Once a Saint, Always a Saint

      I remember when I first joined the Maryland Christian Saints Cheerleading Squad like it was yesterday. My first year with the squad is burned in my memory. The hot June days preparing for the regular season, the practices, the games. The rustling of red and black poms and the evening games. It gave a homeschooler an essence of a high school life. I remember the girls, I had the joy to get to know. The glitter, the stunts, yelling for touch downs. The practices were fun, exhausting at times. What I remember most is that these girls were also sisters. Some of us are married, engaged, graduating college, building careers. Yet every time I look back at those days, I would go back and relive them. One of those sisters have went to be with our Savior. The first thing I noticed about Chelsie Morris, was her smile. She had a smile that could light up a room. She was friendly, and she made me feel welcomed on the squad. I remember stunting with her, and cheering along side her. Her teaching me some cheers. It’s hard to believe that she is gone. Once you leave the team, you are told ” Once a saint, always a Saint.” That is true. no matter if my uniform is snug now, or whether you talk to each other often. Once we come together on that field on Homecoming, you can’t help but feel like that high school cheerleader again. The girls that you cheered with will always in my heart be my fellow cheerleaders.

This picture is one of my favorites. It reminds me of days that our concern was doing school and making it to cheer practice on time. Even though we have all went in our separate directions, her passing brings an ache to go back to those days. Cancer sucks. But it has not won. My prayers go to her family, and those close to her. Rest In Peace Chelsie, till we meet again.
Once a Saint, Always a Saint.

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My Struggle With Loneliness

     We all have our own struggles. I really wanted to open up about this, because I know this is something that other people can relate too. This is one post that in all honesty has been a painful topic. I have stared at the title and dreaded having to open up some wounds. It is not only painful but incredibly difficult to admit that I struggle with loneliness. I think what makes it so difficult is that I am surrounded by people who love me. How could I have so many people in my life and yet feel so alone? The biggest questions is the why’s and how’s. It is a constant battle that I have to hand over to God and ask Him to fill the void. After years of struggling with this, I came to the understanding that no one can fill the need like He can.

  I remember for years I prayed for a best friend. Not just any best friend, I wanted the best friend that would call me or text me first. I have so many girlfriends but I always knew that they had a best friend, and some even made that pretty clear. My first taste of loneliness came in middle school. I thought I had friends. I did everything I could just so that I could impress them. Yet with dropping grades and finding the cold hard truth that the people I so desperately wanted as friends, didn’t really care. I am not saying that everyone made me feel this way. But when your in middle school.. Kids are tough. When I became homeschooled for my 8th grade to high school, I also got saved. I wanted to make some Christian friends and I longed to just to fit in somewhere. Anywhere. I wanted to be accepted as myself. I started attending biblestudies, I joined the cheerleading squad. Yet, as friendly as some were they didn’t see the hurting lonely girl. I remember sitting at cheer practice one time and looking at everyone around me and feeling so out of place. Even at Bible studies, I felt like no one really saw me. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot. I also loved the girls that I had the opportunity to meet. Yet, I was a very lonely person. This longing to be loved and accepted, brought to my first boyfriend and in the end, I was still as lonely as I was when I entered into it ( more to the story, but that will be a different time). I finally came to a place where I needed to realize that I was looking in all the wrong places. I so desperately wanted a best friend to call my own and I ignored the fact that I indeed had one in Jesus. Once my eyes opened up to the truth that Jesus didn’t just die and saved me from the debt of my sins, but He actually longed to be my best friend, in the same way that I was longing for one.
 I won’t lie to you, it is still one of my struggles. I still feel the sting of loneliness. What is different is my response. I had to come to realization that no matter how many friends I had on Facebook, or who follows my Twitter. Jesus is the only best friend I need. Marriage is also not the cure for loneliness either. Before I met my husband that was something that I was convicted on. I was looking to a relationship that is really suppose to be a selfless one and was thinking of how I can cure my loneliness. No human can cure loneliness like Jesus can.  Once I unlocked this truth, I began to realize that Satan was the one who was planting the lies and he was the one that was making me feel lonely. it wasn’t the people. I had allowed my self, ( and still do) to fall into the trap of loneliness. I love Psalm 91, the entire chapter is talking about how God is our refuge and our fortress. I may have a battle with loneliness, but the war was won on the cross.
~ Brandy

Where You Go, I Will Go

Today has been a productive day. For starters, I love productive days. I love when I know I need to get things done and I check them off my list one by one. There is something rewarding. That feeling that you get where the only thing you have to do, is sit back and enjoy a book. I love those days. The cat has been content with being lazy, so I haven’t needed to chase her out of things she doesn’t need to be in. It has been a good day.

Yesterday, Colin and I went for a walk at the park. The weather was beautiful. After such a long winter it is nice to look out the window and actually see flowers! Welcome Spring! You have been missed. We have been planning and preparing for our friends Dan and Jen to come over from England in September. It feels so far away! I was going through last years vacation photos, and can not wait to take some with our good friends!

So I have been loving 94 Fish FM lately. I love the different genres on one station. It helps to have some good Christian music playing while I am blogging and cleaning. I have been loving Jefferson Bethke’s book Jesus > Religion. I will give my full review once I have finished it. from what I have read, I love how he has kept his book centered around Jesus. I have also appreciated his honesty. When I open up a book about my Savior, I want to leave feeling challenged and that I have learned something. So far this read has proven to be just that. If you want to check him out check out his website here.

I will also have announcement coming up. I am excited to share this with you. I can’t share just yet, but I do have a blog post in the works for this announcement so stay tuned! 🙂

I know that I mentioned the Ruth study I have been doing. I have really been looking at the story of Ruth. In my studies, I was reading Ruth 1:16 a few weeks ago, and I recently reread it.

Ruth 1:16 (NIV)
But Ruth replied, ” Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

You hear this verse in weddings, but I love how Kelly Minter described these verse in her Bible study in her living room series on the book of Ruth.

” We memorialize her words in the context of a loving friendships and brides and grooms who are so zealously in love that the rest of us have to go drown ourselves in cake. But the truth is that this famous speech was uttered amidst loss and hardship and in the face of much bitterness.” – Kelly Minter

I never thought about this verse in that light before. I mean here was Ruth, making a life changing choice. She was leaving everything behind, and going to a whole new land. She just gave her future over to God. Can you imagine what our walks would be like if we just surrendered our lives over to God and allowed Him to lead us? God longs for us to give everything over to Him, and to be willing to go where He wants us to, and stay in the seasons he has us in and not demand for Him to do our will but His. Fellow believers are our people, therefore we should not gossip or be offensive towards our people. And always remember that the God of the entire universe, is your God.

I hope you all have a wonderful evening!

~ Brandy

 

A Day with My Love

Colin never has off on a Saturday. So we made it a date. I think one of the most important things to do in a marriage is to continue to date each other. We went to Lifeway and we got some books. I love to shop in the clearance section. Normally I can find books that I have been wanting to read for a great price. Colin shops more in the commentaries. He started getting books to help with his pastoral studies.  Here is a picture of the books I got:

Sorry for the glare on the bottom right there! I am including a list of the titles:

  • Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis
  • Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke
  • A Love That Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar
  • One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

I am going to give my reviews on the books as I have finished them. In all honesty, I am pretty excited to dig into these books and see what God reveals to me. The first book, I am reading is Jefferson Bethke’s book Jesus > Religion. His wife Alyssa Bethke has a book coming out soon and I love her blog !  I love reading other blogs.

I will be giving you an update after each chapter 🙂

Colin and I Skype chatted our friends Dan and Jen in England for a bit. It is always wonderful to talk to them! September can not come fast enough!

Colin and I also decided to go to Cracker Barrel! We LOVE Cracker Barrel!

Huge fan of their French toast breakfast!

Colin wanted to tease Dan with his steak. We look forward to introducing Jen to Cracker Barrel!

Then after dinner we went to go see God’s Not Dead in theaters. First off, I loved this movie. It is one of those movies that I highly recommend! It wasn’t a weak movie. There was a lot of deep topics in this movie. It was moving. If you have seen the movie let me know in the comments your thoughts! \

I love date nights!

~ Brandy

Craziness

I have doing a study on the book of Ruth the past few weeks. It has been an amazing study by Kelly Minter and in the season of my life I have been in. I found the study through a wonderful blogger Lisa Elle of Lily Among Thorns  ( Go check out her blog!!) So for my birthday I got the study and the Lord has done some amazing things through this study. I am officially half way through. I have learned a lot and doing this study and leading a study by Priscilla Shirer, the two have really gone hand in hand. I am so excited to see where God is going to do within my heart!

Choosing to be a full time blogger, has to have been one decision that was hard.

1. It is not always easy to come up with your post.
2. Life tends to be crazy every time I sit down to blog.

Yet the Lord has been pushing deeper into this blogging world and pushing to do this for Him. I realize that it is okay to go a few days without a blog post. Life is going to be crazy. I am going to working hard to be a bit more regular in blogging! I have a lot of things that I want to be blogging, and sharing. I am praying that the Lord will open the doors of my heart. With that being said, I did add a bunch of ways that you can stay in touch and follow me. I will be adding Facebook to the list but for right now it will be Instagram and Pinterest.

Sorry for the short post! I will be posting again soon!

~ Brandy