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In Italy, there’s shelves stocked with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, dish soap, baby wipes, meat, chicken, potatoes, and bottled water. With the second-highest reported death toll and number of confirmed cases, why aren’t they robbing their neighbors of every day supplies?

Because they value community and take care of one another.

Frankly, I’m a little disappointed in Americans taking more than they give. Today at the grocery story an eighty-year-old man was searching for dish soap and a bag of potatoes. When I helped him find a tiny bottle of too-expensive organic soap on the near-empty shelf, he took one. He did find four sweet potatoes, which means at his age, he’ll have to keep going back to the store for more. Because all the healthy people took the bags.

A man in line told Shane at the grocery store, “If this was a test, we’ve failed.”

I love my hometown of Colleyville and I love Texas and I love America, but I admire the Italian way much more right now — stay home, take turns going to the store, and only get the essentials. Because they are doing this, they lack nothing. They understand how to take care of their community, respect one another, and give to those in need.

If you were or are afraid, there’s no judgement here. I bought two 5-pound bags of rice for the first time in my life. When I offered one bag to the man searching for potatoes, he waved me off. “My wife is German,” he scoffed, “She’s saved food since the 1950’s. We have plenty to eat.”

There’s some wisdom here. But we also know fear and love can’t co-exist. Personally, I’d like to see a massive amount of Americans return their goods to the store so others who need them can get them. Fear drives us to do selfish things, and this is not a time to be selfish. God is watching, and our behavior as Americans is front-and-center on the world stage.

I’m so grateful to know a God who gives us second chances, who let’s us retake a test. America: let’s do a re-do.

Let’s apologize for taking more than we give, learn to share, and show the world we know how to take care of one another.

— 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

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

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

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

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.

Dr. Thelma Wells, D.D.

Dr. Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon.), Speaker / Author / Founder of the Ready to Win Conferences

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