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. Thank you for your words. I needed this. I so needed this. I don’t realize how exhausted I get looking at everyone else’s posts. My least favorite posts are the ones about “your pandemic to do list”, how much did you get done, and all the supposed free time to become a world class baker or write the next great American novel. Sure, maybe, if you don’t have a toddler and a job? I felt guilty more than a handful of times for taking advantage of quiet moments for rest, when my son was in bed and my work was done, and inevitably I would wake the next day to the same filtered snapshots of life. But this. So much truth.

    • Bonnie – yes, we all know this feeling too well. Rest, steal away those quiet moments because when your tank is full you can pour out that much more that to that precious blessing.

  2. I need prayer. I went through a divorce well over a year ago, right at the beginning of the pandemic and lost all but one friend. I lost my community it’s been a difficult recovery. Please pray for new friends. Thank you.

    • praying for you right now, Rebecca. God will see you through, just keep praying and keep trusting.

    • Rebecca,

      I understand what it is like to go through a divorce and lose a lot of your community. I am so sorry that this has happened to you. It has to be even harder with the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. Praying for you to meet some new people and make some new friends. I know it’s hard. I have been in Tennessee for eight years now and still have a hard time finding community at times. Sometimes that is my own fault because trust does not come easily for me.

    • Praying for you right now Rebecca. I can’t imagine how hard and lonely that has been. Praying this promise over you.
      Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

    • Oh Rebecca – do you feel this group of women coming around you, praying for you and desiring to be in your corner. I’m so sorry for the loneliness and we are rallying on your behalf. Please know that if you’re ever in NC, there’s a safe space on my big front porch for us to catch up.

      xoxo

    • Rebecca,

      Abba Father,

      Please send some friends & community to Rebecca. You alone know her heart & soul. You made us to need each other & right now Rebecca needs people in her life. She needs to know that people care for her & still love her. Guide her through the next steps on her journey. Heal that broken heart. Help her to feel you near her always. In Jesus Name AMEN!

  3. Dear Heavenly Father,

    PLEASE allow Rebecca the joyful comfort in a TRUE friend and give her the gift of one who doesn’t judge but holds kindness, gentleness and accountability as lasting virtues in her heart of friendship. Father, give Rebecca the confidence and capability to get out of the pit and find friends, now that we are out and about more and ready to be around others who enjoy camaraderie.

    We love you and trust you in this time, Father!

  4. This really spoke to me, Jen! I’ve been very isolated from friends during the pandemic. I will strive to reach out more. And I’ve also felt convicted about mentoring in some way. Thank you for your encouragement.

    • I’m so glad to hear that it struck a chord in your heart about mentoring, Irene. So many are lonely and isolated and even reaching out to one other person can make such a difference.

  5. I love the idea of a “Let’s Face it Book”, it is tiring always trying to post on social media things to pick others up. I need to be picked up. Thank you for sharing this. It’s difficult to remember that Satan just wants us to grow in our misery, not our faith.

  6. IMO..Sharing ones heart wrenching parenting issues shouldn’t be a venue for a social media community. This is best done in a small group of trusted friends, even then it’s risky. Ask God to give you wisdom regarding when/what/with whom you share. In my personal experience I have found opening that door has given others the freedom to be real also. It’s a sacred trust to be permitted into someone’s pain. Social media is not a friend to the less than perfect among us.

    • I whole heartedly agree. Sharing parenting struggles is best done with trusted friends and I think that’s why so many feel “less than” in that realm because they think they’re the only ones going through those struggles since all they see online are high light reels. Finding that safe community in person support is so critical, isn’t it?
      thanks for sharing.

  7. Jen thanks you so beautifully written. It speaks volumes. I don’t have kids. I love them. Not brave enough to give birth. We have to be careful what we share on internet. Would it be what God would what you share. Always go to God in prayer before you put it out there. As once it sent it can’t be take back. People might like what you said they might not. Words can do good or they can hurt. So we have to be careful what we say. If about something in our lives. Be careful what we share as if gets in the wrong hands how dangerous it can be. It can get you into trouble. Plus your family. You into trouble with them. Yes it nice to share things if going to help people and it not going to hurt. It is not gossip about anyone or anything. Even if it just about you. Make your words matter. That they know you love the Lord in a nice way in what you say that you hurt no one. But show God love. Then people will say did you read that lovely post so and so posted. It shows they have lovely love for the Lord in what they wrote about what they wrote. To do with whatever it is. That is the nice message you want to get out and pleasing to the Lord as well. For Satan would try and have you share something that would cause trouble and with no love in it at all. You don’t want to do that. Do all you send in love and on to the Lord. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx

  8. While in theory, this is a fabulous idea, but even then, those who don’t live the life I have with children from hard beginnings, and the in-utero experience my children have had, judge my kids, judge me, and offer advice where they have no experience. Way too often I’ve experienced people making things seem so simplistic, and if I just followed their advice, things would be better for them and for me. Just recently, I had a family member who I trusted, and she directed me to something because I cried when I became vulnerable. It wasn’t the point. This happens quite often to those of us who have children with hard beginnings and the life we lead, and everyone has an opinion that isn’t realistic, or will work. So, when this has happened often enough, we quit talking because we’re tired of getting judged. I speak for many. This is my second time around raising children from hard beginnings, first time around, with grown children, and now with young children. I belong to very private Facebook groups, and even then I test the waters. I really wish this could be possible with your suggestion because the Body of Christ should really be as supportive as your friend experienced. My experience is if there are problems with behavior long term from the beginnings my kids have had, then it’s the parent’s fault, and what bad kids I have. People are willing to help with quick solutions, but to help walk through long-term, it hasn’t happened….I wish it would.

    • Oh Joanne – I feel your heart on this deep in my bones. First, I am so sorry for any judgement you have felt when you are doing such hard and holy work. Thank you for continuing to press into advocating for children. You’re right. Often people don’t know what to say and think they can fix things with a few trite phrases when we know that’s not the case.

      I don’t know the road you’re walking but I’ve sat with another in a similar situation to you so I know through her eyes the very real pain of people not just listening and always trying to fix or tell what to do. I will pray that you find that safe place to share and not feel as if you have to be quiet.

      Prayers for peace, wisdom and energy as you continue to walk this mothering road.

  9. Wise goals you’ve set, Jen, and you’ll impact many others as you seek to achieve them. I’m particularly drawn to “pursuing continued connection through biblical community.” It’s easy for me to hang back and wait for others to approach me; I need to pursue others with friendliness, kindness, and a listening ear. Thank you, Jen!

    • Especially with Covid, I think most of us are drawn to hanging back and waiting, so let’s pursue together. 🙂

  10. This is SO good friend!! The isolation and disconnection of the past year have been brutal, and Satan knows how vulnerable it leaves us all. Early on I realized I was slipping into depression and needed some kind of face-to-face connection so one local friend and I made it a point to get together every week or two, since the beginning. We started 6 feet apart, sometimes with a mask too, until we knew it was safe. But we’re still careful since I have asthma. I’m praying we can soon find our way back to safe and healthy community in every way! But no matter what, this important TRUTH you shared applies at all times, in all ways. #preachitsister

    • Oh friend – How I wish I was that very local friend able to have that face to face every week with you. I know that had to be a balm for the soul in a super challenging year. Love you!! Miss you more.

  11. Jen,

    I, too, am a hand talker & I can just see those hands waving. The pandemic has made it hard to stay connected to friends & family. But connection is what we were made for. Sometimes though-we have to step out of our comfort zone & seek connection ourselves. I do it by emailing, texting or mailing cards, notes to friends checking up on them. Just letting them know they aren’t forgotten. I am the encourager of my groups. Always trying to make people smile & giving fist bumps or hugs. Social media makes it way to easy for one to get depressed seeing the “perfect” pictures everyone posts. Love the idea of a “Face Book” Let’s face it head on group. One where people share their struggles & trials. No perfect pictures please. Just post everyday life. Great post.

    Blessings 🙂