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...

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. What an insightful quote….quite convicting! ::) Thank you for the reminder to remain “small”, to remain humble,….and in that, God’s light will really shine through us.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ps I think I many be sending that quote to our priest. He would love it!! This is a topic that he speaks on often! 🙂

  2. So the fact that I’ve yet to identify any “gifts” that I may have may actually be my gift?! I kinda like that! 🙂

    • Brandi – you definitely have gifts, but sometimes it’s hard to always identify what they are without some help. There are some great questions that I have gone through to help me identify mine. My best friend always would say jokingly, “I must have the gifts of treats.” YEt honestly, she could make any one feel at home by sharing her gift of hospitality and food. 🙂

  3. We’ve been talking about spiritual gifts in Bible study (I teach teenage girls) and I needed this reminder that the focus needs to be on Him, the source of our giftedness! I’ll be sharing this!

  4. My husband is a pastor and we came to our current church last summer just as I was beginning 6 months of chemotherapy. I needed the help of the congregation from the minute we arrived and was not able to do anything for them. Someone told me my need was my gift to them. Humbling.

    • Wow, what timing, and what a gift to come to a congregation so ready to love on you. How are you doing now? Is there any way that I can be praying for you?

    • I am also a pastor’s wife. We are actually in the beginning of our 2nd church plant and I want to avoid the place of doing and not needing. It takes courage to allow people (especially ones you don’t know) in…. and humility. I need both.

  5. I cannot tell you how much the quote you mentioned from your former worship pastor hit me like a ton of gifts.

    Having been a go-to person, the super-organized, bubbly, neat, gets things done person was an honor. But it sure did put me on a pedestal I didn’t deserve. And on that high is where, regardless of where I was with my relationship with the Lord–I worked. And no one saw any different.

    But it is SO much more about him. And I hope to take your words of insight and turn them into a prayer–for the Lord to strip me of my gifts if it means my focus will only be on worshiping Him. Lord, teach me how to not let the giftings interfere with loving you and your church.

  6. Jen,

    I get this from the inside out, realizing fully well those things I’ve done in my strength with just a hat tip to God. While these words are convicting, they also push me towards surrender…and wanting to glorify a King :).

    Thanks, friend.

  7. Great words. It’s so simple yet I find myself time and time again having to regain perspective. Thanks for helping out!

  8. I know. I have been one who has tried to just make church work. It doesn’t work. You end up hurting only yourself. I love when I really get into God during the weeks prior to church…days may have been long and hard, but the heart is happy for it knows that it has basked in Him week in and out. When I’ve experienced this as a weekly truth and then head to church on Sunday. Sunday service is just a punctuation mark at the end of my worship. It’s not “church” then. I feel the relationship with Him more, thus making me more apt to be the blessing to those I encounter at my church rather than always looking for someone to bless me, which is usally the default I operate in. Love your post.

  9. This speaks so clearly to me. I am a pastor’s wife, and I often feel like church is work for me. Thank you so much. I’m going to share a link to your post on my blog. I greatly appreciate your reality on how I feel.

  10. “May you never doubt the impact you have on the lives of those around you.
    A single gift, given as an offering, hands wide open, unrestrained, impacts generations.”

    Wow. Thank you Jen for that line. Truly. Brought a rain of thanksgiving to my eyes.

    Seeing that I came to where I am and started everything from scratch nearly 5 years ago. Hundreds of kids (who do church better than anyone I know) and now around 50 churches in our network: every day is a choice to NOT ride on gifting or talent or try to fix the mountains of problems around me. A choice to constantly place myself farther out on faith’s proverbial limb, desperately trusting God to show up because if He doesn’t, I cant and it will all fall apart. I want to live every moment MORE dependent on His raw power, His overcoming love. Either this whole thing is His idea or it will utterly fail. That keeps it real, but it doesn’t prevent me from getting my do before my who on the days with many bumps in the road. Thank You Jesus for GRACE!

    God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God and God in him (or her). 1 john 4:16 That is my life goal. Thanks for reminding me of simply that today. A gift freely given in love is enough when blessed, broken and offered to heaven to feed multitudes.

    Much love from an unpaved road in Sudan, Michele

    • Oh Michelle – you have blessed me so with this comment. Amazing how this technology of the internet can bridge time, thousands of miles and join together two women working through the same issues with it just looking very differently. What a gift to peek into your life for just a moment, and from Sudan no less.

      blessings,
      Jen

  11. BRAVO! Beautifully said. I’ve been at every end of that spectrum. The Lord is teaching me gentleness and humility now as I wait for a house to sell so we can move to another town. It has caused our family to withdraw from all of the “busy” we were at church and see that it’s getting done just fine without us, thankyouverymuch!, and perhaps our gift now is to encourage others in their gifts and work. Thank you for using your gifts to remind us of ours, Jen.

  12. I am on the pastor search committee at my church. We have been meeting regularly and seeking our new head of staff for just over a year now. Sometimes it feels like work. Okay, it often feels like work! We often have to remind ourselves that our focus should always be on discerning God’s will, listening for guidance, trusting His leadership. Your post is a good reminder. Thank you!

  13. Gifts definitely get in the way. They should be used to the glory of God and Satan definitely takes full advantage of our pride, our need to please, our need for it to be about us.

    Great post! You are such a lovely lady with a lovely heart.