The God of Lost things…. Like Rings… oops.

Gone. Just gone. Replaced by a feeling of emptiness. Sure enough, it was confirmed when my hand hit the steering wheel. It was GONE!My finger sat empty for the first time since August. I felt suddenly naked. I was supposed to keep that symbol of commitment forever and I didn’t even make it to the altar! What a failure, what great grief! How long had it been gone? Had I carelessly removed it or had it fallen off? Maybe it came off my finger before I even got out of bed. Terror gripped my heart. I had lost something precious. It was time to make a plan and find it! What if I didn’t find it? I left the parking lot in a fluster. What if it was in a storm drain or a stranger took it and was wearing Chris’ symbol of commitment.

With a quick prayer of not knowing what to do all fit into a small grunt I moved onto step two. Step two was calling Chris in a panic. My beautiful prince went to work and searched the place with my lovely fellow barista and his girlfriend. I frenzied home to search the living room, bed sheets and bathroom. I even searched my car. Everyone came up empty.

I ended up running to work to search myself so I was satisfied. I too could not find the ring. I was heartbroken. I knew the personal cost it had been to the man I was spending my whole life with. Devastation and tears overwhelmed me and Chris was kind enough to hug me as I gave into trembling and weeping. He was nothing but “It’s fine honey” and “No worries, we’ll find it.” Inside i’m sure he was dying. Not angry, but he had worked hard on obtaining that ring. He was loving. We were also late for a triple date. He drove us back in my car as I continued to search under seats.

We had God ordained timing. Thank God! As we rolled in so did a van and the snow slush made a small wake and I saw my ring move onto a small dry patch. I got out and hugged the woman as she got out still stuck in tears. I thanked her and told her that she just found our ring. She was thrilled to have helped. I uttered praises all the way to our triple date. It was quite the emotional rollarcoaster and God was good through all of it.

Worthy

Jac:

It’s hard to write good poems let alone Holy ones. Love it. <3 Also love this girl. She deserves a repost and so does Grace.

Originally posted on Hold Up My Hands:

Why is it so hard to only trust?
To let go of the list of must
The pride of life and fleshly lust
All these things that rot and rust

I believe it’s true,
No desire obtained can free you
Me. It ensnares me and scares me
Suffocates those ideals I carry.

I implore you. Each desire you succumb to has won you.
I only give in because I don’t trust You
That You’re worthy and You make me worthy
You win me. Jesus, You win me.

Remind me daily,
Of the grace that makes me
Worthy.

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Holiness and Dissapointment

Wow. If you are a Packers fan you woke with a heavy heart from last nights championship game. I know I woke crying out to the Lord. It took a good cup of coffee, some Zelda and a great fiance’ to overcome my morning slump. But now as I sit at my laptop I have one question. What would Jesus have me do with disappointment? Even with something like disappointment about not going to the Super Bowl this year.

Solomon looked at his kingdom and said this in Ecclesiastes 2 “But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.” The first thing that I told myself is that even if we had won the Superbowl it would be meaningless years from now. I had to put my grief and the game in perspective of eternity. I probably will be fine before I go to bed tonight. If I put my highest hopes in achieving things they will eventually fall when inevitably those goals are not achieved. Only God will never let me down that way.

But knowing that my hope rest in Jesus shouldn’t keep me from not hoping. It isn’t a sin to want your team to win. But when hopes that are not in Christ don’t come around, lean on the hope you still have. It helps it pass. This is easier if you remember your heavenly Father is eager to listen and you can cast your disappointments on Him. He truly loves you and cares for the matters of yours  If you are struggling because your team didn’t make the cut, He will listen. He’s happy to hear from you! He will listen if you feel it’s unfair that an off-side kick worked or that the Sea-pigeons last year! And he will help you become more holy through it. No jokes. God can keep you from bitterness or selfishness after losses in life.

Besides, there is always next season. :)  Don’t be led into discouragement. This advice is good for more than football games.

100 days.

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Such a joy to be waiting to be this guys wife. Even though I have no idea what that will be like. We have had so much fun being engaged and we hope we don’t miss it. Incredibly blessed that so many of our friends are getting married and going through this with us. [[Photo by Miranda Renee Photography]]

Well blog, it is 100 days until I am wed. Whoa! And right now I still can’t imagine life as a wife…

I can imagine chatting while we make dinner, going on walks, binge watching Netflix, playing video games while he strums at his guitar. I especially love thinking about just being in our home and quietly, mutually, counting our blessings. I can see him reaching high shelves and killing bugs. I can see me painting our wall clocks and building a blanket fort as an apology for being stuck up sometimes.  I can’t imagine what it will feel like to write a new name instead of my family name.  I can’t imagine what it will be like to not part ways at the end of every day and instead to share a house together. I can’t imagine what unknown horrors come from living with a boy. I can’t imagine how I will crush the mold of what he thinks living with a girl will be like.

I imagine us slow, clumsy and fumbling into one flesh. I see us as the happiest newbies to being newly weds ever. Patiently discovering new joy in loving one another. I can’t wait to learn more about obedience, respect, compassion, forgiveness and vulnerability from a man who I care for deeply. I might need it! It will also put to work all the practice I have had in patience, mercy, honesty and kindness. All of the things the Spirit has cultivated in me tenderly as I sought my heavenly Father will surely be tried by fire. I have no fear, because I have perfect love that I will always have access too.

People keep asking me what I am most looking forward to April 25th. I tell them that I imagine I might not remember the whirl of my wedding day in 10 years (another good reason I am grateful for a good photographer.) I won’t remember how many of my aunts came. I won’t remember the color of the cake or how well the bows were tied or remember how I felt about my hair. What I am looking forward to is not a ceremony or after party. I am not excited for a wedding, I am excited for a marriage. The reason people go through with the hassle of putting on weddings is because marriage is so great and so worth celebrating.

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Being Jen & Chris for the rest of our lives brings a lot of questions and concerns. How will life change? We might be surprised at how little it does or how much it does. But we will never be alone in it. [[Photo by Aly Owen Photography.]]

I am excited to have all my friends and family near me. I am excited to be the center of attention for like a whole week. I am excited to see everyone dressed for celebration. I am excited to honor God in such a public manner.  I am not excited to wear heels and hairspray all day, I am not excited for the standing, the waiting and dealing with all of the things that will inevitably go wrong. But I am excited that I will be in a marriage when all is said and done. Kind of like when I graduated. There was little thrill in wearing a funny hat and getting a piece of paper. There was all of the joy in going into the world to chase my goals and honor the Lord with all I had learned. There was so much joy in completing a journey with the family I had made at my university.

So in 100 days, I won’t know what to expect. But I won’t know what to expect with my husband. It won’t be anything I imagined. I am sure it will be better. Because obedience and sacrifice always lead to something more worthwhile than your dreams and imagination can summon. I have 100 days left to be Jennifer Cooper. That is exciting. So is the adventure in being a wife and taking an official partner to follow Christ and build his kingdom with. Waiting for something I can’t wrap my head around is lovely. Hope you enjoy it with me.

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We are more than welcoming of well wishers and wise council. In fact we encourage it. Feel free to post your advise to prepare for this change and remember us in your daily prayers.

One-hundred days and counting to who knows what. One-hundred days until I move, marry and jump into an adventure. One-hundred days til dancing, cake, food, family, frenzy and vows. One-hundred days til flowers, DJ’s and hair appointments. One-hundred days til I can unsubscribe from all the wedding websites I have joined and one-hundred days until I stop harassing people to RSVP. One-hundred days left for Jennifer Cooper.

My new favorite thing is to watch movie tailors for films coming out after April and in disgust say “Jennifer Cooper will never see that movie!” This is even more fun in the presents of friends who know I would probably love to see that movie. They will catch on.  Jennifer Schriver will very happily go see it in my place. Haha. Can’t wait to meet her. I bet we’ll have a lot in common. Including how great we think Chris is.

My Guide to Living in the Real World.

1. Don’t Suck. 

Always be progressing. Laziness was for high-school, thanks mom! If you got in the habit of being a bumm get out of it. You are promised nothing and owed nothing. You can’t waste the day away and expect to meet all your goals. If you don’t have goals get some! Have goals and have a plan to accomplish them. Create habits of a happy life. Learn to get housework done often, make grocery list, understand banking and sit down and make a budget. Don’t let your life fall apart. Take care of it and the responsibilities that come with it. You will be happier if you apply yourself to your job and household properly. Mom and dad aren’t here to pick up after you and you shouldn’t need them to be. Before you go out to the movies for the 5th time this week check your bank account and make sure this isn’t your last chanch to go to the grocery store.

2. Love Others

Sometimes keeping your life together takes a lot of effort. Don’t let that stop you from texting your bestie. I am guilty of this. Don’t let life be a cycle of work and sleep. Fill it with people that make you awesome. What’s the point of a clean kitchen and being well showered if you can’t invite your BFF over and eat penut-butter out of the jar on the floor and compare holiday horror stories. At the end of your days you won’t remember that you were a boss at loading a dishwasher. You will remember that your friends were there for you and they will be because you will be there for them. You are here for Christ, others and then yourself. That being said please do not neglect yourself and your own life to always be with friends. Good friends respect a no. Just don’t neglect them.

3. Do BIG things. 

Sometimes life offers something and you just have to go for it. It will be risky and it will be scary and it will be OH-SO-GUD4U!! Sometimes the best thing to do is the option that doesn’t make sense. Shooting for the stars is costly. Be willing to do BIG THINGS and be willing to pay the big cost to do so. This isn’t a hard rule for every choice you make but it’s something to remember. Follow your passions and save the universe. It isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy but life needs those risks. It is always better to do what is right and just than to play it safe. Are you going to be an earth-shattering adult or a run-of-the-mill one? And if you fail do not be afraid when the chanch comes around again.

4. Do Small Things With Joy

Never underestimate the mundane. Love watering that plant. Revel in sipping tea on a porch swing. Rejoice in a completed jigsaw puzzle. Learn to paint, complete a tv series, join a Bible study, start a book club, become a member of a gym. Do small things that will add up to one awesome adult. Taking care of you and getting the most from life is full of mundane things. Smell flowers, listen to birds, read a book and call your mom. Life is full of small moments. Sometimes as an adult life gets hectic and you lose those things. Never do that. Every second is a blessing and it’s hard to remember that in busy or hectic times. Be a person of joy. You won’t regret it.

TLDNR:

Don’t Suck, Love Others, Go Big and Be a person of Joy. Got it?

Take it from here Paramore.

Steadfast Arms.

I will crumble, I will tumble
Into steadfast arms.
I will pour my cares and worries
against steadfast arms.
And steadfast arms will make a dam
keep me from alarm.
Steadfast arms will guide me.
Hide me from all harm.
Steadfast arms will strengthen me.
Teach me when I’m wrong.
They make storms sail away.
They are a mile long!!

What, I can post poems when it isn’t Wednesday!? Poems are hard! It’s getting late and I am thinking that hugs are pretty great. Hope you had a happy holiday season everyone! New Years is still around the corner.

Happy Birthday On This Side.

This blog is two today!

Things that have changed:

I am engaged.
I am a Grace graduate.
I am more joyous.
I am more responsible.
I went to China.
I have a tattoo.
I have changed my mind on things.

Here are my favorite blogs over the last two years in case you missed any good ones. Please revisit:

  1.  Another New Year
  2.  What We Hold Onto
  3. A Bad Day is No Match for You
  4.  No Such Thing as an X-Cutter
  5. The Trouble With Compassionate Men
  6. Pure White Poem
  7. Embracing Nonsense
  8. Accepting Heaven
  9. Shadow
  10. Reach

For further enjoyment: CXVI