When what you have to give feels too small, and yet it’s all you have (you go ahead and give it)

Earlier this year my daughter could not stop singing the song “Priceless” by For King and Country. We listened to it in the car, at home, while on walks. She made up a dance routine to it and I think even tried to get the puppy to dance with her. But one day, in the midst of Priceless overload, she came home from school discouraged and sad. There had been some kind of friend drama and she was feeling bad about herself. We processed the days events over some white cheddar popcorn (our snack food of choice!). And as I was gearing up to impart some motherly wisdom (insert slight sarcasm here), my girl stopped me in my tracks. I honestly don’t even know what I was going to say, but it was not going to be nearly as powerful as what she said.

“I feel really bad right now mama, but at least I’m priceless to God and still His girl, right?”

Um….yep. Totally what I was going to say!! (insert sarcasm again)

I’m sure I would have gotten there eventually. But I’m confident I would have taken a much longer route. Yet, those words were what my girl’s heart needed to hear. And they are really the words we all need to hear, right?

Well, that was the day an idea was born: Could I somehow turn the song into a little Bible study to help other girls discover that they too are priceless to God and His precious girls?

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It was such a joy to write, what turned into, a four week study drawn from the lyrics of the song. My daughter helped me write it (so that it “wouldn’t be boring”….gotta love how your kids keep you humble!!) And she insisted on including a craft to go with each week’s lesson. We hosted a group of girls this summer to try out the study. And let’s just say those days became quite special. Seeing young girls discover who they are to God was so powerful (one might even say it was priceless 😉

And yet, life being the way it is got busy and I forgot about that little study, until this week. Seeing so many women, so bravely and courageously, stepping out and speaking out about the abuse and mistreatment they have endured brought the echos of the song back to my mind, and with it this little study.

Compared to what so many have gone through, it feels trite to share this resource in response. And yet, God keeps reminding me that all He asks us to give is what we have.

And so, while I do not have the ability to right every wrong, hug every neck, or cheer for every warrior woman standing up and choosing to fight back, I do have a simplistic little resource to point young girls to the truth of who they are. So that maybe one day, if they (God forbid) find themselves the victim of abuse, or mistreatment, or lies, they will have a seed of truth buried deep inside. A seed that has been watered and nurtured. A seed that is strongly rooted and unbendable that will remind them that in spite of what they feel or what others may or may not do, they are Priceless and Precious and Invaluable to the One whose Love will always be there and whose Power will one day make ALL THINGS right again.

And so, I offer this most humble of offerings on behalf of every Priceless girl and woman out there.

My beloved priceless sisters, you are stronger than you know, braver than you feel and LOVED more than you can imagine!

Priceless Bible study (a four week study)

Much love,
Jen

ps-if you haven’t downloaded the Priceless song or movie yet, I encourage you to do so. They are wonderful and incredibly powerful! You can find them wherever music and movies are sold. 

Some days are just like that…

Today is a hard day.

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But of course some days are just like that.

It’s no one thing, but rather a slow crescendo of many things—countless annoyances, irritations, ailments and responsibilities all coming together in bitter resonance. Clanging their mournful taunting disharmony until its burdensome sound can no longer go unnoticed.

You smile through the cacophony, pretending to be oblivious to its screeching sound.

“How are you?” you are asked.

“Oh just fine, how are you?” you reply on autopilot—as if responding in any other way will mark you as weak, needy…vulnerable.

All while longing to cry out, “I am NOT ok! Life feels too hard right now. It’s all just too much!”

Why do we hide? Why do we insist on wearing masks? When did we as a community decide that being real with each other was too risky? Too burdensome?

For the truth is we all have hard days, and we are all familiar with the bitter resonance of life’s troubles. And yet there is great healing that can come from someone coming alongside another in a time of need and pain.

Words aren’t nearly as important as another’s presence—as one being willing to stand with you and declare with their presence that ‘you are not alone.’

But therein lies the trouble. We are all going through something, and yet so often we insist on going through it alone. On shouldering our burdens and pain on our own, even when the weight of them brings us to our knees and buries us under their weight.

‘Surely I can carry this myself,’ I moan, while feeling my strength waning.
‘I need to keep it all together,’ I whisper as my shoulders begin to bend.
‘What will people think if I’m honest?’ I question as my knees drop to the ground.

As I lay under the weight of my thoughts and unshared hurts, I hear the voice my heart craves above all others:

You were created for community, the tender words declare.
You were never meant to keep it all together. That’s My job. The control you think you have is just an illusion, designed to keep you from trusting Me. Let go, my love, and trust Me.’ My heart leaps at the realization that my burden is a degree lighter.
People will think that you are human—like them. Your willingness to share your pain may be what allows them to share theirs. Do not hide your weakness, for it is where My strength shines brightest. My shame is being replaced by light—by hope.

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Yes, today is a hard day, but you know what? Hard days are going to happen. None of us are immune. And even though my pain and my burdens may not look like yours, we can both understand how joy-less they can feel.

And so even though I long to retreat to my covers and wait for this day to pass in hopes that tomorrow will be better, I will instead stand up and offer you my hand. And together we will shoulder each others burdens.

I may not have any words to offer you, but I will offer you my presence. And I will point you to the One whose Presence can heal and restore and redeem.

Today might be a hard day, but we do not face it alone. We face it together as we face Him together.

Maybe today is a day for rest and remembering Who He is.
Maybe today is a day for action and advancement.
Or maybe today is just a day to open up and share your pain with someone.

Today is a hard day.

But of course some days are just like that.

I would be honored to share your burden with you today. If I can pray for you, please leave me a comment below.

Much love,
Jen

 

 

Repeat after me: I am not an empty water bottle

I am by nature a scaredy cat. I always have been.

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As a child I used to hide behind my parent’s legs to avoid talking to people.

As a teen I refused to go on church youth tubing trips down the crystal clear rivers of central Florida, because um…hello! Florida has alligators!! All I could picture was my backside hanging down from the tube looking like the center of donut just waiting to be snatched!

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As a college student I lived in constant fear of a failing grade, because obviously my entire future and life success could be measured by the grade on my organic chemistry mid-term!

As a new wife I feared finding a roach when my husband wasn’t home, because…I mean, EWW!!! I can’t stomach bugs that crunch when you squish them!

As a new mom I feared…everything!!! Is the baby too hot? Too cold? Too smelly? Am I spending enough time with my husband? Am I totally screwing up the baby? What if the floor crumbles under the baby’s crib how will I get to him in time??? (yep! I really had that fear!)

Now, as a soon-to-be author (who suffers from both chronic introvert syndrome and a debilitating case of people-pleasing-itis), I fear the dreaded bad review. Or worse the even more dreaded “no one cares!” Or worst of all…having to speak in front of people, into microphones, or God-forbid on Facebook live!!!!

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And don’t even get me started on spiders, sharks, jelly-fish, barracuda (or really anything that lives in the sea except dolphins), hair in the drain, my kid getting behind the wheel of a car, or gas station bathrooms!

You guys, fear is my kryptonite!

I know that God is stronger. I know that He is able. And I believe that He is with me.

But when faced with one of my laundry lists of fears, especially the ones in which the underlying fear is that of my own inadequacy, I freeze. I fret. I falter.

When facing my fear, I feel a lot like an empty water bottle, whose cap has been loosened. One hard squeeze and I will be crushed. I can almost hear the crunch of collapsing plastic.

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I worry about failing, not being enough.
I wait for the inevitable emotional sucker punch life is sure to throw my way.
I will myself to try harder, do better, be braver.

I wince in anticipation of the squeeze.

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Yet, I am met with a soft word not of a crushing vice.

My gaze is directed beside me—to the water bottle I have yet to open. It’s seal still intact.

I hold the water bottle in my hand. I squeeze it, hard.

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Nothing.

I squeeze again, and again and again. I squeeze with two hands. I can’t crush it. Can’t make a dent in it, no matter how hard I try.

For the bottle is full—the lid is sealed.

I dig an empty bottle from the recycling bin. I easily crush it in my grip.
My gaze drifts back to the full bottle.

The difference isn’t on the outside, they are both made from the same material. What gives the one bottle its strength is what’s on the inside and the fact it is sealed.

My scaredy-cat lips part, “God, I see what you just did there!”

I can’t help but smile.

For the fact is—the scaredy-cat ending, fear destroying, bottle strength giving truth is—that I am not the empty water bottle! I am the full!!!

As a child of God (as one who has trusted in who Jesus is and what He has done) God is not only with me and for me but He is IN me!!!

He has placed in me (in all of His children) His Holy Spirit—His own power. The power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of God is in me right this very moment! And as if that weren’t enough, He then sealed me with His unbreakable seal.

the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you

I am a full bottle!!

The words replay in my mind as I squeeze the full bottle again and again.

It’s gonna take some time to begin living like a full bottle, but I have no doubt I will get there. After all, I now realize I don’t have to do it on my own.

He’s been there all long, just waiting for me to notice Him. Waiting for me to acknowledge the power He’s placed in me.

So while I may always scream when I see a roach—because I mean they will always crunch when you kill em—I no longer need to live like an empty bottle.

I can go and face what is to come knowing that He who is in me will keep me from being crushed by my fears.

Here’s to living full!

Much love,
Jen

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Monday Morning Musings (with a side of muscle relaxers)

Monday Morning Musings

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Ok, so it’s not still morning, but Monday Morning Musings sounds so much better than Monday Afternoon Musings, doesn’t it? (and besides I’m on pain killers and muscle relaxers for ongoing whiplash issues which now seem to now involve my jaw! so can I just get credit for writing anything coherent at all?? at least I hope this is coherent! 😉

I’m hoping to make these musings a weekly post—a way to process lessons, truths, and word pictures that stand out to me from Sunday.

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And so my musings from yesterday:

  • (Ok, truth be told this was from last week, but it was too good not to include here) Our pastor, Brian Frost, was preaching out of Ephesians 1:11-14talking about how those who have trusted in Jesus are sealed by the Holy Spirit. He then told a story about how one of his sons always makes sure to seal his cookies by licking each one before leaving the table to get a drink. Which made me think….have those of us who have trusted in Jesus been licked by the Holy Spirit???

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  • (This was another gem from last week) So not only have we been licked by the Holy Spirit, but as if Divine spit wasn’t enough, our pastor mentioned John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”Which tells us that those who have confessed Jesus as LORD and King are held firmly in His hands—in which we are un-snatchable. But as if Divine spit and the secure hands of Jesus are not enough of a guarantee—as if we could possibly be lost from the grip from the One who holds all things together, God takes it one step further. Look at the very next verse, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:29. In case you missed it (like I did the first time) Brian spelled it out. Not only are we held secure in Jesus’ hands, but then God takes His hands and puts them around Jesus’. Friends, we are licked by the Spirit and then held in both the Son and the Father’s hands. I don’t know about you, but I believe that is as secure as secure can get!
  • Now for yesterday: Brian, preaching from Ephesians 1:15-23, talked about living as we truly are—co-heirs with Christ! One of our greatest inheritances being that of access to the Father. He encouraged us to come to God as our good and perfect Father—not concerned with following a formula, but just coming to Him as we are—where we are. He gave an example of his boys hearing the ice cream truck and running in for a dollar. “I heard the truck,” Brian said, “I knew what they wanted before they ever burst through the door. So how silly would it have for them to stop everything and before they presented their most pressing request, they first stopped to adore me, telling me how great I am, how tall I am. And then they thanked me for the house I provided for them and the food they had already eaten. And then what if I watched as they debated what they were supposed to do next, remembered they were supposed to confess their sin and proceeded to tell me how they had been fighting earlier—All before they asked me for the dollar?” It made for a good chuckle in the church, but the point was made. Yes, it is important to adore God, to thank God, to confess our sin and intercede for others, but God knows what we need before we need it. He knows our hearts, our worries, our fears, and our distractions. And so isn’t it better to own those. To say, “God, I am so worried about this that I want to give it to you first.” And then as we lay our worries and distractions at His feet, we will be able to worship and adore, thank and confess.

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  • Lastly, another part of our inheritance is power. (And this one blows my mind!) As believers in Jesus, we have within us the same power that rose Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of God! Why should I ever be afraid to do anything God has called me to do??? Think about that power! I can choose what is right because that power dwells within me. I can do what is hard, because that power lives inside of me. I can go where I am sent because that power radiates through me!

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Holy Spirit licking, Father/Son holding, access granting, power giving….it’s been a lot to ponder!

But alas, my muscle relaxers have kicked in and so that is all the musings I can muster for now.

But keep seeking Him! He’s there and He delights in revealing himself!

Much love,
Jen

 

When Stolen Jesus steals your heart

She had me at vomit.

I was recovering from a mild wretched case of the stomach bug when I first stumbled across Jami Amerine’s blog, specifically her post about the need to quarantine oneself when one becomes contaminated by the stomach plague. She spoke truth. Causing me to laugh so hard that my own stomach plague made a brief return. Oh the irony!

Then several weeks later while again scrolling through the bowels refined halls of facebook, I came across yet another post by the same engaging, hilarious, truth-bombing author. It was an open letter to her kids telling them that, while she loves them fiercely, they’re not all that great. I think I spit out the sweet tea I had been drinking. Her words soothed my guilt-laden, flowers-after-the-recital-forgetting self.

And I was hooked.

I craved her raw, authentic, hilarious, truth-filled posts. I wondered about the woman behind the computer screen. I imagined what it would be like to meet for coffee. Would she bring the vandals? (her precious and precocious little boys) Would we laugh so hard we snorted while simultaneously worshipping and praising the Savior we both love?

And then I discovered we shared an agent!

What?!?!

For the first time in my life I felt cool!

(and more than a little intimidated. I mean I average 100 views a week, at best! while Jami’s numbers are counted by the 100’s of thousands)

But what I would soon discover is that Jami will be the first to tell you that numbers, viral posts, and book deals are nothing more than a vehicle by which to proclaim the freedom of the Gospel. She will humbly declare that she is who she is because He is who He is.

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Jami writes of freedom and grace and authentic love. Themes which define her life and her writing.

Themes which are woven throughout her first (and completely amazing) book Stolen Jesus.

I have never laughed, cried, pondered and meditated on truth all within the span of three pages before!

Stolen Jesus is the story of how Jami “stole” a picture of Jesus, but ended up having her heart stolen by the real Jesus.

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Discouraged by a lifetime of pursuing religion and relationships with counterfeit messiahs (false ideas of Jesus based on human experience and misrepresentations), Jami set out on a course to discover Who the real Jesus was and why He should matter.

What Jami found has completely changed her life!

Stolen Jesus will force you to think about Who Jesus is to you.

The real Jesus.

And once you know Him, it will change everything.

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Jami, I am so grateful for your willingness to be used by God to speak truth to hungry hearts. Whether it is truth about vomit, kids, dress size or spiritual matters, you write and speak with a vulnerability and authenticity that is beautiful to behold. I pray that Stolen Jesus will find its way into the hearts and hands of those hungry to receive the truth of Jesus and His unfathomable, unending, always pursuing Grace.
Much love to you my friend,

Jen

 

 

God, are you mean?

God, are you mean?

I hesitate a moment before writing the words in my journal. Words that I feel a little guilty for writing, for surely God is not mean, right? He is love, He is good, He is kind and gracious and merciful. I know this to be true from what He reveals about Himself in His Word. I know this to be true from what I have personally experienced. And yet, the question gnaws at my soul.

For the past few months I have been on a personal quest to know God more.

God, who are you? Has become the cry of my heart. The subject of each journal entry. The sole question I ask as I go to His Word.

For so long I have assumed I knew God. I have loved Him for as long as I can remember—first trusting in Him at the age of six, while cuddled up in Strawberry Shortcake sheets with a Care Bear tucked under my arm. I attended Christian school, went to youth retreats, participated in Bible studies. I’ve memorized countless verses and passages and can sing most of the old hymns by heart.

But then I had kids.

And they began asking questions.

And…suddenly I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.

“Mommy,” my then five year old son asked while we were driving to the grocery store, “If satan said he was sorry to God, and really meant it, would God forgive him and let him go to heaven?”

Umm…

“Mama,” my daughter asked a few years back, “Why does the Bible say that God hated Esau? God loves everybody right?”

Uh…

“Hey Mom,” my now teenage boy begins, “Doesn’t God seem kinda mean sometimes in the Bible? Why did He make Israel kill all those other nations? And why did he have Achan’s entire family stoned just because Achan stole a few things? Is God mean?”

Uh…

I look down at my journal and trace the words I just wrote.

God, are you mean?

I close my eyes and wait.

For what? I’m not sure.

An answer? A sign? Peace? Wisdom?

Yes.

All of it. Please Lord.

Who am I? The question swirls around my mind before landing in my heart.

Who am I? My gaze lands on the pages of the Bible lying open before me.

Who am I? My head bows in reverence.

I’m not entirely sure Lord, but I want to know You more. Will you show me? God, will you remove the false ideas and attributes I’ve assigned to You over the years? Will you forgive me for constantly trying to shove you into a box that I can understand? Will you expose the lies about you that I have been believing? And Lord, will you reveal the truth of Yourself through the pages of Your Word?

I open my eyes and they land on ancient words,

“‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor or a man his brother, saying ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the LORD. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’” [Jeremiah 31:33-34 emphasis mine]

Oh, LORD, You are not mean! You are Grace itself. You who answer the prayers of confused mothers and humble truth seekers. And while I will never understand all of Your ways, I will do my best to always trust Your heart.

This quest will continue until the day I stand before Him face to face, and I imagine that even then, I will still spend eternity learning new things about Him.

Yet, it is a quest I will gladly continue for only when we know who God is can we trust what He does. 

So I will continue to sit at His Word and invite Him to reveal Himself to me, and to my children. And when they ask the hard questions (which I pray they will continue to do) we will go to Him together and not be afraid to ask,

God, who are You?

Much love,
Jen

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Tips for enduring survival mode…

Are you weary today? Exhausted? Fed up? All kinds of done?

I have talked to so many people who feel they are at the end of their ropes. They are battle-weary, wounded, and on edge.

The events of the last few weeks and months have taken their toll. Fires, floods, wind, rain, lack of power, destruction of property, and worst of all, loss of loved ones.

Hearts are aching, tempers are flaring, and spirits are feeling crushed.

Please know that you matter. Your feelings matter. Your frustrations and heartbreaks matter. And that it is ok, good even, for you to let yourself feel all those feelings. You have been through a trauma and you are grieving—if not grieving for a loved one, you are grieving for the way things used to be, before a fire, storm, or circumstances beyond your control changed everything.

Take a moment to let yourself feel.

I know it doesn’t feel good. I know human nature is to avoid things that cause us pain. But feeling is the way to healing. Your brain needs a moment to absorb the trauma and process it. It’s like your brain needs to update to a new operating system (and we all know the problems that eventually happen if we go too long without updating!).

So today, may I encourage you to take a moment to feel all the feelings. Talk about your experience with a caring friend. Write about it in a letter or journal. Draw a picture of how your feeling. Make a computer graphic to illustrate your current mood. The method is not what’s important. It’s the act of allowing yourself to feel it and getting it out that’s important.

And while you are letting yourself feel, be gentle with yourself.

You have been through a lot. You may even still be in “survival mode.” This is not a time to try and get back to normal or push yourself to do a ton of things. This is a time to let yourself heal. Set small manageable and realistic goals for yourself. You will get back up and running at full speed soon enough, but for today go easy with yourself.

Your measure of a successful day may be as simple just brushing your teeth! That’s awesome! That’s worthy of celebrating!

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So in case you need permission, here it is:

Be gentle with yourself today and take it easy. Focus on your breathing. Pray. Spend some quiet time with God—even if you’re a little mad at Him (it’s ok, He’s big enough to take it!). And set aside some time (even if it’s just 10 minutes) to let yourself feel. And I promise that eventually, some day, you will begin to heal.

Praying for the battle-weary and hurting hearts today,
Jen

[If you would like to share your story here, please feel free to do so in the comments. And please know that you are not alone! You have a God who adores you and people who care! I care, and would love to pray for you! (and your willingness to share may just help someone else share)]

“In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Praying for Florida (my home state)

I was 9 years old when hurricane Elena sat off the west coast of FL for days. At only a cat 1 it obviously wasn’t anything compared to Irma. And yet, as a 9 year old little girl having to leave my house and all my prized stuffed animals, it was terrifying. I remember trying to be brave as I watched my parents packing up what they could, but I couldn’t stop shaking and trembling. My dad, noticing my fear, drew me into his arms and said:
Sugar, it’s ok to cry. This is really scary. So let’s sit here for just a minute and be scared together, ok? I want you to let out all that fear and all those tears and I will hold you tight.
And I did, grateful for the permission to stop trying to be brave for a minute.
Then after several minutes, as the tears began to slow, he said: Now, we’re gonna take a big deep breath, hold it for a second and blow it out. And when we blow it out we are going to pray and thank God for being with us, ask Him to give us courage and strength, ask Him to protect us and those we love, and then we are going to get up and go.
“Ready?” he asked.
I nodded my head and together we took a deep, steadying breath before getting up to head to safety.

Florida we cry with you, we pray with you and we take a collective deep breath with you. And while you go about your preparations, those of us who are not in harm’s way, will stay here on our knees in prayer, praying for mercy, for a miracle, for protection.
Floridians, you are stronger than you know, braver than you feel, and most importantly you are not alone!!
Praying without ceasing for the state I love so very much.

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God, where are you?

When flood waters rise and unrelenting rain pours from the sky, God where are you?
When fires rage, consuming everything in their destructive path, God where are you?
When hurricanes churn in open waters, terrorizing those in their paths, God where are you?
When a grim-faced doctor reveals a life-changing diagnosis, God where are you?
When nations war against nations, people against people, brothers against brothers, God where are you?
When children are buried, marriages dissolve, and hurting souls take their own lives, God where are you?

I AM here.

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The words float toward earth—billowing echoes from the throne of Heaven.

I AM here, the echo repeats, I’m closer than the air you breathe, nearer then the heart beating in your chest.

I AM standing beside you, giving you strength.

I AM whispering peace in your ear.

I AM holding your hand as you stand in broken disbelief.

I AM stroking your hair, catching your tears.

I AM waiting within the pages of My Word.

I AM longing for you to look to Me.

I AM the Sovereign God who promises to never leave you nor forsake you.

I AM brokenhearted with you. I AM grieving with you. I AM saddened with you.

But I AM also the author of Hope, and dear one, your story is not over, this moment does not define you. This storm will pass, and you…my precious child, you will be stronger, braver, bolder. You will be changed because you saw Me in the midst of the storm.

For when you see Me—when you look past the visible, into the face of the eternal—you will never be the same.

This is my promise to you:
In Me you will find strength and peace and rest.
In Me you will find hope and courage and wisdom.
In Me you will find refuge and protection and light.

In Me you will find….life.

Many claim to know me, and to some extent they do, yet they do not always portray Me accurately.

Many assume they know me and delight in spouting off trite facts and false claims, this grieves my heart, for it is not who I am.

Many preach condemnation in my name, telling hurting souls that their storm is my wrath poured out on them. Dear one do not believe them. You see, the Father’s wrath was poured out on the cross, on Me. I bore His wrath—for you. Storms are not God’s wrath against mankind, they are simply….storms.

Yet, many cry out “But You can stop the storm.” And yes, yes, I can, but I do not always do so. And this is hard for you to understand. I know that it is and I understand, because my child, my ways are infinitely more complex than you are able to comprehend.

This is why I long for you to know Who I Am, for in knowing Who I Am, you will trust me in the storm.

I have made it as simple as I can for you to know Me. I AM there in the pages of your Bible. That book you have is not a book of rules. It is not a book of condemnation. It is not a book of bedtime stories or fables. And it is not a how-to-book of good living.

It is My Word.
It is My face reflected on thin pages.
It is a portrait of Me.

Read it and search for Me.

Cling to it and ask Me to reveal Myself. I promise I will.

The waters may not recede as quickly as you would like, the hurricane may not dissipate, the diagnosis may remain, but you will be changed.

You will be strengthened when you see My strength.

And you will be filled with Hope when You see my face.


Praying for everyone affected by storms, fires, pain and heartbreak today. May the God of all comfort, comfort you as only He can—by wrapping His steadfast arms of Love tightly around you and giving you His perfect boundless peace as you seek His beautiful face.

Much love,
Jen

 

Simple Complexities

Simple

    adjectivesimpler, simplest.

        1.easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.:
           a simple matter; simple tools.

       2.not elaborate or artificial; plain:
             a simple style.

      3.not ornate or luxurious; unadorned:
               a simple gown.

Simple.

How I find myself craving the simple things of this world right now. A quiet evening, a dew-laced morning, a hot cup of coffee in my kitchen. Less noise; more quiet.

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Simple.

How my heart aches for simple faith. Faith that believes Jesus’ words to “Come and follow Me” are enough. That in following Him I will find life and hope and peace. That in following Him I will see Him for who He is and myself as He sees me. Faith that doesn’t feel like a burden I drag behind me.

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Simple.

How my soul thirsts for the simple study of God’s Word. “God, who are You?” is the cry of my heart. “Show me who You are, the real You, the true You. Not the you I have always assumed. Not the you I have been told by others. Not the Baptist you, the Methodist you, the Catholic you, the new-age you, the Americanized you. But You, the One True God who delights in revealing Himself to people through the pages of Your Word. Reveal Yourself to Me Lord so that I might see You.

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Simple.

How my mind craves quiet. Silence, where only the still small voice of God can be heard.

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Simple.

How my lungs ache to breathe in God’s peace, like a glorious mist that fills my lungs.

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Simple.

How my eyes take in the beauty found in this world, evidence of God’s Presence here among His people.

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Simple.

Simplicity seems too complex a concept, and yet, it is by its very definition easy to understand—plain. And so I will search for the simple.

I will cling to the unadorned.

I will treasure that which is not elaborate or ornate, in my quest to see more of the One who is. 

For it is in the simple things that complexities of God are revealed.

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Much love,
Jen