How to Live a Happy Life~

19 April 2019

Hello, everyone,

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, and I do apologize about that. I’ve spent the past couple months getting prepared for our house and baby, as well as planning, organizing, and nesting. I have missed writing, however, very much, and even after the baby is born, I still plan to write. I’ll never give it up.

 

So with everything going on around you, living a busy life day after day, how do you still live a happy life?

 

Well, I can honestly say that I’ve never felt truly happy until I’ve heartily prayed about the things in my life that bug me, and then leave the rest to God, trusting Him to handle it in His own good time. It gives you such peace when you finally allow God to take care of even the smallest things in your life, such as what you and your spouse are going to have for supper that night. I’ve been known to pray about such things. It gives me the courage to rely on the Lord even more. In fact, you can rely upon Him with anything in your life that may bug you. Praying about it simply makes it all disappear, as well as causes you to realize that maybe the situation isn’t as bad as you may think. After all, you’re giving it to a big God who is more than capable of handling it!

 

The main reason there is a growing rate of suicides in the world today, is because people are not truly happy. They may have hobbies that they love, family members that they love, and so forth. But if you don’t a hundred percent give everything to the Lord, then how do you expect to endure true peace in your life? Even after a couple of days of neglecting to pray, I feel weak and empty inside. Many times, I’ve heard how people in the news admitting that they felt suicidal or depressed, because they felt so empty inside.  That emptiness and depression wouldn’t be there if only they had given their problems and burdens to God. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. There are still things that I personally struggle with and have to cry out to God about them every day, but I pray that God will help me through them and give me the wisdom and guidance to know how to encounter such trials. Maybe the trial is a person in our life who brings us down in some way, or maybe it’s an event or circumstance that you dread coming across either occasionally or regularly. Maybe it’s something in your own personality that you wish was different. Whatever the case, give it to the Lord. Even though He knows what we need and want before we ask Him, we should never be afraid to ask Him for things, because that’s what builds a lasting relationship with Him.

 

There was a time in my life when I hardly ever prayed to God unless I absolutely needed something extremely important changed or a problem fixed within my life. I realize now how wrong that was. Aside from asking for things we need and want, as well as giving all of our burdens over to Him, we need to do so with a thankful heart. A lot of times, if we get a prayer answered, we forget about how fervently we’d prayed to God about that situation that we don’t even thank Him for the answered prayer! We must stop this. After all, God gave us His Son to die on the cross to pay for all of our sins. Jesus was innocent; we are not. God gave us the blessing of our spouse; our true friends; our family; our home; our jobs; our cars; our gift of life to breathe and live each and every day. If we only pray to God whenever we need Him, we’re not giving Him enough credit and we’re definitely not being very fair to Him who has given us all things.

 

So once again, do you want to know the key to a truly happy life? God. Find God, and you find yourself and every answer to every problem in your life. Find God, and you’ll never be depressed or suicidal. Find God, and everything will work out beautifully in your life. And trust me – as soon who prayed fervently every day for years for a baby and a bigger home, and those things have happened – they WILL turn out all right. 🙂

 

Happy Easter, everyone 🙂

 

JMK~

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When God Keeps Saying “No” ~

When God Keeps Saying “No” ~

6 July 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

Life is never as hard as when you desire something so badly that it brings you to your knees in prayer, every day for months and months, but God keeps saying no. A few days ago, I was thinking about the one thing on this earth that I desired both than anything. And as I was thinking about it while driving, I was in tears, bawling my eyes out, screaming out at the top of my lungs, “Why me, God??!! Of all people, why me??!!”

 

We’ve all been there, at a place in our life that brings us to our knees. When you pray and pray for something and God keeps saying no, it breaks your heart. But it’s not God breaking your heart, it’s how you view  your problem. What you want more than anything looks simply just way too far away from your grasp, but you already know how immensely happy it would make you if you had it.

 

In the Bible, a certain Biblical character named Sarah was infertile and in her old age. God literally spoke to her and promised her and her husband Abraham that in due time (God’s perfect timing), they would give birth to a son. But instead of trusting in God’s promises and in His words, Sarah decided it would be a good idea if she “helped” God out by making her servant girl, Harai, as Abraham’s concubine and conceive a child by her. Did that help the situation? No. Did that bring about God’s promises or answered prayers? No. In fact, it made the situation even worse.

 

Another example of the terrible idea it is to “help” God answer your prayers, is like the story my husband likes to tell me sometimes. Before I came into his life, he longed and desired for a wife. Without realizing it, he tried to “help” God along by asking friends if they knew any good Christian single women. He wasn’t desperate, by any means, but he was ready to settle down. The situation didn’t go so well, so then, he decided that enough was enough. He was going to leave it up to God and prayed that His will be done. Sure enough, in a few months time, I came along, and the rest is history. Now we’ve been happily married for almost 5 years.

 

When you’re frustrated, angry, sad, and heartbroken, the last thing you want to do is stop thinking about your problem. Right? All you want to do is bury yourself in a dark place, cry yourself to sleep, and be completely miserable for a good long while. Right? But what if I told you that there is true peace, comfort, and satisfaction in the Lord when we turn everything over to Him? When God says “no”, it really means that it is not yet His timing for your problem to disappear. It is not yet His timing for the deepest desires of your heart, something you’ve prayed about for so long, to be fulfilled. Just like Paul in the Bible, when he prayed that God might take away the figurative thorn in his side, God replied that His grace was sufficient, that His power was perfected in man’s weaknesses. When you are heartbroken and grieving and you feel like you just can’t wait any longer for that one thing you keep constantly praying for, remember that God is with you. He is with you and He loves you deeply. He is the one who created you, and He understands you better than you even realize. He understands the hurt and pain you deal with; He’s done it all himself. Jesus Himself carried all of our burdens on the cross so we wouldn’t have to. It was by His sacrifice that we are here today, that salvation is freely ours if we truly want it.

 

The next time God says “no”, it’ll be really, really hard to accept. Believe, I’ve been there, and I’m still a work progress to this day. I’m still working on getting my trust in God absolutely perfect. It’s a daily process and struggle. But listen, you can’t receive any blessing at all in Christ UNLESS you let it all go and let God handle it. Don’t try to “help” God out by trying to do the leg work for Him, or try to speed up the process of you receiving that blessing. That’s what the devil wants you to do. This also shows great distrust and disloyalty toward God. When you’re trying to help Him, you’re not really trusting Him, you’re not really believing His words that He is your stronghold and help in all kinds of times of trouble. He is our truest friend, and nothing is impossible with Him. Believe that today, my friends. When life gets tough – and it will get tough – the best thing to do is to pray hard about it, but then don’t keep holding onto your problems, fears, worries, etc. Just let it all go. Give it all to God. Pray that His will be done in these circumstances. And then, great peace and comfort will envelop your soul, and you will feel, from the depths of your heart, that you can do anything, because God is with you. Not only that, but in God’s own good timing, He WILL answer your prayers and it WILL be great. Maybe He won’t answer your prayers in a way that you initially imagined, but how He answers will be even better than you ever imagined. You’ll be that much more thankful, too.

 

I know it’s hard, and it’s not something easy that happens overnight. I personally feel like I’ve been waiting on my dreams forever and ever. But I have complete trust in God now that whatever His will is will prosper, and will make me happier than I ever could’ve imagined. He will make a way when there seems to be no way, and He will answer your prayers with a yes – once again, maybe not exactly what you wanted, but even better!

 

My parents have a sheep ranch, and have so for 18 years. They breed their sheep ewes (aka female sheep) every year. Now the lambs that are born are important. We love the sheep ewes. They’re like your pets, and you raise those mamas and watch them grow up and now that they are mamas, you’re excited for them once they become pregnant. There was this one ewe on this particular year, whose name was Harmony. She was a good ewe, and on the year before this, she had a healthy baby boy. Boys are not as important as girls, not because we don’t love them – because we do – but because we only use them for the 4-H county fair. But they have to be castrated for that and after the summer was over, we have no choice but to sell them. It can be kind of a rough business in that light. But having girls are more important, because you can raise them completely and start breeding them in two years.

 

So anyway, my sheep ewe, Missy, died after giving birth to a stillborn lamb, as well as another lamb who only lived a couple days. It was heartbreaking for me. Then, a few days later, Harmony gave birth to two stillborn GIRLS. It was absolutely heart-wrenching and at that time, I had such difficulty in trusting in God and understanding why He had let such a terrible thing happen. I was so fearful that we were going to lose our whole flock, or the majority of the lambs. Even half of the lambs. I was just terrified, really. But then, someone told me something very important that made me do a complete 180. He told me that whether it was God’s will for us to lose the entire flock of sheep or lambs or to only lose some of them, it was up to God and His choice. Which, for some people, might make them angry. They may think to themselves, “How can a loving God do such a thing?” But when I heard this, it didn’t make me angry. Instead, it made me incredibly guilty for doubting God’s goodness in my life. It made me realize that what I wanted more than anything at that time wasn’t up to me, but the Creator of the Universe. In the end, it really didn’t matter what any of us did to help the situation. God’s will had to be done no matter what. Just like now, for example, there’s so much evil in the world today and people always find someone to blame. They even blame God. But they shouldn’t even be mad at God. Why? Because God is a god! Not just a god, he’s THE GOD. And He’s the one who created not just us, but every human being, creature, and plant that’s ever lived on this earth! He even cares about the tiniest ant and their families. Now how cool is that!

 

So if God cares so deeply for us, shouldn’t we give it all to Him and surrender our lives to Him in serving Him? Aside from our needs, we can still pray for what we want, but ultimately, God’s will has to rule. Whether it’s God’s will for you to be a chef or a banker, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Whether God wants you to have a baby through conception or adoption, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Whether God wants you to live in Arizona or Maine, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Your job is pretty simple, really. You just need to pour your heart out to God in prayer, do your part in it as well as you can, such as sending our resumes, researching whatever you need to do, etc. But don’t help God. Don’t step into something with both feet without completely praying about it first, to make sure it aligns perfectly with God’s will. Then, let it all go and surrender it over to God. Not only that, but TRUST God with the outcome. Whatever He plans for us is always good (Romans 8:28), and He always comes through for us. ALWAYS.

 

I hope this blog post gave you encouragement, and I hope it will give you something to think about. Feel free to comment below to share your own stories! 🙂

 

JMK~

TMS: Part 2: Chapters 13-End

13

Twenty years earlier

She hadn’t known that it would happen. There was hardly an explanation either—except that the magic suitcase had brought her here, of all places, to the busy town of London, England.

The magic suitcase had brought her back to life.

Marilyn Jackson peeked around the corner of a big brick building as she stood inside one of the London alleyways, in complete shock. She’d squeezed her eyes shut when the lit stick of dynamite had reached the end of the line, but instead of feelings of pain or even seeing the beautiful land of Paradise, she’d opened her eyes and had been laying on the ground beneath her. It was the strangest thing—perhaps the magic suitcase was much more than she’d ever imagined.

She didn’t know where her three children were, but she also was not worried. There was no doubt that they were safe. But now, she must continue to go on, for the mysteries of life were lying straight ahead. Now that she was presumed dead to the rest of the world, God still had a special plan for her.

Marilyn took a deep breath as she strode down the alleyway and toward the busy downtown area. All kinds of people roaming around her. Reporters, artists, drivers, and the average London citizen: adult or child, were hurrying around the streets of London. A boy was on the edge of one street giving away newspapers and, curious, Marilyn took one that he handed her and studied it.

She gasped—she was in the future! According to the newspaper’s year date, it had been exactly twenty-some years since she’d been in Morwick, witnessing her husband die, watching her daughters disappear inside the magic suitcase, leaving her baby to Cornwall Reaves for him to protect forever. She’d died inside the coal mining tunnel – but the magic suitcase had revived her. Her fate had been sealed that awful morning, and yet, she’d still awoken to find herself alive.

As Marilyn strode down the downtown London streets, not knowing where she was going but also not caring, she thought of her parents, particularly her father, who had so deeply loved her mother – who in such a short time had been the best mother Marilyn had ever known. If either one of them were alive today, what would be their thoughts of her life, of how the magic suitcase had saved her?

She walked faster, feeling determined and also a little anxious to discover what will occur next upon her. She’d probably never know where the suitcase had brought her children, and she’d also probably never find out. But by now, they were incredibly happy living their own lives, and that was all that truly mattered above anything else. For she trusted the magic suitcase.

Suddenly, though, as she gazed amongst the people and wagons hurrying down the streets at fast paces, she stopped—and froze. Her blood ran cold with shock, and then, tears welled up in her eyes – tears of utter, complete happiness.

There, across the street a little ways from her, stood a man holding his own newspaper, frowning at it in confusion. Marilyn could recognize those high cheekbones anywhere—those pale blue eyes, the dark, wavy hair, the beard that curved around his jaw, even his sun-browned skin. He was a man who had worked in the coal mines since age twenty-one, a man who had loved his career until his dying day in which he’d dissolved in that coal mining tunnel like mere dust from the ground. She’d gazed into those pale blue eyes every day. He was the father of her children, her best friend, and every reason that she’d ever chosen to live in her past – and every reason for needing to continue to live the rest of her life until the Lord called her home for good.

Tears sprang from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.

“Henry!” she screamed at the top of his lungs, waving her arms. “Henry!”

Henry looked up, since he recognized the voice as well as his own, and his pale blue eyes searched the crowds until they found her. They widened, and he dropped the newspaper.

“Henry!” she exclaimed, rushing through the crowd of people and wagons. “Henry, Henry!”

“Marilyn!” he shouted, his booming voice sounding like the most beautiful roll of thunder. He began to run toward her.

She ran straight toward him as soon as she reached the other side of the street. He stopped, tears in his own eyes, and extended his arms with a big smile on his handsome, weathered face.

Giant sobs overtook her as she jumped into his arms, feeling his arms collide around her, perfect as always, and Henry swept her feet off the ground, holding her and cherishing her. She buried his face in his shirt, smelled his wonderful scent of pine and home. Her love for him was powerful, as was his own love for her, the greatest and best treasure either of them had ever known.

Finally, Henry set her down, pulling back only to cradle her jaw in his large palms, tears damp on his face.

“Is it you?” he whispered, in tears as she fingered the waves of his hair with tenderness. “Is it really you?”

Nodding, Marilyn beamed, and then kissed him with a deep passion, and he kissed her back. Their arms stayed linked around each other’s bodies, their hearts once again united.

And from that day forward, through death and eternity, that link would forever remain.

 

 

 

Dear friends,

 

Thank you for choosing to read this book. It means the world to me that you would support me in my endeavors. One day this Part 2 might become published, but not now. May God continue to bless you always.

 

JMK~

Marriage is Fun – Really, It Is!

Marriage is Fun – Really, It Is!

7 July 2016

Hello, everyone!

It was the first of December, 2011. I was unemployed, searching for a job, but took a break from job searching to go to a certain special KFC at 1:00 PM. I parked my rusty old, brown Oldsmobile in a parking stall facing the street and took out my phone. My fingers were trembling with nervousness and anticipation.

“I’m here,” he texted.

“Me, too,” I replied in the text, and hit Send. I swallowed hard, and prayed, Dear Lord, if it is Your will, please let him be the One. I’m sick and tired of my heart being broken. Please, let him be the One.

It was the first real date in our four months of texting each other, and also the first real time we would meet face to face. I’d never been so nervous in my life. But the moment I stepped out of my car, he stepped out of his old maroon, Jimmy truck. His eyes met mine, and he smiled. I smiled in response, too, as if knowing right then and there that I would be smiling at him like that for the rest of my life, as if knowing already that he was the one I would marry. Somehow, as I walked toward him, I knew, somewhere deep inside me, that this was the one, that God had already answered my prayer before I’d even asked it. Little did I know then that a year and a half later, I’d be engaged to this man – that years afterward, I’d be typing this blog post to you right now, fully intending to tell you all about the wonderful and amazing journey that lies ahead in marriage.

Every couple’s love story is  beautiful. But ours is my favorite. I love that saying. It is so true, and I always think that, too, every time I look into my husband’s eyes and remember that cold wintry day in the KFC parking lot. So much has changed since then – but I have to wonder if every married couple who sees the above saying really thinks this for the rest of their married life. Do they expect the marriage to be short? or do they hope their spouse will change so they can live a happy life? Sadly, too many marriages crash mainly because of unhappiness and non-understandable differences. Sadly, too many people walk away from that person they’d once been so completely in love with, usually not due to infidelity, but due to too much anger in not being able to change the spouse because of this and that. Maybe he always forgets to put the cap back on the toothpaste when he’s done using it. Maybe she never flosses her teeth and therefore that grosses him out. Maybe she thinks he never helps with the kids / pets as much as he should. Maybe he’s the only one going to church while she stays home and sleeps in. The list goes on.

I firmly believe that lots of people these days are afraid of getting married, because they think marriage is a ball-and-chain business. Guys don’t want to be faced with a “nagging wife” the rest of their lives, of dealing with her little fits of tears and rage about the littlest things. Girls don’t want to be faced with a prison sentence, seeing one man for the rest of their lives, and living with the fear of never being able to change his disgusting habits.

Hold on.

People don’t understand that marriage is NOT a ball-and-chain business. A wife shouldn’t be nagging at her husband anyway, just like the husband should not be treated as a prison sentence with disgusting habits. Granted, nobody is perfect. So why do couples assume their significant other is perfect when they marry? And why do people so often think, “Oh, when we get married, I’ll just change him / her. I’ll make it happen somehow.” God made marriage beautifully – where we as couples work as a team together. We love each other more than the day before. We look past each other’s imperfections and see the beauty that’s inside. Yes, maybe he doesn’t put the cap on the toothpaste every night, but overall, he’s still a great husband, right? Yes, maybe she snores every night and sometimes whines, but overall, doesn’t she make you the happiest woman in the world? You see, marriage isn’t by dealing with each other’s imperfections constantly – it’s learning to see one imperfect person perfectly. Each and every day, too!

Let me give you an example. My husband and I work as a team. He is the breadwinner and family head of the household, but we talk about everything. We never keep secrets from each other, and we never purposely try to hurt each other. We’re not perfect, but we see past each other’s imperfections to the beauty that’s truly inside. If we have an issue, we try to talk through it in a calm manner where we are listening to each other thoroughly. We have a strong marriage based on trust, love, faithfulness, and where we’re each other’s best friend. In marriage, it is a constant adventure, but only if you play the game right. But first, above all else, lean on God and ask Him to help you through the times when you need strength in your marriage, and be kindly honest with each other all the way through. Not every situation will go well, but not every situation will go bad, either. If you work through your issues instead of bottling it up inside and nagging / yelling, though, and remember the marriage that God so beautifully designed, and also if you let go of the small things that do not matter and open up to the beauty that’s inside your spouse, every situation will be successful no matter what.

Do your homework first, though – choose a spouse that will make a good mate, where there aren’t any red flags anywhere. Then, open your arms wide to the pure and true beauty that’s inside marriage. You want the kind of marriage where you can happily grow old with and laugh with, not somebody you’re not looking forward to coming home to. How did your grandparents and great-parents make it through their long-lasting marriages? Through trust, faith, love, true friendship, patience, and kindness. Marriage is a lifetime commitment longing to be discovered by all, and it only gets better year by year! But only if you let it – if you both work hard, enjoy, and love your spouse despite the imperfections of his or her self. That’s the kind of person that God sees – and that’s the kind of person that YOU should see!

Don’t forget to look for Jenna’s new book, “The Magic Suitcase: Martha” in online stores through Amazon and Smashwords! Buy it today and then buy it again when it arrives in paperback – which is coming soon!  Focus your reading energy on a book that will remind you about the wonderful blessings of life, and the surprises that come upon life’s way!

Have a good week, everyone 🙂

JMK~

A Blessed Marriage~

Hello everyone,

Marriage is a blessing from God. My parents raised me with that constant reminder. My mother once told me that I would be blessed in my marriage, and not only that, but when you marry, you not only marry the man you love, you marry your best friend. How should your marriage make you happy and stay life-long? First and foremost, because of God, and relying on Him daily to continuously bless our marriages as He continues to do. But also because of constant communication, honesty, showing and telling each other how much we love each other on a daily basis, and finally, be each other’s best friend.

In this novella that I wrote in college, the last thing on Millie Larsen’s mind was marriage. She was in her mid-twenties and came from a very wealthy yet standoffish family. Her parents were very strict — so strict, in fact, that they wanted her to marry into an arranged marriage. No matter how hard she tried, she would not be able to resist them. She would be marriage before her twenty-eighth birthday no matter what they said – and this is set in present times!

Can you imagine the kind of power a couple has to have over their only child to demand such a decree? That their daughter marries into an arranged marriage? I would’ve been flabbergasted, depending why the need to have an heir in the family legacy so badly. Although, God is looking out for Millie. She may have to marry into another wealthy family, but she marries a good Christian man – Tom Andersen – who is just as unhappy about this arranged marriage as she is. She’s never met the guy, he’s never met her, and this entire situation just looks bad.

But as they marry and they grow together as friends in this romance novella called “Great Kentucky,” gradually learning to count on each other and rely on one another more and more every day, they learn the secret to true marital happiness — and, in the process, they fall in love. Obstacles come along the way, threatening to tear them apart. At the end of the story, you will discover the depth of true love and what it really does for a couple. I wrote this book not just because I wanted to tell another cool romance story, but I also wanted to share and also show the true love and happiness to marriage.

One of the things I get really annoyed at is hearing about marriages, usually celebrity marriages, where it doesn’t last very long. The Kardashians are testament to that, as well as a certain king called King Henry V111 who had eight different wives with marriages that either ended in divorce or death, most of them by the beheading of his wives….ugh. It doesn’t ever seem like they understand the true secret to marriage like what I mentioned in my first paragraph. 🙂 Divorce rates are skyrocketing highly all over the nation. This is mainly due to the fact that people do not understand the secret to marriage. Marriage is forever, a blessing given by God unless in cases of adultery. And why would you even want to be with someone aside from your spouse? Why would you want to hurt the one that God has meant for you to be with for life?

You can rely on your spouse for so many things, and like all marriages, there may be ups and downs. But what do you do? You work through it and if you do so patiently and lovingly, keeping in mind selflessness and the constant ambition to see each other’s best interests, those ups and downs truly do bring you closer together. You most definitely shouldn’t give up. Every day you find another reason to love each other and admire one another. You strive to learn more about each other (and trust me, even when you’re old, you still learn stuff from one another!), and in the process, grow closer and closer. So close that you may even know the next thing your spouse says before he or she finishes saying it.

There’s one thing that I’d personally like to share. In my life, I’d never been much of a football fan. Outside of the Vikings and Packers, I hadn’t much of a clue what the football rules were or even who a lot of teams were. My mom knew a ton more than I did! But anyway, after I met my husband, I gradually began to learn more and I realized, as our relationship eventually blossomed into marriage, that it will melt your spouse’s heart and make him really happy if you learn to enjoy the same things that he does. Therefore, the more football games we watched together, the more questions I asked as I forced myself to watch the games. As I asked questions, it showed my husband my true keen interest and it both shocked him and also made him happy.

And now, I know every team in football today, most of the footballs rules, and last night when we celebrated the Super Bowl and watched our Patriots win, you wouldn’t believe how excited I was! Not just to win – but I was excited to watch the game! 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed week 🙂

JMK~ 🙂