Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Tuesday 16th August 2016

how to find happiness in a sad and busted-up world – #TellHisStory

I don’t know about you, but all the pain in this world has challenged all that is good within me.

It has challenged my hope, my sense of security, my peace. I can’t fly in an airplane anymore without a foreboding sense that the worst is about to happen. If I’m in a crowd, I am edgy. When I tuck in my daughters, I wonder how to equip them to function in this broken world.

This is not who I am, or who I was created to be.

For most of my life, I considered myself a happy person—not the kind of woman who claps with giddy delight over her breakfast waffles, but the kind of woman who makes regular use of her grin. I have a bend toward optimism.

But lately, cynicism has been an enticing option.

In times like these, even an optimist can feel like happiness is irretrievable. In times like these, it can seem—quite frankly—that happiness doesn’t matter anyway. It can seem like God doesn’t care about happiness.

But then I re-remember what I re-forgot. 

I remember what I learned way back when I took a God-made dare to find true happiness. I remember what I discovered, and how it made me feel warm and bright on the inside, like I’d swallowed a star. This is what I found out …

Click here to read the rest of the story over on the blog of Ann Voskamp. For such a time as this:

How to Find Happiness in a Sad and Busted-up World. 

Happiness ... For such a time as this.




Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there! Our featured writer this week is Pam Blosser. Isn’t this a beautiful thought: “Just like the best sunsets require clouds, many times wisdom and blessings come through trials.” Find Pam here. To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. 🙂 xo Jennifer

  • Mary

    Love your post at Ann’s place. Your words are hitting me at the perfect time. I need daily reminders that there is happiness and it is through God we will find our happy. He would love nothing more than to see that smile on our face and that joy in our heart. Your words are a blessing for me and many others. Thank you!

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  • Meghan Weyerbacher

    I keep re-reading some of the things I have already read, Jennifer, and your words are still helping just as much as they did the first time I laid my eyes on those 8×11 pages I printed out. I love this blog post. I have to re-remind myself that Jesus said those words, “Even as I am happy.” Just wow and thank you for being faithful to this work God has called you too. I hope to order my blue books soon…we just officially finished cleaning up our rental this past weekend and handed the keys back to the landlord! Yay!!

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  • I love when you re-remember what you re-forgot. It gives us permission to do the same. “It’s all because of Jesus” – those are the words that will stick with me today. Always leave your place a little fuller than when I came – thank you!

  • So thankful for all the joy your little blue book is fostering, and I do think that a huge portion of the happiness is centered around the re-reminder we all need that our happiness brings happiness to the heart of God.

  • Pam Ecrement

    Beautiful, Jennifer! I would tend to fall into your responses about happiness versus joy, but your book, one by Larry Crabb and several others are all opening my heart and mind to the Lord’s pleasure in happiness. Thanks for your encouragement!

  • Valorie MacDonald

    Hm..Interesting that Thinker was my highest, although I guess it really does make sense, now that I think about it… Oh wow–Ha! I’m not even going to edit myself;)
    Just below that I scored almost equal on Relater and Giver. No surprise!
    But….hopefully I’m not a three.headed monster!
    I can’t even begin to digest how all this is coming to me at just “such a time.”
    My life has been in upheaval for years, and my worth/value has taken hit after hit.
    I am ready to approach my year 45 in a GODLY pursuit of a happy joy that I already know will be contagious. May it begin within my 4 walls!

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  • Jennifer, best wishes on your new book. I was so sorry not to even ask to be on the launch team because I’m going through a HECTIC season. However, I can’t wait to read your book because joy has been a theme of mine or the past 5-8 years, and yes to happiness! I know what you mean about jitters. I get them every time I go to church here in the MidEast, and sometimes when I let my teen kids go out and meet their friends like regular kids should be able to do. God is our happiness giver. 🙂

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  • Cheering you on as you are over at Ann’s place today. May His joy be you strength today, and every day. 🙂

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  • I am journeying through your words, Jennifer… slowly…digesting them and loving the way I can spend a bit of time in fellowship with you over the lessons you are leaving for us to take in. I am redefining my own idea of happy- ness with a lot more focus on the way He meets us with grace and reroutes our days. I love that you are willing to share these things and encourage us to step into the God-made dare with you.
    Praying for many possibilities to share this truth.

  • Nancy Ruegg

    I, too, am very thankful for your wise words, Jennifer, teaching us that happiness: 1) is a gift from our happy God that hems in our joy, and 2) is a formidable weapon in a world wracked with pain. Couldn’t agree more that a holy pursuit of happiness protects us from giving in to the pain of the world. Your words always contribute to my happiness!

Looking for a little happy in your Christmas? I've got seven ways for you to find it, pursue it, and embrace it. Find seven videos on my Instagram. 💚❤️💚❤️🌲 pic.twitter.com/DpIBIdb64S