Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Another celebration

I really do love stretching birthday celebrations on and on and on. Especially since my birthday hasn't actually come yet, it's kinda fun having all these parties in my honor!

Tonight was the weekly dinner with Martha and the girls at Casita. It was extra special because it has been a few weeks since we've met (Martha bought a house and has been crazy busy getting it ready to move into and then actually moving). Plus, yesterday was Martha's 65th birthday and tomorrow is my 30th. So, we had two birthday celebrations in one! It was wonderful!!

Now, if I could just quit sneezing and stop coughing, maybe I'd really feel like celebrating on the actual BIG DAY (which is TOMORROW, in case you haven't figured it out yet!)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Friends

I really do have great friends. Sometimes I forget that and I let myself wallow in loneliness and pity parties. Tonight reminded me that I do have really great friends. My friend Allyson volunteered a couple of months ago to "host" my 30th birthday party (only a little early since the BIG DAY isn't until March 1). She asked me what I wanted to do and then did all the fun planning. Turns out that there were about 25 people there to help me celebrate tonight! It was so fun.

We ate dinner at Buster's (yummy mexican food) then headed back to Laura & Allyson's apartment for homemade chocolate cake, ice cream, and games! Rousing games of Scrabble, Mexican Train, Spoons all happening simultaneously made for some craziness, but it really was so much fun.

Thanks Allyson for the planning -- and thanks to everyone else who came to help me celebrate (and gave me fun gifts!!!).

Thunder and Lightening

I was woken up several times last night by bright flashes of lightening and HUGE claps of thunder! I love it!!!! It started raining about noon yesterday and rained off and on all afternoon and night. We really needed the rain so I'm glad of it. Although, I'm happy that it is projected to have stopped raining by this evening. It's my party and I don't want it to rain!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Vacation Day

Today has been great - I took a vacation day and spent the day shopping with my friend Kelly! She came over and spent the night last night, then bright and early this morning we hit the SampleHouse bi-annual warehouse sale. This store has lots of fun housewares and paper goods (the website really doesn't do it justice). Everything at the warehouse sale is 75% off. After shopping for about an hour, while dodging tons of people, we had to stand in line for almost an hour to check out! But, it was really fun and we both got a lot of good deals. We saw several folks from church and ended up being able to eat lunch at BreadWinners with Darla and Chrystal.

After lunch, Kelly and I shopped a few other fun stores and then headed home. Now, I've got a rainy evening to relax and get stuff done around the house. Tomorrow night is the big 3-0 birthday bash with all my friends (although the big day isn't until next Wednesday).


Before I get started, I think I might take a little nap.....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Still working.....

Okay - so I'm starting to feel like a whiny-baby with my work-work-work talk. Really there is more to my life. Or is there? I think that I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But it will still be a little while before that light overwhelms the dark craziness that is my life.

I managed to leave today with enough time to run home, put on my jeans, and scarf down a pb&j sandwich before I headed to church for worship team rehearsal. Much more comfortable. I think I'm really a jeans & t-shirt girl at heart. One day, maybe, that can be my daily "uniform."

Came home from church, worked some more. Wait - slap on the hand - no more blogging about work!!

Now I'm off to watch a little TV before I head to bed. Up early in the morning - lots to accomplish tomorrow - still trying to final close December, now trying to close January, staff/board meetings next week, starting to work on February, getting ready for auditors, training new staff, etc, etc, etc.

At least I know that I won't be working this weekend -- at least not until Sunday night. I'm headed to A-town for Sing Song and other ACU festivities.

Monday, February 13, 2006

a DAY

Man......it's been a DAY. I'm pooped.

My new staff accountant started today. I really think she's going to be a good fit with our group. I'm so glad to have some help -- but I think it will still be a while before things settle down. She's got a lot of learning to do before I can really unleash her.

I left work about 6:45 in time to make a quick run to Target then head to Dinner Club. Got home about 9:00 and worked a little bit more. Now, I'm off to bed.

Karen had this fun link on her blog today -- make a WordCloud here. Here's mine:

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Retreat Talk

Ok - this is long, but bear with it. This is what I shared at our church ladies' retreat this weekend.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was introduced by my good friend Kelly. This is what she said:

I probably met Jenni in the Clifton's kitchen in the fall of 1999. We graduated from church acquaintances to real friends soon after when, on a whim (and because I didn't know anyone who liked Christian rock music), I asked her if she wanted to go to a Superchic[k] concert. From that time on, we've been good friends and I've learned that:
  • she has a sense of adventure and is willing to try new, fun eating, shopping and music experiences
  • she makes the best chunky monkey bread and is gifted in many other domestic arts as well
  • she is extremely organized that uses that gift to bless others
  • she has the spiritual gift of hospitality
  • her taste in jewelry is really great and she looks fabulous in things I couldn't pull off
  • as a friend she is loyal and patient
  • and finally, for as long as I've known her, she has been persistently seeking after God through times of confidence and doubt, obvious blessings and guidance and times when God feels farther away, and through it all, she doesn't give up!
What a sweet tribute - thanks Kelly!!!
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I was nervous when Holly first asked me to speak this weekend. Earlier this week when I heard that I was going to be the FIRST one up here to speak, that nervousness turned into the beginnings of panic. But my mother reminded me that I always wanted to be first and way ahead of everyone else...so, I guess it is fitting. Here goes.....

I was born into a Christian home. My mom was raised church of Christ and my dad was raised Methodist, so, from the beginning, I was in church every time the doors were opened. We lived in Amarillo until I was 8, then in Denver, CO for a couple of years before moving to Abilene when I was in fifth grade. Lynn Anderson was still preaching at Highland (before he came to Preston Road) and I remember sitting on the front row through my middle school years taking notes during his sermons. I was baptized at age 12 after a camp experience the summer after sixth grade. Looking back, I realize that I was pretty much a goody-two-shoes all through high school, and even probably some into college. I did all the youth group activities, looked down my nose at those in my classes at school that were out partying, graduated top of my class from high school, then went off to Abilene Christian University.

While I was at ACU, I was involved in a lot - class officer, Sing Song, Welcome Week committees, you name it, I was there. It was during my time in college that I really started to think about making my faith my own. Not my parents’ faith – but mine. I did test some of the boundaries that ACU set – but never did stray too far from the rules. Because I’m pretty much a rules follower. I remember the first Sunday that I missed church because I slept in (because I was out waaayyyy too late the night before, and frankly, had too much to drink). Waves of pure church of Christ guilt washed over me all day long.

I came away from my college experience with many good friends – but there are six of us that are still close enough to really work at spending time together each year. Sarah, one of the six, I would consider to be my “best friend” – we met and became friends in high school, the summer between junior and senior year, while doing ACU’s Junior Scholars program. At semester of our sophomore year of college we became roommates and lived together throughout the rest of our time at ACU. The six of us girls were split between two houses through our Junior and Senior years, and although I didn’t know a couple of the girls really well while we were still in college, we have gotten much closer since graduation, even while living scattered across the world. Those girls have pushed and challenged me, traveled with me, sung with me, cried with me, prayed for me, given me advice and in general supported me through pretty much everything in the past few years. I learned a lot about how to be a friend – how to pray – how to develop those deep, lasting bonds that come through sharing our struggles. Those girls have taught me more than they probably even know about how to live my life for Christ.

I left college thinking that I had it pretty much all figured out. I was a strong, independent career woman. I could move to the big city alone, and make it just fine. I knew what I wanted and worked pretty hard to get there. But deep in the back of my mind, there was something missing. A piece of the puzzle that hadn’t yet clicked into place. I have struggled with making my faith really my own – with making it an integral part of my everyday life – and with being fully confident in God and in my relationship with Him. I’ve struggled, in part I think, because there are still deep seated goals and ambitions in my life that are yet unsatisfied. And somehow, in the warped back of my mind and in the deep recesses of my heart, that means that God isn’t who He says He is.

Rewind to the late 1960’s - my parents met in high school and dated throughout the end of high school and long-distance during college (Daddy stayed at home and went to UTA while Mom went to ACC), getting married the summer after they graduated from college. Daddy worked for the government in Amarillo and Denver, then took a job at ACU that prompted our move to Abilene when I was 10, while Mom always stayed home with us. I’m pretty sure she worked at least part-time in the early days of their marriage, but as soon as I was born, she was “just” a mom and didn’t work outside our home.

One of the things I remember from growing up was that Mom had a Kindergarten-12th grade school memento book for me and my sister. She would put pictures from the first and last day of each year of school and all the pertinent stats from our school year, plus there were blanks to fill in as to what our favorite things were and what we wanted to be when we grew up.


No matter what else I ever wanted to be, whether it was a teacher, an astronaut, or the president, from the earliest time I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be my mom. To fall in love and get married. To have a family. To stay home with my children. To cook, clean, sew, organize and be a “chief home executive.”

I’ve had people over the years deride that dream, wondering why I would “waste” the accounting talents that I’ve been blessed with to “just” be a mom. They tell me that I’ll change my mind -- when faced with the opportunity to quit work and stay home, I’ll choose my career. I tell them over and over that it isn’t going to happen. My goal is to be a wife and a stay-at-home mom. That’s what I think I’m really wired for. What I believe that God has gifted me to be.

But. Here I am – a month shy of 30 years old and still single (when mom was my age, I was 5½ ). I have a great job that I enjoy and where I am having success. I have great friends that I do things with and that are very important to my life. I have a wonderful church family that has encouraged me to grow and stretch my talents and has provided me with mentors and Dallas “moms” and “dads”. But, I have no husband and no children - yet. Hopefully someday - soon? Sometimes, I do wonder (and this wondering does get louder in my head as I get older)…….God, do you hear me when I pray? You do know that I’m supposed to be a wife and mom, right? I not supposed to do this career thing. I’m supposed to be staying home with my babies. So, why am I still single….with no prospects?

Stephen Curtis Chapman has a song on his “Declaration” album titled: God is God. Many of you may be familiar with it. The chorus of that song is what I have to remind myself of over and over again. Especially when I start to wonder why my life isn’t going the way I planned it (because I’m pretty good at planning things, and my life is no exception) The chorus goes like this:

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all, for only God is God

I have to remind myself of that often. God has a plan for my life. Even when I don’t see what He’s painting. When I have no idea as to what the next scene is supposed to show. In Jeremiah 29:11, the prophet tells me that God has a plan for me, a plan to prosper me and not to harm me, a plan to give me hope and a future. So, I remember the lyrics of that chorus – God is God. I am not. I’m not supposed to be. I don’t know what His plans are for my life. I don’t know if I will ever fall in love and get married. If I will ever get to experience the joy of being a mom. I just know that His plan will all work out in His timing, in His way – if I will just trust Him. If I will just seek after Him. If I will let Him be in control. If I will live according to His plan as He reveals it to me.

I have a little prayer on the cabinet in my bathroom: “Father, thank you for giving us what we need, when we need it. Forgive me for borrowing tomorrow’s trouble; teach me the comfort of trust.”

I don’t know about you, but I need that reminder. That God is God. He is in control of everything. He knows what is best for me. He knows what is best for my life. I just need to learn to follow Him. To trust Him. To wait for Him.

Now before you start thinking that I’ve got it all together – that I have figured it all out. Stop. Look at the tears running down my face. Hear the crack in my voice. I don’t know what I’m doing – and most of the time what I do is wrong anyway. And it drives me crazy. I try to control my life. I try to take the reins. And I screw it up all the time. Because, guess what? I’m not GOD. Neither are you.


Believe me, I am speaking to myself as much as I am to you – it is time to let go of the control that I think I have over my life and give God the reins. I’m still hoping and praying (and praying and hoping) that somehow His plan will line up with at least some of my plans for my life. That He will want for me to be a wife and mom. And that, in His perfect time, that prayer will be answered. But for now, I’m learning to trust Him anyway. Every day, I’m learning to follow Him anyway. To not base my happiness or contentment on the answer to that one prayer – but to enjoy the journey.

Life won’t magically be perfect when or if I get married or have children. I know that. I have enough friends that are in that stage of life and remind me often of that fact. I know that there will still be struggles daily to live for Christ. To surrender to His control. To let Him lead my life. But what I’m beginning to figure out is that if I let go of the illusion that I am in control and let God be God, then my life will be so much better for it.



Friday, February 03, 2006

Why Computers Crash

The original source for this is unknown to me, but I got it from my granddaddy this morning and thought it was good Friday humor! (and it certainly sounds like something written by Dr. Seuss, although I don't know for certain that he wrote it)

Why Computers Crash
By Dr. Seuss


If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port, and the bus is interrupted at a very last resort, and the access of the memory makes your floppy disk abort, then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash, and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash, and your data is corrupted cause the index doesn't hash, then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!

If the label on the cable on the table at your house, says the network is connected to the button on your mouse, but your packets want to tunnel to another protocol, that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall.

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss, so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse; then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang, 'cuz sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang.

When the copy on your floppy's getting sloppy in the disk, and the macro code instructions is causing unnecessary risk, then you'll have to flash the memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM, and then quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your Mom!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Fog

It is really disconcerting to look out your office windows from 28 stories up and not be able to see anything but white fog.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Did you ever wonder......

.......if you started digging, where you would end up?

According to this website: Dig to the Other Side, I'd end up in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Interesting.....

thanks Daddy, for the diversion!