Friday, April 29, 2011

Closing Out April

Second favorite month of the year is coming to a close already. (First favorite month being October, because I love fall and I love the sound of "October"'s just a romantic sounding word to me crazy.) I thought it would be fitting to conclude with an update on my life plus random ramblings.

BSF - is wrapping up. Only 2 more meetings. It's been an amazing journey through Isaiah for the last 8 months - I've learned so much about God's promises and sovereignty. Reading Isaiah will never be the same for me again. I've decided not to continue with BSF next year - it's a big commitment to add to my schedule at this time in my life. Perhaps I'll join again when I have little munchkins to do it with me.

From Isaiah 63
He said, “Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me”; and so he became their Savior. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

From Isaiah 64
For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

Ballet - is one of my favorite parts of the week. Every Thursday I leave class feeling energized, happy, exhausted (in a really good way, from a really good workout) and alive. Dancing makes me come alive. They invited me to join the company next fall, which I'm not sure about yet but very flattered & excited that they even asked me. (You want me? This old, rusty dancer? I can hardly believe it.) (And another side note: my back is holding up wonderfully. No complications from the surgery. No more pain. No limitations with dancing. I praise God every time I leave a class.)

Parson - made me laugh so hard this morning. He was really out of it when Bryce left the house early, so when I sat up in bed the dog startled and literally freaked out. I felt so bad . . . and then started laughing. For the next 5 minutes he paced the room, whimpering and whining. Poor thing.

Bryce - is my favorite (just had to throw that out there). He's a busy man: working full time at the fire station, taking 9-credits-worth of pre-requisite nursing classes (finals are next week and then a break!), meeting with lots of gentlemen for friendship/mentoring, playing/leading/doing sound for worship about twice a month, mowing the lawn & putting in rain barrels, and biting-at-the-bit to rebuild his motorcycle and compose music. We don’t get to spend many quiet evenings together, so last night was such a treat. We ate Arby’s & chatted & sat on the couch with our teas & chatted some more.

Family - Eberly side is doing well. Talked on the phone with Jason (Mr. L.A.) the other day. Skyped with Jess, Nehemiah, & new baby just yesterday (slow days at work can be a blessing). Spent Easter weekend in FW with mother, father & Jordan (Mr. college man). It's good for my soul to be so connected with all of them, in spite of the distance.

Work - is a love/hate relationship most of the time. I enjoy what I do, but there's never enough of it - thus boredom & frustration & way too much Hulu-watching. My poor husband has to put up with my lack of work-umph and my struggle/learning to simultaneously run a household while working full-time. I have a serious issue with getting an actual dinner on the table . . . so frustrating for me. Hopefully someday I will have the blessing of being a full-time (or at least part-time) homemaker.

Home - speaking of the "devil." It's never exactly how I would like it to be: laminate wood floor needs to be swept & mopped (little piles of dog hair in the corners . . . gross), school books & papers & magazines all over the couch, empty fridge (very sad for Bryce), upstairs needs to be cleaned before guests visit in a few weeks, breezeway is gross with dog-hair and grass clippings and dead blossoms from the tree out front, a yard full of weeds, landscape sadly lacking in design & mulch . . . yep, such is our life. Not perfect. I sit here at work and make multiple lists of what I want to do. Maybe instead I need to make a list of what is currently-wonderful about our home and what I don’t need to do. :)

So, that should bring you up to speed on the B&J Lange household from J's perspective.
Praying that all of my wonderful readers have a lovely weekend!
Take delight in Jesus & may He give you true & deep joy despite your current outlook, whatever it may be.

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace . . . Instead of the thornbush with grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow [life transformation]. This will be for the Lord's renown . . ." Isaiah 55:12-13

Friday, April 22, 2011


Good Friday.
Today is the day to remember Jesus' pain, bloodshed, piercing, and death.
Today also marks the day of our redemption, new life, and the fulfillment of hope.

There are two passages in Isaiah that I've been mulling over lately. Did you know that we are Jesus' reward? As in, you and me? All of that suffering and what does He get to "show" for it? Us. We are his recompense.

Recompense - noun: a remuneration or reward, as for services, aid, or the like.

Isaiah 62:11
The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’”

Isaiah 40:9-10
You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.
See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.


Lift up your voice with a shout.
Do not be afraid.

Today I am reminded of how very much my Jesus loves me.
And I am also encouraged to
Shout (verb: to call or cry out loudly and vigorously):
"See, your Savior comes!"
"Here is your God!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

project: a new closet

Every time I opened my closet doors, the mess started screaming at me.

Let me show you what I mean:

I love bags so I have about a million, but this mess was ridiculous. I never even used half of them because I couldn't see what I had.

Oh hi puppy. He followed me around during the entire cleaning episode.

Scarves on 3 hangers. Again, not a good storage option since I can't see what's there.

The top of closet was just plain cluttered. Please also notice the random assortment of hangers that I collected over the years (a very large amount being from Target).

And these cubbies are wonderful but I definitely wasn't using them to their full advantage. For example, I hardly even opened that box in the middle and it was taking up valuable real estate!

Then after....................
5 hours of work.
4 times listening through the new Chris August CD.
3 bags of stuff to donate to Goodwill.
2 breaks - 1 for coffee and 1 for lunch.
1 rather large bag of trash.
...............I had a brand new closet!!!

I donated half of my scarves and kept only my very favorite ones, which I organized on 2 tie hangers.

3 wall hooks worked very well to organize my bags & purses. Now I can actually see them!

Bryce had the brilliant idea to move my shoe rack to the other side of the closet, which better utilizes that space. And I picked up a small basket for my flip-flops.

Yes! Organized shelves! I cleaned out my dresser, too (while I was at it), and moved some of my clothes over here.

I think this part made me the happiest: hangers that are all the same color and size! You can definitely tell which colors I like to wear. Good heavens. I need some pink and coral and red in there.

I can't forget my handy-dandy Dollar General baskets for the top shelf (with a little handle that I can just barely reach on my tip-toes). These are for organizing my small travel toiletries, other travel items, clutches, etc.

Budget breakdown:
5 packs of hangers - $1.17 each
Basket on sale - $5.00
2 tie hangers - $3.00
4 containers - $1.00 each
4 wall hooks - $0.97 each
Not bad.

I think I was on a "high" when this project was completed. Bryce just laughed at me. I don't know why but an organized space with everything in it's place makes me really happy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

project: baby shower!

Sister Jessica - you are in luck this week: more pictures! These are from the shower that we (Danielle, Jayne and I) threw for our friend Rachel a few weeks back. Pictures are courtesy of Danielle and her iPhone. The theme was coffee, books & chocolate and it was designed to be more of a fellowship time than an actual shower. Below is one of the mantel "scenes" - books in twine and flowers in my new Goodwill vase (that is actually a drinking glass, I think). Here is the chalkboard that Danielle found at Salvation Army + chalkboard pens (my new most favorite thing ever). Print is free-handed by yours truly. Wonderful Jayne - she is the chocolate box queen. Check out her masterpieces below. Heavenly!
Just simple brunch food. Cream cheese coffee cake. Fruit & chocolate dip. Egg casserole. Chocolate boxes. And lots of coffee & juice to drink.Here's the drink table. Another aspect to the theme was vintage tableware, so we used an assortment of mugs and containers and textures.
The simple table centerpiece: More flowers in another vase (I grabbed 3 of them), tealights in little teacups, and wooden letters (another Salvation Army find by Danielle).

Danielle did an amazing job on the favors. Each lady took home a handmade box with the cover of a children's book on the front. Inside were homemade cream cheese Oreo balls. And tucked inside the front cover was a list of reading-to-your-children tips (see below) from our guest "speaker" (the main-and-only event of the shower).

The lovely gift table. Since the theme was books, we invited all of the guests to bring a favorite children's book or even a book for Rachel.
The other shower activity was to ask each lady to jot down a quick note of encouragement or advice for the mom-to-be and I later put together a scrapbook to give to Rachel.

And here's the group of lovely women who came to the shower.

Such a fun morning and a lovely shower for my friend. (I met her baby last night - such a precious little man.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Green is Coming

Last Sunday was absolutely beautiful. Bryce & I had a rare free Sunday afternoon, so we took Parson to Eagle Creek Park and walked for about an hour. Look at all of the bits of green that I found. Spring is coming! Parson sure enjoyed the walk but we officially wore him out by the end. A family picture + the dog. There was still enough energy left to enjoy the ride home.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't stay the same

You do not need to stay the way you are.

This is the essence of the Gospel.
You are no longer a sinner, separated from God.
You are saved, redeemed & a new creation.

I know this to be true. But yesterday I was challenged because I don't always take this truth into every part of my life. Personally, I must beware of settling into "just staying the same" in certain areas of my life, areas that may look immovable or irreparable or hopelessly-me.
For example, I tend to speak these words to myself often: "I will always worry about how I look, that's just the way I am." Or I say this to myself, too, "I will always care about what people think of me, that's just who I am."

Oh, what lies I am speaking to myself!

Have I not read this verse a million times? Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17)

And this one: We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Rom. 6:4)

And this one: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Rom. 12:2)

New creation.
New life.

This is the truth. For me.
There is always hope in Jesus.
I do not need to stay the way I am.

Friday, April 8, 2011

project: entryway!

Project report on the foyer/entryway! No more drab and depressing egg-yolk-yellow. I admit that some yellows may work in a certain setting, but the yellow that covered almost our entire downstairs was definitely the wrong yellow and it was not working for me (just ask Bryce....I moan about it all the time). Our entryway gets hardly any sunlight, therefore the dreariness & "yolkiness" of the yellow was even more pronounced. Plus the trim & closet doors were pretty banged up and not very white anymore. Take a look. (Sorry for the dark pictures - it's really hard to catch the sunlight in this room.) I tackled this project on a Thursday evening (after spending days trying to decide on a paint color). I painted trim for 4 hours on Thursday night. And then started cutting in on Friday for 3 hours....and Saturday for another 4 hours....and then Bryce finished it all up for me the next Tuesday (is he a good husband or what? always rescuing me in the middle of my projects). Welcome to our new foyer-of-white. Yes, bright white. No more drab for this entryway. Quick pause to show you the wreath that I made a few weeks back. $3 grapevine wreath from Hobby Lobby + brown ribbon on sale + a bouquet of silk flowers from the Dollar Store (that I cut to pieces) + hot glue = a spring wreath for cheap!

Oh so much better! Look at those crisp white walls. And my pictures "pop" even more.

I looked for these rugs for weeks, since I had already "designed" them in my head but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for (hate it when I do that). These lovely rugs from Target are pretty close. Love the bold graphic print and the colors that tie in with the rest of our home.
While "we" were in a painting-mood, Bryce painted all of the non-trim doorways in our downstairs a dark gray (5 of them). It was a bold move and took me a little bit to get used to, but I really like it now.
Here's a good before and after shot (albeit with more sun in the second one).

So much better! It's amazing how a bit of white paint (and a lot of labor) can totally change a room - making it more welcoming & bright. I love our entryway now!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Update: 25 Before Twenty-Five

The big day is tomorrow. And I would be a terrible blogger if I didn't follow-up on my 25 Before Twenty-Five list.

  1. Go hiking with Bryce - not yet.....sometime this spring we will!

  2. Take Parson on a walk once a week (weather permitting) - we went on quite a few walks when it wasn't blizzarding or flooding. and last Sunday we did a nice long one - it actually felt warm!

  3. Visit the Habitat Restore with Bryce - accomplished last weekend. we looked at sets of kitchen cabinets & sinks & storm doors & cans of paint in random colors & light fixtures & furniture. I'm tucking that resource away for future uses.

  4. Have the Miller family down for a visit - nope....but I do believe Mrs. Brenda Miller will finally be making an appearance at my house sometime in May....plans are in the works.

  5. Find & paint/refinish an end table for the library - found a table for $25 on Craigslist but need to wait until it's warmer to sand & paint & stain outside.

  6. Reorganize & pair down my closet & make it pretty looking - not yet but the plan is as follows: hooks for my bags + a Goodwill bag full of give-aways + a few switcheroos to make it more user friendly.

  7. Complete all 3 levels of Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred" workout - I ended up switching to "The Firm" instead.....but I've been keeping up with it (light weights & millions of squats: yes, please).

  8. Play card games with somebody - yes! thank you Brad & Lori! (girls rule...I think we won every game of Euchre we played....)

  9. Get all dressed up and fancy for the Firefighters Ball - yes indeed.....many thanks to Laura for a "new" black & white dress to wear. it was a lovely evening.

  10. Paint my nails a bright color - yes.....I painted them bright cherry-tomato-red for the Firefighters Ball and then kept them that way for 2 weeks - so fun!

  11. Go on a weekend retreat to a ski lodge with the youth group (but I don't have to ski) - it was a great weekend with the students......5 of "my" 9th grade girls went and, no, I didn't ski.

  12. Finish hanging the curtains in the library - oh yes (see previous post).....thanks to my mother's help.

  13. Read a book from the Library for fun - yes.....been doing a bit more reading these days.

  14. Finish the book Surprised by Hope (that I started a few months ago) - not quite, but I'm slowly working on it. it's a theological read . . . deep but oh so good. I'll do a write up on it when I'm finished.

  15. Start taking a ballet class - I'm so proud of myself.....found a random Christian dance studio online and signed up for a teen/adult semi-advanced ballet class.....the first time I've taken a class in 4 years and the first time I've seriously danced since my back surgery.....God is so good.

  16. Bake or cook something just for fun - yes....I made carrot spice muffins which turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

  17. Help host a baby shower for a dear friend - what a fun day and what an honor to bless Rachel in that way....the first baby shower that I helped plan & it was so much fun.

  18. Spend an evening at Starbucks all by myself - I had a few relaxing evenings at home by myself. sometimes home is better than Starbucks.

  19. Backup my computer files & upload all pictures to an online photo album - finished!

  20. Read my camera's manual and/or meet with someone for a lesson on how to actually use it - not yet. I just need to bring the manual into work and start studying.

  21. Give Bryce lots of hugs & kisses (daily) - of course I did!

  22. Prepare & submit our taxes - all done. whew.

  23. Reprint photos & finish (once and for all) our wedding photo album - this is not in the budget at the moment. someday I'll get it all finished but it's really not a pressing issue. :)

  24. Crochet a scarf that is actually wearable - yes and it's teal. can't get much better than that. love it and I already have orders for 2 more.

  25. Plan a trip to visit my sister & her family in Montreal - tickets purchased: check! we're going to see the Berniers in mid-June and it can't come fast enough.

So there you have it. 18 done! Only 4 not completed. And 3 in process. It was fun to have a list of projects to strive for before the big day.

And, guess what? I'm not dreading it after all.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I wrote this e-mail to my mom on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 from Sydney, Australia.

Mom, I've been doing lots of remembering lately. Yesterday I remembered when Dad used to travel and you would set up a restaurant for us. You would serve us dinner in the school room at our little table and have a French accent. That was so much fun! Just random memories like that keep coming to me.

Well, I might as well tell you the bad news now so you can work through it before I talk to you next Tuesday. Are you sitting down? My hair dye is permanent. I just realized it Tuesday night. We wondered why it wasn't fading very quickly. While in the grocery store buying dye for Shannon's hair, I showed her the one that I used and realized that it said "6 weeks of brilliant color" because after those 6 weeks you have to re-dye. I almost started hyperventilating and crying in the store. I really am okay with it now--Shannon has helped me realize it is just hair and it is not the end of the world.

There's my crazy news. I couldn't believe it at first and it bothered me the entire night. I kept exclaiming "my hair!!!!!!" Yet, amazingly, I didn't lay in bed regretting it and I've just been able to accept what happened. Last year, this would have bothered me for months and I would have had multiple panic attacks. It's okay---I do love the color and it looks good and I'll just have Michelle dye it back to my regular color before I go to school in January. And this way--you at home will get to see my lovely black hair in person. :) You should probably tell Dad, too, or have him read this e-mail. *Sorry Dad. I didn't do it on purpose at all.

It's 10:30 and I'm still in my pjs. This week has been absolutely amazing. Amy and I are going to Burwood Mall this afternoon and then we're going shopping in the city with Alli this afternoon.
Love you, Mother!

And then:

From: Bruce E Eberly
Date: Thu, Sep 14, 2006 at 6:25 AM
Subject: We need to talk
To: Jana A Eberly

This is exactly the thing I was afraid of. I know that I can believe you, but it is hard because I work with youth who say one thing then do another. I am sure you did not "mean" to, but it happened. What would you have done if this was a "fake" tattoo" and it turned out to be real! I would like for you to call. We need to talk. I do not care what time it is for me. Wake me or get me at work today. But, you are to call!

I remember the scene perfectly. Amy and I were sitting in the computer lab at the college. We read the e-mail and then proceeded to freak out until we read the very next e-mail from my dad that basically said, "just kidding." Whew. I thought for sure I was in big trouble.

PS: The bleach bath did not help. My hair stayed black for at least 2 years, until it grew out completely. Note to self: do not dye long, curly hair ever again.