Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

It's another glorious day here in Abilene, Texas!  I've been enjoying some "down time" having Mike home, which also means an extra set of hands to help with the kiddos.  

Harrison had a wonderful Christmas, blessed with many, many new toys to play with, and Heidi enjoyed watching, I think.  Of course she received gifts too but since she is 12 months old, she really didn't care about much more than hiding under the piles of torn paper!  We had a great time sharing webcam Christmas with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Blair and Aunty Danielle in Canada, as well as the big extended family Christmas with Mike's parents and siblings here in Texas.  I was spoiled rotten by my husband with a beautiful set of princess cut diamond earring studs.  I of course indulged him in his xbox 360 habit, uh I mean hobby!

With the New Year right around the corner I have been pondering new goals for 2011, just like everyone else on the planet.  My goals easily fit into a few different categories: spiritual, financial, family & fitness.  I'm a firm believer of writing out your goals and keeping them visibly in front of you.  You don't know where you're headed unless you have a map!  I'll gladly share a few of my top ones in each category:

1. continue my daily reading plan to read through the entire Bible this year
2. continue stretching myself to experience God in new and exciting ways
3. serve on a missions trip in 2011

1. to remain debt free!
2. to continue to give and bless others out of the abundance given to us

1. to continue to set and encourage healthy boundaries with our children
2. to develop healthy communication patterns with my husband :)

1. To complete 3 sprint distance triathlons, and 2 olympic distance tri's
2. To complete a 1/2 marathon
3. To achieve a healthy body fat %

I was enjoying some quiet time today while the kids were napping.  Only a few pages into my favorite triathlon magazines and I was whisked away dreaming of new race locations, of one day completing an Ironman, and of all the awesome equipment out there to help me achieve those dreams!  I'll need a job just to pay for my hobby, especially if I want to stay debt free!!!

I hope the ushering in of 2011 inspires you to dream new dreams, to uncover unfulfilled dreams of the past, and to push forward with new anticipation.  This is your year!  Let's make it a great one together!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours!

I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!!  Today is December 23, or otherwise known as "the day before Christmas Eve"!  I am sure most families have some type of holiday celebration well underway by now.  My heart is so full of blessings from my Heavenly Father that I'm bursting at the seams!

This Christmas has such a sense of freedom, of prosperity, of love and it has nothing to do with money or gifts, and everything to do with Jesus Christ, my King and Savior.  Did you know that He loves each and every one of his children so much that He is passionate about even the tiniest details of their lives?  I pray that you will seek to know Him as a friend and companion so that you can experience His extravagant love for you like we have!

The kids and I have been buzzing around today, filled with anticipation and joy! Christmas music playing softly, tree lit, Christmas outfits chosen, ready to celebrate our first holiday event tonight! Canada web cam Christmas!!  We are meeting Grandma Holly and Grandpa Mike as well as Uncle Blair and Aunty Danielle online to unwrap gifts and celebrate Christmas together.  Harrison has been SO excited since the "large box" arrived from Grandma!!  It's been hard to keep things under wrap!!

I get to celebrate as well because my Christmas cards are finally in the mail!! {I'm just glad they made it out before January!}

We also have all our supplies purchased and ready to go for Operation Pancake Adventure on Christmas morning.  We have a few locations mapped out but we don't know exactly where the Holy Spirit will lead us, but I do know that it's going to be great! We will glorify the Lord with our testimony and watch His power come as we pray for the people on the streets of Abilene! I get chills just thinking about it!

The best news of all is that Daddy is driving to Sioux Falls, South Dakota as I type to catch a flight home in the morning!! We are overjoyed to be picking him up at the airport tomorrow at 1 pm.  I cannot wait to be hugged and squeezed and kissed! The kids are besides themselves trying to be patient for tomorrow, too! What an answer to prayer that he will be home for the holidays!

It is my hearts desire that your holidays be filled with peace, joy and love as you wonder in awe at how the King of kings and Lord of lords was born in a lowly manger so long ago.  We are not asked to understand but to simply believe.  May your faith, hope and love greatly abound in 2011!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

The Burnett Bunch
Michael, Jennifer, Harrison & Heidi

Monday, December 20, 2010

Do It Again!!!

I am SO, SO, SO, SO, SO thrilled to share with you the testimony of healing that I was blessed to witness this week!!!  For weeks and weeks I having been praying and seeking the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, just like the bible says.  I've been asking God to show me what it looks like, what it feels like {etc} for healing, miracles and signs and wonders to be a part of my every day life. Yesterday [Sunday] He answered my prayer!!

Several weeks ago during a powerful time of worship at church the Lord gave me a word of knowledge for the healing of feet.  I tested it in my spirit to make sure it was the Lords voice because I was nervous about wrongly sharing something and then I approach our Pastor and shared the word with him.  He had me stay on the platform to share the word publicly, and all I said was "The Lord has impressed on me that he wants to heal peoples feet this morning, and I want to pray for you."  I didn't know if it meant bones, muscles, disease etc, so I didn't specify any further than "feet".  While I was on the platform the crowd parted and there was a woman there with crutches and an cast on her leg!!

When I stepped down to pray for her I conducted a brief "interview" so I could understand what to pray for specifically. She had broken her foot and it was still on the mend and was causing her much pain and inhibiting her daily life.  So I started praying and in my mind thought "Lord, you brought the word, so here we go!"  After praying for a couple minutes I asked her if she felt any better. Carol said that the pain had mostly gone [praise God!] and so I continued to speak to her foot; that new bone would grow perfectly in place and that any muscle issues would also be healed.  I asked her if she could put any pressure on her foot that would have normally caused her pain and she could [praise God, again!] After the ministry time she told me that she had an appointment with her orthopaedic specialist the very next day; I told her I was very excited to see what he said about her healing! She also mentioned that she can only attend church every so often because of her job.  I hadn't seen her since the Sunday I was able to pray for her.  Fast forward to this week.

So, this Sunday at church during greeting time I saw someone in front of me, with their back towards me that looked vaguely familiar.  It took me a moment to realize it was the same woman... without crutches!!!  I quickly made my way over to her and once we made eye contact tears rushed to her eyes as I looked at her with expectancy.  "Yes!!" was all she could managed to say.  She was completely healed, no more broken bones, no more crutches!!! Praise God for His faithfulness!! Wooooooo!! We both danced around to celebrate!!

I've recently learned that the root of the word testimony [ud] in Hebrew means "to do it again".  So in Revelation 19:10 it says "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy".  I have heard it taught and fully believe that when we share prophetic words and testimonies it is saying that God wants to do this again for someone, in the now moment!!  

The purpose of prophetic words are to either foretell a coming event or they release such a change in present circumstances that it becomes a catalyst for immediate change.  {Which is simply what I shared a couple of weeks ago} Think of it this way: the spoken or written record/testimony of anything that God has already done carries with it an anointing to either change present circumstances or to declare what is coming. [Bill Johnson]


What is really astonishing is that the testimony doesn't end with the bone healing!  That same morning I was introduced to another lady who had come to church for the first time in many, many years.  She told me that when she heard the word given about the healing of feet she immediately knew that was why she was at church that morning! [Yay God!]  She has been a hairdresser for over 20 years and her feet always hurt and were very swollen.  A friend and I were blessed enough to pray with her and because of the love of Jesus that she felt, she gave her life to the Lord!! WOOOOOOO!!!  A couple weeks later she found me to tell me that her feet have hardly hurt since the day we prayed for them!  GOD IS SO AWESOME!!

I pray that you are blessed by reading this testimony today and that together we can all celebrate Gods faithfulness and willingness to duplicate miracles!  May we each come into an understanding that heaven is meant to touch earth every day!  I am so excited for personal breakthrough in the healing ministry and I am ready to see God do it again and again and again!!! All we have to do is step forward in faith and share of His good works.  Hallelujah!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pretty Ugly

This week was jam-packed full of fun events for me to attend!!  Starting on Sunday evening Champions Church had their annual Women's Christmas Party and Kitchen Gadget Exchange.  It was a blast!  We competed by singing Christmas carols as a team in a certain "style", such as opera, Elvis, and man style. It was hilarious! My table sang "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", man style. It was hideously wonderful! The entire event was so beautifully put together and the gift exchange was fun! It was "white elephant" style with 46 women!! There was a whole lot of stealin' going on! What a great way to fellowship with other women! Oh by the way, I ended up trading someone for the gift that I actually bought! It's ok though, I've always wanted a Slap Chop!!

Monday morning I assisted with Harrison's Christmas Party at his school.  Try to co-ordinate 15 two year olds, each supposed to make three crafts each!  It was fun and I was able to snap a few shots of him shaking his little jingle bells while singing "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".  Pretty cute!

Tuesday morning we packed up and headed southwest to San Angelo, where we used to live.  I was SO blessed to spend a good portion of the day catching up with my wonderful friend Christie!  Christie is an amazing woman, and a mother I admire very much.  She was (and still is) the leader of the first MOPS group I ever attended, and really does such a fantastic job.  Nothing is half way done, even though she is a busy mom just like the rest of us.  It was always such a pleasure and a blessing to attend.  I feel even more blessed to call her my friend.  We had fun catching up while Harrison played with every single toy he could get his hands on!  He may have had just as much fun as I did!  Christie even tipped me off on a little boutique where I could find an excellent sweater for the next party on Wednesday night.  She hopped in her van with her two kiddos and lead me over there and stayed in between the vans with all the kids while I ran in to bargain hunt.  I ended up with a great sweater and a lovely pair of earrings to match.  From there we said our goodbyes, although this time was much easier since we have already made tentative plans to hang out in Abilene next week sometime!  My sweet babes slept all the way home in the van.  It was a wonderful day!

Finally, Wednesday. Ahhhh.  I've only been counting down to this day for 2 weeks!  Our Connect Group decided to up the festivities of our Christmas party by all dressing in UGLY sweaters! It was so fun!  Some were owned, some were bargain hunted and some were home-made; it was awesome!!  We ate great food and had fun playing Christmas charades.  The only downside (for some, NOT me!) was that the weather was a gorgeous 86 degrees!  But everyone was a good sport and wore their sweaters anyway.  So blessed to have such awesome brothers and sisters in Christ to celebrate with!!

What a great week and it's not even over with!  Saturday night I am having my sister (in-law) over for dinner and a visit and I'm super pumped for that!

Here's a few pictures of our ugly sweater party!

All the women

Amity and I

My great girl friends, Amy & Amity

The Men.  Here I would like to point out the winners,
the far left (Pastor T) and far right (Jeff). Aren't they awesome!?

Christmas Traditions

I've always loved talking to people about their families traditions for the holidays.  I find it so fascinating to hear how everyone else loves to celebrate!  I must admit that since we have small children of our own, again I find myself evaluating Christmas and traditions again, with new eyes and perspective.

Mike and I have often gone back and forth about how we, or are we going to portray Santa in our home? Will we buy gifts from him? How many? How far are we willing to go?  We have decided that we will not play up Santa and choose to put Jesus in the spotlight.  We will not deny our children the delight of believing in Santa, but we will not mask it as something that it is not.  We have decided that their stockings will be filled with gifts from Santa, but everything else will be from Mommy, Daddy and each other.  The Spirit of the living Christ is what matters each and every day, not just on one day of the year.

In my family, we always met as a large extended family (20+) at my Grandma's house and ate great food, and played together.  It was always noisy, rowdy, and the most fun I can remember!  We would stay up late and each cousin was able to open one gift on Christmas Eve.  I think this is a tradition that is dear to my heart and that we plan to carry forward with our children.

This year we have chosen to establish a new tradition for our little family.  Mike and I will be getting up early and cooking pancakes and brewing a large urn of coffee to later deliver to the less fortunate in Abilene.  God has gently and lovingly reminded me that at this time last year we would have been homeless, too; weeks away from expecting our daughter but without a job, a home and food if not for God's provision and generosity in our life.  Each and every day we rely on His provision and this Christmas we are going to celebrate by seizing the opportunity to provide something small for someone else in need.  We feel like by giving from our hearts first thing Christmas morning we will be more grateful to receive.

Thank you Jesus for all you have done for us. Please continue to work through us as we reach out to bless others and change our city.  We give you all the praise and glory!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hot or Cold?

Just a few minutes ago, while standing at the stove making something for the kids to eat later on today I received a revelation from the Father.  As the dish was slowly warming to a boil it was time to add extra ingredients, one at a time.  I felt He shared these thoughts with me.

"Jenn, would you consider yourself hot or cold?"

"I would like to think HOT Papa" I answered.

"Watch how adding one small thing to your pot can make it warm, instead of boiling hot!"

Sure enough, just as the dish was about to boil and I added something new, it cooled off enough to stop it from erupting into a full boil.

"Be mindful and watch what you are adding to your life. Make sure these things are increasing the fire, not causing you to cool off and die."

Wow.  Sure enough I knew instantly which "things" in my life I need less or none of.  But I am also willing to let the Holy Spirit continue the process and search out anything else that may cause me to cool off.

He reminded me of the following scriptures.  The Word of God has some pretty heavy things to say about being hot or cold:

Matthew 24:12 [NIV]
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold

Revelation 3:15 [NIV]
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!

Revelation 3:16 [NIV]
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

I believe that this is meant to be an encouragement to me and to you today.  An encouragement, you say!?! Yes!  It is my understanding that the danger of being lukewarm, or cold is that it strips us of our inheritance that Jesus died on the cross for.  When we aren't on fire for Him, and we can't see beyond the situations our own lives and daily routine how can we share His wild, crazy, passionate love with others? He is burning hot for us! That is how much He loves us!

What have you added to your life that has caused a drop in temperature? What can you add or take away to get that fire burning strong?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mother's Day Out

Both Harrison and Heidi are attending a Mother's Day Out program here in Abilene and the absolutely LOVE it!  I take them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:30 - 12:15. They eat lunch there and then when I pick them up we head straight home for nap time.  It allows me the much needed time for appointments, errands and Me time, and they love the social interactions.  It's fun because it is held at a different church than where we attend, so it's a new circle of friends and life.

I would love to scan some of their art projects into the computer to share them, but that will have to wait until I actually have a scanner here! Ha!  The projects are precious to say the least though. I've started a Rubbermaid treasure box for them already :) Such a proud Momma!

What's really cute is that they both were enrolled soon enough to get school pictures taken this year! They turned out great! A few lucky recipients should be watching your mailboxes for our Christmas cards and the school pictures!

We are having such a wonderful time just being connected in Abilene.  No more loneliness (as far as being isolated goes) and lots to do.  They even have a really fun indoor place called Jump Around which is just a few huge bounce houses on foam pads for the kiddos to run and jump around in. It's fun and cheap ($2 drop-in).

We have school MWF, church on Sunday/Wednesday, and other activities in between.  In January Harrison can start soccer at the YMCA (where I go).  I am SO excited for him to run around and have fun with the other kids!

Heidi is still learning how to walk.  And even at that, she really isn't that interested in learning!  She will pull up on furniture (what little we have) but cannot stand without it yet.  I know it will happen in due time.  No rush!  I cannot believe that she turns 1 in less than a month! I finally accepted the reality of it and bought some invitations.  We'll be waiting until the first week of January when Daddy gets home to have her a party in Abilene.  Maybe we will do one with family in Bangs on her actual birth day :)

Life is great! We miss Daddy daily, but we also release him to do his work. We are so grateful to have a great job when so many don't. Especially since we didn't for so long.  It is a season of personal sacrifice but the kids see him every day on the web cam and they love it.  We are definitely looking forward to seeing him in January though!!