Episode # 94

Warm. Real. Funny. Intelligent. Engaging. These are some of the words people use to describe Jennifer Shaw. But her favorite? “Christ-follower, absolutely,” she says. With a love for people and a heart to serve God, Jennifer wants nothing more than to point people toward the One who has changed everything in her own life.

Both a special needs and adoptive mom, Shaw is also a Telly Award-winning speaker, author, singer, songwriter, and five-time Billboard Top 40 artist who never thought she’d be doing what she’s doing now. “It honestly never occurred to me,” Jennifer said. “My background is entirely in classical music, and I was teaching at the university and singing with symphony. My plan was just to teach quietly somewhere and perform a little bit and raise my family. When I accepted the position of music director at a church, I never could have foreseen how things would change. In fact, I remember very clearly telling the lead pastor that I would do anything with music, but to never, ever ask me to speak from the stage because I wouldn’t do it!”

But everything did change. Through devastating and unexpected circumstances, Jennifer’s picture-perfect life came to a screeching halt with a series of life-changing events that she describes as her refining fire. “It taught me who I was. No one wants to go through hard times, but those life experiences are what taught me what was important. It taught me that life really is all about Jesus – knowing Him and making Him known. His faithfulness to me took my breath away, and it changed everything.”

As the subtitle of her book, Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song, suggests, there were other dramatic shifts in Jennifer’s life. Unexpectedly, her homegrown album of contemporary songs found success on the radio.

She began pouring the lessons God was teaching her into heartfelt lyrics and music, giving her message a new voice with which she could reach a broader audience. Her quick radio success, garnering a #3 hit on the national charts with her CD entitled Love Broke Through, solidified her direction as a touring Christian artist. Her self-penned songs have made her a Top 40 Billboard artist, and have been used in various choir and chorale musical projects by Lifeway Christian Resources. She is also in demand as a speaker for outreach and women’s events around the world, bringing her message of hope in difficult times and God’s absolute faithfulness to audiences everywhere.

Jennifer’s music is available on iTunes and she is active on Social Media with Facebook & Twitter.


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Notes & Quotes:

When everything in your life falls apart at the same time, that’s a refining fire”

“It was very hard to see other peoples perspectives of my autistic son. I just saw him as a my ‘blessing’ ”

“You never know God is all you need, until God is all you have” – Corrie TenBoom

“I never saw myself becoming a mom, it’s hilarious that I have six kids!”

“Whether I can understand Gods plan for me or not, I can trust Him”

Links from our Podcast Discussion: 

http://www.alsa.org – ALS Association