“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.”
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.”
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.”
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
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
“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, 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.”