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09.02.2017

  Husbands, do you know how very important you are to your wives? Not just for practical reasons like killing spiders and changing the oil, but for heart reasons? For helping her believe she matters? For pushing her to reach her dreams? In a time when many voices are shouting to your wife, your voice matters most. Your words can make or break her. The way you treat her can help her become the best version of herself or a shadow of who she should be. Women in 2017 are fiercely independent and strongly opinionated, but we are also deeply in need of the love of our men, and these two facts are not mutually exclusive. We are strong and we are needy, and our needs are not a weakness. They are a sign we were created to live in community with others, particularly with the men who were created to be ours. There are many things we want you to know, but we don't know how to tell you. We want to help you understand us, but we're afraid of being a burden. Even to you. We want you to know these things: We want you to pursue us and plan for us. When...

03.02.2017

  Intrigued by the trailer for Martin Scorsese's new film, Silence, I recently ordered the book it is based on by Shusaku Endo, a Japanese author. I won't characterize it as a fun read by any stretch, but it was a book I couldn't put down and that has kept me thinking. The plot centers around a Portuguese priest who travels to Japan to spread Christianity, which is illegal and punishable by death at the time. After hiding successfully for a short time, the priest (Sebastian Rodrigues) is eventually arrested and imprisoned. From his captivity, he is forced to watch the brutal punishment and murder of other believers, and he is told that if he will only renounce his faith, the torture will stop. I highly recommend that every American Christian read this novel, and here are five thoughts I can't shake: We know nothing of truly suffering for our faith. We have, in many ways, an easy Christianity, and this book reminded me of all I take for granted. Faith isn't true unless it is tested. Rodrigues himself struggles with this truth, and although he believes he will withstand the torture with faith unscathed, he doesn't. I don't know what I would...

02.02.2017

    The decision to love another human being is seldom a conscious one, and falling in love with my husband certainly wasn’t an item on my to-do list. I didn’t anticipate loving him, didn’t want to have to trust him, and truthfully didn’t even think love could happen for me again. So when he looked me straight in the eyes that Christmas night and said “I love you,” my life changed forever. That moment began a journey of learning that real love doesn’t look like it does in the movies, and it taught me that God’s love is always redemptive and is always better than Hollywood’s. When my husband walked into my life, I was a woman deeply wounded. A divorce after ten years of marriage had left me shattered and weak, struggling to understand who I was now and where my life was headed. I believed I was unlovable, knew I was damaged goods, and trusted I’d always be alone. My brokenness was my story, and my sadness was my burden. Love? It just wasn’t for me. A happy ending wouldn’t be my story. But God intervened, as He is prone to do, and He changed the narrative I had written for myself. He gently...

30.01.2017

  Dear World, What have we allowed to happen to us? When did we collectively agree that our lives could be ruled by electronic rectangles, and why did we give the virtual world so much power over the real one? Why do we allow social media alerts to take precedence over the people we're having dinner with, and why do we interrupt real-life conversations for those sent via text message? When did politeness give way to productivity, and why are special moments interrupted for selfies? What in the world have we allowed to happen to us? We've created a life where we can't fully be with the people we're with because we're so concerned about what's going on where we aren't. We've become a generation of people who find our worth in likes and comments and who can't fathom not posting every detail of our days. We've said it's acceptable to have thousands of virtual friends and few real ones and to spend more time Snapchatting our acquaintances than speaking to our families. It's insanity, world, and we can do better. We have to do better. The chemical dopamine is an interesting thing. It is released when we encounter a reward, prompting us to repeat the reward's cause. This is why...