The Life of Jennifer Dawn: I don't need to know where I'm going. I just need to know who's at the wheel.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I don't need to know where I'm going. I just need to know who's at the wheel.

The name of the blog is "The Life of Jennifer Dawn" and let me tell you A LOT has been happening in this little life during the last few weeks...actually the last few months of my life have been filled with a lot of twists and and downs.  You've seen the crafts and the pictures, but I've not shared a lot of what has been going on behind the scenes.  Through everything God has been a continued source of strength and guidance.  His presence has been undeniable.

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:8-10

I am the type of person who has always felt a strong need to be in complete control.  (I tend to be a bit of a control freak at times and also a tad OCD.  Sorry...that's a big understatement.  I am a huge control freak and very OCD.)  Lately I have felt like I am anything but in control.  And you know what?  THAT is finally okay.  I have felt strongly in the past few months that God has been leading me to step out in faith, fully trust him, and let him be in complete control.  Complete control!  Not..."Here, God, I will let you hold this side of the reins while I hold the other side."  But..."Here, God, I am handing the reins over to you."  He has been teaching me many lessons on faith and trust lately.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
Isaiah 30:21

  You know that whole, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" question.  For the first time I don't have an answer to that question.  I can't even begin to describe where I see myself one month from now much less one year or even five years from now.  I don't have a plan.  I had to steady my heart a bit when typing that because I always feel the need to have a plan.  Even if something unexpected happens, I always jump into action and immediately devise a plan.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

There seems little point in having a plan because all of my recent plans have been thrown to the wind.  I made plans and God intervened and had something so much better for me...

Many of you may remember that I resigned my teaching position towards the end of the last school year so that I could stay home with my two little ones.  It was a hard choice to make.  I felt torn because teaching is more than just a job to me.  It's a calling that I know God has placed on my heart.  Yet, here were these beautiful blessings in my life that I felt distraught to leave each day as I left for work.  After having L.G., I thought it was challenging to leave her, but I had know idea until after having Eli how doubly hard it would be to leave two babies in the care of someone else while I worked.  My calling or my sweet miracles?  My heart's cry was to have both, but I didn't feel like I was giving either the time or attention they needed.  I finally came to the conclusion that teaching would always be there, but my babies would grow up way too fast.  With that thought in mind, I turned in my resignation and made plans to watch a few other children in my home to make ends meet financially.  I'll be completely honest with you....
I was thrilled to be staying home with my kids...but it also felt like a piece of me was suddenly missing.  Being a teacher defines part of who I am.  Still I felt God reassuring me to step out in faith and trust him.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

 On one of my last days of work, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He has been fighting a hard battle ever since.  It has been heartbreaking to watch him have to go through this.  We are all just putting our hope in the Lord.  My dad's life and health are in HIS hands.  The amount of support from family and friends through this has been amazing.  I know my dad has felt so thankful for the prayers and support he has received.  Our God is BIGGER than cancer!  Please continue to keep my father in your prayers.  He is fighting the hardest battle of his life.  He will never fight alone though.  He has his family, friends, and faith.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
Psalm 46:1-4

In the midst of everything else, Tim and I dealt with another miscarriage this summer only to quickly discover that...
we were expecting again.  Things also looked pretty grim for this pregnancy though.  During the first ultrasound, we discovered that the heartbeat was only 103 (should be between 120 and 180) and there were subchorionic hemorrhages perhaps due to the coagulation disorders that have caused the previous miscarriages.  (You can read a bit about that here.)  We were told to just wait things out and see what would happen.  While we were waiting, we started to worry how I would watch the other children this year (necessary for income) while going through a high risk pregnancy with all of the necessary visits to the doctor.  God had a plan for us though.  An amazing new job literally fell into my lap.  I am not watching children in my home now.  Well, other than my own two sweeties.  I am now a teacher with my state's virtual academy.  I am teaching 4th grade virtually from a computer that my new job provided me with.  Wow!  God is amazing!  He made a way for me to teach and stay home with my babies.  I started my new job on Friday, August 17.  This job gives me the flexibility to be there for my kids and my family right now while still getting to teach.  I am now a teach from home momma.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

So you are probably wondering how things are going with the new baby...
A couple of days before I started my new job, I had a second appointment with the doctor.  The heart rate had increased from 103 to 164 and the hemorrhages were no longer visible on the ultrasound.  I have still had a little bleeding since then, but we are hoping for the best.  This little baby is a fighter!  I go back to the doctor soon.  There are times when I'm and bubbling with excitement and discussing baby names with the hubby.  Then there are other times when I'm afraid to let myself get too cozy with the idea of another baby entering our lives for fear that things might not work out with this pregnancy.  I can honestly say though that no matter what happens...
I know God will be there!

So that's it!  The ups and downs that have shaped my summer months and the reasons why there hasn't been as much blogging lately.  New job.  New baby.  A whole new future...
A future that is very different from what I had planned, but my plans are nothing compared to God's plans.
In the midst of this beautiful, crazy life, I am so glad that I know a God who sees my future and is there to lead and guide me.

I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

I'm pressing on, sweet friends.


  1. Dear Jennifer,
    Today is the very first that I have been introduced to your site; due to FB! I will keep you in my prayers and hope the GOOD LORD will Bless you! Sincerely, Lylean

  2. What a beautiful post! I love how you let your faith shine through onto your blog! You and your sweet family are in my prayers!

  3. Wow---what a summer, prayers with you with the new job and baby!!!!!!


  4. I love you my dear friend! I am praying for you and your family every day and now I've got a few more things to ad! I am so excited for all of the wonderful things happening! :) Talk to you soon!

  5. Oh Jennifer! You are one amazing inspiring lady. What a beautiful post and I am soo glad that you shared it. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers

  6. So excited for all the new things in your life! And it is cool to hear how you are learning more about God through it all.

  7. I'm so happy that things are working out for you to be able to be a mom and a teacher and have a new baby on the way. We are often blessed in so many ways that we never saw coming.

  8. Even though you've been given a couple curve balls, it seems like things may be on the up! Congratulations on your pregnancy, and your teach from home job! How perfect for you!

  9. I am grateful to have your example, Ms. Shelton. Teaching truly is your gift and talent from the Lord, I know
    that for sure. I'm grateful my children's lives have been blessed by yours. Thank you for this.

    We'll keep you and baby in our prayers!

  10. Dear Jennifer,
    I don't know how I missed this post!
    I just saw on Facebook that you said you had an appointment to check on baby and I was like, "WhAt?!?!"
    Please know that I'll be praying for you much as I prayed for you with Eli.
    You are so strong and full of faith.
    God has a plan and I know you will be blessed by it, you already have, that job sounds amazing!
    I didn't even know such a thing existed.
    I'll be checking back frequently to see how you are and know that I'll be praying for you.


Each and every one of your comments means so much to me. I love to hear from friends both old and new. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the world and thanks for taking the time to let me know you were here.