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epiphanyentries

Peace. Jesus. Quotes.

Ode to Mom

This past Thursday, I had an epiphany. As you will quickly realize, this past Thursday was Thanksgiving. About a week prior to that day, my mother text the family and asked what dishes we would like to have for Thanksgiving dinner. We all excitedly responded, some of us naming one dish, and some naming multiple.

A week later, my parents have arrived at our family home in Columbus. Typically, I will ask my mom what’s on the menu, but this year, I was only selfishly concerned about making sure that my beloved mac n’ cheese made it onto the table.

After all of the food preparations were made, we were more than ready to enjoy a giant meal almost solely cooked by mom. As I made my way down the line and eagerly pulled back the foil on every dish, I slowly began to realize something: mom had made every single dish that was requested. Wow!

Thank you, mom, for waking up at 1 and 3 a.m. to ensure that my $28 ox tails were cooking perfectly, for changing your mac n’ cheese recipe because I preferred it a different way, for making vegetarian Chelsea her own eggplant parmesan, for finding the closest thing to escovitch for Alexis, for ensuring that CJ’s green bean casserole was made with the correct beans, for helping dad with the topping on his sweet potato souffle, for staying up to make the desserts the night before, and for even wanting to plan out an entire meal for us.


But you have been a mother for over 25 years now, and November 24, 2016 was only one single day in your reign as mother. There are not enough trees to kill in order to list all of the selfless acts that you have flawlessly performed as Jennifer, the mom.

Thank you for the countless times you have helped me clean out my closet, and not getting too mad when I decide to give away something that I only wore once.

Thank you for the times you have ironed my work uniform, and placed it neatly on a hanger when I usually throw it on my backseat, or shove it in my backpack.

Thank you for the nights you lost sleep to ensure that I was awake to finish and turn in papers that I procrastinated on.

Thank you for caring about my friends just as much as you care about me.

Thank you for answering silly questions like, “Do english muffins go in the pantry or fridge?”

Thank you for the boat loads of advice that you have given all of us. Even though it can seem like motherly muttering at times, I cherish your wise words.

Most importantly, thank you for the private and shared prayers that you have spoken over us. With each day, I realize more and more just how rare it is to have two God-loving parents who truly care about the spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of their children. Having Jennifer Jarrett as my mother makes me feel extra special, and extra loved by God.

I could continue this list for several pages, but I hope that you get the picture by now. Many people have told me that I act a lot like you, and that is something that I have grown to be very proud of. There isn’t any other woman on this earth that I would aspire to be more like than you.

I love you, mom.

Kayla

P.S. Thank you for always reading my writings.

 

Look Up

The other day, I was sitting in my parked car at Lake Oliver. Recently, I have found myself going there a lot to grab a few minutes of peace and quiet before heading to work or school.

On this particular day, I had grabbed some food and driven there to enjoy the serene view of the lake, birds, trees, and people fishing or boating. I turned on my worship music, and started to eat.

After being there for a few minutes, I unconsciously grabbed my phone and began scrolling through all of my social media pages. I was laughing at videos on Facebook, double tapping photos on Instagram, and flipping through Snapchat stories.

Before I knew it, I glanced at the time and realized I had to head to work. As I shifted into reverse and looked up into my rear view mirror, I paused. The scene of the lake in front of me caught my eye.

“What am I doing?”, I thought to myself. I had come to the lake to have a moment of time with myself and God before walking into the chaos of work, yet I didn’t even take the time to look up from my phone and do just that.

I grabbed my phone and snapped a photo of the view before continuing to back out and leave. I did this in order to set the picture as the background on my phone as a reminder to look up.

Life goes by so quickly. You have to learn to make an effort to look up and enjoy it,so you don’t have regrets, so you don’t miss out on the little things.

 

 

On Decision Making

In the chaos of life as a young adult and college student, the best gift one can receive is God’s perfect peace. Amidst the mayhem of making major life decisions about your future, striving to keep up good grades, working super long hours, and maintaining relationships, your continuous prayer should be for God to let his overwhelming peace rest upon you. And of course, He will never fail to fulfill your request.

I recently had to make a major decision about my future regarding where to continue earning my education. Should I stay in my home town, or should I follow my long time dream of living in and attending school in New York? No matter what, I wanted to feel at peace with my decision and with God’s will; whether it was what I wanted at the time, or not. I constantly had to remind myself that regardless of the outcome, I would trust God because I wanted to remain in His will.

My deepest desire was to attend NYU. When I received my acceptance letter, I was ecstatic! “Finally”, I thought, “I can leave my home town and move on to bigger and greater things.” Although that was what I wanted, I still made it a point to continuously pray and ask God to help me make the right decision. I was scared. I was scared that God would say no to NYU. I was scared that God would not give me a clear answer. I was scared of missing out on my dream.

I wrestled with God. I pleaded for Him to make it in His will for me to go to NYU. In the following weeks after receiving my letter, I took every minuscule thing as a sign from God that I was to move to New York. It was quite ridiculous. I knew these things were not of God, but my flesh wished them to be.

In times like these, God often uses someone in your life as a voice of reason. My mother was this voice. She gave me invaluable advice. She suggested that I make a list comparing NYU to the current school that I attend, Columbus State University. In doing this, I realized that I had more opportunities and advantages if I stayed at my current school.

When making a major life decision, we sometimes get so caught up in the stress that accompanies decision making that we forget previous promises and answered prayers from God. We forget that He will always give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). We forget that He always has our best interest at heart (Jeremiah 29:11). We forget that He will deliver on his promises (Deuteronomy 7:9); even if they do not align with our personal timeline. Ultimately, we must trust that God will grant us with his perfect peace through it all.

-Kayla

 

P.S. In the meantime, I have become quite content with simply visiting New York. Here are some pics from a recent trip!

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Don’t Just Sit There

I think that everyone should have a bucket list in life. And on that bucket list there should be places in which to travel. They don’t have to be outside of the country or lavish trips that require lots of money. Start small. Even if it’s just going to the next town over. If you’ve never been, go! And don’t try to use the excuse that you’re too busy. You make time for what you truly desire in life.  I have found multiple benefits in my recent mini trips to different places within the U.S.

The first is a sense of freedom. When you are able to escape your daily routine, even if just for a weekend, it provides so much freedom. Freedom from routine, freedom from the same scenery, freedom from the same people, freedom from life as you know it.

The second thing is perspective. When you travel to a new and unknown place, you are able to see life from a different view. And maybe with that new view, comes a new understanding. Maybe that new understanding is as simple as realizing why the writer of “God Bless the U.S.A” chose to mention the hills of Tennessee after you drive a steep and winding road in Chattanooga up a mountain to hike one of these said “hills”. Or maybe it’s realizing how easy it is to simply walk past a homeless person on the streets of New York because he seems like a part of the architecture. Yet also understanding how easy it is to make a homeless person on the streets of NYC smile and feel noticed by simply greeting him.

Taken from the back of a car: Brooklyn Bridge

It is easy to judge other people from your corner of the world. A third thing I have learned from my trips is being slow to judge. When you are able to walk on the same streets that others walk on daily, and see the same scenery as them, you gain a new understanding of their life. And maybe then you won’t be so quick to judge; to judge their lifestyle, their habits, or their decisions because you’ve experienced a taste of their life.

Yes, everyone should have a bucket list in life. And yes, traveling should be on that list. But right underneath traveling, should be “learning”. If you do not learn anything from your travels, then you might as well have stayed at home.

So, go gain a new sense of freedom, a deeper understanding, and a fresh perspective.

 

A waterfall at the top of a previously hiked mountain in Tennessee

This world is so vast and beautiful. Don’t you just want to experience it all?

I Have Officially Become “One of Them”

Well, I never thought that I would become one of those annoying “blogger people”.  I always hear people say, “Oh yeah, I have a blog!”, or “Check out my new blog post.” I always told myself that I would never become one of them. One thing that I have learned in my 20 years of living: Never say never. 

I am starting this blog for a number of reasons. No, I do not have a mantra of wisdom that I feel I must bestow upon the public. No, I do not just want to become a famous blogger who gets to make a living by sitting in front of a computer screen in their pajamas all day. No, I do not have this thing we call life all figured out, but that is one of the reasons why I have chosen to blog. Maybe, just maybe, if I am able to publish my struggles, questions, successes, and random thoughts and epiphanies for all to read, then we will be able to figure out this mysterious life together. Writing is the best way that I express myself. I am creating this blog in hopes that it will become an outlet or escape from this hectic life I live. Even more importantly, I hope that it can become an escape for you, too. 

 What the heck will I write about? I have no clue. We will figure this thing out together.  Because I love my family, I’m obsessed with coffee, I’m surrounded by amazing friends, and I adore Jesus, you can expect to read about one of those topics. 

 Excitedly, 

 A New Blogger

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