Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Tribute to Cindy Hunt

This is my darling friend Cindy and her husband Ben. I chose this picture because of her facial expression. This is how I picture this beautiful young lady whom I haven't seen in YEARS.

Let me tell you about Cindy.

Right before my senior year of college began, my roommate from the previous year -- Katie Dean -- and I were teamed up as leaders for an orientation group. We memorized the names of our incoming group of peeps, including one Miss Cynthia Ann Flessert. Turns out that Cynthia was also on my hall -- and did NOT got by Cynthia.

Cindy and I probably started to get to know one another better when I was invited to be a part of her "Anti-Social Social" group. I adored those girls (and continue to love them!).

She is one of my friends who GETS IT. One of my most cherished memories with her is a night in my old apartment when we played a million games of mancala straight while discussing MANY, MANY things. I cried while we played, even. I told her that that was the night that bonded me to her forever.

I said that if you wanted to hear a story about grace, I have one about Cindy, and it's true. She is a friend of mine whom I hurt DEEPLY (for months, unknowingly) and had no excuse and nothing to say except that I was truly sorry and could she forgive me?

Her response (which I still have): "First of all, let me start off by saying that of course I forgive you. I forgive you seventy times seven times. I forgive you a million times."

To which I responded: "Thank you, dear Cindy, for being the best part of my day. I honestly feel your response gives me a picture of Christ's grace."

(I've played this story down, because it actually took days and involved a lot of tears and ANGUISH, actual anguish, not to mention the months of grief I had caused Cindy.)

And doesn't it? I mean, WHO DOES THAT, especially in today's society? You hurt me; I hurt you. MAYBE things will be okay if you give me a good enough excuse, an acceptable reason, something to justify your behavior -- then MAYBE I will be able to move forward.

But I didn't have good excuses or justification for Cindy. So I just asked for her grace, and as you saw above, she extended it a million times over. Remind anyone of a certain Savior we know?

I want to be like that too.

Anyway, since then Cindy and I have been much better at keeping in touch while she is in the Navy, and we are faithful in lifting one another up in prayer. Her and Ben's wedding was in February and in California, and I wasn't even able to be there, sadly. Imagine how EXCITED and BLESSED I was to be asked to be an honorary bridesmaid at her wedding reception in Wisconsin this summer?

Besides the fact that
a) I will get to see my DEAR Cindy for the first time in YEARS, and
b) I will get to meet Ben, her wonderful husband

... I will get to buy a new dress. :-) Thanks for the wonderful excuse, Cindy!

So this post is to honor an important woman in my life -- Cynthia Ann Hunt -- and to let everyone who reads this know how special she is to me.

I actually have a list -- a real, actual, written list -- of friendships I would fight to maintain.

Her name is definitely on it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

so many great things

1) salvation. eternal life, knowing Jesus Christ.

2) amazing family and friends.

3) moving into great new house with lovely roomies like trixie, linds, and des.

4) MULTIPLE church families (wonderful ones!).

5) NWC will reimburse me for 50% of my grad school tuition.

6) i love my job.

7) i have a writing group.

8) wonderful ministry and teaching opportunities in my life.

9) i feel like i should list ten things, and i am saving one for the end ...

10) I AM AN HONORARY BRIDESMAID FOR MY DEAR FRIEND CINDY!!!! (the short story: Cindy and her husband Ben are both in the Navy, and they fell in love quickly and had to marry quickly otherwise, with Ben's promotion, it would be illegal for them to date, so they got married last month in California, and lots of people didn't get to be there, including me, and they are having a reception this summer in Wisconsin, and I GET TO BE AN HONORARY BRIDESMAID THERE.) How awesome is that? I am SO honored and blessed. If you want to hear a story about grace, I'll tell you one about Cindy.

there you go, folks. now list me things you love about YOUR life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


looooong drive back to the cities, but i'm back now.

i can't believe it's only wednesday.

i miss people.

i am incredibly tired.

jackie lea

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

i love my life

last night i had dinner with 7 admitted students (plus one late applicant) and coffee with 2 young ladies whom i LOVE (caitlyn and heather), and today i saw bret magnuson at SDSU and had dinner with 4 admits in watertown.


needless to say, i'm exhausted.

i'd appreciate your prayers for my head. i love my Lord so very much; unfortunately, my OCD (and perhaps Satan) was trying to steal some of my joy tonight.

i struggle still with legalism and with orders and procedures, and what i really want is to say and MEAN, "Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, Lord God of truth" (Psalms).

i am so very excited to sleep.

thank you, dear comment-posters. i AM glad to know you're reading!

i'll give you more details about the house as they come. for now, know that we have mailed our application and that i am very pumped about living there and being roomies with desiree! i am very excited to continue living with my dear roommates tricia and lindsey too. :-)

boy, i'd appreciate prayers for my head.

jackie lea the OCD bee

Monday, March 26, 2007



me, tricia, linds, and des.

i am thrilled; i really am.

another reminder of God's faithfulness.

amen and amen.

p.s. i really am SO excited!

Sunday, March 25, 2007


the house.

tricia, des, and i are about 100% sure of moving to the new brighton house next year. lindsey is still up in the air, but she visits the house tomorrow morning. please, please pray that she will love it (if that is what God wants). i feel fairly confident that it will be my home next year.

things have just been working out so flowingly that i feel i am seeing God's hand in the events. i don't want to speak too soon, but ... as i said, i'm pretty confident it will be my home next year.

time out.

i want to stop and say how great my God is. i don't even know what words to use. but He is outstanding. He is hilarious and my favorite and eternal and creative and ... I'm still not hitting the word that describes the way I'm feeling.

He is just so FUN and LOVELY. how BLESSED i am to know Him.

big time out.

just stop for a second and consider how amazing it is that we are even ABLE to know God -- or ALLOWED to know God.

i am working on a poem about this -- the irony, the oddity -- it's in VERY early stages, but it seems appropriate to share right now:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

Am I the only one to notice the way
the low orange moon is trying to walk the streets of Minneapolis
as if it were not the least peculiar for it to window shop on Nicollet Mall?
When the sky is brown instead of black, my senses are up,
but why can’t they see how strange this is,
a full satellite waiting at a stoplight, wishing for a bagel?

Holiness networking with profanity.
Magnificent absurdity, the whole of it: God putting on
skin and walking with liars. A King born in a stable.
God cooking breakfast.

... ok, I repeat: VERY EARLY STAGES. There is so much more to be said about the peculiarity of the Gospel.

Anyone else amazed that God dwelt among men?

Saturday, March 24, 2007


the workshop went great.

the house stuff seems to be coming along.

please continue to pray!

i go to sodak monday.

i sure am tired.


Thursday, March 22, 2007


Soooooooo ... Des, Trixie, and I visited the New Brighton house ...

we are falling in love ...

pictures follow.

I am praying about this. We would be paying more for a smaller space, BUT there are lots of reasons for going.
1) The Lodge might all fall apart soon anyway.
2) We won't have to deal with Arden Hills parking/other weird rules.
3) We won't have to deal with shady landlords (these are Christians and one is a general contractor).
4) It is nicer ... I feel like I want something nicer at this stage of my life.

Beyond that, there is the potential that I could live with Lindsey, Tricia, and Des ... I imagine being in that cute house with them, and I LOVE the idea.


Whatever that is. And I hope that I am content in whatever it is.

Check out these pics ...

room 2

Originally uploaded by jarujav.
the walls were a deep, rich red ... i picture lindsey in this room ...

room 2

Originally uploaded by jarujav.
des scurrying out of the pic.

room 3

Originally uploaded by jarujav.
iiiiiiiiiiiiitty-bitty room. des would take this'un.


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
adorable and bigger than ours now. they just put in new countertops, so the paint is being redone, and that's why the oven is moved.

room 4

Originally uploaded by jarujav.
ummm ... not done yet, obviously

room 1

Originally uploaded by jarujav.
my fav!

living room

Originally uploaded by jarujav.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

multiple items

1) I hope this makes your day:

2) Just today I talked to three people who read my blog (sister, whitty, and eir) who do not comment. It gives me the strength to carry on with my posting, knowing there are readers somewhere out there. Beneath the pale moonlight.

3) Tonight whit and eir and i were supposed to plan our fellowship workshop. Let's see ... we ate brownies, watched American Idol, watched High School Musical, and practiced the dance from HSM to "We're All in This Together." We are NERDS.

4) Really excited to check out the New Brighton house tomorrow! I would be ALL for moving back to Newbs.

5) I love my friends. New quotes: "Have you ever heard of murder?" and "Would Clanzy like a chicago-style dental care road sign in their pants?" Don't ask. I repeat: I love my friends.

Monday, March 19, 2007

does anyone care to see my poem as it develops?


Flawless teeth break the skin of Eden’s taboo fruit,
and Adam’s clock begins, the first click as distinct as a snap
made by the grieving fingers of God.

Transience is a root-canal realization: breathtaking and terrible.
A rush: tight skin releasing, the rip of heated shame, the
strange new spray on the brow, all following
the defiant handshake with mortality.

A climax of terror, real and swelling, and the vague promise
of death, but the word has no meaning, and yet Eve fears – but wait.
Her stomach is mottled with odd disappointment
when mysterious death is delayed.

It’s nicer to imagine a barefoot Father strolling on the grass,
hands behind his back while leaning to smell a sweet marigold,
a small smile resting on his lips as he surveys his own creation,
than to picture what sadness must have hung like a weighty pendulum
from His heart as He called, “Where are you?” to the hiding man and wife,
knowing full well that they were soiled and ashamed, and that it had begun.
The cool of the day lost magical pleasantries as darkness truly fell.

Fitted in fur garments of some friend’s sacrifice and adjusting to life
beyond garden boundaries, the couple stops to consider:
was it really that bad? Wasn’t it only just fruit? Decay seems so natural now.
Puzzled, Adam sometimes wanders alone to Eden’s eastern border,
studies that continually flaming sword, and marvels at the extreme gate:
is this really necessary?

Her name suits her well, this mother of two. Eve laughs again
as she watches the boys play together; there is something of the
Garden to them. Innocence, purity, joy. She remembers it vaguely,
but she has little time for daydreams with Cain and Abel’s urgent needs.
And why does she need daydreams, with Cain and Abel in her arms?

Cain, we are both well aware of the field where your brother lies dead;
his is the first of many gurgling atrocities to call to Me from the earth.
The bitter taste of blood is on the soil’s tongue; it will not answer you.

So this is death.
Stunned at the discovery, Adam is speechless as the word without meaning
is defined by a bleeding body in a field and a guilty son, wandering in Nod.
His silence is profound; unlike his wife, he has no thoughts now. Indeed
she sobs with acute realization: Adam, it was we who began this.

So that's it, so far. It will go through another critique soon with my WRITING GROUP! (I love having a writing group!) I'm working on some other things as well, but my blog readers don't seem to be avid comment-posters.

My self-esteem is fed by blog comments. Please feed my self-esteem, people. :-)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

so i'm working on the template ...

and messing it up, but TRYING to be creative. and TRYING to work with html code. haha.

soooooooooo ... housing is still up in the air, even after our discussion with the landlord today. now i'm in this weird limbo where i think i could stay, but i'm not sure i want to anymore! isn't that crazy?! in just one week!

hmmm. pray like crazy for me, folks! not sure what will happen!

... and that's kind of exciting!


how i love Him.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

exciting news

i think that i am becoming more confident in Who God Says I Am. Also in the things I am doing, the ministry I actively pursue.

It is good to feel this way.

General Update

busy!!! traveled for work this past week, nowhere exotic, but lots of fun. spoke for the AEFC youth group on Wednesday, i love those kiddos. eir is home! nwc spring break is almost over (hooray! i miss the peeps!)

this week.
hanging out with eir today. lunch with elly, a youth group girlie tomorrow. then viewing a townhome (see post below). wednesday coffee with eir and des!!! thursday youth group. friday-saturday: teen convention with my old youth group ... and eir and whit and i are teaching a workshop there.

teen convention.
workshop is about fellowship. we haven't begun to plan. it was kind of a last-minute thing that we agreed to do. i love the opportunities in our lives!

i feel in love right now. with my Savior who holds me. and with the amazing man who will someday be my husband and push me even closer to our Savior.

the pursuit of happiness.
happiness pursues ME. i have a fantastic life, even with all the chaos, OCD, and stress involved.

AND ...


I AM DEBT-FREE!!!!! i paid off my student loans yesterday!!!!!

grad school? youth ministry leadership? huntington? only thoughts.

i'd love to hear from you, friends.

For those who care ... the housing situation

Here's the email I sent to my dear friend Desiree the other day. It will explain what's going on with our housing.

Hello wonderful Desiree!

I miss you, and I mean it! It's crazy how quickly you have escalating into being one of my favorite people. :-) I hope that you are having a wonderful break in South Dakota, and that the weather in Hot Springs is super nice. HOWEVER, if you return with a tan, our friendship might be strained. It snowed here tonight. I do not get Minnesota weather.

I appreciate your prayers so much; I admire your devotion to prayer, Des.

Here's the deal. I'll make it concise, although it started last JULY.

July 06: we get a notice from the city of Arden Hills saying that we are only allowed to have four cars in our driveway (a bit difficult with 8 vehicles!). We freak out, but our landlord says no problem, don't worry about it.

December 06: we get a second notice from the city. Landlord says no worries, working on it. Not a big deal.

March 07:
Sunday: we get a third notice from the city. They are serious and will issue citations if we have more than four vehicles in the driveway starting Monday, March 19th. I talk to one of our landlords (who was fixing something at our house). THIS NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH. CALL THE CITY TOMORROW AND THEN CALL ME. I wasn't super worried because the landlords seemed calm about the whole thing.

Monday: crap hits the fan. The landlord calls the city and ... there's no way around it. Sorry, four cars in the driveway. So we can put two in our garage and 4 in the driveway, but we have to do a workaround temporary thing with two cars til we figure things out.

(Monday also includes jackie lea laying the SMACK DOWN with the landlord.)

Now: we are waiting to see what is going to happen. It seems pretty clear that only 6 people can live in this house from here on out, but if the landlords don't decrease the rent, then we might have to move.

I love the house, but I'm open to other things.

I've been sharing Bible verses with my students lately from 2 Chronicles 20 and from the Psalms. The first has people wanting to make war on the king of Judah and he basically says to God, "We are helpless against this great multitude. Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." And in Psalms, it says, "I will counsel you with My eye upon you." What an amazing complement the two are! Our eyes are on God, and His eye is on us. As believers, we should feel so cradled and secure in that.

During this ordeal, I am trying to trust God and hold on to those verses. I don't want to just tell my prospective students to trust God and then not do the same myself. I think that He is making me more comfortable and okay (and even excited!) about the possibilities that might come from this! How exciting is that!!!!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS. Please don't stop!

Rather overwhelming, eh?

And yet, God's eye is upon us. I want to keep mine on Him.

I love you, Des. Keep praying!!! About our housing stuff (Karin's in Guatemala and has no idea any of this is even happening!), and about your housing stuff, and about Haley's housing stuff, and altogether, that God's perfect will would be done in our lives.

You know what? He sure is good. And I do trust that He will work things out.

Love you lots and see you soon!
jackie lea

Monday, March 12, 2007


Oh my goodness, PLEASE PRAY about our living situation. Craziness has happened, and we don't know what's going to happen within the next week or so.

PLEASE PRAY. I know God has a plan, and I want to RELAX and rest in His sovereignty. I just feel so sickish and nervous about what's going to happen. I don't want to move out.

Please pray for the situation and for ME to trust my Heavenly Father.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Native Minnesotan

Today was about 50 degrees ... so I rolled my car windows down.

This evening felt so warm, I had to change clothes.

It's 43 degrees right now, and I don't think I can sleep under my comforter. Too hot.

I love Minnesota. I really do.

And for your enjoyment ...
What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

The West
The Midland
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What'>">What American accent do you have?
Quiz'>">Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Youth Group

One week later ... the photos of my youth group peeps.

Aren't they precious??! :-)


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Awwww! So cute and sweet.


Originally uploaded by jarujav.


Originally uploaded by jarujav.


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Lookin' a little shady!!

Corey and Andy

Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Ask Corey what he learned in 7th grade.


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Wants to be a pilot. :-)


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Sure is!


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
So cute!


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
How cute is SHE?!!


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Not smiling.

Natalie and Zach

Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Natz making Zach smile ...


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Finally smiling!


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Khaki-Pants Andy, that is.


Originally uploaded by jarujav.
Reminds me of Wes!


junk with the city of arden hills and our landlords. please pray. ugh, i feel sickish.

thank you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007

i had fun!

of course.

the kiddos are great. stay tuned for pics of them!

Friday, March 02, 2007

this weekend

i am on a retreat with the north haven youth group up to camp lebanon, and i'm neeeeeeervous!

(doesn't it seem that i'm always saying that?) eek!

anyway, i'd appreciate your prayers. i'd love to have a blast and get to know the youth group peeps on a deeper level.

thank you.

jackie lea

Thursday, March 01, 2007