April 3, 2014
by Jenny LaBahn

Little Giants

As some of you may know, I have been taking a Creative Writing class. I thought this class was going to be a breeze, full of delight and oozing with creative goodness. I have found it surprisingly challenging. Not in the sense of it being a lot of work, but rather from the struggle of opening up the wells of my imagination. I thought it would just flow out of me naturally, but I often find that is not the case. I am used to writing very literally, and creative writing is anything but that. The day my short fiction story was due, I was sitting in front of a blank laptop screen, with less than two hours before class started. I had written nothing. I told God, “Can You like, give me a vision or something? I have no idea what to write about.” I got distracted from writing, and ended up praying for some friends of mine. He did give me a vision, and I decided to write out what I saw and encourage them. I chose to use that as for inspiration for my story.

At workshop the writer reads his/her story out loud in front of a group of students who then get to dissect and analyze the piece of writing, while the writer sits in tormented silence, unable to explain and defend his/her work. It can be very intimidating. I was totally nervous for how my “story” would be interpreted. Much to my surprise, they loved it and wanted to give copies to their significant others and children to teach them about kindness. I was exceptionally happy, but not because they liked my story. I was happy because what they were drawn to in the story was simply Jesus. He is the source of true and selfless love. They were being witnessed to, and they did not even know it.

Here is my short story, Little Giants

Ben and Lacey were miniature people living in a world that was created for giants. Everything was bigger than them. Their house was humongous. Even getting out of bed proposed dangers unbeknownst to most people. They had to use a ladder to prevent from breaking any bones from dismounting a bed at such a height. The people around them were much bigger as well. In order to be heard, Ben and Lacey had to scream at the top of their lungs, causing them to get soar throats almost daily. Whatever they attempted to do required so much labor and effort that by the time the task was finished they were completely exhausted and incapacitated. This caused them to have little emotional capacity for each other, and was causing severe problems in their marriage.

Today, Lacey was just mad. The daily grind of functioning in a world that was simply too big for her little body had taken its toll. She had gotten little sleep the night before due to the ridiculously loud neighbors, whose voices carried like megaphones into her eardrums. Earplugs were no match for the diaphragms of such giants. In her pathetic attempt to make coffee, she dropped the coffee grounds all over the floor. She grunted in frustration as Ben came into the room to see what was wrong. He was halfway done shaving, and blood trailed down his cheek since he was using a razor that was far too big for his face. He grabbed the broom to help her clean up and she pushed him away, saying, “Don’t bother! I can do it.” He rolled his eyes in frustration as he once again felt like she ignored his efforts to help her. “Fine. I wont,” he responded angrily, and stomped out of the room.

Both of them went about their day in complete despondency about their difficult little lives. Ben had a horrible day at work as he fought the humiliation of his insignificance in comparison to his coworkers. Even though he had so many ideas, he did not share them because he knew they would not be able to hear him. Who would take him seriously, anyway? Lacey had an equally discouraging day. Simply going to the grocery left her looking like she had run a marathon. Lifting boxes of cereal and cartons of milk over her head just so she could place them in the cart was absolutely exhausting. She gave up, and decided she was not going to make dinner tonight. Ben walked in the door and found her lying on the couch. He could not believe that dinner was not hot and ready on the table. Didn’t she know the kind of day he had? He knew he had a choice to make. He could get mad at her, and complain about all of the things she had done wrong, or he could love her.

He sat by her on couch, and reached for her hand. She was staring vacantly into the mirror that was on the wall across from them. He was frustrated that she ignored his loving gesture, but grabbed her hand anyway. “Strange,” he thought to himself. “Her hand feels bigger than normal.” He was hurting from the way she treated him this morning, and he was dejected from his inability to perform at work. He wanted to lash out at her, but he knew that would only make it worse. Instead, he decided he was going to encourage her. “Thank you for going grocery shopping today,” he said. “I know you hate it, and it is a lot of work, but I really appreciate it.” Her hand miraculously grew in his, and so did her arm. He was so amazed by what was happening that he did not even hear her say, “Thank you for saying that. I know you work so hard. I am really proud of you.” She saw him grow taller as she looked at him in the mirror. They were both in awe of what was happening, and as they continued to speak kindly to one another, they realized it was the kindness of their words that was making them grow.

From that point on, they made a conscious effort to speak words of encouragement to each other, instead of acting on the frustration they had felt about their lives. Every time they wanted to act out of their negative emotions, they chose instead, to speak positively. As they did so, they grew bigger. They are no longer too small for their environment. They are bigger, taller, stronger, louder, than ever before. The secret to their growth was kindness, and they held the key to solving their problem all along.



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March 18, 2014
by Jenny LaBahn
1 Comment

Creative Developments

I just painted for two hours.

I have not attempted to paint since I studied abroad in Paris. I tried so hard to tap into my creativity when I was living in my favorite city. After spending so much time in the Louvre, meandering Montmarte, and visiting Giverny, I was sure it would just spill out of me. I remember getting so frustrated at my lack of creative abilities. That was almost three years ago. Ever since then I sensed the Lord has been brewing creativity in me. I have even received prophetic words about it. I assumed it would manifest through writing, however, you may have noticed I have not written in a while.

I have a list of excuses for this lack of blogging regularity.

  1. The first is that I claim to have writer’s block, even though I think I am too young for that notion, and my Creative Writing professor swears it does not exist, I am putting that first on my list. Writer’s Block.
  2. I have at least ten blog posts that I started, but have not finished. I am a perfectionist, and it comes out in my writing. They just do not feel complete yet. I think they stem from lessons I am still in the middle of learning.
  3. I am simply out of the practice of blogging weekly, and have had a hard time getting into the routine again.
  4. God and I are really working through some things. Tough things. Things that take up most of my emotional and cognitive energy. Things that are deeply rooted, and frankly, feel too personal to display on the internet for the whole world to read.
  5. The last excuse I have is that I have been in a relationship that has delightfully taken up most of my freetime. (Sorry to throw you under the bus on that one, babe. ;-) )

So, I am basically writing to tell you why I have not been writing and let you know I am still alive.

Also to confess that I found painting to be more enjoyable. Shocker. I love writing. But writing requires too much thinking. Think about it. You cannot write without thinking about that which you are writing. At least I cannot. My mind goes a million miles an hour, 24 hours a day. (You can probably tell by how scattered this post is. It is also almost midnight.) My brain only stops when I am sleeping – and even my dreams are complex. To my great delight, I discovered that when I paint, I stop thinking. I put worship music on, lit a candle, and just painted. It was glorious.

The absence of thought is a beautiful thing.

I know it would be really cool if I had some creative masterpiece to prove to you that I actually painted. Guess what? Showing people what I painted feels waaaay more vulnerable than something I have written. Who knew? Instead of a pic of my artwork that I am too chicken to show you, I decided to offer you a pic of my pre-painting preperation. Notice the goldfish crackers (I call them fishies) and chocolate. I had to have my snacks.

Do yourself a favor this week and take twenty minutes to try something you have never done, but always wanted to do. Or give yourself a break and bask in the sun. Go for a walk. Jump on your bed. Dance in your room. Or paint. :)

photo 3 copy

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February 12, 2014
by Jenny LaBahn
1 Comment

Announcing Grace

I am happy to announce that I am finally and officially an Auntie! My niece, Grace Kate Cornett was born on February 8th at 8:59pm weighing 7.9 lbs. She is simply beautiful. I wrote this for a Creative Writing assignment before she was born.



Grace. Unborn, undiscovered, and yet to be known. You are the first of your kind, the first daughter, niece, and granddaughter of the LaBahn/Cornett family. We do not yet know the color of your eyes, or the color of your hair. We do not know what your smile looks like. The sound of your laughter has not yet been heard. Your cry for food, comfort, and shelter has yet to reach the ears of your exhausted mother. Your temperament has not yet been experienced.

Grace. You are loved, and have been loved since the moment of your conception.

I can teach you how to do your hair. I will help you write what is in your heart. I will impart to you the things that God has taught me about Himself. I will be a safe place for you. I will search for what is inside your heart, and show it to you.

Grace. Your name carries a message. Your life will be a book, read by many. Through smiles, joy, and laughter, you will deliver what many are desperate for.

Inside your realm of comfort, nutrients, and peace, you have been nurtured and sheltered. Soon, any day now, you will break out of your comfort zone. You will be surrounded by smiles, and you will be held with love. Soon, life will encompass chilling air, unfamiliar sounds, and curious surroundings.

Color will invade your world.

Your laughter will be like sunrays.

Your voice will be like a symphony.

Your face will reflect the majesty of your Creator.

And our world will be invaded by Grace.


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January 24, 2014
by Jenny LaBahn

One Year Later…

A lot can change in a year.

This time last year I had barely made it through another holiday season of being single. I wrote about the struggle of making it through the holidays alone…How frustrating it was to go to a Christmas party solo…How much I wished I had someone with whom I could enjoy the festivities of the season.

This time last year I realized that I had to completely surrender my season of being single, and give it to God. It took about seven years of being frustrated and broken to figure out how to let it all go. But God’s hand was on me the whole time – through the brokenness, the countless shed tears, the loneliness, the dateless Saturday nights – even awkward Christmas parties. He was faithful. He was simply near.

This time last year I had just turned 27. It was the first birthday I did not wake up in tears. I woke up in joy, because I was finally surrendered. I was tired of wrestling and fighting with God about what He had or had not given me.

I was still broken. Lonely. Sad at times. But I was surrendered.

This time last year I wrote a post about my choice to let go of my desires, and let God have His way:

I have known many disappointing years, because I had set so much of my hope and affection on what I wanted, and not on what God had already given me. I am not going to pray for fulfillment this year. I am going to change my prayer. This year, I am going to pray for transformation. Transformation of my desires, of my life, of my soul. God knows my heart, and all of its desires. Maybe someday He will give them to me. This year, I want to set my desires aside, and set my face on His.

I wanted Jesus more than I wanted anything else. He was my focus.

One year later, I have a boyfriend.

He is amazing; I really did not know guys like him existed. The way he treats me reminds me of Jesus. He is kind, patient, sincere, transparent, loving, and selfless. He was certainly unexpected. I really did not see him coming. In fact, I had pretty much given up all hope that I would ever find someone that I actually wanted to be with. I do not think God ever wanted me to give up hope, but somewhere along the journey I did. God is using this man and this relationship to restore a hope I had lost years ago. The hope that God is restoring really has little to do with the fulfillment of my desires; it has everything to do with choosing to place my hope in the goodness and faithfulness of God. I love our story, and I will write about it soon. What I find so interesting about the timing of our relationship is that the very year I gave up my desires to God, He gave me what I desired.

I have grown, changed, and been challenged in many ways. I have faced my own flesh and selfishness. I am learning what it means to love selflessly, and think of someone before myself. This is not easy to do for anyone, but especially someone who has spent her entire adult life single. The lessons I am learning are invaluable, and once again, I am in awe of the way God uses every circumstance in our lives to prune, stretch, and grow us – whether it be in the context of singleness or a new relationship.

I thought the journey of surrender ended the day I finally surrendered being single.

I am realizing that life with Jesus essentially means a life of surrender… surrender of every season, desire, and ultimately my will.

I have discovered that God is incredibly involved and in tune with my heart. After so many years of crying out to God with seemingly no answer…no implication of the fact that He is actually hearing my heart’s cry, I can see now that He has indeed heard. He has seen. He has listened. He cares.

I do not want my perception of the faithfulness of God to be based on what He gives me. I know He is good – no matter what.

But this year, He has really given me something good. And my heart is full of gratitude.








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January 17, 2014
by Jenny LaBahn
1 Comment

To my friend on her wedding day: Genisee


I remember the day I met you at Youth Venture in Santee. I was 20 and you were 18; we were so young and innocent…so passionate about God and serving in ministry…so bright eyed and full of hope and ideas about our futures. Some of those dreams have been fulfilled, and some have not. You and I have learned to communicate and have difficult conversations. We have learned to overcome offense and hurt feelings, in order to love and move forward in the friendship that I think we both would say is God-ordained. Our friendship has made it through ups and downs, different countries, and various seasons of life. We have encountered the depths of the heart of God together numerous times. We know each other’s pasts and stories. We stand by each other and claim the future God has promised us. Somehow, we just get each other. And I love that.

I am so incredibly thankful for you. You have been a source of encouragement, strength, and truth, in a very new and exciting season of my life. You have been so faithful to pray for me, even on a moment’s notice. I am pretty sure you were even praying for me on the week of your wedding. You are an incredible testament of loyalty and selflessness. Your heart is pure and beautiful. You long for the things of God, and strive to honor and please Him with your life. Gen, I truly believe you will make a wonderful wife to Sean. I see your heart to love, serve, and support him. You will do well, my friend. Very well.

When I prayed for you guys and asked the Lord for a word for the foundation of your marriage, I heard “sacrifice.” The greatest demonstration of sacrifice was when God gave His Son to die for our sin. He became sin, and conquered death so that we can have life. In your marriage, you will be called to sacrifice for each other. To truly love, you must daily lay down your life for the other person. To live is to die.  As you sacrifice your will, desires, and life for each other, God will bless your marriage. He understands sacrifice. He designed love, and He is the best Teacher. God wants to take you into a greater understanding of His love. Your relationship will be the catalyst for him to do so. He is going to teach the fullness of His affection for you through the daily practice of sacrificing your will for the betterment of your spouse. His continuance increases where authentic love is prominent. As you learn and practice sacrificial love, may your marriage be a resting place for His presence.


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October 16, 2013
by Jenny LaBahn

Kingdom Eyes

Lately I have desired to be used by God, and challenged to be bolder in sharing my faith with other people.

I have been in college for over three years, and the longer I am in school, the more pointless it seems. I have been challenged with my attitude recently, and have concluded that God’s purpose for me in school is beyond the typical expectations of college students. God simply has a different lesson plan for me. I want to look beyond my own limitations and frustrations to see life through the lens of His eyes. I realize that the only way I will get through college is if I gain a broader perspective. I want to have Kingdom eyes when I walk on campus.

On the drive to school this morning I told God that I would pray for and/prophecy over someone everyday if He helped me get through school. I said it as more of a joke than a bargain, but I was sincere.

I walked into the lecture hall of my Developmental Psychology class and sat down. I recognized the girl sitting next to me from a class I ended up not getting into at the beginning of the semester. I knew right away that she was the one I was supposed to talk to. I really love and care about people, but I am a classic introvert. Approaching a stranger is not my favorite past-time. I was hoping God would tell me what I was supposed to say to her, even though that is not usually the way He has me do things. He prefers to utilize the “Just go and I will tell you after” approach.

After class was over, I asked what she was doing and if she could talk. She awkwardly consented, and I am sure it sounded random and crazy. I did my best to make small talk as I looked for a good place to go, and simultaneously asked God:

“What the heck am I supposed to say to this girl?!”

I got nothin.

We sat down in the sunshine and I still had no idea what to say, which I found annoying. I smiled big and simply asked if she believed in God. She said she did, so I said:

“Okay, if you feel comfortable, can you tell me where you are at in your relationship with Him?”

She said she had ups and downs, doubts about her future, and got confused about things He did, especially when people died.

I smiled and said, “Yeah. Me, too. I think God wants you to know how much He loves you. So much that those things won’t make you feel so up and down. He really is good, and He is a good Dad.”

She said, “I have been trying sooo hard.”

I said, “Stop trying. What He wants to show you is not about you trying; it is about letting Him love you. He wants to increase your faith.”

She said, “Wow this has never happened to me before. It is like you are a messenger giving me a message.” She cried.

I said, “Yup, He had something He wanted to tell you today. Can I pray for you?” She consented. I asked if I could put my hand on her shoulder, and she said, “Yeah…sure. What do I do? I have never done this before. Do I close my eyes? I am not sure what to do with my hands, but this is so cool!”

I laughed and said, “Do whatever you want. Just hang out. I am just going to ask God if He has anything to say to you, and ask Him to bless you. I am going to take a minute to be quiet and ask Him what He wants to do, okay? Then I will pray and we will just see what happens.”

I prayed a very basic prayer. I simply asked that God would implant peace in her heart and her mind. As I prayed I asked God if there was something He wanted to show her (a picture) or something He wanted to say to her. All I heard was the word “shifting.”

So, I prayed for a few minutes. I did not receive anything monumental, and I did not get a vision from God.

I ended, and asked her how she felt. She said as soon as I put my hand on her shoulder and prayed, she felt another hand on her other shoulder and the deepest peace she has ever felt in her life. She said, “Someone else was there!”

I could not hold my excitement as I spread my arms wide and exclaimed, “THAT WAS JESUS!!!” really loud. I am sure the people around us heard.

She laughed and said, “I think so, too!”

I told her I felt like something shifted in her… Like something was implanted and changed in her heart, and from this day forward, she would be different. She agreed and said, “That makes so much sense! It was like God wanted to talk to me!”

I said, “He sure did. You are a stranger; I know nothing about you, and did not even know that you believed in God. I just knew I was supposed to talk to you when you sat by me in class. Be encouraged. God wanted to reach out to you today and remind you that He loves you. He thinks about you. He takes notice of you, and wants you to be aware of Him the way that He is aware of you.”

She apologized for having questions and being inexperienced. I told her I am a patient person, and I could talk about God all day long. I felt the love of God for this girl and wanted to wrap her in my arms and hug her, but I did not want to freak her out. She thanked me repeatedly, and wished me luck studying for the test, and walked away.

As I drove home this morning, I was reminded of a word that someone had for me recently. It was about changing my eyes to see what God sees. I smiled as I realized that word was already coming to fruition.  Not only did this girl get a reminder from a sweet Father that she is loved, I got reminded that God is near and involved in my life as I continue to shift my eyes toward His Kingdom, and away from myself.

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September 16, 2013
by Jenny LaBahn

To My Friend On Her Wedding Day: Brittney

My Dearest Britney, Brit, Bee, TwinkleToes, Brittney My Love,

IMG_2888I am so excited and honored to be apart of your day. Thank you so much for including me.

Your friendship is one that I value greatly.  I look back on our memories with so much fondness. We were so different; you were a tall basketball star, and I was a tiny cheerleader. But we had sooooo much fun together. You bring out a side of me that few people ever get to see. I do not laugh with anyone the way I laugh with you.You know me in a way many people do not, because we have been through so much together. High school encapsulated some of the darkest years of my life, and you were such a faithful friend through that time. You listened to me, prayed for me, and encouraged me. We have been to too many funerals together, but I keenly remember you sitting next to me, rubbing my back, and holding me as I cried. I do not know what I would have done without your comfort.

We have known each other since we were 13, but it was freshman year that we got really close. We took Miss Cunningham’s English class, whom for reasons that escape my mind, we started calling “Daughter.” After reading Romeo and Juliet, we started speaking Shakespearean, and often snuck into her classroom during lunch to write, “Daughter, Daughter, wherefore art thou Daughter?” on her chalkboard. We were weird. We quickly became her favorites and even started a journal between the three of us in which we wrote about our lives and especially our guy drama (there was never a shortage of that) and made up our own language with ridiculous words and hilarious inside jokes. Every day was an adventure in that class. I laugh out loud every time I think about us acting out the Helen Keller story, with you playing Helen and me playing Anne. You made some really interesting sounds and took your role very seriously. We ate goldfish and white cheddar cheez-itz every day, and always found reasons to laugh obnoxiously. Eventually she had to separate us because we were too chatty. (Imagine that.) However, I am pretty sure we found a way to communicate across the room using our own version of sign language and unique facial expressions.

I remember the summer in which we hardly saw each other because we were both out of town. You called me as soon as you were home and we met in the middle of our secret trail that was between our houses and literally ran to each other. So dramatic.

You and I always seemed to manage to get in trouble together. Our parents, whom we called “Amish-Nazis”, always discovered our ploys. My favorite was the time we got caught driving together when you had not had your license long enough. I had mine and was perfectly capable of driving myself back to school after lunch, but we wanted to ride together. So we snuck into your truck, and unbeknownst to us, your dad was driving behind us. The next thing I knew you grabbed me by my hair and pushed my head onto the seat in hopes that your dad would not notice that I was in your car. He did, and we were grounded indefinitely. Then there was the day we stupidly decided to race our cars up Sweet Lane. Again, your dad was driving right behind us (That guy was everywhere!) and we were driving too fast to notice. I am pretty sure your dad had my dad’s number on speed dial. We both came home to the same words: “You’re grounded.” Of course, there were the times we told our parents we were at each other’s house, when we were both somewhere else entirely. That was dumb, considering we were neighbors and our dads had telepathic powers. Fortunately, they never found out about the time that me, you, and Lysha snuck out of her house, stole her mom’s car, and did loops around town while playing the “WHY ARE YOU RUNNING AWAY” song at the top of our lungs. We were 15. Sorry parentals.

One day we sat on your couch, drank hot chocolate and ate your mom’s famous caramel corn, as she told us about her adventures backpacking through Europe. We made a pact with each other that we would travel in Europe together someday. Then we gr Continue Reading →

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August 29, 2013
by Jenny LaBahn

Finding Fruit in Difficult Seasons

This is my first week at California State University San Marcos. It has been a very stressful few days as I moved unexpectedly and am in a wedding in Oregon this weekend. Last night, as I laid on my bed amidst the boxes and haphazard remnants of my room, I began to sense the familiar dread that inevitably comes like a raincloud with each approaching semester. My scholastic journey has been hard. I do not think I have ever been so broken down by anything else in my life (except for the time when my friends died in high school). I have never been so challenged to trust in what I cannot see. For where I see my life going, a college degree is not essential and does not make much sense. I constantly question the purpose of it, because I just do not get it. However, I do not feel released to quit, so I keep plugging away, one semester at a time, dying to my desires with every class I take.

I have never been so reduced to the end of myself. Never before have I been so challenged to surrender my life and my will to the plan my Father has for me. Nor have I ever had to die to my desires to the extent that going to college has required of me. I have never had to put so much time, effort, and energy into something I do not want to do. I am terrified that by the time I get my six year degree, I will have wasted my 20s doing homework, and all of this sacrifice will be for nothing. I am afraid I will end up doing hair, and edit on the side, just like I am doing now, just to scrape by. I am afraid there will be no fruit from all of my hard work.

And then I take a second to quiet my fears and anxiety about the lack of payoff I am predicting.  I remember that my life is in the hands of a good Dad, who refuses to allow anything in my life to be wasted. There will be fruit from all of these years of homework assignments, pointless classes, and countless shed tears. It just probably will not be in the shape of a fancy career. (I do not really want that anyway.) It will not be so that I can get a masters degree. It will not take the form of fancy conversations at cocktail parties in which I intelligently discuss the literature I studied during my undergrad.


My fruit will be in the form of what is valuable to my Dad.

My fruit will be the fact that many years ago, I told God He could have His way with my life, and I meant it. Thus, since it became clear I was supposed to pursue a college degree, I will not quit until I finish, or until He says I can.

My fruit will look like surrender; the death of my will, so that I can walk in His, and be made more like His Son in the process.

My fruit will be having the capability to educate my kids from home, if I so desire. It will entail me instilling in them a love for literature and the value of words. I will find creative ways to teach them about Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Ernest Hemmingway. I will be able to tell them that going to college made me a better mom because it taught me how to think critically, make decisions, organize my life, keep a schedule, and stick with what I committed myself to even when it got difficult.

My fruit will look like a faith that remains, even when everything inside of me is shaking and crying.

My fruit will look like knowing the heart of God in an incredibly intimate way because I went through years of desperate need of Him. I have depended Him in ways I am not sure I would have had I never started school.

The fruit I will reap will have inherent value, because it will come from the hand of my Father.

His heart and will for me are good. That I do know. As much as I dread the reality of the coming four months, I know good things are hidden among them. I know He has things He wants to teach me about who He is. During my summer and winter breaks I am my normal cheerful self. I enjoy my life and am as free as a bird. I tend to change when I am in school. Due mostly to lack of sleep, I become more serious, easily stressed out, cranky, and discouraged. I have a burning impression in my heart that things are going to be different this time.

I can sense and predict the Lord challenging me this semester. He is saying to me,

“Beloved. You do not have to change just because you are in school. You do not have to change, because I do not change. I am unchanging. I am your steadiness, and your stay. You abide in Me, and what I have is yours. Walk in peace and joy.”

I approach this semester with an expectation to learn new, wonderful things about His heart for me, and His character. I am expectant of good fruit.

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