Buses, The Ocean, and Campbell River | Easter Weekend | Video // Creativity and Joy

Hi everyone!
I did something different! Over Easter Weekend I got to explore with my best friend Carlee, and my parents. I got some fun footage that I decided to put together to make this video, I hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed making it.

Blessings, Smiles,
Prayers, and Music!!
♥JENESSA JOY♥

(PS- I didn’t realize there was something on the lens at the time…so, I apologize for that.)

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Coming Into The New – Part Two // Creativity and Joy

During the summer I worked in a daycare, as a Summer Day Camp Teacher. It was tiring, amazing, sometimes frustrating, draining, but incredibly rewarding. It was a wonderful experience that taught me so much, filled me with joy daily and never failed to make me smile. As I left that job to begin school again, I marveled at how quickly the summer had passed. I remembered the entire summer dreading the day that it ended. Dreading the day I had to go back, back to school, back to long study nights, but most of all I was dreading feeling locked in. I reminded myself it was only two semesters left, and that I would be okay.

I was uneasy about the fact that I had chosen to stay at Columbia, but concluded that not gaining the degree I had worked so hard on would be a decision I would regret. Staying seemed like the best option, even though everything inside me was screaming to go. Going into the school year I was eager to begin so that it could end, and at the same time dreading beginning because it meant feeling caged. Through that internal conflict there was also happiness, it was nice seeing some of my closest friends again, and meeting new ones. And I knew I only had two semesters remaining, and I was determined to enjoy them.

Then, in my first week back to Columbia in the fall semester I received an email from the director of my program asking for a meeting.
Immediately, I was nervous.
I went to meet with her and found out that there was a distinct problem in my classes, schedule, and program structure. I’m not entirely sure how, but it was there.
She told me she thought we’d have to meet with the registrar  to discuss options. We also had to meet with one of my teachers about a class that they wanted me to take privately.
The meeting with the teacher went smoothly. We came to a reasonable agreement, and I felt so much better, but was overall very emotional. At that meeting my director said I would probably have to take an extra year regardless but we’d talk to the school registrar before we made that final ruling.

The following week I went into the registrar’s office, and got told, gently, that there was no way I could graduate with a two year degree in Worship Arts by the following April. I would have to stay another semester (possibly even a year) at Columbia.
This was the point where I began to cry.
I had been struggling for months about the decision whether or not to stay, and when that decision had finally been made, it was ripped away.
My director looked at me sadly, as the tears began to stream and I apologized (slightly embarrassed) for being so emotional. “It’s okay,” she said kindly. “I know it’s stressful. I would cry too.”
“It’s perfectly normal, you’re going through a lot.” The registrar confirmed.
“Do you think it’s possible for her to finish with Columbia One by the end of the year?” My director of Worship Arts asked.
“I think so,” the registrar replied.

Staying another semester was not an option. I knew that, deep down to the center of my core. I got up and asked if I could have a minute, and hurried to find a washroom, where I closed the door and bawled my eyes out. After a few minutes, I manged to regain my composure (somewhat) and re-enter the office where my Worship Arts Director and the registrar were waiting for me. During my time in the washroom they had looked over my transcript and what classes I was in and had discovered that I could finish with a One Year Certificate in Theology by the end of the semester. I was in six classes, and only needed one of them to leave with the certificate. They told me to go home and think about it, and they also suggested I drop a couple classes, since I had a heavy course load. (6 courses, a voice lesson, and a piano lab in case you were wondering.) I told them I didn’t think I wanted to drop anything, and that I would have to think and pray about whether or not to leave or continue. “It’s okay,” they said, “you can decide whether or not you want to graduate with Columbia One by December. You have plenty of time.” 

I left the office and cried.
“I guess I’m leaving.” 
I thought.

Because, what I knew was that my skill set needed something else…I had known that all through the summer, and I had known that as I started the new semester.
If I wanted to grow I would have to go. 
My commitment to stay was based solely on finishing something –  finishing with a degree in Worship Arts.

“Are you going to stay? I think you should stay!” One of my friends said the following week after my meltdown in the registrar’s office.
“You know what, this is what I’m getting: I’m going unless God gives me some big flashing sign that I shouldn’t.” 
I knew that wasn’t the way God worked. He doesn’t just drop out of the sky and audibly say: “I think you should stay.”
What I wasn’t saying to my friend that day was I thought that this was God’s big flashing sign for me to go…because all through the summer I had been thinking: “Victoria. Something new. Art. Adventures. Working on my leadership skills and my adventure skills in a bigger  art center.” Even though I  felt I should go, I had felt obligated to stay.

But,  for things to come together a lot of things had to fall apart.

A/N: Thanks for reading everyone! If you haven’t read part one yet, you can see it here. I was intending on having Part Two up much sooner then this, but unfortunately I fell sick and then was buried with school work. Part Three coming soon! 

Blessings, Smiles,
Prayers, and Music!!
♥JENESSA JOY♥

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Green Light | Rough Edit Eyes // Creativity and Joy

As a creative person I am constantly trying to push my creative boundaries. Last time I wrote a post about my personal music I expressed that releasing music into the universe makes me feel insecure, and very vulnerable. I enjoy doing it, but it scares me. Today, I am back, and here to give out more music. I decided to start a new project called “Rough Edit Eyes”, which is a reminiscent of a vlog meeting a “music video”. I have taken to recording parts of my days and splicing the videos together to create what I am hoping to be a fun, artsy, video. I decided to call it “Rough Edit Eyes” because I am a perfectionist, and I wanted to remind myself it is okay to have a “rough edit” to put in the world. It is okay for things to be different, and rough, and unique, because it will never be as ‘perfect’ or ‘perfectly rough and artsy’ as I would like it to be. These videos are not meant to be ‘perfect’ they’re meant to be fun.  Some days they might be covers, some day they might be original. Today it’s a cover. I hope you enjoy it.

Blessings, Smiles,
Prayers, and Music!!
♥JENESSA JOY♥

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Coming Into the New – Part One | Creativity and Joy

I started 2017 off with a brand new adventure. Usually, people talk about the new year and chat about it and say how it’s a “fresh start” and they make all these resolutions that they aren’t really sure that they’ll be able to keep, or they make excuses about when they can start them, or they start them right away but do not continue them year around.

My fresh start and my resolution started January 2nd, 2017, and there really was no turning back from it.

Right before Christmas I left my home in Abbotsford, BC and after staying with my parents over the holidays I moved to Vancouver Island on January 2nd, 2017.

Leaving Abbotsford was a big decision, and has led to many crazy adventures. So many things have changed since the beginning of the New Year…so many things have changed since September. There are so many things that are different, and if you had told me about some of these changes a year ago I would have looked shocked and pleased, but at the same time I might not have believed you.

A year ago, I had been planning on moving sometime after I graduated from Columbia Bible College. As much as I loved the people, the community, my church, and Suburban Swing I was fairly certain that Abbotsford was not where I would spend the rest of my days. During my time at Columbia I began researching and praying about where to go after my program finished.

One place stood out to me: Victoria.

I was born in Victoria and I have always felt like someday I would ‘go back to my roots’; Victoria is an absolutely gorgeous city. Personally I love the architecture, the artistic atmosphere, the buskers on street corners, the art galleries, the cute stores, and adorable coffee shops. I love that it is on an island and right near the water, as I have always loved living by the ocean. Plus, on top of all that some of my favorite people live on Vancouver Island, my birthfather and his wife, my parents, my best friend Carlee (whom I’ve known since I was 5), my Grandfather, and many others.

Though there were several other locations that I considered, and several other school programs that I thought about, slowly with time, consideration, and education on those programs and places…those other doors began to close. As excited as I was about this new revelation, and this new chapter in my life, I knew that I had to accept that it would eventually come but I was not quite there yet.

This was during my first year at Columbia.

As I went into Summer break following my first year at CBC, I was grateful for the time to rest, work, spend time with family and friends, and to think about the future. Before the summer I had talked to my program director at the school, she revealed that some of my courses were not properly aligned and could make graduating on time tricky. ‘You might have to take another semester to finish,’ she told me. This would set back any plans on moving or going to another school, but I knew that no plans were set in stone, and we agreed to discuss this further come the fall.

I love Columbia, and I am proud to have been part of that community, but last summer was when I realized just how much I was struggling. Not with my relationship with God, but rather with my development in creative content.

I was blessed to have taken part in many worship arts classes at CBC, to serve on the Chapel Worship team, and to work with the Student Art’s Committee. All of these helped me to grow and develop, and cultivate many skills within me.

At the end of my second semester I was aware of how much growth had developed in me over that year (or how much growth I was told had developed in me), but at the same time I did not know how my growth could continue. I felt confined and unsure how to keep pushing myself. My gifts didn’t seem useful in such a community, and in some ways my gifts seemed foreign to the people in the community as well. I wanted to serve and I wanted to lead, but I was told I was ‘not ready’ for the leadership positions I applied for; and I wasn’t ready.

I thought a lot about that term ‘ready’ over the summer. That was when I began to wonder: ‘will I ever be “ready” if these are not positions that are built for me?’

My strengths have always been in creating things. Whether it was composing music, writing lyrics or stories, designing the atmosphere for a chapel or art event, or taking photos or videos, it was quite evident that that was what I enjoyed and what I succeeded in most.  Though I loved doing these things in Arts Committee Events, and helping design Worship Services I didn’t feel like I was truly given the chance to grow in the skills that I wanted to cultivate. This is not by fault of Columbia;  the bulk of courses at Columbia was not focused in the direction of content creation. The leadership positions within music were based largely on musical skill, and performance, though they did regard artistic and creative process my place has never been as a performer. My place has always been someone who is a content creator. I do believe that I am capable of a  leadership position; but I am also aware that some positions are not made for me, because my skill set is unique and different. I am not a performer, though I can be if I choose to be, but that is not where I am most naturally gifted and it is not what I am most passionate about.

I realized there were not enough courses or tools at Columbia for me to be able to grow in this form of leadership. For me to grow as a writer and composer and leader I would have to leave.

So that’s what I did…and a lot sooner then I ever thought I would.

A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first part of my story of coming into new things, new adventures, and a new way a life, and hearing about what it was like for me to leave Bible College. Part 2 Coming next week!
Blessings, Smiles
Prayers, and Music!
♥JENESSA JOY♥

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A Sunny Afternoon | Photography | Creativity and Joy

Many new adventures and places to be found and explored yet!  The sun is also appreciated…though we did get snow today, which was disappointing.  But these shots? Well, I managed to grab them last week before the clouds, the cold, and the snow hit.

Happy Monday!

Blessings, Smiles,
Prayers, and Music!!
♥JENESSA JOY♥

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Downtown Exploration | Photography | Creativity and Joy

Been spending a good chunk of  time recently with my camera and my music puttering around exploring the Victoria area. Hopefully one or two of these shots will brighten your Tuesday!

Blessings, Smiles,
Prayers, and Music!!
♥JENESSA JOY♥

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What I’ve Carried | Creativity and Joy

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What I’ve carried: The first thing I think of is that box.

I don’t even remember for sure what was in it. Shoes maybe? I liked shoes, and I had a lot of them. Maybe shoes. Or clothes? I had lots of clothes. It could have been that.

I don’t know for sure. But my best guess is that it was a ridiculous mixture of things that somehow worked their way into my possession. That mixture hadn’t managed to get packed in my first round of unorganized packing but instead were forgotten and thrown into a medium sized cardboard box.

This box most likely contained the following: something to do with a hairbrush. Some pencils. A zillion bobby pins that I had obviously misplaced whenever I needed them, but would reappear during the time of moving. One item of clothing that I loved but had forgotten that I owned. (Maybe, probably, that blue shirt that I forget to wear all the time?) And finally a old coffee mug that I had abandoned on my desk.

Yes, that was probably it. A mixture. Chaos in a box. Not really a surprise honestly…among the things I was skilled at and oh-so capable off, packing was not among them.

So. That was that. Unorganized. Chaos in a box.

Little did I know that that box and the events that followed helped represent what would come later in life.

But for now? For now it was just a box. A box with chaotic, disorganized contents that looked blatantly ordinary in the cardboard shell. And honestly? The contents themselves would not fascinate anyone for very long, not even there pack-rat of an owner.

But how does this boringly ordinary box become one of the strangest things I would carry? I suppose it’s because of the events that followed and how many boxes like it I would carry in future that made it strange. These boxes shaped and created my life in intricate ways I did not expect.

At the time I didn’t have a car. It was mid-afternoon and all of my friends and family were working. But for some reason I was absolutely, positively, determined to get this box out of my current housing situation.

Bus it would be.

At the time the idea seemed perfectly adequate. I had taken more fragile things on public transit – heavier things too. It would be okay, I was sure of it. I traipsed down to the bus stop with the box in my hands.

Surprisingly enough the first part went relatively smoothly even through the fact that it was approaching “rush hour” the bus remained fairly quiet and when I stepped onto the sidewalk following said bus ride relief flooded my system.

Unfortunately that moment passed rather quickly upon the realization that I had to cross the road. The traffic lights were out which confronted me with the fact that I would have to scurry across the road with said “chaos box” to the other side with absolutely no assurance that I would make it safely.

Somehow I managed to convince myself that I would be okay. ‘It’s just jaywalking.’ I joked in my head. ‘It’ll be fine.’ I had come all this way with the box and there was no turning back now…and truly there was no “turning back”, because if I really, really wanted to take the box back  to where I had come from I would have to cross the road in order to catch the right bus.

There was really no preventing this.

I had waited patiently until I had seen some sort of break in traffic. I edged my way onto the road and scurried across, gripping the box, my somewhat “precious cargo”, tightly. As I ran I felt something slipping. The box was fine, I had firm grasp. What could it be? As I stepped onto the sidewalk I turned back in horror to see a much different precious item lying in the middle of the street.

Like I said the events made it strange not the box itself. I didn’t realize, but I would carry many miscellaneous chaos boxes. And sometimes I would not expect to carry them. Sometimes I would expect to carry them. Sometimes I would think I had everything together like I thought I did when I had managed to cross the road successfully…Only to find later I had dropped something else behind, leaving it to die in my stead.

The box is not strange.

But the lesson it taught me is invaluable. Life does not go as expected. Sometimes what you physically carry is not truly the issue but the events surrounding.

♦♦♦

A/N: Thanks for reading! Recently I have started to study Creative Writing, including Creative Non-Fiction, and this is one of the assignments I wrote in class. I hope you enjoyed! 

Blessings, Smiles,
Prayers, and Music!!
♥JENESSA JOY♥