Monday, November 30, 2009

I Am Thankful.

I Am Thankful. Thankful for much.

I am thankful for England. For how green it is. For having lots of sheep and cattle and farmers.

I am thankful for trains and cheap transportation in Europe. It was a lifesaver this weekend.

I am thankful for Capernwray. For everything about it. For it's inner beauty and outward beauty. For Major Ian Thomas who created the dream of Capernwray. Who bought this fascinating manor house that has now been home to thousands of Christ followers. For those Christ followers who were thirsty, searched, and drank in life...real life... at this sanctuary. It is like nothing every experienced. ever.

I am thankful for my family. I miss them dearly. With ALL my heart. I ache for them, their unconditional love, the warmth I feel when I'm with them. I am thankful that I can listen to Nsync Christmas on repeat with my 3 brothers encouraging it. For facebook video-making with Jake and Josh. For playing soccer in the backyard barefoot and it never getting old. For watching the food network with Jake and doing a family Iron Chef. For my mom for being so dam good at cooking. For her words of widsom, for her compassion and listening ears towards her incapable daughter. For being a "Proverbs woman". For my dad who loves coffee more than I do. Who pursues daughter-father time with coffee dates rather than soccer tournaments. Who reminds me of what how I deserve to be treated by men. For being a salmon towards my mom.

I am thankful for children. For the innocence and spirit. For their excitement in life and the way they teach me more than many adults ever could teach.

I am thankful for Granite Bay. For my home. I can always come back to and feel comfort, find true friends.

I am thankful for coffee. man, I LOVE a cup of joe every morning. just isn't right without one.

I am thankful for sunsets. for colors and natural beauty.

I am thankful for my legs and feet. That I am able to run, jump as much as I want.

I am thankful for SLO. Cal Poly's community. For 3 years of amaziness that I never thought I could dream. I am thankful for my loved ones in that utopia of a town. For the Pismo House. For the babes who are genuinely loving such a great home while we're away. For my sisters-my roommates who are dam good at cooking, dancing in their underwear, drinking wine, showing compassion and unconditional love to me, and having style. For Meredith...loving Friends passionately just as much as I do. For Jen...for being Jen...for being goofier and wierder than me. and being proud of it. For Lisa....for being the best Apple representative in the world...and smiling more than Ive ever seen anyone smile. For shan and dave....being the hottest and most humble couple in the world. :) for the Grand girls....loving Twilight and being soooo proud of it....for being really blonde and having the most fun. For being really close to campus. no fair. For the Osos girls....being the most unique, hippiest, Toms wearin, 3rd world lovin, music makin, craziest group of girls I've met. For the twins...being hot lifeguards and representing Hume. for being twins that look very different and making it easy :) For my Bible Study girls. For teaching me. For being such God lovers and followers. For desiring to grow. And for just being wonderful. I am thankful for Campus Crusade and the community it has given me in SLO. For all of you who I have met through it. For my mentors, Bible study leaders, "older" friends who has sent examples-examples of women and men of God. For loving me.

(I am thankful for many more of you in SLO. Trust me. I am just getting started. Didn't realize i was gonna get all crazy in thankfulness today).

To end this typical Thanksgiving blog, I am beyond thankful for my Heavenly Daddy. For Christ who died for me. Shed His pure innocent blood for my dirty, sinful blood. For my God who gave His son up for me. For all humanity. For the gift of grace. For God as my rock. My first love. My only dependency in this world.

I am thankful. I hope you are too. Because there is much more than all this to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Growing with age does not always mean growing in maturity...

Dear loved ones...

It has been a while since I last shared my insights of the life I live here in Harry Potter land. I have 5 weeks left. Unbelieveable! Time flies get the picture. :)
Before I indulge you in some extreme opinions about the working industry and the female persona, I am excited to say I visited some dear friends in London last week, and will be traveling to Oxford tomorrow and Liverpool on Wednesday! I think the travel bug has finally become my buzz despite the weariness of work. Tomorrow I will enjoy a beer with Mr. CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein at The Eagle & Child pub. This is the pub where the two authors used to meet weekly and discuss Theology and philosophy in a quaint back room of the pub called "The Rabbit Room". I cannot wait to sit in the very same room where such knowledge and insight was discussed years and years ago. Liverpool will also be such an adventure seeing as it is a 14 hour long trip, and I will have to up and ready for work the next morning. But to be in the presence of The Beatles upbringing is quite worth it. I will be walking along Strawberry fields, Abbey Road, and get to walk into the very pub where the band had their first show. Yes...this will be cool. :)

Seeing as it is 10:30 pm on a Saturday night, and I am very tired, I will make this short and sweet. The work force in the military is quite interesting. Even morso, the work force with women is crazy! I have never experienced such manipulativeness, negativity, gossip, and drama as I have in my present job. And I am 22! Still in college...still coming out of my teenage years...where most would assume I am immersed in drama and gossip. But noooo....the most immaturity I have ever experienced between staff member have been while I am overseas in a professional working field. Excuse me for the bluntness. This does not mean I hate my job. This does not mean I dislike my time and experience here. In fact, I can already admit, I have grown, been challenged in more ways than I could have ever dreamed, and I will miss this place. But I am also sad. I am sad as I see women treat women with such lies and negativity. I am sad that we cannot come to work with positive attitudes as seeing that we work with children everyday who feed off demeanors, auras, attitudes, ect. Children very easily detect negativity. It saddens that we cannot be a place of more love than dislike. I have never heard so much exasperated rumors, pitiful unnecessary drama, and complaining as I do with women. Now I am not taking myself out of the conform...I am just to blame in many ways. I simply am stating an observation and am making a point that I think we, as women, need to be wiser, more positive as we work, less gossipy about other people's lives, and focus on our own problems and issues.

Just a thought :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My envy towards children.

'Ello from the land of accents, dirty dry humor, Marmite, fish and chips, and futbol hooligans. I cannot believe I've been here for over a month. It seems like I just arrived...yet it feels like I've been here for months.
Anywho...I want to share experiences I've had with my children with you. know...notmy children...the preschool kids I've been graced with seeing everyday.
So there is this 4 year old Blondie beauty. She looks like a dainty porcelain doll, but has the personality completely opposite of that. She is the dreamer of the bunch. Always the last in line because she is skipping listlessly around as if she is in her own world. This can be difficult at times because she neglects to sit still during "group time" or takes ages to wash her hands because she is so enthralled with the soap bubbling up. As her teacher, I can't stand it! But as a grown up woman, I am jealous and intrigued and I hold a special place in my heart for this girl. How lovely is it that kids can be entertained by the simplest of things. This girl giggles at the random est of things. Every time she "blows the wind" she always feels the need to tell me. She laughs and says..."Oops! Miss Jessie...I farted!" She has the funniest giggle I've ever she almost knows she is weird and silly. One day I was waking her up from nap time (she struggles getting up from her naps compared to the rest of the kids), and every time I wake her, I ask her "What did you dream about today?" Every dream of hers is full of silliness. One day she stares into space trying to remember her dream...and says in a sleepy, very thoughtful, as-a-matter-of-fact voice, "I...I dream of...of cookies. I dreamed of the cookies at snack time! The ones with bananas." this may not sound that beautiful or intriguing to you, but it is beautiful to me. And I love that. I love that I find beauty in this. In spending time with children and experiencing these moments with them. These moments of hearing their dreams. The moment when a 4 year old can sing the entire Little Mermaid song, "Part of Your World" without any help. The moment I teach the game "Blast Off" in wagons, and a little boy remembers that we float in space because there is no gravity.
The hours and hours I spend with the children is tiring, but so rewarding. The moments I get with them...when they remember that "dog" starts with the letter "D" or that "replete" means you're full....are moments that happen once in a lifetime. And I'm so happy to be apart of those moments.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I genuinely wish God granted me the gift of photographic memory for one reason and one reason only- so I could never forget the moments I witness such glorious sunsets as I witness here in England.
I have experienced nothing like it. And the best part is that every sunset is unique in its own glorious way! It's like every night we are up for a surprise. Once dusk arrives, what's it gonna be?! Are we gonna get cotton candy fluffy purples and indigos tonight? Or are we gonna get the bright neons? The hot pinks and florescent tangerines that itch their way up into the clouds as the sun sneaks down into the horizon? I mean...seriously...what magnificence. What beauty!
And half the time, us measly little humans with our tiny little brains don't even care or think to grasp this amaziness. We don't let our eyes soak in such gloriousness. Instead we would rather be watching the "tube" or some cute sweaty boys weight lifting in the gym as we robotically run on treadmills.
Many attempt the search for such beauty in man made accomplishments- in extravagant architecture, intricate detailed cathedrals, massive sky scrapers, or ancient paintings. Don't get me wrong, I happen to find Michaelanglo's Statue of David fascinating and encourage all the world to experience such a creation. But I find it ridiculous that we neglect such beauty that is flat in front of our faces daily! God's creation. God's masterpiece. His gift to us each night before we move on to the next day...and the next...and the next.
Two nights ago...I went running...and I couldn't stop. I couldn't stop because I was in awe. I was in awe of the painting splattered across the sky. The panoramic masterpiece that God placed before me...for my eyes to soak in. It left me in tears and speechless. It left me humbled-that a God so mighty and so great as the sunset streaking across the sky could love me and care for me. That is so rad.
The least I could do was appreciate His masterpiece for me. His exemplification of a divine romance. His sunset for me. All for me. To experience alone as I run with Him alongside.
So I want to encourage you all...take time to sit and enjoy that sunset as you finish up dinner. Spend some time thanking our God for such beauty...for such greatness. It is the least He deserves.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sock Hop! Preschoolers experiencing the 50s...

missing so many loved ones.
But God is good and this week has been thoroughly enjoyable. However, I cannot deny the truth- I miss San luis obispo...Cal roomies...the life there that I realized I found so much comfort in. I miss my family...talking to my mom whenever I have something to cry about...goofing off with my brothers and drinking coffee with my dad. But I am here. And I pray everyday to be filled with joy as I start my day at work with the kids.
For example, this friday, the preschoolers were exposed to a Sock Hop. For those of you who do not know what that is, I will enlighten you :) A Sock Hop is described as a dated dance for young teenagers at which they may dance in stocking feet. In more informal terms, it is the dancing that goes on in the 50s. The dances where "Grease" is inspired and poodle skirts become a fad. Well...imagine 24 five year olds, with slicked-back hair, leather jackets, poodle skirts, scarves, and pig tails all dancin' a jig with hoola hoops. Now that is a sight for sore eyes :)
This is the perfect example of why I am here. Why I am starting to feel more at peace on this airforce base. The children. They brighten my day. Seeing them get so excited about the simple things in life...about a silly sock hop dance...about getting their picture take in front of a cardboard jukebox they made themselves...about having their parents join them for some hoola hoop fun. How wonderful life is as a child.
So that is why I am here...and that is what I am excited for as I live here these next 3 months. To learn from these children about the joys of life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pictures of Cambridge!

This is was quite the quaint and lovely trip to the town of Cambridge. I enjoyed talking lots of beautiful pictures of the area:)

Friday, September 4, 2009

8 Hours with Infants later...

Day 5 on Mildenhall Airforce Base. England..?

Sooooo I actually forgot I was in England the other day....with all the Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Taco Bells, Burger Kings, Southern drawl accents, and Colbie Colliat playing constantly. This is England, right? I guess living on an American Airforce Base means I'll be seeing a lot less pubs, Boots, red phone booths, and Marmite and Nuttella commericals. More or less, I am getting much the culture shock. Seriously...what an experience living on a military base! And I'm not even military! These places are like their own's just so interestingly silly. Everything you need on a daily basis is provided on a base. Yes...I'm seeing how easy it can be to get cabin fever due to a bases' isolation, but overall, I am very intrigued by this world and the people that come in and out of such a community. These men and women work very hard to be where they are and I commend them.

Speaking of cabin fever...still getting over a "silly flu" bug I had 5 days ago and has seemed to have formed into the so-called Swine Flu. Welcome to England Jess! haha...but seriously...any of you out their believing in prayer, I'd appreciate some love because the sickness (along with jet lag and jumping into work) has made my transition a bit more difficult. thanks so much :)

Back to the Base life. Not only do the parents have it rough on this base, but man, the kids struggle more than you know. My job is to be available to the kids whose parents have been deployed overseas or are on their way back. And gosh, what a life it is for these kids. To see one parent for six months and then have them disappear for another six months?! How do you handle such an extreme change? I pray, and hope you all could, for all the kids whose parents are commanded to leave them to serve our country. It is a big sacrifice that has caused many issues and contraversy in many families. We are blessed.

So...imagine 8 infants. Yes...8 babies, whose parents are gone overseas for months, and have very unstable home situations, all in one room waiting to be taken care of. Yes...that has been my job this past week. Loving on 8 babies at once. Changing diapers. Wiping noses. Stuffing apple sauce and mushed peas in their faces. Holding one down in each hand rocking them to sleep. Quite the experience! I will admit, not what I expected, so it is a bitter-sweet experience, but all the same, it is a wonderful learning experience. And I can't wait to learn more and more! Now...preschoolers I was expecting to take care of, not infants. But these babies need just as much love as any other age of children. Maybe more.

We shall see where I work next week! :) The Child Development Center moves us interns around all over to whatever classroom is in need. My work schedule will be 8:30-5:30 until I find time, I hope all is well in the states!! Cheers!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh Canada....

Ok. So I know I have not necessarily began my England extravaganza, but sitting in Toronto, Canada eagerly awaiting my red-eye flight that does not even leave for another 2 hours leaves me thinking lots. Lots of anxiety. Lots of fears. Lots of excitement. Lots of tiredness mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I think I'm getting sick too. Sucks. Thanks mom. :)

Side note: I am blessed with wonderful friends. Seriously. I don't know what I did to deserve such genuine, unconditional love. Community is so important. Community that is uplifting, encouraging, and real. My friends do that. I like being independent, paving my own path, challenging myself for myself and no one else, but I thoroughly enjoy relationships and the dynamics we as humans can have with one another. Its astounding how much you can connect with one individual at a certain level and connect with another individual in a completely different way. Both so deep and real. Its mind blowing! friends...I will miss you all dearly. You know who you are. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Ok...Canada...for some reason, this country weirds me out. I don't know why! It's like its just....there. Just so...blah. I am in no way trying to offend anyone from Canada. My apologies if I am! You can't hate Canada for anything. It's just...Canada. I don't know. I mean...Canada is rad for so many things: it's tree cutting, farming, neutrality, "ehs", everyone in Europe loving them over the USers, Tim Hortons, French people, can't go wrong!

I guess this just emphasizes the fact that I prefer good ol' England. Ah the Motherland. I can't wait to walk off that plane into custumes...with my janky uniform makes me feel 30 years older.
Until that moment...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Commencing on THE journey...August 30th

August 30th, 2009. This is where it begins. The start of an epic adventure to Mildenhall, England.

Now I'll admit, I feel very silly, nerdy, and overall NOT cyber-savvy enough to begin a blog about myself. In all honesty, I'm afraid I've been avoiding this for quite sometime-succumbing to the land of technology-savvy "diary" writing...where wit and humor and realness come out in a person (subtract wit and humor and add "poser" for me). but I figured this is the best way to journal my experiences in these next 4 months. That is...the experiences I am okay sharing with the rest of the world. 

I leave August 30th for the Motherland. Finally.
For those of you who have absolutely NO idea what I am doing over there, I shall tell you. I will be interning on a Royal Airforce Military Base. No I am not enrolled in the Airforce. Sorry. The military is for my big brother, not for me. I applied for an internship through the University of Northern Iowa that allows me to live overseas and apply my teaching/caregiving skills to the deployed children. I will work in a preschool, manage it, observe, and teach children who live on the Mildenhall Airforce Base in England. 
I am MORE than ecstatic! I get to work with children everyday...take joy in child-like faith...learn from little people who enjoy the small things in life. AND I get to do it in England. What more could I ask for? plan with this blogging "thing" is to just keep ya'll updated with my neatO experiences. More importantly, I get to journal so I can remember my crazy adventures and experiences for myself.  : ) Enjoy!