The Give Me Jesus Journal: through the years

The plans we make for our lives rarely turn out how we expect them to. I have learned this to be true in my own story. When my husband and I got married in 2013, we immediately entered into a season of trial. On our way back from our honeymoon I received a text from my dad informing me that my mom was in ICU and was unable to walk or see out of her left eye. Within a month of receiving that text we moved to a new place for my husband to begin working at a church plant. This season was marked by significant weariness in my heart. I was struggling to find my place as a new wife who was traveling back and forth to Georgia to help take care of my sweet mama and was unsure of what the future would hold. The Lord opened my eyes to how incredibly fleeting life is through this dry season in life and He planted a seed in my heart to "live life beautifully" for His glory - right now and not tomorrow. 

As my husband and I were praying about the next steps for our family, we knew that I needed a job that was flexible and also used the gifts and passions that God had woven into my heart. After much prayer and seeking wisdom, I opened Life Lived Beautifully in May 2013 selling handmade accessories for missions. Within the next year, God completely redefined the purpose and mission of Life Lived Beautifully. He used a season in my life where I hit "rock bottom" to create the Give Me Jesus Journal. I had absolutely no idea how to create a journal, but I knew the vision was from the Lord and that He would provide.

Over the following months I prayed and researched and God tied together all the pieces for the very first journal. We started selling them on May 5th, 2014. I used all my savings to purchase the first set of journals and was completely blown away when they sold out within one hour. Since then, the Lord has been amazing us at the community of women who are hungry for God's Word and have purchased the journal. Women in over 22 different countries now use the journal to seek Jesus more daily. The Lord used my own season of weariness and hunger to guide and direct me to create the Give Me Jesus Journal. I have learned that God delights in using our brokenness to show us His greatness. He uses our emptiness to fill us with His grace. There isn't a season of life that is ever wasted. I am living proof of this!

Looking back, I can see the narrow path the Lord has led me on that is filled with valleys, mountaintops, deserts, and fields of flowers, all leading to Christ. As a little girl I dreamed of being a missionary when I grew up, but never did I imagine the internet would be my mission field. If there is one thing I could share with the woman who is a dreamer today it would be this: dreaming starts with surrender. You don't have to be in the "perfect" season to start what God has called you to do. In fact, He will most likely tell you to start taking steps of faith when you are broken, empty, and hungry. Why does He do this? Because He uses dreams to sanctify us and make us more like Christ. This is the purpose of a God-sized dream.

When I started creating the Give Me Jesus quiet time journal for women and inched my way along the narrow path, I had to lean into Him for every step. He provided when I didn't know what to do with this vision that was greater than my abilities. He scrubbed my heart when I tried to do things in my own strength, only to realize that it is impossible to do anything eternally significant apart from Him. He has opened my eyes to see His glory and His mercy woven throughout it all. Life Lived Beautifully has continued to change throughout the years, and I know it will continue to shift as God molds it and leads it, but one thing will always remain the same - the pursuit of Christ. 

This is the purpose of the Give Me Jesus journal, the purpose of this blog and Instagram, and the purpose of everything I do. I want to know Jesus more and I want you to know Him more. Today we celebrate the two year anniversary of the Give Me Jesus journal, and we also anticipate the wondrous things God will continue to do in this community and in our hearts. Celebration is always tied to expectation!

It's all about HIM, friends. Join us in the celebration and in joyful expectation at the great things He will continue to do.

looking back and looking ahead,