JennieGScott.com - Enjoying the Journey
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24.06.2018

  Scalding water beat on my back as I rested my forehead on the shower wall. The tears falling down my cheeks mixed with the water from the shower, and one was as hot as the other. I didn't want to cry -- I tried to resolve that I wouldn't -- but I'm one of those people who cries when she's angry, and this day, I was angry. I was angry at God. Sometimes my prayers are generalities, like "Lord, would you keep my kids safe today?" and some are more specific. The prayer I had been praying and keeping in the back of my mind for a couple of years was very specific. I had asked God to grant one very small request -- a request that, in my mind, He had no reason not to grant. It was small in the grand scheme of things, a minor blip on most people's radar, but one that mattered a whole lot to me. But He said no. He said no, and to be blunt and very non-spiritual sounding, I was royally ticked off. And this is why. He said no, and He didn't explain why. He said no, and then He was silent about it. He said no,...

11.06.2018

  Each morning, the screens in my life shout and show turmoil. World leaders making threats and calling each other names. Fires ravaging apartment buildings, forcing a mother to trust that a stranger's arms will catch her infant. Rich fashion designers taking their own lives when an invisible pain becomes too much to carry. Turmoil is both the soundtrack and the screenplay of our humanity. It is in our local communities, in our nations, and in ourselves. Trouble all around, and trouble all within. Inescapable and undeniable. We are broken. Why, then, if our brokenness is universal, do we dress it up with photos carefully posed? Why, then, if it's all around, do we hesitate to bring it to the light? Why, then, if it's within us all, do we change the subject and pretend it's all fine? Our brokenness is our bond, and our bonds bring about beauty. The mother who birthed a broken child, one whose body will never function as it should, said these words to my ears today -- the unexpected will come to your life, and it will change you. Her child's broken body changed her untested faith to one that is certain, and his brokenness introduced her to others whose brokenness changed them, too. The unexpected...

04.06.2018

  Throughout Scripture, the number seven is the number of perfection. Completion. Purification. After six days of creating, God rested on the seventh. Seven weeks after Passover began, Pentecost. And every fiftieth year, after seven times seven, it was the year of Jubilee. A year of celebration and release. Captives were set free and debts were forgiven. It was a year of rest. ******* This year is the seventh since my divorce. And God told me it is my year of Jubilee. ******* In the first moments after learning my marriage would end, I fell into a gulf of despair I have no words to describe. I was held captive by lies and condemning self-talk, a prisoner of my sadness and shattered dreams. I woke each morning to go through the steps of being alive, but I was not. I was sleep-walking through my days, oblivious to the world around me and consumed with the shame of who I now was. It has taken me years to admit the truth of what those years were like for me, but now that I am safely on the other side, I feel an obligation to share my truth and invite you to examine yours. I lived a prisoner of shame. Wounded and broken were...

18.05.2018

  I wish I could remember where I first heard it, this truth that's been rocking my world. I don't know if it was on a podcast or in a book, on my TV or from my friend's mouth. All I know is that I somehow jotted it down as a note in my phone, and I've been looking at it ever since. Look for the lie. Why haven't I always done this? To have it spelled out like that makes it look like the most obvious thing to do. When you're feeling overwhelmed, identify the lie that says you have to do everything well and all at once. When you're feeling like a terrible mother, look at the lie that says feeding your kids fast food will ruin their health forever. When you become convinced you'll never succeed in your career, see the lie that says one bad day means a bad forever. Look for the lie. Because when you do, you'll begin to see lies everywhere. And here's why -- Satan is the prince of this world, and his native language is lies. He naturally spews untruths, and since this is his dominion, his lies are this world's language. Look for the lie. You think, "I'm...

24.04.2018

  Satan taunts me through images. I've learned this about him over the years. Very distinct, very clear, very haunting images. He worms his way into my thought life by first showing me images of what he wants me to think about. He did so this morning. And because he is so cunning, he always does this when I'm vulnerable. This morning I was feeling sad about a situation that is part of my norm, a natural part of our rhythm. I don't like it but can't change it, so I pray each time it comes up for the strength to endure it. I was sad, but sad isn't sinful. Sad is, though, for me, a portal to destructive thoughts. A pathway to sin. Any time my emotions are front and center, my enemy tries to use them to distract me and destroy me. So this morning, in my sadness, he played connect the dots. He took my initial sadness that was not sinful and connected it to images he knew would hurt me. He showed me pictures of realities connected to this morning's sadness, connecting one feeling I had to multiple pictures he wanted me to see. He literally showed me images to...

11.04.2018

  I know. I know that what looks easy in your life takes great planning and coordination and a whole lot of work plus a little bit of luck.  I know that your body may be still right now, but your mind is on overdrive. You’re thinking about your to-do list and your grocery list and that thing you wish you hadn’t said and that person from middle school who still has no idea how much they hurt you. I know your brain never stops. I know you need a break but can’t seem to find the time, and I know you perform a million little tasks that aren’t noticed unless they’re not done. I know, from one woman to another, the invisible weight you always carry. I might not know all of your specifics, but I think I know how you feel. I know you wonder sometimes if any of it matters at all, if the details of your days add up together to equal anything that’s making a difference. I know you wonder if anybody really sees you -- the real you, behind the put-together facade you show the world. I know you’re afraid that you’re messing it all up, and I know you regret what you...

29.03.2018

  The words that stopped me cold weren't shouted or even spoken angrily. They were gentle, coming through the speakers of my laptop. One sentence, spoken sweetly, as part of a longer podcast episode. One sentence that gave me chills: "Never believe anything bad about God." Emily P. Freeman spoke these words in her episode "Remember the Real Art," and my heart stopped for a split second. "Never believe anything bad about God." I was pierced to my core because I have done just what she said not to do. I've believed bad things about my good God. I've believed He was indifferent to my broken heart, seeing my tears as evidence of my weakness and hearing my questions as proof of my unworthiness. I've believed He favors other people over me, giving them opportunities and advantages He doesn't think I deserve. I've believed He regrets the way He made me, looking at me and thinking, "What a disaster." I've believed He has ignored my cries for help. I've believed He loves His other children more than me. I've believed He couldn't love someone like me. I've believed the worst in my mind. But I've confessed His goodness with my mouth. My private thoughts and public confessions have disagreed. And while I may feel...

12.03.2018

  "Did you see where kids were Snapchatting during the shooting?" my sister asked. "They showed the bodies on the ground." No, I didn't. Thank goodness. But I am not surprised. In a world where anyone with a phone is a news source and where everyone with social media can become a pseudo-celebrity, it is no shock that what was once sacred is snapped instead. The norm these days is sharing it all. We don't think twice about sharing pictures of our anniversary gifts on Facebook, and we share our worship services in 30 second Instagram story snippets. Our emotions spill out on our social media, and what ought to remain private is posted for public consumption. I am guilty, too -- don't think I'm condemning anyone. Just today, I wanted to screenshot what I read in my Bible and post it for my followers to see. I felt the need to show what God was teaching me personally to people who are called my followers. (Let's just analyze that sentence for a second, friends.) My instinct was to take private revelations and make them public. What does sacred really mean, and is anything sacred anymore? It's a question I keep asking. What in my life is worthy...

19.02.2018

  Grief has swept our nation, and my own heart is still tender. Last week, a teenager not much older than the students I taught massacred 17 people by shooting them in cold blood. Then he got a snack at McDonald's. Every day since this tragedy, the news -- both official sources and the ever-growing social media kind of news -- has been filled with a nonstop dissection of how it happened and why it happened and how to prevent it from ever happening again. I have many opinions, to be sure. The maternal side of me has thoughts, as does the former educator. The rule follower in me who sees things in black and white has her opinions, but so does the always-questioning woman who has grown adept at playing the devil's advocate. But today, the opinion I will allow to have a voice comes from the most important person in me -- the Christ follower. She, today, is the one who will speak. And this is what she will say: It is not enough for us as believers to simply say, as the wide-sweeping solution to this tragedy and those of its kind, "This world just needs Jesus." If I have read that statement once from...

12.02.2018

  I need to share this message with you without being critical, accusatory, or dismissive. I've wrestled with it myself for some time now, and I pray it's marinated enough in my soul to move into yours with grace. We -- the ones who follow Jesus and declare to the world we are His children -- we must stop saying "God is good" only when good happens in our lives. When we declare His goodness and proclaim it only in times of personal blessing, we give the world half the story, and we build them up to believe a lie that could ultimately bring them devastation. You see, they are asking, "Is God good?", and they are silently wondering, "Could He be good to me?" Our own responses impact their understanding. God is always good, not only when we see it. God is always good, not only when we feel it. God is always good, not only when we are blessed. Jesus Himself declared, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). An undeniable part of following Christ is being troubled in this life. We will be - are guaranteed to be - misunderstood, rejected, abused, and outcast....