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...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. I am so glad you wrote this. I have been looking for a daily devotional like this. I’ve come across countless youtube vloggers and channels on just that; frugal finds and many beauty tips. I’ve found no one giving my heart a squeeze with their reality and how they dive into God’s arms when life gets rough or when they feel they are becoming too self-involved. I am happy you shared! I will surely be hunting for that video :); it has deeper meaning now.

    In Christ,

    • Indah – thanks for your words and so glad it encouraged you in some small way. Yes, for me those frugal finds very often are a testimony to things much deeper. Plus, it’s just fun to encourage others to live life well, on less. 🙂

  2. Thank you for your honesty. Too often, we as women measure ourselves by each other’s accomplishments. God is already satisfied with us doing exactly what He has called us to do!

    I am passionate about God, being the best mother to my disabled sons, and ministering to the homeless in our city. There is a special blessing in giving to those who can not give anything in return.

  3. Oh Jen I love this so much. It speaks to my own heart this week – all full of the rush and the anticipation and the busy. Thank you for the reminder of who I am, no matter what’s going on around me. Much love to you this weekend – how lucky the women who get to gather at your house!

  4. It has been one of those months for me, be confident in the work the Lord does through you and thank you for sharing.

  5. Thank you so much…. I read this twice….. The first time I was thinking about all the things I had to do today and when I got to stepping down as an INcourage writer i said “whoa whoa whoa, go back and start over.” And it couldn’t have been more perfect for me! Thank you!!!!!

  6. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You wrote the words my heart has often felt. I look at all you wonderful bloggers and wonder how you do it all and think “what am I doing wrong and I should just quit and don’t do anything until I can do all perfectly”. So many lies of the enemy. Thank you for speaking Truth. I desperately needed it today.

  7. Dear Jen,
    I cannot thank you enough for opening up and sharing this with us. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11) It was truly something that I needed to hear on this very morning, and I thank the Lord for providing it to me – He ALWAYS knows what we need and ALWAYS provides it in due time. Bless Him – He is so faithful! It seems to be a rarity these days to find Christians who admit that they really *do not* have it all together, although, no Christian really does have it all together. Many don’t realize that they do more harm than good by trying to “stay strong”. We are strong in the Lord, or not at all. We are nothing apart from Him. I truly hope that more Christians would be as honest and open as you have been. Please accept my humble thanks again. God bless you!

  8. Jen,
    I love the line about there’s nothing like being so in touch with one’s depravity to remind me that I need a Savior. I can so relate. If I had it “all together” all the time, I wouldn’t need a Savior. So thank you, Lord, for my weakness and thank you, Jen, for being willing to be open and vulnerable so that others know they are not alone!

  9. Oh, how this resonated with me today. This past weekend I had someone tell me that she and another friend were discussing how I always handled everything so well and never lose my cool. I looked at her with wide eyes and scraped my chin off the floor because I thought, “who in the world are you talking about? I feel like a lunatic right now with everything I’m juggling!” I said “oh, geez, maybe I’m not sharing enough of my craziness with you on my blog.” But then I thought, I don’t always want to share my chaos just to make people BELIEVE that I don’t always have my act together.

    What a balance–a difficult one. Thank you for your sweet honesty and girl, I totally know where you’re coming from.

  10. I rarely comment on posts here because they don’t feel seen–since I am 4 hrs. behind Eastern time. But I wanted to tell you I hear this! I am learning where my confidence lies, and the busy? It is only a season.

  11. What breathes life into me…the beautiful majesty of the mountains, a really good novel, cooking wonderful food, music music music, Anne Hathaway’s turn as Fantine (brings me to tears EVERY TIME but it’s so incredible!), makeup and clothing, finding the perfect bra, those moments in worship where it feels like the heavens open up and it’s just God and me… 🙂

    *On the laundry note, may I share what really helped my mom with all four of her kids – me and three boys – were teenagers at the same time? She taught us how to do our own laundry. Actually she taught us in junior high! 🙂 It’s become a valuable life skill (I can get any stain out of anything and our clothes last forever!) and it saved Mom soooo much sanity. And she didn’t step in and save us, either. If we didn’t do our laundry, we didn’t have clean clothes. That was a challenge with the boys sometimes – because, y’know, teenage boys sometimes don’t care – but she made it part of their regular chores. “It’s your day to do your laundry. Go.” Your sons’ future wives will bow down and kiss your feet. 😉 I understand how overwhelming it is! My boys are only 1 and 3 and already I have Laundry Mountains all over my house! LOL

    • Melissa – I am going to reread the things that breathe life into you and just enjoy them vicariously. 🙂

      And the laundry dilemma? I so had that tackled when they were younger and had their little chore cards which said what they had to do before they could play. Thinking I need to get back to those. Too much playing and not enough cleaning happening right now. 😉

  12. Jen-
    You have no idea how this post hits so close to home for me! I love and appreciate your honesty! THANK YOU! I hope you can find it in you to continue to be a writer for (in)courage, it’s this type of sharing that I look forward to when I receive those emails.
    Thanks for keepin’ it real girlfriend!


  13. Oh, Jen. Thank you for sharing this with us. The beauty of allowing yourself to be imperfect because God isn’t FINISHED yet! What a gift! You and I seem to be in the same place. (I imagine so many others are nodding their heads and saying, “me too!”)

    Your vulnerability in admitting where you are is some of the best encouragement. So often, I “turn off” the posts where the writer seems to have it a little too together. Not that I don’t celebrate her and appreciate her wisdom – that’s not it. If I am honest, I allow it to prey on my own insecurity. But posts where the writer is a woman juggling multiple hats the best way she knows how; where she is honest and real about her journey…those are the posts/writers we love. We cherish. We learn from. We pray for. Because we feel like sisters; at least in our hearts. It makes the journey less lonely to think we are not alone in the endless (and seemingly hopeless) battle against crumbs on the floor, laundry that is never finished and children that bring us so much joy and heartache; at the same time.

    Thank you for sharing your journey – laundry on the couch and all. I can’t wait to hear about your next yard sale dress.

  14. Hi Jen! Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for being real. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for your encouragement via your imperfections. I can so relate.

    Yes, thank You Lord that our confidence is in You.

    And oh, I subscribed to your email updates! 😀

    God bless you!

  15. Thank you for such an honest post. My sons did their own laundry when they were in high school. When they could read I made them each a grocery list when we went shopping. They had a cart and off they went. They now do grocery shopping for their families and they cook. Now that I’m older,not driving and a bit disabled my oldest son takes me grocery shopping. He picks my tomatoes and melons and does a great job! Even if they had extracurricular activities that didnt negate their home chores. Prayers for your IN RL Meet Up.

  16. AWESOME!!!! honesty….truth….humility….you’re human!!!!
    i know Whom i have believed, and am persuaded that HE is able…..
    God’s blessings…and keep on writin’……

  17. I think I would take a comment like that as a compliment, because I don’t feel confident. If I can come across sure of myself and my actions, then I feel successful. Doubts and fears always plague, but if we can hold our head high and not let it show, then we have beaten the adversary.

  18. I am so glad you wrote this!
    I am working through Confident Heart with Renee Swoope and thousands of women right now. A few years ago in worship God whispered to me in song my new name would be confident (who, me?) so I really valued that part of your post.
    About praising God for bringing me to a piece of clothing that is perfect for me and on a reduced price, I am SO with you. Most recently I found a fitting pair of jeans (curvy, yes) at Talbots outlet and ended up paying $22 instead of $75. Thank you Lord! I had only two other pairs of pants I was wearing all week! Why? Because I don’t want to stay at size 12 curvy so I’m not buying a lot of clothes! Wish I could say because I want to live frugally and not have lots of clothes to care for but no, I have a closet full of 10s and a few 8s.
    Why not talk about what is on our hearts? It is hard to find clothes for some of us. So we turn to our Father who cares for us as well as the birds. We acknowledge him and he loves to provide for us, he is Fatherly. We praise him, and it is not just about the clothes but it increases our faith.
    Gee, I’m really getting into this!
    So I’m grateful because I’ve squelched my stories unless I’ve found a friend who understands and doesn’t go the “boy, you’re cheap” route or the “get a grip!” fashionista route. It’s been tremendously helpful to have a daughter born with fashion sense of her own, too. I should say healing, and fun.
    I should have learned all this in high school.
    But I was grieving the cancer death of my best friend at 15.
    So I was a retarded learner about fashion yet God gave me a great friend who told me black looked so good on me because I was a winter and I read up on Color Me Beautiful from the library and realized my man doesn’t like black (on me) because he can’t wear it; he’s a Spring!
    Praise God!
    He is a provider and a healer and more.
    Our confidence should be in him, and it should be a compliment. Our tongues should be released to speak of him in any little thing in our day!!
    Thank you for the chance to write all this out to a girlfriend community, even if no one reads! God knows.
    Grace and peace.

  19. I’ve been struggling all last night and this morning with who I used to be. How decisions and mistakes I made years ago are still haunting me today. And how they will forever. How I can go for weeks, even months, feeling good about myself only “to be put right back into my place” very quickly.
    I don’t even know how to express this externally. It just hurts so badly inside. I feel so worthless. Like trash.
    The verse you shared, I know it’s true. I know it. But the world tells us so differently.
    Thank you for your words today. Please keep encouraging others through this site.

  20. Amen! I am confident that God it the great Maestro, orchestrating my life as part of a great symphony! I don’t always get to play the part I want, and sometimes I have to be still and quiet waiting for my part. Confidentially, I am a mess without Jesus. I am confident that I am not in control, and yet I try to be all the time. The ONLY thing I am confident in, is God. 2Cor 12:10 “That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I am confident that it is my job to be weak. Embracing it! Makes for great blogs too! Much love to you and your messages!

  21. Jennifer- No worries. While words and eloquence are wonderful, and it is one of the reasons this site is one of my favorites, sometimes what we Mamas need to hear is another Mama saying she can barely hold her head above water but she’s in the same ship as us. And your beautiful and eloquent way of saying it above had me nodding my head in agreement. Hang in there! Thank you for sharing yourself!

  22. Thank you for your openness and honesty. I am so overwhelmed with my life and the journey that God is taking me. But I know that this is God’s desire for me and that while I’m on this journey I will cling to HIM as assurance that I will survive. This is my testimony. Survival. But sometimes we all feel as though the world continues as we swirl in the chaos of spilt snowcones, loads of laundry, ill grandparents, and 3 children going 3 different ways, all while being a single momma. Thank you for sharing the laundry situation at your home. I think that maybe I’m not swirling alone now.

    thanks again! You are awesome & a blessing from God to me today! Especially today.

  23. Dear Jennifer,

    I just read your article ‘My Imaginary Conversation’ – oh sweet sister my heart just over flows for you. First, I love your articles your thriftiness and sweet honesty. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to write such raw honesty about one’s own day to day life. I am smiling and cheering you right now at my PC.
    I am a mother of three a step mother of two and a grandmother of six amazing sweet grandchildren. I am a thrifty frugal individual had to be when raising my three children as a single mother. I learned how to make a dollar stretch. Now as empty nesters with a good income and more blessings from God than I am worthy of I still coupon regularly, bargain hunt and I love the Goodwill store. I am sitting here right now at work in my designer dress pants ($3.98) purchased from Goodwill my Sofia Vergara silk blouse and John Galliano designer knit sweater both snagged at Kmart on clearance for $2.99 each. I have had several complements from my co-workers on my clothes and believe me I do not pay full price not even at Belk! My frugalness has rubbed off on our children as well. I taught my oldest stepson how to coupon and he now saves his little family a ton of money a month. My daughter coupons and shares her savings with friends and family via FB.
    Couponing and bargaining hunting will continue to serve you well even after your children leave the nest because that is when they need even more help especially once they start having children and don’t even get me started on this economy. LOL
    Yes, couponing and bargaining hunting allows me to help out our children with food and personal hygiene items. It allows me to help out my church’s food bank. It also allows me to send care packages to our soldiers overseas. Go ahead and call me frugal, thrifty or even cheap I gladly wear the banner.
    So Jennifer you just keep going with your amazing God created self because myself and others gladly and eagerly look forward to all your finds and future finds that we know you will share with us along with bearing your heart.
    Love you amazing sister in Christ Jesus…..

  24. Thank you for sharing your heart. Just last month in Sunday School after I finished teaching a sweet lady come to me and said, “You are so confident!” I stood there and almost laughed b/c I thought back to the times of crying in the bathroom and so nervous before I shared my heart to others. BUT I simply said, “anything you see is because of Christ.” Thank you Jennifer for reminding me of that today!
    Your Sister in Christ,
    Madison, NC

  25. Dear Jen,
    Your are a God given gift. I thought I was the only one that felt like I have so many things going on and am going under for the third time. We are raising two of our teen age granddaughters with Gods help and, My son and daughter-in-law and our 4 year old granddaughter live with us plus the dogs they have and our dogs and life gets so crazy we have pile upon piles of boxes, toys clothes and such. My husband and I pretty well live in our bedroom the teenagers are in their room and my daughter-in- law and my son . Live in the rest of the house Three bedroom two bathroom so you can imagine how crazy it can be. Praise God he has stepped in many times to keep us all safe and I Still feel like I live in a Loonatic Lodge. So don’t give up you are great and I love to read what is going on in your life. Mine is not what I thought retirement would be. But thank God he gives us a new day to move forward. So Hand In their we love you.

  26. I LOVE this (in)courage post by Jennifer Schmidt.
    Jennifer, you are fearfully and wonderfully made! Rejoice in your confidence which comes has a gift from our Heavenly Father.

    Psalm 139:14
    New International Version (NIV)
    14 I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

  27. I’ve been to the “beautiful blogs” Jen… but this face-to-face, heart-to-heart honesty has helped me more today than all the rest. I’m feeling like a bit of a let down to my lord this morning and I needed to draw near to your porch and be reminded again where my true confidence lies. Can’t thank you enough for this.

  28. This is so true…we all are ‘many-sided’, multi-faceted women…some days excited and crossing off many items on our ‘to-do’ lists, and the next day, not feeling quite ourselves, and getting absolutely nothing done… 🙂 But we do not get our ‘confidence’ in who we are, what we’ve done, what we can accomplish, but instead we get our ‘confidence’ from our wonderful awesome God. He who made us, created us in His image, and also has a great plan for each of our lives. We look to Him daily, surrender to Him daily and ask what it is He would have us to do today (and hopefully it’s not the laundry ;)), living abundantly in Him, and carry on ‘to completion’…till He comes!
    Thanks Jennifer – a great post – well said!

  29. Love your honesty here! It is often hard for us women to remember when one is on their hot topic, which may be the very thing we’re worst at, that we all have our specialties and our disaster zones and we can’t possibly all be good at all of it!! My strong point is gardening. I absolutely love it! It relaxes and energizes me. Anything to do with dirt and seeds and sunshine makes me very happy. I hate it when other people feel inferior to me when we look at my yard because the fact is I can’t decorate a house for anything and I only clean it so I can justify going outside!

  30. I have never really read devotions on an ongoing basis until now. I still have times when I start to read and pass on it if it doesn’t hold my attention, which isn’t easy since I have ADHD. With this group, I find so many that I not only read, I also pass them on to others who I feel may need a boost. Your confidence in your faith also gives you the confidence to share with others. So often when we read things, we imagine those who write them must have it all together, why would they be writing if they weren’t tops? What you just wrote is real to me as I share so much of the same routine. I’ve learned too since I figured everyone who wrote on here must be writers or hold top jobs that got them noticed and invited to write. These are real people too and I appreciate their writings, but yours came across as if I was writing it. It’s nice to connect with a devotion like that. Thank you!

  31. Hi Jen,
    I am absolutely confident that our Lord has my back when I can’t even see which way I’m going. Just today, I went to my exercise class’s health fair (I have to have 36 points to get an “A” in the class, and I’m a little behind, so this was a good excuse to get two points in one day. I was ready to leave as I had fulfilled my obligation for the bonus point, when I saw a booth I had missed the first time around. I decided to have a vein evaluation (hey, it was free!) and it’s a good thing I did. The sore on my ankle is because the vein I had surgically closed about seven years ago is once again open and needing attention asap. I had no idea, but the Lord knew. I’m so grateful that nothing escapes His notice, and He has a reason for keeping me healthy and equips me every day with what I need for ministry and life! Blessings, Jen, and keep up the good writing. I know there are many who identify with you!

  32. I loved your post. In fact as I was reading your reply to your reader and lamenting about all the things in this world that steals your confidence I related to all those reasons why I am not a confident women. Then I remember this special journey God has taken me through, which in fact included many of the scriptures you quoted. I am a child of God and he loves me, wants a relationship with me and my identity rest in him only. I am a wife, mom, children’s pastor, sister, friend and blogger. But those are things I am and “do”. Not who I find my identity in. Christ alone is who saved me and if there is one thing I know is that I am his. That I can have confidence in.

  33. Just a comment on bargains and a lesson in shopping……I’ll never forget being in the mall and at one store , a dress was 14.00 and right around the corner at a dress shop, SAME dress …..70.00!!! I like it best when Daddy God sends clothes that are perfect for me and they are a gift. Much better than shopping!!

  34. Jen, I am so grateful for your honesty. Not a single one of us is perfect, and it does us all a world of good to admit our struggles. You may not be perfect or perfectly confident, but you are most definitely loved.

    Also? Laundry stinks. And multiplies when you’re not looking. I feel overwhelmed with just three people’s stuff – I can’t imagine the baskets and hampers in your full house!!

  35. Jennifer. Thank you for being real & honest. This is why I love all of you @(in) courage. You daily touch my life. Since it drastically changed 1 1/2 yrs ago. God Bless You & please keep honest & real with us. So we can all get healed. ❤

  36. Thank you for sharing so openly! So much speaks directly to me, I can’t just pull out one line to savor. When we are confident we are Held, that confidence infuses everything….and *shhh* when the laundry piles up (because it does multiply) it reminds me of overflowing abundance…and all I can feel is gratitude, because there was a time I didn’t have as much laundry, or a place to allow it to pile 🙂

  37. Jen,
    This is beautiful. Straight from the heart and deep encouragement to me-exactly what this exhausted mama needed to hear tonight. Your transparency was a gift to me. Looking forward to coffee on that porch whenever the Lord carves out that time for us. Blessings and hugs to u, Dianne

  38. You blessed me today, Jen!!! Then, after I was done reading your entry, I realized that it was YOU!!!! Blessings, Jen!!!! Much love, Laura Walt

  39. Would have enjoyed post this any day, but I NEEDED it today. I barely made it to the car without crying this morning…not because of one thing, but everything! I know God will handle each piece, but it’s hard to see the big picture. Without that, it’s hard to confidently face each new day and the tasks it holds.

  40. Thank YOU, Thank YOU! I am sititng here with tears in my eyes. I am struggling right now in so many areas of my life and reading this hits home. Thank you for the reminder of what is really important in life – not the laundry, or the mess, but relationship. Relationship with the Lord, relationship with family, and friends…PEOPLE. Thank you for the reminder that God has begun a good work in me and that He WILL see it through and right now I just need to trust in Him to continue His goodwork. Thank you for giving me hope today. God has given you a special gift of sharing youir life mixed wih His word – Thank you!

  41. Thank you for being honest!! I have loved reading your blog for a couple of years now, but now I love it even more. We women need the honesty that sometimes you also don’t feel self confident and that it is okay. We need the reminder often that we cant get thru this life without remembering in Whom and of where our confidence lies.

  42. Your five “I am confident” statements could become a manifesto to be spoken aloud and with conviction–sure to boost resolve and motivation! Thank you for your honesty and challenge, Jen!

  43. Jen,

    Love your honesty. Life does get busy and hectic at times. I am confident that God loves me and I am a Child of the Almighty King! WOOT WOOT !!

    Nothing I do can deter His love, grace and mercy from me. He was, is and always will be!! Alleluijah!

  44. ‘Woot, Woot’ great post full of candor and faithfulness! “…being so in tune with ones own depravity” – I can so relate to that. Too many times I have reached the end of me only to find there’s where God can reach my heart the best. In those moments of desperation and clarity, I can feel power and truth that God will faithfully continue His work in me. Blessings to you – thanks for sharing!

  45. Thank you Jen!!! I so needed that wonderful reminder that HE who has begun the good work is continuing it and I just have to thank and praise HIM!! I’ve felt like I’ve been in a dry and weary land lately but He’s here all along. May the Lord bless you my dear sister in Christ

  46. I can say AMEN to the things you list as being confident in and where you find your confidence. I have been doing A Confident Heart Bible study by Renee Swope and it has helped remind me whose I am and that in spite of my past, or maybe because of my past I have a lot to offer the world. It is such joy to hear the “real” come through in the post of so many of you. Believe me, we out here need that. Too often I have felt those who wrote about “how to” in the Christian world were so perfect that I gave up because I felt I could never measure up. Honesty helps me know I don’t have to be perfect, because God loves me perfectly! thanks! May God bless you this weekend!

  47. Here is my confidence verse… in the midst of mayhem small or grand, it comforts my soul.
    “I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
    Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
    Love in Him who IS confidence, heather