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. Oooh I am currently memorizing Philippians 4:12. A scripture I’ve been familiar with my whole adult life but never committed to memory. We are grandparents now and I thought I would have more time to pitch in and help out while their mamas navigated their new role as moms but, I’m working my own day job, and probably will for a while longer. The Lord is showing me it’s okay. They’re okay. And some things, they need to figure out on their own without me swooping in to assist at every turn. He knows what He’s doing and for that, I’m grateful.

  2. I’ve been going thru not so good time with allergies due to area we live in. I had a bad dream early this morning and finally got out of bed and am now on recliner resting and reading (in)courage post. They are good to read and lift my spirit in mind. Not sure when I’ll be going back to work for a couple reasons. Last few weeks haven’t been the best for me but I’m thankful for Jesus to hear my prayers and remember songs that I sing, especially like now. “Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone. Because He lives, He holds the future and life is worth the living just because He lives!” (Chorus of song written by Bill Gaither). I remember having a bad dream some years ago and I turned on my radio in kitchen and it helped me feel better. “In the Eye of the Storm” song . That matches to go with my bad dream this morning. Thanks for your encouragement.

    • Yes, Becky – love your wisdom and I haven’t heard that song by Gaither in decades, but it brings back so many wonderful memories. Truth singing right to us. 🙂

  3. Jen,
    Thank you for your transparency and vulnerability. My heart is moved by both your struggles and your joys, especially when you describe the memories made in your kitchen. Some of the most expensive kitchens will never hold those kind of rich memories. Blessings come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, as you understand.

  4. Boy Jen, if I had your talent I could have written this post. I too struggle so much with desiring a “non tacky” home. This helps me, once again, to put the perspective of what is important. I pray for the ability to stay focused on what is important…..it is so hard.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  5. I am so thankful for this post. Holy Spirit knew how much I needed it. Thanks for the reminder. There are so many other things and people and blessings I have to be grateful for! Blessings to you for sharing

  6. Oh Jen. It’s like you were in my head! I have been struggling with how to fix up my kitchen. It is the heart of my home and yet always the last to get attention. Every time I move, it is the same old story. I am trying to accept that this one may not get done for years to come. I am a widow on a fixed income and moved into a new place last fall. Unfortunately, I have had to use the funds for those unexpected things- the refrigerator broke down, the washing machine bit the dust, the deck support was non-existent, etc. Having lived through kitchen disasters- like the cabinets falling off the walls in the old 1810 New England farmhouse where my husband and I raised our children destroying almost all my dishes that finally made a complete set, not to mention all the other items that were destroyed- I have to keep a sense of humor. And tacky floors? Well, the kitchen floor is the first thing people notice and have questioned why the previous owner would choose it. So, I get it. I look at this as a way for me to practice patience. And I amuse myself with the thought that about the time the kitchen gets done (I do have faith it will), I probably will be moving as I will be to old to take care of the house. I truly believe God has a sense of humor.

    • It sounds like you continually choose to have a joyful attitude with your sense of humor. And
      i guarantee I wasn’t trying to get in your head. hahaha Thank you for sharing a bit of your heart today.

  7. Good morning Everyone,

    Thank you Lord that I have food to eat and clean water to drink. My mother and grandmother have set a model for me: rise early, say your Prayers, be obedient, be thankful and be courteous to others. I was taught to speak to everyone whether they spoke to me or not. I was taught to clean up after I make a mess of play things and toys. I was taught not to beg for food at someone else’s house. I was taught that I could not spend the night with anyone. Wow, I am surprised that I remember those house rules.

    Now, I admit that I raised my children slightly differently. But they still had questions, why not mom?

    When fear of any kind keeps you from being your authentic self, just ignore that fear and tell the truth. My girls asked many questions and I did “sugar coat” so many things that I failed to prepare them for rude awakenings in their young adulthood. Now, I realize I did not share the truth about emotional abuse and stress in relationships. They are grownups now and I can finally tell them the truth about many things in my life and in my marriage. God has given me the best platform, Love and Forgiveness as Jesus has given to me.

    Please remember that your children remember way more than you remember as they kept the videos in their minds and hearts.

    Thank You Lord for Redeeming my Life.


    • I love hearing a bit about your story and your growing up. It sounds like you had wonderful role models with your mom and granddaughter. That’s a rare gift. Thank you for sharing, Brenda.

  8. Thanks, Jen! For this invitation to a new perspective. I have an unfinished bathroom in my daylight basement. And it’s not for lack of money, but because my husband doesn’t think it needs finishing. Off and on, this has frustrated me and made me unhappy. But I have pretty much learned to let it go. I love my husband and it doesn’t seem worth the battle to get what I want.

    • I so get that balance of choosing what’s worth it in our most important relationships. Sounds like you are picking what’s most important but hopefully, your husband’s heart will soften in seeing how much you’d like that too.

  9. I’m thankful that I can walk 4 miles in total back and forth to the nearest supermarket and have the strength to carry weighty bags. I complain sometimes that I wish I had a car and didn’t need to walk but think of those who don’t have legs and would be thankful to be able to walk as I freely do.

  10. The Lord led me to your message this morning… After a divorce almost two years ago, I moved back in with my parents into their 70yr old ranch house whose carpet has never been updated. Light turquoise, shag carpet held together in places by black duct tape and other places worn so much that you see the wood through it, stained with nail polish, lime highlighters, finger-paint, and ink from grape smelling markers from pets and six daughters. I’ve always hated it and living back in my bedroom, it’s haunted me how dirty it is, how matted down it is. I decided I absolutely needed to have new carpet and fresh paint on the walls. I finally got new textured carpet, and I’m not happy, at least not happier that I was with the teal shag because they put it in at a slight diagonal and it was the wrong color when it came and I accepted it instead of fighting. I’ve been looking at the green paint I picked out, that in a small sample didn’t look the same as the whole wall and light oatmeal carpet, thinking it is the most horrible thing in the world. Pistachio ice cream on a cake cone! For a few days now I’ve been arguing with the carpet company and blaming myself for picking the wrong paint color and have been completely un-Christlike in my dealings. Last night, the Lord put on my heart to apologize to the carpet man for my aggressiveness and I plan on apologizing to the painter for my attitude of disappointment. He did a beautiful job, and after reading your message, I realize I have a worldly perspective on it, and need to be grateful that I have new paint, I have carpet that is safe for my walker, it is clean it is new, and this room has a new life in it. God led me to read your message this morning. I have no doubt he was speaking your words into my heart along with the phrase “I have learned to be content in all things”. What catches my eye is the word learned. Paul didn’t say he was immediately, always content. He learned it and so can I. When I look around this room at the mismatched, mostly donated or garage sale or thrift sale furniture instead of seeing that the wood doesn’t match and the styles are anywhere from the 50s to the 80s 90s etc, I realize that these pieces were given in love, shared with me as a blessing from the Lord. I think I’ve spent under $200 to furnish my entire room with a craft area, sitting area, and my bed. It’s a large farmhouse room, and I looked at it in disgust because I had moved from a new house with mostly new furniture that matched, down to a single room. I need to look at it in a different perspective. I went from a lovely home filled with abuse to a bedroom filled with love and peace. My family accepted me with open arms, just as our Lord has, just as I am. I’ve been hating this room and it’s flickering lights and old outlets. My sweet, 82-year-old Daddy got on his knees, and rewired them to updated outlets. Right now I’m looking out the window at hummingbirds and a beautiful view of trees and plants and looking out the 1954 windows at God‘s world, with tears in my eyes, realizing how blessed I am, and I have learned to be content, and I know I will continue learning how to be content. I thank the Lord so greatly from the bottom of my heart for having me go through this transformation because you went through the transformation with your peeling all floors. And our kitchen is another story…

    • Oh Cary – what a beautiful outline of reminiscing some or your past and shifting your perspective to the contentment that only the Lord can give in those situations. Also your humble heart in apologizing to the carpet man is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  11. I’m quite sure, today’s column with resonate with thousands of us!! I couldn’t be more grateful!! I too have 35 year old linoleum and a hole in my kitchen ceiling covered with poster board!! This helped remind me that I’m not alone and to embrace the fact that our four children, their spouses and five grandchildren fill our home with everything we need. I am also grateful that no one has said anything as unkind; my sister refers to our plumbing as “quirky” and that makes me laugh!!
    Blessings to you!

  12. It’s so true, “A thief comes only to steal and destroy. I have come so that they may have life & have it in abundance.” You can have a beautiful home yet filled with abuse or have a home that is more minimal filled with Joy, Peace, Love & acceptance. Thank you all for sharing your stories. I thank God for His word, His Peace & Grace, His Spirit and most of all His unconditional Love.

  13. One glorious thing about old floors/furniture: people can be comfy and don’t have to worry about “ruining” something with a spill or an accidental gouge in the floor. (but yes, there is an age at which the avoidance of anything that someone else might think “tacky” feels viscerally necessary; one hopes it’ll be a short age, but sometimes it isn’t)

    I’m thankful for AC, for good music, and for plants.

    • I love having a home that I definitely don’t have to worry about our special things being ruined. And I am also thankful for our AC.

  14. Lovvvved this article! I needed this this week as my sweet husband starts yet another project, although I don’t feel as if the last few have been completed. So helpful Jen!

  15. Jen,

    I have fallen into the comparison trap as well. My discontent is mainly with my job. The enemy is saying “You’re not smart or good enough”. “You can only do this job–can’t handle anything hard”. It is frustrating to me. Through scripture reading, listening to Christian music & Tv preachers like Steven Furtick I am learning to change my perspective. One song in particular is Chris Tomlin’s “Thank you Lord”. It talks about giving God thanks for everything big or small. Most especially His never ending love. That song is truly changing my attitude.

    Blessings 🙂

  16. There is artwork on my wall (yes, on a big sale), a framed quote from George Herbert
    “Give thanks Oh Thou who has given us so much, mercifully grant us one more thing-a grateful heart”…..but will admit I don’t sink it into my soul every day, so always working on that attitude. Thank you for helping me to be more mindful of it today.