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. There is no Christmas spirit in my heart this year – no tree, no decorations, not even the beloved Christmas movies we watch every year. I dread the holiday, the travel, the disagreements, the walking on eggshells around family members who don’t agree with decisions my husband and I have made. I dread the diminished paycheck that occurs in my production-based job as everyone else takes a break for a week or two. I wish I could go to bed with a book and a cup of coffee (sorta like you said) and not get up until New Year’s. I know that God is in control but I’m out of tune with Him or something…

  2. Hope is on the way yes his name is Jesus. We don’t need to trust or hope in anyone or anything else. All year round Jesus is there for us. All we need to do put our trust in him. Pray to him and stand on the promises in his word the Bible. Live them out in our lives especially if saved. For the on saved to see. Then they will see the word of Jesus is true as they will get to see it living out in our lives especially us that are saved. Hopefully they then will want what we have and that is to know Jesus for themselves. As they will have seen the truth of it working out in our lives that are saved and living for him and as his word says. When we do that we will not be struggling in life or be sleepless in any way. As we know the then if we especially are saved if we have a struggle in our lives we can pray to Jesus about it and stand on the promises in his word over it know it will be. Answered in Jesus perfect timing and Jesus will help us get through it. Tell us through the Holy Spirit how to get through it and what to do. I say Amen to that. Love today’s reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little Enniskillen Co.Fermanagh N.Ireland.

    • From my little corner in North Carolina, USA all the way to Ireland, we are grateful for you, Dawn and how you so often encourage others here.

      Hope is on the way.

      • Thank you Jen for that lovely comment you wrote me. I do so much appreciate it. I love you all in incourage my sisters. I might not meet you guys this side of earth. But I still keep you all in my prayers. I see you all in Glory one day. I look forward to that. Love Dawn xx

  3. God is so good! This is exactly the encouragement I needed today. In summary: I am exhausted— physically, mentally, emotionally— dealing with months of stress caused by living in this broken world. But God! May I focus today, not on my grief, or the uncertainties always looming in my thoughts, or the Christmas to-do list that I have already significantly shortened, but seems impossibly overwhelming, but on God, and the hope His promises ALWAYS give because I am His, always held in His arms, no matter how messy life is.

    • “but on God, and the hope His promises ALWAYS give because I am His, always held in His arms, no matter how messy life is.:

      Yes, Joanne. I’m echoing your wisdom here as we all speak this truth into our heart and souls. xoxo

  4. Yeah, hope is on the way! Not working right now. I am in the middle of grad school, internship, and helping my daughter by taking care of my granddaughter three days a week as she works. The overwhelm is real but Jesus!!! Thanks for sharing this to remember He is coming.

    • Oh Pam, that is a LOT and it sounds like you are serving so many this season amidst school. I’m amazed that you’re juggling grad school as well. Sounds like you are a gift to so many and praying the Lord meets you right now. (And that you get a wonderful holiday break from school.)

  5. Thanks for this Jen! I feel hopelessly broken and alone. I’m hoping God will put me back together in a beautiful mosiac as only He can, I just don’t have the strength anymore. :'( Big thank you to you and all the (in)courage writers for giving me something to hang on to.

    • Cheyla – these are the times when I feel the distance between the screen because there’s nothing more than I’d love to invite you over for some coffee, give you the biggest hug and assure you that you’re not alone. You are not broken even though it feels that desperately that way right now. This virtual hug isn’t the same. It’s the in person “withness” that eliminates some of that but know we are so grateful for you here. There’s not one of us that don’t want to encourage you amidst this lonely season. Do you have a local church that you can plug into in the new year? Often that’s hard too and takes time but so want you to have community.

      There’s always a spot on my porch in NC for some coffee time if you’re ever in the area. 🙂


  6. My husband went home to be with the Lord August 10th, the seasons of firsts are very different and at times hard.. signing gift tags was quite difficult…but, I have the Hope in me and I depend on Him to get me through the “Firsts”.

    Your devotional lifted my spirits up as Christmas is quickly approaching. Thank you for sharing.

    • Oh Becky – all the firsts and seconds and thirds are so hard. Our words here don’t minimize your grief but know I am praying right now that in this challenging season of firsts, you remember where our true hope is found and that others in your life will rally around to encourage you.

      Many blessings on this first Christmas. xoxox

    • Yes, Hillary and thank you. Those of us in ministry often forget to slow down during this season and ponder this miracle ourselves. Thank you for all you do for those in your community.

  7. I’ve been waiting & hoping for healing of brokeness in our family. It’s such an impossible situation caused from past sin. I have much anxiety that it will get worse before it gets better, which will completely break me. Please pray for a miracle

    • J – I am wrapping you in a huge hug and feel your sorrow and desperation in your plea. Past sin eats and theres nothing more that the enemy desires than to tear families apart even more, so I’m joining you in that miracle prayer. I have some of my own and I will stand in the gap on your behalf.

      HOPE IS ON THE WAY!!! We know who ultimately wins in the end.Much love during this heartbreaking time.

  8. I feel so seen, I am definitely depleted emotionally physically and financially, I need help, I appreciate your prayers for me, I feel I’m in the dark

    • Ashanti –

      You did not read this by chance and while words can help you feel seen, I know its only the MASTER healer who can swoop in and surround you. I am praying for all the details and really hoping you have some in your own life you can reach out to who will come alongside you for comfort and encouragement. You are SO LOVED!!!

  9. Hi Jen, and thank you for your encouraging words. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was you, the same person who went to my church when I lived in the area. Im sure you don’t remember me, we didn’t really connect while we were there over the years. But it’s nice to connect with you here on a spiritual level.

    I love the idea of lighting the advent candle while reading His word. I will definitely be practicing this when I awake way too early, most likely tonight. I’m so glad you were able to find peace in God’s word and the hope only He can bring.


    • Happy New Year, Teresa. What a small world that you attended Westover as well. Thanks for letting me know the connection. Hope you had a beautiful Christmas week.


  10. Thanks for the encouragement…I have been battling insomnia since July this year…am familiar with the tossing and turning at night due to so many thoughts racing through my mind. Am hopeful that God can restore my sleep pattern.

  11. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I appreciate that you are willing to pray for me. My family has had so many trials, health problems, and much loss this past year. We are clinging to the LORD. We know He is our hope. Thank you for caring.

  12. Jen,

    Society & our own expectations puts pressure on us during the holidays. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate Christmas. My hubby & I put up a small “Charlie Brown” tree with lights & ornaments attached-(working in hospitals you don’t know if you’ll be working Christmas day). My joy comes from buying gifts for seniors off the senior angel tree. Making others happy &&sharing God’s love. Also truly love listening to Christian Christmas music to remind myself what Christmas is all about. It’s about Jesus leaving the splendor of Heaven to come to broken Earth die a horrible death so we can have eternal life. He came to die so It’s also about the cross.

    Blessings 🙂