Life in the Real World

Real life experiences after college

I’m an imperfect pear June 28, 2007

Filed under: Life — jenncollins @ 2:59 pm

I can’t draw. I have proof. I took a drawing class in college as an elective. I got a C in drawing. Who gets a C in drawing?

My whole life I have wanted to draw. I have wanted to paint. To make pottery. To write an amazing song. To write a poem. To act in a film. To sing my heart out.

In 4th grade I was in art class sitting across from my friend Sarah. She could draw AND she could write in block letters; a thing that I wanted to do SO bad. Sarah was a good friend (we still try to keep in touch!) and I say she was a good friend because she would complete my art assignments for me. I would try to do the assignment myself, but I would get frustrated, look at hers and everyone else’s in my class and quit. One day, we were assigned to draw a picture of ourselves. That’s pretty hard, don’t you think? Regardless, I tried SO hard to draw this and color it in with lovely colored pencils. I think Sarah may have helped me with the nose (one of the hard parts of drawing a face, I believe). We spent several sessions completing our drawings. I worked relentlessly on my hair (not the shading on my upper lip…lol) making sure that I fully captured what it looked like.

When it was completed, I was so proud. I had done it…with some help…but I still did it. I decided to give it to my Mom for Mother’s Day. I thought she would be thrilled and amazed at my expert artistry. When she opened it I waited for gasps and ooohs and ahhhs. Nothing. She smiled and said “thank you, it’s beautiful”. I was still convinced that she loved it and would hang it in our home…front and center. Nope. It went in her closet on the top shelf…the one no one ever touches until spring cleaning time.

OK, before you say, “Jenn that is a horrible story”, let me just mention that my Mom is a wonderful woman and one of my best friends. She of course didn’t know she was hurting me. You have to understand my Mom’s personality. She hates clutter. Every year, I was forced to purge of everything in my room that I wasn’t using anymore: clothes, shoes, decorations, papers, junk. She was probably very proud of me and my effort, but the dream I had for the drawing didn’t come true. It was put in the closet to be thrown away later.

Drawing is not one of my talents. In my drawing class in college I did one assignment that I got the highest grade for. And guess what? It’s hanging in my kitchen! It’s a stippled drawing of a pear. The shadow around the pear isn’t a shadow, really. It’s like a triangle protruding from the bottom. It didn’t quite work out the way I planned. It sucks, but it reminds me that I’m not perfect. It reminds me that I can’t do it all. But it also reminds me that just because I lack in the drawing department doesn’t mean I should give up. Just because I can’t sew doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. Just because I can’t paint doesn’t mean I shouldn’t paint pottery for fun. There’s no pressure. I’m not in a contest. I think I am creative, by nature, and maybe I’m not the best, but I’m good at other things.

I love my stippled pear drawing. It’s really an example of me.


Happy 2 years and traveling the South

Filed under: Life — jenncollins @ 9:21 am

I wanted to share some pictures from our vacation last week! Unfortunately, my camera was dead during Katie’s wedding, so I don’t have any pics from that. The rest are from our 2-year anniversary (we went to Ruth’s Chris and stayed at a bed & breakfast!) and our visit to Joel’s parents in Louisville and my family in Birmingham. Enjoy!


Church in the car June 26, 2007

Filed under: Church,Life — jenncollins @ 11:08 am

While we were driving the 12 hours home from Birmingham on Sunday, we decided to have “church” in our car. Joel had downloaded a couple of sermons from iTunes from Mark Batterson’s church in D.C. We listened to two of the messages from their “Journey” series back in January.

They were really challenging. The first one was about being an “influencer”. Mark challenged us to do a 30-day prayer experiment. Think of something to pray about and do it with fervence (is that a word?) and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you as you pray.

He shared a story about a friend who decided to pray for a specific country in Africa. He prayed for several weeks. One day at a dinner party, he met someone from the country he was praying for. She worked in a hospital there and he was so intrigued by everything he heard that she invited him to come and see for himself. He was baffled by the lack of medical supplies. When he returned home, he wrote to several pharmaceutical companies and asked for supplies. He was able to send a lot of money in supplies to this country! (forgive me, I can’t remember all the specifics…). Soon after, he was invited back to the country by the PRESIDENT of the country. The President showed him around the country…he gave him a personal tour! They came across a prison, where the guy asked why the prisoners were there. The President told him they were political prisoners…that they don’t agree with the President’s views, so they are in jail. The guy told him he thought it was a bad idea. Later, back in the U.S. the guy received a phone call late at night from the State Department asking him questions about his trip to the country and specifically about the prisoners. They asked the guy what he said to the President about the prisoners. He just said he told him it was a bad idea. The State Department told him that the President let the prisoners go and that they had been working for years to get him to release those prisoners…WOW!

The power of prayer! It’s amazing. What will you commit to pray for 30 days about? I’ve already picked mine, but I’m not telling until I have my story to tell!

Mark also talked about the “prophets” in our lives. Don’t be mistaken by the word prophet… a prophet is someone who “spurs spiritual growth in another person”. Like, have you ever had someone say an encouraging word to you and it was EXACTLY what you needed to hear?? He says that’s “prophetic”. He challenged us to think about the prophets in our lives. Are we prophetic to others? Do we encourage each other, or just flatter? Do we speak truth into other people’s lives?

I know who my prophets have been. If you’re on the list, you should know why you are!

  • My parents
  • Joel Collins
  • Chris Hughes
  • Doug Campbell

These people have spoken truth into my life. They have challenged me, spurred me on and kept me going in hard times. Whether it be getting through college in 3 years or buying me a guitar and telling me I could learn to play or leading worship in front of hundreds of people, or dreaming of becoming a recording artist (it’s still a dream, Doug, but I think of what you have said to me often!)….these people’s words have been branded in my soul. They may not even know it, but they have been prophets in my life.

This is something I struggle with because sometimes I encourage, but it’s not necessarily prophetic. Most of the time, I encourage people with what they want to hear. I always try to find the positive when sometimes I just need to listen and see the negative. I don’t know if that makes sense. People come to me with big problems. I’m not sure why. But I like being there for people and listening. Most of the time, I have no idea what to say to someone who has a problem. Unless I’ve been through it myself, I’m lost. So, I normally look at the bright side and say what they want to hear instead of challenging them or spurring them on. “Oh, it will be OK, you’ll see.” “God’s gonna work it out” “What can I do to help?”

Those aren’t bad things to say, but I think they’re cop-outs. What truth can I share with this person? What can I say to someone that will completely change the way they think or do things? I think it starts with my spiritual life and where I am. I have no business counseling someone or challenging them when I am messed up, too. How can I see what God wants for them when I haven’t talked to God in days? It’s really convicting.

What if I could be that person who reinforces someone’s dream of being an artist or even becoming President (that would be so cool!). How would I know unless I am connected and following Him? How would I know unless I am constantly striving to chase my dreams and follow His will?

I don’t really know the point of this post, but I thought it was challenging. Continue the conversation by commenting, if you wish!


My blogging Pastor

Filed under: Blogging,Church — jenncollins @ 10:25 am

I was so stoked to learn that while I was on vacation, my Pastor started blogging! It was a great surprise and I know that it will be an awesome tool for him to communicate with our church and the community. Check it out.


Much needed vacay June 13, 2007

Filed under: Fun stuff,Life — jenncollins @ 1:34 pm

We are leaving TOMORROW for Greenville, SC and Louisville, KY! I’m going to be in my dear friend Katie’s wedding this weekend and then we are headed over to the ‘Ville to see Joel’s family for a week! We’re even getting to stop over to Lexington and visit our old friends and co-workers.

I am going to try my hardest to RELAX and enjoy the time off, even though I have 473827483172930 projects that I’m in charge of right now with very tight deadlines! 🙂

So, I’ll be checked out for a while. Don’t miss me too much. 😉


Which one?

Filed under: Branding,Church,Marketing — jenncollins @ 1:29 pm

Which one do YOU like better? (if you are reading this blog in Facebook, make sure you click on the original post on the top, otherwise you won’t be able to see the pics!)



Just curious…


What book are you reading? June 7, 2007

Filed under: Fun stuff,Life — jenncollins @ 10:57 pm

This one, to be exact. But I only got to chapter 8 when I realized it was 10:45 and Barnes & Noble would be closing soon. I haven’t done that in a while; go to Barnes and Noble alone, just to read a random book. Not for about two years since college. But, my husband wanted to watch the NBA finals, which I could care less about (except last year when the Heat were in and won…GO HEAT!). So, since I hate sports and really didn’t want to hear it in the background of whatever I could find to do, I decided to leave and go to B&N.

I walked around….browsing. Then, I found a book in the fiction section that looked pretty interesting. Contrary to most people, I do judge a book by it’s cover. That’s right, I’m that lame. If a book looks attractive on the outside, I will most likely take a second look at it before I will look at the author. It was a baby blue book with an image of baby shoes with the title “Baby Proof”. I was intrigued (NOT because of the reasons some of you are thinking…it is a FICTION book!) I read the blurb on the back. Sounded pretty good. I read the first two pages and it pretty much hooked me, so I picked it up and went to the Starbuck’s counter to get a frappucino.

I found a table near the front of the store so I could people-watch. The book was good. Not very deep, but I kept reading. Not long after, I took out my iPod and drowned out the b&n music to be in my own world.

Not long after that, a man (who I didn’t even know was sitting there) said, “Excuse me?” Thinking he just wanted to ask a simple question like what time it was, I took out one of the ear buds and said, “yeah?”

“What book are you reading?”

Oh crap. This isn’t happening. “Baby Proof”


Yes, that’s right, I’m in high school. “No, BABY PROOF”

“Oh. Ok.”

Me looking down…trying to figure out how to get out of this.

“I noticed you got to a break in the book”

I look down at the page and see that I had just started a new chapter. This guy has been planning this and watching me. Ew. “Yeah”.

“So, are you a student?”

“No, but I used to be”

“What happened?”

This isn’t happening…“I graduated”

“Oh. So, can you listen to that thing (my iPod) and read at the same time”

Is that hard? “Yeah”

“Oh, I find that distracting”

Averting eyes, looking down…didn’t he look at my left ring finger before even attempting to speak to me?

“So are you from here?”


“Do you work?”

“Yeah… um, I’m gonna get back to my book now”

Put earbuds back in quickly…go back to reading.

Oh my goodness…it was so hilarious. You know when you have those out-of-body moments when you feel like you’re watching something happening to you instead of experiencing it yourself? That’s how it was. This never happens to me…mainly because my husband is always with me. I have to say, it was flattering, but really creeped me out. The rest of the time, he stayed where he was…reading. When he finally left, I started getting paranoid that he was still watching me somewhere in the store and would follow me out to my car when I decided to leave. Luckily, I got to my car and home safe.

In any case, “thanks” 30-years-or-older creepy guy from b&n for the compliment of embarassing yourself to hit on me.  Sorry I had to turn you down…better luck next time…and hopefully better questions on your next try to someone else.