Big Plans

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

God has plans

Somewhere along this journey called life, we learn to anticipate the bad. The phone rings un-expectantly and we answer, Everything OK? And when excluded from a meeting at work we think it’s because we are the agenda. We are always anticipating the other shoe falling. Why? Because when two bad things happen consecutively, there will be a third because, bad always comes in threes. 

We carry over this belief to God when we assume that bad things happen to us to teach us lessons. Jeremiah 29:11 says just the opposite. It says God is proclaiming that His plans for us are good and they offer us hope. 

Hope changes the trajectory of our lives. 

Hope carries us through even the darkest of times. In God’s world, the other shoe doesn’t fall and bad things don’t come in threes. Even better, those bad things in our lives aren’t coming to us from God. 

How do we know?

Because God promises His plans are filled with hope. Hope shines light in the darkness of our negativity. 

Faith has turned the idea of seeking God’s Will into a life long treasure hunt. But God isn’t a creepy old pirate. He is however, a loving God who has plans – big plans, little plans, audacious plans. Therefore, we can be certain they are hope-filled plans. Best of all, we don’t have to go looking – He brings them to us!

A conversation among friends

 She looked at me with eyes so filled with fear I thought someone had died. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

What am I supposed to do!” She closed her eyes, and shook her head ever so slowly.

“Do about what?” I inquired in my most concerned tone.

“I just don’t know what God wants for me.” Her eyes now filling with emotion and escaping down her cheek.

“Oh hon,” I reached over and took her hand. “It’s not this difficult.”

“But what am I supposed to be doing with my life?”

“Well – that you don’t have to go looking for – that’s simple.” Counting on my fingers like we were preschoolers, “One, love God. Two, love yourself. Three, love others.”

“It’s not that simple.” She said offendedly.

“Oh, but it is. And unless God sends you a certified letter that says differently, that is your job, and when you take that seriously, He’ll open so many doors your’ll never be without opportunities. Stop wasting time trying to figure it out. Do what He has already told you to do – cause He’s got a ton of plans for you just waiting to be delivered.”

This is an excerpt from, A Simple Faith in a Complicated World, expected to release in Summer of 2022.

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Planting Life

a simple faith in a complicated world by jeannie Bruenning
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

Science refers to it as Cause and Effect; for every action there is a reaction. The entire universe operates on the Law of Sowing and Reaping. Agriculture is the best example. Even the financial world invests with hopes of reaping great dividends. 

This law is an absolute, it is also the road map for our lives. We love to think that when we do good, good is going to return to us. But not as excited to think that we often also plant seeds of unpleasantness. 

Sowing the negative is not always intentional. It comes naturally to most of us. Why is it so easy to pass judgment on other’s when we are on the outside looking in? It is in those moments of quick judgement and criticism that we set a future course for our own lives. 

How often in the midst of our own unpleasant circumstances, are we reminded of a time where we lacked compassion for someone else walking a similar path. It’s like watching a rerun  except now we have been cast to play the role.

Is it even impossible to live a life completely void of judgement and criticism? Control such thoughts on our own is exhausting! When we apply it to our own lives, the Law of Sowing and Reaping becomes overwhelming.

But God always provides a safety net.  

It is called forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful tool available to us. We complicate it with excuses; Why we shouldn’t offer it? Is it really deserved? Do you know what they did? 

Forgiveness comes with no expectations, no requirements. In fact, no one needs to hear us say it. Once spoken, these two little words change our circumstances and ourselves. 

“I forgive.”  

Forgiveness of others frees us to love, forgiveness of us ourselves frees us to live. 

A conversation among friends

“What did I do to deserve this?” he asked jokingly.

“If you think hard enough, I’m sure you can remember,” I said and we both laughed – and then a weird quiet took over.

“Did you remember?” I asked leaning into him. He nodded. 

“SAY THE WORDS!” I shouted much louder than intended. “Say the words and stop the crazies!” Closing his eyes, I read his lips, “I forgive.” 

“Who?”, I asked. “Who needs the forgiveness?”

“Me.” He said, “Forgive me for being so judgmental.” 

Like magic, the weird quiet exited and we both felt the world change. 

This is an excerpt from, A Simple Faith in a Complicated World, expected to release in Summer of 2022.

Subscribe to Jeannie’s blog to be notified of more beliefs to build a profound faith upon.

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Ease and Rest


A Simple Faith in a Complicated World

“Faith is hard,” my friend said – and my heart broke. I don’t believe God intended for it to be difficult. I do believe we have made it so. 

Can faith really be simplified? Yes. The world is complicated and we’ve allowed our lives to be overly complicated, but our faith doesn’t have to be. 

These are simple beliefs for a profound faith. They fill me with wonder and amazement.


Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Ease and Rest

How often we find ourselves weary and burdened, needing rest. Jesus offers us relief. He invites us to not only lean on Him but also learn from Him. He offers us rest for our being and the deepest part of us, our soul.

As a yoke connects two oxen, Jesus’s yoke connects us to Him and allows us to work in partnership with Him. In that bond of two, we learn to be gentle and humble. Best of all, it is where we find ease and rest. 

In times when we feel the weight of the world beginning to crush us, we must pause to see where along the way we became disconnected from this magical yoke. When did striving, anxiety, and fear replaced our gentle and humble heart, and we began to grow weary. 

Jesus’ yoke is always available to us.

Accept His invitation and again get reconnected. It is because of our partnership with Him that we find comfort and our burdens are lightened.

Jesus’s offering of words such as rest, comfort, gentle, and humble are not only words for living life, they should define our faith. How quickly faith can become a religion, creating rules and expectations, causing us to feel burdened and weary – rarely feeling easy. Jesus’s yoke is easy. It is comfortable. It is humble and gentle. Those are the words that defines His religion. 

Do they define ours?  

His yoke is easy.

A conversation among friends

“You look tired,” I said. “Everything ok?”

“I’m feel like I’m working so hard at life…I wish it was easy?”

I smiled. “There’s a big difference between ease and easy. We’ll never have it easy, but we can always be at ease.”

This is an excerpt from, A Simple Faith in a Complicated World, expected to release in Summer of 2022.

Subscribe to Jeannie’s blog to be notified of more beliefs to build a profound faith upon.

God is Love


A Simple Faith in a Complicated World

“Faith is hard,” my friend said – and my heart broke. I don’t believe God intended for it to be difficult. I do believe we have made it so. 

Can faith really be simplified? Yes. Our world is complicated. We’ve allowed our lives to be overly complicated but our faith doesn’t have to be. 

These are simple beliefs for a profound faith. They fill me with wonder and amazement.


We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 1 John 4:16

God is love

There is a world of difference between believing that God is love opposed to God loves

A God who loves also has the ability to not-love. Believing that God’s love is an action, makes us question, Who does He love? Why does He love? And how do I make sure He choses to love me? 

If God choses to love, then He must also have the ability to choose not to love. What a sad and scary thought. This belief keeps its believers in a place of neediness, uncertainty, and unworthiness.

Insert a two letter word and love no longer is an action – it is a constant. When we believe that God IS love, our entire perspective of Him changes. 

If 1 John 4:16 is true and God IS love, then He cannot not-love. It is who He is. Believing that God chooses to love, is the same as saying He chooses to be God, and that makes no sense at all. How could God not be God? Believing in a God who is love, removes our doubts.

As for thinking we can somehow earn God’s love, that would mean we must be able to earn God. Is that even possible?

Unfortunately, this is how so many live their lives, searching for the way to find God, thinking they have to somehow align themselves with a spiritual equation, hoping that God will see their efforts and shine His love on them. Sadder yet, they reflect those beliefs on others, insisting that they too must strive for, align with, and search for the key that will unlock God’s love.

A faith that defines God as LOVE – has no lock.

It is the door to which opens us to God and He to us. It comes with only one requirement – accepting that God and Love are one and the same. 

God is Love

A conversation among friends

“I don’t believe in God,” he said. “How could a God allow bad things to happen.”

“I don’t believe in that god either,” I replied. “That god needs a mommy.”

We both laughed.

“Do you believe in love?” I asked. He nodded.

“That is the God I believe in. So, I guess we believe the same.”

This is an excerpt from, A Simple Faith in a Complicated World, expected to release in Summer of 2022.

Subscribe to Jeannie’s blog to be notified of more beliefs to build an profound faith upon.

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I finally turned 60!

I turned 60 last month. I find this funny because my birthday was in February. 

I love birthdays, not for the gifts and celebrations, but for the milestones they represent. Afterall, I’ve worked my whole life to be this old…I’m going to enjoy it!!

That has been my mantra – that is until I turned 60. For some reason there was nothing remarkable about 60. Instead, it was an arrow pointing to – the rest of your life where you’ll be able to do much less than you used to.

After months of resistance, I had a serious talk with myself. “What’s the deal? You love birthdays, why is this one different?” It typically takes 24 hours for my other self to figure it out and spit me out an answer.

And spit me out an answer is exactly what my other self did. “You didn’t prepare for this one.”

WOW – sometimes my other self is brilliant!

I hadn’t prepared for this one, I was still living the crazy decade of my 50s. And in the last 5 years, I was so focused on caring for those around me that I forgot to turn 60.

What changed?

Well, that non-sensical dream of long hair got cut off. I got a wig for when I want to pretend long hair is youthful. Short hair is awesome!

I’m filling my closet with long sun dresses and cool shoes, cause this old lady on the hill likes the way they feel and look. 

I’ve finally figured out what makes my tummy happy and it’s not yogurt, whole grains, veggies, or almonds. NOPE, it’s tri-tip steak and hamburgers. 

I’m not waiting on others any longer. I’ve spent a lifetime waiting. Get in step or don’t – I’m ok with either choice, but I’m not hanging around waiting for you to decide. 

I’m also no longer going to hesitate to speak my mind (when appropriate). That’s the great thing about being old – you clearly understand appropriate and NOT appropriate.

Shaun the Jeep is for sale! Yep, she’s served me well, but my time has come to up-grade. And up-grade I did. Shaun is waiting for her new owner who needs new beach adventures. It’s not that I’m not looking for new adventures, they are just different now.

My new love is big-ass, Mercedes Benz 450 SUV. It seats 7! I was told it’s the perfect Neenee (grandma) car because I can take so many with me (meaning all the grand-kids). And they were right. But I don’t think that is why I fell in love with her. 

She is big, audaciously big.  She is more than I need, way more. She sucks gas like there is an endless supply. She floats down the highway like the tires aren’t touching the pavement. When I need to feel superior, I can beat anyone out of the stoplight gates. 

I love her because I don’t need her, but I really wanted her. I love her because there is nothing practical about her.

I love her because I’m 60 – and I’ve worked my whole life to be this old, and I’m loving it!!

Who gets the…

What’s the secret to a long marriage? Answer: There isn’t one. 

Marriage is an adventure. It has ups and downs. Good times and dark times. Ruth Graham, the wife of most holy Billy Graham, said she never considered divorce – murder on many occasions – but never divorce. 

Jeff and I have made it through 41 years. Secrets? I don’t believe there are any. Lessons? There are many.  Here are my top four:

1. A marriage license has little staying power. The contract that I attribute to making through those crazy years of school schedules, careers, and not know exactly how you made it through each day, was this: Whoever breaks up the marriage GETS the house, kids, debts, and possible the dogs. No legal assistance needed. If a newer model was in one of our futures, they better be ready for 2 kids, house mortgage, credit card debt, and pets – it apparently worked. 

2. Protect your differences. Jeff and I are opposite. We are so opposite that he would disagree with that statement. It took me a long time to realize how important it was to protect our oppositeness. Opposites attract – but once the oppositeness goes away, so does the attraction -opposites may even find they really don’t really like each other. 

When opposites stay opposite, the attraction remains and their hearts still skip a beat when the other walks into a room – even after 41 years.

3. You will spend more years with your children as adults than as children – so raise great adults – enough said.

4. Never lose yourself. No matter the title; spouse, parent, child, career, that is what you do NOT who you are. The titles will change – and some may even go away – you have to live with YOU for the rest of your life. 

There they are – my top four life lessons on marriage and children. Be willing to let go, protect, nurture, and always work toward being the best version of you possible…it also helps to choose a great partner!

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