Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Drained, But Still Wanted to Write!

Hello friends,

My blog tonight won't really be one that's super inspirational (or possibly not very intelligent0 since I am EXHAUSTED! This month I haven't been writing as much as usual since school has taken up much of my time and energy, however I felt a little spark of wanting to write tonight, so thought I would write a brief blog on what I've been up to.

For some reason my whole life I have always had to be extremely busy.  I just don't like sitting still!  Well, although it is a good thing to have lots of motivation and accomplish many things, I think this semester I have learned how that can sometimes be very bad!  However, even though my calendar is full to the brim, I don't regret my decision to pack on a lot.  Since I have been growing stronger than ever in my faith with the Lord this year and have been talking with Him and listening for His guidance for what I should do with my life, I feel like I am getting tons of messages from the Lord flooding into me everyday. 

I think maybe I'm feeling so flooded with messages since I'm probably way overdue on listening to His guidance. lol  It's as if I was out of town for years and not able to ever check my email, and then all of a sudden I got back and am trying to sift through everything and figure out how to best apply His guidance to my life and fit His plan for me.  THe main reason I've been taking on a lot is because there are so many ways I want to serve the Lord using the guidance He has so graciously given me.

As I mentioned, I don't regret filling my calendar to the brim, although I am stressed sometimes, I am ulitmately proud for doing God's work and doing everything I am in His name.  Right now, I'm taking 6, 400-level 3 unit classes. One of them is a peer counseling class (which I have taken before and quite enjoyed).  I start my first counseing session with students tomorrow-it will be on positive body image.  I think I am a great counselor, and I think counseling is the path God wants me to go on and I think given my skills, it's the best way for me to do His work.  For another one of my classes, the whole entire class builds up to one BIG research project.  It's sort of like an "undergrad thesis".  We pick any topic we want (it has to apply to Women's studies of course), and we have to do a 20-page research paper then give a 30 minute presentation of our findings in late November.  IF we don't want to do a research paper, we can choose to do something else as long as the amount of work put in is equivalent. 

I wanted to do something different that I could possibly use for my future aspirations of being a counselor.  So, I am going to write a grant proposal for a non-profit women's counseling center.  But rather than having the center use the typical talking-listening approach to solve issues, I want to use a more active approach, for I feel turning an emotional past into something that can help prevent the same to happen to others is much more empowering for the clients and has more closure for their situation.  For example, someone who was a victim of domestic violence would meet a counselor for a couple sessions and the counselor can understand the client's situation a little better and get a feel for their personality.  Then, they would work together to develop an active approach to recovery--for example, the client and the counselor could collaborate together and develop a seminar that is taught to high school boys to teach them about domestic violence in order to help future generations from falling into the same harmful pattern of violence.  As I get further along in the process, I'll write more about it on this blog.

So I have a lot on my plate with that--I'm going to need to do research on the effectiveness of this counseling approach, how it is different from other women's org. in the area, how the grant funds will be distributed, what staff members we need, and lots of other legal aspects.  (THis grant isn't something I'm actually turning into the gov. for funding, it's a "fake" grant-yet has to be in the format for one that would actually be submitted).  I think this "grant" project is going to be great for a portfolio of counseling work!  And I think it'll be a lot of fun :)

I have this Saturday and next off from the Shea Center.  We just finished the summer session, and now me, the horseys, and the other volunteers need a break!  Bet in OCtober I'm back for the fall session!  I'm wanting to also get more experience on the learning therapy aspect of the Center.  (To fill those in who don't know what I'm talking about, the Shea Center is a therapeutic horseback riding center for children with disabilities.  I'm a volunteer there and I assist the counseling staff with mostly physical therapy, but a little bit of cognititve learning too).  I'm glad to have a bit of a break so I can sleep in on Saturday mornings, but I will miss the smell of the barn, Spy (the horse I work with), and of course the wonderful kids!

In two weeks, I'll be starting my 40-hour state required domestic violence training.  I know to most it would sound like a drag, but I want so badly to work with and help victims of domestic violence.  I truly feel it is my calling.  I'm very excited to start, because the sooner I start the closer I am to making a difference in the lives of others! 

I also just began doing a women's Bible study on Seed by Priscilla Shirer.  The purpose of the study is to help you realize how every verse in the Bible is living, and to help you learn how to read Bible verses in a way that helps you figure out how to apply each and everyone to your life so you can better discover yourself and to better serve God.  I'm only two days in, but so far am LOVING it!!!

I'm just so thankful to be able to have so many opportunities in my life to do God's work and to follow His path for me, as well as all the little blessings He places in my life each day!  I'm so thankful that Garrett and I have found a church we love with people we love who love God with us!  I'm also thankful that no matter how hectic each day is, that at the end of it I can feel satisfied knowing I've made God proud, and that in between my busy schedule and bedtime I get to cook dinner with my wonderful husband and cuddle with my adorable kitty! Hehehe  :)



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Much Motivation Needed, Please!

I've always been pretty confident in my work as a student, but ever since this current semester started (it's only been 3 weeks, but I still feel this way!) I've been feeling doubtful in my capabilities to do good work.  Maybe it's senioritis, maybe it's because I'm scared that I coming so close to the end of my undergrad college career since it means I have to have more of a direction with what I want to do with my life.  All I know is that I feel SCARED!

I keep reading the Bible and keep going to church, and I am continuously praying to God to help give me more clear direction.  I've been feeling like I was on the right path with counseling (which I still want to do), however I've been feeling like I'm not smart enough to complete this final year of school.  Garrett of course, tells me that's ridiculous and that I'm very smart, and that I'm just letting my fears get in the way, but I can't help but feel like I'm not cut out to complete such emotionally and academically challenging classes.  What's been scaring me is that if I feel this scared three weeks into my final year, how am I going to get through the 12 remaining weeks of this semester? Or the next semester for that matter? 

I know the best solution is to keep trying my best and to keep praying to God to give me strength and have more faith and confidence in my capabilities, but for the time being I would still love words of encouragement!  Every day I've been looking up various encouraging Bible verses, so if you have some faves, please share them with me!


Friday, September 9, 2011


I've been pretty bad about updating my blog the past few weeks since I had finals for my summer classes, then got married the next week, then started my first week of my fall semester!  So things have been a little crazy.  Although I don't have a whole lot to write about at the moment, I did want to take the time to reflect on a few things.

What has been amazing me since this summer began are all the many ways God has blessed my life.  I normally would focus on the major blessings in my life (i.e. how I'm able to afford school, how I have a loving family, Garrett being in my life, etc.), but I've been fortunate enough to notice the numerous amount of blessings in my life-even the seemingly small ones.  I've been feeling so full of God's love lately, and have been feeling closer than ever to Him!  I have little conversations with him constantly throughout the day, and have been thanking Him for when I notice a blessing in my life, which has been keeping me very happy and optimistic in these hectic times of my life!

Continually thanking Him and talking to Him everyday has been amazing-I now more than every realize He is my best friend.  Even more recently, I've been so thankful to God for blessing mine and Garrett's marriage so much in just the two weeks we've been husband and wife.  We've been financially stable, we've been praying together since we got married a lot more than ever before, we both have loving families, we have a great group of other married couples at church we get to have fun with and enjoy God with, and we have an amazing, very loving relationship with each other!  Something Garrett and I have noticed are in short supply in the world today--especially in SoCal! 

Garrett and I are very excited to experience the upcoming big journeys and changes in our lives, and are also very excited to find out more of what God has planned for our marriage. I have my college graduation coming up in 9 months, Garrett and I are planning on moving to North Idaho after my graduation, and we still have our big wedding celebration with our families next June, too!  Until we get a little closer to going through those big journeys in our lives, in the meantime I'll be taking lots of classes, Garrett will still be going to work at Kaiser, we'll both get to spend time going to church and our church ministry (I'm gong to be part of an upcoming Priscilla Shrier women's Bible study in late Sep), I'm going to be going through the state-required domestic violence counseling training, and Garrett and I will continue to have many Disneyland date-nights!

God Bless!

Love, Jess

Friday, September 2, 2011

Please Help Me Help Others!

As most of you know, I am in my last year of college and am wanting to pursue a career as a counselor (i.e. family counselor, victims of domestic violence, etc.).  One of the first steps in becoming a counselor, as required by the state, is to attend a state-certified 40hrs domestic violence training.  However, the training does cost $200 that I need to try to raise by Sep. 14th.  THere are other training dates next year, but I am wanting to take the soonest possible one so I can start volunteering with victims of domestic violence, as this would be an invaluable experience, and this is an issue that is extremely close to my heart.  Any amount of money to help me towards the $200 would be a huge help, or even positive words of encouragement are always nice! :)  Here's the link to donate:

Once you go to paypal, you can say you're going to donate to "friends and family", and then donate to my email address:  Or, if you know my address you can always send a check to if that preferable.  :) 

Thank you everyone and God bless!