About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. Jennifer,
    Fear, doubt, worry, comparison…all weapons of the enemy. When we feel led to reflect God’s love through our own unique gifts – be they art, or music, or song, or dance, or writing, or photography, etc., the enemy immediately goes on the attack because the last thing he wants is anyone or anything bringing glory to God. So he lies, he contradicts, he infuses doubtful thoughts, spins thoughts of inferiority in our minds…for this is his battleground. God gave us gifts for us to use as our expression of gratitude, thanks, love, adoration, praise, and worship. Let us not let the enemy beat us down and lets not let him win. Do whatever it is you do and do it with abandon knowing that the God of the Universe looks upon your gift and is not only pleased…He delights in you and He rejoices over you and your efforts to glorify Him with singing….yes singing!! Let God’s adoration drown out the contradictions of the enemy. Love your artwork Jennifer…so glad you are letting your unique light shine!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Definitely needed this encouragement today, dear Bev 🙂 Thank you and praise the Lord for these sweet words of grace 🙂

    • Hi Bev, for awhile now I have been saying I need to acknowledge You! You are such an Encourager and Faithful in giving comments to each post. I want you to know I look for your feedback each day and sometimes scroll down to read yours first. I value and appreciate you giving us a peek into your life’s journey in Christ…it blesses my heart and lift my spirit. I do pray for you as well. Thanking God for my In-Courage community of Family…everyone I share the link with find it to be a blessing. xoxo.
      Carlyann Qns NY

      • Carlyann,
        I can’t tell you what your kind words mean to me. Yesterday, I was having a particularly difficult day and your sweet and kind comment was like a balm to my heart! It couldn’t have been more perfectly timed!! I love the (in)courage community….the writers and women who participate have seen me through a divorce and several surgeries…the least I can do is give back.
        Blessings and heartfelt thanks,
        Bev xoxo

  2. Jennifer, such an important post! In a culture where perfection is the standard, it can be intimidating to try out our creative chops. I delayed trying to write for years because I knew—I just KNEW—I wouldn’t be good enough. When God finally gave me a very personal nudge, I stepped out into the unknown and began to try to write. What I found is that, as I began trying my hand at putting words to paper, He brought people into my life to help me grow in doing this. I have discovered I love writing. 🙂 I’m learning—thorugh a couple steps forward and then one backward—how to embrace the journey and timing God has for ME and to take my eyes off of where I see others going on their journeys.

    And this line: “Remember you are reflecting Him as only you can . . . bringing glory and praise to Him.”

    I LOVE IT.

  3. I love your article. People need to encourage creativity, I see children even lacking imagination. I love using computers, but people have forgotten how look at a blue sky and see clouds as a parade of something other than clouds. I agree with Bev on this too. Our creativity is from God, and it’s alright to be different. The Holy Spirit once told me that I was not in competition but in Christ, and that means love and sharing.

  4. Jennifer, thank you, thank you, thank you for this article! I need to give a devotional at a ladies´ meeting in two days, but was not making any progress. I prayed this morning that God would give me something to help me get started and a specific Bible verse. Voilá – – your article appeared in my inbox. Thank you for taking the time to think and write.

      • I love the expression: There are “GOD WINKS” for each & every day IF we will look, we will find! This has indeed been my ‘God Wink’ for the day! I’m creative in many ways and “GOD WINKS” is not my gift but that of SQUIRE Rushnell…awesome author of the coincidences from our daily lives!!!! Thank you for your’s too! 😉 PY<}

  5. This may be His glory or a reflection of Him but quite honest I’m working on my passion wearing my heart on my sleeve and its been foiled at every turn and now it’s all just such a hot mass and failure that the only really dignified thing I can do is to give it up. If God is blocking you then how can you fight? If you start to make something beautiful and it falls apart to something ugly …. I think only a creative can understand – it’s even more painful than not doing it at all.

    • I am sorry for what you are going through, D. I do understand and it is painful when things aren’t working out. I am experiencing some of that myself right now. All I can say is to not give up. Maybe it takes a bit of a different direction, maybe it takes a big different direction, but when you are working to His glory, you can’t be wrong. I am praying and *trying* my best to be patient to see where He is leading me. It is hard, but I think it will be worth it in the end! I am praying for you, D, for this difficult journey and for the strength to keep reflecting Him!

  6. Absolutely beautiful Jennifer! Thank you so much for sharing. Really really needed this! God bless you always. Xoxo

  7. In my own personal photography, I pretty much snap, edit and share with abandon. I love to show glimpses of our world with a fresh perspective. Sometimes I nail it, sometimes I don’t. I love the accolades on social media and the fact that people like my work, but the only audience that truly matters is God. He has given me the gift of capturing our world through my lens and that’s what I’m going to do!

    As an elementary art teacher, my students get more stuck on perfection the older they get. I have come to truly love teaching the kindergartners because they are just in love with life and will create with abandon with me, even though I do have specific concepts I am required to teach them. The older kids have heard me say a million and one times “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful” a line that Myquilin Smith (The Nester) has used in the past. It really resonates with me and I hope I’ve opened up the minds of a few students by reinforcing that idea.

  8. Thanks for the encouragement. We are all creative but gifted so differently. Fear, not wanting to boast or be prideful, shame of not being good enough, shame of being to good, fear of success, so many things hold us back.

  9. Thank you for reminding me of this. I have cerebral palsy so everything is rather difficult but comparing myself to others is deadly. Looking at my Father releases my creativity. It’s too easy to forget that.

  10. “Whether it be on a sewing machine or a musical instrument, through words or painting or photographs, by singing, cooking, or homemaking, God has given each of us unique expressions of creativity. Don’t let the world miss out because of fear and doubt. We can all use our creative gifts to serve God and bless others.” I can’t tell you how this article has inspired me this morning. Thank you so much! I have held back way too much because of doubts and fears, and you really nailed it. I love to crochet, craft, play trumpet and other things, also blog, which I’ve neglected and felt inferior to others about. Thanks for the reminder that every one of us is uniquely gifted by God. 🙂

  11. I too used to do many things with my hands and have become a bit limited…so today I decided at the doctors office to ‘gift’ two beautiful children, a brother and sister that were left in the children’s area while mom went in to see the doc. [The two were about 9 & 7] with a THANK YOU for playing quietly while Mom was gone. SURPRISE! Smiles & Thank Yous! When I was called to the exam room, Mom came out & I told her Thank You for her beautiful children & their behavior! She was ANXIOUS that I might be complaining and was overwhelmed when I assured her they had been AWESOME!!! GREAT GOD WINK for all of us! With loads of laughter!!!
    Thank you Christy for your loving, kind words! My prayer is that we all take the time to say something kind, nice, loving to at least one person each & every day! GOD BLESS EACH & EVERY ONE OF YOU!!! May God’s Peace be your Peace!

  12. Chiming in with my “Amen” for these wise words: “Remember you are reflecting Him as only you can . . . bringing glory and praise to Him.” I’m thinking about all the factors that go together to make each of us unique: our personalities, gifts and skill-sets, life experiences, relationships, etc. What a privilege he gives us to reflect Him–each in our own custom-designed way. Thank you, Jennifer!

  13. Jennifer,

    Fear and doubt keep us from using our talents for His glory. We feel our meager talents aren’t enough or can’t be used in a grand way. I have discovered that anything and anyone can be used for His glory. I know a little sign language. it never occurred to me that I would be using this for His glory. I do sign language to music for our church. Who would have thought, since I am nervous in front of crowds. it enhances the services and people really enjoy it.

    This post reminds me of a song by Steven Curtis Chapman “Do Everything”. It talks about big jobs, little jobs, major events or just everyday living and doing whatever–even picking up toys, flipping burgers, or sweeping the floor to the glory of God. It was my mantra on my last job. Got me through a lot of tough days!

    Blessings 🙂