Plain Old Jen

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tales From The Bus Rider...

Everyday I take the bus to and from work. It is about a 45 minute journey one way. To tell you the truth taking the bus is the highlight of my day. Some people are probably thinking wow you must have an exciting life.. well before you judge finish reading this entry.

Story #1
This is a story that probably takes place within my first month here. I was coming home from work, sitting there minding my own business when out of the corner of my eye I notice this man who kept staring at me. So after about the third time of me looking up and him staring at me I casually smile at him. When I did he started talking. Well I had my head phones in so I took them out and asked him to repeat what he had just said. And he began to repeat himself very loudly I might add, "You and I use to date and you broke my heart and stole my money" and I just kind of sat there in shock. I mean what do you say after something like that.. so he continued to say this over and over again! All I wanted to do was crawl under my seat and die! Finally I dug up the courage and said, "I think you may have me mistaken for someone else," with that being said, he replied, "OH, sorry" and turn around in his seat and never said another word!!

Story #2
This story also takes place on the bus on my way home from work. I was waiting at the bus stop and this lady who was walking with a cane and had her leg in a cast came to the bus shelter where I was sitting. So I did what any good maritimer would do, got off the little bench and let her sit down. She was amazed at my kindness and started talking to me. She just started off talking to me about the weather, where she worked and what she did, etc. Then the buses came and of course she was on my bus so I sat down in a seat and she sat in front of me and turn around and continued to talk to me. But this is where it gets interesting. She then proceeded to tell me about her life, that she grew up Christian but doesn't go to church now because she lives with her boyfriend, and I told her that was no reason not to go to church. And we talked about God for a little while which was nice. But then it happened......she began to talk about her sex you have to remember we are on a BUS, where voices carry and this lady's wasn't talking very quietly. So here I am on the bus listening to intimate details of this lady's sex life and I kept trying to change the subject but nope she was determined to tell me and ask me questions!!! Again I wanted to crawl under my seat and DIE!! But then I seen the glory est IGA ahead (where she said she was going) we are getting closer to the stop and she hasn't rang the bell yet to let her off. And I said hey your stop is coming up and she said I am going to stay on and talk to you... I wanted to puke!! So she stayed on and transferred buses with me talking... I was so afraid she would get off at my stop and try to come home with I did what any one would do PRAYED!!! haha That day I got off a stop before mine and walked in the opposite direction until the bus was out of sight. I was never so happy to get off the bus.

Story #3
This is kind of a sad story. There is this girl who is no doubt on drugs who I see quite a lot on my journey. I have talked to her at bus stops before and even given her food! This day she was really strung out and I sat relatively close to her on the bus. She keep staring at me and I would just smile at her, then at one of the stops she moved back and sat with me. She then proceeded to ask me for Crystal Meth which I didn't have on me. She was getting quite annoyed that I wouldn't sell her any because she said you have sold it to me before, and I said no I haven't just given you food. Do you want some food?? No, I want the drugs. She sat there for about 10 mins trying to get me to sell her drugs and I keep telling her I didn't sell drugs but I would give her my granola bar if she wanted it. Finally she just took it and got off the bus.

Story #4
This story is the reason I decided to write this blog because it is funny and happened today while on my way to work. Usually the bus is crowded in the morning and you can hardly get a seat but this morning it is -49 so the bus was kind of empty. Well I sat in a seat next to an older gentlemen. About 5 mins into the bus ride I look over and the man has his false teeth out. I casually look over at him every now and then to see what he is trying to do. Finally I realize he is trying to put like poly dent on them to help them stick. He then notices me looking at him and then proceeds to ask me to help him! I am a little shocked but I said sure. Then he asked me if I would hold his teeth while he put the poly dent on it. I looked at him, smile and said how about you hold your teeth and I squeeze the poly dent on them for you. He agreed, so I squeezed out his poly dent, he popped his teeth back into his mouth and smiled at me. He made my day and I hope you smile over this one too!!

Well here ends my stories for today. Now do you see why riding the bus is the highlight of my day??? I have a lot more so maybe some day I will blog about them as well! Enjoy your day!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Matter of the Heart..

I see my heart and it looks like it is made of sand. It's dry, crusty and cracking. I reach out to pick it up and cling to it tightly but as I scoop it up into the palm of my hand, it crumbles. I stare down at the now pile of dry sand in my cupped hands. I begin to sob and bring my hands to my chest.

In the distance I can see a figure walking towards me. I squint my eyes to try to make the figure out but I can not. But as it comes closer I realize it is Jesus. The tears are still streaming down my face as I look up into the eyes of my maker. He doesn't say a word and neither do I because I know deep down he already knows what is wrong. He then kneels down beside me, he cups my hands with with hands and says to me, "Let me have it", I look down and my hands to see the sand that was once my heart, and then I look up into the eyes of Jesus, then back down at my hands. This happens quite a few times, finally I spread my fingers and I can feel the cool sand slip between them and into the hands of my creator. I am watching him very attentively, he then spits into his hands and begins to mold something, I am watching so carefully that I don't think I am even blinking. His hands stop, my eyes are so wide with excitement, he holds out his hands and there in the palm of his hands is my heart. I hold out my hands to take my heart and he closes his fingers on it and looks at me with his giant blue eyes and says "You are my child, I know everything about you. I knitted you together in your Mother's womb. So I know how to fix you, when you feel broken." I just looked up at my maker with tears again streaming down my face and smiled and he smiled back at me. The he took my hand opened my fingers and placed my heart into the palm of my hand. I stared down at my heart for what seemed like forever and when I looked up I could see Jesus walking in the distance.

This is a vision I had the other day. Right now in my life I am struggling with a few things that has my heart, dry, crusty and broken. I can't remember a time when I felt so disconnected from my heart in all my life, it scares me quite a bit actually. But I believe I had this vision to let me know that my Creator will come in time and mend it back together again. But at this very moment I think I am only at the step of looking down at my broken heart and sobbing...So I guess I just wait for him to come and mold my heart back to normal...until then I will keep pressing on.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How I Am Feeling Today!!

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Today, this is what I woke up with on my lips... Praise the Lord Oh my Soul, Praise the Lord. I also had a picture in my head and I am by no means an artist but I like to think I can draw with paint on the computer...It doesn't do the picture I had in my head justice but it will do. I could just see myself on a rocky break water looking over at a beautiful sunset, singing at the top of my lungs Praise the Lord, oh my Soul, Praise the Lord... and as I do this a warm breeze comes and fills me from head to toe. I know at that moment I am in the presents of the Holy One... and I begin to be overwhelmed with peace and comfort and love...things in which I have been feeling not so much of. So it was an amazing feeling and it continues on through out my day and so does my praising.. I might not be singing on the top of my lungs on the outside but my inside is!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Righteous Root

Do you ever feel like you are being tossed around by the storms of life? Have you ever seen a tree in a hurricane? The winds and the rain blow the leaves from the branches, and sometimes the branches are torn off, or the tree is blown over. But the tree's roots are protected from the weather by being firmly established in the ground.
I don't know why I have been thinking about trees and roots today but I have been. And when I started to think about it, I realized that the same is true in our lives. If our thinking is not in line with the Word of God, we become vulnerable during the difficult times. But when our thoughts are in line with God's thoughts, He plants a righteous root within us. We become firmly established. Our thinking becomes clear so we can be strong and overcome the storms of life.
God wants you and I to be solid. He wants us to be steady. He wants us to have an established life and character. He wants our roots to grow deep in His Word. He wants us to be righteous in Him.
So I challenge all of us today to ask the Lord to show us any areas of our thought life that might need to be firmly planted in His word. And I assure you that as you do this, your relationship with the Lord will grow therefore you will have deep spiritual roots and stand victorious against the storms of this life.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


This past Sunday I went to church and hear a sermon that really spoke to me. It was about drowning. Yup that's right, drowning. Peter (Gillies) was talking about how God will never let us drown and how we may be in the water up to our necks but He will never let us drown. And honestly that is how I am feeling right now.

In my life I am going through a lot of transition and I will be the first to admit that I do NOT handle it well. For those of you who don't know I am leaving for Saskatchewan in less than 2 days. That is a huge thing for me. I am leaving behind people I love and who love me to go to a place where I know nobody (but I am sure will grow to love me...because who wouldn't). This past week I have had to say some pretty hard "see ya laters" and have had plenty of moments where I want to call my national director and tell him that I am not going, in other words I felt like I was drowning. There have been other times when I just feel like I am in the water bobbing around waiting for God to come rescue me but my favorite feeling is that I am yes that's right folks hand in hand with God on top of the water.

This week though has been a lot more gasping for air than hand in hand and I know that over the next few weeks I am going to be like a breaching whale...sometime down below and sometimes flying high above the water. And I also know this, no matter where I am, God is with me and so are the people that love me and that is what keeps me going and reassures me that I WILL be ok!

Thanks so much for all your prayers because I have defiantly been feeling them...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Giving Up!

So I have decided to give up, that's right, I Jen Hoddinott have decided to give up on life. But probably not the way you think. As most of you know I have accepted a job in Saskatchewan which is quite far from New Brunswick and at first thought I didn't want to go because I would have to leave behind my family, friends, my church, my groups that I am involved in and everything else that is a comfort to me. And I am not going to lie, God and I had an argument about me moving so far away but of course God won!! As He usually does over time!

So how am I giving up on life? Well it is like this, my life really isn't mine and I have been trying to hold on to it because I believe I know what is best for me when in actuality I have no idea because I can't see the big picture. I have come to the conclusion that I am giving up my life, and taking up God's life for me. I am reminded of the verse in Luke, "Then he said to them all: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.(9:23)" So that is what I am trying to do...I am trying to deny the life I want and walk with God in the life He wants for me..

With doing this I have really come to love the lyrics of the song "No Sacrifice" by Jason Upton. Those who know me well know that I have been listening to this song for a while now but something changed in it for me...Like the words just penetrated my heart, my mind, my spirit and my soul. And I really feel God was speaking this directly to me and telling me to use this as a prayer!

"To you I give my life, not just the parts I want to
To you I sacrifice these dreams that I hold on to

Your thoughts are higher than mine
Your words are deeper than mine
Your love is stronger than mine
This is no sacrifice
Here's my life

To you I give the gifts
Your love has given me
How can I hoard the treasures that you've designed for free?

Because Your thoughts are higher than mine
Your words are deeper than mine
Your love is stronger than mine
This is no sacrifice
Here's my life

To you I give my future
As long as it may last
To you I give my present
To you I give my past
Because Your thoughts are higher than mine
Your words are deeper than mine
Your love is stronger than mine
Your thoughts are higher than mine
Your words are deeper than mine
Your love is stronger than mine
This is no sacrifice
Here's my life"

Just in case I didn't hear Him through words, He also gave me a picture. I was in the throne room with God and He just smiled at me and I felt uncomfortable because I knew what I had to do but I didn't want to. So I just stood there for a while and He just continued to smile at me. Then all of a sudden I began to cry and I feel to my knees and wept! In my head I could see the words, hopes, dreams, future, past, present, gifts and I knew exactly what I had to do. I lifted up my hands and offered them to God one by one. Each word appeared in the palm of my hands and as I gave them to God, he smiled bigger and bigger. When I had given up each word, I was overwhelmed with peace and God spoke and said, thank you!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Let's Go..

This is a picture of Jesus and I walking along a path arm in arm (we are suppose to be holding hands but I made us to close together). Anyways, tonight as I was quieting myself before God, He gave me a picture, and this is it. I could see us walking hand and hand along my path of life and it was awesome. Sometimes I would get really frustrated and let go of His hand and He would fall behind and I could see myself getting more and more frustrated until I fell to my knees and cried and while I stop He would then catch up, reach out His hand and we would walk together again.
Then sometimes I would get really excited and shake off His hand and then run ahead, I would be looking back at Him and He would say wait up and I would be so excited that I would just keep running. But then I would come to some obstacle and I would have to wait for Him to get there and then of course He would help me over, under or through whatever it was.
Through this I just realized that things are just easier when we walk with Him and stay with Him, when we don't let go and try to do things on our own, or when we don't leave Him behind when we are excited. No, we need to take Him with us no matter what..walk with Him down our journey of life. Not that is going to make all the obstacles go away, but it sure does make it easier to have the help.
I am just really flabbergasted with God the last couple of days, He has just shown and revealed Himself new to me. And I feel like I am on a journey to love Him more and that excites me...
This is a song that I have been listening too for the last little while and I have kind of made it a prayer and I want to share it with you so that you can use it as a pray too!!

Above All Else
Jesus, my passion in life is to know You
May all other goals bow down to
This journey of loving You more
Jesus, You’ve showered Your goodness on me
Given Your gifts so freely
But there’s one thing I’m longing for
Hear my heart’s cry
And my prayer for this life
Above all else
Above all else
Above all else
Give me Yourself
Savior, the more that I see Your beauty
The more that I glimpse Your glory
My heart is captured by You
Jesus, You are my greatest treasure
Nothing this world can offer
Could ever compare to You
So, hear my heart’s cry
And my prayer for this life
Pray this prayer and Walk with Jesus...I dare You..