Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Guess What?! No More Waiting

Hey friend! 

I am so glad you found In The Waiting and you stopped by at the perfect time!

Here is why:
Throughout my five years of writing, the Lord has taken me on an adventure I never dared to take myself, shown me more Grace than I deserved, and showered me with bigger blessings than I ever imagined. Throughout my journey, He has reminded me over and over again that I am Worthy. Beautiful. Strong. 

The Lord has also placed many dreams and passions on my heart, ministry being one of themMy heart's deep desire is to empower women to see, hear and know God the way I have experienced Him; to remind them that THEY too, are Worthy. Beautiful. Strong. 

I am so excited to finally introduce to you my BRAND NEW website and purpose of my ministry. 

No more In The Waiting. My desire is to help empower and encourage YOU to unlock your daily destiny and access all God has for you RIGHT NOW. 

I want to point you to a few new features on JessieBChristensen.com as you head on over and take a look! 

Of course, I will continually be writing and blogging! In case you’re new around my blog, here are a few blog posts that have seemed to hit a cord with a lot of people. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these! 
Here are the three top-read blog posts:

With any blog post, you can add your thoughts in the comments, send me a tweet, or post your comment on Facebook.

I am so excited for this new leap of faith and I am thankful you are going along with me as we unlock our daily destiny and access all God has for us! 

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!

This Sunday is May 1st, which means Memorial Day is this month, which means it 's basically summer. Or if you live in Arizona like me, the heat has already arrived 

With summer coming up (AKA swim suit season), I wanted to share a few tips on how to curb those late night munchies. Because if you are anything like me, my sweet tooth definitely comes out at night!

As a health and wellness coach I get the question a lot, "how far ahead of bedtime should I stop eating?" The answer I have heard over and over again from my own trainer and mentor is three hours

So, how do you curb that sweet tooth or munchies between those three hours?

Here are FIVE of my favorite tips from my favorite trainer, mentor and friend Stephanie Grandits

1) Herbal Tea- This is my go-to! My favorite is passion tea or Oasis. There are lots of different teas out there. Find one that is non caffeinated, one you enjoy and relaxing 

2) Take a hot bath or hot shower- Relax and take your mind off your cravings 

3) Brush or whiten your teeth- When you have a fresh minty taste in your mouth, or white strips, you most likely won't want to eat something. 

4) Take Crave Check SR- This non caffeinated AdvoCare product really helps suppress your appetite. I would even recommend before dinner so you don't overeat. It will last you about six hours. (HINT: it REALLY works! So if you already do not eat much throughout the day be careful. Not eating enough can hinder results) 

5) Drink a protein shake- Having AdvoCare's Muscle Gain is a lot better than having a full AdvoCare meal replacement shake. Muscle Gain is high protein, low carbs and helps repair muscles while you sleep #winning

And..... when all else fails, just go to bed

Seriously, works 100% of the time 

Hope these help! I am off to Palm Springs with my best friend to attend Stage Coach
Country music and Sam Hunt? YES PLEASE

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Oh, and just because I live in a beautiful state, h
ere is a picture I took tonight after my women's volleyball game

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

There's Grace For That

A moment of surrender four years led me down to Arizona
I left my home in Seattle on a leap of faith
I came with big dreams and big visions

It has almost been two years now down in Arizona
I know I am supposed to be down here
I know God is paving His Will for my life

However, this surrendered life doesn't come without difficulties
God didn't promise that even if you walk in His Will it will always be easy
If we are not careful and mindful to put God first, our comfort will set in
Our selfish desires start to overpower His desires for us

My story of Grace is one of vulnerability
I thought I had it all figured out coming down to Arizona
I thought I was bullet proof to the ways of the world
To the ways of the enemy
Turns out, I am not
And neither are you

We are human beings not meant for this world
We are more broken and fallen just like this world
More than we ever dare to admit
But we are also loved more than we ever dare believe

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified by his grace as a gift, 
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"
Romans 3:24

So, what is Grace?

When we stumble
There is Grace

When we fall
There is Grace

When we turn away
There is Grace

When we make a wrong decision
There is Grace

When we mess up
There is Grace

Even in the all out cry- face on the floor- hands in the air- surrender moments
There is Grace that wraps you up, holds you and says "I am here"
Grace says "You are loved"
Grace says "You are forgiven"
Grace says "You are seen"
Grace says "You will be OK"

Grace is not something we deserve but something that is freely given to us by The One who loves us 
Grace says, "No matter what you do, nothing can separate you from me and my love"
Grace says, "I understand this world is hard"
Grace says "There is no shame, no judgement, no condemnation" 
Grace says, "No matter what you did to yourself, no matter how you got into this situation, I still forgive you, I still love you"

 No one is too far away where the Grace of God cannot go
No one is in too deep where the Grace of God cannot reach down and rescue

Grace allows us to live freely and boldly, knowing that no matter what happens we are covered in Grace

Continuing my journey in Arizona, that is exactly what I am going to do
I will continue to press into the Lord asking for His Grace daily
Never taking it for granted

I am going to go boldly into this world knowing I will stumble
But knowing the Grace of God will ALWAYS help me back up
I am confident that He will help me & Grace me to do what He has called me to do
And because of that, I will rest in His Amazing Grace

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Currently in April

                Linking up with Jenna and Anne today for another edition of their "Currently" series.

Currently this April I’m…

MAKING room for more "me time" in my life. Well, trying at least. I am in a season of growth and hustle in all areas of my life, which is exciting, but also exhausting. I am learning the importance to make time for myself. Whether it's to blog, read, journal, quiet time, call my family, I need to make time to rejuvenate and refill so then I can pour more of myself into my true passions. 
WISHLISTING Some new outfits for Arizona. I have lived here almost two years and I still have not found my "Arizona style" I am comfortable with in this heat. 
CLEANING everything! Seriously, I just cleaned my whole room and bathroom tonight. I leave tomorrow for Seattle then my aunt is coming into town and staying with me. 

POSTING I have been posting a lot of quotes from Christine Caine. I love that women. She just came out with a new book called Unashamed that I am reading and loving. If you want to be inspired, then read it. If you want help to discover your purpose, then read it. If you need help getting over guilt and shame, then read it. 
TASTING blended AdvoCare vanilla Muscle Gain, strawberries and spinach. Every single day for the past week and a half for breakfast. They are quick, easy, simple, yummy and a completely balanced meal! Win/win! 
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Monday, April 4, 2016

You Haven't Missed A Thing

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work 
in you will carry it on to completion, 
until the day of Christ Jesus." 
Phil. 1:6 

Sometimes it is really easy for me to believe that God has forgotten about me
Sometimes in the waiting for dreams and prayers to be answered is hard! 
Can I get an AMEN?

"Hey God, remember me? Remember that prayer I have been praying? Ya, I am still waiting?"

Did I miss something?
Did I make a wrong turn somewhere?
Did did say the wrong thing to someone?
Did I end the right relationship or stay too long?
Where did I go wrong?

Do you ever feel this way?!

"Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 
Don't be afraid; you are worth more than sparrows." 
Luke 12:7 

A God who knows every hair on our head
A God who provides everything for the birds

Are we not worth more than sparrows?

Our life is not a surprise to Him
Our actions are not a surprise to Him
Our decisions are not a surprise to Him

So, let's take a deep breath today
God has not forgotten about us
He knows exactly where we are and need to be
He knows our pain and heartbreak
He knows our desires and dreams 
He sees every tear and hears every prayer
He sees every decision and action we make

I was reminded today from one of my most faithful friends, that I have not missed a thing
 Her sweet prayer that still brings tears to my eyes every time I read it
I hope you find peace in it as well

Praying peace over your heart as you meditate on how much your Father God loves you. Things in this world are still very broken and painful, but He has not forgotten you or forsaken you . 
He understands your pain and is there holding you, whispering...

"I have a perfect plan for your future... you can trust Me. 
The best is yet to come. You haven't missed a thing. 
Not one thing my precious girl." 

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waiting For The Call {Guest Post}

This is a special post for me. Not only is it a guest blog, but it is written by my amazing sister Beth.
Her and her husband have two adorable little boys and are currently in the process of fostering to adopt. This is their real and raw story of how God put it on their hearts to adopt, and the process of "waiting" for their children. A sweet and powerful reminder that no matter what we are "waiting" for, there is peace and comfort in trusting in the Lord and His perfect timing. 

Prepared the girls room with expectation 

April 2013- I sat at our women’s conference at Rainier Hills Christian Fellowship. My pastor's wife, JoLee prayed for all of us and said, “We have gifts for each of you. Please go to the table. We have prayed over these verses and want you to randomly select one.” 

I grabbed one and went back to my seat and read:
Psalm 68:6, “God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing.” 
I had no idea what this could even mean for me. We had lunch shortly after and my friend Nicole asked me what my verse was. I told her with my perplexed look on my face still not finding any meaning. 

She said, “Maybe you and Kevin will adopt and rescue children.” 

That verse has sat on my windowsill for the next two years. 
I would pray over the verse often and always remember Nicole’s words to me that day.

June 2015- Kevin, my husband, and I were at crossroads and had no real direction as to which path to take. It was obvious to us to get pregnant after my first son Jace so he could have a sibling as we cherished so much growing up. 

After I had my second son Hudson, we both had different ideas about what are family unit would look like. I wanted more children and Kevin was content with our family of four. We knew we needed to bring it to the Lord because ultimately it is not about what we want, but what He has planned for our family. We specifically prayed together for clarity if we were to adopt, have more children biologically, or not have any more children.

We waited for His Call. 
We waited for His answer. 
We waited for His Will.

August 2015- I was sitting in Cowboys Stadium at our annual AdvoCare Success School and He answered our prayer. It is a moment I will never forget. August 8, 2015 in section 243 at 2:42 pm. 

“You will adopt a baby.” 

I was hot, emotional. 
I wrote down what the Lord had just told me. 
It was too big to tell Kevin over the phone. 
I waited.

While I waited I praised the Lord. I wrote our baby a letter. I thanked Him for direction.
I walked into our home and told Kevin the Lord had spoke to me. This was not the first time these words have come out of my mouth. He looked wide eyed and expectedly. I said, “We are supposed to adopt.” Without hesitation he responded, “I always knew we would adopt.” We did not know what we were doing or getting ourselves into but we started the process in obedience terrified, excited, anxious, willing.

September 2015- We went and met with Bethany Christian Services in Shoreline, WA to hear more about the Domestic Infant Adoption program they offered believing this was the path we would take. For almost three hours they talked to us and answered all of our questions about the program. The last five minutes she said this and it changed the direction we thought we would go, “There are more families waiting than babies available. I want to dangle a carrot for you and talk to you about our foster to adopt program. We truly want you to do whatever the Lord is calling you to do.” 

We went out to lunch after and knew Foster Care was the path we were to take even though in our minds it scared us more than anything. We had peace in our hearts even though, emotionally, we were on a roller coaster where we couldn’t see the next turn.

February 20, 2016- We received our Foster Care license after completing mounds of paperwork, 24 total hours of classes, CPR/First Aid certification, FBI clearance, and 4 separate home study visits.

February 21, 2016 - We received 3 placement calls. We were no where near prepared for “the call” already but we acted when we felt strongly we were two take in two littles. 

On that Monday, we were told 99% chance we were going to get these two darlings by Friday 99% chance our mind meant 100%. We got their room ready. We made several trips to our local clothing bank as we prepared to add two more little ones to our family.  
Friday came and went. We got no call. We had no new information. 

We prayed on their bedroom floor over and over again as we waited.

During the wait we experienced every thought and emotion possible. 
We stood in faith that we would get these two blessings. We prayed without ceasing for these children. We wrote letters, drew pictures, cried, prayed, laughed, woke up many nights not being able to sleep, had our family, friends, and church family praying as we got no answers from our agency or the state. It was the longest 6 days of our lives from that Friday when we thought we would be picking them up to that Thursday when we got the call that they were placed with another family.

My heart felt like it had been ripped out of my chest. 
The pain and grief I felt is nothing I have ever experienced before. It in no way can be described but we love those two and still do. Our hearts ache knowing we wouldn’t get to celebrate their 2nd and 1st birthday that we had already marked on the calendar. New pajamas were washed and placed in their cribs for the first night. They still are in the same spot. Their birthdays are still listed on our calendar. We still talk about them daily and pray for them regularly. 

For whatever reason, God allowed us to love these two deeply and we are so grateful even through the pain of not knowing if we will ever to get to have them as a part of our family.

We are still in the wait but know God’s plan is perfect and His timing is perfect. 
We eagerly wait for “the call”

Our hearts have grown. 
Our faith has grown. 
Our love has grown. 
Our trust has grown. 
Our patience has grown. 
None of this would have been possible if we did not have to wait. 

We are thankful for the wait and will continue to trust Him on this journey to add to our family.

First born Jace Robert Madill 

Younger brother Hudson Wayne Madill 
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Sunday, March 13, 2016

When Comparison Truly Becomes Your Thief of Joy

It is almost midnight and I am scrolling through Facebook
Not looking for anything specific, no purpose whatsoever
Isn't that how it always is 90% of the time?

I read a blog post and I start to think about how much better it is than mine
I continue to read about her ministry and count the followers she has
I start to compare my small ministry and I lose a little piece of joy

Then I switch to Instagram and I see a "selfie" of another "friend" and her husband
I start to compare my single life and I lose a little piece of joy

Then I see I have a notification on Twitter
I scroll through the "140 characters or less" status' about vacations, weddings and new houses
I start to compare my "boring life" and I lose a little piece of joy

In the span of two minutes, I have completely convinced myself my purpose is not big enough, I don't work hard enough, I need to be skinnier, more adventurous, take more risks, buy a nicer car, and I need a husband and 2.5 kids by yesterday

This scenario didn't just happen tonight- it happens daily
Is this just me?

Why do we compare our own lives to the highlight reels of others?

Highlight reels are just that, the highlights of a person's life
In a world full of opinions and judgment, who wants to post about their struggles
Not me

This past week I could feel the comparison trap coming on and my joy being stolen little by little
I decided to fast from social media this past weekend
Not for anything else but to refocus on my own life 

And guess what? It was only two days, but it was one of the best things I have ever done

An amazing day celebrating an amazing couple

Instead of reading other people's status', I read promises of God
Instead of aimlessly scrolling through people's lives, I scrolled through my own
Instead of having the world tell me what I am NOT, I proclaimed what I AM in Christ

Created for a purpose

I am not saying social media is a bad thing or you need to fast from it
But, if we don't have solid boat to ride on, then the world will easily drown us in comparison, jealousy and envy

When we lose our security in Christ, doubt can easily creep in
Why aren't you further along in life?
Why aren't you married?
Why aren't you making more?
Did God really say?
That is the enemy trying to make you believe lies of this world

Who says you need a nicer car or bigger house?
Who says that your job does not matter or not good enough?
Who says you need to be "this far along" at the age of 30?
Who says you are not good enough?
Who says?!

You know what my God says about me?

Jessie, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You have all you need to accomplish what I have planned for you. I will complete what I started in you. I will fulfill those desires. I have bigger dreams for you then you can ever imagine. I designed YOU for a specific purpose that no one else can fill.  Look to me for purpose, not of this world. Stop striving for your life to look like someone else's. I designed you. Trust me I know exactly where you are and what you need. You are enough. 

Monday I will be going back to social media to connect with the rest of the world
But I will hold tight to promises God has for my life, not the world
The world will not take away my joy

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." 
Romans 15:13

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Currently in March

                 Linking up with Jenna and Anne today for another edition of their "Currently" series.

Currently I’m…

WISHING that I could come home this weekend. My sister sent me the most adorable videos of my nephews. And when I say adorable, I mean probably only adorable to an aunt. My almost two year old nephew Hudson ends up hitting his three year old brother Jace. I have been watching these videos over and over again today wishing I could just come home for the weekend. I love Arizona, but I miss my family and sometimes I long to just to drive home for the weekend. 
CRAVING quiet time and rest. I feel like my life is a little out of control lately- spinning and I can't keep up. I need rest but can not seem to find it. Hoping this Sunday I can truly rest and do some writing that I have been missing. 
GOING HOME! Well, not until April. As you can tell from above I am a little homesick. Thankfully the opportunity presented itself where I can flying home with my friend Jill who can get us on standby. Jill is also on my AdvoCare team and there happens to be an AdvoCare Ladies event up in Washington. So it works out perfectly! 
WEARING too long of pants right now for this Arizona weather. Seriously, Arizona?! It has hit 90 degrees the past couple days and it is the beginning of March! I guess it is 10-15 degrees hotter than average this time of year. Of course. So, it seems I need to get getting my summer closes out sooner than I wanted. (notice I didn't say spring clothes because in Arizona it is either summer or late summer clothing) 
LEARNING to seek more of Him and less of me. Seek more of His strength and less of my own. Learning how weak I really am and how strong He is.  This season of life has been challenging, draining, exhausting, but also in the midst of hardship and stretching, I feel peace. I feel restoration. I see growth. I see God's favor. It has been tough, but the trials have made me lean on Jesus more. When we seek Him out, when we run to Him, we always find Him. And it is in only Him where we find peace. 
Pictures from February when I went home for a weekend

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Monday, February 15, 2016

But The Greatest of These is LOVE

The next best thing besides Hallmark Christmas movies are Hallmark Valentines Day movies
I have always loved this holiday 
Picking out Valentines for my class was as exciting as making a list for Christmas
I am not kidding
I was thaaaat little girl
Always giddy with the idea of choosing just the right one from each classmate 
I drove my young self crazy trying to decide which one to give my crush that year

Do I go with the straight forward "I like you" then maybe he would ask to play with me at recess
Or be "friend-zone" and go with the "You are super cool"
Oh, yes, real drama for Valentines Day

Then I grew up and the holiday become full of red roses, chocolate and awkward stuffed bears
Girls are pretty easy, at least I am
Chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate 
And maybe a red rose thrown in there

But lets be honest, this is my 9th Valentines Day without a "valentine" so those things don't come around every year so buying chocolate for myself has become my everyday Valentines Day tradition...

....And I am completely ok with that and here is why....

I truly do love Valentines Day
But this holiday means so much more than just decorating with red hearts, having a special someone to buy you presents, or bring you roses and take you out to a fancy dinner 
 (Dont get me wrong, the hopeless romantic in me does look forward to that!)

Valentines Day represents LOVE, right?
pure, sweet, overwhelming, passionate LOVE

All kinds of love that fill our lives
Love for family
Love for friends
Love for your significant other
ALL LOVE should be celebrated!

But, ALL those kind of "loves" stem from the most important love of all
all consuming
deeply passionate
never ending
forever forgiving and always flowing love from our Lord and Savior

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16 

God sent His only son to die FOR ALL OF US
And because of what Jesus did on the cross, because He gave the ultimate sacrifice 
He has showed us the truest, most passionate, sweet, pure, overwhelming love of them all

Because who He is  
Because His LOVE for us
When we love Him deeper, we love others better
Our love for others becomes more real and easier 
We can realize that we love not because we "feel" like it, or "have to", but because HE loved us first

Now THAT is something to celebrate with others or by ourselves on Valentine's Day, but especially every single day of our lives 

And here is why this year Valentines Day was probably one of the BEST I have ever had (yes, even without a Valentine) 
1) Hillsong Phoenix: Our Church just announced that we are the 16th Global Location for Hillsong church. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL PEOPLE! There are only two more in the US- New York and Los Angeles and now PHOENIX! This will most likely be another post because I am so excited, but today this was the perfect reminder of God's perfect timing and the little glimpse of His perfect plan over my life
2) Then after church, some of us went out to lunch, then I got to hangout with this chick for a bit! Brooke has come into my life through AdvoCare and now attending church with me. She is young, but passionate about life, being greater and believing deeper. She will do great things. LOVE being able to pour into her. 

So we found this which was so fitting for the day

3)  Later that night I went down to Chandler. My home away from home. Love this place. Love this family. These two Arizona "nephews" surprised me with white roses and hand made cards- melt my heart!

4) I stayed the night down in Chandler and got to hangout with this woman and her family the next day. We walked around the park, dreamed about neighborhoods and new houses and then went to lunch downtown Chandler. She is family and so thankful for her in my life. 

So, even on the sappiest, most romantic holidays of the year
Where I am surrounded by couples in love
(no joke, two of my friends got engaged this weekend!) 
I still have faith
I still hope
I still have love
"Faith, Hope and Love remain. But the greatest of these is LOVE."
Because I know the only love I need, the only one that fulfills me, today and everyday, does not come from any man, stuffed animal, fancy dinner, or red roses
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