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. Flowers & plants come to my house to die. SO thankful the Master Gardener knows exactly how to tend the mud & muck of my soul to produce the fruits of His labors to bring His beauty to my life & be deepening & fattening my roots in Him!

    • oh Ruth – I got a chuckle and am right with you on bringing plants into the house to die. That has been me too, until this year, I got a few hardy ones that have been nearly impossible to kill and I’m loving it. 🙂

  2. So well wrote. I find it hard being a follower of Jesus at times. I find it hard read God word at times saying my prayers at times. I want to do things right for the Lord. Because the Lord gave me so much. By his one and only son Jesus to go Calvary for me. In fact the whole world. What greater love was there than this. I seem to do things and say things I shouldn’t. Out of nowhere. I say today I going to pray ask God to help me change be the Follower of his that he wants me to be. Then I have too ask God to forgive me. I have mess up yet again. Then I have to go God again and say here I am again. God is so forgiving. But in those moments. I feel bad. I feel God here I go again. I being honest with God. I do find it the hardest thing in whole world being a follower of Jesus. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am my Lord’s and He is mine his banner over me is Love. As the songs goes. I and I am glad. Even if I mess up. The Lord Love has for me never fails. That Love for you also Never fails either. I have to go to the Lord in prayer and ask him like a Gardner too take out all the bad roots in me help me start again. Especially when I messed up. Help plant me in his Beautiful Garden of his word that is his roots and get into prayer. Let the Lord be the Gardener of my life in the area’s that need the rotten roots pulled out. Replaced with good one’s in him. You can do that to and start fresh. All because the Lord Loves You. Wants to be the Gardener in your life and pull out the bad roots and replace them with good ones in him. You will be a better person for it. All the bad stuff will be gone. You will be rejoicing you did this and feel so much better as the rotten roots will be gone. You will be a new person in the Lord. When I do this I feel so much better. As the rotten roots the bad stuff is gone in my life. I have the word of God in me and Prayer. Love today’s reading Jennifer. Love you all incourage. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

    • “Let the Lord be the Gardener of my life in the area’s that need the rotten roots pulled out. Replaced with good one’s in him. You can do that to and start fresh. All because the Lord Loves You”

      Yes, Dawn!! 100%

  3. Man woman God knew how much i needed to hear this truth today! I can’t thank you enough for being His light and encouragement to so many…thanks for making my day a little brighter beautiful human✌️
    Peace’Love’Godbless

  4. So grateful for this today, Jennifer. Thank you. With such a gray day outside matching my gray mood, these words have uplifted my spirit. I too was brimming with hope for January but we’re only 14 days in and honestly, I’m fighting to stay positive. SO, thank you for putting me back on track this morning!

    Be Blessed – Christine

  5. Thank you Jen. Great reference to gardening and discipline. I love to garden, but I too fall short of the discipline. I’m only on target when I’M in the mood then my yard looks amazing of course!
    “My free spirit personality doesn’t like discipline” perfect description of me…again.. if I’M in the mood everything that requires discipline is amazing. “Thank you God that you are available in the garden, on the couch on a walk and even on the run I’M in the mood for”….lol
    Thursday Blessings sisters

  6. I bought my (in)courage bible last week, but I’ve yet to sit down with it and dig in deep as I envisioned when I bought it. While waiting for my breakfast to cook, I logged on here out of curiosity, and came across this beautiful post. I’ve been feeling as though I’m in a spiritual desert for a good while now, but I was wrong. I’m in a season of dormancy, like the garden you describe, and there is work to be done. When I bought this Bible, I now realize I had the same feelings of expectancy as you did when you bought your gardening book. Trust me, I know. I have more than one gardening book on my shelf! Your words are confirmation to my heart that, indeed, this time in my life is a time of preparation, and it is time to put in the sweet work. Like my backyard landscaping that was planted by the previous owners, I cannot wait to see what surprise blooms next! Thank you!

  7. Note from a lazy gardener: once everything you want is up in your garden, then mulch, mulch, mulch, all around the things you want, to block out the weeds and keep the water in! 🙂 (email if you want details, but there’s also tons of information online, and it can be cheap/free – 6 layers of newspaper, held down by a half to one inch of dirt, for instance, will block weeds – basically nothing can come up from under the newspaper, and tiny weed seedlings that start on top can’t break through the newspaper layer until it has rotted a lot, so they end up staying tiny or just plain dying.)

    Spiritually, maybe mulching means cutting off the oxygen to things that are drawing us away from God; so, for someone, maybe that means no longer following a feed that keeps prompting envy and working with God on how to become less envious, instead of yanking up (or succumbing to) individual temptations but not dealing with the sources, internal and external, that keep feeding them?

    Anyway. Thank you for this, and sorry I’m so excited about mulch. 🙂

  8. Jen, thank you for sharing this. I too, for many years have done the same thing when it comes to a garden. I checked out several library books last week (and a dvd!) all about starting a garden. I think it’s time to get out there! I’ve not been an avid gardener, but the times when I get outside to garden, I find God is always showing me beauty and helping me understand life lessons in a new way.

  9. Love this blog post. I am a horrible gardener, but see the parallels perfectly. Love your motto “grace on, guilt off”.
    Thanks for your Just Open the Door book- pre COVID restrictions- it really helped me with my hospitality and really did just open the door so much more. God is using you in my life. Thanks!!

  10. Jen,

    Everything in life worth doing takes discipline & hard work. Once we put in the hard work we can reap the many benefits. I can get lazy sometimes also. Don’t like putting in the training & effort to read, study the Bible & really “know” God intimately. Find myself getting distracted by many other things. In the end I realize the blessings from all the time & effort spent. Being rooted in God is super important now. I’m joining you in putting forth the extra effort, including doing the Courageous Simplicity Bible Study, to help abate any anxiety or fears I may have. Wanting to see a cultivated garden full of beautiful flowers.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. Jen, this post came at a time when I have recommitted to having a close personal relationship with God. Thanks for the reminder that it is so worth the effort I must make to have that relationship with God. Your posts alway speak to my heart.