Organized Chaos

Life as an Associate Pastor's wife: community, family and God

A Floridian Thanksgiving November 30, 2011

Filed under: Family,Holidays — Jessi @ 10:53 am

L2R - Savannah, April, J.b., Me and Sierra

2011 has been a year of change for the Whitt family. Our move 800 miles South of WV has been a fairly easy transition, but the holidays make me miss my family back home a bit more than usual. That’s why I was so excited when my sister told me that her and her family would be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with us in Florida. We cooked everything from a turkey breast to homemade rolls to homemade pumpkin pie to deep fried Oreos. Let me tell you…I highly dislike Oreos, except the Golden Oreos they now make, but these were scrumptious. You’ve got to try them!

Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving with the ones you love! And remember, Thanksgiving is not just a one day event. There’s something to be thankful for everyday.

 

Update: WOF Imagine November 9, 2011

Filed under: Friendship,Inspiration,Ministry,Women of Faith — Jessi @ 8:00 am

Women of Faith: Imagine stage and arena full of women

A couple of weekends ago, I had an opportunity to attend Women of Faith: Imagine in Fort Lauderdale. I left my nice camera at home because I didn’t want to have to lug it around so instead I brought a smaller camera that didn’t do as well as I had hoped. I’ll chalk it up to User Error. The main focus of the Imagine conference had to do a lot with overcoming fears and hurts that may be keeping us from living life to its fullest. One speaker in particular, Dr. Henry Cloud, talked a lot about recovery and co-dependency. He told us a story about a dad who came to him and was concerned about his son’s drug and lifestyle “problems”. The dad had been feeding into his son’s behaviors by helping him and saving him at every turn. Henry asked the dad where his son was, and he said, “He’s in Colorado skiing.” Henry told him that his son doesn’t have a problem. The dad had the problem because he was the one taking on the worries of this other person’s bad behaviors. We should be givers, but there comes a point when we have to tell some people NO because we end up becoming co-dependent.

Left to Right: Me, Cathy and Sandy (Photo taken by Karen Bennett - one of the sweet ladies that Sandy introduced me to at the conference)

One really exciting thing for me was that I was able to bring a lady from my church with me to the conference. I had never met her (Sandy) until a few weeks before the trip. She saw my post on Facebook about attending the conference, and she asked if I was going with anyone, and things seemed to fit into place so that she was able to go with me. God works in such cool ways! I was a little nervous about going on a trip with someone that I didn’t know that well, especially because I was afraid that we’d have nothing to talk about. Turns out, I worried for nothing. Sandy introduced me to several ladies she knew from our hometown that were at the event. They welcomed me into their circle with open arms.

I have read a couple of books by the speakers at the event, but I had never heard them in person before. They shared their personal stories with us that make you ache inside, but also make you see that God gives hope and peace amidst the storms. Every story was unique, but one thing remained constant…God’s grace. I admire Angie Smith, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper and Nicole Johnson who boldly shared their stories and allowed God to use them to speak to other women that may be going through a similar situation. I can’t say that I’ve ever faced anything like these ladies have faced, but I know that there are women out there who have. If you’re in a place of fear, worry, anxiety, helplessness, etc. then I think you’ll benefit highly from this conference.

The lovely ladies of MaryMary

And lastly, I can’t forget the worship leaders and MaryMary who did an excellent job leading us in worship to our great God. Music for me is therapy for the soul, and being in an arena full of thousands of women singing praises to God is breathtaking.

Women of Faith is wrapping up it’s 2011 tour this weekend with WOF Imagine in Hartford, Connecticut. If you didn’t get a chance to attend a Women of Faith event this year, no worries. 2012 promises to be another exciting year for WOF with Celebrate, Women of Faith ONE DAY and the revolve TOUR: Dream On.

 

Butterfly in Hiding October 17, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Nature / Landscape,Photography — Jessi @ 12:35 pm
Butterfly in Hiding by jessiwhitt
Butterfly in Hiding, a photo by jessiwhitt on Flickr.

A few weeks ago, I went on a photo walk in Tradition, FL with other photographers in the Port Saint Lucie area. I captured this little beauty by happenstance. I thought the yellow flowers popped next to the greenery so I started snapping away, and when I looked at the digital display on my camera, I happened to see not only beautiful yellow flowers, but also a gorgeous butterfly in hiding. It was camouflaged so well by it’s surroundings that I almost missed it. It wasn’t until my camera zoomed in with it’s telephoto lens that I was able to see a clearer picture. It’s a lot like life. Our vision or thoughts can often become clouded by the hustle and bustle going on around us that we often miss what’s right in front of us. We need to change our perspective. Take a timeout and reflect on God’s goodness. You might just find a butterfly in hiding in the process.

 

Women of Faith: Imagine October 5, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Ministry,Women of Faith — Jessi @ 12:53 pm

At the end of this month, I will be attending my first ever women’s conference… Women of Faith: Imagine in Fort Lauderdale.  I’ve been to many conferences before, but never one for JUST women. I’m really excited and a  bit nervous. Large crowds scare me, and large crowds of women are even more intimidating. I consider myself to be a friendly person, but when it comes to making deep heartfelt connections with other women, they’re few and far between.

So a few things that I’m looking forward to at the Women of Faith conference Oct. 28th – 29th…

1. Connecting with other ladies on a more personal level…possibly producing a lasting friendship.

2. Natalie Grant and Mary Mary…Being led in worship by some very powerful voices from some killer artists!! YES, please!

3. Diving deeper into my faith so that I can more effectively share it with others.

4. Laughing so hard that my face hurts.

5. Speakers…like Angie Smith (writer of the new release What Women Fear), Sheila Walsh, Lucie Swindoll and Lisa Harper, (who’s book, Stumbling Into Grace, I happen to be reading right now).

If you’re going to the WOF conference in Fort Lauderdale, I’d love to meet up with you and connect.

 

31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo September 14, 2011

Filed under: Book Reviews,Inspiration — Jessi @ 8:45 am

Have you lost your blogging mojo, or maybe you’re like me, and never had it, but wish you did? Then, 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo is just the book for you. Bryan Allain combines humor with knowledge that will help you get your mojo back on like Donkey Kong. What is that you said? You can’t possibly find an opening in your schedule to read some self-help book about blogging. No worries, it’s only 101 pages long, and part of that is the table of contents. Plus, you can read at your own pace… 31 seconds for all you speed readers out there or 31 days for the rest of us. At the end of each chapter you’ll find Today’s Mojo Action, which helps you put the knowledge that your brain just soaked up to the test. I’m not sure my review can give justice to all of the awesomeness and humor that Bryan has packed into this book so check it out. You, your blog readers and your momma will thank you. Get the pdf version here or the Kindle Edition here.

*Disclaimer – I received a free pdf of 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo to review, but it in no way, shape or form forced the outcome of my thoughts and opinions above.

 

Baptism on the Beach August 31, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Ministry — Jessi @ 1:23 pm

Pastor Scott baptized this group of new believers. I had never been to a beach baptism... that is until this past Sunday. The setting was gorgeous and a really special moment for everyone involved. It's always a joy to celebrate with new believers and welcome them into the family...God's family.

Romans 6:4 – We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

 

Fresh-Brewed Life: A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul by Nicole Johnson August 18, 2011

Filed under: Book Reviews,Inspiration — Jessi @ 11:09 am

Fresh-Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson is an invitation to wake up your soul in 3 major area of our lives. First to God, then to yourself and lastly to others. This book shows us areas of our lives we are sound asleep, and wakes us up from that deep dark slumber. Nicole shares her journey of living a fresh-brewed life and gives insight on how other women can have that same fullness in their lives.

This book is great for your morning time coffee/tea and devotions. It has a study-guide in the back which is great, especially if you are wanting to make this into a small group study for women. Each chapter has a journal assignment which allows you to think about the topic in that chapter and really get to the heart and soul of living a fresh-brewed life. The journaling takes you out of comfort zone and on an adventure to revive you. This book would be a great gift for any woman who wants to dive deeper into their their relationship with God, themselves and others. This could be a great mother’s day, birthday or thinking of you gift for a special lady in your life that needs a little inspiration to wake up her soul. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”