HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THIS POST CHRISTMAS EDITION OF GROVER CHRONICLES:
1. Home is Where the Heart is
2. Finally, a good job
3. Grover’s Cooking
4. Announcing: The Grove Grove Revolution Vlog
5. The Season of Waiting
6. Grover’s “Unword” of the Month
7. “Are You a Loser, or a Giver”: Getting out of your own way.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you my friend!
It’s so good to have the opportunity to get back in touch with you and share some of the new and exciting blessings that the Lord has been showering on us lately. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to read all about it today in this special Christmas edition of the Grover Chronicles. I really miss having the opportunity to send you an update on a more regular basis, but such is life and responsibility. If you have the opportunity, I would really love to hear from you, whether by email or a phone call. I would love to speak to you in person via phone, but I understand more than ever now how sometimes that’s not possible. If you don’t have a phone number for me, please drop me an email and I will gladly send it to you. It would be great to hear your voice. I want to let you know that you are on my prayer list and I personally think and pray for you as much as I am able. Your care and friendship to Sarah and I mean so much and I hope that we have the opportunity to be even a little bit of a blessing to you.
Did you know that I walked to work barefoot, uphill in a snowstorm both ways today? HA HA! Not really both ways or barefoot, but I did walk to work this morning in a snowstorm. It makes me feel like an old man with a story to tell. Well…its not so bad at all because of the fact that I was walking to work, from our NEW HOME! Yep…that’s right, as some of you may know, but many of you may not know, Sarah and I purchased our first home in November. We found it around the end of October, and had a quick, 30 day closing on the new town home in Kanata, Ontario, which is basically like a suburb of greater Ottawa. We had been searching for about 4 months or so before we found it. We absolutely love it! It was such a fun experience over all; very time consuming, but enjoyable, and ultimately it led us to the home that I believe the Lord had for us.
One of the greatest things about the whole experience was the friends and family that got together to help us move from our apartment to the new home. It was truly amazing. We had over a dozen people help us. It was such a wonderful feeling and a blessing to be a part of it. We filled a 17 foot U-haul to the max, as well as 4 cars full. We had EVERYTHING moved out of the apartment and into the new house in 3 hours flat. I actually enjoyed the move. Thanks to all our amazing friends and family for their help.
So, the area that we relocated to is only about 10 minutes or so away from the apartment that we lived in since we were married. We dropped off our apartment keys to our landlord a couple of weeks ago. Have you ever had that feeling where you hate to walk away from something because you know that it will have such a warm place in your heart? Well, Sarah and I were feeling that after we dropped off the keys to our former apartment. As we drove away from the old apartment Sarah said to me, “I’m really going to miss that place. I really liked it.” To which I replied, “Yeah, me too.” What an exciting conversation huh, or should I say EY? We are SO happy and blessed to have this new place, but saying goodbye to our first apartment (which we liked very much) was still a little sad for us…BUT…I’m snapping out of it and am looking forward to so many awesome new “firsts” in our new home. **At the bottom of this blog you will find a video tour of our new home.** There is a part one, with a part two video just below it.
Speaking of firsts, Sarah and I are very excited to have spent our first Christmas in our new home together. We are had a little slumber party with the In-laws on Christmas eve, followed by a wonderful Christmas day with 2 different families who joined us for Christmas dinner, games, and a movie. I can’t describe the feeling of thankfulness and joy to be at this place in my life. Sarah and I were reminiscing the other day about how many wonderful experiences and memories that is to come for us. We are very aware that life will not necessarily be easy, but we certainly desire and are determined to give God the glory for all of the good times, as well as the trials that may come our way.
Finally, a good job
On another note, many of you have asked me about what I’m doing for work now. In the last edition of Grover Chronicles, I mentioned that I was on the long, hard hunt for a new job. Well, praise the Lord I found a nice, full time job. The company is called Sun Media, which is a division of Quebecor Media Corp. Sun Media is in charge of handling many different aspects within many different newspapers throughout Canada. We handle all of the “Sun” papers in Canada, as well as a lot of small community papers as well. We do everything from delivery complaints, billing, classifieds, to vacation starts and stops and sales. It’s nice because I get the opportunity to do a number of different tasks so it breaks the monotony a bit. Praise the Lord for the new job!
In addition to the new job, I recently began taking an online culinary course through Algonquin College in Ottawa. For as long as I can remember I have had an extreme love for cooking. Even before I went to New Brunswick Bible Institute I entertained the possibility of going to school for culinary skills. This past summer Sarah and I had been discussing and praying about long term jobs and careers that would be suitable for me, when the subject of culinary came up. So we took a visit to speak with one of the heads of the hospitality department at Algonquin. It just so happened that they were just in the process of beginning a brand new online culinary program.
The full program begins January 18th. I will be taking 3 or 4 courses. Then sometime before summer starts, I have to go and work at Algonquin Colleges International Restaurant as part of the requirements of the course. I’m really looking forward to it. After talking with the head culinary department it seems that there are a lot of great opportunities in the culinary field in Ottawa. The nice thing about it is that there are a opportunities working with everything from catering businesses, retirement homes, and government agencies that don’t always require the same kind of hours that a lot of high end restaurants do. So, according to the research we’ve done, I don’t have to get into a position where I am working LATE nights and Weekends.
When I think about where I have been, and what the Lord has brought me through, I am so blessed and thankful to know that His plan is perfect, even when my plans don’t match up. My hearts desire for so many years was that I would be a pastor. I still believe with all of my heart that God has a very special ministry for me, but it has to be in His time, and in His perfect will. An important lesson that I have learned over the years is that ministry is important and precious regardless of where you live, where you work, or what your title is. While the Lord has me here in Ottawa, Ontario, my desire is to be “..faithful in the little things..”, and even if God never gives me “the big things”, I will be happy and proud to serve Him wherever I am and in whatever capacity that may be.
Announcing: The Grove Grove Revolution Vlog
I am excited to announce that in the near future, there are plans in the works for a special video journal (the popular term is Vlog) that I will put out as much as I am able. I am affectionately calling it “The Grove Grove Revolution”. My good friend Josh Hiatt coined that term back when we were roommates in Maine. He even wrote a little jingle for it that I will share with you sometime. I have always had a strong desire to have the ability to communicate what is going on in my life, and in the day in which we live this is an excellent way to do it. I am excited to be able to give you a little glimpse into our life here in Ottawa, as well as get a chance to see Sarah and I in our natural element. SO…stay tuned for more info on that. The goal right now is to get a video ready within the next month. To the left you’ll find a little video preview trailer.
The Season of Waiting
Babies. Babies…everywhere Babies. My family back in Maine is growing on almost a regular basis with new little ones joining the family. Sarah and I really love and miss our little nieces and nephews (and Mom and brothers of course) and are really looking forward to going to Maine for a week after Christmas to see all of them. My brother Gary has 3 little ones. My brother Aaron has 3 little ones. My brother T.J. has one on the way, and my brother Chad has one little guy. As the oldest boy in my family, I always pictured myself being the first to have children, and I ended up being last. Sarah and I have so much to be thankful for, and know that the Lord has great things for us now and in the future. Please pray for us as we are in this season of waiting for the Lord to bring a little one into our life. You can look forward to getting a really big, enthusiastic YIPPEE from me when that day comes. I’ve dreamt my whole life of being a dad, and that desire grows more and more each day. I know that it is going to be the biggest responsibility that I’ve ever faced before, and I pray daily that God would continue to prepare Sarah and I to be the parents that He would have us be, giving Him all the honour and glory.
As Always…we love you,
Jared & Sarah Grover
Grover’s “Unword” of the Month
- a. (adj.) Humongous; extremely huge; so big that there is none larger.
Example: You have one mahonkin sub in your car!
Devo: “Are You a Loser, or a Giver”: Getting out of your own way.
I woke up this morning thinking about all that I am currently facing in my life. I woke up thinking about a lot of the same worries, concerns, frustrations and questions that I have had on many other occasions. When I woke up this morning, right off the bat, even before I got out of bed, God blessed my heart with a great word of encouragement and strength. God always encourages and strengthens me, but this morning in particular, He reminded me of something that I tend to forget sometimes. That message was that…I am NOT a loser….I am a GIVER! Many of you may be thinking, “well Jared…of course you’re not a loser”. Although I’m a generally a happy and positive person, I still have my human moments where I can fall into the unfortunate pit of despair and hopelessness. Praise God that I am not the author and finisher of my faith! It’s HIM..and he reminded me that I am NOT a loser…but my job is to be a GIVER. Follow along to get my point.
Recently I have began reading my devotions in the book of Isaiah. To be honest, I’ve never really read through Isaiah before, but while I was counselling at an area Bible camp recently, I decided to randomly open my Bible and pick a random chapter out to read. I landed in Isaiah chapter 38. Now, from what I’ve read so far, Isaiah is filled with a LOT of very strong words, and sobering thoughts. Listen to what it says in Isaiah 38:1 (What a way to start off the book). Isaiah is talking to King Hezekiah who is deathly ill and he says “..This is what the Lord says. ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.” At that point, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. HA! I figured I should probably read on.
What an amazing chapter. If you haven’t read this chapter, I urge you do so. Many of us are at the point that Hezekiah was, in one way or another, and can identify with Hezekiah’s “poem” in verse 14 where He says “..I am in trouble, Lord. Help me!”; but wait a second…Hezekiah hits the nail on the head when he continues on to say “But what could I say? FOR HE HIMSELF BROUGHT THIS SICKNESS. Now I will walk humbly throughout my years because of this anguish I have felt.” How? What? Why? If you are going through a rough time, read, hear, and meditate on the following verse. Verse 16 says “Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to LIFE and HEALTH. You restore my health and allow me to live. Yes, the anguish was good for me, for You have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.” Wow! This is some good stuff.
Hezekiah had reached a point where he had lost complete control over his circumstances. There was nothing he could do. God told him that his life was OVER. If that doesn’t wake you up a bit, I don’t know what will.
I find myself spending so much time trying to figure everything out. I can be guilty of spending more time trying not to “lose control”, that I have nothing to give back to God and forget that I am NOT in control, and more importantly, I DON’T NEED TO BE IN CONTROL. I need to be a GIVER. When I woke up this morning, I had to remind myself that I’m not in control, and I NEED to give it up to God…completely and utterly. I’m not suggesting that we do nothing, or that we sit around and allow God to do everything. I’m suggesting that we get out of our own way, give up our issues to God and take each step as God leads day by day…sometimes minute by minute….because He’s the ONLY one that sees the end, and I know this much…it’s NOT going to be a bitter end if your feet are walking in the path that He has gone ahead and set for you.
Here’s an important question for you. At this point in your life, are you doing “enough” to make a difference in the kingdom of God, or are you just “surviving”? Are you doing “enough” to fulfill the plan that God has for your life? If you have not given all of your worries and cares over to God completely, the answer is a resounding NO, but don’t forget that it’s not about perfection, its about your your willingness to recognize that God never promised that the cross would not get heavy, and He never promised that the hill would not be hard to climb, but that He WOULD be there to lead, guide, and direct your steps, as long as you are willing to follow Him.
BRINGING IT HOME:
This is a lesson that I believe we spend our whole lives learning and reminding ourselves of, and that is that as long as we live there will be situations that are completely out of our control. We fall into the pit of despair and worry so much that we lose the vision that God has for us. It’s not abnormal. It has happened before, and it CAN happen again, but this morning I was reminded that it’s when I come to the end of myself and there seems like there is nothing left…HE’S THERE! The same God that said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28), also said “..I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).
Maybe you’re at the point of “death”, or maybe you’re just in a place where you are trying to gain some semblance of control in your life. Are you frustrated, mad, sad, or confused and have no idea what will happen next? Take heart…because if you’re reading this devotion, and believe that God is still on the throne, then you’re life is not “out of control”. Fix you’re eyes on Jesus. For those of you that are parents; do you remember when your child first began to walk, and every time they started walking across the room towards you, wobbly legs and all, you would say to them “come to mommy” or “come to daddy”. With every step they took, you were hoping that they would just keep their eyes focused on you and they would take each step with all the determination and strength they needed to make it across the room without falling to the ground. Our God is the same way. In our times of struggle and trials, He is right there, looking at you with love in His eyes telling you to keep your eyes on Him, and He will direct you each step of the way.
This may just seem to scratch the surface for some, and I understand that issues like this can sometimes be symptoms of bigger problems in our hearts and lives, but this devotion today is meant to encourage you, my friend; to not settle for the enemies lies that say that you are stuck in a rut for an extended period of time. Don’t allow Satan to rob you from moving on with the abundant life that Jesus has for you. It is not until I am able to get out of my own way and let God do what only God can do that you will be able find that strength and encouragement from Him that will see you through every moment of need.
My friend….You’re NOT a loser….Be a giver!