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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

Live With Joy | Life Update, God Math & Doubling Down on God


Jenni Lien Christian Podcast You Are You

This year, I’m committing to living with joy (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Are you in too? In this first episode of the year, let’s chat about life updates, God math, and the wisdom of doubling down on God. May we live every day this year aware of God’s presence and living as Holy Spirit empowered children of God on our God-given mission!


Listen to You Are You Christian podcast for women on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Or for my reading-lovers out there (I'm with you!), the transcript is below.


Happy new year, friends! I’m prepping this on the first Saturday of the year and brimming with joy and hope. There are a lot of new things happening which is exciting but I also feel God teaching me, in a new way, about the blessing of learning to rejoice, always (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and that peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).


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Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

In this episode, I hope to reconnect with you, share life, and encourage each other to pursue God’s heart above all this year. How? Let’s start with a life update, talk about the dangers of flexing, and encourage each other to have fun pursuing God’s call.


Jenni Lien Christian Blogger The Yay Project

Life Update


So in mid December, I moved back to Canada! I’ve been sitting on this news for a while, not in a ‘I couldn’t wait to share my good news’ way but in a ‘God has been so faithful I can hardly believe it’s happening’ way. 


A quick recap for context. 


Last year was one of the most eventful years of my life. For the first six months, I was finishing up my Master’s in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, and enjoying possibly my last season of full-time student life. There were so many highs about that season but also some challenges - namely what happens when you’re in a season that means you’re spending less time with God. How do you keep him at the centre? What do you do when you mess up or fall back into an old habit? What does repenting and re-surrendering look like as an adult woman? Check out some of last year’s episodes if you’re interested in these topics.


Then after I finished my Master’s, I flew to Taipei and lived there for nearly five months. It was a dream come true — I grew up spending summers in Taipei as a child and always dreamed of being able to build a life there. I’ve also had a full time job for over a decade so being able to be a digital nomad was another possibly ‘once in a lifetime experience.’ It was definitely fun from a life experiences perspective but also because it gave me new opportunities to rely on God. I needed to trust him with my finances and timing to open new doors. And my goodness, it wasn’t easy! There were a few weeks last fall where I’d go to my small group and lament that while I knew I was living out an answered prayer, I also just wanted him to answer prayers for next season too…! 


Ah humans, am I right? It’s so important to live each season we’re blessed with.


So as I desperately surrendered to God daily (side note: we should have absolutely no shame about being desperate for God, it’s the best), like it always does, it changed my life in new ways. Looking from the outside, the last few months might have looked carefree and spontaneous, and in some ways it was, but it was also preparation for my current season. 


I’ve just entered a season that I have been praying and hoping for for years — and only fairly recently did it sink in that my prayers and hopes really are coming true. Sometimes God answers in a different way than we think, and sometimes it’s really in line with what we prayed for which I feel is much of my current season. 


So you may have seen me share about my new job on social or the blog. This is a very special answered prayer and the posts explain why. There are also some other blessings that have come true but I’ll keep tight lipped for now. But I wanted to share this little bit today to hopefully encourage anyone that’s currently in the “When, God, when?!” stage of waiting for an answered prayer. 


Hold tight to God. 


I can remember so clearly moments during the end of my time in Hong Kong where I spent Saturdays (during day dates with God) crying, literally crying and crying out to God, wanting what he’s given me now so badly then. He has his timing. He has his reasons. We may never get the answers we want on timing but we can trust that all he has for us are good things. 


Hold tight. God will answer you.


No one who waits for you will ever be put to shame, but all who are unfaithful will be put to shame. (Psalm 25:3)

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God Math


Okay let’s look at things from another angle. Let’s be honest. Are we sometimes most tempted to flex when we’re feeling the most insecure? For example, if we’re in the midst of obeying God in an area that people might not understand or be impressed by, are we tempted to share every piece of good news in order to justify our direction? Or are we sometimes tempted to flex in our heads? For example, when things feel up in the air, are we spending a lot of time thinking about how well things are going and how awesome our life is? 


Sometimes self promotion is necessary. For example, if we’re working for a ministry and fundraising. Or trying to build a business and know logically that people like social proof. But there’s a fine line between doing this in a healthy way and doing this because we’re looking to things that are not God to satisfy our ego. Jesus didn’t spend all his time talking or thinking about how he is the greatest. In fact, he reprimanded the disciples when they started to do this. Rather he reminds us:


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

It’s super clear, right? God is not pleased when we’re prideful, selfish, or self centred. If we start to notice ourselves doing this, may we check ourselves and stop. After all, God can give and take away, right? He cares so much about our character. I pray we are part of godly friendships where the goal is to point each other towards God and his promises and cheer each other on towards pursuing him and the call he’s placed on our lives. 


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Double Down On God


Something I’m currently seeking God about is relying on him more. I’ve prayed for him to increase my capacity and multiply my time… and I think it’s working! I’m setting into a dream job and working on Yay and Pink and New before and after work. But also working on maintaining a healthy diet, social life, and family time. I’m also getting advice from a lot of experts this season from my financial advisor to my startup mentors which is a blessing. Because things are full on (and I’m a life full on kind of person!), there’s a temptation to rely on my brain or to reduce my time with God because he’s provided all these other people to learn from. But that’s not right.


Have you ever heard the Martin Luther quote, “I have so much to do that I shall have to spend the first three hours in prayer”? 

This is the attitude that I want to have, namely because I’ve tried it the other way in past seasons and it just doesn’t work. God is supernatural. His ways and timing are beyond our human comprehension. Wanting to do his work better by spending less time with him, in his word, in worshipping him just makes no sense. 


In spending time with God, we’ll also remember our why and stay faithful to his call. Pursuing God’s call on our lives isn’t easy. Sure there will be days that seem so easy and smooth. But there’s bound to be warfare. The enemy is always looking to trip us up and devour us (1 Peter 5:8). But God gave us his Spirit and greater is he than that which is in the world (1 John 4:4). When we struggle with perfectionism or self doubt, let’s double down on the Lord. Things may or may not change after one prayer session. It might take a period of pressing in. But there is literally no better place to be than in humble pursuit of the Lord, amen?


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I’m looking through my notes and I was originally planning to share a lot more about my journey building Pink and New, what’s happening and what’s in the works, new videos on TikTok and so on. But I’ll leave that for another episode. Today let’s just focus on God and his wonderfulness, and end in prayer.


Dear God,


Thank you for a new year! We are full of hope and excitement, imagining the wonderful things you have in store! As you know, we’re human and sometimes it seems we can get easily discouraged. But I pray this is a year that we double down on you and experience you like never before. We know you can answer prayers, move mountains into the sea, pour out resources from your heavenly storehouses and so much more — all for your glory. Strengthen us, protect us, and give us practical tips on how we can rejoice always and strategically invest what you’ve entrusted to us. We want to see your kingdom come. Use us to shine your light and be your hands and feet in our communities. May your love be so active in our hearts that we pour it out effortlessly wherever we go. We love you and want more of you.


Amen.

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