The Nail in the Spindle: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Jenny Marrs


Jenny Marrs is a light in my actual, real-life world, and it is an honor to have her words here today. All I can say is that her words aren’t mere words. There are real acts of love behind her words. People across the sea have been changed because of the love that keeps her and her family here in Arkansas. Please welcome Jenny Marrs to the Wild in the Hollow Guest Post Series!

The staircase conceals its brokenness. The fourth spindle from the left. At first glance, you may miss how it wobbles and turns. Just last night, a friend casually mentioned her affinity toward that broken spindle. I hadn’t considered it before. I had only noted yet another repair. I hadn’t seen the way that spindle, in its brokenness, represented more.I hadn’t appreciated the way it continues to hold steadfast to its anchoring nail regardless of the tugging and twirling of little hands seeking amusement and levity, nor had I seen the way it serves as a reminder to guests in our one-hundred-year-old home that this is a place where we welcome imperfect people into an imperfect space. After all, true, authentic, Kingdom-seeking community can only be forged through the revealing of brokenness.

The last several years have been wrought with storms. At times, the pulling and tugging of my soul left me weary and depleted. The spiritual warfare my family entered into left us all bruised and battered. Ripped off course. Yet, He held us.

Jesus remained our anchor and our foundation. We often flailed in the wind. We lost sight of Hope and stumbled toward despair. Yet, He was there. Holding on.

Just like that nail at the bottom of the spindle. Against all odds, He remained. Torn from every familiar thing and placed into our family, my daughter has walked in the pain of persistent grief and debilitating fear. Through the darkness, His light illuminates her way.

These days, as we lay side by side singing “Jesus loves me” before bedtime, she often turns to me and shares profound truths in her soft, little raspy voice. She whispers in the dark, “God never left me, momma. He carried me home.”

Oh, baby girl. He will never leave. He will hold on, just like the persistent nail at the bottom of that broken spindle in our kitchen. Against all odds, He will remain steadfast.

When all is quiet after the littles have gone to bed, I often stand in my kitchen and look around at the toys scattered, the dust bunnies in the corner, the chips in the paint removed from flying matchbox cars, or that broken old spindle and breathe in immense gratitude. These, the signs of a life well lived, are abundant.

Brokenness amidst beauty. Joy intermingled with sorrow, laughter echoing in our four walls after a season of pain.

The broken way always leads us home.

c3dfb644-7f93-4f2a-bc38-406774f3afb6Jenny Marrs is a wife and momma of four. She is passionate about fostering authentic community, social justice and adoption. She and her husband founded Feed Their Tummies in order to minister to orphaned and vulnerable children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She loves deep conversations with close friends, thrifting at her favorite “junk shops” and sipping from a steaming mug of fresh pressed coffee on her porch swing. She finds herself laughing on a daily basis at the chaos of her life as an accidental farm girl with four littles under five and too many animals to even count.

She blogs at where she encourages her readers to seek joy in the midst of the ordinary and relentlessly pursue hope even when brokenness is abundant. She also chronicles her daily hilarity on Instagram.

Beautiful Truth from @amberchaines ! #WildInTheHollow #Jesus #Hope

A photo posted by Jimmy Ellingson (@jim_jam_co) on

I’m hearing more and more from readers of Wild in the Hollow as further proof that our stories can mean a great deal to others. Even when the reader’s story is very different, it’s profound to find common pain, healing, and desire.

If you haven’t yet read Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home, you can find it all over the place. Look in Barnes & Noble, at Amazon, and through Givington’s.

About me


All Things New: Hope in the Waiting
February 04, 2015
Living Means Waiting: On a Dress and a Candle
January 19, 2015
When God Inhabits Praise
January 13, 2014
When You Want Your Picket Fence: Kingdom Come
January 23, 2013
Kingdom Come
January 02, 2013
When You’re Low
June 28, 2012
Do we have hope?
April 26, 2012
On Community, Suffering, and Hope
November 15, 2011
What’s in Hope
November 11, 2011


Vicki Bruening
Reply January 6, 2016

Beautiful truth. Jesus always turns the darkness into light. Love these words so much.

Jill McSheehy
Reply January 6, 2016

Beautiful. This a message God has been teaching me lately as well.

Ruth Ann Bartelheim
Reply January 10, 2016

Are there discussion questions available for Wild in the Hollow? My Chrisian Sisters bookclub is reading it this month and will meet 1/15/16 . Thank you for your beautifully written story of brokenness.....

    Reply January 11, 2016

    Ruth Ann, I am working on that now! When will you guys need them?

Reply January 13, 2016

Great post! Great reminder that God can work through the broken.

Talar Dome Lesion
Reply February 3, 2016

Diets high in fat and protein are usually effective for people in losing weight.
The mother will nurse them for 3-4 months until they are
able to swim on their own. Only a small percentage of the population is born with foot problems, the American Podiatric Medical Association believes.

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