Ten: A (Free) Journal For a New Season of Grace & Courage

Jen Wise // Free Printable Journal & Devotional

September is my New Years. I’m thinking about a legit celebration this year – champagne, sparklers, the midnight kiss.

No matter my age, no matter how many years have passed since I was a student, I still mark time by the school year. And the fall still feels like the exciting beginning of a new rhythm. It’s all crisp and energetic, and it doesn’t have that weird let down of January 1st, where after a month-solid of eating and drinking, you step out, sluggish and pale, into the freezing cold sleepiness of mid-winter. It’s no wonder those resolutions fail.

But September… September holds promise. It’s bursting with potential.

Here’s the thing though: all that potential is a bit much for us to handle with grace. We see it coming and suddenly we’re all “I’m going to the gym every morning!” and “My kids will practice their instruments 3 hours per day!” and “After dinner walks!” and “Bible studies! Meetings! Events! Hosting! Serving! Go! Go! Go!”

Is it any wonder we live in a constant state of burn out and disappointment?

What if we try something new this year? What if instead of going NUTS crafting an impressive calendar, we spend some time on our souls? What if we take some quiet time to pray, to reflect, and to consider what it would mean to enter this new season with grace, with courage?

Join me on this ten-day journey – let’s find a new rhythm this year, a steady, healthy one that allows rest, sweetens friendships, and inspires joy. And then we can tackle those calendars.

Learning to Fall

Learning to Fall

The wind was whipping the sails, whipping my hair, whipping the waves—whipping up a healthy dose of fear. I stood in front of a row of sailboats at the edge of the lake. Why!? Why would anyone in their right mind get into a sailboat captained by an 8 year-old? And why does it have to be so windy?

I walked a few feet out into the water and climbed aboard, sat where I was told. “If you start to tip, loosen to rope. Duck when he yells tacking.” she said. 

And with a big shove, we were off.

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Cooking = Love

Cooking = Love

According to my husband, “I’m always hungry.”
According to my children, “If you don’t want seconds, you’re not our mom!”

It’s no secret that I love food—cooking it, eating it, serving it, reading about it, photographing it, and when I’m feeling especially ambitious, growing it. There’s something sacred about receiving what the earth has to offer and truly relishing its goodness. Good food nourishes the body and has unending potential for nourishing the soul.

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5 Reasons Why Your Pastor is Burnt Out

5 Reasons Why Your Pastor is Burnt Out

1. You expect every single aspect of the church experience to be catered to your unique needs, taste, and preferences. Of course we all see the world, and our churches, from our unique perspective of taste, past experience, and desires. Yet a church is made up of all kinds of people, and is also poised to engage with those who haven’t even shown up yet. Your church isn’t, and should be, catered to YOU specifically—and when each of us has this expectation, it becomes impossible for a pastor to ‘win’ or make anyone happy. What’s the big deal, you say? The phrase “death by a thousand paper cuts” comes to mind.

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Hometown Love: Traverse City, MI

Hometown Love: Traverse City, MI

Currently I’m packed into a little moving box squashed between beach bags, tennis rackets, golf clubs, suitcases, and my family. There’s also a basil plant sitting between my feet—but that’s a long story. We’ve listened to every song known to man, the swish of passing cars, and the hum of a snoring pug.

And we’re almost there.

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Reliable, Beautiful, Simplicity (and a bonus recipe)

Reliable, Beautiful, Simplicity (and a bonus recipe)

Guest Post: Anne Charlton

Most often, in those moments, I was just as unwilling to search for that beauty as I was worried about everything I could not control. That’s a bleak place to be, y’all. I buzzed with discontent, literally and figuratively hungry for something to fill my body with calm.

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Enough With Tolerance

Enough With Tolerance

I leaned over to my husband, who had been at the church since early in the morning—we hadn’t talked yet, and gave him the look of “Oh my goodness … What happened?” 

He whispered back, each word a wound to the heart. “Worst mass shooting… gay nightclub… loyal to ISIS… 50 dead... hostages…”                           

My heart felt like it would implode. 
I was devastated—I was heartbroken.
But surprisingly, I wasn’t confused.

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