So yesterday was #enditmovement day. If you don't know about this - this is a movement to bring awareness to modern day slavery and to try to bring an end to it! Showing your red X helps make more people aware of the 45 MILLION people in slavery today.
Today seemed like a perfect day to introduce you to my friend Jenny. Jenny goes to my church and sings on the worship team. She also leads the college/career ministry and serves in about a million other ways. Jenny is someone I look up to so much because not only is she always at church serving - she goes outside the doors and really puts her faith in action daily. She has fed the poor in our community and always is finding opportunities to serve others while sharing her faith. She is also very passionate about putting an end to sex trafficking. She got involved several years ago with IJM and this has taken her on a journey to SE Asia with the Cru/IJM Justice team. She is the NWA representative for PATH (partners against trafficking humans). She serves on the Advisory board for Freedom 58. And she is the founder and Executive Director of HUB of HOPE - a nonprofit assisting with healing and opportunities for victims of human trafficking and prevention and education for the community. In addition to this - she has been a consultant specializing in early childhood education for over 20 years.
She's just a lover of people and a lover of justice and I look up to her so much. And if you are in NWA and interested in helping her with Hub of Hope - you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. What is your favorite Food?
Can I just answer by saying "FOOD"? That's really not too far fetched of an answer for me. I do love to indulge in different flavors. Which makes it very hard to tell you my favorite food. Most of my favorites center around ethnicities. I love Indian food. Maybe it's the eating with my hand that I love the most, but I adore the curry flavors! I also love sushi, Thai food, of course Mexican, and I love the sweets of Scotland! My Scottish friends will tell you that I will never turn away a pan of Millionaire's Shortbread, Banofee' Pie, or a slab of Tablet!
2. What is your very favorite piece of clothing right now? (FASHION)
Honestly, I don't really follow what is "in style". Probably anyone who knows me, would tell you that. I've always just leaned to whatever makes me feel confident and comfortable... that's usually what I'll put on. One thing that is very important to me though, is a shirt that covers what it needs to cover! Everything that I own has to go over my midsection fully... my kids are adults, but I still have what I call "baby leftovers" that have to be kept out of sight! "If I could just sew"...I can't tell you how many times I've said that!
3. Tell us about your Family?
My family. My most prized possession. Tim and I met when I was just 14 years old. Let's not discuss how old he was, let's just say God had a mighty plan! We've been married since I was 19. He's my Romeo. My Prince Charming. Besides my time with my First Love, the Lord, Tim is my favorite part of my day! We've certainly had some trying times over the past 26 years as a married couple. At year seven, we almost threw in the towel. I'm so grateful that we leaned hard on the Lord, both in our individual lives, and together. Tim fought for me. And I'm so, so grateful! And now we have eternity together! And then, my children. What blessings they are to me. Carly is our oldest. Carly is one of a kind. Anyone who knows her, would agree. From her fashion, her gift of gab, and her HUGE heart for people! She is a gem! And she brought a new son into our lives, by marrying her love, Durgan Maxey, on October 15, 2016. They are precious, sweet newlyweds. A beautiful reminder of what sweet beginnings look like. Mason is our youngest. He is the first to move away and is living in Georgia. He brought Channing and Brighton into our lives and we are so grateful for their love and ambitious outlook... life is always an adventure with them! They are fun! Tim and I recently were in Georgia visiting them. They reminded me of how important it is to spend time together as family. As they fixed the meal together, set the table, and then invited us all to sit together and share in a nutritious meal and great conversation. I left very encouraged. We are never too old to learn from one another and I was grateful for their reminder to me of how important times like that are. I'm loving this season of life as an Empty-Nester. It's not an easy one, but having adult children is such a surprising blessing!
4. What is the most important quality in your Friends? OR tell us something that a Friend has done for you that you can't forget.
Friendship. Someone once gave the analogy of looking at our relationships like baskets. We have a very large basket that we would place those people we call "acquaintances". It's the people that have meaning in our lives, but that we don't share intimate relationship with. It's those people that we pass and say "hey girl, how are you", because we can't remember their name. *Ugh.* But we see them often and we have casual relationship with them. I have a lot of these! And then we have those that are in a little medium size basket. The ones that we do know their names and we have a common interest with. We work with them. We go to church with them. We may do some ministry with them. We see them often, but not in an intimate way. And then there's that small basket, where maybe five people fit. These are your intimate friendships. In my basket there's about 3 to 5. It's the people that know so much about me. It's the people that I go to when I need encouragement, when I need truth to be spoken to me. And it's also the ones who are willing to accept truth and encouragement from me. It's important to me that my friendships are about honesty. I don't have to have physical connection with people to cherish my friendships. But it is important to me to encourage and stay in touch. Often times, a friend will come to my mind from any of these baskets, and I will just shoot a little message to them to let them know they're being thought of and prayed for. To me, that's the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our lives to encourage one another.
5. What's something you have learned recently in your Faith journey? And/or share your favorite scripture right now and why or your favorite Bible Study or book you have read recently.
Oh goodness. I love the Word! I know I've talked about my family already, but my husband sets the best example of this to me. He is up every morning at 6 AM and you will find him sitting with a cup of coffee in "his" chair with the Word opened. He consumes the Word like I would a delicious slice of chocolate cake! But for me, I find it helpful to use some type of a guide as I dive into studying the Scriptures. I really enjoy using First 5 tools. They have an online resource and an app. The concept is that you can read the devotional on the app to start the first five minutes of your day. This has been a good resource, but I enjoy the Experience Guide tools that they have even more. I order them because it's a journaling experience as I study... and I'm a big fan of Sharpies and journals! Right now I am in Deuteronomy. I listen to the focus chapter as I read along in my Bible. There's something about HEARING the Word read aloud as I read the text that helps me. Then, there are usually 3 to 5 questions on that day's devotional to help me reflect on the scripture I just read. It's been a great tool for me. We have to remember that studying scripture often starts with discipline, but then it becomes a desire and a thirst for the Word.
As for books, there have been so many in my life! I've been reading a lot over the last few years about God's heart for justice, so those would be reflected in my list. Here are a few that come to mind immediately...
"Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver.
"A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm" by Phillip Keller. "Tradecraft, For the Church on Mission" by Upstream Collective. "The Just Church" by Jim Martin. "The Good News About Injustice" by Gary Haugen.
"I am not but I know I Am" by Louis Giglio.
"The Locust Effect" by Gary Haugen.
"Forgotten God" by Francis Chan. "The Prodigal God" by Timothy Keller.
Oh, and "Generous Justice" by Timothy Keller.
OK. OK. I'll stop, I'll stop!
6. What is your biggest Fear?
That I am not enough. Funny thing is, it's true! I am reminded often, that when I am so fearful of the tasks or challenges or storms that lie in front of me, I've never been asked to do it alone. The Lord qualifies the called! The Lord reminds me of this often.
Also, things jumping out at me, not good! Mason used to love to scare me!
7. What are some of your Favorite things right now?
That my office is my home. My work clothes can be my pajamas... all day if I want to. My coworkers are four fuzzy friends!
Oh, and those lime flavored tortilla chips! See, somehow I can always bring it back to food.
8. What has been your biggest Failure?
I waited too long to fall in love with Jesus! Don't know if that's really a failure, but I always think about all of the missed years, and the missed opportunities to know Him deeper, and more intimately earlier in my life. Young readers of this blog, fall in love with Jesus first! It makes everything else fall into line. You want to be a good friend? Love Jesus more! You want to be a good wife? Love Jesus more! Want to be a good auntie? Love Jesus more! Want to be a good mother? Love Jesus more!
Well, here's one more, I fail at being a good housewife. Dirty dishes and laundry are always a big Failure for me in my house! But, between you and me, I don't really care.
9. What do you do for Fun?
If you know me, you know I'm a Junque Queen! I love flea markets! I don't even know what to do with the stuff, but I'm just in love with it! Probably because as I look at it, touch it, hold it, sometimes smell it...I think about all of the imprints that it holds...incredible history and thoughts and love and hurt and tragedies represented in all of those things. It's just a fun adventure for me to set out on a Junque-venture day!
10. Tell me about what animals you have? (Furry things)
I almost talked about them up when you asked me about my family. But I thought I'd follow the rules. Our animals are such a special part of our family. Tim and I got our first dog, Tango Dan, a long-haired doxie just 10 days after we were married. And we have had furry members of our family ever since. Currently, we have two Labs. Gnat is a black Lab and is mother to our chocolate Lab, named Mrs. Jones. We also have Pickle, who is a Dorky-a Doxy/Yorkey mix. And Bella Noel, our long-haired Doxie. Somehow, we adopted a Russian Blue cat, named Jane Austen. She's not nice. I mean, at all. I sometimes post videos of her just so people get to see how beautiful she is. But she has to be locked away when people come to our house. She loves us but she does NOT love strangers in HER home.
11. What is your favorite FILM? (movie)
I'm a huge fan of ridiculous comedy. I love, I mean LOVE, "Nacho Libre"! I literally could watch it over and over again and laugh just as much as I did the first time I ever saw it!
I'm really excited about the new "Beauty and the Beast" movie coming out. When my kids were little, that's the one I would always ask if they wanted to watch. It's another one that I could watch over and over again and sing all of the songs at the top of my lungs!
We are really movie fanatics at our house. If you came, I'd show you our movie closet. It's kind of ridiculous. We inherited the collection my mom and dad had and have added to it over the years. So, to begin listing all of my favorite movies would far exceed my book list above. Let's just not go there... but FYI, we do have a little checkout system if you're ever looking for a certain movie.
12. What is one Fact we might not know about you?
I can lizard spit. I mean like really crazy far! If David Letterman were still on television and doing his "stupid people tricks" segment, I might actually be a candidate!
But on a more serious note, here's some transparency. People often think of me as a people person. But I sometimes get very uncomfortable in social settings. I do love people! I do love relationships! But I also want everyone to be happy. So, the anticipation of conflict in a social setting, sometimes exhausts me. That's me being very transparent with you. But isn't that how we should be? Truthful. Transparent. Often times what you see on the outside, is not always what you get on the inside. We should be kind to one another. We should not make judgments about one another, because we don't really know the whole story. We should take time to get to know one another more. And we should all understand that every one of us is broken. It is only through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ that we are vessels worthy of his kingdom! Love you sweet friends. I hope that these words have encouraged you today!