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Trials

In Faith, Motherhood, Trials on
19 April, 2017

My Journey with Postpartum Depression – God’s Story

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Have you met my friend Helen Gentz from Helen’s Corner? Well, today you’re in for a treat! Helen is here to share with us her journey with postpartum depression. She has such a beautiful story to tell, and it honestly brought me to tears when I first read it! My prayer is that you will be encouraged just as I was. – Jen

It was a Sunday evening.

My 2 year-old son was fast asleep. And my 7 month-old daughter had finally gone down for the next few hours. It was my husband Joel’s prime time to decompress after a full day of teaching, preaching, and hosting friends. Mine, too, but I didn’t need to decompress because it was Sunday evening. I needed to decompress because it was like any other day. There I was, sitting in our TV room. Arms crossed. Anger. Tears. And my dear husband sat by me, unaware of how it got this far…this bad…this desperate.   Read More

In Faith, Motherhood, Trials on
23 March, 2017

Trusting in God When Your Child is Sick

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Today I have the honor of hosting my friend Liz from Plunge Deep Climp Steep! I am excited to share with you her story about how she learned to trust God more through the difficulties with her son’s health. I hope you will be just as encouraged as I was. -Jen

He was two years old, blond hair, blue eyes. I felt frozen in time as I watched him go backwards off his chair and onto the wood floor. I gathered him in my arms on the floor as he went from shrieking to shaking, convulsing for about 30 seconds before I was able to talk him down to calmness. My voice seemed to help him gain control. Read More

In Faith, Trials on
7 March, 2017

Taking The Small Steps – Guest Post by Paige McGoldrick

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Hi everyone and Happy Tuesday! Today I have the pleasure of hosting a very special guest blogger, my friend Paige McGoldrick. I have known Paige for a few years now and her family has a very special story, so of course I got really excited when she asked if she could guest blog for me! I pray you are encouraged by her words today, just as I was.

In some seasons God doesn’t call us to move mountains, He just asks us to take baby steps every day. Almost 4 ½ years after watching my father die, I am finally able to look back and see how faithful God was during the excruciating time of terminal sickness, death and grief. And as I look back, I see not only how my whole life was changed drastically from a major life event, but also how God was guiding me through the little steps every day. Read More

In Faith, Trials on
21 February, 2017

Victory Comes From Surrender

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Today I have the pleasure of introducing you all to my sweet friend Amy from Cosentino Living. Amy and I connected on Instagram awhile back, but only recently discovered how similar our paths have been! I hope you will be greatly encouraged today as Amy shares her story of God’s faithfulness in her life. Plus, when you’re finished, you can head on over to her blog to read a guest post from me! -Jen

One Sunday back in 2014, I had the incredible opportunity of sharing my testimony before my church family. To this day I’m not entirely sure how the Lord made that happen; it’s not as though I have some drastically crazy testimony. (Although for the record, I think any testimony of the Lord changing someone’s life is a testimony worth sharing! And if you have Jesus in your life, then you have a testimony, my friend). Somehow, God found a way to have our pastor hear my testimony, and decide it would be meaningful for our church body to do the same. Crazy, I know! Read More

In Faith, Marriage & Love, Trials on
2 February, 2017

Trusting in God When Our Plans Fall Apart

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As much as I love Jane Austen, I have to admit that Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is my most favorite of all the novels I’ve read.

The story of Jane Eyre is both touching and memorable. I first read the book in high school (more than a decade ago), and have seen the movie a number of times, but it wasn’t until I reread the novel as a 26-year-old that I realized how much of an faith-encourager this story truly is.

In my most recent reading of Jane Eyre this January, I was completely captivated. Perhaps it’s 10 years of life experience – 10 years of life, love and loss – that has made all the difference in how much it affected me. And, honestly, it was not because it is some great romance. I mean, it is a wonderful love story, but more than that it is a story of God’s faithfulness and how we can trust him when things fall apart. I really think that’s what Charlotte Bronte would want us to take away from the story – above all else. Read More

In Faith, Trials on
28 December, 2016

The Kindness of a Stranger

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It was December 20, 2016. I was walking around the mall with my cousin, trying to focus on the joy of the Christmas season and get some shopping done. We had just come from a visit with our declining grandfather; we knew his time was coming quickly, but little did we know that visit with him would be our last.

We walked into Macy’s, and I approached the makeup counter. At first I was a little annoyed that no one was there to help me – until a kind voice came from behind me.

“Can I help you with something?” Read More

In Faith, Trials on
21 September, 2016

When You Just Feel Unworthy

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Can I just take a few minutes to be completely honest? I am so tempted to believe that I’m not qualified to help other people. I am broken. I am a sinner. I face trials. I have struggles. I feel unworthy. How could I help or encourage someone when I need help and encouragement myself?

But that’s a lie. It’s a lie of the enemy who wants nothing more than to see me isolated and hurting. And if I believe the lie, the enemy will get his way.

You see, buying that lie will do me no good. It will ship me off to an island. It will drain me of all energy. It will make me believe I am nothing. And I don’t want to choose that fate. Read More

In Trials on
1 May, 2016

When things don’t go your way

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Hey there, friends! This is a post I originally wrote three years ago, but it’s just as relevant to me now as it was back then – I pray it will bless you today.

Hello, my name is Jen and I like to be in control.

I like to be in control of my life today and in control of my future tomorrow. I like to make plans—from deciding which days I’ll run this week to planning where I want to be in 10 years. I like routines, schedules and calendars.

But some days, and sometimes, I like to go with the flow. I do like spontaneity and the unexpected…that is, unless it goes against what I want, and until it messes with my plans. Read More

In Trials on
30 March, 2016

There is No Formula for Healing (Blessed Are Those Who Mourn)

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There is no formula for healing.

What I mean is that there is no “step one, step two, step three” process for getting back to “normal” when you’re going through a difficult time.

As a person who naturally likes to be in control of her own life, this was a particularly tough lesson for me to learn. To be honest, being in control and following a step-by-step process that has a guaranteed outcome is something I love. Perhaps that’s why I love to bake. Perhaps that’s why I feel so secure in a salaried job. Perhaps that’s why I actually miss being in school. Read More

In Faith, Trials on
24 March, 2016

Thank God for Grace (And Starting Over)

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It was one of those days—one of those days when I just really wanted to throw my head back in frustration and ask God, “Really? Can anything else go wrong?”

And literally, just after the words, “This day keeps getting worse and worse,” rolled off my tongue, something else happened.

As you can imagine, I felt like a volcano preparing to erupt. 

It was the icing on the cake of an already bad day, and it just about put me over the edge.

The truth is this: my sinful heart desires to be in control. And the truth is this: sometimes I really struggle to just let it go. Read More