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,
    So true, it’s not the profound things we think we write or say…it’s the simple moments of putting ourselves aside and showing up for others. There have been so many people who have prayed for me, made a meal, sent flowers, while I’ve been recuperating from a back injury. Thank you for the reminder that it’s time (past time) to pay it forward. There are so many people silently hurting. All I have to do is pick one and make a meal or invite them over for coffee and just listen. I think I will start with taking some fresh flowers to a friend/neighbor who has been there for me. She loves flowers. Another friend just moved two children into college over the weekend….I think a meal to come home to would be nice. Thanks for the nudge I needed.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. A favorite Elisabeth Elliot quote popped into my head as I read:
    “Sometimes obedience means willingness to do the apparently useless thing, in order that God may do the great thing.”
    I loved your story about the man who thanked you for an encouraging act you could not even recall. We really have no idea what God will do with our least offering to Him.

    • Oh Elizabeth Elliot is one of my very favorites and that quote is her simple, yet profound wisdom shining through.

  3. Ladies, I wasn’t sure how or when to break this news but you all…Bev, Michelle and over the posts many of our community have prayed for me about this practicum and FINALLY God showed up with 5 offers! Amazing!!! You all have done so much by praying for me and God revealed his next step. I am going to go to Cambodia to help organise the Annual Peace Practitioners Conference. It’s not just this as unbelievable as it sounds God provided a connection with the former administrator of the UNDP through LinkedIn that led to a meeting in person with her and her husband in Auckland- i had to go there to renew my Australian passport …long story short this meeting and the way it happened and everything providing the money for the flight, the passport I just happened to be there and She just happened to be in NZ and we met – it had JESUS written all over it! I’m still in awe at the power of God, I know he is powerful of course but I saw his power, felt it, was a receiver of it! There are still a lot of parts that have to work out and come together but I am completely trusting God, it’s not me, it’s HIM…all him. So very grateful…thanks so much for your prayers. You all have had a hand in this and to think your all on the other side of the world, beyond grateful THANK YOU!!!! I love this community, I feel so at home here x

    • Thank you Jen and thank you Jesus! This simple offering of your experience and His faithfulness is so encouraging to me. As I wait a call this morning to determine next steps to remove a large mass in my leg, God has been reminding me of all His truths. Your sweet and simple prayer to our Potter to carve out a little of us so more of Him shows through is a literal and figurative prayer for me! I don’t know what my future holds but I know the one who holds my future in His hands and as I journey through this unknown health trial I am going to have countless “ordinary “ opportunities and moments to be present for others. Open the eyes of my heart Lord to the needs of others, fill me to overflowing with peace, love and joy.

      • Faith,

        Praying for God to heal you. May He guide the surgeon’s hands. May you feel His love & peace in your soul. Keep holding on to those truths. He is faithful & will be with you every step of the way!

        Blessings 🙂

    • Jas,

      Praise God He has provided a practicum. I pray He will heal you from the pain you have. Been praying & now can thank God for this answered prayer. I pray this will be what you need & enjoy!

      Blessings 🙂

    • Wow, Jas!! When God shows up, He does in a BIG way!! Praise for the way He orchestrated this all!! God is good all of the time! Sounds like you are going to be on the journey of a lifetime!! Happy Dance here in NC!!
      Bev xo

    • Jas – that is such wonderful news!! Rejoicing with you for all of God’s fingerprints over every step. 🙂 Keep us posted about your trip.

  4. My parting word to our kids every morning – ‘make someone else smile today!’

    • Jessica…I love this idea… Though I am now a grandma in my 70s ..I can adapt this idea for myself… Even at my age I can “go out and make someone smile”. THANK YOU… I like leaving little notes I carry handmade in my purse .. To waitresses or dropping them on a counter of salesclerk or in washrooms etc… Telling the person who finds them… ” you are valued and special – have a great day- God loves you”
      So to you Jessica I say… Go out and make a great day.. God loves you.. YOU are Special ❗️

    • Can you even imagine the ripple effect if every single one of us put that small act of kindness into action on a daily basis? LOVE THAT!

  5. God has recently been speaking to me about the little things. After 29 years of full time ministry, my husband retired, knowing he had some health stuff going on. What it turned out to be is an early onset dementia. What we had thought was exhaustion from living and ministering in the tropics for 11 years was actually exhaustion from his brain trying to find work-around as it was slowly degenerating. Because this is not Alzheimer’s Disease induced dementia, the diagnosis was long in coming. Anyway, that lead to a very early retirement for me too, and a profound drop in ministry for me, too.
    Even though I read my Bible faithfully, often God will use music to speak to me. Again this morning I woke up with the song, “Dream Small” going through my mind. When I first heard this song, I rebelled! Haven’t we all heard that we are to have big dreams and to pursue them with all our might? But, I went online and looked at the lyrics, and realized it’s not about big dreams or small dreams, but about faithfulness in all things, in the mundane things of life. Your blog reminded me, confirmed to me, this concept once again. Thank you.

    • Cindy,

      Just listened to that song. It speaks to me right now. We need to let God use us right where we are. Praying for you both. This road can be hard. I’ve been there with both my parents. May God bless you both with more good days. I pray you feel His peace & comfort in your soul. Remember He is with you always on this journey.

      Blessings 🙂

    • Oh Cindy – After decades of Kingdom Purpose ministry, thank you for all your years of pointing others to Him. I can’t imagine what a challenging time this must be with such a life change but I know that some of the most meaningful times of my ministry have been those small moments that no one else knew anything about. I’m off to listen to that song. Sounds like one I will love.

      blessings,
      Jen

  6. Welcome back, Bev! So glad you are feeling better after your back injury.

    Jen, what a great post and a wonderful reminder that God does amazing things in all circumstances – big and small. I admit that I have looked at my life and compared my circumstances to others and thought I didn’t measure up. But then I read your amazing post. I love it when you said,

    “The ordinary was used for His glory, and that can only be of God.”

    WOW – I needed to read and hear this!

    Father, please use me each day to spread Your love, grace and mercy to others. Help me to focus on others and not on myself.

    Jen, your words were right on time for me!! Thank you, friend!

    Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!

    Joy in Jesus,
    Lara

  7. Jen,

    This world clamors for big audiences, huge platforms, leadership. large followings, etc. Their motto is dream big & work hard to achieve all your goals. God’s ways are diametrically opposed. He applauds the little, unnoticed things we do daily. My nature is to be a helper-not leader. No huge platforms here. Yesterday I sat with an elderly neighbor who just lost her second & “final” child to cancer. She is alone in the world now except for a granddaughter. This week I will make cookies for “Feed the Multitude” which helps less fortunate people & I will serve them also. I will also gather food for my neighbor & her family. I don’t do big things, but you never know what kind of impact you are making in someone’s life-just by being there for them. I am reminded of a quote by John Wesley that sums this up: “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”

    Blessings 🙂

  8. Such WONDERFUL encouragement here, Jennifer. If all of us (in)courage readers determine to “live alert, with our hearts turned toward those around us at the grocery store, in our child’s school, or in our workplace”–think of the multiplication by God of all THAT ministry! And thank you for that heartfelt prayer in the middle of your post, about our small, ordinary offerings bringing him glory. Amen and hallelujah! With you I ask him to carve out a bit of me so that people see more of Him, day by day. Thank you, Jennifer!

  9. Here is something small and easy. I send Valentines cards to people whose spouse has died in the past year. The 1st time I did this, one lady (with 3 adult children) told me that was the on,y card she received that day. So glad I listened when God spoke.

  10. Yes, Jenn, YES! More and more I find that when my thoughts are me-centered, God is quick to pull my focus outward. He’s always gentle and encouraging about it, but that’s grace, isn’t it? Thanks for this today.