livin’ on a prayer

I was thinking both about Martin Luther and Bon Jovi as I looked at my calendar this month, which is unusually full. I’ve been trying to cram in as much as possible before beginning a year-long sabbatical in January (only 85 days to go!:) Martin Luther is quoted as saying that if he felt too busy to spend an hour in prayer and devotion he immediately stopped everything and took two hours. He realized that the busyness of life could impede what would actually give him life- a connection to God through prayer. I’m feeling mindful that I need to be conscious of taking space to be with God and to ask for his strength because I’m sure there will be times, like Bon Jovi, that I’ll be livin’ on a prayer. Good thing that tomorrow kicks off our month of spiritual challenge- a time of focused prayer- more about that in tomorrows post!

I hate it when people list off stuff that’s going on in their lives like we’re living in a busyness competition, but I would love for you 1- to be praying for me during this busy month, and 2- to be an encouraging community to stay on track with body, mind and spirit goals during a busy month of travel.

Last week I began what I’m calling “rocktober” as in- “Rockin’ out with Jesus in October” by driving to Detroit to speak to students at Wayne State University in Detroit on the topic “about me” and the narcissism that can easily skew our perspectives.

whatever? no! W is for wonderful wayne state students! Yes- I totally took this picture during my talk.
whatever? no! W is for wonderful wayne state students! Yes- I totally took this picture during my talk.

I love my job working with college students- helping them reflect on how spirituality is intersecting with their daily lives and learning how to talk about Jesus in natural and relevant ways. I had never spoken at Wayne State before during my 9 years with InterVarsity, but I’ve always enjoyed meeting students from their campus at different events and conferences. They were so lively and eager to learn! It was a long, but very fun day. If you’re interested, here’s the talk the sound quality isn’t very good- I’m still learning how to record myself in Gargage Band on my mac.

This week I’ll be driving to U of M Flint and giving a message on “Is there Hope?” and speaking at Grand Valley State University on how Christian spirituality intersects with the issue of human trafficking. Next week I’ll be in Cleveland, OH for some regional meetings, at a writers conference that weekend back here in West Michigan, in Madison, WI for some national meetings the next week and then home-sweet-home to take some time to recover during a silent retreat. whew! I love my job but this will be an intense month!

What are some big things you have coming up this month? Things you’re excited about? Dreading? One of the biggest things I’m looking forward to is being there for the delivery and birth of my friend Gracee’s second son! I’m just praying I’ll be in town when she goes into labor. My husband Dave & I went down to help them get their house ready for baby boy #2, which Reuben has been calling “baby Steve” for some unknown reason. This is Gracee about a week ago when we went to Meijer to get groceries for dinner.still stylin' and profilin' even when she's tired

I could barely stop laughing at her driving the motor cart, but could totally relate to the pain of being on your feet for hours as a preggo lady. But that’s Gracee- still stylin’ and profilin’ even when she’s dead tired and still in her jammies 🙂


  • Grace

    oh, my, I’m such a cow! And to think that was 2 weeks ago –good grief. Just found out today, I’m 1 cm dialated…which means: nothing! Could be tomorrow or 2 weeks from now –gee, thanks Doc! I am so eager to get this kid out after this weekend of on & off contractions & him officially dropping…it’s so redonkulously painful feeling like your going to pee out a melon all day. Here’s hoping & praying you can be there for the blessed event!

    On a sidenote, I’d love for you to throw your Mac wisdom my way on recording my talks via garage band or whatev… of all the talks of this last year I only have one. 🙁

  • laballard

    Hey Jessica. I listened to your talk (disappointed that the whole thing wasn’t availble) and I agree. I have a WordPress too and I feel the same way about the stupid chart that tells you how many people have read your blog. Life is funny. Hope you and Dave are doing well. Let me know if you post more of your talks 🙂
    Laura Ballard

  • Jessica

    Hey Laura- the whole talk should be there. Perhaps it was buffering too long or something? Maybe try again later? I’ll be speaking at your old chapter tomorrow night! It will be sad not seeing you there 🙂

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