About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. Jen, the more I read about your life, the more I am challenged to drop my guard and open my heart to others. Thank you for writing about the times when you heeded the promptings of the “still, small, voice” to push for a deeper intimacy. And thanks for making yourself available to Him.

    • Thank you, sweet Michelle. I’m trying to lean into His voice and be more sensitive to it. It’s taken years and years but hearing it more clearly now than ever before. xoxox

  2. Jen,
    Praise for your heart that just can’t walk away from a hurting heart. The Truth you shared with Yolanda is a seed planted that God will nurture. I love your caring heart. I know I am an image bearer of Christ, but right now, when I look in the mirror I see someone who is tired from physical infirmities. My smile is dimmed due to one injury or surgery after another. I know that Christ is the ultimate Healer and restorer…just need prayers for perseverance and hope as I make strides toward physical therapy and, hopefully, ultimate healing. Thank you.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev you are in my prayers tonight for Gods healing and grace. Bev I hope you know that your personality and care that shows up here every night (I read at night NZ time) for me and countless others through your words is what I see of you. Your reflection is a beautiful one laid out through your words…although I cannot see you in person I feel as though I know you, a part of your Christian sister heart. You are real and honest about your trials, family and it speaks to me. Be proud of that it’s s beautiful reflection of you that I see a God given one xxx

    • Consider yourself prayed for, for all the things you mentioned! I am always quick to read your insightful comments that follow these devos. Always appreciate what you share.
      In His Love, Dina

    • Prayers for faith strengthened and the peace that only He can give, no matter what. ✝️
      Faith…Hebrews 11:1
      Peace…John 14:27

    • Bev – it’s times like these I wish we lived closer so that we could be the tangible hands and feet for you. You are so precious to our community and we are grateful for your constance in this place. Lifting these physical trials before the only ONE who can heal and comfort. I echo Jas 100x.

      xoxox

  3. Thank you Jen! May I ask for prayers (since you so kindly offered that I begin to be more like Him and my reflection is one I can love because I see God’s influences in it.
    Jas

    • Jas,

      Praying for you sweet sister. You are a beautiful reflection of Christ. God made us in His image & I see His love pouring out in your words here. You are always praying for others. That speaks volumes.

      (((((Hugs)))))

      • Thank you Beth, this community is a testament to Gods grace and that his reach is ever present x

    • Echoing Beth and Bev’s comments above. We are so grateful for you, for your encouragement in this place and yet Satan’s attempts to thwart our reflection is real and present, so I pray God’s affirmation of your beautiful and valued worth right now.

      xoxox

      • Thank you Jen, it’s so true that the lies are ever present BUT what I love here in this community is that God still reaches in and allows us to be honest and real here, we all experience doubt and fall victim to the lies of self doubt, sadness, frustration, not being good enough what I am grateful for here is people being real, expressing their story, their doubts getting it out there in the light so we can all learn from each other that others too fall into the same thinking, the trap! That’s what it is a trap…we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, we are none of the bad thoughts. If we are created in a His image and loved by Him someone so perfect as God and Christ are then all these doubts, negative thoughts are completely COMPLETELY UNTRUE!!! It took me along time to see this!

  4. Jennifer, thanks for such a powerful devotional. This morning as I looked in the mirror I saw a woman: repentant, looking to be loved & appreciated in her marriage, worn by uncertainties, looking for true joy & happiness, & needing to make the right decisions & moves but only with God’s guidance. The reflection was much needed.

    • Graham,

      Praying for God to send you a discerning heart to know His perfect will. May He heal your marriage & make it stronger. You are a beautiful reflection of Christ. I pray you sense an inner peace that only He can bring.

      (((((Hugs)))))

    • Graham – you are so welcome. May you feel HIs comfort and His peace during these days of uncertainty. May He fill any necessary gaps and pour forth His love in ways only He can.

  5. Thank you Jen for sharing. I am burdened by divorce. I have felt God wanting to restore our marriage for a long time. After the divorce I became a Christian & 2 years ago so did my ex-husband. I’ve told him what I have felt God wanting and my ex says he does not get that from God. However, several people have mentioned it to him. He is so distant towards me & I believe he is not obey God with regards to our marriage. 2 children are involved and have suffered for many years. Thank you for the prayers
    Dawn

    • Dawn,
      We were separated, then reconciled, and then ten years later divorced. I clung to my first marriage as I thought God wanted me to, but it was toxic. Praying that God would give you wisdom as to whether restoration is His will or if He has something better, more wholesome in store. Just remember that your worth is not based on one man’s opinion of you….it is based on the One who gives you your true identity. Will be praying for God’s will and comfort for your heart….God IS able and His will cannot be thwarted.
      Love and ((hugs)),
      Bev

    • Dawn,

      Divorce is never easy. Praying for discernment from God about this marriage. I pray you know fully that you are a beautiful child of God & He loves you so much. Praying the children can overcome all the pain they have endured. May He bring about a peace & comfort that can only come from Him!

      Blessings 🙂

    • I wrote a long response and it deleted, so an abbreviated version is that I’m grateful you shared your heart here today.

      I can’t speak to the burden of divorce but last week I received an email from a woman whose husband walked out on her while she was pregnant with their fifth child. Gone for 13 years, he returned, they reconciled and they’re now remarried. Tears streamed as I read her powerful story. I don’t know the end of yours, but I know He is the God of second chances and reconciliation and nothing is too difficult for Him.

  6. When I looked in the mirror this morning, I actually had a hard time believing the photos that were taken of me this weekend at a family party – photos that revealed more than I bargained for; dark circles under my eyes, frizzy hair, a few extra pounds and aging skin. Ugh. The mirror, for me, actually was kinder – perhaps because it’s only a tabletop one and I only glance for a few minutes in the morning when my makeup is fresh! So after viewing the pics, my mind has been conjuring up the “I need to change…” litany of lies, and driving to work this morning I could feel God impressing upon my heart that it’s okay to always want to do or be better, but it’s not okay to panic and be breathless for change to happen. Instead, I can accept what’s seen, seek to improve if needed, but I don’t need to despair at my less-than-perfect reflection, be it via mirrored glass or a camera’s lens. And I have a feeling that once I relax into how He’s made me, the wrinkles of a life well lived won’t bother me at all.

    • You are loved, valuable, precious, talented, gifted, capable, powerful, wise & redeemed all because you are in Christ. Amazing!! You are created in God’s image. Believe what He says about you!!!!!

    • Beth, you offer such truth, thank you. We certainly can be so critical and hard on ourselves when Jesus sees the inside of us and the perfect beauty that his sacrifice purchased. Even when it’s not what we or the world think of as beauty!

    • Beth

      Oh the ugly signs of aging! It is so easy to be hard on ourselves. This world clamors for beauty-on the outside. You have an inner beauty that can’t be taken away. You have a wonderful heart. Praying you see yourself as the image of God – fearfully & wonderfully made. Jesus loves you & so do I.

      Blessings 🙂

    • OH yes, the perspective of His reflected in our mirror can not be beat. Thank you for sharing so poignantly what so many feel. I saw the same photos taken of me at a family wedding. I’ll pick His mirror any day. xoxoxo

  7. Hi Jen,
    As I read about Yolanda and you this really resignated with me today. Going through many years of physical and mental abuse the image I saw in the mirror was something I didn’t want to see, until this year. God changed my heart and spoke to me about how beautifully he made me. His love was poured into the color of my eyes, the shape of my lips, and yes even in my shortness. I learned of how the Potter gently worked every detail out in me even before I was born. My attitude toward myself changed. If Father God can love me as I am, I need to love myself. So I began speaking kind words over myself and stopped judging myself. Thank you Jen for the love you pour into yourself and all of us.

    • I love this- “So I began speaking kind words over myself and stopped judging myself.” I need to do that as well. I don’t speak very nicely to myself about myself sometimes….

    • Kathy,

      Praise God you got it! He has made you beautiful. You have a great heart. It is easy to speak harsh words over ourselves. I congratulate you on speaking Godly words over yourself & stopped the judgement. May we all do this!!

      Blessings 🙂

    • Kathy – I am rejoicing with you over the change you’ve experienced this year. To know and feel His love in such a tangible, powerful way is overwhelming in the best of ways, isn’t it?

      May we all speak words of kindness over ourself. xoxox Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. My mirror tells me it will be ok. God will get you through this. My younger sister who is 52 is in icu and Im about to leave but I would like for prayers for her our mother and our whole family. You see our sister is special needs and has a pretty rough life of health issues. She is an amazing lady. She has had cancer twice. She just fininsh chemo . She now is fighting for her life with some kind of infection. It is tearing us apart. I know God has this but it’s helping my brothers sisters and mom that are still on there own steps with God. I just dont know what to do but just pray. Then there our our 3 girls who are having a hard time. Please pray for us all. Thank you

    • Billie, YES PRAY! God is beside y’all
      We were there last year and Mom is still with us and He is working in the family’s hearts! Much lob& prayers to you and yours today <3

    • Father,
      Be with Billie’s family this week. Give each the strength to make it to the next day with your grace and care. Be with her sister who is ill. Be with her mother to nurture to her ill daughter. Be with each sibling as they care for their sister and their own families. Make the support each other through love and concern for each other.

    • Billie

      Oh sweet sister! Praying for everyone! It is hard when a family member is in hospital. Remember this: God is with you all always!

      Father,

      Please help Billie & the family. Give them a sense of your peace & comfort that comes from knowing you have it in control. Keep the family together. Send them your strength to carry on one more day. Help them to take life one day at a time & not worry about tomorrow. Help encourage each family member as they pray & care for their sister. Send them your love!

      Blessings 🙂

    • Billie – I am echoing the other’s prayers. Know that we are hearing praying for doctor’s wisdom, peace amidst such uncertainty and overwhelming comfort for those precious girls having to see their mom in such pain. They’re blessed to have you during this time.

  9. A devotion long ago challenged me to smile at my reflection when I pass a mirror. I still do it! I could be ugly-crying, spittle-drip-shaking screaming at my kids, no matter the way I look: if I’m walking by a mirror, I’ll smile at my reflection out of habit now. Odd, huh? But I tell ya gals, I do like my quirky habit. Makes my heart lift a little when I see my best friend smiling back at me.

  10. My mirror tells me right now that I need to work on forgiveness. God has softened my heart towards a person, but there is still work to be done in my heart. My mirror tells me I am a work in progress and because I am God’s child, I am never alone. 🙂

  11. My mirror says that I’m a beloved child of God who struggles to deeply receive that love and healing that he offers. And the lie that I’m unlovable still pops it’s ugly head often.

  12. Please pray for restoration of a friend I lost due to pride and selfishness. I feel like God is telling me restoration is in the process but the waiting is painful. I miss my friend very much.

    • I’m afraid we all have those moments or times in our lifes that we could take back. Will be praying 🙂

  13. This Message from God through Today’s Devtional is exactly Perfectly Timed for, me too. I struggle with Mirrors. I have for decades – I am so very thankful for the honestly and courage Given to you to share this with the world. I Was and am moved to tears, as I realized that I am not my past, that God Is More Than Enough and His Grace Is Sufficient for me able to change and correct my own personal and distorted perception of the “reflection” in the “mirror” that I have and do see. My strength not the Strength and Truths of God Our Father.
    There has and is a lot that I am have been Praying about that is extremely difficult things I don’t want to even know about let alone deal with and certainly don’t want to see or think or even Pray about. I don’t even want these issues to be real or exist! I have continued In Christ Jesus Who Is my Strenght but I now know that I was and have been avoiding Asking and Allowing God to Guide me and Walk with me in these painful, hurtful and unfathomable amounts of pain.
    It is God’s Will and Chosen Time to “Deal with and Guide” me through the many reasons why I dislike mirrors – I thank God that you have not only shared this with me and many others but that you have asked others to join you This Week of Our Lord In “Removing the Garbage Bag(s)”.
    I am not typically one to share such persoal information about myself and the intense and length of time in which I have and am facing – especially the impossible that is made extremely difficult by God’s Grace and His Love Through The Power of The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ Living In me amd I In Him.
    I have truly been Moved and Blessed By this message and now know or believe that I have been alone in this desire to be set free of my past and all the guilt, shame and feelings that the “reflections” in the “Mirror” that I have seen and do see is the truth.
    Yes Yes and Yes I will and have joined you this week to remove ” The garbage bag” from my mirror with you and all who have, are and will join in this Life changing and most vital to and for me – this time of intense emotional pain and distortion that has been holding me in pain and missing the Glory of God In and For the Life He Has Preplanned for His Life Through me and the Life I have and now In Will Receive The True Image of God In me through out this week that I am removing the “garbage bag” that has been preventing God from Doing Though His Life In me all that God Has Wanted to do. Thank you for this Priceless Message from God and for Yes to what God Has Asked of you through The Holy Spirit In Jesus’ Name Amen Amen Amen
    I am and will be Praying for all of Us, God’s Children while We remove “the Garbage Bags in our Lives to be Free. To Glorify God Our Father In Christ Jesus On Earth This Week of Our Lord.
    God Bless you now and always In Jesus Name I Pray Amen

    • Crystal – I am so moved that while you don’t normally share such personal things, you felt led to do that here. This is a safe place and you’re exactly right, you are not alone. Satan wants nothing more than to try and have us believe that we are the only ones struggling but he is a liar. He doesn’t want truth to come to light but God has set you free, my sweet internet “friend.”
      Know that you are beautifully loved, accepted and adored by the One who created you in His perfect image.

      Many blessings over you today.
      xoxox
      Jen

  14. Jennifer, my heart hurt with you for Yolanda. So glad you kept digging deeper to plant those seeds of God’s love! My mirror can only tell the incomplete story — just the miserable beginning of a wretched woman in desperate need of her Savior. The middle and end of my story can only be found in the Storyteller. That I’ve been clothed in white robes of forgiveness and while I’ll battle all the days I’m alive on earth, there is coming a day when I’ll finally be in experience what Christ has already made me for eternity.

  15. Good Morning Jen,
    This post touched my heart. Sometimes, I feel so afraid when it comes to His whispers. As I have grown older and matured in my faith, I have learned to follow whatever the Lord puts on my heart, but it is not always easy. But, I know that I can do it, with the Lord by my side. I’m so glad you asked Yolanda about the mirror and prayer. You were following the heart of Jesus–something we learn to do, little by little, in our faith-walk. Everyday, during the day and at night, I ask the Lord to help me to do His will. I need His Holy Spirit to help me to be more like Him, everyday. We cannot reflect Him, without His guidance. The deceiver is clever and cunning, when it comes to making us feel like we are nothing. Just last night, I was praying…thanking God for sending His Son to die for our sins…that this life-walk would be unbearable without His Holy Spirit to comfort us. Thank you, for sharing your heart.

    • Thank you Cynthia for your words of encouragement to stay on the path and wait on the Lords leading,- to guide us. 🙂

  16. Beth, I feel the same way, about my reflection. Where did the dark circles and circles come from? Have they always been there? I’m guilty of neglecting myself. Aging is natural, but I do not have to age badly. And, I believe what you said, “…once I relax into how He’s made me, the wrinkles of a life well lived won’t bother me at all.” One thing that I can do, is take better care of myself. I will take care of everyone around me, but when it comes to taking care of me…drinking enough water, eating right, getting exercise, sleep, etc., I fall short. I know this will take time, as old habits are hard to break. I don’t have to look young, because I’m not! But, I can certainly take much better care of myself, so that I may continue in His work. Let’s pray for each other!

  17. Bless her heart. I can’t help but wonder how Yolanda’s story continues. I pray she found the peace and forgiveness her soul needed to smile again. Praying for Yolanda now. — Thank you for the reminder to have eyes to see what He sees, and to believe that we’re so much more than our pain and struggles. — Today, my mirror is kinder to me than it has been in years past. On this, my 47th birthday, the mirror tells me to let His love settle into the laugh lines and the sun spots. It tells me not to look into the reflection, but to look through it, inside the woman He created and to celebrate her story, for it is the testimony of her good, good Father. ♥

  18. How encouraging and thank you for writing !! God’s word is truth and I feel the only truth in this world where we get assaulted with different messages. May we always remember whose we are in Christ and we are beautiful , redeemed , forgiven and free !!! 🙂

  19. Jen,

    Yolanda’s story broke my heart. Thank you for heading the Holy Spirit’s leading. We all need someone to speak truth over us. We may not see ourselves as God does. It may only take a few chosen words from God to change our outlook. Bless you for being there for her. I think it was God’s intent that you be there that day.

    My mirror shows a middle-aged woman with plenty of age signs. I have earned each one of them. Also see a woman working on improving her Christian walk & love those around her. Who loves to care for others & help out in any way she can.

    Blessings 🙂

  20. This has 1 Corinthians 13 all over it. Why do we look through the dark glass when His blood has us covered, but we do it all the time. Covering mirrors was also a practice when people use to bring their dead home in the olden days, a fear of spirits being trapped in a mirror, I know of one instance, it involved someone who into was drugs and the occult, they certainly are a trap and Jesus is the only freedom.

  21. Funny I should read this tonigh just after declaring to my husband that I can’t find a single reason to like me right now. You see, we are facing homelessness in 14 days and with the start of school for 6 of my 7 children only 4 weeks away, I hate myself for not being able to tell them where we will go as we pack up or home. My oldest will be going to college, my youngest can’t stand that I have to leave him each day to go to work and the others just want to know if they’ll see anyone they know ever again. All while my husband and I face rejection after rejection as we search for somewhere to call home for our precious children.
    Today I don’t know what’s worse the image in the mirror or the pain and longing on my children’s faces.

  22. Beautiful, thank you. I will do this… loved the Scripture re: at the end as well. Just perfect.

  23. Dear Jen,
    I have been struggling for years with my self image. I suffered years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my sister (since I was born) and others. My sister would beat me or suffocate me until I would say that she was beautiful and I was ugly; She was skinny and I was fat; She had friends and I did not. I Look in the mirror and although I know I see a distorted image from my own head, I see a fat, ugly woman. Every once in awhile, I catch a glimpse of a pretty woman, out of the corner of my eye, but then I look and she is gone. I have been working with a therapist for years about this issue, but I can’t seem to get over it. I look in the mirror to put on make-up and fix my hair, but I don’t actually look full on at myself. This has gotten worse because I became disabled and this has caused me to gain weight. I am going to post these verses on my mirror to try to remind myself of these truths. I can’t accept all of God’s other truths about comfort, strength, and protection, blessings and the love of my Heavenly Daddy. I just struggle with this. My own dad also added physical and emotional abuse so that has also been a barrier to fully embracing my Heavenly Father, although I know He is much different.

  24. Printing and putting by bathroom mirror as a reminder of who I Am. And who the Lord is. Thank you for this and for the reminder to listen to that voice that nudges us to do more, care more, say more and sometimes to just listen. My “niceness” sometimes gets in the way of what I am being told to say. Appreciate you!

  25. Jen,

    Thank you for your words and scripture verses of encouragement, hope and promise! I have struggled with weight all…my…life. So, when I look in the mirror all I see is weight which strangles the true vision of how God my Father views me. I have to continually remind myself that I am a child of God and worthy!

    I appreciate your beautiful words of reminder today!

    Tricia