New Life Resolution

It’s that time again. A new year, a new beginning, a chance to do all those things I planned on doing last year but never quite managed. I don’t make resolutions. I make goals. Because I know me, I see resolutions as a set up for failure. I realize making a goal is the same thing, but I’m big into semantics and goals sounds better to me than resolutions.

I hope it’s safe to say that most of you who read my blabbering know I’m a Christian. Jenster’s Musings, however, is not a Christian blog. Some of my favorite blogs are the ones which encourage me in my walk with Christ; teach me something new about the Bible; show me a side of God I hadn’t seen before; convict me with a truth I’d maybe been ignoring – that sort of thing. Those blogs have a specific purpose and I’m very blessed by them. The intent of this blog is very different.

You don’t have to be a Christian to read my blog. I don’t keep my faith on the down low so as not to offend, nor is it because I’m embarrassed. I have several cyber-friends who are agnostic, atheist, Jewish, and I’m sure a few other things. No doubt we would disagree on a lot of issues, religion most of all. But they feel the same way about so many other things as I do such as family, friends, health, etc., and I value their friendship.

The original purpose of this blog was to keep friends and family apprised of what was going on with us after our move to Pennsylvania. That’s still the main reason I do this, but it’s grown into so much more. It has become my means of talking about breast cancer, what I’ve been through and what my family has been through. Sometimes it’s my own little bit of therapy. But I can’t talk about my battle without talking about my gracious and loving God. It’s not preaching – it’s just that He is such a part of me and my trials. Trying to separate my faith from what I’ve dealt with for the last two-and-a-half years would be like trying to take the eggs out of the cake batter after you’ve mixed it all together. Impossible.

Not for a nano-second will I apologize for “offending” a non-Christian with my God talk. Nor do I usually put a “Warning: Spiritual Discussion” at the beginning of my more personal faith posts. But I wonder if my content is misleading. Do you know I am passionate about God? That I love to worship Him? That I pray about everything and earnestly try to follow His leading? That my relationship with Christ is even more important to me than my family? (I hesitated in writing the last comment because it can be taken the wrong way. I love my husband, my children, and my extended family more than my own life and would gladly do just about anything for them. But I won’t give up my faith for any of them.) Do you know that sometimes when I’m listening to worship music I have to put my hands in the air while I praise God? And that I’ve literally been flat on the floor in prayer, full of despair, my heart in pieces, sobbing with emotional pain only to feel the presence of God and be filled with a joy and gladness that goes beyond explanation? If you only know me through my blog I’m guessing you didn’t know these things.

Sometimes I think I’m less of a Christian for NOT writing about these things on a regular basis if at all. But how many of you would read this blog if that’s all I talked about? The “important” posts I write are not about things of a spiritual nature. Like I said, that’s just a part of my experience and one that cannot be detached from the rest, but breast cancer and everything that goes with it affects people regardless of their religious beliefs.

I don’t want to be mistaken for either a religious zealot or a lukewarm Christian. I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this anymore. I suppose just that the original point of this writing was of a spiritual nature regarding my one New Year’s Resolution. I wanted to convey that, although I don’t talk about my faith on a regular basis, it is my life. And though it is my life and I will not be swayed, I find friendship with and respect for all kinds of people – Christian or not.

There are a lot of things I would like to accomplish in 2008. They all sound suspiciously like resolutions: exercise more; eat healthy; get organized; finish my book; increase my reading; keep my house clean; budget better; pay off bills; save money; up my giving; be more hospitable – **deep breath** – just reading the list is exhausting.

But the one thing I want to be resolute about is getting to know Christ better. I know from personal experience that particular discipline seeps into every aspect of my life. And at the end of the year if I can say I didn’t accomplish anything other than getting to know Christ better, then it was an awesome year.

This was the subject of Sunday’s message and one that continues to be pounded into my head and my heart. Just this morning I was reading through my scripture journal (a notebook full of scripture my friend, Beth, and I used to email to each other when we came across something that spoke to us) and I came across this:

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.

2 Peter 1:3 (The Message)

It’s no coincidence I happened to read this scripture today. God does this all the time. He tells me something, then He tells me again, and then usually one more time just to be sure I got it. I think it means I’m a bit dense.


Just so you don’t think I’ve lost my touch for the irreverent, I’m thinking of asking Jesus for a smaller butt.


I apologize for the disjointed and convoluted nature of this post. Welcome to my mind. :o)


  1. Jaime on January 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Hey there girl,As one of your Jewish cyberfriends, I have never been offended by any of your posts – I can completely understand your connection to your faith, because I share a similar feeling to Judaism that only came about when someone dear to me was diagnosed with breast cancer – in fact, I railed against G-d and my religion for a while, but eventually found solace and comfort in prayer and faith – although many people who know me would be surprised, as I’m not vocal about it. But I would never be offended by reading about someone’s differing religious views/beliefs – I think that’s what makes blogs so cool. 🙂 And for anyone who gets offended by reading about another persons’ beliefs – you don’t need ’em anyway! 🙂 Happy New Year, chica.

  2. radioactive girl on January 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    I just love this post so much. I love that you made all those goals, and I love that you want to ask God for a smaller butt! You are awesome, and I am so glad to have “met” you this year!

  3. Monnik on January 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Jenster, even though you don’t have daily devotion posts or do online bible study with your blog, I think your faith shines through very, very clearly in your writing.The humor, poignancy, storytelling, upbeat attitude and overall feel of this blog is a tribute to your faith. I can tell that faith is your center. And I admire you greatly for it, my dear cyberfriend.

  4. Becky on January 2, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I agree with Monnik…your faith does shine through all you say on your blog…not in an offensive, in-yo-face kind of way, but as you stated, as in integral part of your life, exactly as it should. I enjoy reading your blog for the honest look at life’s trials, the funny musings you include, your interesting adventures and food critic journalism, and for your personality and sense of humor. It’s all a very enjoyable ‘package deal’.God Bless Your New Year, Jenster! P.S. I may have to ask for a smaller butt, too, lol! Especially after all the dadgum shortbread I consumed this year.

  5. Sherry on January 2, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    JMO..but since it’s your blog you get to talk about whatever you want!! If that’s religion or your relationship with God..that’s what it will be. If another day you talk about your big behind (LOL!) or your frankenboobies…that’s good too. Blogging is journalling and I hope everyone who journals write for themselves…not for the audience. You have to be true to who you are always.The person that you are always comes through..what you believe, how you live, what’s important to you, so your spiritual/faith based background is going to be there anyway.But I like your commitment to being more directed, walking closer with God in the coming year…and I’d definitely go for requesting the smaller butt…but take a # girlfriend..there’s already a line and there are quite a few of us in front of you!! LOL!!!You are too cool!!

  6. JenniferTX on January 2, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Jen, all I can say is, “Thank you”. Oh, and, “You rock!” And maybe, “I wanna be like you when I grow up”. *grin*See? You’ve left me speechless. LOLHugs,Jennifer

  7. Jan Jaffe on January 2, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Sorry Jen I had a spelling error so I deleted. That was me.Anyway Take a look at this blogThis is why people love you :)If I can be half as much of an inspiration to people that you areI will have accomplished something.As Jennifer in TX said Thanks J.J.

  8. Pokey Puppy on January 2, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I totally agree with jamie. If they are offended by what you write you don’t need them. The whole reason we read other peoples blogs is to get a glimpse into their lives, loves, minds, everyday. And you aren’t complete without your god. And my god. And you don’t have to be a walking billboard every second of every day to be a good Christian. I firmly believe that.

  9. Gretchen on January 2, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    I feel just as it appears you do, Jenster…I don’t want to scare off anyone, but my faith is my faith, whether I choose to post about it or not. I think the thing with goals or resolutions for us Christian gals is this: how can God not be involved if we want to succeed in them and in our faith? Very cool post. In fact, you have inspired me to do a post I was a bit shy about, but as Sherry so aptly said above: it’s my journal, so people can go away if they don’t like what they see. You are an incredible writer, and such an encourager to all who read your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine and giving such a sweet cyber hug. Wish we lived nearer, so we could do a Starbucks run together. 🙂 Blessings and health this year and always, my friend.

  10. beans on January 2, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    🙂 :)Thanks for the reminder of what it is all about . . .in such an honest way. It has been a blessing to me to feel like I have met someone new at church, and I smile when I see you and read your wise posts-even if they are irreverent. I suspect God appreciates it–and may even grant you a smaller butt.Be well friend-and good luck and best wishes on your goals. You can do anything you set your mind to, one day at a keep listening to “Word of God speak” over and over tonight . .you know that song? Fabulous . . “The last thing I need is to be heard, but to hear what you would say–word of god speak, would you pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see your majesty. To be still and know you’re in this place. Please let me stay and rest in your holiness-word of god speak.

  11. Heather on January 3, 2008 at 12:55 am

    I think getting to know God better is a FABULOUS resolution. You go girl! That’s probably one of the best resolutions I’ve heard. I need to add it to MY list.

  12. Stacy~ on January 3, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Jen, I think your faith is evident in your posts, and since this is your blog, you can write about whatever you want to. No one knows what it’s like to be you, to have walked the path you’ve walked, and because of it are a stronger person. I find you to be honest, even when it’s hard, loving, generous, and funny. I come here because you inspire me. You make me laugh. You teach me things all the time. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. I admire that you are so strong in your faith and are not afraid to speak up about it. You are distinctively and uniquely Jenster, and we love you for it.

  13. Lisa on January 3, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Sometimes you faith shows not in what you say, but how you say it. Your blog is a wonderful example of this. I love the honesty in your posts. That’s what keeps me coming back! :o)

  14. Lynilu on January 3, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Sherry, I’ve written a response that is very long. I’m sending it directly to you, simply so I don’t clog up so much space on the blog, but if you want to publish any or all of it, I’m perfectly OK with that. It says nothing that I wouldn’t say here, if I could just do it more briefly1This is a marvelous post, BTW.

  15. Jodi_Lee on January 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Well, while you’re asking Him for a smaller butt, will you ask him for a cure to cellulite, too? Something very inexpensive that does NOT require needles…or diet & exercise. Thanks!No, I know what you are saying. I am one of your Christian friends and I know that your beliefs & faith are very important to you. So, if you are wondering if you convey these things even though you do not focus on them solely – yes maam, you do, in such a beautiful and refreshing way. By reading your posts and your views, one might actually think it is cool to be a Christian! LOL

  16. Jenster on January 3, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Jaime – And for anyone who gets offended by reading about another persons’ beliefs – you don’t need ’em anyway! THANK YOU! :o)Tori – I’m so glad to have “met” you this year, too!Monnik – You’re going to give me the big head!!Becky – food critic journalism LOL!! Thank you, friend.Sherry – I’m thinking if God created the universe, surely he can remove all the large rears at one time!Jennifer – You’re speechless?? LOL!! And I don’t think you can be me when you grow up because you’re taller than me. And you don’t need God to get rid of your butt. :o) xoxoJan – You will probably never know just how many people you inspire. I bet there’s a ton of them!Pokey Puppy – I firmly believe that, too. :o) (Good to see you, Girl!)Gretchen – The first time I visited your blog and read I strive to live as a fruit of the Spirit, rather than as a religious nut, I knew you would be my friend forever. I’m looking very forward to your post. I’ll probably be drinking a Starbuck’s while I read it!!Beans – That song always chokes me up. And just for the record, my butt isn’t any small today. :o(Heather – I love your list!!Stacy – Your comments always make me feel all warm and mushy inside. :o)Lisa – Well since I want you to keep coming back I’ll keep being honest. Even when it shows what a dweeb I am! lolLynilu – I’ve already responded, but I will tell you again here how much I appreciate your email. I’ve kept it and may end up posting some of it. It was very encouraging.Jodi_Lee – YOU ARE SO FUNNY!!! I’ll see what I can do about the cellulite thing. :o)By reading your posts and your views, one might actually think it is cool to be a Christian! Well it is!! :o) HUGS!

  17. Slackermommy on January 3, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    This is one of many things I love about you. I do know your faith in God and I appreciate that you can share your faith without preaching. For me, my faith is a personal journey. I occasionally write about my faith and prayer on my blog but like you I don’t preach. Just like I don’t tell new people I meet on the street that I’m a Christian I don’t feel a need to blare it on my blog. I love the diversity of my readers and I fear that I’ll lose that if I get too heavy on my faith. Great post. This is something I’ve also comptemplated with my blog.

  18. The Daily "B" on January 3, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Amen! What else is there to say? I loved this post. I understand where your coming from. I can tell in your post that you have a relationship with God even if His name is not mentioned. I do hope that He gives you a smaller beeeeehind this year! I may just ask Him to do the same for me. =)Happy New Year, Jenster!

  19. Been There, Done That on January 3, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog, but my daughter Deborah mentions you alot. I enjoyed reading your blog and I believe God is trying to tell us something regarding this coming year. It’s not the resolutions that we make that gets His attention, but it’s our hearts acknowleging that God is the key. You and I agree that it’s goals and committment, not “mouth resolutions”, but if we live 2008 committed 100% to know God, we are winners, and 2008 will be a greater year. Thanks for sharing your heart amd being honest.

  20. His Girl on January 3, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    beautiful, honest, lovely post…every time I think I like you as much as a person could like a blogger,you do something like this…you are incredible. praise the Lord for who you are, what you write, and how you share.

  21. Mrs. Bingley on January 3, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    WOW!(I have also heard Deborah mention your blog before.) I loved your post! You just wrote everything I was thinking. I also didn’t want to set resolutions because I know myself too, so I set goals as well.I also ask myself the same questions too. Great post, thank you for sharing that with us and thank you for being so honest. Happy New Year! ~Sonia (mrs.bingley)

  22. Dee on January 3, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I love the disjointed/convoluted nature of this post. And in all honesty, I never understand why other people are ‘offended’ by somebody elses religion or spirituality if/when it doesn’t really effect them. You are your own person and if you believe in something then it is real to you, and anyone who isn’t you should respect that. I don’t know if that really makes sense but it sounded good in my head. Basically, the condensed version would be, just because you believe in something and somebody doesn’t, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a mutual respect and understanding between you. And if anybody disagrees with you, that’s their right, but that doesn’t mean they have to be disrespectful or label you as a religious fanatic or whatever just because your opinions differ. Oy, so not making sense. Okay so I will stop now. I look forward to reading your blog and getting to know you and your mind. I hope you had a safe and happy new year!

  23. Jenster on January 3, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Slackermommy – I’m so glad to know others think the same way I do. Could be why we all like each other. LOLDeb – I’m glad you can see it. It’s one of those things I know, but I sometimes wonder if others can see it. :o)Deb’s Mom – Exactly!! BTW – I thoroughly enjoyed your maiden post. His Girl – You’re making me blush. *g*Sonia – (I love your screen name!) Thank you so much for visiting. I’ll have to check out your blog. (Deb gets props for being my rep – lol) Isn’t it funny how the word “resolutions” mess us up?Dee – So glad you came for a visit! I’ll be checking out your blog soon. Very cute avitar, BTW.You made perfect sense to me. And I always say, “oy”! Also, disjointed and convoluted is what I do best. :o)

  24. Dee on January 3, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    *blushes* Thanks! Nothing like a big ole mug covering your face to scream ‘I am SO cute’ right? <- sarcasm of course. :)I love it! The ‘oy’ similarity is just one of the things I think we will come to find that we have in common.

  25. Gretchen on January 3, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Oh, I forgot!Dear Jesus, if you get to it, could you please give Jenster a smaller butt. I mean I think hers is fine just the way it is, but you know how she can be. Thank You for a sense of humor, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.xxxooogretchen

  26. Kellan on January 3, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    “I’m asking God for a smaller butt” – that was funny!!I really liked your post – I’m a Christian too and often think some of these same thoughts. I think you just put God first and out there and he has to be very proud of you for all that you have said. Take care. Kellan

  27. Dev on January 4, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Awesome post, Jen. And I have to ditto what just about everyone else says. This is your blog ~ you can talk about whatever you want to. I come here for inspiration, laughter, friendship, and faith. Nothing’s better than that.

  28. Tom on January 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    There must be something in the air… I wrote about some of the same things a week or so ago on my own site. Just popping in to say hi. “Hi.” 🙂

  29. Jenster on January 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Dee – I think you’re probably right. :O)Gretchen – Thank you, my dear!! I feel it shrinking right now! Or maybe it’s just because it’s cold and numb.Kellan – I agree. Dev – Aw, thanks! :o)Tom – Thanks for the visit. I’ll be off to read your common themes soon.

  30. Shauna on January 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    LOL! I frequently ask God to make the ‘calories not count.’As I was reading this post I couldn’t help chuckling. I was laying in bed Saturday night (well, actually it was technically around 1:00 a.m Sunday morning) and I was trying to think and pray about what God might want me to share during Sunday morning worship. I was laying there thinking I really don’t like making ‘resolutions.’ I’m not a very ambitious person and although I would love to lose a few pounds (okay, more than a few) I also know I probably won’t expend the will power to accomplish such a task. And then I got to thinking about all the goals I would like to reach but are beyond my control. That’s when it hit me that the one thing I could control is my walk with God. I can choose to draw closer each day, to take the time to commune with Him, to read His word and to listen for His ‘still small voice.’Anyways, your post echoed that it made me smile. Thanks!

  31. Shauna on January 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Forgot to mention I LOVE THE COFFEE PICTURE!! That looks like one yummy cappuccino! P.S. I got an espresso/cappuccino maker for Christmas. And books. I’m in HEAVEN! I was actually enjoying a cappuccino while reading your post. 😉

  32. Cmommy on January 4, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Hands in the air, flat on the floor….I am right there with you. Last night, I filled the iPod with worship music for my hubby and was completely blessed in the process. (2 new faves: “Thine Is the Kingdom” by Parachute Band and “I Belong” by Kathryn Scott)You have good goals 🙂 hugs, C

  33. CindyS on January 5, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I love reading about your beliefs. I don’t go to church, wasn’t raised in one and was never told what to believe. And yet I found God very young so how did I even know he was there? I’m thinking it was during one of my fetal position panic attacks in a bathroom somewhere in my past (maybe I was 7) that I started praying (begging ;)).Footprints was probably the first thing I ever knew about God (other than what was told to us about Christmas and Easter) and for me it has always said it all. I think I’m also the prime proof that the answer to a pray can be no (and most often was – because a plague never hit and I never fainted before dinner so that a doctor would tell my family that I couldn’t eat dinner with them anymore).My brain is very liberal and I accept that people who believe in a greater power, whatever they may call him/her, are striving for the same thing. If anything your post has moved me closer to the idea that I would like to know the Bible more. Not so much the church (cause I don’t mesh well) but about what it is that was said. I keep thinking I need a ‘real word’ Bible but I don’t like the idea of the book being interpreted. I would rather read the original and find the meaning – since I also interpret different than others I find different meanings.And finally, I think I’m quiet about my beliefs because they are extremely intimate. No one knows me better, no one knows my deepest darkest thoughts more than God. He’s been in the bathroom on that floor with me, he’s been in that restaurant as I struggle not to get up and run, and he’s been there when I’m alone and terrified and sometimes I’m afraid to let anyone come in between me and Him. Does that make sense?CindyS

  34. Swishy on January 5, 2008 at 2:52 am

    Everybody else has said it all! I guess that’s what happens when you’re No. 34 🙂 You are wonderful! Happy New Year!

  35. Sing4joy on January 5, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Love this post. Came looking for a certain story about Lake Perris and have been waylaid by your musings. I was confronted with these questions myself during my trip home for the holidays (my parents are not Christians)”Do you know that I only play/sing Christian music? Does that offend you?” “Do you think it’s dumb that the kids and I went to church BEFORE we went to Sea World?”… and, “How much of me am I willing to put aside to make you comfortable?” Thank God that He is bigger than me! I’ll keep checking back for the happy story I am waiting for – btw – I confirmed that Lake Perris is still there, although my Mom tells me that it is half-drained for some sort of sanitizing attempt (total hearsay)

  36. Chrysalis Angel on January 5, 2008 at 10:15 am

    What a beautiful blog you have here. I hope you don’t mind my popping in.I thought I’d share one of my favorite with you: John 11:4.May you have a blessed new year!

  37. cubmommy on January 5, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I love that you said goals instead of resolutions. I do the same thing. I make goals for the year. On my list is to do a daily devotional for myself and one with my husband. We have lived in our town for a year so now we are going to make finding a church a priority. I think your blog is great and everyone above has said it all. You are refreshing!

  38. Jenster on January 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Shauna – Great minds and all that! Not just on spirtchal matters, but on coffee, too. lolcmommy – I’m going to have to look up those songs! I love finding new ones. :o)Cindy – Not going to say much here because I sent you that really long email. lolSwishy – I don’t think I’ve ever had a #34 before!!Sing4Joy – Yeah. Where’s the balance between just living what you believe and becoming preachy?As for Lake Perris, I was kind of hoping you girls had forgotten! :o)Chrysalis Angel – Thanks for stopping by! I love the whole story about Lazarus.Cubmommy – Thank you. :o) Oy! Finding a good church can be so difficult! Blessings to you as you look!

  39. His Girl on January 5, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    SO did not forget about the lake perris story 🙂

  40. Eileen on January 6, 2008 at 1:08 am

    I loved this post so much. I love that you are never afraid to be who you are, your honesty is so beautiful. Your strong Christian faith always shines through in your posts, like a light in a very dark place. It is one of the many reasons I love your blog so much. I am a Christian too, and I see God’s blessings all around me. Just about every where I look. So never hesitate to write about your faith and your wonderful relationship with God.XOXOX

  41. Lori on January 6, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Just coming back online – Happy new year! Great post! As one of your Jewish cyber-friends, I’m never offended by your posts. I think it’s fabulous that someone can be so connected to their faith and share that love with others in such a non-offensive manner. I find it quite uplifting and inspiring. Your posts about your faith always make me remember why I feel connected to God and why I feel my own desire to pass my religion and my faith down to my own children. So you’re right – you should never feel like you should apologize or hide your faith. Glory in it, show it off and embrace it. It makes the rest of us remember why we embrace ours, too – whatever it may be.

  42. April on January 8, 2008 at 8:14 am

    I think you know where I stand here. I love your writing and I am encouraged by your posts often. I am resolved to know Christ better too friend. Thanks for the post.

  43. April on January 8, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I just saw a few blurbs regarding Lake Perris. Could you please fill me in here? I LIVE RIGHT below the south dam of Lake Perris…I can literally look out my bedroom window and there it is. Sorry for asking Jen since you are wanting people to forget but don’t you think I should be in-the-know since i am a devoted reader and live so close to the Lake? And yes, I can assure you Lake Perris is still there “for now”, half drained as the south dam is compromised. Wish the owners told us before we moved in. Anyway, I am waiting with bated breath for a good Lake Perris story.

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