Jessica Turner
About the Author

Jessica Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, and blogs on The Mom Creative. Every day is a juggling act as she balances working full-time, making memories with her family, photographing the every day and trying to be...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Um, can’t even put into words how the Lord is using this book to heal years and years of wounds. This book came to me in the middle of some serious ‘soul work’ the Lord was/is doing. I cannot believe how He does this! The words Chosen, Holy, Loved were already rumbling around in my heart and the first four chapters of this book have been used to heal and deliver.

    When I read chapter two, I simple could not go on to the next chapter, as I didn’t think it could minister to me as much as this one did. So I reread and just stewed on the truth, studied the scriptures that the Lord had given me beforehand and now in this chapter. I think it was days and days of meditating. ( I am somebody who would plow through this book in a week, not this time ;-))

    I won’t share about chapt. 3 and 4 until it is time, but can I just say this book is blessing me.

    Rejection is huge in our lives. All of us have been rejected in some way or another. Some of us have been rejected in unfathomable ways. It doesn’t matter how many rejections or the depth, the antidote is the same! Understanding to our very cores the we have been chosen by our Father in heaven. Yes, He picked me! He picked me when others have cast me aside. He picked me! Before the foundation of the world He said, “you, Michelle, I want you to be my very own”. He picked me knowing what a piece of work He was getting. lol He knew every mistake I would ever make, every flaw I would have and He still chose me!

    Oh the joy and freedom that comes from knowing that He chose me to be His. My mind wants to say, really? Me?? Are you sure? He answers with an unequivocal and resounding YES . . . YES . . . YES! He says, “I choose you!”

    I have had a necklace made based on these truths. I have the words Chosen, Holy, Loved written on chalkboards, made out of scrabble pieces and framed . . . can I tell you He is setting this woman free?! Thank you Kelly, for sharing your heart. It cracks me up how I had these words sort of muddled in my mind and then picking up your book brought such depth and healing to my heart. Don’t you just love His timing!!

    Okay, done now 😉 I even posted about the necklace.

  2. What I’m taking away from these chapters is the depth of being chosen by God versus a worldly view of being chosen. While we can all relate to rejection, we can also all relate to being chosen in a worldly way. And each time? It was based on who WE are, what WE’ve done, or what WE can bring. But chosen by God? It is a much more freeing gift, because it isn’t based on us. It is a completely different type of choosing. AND, the best part, it comes with more gifts…not just the gift of being chosen?! It comes with the gifts we don’t have to perform for, they’re just our for the putting on…because we HAVE been chosen.
    It’s such a freeing feeling to not have to feel like I have to strive for those kind of virtues, they’re just simply given to me as the gift that they are.

  3. These chapters really got me thinking about my spiritual hand-me-down clothes (what I saw in others/parents that I have put on without even consciously thinking about it) – and challenged me to take time to identify what I’m wearing, and what I want to strip off to make room for the new.

  4. I can so relate to Kelly’s story of thinking she was chosen, but being rejected. I can remember the pain of my own experiences with that, one which is very recent and still very painful. But knowing that God has chosen me, not because I deserve it, but because He loves me, He cares for me, and He has a purpose for me, is so freeing and so refreshing. I love what 1 Peter 2:9 says, that because we are chosen GRACE and PEACE are ours in abundance. What a beautiful truth – that He has already given me grace and peace to taken hold of and live a life of freedom!

  5. Today i was teaching adult Sunday school based on Matthew 23:13-28. Jesus gives his last parable, his final teachings. He calls the scribes and the Pharisees hypocrites, actors. To the world they played the part of being righteous but on the inside they remained uncleaned. Although they cleansed the outer vessel they didnt see the need to change their hearts. At the same time this last week i read chapters 1 and 2 of this amazing book which basically told me the same thing.

    We need to clothe ourselves in the virtues ‘compassion, humility, kindness, gentleness and patience’, i got that bit first. From there i went onto add ephesians 6:13-17 putting on the whole armour of God, because that is what the scripture reminded me of.

    I often feel invisible, thrawted and i was always the last to be picked and if we had had a prom at my school i wouldnt of been going. However when i read psalms 139 it was so over-powering i dont really have the words to descibe how i felt. But to know that God knows me like a grain of sand on a seashore, One tiny grain of nothing, he knows my heart and my mind. I maybe able to hide from man but not from God. It was at this point that i realised that i was chosen of God.

    seed – i wrote colossians 3:12 and the virtues on a post-it and stuck it next to my bed, so i can see it
    water – pray earnestly to know that even though i may feel invisible to the world i’m never invisible to God
    bloom – to memorise the colossian’s verse that when i have negative thoughts about myself, i can think of something else.

    Thank you, it’s just what i needed.

  6. I am so excited about reading this book! I just got done with Kelly’s study “No Other Gods” and have been so blessed by her writing.

    Seed: What stuck with me was the top of page 32: “…the very essence of biblical virtues is that they’re only virtues when they’re being tested.”

    Water: I read through Psalm 139 as Kelly suggested. Today, I read through all of Colossians 3. I want to be more intentional about praying that God will help me be clothed by these virtues — it’s a supernatural thing, one that I can’t do on my own by trying harder as Kelly said on page 20.

    Bloom: Well, I am reflecting back on my day, and I can think of at least one conversation that definitely was not clothed in Christ-like virtues. I guess I am at least more aware of my fleshy rags. Praying, praying, praying to be more like Jesus and less like me.

  7. First, I want to thank whoever gifted me with a copy of The Fitting Room so I could participate in the book club. It has been a blessing and I pray blessings for those that were able to gift others with books.

    Seed: Page 20 – “True Christian values…..are a result of heart change that is accomplished through the supernatural love of Jesus”. I am so trying to cling to the fact that Jesus loves me at a time when I do not feel very loved by those in my life or very lovable toward others. Acknowledging that I am dearly loved will enable me to put on these clothes, not because I can do it, but because of my love relationship with Christ He enables me to do it. Page 36 – “It takes the understand and belief that God has seen us, known us and lovingly chosen us to live the freeing life characterized by these traits.” I need to work on my belief that God fully sees me, fully knows me and lovingly chose me anyway, in spite of myself.

    Water – I am taking time each night to reflect on the day and be intentional about allowing change where there needs to be change. It is not easy for me and I am trying to also spend time in intentional prayer.

    Bloom/Grow – I feel the sweet nudging of the Holy Spirit more to read and pray and listen to His urgings to do what I know is right and should be doing all along.

    My heart has been stirred to remember that it is not about performance on my part, but on the intentional choosing and gracious loving of God that I am already fitted for these virtues. I need to be more intentional in my intimate relationship with Him.

  8. This was a very good start to the discussion today, certainly making me want to know more as we go through the book chapter by chapter. To hear Kelly share about how she used to read through Paul’s Letters and “bristle,” thinking “that’s just something more that is put on my plate that I have to do” was definitely something I can totally relate to. It should be freeing to think that it is what God does in our life first that enables us to put on the new wardrobe of virtues — and I’m hoping that through this study I will feel more equipped in this.
    Seed: Has definitely been planted and I’m looking to our awesome, loving God to enable it to grow.
    Thank you for writing this book, Kelly, and to all involved for choosing this book for discussion.

  9. Very cool. I just heard some of this in a sermon this morning. Don’t you love it when God says something to you twice or thrice in a day? Like, pay attention, Beth! Take this to heart!
    And we’re sitting there in a Chinese EV Free church and I’m feeling oddly at home (I’m not Chinese but married into it.) and remembering God told me in 96 that I was chosen by him to speak his word to Chinese people. Here you speak to me, and you add DEARLY Loved! Oh yes, thank you God, I’m listening! I love you too!
    Thank you for stripping the virtues of guilt and shame based motivation.

  10. I’m a girl who likes to fill out forms, so I’ll just answer your questions as they are! 🙂

    Seed: It’s funny. I KNOW I am chosen. I teach it to my children, I recall it when I interact with others. And yet I don’t often live that way. I’m still stuck in the habit of trying to earn my salvation. And that’s what resonated with me – that it’s time to change that thinking.

    Water: I think being intentional about studying His Word daily really helps. I am in awe of how He speaks to us daily through it.

    Bloom/Grow: I think it really makes me stop and see myself as God sees me, and in turn stop and see others as God does. Chosen. That’s huge.

  11. Seed: The thing that really stood out to me as I read this chapter was the analogy of the navy uniform. I love where Kelly says on pg 26, “Therefore, as a navy sailor, wear your uniform because you’re entitled to, and it tells everyone who you belong to and the great country you stand for. Therefore, as someone who has been made holy, who is chosen and loved, wear compassion, kindness, humility, patience, forgiveness, peace, and joy, because this, too, is the clothing you are entitled to wear since you are in Christ.” This is the perfect analogy for me since it really speaks to my understanding as a Naval Officer. I am proud of my uniform and hope and pray to wear the clothing entitled to me by who Christ is.

    Water: I have been much more intentional about my quiet times. I plan on writing Col 3:12 and carrying it with me to look at throughout the day.

    Bloom/Grow: An understanding that patience, faithfulness, and all the virtues are a result of being chosen by God, not requirements to be chosen by God.

  12. I’m already feeling like I need to go back and read the beginning chapters again, because this video was so awesome and made me feel like I need all the help and reminders I can get about being chosen by God.

  13. so excited about this book! definitely got to underlining and sitting in some of the passages. I’m so going to need to go back and re-read chunks and really meditate on the chosen scriptures. Those are the ones that got at my heart the most. To truly see myself as a daughter not a servant not a slave, but a daughter. To act like I’m already chosen and therefore let the rest flow out of that instead of striving. Not only that, but to remember the way that Jesus left the 99 to go find the one. Because one matters.

  14. One of the biggest things that stood out to me is the concept of knowing what you should do but not knowing HOW to do it. For me, it applies to more than just putting on the characteristics in Colossians; it trickles down to things like housekeeping and parenting. I know what I should do but sometimes I don’t know how to do them. But, just like with the characteristics, those aren’t really things that get better with more effort; all more trying does is frustrate. For me once I realized that it applies to more areas in my life, it came back around to the characteristics and I thought about how they aren’t something I have to try and do better, they’re things I need to get in line with God about and then they’ll naturally follow. And that’s because, the closer you walk with God, the closer to the character of Christ you become, and that means you don’t spend time TRYING to do things, they just come naturally.

  15. The piece of these chapters that got to me was the navy uniform… Because I am chosen, holy, and loved, I now have the PRIVILEGE of clothing myself with compassion, humility, peace, patience, forgiveness, joy, love… I\’ve never thought about it this way before… My pastor used the clothing analogy in his prayer yesterday just after I had read these chapters before church, which confirmed for me that GOD is blessing me in this Bible/book study. I can\’t wait to learn more. “…every good tree bears good fruit… Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.\” Matt 7:17a, 20

  16. I had no idea what to expect from this book, but I trust BLOOM so I thought, well, I’d like to join this read. Two pages in and I knew this was a book written for me. Thank you. It’s so good. Looking forward to diving into more. ~Jessica

  17. Love this. 🙂

    seed: The uniform didn’t qualify him to be in the Navy. Being in the Navy meant he could wear the uniform. “Therefore, as a navy sailor, wear your uniform because you’re entitled to, and it tells everyone who you belong to and the great country you stand for. Therefore, as someone who has been made holy, who is chosen and loved, wear compassion, kindness, humility, patience, forgiveness, peace and joy because this, too, is the clothing you are entitled to wear since you are in Christ.” As the wife of a US Soldier, the uniform analogy is where this concept finally clicked. I GET to wear these – they’re not something I HAVE to put on to earn being chosen or loved by God.

    Water: Seeking to remember that these are characteristics God lets us wear as a result of being one of His chosen, and developing them instead of “striving” to be good enough at them.

    Bloom/Grow: Renewed fervor for putting on the character of Christ, one leg at a time. 🙂

    On a side note – I have always wondered how to spell “Whup,” and now I know! 🙂 p. 27. Love it!

  18. Wow… where to begin?

    So many things stuck out to me as I read these two chapters. Most strongly, the idea that I may know I am chosen, but I don’t accept it. The words on pg 32-33 in particular: “And even though He has chosen me, He has also chosen countless others since Adam. I’m not sure if being just one fleck of sand on the beach of chosenness makes me feel all that special and valued. Plus, I’m so accustomed to the idea of being chosen by people, flesh-and-blood humans, that I can find it difficult to palpably relish God’s choosing of me, partly because I can’t visibly see Him, audibly hear Him, or physically touch Him.” This resonated deeply with me. I find over and over that I seek the virtues, I desire to have them, but because I am striving to please someone I can’t physically involve myself with, because I am living as if I need to do something to earn my choosing, I fall short. Which brings me to the weekly thoughts…

    Seed: I need to live CHOSEN. Not as if I need to earn my choosing. I KNOW that I am a child of Christ. I do not live that way. I need to act as if the words of my mouth are true deep in my heart.

    Water: I have the verses on pgs 31-32 posted all over my house and I am working to memorize them this summer. I am willing to take off the old rags and wear the new silks once and for all, and in order to do that, I need to ingrain His truth on my heart. I am also taking it one day at a time. Change takes learning to do things differently… new attitudes don’t happen overnight.

    Bloom/Grow: I am not being so upset with myself when I fall short! Being chosen means He accepts my mistakes and failings as readily as He accepts my accomplishments. Being a slow learner doesn’t make me any less loved.

  19. Wow, I don’t even know where to start. I read chapters 1 and 2 in bed last night and cried like a baby. I struggle with insecurity and fear of rejection- no different than most women I know. But I’ve been in a cycle of really getting down on myself- how on earth could God love me, let alone CHOSE me, when so many others have rejected me and walked out on me. How could I be worthy of HIS love when I wasn’t worthy of anyone elses love. The words in this book have been such a balm to my heart. It took everything in me not to stay up all night reading and rereading the book. Thank you ladies for bringing this opportunity to us. I am praying for everyone involved in this book club.
    Seed: God chose me- He has made me who I am for a reason and He has an amazing plan for me.

    Water: I am memorizing Colossians 3:12 and then the verses on pages 31-33. They are being written on sticky notes to paste around my house.

    Bloom/Grow: God is really showing me- through this book and several other things that He has brought to my attention the last week or so- that He loves me, that I am worthy of His love and that if I will just get over myself, He has some amazing plans for me.

  20. When I think about being chosen, I think why me? Who am I to be chosen by the Lord? I am not special, I am just me. But then I think we all have a part to play in the Body of Christ. I probably will never do anything earth shattering but I strive to wear the virtues we are talking about and I want desperately to serve and walk the path the Lord has for me.
    Sometimes I wonder if I am to dumb to get it; and then I think about my high school French teacher who would always tell me that I make things to difficult. I over think things and I wonder if that is what I do with the Lord, am I over thinking and making it more difficult than it has to be.

  21. Seed: The re-realization that I don’t have to do anything to “earn” the character of Christ. The things I do should reflect the fact that I have them already because I was chosen by Him.

    Water: I am going through the One Year Bible with my friend. It helps me maintain a God-focused mindset.

    Bloom/Grow: I’m finding that I am more patient, more understanding naturally.

  22. I too am planning to go back, read these chapters again, and draw even more from them.

    Seed: I’ve been struggling with the chosen part and not just being chosen by God but being chosen by others in friendships and in some cases not being chosen despite everything I do. Reminding myself of God and all those who have chosen me is my focus.

    Water: Striving to be more thoughtful and reflective when dealing with others and remembering that God has a plan for my life and I’ve been chosen to live out his plan to the best of my ability has helped bring me focus.

    Bloom/Grow: Even something as small as how I respond to my husband leaving his shoes and socks in the den AGAIN has been altered. Instead of getting upset and saying hurtful words I quietly place them in his closet and don’t complain. Wearing my socks of patience and excited to do so!

  23. Love this study so far, video is great…like I am sitting on the couch across from you all.

    Seed: that i need to stop exhausting myself trying to earn God’s love, He loved me first. I feel like I spend an inordinate amount of time jumping up and down to get the world to notice me. Even if that occurs, the hollow, fleeting feeling evaporates. It is not the same with my Lord, He notices me because He created me and has work for me, ministry for me and I need to do nothing in order to have grace and favor from Him. Know it…living it…a totally different story
    Water: Memorizing Is 40:28 and Col 3:12
    Bloom/Grow: Peace in the way I am still processing my mom’s death….peace in the way I deal with my dad, striving to do the best I can with what I have been given (my marriage, my kiddos, my ministry) and trying to let God fill me instead of the world. I really struggle with feeling lonely.

  24. Hi, ladies! I am a little behind. I just heard about the book and book club last week and I was finally able to get a copy of the book today. I have some catching up to do, but am so inspired by your comments. I’m excited because I believe God has something in store for me, too.

  25. I just started reading over the weekend, and just caught up today on the video from Sunday. The first thing that grabbed me as soon as I started reading was the fact that in order to truly walk in these virtues, I have to embrace the truth that God has already chosen me and set me apart. I’m not seeking to be better in walking in these virtues in order to BE called and set apart and loved. Such a great truth that Kelly pointed out in chapter 2. Starting chapter 3 today and looking forward to it!

  26. Just reading the introduction was enough to make me join in this study. Virtues are not to be strived for, but the blessings of being His child. The idea of being chosen impacts the whole relationship with God. He chose me through His mercy, grace, and love. What an amazingly wonderful realization! Thank you for reaffirming that most important fact.

  27. I think that God is showing me that I can be quite pedantic, hair-splitting, and downright persnickety in the way that I judge myself and others in my mind. Goodness, I wonder what kind of cockamamie spiritual outfit I am clothed in when I act that way. Probably tighty whiteys – ha! I need some flowing gowns of kindness and panties of lacey goodness fast! Lol

  28. Just to clarify my last comment a bit. My sister says that I am being too hard on myself and that it’s ok to be a PIP (person in process). I agree and concur.

    I just am finding it kind of freeing to picture myself with my panties all up in a wad and imagine how funny I must look when I am trying too hard on my own. After truly spending the past couple of days in bondage, almost to the point of tears, to my inabilities and insecurities, picking myself apart, I finally just was able to let it go and laugh at myself and let God get back to work.

    I am absolutely and positively loving this book and thank you for letting me share! 🙂

  29. My copy arrived in the mail late this week and I’ve been spending the last few days reading through the first few chapters – and Loving it!! I only wish I had read this book years ago!
    I have been struggling the last few years, and especially last year, with the idea of my being chosen, especially in the way of my relationships – or lack there of since my last serious relationship ended (the) Sept 11 rather suddenly, and I was subsequently reminded of this every year since [side note: thankfully this was not connected to the events of the day, but rather the unfortunate timing of my then boyfriends’ choice to suddenly end the relationship]. It took me almost 7 years to get past this perceived betrayal and un-chosenness when I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, however the fact that her father has chose not to be involved in our life stung mightily (O-N-S with old friend, who I haven’t seen since I told him I was pregnant).
    Last year was especially tough as, since having my daughter I my friendship circle has dwindled to a very small circle (stopped working, became full-time, studying, SAHM) and most of these are married with multiple children. Even the last of those with one child (apart from my cousins, who are all single but one) have fallen pregnant or (the other) is planning their July wedding! It was getting to the point where I didn’t really want to go to church (most of my circle are from there!) or mum’s bible study as many of them were pregnant with their second or third child, or dealing with a newborn and toddler.

    This year, He has been helping me work through this pain and fear that I will never be ‘chosen’ (by my future – ordained by God – husband, whoever he is) and to move past this to focus on the fact that HE has chosen me … and with his promises I can be calm in the knowledge that I am also therefore chosen by him. A visit from Carl Butler to our church last month also helped seal this ‘deal’/promise, and I am now calm and confident in the promise of marriage and becoming a wife and mother of multiple blessings.

    The beginning chapters in this book have helped cement these feelings of hope and calm over being chosen – not just by God, but by ‘my man’. Whether or not this was your intention Kelly, I thank you for this blessing and look forward to enjoying being able to focus solely on this CHOSEN-NESS by God right now. Looking forward to the other truths God has in store for me throughout reading this book!

    **Sorry for the long post. I tend to use many words**

  30. Such a beautiful introduction with thoughts and ideas that I can’t wait to dig deeper into.

    Here are my thoughts:

    Seed: In my own life, I often forget that I have been chosen by God. This has been an incredible reminder for me, that I am, and will continue to be loved by God. Because of this, I can live as He has called me to.

    Water: I feel that I am nurturing what God desires in me by being a part of this book club. The Fitting Room has presented this verse from Colossians in a new way for me, and I feel that God will use it to reach me in a way that I may not have been before.

    Bloom/Grow: From the things that I have learned, I am understanding that I have been chosen by God, even when I don’t feel chosen by friends, family, guys, etc.

    Kelly, thank you for your heart.

  31. Hit the nail on the head! I grew up in a wonderful Christian home — trained and nurtured in these virtues; but I don’t truly accept the mercy, grace, and love that is freely given to me. I’m full of knowledge—but struggle to live out what I know and desire to be daily.

    I invest in my children’s hearts—that is what I want to train, more than their brain; why do I not do the same with myself? I want to be an eagle–soaring with the wind; but instead, most days, I feel like a little bird flapping as hard as I can. I can choose to soar–just spread the wings given to me and receive the wind {God}; but there I am flapping, wondering why I don’t get anywhere! ugh.

    {I’ll take the denim patience for under $100!} Wouldn’t that be awesome? But, then I remind myself—IT’S FREE! Why am I bargaining? And it comes in all styles—cashmere, even!

    So glad I will be working my way through this book. I’m going to read it with my heart and not my head for a change.

  32. Is this a book or a Bible study? For example, are there questions to answer in the book and verses to look up? Like in her Ruth, No Other Gods, & Nehamiah studies or is this just written as a book? Thanks!