Jen's Journal

Jen's Journal

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

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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