My name is Jen Poulin, I am 48 and live in Bealeton, VA. I grew up in NH, when to college in Maine and stayed there most of my life. I just moved to VA 2 years ago to live with my boyfriend... more to come on that later. I have 2 amazing children: Haley, age 20 and Benjamin, age 19. Haley will be starting her junior year at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston where she is studying Interior Architecture and Design. Ben, after being medically discharged from the Air Force this past November, will be starting his freshman year at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA this fall! I am one blessed momma! This fall I will be beginning my 22nd year of teaching. I have taught everything from Pre-K - 3rd grade and for the past 2 years I have taught the VPI program at CH Ritchie Elementary School. VPI is a program for preschool children- ages 4 and 5 who have been identified as being at high risk for school failure. Some of my children have parents who are incarcerated, some are being raised by family members, most of my student's families income is near the poverty level and some have parents who are undereducated. It is a challenging group, but an incredibly rewarding one and one that I think keeps me young!! I come from a large Italian family, that is incredibly loving and supportive, but as you can imagine, food has always been at the center of all of our gatherings! And not just any food, GOOD FOOD! LOL I have struggled with my weight my entire life.. up and down, up and down... it's been quite a journey. Currently I am once again trying to get some weight back off! 3 years ago I lost nearly 85 lbs.. but over the past year, I have gained nearly 30 lbs back. Ugh! But this time WILL be different. This time I have God in my corner. Well, OK, he was always there, I just didn't rely on Him and His strength. I thought I could do it on my own- WRONG!
C-I love that you are embarking on your wellness journey with God this time! It made a complete difference in my personal journey! When would you say your faith moved beyond just knowing God to experiencing God?
I can honestly say that I began truly experiencing God this past March. I have always had faith. I have always prayed and sought answers, but I had no idea what truly experiencing God could be until my relationship with my boyfriend fell apart very unexpectedly.
C-It's always those interruptions and curveballs that wake us up! So what is one thing God has been teaching you this season of your life?
God has been teaching me that he is HERE. ALWAYS. And that He is the only one who is always
here and will always be here, no matter what. He's got this. I've got to trust in Him and in His plan for my life.
C-AMEN! Always present. How do you keep your eyes fixed on God when storms come your way?
It's funny.. when the storms come and over this past year especially, there have been storms, turning to God is a very natural response, but in the past it was always one sided.. me asking,but not working. I really had no idea what to do. How to keep my eyes fixed on God. How to not only ask, but truly seek his voice. I used to think that you just sit quietly and suddenly you would hear the "voice of God"... funny right? But now, I know to "hear" the voice of God, I had to dive into His word.. that's where his voice is. Duh Jen! So now I start my day, EVERY DAY, by reading His word and when the storms come, I know now how to hear His voice and to stay fixed on Him. Read his word, think about it, sit with it and apply the message. It is a learning process and believe me I'm still learning, but I love this positive way to start my day and I find such peace in my stormy times with His reassuring words.
I have also realized that trials aren't punishments, but rather opportunities. Opportunities to strengthen my faith, to get even closer to God and opportunities to grow as a person.
C-It really IS a two way relationship. Love that you highlighted that ! What are some verses that you often cling to as a reminder of His goodness?
Ohhh... My very FAVORITE verse is Jeremiah 29: 11-13 "I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me and I will answer you. You will seek me and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart."
I also like Peter 1: 6-7 "Be glad about this, even thought it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure."
C-Love those! If you could encourage those out there who are fearful of letting go and trusting God, what would you say?
What do you have to lose? Trusting God doesn't happen over night, it is a process, a journey, but take a step. Letting go and trusting God takes a huge burden off your shoulders. It's an incredible feeling to give God the pen to write your story. No more worries, no more fear. He's got this and His only desire is to give you a life of love and happiness. Everyday you take a step to get closer to God, to let go and give it all to Him, an incredible sense of peace and even liberation will come over you. He will never leave you. You will never be alone, ever. Things may not always happen the way You think they should, or when YOU think they should, but remember, He's already walked the steps you are about to take. His timing is perfect. Letting to and trusting God has changed my life. I even had a t-shirt made that says "Faith over Fear". That's the motto I live by. Take a step, even if it's a small one, and feel the change begin. You won't regret it. It also helps to have a spiritual adviser.. someone to help guide you. Caren is that person for me. Sometimes she guides me with tough questions, sometimes she guides me with suggestions and sometimes she speaks to me and I know she is delivering a message from God that I need to hear... It's nice to have her support on this journey!
A Bit About ME!
Hey friend! My name is Caren and I am so glad you stopped by! This blog is a bit of my corner on the internet where I share honest thoughts about my faith journey, fitness journey, doctor wife journey, and motherhood journey. ALL of it! The good bad and ugly! I pray that something I share encourages you today!