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For Such A Time As This

One of my favorite Bible stories is that of Esther. Basically, she is a Jewish exile who is adopted by her cousin Mordecai, and then gets chosen to be King Xerxes’ next wife, and then she (spoiler alert) saves the Jewish people.

The Story

To give you a little bit more of a background, King Xerxes was a Persian king, ruling an empire. He throws a huge feast for all of the nobles and officials. He wanted to show off his wife, Queen Vashti, but she was like “I am so much more than my looks!” (Not really, but that’s what I imagine her saying). He divorces her because she didn’t respect his orders, and he starts the search for a new bride.

He has his people gather the most beautiful women in the kingdom, puts them through a year of beauty treatments (oh, Lord), then brings them into his presence. Esther was gathered up and she “pleased” and “gained favor” from the eunuchs assigned to her. The king is also impressed, so he decides to make her his new wife.

During this time, Mordecai finds out that Haman, a man given a seat of honor higher than all the other nobles in the kingdom, plots to annihilate the Jews. This is where Esther 4, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, starts.

Esther 4

  • When Mordecai finds out this plot, he tears his clothes and wails loudly at the injustice.  This made me question how often we stay silent in the face of injustice. Do we wail loudly outside the kingdom gates? Do we tear our clothes and fast? Not usually.
  • Esther tries to clothe Mordecai by sending him something other than sackcloth. How often do we try to cover up someones grief with a tunic? We don’t solve the real problem or injustice, we just dress it up nicely to silence it.
  • Mordecai instructed Esther to use her influence with the King to beg and plead for their people. Esther kept her heritage a secret up to this point, so this would have been a huge “coming out” for her.
  • Esther declines out of fear of death because (1) it would be revealed she was a Jew and therefore she would be massacred along with her people, and (2) entering the kings presence without being summoned was punishable by death. We let fear keep us from standing up for what is right. Fear of judgement, anger, etc. How many of us have to fear death though?

[As a sidenote here, I was reminded of John 16:33 which says “Take heart, for I have overcome the world”. Sit on that in this context for a bit.]

 

  • Mordecai pushes Esther even further, saying that her and her father’s family will perish anyways, so just do it! Also, God will save the Jews with or without her, but He is trying to USE her. ANSWER HIS CALL. And then, my favorite line…

And who knows, but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.

~Esther 4:14

 

  • We are all of royal positions as co-heirs with Christ, how are you using yours?

Landing the Plane

This passage for me always makes me check myself. How am I acting in the face of injustice? Am I a (reasonable) coward who encourages the status quo? Or will I stand up for my brothers and sisters?

I encourage you to think of what God is calling you to do with your royal position. It may be something as simple as writing a blog, or it may be saving the world. Whatever calling you feel, use it to help others.

Let me know in the comments below what you got from today’s devotion! Thank you so much for reading!

Love you all,

~J

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10 Podcasts You NEED To Listen To

I’ve been listening to podcasts for a couple years, but everyone says they’re taking off now! With so many out there, though, how do we choose which ones to listen to? Well, I have created this list of all my favorite podcasts in all different topic areas, so you can get the best of the best!

1. Fitness

  • Bucci Radio I’ve followed Amanda Bucci for a while now, and this podcast is the bomb diggity! She interviews a ton of influencers, she’s a social media influencer / fitness youtube star herself, and also features her talking about topics everyone wants to know! She doesn’t just talk about fitness, though, she talks about business and entrepreneurship and online influencing.

 

  • TNT Podcast This acronym stands for Training and Nutrition Truth. This podcast is not for the faint of heart! The men that run this also run 1st Phorm Nutrition, a trustworthy and scientific supplement company. The amount of sheer knowledge and experience is incredible! They are doctors and experienced fitness coaches. Everything comes down to the science with them, and that’s why I trust what they say! They also feature interviews with IFBB Pros, and other fitness professionals. Go get ya some truth!

2. News

 

  • Up First I listen to this podcast every morning! In this digital age, who has time to read newspapers or even watch the news?! (I don’t, I used to subscribe to the WSJ, a fantastic publication that I never touched because I had no time.) Basically, they give you the top news for the day very early in the morning so you can brief yourself before you do anything else! As a political science nerd, this is so essential for me! With all the “fake news”, “partisan politics” and other divisiveness in the media, this NPR podcast is as unbiased as you can get.

 

  • NPR Politics PodcastYes, another NPR podcast. How can I resist, though! This podcast got me through the 2016 election. The cast is incredible, and it truly feels like we know each other. They only upload two times a week (I believe), and their episodes are longer than Up First. For in-depth discussion on issues, though, this is my top pick! Again, as unbiased as possible, and members of the cast are from different sides of the political spectrum.

 

  • The Axe Files with David AxelrodThis man talks to so many cool people, like Gov. John Kasich, Sen. John McCain, former deputy secretary of state’s, senior advisors etc, etc, etc. He is a Democrat, so things do tend along those lines, but he does interview Republicans and Independents as well!

3. Productivity

 

  • The Radiant Podcast with Kelsey ChapmanThis lady’s heart is so sweet, and now she’s a fellow Colorado girl! She talks to bossbabes all over the spectrum, so for some serious inspiration and a kick in the butt, listen up! Kelsey and her guests will get you fired up to live your dreams!
  • Productivity ParadoxThe host of this podcast, Tonya Dalton, is the founder of one of the most successful planner companies, Inkwell Press. I love her planners, but I love her podcast even more! She touches on multitasking, compartmentalizing, making better decisions, and all things related to productivity!

4. Self-Improvement

 

 

  • The Ezra Klein Show I could have put him in the politics section, but he literally touches every subject. He interviews cool people as well, and discusses the big questions of life. He also runs one of my favorite news outlets, Vox News, and their facebook page has the most in-depth and easily digestible videos on all that is happening in the world.

 

  • The Minimalists PodcastI’ve read their books and followed them for a long time! I consider myself a little bit of a minimalist, but even if that scares you, give it a listen! They talk about important topics such as media, family, clutter, unpleasant experiences, jobs, etc etc etc! They really will shift your perspective!

 

 

  • The RobCastY’all. Rob is an ex-pastor who legit will fill your soul. There is no other way to describe him. Even if you aren’t Christian, he will rock your socks! His books are also incredible, I’m working my way through “How To Be Here Now”! The episodes he does with his wife called zim-zum have been incredible for my relationship. My boyfriend loves listening to them with me!

 

 

I know this list was a little exhaustive, but wow I love every single one of these podcasts! Which one are you going to try?

 

P.S. I may be starting one of my own soon…keep your eyes peeled, and leave your suggestions for topics below!

 

Love you all!

~J

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What Lauren Conrad Taught Me About Moving On

You can choose to get bitter, or you can choose to get better.

I know hearing that can suck. Sometimes I just want to be bitter and resentful and angry because it feels good in the moment (Come on ya’ll, I know I’m not alone in this). It’s the truth, though. When life just sucks, you can choose to dwell on it, or you can choose to move past it. Here’s 3 Ways to Improve Your Day:

1.) Accept the Sh*t

Things go wrong, plans don’t work out, people disappoint you. It’s bound to happen. The first step to being okay is to accept it. One time, I was dropping my boyfriend off at the airport for a business trip, which was already sad enough, but I parked so I could walk him in. When I got to the pay station to leave, the freaking machine wouldn’t take my debit card! I checked my bank account and I had plenty of money (it was only a $4 charge, y’all), but it was a temporary card, so they wouldn’t accept it. Of course, I didn’t have any cash with me, and I didn’t have a credit card. So, I spent half an hour begging them to let me out of the lot, and they finally gave me an envelope to send them a $4 check in. THIS IS 2017 Y’ALL. All of that to say, by 6:41am my day had already been incredibly crappy. I knew the only way to turn the day around was to accept what had just happened to me, go to King Soopers to get a cashier’s check, and go on my way.

2.) Forgive and Forget

We all know that famous Lauren Conrad quote “I want to forgive you, but I also want to forget you.” Duhn duhn duhn! Okay, so we don’t all have to be dramatic, but I think she’s on the right path. The most important step is forgiveness. Whether its forgiving someone else, yourself, or life in general, you need to forgive. This can take a long time, and I don’t want to rush you out of that stage, but work on it. If you can’t forgive something, you can’t move on.

Secondly, you have to let it go. If you truly have forgiven someone or something, then you won’t bring it up in arguments. You won’t dwell on it when you have some free space in your mind. (You can use that space for so many better things that will actually make you happy!) Here’s the thing, if it’s still bothering you, you haven’t forgiven it. You may have to go back and forgive several times over until you reach the point where you can forget it. If you can’t get here right away, work on it.

3.) Find Something Better

I use this everyday in finding something better to fill my day with. If I have a crappy morning, as mentioned above, I will go grab myself a fancy latte, listen to my favorite podcast, or call someone I love. These things instantly make me feel better about my life because I am bringing the happiness back in. Bring some love back into your life, y’all! Don’t be afraid to do something for yourself. When you replace the anger with joy, contentment, peace, love, kindness, generosity etc., there is no way you can keep feeling like a piece of poop on someone’s doorstep (too far? You get the idea).

I hope these tips helped put some things into perspective. We all want to live our best lives, so let’s enjoy the ride! Instead of being bitter, be better.

Love you all!
-J

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Passion: An Introduction

Hi, I’m Jordan! First, I want to thank you for showing up here today, and for reading my first blog post! To give you an idea of who I am (awkward speed dating style), I am a 21-year old recent college grad with a degree in Political Science and Exercise Science (don’t worry, this blog will be a lot more exciting than my majors sound!) I am passionate about both of those things, as well as writing and outdoors-y adventures like hiking and camping. I have lived in 3 states so far: Colorado, Washington State and California. My dream is to travel the U.S. in a van, and the world with a backpack, plus my adorable boyfriend, of course.

 

Onto why we are all here…

 

I am starting this blog because why the hell not? In all honesty, I’ve started three blogs and a youtube channel (now all deleted) since I was 16. I always knew I wanted to write, but I never thought anything I wrote would be good enough. I was afraid of what people would think, especially those that knew me personally. I have realized, though, that I am incredibly passionate about writing and even if you are the only person that reads these words, it’s all okay. Even if I am the only person that reads these words, at least I am getting it all out. However, if you do choose to stick around, here’s…

 

What You Can Expect From Me

 

  1. Honesty. I promise to always authentically be myself and bring truth to what I write
  2. Engagement. I am here to write because I love it, but also because I want to help other women discover their best selves. I hope to be a source of inspiration to you, but I want to hear from you too! You can email me anytime with questions, comments, concerns, prayer requests etc. thejjdiariesblog@gmail.com
  3. Lots of cool content! Like I said, I am super passionate about this, and I have a lot of big things planned! Hopefully you’ll love my writing and photography, and hopefully you’ll get a lot out of it!

 

Now It’s Your Turn

What are you passionate about? What would you do if you knew you could not fail? DO IT. Right now. Create a new tab on your screen and take the first step. Whether it is purchasing a domain name for your blog, buying a camera, selling your car, packing up your backpack, WHATEVER IT IS. TAKE THE FIRST STEP RIGHT NOW. Don’t think you’re ready? Here’s a newsflash for you: you never will be. If you keep waiting for the perfect time, you’ll be waiting your whole life. Feel the fear and do it anyways. I believe in you.

Much Love

~J

 

P.S. Thank you again for being here, for believing in me, and reading my passion project. If you are interested, and want to stay updated, you can sign up for my email list here!