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  • I’m choosing to tell my story

    I wholeheartedly believe in the power of our words, stories, and pictures. While I have been regaining my energy and moving forward from a difficult time in my life, I have been thinking about my story and the story of my family. The past month I have been praying and dreaming about the chapters of my story that are left to be written.

    I specifically have prayed about whether to continue telling my story through this blog. I committed several months ago to not making an impulsive decision and to really have a peace before moving forward either way.

    While my blog reading has been very scarce, I have read these three posts that have spoken volumes to me. And, yes, I do believe they were placed in order of how I needed to hear them.

    First, I read this post from Breakfast From Strangers when they interviewed Susie Davis.

    Her quote, “I try to live my eulogy today. If you want people to say nice things about you at your funeral you need to be living that way now.”

    After facing scary health issues over the past decade, I found myself tasting salty tears of joy and hope as I read the entire post. Her words simply reminded me that I am responsible for the energy that I bring in to the room, whether that be my home, workplace, or local breakfast shop. I am responsible for my choices and responses to my circumstances, no matter how many days or years God promises me.

    Then through instagram I read this post from Hayley. I was sitting in the preschool parking lot and wanted to roll down my window and tell everyone of those young moms, “Read this!” I thought that might be construed as over the top, so I just clapped out loud to myself in my mom vehicle.

    You see I have this desire to want to do it all and do it well. I know that is impossible and impractical, but that doesn’t seem to stop me from trying or at least secretly yearning for that desire.

    So when Hayley wrote,

    “That means I’d have to admit that I’m not good at everything and I can’t do it all. And that stings.”

    Oh, could I relate. I forwarded the post to Jeff and this was his email message back to me.

    “Hey – This reminds me of a friend of mine who isn’t writing, even though she has a gift. She doesn’t have the energy she once had to bake cupcakes, scrapbook, entertain, and exercise due to some (crappy) circumstances. She will again, just not now since this isn’t the season for it. But since she can’t do it all and do it well, she pushes her other gift of writing aside. I wish that girl would realize that standard of having it all together is just not going to happen. Life would be boring if it were that perfect. Maybe you could relay the message to her? Love you.”

    I relayed the message to that friend. She listened.

    And finally, I read this last week from Anne at Modern Mrs Darcy, after she attended the Killer Tribes Conference.

    She shared this quote from speaker Ben Arment who said, “Frustration, sorrow, and heartache are unbelievable motivators. Frustration is a gift. My prayer for you is that great frustration would befall your life.”

    But when Anne wrote this the tears fiercely welled up in my throat…

    “And you better believe I’ll be dreaming about how those negative things (frustration, sorrow, and heartache) can be turned into something beautiful.”

    I realized that my silence with blogging was directly related to fear. My fear of inadequacy. My fear of illness and death. My fear of not having it all together. My fear of giving you all the energy that I have, and it just not being enough.

    So today I am choosing to step out of the fear and into the light. Today I am choosing to tell my story again. Today I am moving forward just as I am, even if it doesn’t feel like it’s enough.

    Blessings sweet friends,

    This picture is of a street in my neighborhood that I purposefully include along my walking/running route. Never hurts to be surrounded by positive people, thoughts, or street signs.




    Love you my friend. And can hardly wait to meet Jeff…he’s awesome!!

    1 April 2013 at 10:36 am Reply

    I’ve missed you and your writing. Hugs.

    1 April 2013 at 10:40 am Reply

    You are a beautiful inspiration, I have so missed your writings! Thank you for stepping forward amid your fear. From one imperfect person to another, you are wonderful!

    1 April 2013 at 10:56 am Reply

      <3 <3 <3 so happy you have decided to stay and bless us with your gift. I needed to read this today (your posts always seem so timely). Love and health to you and thank you for letting us be a part of your journey!

      1 April 2013 at 1:03 pm Reply

    Welcome back. Have missed hearing your “voice.” Was just watching Brene Brown’s Soul Sunday episodes with Oprah. Fits nicely in my brain with your thoughts.

    1 April 2013 at 11:01 am Reply

    Jenny, we all are perfectly imperfect. Love ya!

    1 April 2013 at 11:05 am Reply
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    Sometimes it’s easier for me to be brave on behalf of others than it is for me to be brave for myself. I’m being brave for you, friend. Tell your story.

    1 April 2013 at 11:05 am Reply
    Kari Holt

    Oh, WOW, Jenny. I love this. And I love you. Your hubby’s reply seriously brought tears to my eyes. P.S. The article about hiring a housekeeper was beyond relatable … my hubby hired one as an anniversary gift for me last month and, while it was humiliating at first, I have never appreciated anything more. And she’s coming again on Wednesday … and I’m ok with it :)

    1 April 2013 at 11:06 am Reply
    Heather S.

    Yay! I’m so glad you’re back. We are all on your side. :-) Heather

    1 April 2013 at 11:12 am Reply
    Lisa Muniz

    So glad you are back. You are a fantastic writer an I love reading your posts. I think we all feel that pressure of not measuring up, not being able to do it all. I try to focus on what I do well, and not dwell on the other stuff. I know you writing this blog does add an extra level of vulnerability, but it is so nice for your readers to see someone so real, and we love you for it!

    1 April 2013 at 11:16 am Reply
    Jennifer Henson

    So glad to see new words and a renewal of sorts from you! Many hugs!

    1 April 2013 at 11:22 am Reply

    Just a hug…{{{{Jenny}}}}. Always happy to hear your thoughts!

    1 April 2013 at 11:36 am Reply
    cathy stolze

    I have been praying for you.
    I have missed you!
    You have a gift.
    Thank you for deciding to share it.
    You are strong. You are loving.
    You are beautiful. You are kind.
    You are real.
    You have enough. You do enough.
    You are enough.
    much love, Cathy in Virginia : )

    1 April 2013 at 11:51 am Reply

    I started reading your blog around 18 months ago. Not because of your baking, project life, amazing family and entertaining stories. I read because you inspired me to TRY and to notice the small things to be thankful for and just because I loved the way you write. If you have the time and energy I look forward to reading your posts. Hugs.

    1 April 2013 at 11:52 am Reply
    Lori P.

    Oh Jenni, I so needed you to post on your blog today! I too have dealt with crap (in 2011) and am still not feeling like myself. I know Jeff’s response was to you but he hit my heart & mind cord and it hit home. I have been putting things off (scrapbooking, photo taking, getting close to others because of what you said “My fear of illness and death. My fear of not having it all together.” My sewing/scrapbook room has been whispering, yelling and screaming my name. I think it is finally time that I listen. My best bud, my hubbie as been gently pushing me to get in my room and he has even bought me an elliptical so I get moving even in bad/blue weather. This IS the year! Thank you again for posting and I am so glad to see you back!! Welcome Back girlfriend even though we have never met, we do enjoy breakfast together. :)

    1 April 2013 at 11:56 am Reply
    Heather S. in VT.

    Wishing you all the best Jenni! May the sun shine for you even on cloudy days! I have missed your writings because I enjoy them and would love to read more if and when you are up for it!

    1 April 2013 at 12:39 pm Reply
    Sherry Carr-Smith

    I’m so glad you decided to stay.

    1 April 2013 at 12:40 pm Reply
    Susie Davis

    That fear of inadequacy is a freaky fake-out monster. So glad you’re tuning it out and walking a light life.

    1 April 2013 at 12:51 pm Reply

    I have missed your writing sooooo much!

    1 April 2013 at 1:08 pm Reply

    Oh Jenny, I love the insight and words you and Jeff shared. Jeff’s words are the ones I will print out and paste to see everyday when I’m feeling a certain way that I can’t do x,y, and z cuz of my own health challenges. Jeff and my hubby are great boosters for folks like us – why God has planted them in our lives. Whenever you are making a virtual coffee klatch with your words and web presence, we are all here to join you with our mugs. Yeah! Kt

    1 April 2013 at 1:09 pm Reply

    <3 <3 <3 so happy you have decided to stay and bless us with your gift. I needed to read this today (your posts always seem so timely). Love and health to you and thank you for letting us be a part of your journey!

    1 April 2013 at 1:32 pm Reply

    Jenny, thanks for this… i needed to read this today! :) i’m glad you’re back!! there are not many blogs i read regularly – but yours, Julie (iamjuju) and another one are fun/interesting/inspiring little treats to chew on :)

    1 April 2013 at 1:41 pm Reply
    ee k.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I missed reading your posts (although I lurked more than I commented). Hope you are doing better.

    1 April 2013 at 2:05 pm Reply
    Cyndi S

    yay! Glad to hear you sharing your story! You are brave and beautiful!<3

    1 April 2013 at 2:58 pm Reply
    Janet Carr

    Jenny!!!!! THANKS for being YOU!!!!!! BIG HUGS!!!!!!!!!! And as ALWAYS… Love your writing!!!!!!!!!!

    1 April 2013 at 3:48 pm Reply

    Missed you :) Everytime I sit down to some free computer time, and you are gone so long it worries me. Happy you are back and hope you are well.

    1 April 2013 at 3:49 pm Reply
    Theresa M.

    Missed you, glad you’re back!


    1 April 2013 at 4:21 pm Reply

    Welcome back Jenny. I’ve been following your blog and instagram (shoppershaz)feed for a while and I am so glad that you have decided to share your story again.

    We lead very different lives but I always find something in your posts or pictures that resonates with me. xo

    1 April 2013 at 4:28 pm Reply
    Jamie W

    So happy to hear you’re coming back. I love reading your blog. You are an inspiration to many! :)

    IG – @Jamienawalker

    1 April 2013 at 5:06 pm Reply

    There you are. It is so nice to have part of you back. Just a thought, but the chapters we write in life are each our own. They are all detailed to the level we choose. So, choose a chapter and do it well. Someone once told me, that life (work) is not about quantity, but about quality. Just Sayin! xoxoxo

    1 April 2013 at 5:09 pm Reply

    Welcome back to your own blog. This post makes my cry and smile so much. You always know how to speak to so many people no matter what you write about. Just be you Jenny it is enough for everyone! And anyone who doesn’t agree isn’t worth having in your life anyways. Be well!

    1 April 2013 at 6:37 pm Reply

    Welcome back :) Great decision. One of my favorite quotes (and yet biggest struggle for myself) is – In the end, we regret most the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make. I too let fear hold me back too often and I’m sure there are many others out there that do the same. So thanks for the honesty and inspiration. God Bless :)

    1 April 2013 at 6:55 pm Reply
    Korie B.

    You have been sorely missed. I actually did a happy clap when I saw that there was a new Jenny post. You inspire me. Welcome back!

    1 April 2013 at 7:01 pm Reply

    Oh, it’s a delightful day when Jenny shows up on my blog reader! You have been missed, whether you write about your list, cupcakes, your adorable kids, or those amazing pearls of wisdom which leave me inspired. Thanks for sharing yourself and your fears. You and your whole family is in my prayers!

    1 April 2013 at 7:52 pm Reply

    Jenny…not sure if you can hear, but l am clapping my applause for you….all the way down here in Australia.
    Hope you can see how much you are valued. After a long break from your last post, look at how many comments you received today!

    1 April 2013 at 10:20 pm Reply

    I love ChrisyC’s comment, and I think it truly IS a testimony to how much you are loved and supported here in blogland. You DO have a gift, with your writing and your attitude and your intelligence and your amazing spirit. None of us really NEED another cupcake recipe, but we do need to hear from our sweet friend, Jenny!! Hugs from Ohio, Heather

    2 April 2013 at 3:52 am Reply
    Michelle Bostinelos

    There is an ebb and flow to creativity – and when you don’t feel it, well don’t push it. I walked away from scrapbooking for an entire year. That was big for me. But then I came back to it with a new perspective and fresh ideas. Maybe you just needed a break. We all need a break. Of course – I missed your posts! And so happy to see you back at it.

    2 April 2013 at 3:55 am Reply

    I got chills when I read this last night, because I know God put you on my heart. I was struggling with a very difficult decision yesterday morning, and you popped into my head. You do have such a gift for writing, and your bravery always astounds me. I was just thinking I wished I had your bravery, because to follow through on what I know is the right thing, is going to take a lot of bravery, and could cost me and my family dearly.

    Anyway, I am so glad to hear from you again. Your husband is right – your writing makes a huge difference to so many people. Big hugs to you!

    2 April 2013 at 6:06 am Reply

    Please thank your husband for me. I am so happy to see you again. I have missed you.

    6 April 2013 at 7:08 pm Reply
    Jenn Serrano

    Oh you are the most wonderful, inspiring writer. Thank you for sharing.

    23 June 2013 at 8:37 pm Reply

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