AJ Checking In

Hi Siestas! I’ve spent the morning catching up on what’s been going on here in Siestaville and, I must say, y’all have been busy! What an exciting time for the LPM Blog. I have at least 50 emails in my inbox asking questions about how to operate the blog and/or sign up to memorize Scripture with the Siestas this year. I’m planning to write a separate post addressing those questions at some point today. Thank you so much for your patience while I was on vacation.

My little family left for Missouri the day after Christmas to spend a week with Curtis’ family. We had a great visit and enjoyed being there so much. We have a newborn nephew who was a particular delight to all of us. Being around him reminded me of so many things I have to look forward to in my near future. By the way, Baby Girl Jones is going to be here next month. Can you believe it? I’m already 34 weeks!

So, we’re only 5 days into the New Year and I’ve already totally blown it. The parts of me that I hate the most have come out in full force. Anyone else? I hope I’m the only one, but I know there are probably others who woke up on this first Monday of 2009 feeling defeated. Jackson slept gloriously late (thanks to some new dark curtains) and I was able to take my time with my Wisdom for Mothers Bible study (by Denise Glenn of Motherwise) and my prayer journal. Before Curtis walked out the door, I asked him to sit down and pray with me because I was feeling so rotten. His words encouraged me so much. He basically reminded me that the Lord’s mercies are not new every new year, but every morning. Thank You, God! I can already start over again today. I’m choosing to look at my failures as a very keen reminder that any victory in 2009 will come from complete dependence on the Holy Spirit and not from my own strength. In his sermon last night, Curtis said that God shows us our weaknesses to move us past a place of prideful comfort and into spiritual growth. Who is like our God, who even offers us a big ole serving of hope with our humble pie?

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23, NIV)


145 Responses to “AJ Checking In”

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  1. 101
    Anonymous says:

    Oh AJ…thanks for checking in. I had the same experience. It’s like I got a full blown testing on everything I didn’t want to do or say in the New Year, and I failed. And Lamentations 3 came to me as well. Praise to God for showing us in His word that we can do all things in Christ but are nothing without Him…and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The best part not only can but He will transform us; as He is in the business of restoring. He can equip us to do it. I’m pressing on to where I want to be and thank you God I’m not where I used to be. We all have come along way. Isn’t it cool?

  2. 102
    Audree says:

    Yay! I’m not alone! I had a horrible morning as well…I kinda did deserve my humble pie…but it tastes better ala hope! Thank you, Jesus and thank you Siestas…

  3. 103
    Shelly says:

    How wonderful for you that you have a husband who prays for you and over you. May God bless you and your family.

  4. 104
    cindy says:

    Yesterday we started a new series at our church entitled, “Fresh Starts: The Art of Stumbling Forward. Our pastor gave the cool analogy that if you are walking with someone, and you stumble but don’t fall, when you recover you are actually ahead or out in front of the other person. So too, God can use our stumbles to actually move us ahead if we are willing to use them and learn from them. I liked that picture and idea. “Progress, not perfection!” is my motto. Especially when we put so much pressure on ourselves this time of year to change, do more, be better, etc…

  5. 105
    Charlotte says:

    I was feeling discouraged and defeated today. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder that I can start over fresh every day! God is so Good! God Bless! Charlotte – in Georgia

  6. 106
    Rachel says:

    You’re not the only one who has blown it already this year. I think I beat you by about 4 days. It must have something to do with having the kids and husband all at home with me for several weeks. I love them to death, honestly, but I love some routine in my life too.

    I love Springfield, but I know you’re glad to be home too. Can’t wait to see some baby pictures soon!

  7. 107
    Luv2Praise says:


    Not only are his mercies new every morning but he is also our Everlasting Father. One who knows us to the core and loves us anyway. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. No matter how terribly we think we have failed He will be with us always. How awesome is He.

    Blessing to you and your family. I can’t believe that precious little girl will be here so soon. I know it probably doesn’t feel soon to you,LOL.

    Thanks for your reminder of how Great our God is.

    Luv2Praise, Lori

  8. 108
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Amanda,
    After an incident this afternoon, as I type this I’m having the very experience your husband referred to when he said “God shows us our weaknesses to move us past a place of prideful comfort and into spiritual growth.”
    Profound statement and timely post.
    Thanks so much.
    Grace and peace to you as you wait for the arrival of your sweet baby girl.
    Much love,
    Patti Hayes

  9. 109
    Iowa Birdie says:

    What a sweet blessing your words were to me tonight. I, too, have been struggling with feeling defeated due to disappointments in ministry. People will let down. The Lord Jesus never will. Can I hear a hearty AMEN?!!! I pray your day was full of his abundant mercies.

  10. 110
    Anonymous says:

    No matter how you feel know you are a blessing to so many women! We draw encouragement and strength from you and your family. We come here daily to find that! Thank you for your honesty each and everyday. ((HUG))


  11. 111
    Dana N says:

    Good to hear from you! So glad that you enjoyed your trip.

    I love that “hope and humble pie” line. I’m going to remember that! I am really working on not taking ANY credit or glory for anything good that I accomplish, but to ALWAYS give Him the glory! Is it just me or does it seem so easy to inadvertently stick a feather in my cap and call it mine??

    That is also one of my favorite verses and is going on my list of possibilities for memorization this year. I know God will let me know if it would be a good one for me.

    Praying for you and Baby!

  12. 112
    grammasue says:

    thank you, Curtis, for your message. . . I’ve been feeling like my weaknesses were being shown to me so that I would again recognize my weaknesses:(
    Maybe, this is part of God’s plan, and there is hope after all:)

  13. 113
    Sandy C says:

    OK…that’s the verse I should have memorized this time. I’m going to do it now, too. I sure needed that today.

  14. 114
    Meghan says:

    Boy, I think the two of us could have had a cup of tea together this morning and shared some heart-ache and healing scripture.
    Last year I had a new failure punch me right in the face. Even though I have dealt with it, I have reminders everyday. I wanted to share with you a quote from my devotional today that reminded me about God’s view of my failings.
    It is from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. This passage is written as if God is the one speaking “I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach. You know that in yourself you cannot achieve such a goal. Thus begins your journey of profound reliance on Me. It is a faith-walk, taken one step at a time, leaning on Me as much as you need. This is not a path of continual success but of multiple failures. However, each failure is followed by growth spurt, nourished by increased reliance on Me.”
    Wow. I hope this gives you a little lift like it did for me today. What a great God we have that sees our failures, and sees not an unworthy soul, but sees an opportunity for us to lean more heavily on Him. Praise God!

  15. 115
    Kristib says:

    Good to hear from you! Glad you had a good trip! Praise the Lord for hope!

    We have two new Mission Raleigh girls and I am in 7th heaven getting to buy little girl clothes. My first “adopted” Mission Raleigh grandchildren were both boys. I love my little guys, but it just isn’t as much fun to buy boy clothes. Praying for you and the “little princess to come.”

    Much love!
    Kristi B.

  16. 116
    Kelli says:

    The Lord woke me with those words this morning, but I didn’t listen very well. Thank you for your reminder and encouragment..I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling that way!

    You siestas are such an encouragment; everytime I log on, it’s like going to Bible Study! 🙂

  17. 117
    Annalou says:

    I love that verse. LOL I say that about so many of them… but I really do love that one. Praise the Lord for the truth that His love is new every morning!

    AJ, it’s good to hear from you. Hope you enjoyed your visit with the in-laws while you were in my home state of MO. Hope it wasn’t too cold for you. :o)

    Wow, your on the home stretch now. Little Miss will be in your arms before you know it. :o) I’m so happy for you. I’ll be praying that all goes well and everyone is healthy and content.

    Blessings to you in this new year. May the Lord pour out His Spirit on you in a new and fresh way.

    In Christ out KING!

    Anna in MO

  18. 118
    Jules says:

    Thank you, Amanda, for today’s post. It’s so important to be reminded DAILY how merciful and how great is our LORD, and I appreciate that we have an online community of trust and encouragement where we feel comfortable sharing our deepest regrets, desires, anxieties and (especially) victories! I often use the LPM posts as a jumping off point for blogging my own personal journey, and today was a perfect reminder of looking past recent feelings of defeat. I am so grateful for everyone here!

  19. 119
    Lopsided Halo says:

    I felt rotten all day too!! Put on some Kirk Franklin and that’ll do the trick. How can you feel rotten when screaming “do you want a revolution?”

    And yes…I need and want one!!!! Woot Woot!!!!(I first typed toot toot…oppps!!)

  20. 120
    Tracy says:

    No worries AJ, you are in good company. Praise God for the promise of that verse (which was incidentally part of the passage I chose for my first memorization). I’ve loved meditating on the beauty of these words as I try to commit it to memory. What a hope-filled and encouraging Word with which to start 2009! Blessings to you and your sweet and soon-to-be-expanding family! = )

  21. 121
    Hiker Mama says:

    I love that scripture that you quoted, I am going to memorize it next week…..

  22. 122
    Karen from Houston says:

    I have never left a blog before anywhere and dont really know what I am doing. I just wanted to tell Melissa that my husband and I visited your church Sun evening and heard Curtis speak and we really enjoyed it. I bought a copy of his sermon- 1st one off the press- and listened to it again. Please tell your husband we enjoyed it. I wanted to tell him-“Can I speak to you for a mniute? You did great!!
    Karen from Houston

  23. 123
    Rett says:

    I just blogged about that! http://www.rett.blogspot.com

  24. 124
    Julie says:

    Amanda – you being alone in that? Not for a second (although very sweet of you to hope so)! Knowing for a fact I’d blown in within an hour of waking on the 1st, I’d be in such a bind already if I had to wait for new mercies.

  25. 125
    Lynn says:

    Amen and amen!

    Yesterday I was totally defeated by the end of the day. Another sister tucked this Scripture verse under my door. It was a word in season – so I will share

    Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
    So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    Here’s to a victorious new day!
    Sister Lynn

  26. 126
    tealovingmom says:

    Yep, I hear you, Sister. Your words are so encouraging! Thank God for fresh starts…and not just on New Year’s!

    Much love,

  27. 127
    Sooz says:

    Amen and amen!
    Praying for your final weeks with your little sweet pea your carrying. I needed to read this today.

  28. 128
    Shellie Paparazzo says:

    That is such a good word! In fact I might memorize that as my next memory verse. What a great reminder, every morning we can start anew. I needed that. I was getting a little overwhelmed with the idea of having a great year, but I need to just have a great DAY! One at a time. You’d think with all the 12 step recovery I’ve done that I’d have that one down by now, but no, I have to be reminded constantly! It’s a wonder anyone even puts up with me, especially God! I’m so slow!

  29. 129
    Rebecca says:

    O AJ! I love it when you post! 🙂 Its just what i needed! O! Tell your mamma i just started esther today! Im so excited!

  30. 130
    Julie Anne says:

    I needed this today (and every day)… One thing I have to remind myself is that his mercies are new all day, too. So often, I “lose it” early in the day and then beat myself up over it all day long and make things worse. I am working on erasing the past mistake and starting again from that moment (even if I do that 10 times in one day!!)

  31. 131
    Following God says:

    Thanks for this reminder. I needed it. And I need an attitude adjustment of my own. Praying for it!

  32. 132
    tiggerdaisy says:

    Thanks for the verse! I do believe that will be one of my scripture memory verses! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I really did need to hear it! Thanks!


  33. 133
    Melissa Lynn says:

    I have had a couple of days so far this year that I’ve blown it, too…sigh. But there are a couple of songs that the Lord keeps bringing to my mind that have renewed me like nothing could! I hope it’s ok to share them here…
    One is from the LIfeway CD “the Lamb has Overcome” the song is Made Me Glad…I love the reminder that “He is my shield, my strenght, my portion deliverer, my shelter, strong tower, my very present help in time of need…”
    Another AMAZING song is by The Katinas called Free…here is the chorus but look it up if you can, you’ll be so blessed and encouraged…”now I’m looking for a new day/ my destiny is waiting/ here in this beautiful release..My God/ set me free/so I can clearly see/Your love/carried me/so I can live to be/You did it just for me..love has taken over me/I have been set free”..The Katinas
    Anyway, this encouraged me so much today and kept from going “there”.
    Love you all my siestas!
    Melissa in Concord, CA

  34. 134
    kr says:

    Thanks Amanda, I needed to hear it. I am at Disney World where it’s supposed to be happy happy all the time…my attitude has ventured the other way. May the mercies be new in the next minute. Please Jesus…and thank you Amanda for your consistent honesty.

  35. 135
    Andreea says:

    You know, if there’s one (of many) things that I love about you and your mom it’s that y’all are so real and so honest. You teach us how to walk in victory but your are so completely real honest about your own life:) You have no idea how refreshing that is. Y’all have been such a great source of enocuragement to me and have helped me come out from under a long history of condemnation/self-condemnation.

    I’ve been meaning to ask this…do we have a name for Baby Girl?

  36. 136
    Anonymous says:

    Happy 2009 AJ. Yes, all the bad parts of me came out and then some. after a difficult childbirth experience things are not getting better and I feel so awful. Thank you for this encouragement. No matter how much I pray and seek Him I am still struggling and not sure what i am doing wrong. All the best to you sweet siesta.

  37. 137
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks Amanda for this wealth of encouragement! My Monday started like the worst “year” of my life as well, but I too was reminded on this Tuesday, that I have Holy Spirit power and He can do above all that I can even think to ask or imagine!

    And, I love Denise Glenn. She came and spoke at our ladies retreat several years ago. What an amazing woman of God. I’ve not done Motherwise (even though I am a mother, and probably should…), believe it or not, but have done another of her studies on the Bride of Christ. It impacted my life forever! Now I am just stuck with this other author, who just keeps writing and I keep reading! Had a blast with my ladies and Queen Esther this evening although it was a little sad hearing her story about Beanie on “point”. (but a GREAT illustration I won’t soon forget!) Praying for a safe delivery of “our little girl” very soon. Stay strong, Mommy! Have a GREAT Wednesday!

  38. 138
    Pam B from SC says:

    “God shows us our weaknesses to move us past a place of prideful comfort and into spiritual growth”


    We love you, Amanda~

  39. 139
    Stephanie says:


    What a wonderful post! This is the first time I’ve read it and it was so encouraging to me! Thank you so much!

    Here’s to mercies that are new EACH MORNING!

  40. 140
    Dan, Nicky, Zef and Evie says:

    Wow, thank you for sharing this. You have really made my day by reminding me of this!
    I have been feeling like the only one in the world not loving this new year and feeling kinda blue!!! Not for any particular reason, I just am! I am listening to my husband and friends with all these wonderful plans… and I just don’t have any excitement… boo hoo!
    Great is His faithfulness!!!
    I can’t wait to hear news of Baby Girl NEXT MONTH! Bless ya Siesta!

  41. 141
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Little Momma:), Baby Girl coming soon is super exciting!:)…I have had some discouragement too, but I have had some wonderful reassurance from Him lately as well…yay, prayer! So effective…yes, it is good to be reminded that victory this year will come from complete dependence on the Holy Spirit:), and NOT in my own strength! Amen! I don’t have any of my own strength anyway. Psalm 16:2, I have no good besides or beyond Him…Praise the Lord for what Curtis said, there is no one like HIM:):) His mercies are new every morning…I was thinking about that verse…

    Love in CHRIST,


  42. 142
    Anonymous says:

    I posted the Lam. verse right by my coffee pot and say it every morning no matter how much in a rush I’m in I Thank the Lord for a New Day and fresh start.
    Can’t wait to see your baby girl.
    Bless you Amanda for all the wonderful postings when Beth is busy.

  43. 143
    Anonymous says:

    I appreciate the fact that you will admit when you have “blown it.” Thanks for being honest! Sometimes we, or I, forget that we are not called to be perfect, and it is ok that we are not! His strength is perfect.
    It is so cool that Curtis stopped and prayed for you. I know you are thankful for that.

  44. 144
    Connie says:

    Thanks for sharing these insights, Amanda…they are just what I needed to hear. I am a first born who wants to be perfect and do everything just right…and a new year always tricks me into thinking I will have my chance at perfection once again…only to fail and not accomplish my lofty goals the minute I get out of bed on Jan.1…I am in great need of my Savior.
    God bless you!

  45. 145
    Anonymous says:

    Does Curtis have a link to buy the sermons to his cds? The one you wrote about is exactly what I need and I so love to hear him preach.

    [email protected]

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