the process.

I'll start by posting my "25 Random Things" in case, you haven't read them (although I'm keenly aware that the five people who may possibly stumble on to my blog are also my friends on Facebook so they've most definitely already read them...but you know...just in case...)

1. I want to make my life count...I want to live for God's glory and nothing else...I want everything I say and do to speak of how great God is...
2. I absolutely adore my family...in-laws included...they are some of the best people I know...
3. I really like old movies and old tv shows...Casablanca is probably one of my favorite movies of all time and I could (and have) literally watch I Love Lucy all day...
4. I love to read...I 'll pretty much read just about anything you put in front of me...I'm sad that I don't have more time to devote to this love of mine...I also love sports too and I'm sad I don't have enough time to devote to playing them...
5. My great-grandfather was a minister, my grandfather was a minister, my father is a minister, and my husband is a children's minister...go figure...I swore I would never marry a minister and Nick wasn't one we got married...Lesson learned...never say never to God...he'll change it everytime...
6. I would really love to get my Master's...but, I don't necessarily think I'll be a teacher my whole life...
7. I prefer taking a bath (or if you're an Ainsworth, a tub...:D) over a shower...maybe that's because I have a pretty sweet jacuzzi tub...
8. I really really love music...I like to sing...I literally sing all the time...and not always real songs...most of them I make up...when I'm in the car with Nick (especially on long trips) I can sing the whole trip (he's a saint for putting up with me sometimes)...I would really love to trade places with Christy Nockels...she's amazing...
9. I hate surprises/surprise parties and "showers"...close friends need to note this in case I ever have a baby...which leads me to number ten...
10. I am terrified to have children and am totally bipolar about it...one day I'll see a cute little baby and think...hmm...I'd like one of those...then I see some kid "acting a fool" and I think, heck no, I never want a kid...it's like a total roller coaster for me...I assume eventually I'll know when I'm ready, but I'm not getting any younger...which leads me to number eleven...
11. I don't really like birthdays...I'd prefer to pretend like they don't occur...I'm really not good with getting older...I can't even imagine what 2012 will be like for me...
12. I am pretty shy...I'm not that great at meeting new people and it takes me a while to warm up to others...I'm friendly, but not an open book...sometimes this can be interpreted as being rude or standoff-ish...I'm just not one for small talk...if I don't have anything to say, then I just don't say anything...
13. I love serving others...but really don't like to be served (unless it's by Nick...lol)...it makes me really uncomfortable...
14. Speaking of uncomfortable...conflict makes me want to barf...I hate fights/arguments...anytime I get "yelled at" it makes me want to cry...I am sooo non-confrontational...
15. I have really low self-esteem...(maybe this "random list" shouldn't be so deep...)
16. Some of my favorites...color-pink, food-cheeseburgers and chicken fingers, word-chicken and poop (but not chicken poop), city-Atlanta, GA
17. I had to do a separate list of favorite tv shows...I don't really watch all that much tv except on the weekends...I'll do "old shows" and "current shows"...Old - Friends, Saved By the Bell, Everybody Loves Raymond, Mad About You, the Sopranos...Current - 24!!!!, Heroes, NCIS and I'm thinking I'm starting to really like House...
18. This may not be all that "random," but I absolutely LOVE Spongebob Squarepants...I'd say this is random simply because I'm 26 and love Spongebob, but I really like all cartoons for the most part...on the weekends I typically keep it on Nickelodeon all day...
19. I have this thing for "mob" storylines...whether it's a movie or a tv show, if it's got thugs and mobsters, I'm in...
20. I don't use foul language...ever...not even when I'm mad...I have been known to say "I could cuss..." but in all honesty, I wouldn't know what to say if I had to cuss...
21. I've never smoked or had an alcoholic beverage (or done drugs...)...I am truly a prude, even though I try really hard not to be...I don't really think there's anything wrong with either...well, smoking's really bad because it causes cancer, but drinking causes cirrhosis of the liver and sometimes bad decisions, so...who knows...I guess nothing's all that safe...I'm sure the food I eat is probably just as bad for me as drinking or smoking...(now this is totally random...)
22. I really HATE coffee...the smell, the taste...if there's even the slightest hint of coffee taste I gag...gingerale also makes me gag...instantly...
23. I have this big dream to do something really awesome with my life, but I don't know what it is...this is a terribly frustrating feeling...speaking of being frustrated...
24. Sometimes I get a little frustrated with God...I feel like He gave me all of these random semi-talents and interests, but there's nothing that I'm really really great at...you know what I mean???...some people are awesome artists and you look at them and think...wow, they were born to do that...other people are amazing speakers and you think...it's amazing how God uses them...I sooo wish I was one of those people...btw...I think Nick is the only person who knows this about me...It's really not about jealousy...it's about wanting to contribute in a specific way to the world...and not missing my purpose...
25. I like acting and don't mind being in front of crowds as long as I'm being a "character"...I am terrified of adults and would rather just hang out with kids...

Now, I could definitely come up with many random things about myself, because, truth be told, I am a very random person. But...Nick noticed something quite interesting about the comments I received on my list...almost everyone commented about number 24...I'll re-copy it here if you chose to skim past my list (which in all honesty, I would have done if I were reading this...)

24. Sometimes I get a little frustrated with God...I feel like He gave me all of these random semi-talents and interests, but there's nothing that I'm really really great at...you know what I mean???...some people are awesome artists and you look at them and think...wow, they were born to do that...other people are amazing speakers and you think...it's amazing how God uses them...I sooo wish I was one of those people...btw...I think Nick is the only person who knows this about me...It's really not about jealousy...it's about wanting to contribute in a specific way to the world...and not missing my purpose...

For some reason, this struck a chord with people. Of course, Nick thought automatically that if so many people feel the same way, then the local church should address this and give people direction about it....

My thoughts about it are a little different than his. I think that (this is me personally here...not those who commented on my blog) it is extremely difficult to know if you're doing what God wants you to do. It's not like the Old Testament where He'd actually talk to people, or at least send angels to talk to people (which yes, I know He did in the New Testament too...just not as much). I think people really do want to follow God's plan, but it can't be done by following certain steps, or maybe they (I) don't think that they're good enough to do what God wants them to do. Now, I know I have really really low self esteem (see #15), but it seems to me that God should make it a little easier to find your gifts and your purpose. Wouldn't that make the world a better place after all?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing God for how He's chosen to do things...who am I to say anything about it at all actually...but it is a little puzzling, you know? I kinda think that the journey to find what you're meant to do is basically the whole deal--that as you are on your way to find God's place for you, you get to know Him and His character even better. You get a heart that beats like His, that breaks like His, that loves like His. You get a mind that thinks like His, that sees the bigger picture, that knows this life is not the end by any means. You get hands and feet like His, that go and do the things that no one else would or could do....

This leads me to the frustration...I get all this...I get the fact that in order to be more like God, I need to spend more time with Him, in His Word, with people who also want to be more like Him. Unfortunately, I'm also aware that I only have a limited amount of time on this earth (as much as I try to pretend that is not the case). I feel like I don't have time to wait around anymore. I want to know what God wants me to do and I want to know now (typing this, I'm totally feeling like the prodigal son who wanted his inheritance now...that's a little unsettling...perhaps I'll address that in another blog--that is if I ever remember to blog again...). So, I guess I'm stuck--which totally stinks. I am the kind of person who is very cautious about taking big steps. The kind of person who would need to know up front if the step I was taking was really in God's plan. The kind of person whose fear of failure and rejection can totally block out what God may or may not want to be doing in the world. Is that what it takes to be great in God's eyes? Reckless abandon...an undaunting ability to follow whatever they believe God is calling them to do?

Obviously I know the answer to this question is yes...of course it is. But, what does that mean for me, what does that mean for people who agree with #24? Giving up the illusion of control is possibly too great. I don't know. It's scary because it's not just me that I'm giving up in reckless abandon to God...It's my family and my friends. It's everything I am and care about...and that's tough. But, is it too tough? Wouldn't it be worth it? I would think so...but what if I was wrong...what if what I thought God wanted me to do was so far from what He was actually thinking and planning? And that doesn't even scratch the surface of the "giftedness" problem and what mine are...ugh...it really would be easier if God made me amazingly awesome at something...I'm not asking for an endless list of talents and abilities...I'm just asking for one...one thing that I am really really great at, so that I'll know that was what God wants me to invest my time in...Here I am saying this, but really, if I only had just one thing that I was talented in, I mean really talented in, what are the odds that I would use it? I kinda think I'd be like the wicked servant in Jesus' parable and just burry it away. I'd hope not...

But maybe, just maybe, we all have lots of talents, and we just don't know it. Maybe these semi-talents of which I speak are really what we're supposed to be developing. I mean, nothing really great comes without some kind of price...right? Even our "free gift" of eternal life had it's price...not to us, but to the one who loved us so much to die...for us...And that's the point...that's why I want to contribute so badly...to show God it wasn't for nothing...it was worth it...it's all worth it...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...
January 31, 2009 at 12:37 PM

You have already succeeded in God's eyes since he knows in your heart you desire to fulfill your giftedness for Him. I personally think that the gifts/role we bring to the kingdom are all equal in His eyes because saving one soul is as great as saving 10,000 to God.

Lisa said...
February 3, 2009 at 6:21 PM

You must read the book "Seizing Your Divine Moment" and you must realize that you are so contributing to the kingdom of God. When I read your writing I somehow feel like it is my own journal... yet as I get ready to encourage you... God allows me to turn it around and say it to myself. Our hearts desire is to please our Savior... to thank Him and let Him know that we are grateful for what He's done for us... not out of obligation or duty... but out of sheer devotion and love. We know this great love and we want the world to know it too. Sometimes we wonder if we are accomplishing anything toward that end, but I believe with all my heart that just like Gideon... (who hardly jumped out with reckless abandon... how much assurance did he need again??? how many times did he send out the fleece???)... God can and does use us. We just need to keep our eyes on Him and He WILL lead us. Btw... this isn't me telling you all of this... this is me telling me all of this and hoping maybe some will help you too. Thanks for blogging. I love to read what you write. This is the theme of my life right now... my hearts desire and most current declaration..."My light will shine on earth and my Father will be praised." Christy Nockels... Life Light Up. Your's is already shining Jennifer! :-)

Jennifer said...
February 7, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Dear Anonymous,
Thanks for commenting on my blog. I'm kinda glad that you left yourself anonymous because that gives me a little mystery...(although I'm sure I most definitely probably know you, it's fun to think that there's someone I don't know reading my blog...). I wonder sometimes if God knowing my heart is enough...you know the saying "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions..." I could have the best ideas and desires in my heart, but if I don't have the courage to put "hands and feet" to those ideas and desires, then I have't done much to serve God and promote His glory.

Also, I totally agree with your last sentiment, "...the gifts/role we bring to the kingdom are all equal in His eyes because saving one soul is as great as saving 10,000 to God." Even though I agree with it, doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy to live out. Every time I read about the body of Christ and how each part is vital, I can't help but think, "but isn't the head just a little more important..." That's just me...it's a matter of my head knowing what I should believe, but my heart just not quite getting it...

Jennifer said...
February 7, 2009 at 8:02 AM

Lisa, I'm grateful for you and your kindred heart...I doubt I can read the McManus book, simply because I don't do well with books that challenge me...

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