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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

To You -- vol. 5

To the one who feels too much,

I understand how your heart works.  You see a picture or a video of something happening right around the corner or across the world, and your heart goes out to them.  You just can't help but feel what you think they may be feeling.  

You see another picture of a four year old with life-threatening cancer, and your stomach drops.  You think about the life they may not have and a family that will lose a precious loved one.  

Tears come naturally.  You see an inspiring picture or quote, you read a story about a life-saving miracle, or you hear a testimonial story of the goodness of God in the midst of so much bad.  

Because life in hard.  It breaks us down and tears us apart; it rips out our insides, then tries to sloppily try to put them back together, all the while, forgetting the order that things were supposed to go in.  The world just doesn't understand.  

You've known this for a while.  You've always been the one who "feels too much"; always described as too sensitive or too emotional.  You get distracted and distraught by things you often can't control, and you try your hardest to always be the person that someone can go to in a time of need.  

The difficult truth is that sometimes, you just can't fix everything.  People will die, relationships will fail, and pain will come.  Time and time again.  And there's just nothing you can do about it.  

But, do not lose heart.  There is nothing wrong with feeling.  After all, if you're not able to feel, how do you that you're really alive?  



Monday, May 4, 2015

#MondayswithBritt -- vol. 7

Another Monday means another #MondayswithBritt !  Sorry this one's so late; I'm just catching up on things after the exciting weekend I had.  

What I'm up to: 

  • Wearing: 
    • I decided Monday was a dress day, so today I'm wearing one of my favorite blue dresses with my Sperry's.  But not my arrow earrings because I LOST THEM this weekend and I'm super upset about it.  
    • Anticipating:
      • I have an easy week this week, I think, so I'm ready for a little bit of rest.  I also have a friend's graduation and party this weekend, along with going home for the day on Sunday for Mother's Day!  
    • Frustrated with: 
      • Headaches.  That's all.  
    • Creating:
      • Still working on my #100daysofdoodles for #the100dayproject , so check it out over on Instagram!  
    • Watching:
      • I really didn't watch much TV this past week due to being so busy, which means I still haven't watched the newest Grey's Anatomy that everyone is talking about!  
    • Traveling
      • Just going home on Sunday for Mother's Day, which I'm really excited about!  
    • Pondering:
      • What does it look like to be sacrificial in all areas of life?  
    • Wondering:
      • What are you up to?  

    Friday, May 1, 2015

    Speak Up!: Growth + Temptation vs. suffering

    Here for another month of Speak Up!, with this month's theme being growth.  So excited to share my heart with y'all!  

    I'm sure you've heard the phrase "God never gives you more than you can handle", which is often backed up by 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

    I recently read an article which pointed something out from this verse: it's referring to temptation, not suffering.  He can deliver us from temptation, but suffering, on the other hand, is something that we are essentially promised will happen to us.  

    And when I think of a promise, and when most people do, we see it as something that is for sure going to happen.  Whether that be someone promising they're going to show up at a specific place at a specific time, or someone promising they're going to keep a secret -- we anticipate that they will follow through with what they say they're going to do.  And so, our suffering is not something strange, but something that will happen.  It is to be expected.  

    This is not to say that we should seek suffering, but that we should not be surprised when it comes our way.  

    Paul tells the church in Acts 14:22 that "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom".  

    And Jesus said "If they persecuted you, they will persecute me." (John 15:20)

    And Peter said "Do not be surprised at the fierly ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing as though some strange thing were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12)

    And Paul said in 1 Timothy 3:12, "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

    It's not something we can get out of, y'all.  

    And the fact of the matter is that God will give us more than we can handle.  Life will take our breath away, bring us to our knees, and make us wonder if we'll ever get our heads above water again.  But it is in those moments, when we are given more than we can handle, that we are also given a means to which we can use those sufferings for the good of the Kingdom, to advance the name of Christ, and to show others that there is more to our life than our suffering.  

    And there is something more that we can get out of our suffering than the act of suffering that happens during those moments.  There's more meaning to our tears than we may ever realize.  And there's more purpose behind our pain than we may ever be able to see.

    For more insight on suffering in the Bible, John Piper wrote an incredible piece on our call as Christians to suffer and rejoice.  

    Thursday, April 30, 2015

    Thrive -- vol. 4

    This week on Thrive:

    I only have a few for y'all this week but I think they're pretty good ones.  

    "Writing cannot temper my loneliness.  It won't keep me warm at night when I'm unmovable, paralyzed by another unrequited love."

    Why I Won't Pursue a Man
    "To be submissive appears to be contrary to everything that makes sense to me.  I'm independent, opinionated, passionate, argumentative.  But if someone loves me sacrificially, unconditionally, I can (and want to) submit to that."

    Tu Eres Hermosa
    ""Every day is a struggle to beat down the lies I have lived with my entire life and refresh the truths that need to be watered."

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    To You -- vol. 4

    To the one who has strayed, 

    I see you standing in the corner, wandering if anyone will notice how far away you've wondered.  I see the look in your eyes, as you search for the exit, thinking escape is the easiest and only way.  And I see the loss in your steps, as you walk away again, defeated.  

    I've been there.  I've stood in your shoes.  Maybe not in the same circumstance, but I know what it's like to stray.  I know what it's like to be the sheep who has left the flock; the one who doesn't know what she's got right in front of her, and sets off to seek what she believes is better.  

    And while I'm not a sheep, I am a human, and I think we have a tendency to be just as stupid.  We believe there is better than what the Lord has set before us.  We believe there is more than the hope we've been given in the power of the cross.  We become distracted, entranced, and thrown off course when we seek the riches of the world instead of the riches of the Father.  

    But I also know what it's like to crawl back to His feet.  When you have no other option, when everything seems hard; when your heart can't possibly take any more pain than the things you've faced.  Sometimes, you get more pain for a while

    But there is light at the end of the storm.  There is a a joy to be found in the longing of our heart and the desires of our soul; a joy that can only be found when we place our lives in the hands of the One who already knows how the story is going to end.  

    Be brave, dear friend.  


    Monday, April 27, 2015

    #MondayswithBritt -- vol. 6

    Another Monday means another #MondayswithBritt !  Sorry this one's so late; I'm just catching up on things after the exciting weekend I had.  

    What I'm up to: 

    • Wearing: 
      • Today I rocked my gray pants, purple shirt, and black cardigan, with my Sperry's of course.  
      • Anticipating:
        • I think anticipation can be thought of as both good and bad, so my not so good anticipation for the week is my appointment I have with my primary care physician tomorrow.  For those of you who don't know, I've been having some issues with headaches and being overly fatigued, despite being on a schedule, so I'm getting it checked out.  Better safe than sorry!  
      • Frustrated with: 
        • Honestly?  Not a lot this week (so far).  I'm trying to teach myself to let things come as they may, whether that be with work or friendships.  
      • Creating:
        • Still working on my #100daysofdoodles for #the100dayproject , so check it out over on Instagram!  
      • Watching:
        • Still obsessed with Departures, but Annie told me of yet another show that she said I have to watch -- Once Upon a Time!  So maybe if I get a chance this week, I'll give it a try.  
      • Traveling
        • NOWHERE this weekend, praise the Lord!  I'm ready for some relaxation.  I do have another friend coming to town, though, so I'm excited for spending time with some of my sweet FCA fam.  
      • Pondering:
        • "You are more important that the things I think I need to do."  I got to visit Metro Christian Fellowship in KC yesterday with a sweet friend, Kasey, and one of the people who spoke throughout the service said this sentence.  I think I get in this mindset of always trying to seek out what I think is best for my life.  And I don't spend near enough time looking to the Lord and what He wants for my life.  I've got to seek His face in all of my ways.  
      • Wondering:
        • What are you up to?  

      Friday, April 24, 2015

      The joy of home.

      I have a dear, sweet friend who I've come to know through my church and the home we find there.  Her name is Holly and she's probably one of the most passionate, crazy, wise, and intentional people I know.  

      As I was thinking about our friendship the other day, and the joy that she brings to my life, I began to reflect on the life that I've found in this church that I call my home (the church we both call our home).  

      When I was a wee little freshman at K-State almost 6 years ago, I started out at New Hope, another church in Manhattan.  While I enjoyed my time there, I just didn't feel at home.  That's not to say that it's not an incredible community, but my heart just wasn't in it.  While feeling all of this, I still felt the need to stay and cultivate roots there because I had friends that went here and it seemed like the right thing to do.  

      But I've learned since then that something that seems like the right thing to do just may not be the right thing to do.  

      So I made a difficult decision.  I gently dug up my roots, searched for a place I could call my home, and tenderly began re-planting them again.  It wasn't until I found University Christian Church that my heart felt grounded.  My roots had begun to thrive in the rich soil of the life I found there, and my heart was at peace.  

      Through UCC, I met Holly and Miranda -- two of the sweetest women I know.  I've spent two summers volunteering with VBS.  I've met the most adorable three year olds on the planet, though they're not three anymore!  My faith was restored in this church, time and time again.  I was baptized in this church.  

      Simply put, this church is my home.  Holly and I were talking this past weekend on what it will be like to leave our "home" and find a new church when we move from Manhattan one day, and it made my heart ache a little.  

      And then I pictured Jesus, smiling down, as He points me slowly in a new direction.  A new church.  A new home.  Because every season comes with its ups and downs.  My next season likely won't include UCC.  But I am still thankful for the lessons, for the joy, for the trials, and for the peace.  This community has lifted my heart and led me toward truth, and man, am I thankful.  

      Thursday, April 23, 2015

      Thrive -- vol. 3

      This week on Thrive:

      "The Lord is not displeased with you.  He is not holding out on you.  He's not keeping you from the good life.  He has you in this season for a specific reason.

      "There was a sweetness about her, but it was more than the way she moved about a room or how she smiled at you.  It was like the essence of her being, sweetness, kindness, gentleness all packaged into a tiny little frame."

      "You are alive.  And so is hope.  Go on a walk, and you'll find hope hiding everywhere."

      "But what will help is the reminder to refresh how you measure your life and how you remember your past."