When was the last time you felt seen?

When was the last time you felt seen?

Last weekend I got to be apart of a ladies retreat with a cousin who I also get to call friend, and a few ladies that I barely knew. We are women, we know how to talk, so conversations instantly started flowing. I’d brought along some conversation cards for table talk, but we probably didn’t even need them to open up.

We got to know each other quickly and by Saturday evening we were able to share hard truths.

This question was asked as we sat around the dinner table,

“When was the last time you felt seen?”

I wish I could have bottled up the honesty and vulnerability in all of our answers because it was absolutely beautiful and genuine. We saw each other for where we each had been, who we were in that moment, and who God was leading us to be. Whether we had felt seen recently or not, around that table, we were all looking into each others hearts.

Now I’m home to the realness. Actually, autocorrect just wanted to correct realness to real mess and I kind of like that better. I’m home to the real mess of normal everyday life of mommin, workin, runnin, and overthinkin my little heart out. And I wonder, does anyone see me? And do I really see anyone?

Sometimes I don’t think I give people the chance to see me, or the opportunity to show their true hearts to me. I’ve built strong walls and hung up my pretty painted pictures that look nice at a glance, but don’t show the scuffs and scratches that walls do after a life has really been lived in them.

Without any bumps and nicks in the paint I feel like I’ve become unapproachable, intimidating, and closed off to people in my life who want to be seen for who they are or who truly want to see me.

So I want to be more authentic. I want to show my wear, bear my dents and divots, and display the real mess picture of my life. I want the freedom to be seen.

But I also want to grant that freedom to the people around me. Aside from God, we are all we’ve got. So let’s start getting each other. Take off our everyday masks and open our eyes to the peace found in genuine vulnerability.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:2-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Advertisements

Simply Tuesday

Simply Tuesday.

Tuesday’s are sometimes just simple days. It’s on Tuesday that I’m not rushing to catch up from the weekend.  It’s on Tuesday that I’m not hurriedly trying to get my work done before the week is over. It’s just Tuesday.

On this Tuesday I took my time feeding Conrad his breakfast, watching Charlie love on him and squeeze him…maybe a little too tight 😬 I watched them play, listened to Charlie sing her made up songs, snuggled Conrad as I worked at my desk, stole kisses from Charlie each time she came into my office, and just thanked God for these tiny gifts.

I still can’t believe I get to be a momma to these babes. They melt me, teach me, break me, and build me up. I love how every day is simple for them. No worries for deadlines or fears for their futures. Every day is Tuesday for them.

So why can’t I keep that Tuesday mindset?  Why do I have to rush?  Why do I move all the pieces of my life where I think they should fit?  Why do I get upset when they don’t?  Why do I schedule every second and crumble when things fall through? I overthink, worry, stress, yell with my “mom” voice, cry in my closet, and completely shut down. That’s not how Tuesday should be. That’s not how life should be.  That’s not how a heart that loves Jesus should show his love.  That’s simply not Tuesday.

So this Tuesday, I want to change. To simply breathe in and out. To simply let the day happen without making it happen. To simply sit and simply wait for the goodness that God already has for me to be revealed.  Because maybe my overreacting, my overthinking and my overachieving have just been over the top.  Maybe all God was wanting me to do was to simply get over myself. Maybe God said let down your weights of the weeks to come, and just let it be Tuesday.  Maybe every day won’t be simple, but maybe if I approach every day like a Tuesday, I’ll be better able to simply enjoy this precious life.

3 Years Later

3 years ago…the 4 of us invited women to join us for the sweetest night of worship around a fire with words projected on a bedsheet. We greeted faces of women of all ages and in all of life’s places, we had fellowship, prayed together, sang together, and I will forever treasure this night.

These women taught me to just love Jesus, no matter what that looks like. Just love people like Jesus loves people, no matter what that looks like. Use the gifts God has given me to glorify his name, encourage others, and remind my own heart of his love for me.

Now 3 years later God showed @bethany.burt and I Rove. I can’t wait to see how God uses this gift to impact the lives of women we love and women we may have not even met yet, but also I can’t wait to see how Rove changes me.

In Over My Head

img_0036

There’s a song I like to sing that goes, “if it’s over your head then it must be under his feet.” Lately, I’ve felt that maybe some of us have been feeling like we are in over our heads in deep murky waters.  We are finding ourselves in situations and places where we never imagined we would be. We’ve got our hands out grasping for anything that might help us get a grip, hanging on to things that at least help us float awhile and catch our breath.

But is that how we really want to do life? Floating on a little bit at a time until we get pulled back under again and again?

Maybe that is? Maybe life is easier lived just floating on and on to the next thing instead of waiting on the lifeboat to arrive. Because when the lifeboat comes we give up the trip to someone else don’t we? Once we get on a lifeboat we’re releasing the control to someone else to get us safely to the shore. And maybe we want to tell them how to get there, what turns to make, what direction to go or ask them to turn back to save a friend.

Maybe we need to ask ourselves if our need for control runs deeper than our desire to be saved?

That’s a scary question for me because I struggle with that SO VERY MUCH.  I like to say “Here God, you take over now, you take this situation.” But then I’m still hanging on just in case.  Just in case what, he doesn’t know what to do? Just in case he forgets that he is God?  It’s laughable really because he knows I’m still hanging on every time.  He knows we are still hanging on to that control every time because we are all right there under his feet.

Ephesians 1:22 says, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church.”

He placed us all under his feet so that he would be overhead at all times.  We are his church, his bride, his love. And he placed his church under his feet so that we don’t have to be alone in our struggles, we don’t have to have the answers, we don’t have to be afraid, and we don’t have to feel like we are in over our heads struggling to catch our breath.  So instead of reaching out for something to hold on to and then hanging on for dear life, maybe all we need to do is look up and let go.  Wait for our lifeboat, whose timing is always perfect. Look up to the God that sees us when we’re weak, that hears every prayer, feels every tear, and asks us to just lay it all down at his feet.

Girl, You Can Wash Your Face, But Only God Makes You Clean.

img_8358

Have you read Rachel Hollis’ new book yet, “Girl, Wash Your Face.”? This book has hit my girlfriends and many of the women I follow on social media and has given us all the superwoman feels of empowerment, self-acceptance, goal setting, goal getting, and was just an overall feel-good read.

I had never heard of Rachel Hollis before her book came out, but soon her pretty face kept popping up all over my Instagram news feed. Then my friends kept asking, have you read this book yet? No? Well, you need to!

So I read it…it made me laugh, made me think, made me cry, and made me feel. I really did like it, but I sort of felt off about it and didn’t know why.

Rachel clearly loves Jesus and gave some great advice, but I still felt stuck in her words unable to implement her mantras into my own self pep talks.

And then I read this article from The Gospel Coalition https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/reviews/girl-wash-face/

It smacked me upside the head. Have you seen my daughter do this? She goes for it, palm to face, and that’s exactly what this article did to me. Now I get it.

See right now in this season of my life I’ve been searching for identity, purpose, and happiness. Who am I? Who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to be doing? Who do I want to be? What makes me happy? What do I love doing? And I’ve been trying to find my identity, my purpose, and my happiness through motherhood, my relationships, my job, my social activities, and through being a broken down sinner saved by grace. And I’m failing! I can’t find my place!

So when Rachel Hollis says…

“You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are,”

…I had to go back to God’s word because that just didn’t feel right to me. Because no matter how hard I’ve ever worked for anything, or how happy things have made me, I have never been enough in my own strength, and never has my own happiness kept me filled and satisfied.

So after reading the book and then reading that article, I went to God’s word. In Proverbs 19:21 it says “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” So I can do all the things necessary to achieve all the hopes and dreams and goals I could ever imagine. I can plan and make lists and check all of my boxes. I can do all the hopin’ and the wishin’, but if it doesn’t align with God’s will, it’s just never going to work. God’s will is always going to take over.

And then I read Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can do hard things. Just like Rachel said. We are strong men and women built and created to weather storms and come out stronger with each blow. But it does not say I can do hard things because I just can. The Bible says I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me. We need him. We cannot do ANYTHING without him.

We are not ultimately responsible for who we become or how happy we are, and praise God that it’s not all on our shoulders. Because I just can’t do it! I can’t! I have no idea who I am supposed to be, and sometimes true happiness is just not going to be within my own reach. But God knows exactly who I am and who I am going to be, and guess what? When I trust him to help me do all the things…then the happiness will come THROUGH HIM.

Please don’t get me wrong, I really did like this book, and have so much respect for Rachel’s honesty and vulnerability in her writing. But, I just needed to go one more step. And maybe that was God’s plan all along, to bring me to his word to check her book, and to ultimately bring me closer to him.

So girl, keep washing your face, but please remember it’s only through Christ that you really get clean.

Simply Tuesday

I just wanted to be angry today. I barely slept last night, tossing and turning as I thought and I fought with my heart and my mind over things I simply can’t control. I hit snooze on my alarm skipping my workout in exchange for a few more minutes of restless sleep. I knew I’d beat myself up later for skipping another workout, knowing full well I wouldn’t have the energy after we got home from the field tonight to make it up. But I finally woke up to the chaos of the morning running out of time to dry my hair, packing Charlie’s lunch for the field, wrestling sleepy babies to get dressed when all they really wanted to do was stay in their jammies and watch cartoons, and then making my trips to the car with lunch boxes, backpack, diaper bag, and finally kids only to realize it was trash day and the garbage still needed to be taken out. I grabbed the garbage bags as one ripped open and mice scurried out scaring the bejeezus out of me and spilling icky nasty trash all over the garage steps.

I was angry.

I was angry because I just wanted to be angry.

But God changed my heart.

He said, “Girl, aren’t you glad it was only you and I that saw you scream and jump as those mice ran out? That was funny. Smile. Farmers don’t care that your hair is still wet, you’re pretty just the same, wet hair and with no workout. Don’t worry that your kids hate getting dressed, just do what you can, soon they’ll be dressing themselves and you’ll miss these little fights. You are a strong momma. I know because I made you that way. And one more thing girl, don’t be angry. I know every one of your needs, and you don’t need to be angry.”

God changed my heart.

I didn’t need to be angry, I just needed him. I’d let my eyes focus on the waves crashing around me instead of walking with the only one that could calm them. But you know what, God was with me the whole time. He was just waiting for me to stop being angry and to start letting him work in me.

Just One Choice

img_8424.jpgHave you ever just felt different than who you’ve always been, and sort of far from who you thought you’d always be?  That’s where I am right now.  I don’t feel like Brooke anymore, which isn’t bad and isn’t unwelcome, I just feel different now, so you might not like the changed heart you see.

See I’ve always thought that if you pray a certain way and live mostly good then you’re doing okay.  But is “okay” where we meet God?  Are the “Alright’s”  and the “Just Fine’s” the places where God whispers in our ears and places hands on our shoulders?  Are we being molded if we’re “doin good”? I don’t think so.

I’m not saying we all need to stay in our messes because that’s the only way to hear God.  That’s not what I’m saying at all.  I’m telling you that the mess is okay.  I’m telling you that feeling different is okay.  I’m telling you that where you are is okay, and that where you are now is not where you have to stay.

I’m telling you that you will always have just one choice.  Just one choice in all circumstances.  Trust God, or don’t.  Trust that God will move you to the place that’s best for you or when he says move, say No, I won’t.

See, what I’m finding out right now, which is uncomfortable because I’m human, is that this life is not about me.  Not one minute, not one second, not my kids, not my marriage, not my job, not my friends, not my church, not my name, not any of it is about me.

It’s unsettling, isn’t it?  In a world that tells us to speak our minds and be whoever we want to be, here I am telling you to let someone that we can’t even see say who we are.  That all of our money, our hopes and dreams, and all of our strength will only carry us so far.  But what if I told you that our names are all Beloved and we are all the same? Our debts were paid upon a cross with his perfection, our sins covered by his blood and pain.

Someone gave their life for mine, and now He gets the say. I can force my plans and go nowhere or let Love show me His way.  So maybe that’s why I feel different.  Maybe I’ve only been living for Brooke, and for the people in my life that I could touch and see.  Maybe he’s handing me my one choice right now.  Trust myself, or give my life to the one who died for me.