Water The Flowers

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Life has been a tad crazy to be honest with you. Trying to write a blog post has been a little bit of challenge. All because of time. Not enough hours in the day, no inspiration… it tends to drag.

There is so much going on, and eventually I will tell all. It’s kind of like a puzzle, one day it looks like everything is together, and then other days it looks like everything is falling apart. Sounds depressing, I know, but hang with me a sec.

One of the things that I think makes life beautiful and unique is the different stories. We are all walking stories and they can be similar in some ways but they are different to each of us. Which is beautiful. I happen to be in a rainy season right now. I have planted a lot flowers and now we have to wait for them to bloom. That is where it is hard waiting. Waiting for all the good things to come from it. I think the biggest mistake is that when the rain comes we tend to get depressed and wish it would stop. However, when you plant flowers you have to water it. So rainy seasons are simply just watering your flowers. It doesn’t have to be a horrible thing.

Seasons of life are natural and they are necessary. It helps us learn and grow. Life is full of lessons. The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven

There is more to the passage that is worth reading, but we have different seasons for a reason. To learn from them, to grow.

The rainy season is not an end but the beginning of something new. It is all the life lessons we have learned being watered and growing to become apart of ourselves. To be transparent with you, I have been struggling with this concept. Simply because I like to go through the what if I did this or that. It’s hard to see the good in the seasons that are not the ones we are looking forward to. That’s the point is it not? If everything happened exactly the way we wanted them too then we wouldn’t need a Savior. Someone to champion for us during the rough times. The times where you feel like you are drowning and have no where to go. We flail about our arms about and we try and make sense of the things that don’t always make sense. It makes us feel hopeless and that is why we don’t look at those seasons of rain with contempt. We didn’t choose this, we didn’t ask for it so why do we have to deal with it? Questions I have asked myself so many times. I wish I had the answer as to why bad things happen, but I do know that I don’t have to go through this stuff alone. That is the part we tend to forget. That we are not the first or last person to deal with the stuff we go through. We would be surprise looking around us, how many people have or are dealing with the same things that we are.

So don’t stress when the rain comes, because at the end, we will see something beautiful will have popped up. Just be patient.

~Bee

Hello 28

Well, I am 28. Funny, I thought I would have something witty to say but it appears that I am simply thankful to have made it to 28. Some may not like looking at 30 approaching so quickly, but I have learned to embrace it. You see, having had a dear cousin pass away before she got to 28, you can’t help but be reminded that tomorrow isn’t promised and growing older should be embraced as there are families that would have loved to have seen their loved ones grow older. But this post isn’t suppose to be sad. it is suppose be joyful.

I am loving this stage of life that I am in. I am an adult who still likes to watch Sailor Moon, likes to reread Nancy Drew, and the occasional punk rock song as I am cleaning my house. I have house plants, wear floral robes and care more for my skin care then I do my makeup. I have also added learning to crochet to my list of artsy accomplishments.

I am still not a big shinny diamond kind of girl, and I love my simple wedding ring. It means something to me.

That is the thing about life though, it’s what keeps it interesting.. is all the little organic changes that happens as we get older. My brother like to tease me about getting old, but I love the fact that I have lived 28 years. I have experienced 28 years of joys, hardships, laughter and tears. Thank God more laughter then tears as evidenced by those laughter lines I slather eye cream on. It’s harder to lose weight but I don’t regret that donut at all.

I still have the desire to travel, and I have learned to fully embrace myself from the parts I am proud of to my flaws. This is who I am. I am complex and I am confident in who I am. I learned that over the course of time, not everyone is going to like you. Some people are going to take advantage of you, and then there are people who think they are protecting you. Even so be gracious. The world doesn’t need to know your accomplishments, it’s to busy pointing out all the wrongs. Be kind anyway. You are going to disagree, be classy not petty. Because when your classy about it, people listen to you, and know that even if you disagree they have a seat at your table anyway.

We worry to much about this, that and everything in between, we don’t live. So for my 28th year, I am going to live. Live my life to the fullest, have fun. Because I will only be this age once. I am going to embrace it fully. I am going to run with it. Okay, maybe not run because running is not for me. I am going to dance my way through and enjoy this life that I have been blessed with. I am going to do the things that make me happy and say no to the things that don’t.

So Happy birthday me, 28 is going to be a good year. I can tell.

~Bee

 

“You Found Yourself”

“It’s ok. You just forgot who you are. Welcome back.”

A week before Thanksgiving, my husband Colin and I decided that we really needed a day of fun. So we got into the car and we went to a larger mall about 45 minuets away from where we live. We had lunch and just enjoyed window shopping. I went into to a store and found a dress on sale that I thought was pretty. I debated back and forth about buying the dress because while it was my style, I honestly wondered what others would think. I know, insane right? We tend to do that do we not? Worry way to much about others thoughts despite what makes us feel most like the creations we are.

So I decided, what the heck, and I got the dress. I decided that I would wear it to church for the Thanksgiving dinner that we have every year the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I did my hair and makeup and paired the dress with some boots and a hat. I looked in the mirror and I saw myself. I loved the way I felt and I took a deep breath and I walked out the door.

I got so many compliments. It really is amazing what kind words can do for a person’s soul. However there was one comment that struck me to my core. A very sweet lady who had complimented my outfit earlier that morning came up to me and said ” You know what, you found yourself.” As she walked away, I stood there and let her words sink in.

Did I really?

Did I really find myself?

This morning I found this quote and I posted it to Facebook:

‘Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?’-k.w

It was one of those moments that made me sit there and think about it for a moment. To be honest I don’t know that I remember. Why do we allow the world to tell us who we are? All the negative thoughts it plants in our minds, yet there is a God who shares the positive identity. True, we live in a fallen world, filled with sin. In our sin we are living in a negative world, enslaved to the emotional trauma of not being allowed to be yourself. The world likes copies, while God created individuals.

Psalm 139:14a

‘I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made….’

If you look at verse 13, it states that while we were in the womb we were being created. He knew us and loved us. He gave us His only Son so that we may live forever with Him (John 3:16). So why would we rather accept the worlds opinion of who we are suppose to be? The world likes to crush the free spirted dreamers. we are suppose to look, talk, act and dress a certain way. You do these things and then you are told your just like everybody else. So you can’t be different, but you can’t act to much like everyone else. No wonder our generation is so confused! We are not allowed to be free thinkers.

So if a God who created you just the way you are, from your looks to your general makeup, why do we not learn to love ourselves the way we were created?

I have come to a point that in my life that I would rather be myself and not some copy of someone else.

So let’s do just that! Let us be ourselves because it is much better then being just like everyone else.

-B

 

Hello My Name Is Brandy

Well hello and welcome to my little home on the internet. I know, I know it has been awhile since my last post. To be honest, I haven’t felt like blogging. I was super uninspired and no matter how many times I would attempt to write, nothing would come. I have had an interesting year, if you have read any of my previous posts, you probably gathered that. I do hope however, that you read this post. I have spent the past few months on a journey. As ridiculous and so cliché as this is going to sound, I have been reacquainting myself with me. Somewhere along the line, I felt like I lost myself. I felt like all the pieces were coming undone and I couldn’t stop it. My anxiety has been bad…. I have just been one hot mess. I failed myself.

I think we think way too much about what others think or what people would say. I was super content, even if it made me miserable, to fit into a box that others have put me in. All because I was afraid to be myself. I was embarrassed because I didn’t view things the way everyone else did. I am a very creative, imaginative person. So I view things from all kinds of angles and I like to see things half full instead of half empty. I believe everyone moves into different chapters in their lives and it is the way it is suppose to be because God wills it so. I see no point in being jealous over any season that someone else finds themselves in. All in due time.

I remember middle school and being bullied. The moment someone tells you what they think or calls you names you start to question your worth and your identity. My identity crisis began as early as 10 at a VBS. High school, the goody good label floated around, all in all being a goody good isn’t all together bad. I just didn’t believe that I was good. I suffered from anxiety and depression, I felt because I was Saved and I trusted Jesus that I would never have to deal with those things. I felt ashamed that I suffered from these things so I suffered in silence as the world around me saw me as this pink loving bubbly girl. It was a front to cover up the fact that I was drowning in the lies I believed myself. I gave the people what I thought they wanted. It led me into a relationship that ended up doing even more damage. I thought because we both used music as an outlet that we would ride off towards the sunset and make music or something. Before I knew it, I was feeling like I wasn’t good enough, because I think truly to him, I wasn’t. It is always a crushing blow to find out the person you have loved, imagined and planned a life with and around, clearly didn’t see it that way. My first real taste in heartbreak. It was easier to allow for the thoughts of unworthiness to be a broken record, because to change it meant getting up and changing the record and facing the ugly broken parts of yourself.

Sexual harassment/assault has a way of changing you as well. The moment someone take liberties whether through rape, or what seems as harmless as someone pulling your bra, has a way of making you feel like an object. I already had enough going on without having someone who felt the need to pull the back of my bra in the workplace and then say “Hi”. So not only did I have all the labels that I believed in myself but tack on feeling like an object.. No one should be made to feel like an object. I had a few people tell me that I was being dramatic and that I was overreacting because it was “just my bra”. True it was. However my feelings and my emotions were real. I felt traumatized because I never thought something like that would have ever happen to me. Yes, I moved on but I still remember the details of that moment.

So all this time, I have believed I was this messed up girl. All this time I believed that I was unworthy, not good enough… I felt like I couldn’t be myself because I never really allowed myself to come into my own fully. Because what if it’s not what people think I should be? All the assumptions that people make about my character is just that, assumptions. In trying to keep the peace, in trying to cover the brokenness, I never quite allowed myself to get to know myself. Here is the thing, God, Himself created me. He created me from my outer appearance to every little personality quirk (Psalm 139:13-14). He knew every part of my story, even the parts I have yet to reach. So here I am. I love to write stories and lyrics, I love to sing and listen to music. I love to read and watch tv shows. I love boho style clothes and I prefer the color purple over pink. I like to wear black and paint my nails dark colors. I have lost friends and gained new ones. I would love to be a mom someday but I am content with where I am in my life right now. I love to travel and see places new and old. I love to camp and have bonfires. I have loved and been loved. My trails and hard times are simply parts of the story, and don’t define the outcome. I love my small wedding ring more then any other piece of jewelry I own, because it reflects who I am. I am a daughter, wife, granddaughter, niece, cousin, sister, friend and I take those roles very seriously. I like to be creative and I want to tap more into that side of me. This is who I am. Not what others have said or made me feel. Not what I allowed myself to believe. I am who God created me to be and that is enough for me. I don’t need to impress anyone or be anything other then that. Neither do you. Be yourself. Be who you were created to be. Don’t be the person other people created because I can tell you this, they don’t know you like The One who created you to begin with. Trust that He knew what He was doing putting you on this earth, because He put you here for a reason. To do amazing things in His name.

-Brandy

Turn the Page and Leave the Jug

It is past midnight and I really should be asleep. I seem to always get a nudge to write in the middle of the night. Ironic because I am way more a morning person. I love mornings (now don’t stop reading, I like sunshine and coffee.) So here I am. Ready to pour myself out and hope that someone will be encouraged and will in turn encourage someone else. A real chain reaction as we all grab each others hands and say “It’s okay, you are not alone.” It is lonely to be out in this world because we are content in our little corners. No one wants to step out and call out the ugly for what it is: UGLY.

Back in March I shared the passing of my pastor’s wife Lisa, if you have not read my post you can here  Dear Lisa   

I share this other post because this post here is going to be in a sense a conclusion of the thoughts that have ran through my head in the past months. I didn’t actually think I had more to say. I have grown spiritually in the past few months and I want to share my heart with you.

For as long as I can remember I have always loved stories. I love writing them, telling them, reading them… and I enjoy living them. My life is a story unfolding chapter by chapter. I came to a point where I looked at the person in the mirror and I didn’t want to blog, I didn’t want to write anything. I think that loss has a way of doing many different things to many different people based on your relationship with that person. I kinda felt lost. What I mean by lost is simply put, I needed to grow up spiritually. In life as the chapters end, sometimes the pervious chapter was so good, and beautiful, and you never want it to end. I was enjoying the last chapter and to be honest I didn’t really want to turn the page, because turning the page was scary. I will not be heading up the fan club for change anytime soon. The new chapter to be blunt was the Lord really taking my heart and showing me the imperfections that needed to be addressed. I couldn’t stay the same. The storm raging in my heart needed to be calmed, and while I am being honest here, I was clinging to the side of the ship. During this time I was going through 100 Days To Brave by Annie Downs. As I worked through it, I saw piece by piece as the puzzle of the problem and my disconnect was becoming clearer. I needed to take courage and walk through the open door of change. I needed to be more caring and compassionate. I needed to love more, be meek and humble. Not because I am complacent or weak, because I drew from the well of everlasting water that only Jesus can provide and come out with strength through Him.

So I challenged myself to read from older and wiser women and men. Cue in Elisabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael.. to name a couple. If I couldn’t find books for free, I watched YouTube videos, and read quotes. I realized very quickly the main problem: TRUST. I am going to be blunt; I simply did not trust God to come in and carry me through my stuff, to lead me where He wanted me to go, to prepare me, equip me….because I put my identity in the shame I felt, the pain, the words of lies spoken over me…because that was “easier”. Ha! Joke is on me because like Christian walking through with his burden strapped to his back, I was walking around with all this junk and it was so heavy.

Then I found a kindred spirit in the woman at the well in John chapter 4. Here was a woman who carried her stuff around. What we see is a woman, who lived a lifestyle she wasn’t proud of. She went to the well when no one was around, probably to avoid the judgmental stares, the whispering and the added shame. She meets Jesus, and He offers her water through Him, water that will quench her thirst eternally. He brings to light her past and offered redemption from the past identity and offers her a brand new one. In verse 28, do you realize that when she went to tell people about Jesus, she left the water jug she had been carrying. She left it behind. She no longer felt the need to keep it. I came to the realization that I, Brandy, liked to go back and pick up the water jug where I left. This girl was micromanaging. I needed to put that jug down. Once I set it down and said no to picking it back up, I tasted the freedom that comes with letting go.

One author I have grown to admire and adore is Elisabeth Elliot. I have always enjoyed her writing but I started to see her in a different light because if you know anything about her story, through what had to be terrifying and hard, she still trusted God and believed that His will was perfect and it wasn’t her place to question His will. The more I read in the Word of God, the more I started to see the jug for what it was. No longer relevant to my story. No matter what was going to be thrown my way, the way I reacted is totally up to me. I needed to learn to say ‘God, I don’t feel okay, but I believe Your will is still perfect despite it.’ We don’t get to pick the circumstances in life but we go get to pick our reactions. I want to be a complete nobody trying to exalt Somebody. I needed to see that the world will see me as a nobody, because my identity does not come from the world. It comes from the One who calls me ‘beloved’ (Romans 9:25). I needed to remember the world will never appreciate me, but that in everything I do I need to do it from the heart for the Lord not people (Colossians 3:23).

 

So here I am. I dropped the water jug, and I turned the page. The story that God is writing for me is simply perfect, with all the scars, tears and mess. My life is far from perfect, total perfection will come when I enter Glory. Trusting God’s will is not always easy. However it is always worth it. Because as Elisabeth Elliot beautifully put into words, God’s story never ends with ashes.

*photo: brandy strong word editing done on Word Swag.

~Brandy

Hello 25

I am 25. Well actually, I turned 25 March 16th. So I decided that I will share 25 lessons I have learned. 

  1. Walk as though you have three suited men behind you. Walk in a room knowing that your beautiful, loved and meant to be respected. Your a queen, don’t let ANYONE treat you as anything less.
  2. Happy girls are the prettiest. Smile! There is more to life then the things that bring you down. 
  3. Sometimes loving someone means taking a step back. The people we love are human. People make mistakes and hurt us. Sometimes we have to step back and stand off to the side with the first aid kit to run in when it’s time. 
  4. Always be yourself. It doesn’t matter what everyone is doing be your unique you. 
  5. Kindred Spirits are jems in life. When you find your Diana or your Katie ( if your kindred is an Anne-girl too) hold them close and be there whenever they need you. Kindred spirits are a blessing!
  6. Laundry detergent matters. Trust me. Laundry detergent is meant to bubble, and your clothes need to actually smell clean!
  7. A good book is always to short. When love the characters, the story…it all just ends to soon.
  8. Don’t go to Wegmans after you had Pina Coladas. Just trust me on this.
  9. Apparently not everyone knows what a Wawa run is. I am so sorry!
  10. No matter how old you, your never to old for the magic of Harry Potter!  If you got your Pottermore results then let’s go to Hogwarts together!
  11. I am really a Jedi Shadowhunter Wizard.. I figured… 
  12. Barnes and Nobles will always smell amazing to me. Coffee and books… 
  13. Don’t put a price on good hair care. 
  14. Girls love hockey too. I will always watch hockey! 
  15. Sometimes Punk rock is nessesary. When you need, you need it.
  16. Just because I like to wear black doesn’t mean I am depressed.  I have quite the colorful imagination and I find that wearing black shoes those colors.
  17. Always be a lady. Keep it classy. Don’t stoop down to the level of those who refuse to be classy themselves.
  18. Your NEVER to old to have a dance party with Family Force 5. Crank it like chainsaw!!!!
  19. Phil Whickam’s voice gives me chills. A God given talent.
  20. Nothing beats an afternoon tea.   
  21. Don’t ever waste sunny days.  Life is to short to sulk.
  22. Better to write a crappy first draft then to never write it at all. Got a story? Write a first draft!
  23. Blogging is still one of my greatest adventures! I started my first blog at the age of 17. I have had a total of three blogs. It has been a lot of trial and error. But I am here and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
  24. You can never have to many mugs. I love having a wide variety of mugs to choose from.
  25. Always love others. Seems like this should be a given. But people have different opinions, can be rude, and nasty. Jesus called us to love anyway. 

So there you have it! I hope you all have a wonderful day! 

~Brandy