The Joys of Growth

Whitney Saville and family

A little over one year ago, the Lord began to place a burden in my heart to create a product that mean something to women. The longing for the product was that it would be a tool to draw women nearer to the heart of God and point them to Jesus Christ. Out of much praying, striving, and seeking, the Give Me Jesus Journal was created and launched in May. Little did I know, this journal would be more than a notebook. It would become a community for women to gather around and sit at the feet of Jesus. Watching the Give Me Jesus journal be sent all over the world has been humbling and overwhelming. The growth has been an unexpected glorious praise to the Lord! Around Christmas, I realized very quickly that this business has grown beyond what my husband I can handle on our own. We were working overtime to get packages sent and constantly running out of journals. With a baby boy coming in May, we knew something had to change. We began to pray earnestly that God would direct us in the next step of the business. For about two months we prayed in secret with no idea how God might provide. At the end of December, I sat with my sister and mom at Panera and wrote down big dreams for 2015. One of those dreams was to expand Life Lived Beautifully so we could reach more women in the world. I have learned throughout the process of creating this journal and owning a small business that big dreams are an act of surrender and worship to God. We dreamed the dream and laid it at the altar.

At the beginning of February, the Lord connected the dots of His perfect plan. We expanded the business and hired our Shop Manager and part-owner of the business, Whitney Saville. I cannot even express to you how excited I am about this step! Whitney and I have been best friends since the 5th grade. We went to middle school, high school, and college together and grew up at the same church. I have traveled to different countries with Whitney, experienced every hurdle of life with her, and we have both been in each other's weddings. I couldn't dream of a better business partner and shop manager and know that then Life Lived Beautifully will be blessed by her!

Gretchen + Whitney
Gretchen + Whitney

Since middle school, I have referred to Whitney as "wise Whitney." Even in our younger years, she displayed a deep hunger for the truths of God. She modeled for me and so many others what it looks like to follow Christ no matter the cost. She was the first person to share John Piper's quote with me: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." She truly is a woman who seeks God's heart and she has a big heart for the ministry of Life Lived Beautifully! Without further adieu, meet the newest addition to the Life Lived Beautifully team, Whitney Saville!

Introduce yourself like we are having a cup of coffee together. What kind of coffee/tea would you drink?

Hello! My name is Whitney Saville. I am a follower of Jesus. I have been married to my best friend, Mike for 5 years, and we have two little boys. Hudson is almost 3. He’s a sweet boy with a love for music and being outside. Noah is 17 months and definitely a mama’s boy (which I love). He is full of energy and always moving. We live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and I am living out my dream of being a stay at home mom. If we were meeting for coffee, I would skip the coffee and tea and go straight for the muffins. 1) Because I’m not a big fan of coffee or tea and 2) because I love food. :)

What does a normal day in your life look like?

My days are typically full and busy. As most mama’s know, some days I have a spotless house and have accomplished everything on my to-do list; my boys are happy and have had a fun day playing with their mom. But most days, I am on my feet all day, running around like crazy, and get to the end of the day and wonder what in the world I accomplished.

Whitney Saville (Photo by Nancy Ray)
Whitney Saville (Photo by Nancy Ray)
What is your definition of a "life lived beautifully”?

When I think of a life lived beautifully, I think of a life that points to Jesus. Someone who continually dies to self and makes much of Christ. It’s easy to think that you have to accomplish huge things for the Lord for Him to be pleased with you, but I think a life lived beautifully is a humble one that just does the simple tasks the Lord has given her with a grateful heart and a desire to please Him above all else.

When did you start following Jesus?

Jesus saved me when I was 7 years old. I grew up in a Christian home where my parents lived out their faith and taught me what it meant to follow Christ. I knew in my head that I was a sinner, but when I was 7 years old, the Lord showed me my sin. For the first time, I was aware of my deep need for his forgiveness and mercy. I told my parents I wanted to be a Christian, and my dad led me to the Lord. I continued to grow in my walk with Christ and when I was in middle school, He began showing me that being a Christian isn’t just about Jesus being my Savior; it’s about Him being Lord of my life. He continues to show me and teach me what it looks like to truly follow Him.

Why did you decide to join Life Lived Beautifully? 

Because I grew up in a Christian home, I have heard my entire life how important it is to read the Bible. And although I would read the Bible and read commentaries, it wasn’t until I started using the Give Me Jesus Journal last year that I really started to understand WHY it’s important to read the Word. The journal helped me begin to study Scripture in a way I never had before. I used to open up the Bible and read some verses, but the journal helped me to be so much more intentional with reading Scripture. The Word of God really became alive to me in a new way last year, and I know now what it means to intimately know Christ and walk with Him every day-to think and meditate on the Word throughout the day and let it change my thoughts and mold me and shape me into the woman God has called me to be.

I have experienced first hand the way God can use the Give Me Jesus Journal and the products that Gretchen has created to disciple believers and make them more like Christ. Getting to work with my best friend is an added bonus for sure, but I truly believe in this business and how God can use it to bring more glory to Himself.

What are some of your favorite books?

One of my all time favorite series is the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn. Gretchen and I share a love for these books and the way the Lord used them in our lives in late middle school and early high school. If you are middle school to college age, I highly recommend them.

I also love Heaven by Randy Alcorn. It gave me such an excitement for heaven and showed me how much an eternal perspective can change how we live our short lives here on earth.

A few of my other favorites are Radical by David Platt, The Gospel According to Jesusby John MacArthur, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.

What is your favorite place in the world?

Disney World. Hands down. It truly is the most magical place on earth :)

If you could tell every woman reading this blog one thing God has laid on your heart, what would it be?

The verse the Lord gave me when I started my first Give Me Jesus Journal was Matthew 4:4.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

After my grandpa went to be with Jesus last year, God showed me how fleeting this life is. We are a vapor. The grass withers. The flowers fade. But the Word of our God stands forever. It is so easy to push our time with the Lord aside. We have busy lives and young kids that need to be fed and work that needs to be done. But the Word of God is more important than the food that we eat. It is the very breath to our spiritual life. You cannot grow in the Lord and you cannot please Him on your own. It is only through the Word of God being implanted in your heart, day in and day out, that we can live lives that honor Him. I wasted so many years not fully understanding the power of God’s Word in my life. Don’t make the same mistake. Make spending time with Him in His Word every day a priority because He’s worth it. 

Let's give Whitney a big welcome to the team! Exciting things are coming to Life Lived Beautifully this year. We spent time dreaming up products together this past weekend will be revealing them in the coming months. Know that you all are prayed for and that we don't take this business lightly. It is a trust from God and we long to be good stewards of what He's given. We are excited to keep going and keep creating for the glory of God and the fame of Jesus Christ!