Three Reasons Why You Can’t Move Forward

They hurt you. Badly. You feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. You’ve tried to move on and you want to be the bigger person. You want to move forward but you just can’t do it.

You can’t move forward because you keep looking back

“ Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19
It is hard to move forward when the movie reel of what has happened keeps playing over and over again in your head. You can see it like it was yesterday.. the wounds fresh… the cuts are deep. And you keep looking back.
In Genesis, two angels tell Lot and his family to get out of town. It’s a bad scene. The whole town has lost their minds and it isn’t a good place to be. They tell them not to look back. His wife didn’t listen, and when she looked back, she turned into a pillar of salt. She died y’all. Right there on the spot.
When we keep focusing on the past, we can die too. Maybe not a physical death, but dreams, hopes, and joy can die. If we truly want to move forward, we’ve got to stop looking back. God is doing a new thing.. look forward so you don’t miss it.

you can’t move forward because you’re afraid

You can’t deal with something you’re afraid of. Fear is crippling. It binds us up and causes us to do crazy things. Sometimes we can’t move forward because we are just plain scared to. It’s easier to stay in this place. Sure, it may hurt and it may be miserable, but we are used to it. The Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt when it got hard on the way to the promised land. They were more comfortable with the idea of going back to bondage, then moving into the unknown before them.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7



you can’t move forward because you haven’t forgiven them

I know they hurt you and if I could reach through this screen and give you a hug, I would. Because being hurt by someone is no fun. It can leave us trapped.

“A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.” Proverbs 18:19

When we are hurt and don’t forgive, we build up walls. These walls keep us trapped. It is hard to move forward when you’re trapped in the past. We have to choose to forgive so that we can be free. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. Make a choice today to forgive them so that you can be free to move forward.

 

Are you struggling with the season you are in? Do you feel like you will never be able to move forward? I’ve been there. I understand. You can grab a copy of my Fifteen Day Devotional… Habakkuk- Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion here.

How to Pray Bold Prayers

Praying sometimes feels like a task on the to-do list instead of a way to tap into the power of our Heavenly Father.

I grew up in church and was ready to give my weekly prayer requests. Does anyone have an unspoken prayer request? Hands would go up everywhere.

Or what about when one of your friends come up to you and share a big problem they are facing? I’ve been guilty of saying “I’ll be praying for you,” and then forgetting to pray for them that night during my nightly prayer routine (Cue the hand over the face emoji).

Can you relate? If you can then I have good news! There is a better way. What if I told you that your prayer life didn’t have to be routine? It could be life-giving, encouraging and could bring water to your dry, dry soul?

There is a way friend. We can pray bold prayers and see God move mountains every single day!

Understand that prayer is a never-ending conversation with God

I learned at a very young age that prayer was an important part of the daily routine. We said our meal-time prayers and our bed-time prayers every single day. Saying these prayers taught me that it was important to pray daily, but it didn’t teach me to build constant conversations with God. Prayer is more than something to check off of our to-do list.. it is a lifestyle to embrace.

Prayer is more than something to check off of our to-do list.. it is a lifestyle to embrace. Click To Tweet

Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

To pray bold prayers, we must never stop praying. We must develop a habit of praying without stopping. This just means that we will talk to God continually throughout our day.. about every little thing.

Include scripture in your prayers

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12

We have no power on our own. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing. 

But there is good news! God has given us his word as a tool to break chains and to fight against the darkness. In Isaiah God says that he sends his word out and it ALWAYS produces fruit. It WILL PROSPER everywhere he sends it.

We may not have any power, but we serve a God that has endless amounts of power. If his word doesn’t return void, then we can trust that when we add his word to our prayers, we will begin to see his power at work in our lives.

What are some things that you have been praying about but have not seen any improvement? Find a verse that speaks to whatever your need is and begin to add it to your prayers. You don’t have to have it memorized, write it down on an index card and repeat it throughout the day.

One that I like to use when I feel like giving up is Psalm 51:10 that says “Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Say your prayers out loud

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There is power in our words. Have you ever been hurt by what someone has said to you? Or have you ever felt the joy of an encouraging word?

What we speak has the potential to become who we are. 

If our words have power even though we are powerless, how much more power will the word of God have?

We must speak our prayers out loud. Everything has to bow to the name of Jesus. When we use his word and pray in his name, the floodgates of Heaven will be open and he will pour out his blessing on us.

Saying  prayers out loud remind us that He is in control.

There is just something  so encouraging about praying out loud.

If you aren’t used to doing it, it will feel silly at first. Do it anyway. I promise you won’t regret it. Push past the awkward, and watch God move in a bold way as you walk in boldness in your prayer life!

Are you having a hard time praying because you feel like God let you down? Have you been walking through a hard season and don’t know how to pray because of your pain and confusion? I’ve been there and I wrote a devotional just for you! You can grab a copy of my Fifteen Day Devotional… Habakkuk- Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion here.

 



6 Ways to be the Best Mom Ever

Being a mom is hard. Like really, really hard. Your days consist of snotty noses and boo-boos. Your nights consist of feedings and diaper changes and rocking.

There are lunches to be made and backpacks to be packed. There is homework to be done and games to be played.

With all the demands on moms it can sometimes be hard to put your best foot forward. Here are 6 surefire ways to be the best mom ever.

Recognize that motherhood is a gift

Can we be honest for a minute? Some days motherhood feels less like a gift and more like a chore. We can feel trapped in a sea of dirty dishes and dirty diapers. On top of all of the demands we face, the little humans we created require us to meet their emotional, physical and mental needs and we are left with a five minute shower and dry shampoo hair that lasts for days.

But the Bible says “Children are a gift from the Lordthey are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3

When we make the decision to recognize each day that children are a gift from the Lord then we can view even the least glamorous situations as a blessing.

Surrender your children to god

Surrender is so hard to do. It can seem nearly impossible to do when it comes to the tiny person you are responsible for. God calls us to live a lifestyle of daily surrender. Being responsible for someone and being in control of someone are two different things. We absolutely have a responsibility to take care of our children. But what happens when it is beyond our capacity? Our babies have a Heavenly father who loves them far more than we do. We can choose to surrender them daily to the Lord, knowing that he will work all things together for them because he loves and cares for them.

Be a safe place

Parenting is one of the greatest callings in the world. Parents have the opportunity to discipline their children and this can be a beautiful thing when done like Jesus. God is gentle and encouraging in his discipline. When parents correct their children in gentleness and love, it provides a safe space for the child to make mistakes and to grow into a person that can learn from their struggles.

Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them. - Bill Ayers Click To Tweet

Be committed to sanctification

Your child is looking to you Momma. You are the one who will teach them what a relationship with Jesus looks like. They are watching you and learning. The best thing that we can do for our babies is to continue to pursue Jesus for ourselves. The more time we spend with him, the more like him we will become. The more like Jesus we become, the more gentle and loving we will be.

speak life over them daily

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

Words have the power to build our children up and also to tear them down. No one can tear down your child with words quite as well as you can. Your child longs for a parent that will nurture and build them up even in their flaws. As mommas it can be tempting in the moment to say things out of frustration and anger, but our children are fragile and need loving correction more than they need harsh redirection.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

How much of your talk is unwholesome? The Bible says to only say what is helpful for building others up according to their needs… What if as a momma you resolved to only say things that encouraged and built your child up, even in heated conversations?

The impact would be life-changing.

Leave room for fun

Your child needs to know that you enjoy them. So much of parenting can be daunting. We have to leave room for fun. Create space in your life to play with your babies. The time you spend building the relationship with them is time that is never wasted. They are only in your house for a short time. When we have fun with them when they are younger, it will pave the way for a meaningful relationship with them when they get older. Give your children godly discipline and then sit with them and play. It will be worth it.

Give your children godly discipline and then sit with them and play. Click To Tweet

What advice do you have for your fellow mommas? Leave a comment below!

3 Christian Books That Changed My World

I love to read. I’m a Christian self-help junkie. If you looked in my house you would see tons and tons of books everywhere. With so many books available, what is a book junkie to do???

Don’t worry! I’ve put together a list of the three books that have changed my world the most.

Affiliate Links Included

present over perfect by shauna neiquist

If you have not read this book.. you need to go out and get it like yesterday! Shauna’s raw transparency is so refreshing. She literally just lays it all out there for anyone who struggles with giving more and more and more without ever stopping for breath. Shauna talks about how she was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually drained by all that she was doing. For anyone who struggles with this same thing, this book is a must! I found so much freedom on the pages of this book. You can buy the book here: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living.

Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

“As Jesus girls , we can’t walk in victory while wallowing in thoughts of defeat and rejection. We must carry with us the sweet aroma of knowing Jesus everywhere we go.” How good is that? Lysa Terkeurt is always so refreshing. Being a woman is hard. We compare ourselves to others and we also are so tempted to feel left out and uninvited. This book brings so much light to the issue of rejection. You can get a copy here:Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.

9 traits of a life-giving mom by sue detweiler

Being a mom is hard. Being a life-giving mom can sometimes seem even harder. As moms we put so much pressure on ourselves to do things the right way that we sometimes forget that Jesus is our strength and we can rest in him. Sue Detweiler does a great job of encouraging moms with practical truths found in the Bible. This book is a must have for every Christian mom. Grab your copy here:9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with Gods Best

 

Why it’s Okay to NOT be Okay

We live in an Instagram perfect world. In the culture we live in, it has become increasingly easy to dress up our lives with a pretty filter and witty hashtag. But what do you do when you are really not in a pretty place?

Did you know that it is okay that your are NOT okay? You don’t have to work so hard to look like you have it all together. In fact, Jesus rebuked the ones who did that in the Bible.

 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,[i] and then the outside will become clean, too.” Matthew 23:25-26

Why do we work so hard to clean up our outsides, while inside we are wasting away?

If you are honest, you are falling apart. Life has gotten the best of you and you don’t know where to go from here. Embrace this place… this is the place that God can do his greatest work.

Embrace this place... this is the place that God can do his greatest work. Click To Tweet

But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum? When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:16-17 

What if instead of prettying up our lives on the outside, we ran to Jesus with our messy insides?

 

We are not okay… and that is OKAY. Because in this not so okay place, we can lean into Jesus, knowing that he is our comforter and he will work all of this together for our good.

 

 

Are you struggling with the season you are in? Do you feel like you will never move away from this NOT so okay place? You can grab a copy of my Fifteen Day Devotional… Habakkuk- Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion here.

There is Purpose in Your Pain

Painful seasons are not fun. They are filled with emotions… tears… long conversations.. what ifs.. and why nots..
They are exhausting at best.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a no pain button? Like anytime we started to feel emotional or physical pain we would just press the button and it would immediately vanish?? Someone should invent that.. they would make a fortune!
Sadly, no one has, and the pain comes. It comes without warning and there we stand stuck in the middle of so many emotions and hurting like crazy.
Everything inside of us starts screaming, but on the outside we stand freakishly still.
This feeling of pain has been all too close in certain seasons of my life. One thing that it has taught me is that though all of our pains look differently on the outside, on the inside the hurt is very much the same. The raw, ugly, painful feelings are enough to take us under.
We’re not okay.. and if we’re honest this season is harder than we’d like to admit.
But somewhere in the midst of the hard, painful realities, there is Jesus. Somewhere Between the shouting at the circumstances and the screaming at the pain, his face calms the storm.
Seasons of pain are not easy, but I’m finding that the seasons of pain somehow bring peace. The hurt somehow opens our soul to healing. So even though pain is awful, we won’t fight it. We will embrace the feelings now, so that Jesus can bring us freedom from them later.
And maybe, just maybe, the pain will bring purpose.
I know what it is like to be in a painful season. In the most painful season of my life, I found this perfect little book tucked away in the Bible that literally gave me life through the pain. Habakkuk was so relatable to me during the worst time in my life.  If you are going through a hard season you can snag your copy of m Fifteen Day Devotional: Habakkuk… Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion below.

Three Things Every Wife Should Know

Marriage is such a sweet gift from the Lord, but can we be real for a minute?? Marriage isn’t always easy. Marriage is the merging of two imperfect people and so it will not always seem perfect. With so many moving factors in a marriage, how can a wife continue to be the wife God has called her to be?

God is your first love

I love a fairy tale ending. I’ve always believed in love. When I met my husband, he swooped me off of my feet… like movie style love. We had a whirlwind romance. We met, dated, got engaged, and then married all within six months. I was smitten y’all.

As much as I love my husband, and as much as he loves me, he is not my first love. We were created to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and then our neighbor as ourself. When we elevate our husband above our first love, things will feel out of order.

You husband won’t complete you

You’ve heard the cliche…. “You complete me.” Or how about “He’s my better half?” When we view our husbands as someone who completes us, we will always be asking them to fill a void that they were not created to fill. Our husbands should be our partners, but not our other halves.

Our husbands should be our partners, but not our other halves. Click To Tweet

We are only made whole through Jesus. When we are looking to him for everything we need, then everything our husband does becomes a fun little bonus.



 

Wives were created to encourage

Being a wife is hard. Sometimes our husbands make dumb decisions. Sometimes they are less than romantic, and marriage is less than glamorous. It is so easy as a wife to begin to try to fix or change our husbands. “If he would just do it this way…” “If you would have listened to me to begin with…” “I told you so…”

God created the woman to be a helper for her man. We were created to help him as he walks in his purpose. So many times we think we are helping, when in reality we are controlling (ouch.) As a wife, we must remember that our job is to love and encourage through grace and humility, knowing that God will sort out their imperfections.

So go forth pretty lady and love your man. Encourage him in his calling. Support him in his purpose.

Marriage is a blessing. Enjoy the journey.

3 Things I’ve Learned about Pain

Pain is no fun… like absolutely none at all. It is excruciating and unpredictable… The last four months have been filled with pain that I’ve never known before and they have taught me a lot about what pain is, what it isn’t and how to cope.

I know I can’t be the only person who has been betrayed, broken, and bruised. If you have been in a painful place or are now, I hope these three things I have learned will help you through this season!

Pain is unpredictable

If you had told me six months ago that I would be in this place of pain, I would have probably laughed. The pain that I am feeling is the direct result of being betrayed by the person I trusted the most. I knew they would have never hurt me, but somehow they did.

I would have told you that there was absolutely no possible way that this person would break my heart and I would have been wrong.

The truth is that pain comes without warning.. It’s unpredictable, unpreventable and undeniable. And so… the pain comes when we least expect it and it shatters everything that we thought we knew. Crushes it right to the core..

In painful seasons all we can do is cling to verses like

 “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

Pain makes it hard to pray…

The first month after realizing I had been betrayed it was so hard to pray about it. God had a purpose and I knew he would get me through it but I wasn’t ready to let him..

I was mad…I was hurting.. I was crying.. I was shaking.. I was numb..

I wasn’t okay by any stretch of the imagination. I remember saying things like “I know God has a plan and that he is going to work this out for my good.” but in my heart I wasn’t so sure.

There was nothing I could do to fix it and that was okay.

God gave me my time… He held me when I didn’t know what to pray and he waited for me to be ready for healing. Eventually that day came… It wasn’t overnight.. It was more than a month after the pain started and I finally found myself in that place.. I found myself saying “Lord heal me from the hurt they caused.” and he began to heal me… but that took time too! It was another two months after that until I was finally able to choose to forgive the people who had hurt me.. and I’m sure it will be another few months or years before I am completely healed because….

 Pain is a process…

When you have been hurt deeply and pain becomes such a big part of your heart, it is a process to get to the other side..

There is no right answer.. there is no ten step program to quicken your healing process. There is only Jesus. The process is long and unsteady, but Jesus is stable and secure throughout the journey.

 

Each time I found myself saying “God I’m not okay.” I would hear him whisper “I know baby, but you will be.. I’ll hold you until you are.” and he did.. and he does.. and he will until it’s over. He will give me a word to get me through… a friend to hug me when it hurts..  a light to shine into the darkness… a hope when I feel hopeless.

 

Pain will affect us all at some point in our lives because we live in a sinful world. People fail us… family members die… jobs are lost… husbands leave.. children run..  and hurt enters in each time..

The only sure thing in this world is Jesus. Click To Tweet

If you are going through a painful season, I’m so sorry! I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you I know how you feel.. I wish I could tell you that it is all going to be okay.. All I can really do is tell you that Jesus won’t abandon you here. This is not the end of your story.. walk with him.. Let yourself feel the things you feel, hurt the way you do, and let him carry you to the other side.

Have you been personally affected by pain? Are you walking through it right now? I’d love to walk through it with you. Email me at jordan@jordantwhitlock.com or comment below. You don’t have to do it alone.

Top Ten Baby Products You Desperately Need

So you are having a baby, or already have one, and you are overwhelmed by all of the baby items. What do you really need? What can you live with out? Do they really need ALL of the things on the registry list? How do you know which brand to buy? What works the best?

The questions that come along with preparing for a baby are endless. I remember a year ago when my husband and I were preparing our registry we looked at car seats for an hour. Just car seats. It was intense to say the least.

Today I’m putting together a list of the top ten baby items you desperately need. These items were game changers for us in the first few months with our little guy and I’m hoping that this list alleviates some of the stress you may be feeling.Affiliate links included in this post 🙂

  1. The Milk Snob Nursing Cover was a life-saver! I was so self-conscious about nursing with people around but this cover kept me completely covered and stress free! It also was great for keeping baby boy covered so that germs wouldn’t get him when we went for those first few doctor’s appointments. Every new mom needs a couple of these even if you aren’t breastfeeding. It’s the perfect baby cover!

 

2. The Graco Dream Suite Bassinet was the absolute best bassinet! We loved that it had wheels just like the bassinet at the hospital. We could roll Bryton around to any room with no problems. Also, it turns over into a changing table! It’s the perfect little baby station! I would roll him right up next to our bed at night and could see him through the mesh sides. I was so sad when he outgrew it! 🙁

 

3. Swaddling a newborn baby is a tricky skill to learn. My husband tried to master it, but I never could. When we did finally get baby B swaddled, he would break free. He was a strong little thing. The SwaddleMe Original Swaddle Blankets fixed this problem! These velcro swaddle blankets would keep little man nice and cozy the entire time he slept. Game Changer!

 

4. The Graco SnugRide Click Connect Infant Car Seat was perfect because it clicked easily into all of our cars without having to re-install it each time! We made sure that all of the grandparents had a base too! If you get one of these carseats, it will come with one base, but you will need additional bases for each car. You can order the click connect base here: Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30/35 LX Infant Car Seat Base, Black by Graco

 

5. We also loved our Graco Click Connect Stroller because our carseat fit down into it perfectly. When I was on Maternity Leave, I would take little man to the park to walk before lunch. This was such a great way for me to get a little sunshine. 🙂



 6. White noise was such an important part of trying to keep our little guy to sleep. It drowns out the outside noise. We love our Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Nightlight Soother-Owl! This cute little white noise machine has 8 different sounds and also has built in night lights for those late night feedings! Win-win!

7. When we began transitioning to the crib, I needed to be able to see and hear my baby boy. I’m sure you can relate. I checked our Summer Infant PANORAMA Digital Color Video Baby Monitor the WHOLE TIME. I loved being able to see Bryton from the other room!

 

 

8.We love our WubbaNub Pacifier. At first I really wasn’t sure if I would useit very much. But the older Bryton got, the more he loved it! I’m so glad we received one at our shower!

9. I thought that I wanted a Bumbo Seat but then we received a Summer Infant 3-Stage SuperSeat as a gift and I’m so glad we did! This little seat has removable attachments and a removable tray. It’s more than just a seat and our little man has gotten so much use out of it.

 

10. The last item on the list is the Fisher-Price On-the-Go Baby Dome! I have had so many people ask me where I got this! It is literally the best item for busy families on the go. We have a Traditional Pack ‘N Play that we use at home, but it was so tedious to take down and put back up. The travel dome can be carried with one hand and set up literally takes seconds. We love it!

 

There you have it! I don’t know how we would have made it these last seven months without these baby items! They seriously have made this parenthood thing so much easier!

What is your favorite baby item? Leave a comment below!

Dear Mom Who Feels Like a Failure…

Dear Mom who feels like a failure…

I see you trying so hard to be the best mom for your kids. I see you striving to make sure you are doing this mom thing the “right” way.

Some days you feel like you are Supermom… but then there are days like today. Days when you feel like you can’t win for losing. You lose your cool, your grace and your sanity. And you want to give up. You don’t want to screw up the babies God has blessed you with. On days like today, you are all too familiar with your humanity and you begin to feel like the biggest failure.

Everywhere you look, it seems like the moms around you have it all together with their Instagram perfect lives, and you begin to feel like you will never measure up. But momma, you don’t have to measure up to someone else’s picture perfect life. God knit YOUR babies together in YOUR womb.

Let. that. sink. in.

God gave you nine months to carry your child in your womb. During this time, a beautiful bond was formed. God perfectly wired your baby and prepared your heart to raise them. Don’t feel like a failure when you don’t think you measure up. You are raising a tiny human. Like a real one.. with specific talents, personality, and quirks.There isn’t a one size fits all approach to motherhood. The only way we can do this thing is through the love of Jesus.

When the enemy tries to steal your joy, kill your hope, and destroy your authority as a mom, cry out to the Heavenly Father. He is the only perfect parent.. and he extends grace to you and to me in our imperfection. Surrender the areas that you are struggling with to the Father. He will give you strength in your weakness.

You are not a failure. You are doing great!

Keep up the good work Momma,

~Your fellow Momma

*Are you struggling with always feeling anxious, angry and overwhelmed as a mom? Do you ever feel frazzled and stressed to the max? I just finished the book 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with Gods Best and it was amazing! It brought so much freedom and truth. You can order a copy from Amazon here: 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with Gods Best

*Post contains affiliate links. 🙂