Saturday, July 27, 2013

What Else Am I Writing? Glad You Asked. :)

People are continuing to find me through various sources and surprised that they didn't know it was "me" all those different places. So to help everyone find me, I want to list the projects and places I currently remain active so you can easily find me. (Technically, I'm registered for over 30 blogs, but some I don't keep current anymore, some I per-registered for names of probable future book projects, some are titles I know people to search for me by and just redirect to other active blogs, etc.)

From Facebook - I do this a lot!
So here's where to currently find me actively writing, cup of tea on the side table next to me (picture from around my home to mentally picture the process):

Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss (book published by NavPress, 2005, ISBN-10: 1576836541; ISBN-13: 978-1576836545) . Hannah's Hope blog and Pintrest pages on infertility, miscarriage / loss, adoption. Facbook at

InfertilityMom, blog on motherhood after infertility and loss. My motherhood pin board (along with those just listed above) probably best fits this audience. Homemaking too. :)

My current book project, a harvest-themed devotional study on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, especially in the face of trying times, working title Harvesting Hope from Heartache and the accompanying Harvesting Hope blog and Harvesting Hope, fruit of the Spirit , gardening, roses, and spiritual warfare Pintrest pages. Facebook at

Of course, Stroke Of Grace, my unfolding stroke recovery journey blog. I hope to write an accompanying book if future years. On Pintrest, there are several specifically related pages: stroke-related pictures and thoughts, why I'm homesick for Heaven, therapy and exercise, my struggle to find purpose, thoughts on grace and glory and a great collection of brain images. Facbook at

From Facebook
A future book project, currently titled Given Me a Thorn,a study on the life of the Apostle Paul as comfort, encouragement and resources for living with chronic pain and/or illness. Pintrest pages at Natural Health and Chronic Illness, Gluten Free, Latex Free, and Given Me a Thorn. Facbook at

A page I have let fall fallow since the strokes, I hope to revive again, InnerBeautyGirlz, tips and tricks (and even some give-aways) for outward beauty, but with an intention focus on the heart and soul.  I have, however, really been building my Pintest page on this beauty this year, a reflection of my own struggles both physically and emotionally/mentally, to accept God's perspective on me in my brokenness. Facbook at

Find me on Twitter at @InfertilityMom. I would love to invite you to follow all my Pintrest boards (several more, not listed here, like Social Media, various holidays/seasons, Japan (special board on Koi fish), Tips and Tricks, romantic bicycles like the ones above and below,  my heroesJust Because... and much more) at /InfertilityMom.

From Facebook
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. - Psalm 51:17

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lessons from a Rose Garden

Edited to add a picture I drew, based on this post, as part of my stroke recovery therapy process.
This weekend, I posted a long update on my  stoke recovery blog, Stroke of Grace.  I wanted to share a portion of that post with you here, because, while not a topic directly addressed in my upcoming book, it will give you a taste of the "flavor" you might expect to find behind the devotionals in Harvesting Hope from Heartache:

God decided yesterday's gardening hours were a great living object lesson time. I had one really huge, really wild and overgrown, totally healthy [rose] bush. This spring it has gone crazy, throwing out lush stalks several feet long in all directions. It looked so vibrant, it seemed a shame to prune it at all, but it had grown so intently that it totally blocked a walkway between it and the next bush. I could find very little to prune for the health of the plant, but knew the only way to both reclaim my pathway and to encourage voluminous blooming of the whole plant later this spring, would be to bring the unshapen plant under the harsh cuts of the pruning sheers while the sprouts were young and pliable today.

After clearing out a very few branches in need of pruning, I took some well-planning, but perhaps seeming brutal whacks at the path side of that plant, adding dozens of feet of long, strong, beautiful, thriving branches to my discard pile, taking that side of the plant down by half or more in size.
June, 2013: end result of pruning!
I told God that it seemed amazing that rather than shocking the plant to death, I knew my actions were simply to bring around more intentional design and purpose, resulting in a more pleasing and fruitful bush. The more pruned, the more plentiful the expected flowering later this spring and summer.  He replied to my heart, "This is what I am doing in you!"
Once I had that first side molded to my design again, it occurred to me that now the plant looked pathetically out of balance, lopsided, so I continued hacking my way around the whole bush until it was beautifully rounded, but only a shadow of the lush plant I had started with. Still, I am confident that in a month or two, the pain I inflicted today will result in a multitude of glorious blossoms in my healthy, well-grounded bush that no longer risks uprooting in our violent wind storms, like the tumble weeds that roll down the street, much too substantial in size for their relatively tiny root structures to hold them fast in place.

The more I thought about it, God seemed to explain that my life was much like that rose bush, wild and thriving and chasing after every opportunity to stretch and send out exploring fronds. It took ten years of infertility, losses, and decades of chronic illness to begin to tame me, but while I didn't enjoy the pruning process in the least, it was necessary so that my vigor for life didn't lead me so far out of God's intended design that I couldn't accomplish the purpose He intended me to fulfill. It wasn't that those passions were unhealthy or unwise, but the abundance and scattered directions threaten to leave my roots unstable, thus becoming undesirable in their very abundance.
 Once that first season of pruning was brought toward conclusion, I had one area of my life mostly trained into obedience, but that seemed to make the rest of all my wild longing more prominent. I see the additional shaping of this strong, healthy plant as my strokes, the ongoing recovery journey toward recovery, and our private family battles. I have been left shattered, violently pruned under the often seemingly unkind hand of the Master Gardener, but he knows that the only way to refocus my many thriving branches (abundance of gifts I had been blessed with, such as a signing voice, playing my flute, the ability to gracefully communicate with both hands via Sign Language, physical beauty, artistic expression through a variety of crafts and mediums I can no longer physically manage, the abundance of home-based business I have tried my hands at over this past decade, even the continued homeschooling of my children, and so much more I haven't even had time to identify yet) is to remove all that fall outside His intent for my life, to not leave me all those opportunities for "chasing after the wind," but bring me down to the bare essentials and start the training process anew (if I had to guess today, I think the critical areas God would have me focus on now would be family, home, health recovery, and writing that may eventually lead to public speaking) so that I may eventually harness that untamed enthusiasm and bring forth a bountiful harvest under His intended plan. I get it, more clearly than I ever have, God. 
Jennifer Saake, last professional picture taken pre-stroke, October, 2010.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Not Be Anxious

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Battle Belongs to the Lord!

I just shared several significant challenges and the spiritual warfare that seems to be tied to the finishing up of this manuscript, over on the Stroke of Grace website. If you are praying with me concerning this project, please read !

Monday, February 18, 2013

Harvesting Hope, the Book

I have been doing most of my recent updating (at least a couple of fresh posts per week) over at Stroke of Grace and am currently undergoing multiple doctors or therapy appointments per week. Though I have been overwhelmingly busy, I haven't forgotten you. 
Jennifer Saake, following one of several surgeries in 2012.
I do intend to get back to more consistent posting here soon, to keep you updated on future publishing progress. As I finish these very few last devotionals (thanks for your prayers!) and start talking with publishers (again, thank you for bathing this process in prayer!), I had to take a moment to say how terribly excited I am about this upcoming book. I pray you will be as blessed and challenged by these devotionals as I have been through the writing!

While my updates here remain so sporadic, please come check out my Pintrest boards for pictures like this, especially those on the fruit of the Spirit and Harvesting Hope. You might also like my pins on Spiritual Warfare, my more general one of Words, my stroke board, or any of several others. If you are on Pintrest, please leave your address in these comments or friend me there. I would love to connect with you!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


This article was first posted on the Glory and Strength website in the fall of 2011.


By Jenni Saake © 2011

When I was a little girl I was in a musical. One of the catchy tunes included the words, “Self-control is just controlling yourself. It's listening to your heart and doing what is smart. Self-control is the very best way to go, so I think that I'll control myself.”
Cute song, but I'm afraid the definition of “listening to my heart” doesn't always lead me in the best direction. In fact, Jeremiah 17:9 tells me, “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out” (The Message). When I'm listening to my heart, I'm prone to be swayed by my own selfishness. Selfish motives rarely lead to smart decisions!
It may sound funny, but when I think of self-control, I think of television commercials for bladder incontinence products such as Depends. Why? Because when the Bible talks about self-control, the original Greek word used actually means “continence,” or the ability to control one's own bodily functions and discharges, especially in the context of sexual urges. With that picture in mind, it's easy to see that I can't depend on my own heart to always lead me down the right path, otherwise there would be no urges in need of control.
The tricky part about self-control is that little word, “self.” What if I replace “self” with “God,” so that rather than listening to my heart, I'm intentionally seeking God's best for me in any given situation? If I'm asking God to be in the driver's seat, I can fully depend on Him to help me make smarter choices in life.
A lifestyle of asking God's direction in every circumstance can be described as “dying to self.” I know, dying doesn't sound like an attractive invitation at all, does it? What does this dying-to-self kind of self-control (God-control) even look like? How does it work?
The good news is that God never asks for any form of death without offering His abundant life as greater replacement value. What may seem like painful sacrifice, like saying no to the offer of physical love when someone temps me to look for sexual gratification outside God's guidelines of marriage, yields rewards like peace and self-respect, far greater than the momentary thrill I'm turning away.
“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:1-2, The Message).
While listening to my heart may lead to nothing but heartache, God doesn't leave me guessing about His best for me. I can trust that His plan is the most dependable one around. If I could sit down with the little girl I was 30 years ago and teach her a new song, I think it might go something like this. “Self-control cannot just depend on myself. It's listening to God's heart to find out what is smart. God-control is the very best way to go, so each day I choose to die to self.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Saake, know as “InfertilityMom,” is the author of Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage & Adoption Loss. She blogs about natural beauty, seeking hope in the midst of life’s heartaches, and life as a homeschooling mom. Jenni lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and XMRV, a retrovirus related to HIV. She is currently writing a book on the life of Paul as encouragement for facing chronic pain and illness.