Thursday, November 30, 2006


The problem with sleeping all day is that now I can't go to sleep. It's 1:36 am, and I am WIDE AWAKE.

Won't 8am work be so fun?

jackie lea

personal day

Today I took the day off of work and stayed home. I HAD plans: sleep in, take care of my broken camera, go Christmas shopping.

Instead, I slept.

I slept in, then read a book in bed, then showered and went back to sleep because I had a headache. I got up at about 5pm. I feel like a lazy bum, but I don't think I should feel that way.

Tomorrow it's back to work, Saturday coffee with Des, Sunday decorating the house with the roomies, Monday a new Bible study maybe, Tuesday SoDak Christmas party, Wednesday Ashley comes to visit! Hooray!

I should go to Target now. I haven't left the house yet today, and it's 6:24pm.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This Book

wizard of oz Posted by Picasa

This book is pretty awesome. The pop-up features in it are incredible. Yes, some of you might already think I'm joking around, but I'm not. I've been fairly smitten by/fascinated with this book since I first saw it, maybe a year ago.

Tonight I sat down with it in Barnes and Noble, thinking that maybe if I truly examined it, it would lose its power over me and I wouldn't need Momma to buy it for me for Christmas.

I think I won. Although I still love the book.

Intricate pop-up books are so clever. Who THINKS of these ideas? This book has the wizard's HOT AIR BALLOON pop up in it ... and it's made out of cardboard. Awesome.

Do you all think I'm crazy now?


Tuesday, November 28, 2006


blogging makes me sad when i don't know if anyone is reading my posts.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Little bit of this, little of that ...

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Me, Brother, Sister on Thanksgiving Day. We had a blast.

I feel like I have a billion things I could write about these past 5 days! I'll try to be brief. And interesting.

Went home, taught Kevy how to do laundry, and we had a good talk. He is sooooooooooooo great. I just love-love-love him! And we watched last Monday's episode of Prison Break. Hooray!

Also discovered that I had a flat tire.

Thanksgiving and sister's bday. We were super lazy and enjoyed each other, ate pizza and Oreos, and watched the Cowboys kick butt. See photos below.

Kristin asked me what my favorite story from the Bible is, and I thought about it and told her (aside from the GOSPEL!), I love the story about Cornelius and Peter, and how "God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life" (Acts 11:18b).

Kevin fixed my flat tire. Phew!

Returned to the Cities and spent the afternoon with eir. We went to see The Fountain. It was awful. Weird. Sad. I think America will love it. When it was over, I looked at eir and said, "I am so glad that Jesus is real."

Slept in! Hooray! Read my book (To a God Unknown by Steinbeck). Spent the night at eir's house.

Did anyone know that she had a huge crush on O-Town's Ashley Angel when she was in 9th grade? She actually MET him, and he kissed her on the cheek! HAHAHA LOVE IT! She had a sign that read, "Ashley, will you be my angel?" I loooooooove it.

Went to church with Lana and eir and then to lunch at Noodles. Later tonight eir and I are going to Vespers, but for now, I am chilling with my computer in front of the couch, with The Chronicles of Narnia on.

Yay! Life is so lovely.

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At one point during the football game, Kevin jumped up (happily!) and smacked the light (accidentally), which knocked out the electricity in the entire room (and house?). We had to replace that lightbulb.

Sister's Bithday

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She turned 22, but we only had one "2" candle, so we put a "2," an astronaut, and a tree on her brownies. She liked them.

Especially the little space guy.

Pound it -- explode it

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How 'bout them Cowboys?!

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I was born into a diehard Dallas family, FYI.

My parents invited Tom Landry to their wedding.

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Notice the score! Final: 38-10 Cowboys!!!!


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This lovely little lady was at Panera a couple of weeks ago when Eir brought Katie to visit Minnesota. Isn't she GREAT????

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cutie Posted by Picasa

La Casita

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Doesn't this mural look like the man is hurting the woman in the background?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hooray! It's Thanksgiving!

Happy Thankgiving, dear loves!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

... and the parents

yes, i love my parents too.

momma is hilarious and NOT your typical mom. she's also not your typical "not-your-typical-mom" mom. if that made sense. she is like a song-and-dance mom. she loves Jesus and is daily in the Word of God. she is the woman who -- while a frightened, 1st-grade jackie lea shared about the scary "Bloody Mary" lady who lived in the elementary school's bathroom mirrors -- put ketchup on her face, turned around with a knife, and said, "IIIII am Bloody Mary!" I cried. It was great. HAHAHA. (Don't worry: terrifying her children is not her forte; loving them is.)

dad is WEIRD. tommy sklicks. he has his own made-up vocabulary that seems pretty natural to us now. he's kinda spacey sometimes, but he's fantastic with numbers and is my financial advisor (he has plans to make me a millionaire, hee hee). he is a man of prayer; it is a normal sight to see my dad on his knees. he loves Disney World, saving money, and Secretariat, the champion racehorse. he loves car races and his (awesome) card collection and his family.

so that's the family. since i "introduced" brother and sister yesterday, today you get momma and dad. altogether, the sommers crew of 5 has a lot of fun together.

we are definitely not a normal family.

i like that.

Monday, November 20, 2006

i love my siblings

i am excited to hang out with kristin and kevin for thanksgiving.

momma and daddy are going to missouri, but brother and sister and i are chilling out in kimball, watching the parade, and eating pizza.

i am proud of my sibs.

kristin is a lovely young woman who loves the Lord and is growing in Him. she is very loving and cares a LOT about keeping family traditions. kristin and i can watch "The Sound of Music" and almost straight QUOTE it together. she is training to be an underwriter at Preferred Credit Union in St. Cloud.

kevy is a freshman at Itasca Community College. he is a CHARMING boy who loves Jesus and who quickly earned the nickname "Preacherboy" at college. he is a wildland firefighting major, loves Bible camp the way i do, read his Bible at his high school, and is Mr. Cool.

they are wonderful.

ooooooooooh i LOVE them!!!

i can't wait to relax with these two in the family room in our pajamas, watching the Macy's parade, and eating junkfood. kristin will probably make us say what we're thankful for ABOUT each other, and we'll do it, of course.

one more thing: we all call each other "brother" and "sister" -- which can be confusing only when kevin is speaking. :-)

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! they are GREAT!!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I have gone to the same church for TWO Sundays in a row -- after "church shopping" for weeks! I am really excited about the church I visited this morning and last Sunday.

Things I like about it:
* Leadership that has graduated from a variety of different colleges -- Bethel, Trinity International, Crown, and Northwestern.
* A worship leader who is not overbearing.
* Medium-sized.
* Large span of ages: there are kids and families (the children's choir sang today! cuuuuute!), college students (mostly Bethel and NWC, I think), people MY age, and older folks.
* They seem very outreach focused!
* Seems like a church where the leadership welcomes the congregation's ideas and passions.
* Rob and Lila, the married couple who sat by me, introduced me personally to the senior pastor. They were all very kind.

Just thought I'd share the exciting news! Please, PLEASE pray that I would end up at North Haven only if that is what the Lord desires for me at this time!

jackie lea

Saturday, November 18, 2006

mmm ...

I didn't feel well this morning, so I cancelled my plans for the day.

I ate some lunch, started a fire in the fireplace (thanks Duraflame!), and fell asleep on the papasan chair for a large portion of the afternoon.

It was wonderful.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I love books.

Just finished:
Walking From East to West by Ravi Zacharias

Currently reading:
Jesus Among Other Gods
by Ravi Zacharias

On my nightstand:
Holy Bible
The Green Earth: Poems of Creation
by Luci Shaw
On Writing by Stephen King
Traveling Light by Eugene Peterson
Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC by Frederick Buechner

Beside my bed:
To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck
The Magnificent Defeat by Frederick Buechner
The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter
Traveling Light by Max Lucado

In my travel bag:
Once on a Time
by A.A. Milne
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
TrueFaced by Thrall, McNicol, and Lynch
Transformed into Fire by Judith Hougen
Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Favorites on my shelf:
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Singer Trilogy by Calvin Miller
The Chronicles of Narnia and also the space trilogy by C.S. Lewis

Favorite NOT on my shelf:
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Oh sigh. Yay literature.

What is YOUR favorite, blog world?

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Right now, I feel upset with two boys.

1) Jim from The Office. If you watched tonight, you know what I mean.
2) An unnamed boy. Who is great. Most of the time.

The end.

I am going to go have a pity-party with Pam now. ;-)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I just finished Walking from East to West by Ravi Zacharias, and it was SO GOOD.

I will share parts of it here on my blog later, so stay tuned! And go to your local library and check it out.

Go now. :-)


Anyone out there reading my blog?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Oldie but Goodie ...

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lb Posted by Picasa
(Most of these pictures are from

You might already know that I love/LOVE windmills ... and I'm not talking about your little Dutch lawn decoration windmills. I mean those monstrosities that suddenly overtake the landscape with their cartwheels and dare you to look away.

They are so PROUD ... and so CREEPY.

And I've loved them since we were first introduced in 2001. Windmills, I am still your friend.

lb Posted by Picasa

lb Posted by Picasa

wm Posted by Picasa

wm Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 13, 2006


"And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground."

Luke 22:44 NASB

Sunday, November 12, 2006

ooooh yeah

mmmbop Posted by Picasa

Zac Hanson is now my facebook friend.

Of MMMBop fame.

You SHOULD be jealous.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

GET REAL (my chapel message)

Modified for my blog readers (and to protect the privacy of friends we have in common!). Also, please note that the writing is different because it is a TALK, not a PAPER (for you picky folk out there who will want to correct me on things ... shhh, you.)

I want to tell you a story about something that I was blessed to experience this summer at camp, at a week of 9th and 10th grade camp. It will serve as a good introduction to what I really want to share with you this morning.

I’m going to tell you a kind of secret this morning. I get really nervous to speak. It’s true. I even get nervous for the nervous FEELING. BUT! – when I am up in front of a crowd like this, I’m not nervous anymore. I get into my message and sharing and the flow, and the nerves get replaced.

That was not true this summer at camp. This summer, I was so nervous I felt like puking, and I felt pretty nervous all the way through and even CRIED near the end.

That was because this summer at camp, my message was about myself, my testimony, my story, and there is HUGE vulnerability in that!

So I stood in front of my entire camp during Fireside, the last portion of the daily schedule, where the whole camp gathers together in an old wooden lodge, and there’s a beautiful fire going in the fireplace. I shared with them that I suffer from an anxiety disorder called obsessive-compulsive disorder (or OCD). I was really, REALLY scared to tell people this because I wasn’t sure how they would react or what they would think of me. But I wanted the campers to feel free to open up to me about the things they were facing in their lives, and what better invitation than to step up and be the FIRST to share?

Almost immediately after we left fireside, while I was still worried about how the campers might respond, a young man asked if he could talk to me. Sure! I thought he probably just wanted to ask questions about OCD or thank me for sharing, but what he did was to take me aside and reveal that he too suffered from OCD. [A chunk of this story is removed.]

Today I want to talk to you about being REAL. I think it’s a HUGE topic because I feel like it is something that even if people KNOW, it is not something ACTED ON. I think you’ll agree with me that MANY of the people we encounter each day are – in some way or another – faking it. It could mean lots of different things. The devastation of a life spent hiding is massive, and the freedom of a life lived outloud and honestly is beautiful. Those are the biggest reasons for sharing with you about this today. I have personally gotten to experience some of these truths.

Let’s talk about being fake. We all know people who are fake, and it comes in lots of different forms. Some are people who are performers, who feel they must always be the best at everything or somehow things will all fall apart. Some are people who act like they don’t need anyone else or don’t care when people hurt them – they’re too “tough.” Some are people who have smiles eternally plastered over their faces, people who are always “happy,” always healthy, never tired, never rude, never bored, never bothered, never mistaken, and whose teeth beam sparkly white. Or it might just be a silent sufferer, someone who is dealing with some big issues but doesn’t share them for fear of being labeled “SINNER” and – in some ways – cast out of the circle and rejected. So they continue to stay quiet about their struggles.

I think that happens a lot of times in Christian circles. We are worried what other Christians will think of us if we don’t have our act together. Some people try to cover this up by becoming some kind of spiritual superhero. My college mentor Judy Hougen describes fake Christians this way in her book Transformed Into Fire: “We’re all haunted by some image of the perfect Christian – the person who is rarely ruffled, full of right answers, and tirelessly ‘there’ for everyone. Such people glide through life with a two-inch gap between their feet and the ground. They pray for ten hours a day and can recite the New Testament over coffee. And, most important, they seem to have no needs, no obvious wounds or weakness. They’re always cheerful, never touched by depression, loneliness, or other heavy emotions” (Hougen 139).

A good way to consider this concept is of mask-wearing. MASKS, MASKS, MASKS!!! Hurting or struggling people who put on a mask to cover it up. There are so many different kinds that people wear – “I don’t care” – “I’m not hurt” – “I am self-sufficient.” Robert Ezra Park, a sociologist, said, “It is probably no mere historical accident that the word person, in its first meaning, is a mask. It is rather a recognition of the fact that everyone is always and everywhere, more or less consciously, playing a role.”

Judy Hougen, my college mentor, calls this mask-wearing “living in the ‘false self.’ ” Pretending to be perfect – of performing so that others think you have things together. She writes, “the false self in one person attracts the false self within others” (Hougen 139). WOW. Think about that. The false self in one person attracts the false self within others. It makes so much sense! If I act like a person who has everything all together, why would you want to approach me and tell me that something horrible is going on in your life and these are all the things you are bad at? No – my false self makes YOU want to look the same way. And so my false self draws out yours, and we just keep on saying, “How are you?” “GREAT, and you?” “GREAT!!! More lemonade?” when we actually feel AWFUL.

WHY do we wear masks? Fear. We fear being seen as dumb, vulnerable, left out, friendless, weak. We obviously need greater confidence in Who We Are as Christians. A believer is (according to SCRIPTURE) a child of God, Christ’s friend, redeemed and forgiven, a new creation, God’s workmanship, a member of Christ’s body, reconciled to God, a saint, a citizen of Heaven, and hidden with Christ in God. I think we will be less likely to wear masks the more we learn WHO WE ARE IN JESUS. Scripture, prayer, and experience will fuel that identity. (There are a million more things I could say about that – read your Bibles, friends!)

I would love to watch the Christian community begin to peel off their masks. AND to receive our unmasked brothers and sisters with grace and assist them toward healing. Just listening with grace would be a huge first step of their healing. Listen to this poem I found. The author is unknown, but it has been published in many books. It’s long; I cut some things out. I think it’s wonderful. It might describe you today – or the person sitting beside you.

Don't be fooled by me.Don't be fooled by the face I wear for I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks- masks that I'm afraid to take off and none of them are me.Pretending is an art that's second nature with meI give you the impression that I'm secureThat all is sunny and unruffled with me within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the water's calm and I'm in command, and that I need no one.But don't believe me. Please! I panic at the thought of my weaknesses and fear exposing them.That's why I frantically create my masks to hide behind.They're nonchalant, sophisticated facades to help me pretend, To shield me from the glance that knows.I dislike hiding, honestlyI dislike the superficial game I'm playing, the superficial phony game.I'd really like to be genuine and me. But I need your help, your hand to hold Even though my masks would tell you otherwise That glance from you is the only thing that assures me of what I can't assure myself, that I'm really worth something.But I don't tell you this. I don't dare. I'm afraid to.I'm afraid you'll think less of me, that you'll laugh and your laugh would kill me.I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing, that I'm just no good and you will see this and reject me.So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game With a facade of assurance without And a trembling child within.So begins the parade of masks, The glittering but empty parade of masks, and my life becomes a front.I idly chatter to you in suave tones of surface talk.I tell you everything that's nothing and nothing of what's everything, of what's crying within me.So when I'm going through my routine do not be fooled by what I'm saying Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not sayingHear what I'd like to say but what I can not say. you wonder who I am you shouldn't for I am everyman and everywoman who wears a mask.Don't be fooled by me.At least not by the face I wear.

A cry for help! I love this poem; it smacks of such honesty, and that is so refreshing! I hope this person found someone who listened to his (or her) stories and was able to accept him (or her) and help that person toward healing.

“The false self in one person attracts the false self in others” … I think the direct opposite is also true. Honest sharing from one person draws out honest sharing from another person. My friend Megan says, “Freedom begets freedom,” a shorter way to say the same thing. I think it is very true. Freedom begets freedom. I think that idea is modeled very well in my experience with the young man at camp, who also struggled with OCD, but listen to this story.

After I shared my story at camp, not only did I get to connect with that boy, but the next day, a very tiny, beautiful, soon-to-be 9th grader named Alicia approached me. She was obviously VERY, VERY nervous, like she was going to back out of what she was going to say at any moment. “Hey Jackie,” she said softly, “can I talk to you sometime?” I said absolutely and asked when would work best for her. She wanted some time, so we agreed to talk later. She was potentially so scared and fragile at that moment that she could only draw the courage to ASK to talk, not actually talk. So later that day, we sat down and she shared with me about her struggle with anorexia. She had taken my offer of vulnerability the night before when I shakily shared MY struggles, and decided to be vulnerable with me in return. By the end of the week, this frightened little girl shared her story with the entire camp. She and I were able to develop a special bond that week and have even met up for coffee now that school has started this fall, just to catch up and encourage each other. I emailed her this weekend to make sure it was ok that I shared her story with you, and I asked her how she felt when she shared with me and the camp, and she replied, “When I got up and shared with the camp and you about my struggles it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt free to be the real me and not have to put on a mask or try to be the person who I'm not. At first I felt really nervous and scared but once I started talk[ing] I developed a sense of peace inside of me and I could feel God's presence right there with me.”

You may wonder: does this really affect everybody? I know some people who REALLY do “have it together.” That’s fine; I agree that there are people who are confident in who they are in Christ Jesus and are living in great freedom. But don’t discount a person because you think they have things together. My friend NAME is one of the most JOYFUL people I know. She is beautiful and has a huge heart for youth. When I wondered if everyone had something to share, she was the person I thought probably wouldn’t. She was truly, truly joyful. And she is. I told her that she was the healthiest person I knew. She laughed.

It was much later – this past August – we were talking about this – this chapel message that I was planning to share with students this fall – when I stepped up and shared my story about my OCD. In turn, this lovely young woman broke down and in tears told me about her struggle with binge eating. The experience of taking off our masks with each other and being REAL has bonded me to her in deeper ways than our friendship had ever experienced before.

Being real with Alicia allowed me to establish a deeper friendship with her than I would have otherwise. And my fellow OCD-sufferer! -- what a blessing it is to share OCD stories with him, a friend who GETS it! Together, he and I are even able to LAUGH at the disorder! I would not have this joy without having put myself on the line and sharing my story with him first.

There are other stories! This whole fall has almost been an experiment to me – sharing my own story with others and allowing it to attract that in other people. Sometimes they share; sometimes they don’t. And it’s ok. At camp I was so worried about what people would think, but already, I’m becoming more and more comfortable with sharing. It is good for me, and it is good for others.

So – I encourage you to share with each other! I understand that things are not perfect in this world and that sometimes we get burned by other people. Let’s really quick examine what a Christian community SHOULD look like, according to Scripture.

Ephesians 4:25 says, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” WOW.

Verse 32 says, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you.”

Colossians 3:12-13 says, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 says, “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.”

Let’s share so that we can move toward healing and wholeness. My challenge to you is two-fold. One, let’s get real with EACH OTHER. Let’s be vulnerable with our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus and allow them to be vulnerable with us. Let’s develop a community of grace and forgiveness where people feel free to share. Two, let’s become more grounded in Who God Says We Are. Be in the Bible, folks! Learn about who you are in Jesus Christ. People WILL fail us, and so we must be grounded and strong in our identity.

i am a ...


i have been since high school. for the MOST part, the final product has not suffered.

however, that does not mean that I do not suffer.

for example, AS YOU KNOW, i am speaking for several chapels next week. i have known this for a long time. i am finishing work on the message THIS weekend. go figure.

Lord Jesus, PLEASE speak to the high schoolers next week through me. Please help me to get everything organized and clear. I am Your tool; use my tongue to share Your message. Amen.

Friday, November 10, 2006

good things in my life right now

I have a gracious Savior,
lovely friends,
FUN roommates.
Dro VonWald is my personal friend.
Tom, Ronda, Kristin, Kevy.
I live in MINNESOTA, 70 degrees on Wednesday and one foot of snow on Friday!
The one foot of snow was NOT in the Twin Cities! (Sorry, my Rochester friends ... but hey: snow day!)
Teenagers, campers, students.
I have great memories.
I've had a picnic at the Plummer House.

Oh yes, did I mention it's Friday? :-)

Yay for the weekend!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

productivity, then crash

i had AWESOME high school visits today. so much fun to get to see kiddos that i LOVE. (not that i don't love them all!) but some schools are just so much FUN. maple lake high school, for example.

then back to the office for a bit, read some applications.

then home, target, home, to whit's -- wrote a letter of recommendation and worked on the chapel message a bit. then home again for The Office with trixie.

then CRASH. after coming home again i got no work done. talked to eir online, so of course that was lovely, but where does time GO? i want next week to be over, but i don't want to wish time away.

eir and i were discussing: is the way that humans always look forward to "the next thing" a sign that we don't belong here and will not be satisfied with earth? OR should we struggle and learn to embrace the present moment? OR (most likely) both? :-)

thank You, my Lord, for this time, for NOW. thank You for eternity and thank You for now. amen.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

wednesday evening

I am speaking in 3 Christian high schools next week, plus sharing briefly at a youth group in Fairmont. I am not ready.

I will be speaking about being real with people, living life in the true self, and how when we are honest about our problems with others, they often open up to reveal that their secrets are no so far off from our own. If you have any stories about this that you want to share with me, email me at!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

me before the wedding, looking in on bec's hair-styling process Posted by Picasa

look at those roses!! Posted by Picasa

with the bride!! Posted by Picasa

me and trix with andrew hiding in the tree Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 05, 2006

mr. and mrs. hoage

bec and hoage got married today.


i will have to post wedding photos later.

jackie lea

Friday, November 03, 2006

oh. my. goodness.

so much going on this weekend.

eir is home with her college friend katie. so we hung out tonight and are getting lunch tomorrow with whit.

bec is getting MARRIED on sunday, and i feel so not ready. not for her to be married, but for the actual WEDDING. i feel like there are still a billion things to do.

and i'm getting lunch in edina tomorrow.

i'm a great bridesmaid, huh?


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

i wish

i wish i wrote the way c.s. lewis did.


"great syllables of words that sounded like castles came out of his mouth." from That Hiddeous Strength.

wow. WOW.