the sweetest compliment :)

“If, instead of a gem or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as angels give” ~ George McDonald

Wednesdays are my favorite! 🙂 At our church, we have a program called “Rainbows” for our 3s and 4s. It’s discipleship, toddler-style!  My favorite part is when they tell me their memory verses, so precious!  Every week, I get lots of hugs, lots of giggles, and lots of sweet memories from when my three littles were “Rainbows” themselves!


Some weeks ago, I walked in the Rainbows room and one little guy looked at me and said, “Nana?  No – you aren’t my Nana, but you look ‘zactly like her!” I thought it was precious – but it has also turned into a friendly joke about my age (when others heard this story, it was a great opportunity to tease me about looking like someone’s grandmother.  It was to be expected, I guess! This post will probably renew those jokes!).  I didn’t receive it in any negative way though – my little friend wasn’t making a commentary on my wrinkles (there are some!) or my gray hair (got a few of those too!). I think he was comparing me to the prettiest and sweetest lady he knows: his Nana.  And guess how I measured up to his favorite person?  I was ‘zactly like her!  Not all comparison is bad 🙂

1 John 2:6 tells us that “he who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (NKJV).  If you call yourself a Christian, the comparison between you and Jesus ought to be obvious.  Just as He walked – my little friend would say ‘zactly as He walked! Look at how the Message translates this verse:

 “the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived” MSG

We ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived: compassionate and kind (Matthew 9:36, Matthew 14:14, Matthew 18:27, Mark 1:41), loving (John 13:34, John 15:9, John 17:23), forgiving (Matthew 5:23-24, Matthew 16:14-15, Matthew 18:21-22)…. that list could go on and on. Jesus sets such a tremendous example for us.

Sometimes we make life and the pursuit of godliness more complicated than it actually is In Psalm 15, David reminds us that clean living (though not always easy) is always simple: 

“Walk straight, act right, tell the truth.

Don’t hurt your friend, don’t blame your neighbor; despise the despicable.

Keep your word even when it costs you, make an honest living, never take a bribe” 


It will take staying in prayer and staying in the Word. It will take spending time with Jesus so we can learn his character.  It will take a daily commitment, but the time spent will be a treasure ❤

Thinking again about my little Rainbow friend: his Nana is a friend of mine, and you know what? She is one of the sweetest and prettiest ladies I know too!  My little friend’s compliment was really a gift. Praying that we will find ways to be ‘zactly like Jesus every day!

Jennifer 🙂

well, what had happened was…. :)

Last summer, I decided to try and get healthy. I surprised myself – I’ve stuck with it for the most part….

It’s that “for the most part” that gets me every time!  You see what had happened was….


Tyler hadn’t been feeling well, and he texted me – could I run by the store and get him some cough medicine, maybe a little something for a sore throat?  Sure I can, buddy.  I ran into Publix, and guess what?  Ben and Jerry’s was on BOGO and so was brownie mix.  The opportunity presented itself, the door opened, and I just rushed right on through – and boy, did we have a “cheat night”!  I’m embarrassed to admit it: you are looking at a picture of my dinner right there – ice cream and double chunk chocolate brownies, fresh from the oven! (Prediction: I won’t be feeling so well myself tomorrow!)

You know, just because a door opens, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we are supposed to go through.  On one of Paul’s missionary journeys, he describes an open door:

“Well, when I came to Troas to preach the Gospel of Christ, although there was an obvious God-given opportunity, I must confess I was on edge the whole time” (2 Cor. 2:12 Phillips)

So, even though the door was clearly opened by the Lord, Paul did not feel a peace about walking through it.  He waited for the Holy Spirit to direct him.  Thankfully, he went on to another location where God blessed his efforts:

“Thanks be to God who leads us, wherever we are, on His own triumphant way and makes our knowledge of Him spread throughout the world” (2 Cor. 2:14 Phillips) 

Paul found victory in God’s leading, not just in an open door.  As believers, we are not supposed to follow signs – signs are supposed to follow us.  Mark 16:17 tells us that “signs will follow them who believe”. God always leads us to victory, to His best for our lives.  If we are spending time looking for signs or waiting for signs, we are wasting time. Every open door or opportunity is not a “sign” that we are supposed to move forward (or move at all).  Be aware, be vigilant – invite the Lord to lead every decision, and trust Him to lead you to victory.

Discernment is the ability to judge well – being able to discern the voice of God and receive direction for your life without needing another sign or confirmation is a gift.  Having the boldness to follow Him when He leads is a treasure.  I’m praying today that you will find the courage to step out without a sign! ❤

Oh, and next time Publix has Ben and Jerry’s on BOGO?  That won’t be a sign, it’s just a sale – but go ahead and enjoy a pint!  Speaking of, I better get up a few minutes earlier tomorrow, spend a little more time on that elliptical!

Jennifer 🙂


seven about love: #7

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us!
Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.
But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously,
because it has no idea who He is or what He’s up to.
But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God.
And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up!
What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see Him—
and in seeing Him, become like Him.
All of us who look forward to His Coming stay ready,
with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.”
1 John 3:1-3 Message


I wrote seven on love (this time!), but couldn’t we stay on the topic of love forever?  it doesn’t matter how long we have, we’ll never even come close to “comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love]” (Ephesians 3:18 Amplified).

What a nice way to begin: the above passage tells us that this is “only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up!” All the things the Lord is doing in your heart and spirit, all of His work and attention to you doesn’t come to an end: we are meant to face each day anew, empowered by His love: ready to conquer, ready to share, ready to face the challenges ahead. Armed with God’s love, confident that He is for you and not against you (Romans 8:31), accepting what is your responsibility and not worrying about what is His responsibility, you can accomplish great things in the name of Jesus and on behalf of His kingdom!

What are great things? Loving your family well. Being generous to those in need. Speaking life to those within your sphere of influence. Cleaning your kitchen (it’s a win, people – take it!). Speaking to one or speaking to one thousand. Being kind to a stranger. Being kind to a difficult family member or co-worker.  Accepting love from others with grace.  Refusing condemnation from others with grace.

 Let’s see Ephesians 3:19, let Paul finish that thought: “that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself”. Amen and amen.  Couldn’t have said it better myself – I don’t even know how to build on that, it’s already so good. 

Being filled up throughout your being, having the richest experience of God’s presence in your life, completely filled and even flooded with God Himself – that’s your treasure, if you’ll accept it and walk it out.  If you do walk it out, you’ll start to minister to and love others out of the God-overflow in your life, with no fear that you will experience lack if you give out to others – that’s how you pass this treasure along. Praying you will find this treasure and share it ❤

Jennifer 🙂


seven about love: #6

“But even though we were dead in our sins
God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us,
gave us life together with Christ—
it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved—
and has lifted us right out of the old life to take our place with Him in Christ in the Heavens.
Thus He shows for all time the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness
He has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus.
It was nothing you could or did achieve—it was God’s gift to you.
No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God.”
Ephesians 2:4-5 Phillips


God’s love is a gift – freely offered, freely given. Even though you know this in your heart, do you ever have a hard time convincing your head? Do you ever find yourself trying to be “good enough” or “worthy” of God’s attention? It’s exhausting, isn’t it? You don’t have to prove yourself to Him – you are already His. The Lord is not above us, waiting for reasons to reward or punish us – He is right here with us, loving us exactly where we are. Imagine giving a gift to your child, and having the response be, “I’ll just put this on the shelf until I’m good enough to open it.” That would hurt your heart, wouldn’t it? You might wonder why they don’t feel “good enough” already!

Your Heavenly Father has “lifted you right out of the old life”. Maybe there are things in your past that make you feel “less than”. God lifted you out of all that, set you up on His great love. Let the past be the past. Christ has already been given for you and to you. You are already enough. You are already valuable and adorable and lovable and cherished. No need to try and earn it: all we have to do is live in the fullness of His love!

We don’t follow the Lord’s direction and try our best so we can BECOME worthy of His love – we follow the Lord’s direction and try our best because we already ARE worthy of His love.  Realizing that is a treasure.  I’m praying you will be able to accept the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the Cross – He has already deemed you worthy and valuable.  YOU are His treasure! ❤

Jennifer 🙂