Wow! This will be the third time I’ve written a “favorite things” introduction post for Declare. It’s a little hard to believe I’m heading to Dallas in just a few short weeks to join together with you lovely ladies for the third time. I wish I could tell my story of the life-change I’ve gone through since attending my first conference, but if you have time you can certainly read about what happened during year #1, back in 2014: When God Calls Your Bluff (Part 1), When God Calls Your Bluff (Part 2), When God Calls Your Bluff (Part 3).
Since my first Declare I’ve grown closer to God in a way that I didn’t think possible. It’s given me the confidence to walk in “wild obedience” unlike ever before. I’ve embraced the ache in my heart to advocate for the things that I love, write about the topics that He’s place upon my heart – and I’ve been able to overcome a fear of needing to fly so far beneath the radar, thinking it was all about me. I can listen now, and respond with a confidence I didn’t have before attending the first conference. God was working in big, big ways that year…and He continues to use the ladies of Declare to set the platform for His presence to work mightily in the lives of all of us in that room. So excited to reacquaint myself as well as meet you new ladies this year!
So without further ado…
1. If we were meeting in person, how would you introduce yourself?
Hello. My name is Jennifer Frisbie. I was born Jennifer Stephens and raised here in Missouri, 39 years and counting. Wife to my high school sweetheart, Jonathon, and mom to four littles (and not so little) kiddos: Lillian (12), Henley (9), Wyatt (6) and Willow (3).
I have just recently begun my second year of being a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom. After 16 years of working in the IT industry I heard God’s calling on my life to leave it all behind to embrace His plan. It was a difficult thing at the time, because I truly had some fear and disappointment with knowing that door was closing. However, the blessings have been so abundant and I am able to invest in my family on a level I’ve never known before. Home life has become my first ministry. I have been blessed to be more available to my children and their needs, I am a much stronger support system for my husband as a life partner, within our self-employed business, and within his own ministry position – and I’m able to seek out and advocate for more sustainable living organizations throughout the world. Oh…and there’s this writing thing, in my spare time.
I love to study – inhaling the details of whatever interests me and storing them away for whatever purpose they might have later on. I read, write, ponder…write…read some more. And I love having deep discussion with one or two close friends who don’t mind the level of detail I seek or the fact that I roll something around over and over again as I dig to know the answers.
I love tea. Immensely! I’m a fan of comfy clothes and boots. I love hats. Soft, fluffy pillows make me happier than you can imagine. I’m a fan of stillness, but I love to have music playing all the time. I love campfires and staring up through the leaves of the trees. I eat a paleo style diet to deal with my chronic illness, but I miss donuts more than I could ever express to you. I devour history but I’ve secretly wanted to be an English Lit teacher since high school. I’ve played somewhere around 9 different instruments throughout my life and still harbor some regret over never using my talent for His glory as well as for my incredible love of playing the piano. I have an enormously thick head of hair that you can’t really appreciate until you touch. I had liposuction when I was in college and would preach against this for hours on end to anyone considering this for their own lives. I love the sunrise and sunset, mainly because I’m a fan of God’s artwork and the ample amounts of color He uses in order to leave me standing in awe. I accepted Christ at 17, walked around clueless for many years after and wasn’t baptized until I was 31. …and this, ladies – is where “This Side of Grace” (my blog tagline) comes in.
2. What is your favorite thing to write and why?
This is tough. When I have the time, I love picking up a prompt and running with it. Some of my best writing comes to the surface when I just surround myself with the prompt and write like there’s no tomorrow. I don’t focus on the style of the writing or whether or not I’m breaking any rules. I just let it flow. Typically this type of writing produces more imagery and metaphors than more of my focused writing would – and I love the poetic flair that just naturally comes out. Here are a few: Still, Hold, Messenger, Watch Your Bridges and Overpasses, The Splendor of it All.
As far as genre, I am a big fan of short stories. I used to write a lot of fiction and it’s still one of my favorite genres to write because I absolutely fall in love with character development and dialogue. I have a fiction novel I work on from time to time, but in this phase of life I tend to produce a lot of devotions and Bible lesson posts, encompassing my own experiences as I deepen my faith. Many of these devotions appear on my blog, but over the last year I’ve gravitated to using more of a micro-blog style post on Instagram. (My favorite social media site).
3. What is your favorite thing to read and why?
I’m a sucker for good imagery. I want to be able to use all five of my senses when I’m reading. Nothing pleases me more than when the words jump off the page and onto my heart, moving me in such a way that it’s impossible to forget what I’ve read. I want to experience it as if I’m right there with the author wrapping my head around every single detail. Some of the blogs I read in order to find this style of writing are: Ann Voskamp, Alia Joy, Emily P. Freeman, Sabbath Society, Amber Haines, and in Christie Purifoy’s new book Roots and Sky. There are many more, of course – but for time’s sake…
4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
If my day were lazy and alone I’d spend hours in books, sipping pot after pot of tea, under the soft murmur of the ceiling fan. I’d wrap myself in my favorite blanket and proceed to pen every thought into one of my journals with a ridiculous variety of Pilot G-2 pens. I’d set my phone on ‘do not disturb’ and proceed to teach the anxious rush of my every day life to take the first bus out of town. “Quiet” would be the theme of the day.
If my day were spent with a close friend we would have plans for afternoon tea at The London Tea Room. I’d toss aside my Paleo eating for a few hours and indulge in a little bit of gluten in the form of a scone or pastry. But before that, we’d walk the historic district of St. Charles, indulging in a lavender mocha from Picasso’s Coffee House, taking in the smell of cookies and cinnamon rolls and catching the heavy breeze off the Missouri River as we passed between the buildings. “Serenity” and “friendship” would be the themes of the day.
If my day were spent with hubby and kiddos we would most definitely be doing something a little more adventuresome. We’d walk the banks of the river or cross the pedestrian bridge to peer down into the churning waters below. We’d find a creek to play in, a new park to visit in a neighboring town or explore the Jefferson Landing or Lewis and Clark Trailhead for the 1000th time. “Discovery” would be the theme of the day.
5. What’s one thing you love about your blog and one thing you’d like to improve?
I don’t spend as much time writing on my blog as I did before I left the work force. It’s amazing just how busy life became once my full-time work was moved to within these four walls. However, I love the fact that my blog speaks for what I advocate for. I’m passionate about showing my audience who I support and how they can find these organizations, as well.
As for improvement, the blog needs a facelift. As someone who’s not technically challenged, I could spend all day reworking the thing over and over again – but aesthetics are an entirely different story. I’m too much of a perfectionist and too slow at cultivating ideas. A redesign just might be on the horizon as time and funds allow…
6. [Lightening Round] Would you rather …
Read on Kindle or paperback? Paperback (Hands. Down.)
Drink coffee or tea? I do enjoy coffee – but TEA! As an avid tea drinker and someone who studies tea just as much as I study everything else, it’s honestly one of my biggest hobbies. A love! …and deep down I hope I can use it as a form of ministry some day.
Go to a musical or a movie? Musical. (but y’all, I just love movies to death, too)
Vacation at the beach or the mountains? Mountains.
Have an exciting night out or a relaxing night in? Relaxing night in.
Watch sports, play sports, or no sports? Not a big sports fan unless we’re talking X-Games.
Looking forward to seeing all you lovely ladies in just a few short weeks! If you’d like to connect beforehand, look me up in the following places:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email me at email@example.com
I just love you and your word sharing Jennifer! So excited that we’ll see each other again this year. Let’s make time to sit at the same table and visit, OK?
Yes! Definitely, Jolene!!
You must have been at Declare 2014 — Wild Obedience! I was there that year, missed last year, and am coming back this year.
I’m noticing a lot of we Declare attendees like to read, prefer a night in, and don’t watch much in the way of sports…
Hope to meet you in a month!
Looking forward to meeting you, Lynnae!
Looking forward to meeting you! I love that you love soft pillows. That made me smile 🙂
🙂 – looking forward to meeting you, Renee!!
I can’t wait to hear how you want to use tea as a ministry, Jennifer! I have a bit of a confession: as excited as I am about attending Declare for the first time this year, I am a little scared that God is going to “call my bluff.” Yes, I have thought those exact words before seeing this post, so I am both very interested in reading your posts on that, and scared to death, lol! Looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks!
Wendy, I will talk all day long about tea. I’m just warning you now. LOL! 😉
Hi Jennifer. I’m joining you at Declare this year and hey I’ve been married to my high-school sweetheart for 47 years this August.
Tea – I love tea and I’m trying to use it as a ministry too because God told me to this Spring and well life has been hectic and I’ve been trying all summer. I am going to start with a simple neighborhood tea for women I know don’t go to church and go from there. My church has a coffee time with women in our city on Wednesdays.
Hope to see you there. I finished my blog this morning and went to link-up and the linky had closed.