Sunday: Focus on the Savior (with Jennifer Officer)


I am first and foremost a daughter of God, saved out of my own personal rebellion and control.  God took a life that looked fine on the outside, but was broken beyond recognition.   After He healed me, He healed my marriage to the love of my life.  My husband and I parent two wonderful children who are too quickly approaching independence.  I serve as the children’s pastor at the church where I grew up. I began blogging in late 2010, thinking that I was going to attempt a 365 picture project.  (I think I lasted 52 days.)  Out of guilt for my ever-present lack of perfection (anybody else?) I was only a sporadic blogger for several months.  However, as 2011 came to a close, I realized that I could use my blog as an accountability partner – a world-wide obedience tracker – for what God speaks into my life.   Since no one but me, and occasionally my mom, read my blog, I am free to be honest about my struggle and fear and heart-felt desire to follow God with everything I’ve got.  When my page views are high, it’s only because I am struggling and desperate to remember what God has spoken to me. I most enjoy cooking and opening my home to people as a ministry – whether lunch and Bible study with a precious group of women on Fridays or cookies with teenagers.
I blog over at Jennifer Officer.
I can appreciate that some people do not like to cook.

I do not like to garden.

I tried it.  When we got married and moved into our home, I immediately planted roses.  My mother grew beautiful roses.  Wives were supposed to grow beautiful roses.

So I cajoled my sweet man into digging up a rose bed and proceeded to spend way too much money for a newly married couple on rose plants.

I learned something about myself.

I do not like to garden.

When it is hot and humid outside(which is frequently here in TN), I prefer the swimming pool or at the very least the air conditioning. It is hard to tend your roses from either of those places.

I gave up gardening.

Sometimes I forget that I don't like it and I do something ridiculous.  Like plant something.

It never ends well.

But cooking...

There I find my pace.

I have felt like God's Word to me this year was to pursue love.

My problem is that in pursuing a Godly marriage, ministry, parenting, a clean house, folded laundry - I forget to pursue love.

Until I slow down and begin to mix the ingredients for a blueberry scone.  For no reason except that I have some blueberries going south quickly and I don't like wasting food.

So, with worship music cranked loud and kitchen warm from preheating oven, I bake.  And I slow down to pray for people - for soldiers who are recovering, friends who are waiting, people who are searching.  As the butter meets the flour and the songs fill my house, I slow down and do the act of love that is most beneficial - I lift my soul to the Only One who is my Help.

                 He on whom we have set our hope.  And He will yet deliver us... 2 Corinthians 1:10

And the beauty of frozen, grated butter meets with the lyrics of a song that played from my daddy's radio years ago

Why me Lord

What have I ever done to deserve even one

Of the pleasures I've known

Tell me Lord

What did I ever do that was worth love from you

Or the kindness you've shown

Lord help me Jesus I've wasted it so

Help me Jesus, you know what I am

Now that I know that I've needed you so

Help me Jesus my soul's in your hands

Try me Lord

If you think there's a way I can ever repay what I've taken from you

Maybe Lord

I can show someone else what I've learned myself

On my way back to you

Lord help me Jesus I've wasted it so

Help me Jesus, you know who I am

But now that I know that I've needed you so

Help me Jesus my soul's in your hands

Help me Jesus my soul's in your hands

David Crowder Band - Why Me?

And the tears pour down my face because that is me:  undeserving of His pleasures and His love.
And I pray that as I meet this year of pursuing love that I could show someone else what I have learned myself.
I challenge you to find the thing that helps you slow your pace and turn your face toward heaven.  Have you found it?


Amy S said...

This is absolutely breathtaking! I love this ... learning about a new blogging friend.... and also reading her challenges! Amazing! Jennifer-- You need not be nervous about this guest post! I KNOW it gave GOD a huge ovation! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful and beautiful post. A blessed Sunday to you and yours! PS - I won't grow roses because they are not a favorite but tomatos, that's something else! LOL

Jennifer Officer said...

@Helene, I tried tomatoes as well. My lack of a green thumb extends to edible gardening as well. I so wish I had that ability. Thank you for your encouragement.

Jennifer Officer said...

@Amy, you are such a blessing. Thank you for your sweet words.

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...
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Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

I am sure I am old enough to be your grandmother...or at least your mother...but you touched by heart with this post.
I was blog hopping and God sent me here... I'm sure.
I am still struggling with a life that did not start out all that great and took a good while to become great..only to have it ripped away form me again. ~~VERY LONG STORY.

But as a Child of God, I know it will be amazingly perfect in the End when I see HIS face..and that of my beloved daughter who is already in HIS presence.


Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

P.S. Arnie...has an identical "TWIN" brother in our Bible Study Class here in Houston.