There is Always a plan.

Have you ever had one of those seasons where you wonder,
Was this what God had planned?

In my early twenties that seemed to be the only question that ever left my lips.

For as long as I could remember I was in love with WaltDisney World.
I dreamed of working there... of making 'magic'.

After my first semester of college I was recruited to work there and that started a five year love affair with the most magical place on Earth.

I was Disney. I ate, slept, breathed it... and as I moved higher in the company I grew more and more excited that I had found the place I belonged. My outgoing personality worked perfectly and as friends and relatives visited me in my 'native land' they would only confirm that.

Yet... was that what God had planned? Sure seemed like it!

Doors seemed to be opening for me at Disney and I was given a coveted Management Internship in the Fall of 2006. Long story short:

Got amazing internship

Couldn't please boss or co-workers 

Started to fail at dream job.

Accusations came against me

Got fired. 

Felt like a massive failure. 

Usually our question of "Was this what God had planned" is when something goes massively wrong or when something we desire takes longer than we think it should to come to pass.

I'm hard pressed to really express the extreme devastation that hit me when I was fired from Disney.

Lame right?

But it had been my dream. I wanted nothing else. I didn't care about getting married. It wasn't even a thought in my mind... I certainly wasn't thinking about kids. All I wanted was that career. I had tailored me entire life and academic career for it. I felt like it was all I would ever be good at and suddenly... I was told I was horrible at it. So horrible I got fired.

Was this what God had planned?!

I know without a doubt it had to be God that I received that internship. Yet, as I failed and lay on my apartment floor crying hoping that Disney would call me with another job (which they did but thats another story, that's where my event planning skills came in...) I couldn't understand how I could have been so wrong...

Did God want me to be a failure? Did He do this to teach me some lesson?

No. God doesn't work like that.
Yet, when we are crying on the floor after a devastating blow... it's seriously hard to remember that fact.

What was the plan in me losing my job and all my dreams?

At the time I was attending an amazing church plant from Metro Life Church in Orlando, Florida. While I didn't go as often as I should have... I met this amazing girl there named Stephanie.

When I dragged my sorry self into church the Sunday after being fired she was there ready for me. Ready with a hug, ready with encouragement... and ready with words from God:

Jessica, I know you feel like you have gone off course
I see you in a boat and the boat has gone down a different path
God is steering the boat. He knows where you are going and he changed your path because you would have missed out on blessings he has for you. Trust Him. He knows where you are going.  

He knows where you are going. 

At the time, I had no idea what she was talking about. I'm almost certain I was thinking,
"Aw thanks... but I have no job and I'm a complete and utter failure at life. That stupid boat is sinking." 
It would be months before I actually understood what God was doing. What plan He had for me that included me losing all my friends, my livelihood and my dream. 

Yet... it did all make sense. There really was a plan.  

In January 2007 I moved back to New Orleans with the intent of finishing my degree and going back to Disney to pick up the pieces of my career. On February 18th, 2007 I attended my church's College Age/Singles Retreat and served on a greeting team with this handsome yet shy older man... named 
Bryan McCarty

The rest of that story deserves it's own post for sure but the point is...

It was not my plan to meet a handsome prince and ride off into the sunset.

It was my plan to run WaltDisney World.
(Laugh if you will... but I would have been awesome at it. Maybe...)

Yet, if I would have never gotten fired from that internship... I would have never came back home with my tail between my legs and met Mr. Bryan McCarty. would have missed out on blessings He has for you. 
No matter what season you are going though whether difficult or easy... trying or tempting... sad or happy... Know that when the moment comes and you ask yourself, "Was this what God had planned?" know that no matter what you did/do...

You can never ruin/alter/change or defer God's plan.

It is ALL God's plan.

Even the parts we would rather not talk about. God knew and He cared for us still in those moments.

He forgives us and keeps us on track to all He has planned for us.

Your life... has a Grand and Amazing Plan.
If it weren't true, God wouldn't have said so:

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord       [Jeremiah 29:11-14]

If you are in that season where bumps seem to mar the road more than smoothness know that each of those bumps... though they certainly don't make sense now, they do have a reason.

Sometimes God lets us know that reason. Other times we find out when we meet God face to face.

No matter what... God is Faithful.

Sure... I'm a loser who got fired from the Happiest Place on Earth.

But I'm the wife of a sexy, loving man and the mother to two adorable boys.
Boom. Take that Disney World.

God Bless and Much Love,


March-ing in some Greenery

Ever had one of those weeks where you got a lot accomplished... and yet didn't all at the same time?

Story of my life.

During our Spring Break we finished our Bedroom curtains! And when I say we, I mean me and my trusty iron. We have a love/hate relationship. The iron doesn't like to talk about it.

So with that awesome distraction I did not get to post some of the easier projects that sprung up around the house during this month.

And in celebration of my favorite holiday tomorrow,  St Patrick’s Day, here is my March mantle and some other spring decor.

Hopefully I'll be posting my curtains soon as soon as I finish packing for Disney!

One day I hope to understand my fancy Canon camera to actually take nice photos... though photography has never been my skill. My apologies.

When I was growing up I hated fake flowers. Ugh... so FAKE
My mother would just shake her head and say one day I will understand the awesomness of them.

That day came.

Thankfully it came on a week where Michael's had all their flowers on sale 40% off. Score.

Fake flowers have come along way dear friends... way worth the investment.

 This stunning table cloth use to be my Great Grandmother Boylan's. My mom would tell me how it would come out for every holiday which was why it had food stains littered around.

I found it awhile back and used my White Brite on it and though there still are stains... they are faint and just a reminder of how loved this sweet treasure is.

These awesome bird cages are from my sweet friend Hollie.

She let me have them for my spray painting pleasure and I think once I figure out what to put in them they will have quite a happy home here.

Hope you have a fantastic week my sweet friends!!

And may I have more awesome photos like this to share after our long awaited and desperately needed vacation!

God Bless and Much Love,


Watch what you Say...

When I worked at Disney (A million years ago) they were adament about teaching us to watch what we say becasue you never know who was around you. Sharing a Disney tidbit to some adult might completely ruin the magic to the five year old standing behind you.

Fast forward to parenting and watching what you say could mean the difference between a pleasant afternoon or chasing after a two year old shouting a colorful word at the top of his lungs with glee.

Yet, while we all know to watch what negative comes out of our mouth, are we aware of the positives that come out?

It's an afterthought obviously but what you use your lips to praise, others are listening to as well and I learned yesterday that words I use to lift up are a thousand times more important than the words I am always "watching what I say." 

For Christmas Bryan bought me my first bicycle since I was in high school. He found this bicycle shop that was a good forty minutes away from our house and we had the best time looking at bikes, trying them out and choosing just the right one!

It was a fun experience where Bryan had three fun children to watch: Elliot who was trying to ride all the Toddler bikes, Ethan who was rocking his car seat and me who was running around like a kid in a candy store. 

Long story short... we purchased the perfect bicycle! Our attendant had promised us one feature for the bike he needed to special order and well... that special order took about two months. 

We called and called so needless to say this bicycle shop is no longer our favorite. After making me feel like a stalker they FINALLY came through and kept their word. I took my bicycle over yesterday and I was hoping to get in and out since I'm sure the man we "harrassed" made it clear what a "cray cray" I was. Even though we had every right to pursue him on it since he made a promise and people need to be responsible and keep their word... I still felt like an idiot and wanted to avoid all of these people. 

So, like any responsible adult... I left my children in the car so I had to wait in the car with them and not have them stare at me. 

Yet, as one of the attendants was escorting me to my car he paused and than called me back. 

"You know I remember you." 

Oh nutz... that never is a good phrase when said to me. 

"You were here with your husband and... the way you talked to him." He paused for a second and I stood frozen confused. 

"It made me go home and buy my wife flowers because she treats me like you treat him. Like we are the most amazing people in the whole world. I just wanted you to know I thought it was beautiful... your husband is very lucky to be loved by you." 

I was floored. 

I didn't even remember this guy being there. But he remembered me being there and it made a difference for him. He went and bought his lady flowers! 

Ephesians 4:29:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear..

I always am conscious to tell the truth about parenting... that yes, it is rough but 90% of the time it truly is joy. Often though we can only harp on the negative 10%.

"College is awful... That school is terrible. I hate it." 

"My job is a nightmare! They are too demanding." 

"My husband never does anything around the house... lazy oaf..." 

"Ugh good luck having two kids... kiss your life goodbye."

Today remind yourself of the 90% of awesome and don't dwell on the negative. Some things aren't as awesome I'm sure but there are plenty that are and today tell someone about it.

You never know who is listening. 

The young couple who is secretly thinking about having children...
The high schooler who is thinking about attending that college...
The wife who is looking for an excuse to not love her husband...

With your speech give grace to those who are listening to you.
It will mean the world to them. 

God Bless and Much Love,