When Valentine’s Day Expectations Trip You Up

I have a sweet treat for you! My daughter-in-law Caroline is joining us for Java today. She’s talking about Valentine’s Day – the expectations and the reality. She’s a 20-something with a great perspective that will encourage and challenge you.

Valentine’s Day in elementary school rocked. Back then the only downside was creating the Valentine’s box. Every year I tried to make these outlandish boxes that inevitably failed, and then my dad would come to the rescue and do damage control on my box super-late the night before Valentine’s Day.

Garland lights on wooden rustic background. Valentine's day background with hearts. The concept of love and Valentine's day.

How Sweet It Is- Fresh Grounded Faith Highlights, Belleville, IL

I was just in one of the sweetest places on the planet!  And, I don’t say that just because of the 1000 women I met in Belleville, Illinois this past weekend.  I also say this because Belleville is where, in 1869, a certain candy was born.  Guess which one? Here is probably the only hint you need: President Ronald Reagan loved this itty-bitty burst of sweetness. Yep, you got it…Jelly Bellies! Jelly Belly jelly beans were invented in Belleville, Illinois by a young candy maker named Gustav Goelitz over one hundred years ago.

PicMonkey Collage

Click here for the complete album on my Facebook page. Thank you to Clair Alynn and Mandi Gummels for the beautiful photos!

How This Blind Writer Writes

I lost my sight as a teenager in 1980. And, that was just before computers began to be everywhere and for everyone. But as I went off to college, even though there were computers available at my university, this blind young woman couldn’t access them. I couldn’t type yet and they couldn’t talk yet so computers just weren’t an option.

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You Are Not the Only One

I sat on the front row in the church and listened to another speaker — my friend – and thought, Why can’t I get it together like she has it together? My best effort is like pond scum compared to her worst effort!

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I had just presented a message before she did and I would present another message when she was finished. And, I didn’t want to stand on that stage and speak again; I wanted to shrink into the seat cushion because I felt totally incompetent and unnecessary at that moment. And then I felt shame for feeling that way at that moment!

But, here’s the thing. It wasn’t just at that moment I felt that way.  That moment describes lots of moments for me!

Reducing Heart Clutter

My friend Alicia is joining us for Java today!  No coffee for her, though — her mug is filled with steaming hot tea!

Dr. Alicia Britt Chole is a speaker and author. Whether spoken or written, her messages hit you in both head and heart and are like grace-filled surgeries. She and her husband, Dr. Barry J. Chole, direct a prayer retreat home called Rivendell and parent their three children in the Ozarks of Missouri where the stars shine brightly and their dogs bark loudly.

I asked her to share with you — us — about how to declutter our hearts so we can start off this new year with more of Jesus and less of our issues! Okay? Okay!

To learn more about  my friend Alicia and her newest book, 40 Days of Decrease, visit www.aliciachole.com and www.40fasts.com.

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Your Favorite Blog Posts from 2015

Can I just tell you how much I appreciate you hanging out with me on my blog and having “Java with Jennifer” this past year?! You dear readers are the best!

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And, you let me know by your comments and shares which blogs filled your cup, or lit your fire, or… well… put simply, which blogs were your favorites!

Noel Is There Somewhere

I had just unswaddled — is that a word?!?! — all the members of the nativity set. They were each wrapped in crinkled tissue paper… all crammed together in a box from the past year.   As I unpacked, I found a wise man’s foot jammed into a shepherd’s nose; Mary’s veiled head shoved under Joseph’s arm pit; a camel’s hoof wedged into a lamb’s mouth!

It was funny to think that this motley crew coming out of my Rubbermaid tub was about to stand tall on my mantel!

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