I got to take the girls to church this morning, and it was HILARIOUS how many people came up to me with these “sneaky” smiles on their faces.  I love you people.  Merry Christmas to each of you precious wonderful people, and to all of the people involved in this who we don’t even know, and to all of you reading who have just heard our story.  I wanted to update everyone briefly about what has happened after Friday night and answer some of the common questions I fielded today.  First of all, let me just say, you people totally did surprise me.  I had NO idea any of this was cooking.  And I actually pride myself on my conspiracy theorist mind, so KUDOS.  You guys certainly pulled off something incredible and we were absolutely clueless.   I even saw cars outside of our house Friday night that looked suspicious and I thought Angie was acting strange and I STILL had no idea.  After we got home we just kept talking and processing.  I think I was in shock a little.  I just kept walking through our living room looking through things and just felt so humbled and loved and amazed.  I woke up early Saturday morning and spent some time thanking the Lord for each of you who helped and for His precious provision for us.  I read Psalm 103 and it just seemed to fit the blessing that we had received the night before.

Praise the Lord, O my soul.  All my inmost being, praise His holy name…

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor his anger forever;  He does not treat us as our sins deserve

or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;  for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

Let me tell you what this is teaching me.  It is giving me a glimpse of the love of my Father and teaching me to rest in the love of my Father.  We truthfully immediately thought that we don’t deserve this and that there are many many people who have greater needs than we do.  All of those things are true.  So many of you have written us and told us that we are loved and some have even said we deserve this, and my answer in my mind when that is said is “But you don’t know the sin in me, the weakness, the yuck.”  And when my mind goes there, I have to go back to the fact, and I know this is true, that the Lord gave this vision to do this for us to one of our sweet friends.  He gave it to her.  And He used it in our lives to show us His great great love for us.  And not only did He use it in our lives but many of you have told me that in doing this for us, you were blessed. Oh how HE LOVES US so.  He knows us completely and loves us anyway.  We run and hide from Him and He seeks us and woos us to Himself.  None of us deserve any of the grace He gives but grace pours out of Him anyway.  Oh how HE LOVES US SO.   So that’s what I’m thinking – this past 72 hours has been heavy and precious and beautiful and meaningful and LIFECHANGING for us – I’m telling you.

Here’s one more thing you might not know about us, and I share it because when I heard it, I just KNEW the love of my Father for me.  A few weeks ago I kind of reached a breaking point with some challenging circumstances in our life.  There was a day that I just about cried all day and late late that night, actually the next morning, I wrote a blog about it called “Weary.”  Yesterday I talked to the person who had the vision to do this for us.  She tried to avoid me knowing it was her but I just KNEW.  Here’s the cool backstory to this that just makes me love my Father and know He is holding us in this time.  She told me that the Lord gave her the vision for this whole thing the day before I wrote the “Weary” post.  The day of my breaking point.  How sweet of God?  I believe that God ordains all things and allows pain in our life and that the pain in our life ALWAYS serves a purpose.  How incredible of Him to allow me to go to a really dark difficult place and before I even go there He is working out a plan to bless us in that place beyond anything we could EVER EVER EVER imagine?  Seriously, this is the God that sent His Son to earth to die for us and to save us from our sin and filth.  This is the God that LOVES every person reading this more than our minds can ever ever comprehend.

So this is where I am these days.  And I love it.  I was telling someone today that our home feels different to me.  It feels anointed which seems strange to even write but that is how it feels.  Jesus grew BIG in our house this week.  Bigger in my perception, at least, He was always bigger than my mind could ever understand.

I have video of when we walked in, video of when Grace saw everything (she walked around saying “It’s so pretty!” in this awed little voice and she has slept with one of her gifts since Saturday morning).  They played with their kitchen wearing these precious homemade tutus for hours.  We haven’t opened any of the wrapped gifts yet, so we’ll take pictures of all of that on Christmas Day and then upload everything so you who blessed us can be blessed by seeing my sweet girls enjoy the gifts you so lovingly chose for them.   Our daughter is already delighting in what you guys did.   I can’t wait to show you pictures of it all.   We are overwhelmed with your sacrifice and with the sacrifice of the One who loves us.

Here’s the bottom line.  I LOVE you people who did this, and I FEEL your love for us.  But God has taught me in this that to HIM be the glory and it is HIS love in you guys that is overwhelming me right now.  I am a visual person, and in my mind it is like you are all these wonderful extensions of His wonderful loving arms.  We now know that over 60 families gave to us this past few weeks.  SIXTY.  Isn’t that amazing?  We are all a part of something so much bigger than us, and it is awesome and humbling and so incredibly life changing to get a glimpse of that bigger plan.  That bigger God.  Oh HOW HE LOVES US SO.


  1. Jen, I’ve just recently found your blog through facebook, and it has seriously ministered to my heart! I so appreciate your authenticity in all that you share and your obvious passion for Jesus. Wish we lived closer so we could have a cup of coffee together sometime! So many of the things you write resonate with me in a big way.

    Thank you for sharing about your experience of God’s love this week. What an AMAZING story. The fact that your friend caught this vision on your “weary” day just blows me away. I mean, I KNOW this is who God is and how He works, but it’s sometimes easy to forget. I’m loving that reminder this week – thanks for passing on the story.


    1. Hannah – Thank you for commenting! I totally agree that I wish we lived closer so we could get to know each other better. I’ve always heard wonderful things about you and been kind of bummed that I didn’t get to know you when I had the chance.

      You are so right that it is easy to forget in our day to day that this is the God we serve and that He does stuff like this all around us. Thank you for writing me back and I hope you and Joel and those beautiful Estes babies have a wonderful Christmas. I just saw your blog and I will definitely read it! I love that us moms can encourage each other with what the Lord is teaching us in our day to day. I am always so uplifted when I read other people’s stories.


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