Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jenna from Down Under

I posted about my youngest daughters trip to Australia about two months ago, and I thought some of you might like and update. Most of her pictures are being posted on her myspace, but she is blogging at Turning Bright in the Sea.

I can hardly believe she has been gone two whole months...we get to keep in touch by a free webcam program called Skype two or three times a week. It has helped this mamma quite a bit to be able to see her as well as hear her voice. It seems like I can read my daughter better that way. She is not a big talker.

She has had an amazing time. She puts it this way, "it is really, really good, and really, really hard." She has had a few moments of homesickness, but not much. Jenna is a very social gal and has made a parcel of friends. What is blessing the socks off of me though is her growth in getting to know her God much deeper with a fuller understanding of who He is.

When I became a Christian at the age of 16, I was the first person in my family to come to know Christ. My experience after I started going to church was such that I found most young people being raised in church not very excited to be there. I was kind of horrified at that. What was wrong with these kids? They had good homes, and grew up in Sunday school. I had never had the blessings of Christian parents growing up. My folks got saved after my sister and I did. I realized down the road that most of these young people raised in church were like 2nd generations Christians and they had a hard time transferring from a faith that their parents believed into actually making it a personal commitment of their own. I prayed hard as a young person for God to help me not raise second generations Christian kids that would fall away from the Lord when they got older, but that they would come to know Jesus Christ intimately and personally for themselves. We ended up being led by God to changed churches to be able to offer our children the best opportunity to do that. Yes, for each one of our kids, we changed churches to find the right youth pastor that would connect with our kids and help them on their way to knowing God. We did all that we could to give them a great foundation as children, but when it came to being teenagers; they all had the need to make the faith of their parents their own. It has been unconventional for sure, others have not always understood. For all three of my kids it has been the right thing to do. I remember simply calling up youth pastors around the city interviewing them to find out how they were running their youth programs. Around here youth pastors don’t usually stay very long in one church, so maybe that was unique to us. I’m not advocating this for everyone else by any means; it was just what was working for us. Now as I am watching and listening to all that Jenna has been learning and all her excitement for God, I am once again assured that all three of my kids do in fact really know Him. This is turning out to be a redefining moment in Jenna's life for God. I am so happy for her and all that God has in store for this beautiful young gal. You can read for yourself her discoveries in getting to know Him more.


nanatrish said...

I so enjoyed reading your blog this morning, as I do often lately. I have a 36 year old daughter that I am praying will get back into church. I know she loves the Lord, but doesn't attend. She sends our granddaughter to a Christian school and makes sure she is always in church, but I wish now I would have been more pro-active like you. Perhaps a stronger youth group would have helped. I was brought up in the church and now realize what a huge blessing it was to have that foundation. I think I just took it for granted for so long. I love your pics and can't wait until I figure out how to get them on my blog. Your family is beautiful!

Nadine said...

She is a precious woman of God. She has such a great smile. Next time you speak to her, tell her I said hi.

Knitting Mania said...

Jenna's updates have been such a blessing to me. I'm so excited to hear her words of excitement and growth over these past two months.

And just look at her in these recent photo's, her smile says it all...and petting a kangaroo, it doesn't get much better than this!


Strider said...

Her blog was really funny this week. I'll be she is having the time of her life.

Barbara said...

I know you are so proud of your daughter. You are blessed.

CIELO said...

What is your daughter doing in Australia? Missionary work, maybe? Anyway, love lovey that garden on your blog banner, it really looks that we are strolling inside a painting... amazing!

lovely day to you


Barbara said...

Forgot to mention. The baby plants you saw were pots of herbs. I have dug out and redone some of my herb garden. I find the herbs just either get too big or get woody if they are not renewed ocasionally.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Very uplifting post. Your mother's heart must be very full right now, of thanks and praise to God for what He has worked in your lovely daughter. I hope to say the same of my daughter; we are Greek Orthodox going way, way back, but I do believe everyone must come to Christ for themselves, really for themselves, conciously and willingly, and with joy in their heart. It takes some maturity to be able to do that.

Blessings to your lovely family!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Your comments about changing churches to accomodate your children's needs hit home. I should've done that, too.

Glad that Jenna is learning more about how to lean on her Heavenly Father and is also meeting new friends.

A Woman Who is: said...

Thanks all for your lovely comments.

I am rejoicing in my King for all He is doing in my daughter’s heart!

Alice said...

What wonderful children you've raised. God bless you. "Really, really good and really, really hard" is just about the best combination anyone can wish for.

The Texican said...

Wonderful testimony. I am encouraged when young folks express a real understanding of God's saving grace through Jesus Christ. Thanks for sharing. Pappy

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