Happy and Sad (all at the same time)


How is your heart?


There are times when a person is happy and sad all at the same time; when the heart is overjoyed for someone else, while storing up silent tears for themselves.

That’s how I’m feeling this week, as I rejoice with my daughter during her newly announced engagement to a wonderful young man. Still, my mama-heart is trying to hold onto her as long as I can. This 10 Things Your Mom Never Told You will make your mama-heart feel happy and sad all at the same time too.

Other than that, my heart is filled to the brim with some tender truths from the Lord. This is the passage I read during my devotion this morning, and it caused my heart to spill over with purpose and gratitude.

You see, I’ve been in a rather unexpected season, where the things I thought were open doors suddenly closed, and where the “comfortableness” was suddenly made uncomfortable. And I’ve struggled.

But then, just as I should have expected, God began to make sense of it all and pull the pieces back together.


He’s been rearranging my life in the most unusual of ways.

At the end of the day, what I’m clinging to most, is His Word. And I’m fine with it. I’m better than fine with it! For what else is there, really?


Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You. ~Psalm 119:38


 What’s on your mind?


The word renewal kept coming to mind this week, as I made a firm decision to give up Facebook for an undetermined amount of time. Except for the posts I’ve already scheduled, I’m not checking it, not getting alerts, and not even thinking about it. Why?

Earlier in the summer, I started having unusual bouts of depression that didn’t seem to be linked to anything in particular. Once I started paying attention to the times of day I was feeling down-and-out, I realized my depression was stemming largely from Facebook. Anyone else going through some adverse emotional stuff because of social media? This short article makes sense of it.

Of course, I’m not telling you to give up Facebook—that’s not my job. But I can say that there’s been a sense of relief and a lot more peace since I stopped scrolling. Don’t know when I’ll be back, but for now, I’m loving the time of renewal.


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:2

What’s troubling your soul?


Several weeks ago, I decided I would read through the Bible chapter by chapter, no matter how long it took. I started in Genesis, and now I’m in the middle of Exodus. As I read about the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt, through parted waters, and into desert sands, my soul empathizes with them.

More than 600,000 people were led away from a land they’d always known. That’s more people than my entire city! But, as always in the desert, they quickly went from “freedom high” to “miserable “low.” And as I think about it, I can’t help but nod my head in understanding.

Let’s face it. There are times when our souls are soaring high from God’s deliverance. But there are times when we look around the desert, feel the burning sand under our feet, and wonder if there really is water up ahead.

The thing is, no matter how we feel, no matter what dry and dusty place we’re in, God cares. He cares for the great big things and the itty-bitty things.


And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” ~Exodus 14:13-14


There comes a moment when we have to re-believe. A time when we are challenged to recommit to Whom we have believed. And in the trial and pain, we can stand still and remember the salvation we have received.


There comes a moment when we have to re-believe...re-commit to Whom we have believed. Click To Tweet


How are you being strengthened?


Some people have said that only the “weak” need “religion.” After pondering that statement, (for about ten seconds), I can’t help but break into a huge smile. Cause’ you know what? Everyone has weaknesses. But those who rely on Jesus get to embrace them!

I rejoice in every failure, slip-up, struggle, and “un-strong” part of myself. This is why:


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV


People can say anything they want about “religion.” It doesn’t mean much to me. Because my faith is based on relationship. It’s one of the most miraculous things about faith in Christ! We get to have a real and personal relationship with the God of the universe.


I rejoice in every failure, slip-up, struggle, and “un-strong” part of myself. Click To Tweet


So, my friends, how is your heart? What’s on your mind? Anything troubling your soul?


I would love to give you the best solution I know…prayer. So, reply to this email and let me know exactly how I can pray. And you know what? I will!


Always an email away,



10 Responses

  1. dawna hetzler
    | Reply

    Thanks for reminding me of this, Jennifer!

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      You are so welcome my friend!

  2. Sandy Kressner
    | Reply

    Thank you for your always helpful encouragement!
    These words of yours really resonated with me:

    “You see, I’ve been in a rather unexpected season, where the things I thought were open doors suddenly closed, and where the “comfortableness” was suddenly made uncomfortable.”

    This has been my story for the last 7 years. I feel like I was not listening to the Lord who was trying to tell me I need to walk away from that closed door. I just turned 71 and realized I have a wonderful husband and family that I could not appreciate because I was so caught up in coming back to that locked red door. At my age every second I spend with my family and special friends is precious.

    I’m so much more at peace now Praise God!

    Thank you again Jennifer.

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      You are so welcome, Sandy! That is precious insight. I’m thankful for the peace you have now. Isn’t God good?

  3. Brigid Barilla
    | Reply

    Hi. With daughters it’s bit different u gain a son in law, but, no matter how long to stay away from mum, showing her how they can do things better, they will always come back the time will come when they need help no matter what it is.
    I always have to remind my daughter how
    Old she is & that she needs to take control of her problems, I know age has nothing to do with it. I pray for her every day, that one day she will go around a corner & that all her mixed up life will fall into place, I Know that God will do that because he did that for me, but, for her it just seems waiting forever.

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      Thank you for that reminder! Yes, we must relinquish our loved ones to God and pray that He will guard and guide them.

  4. Shirley Nettles
    | Reply

    Thank you Jennifer for being so honest, I thought about our son when he got engaged I was happy and sad. But the day of the wedding the minister had me to come up to our son before the ceremony and hold his hand and repeat some loving words to Him and he to me and we shared a hug and kiss and I love you and then He had me to say I release my son to his wife to be and to give his hand to his wife to be and it was such a letting go of our son, which I thought I had done to fine out I had not. It was a beautifully experience, one I will never forget. Thank you for being such a blessing to all of us sister’s in Christ.

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      What a beautiful ceremony that must have been! I love that idea. Our two grown sons are already married, and I remember getting choked up with my oldest when we danced at his wedding. I also remember going downstairs to the old rooms and crying a little. But there’s something about a daughter that feels even emotional to me. Plus, she is moving far away after the wedding, so I’m sure that plays into it.
      Ultimately, God is good, and He knows all about it!

  5. Carol
    | Reply

    God bless you, Jennifer. When my first son got married…and I should add that marrying off a son versus a daughter are most likely different feelings…anyway, what I wanted to say was at that very moment when the Pastor said “…you are now husband and wife,” that instant I felt the weight of bearing my son lift off of my shoulders. It was something I never expected, never even thought about…but there it was, a totally supernatural lifting of bearing him. God is so good and gracious. Something I always bore, but didn’t really recognize until He lifted it. I thank you, Jennifer, for your transparency and your ‘real-ness,’ if that’s a word…even if I just made it up, it suits you.

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      Thank you, Carol! I love that image of God lifting the weight from your shoulders. We truly are celebrating this engagement and feel blessed to be gaining a wonderful, godly son. I appreciate your comment!

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