Tuesday, August 29, 2006

swept away

Just a little something I ran across and love that I thought I would share...

At the beach, life is different. A day moves not from hour to hour but leaps from mood to moment. We go with the currents, plan around the tides, follow the sun.
We want to elongate the days, distill the memories, make them last. At the same time, we know that the beauty is in the evenescensce...every wave comes in, then retreats. Every day promises, then turns its back and slips away. Every joy has a little tease in it, a give and a take, and leaves a wake of longing.
So we do the best thing we can do...open up the windows to our senses (so we can hear the waves wwwiiiisshhhing into the night) and let our hearts lead us back to the land of simplicity.
And if we allow these moments to stick to us like sand...our lives can becomes castles.
No matter who comes to the beach, and no matter how lofty the castle they build, time and tide and wind (and other mysterious forces) will eventually get to them...and change them...and maybe even flatten them...thankfully!
People keep coming back to the beach (and for that matter to love) for this lesson: sometimes it's best to get your walls knocked over and lose your most cherished constructs and be fully swept away.
The beach returns us to our child like selves, frees us to be our most elemental, most beach-bunny easy selves. Sometimes it feels just right to be FISHY and SALTY and CRABBY.
The beach is not as much about slackness of mind (although there is some good in that) as it is about mindfulness to small and simple things.
The beach teaches us to redefine rush. It teaches us the value of pause. It sinks us into contentment and keeps building us up. It brings us good humor. It sends us under the surface where we act a little fishy and casting into the skies where we become star fishermen. It molds us into the shape of thankfulness.
We keep getting the chance to transform ourselves with any shift of wind or weight, we know we can come about...and we can keep on coming about. And that slow, crooked seemingly aimless path of our lives at the beach may just be us getting closer and closer to our best selves.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


so this morning I joined my senior pastor for part of the sermon and boy was I nervous ahead of time. i like to talk and all that but not necessarily in front of 1500 people...that's a lot of people! Basically this morning we had a huge service with everyone together for the morning and Pastor Jerry spoke, our youth pastor spoke, our elementary pastor spoke and then I spoke. Plus we had some skits and some fun music and an offering contest between the guys and gals raising money for missions...it was a wild morning. Everyone really seemed to like it all and man there were some funny moments...there were also some really heartfelt moments too. The theme of the morning was talking about Loving God and Loving People. The importance of showing love. One of the teens got up and shared her story about how she had been molested at age 6, addicted to drugs by age 9, her dad had a stroke when she was 11 and she started drinking by age 13 and got pregnant and ended up losing the baby. Basically her life was horrible...but she ended up coming to our church on Wednesday nights and the kids really took her into their group and showed her love and between that and learning more about how much God loves her she has made a huge change in her life and now she's happy and feels like there is a purpose for her life. So cool.Then for my part I brought up this tiny little baby born last tuesday...5 days old and absolutely sweet. I could have stood up their and said blah blah blah and people would have loved it. Anyhow...I had the chance to tell her story which was basically that her mother had been raped and as a result became pregnant with little Gracie. I talked about how it was our responsibility as a church family to come around this family and support them and love them. I talked about how this little girl might not have an earthly father to speak of but she has a heavenly father who loves her so much and has a purpose for her life and it is our job as the people raising her and loving her to make sure she knows that. I talked about how the whole reason we even do early childhood ministry was so that these kids would know that when they come to church it is a safe and loving place for them...and when they are old enough to know what it means to be in relationship with Jesus, they will have already experienced his love via the church family. Anyhow...I think all in all it was a good morning and people really felt challenged to figure out how in their own lives they could demonstrate love. The morning ended with the all church picnic and that was a whole lot of fun...gunny sack races, cotton candy, a car show, dunk tank and all kinds of other fun stuff...it was good.Basically I am ready for a nap! a good long sunday afternoon nap! yes!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

In case you need to read your Bible today...this is just so good!

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. 1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me inbehind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

the sweetest thing

So I went to Mark Chaplain's wedding on Saturday! It was about the sweetest wedding I have ever attended. Mark is 51, Ruth 44...they met online and married pretty fast. They both have waited so long that they figured why wait any longer...The whole wedding kind of had a theme of "your people will become my people, your culture my culture, your family my family, your life my life"...I can't imagine marrying someone from a different country and having to leave everything behind...Ruth is one amazing woman if you ask me...A kind of funny part of the day was that everyone who came to the wedding whispered to someone "so who is this lady he's marrying? have you met her? when did this all happen?" really funny actually...Mark really took everyone by surprise. Ruth is apparently from Columbia but has been living in England for a while...she speaks english but her family does not so the wedding was in spanish and english. Mark flew to England last May to meet her for the first time the rest is history as they say.The wedding was in Mark's backyard and his neighbors all got together and cooked him a huge BBQ feast for the reception...it was so sweet. He was beaming all day...and he was surprised to see me there...I went with Wendy (I was her assistant in college when she was the Dean of Women and Mark was the Dean of Men) as a "surprise" guest...When I first met Mark I kind of put my foot in my mouth and he still laughs about it every time he sees me. I was interviewing for a resident advisor position and he asked me if I played basketball to which I promptly replied "I hate that question, that would be like me asking you if you played miniature golf just because you are short!!" (he is very short) yeah...he never let me live that one down.I can't figure out how to get the pics posted on my blog...I think I used to know how...hmmm...I added a film strip to my main page if you want to see pics...

Friday, August 18, 2006

mean people suck

I am tired of people thinking it's okay to be mean to me...they should all stop, take nice pills and say sorry for all the meanness they have already spread around in the world...and people who think "I'm nice 99% of the time what's the big deal?" should seriously lock themselves up for the 1% and leave me out of it!!!!!!! 1% mean is still mean! and whoever said "it's just business it's not personal" was MEAN!!! you shouldn't listen to mean people advise!
okay, I'm done ranting...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

unexpected fun

So I love when you just run across something randomly and it turns into one of those times you always remember. On Sunday night I went to dinner with my friend Rach....we ate at Cucumbers (my first time) and it was soooo good. After we had stuffed ourselves with the most amazing tomato basil soup we decided to walk around Centennial lakes.
It turned out to be the most unexpected fun I've had in a while. There were so many cute old people walking around and a bunch of them were gathered around the edge of the water so we joined in and saw that they were watching all the remote control hobby boats out on the water. I asked one of the ladies about it and she said that it was the annual hobby clubs night out...once we finished watching the boats we walked on only to realize that there were antique cars and old fashioned bicycles, an oregan grinder and an ice cream vendor clown person out as well...
But my all time favorite was the old lady dressed like a drummer, white paint on her face with crazy makeup and a white wig...she would stand frozen on top of this platform and whenever someone would drop a coin into her jar she would start moving and start playing her drums (she wasn't very good), I think we sat and watched her for like a half hour..it gave me the giggles and who doesn't like to laugh?! If you look at the pic on my profile that's her in the background...LOL!
We ended the night watching this huge big band play...they were sooooo good. It reminded me of the movie Wedding Planner where they are watching an old movie in the park...it had the same feel to it...dads twirling their daughters, couples holding hands, kids in their pajama's laughing and curled up on a blanket as a family...a father and son playing catch...the conductor telling funny jokes (what did the funeral director and the snake charmer have embroidered on their towels after they got married? Hiss and Hearse! that is funny stuff people!) They had a special guest tuba player (LOL!) he works for disney and hires all their new talent I guess so he was a big deal apparently...anyhow, it was a very enjoyable night...they ended with Stars and Stripes Forever, we decided that the song needed fireworks and wouldn't you know it, about half way through...huge fireworks! Needless to say I went to bed that night completely happy...I love when you run across unexpected fun times...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

a note to Jessi and Ira

I think you are both insane. I will never understand why you love working out. And don't say all that "I don't love to work out, I only like the results" blah blah blah crap. I don't believe you. I think you are both addicted to pain...yup...and adrenaline...you are adrenaline junkies! I still am not sure how I am related to you...what are the chances someone like me (who loves her couch, loves to read, isn't really all that sure what's happening when a sporting event is going on, etc)...ends up with two siblings who are personal trainers??!? it's just not right.I'm surprised I can even write this blog my arms hurt so bad today...but have no fear adrenaline junkies, I will go to the gym today anyways, I will get on that treadmill and I will attempt to lift weights (all the while hoping no one is watching, pointing and laughing)...but I vow to never love it like you crazy people!!! On that note, I am leaving to go the gym...yes Ira you can even check the all knowing Bally computer system to make sure I am telling the truth!!!

Friday, August 11, 2006


Esther Sara GrovesI have a picture of Esther and DavidShe is a young bride and he is a soldierThey didnt know then that David was dyingThey wouldnt have childrenAlone with a life time, Africa calledShe went for the first time, it grew in her heartAll of the children, all of those childrenNow Esther has 2.4 million childrenShe writes us and asks us to pray for them allShes compelled, shes compelled by what shes seenAnd she tells us, she tells us do anything you can To help, oh please help, theres so much to doAnd Im just EstherShe visits her homeland, she fights with her wordsShe comes to the courts of the kings of the earthWho dont understand their inherited power To answer her question

I love this song because it talks about someone who gave everything for something she believed in. Being that I know Sara I know that this is a true story, Esther really exists..she is a woman I would like to learn from. To suffer such loss and disappointment and to turn around and live her life for the poor and the orphaned...that is an amazing thing to aspire to..it is what God commands and commissions his people to do..how can I participate? how can I partner with? how can I pray? how can I? how can I? I am compelled...
James 1:27 says: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Isaiah 61:1-3 says: The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


so the topic of balance is on my mind today...I sometimes think that balance doesn't exist and it is an unrealistic goal and in fact, if you are balanced what good are you...shouldn't we be so unbalanced that we are crazy good at certain things and passionate to the point of extreme? isn't that a better way to live, a more fulfilling and happy way?? why should we be so good at so many different things?
then the practical side of me says, how can you live with out balance? how can you devote yourself to something so much that you leave other things that are important behind? doesn't that make you irresponsible and worthless in certain parts of your life?
Specifically for me...how do I decide how much of myself to pour into my work...my calling...my church? Do I pour into what I feel is my purpose at the expense of other things that are important, like a social life, working out, my home, those kinds of things...or am I just using it as a big fat excuse to not concentrate on those things...especially in light of all that has happened in my life over the last year...a break up, friends moving away, friends getting married and disappearing, family leaving (if I thought crying over a man breaking my heart was bad, well that was nothing compared to losing Ira Ash and Beck...I don't say that to make them feel bad, I am ultimately very happy for them and supportive but selfishly I want things to be the way they were). Maybe with all of those events happening I actually have the perfect opportunity to start finding balance...I can decide how I want those aspects of my life to look like now that I'm basically starting over...I think I have been going to far to the extreme of pouring myself into my job...it's so much easier to do that than to start other things over...at my job I know what's expected of me, I have measurable goals, I can excel and even get noticed for it...not necessarily true once I leave and go home at night...
I guess this is something I need to work out...and maybe the picture of balance is better than I give it credit...have you ever stood on one of those scales at the gym and watched the arrow go up and down and up and down until it finally rests and you see you still need to adjust the weights and the process starts again of the up and down and up and down until eventually you know what you weigh...then the next day, after eating your heart out and finishing off that apple pie and snicker bar...you have to start the process all over again? maybe balance isn't a state of mind or lifestyle you ultimately achieve but rather it is something you are constantly working on and assessing and working to change and measure...maybe there are different seasons of life that require different types of balancing, and maybe you only balance two things instead of twenty and have to learn how to say no...
maybe there is something in the middle...the middle of being balanced and being unbalanced...I guess that still leaves you a little unbalanced...but maybe for me that will end up looking and feeling like a life I am happy to be living.
I want to be passionate and unbalanced and I want to be crazy good at certain things but I also want to be able to do other things in my life well. So I guess I had better get on the scale, see where I am at and maybe start making some changes...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

a survey to kill some time...

WHAT YOU WEARING?:a darling brown skirt with a fabulous little top...and jewels of course!
WHAT SONG ARE YOU LISTENING TO?my profile song..."when it was over" a great song about God's grace and love in our lives and then us extending it to people who need it from us.
WHAT TASTE IS IN YOUR MOUTH?:raspberry iced tea! yum
HOW ARE YOU?:I'm happy. I'm content...I'm loving Jesus more and more every day and it's nice. He's gotten me through some rotten days that I feel are now passed...
CHILDREN?:I'm surrounded by them and can only imagine some day having my own...I held a tiny little baby this morning who was born early because of some "bad choices" made by people responsible for him, that was the vague answer I was given when I asked the people who were loving on him...I also held another tiny baby who is in emergency foster care...I will never understand people who abandon their kids for things like men and drugs and themselves...
YOUR GREATEST REGRET(S)?:I don't have any specific regrets...maybe I wish I had gotten my "voice" sooner and my love of doing new things...those are recent and fun...maybe I would have started that sooner...I don't know.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?:babies. laughing. seeing God work in people's lives and my own. knowing I am making right choices. music. funny stories.
SEVEN THINGS IN YOUR ROOM:1. bed2. alarm clock3. chair4. desk5. jewelry6. trap door7. shoes
FIVE THINGS THAT ATTRACT YOU TO THE OPPOSITE SEX:1. confidence2. smile3. height4. kindness5. easy to talk to
HAD A MEDICAL EMERGENCY?:just a few knee problems..
PULLED AN ALL NIGHTER?:lots of times
BEEN ON RADIO/TV?:yes, one time I went to a street dance with a couple girlfriends and these short little mexican men taught us to salsa...and apparently the event was filmed for public access tv and a couple people came up to me at church a few weeks later to tell me how funny it was to see me dancing with these little short guys...yeah, good times. Been to a party?:yes and I've thrown a few! probably not the kind of party this survey is hinting at though being I don't drink :-)
GOTTEN LOST IN THE WOODS?:not so lost I never found my way out!
Wallet:I have a clutch that I carry all my essentials in...and by essentials I mean my ID, chapstick and credit card. I hate carrying around a big purse full of junk.
Coffee:no thank you.
Cologne/Perfume:sometimes I wear Heavenly but usually nothing.
In the last 24 Hours have you....Cried:yeah, this morning talking with someone who was expressing how greatful they are for where God has brought them...she cried, I cried...lots of crying!
Bought something:milk and a cute hoodie...
Gotten sick:nope!
Sang:oh yeah
Been kissed:a few times, by little sweetie babies...they were a little drooly but cute...
Talked to an ex:nope
Talked to someone you have a crush on:nope
Had a serious talk:a few actually
Missed someone:my nephew all the time!
Hugged someone:not really...I held a few kids that snuggled up so maybe that counts...
Argued with a parent(s):nope, I need to call my mom but I doubt we will argue.
Attend Church:oh yeah, I practically live here!
Thing you drank: iced tea
Place you went: I was in a wedding in smalltown MN somewhere North...
Person you IMed: Jake
last questions
1. your name?Jamie Willow
2. parents' namesJack and Lynda
3. what songs do you sing in the shower?when I am showering in the morning all I am thinking about is keeping my eyes open...not singing...
4. What were you afraid of as a child?the vacuum cleaner :-)
5. when and why did you last vomit?gross
6. What's in your pockets right now?no pockets...oh wait...I do have pockets...dang, I could have been keeping stuff in them!
7. what color are your bedroom walls?depends, I move it around from time to time...I am thinking about putting it back into my green room though and turning my now bedroom into my living room...I can't decide...we shall see...the urge to rearrange is strong...
8. last thing that made you laugh?the last time I out and out belly laughed was when my sister sent me pictures of her band and for some reason the way they were all standing struck me as very funny and I actually cried from laughing so hard and my sister who I was on the phone with didn't appreciate it...but you just can't stop a good belly laugh! other than that, I think I laugh way to often to keep track of why!
9. nicknames your parents call you?my dad calls me "baby" not sure what my mom calls me...she used to call me Jamie Joy Jumper...hmmm...I get called James, Jamison, Willow and other variations from others though...a few of the kids at church call me Mr. Jamie...they don't really get the whole pastor title thing and Mr sounds the closest...
10. things you shout to stupid drivers?"It's the petal on the right!!!!!" I yell that a lot when I get stuck behind a slow poke.
11. how do you like your chocolate?I don't like dark chocolate but otherwise I'm not picky :-)
12. describe your fingernails?strong and healthy. I don't wear polish very often, when I do I usually give myself a french manicure...
15 what will you be doing tomorrow?work work work!!!

okay, so sorry to all who read this and thought it was going to get more interesting...I am killing time before going to a church service at River Valley that is for women only...I may blog about it later, the lady speaking is part of Hillsong Ministries, Christy Caine...not sure if that's how you spell it...I went to a luncheon last week and she was great...


So Much to Love

I love people. I love bright eyes. I love my sons, Judah & Lucas. I love laughing. I love my ringtone. I love love. I love Jesus. I love tattoos. I love milk. I love creative expression. I love smiles. I love Philippians. I love bridges. I love my house and haven. I love a rainy night. I love doing nothing. I love almonds and banana chips. I love music. I love cowboy hats. I love Anna Maria Island. I love (diet) dr.pepper. I love a good story. I love wildflowers. I love to fly. I love rod iron. I love babies. I love going to the movies. I love midnight. I love allegra. I love sunsets. I love long kisses. I love the color red. I love starshollow. I love community. I love doing life with friends. I love witty banter. I love jessilynn.com. I love my family. I love pretty things. I love cruisin' with my girls. I love remembering when. I love authentic individuals. I love hot tamales. I love when kids giggle. I love Lance. I love bonfires. I love finding people I thought I'd lost. I love yard sales. I love tacobell. I love seeing people do good. I love violins and steel guitar. I love driving to the airport. I love seeing people around me succeed at their dreams. I love being included. I love flipflops. I love blogging. I love long talks. I love dreaming.

Always On My Mind

Welcome to my blog.  I am glad you stopped by!  I choose to write my thoughts and share the joys of my life in this forum.  I hope you will read and say hi when you can!  Blessings!
Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wing. Only one thing endures and that is character. 
~Horace Greeley