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 Jennifer for this beautiful reminder!! I love that you committed yourself with your whole family!! I love that you call it your ” God watch” I call them God sightings! I to journal and love to go back and see what God has done for me through the hard stuff!!
    I absolutely love that God is there through all of it!! Thanks for the reminder!!❤

    • I wish I’d been more diligent in my journaling because when I read circumstances from years earlier, it’s such a reminder of His faithfulness.

  2. I unintentionally hurt a family member in a text. While I spoke facts they were not necessary to be spoken & she misread my intent. This morning I read your fellow incourager’s post on when our words hurt rather than help. God arrowed that post straight to me. And a bonus of your post to see God’s goodness around us…there it is. God in the details. His goodness mercy & grace on full volume. Thank you for being a part of the goodness of God!

    • Aww Ruth – thank you for also showing God’s kindness and goodness to me with your comment. I love your phrase, “His goodness mercy & grace on full volume.” Yes, HE SURE IS!!! Love that reminder.

  3. I can so relate to the startling reality of a more serious self. Aging, writing about our faith wrestlings, loss, kids leaving the nest – won’t these tamp the enthusiasm? Shouldn’t they? God wants hope in its bubbling optimism form and its form of quiet constancy. He uses both for good. But yeah, Jen. I miss the effortless effervescence of my younger self. I know what I’ll be bringing to the Lord in prayer this week. Thank you.

  4. Your words spoke to my heart and to our family’s current situations. Thank you for sharing this beautiful perspective. I’m on God Watch today.

    • Heidi – I will join you in praying for your God watch today. He has used that perspective so often in my life but it’s a struggle to see it out sometimes.

      blessings on your day.

  5. What a beautiful devotional! I can’t tell you how often I have needed a reminder of His goodness in the past during my present struggles. Yet even without those reminders, God’s goodness shows up every day in the little things. Something as simple as realizing that I have enough rewards points at the grocery store to take $$ off of a purchase has made me realize that God’s goodness is always there!

    • Your last sentence – “realizing that I have enough rewards points at the grocery store to take $$ off of a purchase has made me realize that God’s goodness is always there!” speaks to the core of my love language. It’s so easy to lose sight of those simple ways He shows up when I’m so focused on my present challenging circumstance. So here’s to embracing those reward points and for me, the Buy one, get one free that also has the marked down stickers on them. 🙂 xoxoxo

  6. Thank you, Jen! Facing another fall season of uncertainty and losses, you are reminding us to find God’s blessings in the hard. He is always here, cheering us on!

  7. Whew. We’ve been without a job since last October (but because of the previous year we didn’t qualify for most of the pandemic relief money). My husband is so very disheartened. I am trying to hold on to my mustard seed faith (I’m convinced Jesus used the mustard seed because that’s all the faith I can muster on my own! Sorry, my family engages in corny puns…) but sometimes, like when the bills are piling up, another important thing breaks, another potential job turns out to just be a dangling carrot… it is difficult. Thank you for your words.

    • oh Melissa – Im instantly transported to the multiple times we’ve been in your position and know exactly the dangling carrot/mustard seed feeling. It’s hard to watch our husband go through the discouragement and those core lies that the enemy tries to whisper about doubting our truth worth (ie employment). Praying for you in the midst of these disheartening challenges and speaking as one ten year down the road, you will get through this with a story to tell (even though right now, it’s so very hard and that kind of encouragement doesn’t always help but know you are modeling so many kingdom building things in the midst of it..)

  8. You know timing is everything. We just now got word that the job my daughter applied for and thought she had, is a no go. Since she has been unemployed since the end of February, this was a huge blow. Not only to her ego, as she would have been taking a pay cut, but to our budget. So just now reading this devotional was a huge reminder that God is still on His throne and we are not forgotten. His promises are new each day and we can depend on Him

    Thank you for sharing. I know we are not alone in these circumstances and there are many that are suffering through tremendous loss, especially with the world in chaos and many tragic things ongoing , yet He still cares about everything that affects us. His Eye is on the Sparrow!!

    Let us pray for one another and praise ourGod for His mercy and grace.

  9. I too have found hope and encouragement through keeping a God Watch journal since November of 1983, although mine is titled “God Is Faithful.” (I like your title better, Jen!) It’s a looseleaf notebook so I can keep adding to it. Thus far there are more than 1400 entries that relate God’s provision, protection, guidance, and more. A companion volume is a gratitude-for-the-small-things journal, begun much more recently, in March of 2017. Each day I write down just one or two “gifts,” so it doesn’t take much time. Both disciplines help to keep me positive and more closely connected to my Heavenly Father. P.S. Love your cleverly-worded reminder to “punctuate life with praise!” Think I might try a bit of art journaling with that statement!

    • Oh, I love this! I’m also going to start a ‘God is Faithful’ journal. There are so many times that we needed to be reminded of God’s goodness in our lives.

  10. Jen,

    These past few years have stripped the happy from my life. Feel like there is no joy anymore. It’s been hard-both hubby & I work in hospitals. To combat the “pessimistic pitty party” I have a praise God party. Listen to Southern Gospel music, sing loud & proud my praises to almighty God. Plus I keep a thankful journal. It contains over 200 items from Home in Heaven, Salvation, House, car, clothes & small things like sunshine, rain. Each of these helps keep me focused on God & His goodness. He is faithful, true & right there beside us in our trials.

    Blessings 🙂

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