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. Jen,
    Thank you so much for this post!! Just what I needed to hear. I, too have an outgoing personality and I have had some of the same thoughts and struggles as you. Thank you for putting this into God’s perspective. He is the One we are to please and the One that we serve! I appreciate your sharing, and may the Lord bless you as you continue to serve Him.

  2. Some of my favorite friends are those who enter every room mouth first! I love to think about the way God designed us each individually, and those who are more talkative demonstrate to me the Truth that we follow a God who communicates!

  3. Ah, this! “He desires for us to cast aside the labels we’ve carried far too long, and embrace who we were created to be. His grace allow us to bloom where we are planted without striving for another image.”

    This has been such a struggle for me. Who He created me to be… I ran for years from the talents He had put inside me due to fear of disappointing. Not living up. It was so much easier to lower the expectations of others. Never putting myself out there but flying so low under the radar that I couldn’t be detected.

    This is still a problem for me on some days. I slip into the shadows and try uproot myself…to be planted in the shade where I’m less conspicuous.

    These were wonderful words and a gentle reminder for me to grow where I’m planted. (“Planting” seems to be the theme for me this morning so He’s obviously trying to tell me something) <3

  4. Love your heart! If Satan had his way, there would be none to speak out. Yes, God had/has a purpose for each of us and so glad you are speaking out. I have a loved one who has a very strong personality. I often cringe when she bursts out with words. One day I was crafting and in making signs, I thought of her and her personality. God gave me these words for personality, PERSONALITY IS GOD’S GIFT TO YOU, ATTITUDE IS YOUR GIFT TO GOD AND OTHERS. I no longer feel the need to cringe because yes she has the personality (God wired) that God gave specifically to. Be encouraged!

  5. Oh wow. These were just the words I needed to read today and in this moment. What a comfort to know that other E’s are feeling the same way. Thank you for these words and this TRUTH.

  6. You are speaking to me. Thoughts for me to ponder and take up. Thank you so much for sharing.
    By the way it is throne not thrown. I know how spell check does awful things to our writing. You may want to take a look. Keep writing and sharing please.

  7. I appreciate your honesty Jennifer. I can so relate to your struggle, however I am in the opposite corner. I was always hearing the voice that was saying, “why don’t you talk more, you are too quiet. ” I always struggled to know how to share the small talk stuff. It just didn’t come easy for me. Over the years I have grown in realizing that God has created me just as I am. I have other gifts and talents that are not speaking gifts but doing with my hands to bless others. I have learned also that I can be a better listener than talker. There are alot of people who just need someone to listen and hold there hand. God had made us each unique for His purposes and it brings joy and peace when we can rest in His Gifts to us.

  8. OH yes, this rings so true for me, except opposite. I was the shy child who couldn’t find her voice in a crowd or new setting. Not necessary quiet once comfortable, I was still quiet because I was rarely comfortable anywhere:) Forty-something and still wondering, second-guessing exactly who I am meant and created to be. Not at crisis level but more of a gradually learning bit by bit.

  9. Dear Jennifer,

    Thank for sharing. I sit in a Starbucks on the campus of my sons NC college having just parted as we both go our orientation ways. Thankful God made a way through turbulent times. Its sweet that you have learned so much from your journey. I am prayerful my son will find pollen in the seeds planted throughout his childhood, here this Pollinator Week. Encouraged by your aptly timed inCouage message. I don’t think I have read one once since signing up so I thank the Lord your University Admissions Director story was the first as I journey home alone tomorrow. As a watch woman I have learned the fine line between gentle and quite spirit and sounding the alarm. Not an easy task in these 2 Timothy 2&3 days. Blessings to you!

  10. ME TOO! Thankful for the way God tenderly showed me that HE made me and because of my personality there are unique ways that I will get to serve Him and other ways that will be opened for someone else!

  11. This is like taking a peek at one of my old diary entries. I read some comments above and it seems others had similar issues with “running” and “hiding” for fear of standing out and being misunderstood. I spent years battling an identity problem because 50% of me can be the type who is boisterous, uses funny voices, thoroughly enjoying engaging with children, teaching, and making people laugh – while the other 50% of me desires to be quiet and show people I care by just listening. So for years whichever side of the half I was on, I let the enemy tell me how wrong I was (to be on THAT side) just as you wrote about.

    Maybe that is why many of us look around at other “preteens & teens” and have such a burden to pray for them and encourage them, because those years are so fragile to the heart. God is good though and wastes nothing, I truly believe He can take every twist and turn in our hearts and use them in our testimonies. I thank you for writing these words, Jen!

  12. Oh Jen this resonated so much with me. I’ve often worried about being “too loud” since a friend once told me that. And I too struggle with the balance of loving who God made me to be and not trying to shove myself into a box that doesn’t fit me. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  13. Teacher report cards, “she talks to much”, my father’s words, “you’re too sensitive”, and a boss in my adult years saying “just be silent”. Now I’m a guidance counselor at a middle school. All things in the past that made me what I am today. However, that tendency to doubt, want to run away, and crave validity in my daily interactions. This message that God made me perfectly… is still foreign. God made me, yes. But my human self takes over…. and I make many mistakes. What is my true self? I pray that God finds ways and I open my eyes to His purpose. This article truly tightens my chess and makes my eyes well with tears. Old fears ….

  14. I found this so touching…several things you mentioned, right down to some of the exact wording you used…thanks for sharing this devo today. I have the personality type on “the other end of the scale” and I find I’m constantly feeling like a drag to those (extroverted people) I find myself around and also wondering how in the world God’s purpose for my life can be filled when I’m wired “like this!”. lol The unhealthy comparison trap! Thanks for sharing your heart and life…for the encouraging words you left today. God has smiled upon my heart as they pulled on my heartstrings~
    I also wanted to share my post from yesterday with you…entitled “Greener Grass on the Other Side” http://itcrossedmymind.blogspot.com/2016/06/greener-grass-on-other-side.html 🙂

  15. What a lovely read in my email this morning, Jennifer. Is this not truth and grace, the heart of God, that we would be who he uniquely made us, while he also fashions us into his image? Yes! Oh, I love Grace. Let us all view the beauty in others, impart grace for the flaws that are in process, and even the sins that need to be covered by love, and enjoy the intricate tapestry of who we are as we seek to glorify him upon the earth.

  16. Jen, your words speak to my heart. I received some of those “talks too much” comments on my report cards too. the words that most impacted my identity from a young age were the mocking words of classmates. It’s taken a lifetime of undoing for me to be able to accept kind words about me from others. Those messages that embed within our childhood selves burrow deep sometimes. Thank goodness God sees who He intended us to be. Thank goodness He knows how to heal the wounds of words, and to give us eyes to see ourselves as He created us.

  17. I am an introvert who always wished she was an extrovert. I struggle with being about to talk to people. I have prayed and prayed God would change me and my personality so I could be more outgoing.

  18. These exact same traits are the ones I’ve wished away for far too long…and I’m turning 60 this year! However, with age does come some wisdom and appreciation for just what you’ve said: God wired me uniquely for His good purposes. That truth alone brings a peace and it’s own brand of gentleness. Thank you for speaking up for us former big mouths. :0

  19. Thank you for this, Jen. Such a good reminder for all of us. All too often, we try to be something we’re not, and how is that honoring to the One who created us in His image? My personality tends toward the opposite side of things – I’m an absolute introvert – and I am slowly learning how to thrive and serve in the personality I have. At the same time, though, I’m trying to balance how to stretch and grow while remaining true to who God created me to be.

    An aside – I love the first line of your bio! It’s me, too: Jenny before college, Jennifer in professional settings, and Jenn to my current friends. 🙂

  20. We all must struggle with that in one way or another. I talk a lot, but then I’m around some people who won’t listen or let you get a word in. Sometimes, we have to speak up and sometimes enjoy that quiet rest with the Lord. We all should look at what He sees and not worry what others think.

  21. How I needed this today, Jennifer and I praise the Lord for His gracious mercies in your words. As I think about them, the Holy Spirit helps me to see how He loves each us of as He made us, that He made us this way to fulfill His purpose for us. We are precious and honored in His sight and He loves us no matter how flawed we are and even when we can’t accept ourselves or be accepted by others. I realized as I read “Those words didn’t matter to me. I wanted to be one of those sweet, quiet ones.” that we can reject ourselves when we compare or reject the good encouragements of others, denying God His glory and work through us. Allowing God to heal our flaws as we cooperate with Him embraces where we are and helps us to change and grow and build His kingdom. As a good friend reminds me often “He isn’t done with any of us yet.” and we have to stand firm in who He is and who we are in Him. I am so grateful for this working out that your words started in me 🙂 May each of us praise the Lord for His wisdom and grace in how He made us, for His victory 🙂

  22. I was just reading a similar article yesterday by Christine Caine. I’ve struggled with both aspects of being too loud or too quiet. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I’m much more comfortable in my skin and my identity, encompassing the unique gifts God has assigned me with. Now, to guide my teens through the same process and pray they don’t wait decades to realize their worth.

  23. Thank you for your post. I, too, received those same marks on my report cards. Other joys (not so much) was when my mom went to parent/teacher conferences and heard the same words in person. I’m still a talker and outgoing. It truly is how God made me. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings!

  24. This is all so true! As an extreme introvert hearing all of my life – “you’re so quiet! you need to come out of your shell” – it’s evident that oppressive labels are meant to hinder. Now I’m seeing my 14 year old daughter feel put down even in the church world because of her “lack of words” in public settings. It’s all lies! There is not a “higher” personality type.

  25. Thank you for this, my Mother called me loud mouth most of my life and the scars remain today. She told me and everyone I talk too much. I do talk a lot and I am outgoing . I can get really excited trying to encourage others or loud coaching my ball teams but I will suddenly remember her words and feel shame for overdoing it again… Thank you so much for this!

    • oh Donna – a big, huge, virtual hug all the way from NC. Words mark us so deeply and ones from a mom, even more so. I am so sorry for the scars she has given and hope the reminder from my post penetrates and sinks in deep because you are SO so special and loved.

      xoxox
      Jen

  26. Jennifer, thank you for your words. God has been sending me this message for weeks and your personal story has really driven it home.

  27. Jen,

    All of my childhood I was a shy, introverted person. I was and am jealous of people who can goin front of crowds and give a speech or sing songs. It has taken years for me to get the nerve to go up in front of a crowd and do sign language to music. My biggest problem is self esteem. I constantly beat myself up over not being enough (smart, or good looking). I need to know that God made me in His image and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Trying to bloom where I am planted and live with the perfect traits He gave me!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Thank you so much for this timely message! I see it was on spot for many ! I too have been very introverted all my life so I have been shocked to find some unwelcome behavior in myself coming out recently? I now spend my days alone and it seems when I do get around others, I tend to want to just blab! I have noticed that some of the ladies at church have started avoiding me! I don’t blame them! I don’t seem to be able to shut up! I know that it is because I am lonely, they of course are not aware of that! I decided to go to a bible study, and noticed a few raised eye brows, I have decided not to go back as I really don’t feel welcome! I tried to be respectful of everyone there but, when anyone talked to me, I mat have over answered them? I don’t know? Anyway, I have decided if I can’t change how I am in public, I will just stay home. I know Jesus loves me so I will just talk to Him! I love what you have to say and I wish others would be more accepting of the way we all are. It took me years just to talk to strangers. Now, they don’t like it! Go figure? Blessings to all!

      • Dear Linda,
        Thank you for sharing. I hope this encourages you today. First off, Satan is a big fat liar. You don’t need to figure out why the girls don’t talk to you even if they don’t make you feel welcome. It’s their problem, not yours. God gave you a voice and a mind and if he calls you to speak, feel free. This is America after all. I have found girls, especially in church, are judgmental and gossipy not to mention cliquey, neither of which is very acceptable in God’s eyes. The Book of James tells it best. For years I have had to deal with the same behavior. To be honest, I find the church scene nowadays is what the bible warns it will become even if those pastors don’t want to acknowledge it themselves and “If we are the body” as Casting Crown’s sing this problem should not even exist. But alas, it does. Please do a ladies bible study online like the one I am doing. It’s Pricilla Sheier Armor of God. Stay in the Word because the Enemy wants you to stay out of it. And keep praying. I just sent my son off to college and am adjusting to my empty nest. Praying I can find a happy, healthy, harmonious workplace where I can “fit it’. Even if I haven’t for the past 55 years. I like being the Odd Girl Out (Great book by the way about how girls can be)

        • By the way, Entrusted is Beth Moore’s new study coming out in the fall. Based on 2 Timothy. That should be a doozie and I hope it will be one you can attend either at a church or online or somehow. That is where we are at in these End Times. Happy Endings 🙂

    • I know that Satan gets us all with this same struggle. The Lord’s reminder of just how He knit us together is something I continually need to go back to and park myself in those scriptures as His reminder. May you know His love and be reminded of how beautiful, loved and truly special you are! xoxox

  28. I am reading this message late. As a very real enemy convinced me early on in childhood, that I was a reject, I acted and responded to everything as tho that were true. No one told me that a spirit of rejection was at work and that I had opened a door. I am now 78. In the mid 90s, I went on a real fast and the Lord revealed that I was under the control of a spirit of rejection. I did not fully grasp what this meant until 2013 when I was laid up. I was studying a book that broke down the book of Ephesians. When I saw the word “sinner”, the Holy Spirit revealed that I had been a sinner not a reject. I suddenly had new freedom I had never experienced before!!! The Holy Spirit had been working in my heart from the mid 90s until 2013 but it took a lot to get thru to my heart. Praise God He is doing a mighty work.

  29. Jennifer,
    Just the other day I was reading and studying in my Bible and came across the “meek and quiet spirit” reference in my concordance under the listing for “quiet.” As an extreme extrovert, large and in-charge talker, happy, friendly outgoing gal, I was overjoyed to see that the definition of “quiet” was “peaceful.” Hallelujah! That brought a lot of peace to my heart as I have been having similar struggles as you lately. I hope you will find your own spirit quieted:) Now if I can just work a little more on that meek part…. Thank you for encouraging me!