Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yucky Medicine

My mother was never one to take us to the doctor other than for vaccinations and scheduled checkups and the occasional emergency room visit. So when my sisters and I came down with colds, my mother had her own way to treat us......which we hated.

With that first sneeze and sniffle, after taking our bath and before tucking us in for the night, Mom would have the sick child stand before her and she would "grease" that child's chest and neck with Vick's and then have her (the sick one) turn around and Mom would "grease" the back. Then Mom would have us put on our pajama top, the kind that had the snaps around the waist.....some of you will remember those jammies.....the bottoms had feet in them and the top snapped down the back and attached to the bottoms with snaps around the waist. After we got the top on she would then pin a washcloth to the inside front of the pajamas and snap us all in. I guess the washcloth was so our top didn't stick to our chest....I don't know....but I remember we hated the Vick's treatment and would cry when she would do it. We would walk around holding our top away from our chest so nothing stuck to our chest. Then we would go to bed and she would make us sleep under the vaporizer (now you've got your front and back stuck to the jammies...yuck).....oh! and for good measure she would put a dab of Vick's under our nose to open up our sinuses.....ugh.

Then when Nyquil came out and we were old enough to take it, she would give us a dose of Nyquil before going to bed. It has ruined me for life. I can't even look at the bottle, read the name or write it without my stomach flinching! Absolutely hate that stuff and will not take it even today.....I am sure it is one notch below a shot of whiskey......or poison or something.....AAAAUUUUUUGH!

My mom's yucky medicine treatments she did to us - I mean for us (LOL)- was done out of her love for us and the responsibility she took in making sure we got well. We did not like the Vick's treatment one bit and I certainly don't like Nyquil but the measures my mom took to treat us did work and made us well.

I would have to say I view the last few months of my life as a little bit of "yucky" medicine from the Lord. Unemployment....scary....worry for my child's emotional being......even more scary......but God has used this "yucky medicine" to grow and, yes, heal me in a whole new way. Let me tell you how Romans 8:28 - "All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes" and Jeremiah 29:11, my personal mantra, life verse, whatever you want to call it......"For I know the plans I have for you, plans not to harm you but to prosper you and give you a future and a hope" have been revealed to me in yet another way....God's word is so amazing.

Substitute teaching....I have several teacher friends. They introduced me to their teacher friends and since I have started subbing I have consistently averaged at least two subbing jobs a week, sometimes three. Just last week, I had nothing on my calendar and by Monday morning, I had three teaching jobs for the week. That is God, my friends.

I have had most of my jobs in the jr. high and honestly - I was scared to teach jr. high because I thought they would eat me alive. How wrong I have been. I love jr. high kids. They have brought me joy and laughter each time I have subbed for them.
Ex: 1 I wore this really retro 60's outfit to school one day. R. came into class, sat on the front and critiqued my outfit out loud. I received a "you've got style, Ms. Jaye." Thanks R!

Ex: 2 One of the kids had a birthday and the mom brought cupcakes for the class. Another kid, 8th grader, came in and said, "How come he gets cupcakes..." and proceeded to whine about it. I said, "E., it is G's b-day. Have your mom bring cupcakes for you on your birthday." He replied, "I don't have a mom." Oh. We had a conversation about his mom dying of cancer and Kade dying of his disease. I told him I would bring him a cake for his b-day. Everytime, I have subbed he has come up to me and said, "Ms. Jaye, you don't have to make me a cake." I said, "I know, but I want to." Finally, on Monday, he came up one more time and said, "Ms. Jaye, you really don't have to make me a cake." His birthday is this week. I said again, "I know, but I am." Then he said, "Okay, are you going to make it round or long? Make it round so I can take it home and share with my dad." He wanted it chocolate w/chocolate. I got up yesterday morning, made his cake and delivered it to school. He wouldn't share with anyone and held onto it. I loved doing that for him.
The assistant principal told me there were only 545 more students in the school. If word gets out, I am in trouble....LOL

Ex.3: I subbed for one class the other day and they were not behaving too well. One girl said, "This isn't going well is it?" I replied no. J. looked at me and said, "Ms. Jaye are you going to write our names down?" If you give their names to the teacher there are essay writing....I said, "J. that is a great idea! I think I will do that!" He looked at me and said, "Ms. J, if you do that our friendship is over." I laughed and said, "I'm sorry." Later on he came in and said, "Best friend, what time is it." He cracks me up.

Ex.4: C.....oh my goodness....everytime I look at this boy I am reminded of Kade. I just want to squeeze this child. I finally told him the other day he reminded me of my son and I just wanted to hug him but I assured him I would restrain myself. He smiled and although he has always been good for me, he has taken it upon himself to look out for me and call kids down if they get out of line.

I tell you these stories because if I hadn't been forced to seek out alternative means of employment opportunities, I would have never subbed and discovered - no rediscovered - my love for teaching. I have so rediscovered this love that when I graduate in JUNE 2009 -YEEHAW! - I am taking the Praxis exam to enter the alternative teaching certification program so that I can teach school. When school (college) is done for me, I will basically be getting two degrees at the same time - Social services and teaching....

Ministry. My heart and passion is for ministry. The past few months, because of my lighter schedule, I have had opportunity to really throw myself into children's and women's ministry. I am teaching children's church each Sunday and having time to plan really fun events which I love! Women's ministry has been revived because I have had time to spend on it. I am getting to do all the fun things I really, really love doing.

So, what started out as "yucky spiritual medicine" in my eyes has been the best thing for me. The Lord has proved faithful in providing for me each step of the way. Okay, I know that you know that we all know that He will do what He says - but there is a huge difference in having the head knowledge and living it out first hand. So instead of writing my tithe check out in trepidation and thinking, "I can't afford this....", tithing has become sort of a game between the Lord and I. I hand it over and He smiles and says, "Watch this, my love." I don't have the job security (really, who does) to see how the money will be there, I just have the confidence of knowing my Lord will provide.....Great is His Faithfulness. So another spiritual muscle of mine is developing and going through the toning process.

I am at the most happy place I have ever isn't the medicine...which I am sure has helped, it is knowing in a whole new way that I am truly in the hand of my Father, the lover of my soul, my provider, my Prince of peace...Gone is the worry of finances. My father owns the cattle of a thousand hills, is immensely rich and loves me beyond anything I could ever imagine. I know that the yucky medicine Dad allowed in my life has been out of his absolute love for me and that His purpose has been to show me a new side of Him I didn't know - to prosper me spiritually. His desire for me is that I KNOW Him......really, really KNOW Him. So I close.....

Living securely in my Daddy's arms,
Ms. Jaye

The Ash Heap cont'd.

I have left you hanging for a while, huh? For those of you wondering what may have happened with the ash heap I will fill you in.....if I can remember. LOL. I really should follow myself fast because I can't even keep up!!! LOL

The ash heap. I left the ladies retreat still sad and unsure of what to do. A few days later I received an email from my estranged son and knew emotionally he was not in a good place. Okay, put me aside, I thought, and focus on the boy child. Now I am not only dealing with my stuff but I have added the concern for my child. I don't cry "uncle" very well but finally I did and made an appointment with a doctor.

I have had some pretty yucky things happen and have been able to deal with them without medication but this time I couldn't. After visiting with the doctor and telling a brief sypnosis about my life the last five years, he prescribed an antidepressant. He said, "Jaye, you have had a lot of trauma the last few years and I am quite sure your serotonin levels are totally out of whack....." are probably right. Nevertheless, I felt like a failure for not being able to just let God handle me but I knew I couldn't keep going the way I was.

I then began to focus on how to support myself during this unemployment time. Substitute teaching, working for my friend's company some and doing children and women's ministry at my church......

I am going to end the post here because I have a lot to say about that....
Life started to look up......

Friday, October 10, 2008

climbing out of the ash heap

I really hate crashing and burning.....and while it is good to climb out of the ash heap, I don't really enjoy that either because I am faced with the shame and guilt of wondering how I let my faith in God so completely diminish. hmmmmmm......the disciple Peter is so my brother.

In my post,"God, I am mad at you!", I ended it by saying I went to a ladies retreat. I think I will tell you about it. All week I had been reeling downward to the crash and burn pile.....and landed Friday. The last thing I wanted to do was be happy and socialize with a bunch of hyped up, excited Christian women but my friend said I was going. So I went.

Those that know me well know that Christian music is the key to my soul. God speaks to me through song so, so many times. As the music began, my heart hardened against every word sung. I sat in the back, arms crossed, face set hard body language spoke it all....."God, you are not getting in my heart tonight. I am not listening to you!" I left as soon as the session was over. I am usually Ms. Sunshine and laughter and fun......the label "bubbly" has been attached to me many times. Not this night. My friends prayed for me but my heart would not hear or receive.

The next morning as we began the session with music, I found myself a little more open to hearing the words.....the music was really, really good.....I at least could admit that in my mad at God heart. I really felt God coaxing me to know like when your husband or friend knows you are mad and they gently try coaxing a smile out of you....during the song "Your Love Oh Lord" (Third Day,)I felt God almost whispering, "Jaye, here is one of your favorite songs....listen...I put this one on LeAnna's heart just for you sweetie...." but in my petulant, childish temperfit mood, I inwardly turned my back and crossed my arms and said, "No...I don't want to listen." Then came the speaker.

Whether I wanted to listen or not, I heard and I could relate to this woman. At the end of her session she asked if anyone needed prayer and if so to stand and the ladies would pray over them. I couldn't do it. If I did I knew I would fall in a heap and not just cry but WAIL and sob. No thank you. No way was I going to make myself THAT vulnerable. As I sat in the very back, hunched over, the tears fell uncontrollably as I smothered and choked back the sobs.

My friend and I went out in the woods and she just let me vent.....again. Her heart was so burdened for me....powerless to put the joy back in my heart and face....she prayed.

The evening session came and at the end of this session, the speaker asked everyone to put whatever we needed to lay at the cross, at the cross. We were to write on a piece of paper and lay it at the foot of the cross. Prior to doing that she had prayed for God to reveal to each of us something separating us from Him. Um....ouch...the words "control and pride" slipped past the coldness of my heart. Control.....oh yeah...I am a control freak in ways. Then it hit me.

I have gone through a heap of crap in the last few years but I had steady money through all of it. Now I am at the most vulnerable I have ever been....the last vestige of being in control, taking care of me financially had been stripped long as I can control the things in my life.....I don't get hurt. I realized I had trusted God with most everything but I could not 100% totally let go and let God be in control of every aspect of my life, especially finances. This layer on my heart was tightly bound. Jaye takes care of Jaye....or does she? I can't let this go....I don't know how to let this go..... I wrote the words "control and pride" on my paper and laid it at the cross (physically), ....I am not sure I can do it carnal self and spiritual self are now at aint' that just a bucket of happy? You know I am absolutely kidding about that.

to be continued....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

my mask

I have found this really great makeup. I can cry and the tears rolls down my cheeks without leaving a path of streaks where they have passed. This makeup is called "Cover Girl" and boy is it doing its' job. Then I have this mascara......Max Factor Volume XX.....waterproof....and it is. I can cry my eyes out and have absolutely no black rivulets of tears on my cheeks. The eyeliner, MaryKay charcoal, does a pretty fine job of staying where it has been applied. This mask is working very well....on the outside at least.

I have been wearing this mask for quite some time. I cry on my way to work and dab the tears away before I exit my car or I cry on my way to church and dab the tears away as I shut my car door. I enter the building and put on my smile. Someone asks me, "How's it going?" and I smile and say brightly, "It's good!" Liar. But you don't know that and we part ways doing our own Sunday morning thing.

You don't know and I won't take the mask off and let you know that I am freaking out inside. I am scared. I don't know what is going to happen to or for me. I can't see the future and I honestly don't know what to do. So i am frozen inside but I keep getting up each morning and put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I am so paralyzed inside I can do nothing......but i must...because.....I must.....

I know in my head God is out there somewhere and all of the knowledge surrounds me but somehow is not penetrating my very being. So.....I will keep wearing my mask and when you ask me how it's going, I will say....I will swallow hard and blink back the tears and say, "It's about you?"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

God - I am mad at you!

When my daughter was in middle school I would pick her up each afternoon. Every day she would plop down in the seat and the first words out of her mouth would be "I am so mad!" Finally, I got to where I would say as soon as she got in the van, "Okay, what are you mad about today?"

Well, today I am the one that is mad......really mad...well actually it was Friday that I was so mad but I am still feeling some of the residual anger today.

Somebody remind me why we do this christian thing anyway. You know, I am really, really tired of my life or at least the struggle of my life. I was the one that cared about the spiritual in our family and I poured every bit of my heart, soul, mind and strength into having a christian home or at least what I thought a christian home looked like. And for what????? The family I loved so much doesn't exist anymore. My file drawer holds the papers that dissolved my marriage. That same file drawer holds the death certificate of my youngest son. Until last night, I hadn't heard from my other son in six months. My daughter seemed to be the only thread left of my previous life.

I was the one who felt it was so important to stay home with the kids and raise them with my view of christian values and the love of Jesus. Why is it that I feel all of it has come to bite me in the butt? All of the things I know how to do and love doing - don't pay squat. While my ex-husband enjoys the life of the rich and famous, I am struggling to figure out how to pay the basic expenses of everyday life without a steady job. Oh yeah....let's just talk about jobsssss.....

I have never in my life felt so trapped. Even if I wanted to move from here(which I don't) - I can't. I only double my expenses. I have a condo and expenses to take care of. I can't afford one place much less two. And the jobs - I have never lost jobs or been fired in my life until this summer. I am sure that some wonder, "What is wrong with her?" I am just doing the best job I know to do and.....get fired for it. So. I can't move and find another job and I can't find a job here so....ummm....God...what in the hell are you doing? I am sick of the struggle of all of this. When, WHEN! DOES THE TIDE CHANGE FOR ME? You haven't sent a prince charming to "rescue" me; You haven't shown me a job; and You didn't see fit to sell the condo any of the times it has been on the market. So God....I am falling and I am really, really mad at you.

And so with this attitude I went to a ladies retreat this weekend.

To be continued.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Princess Jaye has landed her freefall!

Just in case you are wondering how things are going....really great! Isn't that amazing? Well....not really....if you are used to trusting God and know about His amazing grace and love and provision and know all about it.

This is a new phase in my trust "test" with God. I have to say this is the most freeing and liberating experience I am living. I am not living in fear - did you know that there are 365 "Do Not Fears" in the bible? One for every day of the year to remind us....."Do Not Fear". Every night I thank God for His absolute provision and ask Him, "What is on the agenda for tomorrow?" We (Jesus and I) get up and do our thing for the day and I am developing this absolute, "Do not fear" attitude by trusting in the character of my Jesus, my Lord, My Jehovah Jireh, my Yahweh.

As I look at job possibilities I am gauging them according to, "Is this job going to draw me closer to ministry or draw me away?" I know that Jesus will tell me what to do and when to do it and where when the timing is right. I love knowing that I am in the palm of his hand and He has got me - so I guess I have to say that - Jesus caught me huh!
No longer am I free falling. I have safely landed in His hand and am waiting for the next move.......

I am working on the afterschool care program - please pray for favor with the school transportation department...
I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The flying bee

What is my next step....well, I am working as a substitute teacher, working for my friends, and working on the after school care program. This decision is a day by day step of faith. Seriously. I feel very much at peace even if it doesn't make sense. I have prayed for God to open doors of ministry and I feel that He is and has. Right now I cannot be specific about that but trust me, He is opening doors.

If I step out and go get a job then I lose the time and freedom I have to pursue the ministry options. Believe me - this is a faith step.....I am seeking
God's wisdom on this. The beautiful thing about God - one of the many - is that He covers us in our faith and our mistakes. If I am making a mistake, He has got me covered and if I am on His path - I am covered.

I was reading a devotional book the other morning and came across a story about bees. Did you know that when little bees are in their first stage they are put in one of the little hexagonal spaces in the hive. Just enough honey is placed in there with them so that they will thrive and then a wax capsule seals the little bee in. The little bee thrives on the honey until it is time for them to emerge. The little bee has to wrestle its' way out of the wax enclosed space. Wrestling its' way out is essential for the bee for you see as it fights its way out of the hive, it rubs off the membrane that hides its wings. Without the fight, the little bee can't fly.
A story is told that once a moth got into a hive and ate away the wax enclosure and the little bees were freed without any strain or trouble - but they all died. Why? They didn't have a way of freeing their wings and the other bees stung them to death.

I look at my own life and see the times I have had to free myself from my hive. It is and has been really hard but you see, I have come out with a stronger faith in who my Lord Jesus is because I know the character of my Lord. And I can fly in my faith of my Lord.

Somedays I free fall and somedays I fly......whether I am free falling or flying, I am going to praise God for the "waxing" moments He allows me because for every waxing experience I wrestle through - I get to fly higher in my faith and in my love and trust of Jesus.

Jaye - the flying bee.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Extra info I may have forgotten to mention...

One of my friends told me I might need to let you know one of the ways God prepared the way prior to my being fired from my job. Well, actually two things, you probably need to know ....
First, for those of you who may not know, I am going to school on-line with the University of Phoenix. I have been going to school since Sept. of 2006 and I have 8.....yes EIGHT more classes left and I will graduate with a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Services/Management. Since November, the classes have been really intense and I have been at the point I didn't know how I was going to manage to work full-time and do school. There have been some classes that I literally am on the computer 20+ hours a week on top of a full-time job. The living life backward thing - living the lifestyle (somewhat) of a 20 something college student was beginning to take its' toll......I have been at my wit's end how to manage time, work, school, having a life, etc.

About a month ago we put an ad in the paper to rent my condo. It rented out the first day. I have it rented through October. What a financial relief for me! Then - two weeks later I lose my job......double relief for me. What with the job tenure being about 6 weeks this summer, I have been in a bind. God provided relief.
Thank you Jesus!
I have more to say on that but I really need to sign off. So stay tuned and I will update you later.

"All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes." Romans 8:28. Really it is true......God is showing me everyday....

Can we just sit for awhile?

The other night I was talking with a friend of mine and we got on the subject of music. I was telling her how music has always been a form of therapy for me.

I took piano lessons from second grade until I graduated from high school....don't be getting all excited that you have undiscovered piano talent in the me......I am really not that good.....this white girl cannot play the new choruses and keep the beat....kind of like walking and chewing gum.....

now that is all cleared up - back to my main story.

ANYWAY......I used to come home from school all stressed out over some stupid high school thing that I can't even remember now and would sit down at the piano and play. I would start with classical music.....Beethovan was always a favorite....sometimes Bach and just play the heck out of the piano. As I played I would calm down and by the time I was done I was playing pop tunes and singing Barbara Streisand -(loved a Star is Born) music, love ballads, etc., - I would look at the clock and most times I had played for at least two hours! Gone were the days when I would sit at the piano and cry because I had to practice! - 30 min. - 15 spent crying and whining and 15 spent practicing....LOL

Then a few years later I discovered contemporary christian music and was fortunate enough to live in a place where GOOD christian radio was on all day - not just at midnight like back home on KOMA- a christian talk radio station you could get out of Oklahoma. (I did live on the plains of Texas)

Then came those days I stayed home and took care of the kids and they might be fussing and fighting - no - they were fussing and fighting and I could turn on christian radio and it seemed like within minutes the spirit of God lighted within our home and the kids calmed down and the atmosphere changed...and my attitude.....and my children were granted a reprieve.......and got to live....

Then there have been many times when the words to a christian song... me.....I would be listening to cassette tapes (back in the day) then CDs or the radio and the words to a song reached right down to the depths of my soul and the Holy Spirit ministered to me right where I needed at that moment. My spirit leapt within because I knew God was saying, "These words are for you Jaye." Like the song, "If I could just sit with you for a while". I'll share the chorus with you:

"If I could just sit with you awhile,
If you could just hold me
Nothing can touch me though I'm wounded though I die
If I could just sit with you awhile
I need you to hold me.
moment by moment til forever passes by.....

moment by moment til....forever passes by......"
written by Dennis Jernigan sung by Jami Smith.....

Is that not the most beautiful picture......Jesus, can I just sit with you awhile? Can we just go sit alongside the river and listen to the soothing sound of water rushing by......or on the mountainside and lay down side by side and stare at your heavens.....or out on the beach and dig our toes in the sand and let the waves wash over our feet......or Could you just hold me? I need you to hold me......we don't have to talk....can we just.... sit ....for a while.....

This is a beautiful, soulful song and I find strength in the vision of taking time to just sit with Jesus for awhile.....waiting on the next move..... waiting on His soft, still voice.....waiting and listening

Can we just sit for awhile in Jesus' presence?

think time with God

Some of my best "think" times occur while I am putting on makeup and doing my hair or cleaning or taking a road trip.....time when I can really reflect on what is going on and talk with God about it. this morning was one of those times.....

One of the things I think we want to do when the rug is pulled out from under us is go for the knee jerk, reflexive action and panic. I haven't felt the need to panic but I have felt guilty over, I guess, NOT panicking! Like, shouldn't I be going out and looking for a job - any old job- to tide me over until I find THE job? Well, it hasn't been working out to good for me to do that so I think I will listen to God this time and just .....wait. I have applied for substitute teaching and have a couple of assignments but - honestly - that will just pay a couple of bills and that is about it. Of course I have some hours with Donna and Dan's company but still...... somehow I think it the right thing to do so far....

Anyway my conversation with God went something like this:

Jaye: God, what should i do?
God: tell me Jaye, what is it that is making you scared?
Jaye: not being able to meet my expenses.
God: Jaye, if you were to lose everything, what would bother you most to lose?
Jaye: my bible -
God: Why? You have more than one and you could buy another one anyway.
Jaye: No! THAT bible is indispensable! You and I have traveled a lot of miles in that bible. I cannot replace the underlining and highlights that I have made as you have spoken to me through your word. And nothing can replace the tear stained pages with makeup smudges where I buried my face in your word and wept......and the times I have slept with that bible on my pillow and my hand on your word to assure me you were still there......and the delight I have enjoyed as I discovered new truths in THAT bible......No God - that bible is irreplaceable.
God: okay - what else would bother you?
Jaye: Kade's notebook/journal.....and my kid's pictures......and my books....
God: Yes, you are a lover of what else.....
Jaye: well, probably my diamond has special meaning to me.....and maybe the sterling silver necklace "Joy comes in the morning" given to me at Kade's funeral.
God: Anything else?
Jaye: (thinking for a moment) think that is it....
God: Are you sure?
Jaye: Yes.
God: You wouldn't be sad about the clothes and shoes?
Jaye: (smiling) Not as long as there is Kohl's, Payless, Macy's and sales!
God: Well, it seems to me that things that matter most to you have absolutely nothing to do with whether you have a paycheck coming in or not.
Jaye: are right.
God: So what does that say to you?
Jaye: that even if I lose "everything" I still have the things that are most important to me.
God: Jaye, do you really think I am going to leave you homeless and without anything?
Jaye: No, not really, because if you did then you would be a liar.
God: How so?
Jaye: Because you promise to take care of our every need. You care about the birds of the air and you know how many hairs are on my head - if you care about those minute details then you care about the big stuff - or what I see to be big stuff......and you tell us to trust you and try you and prove you and see if blessing upon blessing does not pour out on us.
God: Do you believe it?
Jaye: Yes I do.
God: You really do?
Jaye: Yes God I do.....

Then I realized what Peter must have felt like when Jesus approached him after Peter's denial......How can I not trust God when He has proved Himself faithful over and over in so many ways. My heart hurt at my lack of faith.

Lord, please forgive me for doubting you and being scared.....Jesus, please help me keep my eyes on you and not look to the right or left and help me be patient as you orchestrate a new level of faith....and.....PS.......just a quick reminder..... don't forget to catch me!

Just Jump

Hey all,

I have been reflecting on trusting God and talking to Him about how difficult it is sometimes when you can't see the way......and you are scared......and this word picture came to mind........

I remember standing in the pool, arms outstretched to my little babycakes and saying, "Come on baby, just jump! I am right here! I will catch you! Don't be scared...." and they would stand there, little legs shaking and wanting to jump so badly but they would say, "Mom, you are going to catch me?" "yes!" I would say, "Just jump!" "Mom, move closer - you are too far out!" "No I am not! If I get any closer you are going to hit your head on the side - Just Jump! I promise, promise I will catch you!" and then finally they would sort of jump-belly flop in the water and into my waiting arms. After they rubbed the water from their eyes and nose, they would break into these victorious grins and revel over their bravery. And I would say, "See that wasn't so bad! Look how brave and awesome you are!" And they would grin and say, "Let's do it again!" Then they would climb out of the pool, stand on the side, ready to try again. Their little legs might still tremble but not quite as much. They had made the plunge and Mom was there to catch them. True to her word.

I have to admit I would back up just a little so that they would have to jump a little further out but always, always, I was there to catch them. I would never let my babes stay under water......they may have gone under but they were never out of my reach. I always caught them up out of the water, laughing and hugging them to me.

But now, I think I am the little kid standing on the side of the pool and Jesus is standing there arms outstretched. "Trust me, Jaye. I know you can't see what I see but I am going to catch you. Trust me, keep your eyes on me, take this leap of faith and it is going to be okay."

"Jesus, come closer! I think you keep backing up and making me jump too far - I'm scared......" "If I come any closer, it won't even be a jump! come on Jaye just jump! I haven't ever dropped you yet, have I?" My legs are shaking and I want to jump but......."You are going to catch me?" I ask Him one more time. and then I squeeze my eyes shut .....and.....jump.....

I am still free falling and my stomach is rolling over and over but I am sure that My Father is there ready to catch me......if I, as a Mom am true to my word to catch my kids, is He not ever so much more faithful and true to His word to catch me?

Psalm 18:19 He brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.

My hope and prayer is that He delights in me......
Jumping Princess Jaye

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a a letter ....from the Princess

Thank you for the emails of encouragement.....thanks S. for praying for God to free up my time.....I think we have that one covered now....LOL and J., the dream you had of us going to Mexico and I was pregnant and no one knew who the father was.....that was a nightmare, girlfriend.....but thanks for encouraging me to Be Still and let God be God which absolutely has nothing to do with the Mexico dream....LOL over that as well.....thanks J2 for assuring me that God will meet my needs as He has met your family's consistently......thanks all of you for lifting me to the Father with my transitional saga drama life.....Cathy would you like for me to teach one of your classes on transition? I seem to be getting much experience....... Seriously....all of you....thank you for letting me be are my sisters.....

There are two phrases that we will never hear God say - "Man I didn't see that one coming!" and "Oh my gosh, what are we going to do!" Isn't that awesome to know! And I know the events of the past few days bears evidence of that fact.

1. First, two weeks ago, at my request, D. puts an ad in the paper to rent the condo. With my paycheck instability things have been interesting so renting the condo would help take off the strain. The first day the ad ran I received a call and rented the condo out immediately. It is rented through October.

2. Sunday afternoon M. calls me at the spa and asks me if I was interested in substitute teaching at the school because they desperately needed subs. Well, my hours were cut due to the slow season ( I think) and yeah that could be a great option.

3. Monday I am fired from my job.
4. Tuesday I fill out applications for the sub. teaching. I also get an email from a teacher friend asking me "had I thought about subbing?".
5. My ministry idea is to start an afterschool program. At first, I was thinking and providing a means of supporting myself but as I have researched the area and needs of our community, the idea has shifted and changed and grown and now my heart is truly burdened for the children in our community.

Working within the school environment will allow me to observe and see first hand the needs of children and get a better feel of how to establish the program. I get to meet teachers and administration and form relationships with children and parents and teachers, I crazy (you really don't have to answer that...LOL) or do you see the pattern I am seeing?

My heart is burdened for Pagosa. I want to make a difference in people's lives - not just the ones that I know and love at Centerpoint Church but in the community I really love. I want to step beyond the doors of my church and be Jesus with skin on to those outside my church.

My request for you to pray is that I very clearly hear God's voice and direction. Perhaps the afterschool program is what I am supposed to do and perhaps not. I just want to be about my Father's business and be in the center of His will. I know beyond a doubt that I am called into ministry - I am just looking for the place......

And one more thing.....

Being fired from my job is okay. You know why? I once again have the opportunity to smile and give testimony to those around me and say, "God is in control. He is sovereign. Whatever Satan means for evil God intends for good. All things work together for GOOD for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose."

As I have received calls from the spa offering their sympathy, I find myself telling them, "It is okay." and giving them assurance that it will all work out. I don't have to be fearful over my future. Once more I get to say, "Weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning. Let me tell you, Monday, I started on a new vase of tears BUT today is a brand new day and guess what? The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

The Princess

Princess Jaye and the illusive job......

One day God told Princess Jaye it was time to go back to Pagosa Springs because He had a job for her there. Princess Jaye went very happily back to Pagosa with happy hopes in her heart. She had a couple of options and chose the one she thought was the best but before too long discovered that perhaps she had jumped in the movie set of the Devil Wears Prada. So she quickly said, "enough of that" and moved on to the next job she thought was the dream job - insurance it was - oh but she was deceived - insurance was too boring for her creative mind and not long after she jumped into that job, her boss decided he really didn't have time or energy to invest in her and sent her on her merry way....hmmm what to do? Princess Jaye was upset but trusting in the Lord for her future of good plans she carried on each day happy in the Lord.

During the next few weeks, God continued to press on her heart ministry to the people in Pagosa but Princess Jaye did not see anyway of that happening and she began to panic. One day she happened upon a friend leaving a receptionist job at the beautiful hot springs resort in Pagosa! Without consulting her Father, she thought, "How about she take that job? How fun would that be? Working in a spa, getting facials and massages and being in the land of makeup and tanning beds, etc." Really fun! but alas Princess Jaye was way too honest and naive for the big bad owner of the spa and after six happy weeks on the job, Mr. Spa removed her from the schedule. Forever!

Princess Jaye was very angry and unhappy. She cried all day having the best pity party ever. She spent a great portion of the night planning her revenge. She would just tell that spoiled brat of a spa owner what she thought of him and then she would send him a little present of a pacifier, a pull-up and some colors and coloring book for the next time he had a little hissy fit. Feeling quite satisfied with her plan she fell asleep.

The next morning, she woke up still stewing over the situation but wait - what was that little voice in the back of her head??? Vengeance is mine says the Lord? But, but God.....I had such a good Mr. Spa has way more money that I ever thought about having and maybe revenge isn't the way to go.....Pagosa is small and I sure don't want to burn any bridges......

Uh what did you just say God? "I need to be about My Father's business?" "Well, yes God, I know that I have been praying about ministry and I have a really good idea but I am scared to step out and try it. I mean - how am I going to live? If I gave up the condo and my car, I could probably share the gazebo at town park with Chris the token homeless guy that really what I have to do......?????? And the river - honestly God do you KNOW how freezing could that thing would be to bath in? Oh yeah, you made it....... What?? Absolutely do not make another career move until I hear from You?.....O....Kaaay.....

You know God I really want to trust you but this is getting way , way too scarey. I have had so much change this summer that I can't even follow me. You did see my blogspot about my cheese being moved? You know the reason I named the blog "follow me fast" is because my life seems to change very fast and if you want to keep up you better move fast.....oh you know that.....what? say that again because I am not sure I heard you....

"For I know the plans I have for, plans not to harm you but to give you a future and a hope." And for now - that is all you need to know and trust and believe in.
Goodnight, Princess Jaye......God.

Jaye P.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Climbing The Peak

Since the day I moved here I have wanted to climb Pagosa Peak. Pagosa Peak is a mountain that is 12,640 ft in elevation and just looks incredible against the skyscape of our fair town. Why would I want to do that? .....ummmmm....because it is a challenge and because I can!!!! LOL.

We sat out one morning about 7 a.m. You have to drive partially up the mountain (um about 10,000 ft or so) to get to the trail head.....and it takes a have to have a 4-wheel drive to get through the "road" and I use that term loosely. Although the forest service has cleared out the fallen trees from this winter, there were still low hanging limbs and curving trees to maneuver through. At one point we had to get out and find a stick to "jack up" a limb so that we could drive under it. It was very slow going about 5 - 10 miles an hour. We finally arrived at the trailhead, parked and began our hike. There were about 12 ladies in our group.

Although this was a hike I really wanted to do, I have to admit I was a little nervous. I knew it would be difficult but just how difficult? We began our trek up and would hike a few minutes and then stop to breathe, hike a few was tough but the scenery was incredible - especially the higher we got.

Finally we broke through to what is called "the saddle"(close to treeline but starting to be more rocky than treed). This part of the journey is where we took a good rest (15 min) because from that point on the elevation was pretty intense. Once we broke treeline (we were above the tops of the trees....) we went up about 800 feet more in elevation in a very short time.

We hiked on and came to the first peak...if you don't know better you think you are, must scramble up this rock trail to the real PEAK and then you are THERE....and you are so THERE!!!! 12,600' up and looking at all the surrounding mountains and valleys and trails and the town......amazing! After many yeehaw's and photo ops, we sat down and ate our lunch. That was a real treat.

When you are above treeline you are a target for lightening should a storm come up. The general rule is to get up on the peak before noon and get down because summer storm showers come almost everyday. God blessed up with an almost cloudless day and we had the opportunity to spend time up there.

Well, it took three hours to go up and 2 1/2 to come down. Coming down was harder than the climb I think. Very hard on the ends of your toes and your knees. My legs were so tired! And then we had to climb over fallen trees on the trail.....yikes.....some of them I just crawled under - my legs just wouldn't lift up!

Finally we were back down and driving back home. Wow - what an incredible experience. Every time I look at the Peak, I think back on having lunch up there....and..... I did it! I hiked the peak and had LUNCH up there! I HAVE BEEN ON THE PEAK!

I think about that in my spiritual life as well. The deep times I have had with God correlate with hiking the peak. The journey was hard.....there were times when all I could do was just breathe-- and keep going.....but the breaking above tree line times with God were amazing- when I gained a new spiritual insight muscle and was able to climb higher and higher with God- it was so incredibly awesome....... and then being able to be in God's arms at the peak of my journey with Kade -it was so incredibly worth the hike with God.

You know, when times get tough I look back on the Peak moments with God and say, "I have been to the Peak with you God and I KNOW I can trust you more than anything in life and it is going to be OKAY!"

Praying for you to "hike the Peak" with God.....
Jaye P

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My friend Pam came to visit me over the 4th of July and what a blast we had! Pam & her daughter got to experience a little bit of hometown America - complete with a parade down main street. The 4th is HUGE in Pagosa. Mainstreet is lined with people....thousands of people. You have to get up and get downtown to get a place to park.....actually...people park their flatbed trailers along the street the night before to assure they get a great place to view the parade. Seriously, there were signs posted downtown that you could not park before 2 a.m. alongside the street.

After the parade we went and had massages. While we were sitting on the veranda of the therapists porch we looked over at Kip's Grill and there were horses tied up at the posts while their owners went in for a bite to was classic!

The next day we went to the Hot Springs..... outdoor hot tubs of varying degrees....and soaked up the healing (but stinky) sulphur water. No don't smell it after a while and it's not THAT bad!

About the grill......I thought I needed a barbecue grill but I did not want the mamba jamba gas ones not being sure that I would grill that much. So I bought an
- okay - cheap charcoal grill to test this whim out. Pam and I were sure we could do this. H., her daughter, sat on the hammock swing and watched. We arranged the charcoals and wet them down with lighter fluid and lit the match......20 seconds nothing.....even though the directions said "do not put lighter fluid on hot coals" ....we did anyway....they weren't even warm....still no Pam soaked the coals in lighter fluid again. I was a little scared about setting ourselves on fire but I dutifully handed her the matches while I held the fire extinguisher because friends always have their friends back....LOL....she lit the match and threw it on the coals..................WHOOSH......this tremendous tongue of fire leapt up through the air! Holy Smokes....would it stay lit? Well, not for long. We continued this procedure until finally we had FIRE and even better....finally....HOT COALS and we grilled our steaks.
While the steaks were cooking, I googled "how to make a hot charcoal fire". I have the instructions and have tested them and the last time I grilled....I could have grilled for hours!!!
Our other adventure involved birds. I have no pictures but I assure you it was a crazy sight. I had birds in my dryer vent and they were driving me CRAZY. I asked Pam to help me get the nest out. My washer and dryer are in my halfbath upstairs. We shut the door and pulled the washer/dryer unit out. I pulled the vent from the wall and this big nest fell out on the floor and three little baby birds that were learning to fly also came flying out. We had birds flying at us and around our heads and we were screaming and batting them away! I am not sure who was most scared but I finally got one bird cornered and caught it with a plastic bag and took it outside and let it go. Now for the other two.

As I let myself back into the bathroom, one little bird escaped. Pam was on it. I was able to usher the second little bird back out the drying vent hole. Now for the last one. Well, it got away from us and we didn't know where it was. While we were eating our lovely grilled steaks, the little bird flew out of the loft and landed behind my freestanding wood stove.....and went under it. There was NO WAY to get it now. We tried several times to get it but could not even see where it was at.....oh well....we will have to sleep with the little birdie in the house.

The next day I left the doors open but the screens shut and went to work. When I came home at lunch, the little bird was back up in the loft, claws in the screen, crying for its mother as she flew at the screen trying to get her baby. I caught the little bird in my hands and took it outside and let it go. The Barbie condo is free of birds.....

At Ms. Jaye's house, as Gilda Radner "Rosana Dana" of Saturday Night Live used to say....."It's always somethin'".....LOL

Friday, August 1, 2008

Somebody Moved My Cheese

Have you read that book "Who Moved My Cheese?". It's a little book about changes in life. Every time our cheese gets moved, either by our choice or because of other people's choices, we make the decision either to change and go with the flow or refuse to change and fight the inevitable changes.

My "cheese" has been moved so many times I can't even find it!. Well, sometimes I have moved my own cheese but lately.....God has moved it in order to "move" me. To catch some of you up - I moved to Texas last June and then moved back to Pagosa Springs in March. I think my time in Texas was truly a time of getting a perspective on where I really wanted to live - to live in Pagosa Springs or live in Texas......coming to Pagosa the first time was a time of refuge and healing. This time it was a deliberate choice to move back.

I did not realize what a new life I had made for myself until I left Pagosa and missed it terribly. So what if everything closes down at 5 pm (retail stuff) or 9 pm (restaurants). So what if we don't have the Starbuck's and shopping saves you money! So what if everybody knows your business before you do.....(small town life).....So what if there aren't any single, "I love Jesus more than life itself" kind of guys here (didn't run across any in Austin either),,,,really too busy for a relationship anyway......I missed the church people in Pagosa that had become like family to me......I missed going into stores and having people know me by name......I missed my beautiful mountain town that had become I packed up my "cheese" and drove back home.

I made that move on faith as I did not have a job waiting for me. Got a job within a week of arriving (pretty amazing) - actually had three job opportunities. The one that I took was not good - the "Devil Wears Prada" thing.....found another job (moved my "cheese" again) and was there exactly one month when my employer called me and said, "Jaye, since you don't have your license (insurance - he hired me knowing that and I DID have my property license and was getting ready to take the auto license test...) you really can't do anything and well, I just can't afford you.....I will pay you through this pay period..." WHAT! I was stunned - so - my cheese just got moved AGAIN and this time I didn't do it......God? What are you doing here?

I came home, cried, got in the Word to get my biblical perspective groove on and wow...... isn't it absolutely amazing the power and strength you draw in when you get in the Word? The Holy Spirit calmed me down and I began to see the losing the job thing in a whole new manner. Actually, God did me a favor......I really didn't like insurance - in fact that morning I had sat down at my desk and thought, "This is so boring." Glad you thought that Jaye because guess what?!!! .....I'm taking you out of it, sister! And God did.

But....what to do? I have a book on my shelf titled, "God Will Find A Way - What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do". Basically, the bottom line is to look up and keep looking up until God starts outlining a plan. I sort of entertained the thought....."You know God, this would be a really good time for that prince of a guy to show up and rescue me......." and God said, "I'm here." Oh. Yeah.

Well, as I spent time in prayer (looking up) I began to see that maybe this was my time to Dream Venti!

What is it that I want to do? What is my passion? Ministry. My heart's desire is to help others learn about Jesus and get to know Him better. I began to pray that whatever career or job God had for me that ministry would be the center and the rest would fall around it. In the meanwhile....

I interviewed for a position at the Hot Springs Resort as a receptionist at the Spa. Could be a pretty fun job.......Then I met with the county Human Services dept. and we discussed a foster home development program......If I wanted a job in that field I would have to find a grant, write the grant, hope we got the grant and then there would be money for the position.....ummmm....just not quite that passionate about the I kept I was laying out at the pool Saturday the thought popped into my head to start an afterschool program here. It is a need and there isn't a program in town like what I began to dream about creating. Hmmmm.....maybe this could work. I could run it out of the church and as the program got bigger maybe, just possibly, I would make enough to do it full-time and I would have ALL DAY everyday to do ministry and just work in the afternoons with afterschoolers......and I began to dream of the ministry opportunities to children and that an awesome possibility or WHAT!!!!

First step was to get an approval from the deacon body to use the church and start this ministry......Sunday there just happened to be a deacon meeting and the idea for the ministry was very well received......first green light!!! Now I am working on getting licensed. But what to do about that m-o-n-e-y thing until school starts (Sept. 2 here)?

Not being sure when I could actually get the program opened due to licensing regs., I took the job at the Hot Springs. The schedule is flexible enough that I could probably work there even after school starts if I need to supplement my income. So once again I am stepping out in faith, hoping I am hearing my Father's voice correctly, and doing this faith thing.

As for money and missing a paycheck or two......well God is faithful just like he promises and all bills are paid. I have picked up an extra job here and there and have made it to the end of the month. And..... I landed a job exactly when I needed to. God is so amazing and incredible!!!!!

I am dreaming VENTI and walking forward in faith that God has a plan for me. I cannot even begin to tell you how the peace of God has enveloped me as I have walked forward everyday not being able to see the ground.....

Life is so incredibly good - even when the cheese gets moved! All because of God, His Son that paid the price for my salvation and the Holy Spirit that lives within me.

God's grace and peace be on all of you today,