November 30, 2010


I'm gonna make this short.
But my mind is long.
It's heavy like freshly fallen snow on a coniferous branch about to snap.
When did living become so inequitable? <<--This is just a fancy way of saying, "life isn't fair, no?"

November 24, 2010


Dear Friends,
I just wanted to let ya’ll know that I’m an incredibly happy girl right now. No, nothing terribly exciting or extravagant has happened to me recently or anything…for instance, I’m not engaged, I’m not pregnant, I didn’t turn into Taylor Swift, I didn’t land my published book under the New York Times Bestseller List ect. In fact, this happiness is just the beautiful conclusion of all the little things coming together so perfectly. How do I even begin to describe it?
Last week things were kinda… (excuse my French) …crappy. It was a slow, and long seven days. I didn’t get enough sleep---believe me I tried, but this living-in-a-room-with-nine-other-girls-package-deal is tough business in the sleeping department. And not to mention, I still had to catch up on all the lost sleep from my travel weekend in Paris. Last week I encountered a few moments of homesickness, memories from the summer caught up to me and gave me a hard time (I’m sure the sad-song playlist on my Ipod enjoyed the company), and my insecurities got the best of me.
But this week…wow. My happiness is just indescribable; therefore, I will try my best to describe it. It’s just the relationships here. I kid you not, all 108 of us are family. And when one person is missing, it’s like one of our sisters or brothers has run away from home. And you can always tell when someone is absent, because everyone has such radiant and distinctive personalities. Even over the three days I was gone on travel weekend, I found myself missing everybody so much. SO much! Being away from here really made me realize how much this really does feel like home, and it is where I feel comfortable, and safe. And when we all reunited that Sunday evening, it was absolutely insane. There were so many hugs and stories and laughter, and it was just wonderful to be back. Except…that night I cried myself to sleep, which kicked off the beginning to my not-so-great-week.
Anyway, back to the main focus of this blog: happiness. I’m just making some great relationships here. Things are in depth, which was exactly what I’ve been praying for over these past few weeks (as I once blogged about before, and my sister was right when she said it’ll just take some time). And just to mention one random thing…I have guy friends. I actually have guy friends here! Back home, it’s unheard of; because where I live, it’s impossible to be just friends with a guy. Either he falls for me, or I fall for him, and it becomes one big awkward mess. Maybe it’s just a Canadian thing, I don’t know. But here, you don’t do anything stupid with each other, because you know that you’re gonna be living with that person for the next now…4 months. I love it.
Oh and tonight something great happened. But first I’ll give you some background information on this subject. The very first few days/weeks here at bible school, I hung out with these two amazing girls named Sarah and Jessica constantly. Together we are Sarah, Jessica, and Jennifer. (Can the names get anymore North-American than that? Haha) Then we decided, “hey, lets start an accountability group!” An accountability group is something like this: meet together once a week an hour before bedtime in an enclosed area, bring gifts of chocolate and candy, and just talk about the deep things that are heavy on our hearts, ending with prayer. We actually haven’t met all too often, because things have gotten incredibly busy and chaotic here, but when we do meet…sparks fly. I don’t know what it is, but I can just be my total self around them. And I’d say that tonight was our best meeting yet. Why was it your best meeting yet Jennifer, you ask? Because as we entered the ironing room (this was our last resort meeting place, after the library and the prayer room were in use) I told myself, “OK Jenni, you’re not feelin’ all too open right now. So you’re just gonna listen and be there for them, and not have to share anything on your part. Deal? Deal!” HA! We get in there, and I end up telling them my biggest insecurity (a subject that I brought up totally on my own)…an insecurity that I have unfortunately, let affect pretty much every aspect of my life. And sharing this is a HUGE deal, since I can literally count on less than one hand whom I’ve told this thing to throughout my 19 years of life here on earth. And the crazy weird thing is that I wasn’t afraid at all. It just slipped out like it was normal conversation. Lets pause and take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Two summers ago, I was talking on the phone in the middle of the night with this guy I liked. He was absolutely convinced I was perfect. And I knew there was only one way to convince him right then and there that I was far from perfect---and that was to tell him my biggest insecurity. But I was scared to death because first of all, I had never told anyone before him, and second of all, I was scared of being rejected from that moment on. And the thing is, is that today, admitting this insecurity to my friends Sarah and Jessica, was SO easy. (I’m not sayin’ that the guy rejected me or anything, in fact he tried engraving it into my mind that it was no big deal at all) I mean, today my palms weren’t sweating, my heart wasn’t racing, and most importantly, I wasn’t afraid that they would view me any differently or reject me as a friend after that. I had this strange confidence and faith (God) that they would still love me for who I am, and that this “big” insecurity of mine, really is like he told me, no big deal at all. And having talks like these and knowing that I’ll never be rejected for my insecurities definitely carries out into other relationships I have with people, causing me to radiate with confidence. I loved tonight. I loved being comfortable. I loved sharing and listening. I loved being myself. I loved not being afraid. I loved being loved for exactly who I am. I loved knowing that I’m on the road to two healthy and very fulfilling life-long friendships.
This entry definitely doesn’t do tonight’s’ experience any justice, but I tried my best and I hope it shows how God has been working in my life over these past few years. It feels so great to look back and to realize how much I’ve actually grown, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry. ;) Good night and God bless.

November 23, 2010

Three Letters.

Here's just a little something creative I wrote today; I began with writing three different letters to three different people. Then I took lines from each of them and mixed them all together, creating something incredibly messy and untranslatable out of it...kind of like what the inside of my brain looks like on a daily basis.

You’re on my mind, and it’s not fair.
I don’t know where to start,
If your sweet eyes were starin’ right into mine,
I don't think I could finish this.
Your smile sets me on contagious fire,
Everyime you walk into the room.
Even though time has passed, I don’t think a thing has changed.
No, nothing’s changed.
I love the way you didn’t take no for an answer,
And I’ll never forget how all you ever did were the right things.
Your hands look perfect enough to hold,
There’s nothin’ wrong with me and my trailing mind.
You poured out your heart to me, and had me convinced.
So I gave in and let you in.
If it hurts too much to go back, then listen to my apology.
I’m sorry I hurt you, but I just wanted for you too know,
If our hearts got lost in this world,
I’d hope it’s yours I’d find.
It’s hard thinking of you these days, but oh it comes so easily.
Boy, you sure know how to make a girl feel special.
You picked me up when you said you would,
And as we took the dirt roads home, you said, “see you again?”
All I could do was wish it was him saying those words to me.
I ran inside and cried for hours on my bed.
You’re different from the last one,
Better in every single way.
But I guess all of that just wasn’t enough,
I guess I’ll never be as perfect as her and her pedestal.
It’s not fair to me; it’s not fair to you.
Here, I was staring at perfection and all I could think about was him.
And boy you always know the right thing to say.
So don’t be afraid to make your move,
Can’t you see me waiting?
Boy, I’ll be your ray of sunshine,
If you’ll be my lovin’ superman.

November 20, 2010

Never Grow Up.

Your little hand's wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mom's dropping you off
At 14 there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older too
And don't lose the way that you dance around in your pj's getting ready for school

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
No one's ever burned you, nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to, just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs
I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder that I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up

Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
I could still be little
Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple

-Taylor Swift

November 17, 2010

Yassir's Story.

For the three lectures this morning we had a guest speaker named Yassir talk with us (I apologize deeply if my spelling is way off). Yassir was born in Sudan and grew up as a fanatic Muslim. Miraculously, he ended up converting to Christianity and now lives as a pastor in Germany with his wife and kids. He shared the most amazing story with us, the story of his life. To be honest, it was one of the most incredible testimonies I had ever heard, and I have a really strong desire to share it with you guys…at least the shorter, less detailed, “Gee, I sure hope I listened correctly and got all of my facts straight!” version of it:

As a child, Yassir was born into a Muslim family in the country of Sudan and memorized the Qur’an at an early age, like every other Muslim child. Allah, the God of the Qur’an was his motivation, and he’d do anything for him. In college he ended up sitting next to a kid named Zachariah; now, Yassir absolutely hated this guy because he was a Christian. And as we all know, Christians and Muslims do not mix well, because of their theology respectively. Zachariah suffered terribly because of Yassir and his Muslim friends. One night after class, Yassir and his friends hid up on the branches of a tree, and when Zachariah was walking beneath, they jumped and began beating him. With Allah as their goal and God they broke his bones, they bruised him, and they caused his blood to spill. Without a reason or a thought, Yassir told his friends to stop; so they fled the scene and Zachariah was left there under the tree, closer to death than ever.
Later Yassir’s uncle, the minister of finance for the government was ordered to attend a Christian church service to kill the pastor. He entered the church and sat down in the back row with a pistol in the right pocket of his jacket; he was ready to fulfill his duty. As the service went on, Uncle began to actually listen to what the pastor was saying. He was preaching on Acts Chapter 9 about how Saul was threatening to kill all of the Lord’s followers. And all Uncle could think was, “What? How did this pastor know me? How does he know my story? How is it possible that he knew I was here to kill him?” So after the service, Uncle approached the pastor and asked him these same questions. The pastor replied with, “Sir, this was simply a story from the Bible, the written word of God.” Together they ended up flipped through pages of the Bible and talking for hours. Uncle’s heart was changed, he began to see the beauty of who God was, a God of love. He converted from Muslim to Christianity that day. When Yassir’s whole family heard about this, they were furious and knew that the only thing they could do was kill Uncle. In their eyes, killing Uncle and saving him from living life as a Christian was seen as an act of love. But Yassir felt a much deeper love for his uncle and desperately wanted to change him back to Muslim, so he thought that the only way to do this was to study the Bible just as hard as he studied the Qur’an. It turns out that this was the best idea that he’s ever had, since the word of God ended up changing him from the inside out. Yassir was amazed at the story of salvation: how God sent his only son to die on the cross, as a sacrifice for all of our sins. Yassir fell in love with God, and became a Christian with his uncle.
After telling this good news to his family, they disowned them. His father said, “You are no longer my son.” His family dug a hole into the desert ground, placed a rectangular box in it, and with a funeral service, pronounced Yassir dead. Because of Yassir’s conversion to Christianity, he was dead to his family. After Yassir lost everything he’d ever known, Jesus turned his life around. He moved to Germany where, like I stated before, met a German woman, fell in love, had children together, and became a pastor. An amazing ending to this testimony is that just two years ago, he went to a church in Egypt and was talking with a man there. The man said, “Yassir, do you remember who I am?” Looking a little closer Yassir knew. It was Zachariah. Zachariah continued, “I have been praying for you everyday, Yassir. I have been praying that you would one day open your heart to God.” After almost having killed Zachariah 15 years ago, by the grace of God, Yassir was able to ask for forgiveness. And with a brotherly embrace, the slate was wiped clean. Only God could arrange a meeting like that, and answer prayers like that.

After the lecture I sat there, completely awestruck. I was fascinated. If Yassir’s uncle wouldn’t have been given orders to kill that pastor, converted to Christianity, and if Yassir wouldn’t have been kicked out of his father’s household and wouldn’t have moved to Germany, then I never would have heard this amazing story. If none of this would have happened, I would still be left here oblivious, in the dark, drowning in a sea of my own useless problems. Yassir’s story changed my life. I couldn’t believe that a man with such an intense, crazy life was standing in the same room as me. Listening to his story was like watching a thrilling, action-packed movie. It’s absolutely incredible how God can use lives to connect and share stories.

Now all I can think is that there is a whole part of the world I have absolutely no clue about. There are young children growing up with the mindset that killing thousands of innocent people is what is lovely to their Allah’s eyes. Fortunately, Yassir didn’t just leave us with a story; He left us with as much insight into Islam culture as he could fit into three hours. I learned that 1/5 of the world’s population is Muslim. Therefore to Christians, they are our generations’ challenge. I learned the five pillars of Islam (confession of faith, prayer, giving money/possessions, fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca). I learned that their relationship with Allah is nothing close to personal. They are slaves to their God, while Christians are children of their God. There is a huge difference between these two. Yassir also provided us with examples of how to practically approach this culture.

Yassir ended the session with one final request: please pray for the Muslims. As I learned in Yassir’s story, prayer is so incredibly powerful. Zachariah’s daily prayer for Yassir changed Yassir’s life, and in turn, it changed my life. I’ll bet Zachariah anything that he had no idea Yassir would one day be telling his story to a bunch of silly college students in Germany. Amazing, isn’t it? What I learned today is so heavy on my heart right now, and I just want to encourage to whoever’s reading this that there are so many lost people in the world, and it’s not at all a hopeless case. God answers prayers; he is capable of anything. And we also need to be thankful that we grew up in families, homes, cities, and countries where we aren’t persecuted for our faith. Can you imagine being disowned by your own family for being a follower of Christ? Can you imagine being beaten by your classmates because of your love of God? No…I can’t imagine it, and for that I’m so incredibly thankful.


November 16, 2010


"I don't wear makeup, because I've never wanted for it to become my crutch. I don't want it to be the source of my beauty."

Wow. I honestly feel an incredible amount of pity for the girls who need to wear makeup in order to feel beautiful. No girl needs makeup to be beautiful, she already is.

November 15, 2010


Oh dear. So much has happened during these past few days, and it all begins last Tuesday. Therefore, I shall start there…at the beginning. On Tuesday after the morning lectures, we were given the details about the Day of Silence that was to come the following day. The Day of Silence is where we were to be given a total of six hours to be completely silent before the Lord. We could go wherever we wanted, and do whatever we wanted in order to find a way to reflect and pray the best we could. I was looking forward to this day like it was Christmas or something! The thought of everyone being silent is simply just a dream come true; I love quiet. Then we were told that after the six hours of silence, there would be an evening service, a time for sharing thoughts, experiences, testimonies, and also communion. Immediately my heart started pounding, and I knew exactly what that meant.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about myself these past few months, it’s that if God wants me to do something, if God wants to get my attention, he will make my heart beat faster and faster. It’s physically unexplainable; I mean, hearts don’t just start pounding on command like that. So when He got a hold of my heart that Tuesday, I knew that at the Wednesday evening service, I was going to share my testimony. I just knew it; it was as if I could see into the future, and that’s a pretty cool feeling.

I went to bed with that nervous feeling lingering at the pit of my stomach. The next day at lunch I could barely eat, and ended up leaving the table early because I just…had to. I spent my six hours of silence in my bed. I hung up my big pink towel above me, creating a cozy little dark safe space. I pulled out my laptop and began writing out my testimony. Although I had written it out many times before, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to sort out my thoughts. At that point I didn’t care how grammatically incorrect it was, for once perfection wasn’t screaming in my ears, I just wrote. Then I fell asleep, and napped for probably the…second time in my life. Surprisingly at supper, I was able to eat large sufficient amounts and even encouraged one of my friends to apply to “The Shelter” ministry in Israel. I really hope she takes it.

Anyway, at the Wednesday evening service I sat myself down in the centre of the second row—one of the most opportune places to sit when you’re preparing to share. One person went up. Then another. Then another, and another, and again, and again. I couldn’t bear the thought of missing this opportunity, so when another moment of silence passed by, God put strength to my legs and I stood up. I walked past the few in my row and walked to the very front of the room. As I picked up the microphone, I could feel all eyes on me. These moments are absolutely insane for me, since having all attention on me is a very rare occasion, which I am absolutely OK with. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, I talked. I shared. I spoke slow. I breathed slow. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care how awkward my sentences sounded, or how awkward I arranged my words. At one part of my story my voice started shaking and I could have cried, but being the tough cookie I am, I didn’t. My favorite part of being up there was seeing all of the faces staring up at me. I remember their encouraging stares like I had taken still photographs of them.

When I sat back down my face turned beat red and my friends beside me were wonderful. My perfectionist personality kicked in and I started thinking of all the things I forgot to say, and what I could’ve said differently. But it’s good to remember that whatever I said, was meant to be said. God had it all planned out from the beginning, didn’t he?

It feels good to have shared. I feel like people know a little more about me and my family and that I’m not just a total mystery anymore. To this very day, I still have people coming up to me and thanking me for sharing. I appreciate it more than they know.

So, I went to Paris last weekend. I’d really love to tell ya’ll all about it, but I’m sorry…I’m just not in the mood. Worst excuse ever, right? I feel like I can only write about one thing right now, and it’s that I’m just not feeling the greatest. Don’t get me wrong, I had the best weekend ever, and believe it or not, it was a huge spiritually growing experience. But right now, I just don’t know how much I can say on here without putting too much attention on myself or making people worried about me. I’m not sure how to explain it without putting it too lightly, or putting it too heavily. I don’t know what else I can say other than the fact that my insides hurt. I don’t know how to be content. I don’t know how to love others. I don’t know how to trust. I don’t know how to take the walls down. I don’t know how to possibly even love myself and to be myself. I don’t know how to write out my true feelings without the fear of being called a hypocrite Christian—-"has Bible school not taught you anything about God’s love?"

Again, my insides hurt.

November 8, 2010


It is extremely difficult to even attempt blogging when I have Taylor Swift ringin' in my ears. You should have seen me last week when I was trying to write my Pentateuch paper, all I wanted to write down were her lyrics. (I am not obsessed, I swear...)

I realized that I always come up with realizations, and enjoying sharing them with you. My new realization is that if you need to cry, then just do it. Why hold back? After church just slip under the covers and let the silent tears roll. It feels nice. I stumbled upon the realization only because this past week has been a battle ground within my mind, and many things have hit me all at once. The memories that I thought I had left wrapped-up tight inside a box back home has somehow mailed itself here. My fingers tore the tape and opened the box without my consent. But sometimes I have convinced myself that even if my fingers had been polite enough to hear me out, I never would have stopped them from moving. So I cried, big deal. It's not as if this is the first time I've admitted something like that before. It was quite funny actually. I did the deed, and then I felt 20 millions times better and ended up having the best day ever after!

That wonderful Sunday evening, my K-group (small group) and I indulged in "stick bread". It's bread dough that you wrap around a stick and then bake it over the fire outside. THEN while the breads' still hot you fill it with chunks of white Milka chocolate, Milka milk chocolate, Kinder Duo bars, Nutella, (and sometimes even jam for you fruit lovers), and then while you eat it, the chocolate oozes out all over your hands and it's just an all-together wonderful experience. I will admit though that it was freakishly rainy and windy yesterday evening, so we had to bake the bread in the oven, and eat the bread sitting around a coffee-table full of candles! You'd think that this would have been the best part of the evening, but the best part was our "Ask Anything" time. We went around in a circle and just asked anyone anything. I realized that I remind some others of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, and that I had my whole school convinced that I had a boyfriend back home all because of the photo I put on my door. I realized that love does exist even after nine years of marriage. I realized that even the most confident-seeming of people are really just as lost as I am. I realized that hearing about somebody being lead to Christ is one of those most spectacular stories that could ever be told.

Then all the girls in my 10-room laid out our mattresses on the floor and had one big sleepover. I ended up falling asleep at nearly half past 12. (That is super late for me these days!) It was a great finish to the weekend. Oh, I forgot to mention that a huge group of us spent our Saturday at the thermal bath. Mmmm! On impulse I decided to take on the waterslide backwards and ended up hitting my head on the side of the slide, leaving me with a souvenir bruise. Good times.

November 6, 2010


This is just a part of something I wrote in the summer, and I just thought I'd share it:

So forgive me, for letting you believe that you made me cry.
Forgive me, for convincing you that you’re the reason why I’m this way.
Forgive me, for ever making you think that I would have given everything up.
For inside of me is a heart weaved of lace; this is my heart, the heart of a dreamer.
You can forgive me or you can pity me,
but most of all, you can remember that this heart is mine,
and it’s as heavy as gold.
One day you’ll understand; one day you’ll see,
that it takes more than enough strength to hold.

November 2, 2010

Oceans Away.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. It wasn’t too sunny, and it wasn’t too cloudy. There was a slight cooling breeze and the autumn air was filling my every inhale. “This plus 15 degrees Celsius makes for perfect running weather.” I thought to myself. I put on my Adidas, grabbed my iPod and ran for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Yes, no need to check your vision, and no need to dust off the screen. I ran for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Can we all just let that soak in? The longest I’ve ever ran is 1 hour and 5 minutes, so 5 minutes longer than that is a big deal!

Have you ever heard something said about you, or to you, so many times that you eventually just start to believe it? This can be a good thing; or it can be a negative thing.
If somebody compliments me, I beam for hours and my day is instantly brightened. If somebody insults me, it dwells in my mind for months, even years. Why is that? It’s so stupid. It can even get to the point where I can’t even hold a conversation because I’m so convinced that I know exactly what they’re thinking about me. Negative, confidence-killing thoughts pulse through me. Everything is psychological; and everything is an assumption. It makes me hate the person who said those words, and it even makes me hate myself. I hate it. I hate hating things. And I hate that I know that I hate hating things. Hate is a strong word, and I’ve never been one for strength.

Last night wasn’t so nice. Since I’m working on vulnerability with my blog I’m going to share with you as to why it wasn’t so swell As most of you know, last year I attended university and lived in a dorm with some of the most wonderful girls in the world. It was my first dorm experience, my first moving away experience, and my first university experience. And like a first love, I’ll never forget it. And last night, everything about my 8 short months at university came flooding back to me. I lay in bed with wet eyes and a wanting heart. I wanted it back. I wanted those best friends back. They knew everything about me, everything, my past, my present, and my future. They understood my insecurities, they encouraged my dreams, and they were just so real. I never had to pretend I was something I wasn’t with them and I never felt anything from them but God’s love. What I miss most are all the times we’d just lie in my bed and talk for hours. They’re oceans and miles away and last night, they felt too far away. Last night it felt like world split in two and we were on separate halves. To be honest, I was wondering when it was going to hit me, and after an insane game of Pictionary, it was the last thing I was expecting.
Here, things are much different. I haven’t experienced culture shock. In fact, I think I’m living through relationship/people shock. I feel like nothing’s clicking just quite yet, and I feel like I’m physically here, but my past and my stories are unseen to others. I feel like I’m just a walking mystery. And sometimes, I don't want to let people in; sometimes being a complete mystery is totally OK with me. Sometimes these walls are as comfortable as a blanket around me. I don’t know what to do. On the bright side, things are developing slowly, but almost too slowly. I know I should be patient, but it’s hard. I’m tired—maybe I should quit going for 1 hour jogs. And this gloomy, gray weather is just…sigh. What is this I’m feeling?

I never ever want to take people for granted ever again. Is that too much to ask?