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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 4th October 2016

How knowing what God sees changes everything (with book giveaway!) – #tellhisstory

Breathing Eden

It’s a privilege to welcome my friend Jennifer Camp to the blog today. She’s the author of Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things. Reading her book was a sacred experience that moved me deeply, and drew me toward a very personal God who hears us, loves us and never forsakes us. This book is for any woman whose life didn’t turn out the way she planned — any woman who has doubted that God hears her cry. God does hear. And He responds in a deeply personal way. Reading Jennifer’s book, was like encountering the gentle whisper of God.

Welcome, Jennifer.

How knowing what God sees changes everything
By Jennifer Camp

She looked like she wanted to fly away. Perched there on the edge of her chair. Short blonde hair in disarray. This was the day she didn’t have it together. This was the day she had to fall, risking that her friends might not catch her.

She blew in that morning, declining the offer of a cup of coffee. We sat in a circle in the living room, morning light shining in through tall windows. Six of us, friends for more than a decade, surrounding the friend who moved fast and got a lot done and was now about to collapse onto the floor.

She leaned forward, hands clenched in her lap. A regular Tuesday morning that wasn’t at all routine. Holy Spirit, come. Flood this room, this space. Tears spilled from her blue eyes, streaming down her pained, beautiful face.

The night before had been an accident, perfectly timed. One of those moments when a disaster should have happened but it didn’t and you see how God came in and saved you from yourself. From busyness. From hurry. From the outcome of stress and trying to carry the world all on your own.

breathing-eden-jennifer-camp-leaves-on-ground

Kids needing to get to practice. Work deadlines needing to be met. Meals needing to be cooked. Clothes needing to be washed and organized. A heart needing to be cared for, rescued, made whole. Oh, how to make space for that?

We move from our seats and surround our friend. Hands on a knee, arms wrapped around her shoulders, holding her head to a chest as she cries. It was so close. So close.

We can’t fix this. Our friend is broken, and we can’t fix her. We can’t rewind this situation, make this all okay. We are on our knees around her chair. I hold her to me as I pray, lifting her up to the Father, asking for light to come where it feels only dark.

And when we pray, our voices calling out to our God, we look, we expect, we listen. If we only call out to God but don’t expect His presence, don’t listen for his voice, don’t let our imagination see what our eyes cannot, how can faith be experienced? How can we love our friend who is hurting, who is desperate for God to come save?

That Tuesday, spring light shining bright on our faces, the prayers of our friend were unearthed by a God who loves. Holy Spirit, come. Father, let your light shine in. And our cries to him become a conversation; for we listen for what he says now.

How might knowing what God sees in our situation change everything?

Breathing Eden

Father, what do our prayers sound like to you now? How do you see us, really see us, when we share our hearts with you? How do you respond? And how might this change us? We need to know.

Breathing Eden

This story of my friend is a snapshot of what prompted the book, Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things. This book consists of our prayers to God and his answers. Forty women. Forty prayers. Forty women’s conversations with God.

Breathing Eden

As women, as daughters of God, we are made to receive hope and life from the God who made us. We are desperate to see what God sees in our situation. We are desperate to have his light, his fresh air, his new take on our lives.

It is knowing God’s truth and how it applies to our particular situation that prompts healing, restoration, the end to being stuck.

Prayer takes a listening—a looking deeper. Real prayer uncovers hope that is impossible to see on our own. God knows the wide-ranging emotions we feel—the cries of pain when we are overwhelmed and alone, the songs of joy when we are captured by his goodness and majesty. But what happens when he unearths the silent prayers we didn’t know we had—of sadness or worship, confession, freedom?

After each story is a personal invitation for you to enter into the dialogue with your own story. Forty invitations to engage in exercises in which you can personally respond.

Let’s be part of the conversation God has already begun. Let’s be changed. Let’s live believing there is more to this moment than what our eyes can see.

 

About the Book

Jennifer Camp Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things, by Jennifer J. Camp, is forty raw, honest, heartbreaking and encouraging conversations between women and God. These prayers are like our own: full of pain, celebration, anxiety, and joy. Each one helps the reader hear God whisper love and hope into their lives. And after each story, Jennifer offers readers a guided invitation to listen for what God is saying to them. In these pages, readers will find hope and fresh perspectives. It’s an invitation to come. Breathe Eden.

Jennifer is co-founder of Gather Ministries with her husband, Justin, and she’s passionate about encouraging women to live lives of identity, community and adventure, with Christ. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with Justin, their three kids, and her very insecure dog. Connect with her at jenniferjcamp.com.

Two-Book Giveaway!

breathingeden3d-1 Jennifer is giving away TWO copies of her new book. Entering to win is easy. Simply leave a comment letting us know if your prayers right now are filled with pain, celebration, anxiety or joy — or all of the above. I’ll be praying for each of you. Each comment is an entry. You can enter more times by sharing this post on social media. Simply let us know where you shared. Each “share” is worth an additional entry. I’ll draw a winner on Friday.

Click here to Tweet:

We all long to know that God hears us. Two-book giveaway of #BreathingEden by @jenniferjcamp on @dukeslee blog http://wp.me/p32XPW-eQh

 

UPDATE: Winners are Amanda Geaney and Ruth-Anne Hayes!

post includes affiliate link

#TellHisStory

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 my dear friend and virtual assistant Kaitlyn Bouchillon. She encourages us to soak in the Truth instead of reaching for another rung — or another Twitter follower. I especially like this quote from her post titled Roots Before Branches: “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried … but actually, you’ve been planted.” Find Kaitlyn 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


  • PamC

    Absolutely loved this & cant wait to read it. Right now my prayers are about being set free from depression. Thank you
    Oh. And I shared on Pinterest & FB

    • Thanks for reading and sharing Jennifer’s post, Pam. We appreciate you! And I am praying for you right now, for you to be set free from depression.

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  • Jasmine Ryan

    This post, appropriately, is a breath of fresh air to me this morning! Had you asked me 2 months ago, I would have predicted to be in a season of joy and celebration right now, having just celebrated my one year anniversary and preparing for our belated honeymoon this month. Instead, I am in a season of suffering with an unforeseen illness and unsure what each day will hold. Certainly my feelings are different, but still my prayer is the same: gratitude and contentment. In this unexpected season, God is breaking down everything I had used to prop my life up and reminding me again how He carries me. The story He is writing for me is far more beautiful than the one I had been clinging to. Most importantly, He is teaching me again to listen more than I speak, and it turns out He has a lot to say. I would love to read your book and am so thankful for both of your hearts and words today!

    • Wow, Jasmine. I will ask Jennifer to come over and read your heartfelt comment today. Please know that I am praying for you. xo

    • Jasmine, oh these seasons when we cling to Him. There is nothing else! Yes, He is steadfast. He is sure. I pray you feel His arms around you now, dear one. You are so loved! <3

  • Nicci

    Goodness, all of the above 🙁

    • Thanks for being here, Nicci. Praying for you — for whatever unspoken needs are on your heart.

  • Paige Estes

    My prayers sweep between hope and anxiety. I feel like I talk too much for God to interject so I don’t hear him. I NEED to know why I can’t find happiness in my job. What is my purpose? When I feel my most important me is when I get home, caring for my family, but that’s only a small part of my life compared to work. 9 or more hours a day. In a place where I don’t feel like I’m making a difference or serving a purpose. I can’t keep changing jobs. All of them feel this way. I’m so scared I will get through my life and miss the most important thing God had for me to do here. These are my prayers today.

    • Paige, I’m praying for you right now, that God would show you that you really DO have purpose, even when the days feel so ordinary. Big hugs to you, my friend. You are such a blessing!

  • Gigi

    Pain, anxiety, joy, celebration, and always a need to know His will….

    • Praying for you, Gigi, and any unspoken needs that are you on your heart today.

  • MaryPat

    Today I am feeling all of the above and more. Work, family and life in general is so harried and I often forget to thank God for His many blessings. This story has made me feel more focused on the truly important things I this life.

    • Thanks for sharing your heart with us, MaryPat.

  • Connie McCord Bjorklund

    All of the above. I struggle with depression & I know God is the healer. I’m so thankful for everything he has done for me & my family. I would love to win her book, & would also share with my friends. Love the blog posts!

    • Praying for you right now, Connie, that God would lift your depression through his divine healing, through counseling, through modern medicine … or all of the above! Hugs to you!!

  • Michelle

    My story is ” SOooo in the ” in between” places! Waiting on the Lord, being obedient with what’s directly in front of me. Listening at His door Daily! Love both the JENNIFER’S!! 😍😊😇

    • Really glad to see you here, Michelle. xo

  • Cecilia Bramhall

    Oh my, my prayers are filled with joy, as we enter a season of preparing for our daughter’s wedding, anxiety over the future – will we be able to move when we want, will our son find a good job, be able to pay his bills?, and praise for knowing He’s got all of this. This book sounds wonderful. Thank you for the chance to win.

    • Praying for you now, Cecilia. You’ve got a lot on your plate right now!

      • Cecilia Bramhall

        thank you!

  • Sheila Fueston

    These last couple weeks, I pray for peace and some answers for not only me, but a couple other people I know to be hurting. Life is taking a toll on me lately and I want calm, so I pray each night to for God to help my mind slow down and get some rest. Praying for a better, more serene tomorrow. I’d love to read this book.

    • Hey sweet friend … If you don’t win in the drawing, I can hook you up with this book. I have an extra copy! Xo

  • Zig zagging prayers from joy to anxiety, from “what if” to “yes, Lord!” So thankful for a God who hears and knows the big picture — and has spoken into our world to remind me of that Truth!

    • Praying for you, dear friend. Thanks for being here, Michele.

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Wow, Jennifer. Beautiful. I’ve been wanting to read your book, especially since I saw the hope shining from your bright-blue eyes when it was still a only dream. But somehow I missed it–somehow I missed that it is all about prayer. If prayer is not intimate, not personal, not a heartfelt whisper from our lips to God’s ear, what is it? What a beautiful idea to write about real prayers from real women to a real God who really answers them, and then invites readers to pray their own real prayesr to the God who hears and responds. Breathtaking! Can’t wait to read *your* dream come true! I’m so happy for you!! And I’m so grateful to my other friend, Jennifer, who has an encouraging heart and willingly shares her space here to share Good News, whether relayed by her or others. I love your generous spirit, Jennifer Lee!
    Love
    Lynn

    • It really is a terrific concept, isn’t it, Lynn? And it’s a beautiful book. I read it a month or two ago, and gave it a hearty endorsement. Today is the official release day, and it’s already ripped up the charts over on Amazon!

      • Lynn D. Morrissey

        Wow, wonderful two Jennifers!! 🙂 I will share on my FB page. Arncha glad you encouraged me to do this, jennifer?! 🙂 Thanks for letting us know about your personal endorsement, as well. I love Jennifer Camp. She is a beautiful person and author–like you!

    • Lynn, it was so wonderful sharing a meal with you. I loved that time together. Thank you so very much for the encouragement and love. Yes, Jennifer is so generous and kind–arms-wide open. You two are both so beautiful–such a gift to my heart. Thank you.

  • Bettie G

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful book; definitely on my wish list now. Today my prayers are bathed in pain, as I deal with the possibilities of added health issues. But I am so thankful that nothing surprises our Lord, and He is here with me! –Blessings to you

    • Hi Bettie, Praying now, sister. Yes, so true–nothing surprises Him. Bless you!

  • My prayers swing between hope and discouragement. I’m trying to cling to God’s character in all circumstances. He is faithful and He loves us so much. Nothing happens that isn’t a part of His beautiful plan and purpose. It’s hard sometimes though to let that truth sink into my heart.

    I still have your book on my Amazon wish list, Jennifer C. I would love to win one. This line really causes me to reflect on how often I pray but don’t expect or listen – “If we only call out to God but don’t expect His presence, don’t listen for his voice, don’t let our imagination see what our eyes cannot, how can faith be experienced?”

    I have also tweeted this. 🙂 Blessings and hugs to both of you Jennifers! 🙂

    • Hi Trudy, This is a difficult truth for me to live out, for sure. But then in these times of desperation–of feeling stuck–I can’t help but remember how lost I am when the prayer is one-sided. Bless you, Trudy! So happy to connect with you at Jennifer’s beautiful place here!

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  • My prayers right now are filled with celebration, but I’ve certainly volleyed between all the others. My heart is to come before God expectant – that He is listening, moving, and working. But I can often be impatient while I wait for the answer and get a little frustrated on the delay. I’m learning more and more that there is grace and love in each answer He provides, no matter the timing. Thank you for sharing this book with us, Jennifer. I’m intrigued!

  • Stacey

    Pain, anxiety, fear fill my plate lately. Divorce pain for my stepson and he has a 9 month old baby. It’s taking a toll on our whole family. I woke up this morning with so much anxiety and just trying to keep calm and not let it consume my mind is overwhelming. Thank you for your posts. I appreciate it!

  • Susan

    My prayers are filled with praise, pleading (a couple of prodigal sons), and even some celebration. Always hopeful. I like to pray BIG prayers to my BIG God.

  • Karen Van Riessen Long

    Right now it’s anxiety, fear, some dread and regret. My husband has been out of a sufficient job for over 2 years, we have our house for sale, one child in college, another in high school. We’ve gone through one savings account, holding out for the 2nd, but not sure. We’re hoping the house sells soon so we don’t have to do anything drastic. It’s all about my kids for me, I want to be able to provide for them and I’m scared to death that we won’t be able to. I’ve been praying and I have some awesome prayers warriors praying for me too, but it seems like problems crop up and pile up, like the A/C unit which needed over $1400 of repairs, the car’s transmission died…and numerous other items. I subscribe to devotionals because I need encouragement. I would love the book to keep faith and hope alive. Thanks.

  • Suzanne Smith

    For me right now, it’s some anxiety (about the road ahead) but also gratitude for where I’ve come and how God has provided/cared for me in this difficult time. I’m also praying for patience, as I’ve just sprained my ankle and am out of action for a while…

  • Becky Burns

    My prayers are of hope – in Him not in the desired outcome. Thanks so much!

  • Oh, are my prayers filled with all of the above. I’m learning to live in the tension of the all of the above moments…to not try to escape from it, but to live full-on in these moments.

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  • karen

    Right now my prayers are filled with praise because some very specific prayers I have prayed for over a year have been answered.

    Then as of tonight asking for wisdom as we have a decision to make that affects the rest of my husband’s working years.

  • Deborah

    I would say my prayers often contain some of all. Praise and gratitude and pouring out pain and cares!

  • Tamara Lenarduzzi

    My prayers consist of both joy and a bit of anxiety! I am currently on mat leave with my first child and find each day is different than the last, but I love being a mom! 🙂 I have to go back to work next month and am nervous about the transition and increasing responsibilities! Feeling overwhelmed!

  • Jessica

    Right now anxiety. So desperately need to see God.

  • Soo

    In the midst of pain, an act of obedience unravels His loving provision in all forms of manner! I am awed and humbled by His love so real, a balm for my crushed spirit. I can only thank and praise Him over and over again!

  • Cristy

    Recently my prayers consistent of reminding myself of the truths of God. That God loves me and has good plans for me and I can trust Him. Reminding myself of these truths helps keeps things in perspective.

  • April

    My prayers are filled with all of the above. I’m in an interesting, difficult, a lot is changing season in my life. I’m learning to see myself the way God sees me.

  • Patricia Holbrook

    Oh, Jennifer!!! My prayers today were filled with pain, and yet joy in knowing that the God who has never failed me will show up again. He filled me with supernatural assurance that all I have to do is keep close to Him, for He is always close to me. Thank you for this post. Love,

  • Ruth-Anne Hayes

    Wow!! Jennifer, I so appreciate this introduction. Our hearts so crave intimacy and connection with our loving Father. I have suffered with fibromyalgia for the past four years as I struggle to minister with my husband, homeschool our teens, keep our home afloat and attachment parent our cat! My prayers are filled with all the emotions mentioned. The Happiness Dare has changed my life and is now changing the lives of my ladies SS class. This new book makes me thirsty. I have shared on twitter, facebook, goggle +, and pinterest. So thankful for the opportunity!

    • Hi Ruth-Anne! You won a copy of this book. Can you email me your address at:

      jdukeslee @ gmail . com

  • Love the idea of your book. Forty women and their prayers to God and his answers. Sounds most inspiring and would help develop one’s own prayer life.

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  • Sandy

    My prayers are feel with hope for better days for our country, my family, and myself.

  • I love my friend Jennifer’s book…Thanks for sharing, Jennifer C. and Jennifer Dukes Lee, here 🙂

  • Karrilee Aggett

    Hey lookie! Two of my favorite Jennifers in one space! Love this so much! (Shared on Twitter!)

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  • Definitely in the all of the above category! At the moment……HELP ME JESUS with these amazing KIDS!!!

  • Shared on Twitter!

  • Shared on Facebook!

  • Linda Douglas

    THANK YOU FOR A NEAT GIVEAWAY! RESPONDING WITH JOY TODAY msstitcher1214@gmail.com

  • “Real prayer uncovers hope that is impossible to see on our own.” Thank you for sharing this beautiful truth.

  • Jocelyn

    How can you separate the pain when those you love the most walk away from God. Over the last four years, my heart prayer has been filled with pain. So much so it has affected my health. I know in my head the truth of God’s word, but it’s difficult to feel the joy of the Lord, when deep inside the pain resides.

  • Tonya Schrougham

    I feel like mine are a mix of all of them. I’m a mommy to a toddler and infant, who is going back to school while trying to juggle a church position and running the home. This book sounds like something I need right now! Incidentally, my infant daughter’s name is Eden 🙂

  • Samantha McDonald

    Right now, definitely anxiety, or actually numbness. I have 2 special needs kiddos, ADHD and Autism, and one teenage girl. Can I say Ugh!!!???!!!??? I know this is life right now, but I can only take so much being yelled at by my 7 year old with anger issues and my teenage girl with I know everything issues. Ok, thanks so much for letting me vent. 🙂 This book sounds EXCELLENT!!!

  • Julie Loos

    My prayers would be pain and anxiety. I’m surrendering a dream to God. It hurts and I’m frustrated because I want it. It’s a selfish dream, and I’m not sure it’s its part of His plan. I always thought it would happen, so there’s anxiety mixed in there too.
    The book looks great! Sharing on Twitter and Facebook
    Julie

  • Diki B

    I’m not really sure what my prayers are about, disbelief i think. It seems like whenever i ask for something important to my heart God is not listening. My prayers are mostly for friends and special prayer requests for missionaries. I guess He’s always telling me no, but then why bother to pray? I am curious about this book and would love to read it, maybe it would help me.

  • Sherylb

    My prayers are filled with pain and struggle, but also hope and peace. After going through a divorce earlier this year after 28 years of marriage, I still have hope because of Christ living in me. Then, just this past Sunday evening, I suffered a mild heart attack at 48 years old. I work out and eat healthy so they think it is stress induced. Yet, I feel peace because I know God is in control. I desire to live out His will for my life whatever that may be!

  • Amanda Geaney

    We’ve been carrying 2 mortgages since February when our renter moved out an we had to fix everything she destroyed. 🙁 Anxiety looms heavy as we continue to wait for God to bring us a buyer.

    I’ve shared on twitter, pinterest, and G+.
    @AmandaGeaney

    • Hi Amanda! You won a copy of this book. Can you email me your address at:

      jdukeslee @ gmail . com

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  • tal59grace

    My prayers are filled with all of the above. Weary of people saying the world will end if I don’t vote for their candidates. Rejoicing that God is on His throne and He always will be.

“I never anticipated this.” . Some of you have felt the weight of those words in 2017. You've been thrown a curveball that you didn't see coming. . Divorce. Job loss. Infertility. Unmet expectations. Watching your husband fade under the grip of cancer. Y… ift.tt/2zhsLPd pic.twitter.com/2pRBjZNp96