Grace in Hard Seasons

Some seasons in life are harder than others. Sometimes I feel like I’m broken… Something is wrong with me.. I need a reset. Because in this season I missed it somewhere.

But then there’s Jesus. He tells me I haven’t missed it. The ship didn’t sail. I didn’t miss the mark.

Because see, there’s this grace that exudes from the hands of Jesus. This grace knew I’d be in this season and that I would feel this broken… This grace gently carries me above the rising waters.

The grace of Jesus picks me up and carries me when I know I can’t carry myself.

He knew I’d have this season. He knew that in this season, I wouldn’t be able to carry myself through. But he also knew that in this season he would get the chance to do a new thing.. to show me something I desperately needed to see, grace…

So in the hard seasons of life, I’ll raise my white flag and lay down my pride and pick up the grace of my sweet Jesus.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

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Five Verses to Help with Anxiety

Have you ever struggled with anxiety? Big or Small? I have and if I’m honest, it sometimes is a daily struggle. Merriem-Webster defines anxiety as being afraid or nervous especially about what may happen.

Did you catch that??

Being afraid or nervous especially about what MAY happen. MAY… not will… MAY.

Isn’t it crazy that anxiety is caused most of the time by things that haven’t even happened and in all reality may NEVER happen??? I think sometimes we walk in fear because we connect the pain we have felt to the fear of being hurt or damaged again. It’s hard not to be anxious during heavy seasons. Habbakuk understood this. If you want to dig deeper into the story of Habbakuk you can do that here. 🙂

So how do we combat these anxious thoughts? Pray. And then pray some more.

Here are my five favorite verses to pray over my life when I’m anxious.

1. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

This verse reminds us to stop and remember that God is listening.

2. “ Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your  life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:2-4

When we set our mind on things above, and remember that our life is hidden with Christ, we can release the anxious thoughts surrounding our situation.

3. ” Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

It brings peace knowing that God will not let us be shaken in a world that looks hopeless. He will sustain us through each circumstance.

4. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lordmake me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Our minds run wild in the evening hours. I literally speak this verse every night before I go to sleep. It reminds me that God has me and he keeps me wrapped safely in his love.

5. “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Sometimes our anxiety stems from the battle we are facing. Speaking Exodus 14:14 over our lives reminds us that God will fight for us… and that takes the pressure of and gives us the freedom to walk in peace.

What is your favorite verse to pray when you are anxious? Leave a comment!

Following the God of Promise

God is a God of promise. The Bible is filled with promises from our Father. The thing about following a God of promise… it requires faith. Today I was reading in the book of Genesis about Abram, later known as Abraham. Now there is someone who God made a promise to… and a pretty big one. But Abram didn’t see the fruits of that promise for YEARS!

Genesis 12:1-4

” The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.

Can we just take a minute to talk about the fact that God told Abram to leave basically everything he had ever known, to go into a land he had not yet seen? God said go to the land I WILL SHOW you… WILL SHOW.. Future tense y’all.

Then the God of promises gives Abram a promise.

And Abram went… He left everything he knew to follow God into the unknown trusting in a promise he could not yet see.

We all love promises right? I mean I want to take hold of the promises God has for me… 100% but am I really truly brave enough to leave everything I know to go after promises I cannot tangibly see??

I want to be.. I want to have that kind of faith. What made Abram able to walk out in that kind of faith? He was just a person like you and me. But God stayed close to him. In each new place, God spoke to Abram. God was constantly speaking to him and giving him the words he needed to step out in faith.

What is your promise from God? What is your faith walk? Today take some time to listen to the God of promises. Maybe he wants to speak a new promise over you, or maybe he just wants to reignite a promise in you from long ago. Either way, he is ready to speak over you and walk through each step with you.

Why I Stopped Walking in my Calling

Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated with your mundane life? You see other people around you and they look like their life is so much more exciting. Their family, house, job, marriage, and even their calling and gifts begin to make you feel inferior. You begin to pressure yourself to be that. You begin trying to conform to who they are… and you begin to feel miserable.

I’ve been there recently. I’ve been trying to fit into someone else’s box. I’m not ever sure why. It just sort of happened. Maybe you can relate.

The beautiful thing about our Father God is that when we begin to start to sway from the path he’s called us to walk, he gently and graciously brings us back. Don’t you love grace?

I began to feel frustrated with myself and if I’m honest, a little frustrated with God. Why is my life not working out? Why do I feel so basic? Why do I feel miserable? Why is this SO hard? (I’m just being super honest y’all.)

This is when God began to speak to my heart. He said “Jordan, your not walking in your calling.” “What? But I’m writing.. I’m blogging.. I’m trying God?” “You know I’ve called you to speak and I’ve called you to pour into your community. I want you to share me through blogging and writing, but I don’t want you to hide behind it.” Ouch.

You see, I didn’t know until this conversation that I had started to hide. I refused to walk in my calling because I got hurt… hurt bad. I was vulnerable with people. I was sharing and speaking. I was putting myself out there.. and they used my vulnerability against me. It hurt. It made me want to run and hide. And so I did. I guess somewhere along the way I just thought it would be safer to share my heart with you behind this computer screen, thanIMG_2671 to have to sit down face to face and be authentic.

I stopped using the gifts God had specifically given me… and little by little I began to dry up. I didn’t even know it had happened. But it had.

It’s easy to put up walls, it’s nearly impossible to tear them back down. But here I am… slowly chipping away at the walls I let grow just a little too high. It’s a process and that’s okay. Because this tearing down process, it’s beautiful.. It’s in this place that God is able to speak to my broken, dry places and call them back to life again.

Maybe you’re here too. All dry and shriveled up with walls around your heart too high to climb over. Maybe you’ve been hurt… Maybe you’ve shut down… I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. We can fight through and tear these walls down. It won’t be easy. Nothing worth having ever is. But the Lord will graciously lead us back to a place of peace.

~Can you relate to today’s topic? Leave a comment or send us a private message.. We are all in this together!

(Would you like for Jordan to speak at your next church event? Could your ladies benefit from this topic? Email us for more information.)

3 Reasons Why the Dishes are NEVER CLEAN

I did the dishes this morning… and now the sink is overflowing again. :/ And so I’m going to have to do them again this afternoon.. It’s the never ending cycle of dirty dishes… like a merry go round I can’t get off of. Anyone else relate to my struggle?

3 Reasons Why the Dishes areNEVER CLEAN.png

So I find myself asking the question “WHY ARE THE DISHES NEVER CLEAN?” I mean, where is the dish fairy when you need her? (Oh wait.. I guess that would be me. Sigh.) So I have been sitting here feeling sorry for myself and my endless pile of dirty dishes… and the Lord begins to speak…

And so today I want to share with you the 3 reasons why the dishes are NEVER CLEAN.

#1- I’m Loving my People

My husband works long hours to provide for my family. He teaches Elementary PE.. Coaches Elementary Archery, High School Basketball, and we just opened a Basketball facility in our home town. Talk about a busy man! We also had our first baby boy back in July. The Lord has really been teaching me about his sacrificial love for others in this season. I want the dishes to be completely clean all the time.. but when my husband comes home and I haven’t seen him and he wants to spend time watching our favorite TV show curled up on the couch, I am choosing to say no to the need to have perfectly clean dishes, and yes to quality time with my husband. When my baby boy is fussy and needs to be held, I’m saying no to having perfectly clean dishes, and yes to providing the comfort he needs. 1 John 3:16 NLT says “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

If Christ laid down his life for me, I can most certainly lay down my desire to have a perfectly clean kitchen for the sake of others.   Tweet: If Christ laid down his life for me I can certainly lay down my desire to have perfectly clean dishes for others @jordantwhitlock

#2 I’m Learning to Trust God

When we first got married, we ate out A LOT. My husband is a super picky eater, and I struggle with being disciplined so eating out was always just a quick fix. In this season of a new business venture, we have to make smart financial decisions. Even though eating out is quick and easy in the moment, it will not produce life for us in the future. And so.. I am making an intentional effort to cook.. a lot. I’m getting a chance to learn new recipes and supply food for my family out of the abundant supply God has given us. There is less of us wondering “What’s for supper?” and more of us eating the food that God has so beautifully supplied.

Luke 12:29-31  “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.”

#3 I’m Enjoying the Life God has Given Me

We spend so much of our lives stressing about what isn’t perfect. We miss the people right in front of us because we are worried about the mess around us.
Tweet: We miss the people right in front of us because we are worried about the mess around us @jordantwhitlock

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says “So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” The need to have perfectly clean kitchens is robbing us of enjoying ourselves. So I’m deciding to be okay with dirty dishes sometimes. I’m choosing to eat and drink and enjoy the gifts God has given me. 

Embrace the mess today and let go of the need to be perfect. In letting go, we will finally be free to enjoy the gifts God has given us.

September Favorites

Hello faithful followers! We are expanding jordantwhitlock.com. and I am so excited to not only write about my faith, but my family and my favorite products as well. Today I want to share some of the things that I’m loving this month! I’ve included affiliate links for my favorite items so that you can easily find them 🙂

Favorite Book: Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. This book is literally giving me life! We spend so much time trying to be perfect for others that we spin out of control. Shauna’s authentic words give us permission to breathe and to be PRESENT with our People! It is a must read for anybody struggling with that perfectionism bug like me!Present-Over-Perfect-Leaving-Behind-Frantic-for-a-Simpler-More-Soulful-Way-of-Living-0.jpg

One of my favorite quotes from the book: “Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem. Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle or fairytale. Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.”

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Favorite Beauty Products:

I’m LOVING my Vitamin C Breakthrough Night Cream from Spa Cosmetics!pure night cream
Pure Vitamin C+ AntiAging Night Cream, 50 ml (All Skin Types)./ Dead Sea Minerals by Spa Cosmetics LTD (made in Israel).This cream goes on so smoothly and feels sensational! My skin looks firmer and more hydrated than ever! 🙂

I’m also loving my Maybelline New York Fit Me! Concealer, 10 Light, 0.23 Fluid Ounce! This concealer is perfect for those mornings when my little guy kept me up and I need a little brightening under the eyes!

Favorite Recipe:

Right now I’m home on maternity leave and I’m using it as an opportunity to try new recipes that I haven’t had a chance to try! I’m loving experimenting in the kitchen and have found a couple of recipes that I’m obsessed with!

crack chicken spaghetti font

This recipe I found over at http://www.plainchicken.com! This Crack Chicken Recipe is AMAZING! My husband is obsessed 🙂 It’s cheesy, gooey and simply the best weeknight meal! I have used canned chicken when in a rush and it was just as amazing! You can find the recipe at http://www.plainchicken.com/2017/07/crack-chicken-spaghetti.html

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s favorites! I can’t wait to try new things and bring you the review! Leave a comment with you favorite book, skin care or recipe! I’d love to try it out 🙂

~ Jordan

When the World Looks Dark and Scary

It seems like every other day there is a new opportunity to be filled with fear. Natural disasters taking place all over… famines in third world countries… shootings… anger… chaos… mass chaos everywhere you turn…

With so many things going on in our world right now, there has been increased talk about it being the end times. I don’t know about you, but just the thought of the end times makes me feel anxious. Not because I’m not excited to see Jesus return, but because of the unknown. The Bible talks about the end days and how bad it will be.

In Luke 21 Jesus talks about the end times.

He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’[b] and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.[c] ….

16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.[d] 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win

25 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man[e] coming on a cloud with power and great glory.28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

And it seems like we are in those times. And we get wrapped up in our heads wondering and talking and fearing the end times….

But the Bible also says in Matthew 24:36-44

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

And so today as I sit here and see all the news.. and hear all the fear… I’m asking God to speak.

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And He is reminding me…

He is reminding me that He is in control…

He is reminding me that we have an enemy of our soul who is desiring to steal our days with crippling fear…An enemy that knows that our human hearts are afraid of the unknown so he tries to steal our todays with fears about the “end times.”

He is reminding me that he has not given us a spirit of fear but of love.

He is reminding me that He is a good father.

He is reminding me that each day is drawing us closer to Him.

He is reminding me to pursue my purpose every day.

He is reminding me that history is filled with tragic events because we live in a fallen world.

He is also reminding me that Jesus is the hope of the world. We are the carriers of his light.

Tomorrow is never promised, but that doesn’t mean we must live in fear today.

Today is a gift. Today is our time. This is the day the Lord has made so let us rejoice and be glad in it.

So today, instead of being crippled by fear, let’s be encouraged in our faith. Let’s be reminded that in this world we will have troubles, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome this world.

When God calls You to an Unfamiliar Place

Yesterday I went for a walk at the park… a park that I walk at frequently. I’m a creature of habit and I always walk the route that doesn’t go under the shade trees, because ticks and stuff.. gross! I NEVER go under the trees.

But on yesterday’s walk, when I got to the fork between the path into the trees and the normal path under the sun, God began to speak to my heart. He told me to take the path under the shade trees.

Immediately fear set in. “But God, that is different… that is uncomfortable.. I don’t want to go that way.”

Never the less, I embarked down the shade tree path. As I began walking under the trees on this unfamiliar path, there was the most refreshing breeze. The sun had been blazing and for a momma with a five week old baby in a stroller, it had been a struggle down my familiar path. The breeze felt so nice. Immediately God began to speak.

“Jordan, sometimes in life I call you to walk down unfamiliar paths. When I call you to walk down  bear paths remember that I know the whole story. The unfamiliar path I call you to walk down just may be the very path you must take to find the rest your soul needs.”

My heart immediately felt relief… replenished… and renewed..

I continued down the unfamiliar path taking in the views. I felt accomplished.. proud of myself for listening when God said “This is the way,  now walk in it.” But then something unexpected happened. I began to notice a short cut in the path. A nice little cutoff road that would take me back to my familiar trail. I immediately wanted to take it. I began to think “I already heard God speak.. that was so nice, now I can take the short cut back to what is familiar. I learned the lesson, now I can go back to my normal route.”

But the Holy Spirit began to urge me to go further. He said “Jordan, we’ve come this far down this path, don’t you want to see what more I have for you on this journey?”

And I did…. I so desperately wanted to see what else he had for me.

Isn’t that how we are in life? We avoid the unfamiliar. We shrink back in fear when God calls us to walk down the unfamiliar path. Then, if we do somehow find the Holy courage to take the unfamiliar road, you can be certain there will be shortcuts back to familiar at every turn.. opportunities to take the easy route…

Today I encourage you… go down the unfamiliar path… don’t take the shortcuts.. and maybe, just maybe, you will find the joy and rest you’ve been looking for all along.

Reconciled Week Six Day Five

I can’t believe our six week journey is coming to an end today! I have so enjoyed this six weeks together! As we bring our journey to an end I want to spend time today talking about our God dreams. We all have dreams for our lives… vision… a plan… The dreams you have for your life are on purpose. God created you distinctly you. He wired you with your own desires and gifts that make you beautiful in your own way! Part of the reconciled life is a life following the God dreams you have!

Proverbs 16:1-3 “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”

Commit your God dreams to God and he will show you how to achieve them.

Reconciled Week Six Day Four

Our theme verses for this study are 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NLT “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

These verses have so many different levels and today let’s take time to talk about verse 18. In verse 18 it says God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. For us to be able to reconcile people to Christ, we have to be around people. We must take the time to connect with the people around us. As we go to our jobs, our schools, our grocery stores, our churches, we must go with eyes and hearts open to seeing the people around us. I think a lot of us have a tendency to become so focused on our problems that we don’t notice the people around us. If we take the time to see the people around us, our problems will start to seem smaller somehow. We might begin to realize that we aren’t the only ones going through something, and maybe, just maybe, we will begin to find courage for the battle because of the people around us.

1 Peter 5:9 says “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Let’s take time to see the people around us, knowing that others might be going through the same or similar sufferings than us, and let’s use our stories to connect with others through transparency and love.