There are so many things in my life that have been a “struggle” for me. Things that have clearly knocked my wind out- literally and figuratively. Pregnancy/ labor, nursing school, maintaining friendships, breaking off friendships, balancing work and home life... i could go on and on. But nothing has affected me as heavily as insecurity has. It has been like a wet blanket just laying over me. It has followed me for years. Made me feel like i wasn’t good enough for some people and made me wear so much pride that it was ridiculous.
Although insecurity has plagued me heavily since i was in high school it really hit me hard last year. Which was weird because i was losing weight and supposedly “getting back to myself” but that wasn’t the case at all.
I was letting so much stuff seep into my psyche. Social media was killing me if i can just be honest. It was making me crave things that were just ridiculous and it really had me thinking i wasn’t “ living my best life”. It was horrible.
Now I can’t wholeheartedly just blame it on social media because i can choose what i want to look at and dwell on and ultimately i know that social media is a highlight reel. Social media CAN BE VERY AWESOME when used appropriately.
Truthfully, Much of my insecurity came from the enemy himself.
I know that might sound super religious and naive but i am a FIRM believer that the enemy plays on your weaknesses. Once he knows where you struggle and you actually give into it then it’s an open door for him to come tap dance all over your life and continuously heighten your issues. The enemy is very methodical in the way he moves. He slowly creeps in and wrecks havoc. (1Peter 5:8-9)
Well since insecurity was so heavy on me last year the enemy took it and ran with it.
Every SINGLE aspect of my life suffered. My personal life, my marriage, motherhood, friendships, work... you name it... insecurity was all over it.
Y’all i prayed and cried so much... i asked God to remove it so much but i just lingered.
I kept wondering why my prayers weren’t getting answered. I kept feeling neglected and rejected and just BLAH!
It took some SIMPLE truths to get me to state of understanding that i could only get my life/ security back if i really wanted to. I had to understand that with God i had to power to push these negative thoughts and feelings away. It would take me dying to self, restricting certain things in my life, lessening communication with some people. It took me making changes that i didn’t want to make but HAD TO MAKE.
I HAD TO LEARN TO BE HAPPY WHERE I WAS REGARDING WEIGHT-LOSS.
This sounds so so so simple, right? Wrong. If i was constantly scouring social media checking this persons weight loss and that persons eating habits and why haven’t i gotten as far as they have. I was comparing EVERYTHING. It was tiring and overwhelming. I had to look in the mirror and tell myself— God has brought me so far and i can’t even be happy about that because i want more, more, more. How ungrateful and sickening. It has taken some time but I am truly learning to make a deliberate effort to embrace and enjoy where i am. 1Samuel 16:7
LOVE MY HUSBAND FOR HOW HE LOVES ME NOT HOW I WANT HIM TO LOVE ME.
I have a REALLLLLLLL good man! Like a no lie! A good provider. Comes home at night. Doesn’t do anything crazy. All he wants to do is play his video game. Lol. He is so simple and GOOD! He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t trip. He is GOOD! But i use to be livid with George y’all. He wasn’t taking me here or buying me this or surprising me with this or that. My mind was screwed up. Paying attention to everyone’s stuff and not embracing what i have. It took me talking to him and not expecting him to read my mind to realize that he wants me to be happy and he is TRYING AND WORKING WITH ALL GOD HAS GIVEN HIM. A wise, more experienced husband told me that embracing him as he is and not putting MY unnecessary expectations on him will change my heart towards him. AND IT IS! I still struggle. I still slip. But he deserves to express love the way he knows how to without me making him feel “insecure” about it.
Motherhood is a whole MESS OF EMOTIONS. I love me some George Solomon. He is the best blessing. But that little boy with make me feel so small. When i snap because he is whining or when i cry because he is crying. Then i jump on the “why do all these other mothers have it together” Bandwagon. I use to feel like a failure. No lie i still do at times. Well recently my baby has learned what “crying” or what it “looks like” to cry is and he ain’t here for it. He doesn’t want me to put my head down. He doesn’t want to see me wiping my eyes. He wants a happy mama. And that has mad me reevaluate myself. I don’t just want to play “happy mama” for my baby. I want to be a happy mama. And if that means i just have to only talk to a handful of other mamas about motherhood advice and not seek the advice of the all knowing Facebook then that’s what i have to do. To protect my peace and be happy with how i am doing things and not looking to do it like everybody else.
I CANT WAIT ON SOMEONE ELSE TO GET ME CLOSER TO GOD— only me and God can do that.
The biggest thing that my insecurity affected was my walk with Christ. I didn’t even realize it early on. I was leaning on this to help me with everything else so how in the world was it possible for me to be suffering the most in this area. Well because i was relying on other people to get me closer to God and NOT GOD HIMSELF to be bring me closer to him. Let me explain. I was looking at all the social media ministers, encouragers, evangelist... all their encouraging words and stuff. I wasn’t encouraging myself i needed them to encourage me. I waited for that next post or that next sermon snippet to boost me instead of praying for myself and reading myself. My heart posture towards God was contingent on whether or not i heard the right sermon at the right time or did something hit me right when i needed. All this began to come to fruition when God told me that “surrender” would be the word i needed to focus on this year. I was journaling about it one night and My heart became so full of emotion. And i was wondering why did i feel so blocked from God but yet and still he wanted me to surrender. He quietly told me... you don’t have a personal relationship with me... you live off of what others have with me. You focus on what everyone else’s relationship “looks like”. You’ve lessened me to a quote or a timely scripture. NOT THE BIG GOD I REALLY AM.
Shortly after that i removed myself from all the outside influences that were overtaking my mind and emotions. Yeah...the pressure for a “certain” marriage was big and to be “that kind” of mother was too but when it started affecting my heart toward Jesus it was just too much.
The world had overtaken my mindset on every single level. I was tired.
Now i am moving forward. I still get hung up. But I’m pressing on.
I want to encourage you. You might not be struggling with insecurities like i am but in case you are, ask God to pinpoint to you exactly what’s triggering your insecurities. Step back. Redirect. Take a breath. Remove the triggers. That might mean deleting every social media app on your phone or it might just mean limiting your screen time. Either way do it. For your peace of mind. For your happiness. For your security.
Until Nothing’s Left
Some scriptures for you to check out:
“But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
“Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure.”
1 Peter 5:8-9 TPT
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” Romans 12:2 TPT
“But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 TPT
A word that is hard to swallow...
A word that is almost frightening in my opinion.
But as A Christian this word is completely necessary to fully relying on God.
I looked up some definitions for this word and the one that stuck out to me the most was “ abandon oneself entirely to (a powerful emotion or influence); give in to.”
Well obviously our surrendering as Christians is bigger than just to an emotion— we give in to something bigger than something that can change from one moment to the next.
Our surrendering is to a constant, Never wavering, never changing, sustaining God.
So why is it so hard to surrender if we know that God is constant and he will never fail us by any means...
Because we are frail. We are fragile. And we are control freaks.
We like to look at ourselves as strong but outside of God we are weak... but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Matter of fact it isn’t bad at all... we get the best gift in our most fragile places... 2 Corinthians 2:10 says “So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”
How edifying is that. To know that when we are at our lowest low God is strongest and he will literally carry you through your storm. But you can only get the full joy in this by surrendering.
Yes, I know it’s hard but just imagine how it would be to have life’s problems pop up and you not even ponder over them getting solved or fixed... you just know God’s got you. Think about how you won’t have as many headaches, sleepless nights, queasy stomach feelings... think about how relieving it will be when it’s all said and done.
Don’t think that i am just a guru at surrendering... trust me. I STRUGGLE!
But God spoke to me through a song— So Will I, Hillsong United.
One part simply says “If you gladly chose surrender so will i.” It is speaking of Jesus Christ surrendering himself to the cross and death and the grave... but y’all... i got a secret.
That’s not how the story end... Jesus rose and defeated death.
Hear me when i say this. If Jesus defeated death... then what makes you think your little problems here on earth cannot be solved with HIS POWER AND MIGHT.
You win! With Him by your side, you win!
Truly surrendering to Him brings about such comfort and peace. So as the new year approaches allow yourself to surrender to a God that doesn’t fail. Find peace in knowing that when problems arise HE is already taking care of them. Don’t allow your mind to be bogged down with trying to tackle every issue this year but in the words of one of my favorite hymns... take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there.
Happy New Year All!
Until Nothing’s Left,
I didn’t want to come to you all cliche...
I didn’t want to sound fake...
I had been asking God what i was going to write about for my 30th birthday... how i would elaborate on my life over the years...
I am not going to act like everything has been so good and wonderful but ALL IN ALL i have truly been very fortunate.
This is my first “milestone” birthday that i have been actively writing this blog... and i don’t know why it has been so hard for me to get the words to express the accuracy of my feelings.
I am struggling because i am trying to make things complicated and profound. But the things that matter in life aren’t complicated. They are like little flickers that we miss while we look at our phone... they are what we try to get on camera the second time around...they are things we deem small in the grand scheme of things. They are the moments that remind us of how powerful the simplicity of our stories can be.
Small things are big things to me now because i have a toddler running around my house... every little new word and new action he does is huge to me and George regardless of how minuscule would be to someone else.
I think about different instances throughout my life that were HUGE. Things that make me wonder if they would have gone a different way how would my life have turned out...
We tend to harp on the bigger things because they define our life.
It’s the smaller things that get pushed aside or forgotten about almost as soon as they happen. But these small moments allowed the bigger moments to have more meaning.
I remember my last semester at UNA. They were having the day where high school students come view the campus and go to the football game. Well i had to work the college of nursing booth... and afterward i was walking to my dorm room talking to my parents. They were telling me that they were just out and about around BIrmingham not doing much and not 10 mins later they pulled up. Y’all have no clue what that did to my spirit. Just a simple day trip to come see me. See they had no clue how lonely i was that day. They had no clue how lonely i had been that whole last semester. Not because i didn’t have people around me that loved me but because so much change was happening in my life. That small gesture framed the rest of my semester. It let me know they were always there.
Oh what about that time my brother picked me up from school when i was still at Ramsay and he had come home from UNA and i had no clue he was in town and we laughed at the man whose windshield wipers couldn’t stop going no matter how hard he tried to turn them off— lame i know but hilarious to us.
Or that time George and i sat at the table in the fellowship hall of my church and he told me he was going to make me fall in love with him. The moment i knew i wanted that guy forever.
That time me and Daphne and SDot sat in the parking lot of Hawthorne and watched super moon for hours...
What about when my Grandma use to pick me and my brother up from school and we use to go by the gas station and get candy...
Or when my Aunt Audrey use to let me on her lap and drive in Tuskegee...
The many times Justin and I rode through Birmingham listening to 90s R&B and people watching...
Let’s not forget that 3lb 12 oz small baby that i could pick up with one hand. That small baby that allowed me to see that God really does work miracles. That tiny foot with the IV in it. That already tiny onesie that still swallowed his body. That tiny human being gave my life more meaning than anything i have ever thought of.
I can think of so many of these little things that made me feel loved or appreciated or whole. It wasn’t a grand moment that all the stars aligned it was a simple thing that made my heart flutter and my eyes water from pure happiness.
Simple things are truly what makes up this amazing life God has granted us. They make the big things bigger. They make you appreciate people more. They make you realize that life is made up of things that aren’t all meant to be shared on social media but kept in the special corners of your heart and the photo albums of our minds.
So when i think of turning 30... nothing big and complex comes to mind... only the simple things that have taken place in my life that.
Cherishing these things is something i have done over the years and something i will continue to do.
Although turning 30 is huge... what really matters is the small memories i will continue to make with my family. Those small things i can do on my job to make sure my patients go home without any worries. Those tiny instances that God shows me he is ALWAYS looking out for me.
I don’t plan on making big things happen now that i have entered into my 30s i plan holding tightly to those things that really matter.
Happy Birthday to me!!
Until Nothing’s Left...
*the way to that area*
It’s funny how things work out…
For a long time I wouldn’t walk to the other side of the hospital I worked in. It was still very traumatizing. For those who don’t know I was in the hospital for a month due to preeclampsia and although our outcome was very good the area in the hospital was still very daunting. It made my heart skip a beat… and not in a good way.
I am a nurse… like most of you know and for the last 6 years I worked on the same floor and didn’t have much movement around other parts of the hospital so it was easy to not really be affected by that certain area in the hospital. The first time I walked that way when I finally got off maternity leave I was going to the cafeteria… so I started bringing my food from home more and that kept me from walking over there for that. So my interaction with that part of the hospital was slim to none.
Well recently I started a new position and I was able to move to a new area of the hospital, still not near that area though, so I was good. Well with a new position come some new things. New things like: fellowshipping with new coworkers and dealing with a different patient load.
When I first started my new position I didn’t really think twice about that stuff. I mean that usually comes with the territory of newness. The hospital I work in is huge so moving around—literally from one floor to another will allow you to enter into a whole new world. It’s pretty awesome. So with my new patientload I quickly realized they could be placed anywhere which means I might have to go anywhere. Well the first thing I thought about was… cool I can get my daily steps in. BUT I never considered that I would have to go over there!
With the new fellowships I acquired I was able to get an awesome woman of God that I am able to talk to and WALK with!! Right up my alley! We can get our steps in together and talk about Jesus and vent about being working wives and mamas. It was great. But I never thought we would walk over there.
Welp… it happened. We went walking one day and she went a “new way” and BAM! Right there in my face is the CCN—the Continuing Care Nursery- the place my baby stayed for a week and where George and I resided until my baby was released. Although it was an amazing place… It’s nowhere I ever want to go again. Not even to visit another baby.
When I initially saw the sign my heart beat so fast and my eyes weld up with tears and SO MANY memories flooded my mind. My baby on monitors, sleeping in recliners, waiting to see if George Solomon can transfer to an open crib, my best friend eating burgers with me while George was at work, crying cause I was there, making necklaces for my babies’ milestones, being comforted by many amazing nurses, crying a lot more, family coming to see us, wanting to leave but not wanting to leave. SO many memories.
As the feels started to take over I could feel myself suppressing them and playing them off… Making a little remark to act like I was stronger than I was. I felt myself becoming extremely overwhelmed, my mind was saying I wasn’t ready to see this again… and then I remember God saying…” It’s okay…look how far you all have come… you can handle this… I got you… you’re ready”. Those words reassured me. They calmed me down like no other.
I realized how Good of a father God really is and how he literally catches you when you are about to fall. Literally and figuratively.
God literally caught me as I was tripping up on my feelings .
It’s so funny because dealing with that part of the hospital it’spretty much inevitable now because a small portion of my patient load will always be in that area.
I know it might seem like a small feat but trauma is trauma… big or small. How our minds process things is specific to each individual.
I tell you all this to say… God knows when you are ready. He will gracefully help you jump hurdles you are avoiding. He will show you the brighter side of that oh so dark time in your life. He will provide comfort for you through allowing you to take care of someone else and make the situation they are going through a tad bit easier.
If I had my way with things I wouldn’t have gone back over there unless I had a doctor’s appointment or was having another baby; it would have literally been a point A to B type thing. But there is no way healing can come with that. I needed to passthrough… I needed to wade in that area to have time to soak in the goodness of my father.(Isaiah 43:2)
Typing this literally brings me to tears because I think about how far my baby has come and I know my God is true, so true to his promises.
Let God work through you and heal you… but let Him do it His way… and let him tell you When You’re Ready.
Until Nothing’s Left,
A Few Scripture for some encouragement.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2
I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work[a] in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you[b] and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling[c] of our Lord Jesus Christ! Phil 1:6
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. Romans 8:28
More Than A Number
I never realized until I started trying to lose weight how much numbers “define” us. I would weigh in every week with hopes that the number on the scale would significantly decrease. Some days it went down 3lbs, some .2lbs some not at all… the days when I lost more I would immediately be in a better mood. The days where the numbers were on the lesser end I would find myself in sort of a slump, wondering how I messed up and what I could do to get back on track. I began obsessing so much to the point where I had to take my scale out of plain sight because it was getting ridiculous. The funny thing about it all was even though the number on the scale read a certain thing and it might not have been what I wanted I could still tell a difference in my clothes, my face, even my shoes lol. But those things were not as significant to me as seeing a numerical decrease.
For a while now the number on the scale has bounced back and forth between a few of the same numbers… it has been sort of discouraging to see that the number isn’t really changing anymore. My mind has gotten to the point where it is playing tricks on me. I will look in the mirror and see the old 35lbs heavier Brittany. Even though I know that it is not the truth I still find myself being dissatisfied with what I see. And ultimately it is ALL because of a number.
This got me thinking. Thinking about HOW OBSESSED we can get with numbers and how it can change our whole perspective on… well life.
I remember when I was applying for colleges I had only applied to a few and I was set on one for sure. I had been accepted and was in the process of picking out my dorm space and all that. This school was rather large and I remember talking to someone and they told me that the classes were so large that the students went by numbers and not their names. This freaked me out. Especially coming from a high school (RAMSAY HIGH SCHOOL—BEST THERE IS) that was smaller and everyone knew everyone! The teachers, lunchroom staff and everyone else knew you by name. I couldn’t fathom the fact that I would be a number. Well this major factor along with a few other things changed my mind about going to this particularly large college and I decided to go to a smaller school (UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA—BEST THERE IS). There the teachers knew my name and were very involved in my education. I loved UNA and I wouldn’t change a thing about going there. But as I sit back and think I realize that even if I would have gone to that larger school my education would have been the same. I would have probably had an amazing time. Being a number wouldn’t have changed really anything. But, I let it scare me. I let it be the determining factor on where I continued my education.
I remember growing up having to memorize phone numbers. I had a Lisa Frank planner that I kept everyone’s number in and referred to it when I needed to contact someone. Well, it was always a few people’s numbers who I always remembered; whether it was my best friend (at the time) or a boy I liked. What’s crazy is I still remember some of those numbers to this day. I use to play with people’s minds a little and say little things to see if they had memorized my number, thinking if they knew my number “by heart” that I was more special to them. It was kind of silly. But that mattered to me.
Now all of these are TOTALLY different circumstances but they all involved a number of some sort. I know I am not the only one who focuses on numbers… My point behind all these scenarios really is to say that none of these things “define” you. None of them make you any less or any more.
Whether you are 30lbs over weight or 30lbs underweight… You are still you! You are still special. You are more than that. I understand you want the scale to read different but if your cholesterol is down and your blood pressure is good—I would think being healthy matters WAYYYY More!
Whether you are a number in a class of 300 or your teacher knows your name… You can still get your education. You can still make a difference. You can STILL graduate at the top of your class.
Them knowing your number by memory or not doesn’t mean they like you any more or any less… Their number being in your phone or them randomly calling you… has nothing to do with you… you can’t let that or them make you feel more or less important. Yeah I get it! Trust me! But what does it matters if they are calling you if every time they call they are arguing or being petty… Move along. Your sanity matters more.
I am speaking to myself when I write this post. We can’t continue to obsess with things that ultimately don’t matter.
We have to learn to focus back on what really matters! God! And identify ourselves through his eyes! Romans 12:2 is such a good reminder! (listed at the bottom)
We are more than what society makes us think is important. Be reminded that God defines you! We are more than numbers to Him.
A few scriptures to remind us of who we really are:
Now anyone enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold , everything is fresh and new. 2 Corinthian 5:17
I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is so marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazed me to think about it. How thoroughly you know me, Lord. Psalms 139:14
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern Go’d will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in His eyes. Romans 12:2
Until Nothing’s Left,
When it comes to friendships i have been blessed to find some amazing women and men that have truly had my back and loved on me through all my mess! But i have also had some periods throughout my life that my friends became few and far between.
Friendships dissolve for different reason and sometimes it can be a peaceful breakaway and other times it can be terrible! I have experienced how nasty a parting of ways can be and i am also seeing how maturity can bring about a softer blow.
The more i grow in Jesus the more i am doing heart checks (check out my post before this) and beginning to realize it isn’t always someone else’s fault. I am not
ALWAYS THE VICTIM!
As college ended and after college i held onto being the victim for a long time. I was so hurt and i was so mad. BUT it was partially my fault. It wasn’t just the other party doing something to me. It was very much so both of us being childish or just mean to one another. I look back on those days and i constantly ask God why things happened as they did... but I am realizing without those instances i would never learn how to remove myself from playing victim in every situation. I know that those instances have brought me to this point of accepting and admitting.
I am realizing that sometimes i start the argument. I created the rumor. I told the lie. I played the middle. I made communication be nonexistent. I was the problem— not the victim.
As I’ve matured i have learned the power of simply accepting that i was toxic and apologizing for being that person. Making time to not necessarily rekindle that friendship BUT squash whatever beef there was or just move on.
Although most of my friendship issues happened about 10 years ago they still weighed heavy on me because i played a huge part in creating them.
I’m not saying all this because it’s the cool thing... because who wants to truly admit that they caused a potentially good friendship to end. I am saying this because it’s TRUTH!
Y’all, IT IS NOT ALWAYS EVERYONE ELSE! Everyone else is not always bad.
Until the toxicity is removed from your spirit then your mindset will continuously go back to pointing the finger.
This might be hard to admit right off but remove yourself from always being the victim. It has taken me 10 years but it is so freeing.
Admit your wrongs and live your life without holding onto these things that are holding you back.
Until Nothing’s Left...
As i step back and look at the fact that this is the third year anniversary of my blog i began to think of where i was when God put this blog on my heart. I was on fire for Jesus just coming back from my first Pinky Promise Conference. My heart had been made new. I was a different Brittany.
I know God gave me this blog with the intentions of me spilling my heart to you all! He wanted me to REpresent Him and tell the world how although i struggle i still rely on him and live for him and his glory. Is it easy? Nope! I mean when i think about the many times i have questioned God and doubted him and downright rejected him I’m surprised He still loves me. Me and my family have endured some tough times but God has STILL shown how faithful he is through it all.
3 years and I’m still walking this RELATIONSHIP with Christ thing out. I just went to my 3rd Pinky Promise conference and I went in with GREAT expectation. And God showed out. God kept putting something in my heart the whole time i was there... my heart posture.
My heart has gone from open and soft to stone cold hard. I have experienced all the stages of heart ache and mending over the past 3 years and some time before that as well. I’m not talking about the break ups from my boyfriends or the friendships that dissolved. I’m talking about the feelings of completely feeling looked over. Feeling misused. Feeling forgotten. (I know break ups of any kind can be mentally and emotionally traumatizing— I’m not insensitive to that because I’m married and have a very good friend group.)I am talking about walking upright, trying to be just, loving and caring and still feeling like I’m losing.
I experienced different situations that left me feeling like “forget all this”. Im sure you have been there as well. I would always wonder why is this going like this or that? Am i not a good enough person to not get this or that?
In recent months God has been revealing something to me about my heart and the posture in which it is in. He told me that i thought everything was about me. I was devastated to get this revelation because the nature of my work is focused on caring for others... literally going all day without peeing to care for others and their families. Then i thought about how i try to help my family. I try making things easier for them. I was just shocked. Like God seriously how is this the case? Well it was made a little clearer to me at the conference. Since i have been back home i have been able to actually see what he meant.
As i said, I went to this conference in TOTAL expectation. Totally expecting God to move and break my heart for the things that break his. For Him to do for me the same thing he did for the children of Israel on Ezekiel 36— but specifically in verse 26 “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” I needed that. I wanted and desired that. So one day during quiet time as i studied “worship” God brought it to my attention to look up the word worship... because he knew i thought that it was the same thing as praise. I also know he had me look it up because i don’t TRULY worship him. I mean i pray and thank him and raise my hands. I CRY during songs, i get in my feelings about certain ways he has been good to me. But guess what... these are all actions that typically involve some sort of emotions. He wanted me to see that when the emotions leave so does my true heart for him... so does my desire to let him be sovereign .
“Worship is releasing control and letting God FULLY reign.”
It isn’t just about thanking him for EVERY great thing he is doing and has done. But understanding that it’s not EVER about me it’s always about him. So no matter how much i do—Every action i take, every thought to help someone, every nice gesture...all these things that give me the “feels” should still be done even after the feels are gone. Even when it hurts. Even when I’m mad. Worship is not about how I’m feeling it’s acknowledging that God is sovereign.
After I studied that it began to soak in my heart what God was trying to get me to understand and what i want you to understand. He revealed to me that i relish too much in praise, but not praising him. Wanting to receive praise from outsiders when i have done something that i deem praiseworthy. Wanting a pat on the back or a hand clap... thinking it’s going to keep me going. BUT IT ISNT. He keeps me going. And once the dust settles and people have moved on from the “attaboys” then is motive still the same— are my motives to do good from the heart or are they drenched in feelings and getting the next thumbs up.
What is my heart’s posture? What is your heart’s posture?
Hey you might not even struggle with this, but if you do, check your heart! This isn’t about you or what you are doing. It’s ALWAYS about Him.
In my case i was saying things were for God’s glory but my heart was hardened and I really wasn’t interested in glorifying Him...or maybe i was just enough for me to show y’all... BUT it was really all about me. (Hey I’m just being real... i mean i struggle, y’all)
I’m glad God checked me!
Now i can’t say that i have arrived but i can say that i am more aware and i want to be more cognizant. No, i cannot say my actions are void of emotions because that would be a lie. What i can say is my emotions are not the driving force behind my actions. Don’t let yours be either.
Don’t let the way you live your life and posture your heart be contingent on “attaboys”...
Until Nothing’s Left,
Check out Ezekiel 36!
We all fall into the trap of expectations. Whether big or small. For birthdays, holidays or random days. We all expect certain things to happen. If you are a mother you expect somebody to go all out for you on Mother’s Day. As a child we might have all expected to get the biggest gift on our Christmas list. As an employee we all expect a pat on the back or a hand clap from management. But there are times these things don’t happen and our expectations leave us upset or forgotten or just down right mad.
Sooooo... I’m going to let you get a peek at my life and how expectations got the best of me.
My husband, George, is an AMAZING guy. He is friendly, loving, great provider and an AMAZING father. Just an all around great person. BUT he is not a mind reader... i know you are saying “well duh Brittany”... well i thought he was. Lol! On my first Mother’s Day i expected George to lay out a spread of gifts and take me to dinner and just blow my mind. Now i should have known from jump that this is something that i shouldn’t expect because George is VERY simple! I mean the smallest things make him so happy. So let’s just say for my first Mother’s Day he went rather simple. And let’s just say i expressed my anger in a not so sweet and gentle way. I thought he didn’t think i was a good mother and that i wasn’t worthy of getting everything i EXPECTED to get. In all actuality George didn’t know. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know what i expected. He has never been a husband to a mother before so he didn’t think about it. He expressed all these things to me and I WAS STILL MAD!
I was wrong ya’ll. He did something from his heart and i completely rejected it. (Don’t judge me too hard).
So as this Mother’s Day rolled around i legit got anxiety. I expressed my anxiety to my mother because i needed her to calm me down because i didn’t not want a repeat of last year... NOT the getting a small gift part but my jacked up attitude part. As i expressed my feelings to my mama who is a George advocate, might i add. She says to me “maybe you expect too much”.
“Excuse me ma’am... how dare you?!” I thought. I was appalled.
I couldn’t handle that response so i went to another one of my older friends who has been married for 25 years and her husband’s personality is similar to George’s. She told me the same thing. (Boooo) and she told me to stop looking at what i think other people are getting. You don’t know the reasons behind their gifts and their circumstances. She explained things to me about George that i already knew. How he is a good man and how he makes an effort to make me happy everyday not just Mother’s Day. How he is faithful and loving and caring.
As i left from talking to her I didn’t feel any better. Not because of a gift but because i realized that i am selfish and ridiculous. Immediately God told me to write about expectations. But i was so shame i said “Ooo noooo! I couldn’t show people how much of a brat i am.” He quickly said Brittany you are human. Everyone struggles. Let someone know they aren’t alone. Give them a sense of relief. He said you were so upset with George because you expected so many tangible things. Things that fade and can easily be taken away... you didn’t except what he gave which was his heart.
God also reminded we that we treat him the same way.
We need a new car and we have our eyes on a certain car but when we get to the dealership our budget doesn’t fit what we thought we should get and now our expectations are crushed. BUT God still gets us a car. But now we are mad and fussing... talking about “but God said he would give me my hearts desires...”
Well he did. A car is your hearts desire. He blessed you with what you needed. A car! A car you can drive. And afford to pay for. And go to work in. And put groceries in. BUT because it isn’t THE car you expected it’s no good.
We got to do better!
What are you expecting?
Don’t get me wrong. There have been many times in my life where God was spot on with meeting my expectations and my wants. And I ended up happy for a few months or so and then sooner rather than later my conversation sounding like “this is what I’m going to do next and how things will happen next time.” NEVER SATISFIED!
Expectations can have us mad at people and God but have you ever thought how they can have people and God mad at you. Shaking their heads like “you ain’t never gone be happy”
Take a step back. Look at what you have. Look at what you want? You expecting too much?
I’m not going to be unrealistic and say to stop expecting, that’s human nature. But i promise when you let go of some of what you THINK you should have God will blow your mind and sometimes people will too.
Once I asked God to remove the anxiety from my heart about Mother’s Day and i really prayed for me to receive George’s sincerity i ended up having the best day and George didn’t do too bad either!
Until Next My next Post,
A few scriptures to ponder on...
“The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.”
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.”
Psalms 62:5 NLT
“This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.’ ””
Mark 12:11 NLT
Why Can’t I Write?
Some people call it writers block, some call it lack of inspiration; others call it a creative slow down; I on the other hand don’t know what to call it. I would be lying if I said I have a lack of inspiration because plenty of things have occurred for me to write about. I can’t say that I have a “creative slow down” because I have written about 2 full-on post and deleted them both. So at this point I figured it was time to consult with God. (which is the first thing I should do) I asked Him what I should write about since I haven’t posted anything since the end of February. I told you all I would be more consistent about writing but now I have gone a whole month and not put anything out… How is that consistency?
After a few failed attempts and some discouragement I realized I was trying to force something. I wanted to write about some stuff that was on my heart, but nothing would click and usually that is always God’s way of saying it’s not time to write about that or maybe I still need to pass that test.
I laid in the bed the other night God downloaded a whole lot of things to me and I just assumed that I needed to write about that, but I could never get peace about it and I could never get things to flow. I started to stress. Unnecessary stress? Yes. But, I felt like I was failing.
God was like Brittany the real reason YOU have nothing to write about is because YOU are trying to do it without incorporating me and that’s the real issue!
I know everyone isn’t a writer and can’t relate to have “writers block” BUT there is something that you have given up on or let fall by the wayside because you can’t seem to get confirmation from God or you can’t shake fear… and it’s because you have shut God out the equation.
I got two things for you…
Fear is paralyzing. Fear is truly a lack of faith. Do you think God is going to let you fail? If He gave you this mission then what makes you think he is going to let you down? Let me tell you something… He isn’t! He’s got you. I know this sounds so simple… you know why… IT IS! We make it so hard. We make things ridiculously complex BUT if God is in it He’s got it. Stop allowing fear to cripple you. It’s stopping you from something that could completely change your life. You are scared because you are trying to do this by yourself but God never intended for it to be done that way. Incorporate Him back into the equation.
I know these “tips” are not rocket science but they are necessary reminders because we get so caught up in ignoring God and thinking He isn’t “working” or speaking to us. He is ready to be involved… again.
I am writing to encourage y’all right now BUT my heart is being uplifted as well because God gave me this blog and he wants the glory from it and whenever I try and write for myself or my glory God constantly reminds me that it’s not about me.
It’s all about Him y’all. Stop making it about you. Stop leaning to your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Stop being paralyzed by fear. It’s time to write even when you don’t know what to say. It’s time to go even when you don’t know where. Time to do it when he says do it. Be that person that person he has called you to be not the person you “think” you are supposed to be.
*Some Friendly Reminders*
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
2 Samuel 7:28 Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
Psalms 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
Psalms 50:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
There is comfort in being in a place of familiarity. In these places we are usually surrounded by things that bring us peace and make life easier and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes there is solace in being in a place of comfort. There is contentment in being in places where we are familiar and that contentment can create mindsets of order, tranquility and restfulness. We can relax and be calm and pretty much live with no worries.
In places of comfort—better known as comfort zones there are routines and daily practices that allow us to stay on top of our daily lives without feeling COMPLETELY overwhelmed and stressed. The “comfort” of comfort zones is necessary but it can also be a hindrance in our growth. Let me explain.
There have been in many situations where I wanted to stay in places that brought me comfort and what I thought was “peace”. I wanted to remain there because I thought it was what I needed but in all actuality I wanted to wallow in my heartache and sadness. I wanted to stay in a place that made people feel sorry for me… I was pitiful and I wanted people to see that. I didn’t want to come out of that place because that meant I had to face the reality of life and move on. Understanding that everything is not perfect and the fantasy world that I have dreamed up was just a dream.
While I was in the hospital I stayed in my room. Unless I was walking around the unit to get some exercise I was confined in those four walls all day. Not because I had to but because I chose to. Not only was I physically in that room my mindset was consistently closed and I was bitter. Until one day a random art therapist came in my room and invited me to a class. I said I would go. I really wanted to but I couldn’t. I was miserable. I didn’t want to socialize. So then I made up my mind that I wouldn’t go. I was perfectly fine coloring in my adult coloring book by myself in my room. Then the nurse came and told me I should go and that I would like it. So I went. First I was there by myself and then a few other ladies came in. So it was time to socialize. “Brace yourself Brittany, Time to talk”. --- I had to actually prepare to socialize. Anybody who knows me knows that I am a sociable person. SO giving myself a prep talk to be sociable was a big deal. I then knew that I was a different person. A person I did not like. A person I had never been before and I pray that I will never be again. The class ended up being great and VERY eye opening. We made little felt birds (That I hung in my baby’s room J.. a great reminder). I learned that the other women who were there with me situations were way worse than mine. They were so early in their pregnancy and at risk for so much and me on that other hand, I was closer to my due date and my baby was healthy.
Staying in the room that day would have done two major things for me. It would have allowed me to continue to wallow in depression (seriously why would I need to do that) and secondly I wouldn’t have been able to realize how blessed I was even in the midst of my circumstances. Although I was in a difficult place our outcome was still very positive. I was reminded that although I hated where I was it could be so much worse. I know this seems very simple and I think that is what amazes me about how my mindset was at that time. I was so caught up in my feelings that I couldn’t see simple logic. Simply stepping out of my room (comfort zone) cleared my mind in ways and gave me a new perspective.
I have never been the one seclude myself but while baby George was in the continuing care nursery I stayed to myself and soaked everything in that the doctors and nurses told me. Every moment I could be in his room I was there. Not that I didn’t trust the nurse but I felt that I always had to know what was going on. It was to the point where my family wanted me to stay home and rest but I felt like I needed to be there with him. The day before he was discharged, God sent me an angel that happened to be a March of Dimes representative. She told me about a class on breast feeding that they were offering with a small lunch for all the Continuing Care Mothers and she also gave me a milestone necklace for my baby. I was given advice on caring for a premmie. They provided me with tiny hats and gloves. I was truly blessed and showered with love and encouragement from other mamas with premmies and experts who handle little babies all the time. I would have never experienced these things without venturing out of the room and trusting the nurses to do their job and take care of my baby.
The lessons I learned from stepping out were simple yet life changing. I was able to see past my struggle and open my mind to the things that matter. I could see from a different perspective and live with hope. I was given small gifts that I could keep forever and cherish. Things that will allow me remember how far God brought us and how faithful He is.
Although my comfort zones were because of my temporary circumstances I still wouldn’t have been able to be blessed without moving out of them. So whether it be something temporary or something that makes your world change drastically… Trust God.
Don’t allow comfort zones to trap you. Don’t allow the enemy to overwhelm your thoughts.
Joshua 1:9 says Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Let these scriptures penetrate your spirit and If in any way you feel God telling you to step out and be courageous or simply change your way of thinking about certain things do. Be strong. Trust in Him. You may “think” you are at peace where you are but imagine stepping out and allowing God to blow your mind and take you from one place that you think is amazing to another place that will truly change your life.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.