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Musical Monday: Alive in You

I went to She is Free, a conference in NYC, in October.  There we sang a song that resonated in my spirit.  Didn’t thing to get the name of said song.

Got home.  Couldn’t remember song.  Was super sad about it.

Today I went online to buy some new tunes.

Found said song.  Only took 2 months.

It’s called Alive in You.  It is sung by the incredible Kim Walker Smith and Jesus Culture.

Point to Ponder While You Wander…Why is it that stupid songs get stuck in your head, but when you find one that  feeds you on the inside you cannot remember it?  Feel free to discuss with your people.

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The David Principle

I know I haven’t been posting much lately. Sorry about that.

I have been working 10-12 hour days. But the bigger issue is that I’ve been struggling with sadness and motivation to do anything in this transition time. I’m frustrated. Soooo frustrated.

Frustrated with my expectations not being met. Frustrated because I have no idea  what God is doing. Frustrated that everything is in flux all at the same time and there’s nothing I can do unless I choose to stay put and not move forward. 

I want to move forward. 

I  need to move forward.

But it is not easy.

I’ll admit to all y’all that I’m emotionally and spiritually exhausted and I’m fighting the urge to complain and be a full on spewer of negativity about this time of transition.

So two days ago I decided to read a Psalm a day…to reinforce what I refer to as The David Principle. 

The David Principle is when you take all your negative feelings and the real true crap of what’s going on in your life and vent only to God about it. Like David did in the Psalms.

Then, when you’ve gotten it all out…you worship God. There by reminding yourself that God is glorious and merciful, and able to turn around the worst parts of your life for your good. Here’s a jam from my current worship playlist, Chainbreaker.

In my sadness, I’m struggling with my “be bold and courageous” right now. And I really need to be brave because everything in my world is in flux right now. My only security and stable thing right now is Jesus. Literally everything else is in flux.

Anyway…here’s a snippet of my Psalm of the Day:

But in the depths of my heart I truly know that you have become my Shield; You take me and surround me with Yourself. Your glory covers me continually.  You alone restore my courage; for you lift high my head when I bow low in shame. I have cried out to you and from Your holy presence, You send me a father’s help.” Psalm 3:3-4 TPT

I needed this reminder. 

I needed to be reminded that He is always here for me. I just need to focus my my attention to Him. Even just reading this Psalm and told me what I needed to hear today. My daily bread from Heaven today!! 

I needed to be reminded that this is only temporary but God is permanent. He loves me, and I am going to get through this.
Point to ponder while you wander…”My true Hero comes to my rescue, For the Lord alone is my Savior.” Psalm 3:8

The Bride

We are both the bride of Christ, and a heir, a son with an inheritance.

As a girl, I get the bride part.  But it’s weird to think of myself as a son.  I’m sure that for guys it’s probably the same in reverse.  Then I learned something…God is bigger and His Kingdom greater.  And there are things that don’t translate into this world completely.  He explains His Kingdom Truths piece by piece in ways that make sense to us in our experiences in this world.  Jesus’s parables are examples of this.

Being a bride is not about being a girl.  It’s about the beauty and intimacy of the marriage itself.  The relationship.  We, in our humanness, often translate intimacy as sex and leave it there.  That’s probably why close to half of marriages end in divorce.

In a marriage relationship, sex is an important, necessary and beautiful part of intimacy.  It is the one time when you are connected to your spouse body, soul, and spirit.  That’s truly beautiful.  But if people aren’t opening themselves up and sharing the deep parts of themselves and really connecting they’re missing out on truly becoming one with their spouse.

As a single person who has never been married, I’m relying upon what God has taught me about marriage from His Word and from watching the marriages of those around me.  The good, the bad, and the truly terrifyingly ugly that inspire me to remain single.  I’ve seen it all.  And through it Jesus has shown me why intimacy with Him matters.

And I’ll be honest I suck at vulnerability.  I have pretty much loathed it most of my life. It’s a battle that fear has typically won against me.  I am not a fan of revealing my heart to people.  I was very sensitive as a kid, and I was told to toughen up and suck it up.  But in sucking it up and rolling on, I just walled up the fragile parts of myself and never allowed anyone to get anywhere near my heart of hearts.  Not even Jesus.

Just hearing the word vulnerable or intimacy caused me to shut down.  But I had a break down of sorts, and as a last resort I opened up the outer layers of myself to Jesus, most of which were areas of brokenness.  When I did, I quickly learned that He is kind.  He is gentle.  And that He truly loves me.  As He healed the outer layers, I opened up more and more to Him. I’m tearing up just thinking about it right now.  My relationship with Jesus is personal and I keep that part of my life in my heart of hearts.  It’s not something I share easily with people.

So even though I love Jesus completely, I struggle talking about Him and how good He is simply because it opens up my most vulnerable place.  Jesus saved my life in every way.  He is my everything.  But when you tell people this kind of thing…they roll their eyes or say, “Oh amen.”  And it feels cheapened. Then I get angry.  So I just don’t tell people about Jesus.

Believe me, I am aware that this is the opposite of the great commission and goes against everything I should be doing as a believer.  But I choose to just live my life out of that relationship and the love that He’s given me.  I treat people better than I ever have.  I have a greater capacity to love people, even the people I vehemently dislike.  I am more peaceful.  I have a greater joy.  My countenance has lightened.  My perspective skews towards seeing people as Jesus sees me.

I tried to love people before…and I’ll be honest…I wasn’t very good at it.  I still have days where it’s hard to be kind and patient. But I find that I’m not as judgmental or critical of myself or others as I have been.  It happened gradually, just by being with Jesus.  I didn’t try to change.  I didn’t do a self-help book or force myself to be kind.  It was a side effect 0f intimacy with Jesus.

The more time I spend with Him, and in His Word, the kinder I become.  The more I want to put my arms around the world and just hug them until they understand their worth and value.  I cry a lot.  I am super sensitive, even more so than I was as a child.  Yet, I feel safe.  I feel protected and guarded.  I’m not afraid of being me anymore.  The Jill that God designed is sensitive.  She was designed that way because she is an intercessor.  And she needs to be passionate about seeing healing in the brokenness around her.  I was created on purpose for a purpose.  Praying continually for people, even people I’ll never meet, is a part of that.  This understanding came from intimacy with Jesus.  By being His bride.

Intimacy is defined as close familiarity, closeness and also private and personal, confidential.  It is characterized by an atmosphere conducive to privacy and comfort.  And it relates to and is indicative of one’s deepest nature.

It’s that picture of a bride and groom coming together in marriage.  The hope in it.  The joy in it.  The openness.  The joining together.  The partnership.

One of the things that helped me to understand what it looked like to be the bride of Christ was reading Song of Songs in the Passion Translation.  I highly recommend it, because in this version you can truly see the divine romance between yourself and Jesus.  The way He loves us is just so thick and deep and genuine.  Reading Song of Songs the first time took me about a month because I could only go a verse or 2 at a time.  It completely wrecked me (in a good way).

One of the first interchanges between the Shulamite (me) and the Shepherd-King (Jesus) is Chapter 1, Verse 5:

The Shulamite:  “I know I am so unworthy–so in need.”

The Shepherd-King:  “Yet you are so lovely!”

The Shulamite:  “I feel as dark and dry as the desert tents of the wandering nomads.”

The Shepherd-King:  “Yet you are so lovely–like the fine linen tapestry hanging in the Holy Place.”

This verse cut me.  I physically felt it like a scalpel cutting away my negative image of myself and replace it with, “I am lovely.” For months every time I’d have a “I’m so fat” or a “I am ugly” thought, I’d hear Jesus say, “You are so lovely.”

I will never be the same again.  Ever.  I can’t go back to before or undo what His love has done to me.

Point to ponder while you wander…This is what being the Bride of Christ looks like in my life.  What does it look like in your life?  I’d love to hear what Jesus has shown you about being the Bride.  Feel free to comment or to message me privately.  Same goes if you need prayer.

 

Pear Tomatoes and The Sick Day

I’m currently down with a sinus infection. So after picking up my prescription today I went to the store to get some essentials. And I found these…

For those of you who don’t know, these glorious things are pear tomatoes. One of my top ten favorite foods.

NaNa used to grow these for me when I was young. Being alone in a new city, and sick, I needed this today. I needed happy yellow fruit and the memory of something NaNa used to grow specifically for me, because she knew I loved them.

I don’t have a point for you to ponder while you wander today. I just needed to share my little spot of joy in my Kleenex and Neti Pot filled sick day. 

I also have a sick day confession… Hallmark Christmas Movies started today and I was sucked in to watching two of them before my nap. I know. I know. I broke my rule about all things Christmas waiting until after Thanksgiving today. But Hallmark Christmas Movies are the cheesiest (and by cheesiest I mean ooey gooey heartwarming and predictable but I love them and cannot help myself) and best! Now I want to have a cheesy Christmas romance in my life soooo bad that it’s ridiculous. 

Hallmark Christmas Movies are indeed my guilty pleasure and apparently my kryptonite. 

This has been confessions with the Red Hot Jilly Pepper. I am sorry but not sorry. And you’re welcome to join my Hallmark movie support group. I’ve got tissues. You bring the snacks. We’ll watch together and dream of our own perfectly orchestrated Christmas romances. 😉

Gifted and Talented

Music.  I love it.  It is one of the greatest gifts God gave us.  And the people who make the music, they are gifts too.

I’ve always desired to be musical.  I joined band in elementary school.  Probably the worst flutist ever to pick up the flute.  I begged for a keyboard and piano lessons.  I got the keyboard, but that whole two hands doing two separate things at the same time thing.  Yeah.  I cannot do that.  I was in elementary school choir.  I was in junior high choir too.  In eighth grade, I was directed to sing so softly that I couldn’t be heard at a concert.

I realized then that maybe music wasn’t in the cards for me.  Didn’t stop me from singing, I sing all the time.  I also dance (AKA flailing) and paint (AKA creative therapy).  But those are stories for another day.

What’s the my point?  There is only one Kim Walker Smith.  There is only one Martina McBride.  There’s only one Natalie Grant.  There’s only one Loretta Lynn.  There’s only one Aretha Franklin.  There is only one Doris Day.  And there’s only one Jill Nicholson.

Jill Nicholson?  Who’s that?

That’s me.  I am Jill.  I have gifts and talents chosen by God and entrusted to me to cultivate and grow.  But for years I felt that because I couldn’t sing like I wanted, that I wasn’t talented at all.  That is a lie straight from the enemy.  Unfortunately, I believed it for too long and wasted years I could have been tending to the natural abilities I WAS entrusted with.

I believed the lie.  So I took my ball and went home.

The parable of the talents comes to mind here because I did bury what I had inside and hide the talents I did have.  I didn’t take photography classes because I was afraid I’d be told I wasn’t good at it.  Then I couldn’t take photos anymore.  I didn’t want a repeat of the choir concert incident.  I only wrote for class assignments.  Research papers and essays essentially.  When I did write other things, I didn’t let anyone read them.  I still struggle with letting people read my creative stuff.

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24-25 MSG

I know the context of this verse is Jesus speaking about His upcoming death, burial, and resurrection.  But this is what Jesus woke me up at 3:30 am to show me…If we take the gifts and talents that we have been entrusted with by God, both spiritual and natural, and we keep them to ourselves they are wasted.  But if we take the time to develop them, and sow them into His kingdom, those gifts are multiplied beyond what we could ever imagine.

Nothing given to Jesus is ever wasted.  It’s always multiplied in some way.  I’m still chewing on this, because I know there’s more here, but this is initial revelation.

Point to ponder while you wander…Appreciate the gifts and talents in those around you, not be envious or jealous of them.  Be grateful for the abilities YOU WERE given and be good stewards of them.

PS:  Parable of the Talents is found in Matthew 25.

 

 

 

Mysteries and Family History: Densmores End Up In Detroit

Hi, Mystery and History Lovers, it’s Velma!  Your favorite family tree researcher. My last post was about Jennie and John Brander.  Today I’m going to talk about Jennie’s Dad’s family…the Densmores, Dinsmores or possibly the Dinsmoors.  They are a mystery I am trying to solve.

Per usual, I’m going to use the spelling as written on the documents I found.  It changes…of course

Benjamin and Elizabeth

The furthest back I’ve been able to locate is Benjamin and Elizabeth Dinsmore.  Benjamin was born in 1780 in New Hampshire, and Elizabeth was born in 1781 in New Hampshire per the 1850 New York Census.  They were born during the American Revolutionary War before the USA was the USA.

They were living with their son, Moses Dinsmore and his wife, Lydia Allard Dinsmore, in 1850, per the 1850 Federal Census.  The family was residing in Bangor, Franklin County, New York.  (As was Lydia’s parents and siblings) Moses was born in 1814 in New Hampshire, and Lydia was also born in New Hampshire in 1823.  They had been living in New York for at least 6 years at this point because their eldest Laura Ann was born in New York in 1844.  Also living in the household was Caroline, born 1846, Phoebe E, born 1848, and Mary Elizabeth who was a month old.  Moses is listed as a farmer, and both Laura and Caroline attended school that year.

I’m sure Ben and Liz had more kids, because that was how it worked back in the day.  But I cannot find any proof of their other children.  I also cannot find death records for either Elizabeth or Benjamin.  Logic says they died in New York, but they could have also died on the way to Michigan with Moses or in Michigan.  I am still looking into this, but have no evidence of their death.  Maybe there is no death record because they are still alive at 235 and 236!  I would love for this to be true and I would definitely want to spend time with them and hear their tale.  But alas, I’m sure I just haven’t found the right location for their info.

Moses and Lydia

Moses Dinsmore married Lydia Allard, daughter of Henry Allard and Mary Elizabeth Fall, on 2 July 1843 in Bolton, Brome, English Canada (Ontario).  Moses died 16 February 1866 in Detroit, Michigan. I have also found records that list Moses’s birth state as Vermont on the death records of some of his daughters. Lydia was born 15 August 1819 in Bartlett, New Hampshire and died 10 May 1904 in Detroit, Michigan.

I know that Moses left New York for Michigan with his family between 1850 and 1853, because his son Moses Densmore was born 26 May 1853 in Detroit, Michigan, and daughter  Jane Lydia “Jennie” Densmore was born 18 January 1861 also in Detroit, Michigan.

The 1880 Census shows Moses (the son) and Jennie living with Liddie. Moses is a plasterer and Jennie works in a seed store.  Liddie is listed as keeping house at 371 Crawford St, Detroit. Please see below map for the location.  It’s now near the Fisher Fwy (I-75).

371-crawford

Here is the information I found on the children of Moses and Lydia:

Laura Ann Densmore was born 24 March 1844 in Bangor, New York, and died 6 May 1934 in Detroit.  Laura married William Crawford.

Caroline Densmore was born in 1846 in Bangor, New York.  Caroline married John McDoinell.

Phoebe E. Densmore was born on 10 June 1848 in Bangor, New York.  She died 12 January 1916.  She lived at 764 Williams in Detroit, Michigan in 1916.

Mary Elizabeth Densmore was born in May 1850 in Bangor, New York.  She married Oliver M. Dicks on 11 February 1871 in Detroit.  Their children: Emma was born in 1874.  Emma married John Busha on 16 April 1898 in Detroit. Samuel, was born 24 February 1876, but isn’t listed on the 1880 Census. Herbert A, was born in 1876.  He married Ida M. Seidel on 14 September 1905 in Detroit. Lottie May, was born 24 October 1878, and died 8 May 1880. Edward, born 10 Jan 1881 in Michigan.  Edward married Clara Minnie Spurr in Fort Wayne, Indiana on 23 September 1940.  Alexander, was born 25 April 1883 in Greenfield, Michigan, and died 2 December 1884.  Alfred G, was born in 31 August 1884 in Greenfield, Michigan.  He married Elizabeth Ridge on 10 October 1906 in Detroit. Moses,  was born 2 December 1887 in Greenfield, Michigan, and died 24 July 1888.  William J, was born in 1887.(Note:  Dicks is also spelled Dix in a few documents, but it’s mostly spelled Dicks).

Moses Densmore was born 26 May 1853 in Detroit, Michigan and died 5 February 1910. According to the 1880 Census, he was a plasterer.  Moses married Maggie Duncan on 30 June 1880 in Detroit, Michigan.  She was born either in Couttern, Connecticut or in Canada on 19 June 1960.  Maggie died 23 April 1936 in Detroit.  She and Moses are both buried in Woodmere Cemetery.  They had a daughter, May or Mary, born 1882.  May married Charles Feole, son of August Teole and Caroline Cole on 28 June 1900.  They also had a son, Charles H., born in 22 April 1884 and died 11 August 1947 in Detroit.  Their daughter, Phoebe, born in 1885.

Last but most important to my life (as in I wouldn’t be here without her) is Jane Lydia “Jennie” Densmore was born 18 January 1861 also in Detroit, Michigan. Click on the Jennie and John link above to read about my 4x great-grandmother and her family.

I’ve also found information that there might possibly be 4 additional children, Twins Amanda and Maranda, James M, and John.  It’s possible they were born between Moses and Jennie.

I have hit a wall geneology fans. No further information on Benjamin or maiden name for Elizabeth. Guess…I’ll have to work on a new branch for a while.

Later mystery lovers… xo Velma

PS: One last thing of note…I did notice that the Michigan records are all Densmore. Not Dinsmore, like the New York and New Hampshire records. Not sure why that is. But I wonder. It’s like Nickerson becoming Nicholson on Nantucket I guess…new place…new name.😉

 

Fun Fact Friday: Cheeky Monkey

If you’ve read much of my blog you know that I am a fan of etymology.  And in that vein my curiosity was piqued about Cheeky Monkey?  Like what in the world?  Cheeky Monkey?

Cheeky is defined in the 1859 dictionary as an adjective, “from cheek, in it’s sense of insolence.”

It’s generally used when someone is mouthy or speaks their mind too easily.  My mom used to call it “lip” rather than cheek, but you get the idea. Cheeky is generally thought of as a British term, and that’s probably true. I don’t hear it in my neck of the woods.

Ken Greenwald, of Colorado, quoted several dictionaries (Partridge’s Dictionary of Slang, Oxford English Dictionary, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, Chapman’s Dictionary of American Slang, Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories) and posted this in an online discussion forum.  I like his verbiage so I’m using it and quoting him directly.

CHEEKY (1859), impudent, insolent, saucy derives from CHEEK (1823), verbal insolence, audacity, impudence, effrontery, brass, chutzpa and was originally considered slang but now is Standard English. “If he gives me any cheek, I’ll knock him down”—George Moore, 1884. The term is metaphorical and has been associated with the cheeks when speaking to or facing someone with confidence. ‘Lip,’ ‘face,’ ‘jaw’ and ‘chin’ have been used similarly. The expression often appears in the form ‘to have the cheek to’ (also ‘to have the face’) to dare, to have the nerve to do something.

So what is a cheeky monkey?

Cheeky monkey is can mean an impudent person, but in most definitions I found it was referred to as what a woman says in response to a man’s flirtation and what not, especially if he’s over eager.  Urban dictionary says, “Term used to define sexual our witty comment made in jest. Cheeky means you are flippant, have too much lip or are a bit of a smart butt! Generally you are considered to be a bit cheeky if you have an answer for everything and always have the last word.”

Sometimes parents use this as a term of annoyed endearment when their kids are being saucy and sassy, like the little guy pictured below.

monkey

Photo found on Pinterest, no photographer listed to credit.

My favorite definition was found it the open dictionary, said, “Used for telling someone that they are not showing respect when you are not really angry.”

Used with a tsk tsk or shaking of the head and a wink I am sure. 😉

Point to ponder while you wander…Tongue in cheek means that something shouldn’t be taken seriously or that it was meant in jest.  It’s characterized by either insincerity or exaggeration.  I’m sensing that cheeky monkey is to be used in that same vein.