At the beginning of this year I felt God stirring in my heart that change was coming. It had been a while since I had “stepped out of the boat”, and to be honest, I was pretty comfortable right where I was. Change didn’t fit my plans, so I put it off. Month after month has gone by and I have kept “putting it off” for many reasons, but the greatest has been fear. This irrational fear has led me to disobedience time and time before, but God’s grace is always greater than our struggle to obey.
I once heard Elisabeth Elliot say, “Do you know what struggling means…? Struggling is simply delayed obedience.” These words have marked the “struggle” that has taken place in my heart in the past few months. In many ways, it’s been a struggle to pry open my fingers and give God back this ministry that is rightfully His. Today is the day I’m finally opening up my hands in total worship and surrender. I’m stepping out of the boat to obey Jesus and follow Him, even when it feels uncomfortable. Today is the day we officially change the name of Life Lived Beautifully to our new ministry name, “Well-Watered Women”.
The Glory of Hitting Rock Bottom
Let’s rewind a bit so I can show you the progression of how this change has come to fruition. In 2013, as a daring dreamer and a newlywed I started a business called Life Lived Beautifully out of our two-bedroom apartment in Knoxville, TN. My husband and I had very little money and resources, but despite our “lack”, my husband lovingly encouraged me to pursue my dreams. With the tiny bit of money I had in my savings account and a whole lot of “supplies” I had rounded up from garage sales, I started selling hand-made key necklaces, headbands, and eventually an array of other products. These diverse products soon included skirts, hair bows, repurposed decorating items, and paintings. If you could name it, I probably tried to make it! The entire first year of business I sought after what God was calling me to do and continued to put one foot in front of the other, even when the outcome was opposite of what I was hoping for. Still, I knew that I wanted to live life beautifully for the glory of God, and that is what I aimed to do.
However, about one year into “business,” I was ready to quit. I not only wanted to quit business, I wanted to quit social media. I was done with the comparison game and with the daily struggle of trying to discern what direction I was to take. Praise God, instead of throwing in the towel, He taught me to throw my hands in the air in surrender and worship. In March of 2014, I hit rock bottom, and rock bottom is exactly what God used to redirect my course and redefine my vision.
During that “rock bottom” season, I poured out my heart to the Lord in the journal I had been using. I’ve journaled consistently since middle school and have countless journals chronicling my journey with the Lord. I remember struggling to get out the right words I wanted to use to adequately express my longing to be used by God, but also my willingness to give up. I set down my pen, unable to write any more words and glanced through my current journal, as well as the previous journals I had used in years prior. Throughout I saw a common thread: a hunger to know Jesus more and drink deeply from the Well of His Word. In that moment, God birthed a desire in my heart to equip women to study God’s Word. This desire grew into what would eventually become the Give Me Jesus quiet time journal for women.
In May of 2014, I launched the first “Give Me Jesus” Journal and sold out of the initial batch within an hour. Finally, after a year of struggling and striving, God revealed to me that all along He was leading me to create practical Bible study resources for women. Ever since then, the mission of Life Lived Beautifully has been plain and simple: to point women to Jesus through the study of God’s Word. Little did I know, the “Give Me Jesus” Journal wasn’t the end of God’s calling; it was just the beginning.
Later that year, I wrote a post on the blog sharing about a new desire God had given me to be a “well-watered woman” and to lead others to do the same. The concept for the well-watered women comes directly from Isaiah 58:11 (NIV), which says,
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame; You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
I read those words and it was as if an untamable fire was lit in my heart. I wanted to be a “well-watered woman”, seeking Jesus with my whole heart, loving Him with my mind, and bringing others alongside of me to love Him more and more. I was ready to trade in the “dried-up, keep-trying, never-getting-there” kind of life for the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. Ever since I read those words in Isaiah 58:11, it’s as if God has been telling me that is what He wanted all along.
New Name, Same Vision
At the beginning of 2017, I knew that God was calling me to change the name of “Life Lived Beautifully” to “Well-Watered Women.” There are a few reasons that have led us to this change, and I want to share them with you.
- This ministry has always been and will always continue to be about sharing the good news of the gospel and the hope that we have been given through Jesus Christ. The theme of “the well” is woven throughout all of Scripture. In John 4, Jesus met a sinful woman at the well who would have been considered an outsider. Instead of meeting her with judgement, He met her with grace. He offered her “Living Water” from which she could drink and never be thirsty again. That day, this woman traded her “dried-up well” life for the abundant life that is found in Christ alone. “Well-Watered Women” receive the “living water” that only Jesus can give, and, in return, offers others that same hope. That is exactly what this ministry is all about—handing women a cup of “cold water” to drink from and equipping them to find their identity in Jesus.
- The name “Well-Watered Women” also implies community. It is not about me; it is about Jesus Christ and His glorious kingdom being built. It is about us coming together to love Him more, cherish His Word, and tell others all about it. It is about fellowshipping with other believers the way He designed, and drinking deeply of His grace, truth, and peace. My desire in changing the name to “Well-Watered Women” is that you would feel even more a part of this ministry, because you are the well-watered women.
- Lastly, I am changing the name because I know the Lord has been leading me to do this. If I were not to obey, I would be living in the fear of man rather than in the fear of God. Ultimately, I want to live my life for an Audience of One, and at the end of the day I want to be able to hold out my hands and offer Him every single thing He has entrusted me with to use for His glory. I know there are many of you who also might be struggling to follow through in obeying God’s calling and direction. I pray that through this name change that you would be encouraged to open up your hands, let go of your plans, and follow Jesus. We leave the results up to Him, but it is up to us whether or not we will obey. Live for the kingdom, and trust God with the outcome.
If I were to tell you all the dreams and plans God has put in my heart for the future of this ministry, this blog post would be far too long. Know, dear sisters, that we will continue to do all that we can as “Well-Watered Women” to create content, resources, and Bible study tools that will point you to Jesus. We are going to continue to do exactly what we have been doing: equipping women to be rooted deeply in God’s Word, grounded in the hope of the gospel, and flourish through abiding in Christ. We will keep creating Bible study tools that will stir your affections for Christ and we will still share posts that are gospel-centered and point you to Him in your everyday life. Nothing will change other than our name, but we also pray that in this change God is greatly glorified and expands the reach of this ministry to women around the world.
You are the “well-watered women”, sisters. You are who Jesus came to die for and give brand new life. Bring Him your empty cup and drink deeply of the Living Water today, and then go, and spill that contagious hope onto everyone around you.
Stay tuned for more posts on being “well-watered women” this week and next, as well as several giveaways! Follow along with us here:
- Facebook.com/wellwateredwomen (coming soon! For now still visit here!)
If you would like to share on Instagram or Instastories to help us get the word out, we’ve created a few images below that you can use. We appreciate your help in linking arms with us! For the kingdom, for the gospel, for Jesus…always.
Opening my hands and praising Him as a well-watered woman,
Gretchen + the “Well-Watered Women” Team