The act of surrender is a shedding, a revealing of what exits. And what exists, what is, cannot be changed, weakened, or destroyed by anything in this world.
THE GREATEST OF THESE
Love is filled with emotion, but it’s our choice to love that reveals the ocean within our souls where love never ends.
THE LAST FULL MEASURE
On this Memorial Day, remember those who gave their last full measure of devotion for our freedom.
FORGIVENESS OPENS THE DOOR TO SALVATION
Forgiveness is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. It opens the door to salvation, but we have to walk through it. The moment came. I was standing on the precipice, paralyzed, weak, and ashamed. The darkness was overwhelming. All I wanted was escape. To just close my eyes and sink into oblivion. To reach that place where …
THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION
Jesus’ death and resurrection give us hope beyond this world. They remind us that this life is temporary and so are the trials and suffering that come with it.
WHO HE IS, WHO HE WILL ALWAYS BE
God doesn’t see us as the world does. He sees into our hearts. He knows exactly who we are. Returning to Him is all He’s ever wanted for us. That’s why He leaves the ninety-nine to go after the one. I was that one.
PROMISE MAKER AND PROMISE KEEPER
God’s righteousness is promised. His faithfulness is steadfast. The works of His hands are holy. God is the promise maker and the promise keeper. He is worthy of our trust in all things and His word endures forever.
IN HIS IMAGE
There's too much division in the world today. Too much focus is placed on our differences. When, in reality, we are all part of the same race --- the human race. More than that, we're created in His image and loved unconditionally just as we are.
FAITH IS THE CORNERSTONE
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
THE THING ABOUT FORGIVENESS
We are called to love one another as Christ has loved us and to forgive those who persecute us. But that's the thing about forgiveness. There’s so much beauty in its meaning but so much resistance in putting it into practice.
THERE ARE SOME JOURNEYS WE MUST WALK ALONE
Facing addiction, alcoholism, grief, and despair, are journeys of the soul that must be faced alone. These journeys feel more like battles, but they open us to healing and to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our Creator than we'd ever know until we face them.
THE GOODBYES THAT HURT THE MOST
The goodbyes that hurt most, are the ones we never got to say. Those linger, dying on trembling lips, over and over again.
THE VEIL BETWEEN
The loss of a loved one brings into sharp focus just how thin the veil between life and death truly is.
TRUTH IS NOT YOURS OR MINE, TRUTH IS.
Truth ends suffering, but only when we awaken to and accept its existence despite the world's attempt to bend and alter it.
SEASONS OF HOPE
We were never promised a life without pain, but we were promised that we would never be alone in the storm.
FROM THE CRADLE TO THE CROSS
Jesus' birth fulfilled a promise. His death completed a covenant. His resurrection paved the way for our salvation.
THE PERFECT WILL OF GOD
God's will is good and perfect because it is born of pure, abiding, unconditional love. When we exist in His perfect will, we rise above the world and all its temptations and pitfalls.
THE LIVING WORD OF GOD
The 66 books of the Bible, written over 1,500 years, tell the story of God's unconditional and abiding love for humanity.
Grief is a Storm
We are not promised a life without pain. What we are promised is that we are not alone in the storm.
Cherish the Moment You’re In
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my recovery journey, it’s that there are no guarantees in this life.
DEATH IS NOT THE END
Absence is a heavy load, but it also teaches us just how strong we truly are.
Goodbyes Come Unbidden
Goodbyes come unbidden, but it is we who choose whether they become a burden or the blessing they were always meant to be.
FAITH ENDS ALL RESISTANCE
Every time we’re faced with hardship and loss, we initially respond in one of three ways, fight, escape, or accept. Consciously or unconsciously, we each have our “go-to method”.
Faith Will See You Through the Storm
As Hurricane Ian devastates the state of Florida and beyond, my mind goes back to four years ago when it was us in the path of a deadly storm. And my heart goes out to those who are facing such a daunting and relentless path.
Beyond the Wind and the Rising Tide
We face many storms in life, both literally and metaphorically, but one thing is certain, God is beside us through them all.
The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still, Exodus 14:14.
HE WAS THERE
Faith is knowing without needing to question, believing without needing to see, and trusting without needing to worry.
Be Still and Know that I Am
In these troubling times, it is easy to lose hope. It's easy to forget God's promise and His plan. The world struggles to maintain its foothold. Evil persists whether we acknowledge it or not. It always will.
Recovery is a CHOICE
There is no magic formula, no perfect words for this. It really does take a leap of faith. You have to want recovery MORE. You have to want something else MORE.
Ego Ergo the Unconscious Mind
My past defines me and my future holds that elusive happiness I continually seek are the two most insidious lies the ego feeds us.
When we know something we can’t un-know it. We can ignore it. We can trivialize it. We can try to manipulate it. But we cannot un-know it.
Seeds of Hope
I've learned many things as I've walked this path of recovery, but the lessons that stand out most are those I learned during moments that tested my faith and demanded much from my soul.
Oh, the Burdens We Carry
It's one thing to own your mistakes. It's quite another to allow them to define you. To continue to carry them long after the lessons have been learned.
In Unity with Christ
What does unity mean? More importantly, what does unity with Christ mean?
Patiently, Lovingly, He waits
In the darkness of addiction and anorexia, I suffered endlessly, forgetting that all along, God was just waiting for me to call His name.
Pain Borne for Love
I've grieved many times in my life. It's something we all have in common. Something we will do or have done that reminds us of our humanness and ultimately our connection to the universe and our Creator.
America Wasn’t Founded by Heroes
As we celebrate this Fourth of July, I am reminded of the years I taught American History and how important and consequential that calling was. If our history as a Nation is not celebrated, learned from, and protected, then who are we as Americans? And more importantly, who will we become? The ideals aspired to …
I AM BUT ONE VOICE
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 Our souls are a reservoir for grace, in a world of chaos. When we seek that place, we commune …
And So, With Faith I Pray
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in times of struggle and conflict, it is this, with enough faith and hope we can overcome anything. Regardless of the world outside, we are not forgotten. For God sees our struggles and feels our pain. Through Him, we are granted the strength and the courage we need to …
I Am With You
In those first few days following Hurricane Michael in the fall of 2018, the task before us seemed insurmountable. The devastation complete. In the chaos all around us, all we could do was face it one moment at a time. I’m reminded of that now, in the turmoil and chaos we are facing as a …
Your Grace is Enough
That's the nature of recovery. It isn't linear. It's bumpy and rough and a fight every step of the way.
There’s Magic in the Night Sky
Wishing on stars isn’t something we leave to childhood. It’s a magic we carry with us that reminds us that innocence isn’t lost as we grow. Image from Shutterstock | Licensed for use Isn’t it amazing, how small we sometimes feel when standing beneath the vast canvas of night sky dotted with the silver light …
The Heroes of my Life
Happy Father’s Day in Heaven Dad, and to my husband, the two great heroes of my life. Image from Adobe Stock Images | Licensed for use The first great hero, my young heart ever knew, was the man who taught me as I grew. Who shared in all my joys, and dried so many tears. …
THEN YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8: 31-32 Image from Adobe Stock Images | Licensed for use This world is not our master. It is but the in-between. The space between, Light and darkness. Truth and deception. Love …
In the Words that Jesus Taught Us
"This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver …
Remind Us How to Pray
Prayer is our pathway into the fullness of God’s light and His mercy. In times of hardship and struggle, He beckons us to seek Him. In times of abundance and joy, He longs for us to commune with Him. The key to all prayers, I believe, is found in the sincerity and humility with which …
God’s love for us is overwhelming, relentless, abiding, and perfect. Beautiful image from Shutterstock | Licensed for use His love is unconditional, like the absolute of time. There is no ocean wide enough, no mountain He won’t climb. To gather up His people, to keep them safe from harm. To wrap them in the safety, …
You Ask Me How I Made it Through the Darkness?
And there amid the darkness, I saw a brilliant light, burning through the shadows, with strength to win this fight. I heard a gentle whisper, the sweetest I’d ever known, “I’ve got you now, My beloved child. I’ll bring you safely home.”JN Fenwick (© 2019-22) Why do we only become open in our hour of deepest …
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With a grateful heart to those who gave all, those who continue to give all, and to all those left behind to carry on in their memory.JN Fenwick | Memorial Day, 2022 Beautiful image from Shutterstock | Licensed for use. Sacrifice. Such a simple word. Three syllables that when executed require so much of us. …
Seasons of Grief
Grief, like loss, comes unbidden, reminding us that just as life begins, it also ends. I pray your endings are free of regret. Say all the words, grant all the forgiveness, love hard, my child, so that when the endings do come, peace comes also. JN Fenwick (© 2022) Everyone I’ve loved and lost,I love now from …
Faced with Letting Go
Letting go is one of the most difficult tasks we face in this life, but it's also one of the most courageous. This past year has been a year of letting go for my siblings and me. We lost our sweet Mom in August of 2021, and yesterday we completed the process of selling our …
Becoming My Own Champion
It's fear of the unknown that freezes us in place and prevents us from moving forward. It's faith and hope that lead us out of darkness. We just have to be willing to take that first step. To trust in something so much greater than ourselves. And to surrender everything to the light within us. …
Winding Roads of Faith
I write words of faith and affirmation daily. Most of the time, I write the words as though I am speaking to my daughters, passing on the wisdom and grace God has so generously given to me. Sharing the words has become as much a part of my recovery journey as my faith. They are …
Not Everyone Roots for You
Monday, May 16, 2022 Healing begins with recognition. The understanding that we've both hurt and have been hurt. It then moves into acceptance. Acknowledging that we can't change the past any more than we can change others. What we can do is forgive. And even if that grace is never reciprocated, what matters most is …
BOTTOM IS A BEGINNING TOO
It doesn't take courage to hit bottom. No, that's an entirely different set of circumstances. But it does take courage to climb your way back up. To acknowledge and believe that strength exists within you. That's what courage is after all. It's digging deep. It's pulling yourself up after the fall. It's moving into the light when it would be so much easier to just give up and sink below the darkness.
Fridays with Mom
By Jennifer N. Fenwick I was granted an unexpected gift in 2021 that would come to mean so much more to me than I could have known while I was living it. On Saturday, April 10, 2021, at 12:28 pm, I received an urgent text from my youngest sister, Sarah, “Jen, call me ASAP! It’s …
Meet Our Daughter, Emma Rose
Emma’s story isn’t a unique one, in that sadly, in 2020 alone, the number of new cancer cases in the United States was estimated at 1.8 million, with approximately 606,000 of those ending in death, cancer.org. However, her story is unique, in that, when it happens to a family member, a friend, yourself, the statistics …
The Forgotten Coast
As Dorian approaches, media outlets are reporting it as "an unprecedented storm in Florida," and that Dorian "would be the strongest storm to hit Florida since 1992." Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock As I look around the barren landscape and notice the still clinging blue tarps, the vacant lots where homes and businesses used to …
In the Aftermath of the Storm
When Hurricane Micheal slammed into our cities last October, he took more with him than just our trees, our businesses, our homes. He took pieces of us. Memories we’d planted long ago. The world outside has moved on. But we, we are still living in the aftermath. Like the many cities destroyed before us by …
Raindrops and Buttons
I love the sound of rain. However, the sound of rain on a tin or metal roof is something else altogether. It brings to mind childhood afternoons with my Nana. My Nana, Mary Murphy Chaknis, was born in 1911 in County Cork, Ireland. Her family was poor, and by the time Nana had reached her …
What It’s Like to Live in the Aftermath of a Category 5 Hurricane
Keep your head up Panama City. A feat that has proven much harder as the weeks since Michael have turned into months. Image by Sharon Owens There have only been four. Only four recorded Atlantic storms have maintained category five strength as they barreled inland. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, with its maximum sustained …
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Teaching: A Two-way Path to Lifelong Learning
Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task. Haim Ginott I left teaching in 2008. As the years pass, I realize that I left a bit of myself there too. In the lives of all the students I taught and in all …
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Hurricane Michael: Five Things the World Should Know
“Everyone here has a story of loss they struggle to describe and recovery they cannot yet comprehend.” 1. There was no way to adequately prepare. We'd done this before, many of us, more than once; prepared for the possibility of a hurricane visiting us during the Season. We were used to Summer ushering in, not …
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