Today, I write this article as an eligible Christian bachelorette dating joyfully and faithfully – but that wasn’t always the case. In 2014, I dated, believing that I was ready for marriage and thinking that it was the men who I dated who were the ones responsible for the failed relationships. I came to realize, however, that I was the common denominator and responsible party when they went on to get married and engaged…lol. Life-Coaching And so, 2015 was all about working on myself in the context of relationships: learning how to be open-minded, empathetic, patient, gentle, slow-to-anger – ideally never-to-anger, and learning, simply, that the world does not revolve around Jeanette and everyone has a valid point-of-view that deserves consideration. I learned how to be a better counterpart in all of my relationships and I grew by light years. I owe this progress to my life coach, Patty – I call her my Patty in my pocket – she gave me new eyes and a new life. The Rules And with those new eyes, I re-entered the dating pool. I now knew how to be a good girlfriend – a gracious girlfriend. I was excited. And I achieved some success, but I still felt somewhat out of control – some guys worked out and some didn’t and I didn’t know why one way or the other. I needed a game plan – and I was introduced to and read: the Rules. Or rather, I inhaled the Rules. I read every edition available, typically over 1-2 days each. I had hour-long discussions about it w/ my girlfriend who introduced them to me and we agreed to be “Rules friends,” reaching out to each other for “Rules support.” I marveled at how differently and wrongly I had been dating. My entire approach to dating changed. Time-wasters weeded themselves out as only those who were available, interested, and ready rose to the top. And for the first time, I was enjoying dating. I was having a blast, meeting great men, and enjoying fun dates. Then, I finally met a guy who really rose to the top, making it to date 13. He was treating me right, taking me out, respecting me, adoring me, and just being a wonderful man that I loved spending my time with. But…he didn’t love the Lord. He may have identified with Christianity, but he didn’t live for God – not the way I knew I wanted my future husband to. What had happened? Reckless Love In the midst of this dilemma, a friend of mine introduced me to a sermon series called Reckless Love that answered that question for me: I was idolizing marriage. I was making finding the one more important than being content in God. As a result, I was casting too wide of a net. I was casting a net that would capture men who were ready, available, and interested, yes, but not necessarily men of God. I was making having a relationship more important than having a Godly relationship! My friend divulged to me the difficulties of an unequally yoked relationship and I suddenly saw yield signs that forced me to slow down and pay attention. After watching the Reckless Love sermon series, I re-prioritized my source of love to be God’s love over a man’s love. Additionally, I gained a peace with and even an excitement over my singleness. I saw the opportunity in my single hood. I put on the peace of God and the faith that He would bring my man to me in His best timing. I decided to serve God in my single hood and trust Him with my future mate. And once again, I re-entered the dating scene with new eyes: I dramatically changed my dating profile to reflect how important God was in my life and my future mate. Personally, I vetted men with the criteria that they be, yes, ready, available, and interested, but also, men of God. As a result, my dating pool shrank dramatically in quantity and rose in quality. The Wait During this time, I picked up Devon Franklin and Megan Good’s book: the Wait. In them, I saw a couple who was hot and Hollywood and Christian and had found one another and written a book about waiting on sex and waiting in God and I wanted to hear what they had to say. Reading that book affirmed everything that I had learned from Reckless Love – that our single hood is a wonderful time and we should maximize it to become incredible men and women of God and incredible partners for our future spouses. The Wait affirmed believing in God’s provision of a mate and honoring God with our single, dating, engaged, and married lives. Devon and Megan affirmed waiting until after marriage for sex and living together. They affirmed the importance of a short engagement, getting to marriage, employing pre-marriage counseling, and a host of principles that I believe in. And most importantly, they affirmed the beauty, joy, and fullness of doing it God’s way, as they believe that they are living God’s Plan A lives for them today as a result of their obedience and faith. With all of these tools, I am more open, more ready, more patient, more joyful, and more sure of what I’m looking for and able to offer than ever. I marvel at what a journey it has been. I’ve become an entirely different woman in this game of love and it’s been an evolution like none other. I’m so grateful for all of these tools – they have all played a part in teaching me and I use parts of all of them as I navigate this adventure we call love. If you’re struggling, scratching your head, or have even given up in love or life, the best advice that I can give is: keep the faith and don’t give up. It’s in trying different tools, books, talks that we all aggregate what becomes our approach. I do recommend all of the above that I mentioned, but it may not be the perfect fit or the full fit for you. Regardless, keep trying, keep seeking, keep praying…keep the faith…and you’ll find your way!
I’ve heard many variations of the assurance uttered: “All in God’s timing. God’s timing is perfect. When God annoints it, it will make up for lost time. God’s favor is a multiplier.” Various phrases designed to offer the same assurance: that it’s ok if you’re still waiting on something. Have peace and know that He will work it all out. I never quite understood, however, how exactly that was going to play out in real life – until just recently. And here’s how it works. You don’t worry about the timing. You stay faithful and diligent. You keep working on your craft and you keep walking with God. These two principles practiced concurrently ensure that you are happy and at peace no matter where and no matter what. Years may pass in between dreams that may seem like “lost time” in the natural way of thinking. However, in the supernatural, God moves mountains for you, essentially “making up” for the lost time – lettin’ you “skip da line!” At least that’s exactly how it happened for me, clear as day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Several years, ago, I got the comedy itch. I knew I was funny and I knew I loved standup comedy – so why not do it?! I took a standup class, performed at a few open mics, performed as part of a paid show, earned street cred in the comedy circle, and altogether had a great run as a standup comic under my belt! This time also taught me, however, that making it in this world was brutal: hours spent on the open mic circuit night after night, exploiting friends and mailing lists to bring enough guests to “earn” your time on stage, and of course, the tens of hours of constant generating, writing, & perfecting jokes 24/7. I knew that I was done. I had scratched the itch and was not about to begin a comedy career. Sure, I could do it…I just didn’t want to put in all that time. And so I happily returned to acting and spin instructing, now legitimately adding “comedienne” to my resume! Fast forward 3 years and I’m at church one Sunday hearing that our church is sponsoring a Christian Comedy Show! I immediately meet the producer and chat with her, leaving her with our shared comedy background because I did it for two months several years ago! I emailed her the link to said performance, bought tickets to the show, and set out to support the cause! The day of the show, she calls me and asks that I perform. I was completely caught off guard – I don’t know if I’ve ever been more surprised, actually – and stammered that I was in absolutely no position to perform. She proceeded to insist, saying that it was “ordained by God” and lo and behold, I performed that night and HERE is what God did for me!
- I had an incredible performance, surprising my church (pastors included), when I appeared on stage.
- A producer of another comedy show scouted me at that show.
- The headliner’s manager sought me out after the show as well.
- I was invited to join the the Christmas show lineup for Artistic New Directions, winning over the whole room.
- I performed and hosted with the same Christian Comedy Show two months later (both times at Comic Strip Live).
- I performed in the 6th annual Gospel Comedy Show at Long Island University’s Kumble Theatre the day after Christmas, with my sister, niece, & brother-in-law in the audience.
I pray to rest in peace and assurance that my job is to simply work hard and walk hard [with the Lord] and my path can never be wrong.My path will be intact, my steps will be ordered, and I will always be OK! I want this to encourage you to do the same. God’s promise in the Bible is that He has good and prosperous plans for you! (Jeremiah 29:11). Living like this means that you live without worry or anxiety, just like all of God’s other creatures, knowing that worry will not add a single hour to your life. (Matthew 6:25-34). Living like this means that your priority is putting God first, knowing that this most critical step paves the way for all other things to take care of themselves…ie: all other things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). You will get your dream(s)…and instead of battling for them, they will be gifted to you! You will get the dream career, the dream man, the dream apartment, the dream french bulldog, the dream body. You should insert your own dreams here 😉 Here’s the funny way in which it works sometimes: by walking with God, you have insurance that things will work out, that He will work things out for our good (Romans 8:28). God will either realize this through granting us our very wish as we envision it or by adjusting our vision so that our wish is closer to where we already are. The beauty of this? Contentment, either way. It’s the only way to live in true contentment and thus, the only way to live for me. Follow God’s lead and believe that there is no better way!
Hi guys! This podcast from Michael Hyatt, which I was listening while running on Tuesday, took on new meaning while I was speaking with a friend last night at dinner. In the podcast, Michelle is being interviewed by Michael (which is a role reversal!) about her life’s huge curveballs in the form of cancer and adopting three children! The huge takeaway from this for me, which only took on meaning for me two days later, was that God provides enough manna for the day…and that’s all we need. While Michelle was struggling with her cancer diagnosis, she realized that God got her through it day by day for four years and will continue to do so. Naturally, she wanted more than just one day’s worth of provision. She wanted to see the light at the end of the tunnel already. She wanted complete healing already. She wanted victory over it already. But just like in the Bible, when the Israelites greedily attempted to collect more than what God intended for them to collect for the day (just a day’s worth of sustenance), the rest of it would rot. They needed to trust that God would sustain them the following day all over again. And He did. I realized yesterday that I am in a rush for certain things in my life. But God is growing and preparing me. My foundation is being solidified so that when I expand, I won’t collapse. My friend asked me, “Do you want to grow too fast and then collapse or not be able to handle the growth?” He gave me the example of the Freedom Towers’ construction and how long the laying of the foundation took compared to the building of the rest of the towers. I realized that a slow steady construction is preferable because the subsequent growth will be lasting and sustainable. And so, I will stop looking for the final result to happen today. I will trust that whatever God provides for me today is what I’m supposed to consume and that bit by bit, day by day, promise by promise, I will get to the Promised Land! Can you be grateful to God for giving you manna to conduct your business today, execute your exercise and diet today, pay for things today, extend grace, patience, and joy today? Can you be at peace with one day’s worth of provision rather than attempting to collect for the future? It’s terrifyingly freeing! Amen! PS: Listen and subscribe to the podcast if you want!
I’ve heard and retold many a story of how “God’s timing is perfect.” Of these, there are countless. From how my pastor’s wife waited until forty for marriage to how she miscarried several times to how now, she is the mother of two adopted newborn twin girls with the man of her dreams is one very real example. There is an often-cited anecdote that people use to demonstrate how God may often be “saving you” from something when seemingly causing a delay in your life. ie: that traffic jam that you’re in could be saving you from that accident up ahead. The final idea is-which is something that I’ve really clung to recently-is the idea that you don’t “define God based on your circumstances; you define your circumstances based on God.” One you’ve decided that “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good,” your circumstances are simply an exercise in faith. This is all easy to say, but I know it’s hard and I’ve been through the bleak moments when I’ve wondered myself. But the breakthroughs will come and when they do, you go ahead and record them and blog about them and keep them around because breakthroughs are testimonies. And now I’mma share mine! I just got out of a very bleak time where I felt, in the most scientific of terms, in a schlump. On the heels of heartbreak, my feelings began to snowball to include loneliness, depression, and an overall absence of joy, energy, and purpose. It was bad, ya’ll. I would put on a happy face and happy energy for just long enough to get through teaching a class or completing an audition – and then I would default to sad clown face. Through this time, I prayed, I read, and I learned a lot. But I was still there, in the winter, emotionally. I started to question my career, city of living – everything went under the microscope for examination during this time of unhappiness as I tried to “get to the root.” Some important pieces of background information:
- I’ve always been a commercial actor with no intention of pursuing tv or film acting.
- I’ve always taught fitness classes as a “side hustle” to my commercial acting.
- After my heartbreak, I was shaken enough to receive a friend’s referral to her therapist and have been working with her since.
Nick Vujicic (pronounced ‘voy-chick’) is a remarkable human being. To put it to you bluntly, he was born without limbs – no arms, no legs – just a torso, handsome face, and a little foot that he affectionately refers to as his “chicken wing.” You might expect him to have taken the self-pity road in life because, well, he has every reason to be bitter, feel sorry, shortchanged in life, and down about himself. Instead, however, Nick travels the world, inspiring, encouraging, and spreading God’s message to multitudes, all with a sense of humor, winning smile, and his special hug. It might also be tempting to assume that Nick would be the poster child for a man of God destined to be single, being that he is a missionary and is, well – without limbs. Once again, Nick defies the odds by not only getting married, but getting married and having a child with a beautiful full-bodied woman who admires him and sees his lack of limbs as only noticeable the way someone’s height or weight might be. They write a book together telling both of their stories of their struggles through Christian single-hood, seeking to align God’s will with their hearts’ desires. They then unfold their story, from their first meeting to their dating, marriage, and life as a family of three. You can hear the joy and love in their individual voices as they share the telling of their story and their full satisfaction with God’s leading them to one another. They are honest with their insecurities, blunders, and challenges as well. Ultimately, they wrote this book as an encouragement to singles out there to “hold out for love” and after reading through all 242 pages of encouragement in one evening, their mission had been accomplished on me. I’ll include the primary messages that Nick wants to share with everyone, whether they continue to read the book or not – because it will give you the best test of whether or not you want to read on and because even if you don’t, these messages are enough to lift your heart in these matters of the heart.
- Never give up on love if love is what you want, because God planted that desire in your heart for a purpose
- You are worthy of love because you are the creation of a loving Father
- There is someone who could love you and share your life
- A successful marriage requires reciprocal and unselfish love as well as shared, deep, and lasting commitment
- Parenthood will test your marriage. It will also strengthen your bonds of love, but only if you develop deep empathy and unwavering support for each other by putting your family’s welfare above self interest.
- The “work” of being married is mostly about giving up our naturally self-centered ways and learning day by day to put God first, our spouses and family second, and ourselves third.
- Your marriage, your family, and your home should always be a safe, loving, caring, and comforting place – a refuge from the world and all of its challenges.
You donate. I run. Together, we help Nepal! Please watch this video and help change the world! And then tweet, like, & re-post it please!
This is one that keynote speeches are made from ya’ll, so kick back and prepare to be inspired! So, it’s all self-explanatory in the screen shot here, but I’ll just get you up to speed before you dive in. I went to the Himalayas in August to trek and volunteer at a school. I needed a TON of gear…everything from UV-protecting, sweat-wicking, insect-repelling shirts to energy bars. I came back with some items to return, both in-store and online. One of the sites that I purchased from was Sierra Trading Post. I did not know it at the time, but during my trip, learned that Sierra Trading Post is actually a Christian company! A Christian outdoor/camping gear online retailer?! How does that work, exactly? I was intrigued, impressed, and interested. This little nugget of information made its was back to me while I was chatting w/ customer support about their returns process, which, true to form, is extremely gracious! So, please read below to see how God turned a typical customer support call into a REAL conversation…I think you’ll find it amusing! So, I wasn’t able to capture the next few lines of conversation, during which I explain the method behind my madness, that I have a similar mission here in NY w/ Actors InC. The rep then offered to “forward my comments onto his supervisor for further review” (doncha just love their professionalism!) and I played along, exclaiming, “Sure, connect me with the owner!” Well, be careful what you wish for! Yesterday (about a week later,) I received an e-mail from the founder/owner of Sierra Trading Post. Here are some excerpts from Mr. Keith Richardson! “Dear Jeanette: Thank you for the nice compliments you shared with Sierra Trading Post. It means a lot to me when a customer takes the time to let us know that they appreciate our company. I really appreciate it when a fellow believer writes to me. If you haven’t done so, I invite you to check out the Founder’s story. It gives the rationale behind my business philosophy…Best regards, Keith Richardson, President, Sierra Trading Post” I was stunned. A simple customer service chat had led to this. I think that this story speaks for itself because I can’t even begin to break it down. Be bold. Take chances. Speak your mind and do so respectfully. Be proud of your faith and let it speckle your conversations as you so feel called to. Think big because God is supernatural, meaning he goes beyond what our natural minds might conceive. ie: I may be thinking “this is a fun customer service chat conversation.” God may be thinking, “I’m going to have Jeanette and Keith meet each other.” This is the type of story that you cannot deny God is a part of. And, so, as Francis Chan talks about in his book, Forgotten God, take chances! Chan says, “I love to put myself in situations in which I know that without God, I’ll be screwed.” He acknowledges that such may be strong language for a pastor, but that best expresses how he feels! And do you know why he loves this? Because he wants to be able to say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God was a part of that situation. He wants his life to be a time line chock full of accounts in which God swooped in and worked miracles, moved mountains, and created breakthroughs. A life full of amazing stories that can only be justified by the hand of God? I want that too. Don’t you?! Go get it!
JULY 22, 2011 [transcribed from my travel journal] My journey to Kathmandu: Newark > fly 8 hours to Zurich > layover for 4 hours > fly 7 hours to New Delhi > layover for 8 hours > fly 1 hour to Kathmandu! I’m going to be laying over for almost as long as I will be flying for! What a crap deal! But what can I do? I pushed purchasing the tickets until I had raised the money and even then, my busy schedule forced me to have Danielle purchase my tickets for me! But onward. Today was such a crazy day, even leading up til takeoff. I can’t believe I didn’t even get a chance to breathe until I sat down. I know that I couldn’t have done it without Mom…she totally pulled through for me. She didn’t get critical of me, but just jumped in and started helping. I watched Limitless, Lincoln Lawyer, Just Go With It, and Hall Pass…all pretty good! I’ve really enjoyed my flight. Zurich airport was pretty scenic and so is Delhi; very clean and modern! I think I slept for 2 hours in Zurich, a few hours on the flight to Zurich, and most of the flight to Delhi. I probably got a full night’s sleep and it’s been about 22 hours by now since I first took off. Th e Swiss Air food was impressive. “Snack” was pizza and ice cream and chocolate! And dinner was Indian rice and veggies and potatoes; not shabby at all and piping hot! So, Tish said that I’m going to touch these people and I’m going to grow so much. Josh said I’m in for the adventure of my life. Kal said I’m making a difference in this world. Pastor George has been praying for me. Pastor Adam says this is going to be a great trip for me. Auntie Sandy came out of the blue and supported me, as did Mari and so many others. I’m riding on the wings of all my supporters right now. It’s by God’s grace that I’m even here right now, not having forgotten any crucial items, not having over packed, having slept, eaten, and traveled well. Thank you. Almost there!
Some gems from Pastor Adam Burt this A.M. Thank you for speaking these “words of life!” NEVER RETIRE: You never retire in God’s Kingdom. You just get a new job…your mission remains the same. The statistics on the number of people who actually use their retirement plan is small because they’re pushin’ up daisies too soon after to do so. It’s because we’re intrinsically wired to do things…too long without doing something and you’re disengaging from life. In the same way, when we retire, we are still doing God’s work THE PURPLE AVENGER: At a laser tag game, Pastor Adam was on a team with a 14-year old kid who jumped up on a stage, strapped on a purple headband, and started taking control of the team. He told everyone what they were going to be doing, whether they were his age or 36 and as comical as it was, it worked, and by the end of the night, everyone was frantically asking, “What do I do, Avenger?!” In the same way, Paul, while in prison, was still leading the apostles who were outside of the prison walls. He sent apostles to Ephesus and other cities, told them to take his Bible, and was just still in God’s game. Paul never retired. MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: While watching a certain MMA fight, Adam witnessed the pursuer became the pursued and the final win was sealed when one competitor ran up on the side of the cage and with a powerful kick, knocked his opponent out. In the same way, we are told in I Peter that we are being hunted by Satan, who is stalking us like a lion, hiding in the grass. But we can overcome! THE NAVY SEALS: Pastor Adam goes to San Francisco to minister to the Navy Seals and realized that he would never want to do some of the things they do in training. In one part of their training, they swim underwater until they pass out and then their dive partner will give them oxygen and when they come to consciousness, they’re on the boat. In the same way, we have to do life with people like this. We need “Lukes” who will be there when the times get tough. FACING YOUR FEARS: Once upon a time, a pre-pastor Adam asked Pastor Ron Lewis to be his mentor. Adam expected that he was going to be following Ron around and soaking up great life lessons. But Ron instead, forced Adam to do all this work he didn’t want to do. Stricken with a fear for public speaking, Ron forced Adam to share his testimony before large groups of people! And the one time Adam thought he was “off the hook,” Ron asked him to pray The Prayer for some new believers. Adam said it was a sad display of the Sinner’s Prayer, but he’s so glad that he went through all of that. And he’s an amazing speaker today! SPEAK LIFE & DESTINY: Someone (DL?) once told Pastor Adam that he was going to be an influencer and inspiration to masses. As a young person, hearing this was life-changing and life-giving. But it’s not just kids that need this. Adults are hungry for words of life. So speak life and destiny into people! WANTING HATERS: If you stand for God, you will have haters. The Bible is offensive. If you want everyone to love you, then just be the most agreeable person you can be. But if you want to stand up for something, you will inevitably offend people. And that’s a blessing…the concern exists when someone is too well-liked. Adam had to choose to offend a very key player in his hockey career when he was told to put the Bible down to prevent offending someone. As Adam looked around at some guys “reading” “picture magazines,” he realized that he would have to choose what he wanted to stand for. Luckily Adam did not get traded for his conviction, and God traded that man instead! My recap does Pastor Adam’s messages no justice, as his strength is in his enthusiasm and talent of story-telling. Please check this sermon out when it comes out on podcast or just come to an MSNY service to get a front row seat!