IF: Nothing Changed yet Everything Changed

February 21, 2015



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It’s been 2 weeks and it feels no less of a dream.

The ground trembled and we saw God in ways I didn’t even know were possible.

I love IF. It is special. It is a gift and place for us to grow. It was glorious in so many ways, watching God move among us, bringing us to our knees in awe and surrender.

Then it ended, we all packed our bags, piled into the car, and went home.

And we opened our front doors to LIFE. Dirty, messy, scary, chaotic, beautiful life. Then the moment hits.

How do we take this new fire in our hearts, these faith declarations and MOVE when we are waist-deep in dishes, emails, people, bills?

Just so you don’t think I am too big for my britches and not coming home to all the same crazy you are, I need to paint you a picture of what I came home to…

Conner and several of his friends were dressed in medieval costumes- I had zero context and every room destroyed with props, furniture moved, teenagers eating cheese-its from one end of my house to the other.

Apparently they were making a medieval movie for school. No words really.

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It’s terrifying- tell me about it.


Cooper on the other hand, just wanted to cuddle and watch Big Hero 6 and go to Target to get “the real” Bemax. And you bet I said yes to that. He also is really into Benihana- he likes to replay every single move the chef made at the table- the flying shrimp, egg roll, and onion fire train. He has a new big dream.




The girls. They wanted to hear about IF:Gathering for all of 5 minutes. A year’s worth of blood, sweat, tears, and prayers and I got 5 minutes before they went back to their demanding schedules. And by “wanting to hear for 5 minutes”, I mean I forced them to sit and listen to me talk about it.

But I will say some of the IF:Terns and I took the girls to their first Ash Wednesday service this week.




And that brings me to the point.

I sat between my two girls in the most humble of church services with dark ash on our foreheads and heard deeply grounding words…

Dust to dust. No human is separate from this reality. 

We are all so terribly small. IF:Gathering potentially reached one million people but I want to be clear- it is so terribly small in light of the global church, in light of ISIS beheading 21 young Christian men, in light of generations of the church that have moved into multiple global revivals with no internet connecting them, in light of our enormous eternal God.

We’re back to earth. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

THIS is where God moves, choosing to move into the chaos of the everyday.

Choosing to love the chaos when all we want to do is control it.

Choosing to worship in Cheeze-it crumbs rather than just on the mountain-top with Melinda Doolittle singing “Break Every Chain.”

Choosing to pray when no one sees.

Choosing to build relationships rather than platforms.

Choosing to believe the everyday is the best part and choosing not to miss it.

This is where we obey. This is what FAITH looks like.

What is your step of Faith? How’s it going?

What’s your chaos?

35 Responses to “IF: Nothing Changed yet Everything Changed”

  1. Wendi Hansen

    Jenni, I’m so with you. The moment my house flooded with two boys and a husband life resumed it’s normal crazy. However I still feel something deep in my heart from IF and I’m still trying to figure it out, but what I do know is that I just need to keep moving forward no matter what! Thanks for keeping it real and being transparent. God is doing an amazing work!! I know that the 7 of us in my living room felt heaven come down 🙂

  2. Oh I needed this. I came home every night (thank you IF:Local) to a house in disarray. A husband who was tired from all the kid wrangling. Worry about how I was going to complete my assignments for graduate school but still full of the Lord.

    In the weeks since IF, I have felt my relationship with Him strengthen. But I have also struggled with the messiness of the house, reconciling the parts of my life, and feeling as though I am pulled every which way and I just want to stop and return to a bubble of comfort. But this is where God moves. In the messy and the busy and the day-to-day, God is present.

    So I am praying. And trusting. And writing but only because I feel Him calling me to write and not because I am seeking a platform as I have done in the past.

  3. Having served and worshipped alongside you at IF and since reading this morning know this:
    #1 God is pleased with your humility and authenticity
    #2 you inspire me to BE exactly what God intended for me to be which in this season of life is: devoted follower of Christ, loyal wife to a quiet cowboy who still needs me to date him after 20yrs, a mother/homeschool mom to two amazing boys I begged God for and lastly an encourager, teacher mentor to the women in our church, community and in our local county jail.

    “All to ther my blessed Savior

  4. Beth dreher

    Oh how I love this. In the mist of all the chaos, single mom of 1 human and 2 furry friends, working 3 jobs and grieving the loss of a relationship that I knew was finally “it” I have realized this is right where I am suppose to be. God will carry me thru and is guiding me in amazing ways. My relationship with Him has grown into a love affair. I fall and he picks me up, I doubt and here comes a beautiful God wink made just for me. I have hope in ways I never knew I had and can now wake up each day with anticipation. I’ve learned to dive into scripture when I have questions. I try to pray more than I talk. God gives me my energy, He helps me with my work and if that relationship is part of Gods plan then all will heal and come back together. How I hope all around me can see this renewed heart and starting seeking him also. Thank you for your words today and everyday!

  5. Amen.
    While currently home-educating 3 children, my word was “adopt”.
    Currently we’re frozen in choosing an agency… and in the depths of lesson planning… wanting to be sure we choose the one where the Lord leads and not one because it has a big following or one because it has a simpler process.
    Trying to be brave and take the step, but wanting to make sure it’s a step in His direction and not our own.
    Would appreciate any prayers asking Him to guide our choice! <3

  6. We share the craziness…thanks for identifying with us! Meeting tomorrow to plan for IF Tables and small groups that study IF Equip. Keep up the good work…we’re with you!

  7. Sweet Jennie,

    The Lord is indeed moving among his women. My chaos is juggling work, 3 teenage boys, 1 to college in the fall, husband, friends, women’s ministry, bible study, missions, non-profit ministry, and all that God is spurring me on to do. Does’t it seem like it’s just too much? But, then I think HECK YES I CAN!!! I turned 45 a few weeks ago and something within me kicked into gear about having kingdom work to do! The Holy Spirit kicked up the passion for him and his work through that birthday and through IF. He awakens me and keeps me moving….because my eyes are opened, my heart is stirring and I am no longer fearful of all that is in front of me.

    I’m believing God for all his promises. I’m really believing Him that through it all, he can use my gifts to be glorified, I can make an eternal difference in someones life because I loved them well, and even through the ugliness, difficulties and pain, that life brings he is still God and he is still at work and it is all good. I choose to believe him.

    I’m so very thankful for you. Thank you for your faithful obedience. I thank God for you today.

    Fran Thomas

  8. Christi Miller

    I love this.
    IF is special. We don’t have to hope for Prince Charming or try to hide Cinderella to get the spotlight. There’s a shoe for all of us. We should cheer each time he gives one to our sister.
    We should just go the day to day work together building one another up.

  9. There are no words to tell you how much I needed this today. At the end of a very long ice storm being locked in with littles and not “getting ahead” on anything. Chaos is my life right now and I’m drowning. I appreciate you speaking to me today.


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