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Embracing Our Imperfections in Life & Leadership with Jennifer Edewaard

May 19, 2020

Today’s podcast guest is a dear friend of mine, Jennifer Edewaard. She believes we’re strongest when we embrace and stand in our imperfections with whole hearts, and we dove into the concept of imperfection and confidence.

Jennifer calls herself an imperfect wife, mama and truth-teller, and she’s passionate about living out God’s perfect purpose in her life, even in her own imperfection.

She’s a writer and speaker who is on fire for women to know God for themselves. She steps daily into the mission of bringing God glory and to come alongside women as they experience His abundant life.

The key to all of that? Jennifer says it’s simple – our imperfection! Jennifer doesn’t pretend to have it all figured out. But, she prays we’ll leave encouraged and equipped to step boldly forward, grounded in grace and glory – the only perfection that actually exists.

Jennifer Edewaard

Listen to the episode now!

What does it mean to live in our imperfections?

When we can embrace our imperfections we’re living abundantly in the grace God has given us. We’re putting ourselves in a position to need and seek His truth.

For Jennifer, she’s found freedom in this concept. She says embracing her imperfection has allowed her to focus on God, not herself, because life and business can be really imperfect and messy.

After journeying through infertility for several years, Jennifer had her son at 23-weeks.

“Sitting in the NICU with my son, I finally had this realization,” she said. “There is so much purpose in all of this imperfection, and He’s going to use every single piece of it.”

Fast forward several years, she now has a daughter as well. Looking back, Jennifer says she can hear God saying, ‘I need you here, and I need you here on purpose. I need you here with all of the broken and all of the mess.’

Is there really freedom in our imperfections, and what does that look like?

“When we are actually surrendering, that’s when we are fully alive and experiencing Him,” Jennifer says.

Something that has helped her is dialoguing and journaling so she can have an open communication with God.

She just lays it all out in her journal and she asks, ‘What does He want? What does He need from me? What does He see here?’

Surrendering for Jennifer means writing out her prayers, then taking it one step further. She puts His word in front of her and declares that over her life.

“I have to declare His goodness and remind myself of all that He has done for me and He actually doesn’t need me to do anything else,” she said. “He just wants us right there, surrendered and open to Him.”

What else do we talk about in this episode?

We dive deeper into the concept of leading from our imperfections as women, as business owners and as mothers. We also talk about:

  • How Jennifer restructures her priorities and routines so she can show up fully herself as a leader
  • How embracing our imperfections make us better leaders
  • The hierarchical evolution of teams in this season
  • Starting a church and tapping into imperfections as well as strengths
  • Praying for our team members and those who are following our lead
  • Integrating your faith into your business and team leadership

Powerful Quotes from Jennifer Edewaard

“It is so easy for us to carry the weight, the burden, the load. Our endurance can only take us so far, if we just rely on ourselves. I’ve learned throughout the years that so much of life is not in my control. At the end of the day, when I lay my head on the pillow, what do I actually have control over? The thoughts that I let come into my head.”

“You can’t pour out, you can’t encourage and equip the people you are leading who He has placed on purpose in your life without going to Him first.”

“When we can embrace our imperfections, while it may not seem we are being an example of strength, we actually are. It’s so important for the people around us to learn and glean from every experience we have with one another that we are not perfect. Being able to admit you made a mistake or shifted to quickly or need to pivot – being able to come to the table as who you are, even though you’re leading you’re serving.”

“One of the things I’m learning is, ‘how can we call up, not just call out?’ How can we use words to encourage one another by building each other up to be able to move forward in a process or a plan that we have set up.”

“Instead of sitting down to pray and always asking, ‘What’s next, God?’ I try to come from a place of, ‘What are you doing now? What do you need now? How do you need to use me now?’ It takes trust and obedience to be able to open your arms and be in surrender for what He has for your life.”

Resources mentioned in this episode

Try Softer by Aundi Kolber

You Are the Girl for the Job by Jess Connolly

Connect with Jennifer Edewaard

Follow Jennifer Edewaard on Instagram

Find encouragement and wisdom on Jennifer’s website

Find your next favorite thing in Jennifer’s shop!

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I'm Kaylan, leadership educator, podcaster & speaker

What are you searching for?

Reading suggestions

Crafting a 90-Day Onboarding Plan

Job Postings that Attract Top Talent

Mapping Your Leadership Style