Farewells, Hellos, and Thank Yous

Dear friends of mine, friends of WGR and friends of Jesus,

Wow!  My first reaction coming off of Sabbatical is— Wow! This has been the hardest and best year of my life.  What a God! What a Lover!

It’s been so impacting, in fact, that it will be the source for my next book.  There have been so many visions and revelations, so many holy hushes, so many Re-directions. I am hoping to have it finished by fall, please pray with me.  (Hint: You might get sneak peeks through my blog and FB posts.)

Now comes a season of “new wine” and  “new wineskins.”  It could be summed up in a few words. Abandon. Worship. Write.

He has released me from the Drive to be so “productive” that I neglect myself, my family, or even Him! It is a greater work He is after. Therefore, you will likely see less events this year, but you will see more in-depth writing and more opportunities for focused teaching.

Honestly, I am eager to teach. And yet, He has made it clear that it will look very different. Something has shifted even in my outpouring. I  felt it when I taught a recent youth retreat and I spoke at a Pep Moms retreat. We went to incredible places with God. I am so grateful He is refining my gifting.

What’s next? Writing and Waiting on Him to open doors. Our conversation went something like this: “Jana your job is to refine the message, I’ll take care of the audience.”

Thus, my next teaching opportunity is April 25-26 Fascinate Women’s Gathering at Fuse Church.  I will be one of the keynote speakers! I am so so excited!!

(It’s an open event so you can register at www.fusechurch.com)

An 8-week intensive course to follow up that event called, “Saying Yes to God.”
Location Claris Networks Conference Room, 6100 Lonas Drive. (right off Papermill exit at I-40)  Registration is required and space is limited.

Many of you have asked? What about Beautiful, or the marriage retreats? What about Unhindered, Sweetly Broken Abortion retreat, or Yes and Amen?  What about church or small group retreats?

Yes and Yes is my answer. I am so willing and available as long as someone else bears the weight of the event. I have LOVED doing the many events hosted by WGR. We had a blast and I am forever changed by what God did in our midst.

Going forward though, I am to be a speaker/teacher. Not an event coordinator.  God has made the transition so clear that He moved the incredible women I served with into new adventures. Ahem.  We call that “pruning.”  Therefore, I am eagerly waiting for an increase of harvest of women who will be rescued, restored and released… smile.treewomansmall

I was at the beach on the close of the Sabbatical which was the exact date of the first Unhindered Encounter in 2007. I stood in complete awe as I considered all that God has done in the last seven years. Really it takes my breath away to consider what he has done for me as well as for many of you. We are different. Our relationships with God, with our friends and family, in our marriages—they are different. Better. Deeper. God has been doing an amazing work in us all.

Will you allow me a few Thank You’s?
I offer a heart felt shout out to:

The Girl Group and the Dream Teams: (you know who you are…)
I look back on all I have learned, all that we did together, all that God taught us and I am humbled beyond words.  You each brought such joy to my life. I loved walking that stretch of the road with you.  I am forever changed. Your hours invested in the events for other women are mind blowing. Only me and Jesus know how much you gave on their behalf. Thank you.

Lyschel Burket:  You were the first insane and brave soul to come along side and “assist” the vision of rescuing and restoring women. I will be forever indebted and grateful for your organizational skills, your deep friendship and encouragement, and your steadfast belief that all the volunteer work was worth it.

Heather Terflinger:  When the baton passed from Lyschel to you, I had no idea that the roller coaster was getting ready to speed up.  What a ride!! Your laughter and energy took us to new dreams and possibilities.  I have enjoyed every minute working with you.

Volunteers:  Although that sounds broad and impersonal, I can see your faces as I write.  The courage it took for so many of you to step into serving others, the cardboard testimonies, the hours of blood sweat and tears…How do I say thank you?  When I did that first conference with 5 dear friends, I had no idea that God would raise up an “army of Friends” to take it from there. Especially you Laura Jones and Beth Hungerford. God bless you and bless you all again.

Mentors and Prayer Warriors: Betsy Michalik, Kate LeBoeuf, my faithful Board, John Dee, the intercessors — thank you for  your wisdom, insight, and deep concern for me. I am so blessed by you.

To my husband and children:  You are my most important ministry of all. Thank you for your investment, patience, and sacrifice.

Does this sound like a farewell?  It is.  And it is not.  We have all crossed paths out of His goodness. I still ardently pray for harvest to come out of holy seeds that He planted. And my eyes watch and wait for all that He is bringing forth in days and years to come.

I am confident of His calling and His plans.  “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21

Thank you for being a part of this ongoing work of God.  Thank you caring enough to read this. May we press in to know Him more with “ever increasing glory.”


The Power Behind the Storm

Where is God when it storms?

Our region has really taken a hit. My particular neighborhood has been especially shaken. After the last storm there were trees down over every road surrounding our house. That is a total of five roads. A huge tree from our front yard landed across the road jerking our meter and power lines with it. A steel pipe was bent at a 45 degree angle. That is one heck of a pull. We lost electricity for five days and phone service for ten.  We also lost a lot of sleep and food.

But we did not lose our house. Or our lives. Or honestly, our hope. Once the storm had passed, again, and I was cleaning up the yard, again, from all the limbs and broken clusters of leaves, I asked the Lord, “What are You up to? This is really scary and You are breaking off Your own trees.”


It was all He said. Pruning. And it occurred to me, no one prunes the trees but Him. No one pulls down rotten trees or prunes His garden but Him. The tree that fell from our yard was a beautiful oak, rotten in the core. Who knew but Him?

But He is also pruning me, you, us in the storm. Uprooting expectations and demands. Trimming back the excesses that weigh us down. Cutting off branches that left untended would cause us harm in the end. And just as He provided for our family in the aftermath through generous friends, God provides mercy for our hearts in the spiritual pruning. Do we like the pruning? Nope. Do we need it? Yep.

God also uses the storms to display REAL power. More than electricity, He is power. And when we are faced with our smallness and are pressed into our very great need for His protection, this is a good, good thing. As Rich Mullins said, “we are not as strong as we think we are.”

Finally, the Lord had me meandering through Job. It is so beautiful how the Spirit uses His word to teach and reveal.  Pay close attention to the thirteenth verse. Whether for correction, or for HIS world, or for lovingkindness.  Never presume that you know the WHY of storms.  Always press in to know the WHO behind them.

Job 37
Elihu Says God Is Back of the Storm
 1 “At this also my heart trembles,
And leaps from its place.
2 “Listen closely to the thunder of His voice,
And the rumbling that goes out from His mouth.
3 “Under the whole heaven He lets it loose,
And His lightning to the ends of the earth.
4 “After it, a voice roars;
He thunders with His majestic voice,
And He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard.
5 “God thunders with His voice wondrously,
Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.
6 “For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’
7 “He seals the hand of every man,
That all men may know His work.
8 “Then the beast goes into its lair
And remains in its den.
9 “Out of the south comes the storm,
And out of the north the cold.
10 “From the breath of God ice is made,
And the expanse of the waters is frozen.
11 “Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud;
He disperses the cloud of His lightning.
12 “It changes direction, turning around by His guidance,
That it may do whatever He commands it
On the face of the inhabited earth.
13 “Whether for correction, or for His world,
Or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.