does it have to be all about bea? :)

I’ll admit it: I love my lil pup Bea.  If anyone follows me on facebook, you’ve seen her. Bea also has her own instagram, so you might see her there too (@bea.attitudes). It’s completely out of control, for sure!

34062501_10216266518918199_7382115536970186752_oJust look at her – you have to admit, she’s the sweetest in the world.  Bea follows me around everywhere. Unlike other small dogs I’ve been around, she’s not yippy or snappy – she’s pretty chill and very friendly.  And she only weighs 5 pounds, so she’ll be a tiny thing forever – just the perfect size!

So, the other day I posted a picture of her on social media (of course!) – I’m pretty sure I was at my pool with Bea, a splashproof Bluetooth speaker, a diet coke and a stack of books: all the ingredients I need for a very nearly perfect sunny day!  One comment was, “Jennifer, you need friends.”  LOL!

Well, Facebook and world, please let me explain 🙂 I know lots of people who love to post on social media, (I wrote an earlier blog about social media here) and there is nothing wrong with that! Post away, friends!  No judgment, no complaint from me – to be honest, I like to see your posts!  For me (probably like you), I love being out with friends.  I love going to lunch and I love hanging out and I love the beach and I love shopping and I love all kinds of things – however, I don’t want to take a break from the fun to post on social media.  Occasionally, I’ll post after the fact (kid graduated, I’ll post a few pics later. Kid went to prom, I’ll post a few pics later. My BFF of over 25 years came to spend a long weekend – we took one picture the entire visit, and I posted it later), but it’s pretty unusual for me to post in the moment. If I’m out it’s because I want to be out.

It’s pretty “little old lady” of me, I’ll admit, but here’s how I feel about my phone and in the 24-hour-a-day-access-to-everything: it’s there for my convenience, not so I can be reached at any second of any day.  If it dings and it’s convenient, I’ll respond.  If it rings and it’s inconvenient, I’ll let it go to voicemail and get to it later.  Most of the time if I’m out, the phone is either left in my car or put on silent if I carry it.  No one thinks it rude to take time out of a conversation to take a selfie and check in and post, not even me – I just don’t want to do it.  I don’t mind if my friend takes a picture to post – that’s lots of fun! It’s just not where my mind is at the moment. What I do like is a face-to-face time with you across the table sharing a coffee or a meal.   What I like is to disconnect from the world for a while.  When I’m hanging out with my kids or with you, I want to be fully in that moment – and if the facebook community isn’t made aware that we enjoyed a meal at the Oxford Exchange or bought all kinds of treasures at SoHo, well, somehow life will go on!  Graduations and prom preparations and late night chats with my BFF  and Starbucks with the girls, those are mine.  I’ll let facebook know about it, or I won’t, either is fine.  Even though it’s all not on facebook, life is pretty happy and blessed!

The other thing is: I’m completely unable to multi-task while I’m on social media.  Those minutes that I am posting a picture or updating my status? Completely LOST.  I didn’t hear you, I didn’t see you.  I’m able to multi-task on other things, and I know people who can multi-task on facebook, but I just can’t do it!  Probably it’s another little-old-lady-trait!

This was just a silly example, really, and I hope you aren’t taking me too seriously: you do what is best for you. Bea Puppy doesn’t mind if I post, and I don’t mind losing that minute on FB when its just me and the pup 😉 However, there are moments that are intended for wholeheartedness.  There are moments in life that are only for you or only for those closest to you.  There are moments in life that the Lord gives to us and us alone.  Don’t feel guilty about keeping those things in your heart.  Don’t be afraid to disconnect, if only for that moment, and be singular in your purpose. How about these, a couple of treasures for you to hold on to for a little bit:

“Put me together, one heart and mind;
    then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord;
    I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to” Psalm 86:12 MSG


“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High” Psalm 9:1-2 NKJV

Let your time with the Lord be just that – and as you open His Word, let this noun/treasure become an alive verb/treasure. Keep those few moments to yourself and Jesus – I’m praying as you treasure His Words in your heart, you’ll be blessed. ❤

Jennifer 🙂

p.s. if the Lord does tell you something amazing and you can share, I hope you will  – I love amazing things!  I’ll share too – I’ll just do it later!

the best road trip :)

If you are going on a road trip, you need a good playlist.  Want to know who you need to set up your playlist?  A Spivey kid.  My three always have the BEST music and the BEST podcasts and the BEST whatever-you-think-you-need-to-hear for a pleasant time on the road!

road trip

When Jacob graduated from ministry school, we all went up to see his graduation.  Fun! We left our pup Bea with my parents for the weekend, so we rode back from Alabama separately – Michael and Tyler returned to Florida right away, while Jacob and I took the detour through Georgia to pick up Bea.  All those hours on the road might not sound like a great time, but guess what I was thinking: all those hours and I would have Jacob all to myself!  We traded some favorites –

Jacob goes first: “Mom, have you heard Yebba?” I haven’t – how did I miss her?  Jacob plugs in first and I start singing along with Yebba and PJ Morton’s cover of “How Deep Is Your Love” and oh my stars, it’s gorgeous!  Jacob is surprised that I know the words, so I plug in next and play the original BeeGees from ’77 (YES, that’s 1977; and NO, I don’t want to talk about how old I was then, LOL!).  Jacob sang along with the BeeGees, and we talked about how we loved both versions, what was best and what was favorite.  We both love 70s/80s, so the discussion brought on a few James Taylors, a few Dan Fogelbergs…..

My turn to introduce something: “Jacob, you know Jekalyn Carr’s “Bigger”, of course – but have you heard “Greater Is Coming” and “I’m on the Rise”?  Listen at this – and can you believe how young she is?” We listened to those, and we love gospel, so that brought on a few Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers (yeah, we went way back and it was awesome!), some Donnie, some Smokie, some Fred, and of course some Kirk…. Can’t leave out the girls, so there was a little CeCe, a little Tasha, a little Babbie, too.

Let’s listen to a podcast, want to? “Mom, do you listen to Graham Cooke?” Son, I didn’t even know there was a Graham Cooke – introduce me, oh my goodness!  We listened to “The Language of Heaven” and I’ve listened to it over and over since then, brilliant and anointed.  Jacob knows Jentezen Franklin, of course (Pastor Franklin performed Michael’s and my wedding, he performed the twins’ baby dedications, we grew up at Free Chapel), but “buddy, have you heard “Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt” yet?” He hadn’t yet, so we listen to that and it was awesome (I had the book in my “summer stack” and hearing that podcast moved it to the top of my to-read list! Amazing!).

“What about Dante Bowe?”  Jake, this is another new one to me – plug him in!  We listened to “Potter and Friend“, and I have to admit: we listened to it about 8 times in a row and bawled like babies every single time!  Hey, bud, get on my iTunes and download that for me, okay?  I need this in my life! When he picked up my phone and started downloading Dante for me, he found Anthony Brown on there – yep, “Worth” was familiar to both of us and we loved hearing it again together.

Of course, the conversations were the best part, the real treasure of the day, and those (sadly) can’t be put on a playlist.  That part is in my heart ❤ Jacob had just gotten his ministry license and we were heading toward his first ministry position, so there was lots to talk about.  I shared memories of when his dad and I first started in ministry.  Jacob shared memories and lessons from ministry school – he was super blessed with some amazing leaders and friends while at BMMC and I think Kingwood Church will always be our second church home. We shared what God is doing in our hearts right now, and what learning today.  I shared the vision that God has laid on my heart currently, and Jacob shared the vision that God has laid on his heart currently.  We shared some victories, and we shared some losses because there’s lessons in both.  Jacob shared a tremendous amount of wisdom, and I was reminded of the myriad number of ways that the Lord uses my children to bless and strengthen me.

Do you get the Word from lots of sources?  It’s smart to diversify 🙂 Podcasts, music, talk talk talk, read read read…. And wow – to learn that one of my most valuable sources is my own son? That was and continues to be one of my greatest treasures.  I’m praying that you have lots of sources and lots of opportunity to grow in the Lord as well – and if you think your list needs a little mixing up, borrow some of my favorites (all those blue words are links if you didn’t figure that out already)!

Jennifer 🙂

p.s. as soon as my Jake has a podcast or a youtube channel or a book, I’ll let you know – this kid has lots to share!  Until then, I’ll sure love being “on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of ” this son “of God coming into his own” (Romans 8:19 Phillips).

verse of the day :)

I’m not really a “verse of the day” type of person.  Don’t misunderstand – I’m not against the “verse of the day”, they’re great. I’m definitely a “read the Bible every day” type of person, and I’m not judging anyone who loves a “verse of the day”.  You can hear from God on a verse of the day, honestly.  It’s just not my personality – I like a plan, I like a purpose, I like specifics.  Anyway, I’m also a YouVersion type of person, and that’s new for me – I don’t know why I resisted it for so long! I love having the Bible on my phone and in my pocket all the time (I’m not giving up my leather-bound NKJV and my Strong’s Concordance, of course – but the YouVersion is pretty great!). I’m rambling, but y’all are used to that by now….. Let me get back to it –

I’m not really a “verse of the day” type person, but the YouVersion has a “verse of the day” that pops up on my phone every morning.  Usually by the time it pops up, I’m done with my daily reading but I still like to see it. (I’m an early bird – admittedly, my early mornings are a little ridiculous and obnoxious, but there they are).  I’m not expecting much though, from the “verse of the day”. I’ve heard lots of stories about how people just opened their Bible to just the right place (I believe those stories, the Lord can work that way) or how the “verse of the day” spoke to their exact situation.  Even though it all seems amazing and coincidental, isn’t the Word of God amazing all by itself?  It’s not a coincidence when we read the Bible and receive knowledge, is it? (That’s why I’m not a “verse of the day” person.  Maybe I’m looking at the “verse of the day” from a wrong perspective, like it’s not purposeful – when it totally could be). Again with the rambling! Take three:

For the last two days, the “verse of the day” that popped up on my phone have been totally and easily applicable to my life and specific situation.  Here they are:

So yesterday’s verse was “God will fight for you” (Exodus 14:14) and today’s verse was “Count on it: everyone who had it in for you will end up out in the cold—real losers. Those who worked against you will end up empty-handed…. That’s right. Because I, your Godhave a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you‘ ” (Isaiah 41:13 MSG). Okay, so the second picture is not the “verse of the day”, but stay with me. It’s a picture of a hymnal I have in my family room, and I keep it open to one of my favorite hymns, “In The Garden” – but look at the facing page: “The Savior Can Solve Every Problem“. Coincidence? I think not! (Just kidding!)

Nah, I really think it is coincidence, but the truth is that I really am facing a problem right now. The problem is bigger than I am, and there is an adversary.  Honest, I don’t know how I would face it or overcome it without the Lord on my side.  The “verse of the day” came in with a little needed reminder.  When I was doing housework (moving items around so I could dust), the hymnal gave a little reminder as well.  I’m going to credit Jesus with these little love notes ❤

While I am going to credit Jesus for the reminders, I’m not going to start depending solely on the “verse of the day” to pop up on my phone and give me a word from the Lord.  I’m going to continue in faithfulness, using the Bible every day as a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105 NKJV).  I’m going to study every day, I’m going to pray every day, I’m going to read books and listen to podcasts and read the Bible every day.  That’s how the Lord is going to speak to me – and I won’t have to wait around for the coincidence of circumstance and “verse of the day” to collide.  We need more than a “verse of the day” to learn God’s character.

I’m going to keep these two “verse of the day”s and be strengthened by them.  I haven’t heard “The Savior Can Solve Every Problem”, but I’m going to dust off that music degree and put it good use by learning this song. I’m also going to keep Philippians 4:6-7 as a verse of every day: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  I’m going to keep reminding myself that every problem comes with a provision and promise attached (this is a big problem – I’m looking for BIG provision and that could be exciting!).

Depending on the Lord rather than depending on the “verse of the day” is a treasure.  I’m praying that you will be purposeful in your study and application of God’s Word.  Let the “verse of the day” get you there – let the goodness of the Lord keep you there.  The Bible is a treasure with lots of verses and knowledge for every day – and my goodness, I need all of them every day! Maybe you do too? ❤

Jennifer 🙂

that’s ’cause you’re the pastor’s wife :)

I never actually hear anyone saying these words: “well, that’s ’cause you’re the pastor’s wife” – yet at the same time, I always hear everyone saying these words: “well, that’s ’cause you’re the pastor’s wife”.  I’ll explain 🙂


Certain expectations are made of me because I’m the pastor’s wife – and that’s an observation, not a complaint! The design was not to be the pastor’s wife – the design was to be Michael’s wife, but the two came together and it’s been a pretty neat package deal!  My life isn’t without the usual (and sometimes unusual) set of struggles, but it’s pretty happy overall!  I’m rambling – sorry!  Getting back to it –

Sometimes when I speak (whether from the pulpit or in conversation), I sense people thinking: “well, she has to say that – she’s the pastor’s wife” or “well, she has to read her Bible every day – she’s the pastor’s wife” or “well, she can’t cuss because she’s the pastor’s wife” or “well, she is supposed to” or “she could never because” fill-in-the-blank-with-your-own-expectation-here.  That comes along with the territory.  Everyone has certain expectations made of them – the doctor, the lawyer, the teacher, the garbage collector, it doesn’t matter what position one holds.  However, expectations can dangerous.

The truth is, I don’t “cuss” – but it’s not because I’m the pastor’s wife.  I don’t cuss because I’m a disciple of Christ, and the Bible says that “dirty stories, foul talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God’s goodness, and be thankful” (Ephesians 5:4 TLB). The truth is I do have to read my Bible everyday, but it’s not because I’m the pastor’s wife. I have to read my Bible every day because I actually have to – it’s my lifeline, it’s where I find instruction and my identity and my healing.  Jesus was right when He said, the Scriptures tell us that bread won’t feed men’s souls: obedience to every word of God is what we need” (Matthew 4:4).  What came to your mind when I said fill-in-the-blank?  Yeah, I probably don’t do that either – but want to know something else?  Maybe you shouldn’t do these things either. (sorry – did I write that out loud?)

You see, it isn’t people’s expectations of me that keep me faithful to God.  It’s God’s expectations of me that keep me faithful to God.  The Bible didn’t offer different sets of rules for different types of people – there isn’t a rulebook for the pastor’s wife and a separate rulebook for the lawyer and a separate rulebook for the garbage collector and a separate rulebook for the stay-at-home-mom or any other fill-in-the-blank-that-describes-you-here.  The rules are the same for all of us. The Bible says, “he who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6 NKJV).

Just as He walked. Just is an adverb here, a descriptive word describing the action word walk. You know what just means, but let’s say it out loud anyway: exactly, precisely, absolutely, completely, totally, entirely, perfectly, utterly, wholly, thoroughly, in all respects the same. Anyone (the pastor’s wife, the teacher, the doctor, the cashier) who says they follow Jesus ought to do life just as He did. That doesn’t make it easy, but it does make it simple – much simpler to understand and to follow than a different set of rules for every individual.

Sometimes I miss it (lots of times, to be honest), but just like everyone else, I’m trying my best.  Not because I’m the pastor’s wife, but because I am His child.

St. Augustine is quoted as saying, “ let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.” Let the root of love be within you, no matter what your position is. Realizing that you don’t have to live up to the expectations of people – that’s a relief. Realizing that it’s possible to live up to the expectations that God has of you – that’s a treasure. All He wants is for you to be His and accept His love.  Praying you will live in this freedom today!

Jennifer 🙂