"What are you doing in July?"
It's a question I've been asked daily since my last post.
So here are the deets (details)...
I've been reading some stuff.
Different blogs, books, devotionals, scripture, etc. I've been talking to friends and family.  God is shaking things up. I swear I've had more than a dozen conversations with people who feel a shift in the way they are seeing their lives, their impact on the world, their purpose and vision for the future. They are ready for the unsafe, the uncharted, the wild. It's like this strategic stirring, a calling that echoes in our core, calling us to go big and reach for something scary and untamed. It's so hard to put it into words. David and I have felt it for a few years. But lately it's been overwhelming.

I'm so afraid of living a mediocre life. I'm so tired of the drudgery and my ineffective daily routine and all-around selfish living. I'm ready for something different.
And so, with two other families, we are spending the next 7 months refining our vision and the way we live. We're focusing on different areas each month. We're making more room in our lives. We're spending some time listening and watching and waiting.

In July our family is focusing on our 'stuff'.

We are identifying areas of excess, cleaning out the clutter, giving up possessions to help others. Don't misunderstand. We are not taking massive loads to the Goodwill so we can feel good about simplifying and being organized. This is about intentional giving. Intentional living.

I'll be honest here. I'm struggling with talking about or even blogging about my journey for the next 7 months. I struggle with pride and motive. I'm asking myself: Why am I sharing this journey? Is it so I can say "Hey, look at me!" Is it because I want to be on the edge, doing something cool and blogworthy? Is it because I want to impress people? Why? I'm taking a good look at myself lately, and it's ugly stuff. Fear, envy, pride, over-indulgence, selfishness, self-centeredness, insecurity, intolerance, irritability, stubbornness. And more.

God help me.

All I know is that right now I'm going to put one foot in front of the other and be obedient. I don't know what that will look like. I don't know what it will cost. I don't know if I can even do it. I just know I have to move.

And those are pretty much the deets.

currently reading

if you read one thing this year, make it this one


  1. Wow! I'm excited to see what your life looks like after 7 mos! I'm looking forward to seeing what God does in you and thru you! Love ya friend!

  2. Excess...not enough...I wonder how I could have both of those elements in the same one minute span of thinking, and yet, I have. We went to the beach for the 4th of July. Celebrating the glorious freedom we have come to take for granted even though we know so many men and women that are currently fighting on our behalf. Excess= 'party on the beach' with all our stuff (and there was a lot of stuff!); not enough= 'sun'--it was cold-ish and overcast and I only brought two blankets.

    The point, with this lame example, was that I had been feeling pretty low because we are so broke lately. "My kids can't go to camp unless they earn every penny at the car washes". (5 kids = $500) Excess= Do my kids really need five straight days of out of the ordinary fun? not enough= I should be helping the children's pastor even more to make this 'dream come true' happen for even more kids. Balance, motivation, surety in thought and deed...we are human. Is anything really certain?

    In one of my classes last year, I had a discussion with a classmate about motive. She said that altruism does exist (doing good for the sole purpose of doing good). Period. No ulterior motives, no "What's in it for me?" kind of rationale. I argued that it is not possible to have at least a little bit of that because doing good for others, regardless of where your heart and mind are at, makes you feel better. (Doesn't make you better at feeling--that is a different story!) Compassion has strings attached because you are suffering together with someone. Part of your heart breaks with their pain, and yet, when you come along side another who is hurting, you know that their burden is lessened. That HAS to make you feel good, even a little bit, doesn't it?

    For so long, we have lived with the should's and gotta's passed down from yesteryear and tradition. God has never been in a box, packaged up nice and neat. We try to put Him there so that we might be able to grasp his magnitude--Ha! He has given form and life to you, His masterpiece! So live already! Fear not! Punch pride and envy in the nose, and feel good about giving the 'cat lady' down the street your old can opener since hers is broken! Paint a trash can pretty at the park and plant some flowers at town hall. Do good and make the world a better place! FEEL good about what you are doing--let the smile start on the inside before you show it to someone else!

    When someone says, "Jenna, you are amazing because you _______" (fill in the blank), feel free to say "Thank you for noticing! God made me this way!". Our Creator is creative--look what he made! We are made in His image, so don't you think "amazing" ought to be in your reportoire? You are a child of the most amazing Dad (yea, your earth dad is amazing too!)and you ought to expect to have some of that 'amazing' in your blood and NOT be ashamed or embarrassed by the power, grace, mercy, compassion, and emotion that he has blessed you with. Go ahead, check your motives if you want. Chances are, whatever your beat up human mind come up with to keep you from being 'amazing' right now will hinder God's creative work throught you. Jus sayin'.

    How cool would it be if....

    "Jenna, why are you doing this?"
    " Because God inspired me to."


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