Wednesday, November 26


Today, I want to express my thanks to a few people that are not in my closest circle of friends and family but who have made a profound impact on me.

~ Brian- his kindness and thoughtfulness as a business acquaintance speak volumes. Everyone who works with him appreciates his enthusiasm and compassion. Recently he wrote, “… part of the beauty in life’s blessings is the ability to understand how good we have it even when we are in pain or suffering through a loss. The joy of life should be felt in every breath you take.” Thank you Brian for being willing to speak truth in the workplace where so many people are afraid to say something that could be taken offensively or inappropriately.

~Brenda, a co-worker whose humor, personality, and wisdom have truly touched my heart and moved me to love and humility. Thank you for sharing your life and being willing to listen to mine as I find out what it means to follow God while loving others. Next to my Mom, you are one of the strongest women I’ve know.

~Jeff, the first person I met who was willing to think about art within a Biblical perspective both in mainstream culture and in Christian culture while not compromising the need for quality. Thank you for being curious and thoughtful as you seek to serve Christ first and work as a master at your craft. Your story has encouraged me to engage again in the creative process.
*The picture here and the one below are from my neice, Kathrine G.

Tuesday, November 25


Papa was the most thankful person I've known, and today is Papa's birthday. He would have been 69.

To make myself feel better I've been thinking his party in Heaven is way cooler than any party we'd throw on earth.

Happy birthday Papa. I am so thankful for you, thank you for loving and caring for us.

I missing your strong, greatful soul, and am continually thankful that God brought you into our lives.

Eat some cake, and the choicest of wines for us as you celebrate eternity, ok?

Monday, November 24


I realized yesterday that I cherish my church.

Since I moved from Spokane, nine and a half years ago, I have struggled to find a church I could call home. I’ve often told myself that I’m not the “community” type. I have friends in a lot of countries and in many communities and thought, well- that’s good enough. However, during those nine years a few people, including my husband, have challenged this thought. I’m glad they did. Yesterday solidified the reality that Mars Hill is my church home.

Matt and I met with the pastor that taught our marriage class. Prior to meeting with him I wasn’t thinking “meeting with a Pastor will prove whether this is the right church,” rather gratitude finally kicked in. Gratitude for the church body that my husband and I are a part of hit me like someone purposely shoving me into a pile of down feathers, and once I landed I looked up to see Christ looking over me with a big sweet smile; the feeling of being loved.

Our meeting wasn't long but the presence of peace, kindness and Christ’s love were present. I appreciate the open, honest non-judgmental attitude of Pastor Phil and believe both Matt and I were equally encouraged, cared for and challenged.

I am thankful for Mars Hill Church.

Sure it’s a big church, sure more technology is used here then you could throw forty Wii joysticks at, sure they'd likely be considered radical Christians. They aren’t perfect, but Christ is working in and through the Pastors, staff and the church body.

Father, continue to lead this church as we continue to worship you, and thank you for Mars Hill.

Wednesday, November 19

Tuesday, November 18

Living Green

Hey there- I have a tiny little rant.

I guess I'm tired of people blame shifting and finger pointing at other people for the financial situation they are in.

Today US citizens are struggling more, financially, then they have in a few decades- but I have yet to hear one person, one individual (let alone a larger group) fess up to poor personal spending. Yes, how our government chooses to spend taxes plays a large part. Yes, they should be wiser at how they spend our money. On the other hand, we live in a capitalist country- where practically anyone can sell anything and most of us (compared to many other countries) actually have a choice where most of our money goes.

So, let’s be real. Much of the US financial situation has to do with how individual citizens choose to spend their money. Let’s see...choose to pay a little extra on your mortgage, or buy the huge $2000 television on credit? (“I’ll pay it back- I promise!”)

You might say, “Well, Jessica, a lot of people are cutting back their spending right now.” That’s true; however I want to know if this is a real life change or is it simply because more people are finding employment harder to come by and thus have smaller incomes. Are we finally realizing that credit isn’t a good idea, or are we only babying our budget until we feel financially secure (“feel” being the key word here)?

Perhaps having a financial scare is exactly what we all need. Perhaps this will change our materialistic-got-to-have-it-now mentality to better planning, wiser financial choices, and stronger personal responsibility.

So…what’s my story…?
Well…in retrospect…

Biggest Financial Regret: Not paying my student loan off the second I finished working in Alaska and not taking the first job offered to me, but waiting for the perfect one to come along. I made excuses- “I’m applying to at least three jobs a day, they just don’t want me!” (See what happened? I was blaming someone else for my situation). The reality: I knew even then that I could have gotten a job at a bakery ½ mile from my home- I was just too prideful to take the plunge from University graduate to baker and/or cashier. Four years later- I really wish I would have. The better choice would have been to take a part-time job to pay bills while looking for the “perfect” job. I would have avoided sinking into a couple thousand in credit card debt and making no headway on my student loan.

Best Financial Choice: Taking a 13 week course from Financial Peace University at a friend’s house, with my husband. This class was not only practical, but easy to understand without making me feel like a child. The course has paved the way for knocking out our credit card debt and now tackling the big student loan. I admit, Matt and I have not been the peak of perfection since we took the course, however, it change our perspective. We looked in the mirror and said- oh, that’s right; I’m the one who got me in this mess, now I’d better get myself out.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Oh, good for you Jessica, you’re now a certified goodie-two-shoes!” If that is how you see me, well- fine with me, however you might be missing the point. Some of my hard knocks could actually help you.

Realize that life is bigger than you (the car you drive, the TV you own, and the house you wish you had) but also that your daily choices have an impact on your life and those around you. Admit, if you are in a situation like I was, you are not being responsible with your money. If you don’t know how to be responsible with it, figure it out. Take a class, check out or learn from people who have spent a life time practicing wise financial responsibility. Allow for some failure. Most people don’t learn how to walk the first time they take a step, it takes time and the benefits are long range. Make a plan and try your hardest to stick with it, but if you lose control for a day or a week or a month, slap yourself on the hand and move forward once again. Don’t sit around having a pity-party. Finally, remember that your money (at least in my perspective) and your life is a gift- so live it with gratitude by practicing good stewardship.

I think that’s it for now.

Thursday, November 13


So, my friend Roboseyo asked how I'm doing.

After getting home from work today I've realized that for the last few days I've been on survival mode.

At work our utilty companies decided it was time to blame each other for shutting down not one, not two, not three but ALL twelve of our phone lines, PLUS our internet connection! Its taken THREE days to get someone to at least say what's wrong and they are still blaming each other. Day two of the mess someone finally suggested routing calls to a cell phone. So, I was the lucky duck to answer all incoming calls on ONE phone (I'm not even going into how I managed to e-mail customers from home).

It was crazy, but you know what (and I know God was with me) I actually answered that phone with a good attitude.

BUT...I'm drained.


Through a nanny friend, I heard about a baby girl who is recovering from her second heart surgery within the span of her first year of life. My nanny friend cares for the baby and mentioned to the parents that baby was looking pretty bad lately. The parents took her to the hospital. Apparently, her lungs are not expelling enough CO2 becuase her diaphram is not healing properly. I feel horrible for the sweet little baby and am praying for her. If you think of her pray for her and her parents and her nanny.

Also, the fact that this little baby is dealing with what my Papa experianced the last few days of his life (too much CO2) strikes me deeper than I want. It conjours up difficult, yet somehow amazingly beautiful pictures I vividly remember from my last minutes with Papa.

I'll never forget the look on his face and his ash colored skin and the kiss I placed on his balding head, or his closed eyes, or rough scratchy voice saying "thank you God" over and over again. I'll never forget the difficulty he had making coversation- yet the feeling that he knew and loved us so much even in the last moments. I'll never forget the feeling of trying to hold on to the seconds. I'll never forget what he looked like walking from the hospice bed to his favorite chair where he sat and listened peacefully at the last songs he'd hear on earth. And I'll never forget the way he looked straight at me, as I stepped out of the front door and turned back to look at him- the last moment I'd see him. He gave me a sweet, happy smile. His eyes looking directly into mine, perfectly clear and perfectly aware. His look playfully communicated, "Love ya Jessie-poodle...see you soon."

Loosing someone I love is surely harder than anything I've experianced- yet is the strangest feeling too because sometimes i have so much peace.

Crying tonight and missing my Papa...looking forward to the morning.

Tuesday, November 11

Oh, the marriage bed...

This is my bedding. The top is the beautifully crafted quilt my talented mother-in-law made for Matt and I for our wedding. It fits our bed perfectly, BUT...I have problem...
Matt sleeps warmer than I so the quilt is adequate. I sleep much cooler, so I add my downcomforter folded in half over the quilt. My old duvet was looking really warn, and Matt and I both liked this duvet, so after searching for months to find it, I bought it off ebay.
But now...I'm having a sinking feeling that they just don't go. My dresser is to be the same color as the duvet...hmmm....right now, this is what the bed looks like...
However, i'd rather have the handmade quilt covering the bed like this (the lighting in this pic is horrible.)Or at least this...
but dear there was just too much going on... OR perhaps its just those really white pillows. Do you think if I should nix those to make it would look better? Or perhaps there is a different room element i need to work on...hmm...
Any ideas?

Neat Pic

Monday, November 10

Saturday Superhero

I was in the kitchen mixing up pizza dough. Everything went smoothly until the yeast wouldn't bubble and as a result the dough balls didn't rise. I tried putting it near the warm heater, later to realize, I'd probably killed the little yeasts!

I needed a miracle.

Enter Super Proofer man (AKA my husband).

With a streak of genius he remembered the proofer ovens from his Cinnabon days. Shoving a pan full of water into the oven, as he turned the knob to warm, he began making a warm, moist atmosphere for the little balls of dough.

Five minutes later dough balls meet warm, moist atmosphere.

Fast forward ten minutes...VIOLA! Risen Dough balls!

The result: 1 Cheese and 3 Chicken Pesto pizzas.

Thanks Proofer Man!

Wednesday, November 5

Now what?

First, big thanks to my international friends, some of whom live in Denmark, Korea, New Zealand and Canada. You’ve opened my eyes to the global effect of the US Presidential election.

Second, I have some questions for those who read this blog (US and international, Obama and McCain supporters, all are welcome to comment):

How do you think the world’s perspective of the US will change? How do you see Obama's presidency affecting your country and your personal life? What have you learned and how have you specifically grown from this election?

Please comment.