About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. Thank you, I feel affirmation in your story.
    This is the first year I dreaded New Years. I usually make my resolutions and put them down, full of color and creativity, on the first page of my organization binder so I can return to it often. Behind this inspirational artwork I plan my year’s activities, month by month. Then my life broken down into neat little sections (in case I get lost).
    Martha, Martha.
    I already have myself a nice anxiety disorder (a nice big one) and I could feel it coming. Creeping. I hit my knees. A lot. Because that thing is Heavy. Like Mac truck on my shoulders. And His burden is light.
    And you know what? God said that my plans are in His hands. So this year, not one list. I chose a word to focus on for now. And my goal for the year is to wash myself in the word everyday. That Mac Truck drove off and hasn’t been back since.
    Thank you again.

    • Oh Emily… I am so happy to hear that Mac truck is gone! How wonderful to really know your plans are in His hands. And to live it! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Jennifer, This is beautiful!

    I am like you, but I found out that I am more at peace when I put all my trust in Him. I leave everything up to Him now, I am just His follower.

  3. This is my life verse! It was used when I was baptized for a 2nd time 6/9/09 to rededicate my life back to God. I was in charge of me, no one else! Or so I thought….then I started letting go, little by little. I started believing that He already knew about all the things that had happened to me before they happened and he already knew what was yet to come my way. Because He orchestrated it all. He already knew the plans for my life long before I came to be. My favorite part of this verse besides he knows the plans—-his plans include HOPE and a FUTURE! For this divorced single mom of two kids who at the time of my baptism had NO hope and felt I had NO future worth pursuing. These words were HUGE! It was a lot of counseling, a lot of prayer, a lot of tears and more heartache before I could fully grasp these words that he most definitely spoke to me that day.

    I have no idea what he has planned for me for this year other than the word that has been seared into my brain the last month has been JOY! I never understood that word either until about a year or two ago when I learned the difference between Joy and Happiness. Right now, I am not happy I am still a single mom. I want to be in a loving, caring, respectful, godly relationship with a man who loves God as much if not more than me! I’m not happy that I am not but I have a joy inside of my heart that tells me I have so much more than that right now with God and all he has given me. So I wait patiently to see what or who he may bring my way this year.

    lisa

    • Exactly! I also love that ‘hope and future’ part. Brings such a sense of peace. What an amazing gift to fully grasp that. I can just imagine how it changed your life! The word JOY always brings a smile to my face. How wonderful to have true JOY in your heart like that. Thank you so much for sharing Lisa!

  4. Beautiful! I love how you put the pictures of the scripture in like that. So lovely!

    I have some pretty lofty goals for myself this year- but I just keep trying to surrender myself to Him- He is the potter and I am the clay!!:)

    • Thank you Audry. It is one of my favorite pieces because I love that verse so much! What a wonderful thought to know that He is the potter and we are the clay!

  5. I’m truly grateful that HE doesn’t just let me flounder in the wimpiness that is MY PLANS!

    I can dream….but His dreams are so much bigger!

  6. Thank you! Such an uplifting and encouraging post!!! It really filled me with fresh hope this morning!

  7. I love this! I want this; but, I don’t know how it looks on a day to day basis. I am a planner through and through and a bit of a control freak. So what do you do each day? How much do you plan? It sounds so silly to ask these questions yet when I have tried in the past to give up control to Him, I find myself slipping into all or nothing. Does anyone else have this problem?

    • Well, I still make plans Mary, but I try to work my plans with Him in mind. What would He want me to do, what would make Him happy. And I pray, I pray that I will be open to hear His plans for me. That I will be open to following what I feel Him putting in my heart. I understand ‘all or nothing’, I really do. I just take it day by day and try the best I can each day. It is a work in progress. 🙂

  8. Amen. Less of me, more of Him. Surrender is scary, yet beautifully exciting. His plans are so perfect. I, too, am excited to see what doors He opens and what challenges He will guide me through this year. I know His plans are good, and they will bring Him glory. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. So far, this year is not turning out like I expected (and you’re thinking, hey, we’re barely into it!) which shows me that I have zero idea of what’s ahead, and need to travel the path He has planned for me.

  10. Thank you for letting God speak through you this morning. I have a lot of plans for this year (my plans) and I needed to hear these words. I need to listen for HIS plan. Please pray that I will be bold and encourage my husband in this way too.

    • Thank you so much Deanna. Praying that you can encourage your husband to listen with you for His plans. Praying that your husband is open to listening for His plans.

  11. I am aware that He has plans for me…and find peace in KNOWING that I don’t always have to know EVERY step that it will take to get there. Sometimes I’m surprised…like having my daughter/sil and 4 grandkids move in with us – not something I had any idea would happen (and is evidenced by our purchasing a very small 3 br 2 ba home 2 years ago!). But it’s ok – HE has a plan! Through this process (my word last year was “simplify”) He has continued to call me to get rid of the “stuff” that surrounds me! I see how last year changed my view of what I need to keep, and what I need to focus on. It doesn’t take much for us to survive…or to be happy…and any one of my grandkids is way more important than anything I own. <3

    • Oh that is so true Marina! There is such a wonderful peace in knowing that we don’t have to be in control and know every step. We can trust Him completely! What a special journey He has you on! He certainly has a way of teaching us, doesn’t He? 🙂 Prayers for your family!

  12. “He gives us more than we can hope for! I know I just need to get myself out of the way. I need to be open. I need to listen. I need to be patient.” Love this.

    Lately “Be the Center” has been running through my head all the time. I think it’s His way of reminding me to get out of His way and let Him work in and through me, my situations, my friends, my family, ect.

    I think I need to stop trying to rely on myself, and allow Him to take the reigns in my life. 🙂

  13. Echoing my thoughts for this week EXACTLY! Again, proving that God speaks to us in many ways and He wanted to make sure I got the message. Loud and clear! Thank you so much. <3

  14. You used my favorite verse Jeremiah 29:11. I, too am a list maker/planner. I want things & usually now–patience is a virture, but waiting is hard!

    I’m learning to pray not my will but yours God & just let Him be in control of everythin & see how life turns out. If I rush ahead & do things on my own they usually turn out bad!

    Love your post@

    • I know just what you mean Beth. When I rush ahead things are a mess. It is a learning process to let go. That is why I love this verse so much… I can use the reminder! 🙂

  15. This is definitely fitting for me. I’m also a planner, somebody who wants to be in control and know just exactly what’s going on and what’s going to happen next. I’m that girl who has had a “10 year plan” since she was little, tweaking things here and there along the way. I thought I knew just exactly what my life would be like…haha!

    In the past few years, I’ve had my life flipped upside down numerous times. I’ve struggled through all those flips to “maintain control,” and it has only been recently that I’ve come to the realization that I was never in control to begin with. I’ve been like the kids in the giant car carts at the grocery store–you know the ones? The kid gets to sit up front with a steering wheel, not paying any attention to the parent pushing the whole thing from the back.

    It’s not easy to give up that illusion of control, but it is something I’m working on. I’m trying every day to realize that His plans are so much more amazing than mine, and that He’s the one pushing the cart–I’m just along for the ride.

    • What a wonderful image for an example Mandy. I too am working on giving up that illusion of control. That is exactly what it is. And the ride would be so much more enjoyable if we let go!

  16. I’m a recovering perfectionist with the control-tendencies that go along with such a condition. But God has reveresed my plan, honed the ones He has for me and I do have a whisper and hope for this year. It’s better than I imagined and I’m still too timid to speak it aloud!

  17. Excellent words to remember in the middle of January! Less me and more of God is so freeing…and produces a lot better results, too. =)

  18. As I was reading this, I was reminded of my One Word, RISK. I don’t know all the plans He has for me this year, but I DO know that He is calling me to step out, even when it doesn’t feel “safe.” So glad I can trust HIM!

    • That is an awesome word to focus on for the year Jen! What a journey you have before you. How exciting to know you can trust Him and see where He takes you!

  19. I wish I could be a list girl, but no matter how much I try . . . I am more ‘let it happen’ kind of personality. That being said, I can totally see how God uses each precious personality type for His good. Praying for more of this in all our lives.

  20. Ah, perfect for the 15 yr old I know who’s wondering what is next for her. She is so frustrated with life as it is now and wants to know what God is doing and what His plans are. It’s so hard to wait at that age. Just encouraging to see it here!

    • Oh, it can be hard to wait at any age! I pray this sweet 15 year old can trust that He has a plan and be open to following the path He has for her… in His time. I know He has amazing things in store for her journey!

  21. My prayer so far this year has been that God would guide me on his path for me and give me strength and grace to go wherever He takes me. Surrender is tough, but it’s the only way!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  22. Great post! One of my fellow blogger friends is struggling right now with this very issue and I am excited to share this post with her! This is right on time for her and me!
    Thanks

  23. Thank you for this. Went to a funeral at our church last night for a 6 mo. old baby–SIDS. Even in tremendous pain, I know God has a plan. Your words “so often it is all about trust” couldn’t be truer.

  24. I can’t tell you how much this speaks to me, Jennifer! I just LOVE this–everything you’ve said here is so awesome, so true! It’s SO much better to make room for His plans–more of Him because His plans are always so much better than ours! I simply couldn’t agree more! Thank you so much for the reminder that HE is taking care of it all, all in His perfect timing! How I needed to read this! Thank you so, so much! Blessings!

  25. Jennifer, this verse has popped up over and over again the past two weeks — in my mind, in my dreams, in my devotional reading, in a prayer uttered by a friend. And here you are… it speaks to me, to this new year, to my circumstances. And I find comfort in these words during unsettled times for our family. Thank you for reaffirming His Word. Have a blessed day. 🙂

  26. Jennifer, you NAILED it in this one!!! Great post and amen and amen and amen… now, if we can just remember to keep ourselves out of the way and enjoy the ride! blessings ~ tanna

  27. Oh Jennifer, our hearts speak the same language–the ache for His peace and yet the temptation to get ourselves betwixed with anticipation so much so that we want to plan it all out. I want to trust Him more for His plans, and so I *Wonder* what they might be, and I *Wonder* over His perfect ways.

    Your words reached me today, friend. Sweet blessings to you as He leads you.

  28. Great post Jennifer…reminded me of a talk one of our MOPS moms just gave– her resolution this year is to figure out her “less and more”…Less of the things that are distractions and pull us away from God…more of the things that are of him and serve others…Less of us…more of Him….

  29. I happened to come across this article searching for Jeremiah 29:11. I needed to read this article right now, so very badly. With tears in my eyes I feel a little more at peace inside than I did before I read it… They are tears of letting go of control and of my plans and opening up to His plans for my life. Thank you.