Are Confidence and Courage the Same Thing?

“Jennifer, you are just so confident.” I cannot even begin to tell you how many times some wonderful woman has said that to me. Every time it happens, I cringe on the inside and think, Yeah, right! Girl, I’ve got no real confidence. Me? 

I over-think everything and it leads to insecurities, fears, and self-doubt… but, confidence? Not so much. When women tell me how confident I am, what they are really commenting on is courage.

Courage. Confidence. Do you realize how often those two concepts are mistaken for each other?

When You Feel Out of Your League: Encouragement for the Self-Doubters

“I can’t believe I am 53 years old! I don’t feel qualified to be this age.”

That’s what I told Phil as we drove home from seeing our new grandbaby.

He laughed and reminded me that I say that about most areas of my life. Unfortunately, he is right.

I mean, there have been days I’ve thought, What am I doing writing blogs and books? I am way too under-qualified to write – like I have all this life stuff figured out?!

Or, I will be standing in front of my kitchen sink, self-doubt covering my heart and suds covering my hands, reviewing my latest parenting issue and think, Why can’t I master this mom-job? It feels so much bigger than me.

Or, inevitably before I get on stage to speak, I’ve fought the feeling that I am too immature or too inexperienced or too inadequate to open my mouth!

Do you ever feel out of your league when it comes to living your life, or pulling off your purpose, or following your calling?

Why Victory Makes You Vulnerable

Sometimes life just wears us out, right? When we have to climb mountains of stress or sorrow, we just get tired. Hard stuff can wear us out and leave us feeling powerless.

But, sometimes our most vulnerable tired comes after we have stood on a mountain of success and seen God’s power.

Have you ever felt that kind of exhausted – the kind of soul-tiredness that shows up on the heels of a race well run?

Live, Love, and Soar: How to Find Joy in the Season You’re In

It’s Sunday night and for the first time in 28 years, I am wandering around my kitchen trying to figure out what to do tomorrow morning. I don’t need to wake up a child for school like I have done for the past two decades, every Monday morning.

I don’t have to check the fridge to think ahead about what I will make for breakfast tomorrow. I don’t need to pull out a lunch box and make sure it is clean and free of Friday’s sticky leftovers. I don’t need to go into a boy’s room and check on his homework or his heart.

I don’t need to go ask anyone about their schedule for the coming week so I can plan transportation or meals. I don’t need to load the dishwasher so my kitchen is not such a mess at 6:00 AM because I don’t have to get up at 6:00 AM and there are only two coffee cups in there anyway.

It was only yesterday that I held my firstborn. It was only yesterday he started kindergarten. It was only yesterday that his little brother was born. It was only yesterday that we listened to Adventures in Odyssey. It was only yesterday that I snuck a paper cup full of Goldfish and Cheez-Its onto the top bunk because he couldn’t sleep. It was only yesterday that our house was full of the pings and buzzes of Mario and Pokemon. It was only yesterday that we were at orthodontists and soccer practice and debate tournaments and orchestra concerts and parent/teacher conferences and graduations.

It was only yesterday, but yesterday now feels like a thousand years ago.

3 Scriptures to Help You Stand Strong: The Battle is the Lord’s

My hand was on the door handle, ready to open the stall and leave the bathroom. But then I heard familiar voices and stood perfectly still. The Sunday worship service was about to start, and two women from the church were standing at the sink talking about our pastor while washing their hands. They thought they were alone. Their comments about him were small and mean. They took turns criticizing the pastor’s sermon, his tie, and even his hair. I was so angry I could barely breathe.

That pastor? He was my dad.

When You Need to Be Cradled in God’s Compassion

When I was pregnant with our first son, I thought that baby would never be born! I was so late delivering him that I actually dreamed I was an old woman — gray hair and all — still pregnant, panicking in my doctor’s office, begging him to do something!

Weird dream, I know. The point is, near the end of a pregnancy, a mama feels worn out. It’s easy to feel like the whole thing is lasting just a little too long, and that’s even when the baby comes on his due date!

Sixteen very long, swollen, puffy, unattractive, exhausting days after we expected our son Clayton to be born, the doctor used a steady stream of Pitocin to coax him out of the womb and into the world. I was so relieved!

Funny how those late arrivals seem to take their time and run late even when they’re teenagers. Too bad a Pitocin drip doesn’t work on them!

There is a reason a baby is supposed to stay in his mama’s womb for 40 weeks — he needs that time to grow, develop and be nourished. A baby born prematurely is at risk and a baby who is very late in arrival is at risk, too.

When Resentment Steals Your Joy: 4 Questions and 1 Prayer

Resentment. We all feel it from time to time.

It’s like the invisible undertow in the ocean that sweeps away even the most experienced swimmer. It pulls at us. It sucks us down into a pit of bitterness.

We hold a grudge. We secretly fume about what he said or she did. We keep a running list of how we’ve been wronged. We review how we’ve been hurt.

It is subtle until it is sudden.

3 Ways God Delivers You When You’re Sick, Scared, or Stuck

Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. (Psalm 50:15 NKJV)

God promises He will deliver us. So… how is that promise working out for you? Have you asked God to deliver you, but still find yourself sick or sad or scared or stuck? If He is our Deliverer, why isn’t He delivering on His promise?

He is.

Sometimes the way God keeps His promises is painful for us. And sometimes we don’t even realize He is delivering us because we don’t recognize the way He does it.

If you are sick or sad or scared or stuck, I want to show you the ways God delivers you.

3 Ways to Handle the Hard Facts of Life

We all have stuff in our lives that we could easily define as problems. Go ahead, insert yours here! The car breaks down. The roof is leaky and it’s been raining since Tuesday. Your dog… well, you know what dogs do to the carpet! You get it, problems.

Then, there are some things in our lives that we think are problems, but in actuality, they are facts which create problems.

Okay, okay… stay with me. This will make sense and it can really make a difference in your life.