Jen's Journal

Jen's Journal

Choose to Grow

There are many things in life I wish I could freeze-frame: hearing my 5-year-old boy say I’m the best mom in the world while he buries his head in my shoulder; listening to the untainted voice of my daughter praying at night; gazing at the hopeful look in my husband’s eye as he tucks me into bed Christmas Eve; praying on our knees for strength and courage with our high school girls group. These things, oh, how I wish I could freeze-frame!

While there are some things we don’t really want to see change, I, for one, don’t want to stop time when it comes to my spiritual life. I want to grow. This year, I want my roots to grow deeper and my trunk, stronger (yes, I’m doing a lot of core exercises these days but I’m not talking about that! 🙂 What I’m saying is this: in my walk with God, I don’t want to freeze-frame. I want to move forward; I want to grow.

Growth, like surrender, faith, and perseverence, is a choice. It is a choice to get up early and look into the Word; to get up from our desk chairs and get on our knees; to willingly cooperate with the transformative process God desires to do in each one of us. It’s a choice not to turn to alcohol, men, the mirror or money to somehow validate us and make us feel better about ourselves.

Choosing to grow means obedience to His call on our lives, surrender to His direction, even when it’s uncomfortable; and finally, it means being willing to do the work. Our pastor said something so funny the other day: he said it drives him nuts when people say they left a church because "they weren’t being fed there." "Get up out of your spiritual highchair and feed yourself!" He scoffed. I love real talk in church! It’s true.

The most powerful way we can grow is through our personal study of the Word. It is the single most essential tool in our growth. It is the Living Water that nourishes our roots. But it doesn’t infiltrate the brain while you watch TV or play on Facebook! It takes a choice … to pick up that Bible, open it, and see all that you could be if you were rooted and established in His love above all else. My prediction: you could be better, stronger and bear the fruit you so desire — peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control …. oh, I’ll let you look it up! (Ps 1:1-3 … Eph 3:17 … Gal 5:22)

This year, I hope alongside me, you’ll make the choice to grow. Next year at this time, my hope is that we will all be stronger, wiser, and more deeply rooted in the love God has for us. For His love is the essense of our power, the source of our courage, and the fullness of our beauty.

In devotion to you,
Jen

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About the Author: Jennifer

Jennifer Strickland is a wife, mom, TEDx speaker, and former professional model. She is the author of Girl Perfect, More Beautiful Than You Know, and Beautiful Lies, among other books and Bible studies that teach women their worth in God’s eyes. Since leaving the modeling industry, she founded URMore.org, a non-profit ministry that provides resources to hurting women and girls. Her favorite moments are found working on the family ranch with her husband, who she calls “the Cowboy”; in her kitchen, concocting a new version of her famous spaghetti; or spending time with their three precious children.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA

“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”

Nancy Ortberg

Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church

“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”

Allie Marie Smith

Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made

One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”

Thelma Wells

Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon), President of Woman of God Ministries
As a teacher, participator, and observer of public speaking for most of my life, I’ve come to realize that many speakers make one of two mistakes when interacting with their audience (especially when that audience is mainly teenagers.) They either expect their audience to climb up to their level (which feels unattainable to the crowd) or they step down to the level of their listeners (which feels cheap and pandering.) The best speakers meet their audience where they are and lead them up to where they want them to be. This feels genuine. This is what Jennifer did over the last few days at our school.
Jennifer Strickland is a funny, engaging, dynamic speaker. She shares truth with authority and credibility that comes from both experience (her story is powerful) and an obvious depth of study in the Bible. The ideas she presents about Value, Identity, and Purpose are truths everyone needs to hear.
I heartily recommend her for your conference, school retreat, or any event where you want your people to be encouraged and challenged with deep, impacting truth.

Andrew Doan

Andrew Doan, Concord Christian Academy, Concord, NH

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