What About The Good Girls?

The multi-color glow from the stage lighting slices the dark atmosphere of the room, spotlighting on an unsuspecting teen before darting haphazard to the next adolescent. The air is pungent with the scent of CK One, mingled with pockets of Clinique Happy. He takes the stage, which is more of a designated area at the front of the room blocked off by heavy sound equipment and large speakers, his charismatic personality entrancing all who listen. Words shot like arrows into the heart.

This is how it begins. Somewhere in the world of youth camps and lock-ins. Late night bonfire chats lead to lifelong memories. In the mix of this, somewhere in the 1990’s of my life, a question was posed… “What is your testimony?” 

I can remember the first time I heard this expression and had no idea what they were talking about. Like, no clue. It wasn’t long before I caught on though. The stream of almost 20 year olds and upwards, who had spoken at different youth retreats and events conveyed the power of Christ in their lives. They told stories unending of being a “party-er” or experimenting with drugs, having sex before marriage, living a wild lifestyle – all before they met the man named Jesus. The list goes on of all the beautifully crafted stories in the lives of those who had encountered the saving power of the Cross of Christ and its ability to transform a nature.

So what was my testimony? … In those moments, I supposed I had none. My life choices paled in comparison to some of the tales I had heard. So whenever asked, I would simply reply with, “Oh, I don’t have one.” Until one day, God’s power to KEEP ME resonated within my soul. The same power to deliver, is the very same power to preserve.

The other day I was having a conversation with someone about weed. I know, right?! How do I get on to the topic of weed… who knows, but in that very moment I asked for definition of a particular description of said weed. My vocabulary in drug culture is extremely limited for obvious reasons. Yet in that prying moment the comment was made, “Oh, you were a good girl?!”

Yes. Yes I was… and maybe you are too.

Maybe I’m talking to you, the one that’s been labeled a good girl. Maybe you feel like because of the choices you have made and dedication you have given to the Lord, you no longer have what is considered a testimony. You’re wrong. Honey, you are the strongest and most brave soul one could ever meet. So what about the good girls?

Your testimony is the evidence of God’s power to keep and to guard. Your life cries out as a praise to the one who has held you in the palm of His hand. Never feel unqualified, slighted, belittled, or as if you don’t have anything to share with others because you have chosen to follow God and His will for your life, for your entire life. So be you, be good and shine bright.

“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from Godwho made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you— Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” Psalm 121 (The Message)

apricot-flower-wallpaper-1

 

 

 

Equipping Women in the Word

SHOP HERE!!

I have partnered as an affiliate with Kristin Schmucker Shop and I am in love with her products. If you are passionate about studying God’s Word you will love her gifts.

There is a range of Bibles, devotionals, accessories & jewelry… and my fave COFFEE MUGS!

This month we are starting the devotional Abide which is the study of John. Use the coupon code ‘ABIDE’ to get 20% off everything in the new collection. Enjoy and share my link with a friend…

b9a8f88a-74e7-4336-89f8-8fac0ccfba81
click image to shop

Travel Escapades…

This year (2016) I will average 207 days living out of a suitcase… that is over half the year!! I have not even totaled up my traveling, preacher-man husband’s days. Those numbers alone are mine… all mine. Of course, for the most part we all travel together, which means my travel days include my two little minions. I think I have packing down to a science, and would like to share some of my tips & tricks with you.

First things first, let’s set the scene…

Processed with Snapseed.
Brynn in London, UK… with all the bags.

I dash down the hall like a half-crazed lunatic, grabbing garments of clothing from the piles of unfolded laundry heaped upon the living room sofa, all while yelling “Shekinah, Glory… Where are my leggings? Kids, do you have your clothes set out on your beds? I am not doing everything for everyone! Deep breath, Brynn. Shalom, shalom… Prince of Peace, Help me!” 

Okay. So now that you have a lovely image of me pillaging my own home, let me tell you exactly what happens. My husband travels the most, so I am in a constant state of doing his laundry. He packs himself, but I always unpack and wash. So, usually I am finishing up said laundry for him, myself and kiddos before I ever set gaze upon a virgin suitcase. See, I do insist the large luggage be put away in it’s storage between trips… though our carry-ons have made themselves somewhat of a permanent fixture in our bedroom decor.

Once laundry is clean, I sort outfits for the kids depending on the length of trip. I lay them out on their beds and count off the days, then I cut it in half. Yep. Straight down the middle and say, you will most likely never wear this while we are away. I skim down on the kid’s clothes until they can share 1 suitcase for the both of them, with room to spare.

Kid’s Tips:

  • Always pack a swimsuit… just trust me.
  • Ziplock gallon bags for socks & undies.
  • Roll clothing, place in bags, label
  • Use a sharpie to label bags… who needs to color code??
  • 2 pairs of shoes… 1 for play & 1 for party
  • Each child should have a small, rolling carry-on full of toys & snacks. Options are your friend when it comes to boring Airports & Hotel rooms.

Now on to the adult bags. Most above tips can be used for you as well, but then there are the miscellaneous items, like mouth guards or eye drops we may need. This is where I should own stock in ziplock, because LITERALLY EVERYTHING in my bag is inside another bag. Packing cubes are a great item to have too!

Adult Tips:

  • Take half of what you plan to pack, believe me you won’t use it.
  • Roll everything, its a space saver.
  • 2-3 pairs of shoes… you’re not going to wear the electric blue heels, you didn’t last time either.
  • Liquid toiletries like shampoo, face cream, sunscreen should be in a ziplock so you don’t stain your favorite shirt. You could even cut a small square of plastic to place over the open container and twist the cap back on to ensure and extra tight seal and no leaks.
  • Bring those jeans… they are your favorite and despite them being heavy, smelly when wet or too casual… you know you’ll wear them.
  • Layers, Layers, Layers. It is super easy to change up outfits with the same top but a different cardigan or blazer.
  • 1 fancy dress… you may have a date night or just want to dress up, its okay to pack at least one nice dress and heels that are versatile.

Alright, so these are a few of my tips… I can’t emphasize ziplocks enough and bringing a few extra bags to sort dirty from clean or contain muddy shoes until they can be cleaned. I am currently mid- 3 month trip to the UK and have managed 1 suitcase per person with a small carry-on for Homeschool supplies. Yep. That’s another blog in itself… homeschooling on the road.

Since I haven’t covered everything in this post, leave a comment with your favorite travel tip or hack. Remember to keep your destination in mind and obviously that will impact the necessary items you bring.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~Saint Augustine of Hippo

Processed with Snapseed.
Flying to England

When given the choice, always choose the adventure… 

 

 

You Have A Voice

I used to think they’d laugh at me. That somehow, the entire mass of people would simultaneously point their boney, outstretched fingers at me and yell, UNQUALIFIED! Then throw their heads back in roaring laughter as they bellied out torrents of reverberating shame. I saw them. The middle aged women with out-dated perms in lavender and periwinkle sweater ensembles. Though the faces blurred as I scanned the crowd… the sounds echoed through my heart. I created a canvas in my mind.

I explained this scene to my husband once. It was brief, but in that moment he looked at me with confused yet loving eyes and said, “What? That will never happen”. I was simply expressing at that time the depth of fear that I had for public speaking… I laid it all out there. I went on to tell him this story from a small group I had attended a few years ago:

They went around the circle, you were only supposed to say your name, where you were from and your expectations for the group. I mean, literally… I have had the same name my entire life, mind the last 10 years of marriage where I had my husband’s last name. Yet again, it seemed to slip… and where was I from? Do they mean where do I reside or do they want to know all of the places I have lived, maybe even my place of birth? I needed clarification on these introductions already and we were half way around the circle. I can’t even hear what the others are saying over the loud thumping of my heart that has risen up my throat and into my ears. 

Oh… and expectations? Mine were so high. I mean making it out of this group alive was top priority. Being able to say my name without stuttering came in a close tie with not turning completely red when asked a question. These were the things running wildly through my mind as my friend to the left, eased right in to her whole life’s bio like slipping on a pair of her favorite jeans. Then, she stopped. I choked. Fumbled through nervous laughter mixed with words and a deep exhale as I passed it off to the neighbor on my right. I couldn’t tell you what the topic was that night… I can only tell you that I survived.

I’ve been quite comfortable in my self-titled Preacher’s Wife role for the past 10 years. I’ve attended and graduated from 2 Bible Colleges along side my husband, founded a ministry from the ground up with him, birthed 2 amazingly radiant children, traveled the nations and created a home. I have filled in any role as necessary; administrator, accountant, PR Rep, travel agent, ghost writer, editor, camera operator, intercessor, home-educator, altar worker, social media marketer, product design consultant, and the list goes on… I have never minded one “behind the scenes” moment. I am an introvert and that’s where we like to stay- it’s so cozy in my comfort zone.

Until  one day, there came an awakening, a call from Heaven… “You have a voice- use it!” It happened quite suddenly and the conviction of God fell upon me. It was as if I was given a mandate and over night the boldness of Christ came upon me. Even if I was afraid, I had to do it scared. Mark Twain said it so lovely when he declared, “Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain.”  Had I mistakenly let pride get in the way and what simply appeared as a set-back was actually a set-up from God?

2 Timothy 1:7 in the Amplified declares, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” 

Today my sweet readers, I declare over you – YOU HAVE A VOICE! No more excuses, no more set-backs. No more wondering if you should take that step, cross that bridge or climb that mountain. You have been given every gift pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). You are equipped with the precise skill set needed to accomplish the God-Dreams inside you. Be Brave. Slay the dragon of defeat that would like to dominate your future and be FEARLESS!