Better Than That

Jesus and Mema talking again…
I can hear her voice,” Don’t be acting ugly, Jeanna “ and when I would try to justify myself, she would place her hand on my thigh and say, “ You can do better than that…just because they are acting ugly, you don’t have to act like they do.”

Damn, Momma, your words are craved into my heart.

So when I read this Bible devotional, I felt her words and the words of Jesus stirring in my heart.

☕️💙☕️☕️☕️

Letting Another Off the Hook

One thing I have discovered while walking with many people toward the freedom God offers us is that—somewhere along the way—forgiveness almost always has to play a part in the healing. In life, others hurt us. Unforgiveness toward them is like a cage.

You may feel, even now, as though you are in a spiritual prison—tormented and tortured. Whom do you need to forgive to release yourself? You may even need to forgive yourself, intentionally doing away with what seems like perpetual self-hatred that has kept you from allowing God’s love to heal your heart. You will be amazed at the freedom you find as you forgive those who have hurt you.

Of course, forgiveness isn’t a magical potion. It’s an act of our free will that begins a process of healing, reconciliation, and freedom in our lives. We may not feel it immediately.

I don’t know what you’ve been through or who you need to forgive, but forgiving is necessary for our freedom and a natural overflow of the grace, love, and forgiveness that have been extended to us. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (ESV).

You don’t have to, but you will be forgiven as you forgive others, so it’s probably a good idea to forgive even if you don’t feel like it. Remember Matthew 18:35: “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (NIV). Ouch. Now that’s some truth with a big love stick that we all need to be hit with from time to time.

Notice it says from your heart, not simply with your mouth. Forgiveness is a matter of the heart; Jesus came to deal with the root of our problems, not just the symptoms. He came for a revolution in our hearts and consequently our entire lives. This revolution won’t happen without heartfelt forgiveness as a turning point.

☕️☕️💙💙

Forgiveness.
I had to wrestle hard and long with this one. I chose to forgive a man that hurt me deeply that left scars across my heart and one way I knew I had forgiven him and overcome the past was when I no longer went tumbling back down the hell in my thoughts when I smelled cigarette smoke or saw flannel plaid.

I chose to forgive and open my heart to a relationship that most people would consider crazy but I’m dammed if I’ll live in fear of what was and what could have been.

I chose to forgive the hurts that others did because I realize that hurting people hurt others…and I need to know their stories and listen to them before assuming anything.

I chose to forgive the one that has told me that my decision to not get vaccinated makes me dangerous and unethical.

I chose to forgive the one that’s made it clear that I’m no longer welcomed in their life because I believe differently than they do.

I chose to forgive myself…and that was really really really hard to do. I had to dig deep and see where I had built up walls, and acted selfishly and ugly and hurt those I love, just like I had been hurt.

I had been doing exactly what Mema told me not to do.

She used to tell me, over and over
“Don’t you dare give up, Jeanna’, don’t you dare give up…you keep on loving to pieces and you keep on doing your best”

So here I am- loving to pieces.
Piece by piece…. Jesus and Mema.., don’t give up on me.

Bigger and Better

I’m going to share this right here because I,too, fell into the trap of “ bigger and more”

I originally started my business.@ Rockwall Body and Soul Massage because I felt trapped where I was… not because I didn’t love Susan Gamez Balderas but because business was growing and my heart missed the intimacy that was formed when it was just me and Susan and one other therapist…as it grew bigger with more therapists and more personalities and more drama, I would stand in the front of my windows and watch the cars go by on Ridge Road and wish I was going someplace- any place.
The more people in the little house, the less I heard and the less I felt known and loved and needed.

I left and went solo and it was lonely at times but I could also write poetry and letters and send clients handwritten cards. I would bake cookies and muffins and sit outside with clients enjoying those things with a glass of wine.

Then Laura Bjeles came into my studio and instantly we connected and I felt an intimacy with another therapist that I hadn’t felt in so very long.

I was her mentor in the beginning but in many ways she was mine…as I taught her what I knew, she taught me to let my wall down and trust the moment again.

Then I got cocky- there’s really no other word for it- I hired another therapist and we had to juggle rooms and time and although it was good, it was also stressful.

We moved into a bigger place and I had three rooms and three therapists and that worked out for awhile and then I began my “ learning experiences”

One therapist lasted 3 weeks before I told her not to come back.

Then there was constant drama from the other one-bringing on stress to the point where I was checking her schedule and making sure to walk out of my room when I wouldn’t run into her.

I felt trapped by my choices and in the place where I couldn’t just step out of my room onto the porch .

But still I continued the same path- believing bigger was better-and I hired another therapist which added more personalities and more drama and more stress.

And then I got Covid-bad- and while I couldn’t do a damn thing at my studio, Laura pulled on her boots and took over for me.

The intimacy and trust we had formed was such a blessing. I had no choice but to let go and let God and He made sure Laura had what she needed and Kateley Lyons stepped up even more to keep the books filled and things done.

“Be still, woman” was what I felt God telling me…. And I wrestled with Him until I realized He was right.

In my pursuit of “bigger and better” I had lost what really set my soul on fire- intimacy With family, with friends, with clients.

I had traded time with those I loved, To time spent trying to grow my business- I networked and joined things that made me feel trapped and sapped my energy and my passion.
I hustled and posted on every social media platform and I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off.

That had never been my intention and I believe that’s a reason I got so sick and so weak.
I was just plain worn out trying to be who I wasn’t naturally.

during the hardest days, my old people came back- giving me love, giving me strength and giving me grace again.

Susan of EveryBody Massage Rockwall pulled me out of the house, outside on a massage table because she knew me well enough to know that I needed the sun and fresh air as much as I needed her touch and knowledge.
And as I’ve recovered- five steps forward and three steps back- over the last year, I’ve learned some profound truths.

Bigger isn’t always better.

Time is precious and sacred.

Love is essential.

Always, we begin again.

After another very short try with one other therapist, Laura and I leaned against each other and decided we will go back to the beginning- just the two of us.

There’s beauty in this chaotic world that we see best when there’s only us- we dance so good together and it shows.
While we can’t accommodate the vast number of clients we could when there was more of us, we are able to give the clients we do see our full attention and show them how important they are to us.

We get to create an intimate bond with our family, our friends and our clients.

We aren’t trapped anymore.

God is making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert and I’m learning to become who He’s created me to be.

A boat was docked in a tiny Calabrian fishing village.
A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and… asked how long it took to catch them.

“Not very long” they answered in unison.

“Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“We chat in the piazza with friends, fish a little, play with our children, and enjoy time with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.

We have a full life.”

The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?”

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.

Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Milan, London, Los Angeles, or even New York City!!! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?”

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fishermen.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, play with your children, catch a few fish, enjoy time with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So what’s the point wasting twenty-five years?” asked the Italians.

And the moral of this story is:
Know where you’re going in life, you may already be there! Many times in life, money is not everything.

“Live your life before life becomes lifeless”
Credit: Unknown

Thanksgiving

A few years ago, before Covid reared it’s ugly head, I was at Kroger the day before Thanksgiving and I saw this elderly man pushing his cart.

He had a single Swanson Turkey and dressing frozen meal in there and a single slice of pumpkin pie. I watched as he walked slowly to add a can of green beans and a package of rolls.

I wanted to place my hand on him and invite him to come eat with us but I was not hosting at my own house.

I was picking up a few things to make dessert and a salad to take to my aunt’s house where we had gathered since Mema had gone to dance in Glory.

I have not been able to get that man off my mind and in the last few years since, so much as changed.

Shelter in Place, Covid, fear and other things have kept the tradition from continuing.

It isn’t the same anymore.

So, there’s about to be a new thing…do you not perceive it?

Jesus and Mema have been talking to me for months now, reminding me of who raised me and who I am and who I’m called to be and what my gifts are.

So I’ve been praying about having the gatherings at my home and I felt the gentle push from Jesus and Mema….” Go ahead, this is what you love to do.. this is what you are created for “

So I started off by contracting with Craig Tatum to bring my dream to reality- a home that reflected the Texas sunset that I love so much.

Then Greg Mead and I started planning and inviting and making a list of desserts and favorite foods.

Two weeks ago, I pulled out my Mema’s cookbooks and the handwritten list of her Thanksgiving menu fell b into my lap.

Mema always made everybody’s favorite desserts. She made sure Ryan Johnson had fruit salad without marshmallows, she made sure there was buttermilk pie, chocolate pie, pecan pie and just about every cake she could come up with.

She loved doing this and we all felt her love.

So I started making my own list/ German Chocolate cake for one friend, cheesecake for another, apple pie for one

And my heart just kept dancing.

My daughter in law requested deviled eggs and I looked for a recipe and found a hack I’ll use.

We decided to have two gatherings- one on Thursday, the actual thanksgivings day and another on Saturday because some very important people can’t make it Thursday.

I am not going to assume anything about anyone .,, I’m not going to assume they have a family to go to or a place at the table…I’m going to open my heart and my home.

If I see someone at the grocery store with a frozen Swanson meal and sad eyes, I’m going to invite them to come on over.

This makes me remember another man at Kroger…in his motorized wheelchair, he asked me to reach an item that he couldn’t and as I handed it to him, he said,” can I ask you for another thing?”
“Of course.” I said, thinking he wanted another can of food.
“Would you hug me, please?”
I reached down and hugged him and felt his hands quiver as he held on.
When I stepped back, he had tears in his eyes and told me that since his wife had died several years ago, that was the first hug he had. He told me that they didn’t get to have children and so he was alone and waiting for his time to go but he sure did miss getting a hug.

Sometimes it’s so very simple, one small act of kindness can touch a heart, one invitation can start a tradition, one glance can begin a friendship.

“ I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert”

There You go again, Jesus, telling me that you aren’t getting rid of the wilderness but You’re going to make a way through it and You’re going to make streams in the desert and that just might be sweet tea and cold beer served to a bunch of people that are gathered together giving thanks!

Please, if you don’t have plans or if the plans don’t feel good to your soul but feel like an obligation, please send me a message and let me know

Come, just as you are…hungry and thirsty is best!

I know what I am

☕️💙 coffee and Jesus this morning and spending this time with an open heart and praying.

I have so much to do this weekend but I’ve learned that I do so much better when I begin my day curled up with my coffee in bed reading the Word .

My cousin, Rhonda Loden Hill, and I were messaging about songs and I asked if she remembered this old one that my Mema- her Aunt Nancy- used to sing around the house and while driving.
“Lord, help me Jesus
What have I ever done
To deserve even one
Of the many blessings
You have given
Lord help me Jesus
I’ve wasted it so
Help me Jesus
I know what I am

“I know what I am”

This!
Right here…just like Rhonda Gail said- it hits hard.

Here we are expecting other people to be better, wiser, kinder, more sensitive, more compassionate Etc and we might not be looking at ourselves very clearly.

I know what I am.
Lord help me Jesus. Sometimes- many times- I fall on my face and say all the wrong things at the wrong time but I know what I am and that I’m trying to become a better woman every day.

Years ago, my friend Aletta Joy Henderson and I were having margaritas outside at a little Mexican cafe when a man and his wife came up asking if they could pray for me that my hearing would be restored. .
I got a little attitude with them and so did my Allie Joy…and I told him that he could pray for me but he needed to pray for my heart and not my hearing.

I told him the story of my Aunt Dorothy who had been blind since childhood.
Dorothy had gone to a tent revival and the preacher man had called her forward and starting laying his hands on her eyes asking God to heal her sight.
She let him do his “show” which is what she called it then she said,
“I don’t need my eyes healed. I need my heart fixed. I can be mean and hateful and unforgiving.I can be jealous and act ugly.I need to be more like Jesus,,, pray for me to be kinder, to have patience, to love more. The first thing I’m going to see when I can see is the face of Jesus and that’s good enough for me.”
Then she laughed “but if you can make these glass eyeballs see- that will REALLY be a miracle!”

She knew what she was and so do I.
Sometimes people look at my deafness and think it must be so hard not to hear, but it’s not…
It’s not my hearing or lack of that’s the biggest problem…it’s what people see- although I have to wonder how that preacher man couldn’t see the glass eyeballs -but Jesus sees our hearts and He knows who we are and loves us anyways.

That’s one of the reasons this devotional hit me hard on the day before I paint my kitchen and dining rooms.

Jesus and Mema have been talking to me all year long about who I am and what I’m created for…to be an open invitation to others to come inside and be a part of my heart. Just like Mema..just like Jesus.

It’s a risk. It’s a chance, Lord, help me Jesus.I know what I am but most of all , I know who YOU are.

Pour on the love Jesus…I can do all things through YOU and for YOU!

☕️💙”You may not feel it today, but relationships are worth the risk. Still, risk-taking doesn’t mean indiscriminate bonding. Risk should be cloaked in wisdom (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Before Paul closes his letter, he informs Timothy of those with him who sends their greetings (2 Timothy 4:21). That seems odd. Where were these individuals in Paul’s dire moments? How does he possess a courageous vulnerability to trust again? We can’t know for sure, but Paul shows he understood some relationships were worth the risk.
He embraces the biblical warning against a haphazard seeking of companionship (Proverbs 13:20). Though he might be lonely, there were a select few on the shortlist worth the risk of future disappointment or abandonment. This is oh so important to note. You and I cannot hope to escape all the ills in relating with others, but we can circumvent toxic relationship trauma using discretion when filling our social calendars.
What should we look for in a friend?
Some people leave you better for being with them (Proverbs 17:17). This is your tribe. Look for those who are reliable (Proverbs 18:24), who are supportive of your joys, and loyal in your defeats (1 Peter 4:8). Pursue women who encourage you as a person (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Yes. There are people like this who will love you.
Pray about who God will send. When you find yourself in social settings, get off your phone. Instead, ask questions like, ‘How did you come to be in this group?’ or ‘What does your family do on X holiday?’ Ask about a favorite quick recipe or how they survived Covid.
Asking questions of people shows you value them, and it allows you an opportunity to learn more and determine if this is a relationship to pursue. Let this experience embolden your faith to believe God for your good in relating with other people.
Building adult friendships requires courage only God provides. Start with what you know by remaining close to Jesus. Remember that hunger for relationship is God’s idea, and He is working His plan for your good. There are people out there who need what you offer. Trust God to equip you and aim your efforts toward what endures. Then ask Him for the grace to become the friend you need.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
We hope this plan has been an encouragement. For more Gospel-centered resources from Cheri Strange, visit https://www.sheyearns.com/what-is-next

Hey there

I’m reading this devotional and it always amazes me how God places the right devotional into my hands when I need it the most.

Greg Mead and I didn’t pack up and move but we did pack up our heartache and created walls which left openings for things to happen that hurt us both spiritually and really hurt our children, too. As we lost our circle of friends at church, we filled the void with selfishness and that almost broke us.

We both turned from God as if He was the one that pushed us away instead of other broken people that were trying to follow rules they were comfortable with instead of listening to God and loving us where we were.

From Hey There, Girlfriend

💙☕️” Years ago, my husband and I packed our family into a moving truck, sold the house, and left no forwarding address. We showed up at the new location with bright smiles in our attempt to leave the pain behind. Inside, we remained battered and bruised emotionally because of deep relational hurts we packed up along with our furniture.

Still, God was working. We found ourselves drawn to a couple at church. She knew everyone, having lived in that town all her life, sporting inner and outer beauty and sophistication. He was a coach and the understated but hilarious life of the party. A sweet relationship developed in time, and I have never been more thankful.

After we had been friends for a long time, I found the courage to ask how they had room for us. Our need was obvious. Friendless, broken, and desperate for relationships defined us. Why did they befriend us?

Tears flowed from my put-together friend. She never explained the tears, but I realized they needed us just when we needed them.

Experience has taught me that when I feel alone and need a friend, I am most likely not the only one. God is working in someone’s life who needs a friend as well. This is the juncture at which we find Philippians 4:18 at work.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Most adults have room for a new friend. We are not alone in our sense of isolation and friendlessness. Rich, true, and loyal friendships require that we believe God is preparing just the right friends for us; people who will like who we are, love us despite it and even need us because of who we are.

Good and lasting friendships bloom when you and I are mutually encouraged by each other’s faith (Romans 1:11-12). Therefore, these relationships transcend decades, seasons of life, or favorite pastimes. Forget selecting people who are like you, or even your same age. Some of the dearest friends God has ordained for you may be thirty years older than you or the same number of years younger.

Remember, you are not alone in your loneliness. Ask God to prepare your future friends as He prepares you to be women who mutually encourage each other’s faith as you experience life together.

☕️💙 more of my pondering

Last August, I was really weak but Greg pushed my walker to the patio of Jennifer Marie where she had graciously offered her home and pool for Luke’s birthday party.

I watched with gratitude and tears in my eyes as my daughter, Kateley Lyons mingled with her friends- some decades older, some her age – all showing great love and understanding and kinship for each other.

I watched as one friend helped my granddaughter, and another one grabbed towels and yet another one walked over to include me all while looking out for each other and all the children.

My Momma heart almost exploded with love because Kateley was the one hurt the most by the crumbling of the circle and it’s taken her years and years to find friends again.

In the same way, I’m opening my heart up again- stepping outside the walls and setting up the table of hospitality to see what and who God will bring to me.

I am not confined by age, or hobbies or similarities. Instead I’m looking at those that I can be myself with and become all God wants me to be.

I have a handful of 3 a.m friends that I can text and know they get it…. I have friends I pray for and I know they pray for me.

I’m writing this while wrapped in the prayer shawl that was handmade by Janet Mary Rozdil Moltzan, one of my decade older friends that has spoken words of wisdom that are etched into my soul.
I find myself drawing love and laughter from my decades younger friend, Jay Elle Pugh.. who just gets me and we share the same name and an easy kinship.

I’m friends with some people that others don’t think I should be and so is Greg but I’ve learned a few things the hard way and that’s that God uses every person and every thing for His purpose and His Glory.

I know that if the circle hadn’t crumbled, I wouldn’t be the woman I am now and this woman I am is becoming who God wants me to become

Broken open and poured out, overflowing with love and grace and maybe, just maybe sitting around a turquoise table sharing Jesus and Mema

It’s taken me long enough.. I’m opening the door. Come on in , pull up a seat, let’s see if we are meant to be.

☕️💙

Morning Glories and Simple Words

There’s something on my mind and it seems like writing is the best thing I can do to let it all out.

A few days ago, I walked outside to go to work and saw this morning glory growing outside the rock boundaries and I just smiled and took the picture.

Morning Glories are one of my favorite flowers. I love the way they open up to greet the day and how they seem to keep on coming back in unexpected places…they never give up.

That’s kinda how I feel about my life…I’m never giving up or giving in.

A few weeks ago. Greg went to BJJ with Luke and Riven and I decided to go to The Rustic Warehouse next door . There was a steep incline and then a gravel lot to cross but River grabbed my hands and said,” We don’t give up!” and so we walked in through the back loading dock and all over the place and then when it was time to check out, the store had internet issues so we had to wait.
By the time we got out, Greg had left to run to Lowe’s for parts and so Riven and I stood outside, talking and waiting.

And it dawned on me that this was precious time and I was doing something that I couldn’t have done a few months ago.

Climb an incline. Walk across gravel. Stand and wait.

Simple things that I used to take for granted but I don’t anymore,

Like Morning Glories that grow in unlikely places, finding strength to do simple things becomes extraordinary.

And extraordinary things are actually so simple, really.

During this past year, as I’ve been trying my hardest to regain strength and balance and clarity, I’ve came to realize some things.

There’s been people that have continued to come to me for bodywork even when I could barely stand without falling. These people believed in me and encouraged me so much.
When I saw their names pop up on my schedule, it was like a gift, a standing round of applause, a pat on the back and so much more.

One guy sent me texts every so often with just these simple words “ One Day At A Time”
and he kept coming to me m because he knew that each session I would be a little bit stronger.

Another guy has been coming to me since 09 and there was a day when he looked at me and shook his head and almost carried me down the stairs into Laura Bjeles car so she could drive me home.

He didn’t give up on me and as I’ve gotten stronger again, I feel him cheering me on every time he sees me.

This is some of the things that make all the difference in the world.

The texts, the appointments, the words and the support.

There’s been days when I wondered if I could keep my business running while I wasn’t at my best and the people that showed up for sessions, showed me that I could.

They didn’t give up…I wouldn’t give up.

So here I am…. Making new goals for my body, new plans for my business, new intentions for my family.

After a busy weekend, I cleared out my buffet and restocked it with arts and crafts supplies after realizing I really needed more things for the kids to create with when they are over.

Simple as that.

It’s time to let go of the old things that doubted me and kept waiting “ for a better time” instead of sticking with me through the dark days and believing in the best to come .

God has been making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert one day at a time, one step at a time,

writingmyheartout #jeannasoul#rockwallbodyandsoulmassage #BecauseOfJesus #trainlikealegend

Morning Glories and Simple Words

There’s something on my mind and it seems like writing is the best thing I can do to let it all out.

A few days ago, I walked outside to go to work and saw this morning glory growing outside the rock boundaries and I just smiled and took the picture.

Morning Glories are one of my favorite flowers. I love the way they open up to greet the day and how they seem to keep on coming back in unexpected places…they never give up.

That’s kinda how I feel about my life…I’m never giving up or giving in.

A few weeks ago. Greg went to BJJ with Luke and Riven and I decided to go to The Rustic Warehouse next door . There was a steep incline and then a gravel lot to cross but River grabbed my hands and said,” We don’t give up!” and so we walked in through the back loading dock and all over the place and then when it was time to check out, the store had internet issues so we had to wait.
By the time we got out, Greg had left to run to Lowe’s for parts and so Riven and I stood outside, talking and waiting.

And it dawned on me that this was precious time and I was doing something that I couldn’t have done a few months ago.

Climb an incline. Walk across gravel. Stand and wait.

Simple things that I used to take for granted but I don’t anymore,

Like Morning Glories that grow in unlikely places, finding strength to do simple things becomes extraordinary.

And extraordinary things are actually so simple, really.

During this past year, as I’ve been trying my hardest to regain strength and balance and clarity, I’ve came to realize some things.

There’s been people that have continued to come to me for bodywork even when I could barely stand without falling. These people believed in me and encouraged me so much.
When I saw their names pop up on my schedule, it was like a gift, a standing round of applause, a pat on the back and so much more.

One guy sent me texts every so often with just these simple words “ One Day At A Time”
and he kept coming to me m because he knew that each session I would be a little bit stronger.

Another guy has been coming to me since 09 and there was a day when he looked at me and shook his head and almost carried me down the stairs into Laura Bjeles car so she could drive me home.

He didn’t give up on me and as I’ve gotten stronger again, I feel him cheering me on every time he sees me.

This is some of the things that make all the difference in the world.

The texts, the appointments, the words and the support.

There’s been days when I wondered if I could keep my business running while I wasn’t at my best and the people that showed up for sessions, showed me that I could.

They didn’t give up…I wouldn’t give up.

So here I am…. Making new goals for my body, new plans for my business, new intentions for my family.

After a busy weekend, I cleared out my buffet and restocked it with arts and crafts supplies after realizing I really needed more things for the kids to create with when they are over.

Simple as that.

It’s time to let go of the old things that doubted me and kept waiting “ for a better time” instead of sticking with me through the dark days and believing in the best to come .

God has been making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert one day at a time, one step at a time,

writingmyheartout #jeannasoul#rockwallbodyandsoulmassage #BecauseOfJesus #trainlikealegend

Morning Glories and Simple Words

There’s something on my mind and it seems like writing is the best thing I can do to let it all out.

A few days ago, I walked outside to go to work and saw this morning glory growing outside the rock boundaries and I just smiled and took the picture.

Morning Glories are one of my favorite flowers. I love the way they open up to greet the day and how they seem to keep on coming back in unexpected places…they never give up.

That’s kinda how I feel about my life…I’m never giving up or giving in.

A few weeks ago. Greg went to BJJ with Luke and Riven and I decided to go to The Rustic Warehouse next door . There was a steep incline and then a gravel lot to cross but River grabbed my hands and said,” We don’t give up!” and so we walked in through the back loading dock and all over the place and then when it was time to check out, the store had internet issues so we had to wait.
By the time we got out, Greg had left to run to Lowe’s for parts and so Riven and I stood outside, talking and waiting.

And it dawned on me that this was precious time and I was doing something that I couldn’t have done a few months ago.

Climb an incline. Walk across gravel. Stand and wait.

Simple things that I used to take for granted but I don’t anymore,

Like Morning Glories that grow in unlikely places, finding strength to do simple things becomes extraordinary.

And extraordinary things are actually so simple, really.

During this past year, as I’ve been trying my hardest to regain strength and balance and clarity, I’ve came to realize some things.

There’s been people that have continued to come to me for bodywork even when I could barely stand without falling. These people believed in me and encouraged me so much.
When I saw their names pop up on my schedule, it was like a gift, a standing round of applause, a pat on the back and so much more.

One guy sent me texts every so often with just these simple words “ One Day At A Time”
and he kept coming to me m because he knew that each session I would be a little bit stronger.

Another guy has been coming to me since 09 and there was a day when he looked at me and shook his head and almost carried me down the stairs into Laura Bjeles car so she could drive me home.

He didn’t give up on me and as I’ve gotten stronger again, I feel him cheering me on every time he sees me.

This is some of the things that make all the difference in the world.

The texts, the appointments, the words and the support.

There’s been days when I wondered if I could keep my business running while I wasn’t at my best and the people that showed up for sessions, showed me that I could.

They didn’t give up…I wouldn’t give up.

So here I am…. Making new goals for my body, new plans for my business, new intentions for my family.

After a busy weekend, I cleared out my buffet and restocked it with arts and crafts supplies after realizing I really needed more things for the kids to create with when they are over.

Simple as that.

It’s time to let go of the old things that doubted me and kept waiting “ for a better time” instead of sticking with me through the dark days and believing in the best to come .

God has been making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert one day at a time, one step at a time,

writingmyheartout #jeannasoul#rockwallbodyandsoulmassage #BecauseOfJesus #trainlikealegend

Good morning
When the dew is still
On the roses
And my favorite morning glories
Have yet to open and bloom
I’m wide awake
Sipping my second cup
Of strong coffee
And my heart is filled
Way past the brim
Overflowing
Because I know
There’s beauty in the brokenness
Cracked pitchers
Display flowers
Instead of holding water
Broken tiles
Create mosaics
Old things can be
Restored
Redeemed
Repurposed
Tattered jeans
Still feel good
But most of all
Relationships
Change
Grow
Become
So exquisitely
Beautiful
Over time
When we know
Love
More than ever

Jeanna’ Mead written October 11,2016 7:05 a.m

Remember Who You Are

Last Sunday, I sat at church next to my husband and turned on AVA ( the audio visual app I use) and then I leaned back and waited to hear what the Preacher Man had to say about the first book of Corinthians.

It didn’t take long for his words to shoot straight to my heart because I had just been telling an old friend about a story of my Daddy and this just bought tears to my eyes.

“Who are you?” Here we go….” Remember who you are!”

My Daddy was really my Papa. He raised me from the time I was six months old and although they tried when I was very young I make sure I understood who he was and who I was, it didn’t really make any difference.

I was his and he was mine. It was that simple. I had started out calling him Papa- Daddy but somewhere along the time, he just became my Daddy and I was so proud to be seen with him and associated with him .

That’s what the Preacher Man said about Paul calling out the people and claiming himself- he knew who he was and he was reminding others to be who they are .

We tend to forget that sometimes and we need to be reminded as Christians we have a Heavenly Father that we are known by and known for and we better take that to heart.

That’s one thing my Daddy always said to me-“Jeanna…remember who you are and who I am…. You’re the daughter of Odis Lawrence Johnson….act as if I’m with you because it’ll get back to me when you don’t”

When I was 16, we had gone on another business trip as a family. My Daddy , my Mema and my Momma traveled together during the summer months. Both Mema and my mom had gone to lunch with the other wives so I was left to do whatever I wanted.

I decided that I was going to the hotel pool by myself. So I walked down the halls of the hotel towards the elevator to go to the pool outside of the lobby wearing a bikini without the cover up I was supposed to be wearing. I thought I was too cool and too cute for that and I wanted to show off a little bit .

I got into the elevator feeling quite proud of myself with a magazine,a coke, a towel and that bathing suit cover up tucked into a beach bag.

Then this man stepped into the elevator with me and pushed the buttons and then turned to me and asked, “Aren’t you Mr. Johnson’s daughter?”

I stared at him, knowing full well that he would be telling my Daddy that he saw me on the elevator.

I shook my head, and said “Yes, I am. My name is Jeanna” and then he started telling me stories about how my Daddy has helped him get his first job in the company and how he had been so good to him. Over and over, this man was telling me how lucky he felt to know my Daddy and work for him for so many years and to finally get to meet his daughter.

We missed the floor to the pool and I was feeling nervous as the elevator went back up to the lobby landing. I started to try to juggle the cover up out of the beach bag while reading the man’s lips and trying to appear as if I knew what I was doing.

He said “I guess I made you miss your floor but I just wanted you to know what a great man your Father is”

Just then the elevator doors opened and there’s my Daddy standing with several other businessmen all of them dressed in suits and ties.

I was surprised but I shouldn’t have been. I knew he had meetings on and off all day at the hotel. I knew better but I didn’t do better.

Daddy looked at me and his eyes shot me a warning and I knew good and well that we would have a long talk when he got back to the hotel room.

The man stepped out and motioned to me,” I was just talking to your daughter,Mr Johnson and she’s as as sweet as you said she was.”

I was embarrassed and proud, ashamed of myself for letting my Daddy down yet happy that I was recognized as being his daughter.

I went straight back to the hotel room, skipping the pool because my heart was no longer in It and I didn’t feel quite so cool and cute anymore.

I had let my Daddy down. I knew how to dress and how to behave. He had raised me well and had told me time after time that wherever I go, somebody will know him and I should always be a good representative of him.

After all, I was Odis Lawrence Johnson’s daughter, wasn’t I?

That’s how we are called to live our lives here- as if we are representative of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Our God and Holy Spirit.

Just like my Daddy would remind me that evening when he returned to our room. I didn’t represent him very well on the elevator. I knew that he expected me to be covered until I got to the pool, and I knew that not doing so was disrespectful to him but also to myself. Daddy has instilled in me confidence but also he had also taught me that there was a time and a place for everything.

I had not listened to my Daddy at first but after the conversation with the man I didn’t know and then the talk with Daddy that evening, I knew exactly what I had done and what I would do differently.

Over the years, there’s been times when I’ve forgotten who I was and who I belonged to. I had not acted as if I was the daughter of the King, I hadn’t lived as if the elevator doors would open up and I would find my Heavenly Father standing right there, surprising me.

But here I was, sitting at church again with my husbands arm across my shoulders listening to the Preacher Man remind me that I was created for such a time as this for a good reason- God’s reason- and His grace is all I need.

He’s faithful even when I’m not, He loves me even when I am ashamed of my actions and even when I don’t represent Him very well,oh, how He loves it when He sees an act of kindness, anything done in His name with love and when we talk about how good He’s been to us.

After I became a believer, I wrote my Daddy a long letter and told him that I had came to accept and know God as my Heavenly Father because of who he had been to me.

He had cried reading the letter after first getting on to me for staying at his house so late instead of “going on home to your husband “ but that’s the relationship we had.

Daddy could get on to me and love me to pieces at the same time…that’s just how the Heavenly Father does.

He gets on to us and He loves us so much. No matter what we do, He is still our God and He’s always ready to wrap a cover around us and pull us closer to Him. He covers us with love even when we are ashamed or embarrassed just like He does when we think we are so cool and cute.

We just gotta remember who we are and who we belong to.

My Daddy went to Glory in 1993 and I still live as if he’s going to be right outside the elevator, because I’m still his daughter…just like I’m the daughter of the King.