Category Archives: my story..

Good, Bad or Indifferent this is who I am and this is my life! Most days I think I am better than good, less than bad and never indifferent about the things that matter in life.


2015…was a year filled with new opportunities.  A new camper, new career, new travel destinations and new friends.

New opportunities are usually the result of a change in your current circumstances.  The biggest change of 2015 was my career change.

For the past 9 years I was the Director of the Welcome Ministry at a mega church. I organized the cafe, bookstore, greeter and usher ministry teams.  There were over 500 volunteers at 3 campuses.  I worked with the lead Pastor on special projects designed to help people experience God’s Word in a way that is relevant to their life. I also, had the absolute plesaure of assisting with the annual womens event.  I helped with the selection of the speaker, decorations, food and the swag bags that each attendee received.  I was also the book and gift buyer for the church bookstore.  I wore many different hats and I wore them well… I loved my job!

Ministry work is incredibly rewarding.  You are a part of something so much bigger than yourself. You “get to” walk with people thru all of lifes events…babies, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, divorce, illness and death. You “get to” love your neighbor…you “get to” be the hands and feet of Jesus.

But working in ministry has a couple of “have to’s”. You “have to” work weekends. And you “have to” be away from your family on Easter weekend and Christmas Eve. You “have to” agree to avoid certain socially acceptable situations.


Overall the positive far out weigh the negative. But, for me the tide turned. I began to feel like I was missing out on too many family get togethers, either because I was working or too tired after work to enjoy spending time with family and friends. Thats when I knew it was time to make a change.

The career change has been a challenge. For no other reason than the pace is much slower. The upside to the change…I now work with my husband and son running our very succesful small business. I have weekends and holidays off, time freedom to plan and attend parties. And I can now blog about whatever tickles my interest.

2015…was a year filled with opportunities, changes and challenges. All in all it was a very good year!!! But all good things… Farewell 2015!
What was the biggest change in your 2015?

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Filed under 2016, Life, my story..

About Jeanne’s blog…A Nola Girl at Heart

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This blog is my story and its filled with random life events from a NOLA girl at heart living in Texas.   My head is filled with ideas about food, books, music, travel, gardening and buying and selling junk and photography.

I am still trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up. Currently my 9-5 is my dream job!  It keeps my head spinning. I am a book and gift buyer, volunteer organizer and ministry leader all rolled into one. I am Loving life…Living the dream…Reflection!

In my spare time I am a dealer at a local antique mall. Lucky for me they allow me to buy junk and sell antiques!  Check out my handi-work!

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My husband and I are best friends and we dream of one day retiring and running a B&B in the Texas Hill Country or the Colorado Mountains…

I think social media is the best invention since the Slinky…My world is a more colorful place because of it…I hope you will add your color to my world.

Jeanne, a nola girl at heart

This post was inspired by the crew at The Daily Post…The About Page 101: Making Them Care and The About Page 201: The Meat Grinder...Is it time to re-visit and revise your About page?

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Filed under Life in Texas, my story..

One Day He Needed Me Less…

In the beginning one of us needed the other more…However, even to this day it is debatable who that was…

One day he needed me to feed him and tie his shoes and then he learned to do those things for himself and he needed me less.

One day he asked me to tuck him and sing him a song because he was afraid of the dark and then he overcame his fear and he needed me less.

One day he asked me to play his favorite movie for him and then he knew more about computers than me and he needed me less.

One day he asked me to read to him and then he read to me and he needed me less.

One day he needed me to help him ride his bike and then he was riding around the block and he needed me less.

One day he needed me to drive him to the mall so he could pick out a gift for a girl and then he was able to drive himself to the mall and he needed me less.

One day he asked me about sex and I changed the subject…

One day he asked me what was the meaning of life and we began a faith-based journey together and we fell in love with the LORD and then he needed me less.

One day he asked me for the keys to the car and I spent the night praying…

One day he asked me if he could go on vacation with his girlfriends family and I realized he needed me less.

One day he told me he was moving into his own apartment…and he asked me to make him a good-bye sandwich and I realized he needed me less than I needed him.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”


Filed under Faith, family, my story..

X is for…Xenia (a-z challenge)

Thanks to the A-Z challenge I learned something new!

Xenia is the Greek concept of hospitality, or generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home.  It is often translated as guest-friendship because the rituals of hospitality created and expressed a reciprocal relationship between host and guest.

There are three basic rules of Xenia. 

  • The respect of host to guest.  The host must be hospitable to the guest offering them food, drink and a bath if required.
  • The respect of guest to host.  The guest must be courteous and not be a burden.
  • The parting gift from host to guest.  This is to show that the host was honored to have received the guest.
  •  (Wiki Info)

Spiritual assessment tests have shown that I have the gift of hospitality.  However long before ever taking one of these tests I knew that entertaining family and friends was my sweet spot.  I find great joy in welcoming them into our home and then making sure they are well taken care of.  The greatest compliment I have ever received is when a friend told me “I love your home, it is so comfortable.” 

I believe hospitality is a gift I was born with but it was also nurtured by my family.  My Grandmother had the gift of hospitality.  I remember that she always had a cake and a pot of coffee ready everyday at 3pm for whomever showed up at her door, and show up they did.  She had 9 children and dozens of grandchildren and on any given afternoon her kitchen was filled with people and laughter.

My parents know how to add that special little touch to any gathering, good conversation or a special dessert or two. They never show up empty-handed or let you leave without a gift from the garden or the freezer.  They are some of the most hospitable people you could ever meet. 

 My Sister is a great party planner and hostess with the mostess.  She has an annual Halloween party that people start planning to attend in July!  That is a testament to her gift of hospitality and thoughtfulness. 

I know that I could show up unannounced at any one of my Cousins or Aunts homes and they would welcome me with open arms.  And if it so happened to be around 3pm I am almost positive I would be offered a fresh hot cup of coffee and slice of something sweet! 

Our family has been practicing Xenia for generations and we just thought we were being hospitable. 


Filed under Blogging Challenges, Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, encouragment, family, my story.., postaweek2011

N is for nolagirlatheart (a-z challenge)

Good, Bad or Indifferent this is who I am and this is my life! Most days I think I am better than bad, less than good but never indifferent about the things that matter in life.

My life is not filled with death-defying feats or exceptional talents. I am simply a regular girl with hopes and dreams of a simple life. A life filled with faith, hope and love!

Yes I get off track and my compass does not always point north.  My mind gets cluttered with all of the junk in the world and I struggle with everyday stuff.   I am often saddened and confused by life’s tragic events.  I want to help but feel helpless. 

This blog is about the People, places and things that give me hope and inspire me to be a better me.

Every life is a story and every story has a beginning, a middle and an end.  Every story contains context, conflict, decisions and resolution. 

Once I realized that my life was a story I began to wonder about things; will I make better decisions, will I worry less and trust God more?  I wonder will I be a better listener and a better friend, a better wife and a better mother.  Will I share Jesus with others, or will they see Jesus in me? 

I wonder if I will laugh more often, love more deeply and will I live life to the fullest?  I am wondering about my life story but I am not worrying about it. My life story may not be filled with exciting world travels or death-defying feats.  It may be that God has planned for my life story to be one filled with lots of normal everyday stuff.

I know God has written into my life-story that I would be a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother, an encourager and a Christ follower. I do wonder what else He has planned for my story. But I am content because I know the beginning and I know the end and I know who wrote the story line that goes in-between and I am thrilled to be part of such an amazing story. 

My Story!!

Jeremiah 29:11 “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


Filed under Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, Life..such as it is, my story.., postaweek2011

(a-z challenge)…M is for merchandising a small space on a budget with a static customer base

I manage a church bookstore and the visitors to the store only vary by a small degree.  The store is only open on the weekends for the convenience of members and attendees.  We carry a good selection of Bibles and books as well as a nice selection of inspirational gifts. 

Because our customer base doesn’t change like that of a mall or big box store we must be selective with our purchases and creative with our merchandising.  We also are constantly changing things up to keep the store looking fresh and inviting.  Having a small store and limited storage is a  challenge.  However, challenges create opportunities for creativity. Our displays range from random to specific.  We sometimes have seasonal displays, topic related displays or even a display that is inspired by the colors of the season. 

Typically when merchandising the church bookstore we try to arrange the store in a manner that is inviting and comfortable for the guys.  Speaking from experience women are comfortable shopping just about anywhere; from the best boutique to Bass Pro Shop.  Typically most men will avoid shopping at all costs.  I am very happy to say our little bookstore has a high percentage of guys hanging around between services checking out the books on the shelves, buying T-shirts and even helping out by volunteering as cashiers and floor attendants. I think they like our little store.

However, this weekend our church is hosting our annual women’s event.  Our guest speaker is Lysa Terkeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Her most recent book, Made to Crave,  has been on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

So this week we decided to glam up the store for the event.  I have a volunteer who comes once a week and helps with merchandising.  Joan has an eye for mixing gifts and books that relate to one another.  Her attention to detail has given the store a unique feel that you just don’t find in most retail settings. This week Joan has pulled all the color to the front of the store.  She has mixed beautiful canvas prints with colorful tote bags.  The cash wrap area sparkles with beautiful fused glass crosses from an Austin, Texas Artist.  The glass jewelry case is a mix of jewelry, picture frames, coffee mugs and bible covers, the color is scheme is black and white with a pop of red.  It looks fabulous!  I think the ladies are going to enjoy browsing around the store this Saturday during the conference breaks.  Not to mention we have dropped a little coupon in their swag bag!  Now that’s merchandising and marketing at its best.

Our store is about 1000 square feet.  To make the most of our limited space we try to cross merchandise whenever possible.  The majority of the store consists of bookshelves, each shelf is dedicated to a specific topic or category.  There isn’t much floor space for display racks or merchandisers.    The store gets very crowded on  the weekend between services.  In order for our guests to have a good shopping experience we must incorporate gifts and books within the same space.  We cannot limit the books to one area and the gifts to another.    About a year ago,  Joan and I decided that we would utilize the top shelf of every bookshelf for category related gifts.  The rest of the bookshelf is filled with category specific books, audio cd’s or educational resources. 

This creative merchandising technique also acts as our silent salesperson.  Our bookstore is staffed entirely by volunteers during the weekend services.  We also use creative merchandising to help shoppers visualize gift combinations. 

I admit that I have no professional training in this area.  This store is my hearts desire…I woke up one morning 6 years ago and there it was…a deep yearning in my heart to own a bookstore/coffee shop.  I wanted to create a place where people could find the right book or inspirational gift to help them on their spiritual journey.  As God would have it, His plan for my life and my hearts desire were the same.  I am not the owner but I do have the greatest boss, ever!   I am truly blessed!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the LORD not for men” Colossians 3:23 


Filed under Blogging Challenges, Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, my story.., postaweek2011

living in the sweet spot of life…the book that changed my life

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Filed under Blogging Challenges, encouragment, my story.., postaweek2011

un-plugged…but still connected

Have I mentioned that I work for a non-profit?  Actually I work for a church.  I organize and encourage volunteers to serve in different areas of ministry. 

 A few years back I read a book that helped me  discover the things that give me the greatest joy and now I get to use those gifts to earn a living.  I think I am one of the lucky people!

I love my job!  There are only a few days out of the month that actually feel like work.  The rest of the time it’s the most fun I have ever had while getting paid. 

Even when you love what you do there are days that make you shake your head and reach for the ibuprofen. Like today!  My computer was infected with one of those disgusting virus’.  The one that is going around making everyone’s computer sick. It turned out to be one of those scareware virus’  but just the same it was very annoying and inconvenient. 

It’s just like when I get sick after washing my hands and using hand sanitizer and avoiding all the sick people in the office.   Even after all of the precautions, I still get sick.   I don’t really know how I got it.  But I did! 

I didn’t open any of the junk email that fills my inbox.  I didn’t open  any of the forwarded emails or emails from people I don’t know.  I wasn’t doing anything I wasn’t suppose to be doing.    I was just doing what I normally do, surfing the internet looking for books for the bookstore I oversee and searching for clever suggestions for an invitation I was working on at the time.  Then it happened!  Then it was too late!  So I did the only thing I knew to do.  I called our IT department.  Well, I called our IT guy.

Me:  Hi.   My computer has a virus!
IT Guy:  What were you doing?
Me:  Nothing…surfing the internet.
IT Guy:  For what?
Me:  Invitations.
IT Guy:  Really, what sight were you on?
Me:  I don’t know, just some invitation site. 
IT Guy:  It doesn’t sound good.  Un-plug it.
Me:  Un Plug It?  Really?!
IT Guy:  Yes.  Un-Plug it!
Me:  You want me to un-plug my computer? 
IT Guy: Yep

So… I un-plugged it!

The thought of un-plugging began to rattle around in my brain.   I began to think about doing just that.  Un-plugging!  Calling it a day!  Heading home!  Going on vacation!  Disappearing for a while! 

What would that be like?  To just un-plug from life when things start to go south. 

It didn’t take long to decide that this was not an option. I realized this would only be a temporary fix.  Nothing would be settled.  Nothing would be fixed,  Everything would be on hold.  The inevitable would only be postponed.  Life would be in a holding pattern, the little blue light blinking,  waiting to start back up.

So I decided…to take a walk.  Be quiet.  Listen.  Collect my thoughts.  And yes Un-Plug…then I picked up a pen and a notepad and went back to work.  No stinkin’ computer virus is going to shut me down…I may be un-plugged but I am still connected!

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Filed under Life..such as it is, my story..

my mother, her girlfriends and dessert…

My Mother warned me and I just wouldn’t listen!

I was just sitting here enjoying my absolute favorite comfort food, Sara Lee Original Strawberry Cream Cheesecake!  The experience begins when I open the container.  The smell of the rich, sweet fragrance of goodness.  It continues with the beautiful layers of texture; the graham cracker crust, the creamy cream cheese and the shiny plump strawberry topping.  And finally, the piece de resistance,  savouring each creamy mouthful.  All of the senses combined to create this most wonderful indulgence. Yes, I am eating it right out of the original container as the whole thing is MINE!

 And then it happened, a memory from long ago bubbling up from nowhere.   I could hear and see my mother and her friends talking and laughing and gossiping over coffee and dessert in our kitchen 30+ years ago.  As a young girl I was allowed to sit with them as long as I didn’t interrupt or repeat any part of  their conversations. I do not recall the details of their conversations but I do remember some of the advice that was offered.  On the few occasions I was allowed to “sit and be quiet I would receive very sage advice from my Mother’s 30 something=ish friends.   The advice was mostly concerning what kind of man I should marry, naturally it was based on the men they had not married.    But, On this particular Saturday afternoon I would get the ultimate advice.  And it must have been important because everyone was in agreement. 

I remember they were enjoying Coffee and  New York Style Cheesecake.  I expressed my interest in having a piece of dessert even though I thought “cheesecake” sounded less than appealing.  It was more about fitting in and being one of the girls even if it was for just a little while.   And that is when my Mother offered me this very wise piece of advice and everyone agreed.

She warned me that “Cheesecake is so delicious that after one bite I would be hooked and eventually you will wish you had never tried it“.  Well, this of course only made me want to try it more and of course I did try it and yes I am hooked. I will on occasion wish I had taken her advice, but only on a rare occasion.

Although I do not indulge in my favorite dessert very often, I am glad that I did not heed my Mother’s warning, because I would be missing out on what I have determined to be the best dessert available in the frozen food section of the grocery store. 

What advice have you received that you did not listen to?  Do you wish you had or hadn’t ?  I would love to hear your story.

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Filed under All Things Foodie, family, my story..

Learning to tell time all over again…

on someone else’s watch.


For the past 16 weeks we have lived in a 26′ travel trailer while our new home is being built. The one thing I have learned during this process is that timing is everything. The coordination of all of the players it takes to build a house is constantly moving and ever-changing. Although timing and coordination is everything when it comes to achieving the desired effect, it has become obvious that not everyone works on the same time schedule. They certainly are not on the time schedule we would like them to be on. However, there is really no need to get too excited about what seems like a delay or even inactivity. Because, things will get done! You just have to know that in time, someone’s time, on someone’s watch, things will get done!

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Filed under Life..such as it is, my story.., plain and simple