Life in the Real World

Real life experiences after college

Read any good books lately? October 30, 2007

Filed under: Books — jenncollins @ 8:44 pm

I just spent an hour at Barnes & Noble and came home with nothing. I received gift cards for my birthday so I was really looking forward to picking something up tonight. Which brings me to the point of this post: Have you read any good books lately that you would recommend to me? I like reading fiction and non-fiction but it’s gotta be a page-turner and one of those can’t-put-it-down books.

Comments please! I need a book to read! I’m almost done with this one…it’s definitely one you want to check out. There’s my recommendation, give me yours!


12 springs & 70 palm trees October 21, 2007

Filed under: Books,Church,Family,Life — jenncollins @ 9:10 pm

There’s a lot of heartache going around our church right now. Almost as if it were a disease. Relatives have passed on, close friends are sick. It seems that we’re in a season of grief right now. I’m trying to choose joy amidst the sorrow.

I used to think that my life was out of control or “messed up” if I had too many tests or a friend was mad at me. This is how I know I am growing up. I’m making life-altering decisions. I have held a real job now for almost 2 years. People are dying. Real life is happening all around me. There’s a reason why this blog is called “Life in the Real World”. Life under my parent’s roof and in the security of my college campus is so different. It’s sheltered, safe. The real world isn’t pretty. Frankly, it sucks sometimes.

I could choose to be bitter. I could choose to be angry with God about things that are happening to me and to the people around me who I love. What good would it do me? I read tonight in my Beth Moore study about bitterness. Please keep reading, I promise it will be good.

At one point during the exodus, the Israelites roamed the desert for 3 days without water. They finally came to a place called Marah, where there was water. However, it was bitter and they couldn’t drink it. The Israelities asked Moses what they should do. Moses cried out to God for help. God showed Moses a piece of wood to put into the water. Miraculously, the water became sweet and drinkable. Then, God said some amazing words that don’t really make sense in the context and I didn’t understand why He said them until Beth elaborated. Here’s what God said after the miracle:

“If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases that I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you” – Exodus 15:26

Doesn’t completely make sense does it? Well, maybe it makes sense, but does it relate to what just happened? This is how Beth explained it:

He introduced Himself as Jehovah-Rapha (Healer) by demonstrating His power over the most common disease from which His children would suffer – bitterness.

After God gives them water, he takes them to a place called Elim, where there were 12 springs and 70 palm trees. Beth goes on to explain that this is basically a metaphor. When you experience bitterness, the only way to heal is through God. He tells us countless times to come to him all who are thirsty.

Guess what? I’m thirsty. I need those 12 springs and 70 palm trees! It almost sounds like God took them to a resort, doesn’t it?! Sounds like a vacation to me! 😉 I can’t complain too much, I mean, I do live in south Florida. But metaphorically speaking…I need to seek Him in order to be healed.

That’s my challenge to myself and for you, whoever you are (if you’re still reading!)…choose joy. Choose healing. Choose the springs and the palm trees.

My life is a mess right now (and really, it’s not that bad compared to others). My friends’ lives are messes right now. This is all we can do. Otherwise we will become bitter people and that is just no way to live.

You know what’s funny? I did two sessions of my Beth Moore study tonight (I am really behind) and the first one was about fears and it spoke to me WAY more than this one about bitterness did. God just totally brought this to my heart. In fact, I almost wrote in my journal how “this session didn’t really apply to me…” Wow! How limiting was I?! I’m pretty sure I was just spiritually slapped in the face. 🙂

p.s. the Beth Moore study is the “re-make” of A Woman’s Heart. It’s pretty awesome.


One of the best “Office” moments ever October 17, 2007

Filed under: Fun stuff — jenncollins @ 9:10 am

My ‘fresh’ delivery today October 16, 2007

/random-006-1.jpg /random-007-1.jpg

I was surprised when, after a long day of meetings, I went back to my office and found a box on my desk. The box had “fresh produce” stamped on the side. I was confused. Then I remembered that Shauna said she was going to send me her book! When I opened it up, the above pictures are what I found. How creative is that?! Now I’m not gonna lie…the tangerines don’t look too edible, but just the fact that when I opened the box, I immediately smelled citrus was so cool. What a refreshing idea. The tangerines have stickers on them. There is an air freshener for your car with the book information on it. I love the whole thing.

Thanks again Shauna!! 🙂

Go get the book…I’m reading it tonight.

p.s. that’s my couch, handed down to me from my grandma (i’m not a country blue person)…i’m thinking of buying a new one at the brand spanking new Ikea 🙂


Chase it

Filed under: Random — jenncollins @ 7:10 pm

I found this earlier today on Mark Batterson’s blog. I don’t always read these things, but today I did. Today was different. I needed to hear this today. Thanks, Mark.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

p.s. if you haven’t read this book, you need to.


My name, “googled”

Filed under: Blogging,Random — jenncollins @ 4:39 pm

So I’m not gonna lie…it freaks me out a little when I see what people have searched for and somehow clicked on my blog. Most of the time it is something about pizza…because of this dumb post I did a while back.

I’ve noticed about 2-3 times a month, someone searches for “jenn collins”. That’s what weirds me out. Who is searching for me? Are they really looking for me or another jenn collins? It’s just an odd feeling to see that someone actually googled me.


Project requests October 12, 2007

Filed under: Church,Communications — jenncollins @ 3:14 pm

For my communications friends (and those who are just interested), I have a link to a project request form that I made for our church. I think it will greatly increase my organization of projects and also help me to know when to say “no”. By nature, I have a hard time telling people no when I should. Anyway, I hope this helps you guys. I got some of the content from Granger Community Church and Providence Baptist Church.

If you want more communications resources, check out this website. Enjoy!

download my form here: project-request-form.pdf