About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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things we love
& you will too!
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  1. Jennifer,

    Your post makes me think of Romans 5:3-5: “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.…” We’ve done a lot of persevering and character building this year and that gives us something invaluable that will never disappoint us – hope! Let our past propel us forward with hope in Christ, not in our world. Amen Jennifer!
    Bev xx

  2. I loved this! Thank you, Jennifer!
    It’s so perfect to how I feel. It has been quite a ride and so much learning in the process.
    Our hope is in Christ and His Word!
    “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid…The Lord is with you!…”

  3. Jennifer you said exactly what I believe. It is so easy to focus on the messes of life and not appreciate what God is doing with our lives. Reminds me of the Israelites wondering the desert. We complain wanting God to fix everything right now, forgetting His promises to deliver us, not in the way we may want or selfishly expect, but in His way to His glory.

  4. Amen! Hallelujah! Thank you Jennifer for this beautiful inspiring post.:2020 was a year of challenges despair racial injustice chaos masks shutdowns unemployment doubts fear of the unknown. But it was also a year of applauding cheering our front line workers, teachers who stepped bravely into the classroom to provide education to our children and created ways to make virtual learning fun and encouraging, an abundance of people lining up to vote and/or mailing in their ballots to choose, change, to be counted and heard. It was a year of principals teachers community celebrating congratulating encouraging all of 2020 graduates in innovative ways it was a year of giving hope courage inspiration innovation encouragement and love. 2020 is an unforgettable year and I hope and pray that all the good in 2020 will be forwarded and continued onto this year and years to come. God is good every day and every day God is good. God thank you for all your blessings.Amen! Hallelujah!

  5. Thank you. I love the honesty of your posts. I’ve been walking through hard times for 3 years and this is so encouraging. 🙂

  6. Well…I’m not there yet. I rather see 2020 in my rear view mirror.
    And that face masks will be something mentioned from our past.
    But I do know. Psalm 54:4 to be true.
    Surely God is my help;
    the Lord is the one who sustains me.

  7. What a great message. As I big Fred Rogers fan, one of my favorite quotes from him is “when bad things happen, look for the helpers.” The past year with every horror we witnessed and continue to witness, I am filled with hope watching the compassion of others and realizing I have much to be grateful for. That is something I want to keep with me. As a recent widow who moved across the country shortly before the pandemic hit (what timing!) in order to be near my daughter, I went from high hopes to isolation. And, I have not seen my son and daughter-in-law for over a year. But I have a church family and even though we meet on zoom, we rejoice each Sunday. Thank you one and all for your beautiful words.

    • Isn’t that just the greatest quote! It has been amazing to see those helpers shine during this terrible time. Praying you are able to see your family soon, Madeline. Grateful you have online family for the time now!

  8. As I look back over the 75 years of my life, I don’t recall having my parents regularly tell me “I love you.”
    Yet I knew that they did. How did you know that?, you might ask. I knew because of their actions, their teachings, and their presence. Remind you of anyone else?? Yes, you are right. God does the same each and every day for us. We can do nothing about the past but learn from it. We can do nothing about the future but hope for it to be better so we are left with today. Let us all learn to live it and deal with it and never forget the One that is always there no matter the circumstances.

  9. Thank you Jennifer! I am so grateful for voices like your’s that point us to what God is able to bring out of difficult times of trial. We are so comfort / ease / freedom oriented in our culture having not had those things contested in our lifetimes, so of course we balk and freak out in our own ways. But ~ the biblical narrative shows us that times of trouble are to be expected, are allowed (planned even) by God, are to be used for the greater good for God’s people. We will definitely miss something very profound and vital if we simply dismiss 2020 with a look of contempt, versus searching for the treasure in the darkness. As I am coming to know Him, our God majors on using difficulty to challenge and grow us, if we will follow him into it. One comment spoke of the Israelites in the desert wandering for 40 years (think of that!); my thoughts reading your post went to the Hebrews being exiled to Babylon for 70 years. At the onset they had no idea what lay ahead, or for how long. They endured, looking to their God in trust, or treating the whole situation with contempt, some of both I imagine! We don’t know what 2021 or any year will hold for us. I want us to be a ‘resilient remnant’, prepared well, come what may. God will never leave us, nor waste the trials we face.

    • So well said, Margo! Those are both examples of some long enduring! Hard to imagine. And this has been going on for not even a full year at this point. I join you in hoping we don’t miss the profound and vital teachings of this time. Thank you!

  10. What a beautiful reminder that whatever we had to face this past year God was right there beside us. He never left. He never gave up on us. In my case, it’s been a year of battling breast cancer. I’m still waiting for my victory, but I know it’s coming and I will continue to trust and spread my message of hope no matter how difficult it is.

  11. Jennifer I have to agree with alot of what you said. Don’t dismiss 2020. We have lot to learn from it. Plus what God has taught us from it. God has taught me so much from it. That he was with me and you every step of the way during 2020. In fact God was with all of us. Even during the lockdowns. I had alot to thank God for. In those times and so had you and everyone else. As every day is the Lord’s. Like Psalm 118 verse 24 says This is The Day The Lord Has Made Let Us Rejoice And Be Thankful. Meaning no matter how hard a year it has been or was for us. We especially if saved we are to still rejoice and be thankful on to God for it. As it is each day that God give us to enjoy on to him. Stop saying glad to see 2021. We should be thankful on God for everything he has given us. Like everyday he gives us to be alive to live in his beautiful world. Especially if not sick or homeless and not lots or jobs or got someone in Hospital ill or a sick family member. But even in 2020 if we had our Health or Jobs and Roof over our heads. We had alot to Rejoice and thank God for in 2020 and not to have wish it away. Wish 2021 here. So let stop and rejoice everyday for everything God give us. For every day God wakes us up to enjoy another day in his beautiful world and give him thank for it. Not wish every thing away. Especially the last year or years like 2020. Remember who holds everything together. Like the kids song I was taught at Sunday School. “That is He got the whole world in his hands. It also goes in his hands he got me and you brother.” You get the song on YouTube. It is so true God holds the whole world in his hands. So keep looking on the Lord for everything and trusting him for everything. Love today’s reading. Love you all in incourage. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxxxx ❤️

  12. I love this message. So many people have said they couldn’t wait for 2020 to be over as though all this past year has held would come to an abrupt end and we would go on as though it never happened. We all know well 2020 is now flowing into our new year and for me personally I totally relate to what you have written so well. I found it so hard to set up a years plan, to dig into a set devotion and all of the many things I do normally as each new year begins. I haven’t been able to settle. It has only been over the past few days The Lord has been showing me the importance of going back to the ancient paths, the tried and true ways, the well worn paths that have sustained me. God truly does work all things for good when we believe in him. Even in our world full of pain and turmoil there has been beauty in humanity as well. Nothing is wasted if we seek his face first and foremost. With him we have hope and a future. Blessings

  13. This past year has been crazy for sure! But when I really look at it we have had it pretty easy. My husband and I are retired so our routine wasn’t really affected that much. Sure it was inconvenient at times as far as things being closed,masking etc. But we stayed healthy as did our family. My husband did get covid but it was extremely easy. So I guess my thoughts are that our generation has had it pretty easy so now that we’re uncomfortable we don’t know what to do. Our ancestors went through the depression and the wars but we have it pretty easy. Financially things were really doing great and people were living high. Also politics has taken a turn as well. But the bottom line is to hat God is still on his throne and has a plan. A perfect plan if we trust him. He’s not wringing hands about who the president is or anything else. Yes he does give us free will but whatever choices we make he can still work it all for good. So look to him…..he’s got this!

    • I have often heard my grandma saying the same thing. Younger people don’t know how to face a lot of what others have lived through before them. So much to be learned. Thank you, Linda. And I am so glad your husband is well!

  14. Jennifer,

    There are times when you want to erase the bad memories. Forget the past & what took place. Once you’ve survived trials/tribulations it should be vital to record God’s goodness & mercy. How he saw you THROUGH it all & brought you out safely. Both as a reminder for yourself for the next trial & to tell other generations. Keep His legacy of goodness & mercy going. Otherwise it won’t be remembered. Judges 2:10 The people of Joshua’s generation died, and the next generation did not know the LORD or any of the things he had done. They won’t know about our great God, the hope & peace only He can give. We plus God have this!

    Blessings 🙂

    P.s. How are you doing with your autoimmune problems? Still praying!

    • Yes, Beth! This is so, so true! And also reminds me of converstations with my grandma that I mentioned in another comment. I hope I can spread the truth of how He has brought me through so much! Thank you so much for asking about me and your prayers. xo I have good days and bad. Grateful for more good days!

  15. Thank you for putting into words how my heart felt….and I am sure that everyone else felt as well. I needed to read this today. Thank you. Stay SAFE!!! Take care.

  16. God is truly my savior for( I look to the hills from where cometh my help, my help cometh from the Lord)
    M Psalm 121