When the clouds roll in,

Face them with a smile.

Let the people assume & talk,

As you continue to walk

With Him all the while.


Pause & quiet your soul.

Rise above the noise.

The oft whispered lies

And shiny deceiving eyes

Only strive to shake your poise.


This path is yours alone.

It’s not her’s and it’s not mine.

Always aim to give your best.

Don’t give worry to the rest.

Just smile and you will shine.


*Photo above by Katie Mulder.

The Gift


April is full of birthdays in my family – me, my son, my uncle & my grandfather who is no longer on this earth with us. It’s an emotional time.

Along with birthdays come gifts, and the best ones are not gift-wrapped or tied up with a bow. Family, friendships, love and grace. All of these gifts are irreplaceable and immeasurable. Just like you.

If you are reading these words now, I want you to know that you are a gift. Given to me, to this world, by the Creator himself.

One of my favorite writers, Holley Gerth, says, “There is part of who God is that the world only gets to see through you.” And it’s so true. Your talents and skills and strengths – no two people posses the same combination. But, it isn’t just about the good stuff…

I’m sure you have days when you don’t feel like you have anything to offer. Days that are hard to get through when nothing you do or say seems quite right or close to enough. Days when that white flag calls your name, begging to be waived.

I hope you’ll keep these words tucked away somewhere in your heart for when those days come; and, make no mistake about it, they find us all. We all have obstacles to overcome and fears to face. The sweet, insane truth is that none of us is alone, and He has reminded me of that through you.

Your story and your heart – they matter. More than you will ever know or understand. No, you aren’t perfect and you aren’t meant to be. You only have to be obedient and following that tugging at heart, walk through the doors He opens before you. The bravest thing you can do for someone is to welcome them into your mess & expose your imperfections. It lets them know that we’re in this thing together. The village isn’t just for raising kids, it’s for doing life together.

Thank you for doing life with me. For taking a few minutes out of your day to read these words, maybe even pass them along or leave a comment. You are a gift to me. Making this the Best. Birthday. Ever.

~ Jess

*The image at the top of this post is available for download courtesy of (in)courage. You can find this one and many more to share at under the “Share It” tab.