Wednesday, July 8, 2015

long awaited letter

Hello friends, family, and readers who love keeping up with me!
Long time, no post.
Well I want to tell you that I have not lost my love and desire for blogging over these many moons. I have even made many drafts of things I would want to post at some point, and I have tested out the Wordpress blog engine once again. After months of thought about where and in what direction I would like to take my blog and my blogging time, I have made a few decisions. As those of you who may have been following my writing for sometime know, I have changed the face and mam of this very blog when I have experienced big life transitions. Well. Surprise, I am going to be doing so again. However, as I am no longer on a viable source for Facebook, and I am distancing myself from many people, places, and things, I don't want just anyone to have access to my life anymore. Without going into any detail or background for what I mean, I want to say this: there have been lots of big life changes in the last few months and so there will be some big changes to my blog as well. If you truly would like to keep access to my previous writings, and would like to stay connected with me and my family going forward, please feel free to send me an email saying that you would like to know my new blog address. This will not be public information, but will only be available to those who ask. Regardless of who you are. Big blog changes will be happening over the next month, and I think it is safe to say that by August 1, I will no longer be writing under this blog url address, nor this blog name. I am so thankful for everyone who has always loved hear in and reading what I have to say, and have stopped me in the halls of school and elsewhere to share your own experiences with me. This is a big joy of my blog life. I would love to keep this relationship with you. To those whom I have never met, I am thankful that you have seen my writing as worthy to keep up wuth, and I hope you have been able to find the joy that I have in sharing. So if you would like to keep in touch by continuing to read my blog, you can email me at thejessicalime {at} gmail {dot} com and I will email you back the new blog address.

If you have checked in from time to time to see if I have written anything new in the last few months - you are rock stars. Here is something for ya ;)

Love, Jess.

Friday, February 6, 2015

roll the bones || shakey graves

This is talent. I first found Shakey Graves with his song "July" shortly after we got married in 2013.  I listened to him from time to time, but didn't really get into him until he actually posted an album on Spotify. Now he is gaining some speed and I'm excited about that. Trying to get the hubby to get tix for live in March! ;)  So here is what I have been listening to a lot lately... Enjoy the one man band!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

word of last semester: mindfulness

The word of last semester was mindfulness.

I learned more about what it meant to be mindful of my surroundings, mindful of what God was teaching me, mindful of how I react to external and internal conflicts and events, mindful of what food I am putting in my body, mindful of what effect each food has on me, mindful of what I was learning and how it coincided with my attitude and behavior and how I felt physiologically. I learned to be mindful of my presence around others and others' presence around me. I learned to be patient with myself, how to show myself grace, how to rest and relax, how to let go of unnecessary troubles and stresses. I was more mindful of the people I chose to spend my time with, and how our time was structured - or not structured.  I learned to be more mindful of the way my body reacts to stress.  I learned to be more mindful of what I was doing with my time, rather than planning what I could be doing with my time.  It was a semester of growth, and I felt that mindfulness was a term that was redundantly applied to many aspects of my life, and I was more aware of how frequently it was used, and in what context it was being used.

To be mindful means to be made aware. Aware of thoughts, feelings, motives, surroundings, desires, friends, food, senses, time, rest, grace, peace, work, God, life. How I am aware of these things determines how I carefully place my next breath, and to whom my breath belongs.

This semester, we will see what word is most prominent, and consistent. Here's to my last semester of undergrad!

Monday, December 22, 2014

dry bones

Ezekiel 37 talks about a valley of dry bones, bones who belonged to a fallen army of Israel.  God led Ezekiel, the prophet, to this valley and had him walk among them. Bones filled the valley floor. God said to Ezekiel, "these bones are the whole house of Israel.  They say, 'our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.'" God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones saying that He will bring them back to life, connect tendons to tendons, and breathe His Spirit into them again. Ezekiel does this, and he hears a noise. The bones begin to rattle, coming together, tendons connecting to tendons, breath of God filling them, and what were once dry bones stand before him, a vast army.
This calendar year has been a very long and stressful year. I call this year our year of change. The past semester, Fall 2014 was a particularly rough one for me, and for us. I used to be able to handle a lot of stress, a lot of running around, and very little time to slow down for myself. Not so much anymore. My body has started exhibiting symptoms of the condition of my mind and emotions as I spent most of the semester chronically in pain. Although I study the Bible at school, and truly have many take-aways from this semester in Romans and in Theology 1, I feel distant from God. I don't feel quite cut off, but I do feel close enough to being cut off that it spiritually hurts. Since school has been out for the last week, I have felt worn out, tired, and unsatisfied with where I am right now, especially spiritually. Last Sunday in church, I felt the spirit leading me away from the service to talk to me. And he did talk to me in a few ways that were only done by him. In this past week I have been pondering what I am to do to reconnect with God. Over the weekend it was made very clear to me that I need to retreat for my spiritual health. I need to spend time away from the world. I need to spend time away from what I'm familiar with, away from people, away from buildings, away from everything. In that time away I will be seeking Him.
It is not possible for me to up and leave and go to the wilderness for any amount of time, but there are small ways that I can distance myself from the world so that I can seek God again. Of those ways, taking myself off of Facebook, and not blogging are ways in which I will be able to separate myself from the distractions of this world. I'm not sure how long I will be off of these media outlets but I'm sure that once I am spiritually refilled, coming back to these things will not be the distraction they once were. I can say that I will most likely post something on my blog before I get back on Facebook. So if you are ever wondering how much longer I'll be away you can always check in here. In the meantime, if you need to contact me for any reason you can email me at jessica{dot}brazell{at}mailbox{dot}ciu{dot}edu and I will respond whenever I check.
So while I am away, please be in prayer for me as I seek the Lord's voice again. Pray that I reconnect with him and that I am able to be molded by what he has to teach me. My prayer is to rediscover my identity in Him, and to hear where he is leading me. However, please pray that if I am NOT shown my direction during this time that I still find satisfaction in reconnecting with him. Pray that my pleasure comes from knowing him and not from knowing my calling. Please pray that I find my rest from Him and not from my own strength. And please pray that I have God's strength as my strength to be obedient to him.
As I said at some point in the not so distant future I will post something here on my blog that updates you guys on what is going on with me. I'm not sure how soon that will be but you can save my blog address and be on the lookout, or you don't have to and that's fine with me too. I'm looking forward to this time that I've been given to seek God, to rest, and to heal from the semester.
A passage that the Holy Spirit has given me that I will be meditating on, and that I hope can help you as well, is Psalm 46. It reads: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the holy place where are the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

Monday, December 8, 2014

my week in pictures and gratitude.

This week I am thankful for:
a hubby whose beard is magnificent riding into the sunlight
all the magnificence and glory of God displayed in the skies
the beautiful Broad River during my car rides
awesome drink mix
our new car whom we have chosen to name J√≥nsi
a bouquet of flowers from the man who helped us find the right car
and a festive school library.

One more week until Christmas break. a- 5 days.
Hang in there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

hallelujah || leonard cohen {remake}

This is the reason that Christmas exists. This is the advent season; the season of preparation for the coming of Christ, God in human form. All Deity of God, but within the realm of the human world.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

thankfulness: my week in pictures and gratitude.

This week I was thankful for:
nummies for my belly
a well-hydrated plant named Bernie
a sister-in-law who did not want her picture taken
a brother who is home for a week... and the awkward entertainment we share
a picture of me and the sis that clearly describes our personalities
the lovely Greve ladies
colorful veggies and four thanksgiving meals
our own tradition of putting up the tree on Thanksgiving evening
Christmas tree jewelry
when all powers combine
a pretty tree with pretty lights
and a reason to keep hope in the consumer society.
Happy first week of Advent!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

thankfulness: my week in pictures and gratitude

This week, I was thankful for:
Frank being back home
 my true identity
the completion of a 15-page research paper on olfaction
 hot dates
 pretty new scarves
crafty friends
and the closest thing we can get to an outdoor cafe at our school.
Also known as the newest attraction to CIU: the indoor waterfall.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

thankfulness: my week in pictures and gratitude

This week, I am thankful for:
Lingonberry sauce that reminds me of Granddaddy Alborg and our Swedish heritage
Dunkin' Donuts brekky on the whim
an awesome hubby who gives his talents to praise Jesus
the ability to be thug with the one I love
the beauty of evangelical unity through prayer
morning fellowship over bagels and OJ
hot chocolate from lovely Grad friends
friends who put up their little Christmas tree on November 1
the same friends who set me up nice while the hubby is away making the dough
for God, who has never let me walk alone
Chik-fil-a dindins with the toe-truck driver
and for baby lizards who live in my mailbox.

What were you thankful for this week?