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Jen’s Journal (Why I’m blogging for you and for me)

I’ve caved.

I’ve given in.  After years of resistance, I’m blogging.  After all, I’m a writer and I adore my office.  Why wouldn’t I want to sit in here every morning and tap you or me a note of inspiration?

Daily I peer beyond the flickering candle through second story windows four in a row, see the sky blurring blue to white.  Daily I look across my office to a wall painting of Jesus and seek More of Him.  Daily I search the tender pages of the written Word for truth that propels, sets free, sets me straight and right.  Oh how I need this daily (my family can testify!)

But these moments have been private.  For diaries and books.  Long, polished, carefully crafted books.  I just finished my fourth book in two years, two days ago.  So why blog now?  Lord knows I have better things to do, like clean out my closets.

Writers have to write, like runners have to run, and if I don’t write, I’ll get lost in the closets and not know who I am when I come out. I must have a place to be authentic. 

Authenticity is dangerous freedom; you can’t sell it; can’t buy it; you can only BE it.

So instead of calling this a “blog,” which would trip me up with approval ratings, I’m calling it Jen’s Journal.  If I call it a journal, I’ll write in it without need for anything but to draw the real longhand, seek heart and soul direction, and put the period at Inspired.

Inspiration for today:  That’s the “Why.”

It’s Why I sit on my porch sipping coffee and thumbing tender pages writ by man, breath of God.  It’s the Why for prayer at sunrise and begging knees under coal black sky.  And it’s the only Why I’m keeping this journal — for you, your mother, sister, friend, brother, son, dad, husband, daughter, granddaughter.

I’m coming out of books and Bibles and closets for a single purpose:  to inspire you for More.  Ann Voskamp says we writers hang in the balance between the desire to be completely hidden and the aching need to communicate.  Therein lies the blog:  we hide whilst we speak.  Jammies, slippers, cup of coffee twice warmed, within us rests the possibility for More.  Through the online journal, we can reach boys imprisoned by sin.  A girl sexting.  A mother longing.  A father waiting.  A grandma praying.  An aunt hoping.

So why blog?  To inspire you for a life of More.  For this, I cave.

Curious this bending.  Years of refusal behind, a sapling blown hard by wind of culture, my trunk not too thick to withstand shaping, I blog.  Journal, better said.

There always requires a Why for what we do; what is your Why?

For no one does anything by rote or forced habit without the Why.

I’ve found my Why, and so will you.

For now I hold dear this view of wispy green trees over mirrored sky.  I’ll blog because I care about you and the people both you and I love. And I want to remind them, you, me, of all the ways we are Made for More.

When I’m done each day, I’ll love on my husband and kids and clean closets too.  And at day’s end, I’ll rest my head on my pillow knowing I didn’t lose who I was — that in every which way, I lived my Why.

How can you make time for your Why?  Can you forge some regular room in your life for the things that make you feel alive?  Can you tap into your gifts and fan them into flame?  How can you live like you are more than a blogger, more than a runner, more than a conqueror?  What does More look like for you?

In Truth,

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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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