JOJO's Journey

Sunday, February 19, 2012

so do you ever feel that God gives you to much to handle. well, this afternoon i felt like i was coming to terms with what God has/had put on my plate....i unloaded on a friend ( know who you are) today and the 'plate' felt a lot lighter! of course...i should trust God enough to not need to unload, but man did it feel good. and- as my friend and i enjoyed a good time together; talking things out, advising each other, supporting each other, laughing, grocery shopping and enjoying a glass of wine together....i came home relieved and thankful. relived that i have someone i can continue to 'unload my plate' onto, and someone that i know without a doubt will pray for me and my 'plate'. and thankful that i have a great friend in someone that knows me well!
upon my arrival home and my happy mood, i opened my (damn) computer and found what should have been some very happy news. and yet, this news for me was like another million pounds added to my 'plate'. or maybe a massive crack in it! and it shouldn't be! it should be news that makes me excited and happy for others- but for some odd reason instead I feel jealous, annoyed, frustrated and ripped off....straight up sad! i know in my head that every single one of those feelings are jabs giving by Satan, and i need to stand firm in not listening to them. and i am trying! but- my emotional tank is full... dang it! now what?
i guess i will again resort to playing David Crowders song Eastern Hymn over and over and over like i've done for the past week and see if i can again re-gain some emotional stability. was gonna share the song but i can upload the song right now....sorry!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

i finally did it!

Morning! where would mornings be without coffee! ha.

so, about 7 months ago a co-worker friend of mine convinced me to join a on line dating site called POF (plenty of fish). this site was free...and it seemed to be a good place to find dates; or so my friend said it had been for her. and since i was NOT having any luck on the 'christian' site i was on nor in the normal dating scene...i decided to give it a whirl. Yes, POF is NOT a christian dating site! the past 7 months on this site has taught me SO MANY things.
lets talk about the good things i've learned first. :) for those of you that know me well know that i have not had a ton of experience with dating. in high school boys were just silly to me. yes, i crushed on some but just didn't find it a big deal to date them. college- i was busy with basketball, school, and yes... crushing on ONE guy the whole dang time. so i missed out big time in college, that i will admit. life after college- i became highly involved in coaching basketball and my social life WAS my job(s). so... i think the biggest thing that POF has taught me is that dating is fun! regardless.... it's fun to get fancied up and go out. the excitement...well, is just that- exciting! to be wined and dined is awesome!!! :) along the way i've also realized (learned) that I am totally 'datable' material! i think since i've had such a lack of it in my life i just convinced my self that i was NOT datable; but to much my surprise, i am datable! and in fact- i seem to be a pretty fun date. awesome- right? it's about time i've realized that! POF has given me a confidence booster- one that i think has been far, far over due. but more importantly than those things i've learned that i want a man that is in LOVE WITH GOD. of course...i've always said that, wanted that, prayed for that and looked for that. but...well, i wont get into the 'but' part. i'll just say that POF has taught me that men that don't love God are NOT for me. i think the past 7 months of dating has narrowed my list of needs (deal-breakers if you will); and with out a doubt a man that is in love with God is at the top. a year ago- i would NOT have not said that...i would have simply said that i wanna find a 'nice' guy- one that can love me like i wanna be loved. well...thanks to POF i've realized that a man cant love me that way i wanna be loved unless he loves God first and for most. It's been an awesome (and yet horrible-) experience just to figure that out! yah, i should have figured that out a LONG time ago- but....sometimes ya gotta learn by living, right?

now for the bad that i've learned. (which maybe is still good things to learn, just in the wrong way; if that makes sense) MEN ARE PIGS... yes, i said it. i love them...and want one all to myself for sure, but they are PIGS. i've never had so many guys say and expect inappropriate things from me! yah, i'll keep it rated PG- but will say that 9 out of 1o of the men that i chatted with on line, chatted with on the phone, or went on a face to face date with wanted/expected sex...or something along those lines. ON THE FIRST FREAKING DATE- ahhhh, are you kidding me? i got real good at saying NO! which, i guess is a good thing to learn! ha- total PIGS. yes, 1 out of 10 were gems. good guys, looking for a good women! and they are what kept me on POF for so long. hoping that in some strange way the 'good guy' or man of God that i was searching for would be on this site! I dated a guy this past summer for 7 weeks...he was a POF guy; one of the good ones. And i learned so much in that small amount of time. How i SHOULD be treated...l learned that i need a man that is NOT selfish... I learned how to break up... i learned how to mend from a broken heart....and I learned to never borrow money to a guy! see...good things to learn- just in an unfortunate way!

i've been thinking the past 2 weeks that i needed to cancel my POF profile. i haven't been on the site much lately and when i do - it only makes me feel 'dirty'; if that makes sense. I've had some moments where i've thought that right thing to do would be to cancel it! but... it's like one of those horrible addictions - just hard to give up! it supplied a need for me, just in the wrong way! fortunately, the last straw happened this morning. i got an email (to my personal email) from a guy that i had a few short conversations with on line about 2 months ago. he seemed like a 'good' one. and i actually think he is a good guy. but, i was not attracted to him and didn't want to continue conversations with him. He seemed to think differently. and this morning i got a very rude email from him; totally out of the blue was sort of like verbal abuse- details not needed! but when i was done i had NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that i needed to cancel my POF profile. i honestly think it was a sign from that was intense enough that i could NOT ignore it! so- i did, i canceled! and to much my surprise, i feel a million and half times better about myself. i think going on dates the past 7 months has been awesome. and i think i will miss it; alot! but i also know that i am WORTHY of something purer than what POF can offer me. I am done! and i feel good. clean! pure! like God is really happy with the things i've learned that the realization i had this morning. I would not change my experience(s)... now it's about finding the right kind of experience. i have NOT given up on dating. I have not written men off; not even close. i still want a 'pig' all to myself. hahaha. i am still on a on line (christian version) dating site, and i still have the energy and excitement to go on dates. i just have a new vision; and i like it. :)

thanks for reading. sorry so long!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

i had one of the busiest weekends in a long time.

Friday- i spent the day at school preparing for a new TRI and new students. I was hoping to be out of there by noon, and instead was there till 4. from there i ran home, showered and changed for a date with guy #1. (no, i wont tell you his name) guy #1 and i have been emailing back and forth for months now. he lives most of his life over seas working, so email was our way of communication. he has become a good friend via email. but, cool enough he was in town this weekend and we got to meet face to face. We, well maybe i should only speak for myself, had a great time. We chatted over sushi...for hours. He bye far is one of the most interesting men i've ever went on a date with. His stories are unbelievable....and amazing. guy # 1 had all my attention from the get go. Not only is he fabulously interesting, but he is very attractive. BUT- he is moving permanently to Africa to work, so there is NO point in dating. we will stay email pals.... and that will be fun! but outside of that- nothing!!!!
Saturday morning- Christmas brunch with my bible study table leaders. We got together, played games, and had good food. it was a chance to get to know the 14 ladies the help lead my thursday night bible study. we laughed, and i totally enjoyed myself.

Saturday afternoon- date with guy #2- i meet him a week ago on a online dating site and we seemed to hit it off right away. we have had more convo's via texting messaging than i've ever had. we headed champs....shared some nacho's, had a drink and just chatted. again...a great way to spend an afternoon. guy #2 is one of the sweetest guys i've ever meet. he is kind, patience, a gentleman, funny, and seems to really dig me- which is a massive bonus! we laughed a lot and i found myself wanting the date TO NOT END...but he got called out to go plow (stupid snow) so we had to cut our date early. worries- we made plans for date #2 on sunday! :)

Saturday night- since working in the infant room at church i've met some great ladies that have become a big part of my life. Aundrea Johnson, i hope, is going to become one of those people. we've only volunteered together for a couple months, but hit it off instantly. She is funny, easy to talk with, a little crazy and has a sense of 'life' to her. We decided we needed to hang outside of the infant room so we got together at her house and had a night full of constant chatter!!!! literally- constant!!!! i've found a new, fast friend and am soooo excited about it. it is hard to find solid, fun single friends your age- and when you do, they are a massive blessing! I cant wait to get to know her more.

Sunday morning- church...which was amazing as always. and...i took the whole month off from volunteering, so i had lots of time to enjoy conversation with people at church that i dont often get to see.
Sunday afternoon- got in my car and drove to guy #2's house. we got take out pizza, watched the viks, hung out with his roommate and his girlfriend and played with his dog floyd! very enjoyable. i am sure that i will see guy #2 least i hope i do. not sure where it is going yet, and am okay with not knowing. going on dates is fun....and it for sure is a great way to get to know someone. i dont have the answers yet, so don't ask me. just know that i am enjoying the process, and i seem to enjoy guy #2 a lot. :)

sunday evening.... home, ate, watched the news, did this blog and am heading to bed- it's 9:26- yip..... i am exhausted. what a great weekend.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


every November my church takes time to remember those we love and have lost. it's always a hard time...but good. today Pastor Dave told us that it's okay to's okay to not understand...and it's okay to miss people....and it's okay to take time to remember! as i lit my candle today i had memories of some very special peeps of mine.
Sunil was such a unique man. He was one of my closest friends husband...and i miss him! My first thought of him today while remembering him was when i first went to visit him and mandi (many many many years ago) in NYC. i was nervous to spend a whole week there...and Sunil made me feel comfortable and loved. He painted my finger nails and toe nails blue- so today...i painted my nails blue. I also remember him telling me in a whisper when i visited him in the hospital that he loved me and was thankful for me. And one last memory i had this morning... at his wedding reception to Mandi he told me that i looked beautiful and that deep down in side he thought i was a bad ass. huh- sounds like Sunil. :) miss you.
Grandpa and Grandma Venhuizen..... love them! cant imagine having better grandparents. Grandma Niece was always loving. One memory that i had this morning was when my little brother buzz fell of a piece of equipment and cracked open his head. Grandma was there- and she took amazing care of him, and me. i remembering thinking buzz was going to die and i remember grandma telling me that God would take care of Buzz and that he would be okay! I remember her calm demeanor and her loving hugs that followed after. Grandpa was awesome, and i have to admit that i think i was one of his favorite grandkids. i had him wrapped around my finger. I remember spending countless afternoons in the cow fields with him (and jason), i remember eating dozens of pink peppermints and i remembering knowing with out a doubt that Grandpa would be excited to see me when i showed up. I miss them. but my memories are many and found....and i often smile when i think of them.
oh grandma Shirley. I would say she was the crazy (in a good way) grandma. she was the one that allowed us kids to ride the pigs, and play with the goats, and she always had some sort of animal that needed attention in her house. she allowed me to drive her car when i was to young, and drink pop when i wasn't suppose to, and she always had movies to watch! She got me hooked on soap opera's. and i learned...the hard way...that cigarettes suck! Grandma- you left me way to early...and i miss you!
The last person that i remembered this morning that i unfortunately do not have a good picture of is my aunt Dorothy. She was quiet....and took after her mom (grandma niece). she was love in how she carried herself and how she took care of her boys. she didnt need to say a single word to me for me to KNOW with out a doubt that she cared about me. i remember a long long long time ago that she spent hours with me on a ski slope trying her hardest to teach me how to get down the hill. i fell so many times...and it took forever...and she NEVER gave up on me. and when we reached the bottom she told me good job and that the only way i would get better is if kept on trying. dorothy, like grandma Shirley, left me way to earlier...and i miss her.

yes...i will remember! yes...i will mourn! and yes....i will forever carry these people, and others, in my heart! thanks Open Door for the opportunity to honor them and remember them!

Friday, May 06, 2011

good gone bad

so i cant even remember the last time i wrote a blog and am really unsure why i am writing in it tonight. i just know that i need to vent- and simply thought this a good place to start.

so, any idea how you are suppose to feel when you try your very, very hardest to bless someone, and in the midst of your best intentions you make an ass out of yourself? well, thats me! and i cant seem to get how crappy i feel about it off my mind. (maybe blogging will help) a week ago yesterday i put a card in the mail. it was simple card. a sympathy card for a really good friend of mine. and inside that card i put some cash....all i wanted to do was allow this friend the means to do something that would cheer her up. and in the midst of my busy week, parent teacher conferences, making sub plans for a whole week i was going to miss at work, and many many other things- i didn't even think twice about putting the cash inside the card, instead of writing a check. i know- i don't need to hear it again... stupid! but i was not thinking that the US postal mailing system is/was corrupt. to say the least- the simple, heart felt card along with a large amount of cash is GONE. my friend knows the card is missing. my friend knows there was money it (not how much), and i am sure my friend is fine with it. she holds no ill will. i, on the other hand, am NOT okay with it. i am trying to convince myself that the person that took the card and cash must have needed it more than my friend...but- it's not really working. it's unfair. it's annoying. and I feel stupid. i feel like an ass. and i feel like i let my friend down...she needed what was in the card- and i didn't deliver. stupid! so- any ideas how i let something like this one go? really--- how?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

well that was a first.

today i've done something that i've never done before....well, sort of. i told a guy (that i only went on 2 dates with) that I wasn't into him. It was a little uncomfortable, but it had to be done. It wasn't as hard as i thought it was going to be...he made it easy; or at least he seemed like he did. he is a super nice guy, we just are not in the same phase of life or feeling the same way about each other. it was very nice to have a guy fall for me right was just a little to fast for me. (i know, crazy right?) i enjoyed our two dates, but am feeling relived about the decision to not continue seeing him. So.... back to square one.
Not sure that my mystery blog reader is still reading, but you (mystery reader) will be happy to hear that i've been on more dates the past 6 months than i have my whole life....well- maybe that is a stretch- but i've sure been playing the field some. Some of the guys are super nice, and are very kind to me but we don't really have a lot in common. We just like to hang out. Than there are some that i know are fun guys....but that i should not be dating them. than there are some guys that i hang out with but fall more into the friend column than the dating column. solid Christian guys are very hard to find; but i will continue to hang tough and wait for a guy that loves Jesus, than falls in love with me. regardless... it has been a fun couple of months. i am still praying for that 'right' connection to happen with that 'right' guy- but till than i am enjoying this stage too. is that bad?
so there ya have it mystery reader....who ever and where ever you are. i have been dating!!!! :) i am a heart breaker....hahahahaha!

Sunday, November 07, 2010


The first Sunday of November at my church does a service called 'Novembering'; today was that day! It is a time to reflect, morn, rejoice, grieve and honor those that we love that have passed on. It is always a time for me to reflect on how much my grandparents mean to me, and how much fun I had with them as a kid, and how i miss them still! But this year was a little more intense than normal for me. I spent a lot of my time thinking about my friend Sunil, who passed away last May...and spent even more time thinking, wondering and praying for Mandi (his wife); my good friend. (picture: Sunil and I at a friends wedding)
I know that i cant say that i know what it feels like to lose a husband; but regardless of that....i can say that i miss Sunil and i am overwhelmingly sad for Mandi! Today Vicky (the lady that spoke) talked about being Hidden in God; and she used Psalm 23: 1-6 as her guide. it is a very common Psalm....but after today it has just a little more meaning than it did before.
Psalm 23: 1-6 " (1) the Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not be in want. (2) He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, (3) he restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake. (4) even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (5) Your prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. (6) Surly goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
a couple things: that helped me in my thinking, praying and morning for Sunil and Mandi.
#1- the word Shepard is used as a verb...which makes God a God of action...a God at matter when, where and how....He is working! no matter if i see it, feel it, or believer it...He is at work! and i have to believe that he is doing that for Mandi. the Shepard is constantly taking care of his sheep- He is close 24 hours a day....what a comfort to know that again regardless if i am ready to allow God in on my hardship, He is there waiting, caring and staying close; like a Shepard does for his sheep.
#2 -' green pastures and quiet waters'. do these things actually happen during grief? and if they do, what do they look like? maybe they come in the form of a friend affirming us, or a need being met, or a prayer being uttered, or simply when we feel happy; even if only for a moment. I just know that God can and will lead us there...sooner or later.
#3- 'restore my soul' - the word soul means breath. and the word restore means to return to. grief often comes in and steal our very breath and we feel like we can no longer move on in life. God promises that in the midst of that...He will restore our soul.
#4 -' valley'- a reference to spiritual geography....means darkness, w/out order, alone...
#5- 'will fear no' - this is when we allow God to come up under the midst of our 'valley' and provide us with the strength to get up each day....and be Hidden with Him! easier said than down, of course!!! but...knowing that God wants our souls to be restored is pretty cool...and comforting in times of grief!
at the end of the service we got to go light a candle in honor of those we miss. I lit one for Sunil....than i lit one for Mandi! i miss Sunil! but i morn with and for Mandi and i pray that she will be Hidden in God as she continues to do life without her husband.
it was a very cool service. thanks open door for continually pushing me in my faith and my belief in a God thats wants every part of me!!!!