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,
    Yesterday was Palm Sunday and it was strange not being in church to celebrate, but I went out to God’s awesome nature sanctuary. I sat on my garden bench and gazed up at a verdant cathedral made by overarching branches from grand, age-old trees. They naturally guided my gaze heavenward. The sun glistened in the Carolina blue sky and I basked in God’s presence. I played praise music on my phone and smiled as the birds chimed in their Hosannas. It’s a Palm Sunday I won’t forget. The day’s scripture was Philippians 4:8-9: Finally, believers, whatever is right, true, noble, pure; whatever is lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (God’s word) think continually on these things…and the God of peace will be with you.” When the world gets too noisy or too depressing, I need to run to His word for rest and refreshment and I need to rejoice and give Him thanks and praise. God bless you for riding it out with a houseful of twelve. You need to call yourselves “the disciples.” Great post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • HA!! Love the disciples reference, although I don’t know how Godly we are all walking out His commission right now. 😉 Baby step by baby step. 🙂

    • Oops and forgot to add that we are down to 10 here now so can we still be the disciples? 😉

  2. Jennifer in this is Christ Our Rock Solid Foundation. We hold one to him in theses day. Rojice in Christ we are still alive even in the lock down of this Coronavaries. When we can’t get to at this time all over the world do the things we once before this Coronavaries stratred. We where doing like meeting up with friends. Going for coffee. Going to Church on a Sunday or Church meetings during the week. I believe in my heart as Follower of Jesus. God is doing this for a reason to get us who are his Followers to start and spend more time with him. In his word the Bible standing on his Promises in it and Prayer. Plus start being the Church who we should be. As the Church is not the fancy building we belong to every week. It is us the saved of God. I believe in theses days of the Coronavaries God is speaking load and clear. But we are to also keep ourselves safe at the same time. Be the Church to hurting world. Show God love to Gods people. As the world needs Gods Love. That is why Jesus came as baby in a manager born with no fancy air or graces. God could have choose for his son to born in fancy House or Place but no. God choose a humble Stable. Then God showed his Love by letting his only son to go on and die on Cross for the world. Plus when Jesus was on earth he showed that love by wanting to be round people no one else wanted to be around or have nothing to do with. So I am thank full everyday to be alive. Even in today’s world. Even in this Coronavaries that we don’t get to what we used to do. Or get to see our Friends or get to Church or get to the Church meetings during the week. We can still be the Churh to the world in theses times we are in. Get to be the hands and feet of Jesus if able too. By picking up the phone or mobile asking a neighbor by texting them or ring them to say I going to shop if they can’t get themselves. Do you need anything. If they do. You will leave it at the front door for them. Or make them a meal and leave it at their door. Like me I take my Dad a meal. Which he is thank full for. So these times we are in make me thank full on God for what he has already given me and what I am able to do to help others. Plus what God done and gave me to be thank full for long before this Coronavaries even came about. Plus to keep standing on God Word the Bible at all times and the Promises in it and Prayer. Even when this Coronavaries is over. Keep serving God all the time 365 days a year and keep thanking him no matter what. He the one that helps us Lay that Solid Foundation in our lives. It so good to be Saved. Thank you for today’s reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

    • Dawn – thank you for how you take the time to respond and remind us to always keep Him as our solid foundation.

  3. I’m choosing to celebrate health and family inside my home. it’s been a rushed hairy time here too and life has been shaken but I think of so many in the bible that yes their lives were shaken but they still moved on to love life and have kept their faith alive.
    balance right now is huge.. we need to hear the news because so much is changing and we need to know what new things are in place but we also can’t read on this all day. it’s emotionally toxic and burdens the soul. we weren’t made to carry such a heavy burden.
    turn off the news..for awhile …balance it out with worship music or reading your fave bible passage out loud.
    God’s not quaratined..hes everywhere for all of us.

    • Amen, Krissy. God is not quarantined. He is our shelter as we shelter at home. xoxox

  4. Thank you for this Jennifer! Although I do not have twelve living under one roof (bless you all!!), our youngest daughter came home from University early, continuing her courses remotely. The past three weeks have been an ongoing process coming to terms with decisions made by her University and how it all is going to affect her academic life. She is 20, having completed 1.5 years of her first degree toward Optometry. Other than Jesus and her Dad and I, her relationship with her learning / courses / teachers has been her most trustworthy companion (and yes, even source of identity) the past 5-6 years especially. It’s all being reframed. In the midst of this early stage, I was sent a piece written by a University of Toronto professor Aisha Ahwad who HAS experienced many of the facets of what we’re facing in this pandemic throughout her life: social isolation, national disasters, violence, etc. She IS able to offer guidance as to ‘how to survive and thrive’ this that we find ourselves in, and we at our house are finding encouragement from her writing. She is writing a series to guide especially students and colleagues through the necessary stages we are thrust into. I offer it to you as well. I have one very keen academic in my home, you may have a few of those yourself. Regardless, I find what she is writing to be a life line of sorts for any of us, in the overwhelming torrent of opinions and reactions. She isn’t just reacting to something that is totally foreign to her, as most of us are. She’s lived some of this; she has a wise, experienced perspective. I respect and appreciate her offering, and point you and your readers to it; she’s right there, online, in the midst of all the talk. I would also just add that my own personal ‘mantra’ that is emerging more all the time, as I hear the expression ‘unprecedented times’ (it is, in our lifetime)… the prayer that this may be a time in history, as hopefully we look back on it from a different vantage point, of unprecedented prayer, as individuals, the Church, nations, planet Earth. Unprecedented prayer. Time spent in the loving gaze of our God. Going deeper than we ever dreamed possible in our surrender and knowledge of his love for us. And therein finding peace and rest.

    • Thank you, Margo, for giving us a hopeful response. I echo your sentient. That yes, we go deeper than we ever thought possible in surrendering to Him.
      Enjoy the time with your daughter and thank you for sharing that resource with us.

    • You are so welcome, Angie. I’m having to revisit many of these a few times a day. 🙂

  5. Jen,

    Wow 12 people in a lock down house. God bless you for opening your doors like that. For me I’m using this time to work on a Bible Study by Jennifer Rothschild- Fingerprints of God. Also lots of praise music & dancing in the living room. Don’t watch a lot of news or keep up with everything. Simply trusting God to send a cure for this pandemic quickly. I take walks down the hill from my house & back up. Working on an exercise/diet plan to lose pounds & get healthier. Have called friends & family when things get “boring” for me. Want them to know I care & would come by & check on them, but I & hubby work in hospital. Don’t want to spread any germs. Thankful for Face Book that allowed people to remind me yesterday was Palm Sunday. Now I can celebrate holy week with hubby. Oh yeah also having to clean my house now. Housekeeper won’t come over & I don’t blame her as she is in her 70s. Making the most of this.

    Blessings :

    • Beth – thank you sooo much for continuing to serve in the hospital during this time. WE are SOOO grateful for you.

      Sounds like you have a great plan to make the most of it and I haven’t done that bible study, but I love Jennifer Rothschild’s teaching. To know that He has His fingerprints all over our days is what gives us all hope and peace.

      Many blessings to you,
      Jen

  6. Actually, I’m pretty jealous that you have a bunch of people with you as we’re really missing hugs and cuddles from our grand babies 🙂 I love your thoughts here – thanks for sharing a positive perspective and God bless you as you deal with the craziness of that many people under one roof for who knows how long. JOY comes with the morning! Psalm 30:5

    • Thanks, kathy. Yes, I consider having a house full such a gift although there definitely are moments through out the day that ignite different stressors just because of this challenging time. Definitely not lonely though and I feel so much for my parents who want to be with us so much but can’t.

      We are down to ten people now soI feel like a whole new woman. 😉

      Many blessings to you,
      Jen

  7. Such a timely reminder! The uncertainty of this season has brought up a lot of anxiety for me. Even still, God is faithful to keep reminding me of his grace for every season. Thanks for your words.

  8. I’m joyful today because today is the anniversary of the most loving thing that has ever been done for the world, what is more joyful than a Lord and Savior who would make the ultimate sacrifice? This pandemic and the resulting quarantine for many is but a moment in time but Jesus is forever and that brings me great joy and comfort!! Today I’m joyful for Jesus, for a nice safe place to enjoy a day off from work, music, dancing in the kitchen, good food, friends, family health and so much more! Thank you, Jesus!!

  9. Hi,
    I just listened to the audiobook, Just Open the Door. I LOVED it! I can’t even express how much it encouraged my heart. I have always loved hospitality, but for about a decade I got too busy doing career stuff. I’m a therapist with a specialty in addiction. I absolutely love helping people get out from under the grip of alcoholism or other drug addiction. Its too long to explain, but currently I have a pivotal decision to make about how to best serve these people and better integrate treatment and the very good news of Jesus. As I heard your words, something in me woke up! I listened to the book three times, all in a row. God gave such clear direction in that peaceful, graceful way that He does! My husband I have been praying for direction for the past few years, and as I listened to your book and we discussed it, suddenly we had a view of our path going forward. We are VERY excited to have felt this guidance and reassurance from God! I just wanted to say thank you.