Press in gratitude

Mar 27

I’ve got some experience with hardship and grief, and I’ve tried a few things to cope.

What I have found to help me in difficult moments is to find something to be grateful for.  I willfully and consciously press in gratitude.  Anytime I can take my focus off of the negative stuff is a win.  Goodness breeds goodness, kindness kindles kindness, and love begets love.

People keep circling me with comments and message and words of




And so I’m grateful for the love that I receive in my life; thank you.  I’m finding gratitude in you, and you are calling out goodness.  It’s a joy-filled cycle.

Maren’s not-so-little project has been a busy little effort to wrap up and we continue to feel incredulous as the waves of blessing from her project keep showing up.  We’re trying to both be timely and keep good records of everything, so thanks for the patience with us.

Envelopes addressed to Maren are rolling in (a major thrill for a seven-year-old), and I’ve been flagging emailed donations to print and sort.  Thanks to those of you who have sent in your donations and pledges already (everyone should have received an email explaining how to send donations; if you didn’t please let me know.)

I talked to a good friend who is knowledgable about art-y things, and he gave me good advice about how to get good quality photographs of Maren’s art.  It worked, and I now have the art in digital photo form, and the canvases will be ready to deliver/mail next week.  The ideas of prints and notecards are great; I looked into it briefly (15 minutes of googling), and I’m a bit overwhelmed about how to pull it off logistically.  My goal is to wrap up the current effort ASAP, and then I will turn my attention to see where we’re going next.  If anyone out there is excited enough to come up with a plan from how to get my images into a product, and then into the hands of the folks who are interested, I’m open to suggestions.

I really am still a normal Jen, I laughed and kept my chin up this week.  I’m a normal wife; Brad and I did the bedtime routine dance and leaned into each other because we do life together every day.  I’m a normal mama: spelling words and writing the letter ‘e’ were stressors that we conquered this week.

We’re keeping up our normal: I’ll be unavailable this weekend because Brad and I are adventuring together on an excursion we planned months ago.  Our “normal” is adventuring, loving, living with a deep, strong, true beat of gratitude as we march along.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


  1. Kim Rourke /

    May the sun shine warmly on your backs as you adventure, love, and live!

  2. Julie Hughes /

    Normal Jen, you are a blessing! Have a wonderful time away with your man!! Love and prayers from Alabama.

  3. Carli /

    Normal Jen is extraordinary. Sending love your way!

  4. Jen, I rarely comment as I often feel my words are inadequate. However I just want you to know how very inspiring you are. You have taught this worry-wart mama to try and stop worrying about all the what ifs of tomorrow and instead stay focused on today. I try to use your mantra “Do Today Well” each and every day…and some days are easier than others. BUT I am aware that because of you and your strength, courage and grace…I am a better person and definitely a more present mama. Thank you so much for that. My prayers are always with you and your sweet family. Praying for 50 plus more years of getting your sweet and relevant Do Today Well messages in my inbox and a lifetime of love with your husband and darling girls!

    With lots of love, hope and gratitude,


  5. Julie /

    Dang it!!….procrastinating while in Florida and behind in emails. I totally missed the art work thing of Maren and I wanted one! Will she be making more? Such a sweet child indeed….much like her mom and dad! XXXOOO

  6. Maureen /

    Love it!

  7. Aunt Annie /

    Jen, You mean so much to so many, more than you’ll ever know! We are so grateful how you share your life and faith with US! You are an inspiration and we all LOVE you….and Brad and Maren and Greta!

  8. I’m just getting caught up from the last several weeks and was bummed to see I missed the auction. Another fan of the sun prints here! I’ll be watching for updates of available products and will be rooting for you to continue to Shine On!