today i became a mentor!

So this is super exciting for me: Today I became a mentor! I am working with TAPP, a school for teenage mothers. TAPP helps these girls graduate high school and readies them for college! The school was featured on MTV a few years back for a documentary called “Baby High.” Click here to watch the 40 minute long special: Baby High- MTV

I was blown away by the school! Prenatal care, postnatal care (the girls are back at school in 7 days after having their babies, and teachers come to the hospital so they don’t fall behind!), parenting classes, AMAZING day care program– all while providing the same high school courses, advanced courses, and specialty courses that JCPS high schools offer! The staff works with the girls to tackle life issues, manage after school jobs, daycare, and transportation, and plan for after graduation goals! The graduation rate is 99%! Mentors are basically paired up with one student to be a friend to her. We will meet once a week to talk through motherhood, career plans, and life issues. Today I met my high school girl and her little boy. He and Jackson are exactly a month apart in age! I think it is going to be so fun to learn with her and from her, and hopefully make her feel loved and supported!

Even though this is not a Christian program and I can not do a lot of “preaching” (as the director called it!), please pray for our relationship and that God would open doors of trust and friendship. Pray that we would have a long lasting friendship that will eventually continue outside of school. Pray that her heart would long for Jesus and that He would call her to Himself!

New Apartment!

 

Welcome to our new apartment! We are so excited to be living over in the Crescent Hill area of Louisville. Kevin loves that it is safer than downtown, and I love that our complex is nestled amongst neighborhoods of beautiful homes. We are a walk away from Frankfort Avenue, which, if you know Louisville, is a great street with a lot of restaurants and shops. We also have a few friends who live in this part of town and we already feel invited into their community, which is so nice after a really lonely year. Here are a few pictures of our new place—I have been trying out the panoramic feature on Kevin’s new camera! I hope this makes those of you from Ohio want to come visit!

 

 

 

 

 

house hunters?!

Our lease is up in 5 short months, so Kevin and I (mostly Kevin) have been researching what we should do next. Do we stay in the apartment we’re in (mind you, NO washer/dryer OR dishwasher!) ?? Do we move into a bigger apartment?? Do we buy a small house and fix it up?? What an exciting time!

Kevin told me to start looking on line for small houses under 50k that we can fix up and hopefully rent out after a few years! Look as this cute house (well, the outside anyway…) I found a few blocks over– close to Sojourn! I’m sure this is one of many we look at in the next few months.

And who knows, we may choose to stay right where we are!

 

Don’t worry Middletown, I’m still missin’ you.

Quick update on the Martins!

I feel like fall has been flying by and I haven’t gotten to catch up with people as much as I would like. So I thought I would share some exciting things that are happening here in Louisville!

First off, Kevin and I both love our jobs more and more everyday. He is working hard and striving to become a personal banker soon! And I have finally learned all the ropes at my (real) Starbucks store. (Sidenote- If you work at King, do not make the mistake that you are working at a Starbucks…It may look similar, but the drink recipes are completely wrong! What the heck?!)  Also, like I said before, I am working with 6 awesome friends from Sojourn. It has been so much of the Lord’s grace to place me in a work environment where I can experience encouraging friendships and ministry through community. We get to have awesome conversations with a couple regulars in particular and most of our regular customers know that we go to Sojourn and are Christians. I thank God every day that I work for his provision in multiple ways through Starbucks.

At Sojourn, God has been so good to us in giving us ways to serve and get connected to the body. We have been enjoying making extra money serving with childcare at Sojourn events, and I have been even been asked to coordinate childcare for some events more recently. Again, God is blessing us with more financial opportunities and he is giving me a chance to use some of my leadership and administrative gifts!

Kevin has loved serving in childcare on Sunday mornings and is pursuing growth as a community group leader. I have loved serving on the connect team in college ministry, connecting students to community groups and membership–I have even began meeting with a freshman girl named Lindsey who is very teachable and excited to learn. In both of these things, we feel so blessed that the Lord would bless us and stir us up by giving us ways to use our giftings. I don’t deserve to be given opportunities that bring so much joy to my heart and allow me to serve with gladness, but our God is good, church!

More recently, I have had a growing desire to love my neighbors in Shelby Park. It is a very hurting neighborhood with a lot of fatherless children, single moms, violence, poverty, and prostitution. We are one of 5 Shelby Park community groups and God has really placed a burden on many of our hearts to be generous and servants to our neighbors here. Pray with me as I try to figure out what that looks like and what kinds of needs God is pressing on my heart to meet. Something I am particularly excited to get trained in is the Benevolence ministry, which is where I would interview and build relationships with women who come in to the church for financial assistance. I think it is a way that God is answering my prayers to build relationships and trust with single moms in the neighborhood, something I feel a strong desire to do.

This fall has also been a great time of growth for both Kevin and I. He is loving pastors school and  seminary and I have had my mind challenged and encouraged by the theology we studied in the first six weeks of women’s school. We have also both built a few friendships where conversation go deeper and challenge us to repent of sin, grow in our marriage, and trust the Word of God. We have had a few close Ohio friends visit us, which is always a comfort, and we have spent a lot of time together walking at Cherokee Park (picture above) dreaming of future plans.

All in all, it has been a great season of busyness and encouragement, after a hard, dry summer. Praise God for his faithfulness!

you like pumpkin spice lates? i’m gonna make them!

Yes, that’s right, I got a job at Starbucks! I never thought I would go back to making coffee after 4 years at King Cafe, but God in his infinite wisdom decided that I would not be a teacher, but in fact, a barista. The search for teaching job had exhausted me, I was making meals & cleaning at lightning fast speed (making me bored the rest of my day), and substitute teaching was not looking to be as fruitful as I would have hoped…AND THATS WHEN…my friend Mary Ellen called me and said, “hey, are you still needing a job?”

I am so excited to have a job working at this Starbucks. I get to be downtown in the city and working with six awesome Sojourners! I will have something to do during my day and I will get paid and can be a financial helper to my husband! God is definitely providing answers to things I have been praying for the past few months. #nostress.

So rejoice with me in this exciting adventure! Pray that I meet non-believers and get to know regulars and pray that I would build good friendships with my fellow Sojourn brothers and sisters! I just think it is crazy how the Lord will use all of us in one coffee shop to advance his Kingdom downtown, right?! If you’re ever in town, come visit me at the Seelbach hotel Starbucks!

today.

Today is the 2nd day I am home alone, without Kevin and without a job. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a day to myself to do whatever I want, by I’m seeing lately how much my soul longs to have purpose- like creative-order-working-purpose. Maybe I’ll email all 102 Jefferson County elementary school principles and beg for a job. Nevertheless, since I do have a day to fill so here is what I want to do:

1. Go to Bardstown Rd. Mcdonalds and sit for a while reading. Try to read the Word BEFORE the Namesake. I’ve been caught up in a novel recently, short-lived most likely.

2. Go to the Kroger across town that actually has a fresh market like home & doesn’t have cashiers yelling from register to register about their plans for the night.

3. Come home and run down to Belgravia Road again. That street reminds me of Charleston and has become an oasis to me in days of saddness, worry, or extreme heat. I like resting in the shade of the rows of trees and exquisitely-restored turn of the century houses that lie so closely to eachother that I feel their shelter almost hugging me.

4. Come home and rest while pricing out curtain options for the living room.

5. Learn how to make Foccacia bread to go with dinner. I’ve never made bread homemade, but Allison does, so I thought I’d give it a try.

So here is a some-what productive day in the life of Jen Martin. If you have suggestions on what I could do to make my time of unemployment and solitude more worth while, please, let me know!

sharing the city

It has been nice to have so many visitors the past few weeks. It is fun and comforting for Kevin and I to share our favorite parts of Louisville and catch up with friends. This weekend a whole crew came down and the Sages graciously opened their home so that everyone would have somewhere to sleep! Kevin and I are definitely learning how to be hospitable together and show a good, yet realistic, picture of marriage to our friends. Keep visiting, Church! We love it and are so thankful for your commitment and love for us!

thank you @stephjamison.

Just started reading Dr. Helen Roseveare’s book, Living Faith: Willing to be Stirred as a Pot of Paint. Steph sent it to me about a week ago in response a former blog post I wrote and I was blown away by her thoughtfulness. The past few days I have been so thankful for that book! I feel like it is exactly what I need to hear, yet am so resistant to hear at the same time.

She talks about just as a pot of paint has to be stirred all the way to the bottom of the can until all of its separations, hardened layers, and discolorations can become one consistency, one color, and ready to applied to a white wall- the purpose for which it was designed. This stirring can’t be done only once, it has to be done daily until the job is done.

She proposes that our lives as Christians are the same. We must be willing to be stirred in whatever ways Gods has planned for us; stirred to the bottom of our innermost beings, until no solid, secular matter remains from the liquid, spiritual life. It is when we are being constantly, and sometimes painfully, stirred, that we know God is applying and using us for the purpose and works he created us in advance to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). All of this is very basic, I know, but how many of us are really genuine in our prayers to “stirred?” Sure, we pray, “God, send me!” or “God, change me!” or “God, make my like more…” but secretly we mean, “God, send me (as long as you don’t ask me to go here….or to leave these people…..or to miss out on this….) and God, change me (but please don’t do it this way….or take away this in the process…).

And so while I am here in Louisville, without a lot of direction for ministry, relationships, or opportunities to teach, I know that I am in the “stirring” process (as we always are) until I see God starting to apply me in this city. I am encouraged in this: “it is by the faith of the Son of God indwelling in me that I am assured that God has a place for me. It is by this same faith that I grow to realize that outside of God’s prepared place, there is no ultimate satisfaction or peace of heart for me. And so, I desire to be led into his will for my life, unconditionally surrendered for obedience to his will.”

So go ahead and stir me, God. I do care what it costs…and I’ve already felt the discomfort of the cost thus far…but stir me all the same, God.

If you are in a stage of uncertainty or transition, I especially recommend this book! Thanks again, Steph!

#chasemafia.

KEVIN GOT A JOB!

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us here in Louisville. It took a few weeks, but what a way to celebrate our 1 month anniversary! I am so proud of him, and excited that he will officially enter into the legendary “chase mafia” along with many of our fellow Oaks men. Cheesecake factory for dinner? Here we come!

We decided that I would continue to look for teaching jobs (since its almost July) and then look for something else in August if I don’t get hired for this school year. Sojourn pays 20 dollars a group for people to babysit during community groups so I am trying to get plugged into that to make a little money during the week. Continue to pray that God provides me an interview with Jefferson County Public schools or that I would hear back from some of the smaller private schools I emailed.

We are seeing God start to move here and we are testifying to his faithfulness!! Keep praying for us, Church.

sunday morning in Louisville

This morning consisted of eating breakfast with my husband, stopping by my new McDonalds, and venturing into the land of laundromats. Thankful that I can pass the time reading Meg Rigano’s IPhone notes from today’s sermon at the Oaks Community Church. Praising God for the Word that is being preached there and that I can still be a part of growing from it! Tonight Kevin and I will join the Sages for our first 5pm service at Sojourn. Pray that we would be faithful to Pastor Kevin’s charge to us: that we would stay humble and faithful there. I hope to post this week about our wedding, honeymoon, and new life together as The Martins! Love you guys!