Monday, December 17, 2012

Angels among us.

I went to church by myself yesterday. It was truly lonelier than I thought it would be. In fact so lonely at the beginning I wished I would have stayed home. Brian had the flu and Elliot slept in due to lack of sleep last week, with stress from the Christmas program and Brian out of town. And Grace well she was more than happy to stay home with her Daddy and watch toons. So I dolled myself up and off to church I went...alone.

I found myself investigating the church yesterday. With my eyes only I allowed myself to take in each pipe of the organ, I attempted to recognize heads in front of me That we have seen over the last few weeks, I smiled at children that recognized me before their parents, there is a little boy that sits in fron of us and I said hello to him and he turned to his Dad and said, "Daddy that lady said hello to me again. Did you here her? Hello, Hello, Hello." I guess that he must be two going on three and he is scrumptious. I found myself looking over the interesting instrumental quintet for the morning and sang as loudly as I could during worship. I felt the spirit but I felt alone. The sermon was on realizing we do not have the power to do things on our own, we in fact need God to do much for us. A sermon on the topic of faith and the light of hope. I think a lot of us could have used that sermon this week. I know I did for more than one reason.

As the sermon went on I felt myself begin to pray a prayer I have prayed more than once, probably more than 10 times in the last month and a half. I prayed for a place to belong. A place to be needed. A place that God could use me to do His will. And then I went on autopilot. The last few days have been stressful and I have felt a bit depressed and anxious. I have prayed constantly for God to remove the anxiety and to help me to move forward with hope that things will become normal. But most often I pray and ask that he would use me.

Well it wasn't to much longer and we were singing the closing song and I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. There is an older couple that sits in a pew 1 back and 1 to the right from us every week. He has a grandpa demeanor (we all know how much I love a good Grandpa) he winks at you and has a warm smile. It was he who was tapping on my shoulder. He whispered and asked me if we would be at the 4o'clock service on Christmas Eve. I said yes and he went on to tell me he would really appreciate it if I could take the time to usher at the door closest to our pew on Christmas Eve. I asked, "me?" He said yes you know with 4 services we are very shorthanded and if you would be willing. Now let me tell you I know ushering and handing out programs is no big thing but how often are you blessed by a warm smile from the usher when you walk into church. God was answering my prayer and it took all that was in me to not start weeping. I have a job I can do no matter how simple, I can use it to bless others. I thanked the man...twice. He had me write down my phone number and he went back to his pew. As I was putting on my coat he walked by me with a touch to my shoulder and said thanks kid. Mercy....blessings.

So I drove home.

There was about six inches of snow in my driveway yesterday. I knew we were supposed to get more and with Brian sick I knew I should find a way to shovel it. Well turns out we didn't pack our snow shovel. So I had it in my mind that after lunch I would go out with the kids and purchase one. The kids went out to play in the snow and I went to reading a book. When the kids came in a heard what I thought was a chainsaw so I went to look what was the clatter:) Turns out my neighbor Mr. Wise the engineer took it upon himself to snow blow my long drive way and all the way around the loop. Another blessing. I ran out and said thank you and he looked at me said, this really isn't a big deal it takes me but two minutes with this snow blower. Maybe so but it would have taken me hours with a shovel.

So yesterday was filled with angels....people just doing what they felt led to do and blessing me in the process. It was a day to remember that without God I have nothing but with him I can do all things that he intends for me to do. This journey has been about obedience, trust and faith. All things that I struggle with on a daily basis and I am learning so much. This may e all that God intends for me right now and it is so hard but I am trying not to do anything that he hasn't put in my path to do. I am trying to to create my own story, I am trying to let him lead the way. And by golly it will not kill me but is making me a heck of a lot stronger.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

All dressed up and we actually had someplace to go....

We actually had scheduled events this week, which proved to be very exciting.

On Thursday the kids performed in a Christmas Musical called Christmas Letters at school. Funny story....Grace was just sure that one of the shepherds was going to lose his role due to his inability to behave and I may of caught her wishing that it would happen. She informed she knew his whole part in case it happened. I told her maybe we needed to pray that he could have self control so he could keep his part. I am not sure if this changed her heart:) It was nice though to see her have the desire to perform, she is my nature and bent already a drama major:)

As you may know one of children loves the stage while the other thinks it is the worst idea ont he planet. It is quite sad as I think it is his own personal version of hell, insert writhing and gnashing of teeth and I am not even exaggerating. Getting him on that stage took much prayer before and during.

They both did wonderfully though and if nothing else they were very cute!

I made Grace's dress this year. After shopping around I just wasn't satified with what the stores had to offer. It seems like every year the clothes options for little girls become less modest and more "mature." I'm not into it. So we went with a beautiful plaid and she looked darling. I am so thankful for this little beauty!

Next up is this handsome man. As you can tell we had already experienced so anxiety. He persevered though and I think it is good for him to do so. He actually as quite a nice singing voice as well as great rhythm its just the performing that he hates. I am very proud of him for doing what he needed to do and not losing it on stage.

It was a great night though enjoyed by all involved. The program was complete with a student falling off the risers not once but twice and jazz hands, the student whose mom makes them where an oversized suit and the little girl who was allowed to wear heel shoes....its predictable no matter where you are.

Last night Brian and I went to a "holiday party" that he hosted with his peers for their employees. It was great the food was okay and it was nice to meet his team. I am not sure how qualified I am to be a bosses wife, being the help is way better. And I am not sure I hit it off with the other bosses wife, but theres always next time. I mean I like to cook and sew and kill my own food.....I need to work on some other hobbies that are more normal I suppose.

This is the best photo I have of the two of us together. Remember we have an 80 year old with shaky hands or an over exuberant 9 year old to take photos of us, so we take what we can get;)

And here is me and a great dress that I have had for years and only worn once.
The shoes were a steal as well. When I got to the counter I thought they were $60 and when the lady rang up the sale they were only $12...winning....three fist pumps for shoes on sale.

And just to show you it isn't always little black dresses, heels and pearls. I am pretty sure a small animal could have taken up residence in the back of my hair this morning. There was an actual nest back there.

We have lots of snow on the ground and are expecting to be dumped on again tonight the kids made snow men and used their new sleds. We also hit up the library.
Tonight we will enjoy pot roast for dinner and tomorrow we will go back to 1st Presbyterian again in the morning. This will be our 3rd visit to this church. I think we will continue to visit until after the holidays and try to get a bit more plugged in come January. So far it seems very lovely. The pastor is great and the worship is wonderful. It is a bit bigger than we are used to but is not huge. So time will tell I suppose.

Hope all is well with all of you!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Day Sarah Said No!

The Rah and I often find ourselves texting random photos back and forth together usually accompanied by ridiculous banter. And the other night we had a conversation so good I thought I would share it with you.

Risking all respect I may have from you people I am willing to share the photo that started it all. Just to tell you ridiculously unattractive photos of our own faces are most common.


And this was the converstaion that followed.

And now you know why we are besties!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas can be anywhere.

I was homesick today. Anytime I was idol my eyes would try to cry, my throat would burn and I would try to stuff the tears and the sobs back down. I was afraid to let it out.

Part of the reason I was so homesick was because its Christmas and we aren't in our house, I don't have my kitchen, my friends or my family. There are things taking place that I would usually be up to my ears in with planning and such but this year I have no tradition, no friend filled house, no warm hot kitchen filled with food to feed those friends and no extended family to love. I miss home. And as much as I have convinced my mind that this is home my heart feels otherwise and my codependant nature is lonely and sad:(

Christmas to me represents so many things and so much excitement and merriment with others that I think I have lost a piece of the promise, a piece of the story I know so well. Being a Sunday School teacher for the past ten years I have told the Christmas story in many ways, unfolding pieces of the package to allow those little cherubs to learn about each person in the story, each promise and all of the hidden meaning in Christmas.

Today as I was driving, trying not to cry, trying to think of anything but the holiday season, I believe that God brought Mary to my mind. I think of Mary often as I think many women do. She is obviously the person of Christmas I can identify with the most. I have been thinking so much how this Christmas was just not going to be the way I wanted and I was also feeling a little bit "poor me", when God reminded me that that first Christmas probably didn't go as Mary would have planned. Nope I wouldn't have ever chosen to become miraculously pregnant to a baby whom a wretched man wanted to kill,to have to explain to my fiance that I had become pregnant through the holy spirit and had actually been faithful and the finally to give birth to her beautiful baby boy in a stinky old stable no less. No, I am sure that Mary would have loved to have been in a bit more control of the situation, starting with the choice to become with child, to be surrounded by family or maybe fellow women to help her bring this baby into the world, feeling supported and loved through her labor. She probably would have much rather been in her home with her comforts and familiar items to her. But God had a bigger calling for Mary. Her calling was to bring Christmas to the world in the form of a baby, Gods own son, Jesus. And that she did.

After thinking this through I realized that I was really thinking about this all wrong and although I am sure that it is completely normal for me to feel homesick during this time, Christmas really isn't about family, or a warm home, or food or cookies or presents. It isn't about me feeling comfortable or busy or needed. Nope, we can have Christmas anywhere where we are because Christmas is about Jesus. About a gift of love and promise. A sacrifice made for me the ultimate gift of an eternal life one in which I have the ability to be forgiven for my sins and my selfishness. And the best thing about it is I can carry this gift anywhere I go, no matter where I live, with or without my family, yummy food or not. And that makes me feel blessed and rich and above all so overwhelmed.

So next time you feel like Christmas just isn't what you wanted it to be. Maybe you got family stuff, maybe you don't have anyone to entertain, maybe you are waiting for something you don't have, maybe you miss someone you lost or you don't have money to buy gifts. Remember Mary with me perspective has a way of helping me sometimes. Nad remember the reason for the season, and forget a bit of the hustle and bustle.

Monday, December 10, 2012

On living with my 80 year old grandmother.

You may not all know but when we moved we moved my 80 yr old grandmother with us. We packed her up put her in a movie van and along she came (okay maybe just her stuff in the moving van).

I have had lots of wow, I couldn't do thats. And lots of...oh how is that working out? Well its working out marvelously. Not only is it a wonderful way to love my grandma, but she provides much help and love in our home and gives me companionship as well. This multi-generational thing is actually quite beautiful and think it is more of a benefit to my little family than anything.

Here are a few of my favorite grandmaisms...

#1 - When the sink was clogged up the first time and I took all the plumbing out from underneath the sink, clean it out and put it all back together...she said well in my day we would have waited for the man of the house to come home and fix it. I replied well in my day you google it figure how to do it and fix it yourself:) Today when the sink backed up again she said Jessie I need you to fix the plumbing....thats my girl!

#2- She can't come downstairs to the laundry room so she calls me "laundry lady" and doesn't complain when I dye her pillowcases blue because I didn't have enough laundry to separate colors. She also tries to encourage me to press my sheets....not going to happen.

#3- When we use her handicap placard to park in disabled parking she least i'm handy for something. Yep she's funny too!

#4- She makes fun of my jeans....telling me that the stitching is placed in a spot that brings to much attention to my back side.

#5- She has 12 batches of cookies baked and ready for teachers this week.

#6- She nudges Grace into her seat every night at dinner just like she did for me when I was a little girl and says....if you're not careful you are going to fall right out of that chair.

#7- She gives me the daily update on the royal baby. Current events are one of her strengths.

#8- She has declared that we all go to the professional tennis matches when they come to town this summer. She just has to go it would be sacriledge for her to miss it.

She is baffled by cell phone technology.

She plays with my kids.


And she hates to eat spinach, parsnips and sweet potatoes but she takes no thank you portions to save face with the kids. I love her for it!

We love her she loves us. She does my dishes when I take the kids to school. She is a blessing to us and I hope we are to her too!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Turning 30

I have recently been noticing 30. First of all don't take this as complaints. This is just noticing, recognition if you will.

First off there are smile wrinkles I think of them as parentheses. Then there are eye wrinkles don't get me started:)

And lastly today I went to the eye dr out of concern for a patch on the white part of my eye and found out I have callouses in my eyeball. Apparently I have extensive sun damage on my yes and need to take preventive measures in order to prevent any further callousing.

I just giggled at the dr and said of course I do.

Brian J├Ąger says I may be an oddity but he loves me anyway......I am his oddity. How charming!

I also found out I am in need of some vision help so I got some contacts and some new hipster glasses.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sweet Grace!

I love my girl.

Nearly a wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Worth Praying For

Let start with everybody's favorite....The Good....

First off we obtained a Christmas tree yesterday. WE drove outside of town to a cluster of Christmas Tree farms and purchased a Colorado Blue Spruce, it is a beautiful tree. I happen to love Christmas Tree day. I am also very good at spotting the best tree right away, then we walk the rest of lot and nevertheless always come back to that first tree. It's quick and painless.

This year due to our new living arrangement I was able to get an upgrade in size. Thats right folks my 6 foot tree grew to just under 11 feet and boy am I happy. I love a big tall tree!
Our long standing tradition was changed this year. But that didn't mean we couldn't have a great day and make new memories getting our tree. I live and breath for family time like this. It was I think we miss sometimes with the business and need to's and have to's of life. So I thrive on making it special and letting it be what it is.

So we started our trip off yesterday by going to the Donut Parade. On infamous donut haunt here in Spokane. The best donut I have ever had was there. It was a cake donut which shouldn't' have been called that or maybe has just been redefined for mw at this point, furthermore, with maple icing and a cinnamon crumble on top. Now i have had my share of donuts and this one changed my world.

So we all had our donuts, played 20 questions and took in sometime just being the Jagers. I realize lately that this move has nothing to do with who we are, we are still the Jagers...people who dwell and reflect kindness, a family who loves each other enough that we end up loving others as well in the same way,and lastly a couple who has two sweet little rascals that end of drawing attention to us no matter where we go...unknown maybe invisible I think not . If anything this move has brought out strengths and weakened our weaknesses, there is a patience about us that is not comparable to anything I have ever felt.


Oh and I still love this man where ever we are!

And alas the picture of our tree....its still a Vegas Tree, Its still covered in paste saturated ornaments and preschool faces.

And we have two trees in each atrium that are covered in lights and set on timers to come on together at dark. They are beautiful as well.

In other Christmas news, I have finished my only planned CHristmas gift and it has been sent off with a complete stranger to be quilted:) I am very pleased with my workmanship and surprised at my love for quilting.
This has also been a very lovely project to do with my grandmother who is a pro in this arena.

On friday we invited our neighbors over for a Thanksgiving meal and although they are old enough to be our parents it was oh so nice to have a social interaction in this way. To share our home and to serve others was such a breath of fresh air. It was an enjoyable evening and I hope to do it again.

And now for the bad......There isn't a lot of it. I have a hard time labeling things as such.

Sundays prove to be the hardest days for me. And the empty feeling of sad, mad, and confused starts to creep in on Saturday night. I miss my family, I miss grandparents for my kids, I miss the promise of game night with my homies and I miss the feeling of belonging to something outside of myself. The absence of a church family is something I do not wish upon anyone. And please don't tell me it has only been a month and there is time and I need patience.....blah blah blah. If you have ever moved with your kids to a new city, knowing no one and having no connection, you can tell me what you want other wise its offensive and condescending and yucky so please don't. If you want to be helpful just pray we find some connection....some community. We are lonely...and this is the most foreign feeling for us 4 Jagers.

And lastly lets talk about the worth praying for.

After 4 churches this morning I think we may have found a potential. We attended service and it was reminiscent of churches past for us, it was refreshing with newness and life and although we most obviously din't belong yet, they had community there. And I think we could be a part of it in time. So this is post definitely worth praying for and worth praising God for a piece of light a piece of hope.

They sang the song Beautiful Things by Gungor and once again that song took on a new meaning for me. I love the work=ds to this song it hold so much reminder of hope and what there is to look forward to. It was a reminder that even in this blank slate life I am living right now he has full intention of making it beautiful. He will make something out of it. And so I will wait in that some more.

The sermon was really great there was a great challenge int he message and the service ended in a benediction that wrapped you in a warm hug. I loved it!

And so even in the dark spots right now I am reminded that even in the sunset there is hope of the sunrise in the morning. That each day is one closer to something much bigger and much more lovely then the day at hand. And each day past holds a reminder of God's promise that he has all things in his hands at all times and He is not only a God who loves but a God who has already planned the day ahead and the day behind us.

Peace out Homies......