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U R Not Doing Enough (3 ways to get your focus back)

“Now Jen,” my administrator says to me, “I want you to really focus. I know I’m sounding like a mean old lady right now but I don’t care. You ONLY HAVE SO MUCH TIME and I know you want to do so many things — great things — but I really want you to  prioritize … give me the top three things we are going to do as a ministry … and if you give me four, I won’t be mad.  But remember, you have three children downstairs.”

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I look across the room and thank God He has once again sent me an older wiser woman to back up this ministry with hard-won strength. Because my strength wanes. My focus gets out-of-focus!

With a teen daughter, she’s almost all I can think about. And a toddler, he’s almost all I can do in a day. And a boy in-between who oh-so-needs-me-to-see-him-clear, I don’t want to mess this thing up, you know? I just don’t want to mess any of it up.

I want to give them my ALL, and now that I think of it, lately, I have been giving them my all.

My list of dreams in the ministry is sorta long. My vision of all that we can do is pretty huge. And daily, I feel the pull of having to manage things like social media. Lord help me.

Sometimes when I go on social media, I can float around looking for answers, and too often, the answer I come up with is, “I’m not doing enough.” I’m not selling enough books, I’m not getting enough likes, I’m not mocking up enough inspirational quotes, and I’m definitely not inspiring enough people altogether. Then, I log out. “X” out. Done.

I take out my journal to talk to Jesus. His voice is a whisper. It is sweet, so soft the sound: “You are doing really well with those kids, Jen, and your husband. I’m proud of you.”

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Jen's Family

I swear my heart must beat inside of their chests. They are the singular ones that wear my flesh.  Imperfect and messy as we are, we are tied by bonds deeper than anything that can be posted or tweeted or shared.

What is “Enough” anyway? Isn’t “enough” the words I heard that night? The “well done, good and faithful servant,” that we all long to hear? Knowing that my Master sees my investment in my family means more than a million social media  shares. It matters more to me than a standing ovation or a room of applause. To know that God is with me here, at home — walking me through raising a 13-year-old world changer (I’m holding my breath here), a 12-year old boy-growing-strong-and-sure, and a 4-year-old warrior, I’m proud. I can rest my head tonight knowing I’ve followed His call — the call back home, and I’ll never regret it.

I traveled as a speaker for years, and still do on (special) occasion, but the journey has taken me back to the nest, and right now the nest is right where this mama bird belongs.

If you are thinking to yourself today, “I’m not doing enough,” I’d ask you to check in with the Master. Ask Him:

1.  What do I need to be doing more of?

2.  Less of?

3.  God, what do you want me to do?

You may just hear a still, small voice give you some direction. Or, that voice might let you know that even if the world shouts at you to do a lot of things, only one thing really counts — how it all looks to Him, at this moment, in this blip of time that we call “now.”

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In Peace,

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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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