Sometimes we get what we want. Other times, we get what we need, and we may not always like it. But if we call ourselves believers, we must also believe our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us.
I’ve been reading John 15 lately. I first fell in love with that passage when I read the Bible for the first time in my life. I was 22, hurting, young, and impressionable, when I decided to root my life in the vine.
“I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful . . . Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” Jn 15:1-4
This passage goes on to say that he will keep pruning us until his joy is in us and our joy is complete.
For most people, there is a deep longing inside to have something they don’t have. Which is why practicing gratitude is so vital to our wellbeing. The first words in my journal every single day this week have been thanks. I’m determined to start my day with gratitude before life hits me full steam.
So I don’t get swept away in what’s not right, I begin my day with what is.
If you are not getting what you want, maybe your heavenly Father — or earthly father for that matter — is giving you what you need instead.
The hard truths mold us if we let them.
When we peer long enough into our days to glimpse and catch the things we are grateful for, we realize:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17
This Thanksgiving, capture gratitude. Journal it. Record it. Post it. Share it. But most of all, remember this: your heavenly Father loves you so much that He’s not going to stop pruning you until His joy is made complete in you — and your joy is full.
May that joy begins today . . .
Happy Thanksgiving from our Home to Yours,
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
The honesty that Jennifer uses to tell her story drew our young women in and captured their hearts. She provided them with practical tips that the women use daily to transform their lives. These decisions have caused them to do things differently. We loved her so much, we are having her back!
Chrissie Dunham, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX
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, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
Jennifer has the ability to make you laugh, cry, and see yourself as one of God’s glorious creations — and that is just her warm up! Once Jennifer starts speaking, all you want to do is listen, learn, laugh, and love her. She takes you outside of yourself while helping you see inside of yourself, and does it in such a way that you feel safe, empowered, and capable to embrace all that the Lord is waiting to give you. She opens your eyes and your heart to hear from God in ways you never have. She connects you with others who share similar life experiences — and shines a bright light on the pathway to forgiveness, love, and blessings. Jennifer is also an amazing mother, compassionate, loving wife, and loyal, dedicated friend. Any opportunity women of any age have to hear from her is a gift and one that will produce fruit in their lives.
Lori Kennedy, Outreach Event Coordinator, Riverview Evangelical Church, Bonsall, CA
I just picked up my girls from school today and they both talked all the way home about Jennifer’s presenation. It was a BIG HIT with Middle School and High School kids (both boys and girls). My high school daughter mentioned that she was glad that for once, a speaker focused on girl’s topics instead of sports or boy topics. She said that Jennifer engaged with the boys and made them answer questions too. My middle school daughter said that everyone in the middle school was paying attention too, and that all her friends were very tuned into what Jen was saying. Both girls said that they thought it was fine that the boys were with the girls during the presentation because the boys “needed to hear this stuff too.”
Mother of two student attendees
Mother of two student attendees of Jennifer's U R MORE school program for boys and girls
If you think Jennifer gets the attention of adults, just see how the teenagers respond! My teenage grandchildren said they wanted to hear more from her and that her book was the only one they’ve ever really enjoyed reading! If teenagers are informed, inspired, and desire more, does anything else need to be said? Jennifer is an unusual voice of truth, integrity, and dignity. She needs to tell the world about her experiences and her victory. She encouraged me, a 70-year-old great grandmother. So, from teens to grans she has something everyone can benefit from.