Ep.3:Deirdre & Jen, Feeding the Fam and Loving your Season


Hi Friends!

I’m so excited to get to introduce you to my friend Deirdre for today’s episode!!  She is one of the most encouraging, intelligent, resourceful women I know, and a great mother while juggling a head-spinning number of things… I knew she would have some gold-nuggets to share with you as you may find yourself whirling from life’s demands too.  If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or just plain bad at knowing how to keep your family fed well with all the other things you do, you’re going to love the secrets shared in today’s show, not to mention, at the end she drops some truth bombs about loving and appreciating the season you’re in to help reduce stress.  What qualifies her to speak on these things? I’m so glad you asked!  😀

She is a mother of two precious little ones ages 5 &3, works a full time job as an Accountant at one of the nation’s largest firms, as well as working a part time job as a Leadership Developer of the staff at Chick Fil A in Vicksburg.  She is also currently in school, finishing her advanced degree in Accounting and looks forward to being done at the end of this semester.  Aside from being a wife, mother, working woman, she is in Ministry leader with her husband and has a couple pets to chase and clean up after.  Even given all of this, she manages to keep a clean home and happy, well-fed children, all the while her exuberance for life and encouragement fuels you with excitement when she comes around!!  (Just wait for it, you’ll hear it in our squeals :D)   So, listen close as I pull on her insights and share some of my own so we can help YOU feel more equipped and capable at managing your home, specifically feeding your family well, and resting into the season you’re in.

We kicked this episode off with a Life-Hacks portion, filling the episode with links, apps and services that will save you time, money and trouble, and you can find them all listed below!  (This is not a paid advertisement, just excited to help. 🙂 )

LIFE HACKS with Jen & Deirdre! 

  • Make grocery shopping easy and save time: Walmart Grocery App. Order your groceries online to save time AND money.
  • Teach me to cook!  Pinterest!  I have some great recipe boards that can get you started:
    • Kid-loved foods!  (Some of these pins my kids added themselves, so if there are repeats, that’s why. :D)
    • Holiday treat: Peppermint Merengue Puff cookies!  This is one of my own blog posts that’s been repinned on Pinterest in a number of locations hundreds of times.  It’s a classic!  It’s a recipe I found and tweaked to make my own on Pinterest.
  • Easy RecipesAmerica’s Test Kitchen on Pinterest & App (the app is currently only available for iOS devices)
    • Here’s the Mac-n-cheese recipe Deidre loved if you sign up!  (Tip: you boil the noodles in water AND milk).
  • Meal planningMealime : Keeping meals healthier!  This App & website is the easiest way to specify types of recipes you want, and to have personalized options populate for you to choose from, pick the ones you want for the week, and compiled into a shopping list.  The easiest way I’ve found to healthfully meal plan so far!  You can pay a little to get access to a larger database of recipes if you really love the app, though I haven’t had to yet, still lots of great options.
  • Lunch planning, & gets kids involved!: LaLa Lunchbox –  The website also offers an App download, which I use, and my kids can use and has made life easier!!  I believe they have a breakfast app too, but we just do lunch.

I believe those were our cooking/meal planning/how to keep it healthy suggestions, but if we missed anything you heard in the podcast that you have a question about, feel free to email me: javawithjenpodcast@gmail.com !  Feel free to leave comments below of what you’re loving as well!

Other links mentioned.

We hope this podcast was a blessing to you, and stay tuned for more content from Deirdre in the future!!  If you enjoyed this, please share it with friends, on social media, and go on itunes to rate the podcast!  This causes more people to be able to find the podcast and be blessed by it as well!  Thanks so much and happy feeding-the-families!


What does God think about you? THAT’s the truth…

man and lake.jpeg

Hello friends!!  Let’s talk about…

What do you believe about yourself?  Who do you think you are?  What do you think people think about who you are?  Are you satisfied or disappointed with yourself?  How do you know if you’re believing the truth about yourself?  So.  Many.  Questions.

What you Believe about YOURSELF forms your identity.  This is one of the two most important things to evaluate how you are thinking.  The second is what you believe about and relate to God himself.  But today is about what you believe about YOU.  Everything you do, the ways you speak, behave, relate to others, opportunities you take, choices you make, are all IMMEDIATELY related to what you believe about yourself.

As an exercise, take some time and write down perhaps the things you’re believing about yourself that are not helping you accomplish greatness and the destiny God placed in you… anything that is a lie.  Satan is an accuser, he brings shame, he brings a sense of insufficiency, a sense of inadequacy and failure and incompetance.  Any place you feel this way, its very likely you’re believing a lie that was formed in hell.  It may have come through the mouth of someone you love, which is what makes it believable, but that doesn’t change, that if its not what God says about it, ITS NOT TRUTH.  People speak out of anger, out of hurt, out of disappointment, out of selfishness, and things spoken in these attitudes are not rooted in truth but in their own distorted version of you.  The best thing you can do is see what God says about you in the Bible.  Another thing I love to do is see what he says about me by simply asking.  He loves to tell us.  You can know its his voice when you see it is compatible with what Scripture says.  He will never contradict scripture.  But he loves to speak to his children, because he is a good, attentive Father.  Search yourself, and discover how amazing he has made you.  Dare to throw off the lies and live this year in the TRUTHS of who you are, and what the Loving God thinks about you.  🙂

Let me give you a spoiler: YOU .  ARE.  AMAZING!!  Ok.  Read on.  🙂

house cleaning God taking our hand

(The following was borrowed from here.  )

Believe You Are Who God Says You Are


“And we … are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)

“God is asking you to believe he is who he says he is, believe you are who he says you are, and then live like you believe those things.”

This week’s devotionals are by Buddy Owens, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and author of ‘The Way of a Worshiper’.

I want to help you learn to confess your faith, and then let that confession lead to life change so that it demolishes your old way of thinking and gives you a new way of thinking about life, God, yourself, hardship, your family and your world.

And here’s how to do it: Stop confessing lies. Confess your faith! Say the same thing God says about you. Let it change the way you think . . . and it will change the way you live.

Here are some things the Bible says about you that need to become things you say about yourself. Start every day by confessing these truths —

My Faith Confessions

  • I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)
  • The Son has set me free. I am free indeed! (John 8:36)
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
  • He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
  • There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
  • Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39)
  • In all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)
  • God is faithful. He will not let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • My light and momentary troubles are achieving for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
  • He is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within me. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • God is for me! Who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)

When you say what God says (confession), you begin to think what God thinks (repentance). So let this be your confession of faith. And let it be the foundation on which you build your new life.

This is not the power of positive thinking. It’s not your good thoughts that will turn your life around. God’s power will turn your life around. He’s just asking you to believe he is who he says he is, believe you are who he says you are, and then live like you believe those things.

Does that mean bad things will stop happening? No. But it does mean you will experience many more victories than losses because the Word of God is at work in you.


Here is another list of things God says about you.

I am God’s child.
Galatians 3:26

I am Jesus’ friend.
John 15:15

I am a whole new person with a whole new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a place where God’s Spirit lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19

I am God’s Incredible work of art.
Ephesians 2:10

I am totally and completely forgiven.
1 John 1:9

I am created In God’s likeness.
Ephesians 4:24

I am spiritually alive.
Ephesians 2:5

I am a citizen of Heaven.
Philippians 3:20

I am God’s messenger to the world.
Acts 1:8

I am God’s disciple-maker.
Matthew 28:19

I am the salt of the earth.
Matthew 5:13

I am the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

I am greatly loved.


hCG Diet results! This has been amazing!

Wow.  After four kids, a momma just might have some baby-weight to lose!  Thankfully, mine was only about 30 lbs, but it was sure stubborn and not coming off!  In fact, the scale slowly climbed, and despite my best efforts, it was not budging.  I had prayed earlier this year, earnestly asking the Lord to help me and connect me to the resources to have success in this area of getting healthy again, and I stumbled across a little bottle of hCG diet drops at a Ross near me.  At first I thought it was excessive and ridiculous, but after doing a lot of research online, there was SO MUCH positive feedback, lasting results, and knowing it was designed by a doctor helped too, so I decided to try it.  And I am so thankful.  My pre-self wasn’t out of control, but I know me best, and I have always been lean and healthy and wanted to stay that way.  Now that you know the backstory,  want to know my results?  Here are the details:

The total diet lasted 40 days (about 6 weeks), and the transition out phases lasted a total of 6 weeks. So, here it is:

I went from 156.8 lbs, to 138.2 lbs.  That’s a total loss of nearly 19 lbs!!

And I lost… ready for this?  A whopping NINETEEN INCHES all over!!  I lost 3.5 inches in my hips, butt, and almost 3 inches in my waist!  I went from wearing a Large top to a Small top.  And I fit a bunch of my clothes that had gotten too small. 🙂  Here are the photos…

This was my first Before/After series

This was my first Before/After series



Its amazing to me the results I saw in such a short time!

Its amazing to me the results I saw in such a short time!

Before and After.  The "after" shot is just before finishing the diet.

Before and After. The “after” shot is just before finishing the diet.

Before and After.

Before and After.

Some of my new outfits in my new clothes. :)

Some of my new outfits in my new clothes. 🙂

I always wanted to wear a dress like this.  Now I can!

I always wanted to wear a dress like this. Now I can!

Super thankful.

Super thankful.

This jacket couldn't button before!

This jacket couldn’t button before!


These are the drops I used, found at Ross and Burlington, though they dont regularly carry them

Now, for anyone who hasn’t struggled to lose baby weight, it might be a little ridiculous for me to be so excited over 20 lbs, but this was a huge deal for me!  Technically, I still have ten to go, but I am celebrating this milestone!  I have literally prayed for 3.5 years for a breakthrough in getting the baby weight and the momentum of weight gain reversed.  The beautiful thing even beyond the actual weight loss?  That God cared enough to put the right tools in my hands.  Tools that were helpful, and nurtured healthy changes and education on what kind of foods are best for my body.  God totally cares about these things!  Why?  Because he LOVES.  And because he loves you, he cares about what you care about.  Ok, tangent over…

I learned so much on this diet!  Because of how it’s built I learned a lot of what kinds of foods to reach for that will fill me while benefit my weight and health goals.  Now, before you starting judging and think I ‘m crazy to have weight concerns over twenty or thirty pounds, please understand, I liked myself even at my heaviest, and I like myself now.  I’ve never hated myself. I have always believed in making the most of what you have to work with.  But I also believe in being the best (healthiest) version of ourselves as long as we can control it.  For me this wasn’t about becoming a supermodel or anything a magazine might promote.  Rather, it was about reaching a weight goal that I felt would be healthy for me.  Actually, after having my first baby and not really knowing how to relate to my I’m-a-woman-I’ve-birthed-babies body, I had asked the Lord what weight would be healthiest for my frame, muscle/bone makeup, lifestyle, etc.  I mean, he made me, he knows what’s best for me, wouldn’t he know the healthiest weight for me too?  And I kept coming to the same number (as un-round of a number as it was), and when I looked it up on the weight-range index, it was in a perfect spot in my healthy weight range for my height, and appropriate for my lean structural build.  So, that’s how I came to my goal weight.  For some that may seem a little over-spiritualized, but I’ve always felt, God knows best and so why not just ask him.  He loves being involved in those details of our lives. 🙂


So, starting today,  I’m actually on my second  and last round of the hCG diet, this time with two friends, to try to get the last 6-8 lbs off to reach my goal weight.  Then I’ll be able to start toning muscle a little bit, and have the happy satisfaction of knowing I’m taking the best care of this body that I can, while I can.  I want to live long, healthy and vibrant all my days.  Keeping my weight under control, eating healthy, exercising, detoxing a couple times a year, resting when needed, hydrating, all those are disciplines to be a good steward of this temple, this body.  I read a lot to keep my mind sharp, laugh a lot to keep me happy, and lots of other little disciplines that are healthy for longevity.  I hope this blog was encouraging to you, and if so, please leave a comment! I’d love to hear! As for now, I’ll see you with my next before/after post.  Stay tuned! 🙂   I wish you peace for the journey!

Good news! The Lord is “cleaning house”


I just love when the Lord takes a moment to let us in on his secrets… his plans.  It makes it so much easier to know how to posture ourselves to be cooperating with him, to see purpose in what is happening around us, to stay focused when we might otherwise feel quite lost.  That’s what happened a few weeks ago.  On a Sunday night at church the Lord showed me the next “phase” or “season” our church would be going through, that would affect people deeply.  And that word is what I want to share, but first, let me give you a tiny bit of context for it.

I know many of you are accustomed to me posting about food or fashion or parenting stuff, but what is at the core of my heart is a love for Jesus and all things that he is involved in.  My Husband and I are privileged to be on the pastoral staff at Cathedral Church under a powerful couple, Suzann and Randy Feldschau.  I have personally been in ministry leadership positions for 18 years now, and have served with a vast variety of Pastors and leaders, and I can recognize the uniqueness of how pure-hearted and sincere this couple is.  They have a gripping desire to see God show up in a way that doesn’t just rock us, but changes our region, and prayerfully, the nations.  We want to see God in a very real, very powerful, very personal way.  We don’t want “church”.  We want HIM.

So, given that backdrop, we have a culture at our church that is pursuing revival.  The kind of revival that changes the face of a region and nation.  The kind of revival that our nation desperately needs.  We have been praying, contending, pressing for more of Him.  We have had MULTIPLE visiting ministers who are completely unrelated and all sound ministers, ( Perry Stone, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, and a few others I can’t recall at the moment) comment and prophecy similarly that there will be a great Revival that will hit our church, and others, and go out to impact our region, and regions beyond us.  Having so  many legitimate voices saying they are hearing and seeing the same thing in prayer, takes it from just a dream of ours as a church, to clearly a dream of God’s heart for our church.

A few weeks ago, Pastor Feldschau preached a message that I knew the night before, was going to begin something.  I was sweeping my dining room and heard the Holy Spirit say, “This message on Fathers he will be preaching on in the morning, this is IT.”  Later I had more insight into even what that meant, but in short, basically, as there are keys that open certain doors, the message and revelation of this message on “Digging the Wells of our Fathers” is a key to unlock the door of Revival in our area.  Feel free to follow the link and listen to it.  Its powerful.

That night we had a somewhat spontaneous service planned in response to how the Lord was moving so powerfully that morning.  At prayer before the evening service, the Lord told me about the next season our church, and perhaps others, but specifically our church, would be walking through in preparation for the coming revival.  It was pretty specific and yet unique, and almost immediately I have started seeing it play out.  In fact, in the following week I had a number of people who hadn’t even heard the word I shared, ask me to go for coffee to talk, and they were experiencing what I had felt the Lord shared with me.  After about two weeks of this, my heart grew a little heavy for the people because even though I was aware it was the Lord moving and touching things in people’s lives,  the people weren’t perceiving that it was Him divinely at work, and I sensed that they were feeling discouraged, disoriented, and weary.  So, I was able to share it again this past Sunday at our morning service, and I was so grateful for the full family to hear it, so people could be more mentally prepared for how to respond when things started shifting.  Let me share this word with you and it will make more sense.
“I heard the Lord say, “Over the next two to three months the church will be going through a house cleaning.  I have already been shifting things and people and setting order in many ways for many months, but this will be on a much deeper level.  My presence will be surfacing things buried deep in the hearts of my people.  Things they might not even realize reside within them.  Think of it like this: Just as you clean your home before having company come over, I need to clean my House before “company” (referring to the people who would be drawn into the family through Revival) comes over.  If a person has company but doesn’t clean house, they run the risk of two things: Offending the guest for the lack of honor shown, and possibly putting the guest at risk of injury or harm if there were say spills on the floor, slippery spaces, or things left out to trip over.  I will be bringing many into the House to join the Family, but I want to minimize casualties and get the house ready to host them.  Those coming in will need to be greeted by a family who is ready to care for them.  My church will be able to comfort others with the comfort they will have received from Me. Right now, there are some deep rooted issues in my children that could cause offense or injury to young new believers, and I need to deal with those things.  But realize this: It is my presence that will be touching those heart things and bringing them to the surface, and IT IS MY PRESENCE THAT WILL BE HEALING AND BRINGING DELIVERANCE.  It will be a quick work because it will be my Very Presence that is doing it.  When I clean house, I do a good job, and it is always done with my loving, caring, merciful hand.  Some of these areas I will be touching in hearts will be so deep that it will be a bit tumultuous for them to be surfaced.  Such things like attitudes or beliefs that came out of an abused childhood or experience.  Fears that came on in childhood.  Addictions and bondages.  Shame that people have been carrying that isn’t theirs to carry.  Legalism that was religiously bred into them.  Relationships that have always been broken but need to be healed.  There is no end to the types of things that will be brought up, and it will be deep, “heavy” stuff, and much of it will be beliefs or attitudes so engrained into their nature, they think it’s their personality, they don’t even realize it’s an area that is hurting them.  But my presence is kind.  And my presence is effective to do the work.  It is MY PRESENCE THAT WILL SURFACE THESE THINGS, AND IT IS MY PRESENCE THAT WILL HEAL AND DELIVER THESE THINGS.


Remind my people when they are experiencing these moments, that i am doing this work strategically, out of my love and care for them, and my love and care for those who will be joining the family.  Tell them not to carry shame or discouragement over what they see.  It has always been there, it is not a surprise to me even if it is a surprise to them.  I have always loved them and always will, despite what they will see surfacing in them.  Tell them, the best thing they can do is take this posture: “Lord, as you work ALL things for my good, how can I cooperate with what You are doing in me, so You can finish this work?”  I am not threatened by their filth, or their brokenness.  If they begin to feel they are a disaster, just remind them, they are a beautiful disaster, because they are MY beautiful disaster.  And my love is enough to heal every wound, free every prisoner, break every addiction, restore every loss, and mend every heart.  Remind them not to be discouraged.  It will not last long.  Tell them to take heart!!  For I will complete the Work I have begun in them.”


Since I shared that word both a couple weeks ago at the evening service, and then last Sunday at the morning service, I have had people come up to me in astonishment  sharing how the Lord began to surface old wounds, old hurts, old shame that they didn’t realize they hadn’t dealt with.  And then they share how quickly they were able to find reconciliation or healing.  God is so good!  And so attentive!!

So what I want to say to you is this: If you find yourself in this place of seeing a lot of “junk”, or old stuff getting stirred up in you, take heart, because it is not that you are wearing new “stuff”, its that the Lord is surfacing OLD stuff, with the plan to bring healing and freedom.  He is so kind.  His Presence is what we truly need.  So, if you’re not sure what to do when those buried fears surface, or the bitterness and unforgiveness is unveiled to you, just go to Him.  Go hide out in his Presence.  Turn on some worship music and get REAL.  Get honest ugly.  Leave all the religiousness at the door, and bare your heart.  and then give him time to show you His love.  Let his presence minister peace to you.  Lay those things down.  Repent, be cleansed by his forgiveness, and when you get up to leave the room, leave that stuff there with him.  Cast all your cares on Him, because he Cares for you.   Reject shame.  His love is way too great to make any room for shame.  Shame is not yours.  Don’t wear it.  Wear his love and be set free.  Who said house cleaning was a bad thing?  I don’t know about you, but I feel quite refreshed and rested when I look around at a spotless house.  Enjoy the refreshing.  Enjoy the freedom.  🙂

Blessings to you each!

For those Mommas who just, well, MISS the Lord


At a friend’s encouragement I decided to write this down hoping it would serve to breathe life into some of your precious momma-hearts like it did mine when the Lord shared it with me…

I don’t know how many of you have, like myself, found yourself in the midst of raising young children, chasing toddlers, cleaning house, tending to cooking and caring for a husband, found yourself just plain MISSING your time with the Lord like you used to know it. I miss the days of 2 hour quiet times if I just felt like it. I could close my eyes, get lost in worship, in the Word, hearing his voice, and get heaven and his heart downloaded to me any given day I chose it. Then I became a momma… and my quiet times are far from daily (as I would have defined it before), far from “uninterrupted”, far from 2 hours long, and just plain not like it was before. After I first had children (specifically, more than one child. Judah was easy and I still got lots of time with the Lord then… it was the second child that sped my life up so drastically!) I really wrestled with condemnation, guilt, sadness, a sense of loss and frustration over my struggle to find time with the Lord. I would constantly hear zealous phrases I’ve heard in the past whispering “If you want it bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to get alone with Him.” (ironically, always made by well-meaning men or single women who’ve never been in our shoes) or the comparative guilt trips of “I bet so-and-so still has awesome times with the Lord.” Even still, those old voices of comparison and guilt would sneak up to rob me of what meager times I MIGHT get with the Lord. So, in attempt to remedy the feelings of guilt, I would “do what it takes” to try and meet with him. And wouldn’t you know, those early mornings, late nights, or isolated nap-times for the boys would be the times they conveniently woke up early, stayed up late, or struggled to take a nap. I ended up more frustrated and sometimes, honestly, resentful at my children, for “stealing” my relationship with the Lord from me.


A couple weeks ago I had the privilege, thanks to my generous husband, of being able to take a trip with some of our college students to a Hillsong concert in Houston. While there, the room was dark, the worship sweet, no one was asking me for juice or had snot running down their chin, so I just sat down and enjoyed being still and quiet with the Lord. And I found myself, as I have sooo many other times, approaching him immediately with my “I’m sorry’s”… I’m sorry I haven’t had time with you like I want. I’m sorry I haven’t made time for you. I’m sorry I haven’t woken up early, stayed up to pray, read your word, etc… and the list goes on. Except these weren’t apologies led by Holy Spirit’s gentle conviction, these were apologies, though sincere, that came more out of guilt and insufficiency. Then the Lord kindly interrupted me. He said, “Jenilee, stop, Darling. Stop apologizing. I see your life. Just take the moments of love when they are available. Seize the moments of love when you can, and enjoy it. Enjoy Me.” I began to explain myself, still feeling like somehow that was unfair to Him, given my apparent lack of devotion indicated by my lack of disciplined quiet times that I used to enjoy. And he went on in His Wisdom: “Jenilee, I want you to think of my servant, David. He is the only man acclaimed to have a heart after mine. The only man I said that about, in scripture. And often the picture is of him having ethereal, blissful, spiritual moments in the quiet fields with no one to interrupt him, but look closer. He was a shepherd, as you are. He shepherded sheep, you shepherd your children. He may have wanted to close his eyes and get lost in hours of blissful worship, as you do, but he couldn’t afford that. He had many little sheep that needed constant attention. He had to bring them to water, bring them to food, keep them corralled, chase them down when they wandered, keep a constant eye out for wolves, bears, lions, and then kill the beasts when they challenged the safety of his lambs…. much like you do. You have to feed and nurture your children, keep them in safe places, watch constantly that the enemy is not attempting to prey on them, and then you must stand up against the enemy when he dares to touch your child. You must constantly be alert, as a shepherd, day and night. There are moments of quiet, but even in those moments of quiet, you are watching, listening, caring. Just like my servant David. yet, he took the moments of love. He sang while he watched. He listened to my voice, while he scanned the herd for wandering sheep. He drew on my strength and wisdom when he fought beasts. He grew to know me, though his times with me did not look much like what you used to experience, or what he experienced in his own younger days, yet he knew me and sought my heart, even amidst the distractions, the constant watching and tending. And, though shepherding was a very simple job to the outside eye, I saw what it created inside him, and I saw him worthy to be established as a king. You will shepherd children for many years, and it may feel somewhat aimless at times, and even like you’re giving up much of your greatest potential in order to just wipe noses or scrub behind ears, and it may feel that there is greatness within you just lying there, waiting, untapped. Yet, at the right moment, those years of FAITHFULNESS, COMMITMENT and FIERCE CARE are laying a foundation for you to step into the “kingship” seasons that you sense resides quietly inside. When you feel your parenthood is an obstacle, the menial tasks of raising children “pointless”, remember my servant David, and continue on in your faithfulness, encouraged that it is not a waste, it is not fruitless, it is not wasting an ounce of what I’ve placed in you. The greatest king of Israel spent the majority of his young life raising sheep… and yet he made a great king of Israel because he seized the moments of love when they were available and allowed me to build him into a King. Don’t apologize. Just seize the love when you can, and enjoy me when you can, and realize this season of your life is bearing more fruit in you than most would see or appreciate. But I see. I know. And I love it. Thank you for shepherding my children to love me.  Thank you for doing the great work that may feel insignificant.  This great work will raise your children into great people, leaders, who’ll also leave a legacy for me.  Your faithfulness is your greatness.”

That’s all it took. That’s all I needed to hear. I hope it encourages you as it did me. Truly, the Lord knows the word that sustains the weary, and I’m so grateful for it. 🙂


inner stirrings, outer changes

by Jenilee Samuel on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 12:12am

I love when I can tell the Lord is setting me up for some deep, life changing revelation that takes weeks and months to unfold and transform the way I think.  Its that kind of “revelation” that is not just a quick fresh glimpse, but deep and paradigm-shifting that truly changes me at the core.  I have been feeling and seeing that pattern at work in my heart again in regard to walking in signs and wonders.  Have I seen miracles happen through me?  Sure.  Was it awesome? Definitely.  Is it a regular thing that I have a full understanding and grasp of?  Certainly not.  do I want it to be?  Absolutely.

Being my fourth pregnancy, and in effect what will be my fourth home-birth too, I always turn my attention to the Lord for  a Word from him, for insight from scripture, something to hold onto to carry me through the delivery process in faith and confidence, always wanting to possess yet more of the land that is mine in what has been referred to as “supernatural childbirth”.   With each birth I have come into some fresh revelation, and many times revelation upon revelation, through scripture and the Holy spirit teaching me his heart and what scripture says about various principles that can be applied not just to childbirth, but everything really.  And of course healing is wrapped up tightly in that as well.  We saw miracles that spared both my life and other complications in my first delivery… God was so faithful and has been in various ways with each birth.

Anyways, so being my fourth, honestly I feel like I’ve had less and less time to spend pondering the word and the Lord about delivery with each child I have, but the Lord is so faithful to bring things to my attention.  This time, he’s had me pondering the Garden of Eden and his original design for mankind.  The Garden was a place of peace, life, love, wholeness, and the manifestation of his full glory and goodness CONSTANTLY… and smack in the center of that was the command to “be  fruitful and multiply”.  Wow.  His original design for bearing life was in the context of perfect goodness and bliss… not torment and trauma like its perceived so commonly.  So this thought has had me really meditating on what that might have looked like since the only thing we see in the garden that describes childbirth is when the Father pronounces the curse on Adam and Eve after the fall, and curses eve with pain in childbearing.  And of course its no new concept that since I’ve taken up Christ as my Savior, I’ve been delivered from the effects of the curse, but many times, that’s more in theory in my life than in my reality.  Sadly.  But I want to see it my reality.  If its there for me, I want it.  So, the Lord has been keeping and carrying this thought in my heart about his original design and the perfection of it, and that He, as a Redeemer, intends to redeem what was stolen and broken by the fall.  Exciting.  Still don’t know what that looks like on a practical level necessarily, but exciting to meditate on.  Although, let that not take away from the fact that every single one of my births has been supernatural in various ways.  My doctor loves to hear the stories when we bring the new baby in for his first checkup.  🙂  But somehow in my heart, I know there’s still more to see and touch in God’s orginal plan.    Then I start reading this book by Bill Johnson “the supernatural power of a transformed Mind” which is built on the premise of establishing Heaven on earth: “your will be done on earth AS IT IS in heaven.”  Which requires we SEE heaven.  Understand how heaven operates.  When the Lord reminded me of a dream I had over a year ago, I felt even more “set up” for this revelation he is unfolding to me…

I had been struggling with three specific areas of health in my body at that time.  Don’t remember now what it was, but it was three.  I had been praying about them and asking the Lord how to deal with them; natural remedies, doctor visit, take authority over something spiritually, etc.  gotta know the root if you’re going to effectively deal with something.  Well, after prayin for a few days with little insight, the Lord finally gave me a dream.  In it, Pastor Monty was talking to me and said to me, “Jenilee, I see you dealing with some health issues in your body.  And I see you handling it like this: I see you lifting your head up, above the clouds, peering up into heaven.  You look around, you see what heaven looks like, and you come back down to earth and command things to line up  with what you saw.  That’s how you need to handle these things.”  When I awoke, I was like, “ok.”  So, I spent some time praying, saw my body whole and complete as it would be in heaven, prayed and the Lord handled everything.  Somehow, that dream makes more sense now, with the things the Lord is stirring in my heart, than it did even then.

The Lord is doing a deep, transforming revelation change in my heart, and I’m excited.  Then today, Worship Pastor Brent was teaching on much of what Bill Johnson covers in this book and what caught me was when he said that in a particular scripture he read, the word for “Salvation” was “Sozos” (sp??) in the Greek, which meant “the forgiveness of sins, the healing of disease, and deliverance from torment”.  Perfect health in spirit, soul and body.  Then I got to wondering, why do we so readily accept salvation, and even commonly accept the healing of the Lord to our emotional wounds, yet physical healing we are so confused about.  Probably, for starters, because physical healing can be so black and white.  If the pain/cripple is gone, you’ve been healed.  Inner salvation, and inner emotional healing are more vague and less tangible and for that reason, probably easier to believe for because they are not so “pass or fail” .  But then I got to thinking about believers and how many of us (including myself) grow discouraged to pray for healing because of all the times we haven’t seen it, and I thought, “Does everyone I share the gospel with get saved?  No.  Does everyone I pray emotional healing or emotional deliverance over see transformation immediately?  No.  Does everyone I lay hands on see a miraculous transformation.  No.  Does that mean I stop sharing the gospel?  No.  Does that mean I stop believing that God can heal and restore broken hearts?  Definitely not!  Then do I have an excuse to stop praying for healing when I know my God can heal?  No.”

Here is what I believe is the key.  Jesus set an example for us, and everyone he prayed for got healed, and that often is what discourages believers.  If Jesus could do it, shouldn’t I be able to?  Yes.  So somethin must be wrong with me if everyone I pray for isn’t getting healed.  No, here is the other half of the picture:  Jesus was ALWAYS SPIRIT LED!!  He even says in scripture that he did NOTHING on his own accord, but ONLY did what the father in heaven did or said.  Hmm… am I ALWAYS spirit led?  uh, no.  Well, there’s your missing piece!  Jesus had totally died to his own agenda in order to take up his father’s.  When we are listening to the leading of the Father, to pray how he says to pray, to pray for whom he says to pray for, to pray WHEN he says to pray, all of it is about his leading.  Ecclesiastes says in chapter 8 that to everythign there is a way and a timing.  Not just what to do, but when to do it.  Scripture also talks about how the earth is groaning, awaiting the sons of God to be revealed.  They want to see people who move in power!  Well, Romans 8 also says that those who are “sons of God are LED by the Spirit of God.”   Zechariah says that “this is the Word of the Lord …: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.”   You see, the only way to walk in the power of God, in signs wonders and miracles is to be led by his Spirit.  God designed EVERYTHING in the christian faith to revolve around this principle because of one thing: it requires INTIMACY with him to be led by him in every facet of our lives.  Everything the Lord asks of us or lays before us to walk in the fullness of him will ALWAYS bring us back to the necessity of intimacy, because that is what we, as mankind were born out of! His desire for intimacy, loving relationships, with someone who would love him back.  Its THAT simple.  His longing for love and intimacy with us, fuels the very design for success as a believer.  There is no way to walk in signs and wonders on a simple, but regular basis without intimacy.  The goal isn’t signs and wonders.  the goal is an intimacy with him whichproduces the  manifestation of his love to his children THROUGH signs and wonders.  


So, given all these thoughts, I am still pondering this last birth of mine, looking ahead to it, carrying a promise in my heart that he gave me for this one as he gives me for each one, and continuing to meditate on these principles he is stirring in my heart. I’m remembering all the supernatural ways he has touched each birth and asking him what he has in store for this one.  I have an excited anticipation in my heart because as the Lord gives me a piece at a time of this revelation, it goes deeper and deeper, and I know will leave me different, and prayerfully, not just bearing more fruit in him, but knowing him more.  If there is more “promised land” to possess in my life, be it in regard to childbirth or anything else, I want to possess it.  So Holy spirit, continue to be my teacher, leading me into all truth as you have promised.  🙂  Thank you for your faithfulness to your Word… and your insatiable hunger to know us more deeply than we know you now.

Tell me the story of my tears from your eyes…

‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.’- Jeremiah 2:2 (the Lord speaking through Jeremiah to Israel)

There are indeed seasons of barrenness meant to build in us perseverence, steadfastness, unwaivering committed love. No marriage is always bliss, and that includes my marriage to the Most High. The seasons where “feeling”, “emotional rapture”, and thrilling encounters with God seem like a distant memory. Surely I must be doing something wrong if I’m not connecting with him like I long to, right?


But sometimes, if the Holy Spirit is bringing no correction to my attention, I must forsake the voices of condemnation and accusation that burden me with burdens not mine.

In those times i must realize, those tears I cry because I cannot seem to touch him like I have before, those tears are PRICELESS to his ravished heart.

His heart is ravished with me. Song of Solomon says that one glance of my eyes steals his heart, making him “weak” with love.

Surely if he loves me so, and I were doing something wrong, would he not faithfully show me?

These tears I shed in longing, these frustrations I endure as I pray, wait, worship, press in, and find no emotional connection with Him, those tears are far more valuable to his heart that longs to be sought after than the laughter of a quick connection.

To him, those tears tell a story of a love which will pursue him THROUGH the desert.  Do I always feel of great courage to follow? No. Many times I feel faint of heart as I grasp upward only to grip nothing, finding my pursuit of him so mightily tempted to wane.

But then I remind myself that though those times of prayer, waiting, worship, reading-only-to-find-nothing-life-changing may feel like wasted moments, that to God, they are invaluable. I am sowing to the Spirit, and in time I will reap of the Spirit.

I am sowing to Love. And in time, I will reap in Love.

So Lord, though my heart grow faint within me and I have no great thing to offer, I offer you my longing. I offer you my tears. I offer you my perseverent pursuit of you… for the ways I long to know you Compel me to chase you even still.

I believe these tears of mine have a voice to you… and on the other side of eternity, would you share with me of their worth to you, read me that story that they have told?

Though I feel you not, I will love you.tear on eyelashes

Though I touch you not, I will reach for you.

Though I “see” you not, I will search for you.

I will follow you even through the desert, because I know that in time, the desert must end.

In time, your ravished heart will turn and ravish mine.

In time, my steady and sometimes bitter pursuit will yield a sweeter, richer Love between us than I have ever known.

So Lord, I come.

(Written August 2009.)