at the dog park.

Christmas. there are reasons that i love it, and other parts of the holiday i could do without.. pressure. time-sensitive expectations.  the whirl of it all…the churning of activity and the hope-i-didnt-miss-a-thing fear that hangs in the background.. i would much rather encounter the meaning of Christmas fresh and be reminded of the reason that Jesus came to bring people closer and show His boundless love.   last Christmas, my favorite memory had nothing to do with gifts or capturing just the right shot… it had to do with a conversation i had with a woman i met on Christmas Eve day at the dog park.   Maureen didn’t have any dogs at the time, but felt the urge to stop by and watch the dogs play. i had brought both of my children with me and of course, my one-year-old playful golden doodle Maureen and i sat on the benches, skin bare of any makeup without expectation of having an honest conversation until we made a genuine connection and our discussion dove deeper. the mention of dogs evolved into an exchange about the sting of grief after losing a parent and the helplessness one feels while watching another suffer. she did most of the talking until i told her about my children and their miraculous beginnings. stunned at the science behind medical technology, she began to ask questions...

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letting us be.

i have a new friend. we sit on the neighborhood park bench and laugh.. too loud. we don’t judge each other or each other’s kids. life is hard enough when you have a child with a learning difference. one of her sons plays baseball, and her other son stays close to us, satisfied to play with his cell phone or bump into us occasionally. i was drawn to her precious 11-year old son who has obvious special needs before I ever met her. from the moment i realized that he was special, i changed my standard. i didn’t hold him up to any other kid in the park. in the world. i pushed all judgement out and let curiosity and a certain respect come in. he is funny, isn’t he?…with mischief in his eyes. i bet he keeps you laughing. although his mother was ready to apologize for everything and anything he did, i immediately issued a statement and a standard of grace. i’m a special education major. i love differences. all kinds. i have a child with learning differences too. not the same challenges…but still. but still… i think i get some of it. i want you to know when I am around, you never have to apologize…for anything. i’ll be the last person to notice. and in the deep, deep part of her stomach, she let go…...

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Interview with Kat Lee on Inspired to Action Podcast

Jenni visits with Kat Lee about the miraculous way she became a Mother and highlights considerations when one is raising a child with a learning difference.  Jenni gives advice to other parents who may be recieving news of their children’s diagnosis and shares some early warning signs of learning differences.  She shares how she handled recieving news about her son’s learning disability and dicusses the specific prayer that she prays for her son.  She concludes with some tips on advocating for your child and gives listeners tip on what to say and not to say to a parent of...

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parenting

we don’t go back, unless we have to to places where wounds flesh out we don’t go there. we stay confined within the walls of what is pleasant, or at least bearable. we just do. yesterday, i was forced to go back to the doctor’s office where I fleshed out years of infertility and a miscarriage they have kept the same people around, working the front desk and running the office so it feels as though you have never left. at all. i was two hours early, so I sat in the waiting room and rummaged through my purse...

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preparing for the ONE

i’m not sure why my my mind has wandered back to the many hours I spent in my bathroom as a teenager getting ready for a date. some might say obsessively so… i would wash my hair with several kinds of shampoos so it would smell extra good and layer on lotion and perfume and hairspray the preparation of each date marked that it was going to be something worth rememboring. it was a long time ago, but I remember, even now, the preparation… just yesterday, it dawned on me that this blip on the map the one we call “life” is about the preparation… preparing ourselves to meet the One. differently, but still… i must keep in mind that it takes a lot of time to get ready to see the King i want HIm to see a large piece of himself when he looks at me but in order to get to that end, i must spend. time. with. HIM. that’s how I prepare. i must adorn myself with the things that He deems to be beautiful i must take the preparation seriously. layer myself with mercy and grace and loving-kindness. buffer my mind and body so that it yields to my will. to discipline i must tackle hard challenges so i can show the strength that can only be found through persevering. i must cloak myself...

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my answer has always been “yes.”

my answer has always been “yes.” yes to God having His way.. yes to you to doing all I could to place you in the best care, no matter what it cost. yes to God’s very best.   It is hard for me to say in human words the pull you have on my heart before you are even born the welling up of my entire life the belief that I have in you the “yes” I feel about everything you will do.   There will never be anything to separate us, really. Our lives will be threaded with...

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Interview on Voice America’s “Living Well With Ann Beal”

In a two-part interview, Dr. Jenni Eastin visits with Ann Beal highlighting God’s faithfulness throughout her experiences as a child of an addict and her journey through infertility. If you have experienced infertility, grief, loss, depression, addiction, and hopelessness. If you have felt the heaviness of desperation and have pondered your own resiliency and ability to endure when faced with tragedy and loss, this episode will encourage, strengthen and empower you. Dr. Jenni Eastin has been deeply in and has come steadfastly out of each one of these and she now speaks nationally giving others the belief and motivation that they can change their life and live the life they dream of. LIVING WELL WITH ANN BEAL pt. 1 by Ann Beal https://cdn.voiceamerica.com/empowerment/011490/beal121014.mp3 LIVING WELL WITH ANN BEAL pt. 2 by Ann Beal...

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lights

You are I, we are meant to be lights in a dark world. Our lives are meant to be a story of hope. One that others can bookmark and use for the sake of encouragement. But, if we are battered by fear, we will be crippled and unresponsive to some of the great needs that are in front of us. With every fear, with each new dark report, there is an opportunity to trust. God says we are the lights in this world. Cities on a hill. The salt of the earth. We are the ones who celebrate because...

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the night before

It was October 27th, 2008. Everything in my life had come to a halt. I had feared my father’s death for as long as I could remember. Sitting in my father’s study, just a room away, I knew he was breaths away from his heavenly home. My father lay still in a hospital bed in the middle of the living room. All the furniture had been rearranged to accommodate the bed, and still… the bed was too short. His 6-foot 3-inch frame so obviously cramped for more room. And though we all noticed, no one said a word about it…we hesitated to ask for something bigger or more because honestly, we could not. Pain ran through our veins and seeped into any available crevice, only to reroute and find no room to escape. Days and days of heaviness…the kind that you feel in your bones, the kind of pain that cripples you at the core…pain that compels you to move closer to the ground so you can lie on the floor and weep uncontrollably. It was THAT kind of pain. Either you know it, or you don’t. Only 25 days before, my father had received the diagnosis. Cancer. Stage 4. Growing and changing everything inside of him, starving his organs of life. Until October 2nd, we’d known nothing of it. Now, 25 days later, my father lay there, weaker...

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the middle field

I had heard it all my life.  That Satan (the enemy) was against God, and surely, he didn’t care for me much either.  Because God had taught me, from an early age, that He was all I had.  Everything that was beautiful, or special, or granted to me was fueled by the merciful, loving heart of God.  I knew that without Him there would be no victory, no reason to hold out for a celebration.  I would never have fullness of joy without Him.  I have always truly believed it. I have watched the enemy roam around in the...

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