Friday, July 31, 2015

The Path -

Tonight's evening walk with the pup on the golf course path, 
enjoying the comforting sound of crunching sand and gravel, the smells of a neighborhood grilling on a summer night,
 and the sunset spilling light onto the path. 

And I thought that this path we are called to walk would be so hard without friends, 
but even harder without knowing Jesus walked it before us. So thankful He goes before us in all things. 

"I walked a winding path,
it wound 'round trees and brooks,
I walked along in joy and tears,
and sometimes overlooked,
that 'near to me, 
though absent He seemed,
He was not that at all,
and in the journey I have learned,
He trod it first of all." 

Have a beautiful weekend, friends. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

My Project 52 {Week 29} -

{Week 29} Park Avenue at Night ~ July 17, 2015

Have a wonderful Sunday tomorrow!

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Free -

Five Minute Friday -

Today's prompt: Free:

 ~ Go ~ 

I have 5 minutes to write about "free" and I have no words. 

Free is always a feeling, a good feeling. Sure, it's rights and America, and feeling the loss of that sometimes. 

But mostly it's a feeling. 

Windows down, hair whipping and wisping across my face, music playing, driving alone - free. 
Plunging into the ocean and coming up on the other side of a wave - blissful and free. 
Shooting the barrel between a concrete barrier and a semi trailer going 75 and surviving - free. 
Trailing my hand through water while I float in the sea - free. 
Flying 30,000 feet above America in my own happy world - free. 
Writing at my desk, words all for me, just for me - free. 

Free is the opposite word of trapped

Sometimes we can get trapped in the guilt of our sins, the shame and pain bogs us down in the mud. 
We flip back through the mustiness of the pages in the book we've written for ourselves and cry. 

Free is Someone named Jesus taking that book out of your hands, throwing it into a bonfire, leading you to the ocean.....

You take a deep breath, plunge in,
ask for mercy and forgiveness under a wave so blue you can't define,
and then, GASP - up - AIR - bliss! - FREE. 

~ Stop ~ 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

New Smyrna Beach -

 McKenna organized a Beach Day at New Smyrna Beach for yesterday late evening, and let me tell was nothing like what I thought it would be. It was a little windy earlier in the day, so I was pumped for some waves. It's also Summer and July, so....I was expecting hot. Even if it was a little rainy. 


It was FLAT as a lake and COLD as the icebergs melting. Now suddenly I believe in Global Warming. 

It was insane!! I had goosebumps almost the entire time. It was frigid. hahaha. Oh well. At least it was super clear and pretty!! And near the end we did get a few waves. I'm just so used to Playalinda, where it's almost never ever flat. It was freaking Shannon and I out a little "It's flat! It's cold! It's clear! It's flat! There's no waves! HOW. IS. IT. THIS. COLD. It's too cold!" kinda sums up the first hour of us being there. 

I took my GoPro, so here are so perfectly calming pictures of New Smyrna Beach of July with Winter Ice Water. ;) 

Underwater Sky Picture. See the curve and the shirring? :)

Whenever I get a good session of pictures like this, I never regret spending that money to buy my GoPro. 

Underwater Selfwe with Shan!! 

Florida, please don't ever change. 

Summer is better with friends. 

Swim Buddies.

Kirsten! YAY! 

Beautiful. I've missed swimming while the sun sets. 

It was so lovely being with friends at the beach!! 

We ate our packed dinners like good little kids, and then we had some lovely walks on the beach as the sun set and dusk approached. 

Which also involved climbing up in the lifeguard chair because it's too comfy to turn down and the lifeguard had left hours ago and the view is perfect. Plus, let's be honest, adrenaline can help you save anyone. 

"Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part."
~ Hermann Broch ~ 

Summer is a good time, and I love being out in it. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

My Project 52 {Week 28} -

{Week 28} Ponce Inlet, FL ~ Time spent with Shannon last night... it was: Peaceful, Joyfilled, Lovely, Blessed. 

We had a wonderful time together and spent time at the jetty watching the sun set 
and watching the teal waves crash against the rocks in the incoming tide. So peaceful and perfect.

She's one of my dearest friends and I love being with her. Life is so much sweeter with her in it.

And can you believe the true color of that water??!! 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~

Friday, July 10, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Hope -

- Five Minute Friday - 

Today's prompt: Hope:

 ~ Go ~ 

I've been having a lot of conversations lately about Hope. Or lack, thereof. 

It's come up in phone conversations, in FB messages, in text messages. 

It's been a hard hard week for our nation.
It's so easy to get caught up in everything that's happening and feel like America is less and less like America.
It's easy to forget that Jesus is reigning in power. 

But even under all that, or without that....there are the lives that daily thrive on hope. 
Or go quiet in the sadness of lives that seem empty without it. 

I keep thinking of this poem by Emily Dickinson -

"Hope" is the thing with feathers,
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without words,
and never stops at all. 

I've always loved that poem. 

But I've very much felt the pain of darkest moments where Hope has died,
and it's awful, dreadful, and terrible. 
The moments when Hope has flown away and it seemed like Death won.
The most heartbreaking of days. 

Or the days when your little Hope bird seems like it's only flitting around your neighbor's lawn. 
Or a few towns over, your best friend has got a whole bird feeder full of Hope birds, while yours is empty. 
Or the nights when the Hope bird lost its way back to your house in the dark. 
Or the days you look around and realize your Hope bird didn't have room because sorrow pushed it down and it didn't have room to sing. 
Or the days you have a little Hope bird song in your heart but your love's Hope bird has a broken wing.

I know. 

But the little Hope bird does not feed on the seed of feelings, nor does it linger to wait for the words
you utter of what you think of it. It does not thrive upon who you are or what you've done. 

The Hope Bird lives forever on the seeds of Truth and what you cannot SEE. 

It is, after all, HOPE. 

"Now hope does not disappoint, 
because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts 
by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." ~ Romans 5:5 ~

The Hope bird does not disappoint, because the Hope bird doesn't need us. 

The Hope bird was made by Jesus to refresh, refill, rejuvenate, and fill us in abundance of joy
for a tomorrow that was made beautiful by a sacrifice long ago, and a Story that has been written for us. 

A beautiful Story that we can't see yet but the Hope bird sings about. 

Even on the hardest days, Hope is alive, because Jesus is.
Our forever is secure because Jesus is Hope. 

~ Stop ~ 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

My 27th Birthday -

On Sunday, June 28th, 2015, I turned 27!!! 

Like, whoa. Where did the years go. Hahaha. 

It was the day after Libby's wedding, and so I woke up with wedding hair, and felt like I'd been run over multiple times by a milk truck. All that dancing and standing for 14 hours. I kept stiffly moving and groaning and saying "I feel 87 instead of 27!!!". ;) 

It was such a beautiful, relaxing, lovely day. We went to church in the morning, where I was stampeded by my little church friends/children with hugs and well wishes, and for our Sunday School lesson we read our favorite chapters from Job. When I got home, I found they had snuck a Happy Birthday card into my purse. They are the darlingest. 

It was so nice of SpaceX to launch a rocket on my birthday, but then it had the audacity to blow up 2 minutes after liftoff. I SEE HOW IT IS. I sat there in church, giggling with excitement over hearing the rumbling just after worship ended. I really enjoyed how long it lasted, but thought it was super weird and "off" how it rumbled AGAIN and louder. So. That was it blowing up. Fan-tastic. 

Here's my super happy face at all the well-wishes, love, messages, texts, calls, voicemails (Libby & Andrew called FROM THEIR HONEYMOON to say Happy Birthday, what. haha), and sweetness that all my friends and family poured on me. It's such an encouragement to hear people's hearts towards you. I needed it so much!! 

And here's my Birthday present to myself......from myself....from The Vintage Pearl. LOVE IT. 
I mean, Mama & Daddy bought it. I just ordered it and everything. ;) It's a Vintage Spoon Ring! 

Really all I wanted to do on my birthday was spend time swimming and sunning at the beach. 

So that's what I did! Kim & I went together, and met Cam and Becca, and the last hour, Matt.

I hadn't been to the beach the whole month of June because it was so busy, and I can't tell you how my soul was longing for it. It truly is my place of peace, and I love being reminded of how deep, how wide, how forever....Jesus loves us like the ocean. 

It was a perfect day to swim. I took my GoPro and got these shots. Love.

Floating in bliss. 


The view while floating. Mmmmm. 

So beautiful. 

Swimming, flipping, turning, diving, skimming. I love this water world. 

Whitest of white foam. 

I swam by myself and it was lovely.

So clear. 

No words.

Ah, Florida. You are so splendorous. 

Three words of whispered bliss "Thank you, Jesus.".

And that was my beautiful, super sweet day of turning 27! Here's to many more like it. 

Thank you for all the love!!! 

With joy,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day 2015 -

Last night's fireworks at Jackie Robinson Field!!! 

"Whatever form our patriotism takes today, let it be with a deep sense that we are more closely bound to brothers and sisters in Christ in other countries and other cultures than we are to our closest unbelieving compatriot in the fatherland. 

God is our King and His kingdom is our final allegiance. But under that banner, it is right to be thankful that God gave us our land freely, and thankful that people paid a high price to preserve it." ~ John Piper


In other news......Happy National Day of Shame, England. HAHAHAHAA. (never gets old)

~ Jean Marie ~ 

My Project 52 {Week 24-27}

My Project 52 Catchup!!! :D 

Week 24 - A Daytona Tortugas Game with Becs & Cameron on a Friday night. ~ June 13, 2015

Week 25 - The most delicious coffee I've had in years at Seeds Coffee in Birmingham, Alabama. June 19, 2015

Week 26 - Libby's Wedding!! I was so honored to be a bridesmaid, it was the most joyful and sweet of days. June 27, 2015 

Week 27 - My 27th Birthday was the day after the wedding!! I spent the morning in church, getting lots of hugs from friends, and then spent the gorgeous day right where I wanted to be - swimming and floating, and doing just this - grinning up a storm at my favorite place. Love. Peace. June 28, 2015 

With love always, here's to another year! 
~ Jean Marie ~