• Jenni

Deep down inside, underneath the layers of insecurity and perfectionism... I really like to write. And part of me thinks I'm good at it, while the other fears that I'm too unoriginal or boring or (insert negative adjective here). That means I have to "force" myself to start writing a blog post 90% of the time. And after I start writing, I have to force myself to not delete it or edit it to death 99% of the time.

Since I'm a verbal processor, writing sometimes helps me discover what I really think about things. So after I write I usually feel really satisfied, in spite of the "forced" start. And of course it's always nice to hear encouragement from people who were touched by what I wrote. So there are definitely many benefits to it, if I could just GET OVER MYSELF. After forcing myself to start blogging today I looked at the title of my last blog and thought it was all too appropriate: "just do it". So here is part 2...

Yesterday at band practice one of the guys gave a really valid piece of advice. 'When you want to do something but feel insecure or unsure, just count down from 5 and do it.' He's been trying to encourage me to get out my comfort zone/cage to be more free while singing. It's obviously very hard for me- not because I don't have ideas or "impulses" to do something or step out, but because the insecurity and fear of failure (read: perfectionism) hold me back. But that piece of advice, which I still have to implement, proved really relevant. JUST DO IT. Count down from 5, and go.

[As I re-read what I've written now, this thing came to mind: it's not Kingdom living to allow insecurity, fear of failure & perfectionism to hold me back... so actually (this sounds really intense, but it's what comes up in me) it's a sin. It's a sin to allow myself to be held back by things which Jesus died on the cross to destroy. WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE.]

This is something I want to apply in so many areas of my life: blogging, performing, songwriting... but also in reaching out to people when God seems to highlight them, or sharing the impression I have from the Holy Spirit when I'm surrounded by people I deem "more spiritual" than me. It's also applicable to situations when I'm super mad or hurt by someone and I know the right thing to do is to forgive but my flesh just keeps screaming, "NEVEEEEEEERRRR!".

Count down from 5 and go. Just do it. Make the right choice. Endure the temporary pain for the long-term benefit. GO.

#faith #impact #truthtransparencytransformation #personalgrowth #freedom

  • Jenni

And then two months goes by without a blog post... ahhh! Well, we're alive and thriving. Sometimes it's a struggle to put everything you go through in life into a condensed and interesting blog post that people want to read. But I'll try...

So where to start without just listing off the activities we've been doing... what's the heart of it all? Getting a renewed mind. That's what comes up in me when I think back on the past few months. In pretty much everything we've done, this has been part of the process. We feel God is calling us to a different level of relationship with Him, a different level of faith. And it starts in the way we think. Since thoughts produce action (or inaction), it's pretty important what we think about. And yes, new age and other streams have caught onto this Biblical truth and turned it into "mindfulness" and other stuff, which captures part of the idea. But in reality, it's God's idea. Healthy thoughts = healthy life.

So I'm glad that God is working on us in this area. Since we can only give out what we've already received (if we're talking about true, authentic stuff) then this is a pretty important process to go through. Especially with my CD project, I've had to face a lot of self-image thought issues and God-trust thought issues... and there were many times when I felt like, "okay, let's just retreat to the comfortable bubble of what I know and know that I'm good at"... and yet God just keeps calling me out.

For example, before the CD was released the thought popped into my head (divine inspiration...) that I should record some "song story" videos to explain the stories behind some of the songs on the album. On one hand I was excited by the idea, but on the other hand it was really vulnerable for me. Emotionally, to be confident and believe that my songs have stories that need to be heard. But also to trust God about the finances... cause when He gave me the idea, I didn't have any money at that time. Actually, I didn't even have the money to print the CD let alone add another large expense on top of that. So I had a moment of "crisis" where my feelings (thoughts) were telling me that it would be stupid to go ahead with this because I'd end up in debt. But my faith was telling me that if God had the idea, He'd provide even if I didn't have that proof before I entered into the venture.

Thankfully, faith won that battle and I went forward with the process. Just a few days after I read some part in the Old Testament laws that says you should pay your workers the same day, don't withhold their wages. So I made a little note in my Bible saying something like, "ok God, I want to be able to pay everyone I'm 'hiring' on time". After a few days Wim called me to say that we received a HUGE gift, totally unexpected out of nowhere... and I could pay for my CD, the videos and more. I mean, talk about being blown away. I was totally flabbergasted. And it was another confirmation that God was in this.

So what does this have to do with renewing our mind? If I would have stayed with my 'original' thought pattern of fear about getting into debt (which felt really rational and reasonable, I might add...) I wouldn't have stepped out and been able to see God provide in such a personal way. I don't say that the money wouldn't have come, but you never know. But this experience built my faith so much, that things that seemed impossible before seem kind of reasonable now...

So in all of our activities (which there'll be a newsletter about shortly...) God is forming us too. I really believe that's His heart for these days, for Christians to have integrity and authenticity in their lives. Not perfection, but realness and sincerity... that's what we all long for deep inside. It's just kind of scary sometimes and it means we need to start to think differently about so many things, but it's worth the risk.

Check out my song stories below!

1) "Faith Is Not Something You Wear On Sunday" :

2) "I Don't Want To Hide" :

3) "The Way Is Free" :

4) "Courage To Be Free" :

5) "My Weaknesses Are Now My Beauty" :

#health #freedom #music #faith

  • Jenni

So I can't get the thumbnail to not show that slightly creepy face of mine... but here's a recent update from us! In video form instead of writing. Hope you enjoy! (IN DUTCH & ENGLISH TOO!)

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