Hot Christmas

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I love wearing the least amount of clothing as possible.  Yes, that sounds scandalous- but I just hate cold weather.  Wearing pants, socks, boots, sweater, jacket, hat, gloves, scarf and ear muffs is exhausting- even typing this sentence is wearing me out.  This Christmas, I got the special treat of wearing cut off shorts and a t-shirt- while outside- all day long.  Oh, and no shoes- just straight up barefoot.  I was SO stinkin happy.

I also shot a gun.  It has been probably 25 years since I shot a gun- but boy do I still have it.  I’m a rootin-tootin-tin-can-shootin-gal.  I showed my dad, husband, and brother-in-law how it’s done.  They set harder and harder targets for me- but I hit each one.  Seriously, 100% accuracy.  Who am I???  I live in a townhouse in the middle of a major metropolitan area… But if you put me on a back porch on the Savannah River, in cutoffs, no shoes, and a pony tail, I can out shoot some serious deer hunters.

There, now you know that I’m a warm-weather-loving-scantily-clad-gun-shootin-gal.

Merry Christmas y’all!

laugh and love, brooke

Questions for the Stomach Virus

  1.  What is your real name?  Stomach virus?  Stomach flu?  Hell in your stomach?
  2. Why must you appear at the worst times?  Why only in the middle of the night?  Why only on a busy weekend or week?
  3. Why does my kid always seem to eat something red for dinner whenever the night of dreaded bug hits?  Why do I ever let him eat ketchup and strawberries in a meal?  Is that food combo the real reason he is sick to begin with?
  4. Why does the virus/flu/hell only strike on clean sheets?  Why can’t they be ten day old sheets?  Why does it strike when I’m already seven loads behind on laundry?  Why can’t it strike when I’m completely caught up?

laugh, brooke

Questions for a Pregnancy Test

  1.  Why are pregnancy tests sold next to condoms?
  2. Why are they so expensive?  Do the tests that are sold at the Dollar Tree accurate?  If so, why do we buy a two pack of EPT for $15 when we can buy one for a dollar at the Dollar Tree?
  3. What is the checkout worker thinking when they ring you up for pregnancy tests?  Do you think they are trying to guess if the purchaser wants the test to be negative or positive?
  4. Why do they make the plastic wrap on the test box so difficult to open?  Why do I try to bite it with my teeth to rip the plastic only to get saliva on it and make it more slippery to try to open?  Don’t they realize that anyone taking a test is nervous and has shaky/sweaty hands already?
  5. Why does that 2 minutes take FOREVER to tick down?!

Im not pregnant.  The end.

laugh, brooke

Called

God loves to show us his sense of humor by repeatedly choosing the unequipped to do His mighty works throughout the Bible.  In my opinion, Moses is the biggest example of this.  He was a murderer, had a studder, and did not have leadership skills.  This coupled with his lack of confidence definitely made him the least likely candidate to lead the Isrealites out of slavery in Egypt.  Even after he was called, he tried repeatedly to tell God no.

God still uses unlikely candidates to do His work.  I had a 5 month old baby, was suffering from post partum depression, and felt called to start a ministry to support refugee baby needs.

I tried to shirk the call for several months.  Why me?  I’m a new mom, struggling with nursing, and not sleeping much.  Why would God call me to do something like helping others?

Four years later, I see it more clearly.  I was in an emotional state to be able to relate to other moms.  I knew how expensive formula was.  I knew how many diapers my son needed each day.  And I knew all of this was expensive… And my husband had a well paying job.  If it was a struggle for us, I can’t imagine how difficult these expenses could be for a family who was struggling financially, didn’t have many resources but had babies that need care.

God worked in many ways to help start this ministry.  He gave me many wonderful friends who were happy to donate and get it off the ground.  They helped clean our space in my basement for storage.  We’d meet monthly to organize donations, package them for distribution, and figure out how to cast a bigger net for more donations.  Over the years, the ministry moved into our church and has grown to serve more and more families each month.  Now, donations come from all over our community and church.  God has provided for so many through this ministry and I’m glad he chose me to be a part of it.

God knows His plans but needs us to be his hands and feet.  How has God called you to do His work?

love, brooke

Intentional

When you hear the word “Intentional”, what do you think of?

For me, it has a negative connotation. It’s used when describing hurt to others. “I was just being honest- I wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt your feelings.” Or in a courtroom, lawyers try to prove that the defendant intentionally tried to kill another person (aka pre-meditated). We wrap the word intentional up as being very serious when examining behaviors- especially others.

But, for ourselves, we are much more unintentional (aka willy nilly). We go many weeks without contacting a dear friend. We forget to make routine doctor appointments. We accidentally delay necessary maintenance on our vehicles. Life is so busy that we unintentionally skip the details because we are carried away by the big picture- schedules, family, work, life commitments, travel, and so many other things.

It’s so easy to live life in an unintentional way… Handle issues as they arise instead of preventing them, over committing ourselves to others or activities, and living in a constant state of busy. We jump on a rollercoaster and mid ride we realize it’s too fast, too long, or too scary but can’t do anything until the end.

We have to make a conscious decision to be intentional. We have to be intentional about checking on family and friends, we have to seek time daily with God, we have to schedule time for rest, and be sure we are able to listen for God’s call in our lives.

Next time, we should think twice about the ride we are choosing to jump on and be intentional about saying yes or no. We are the only ones who control our calendar… And no one else values our time as much as we should.

What can you do in your life to be more intentional about your faith life?

love, brooke

 

Commit to the G

A few weeks ago, I headed to Athens, GA to see my alma mater play a home football game.  “Commit to the G” has become the UGA football battle cry tagline.  It encourages players to commit their bodies, brains, and energy to making the team as great as possible.  It also urges the fans to commit to coming to the games, cheering loudly, tailgating longer, and being faithful in showing up- no matter who the opponent is that week.  You can find this tagline printed on t-shirts, on car magnets, and waving on UGA flags.

Seeing this really got me thinking about… don’t you wish that God had this level of commitment from us?

What if we all showed up early for church to tailgate in the parking lot?  Or if we came up with a special #hashtag for each church season to proudly show off our church clothes and view of the pulpit from our seats.

Then I started thinking about the money involved… what if we spent several thousands of dollars each season on buying our seats in the sanctuary, or instead of filling our SUVs with gas to drive to the game each weekend, we gave that money to the church to use for gassing up the church vans to serve the homeless a meal each week.  Think of all the good we could do.

I realize that the likelihood of these things happening is slim.  BUT it got me thinking, what do I/we commit to doing that could be taking away from the glory of God?  It’s really hard to get out of bed on Sunday when you spent all day on the road, walking around a college campus, standing on your feet for 3 hours during a game, and sitting through hours of traffic the day before.  If we say YES to something big on Saturday, then saying YES to God on Sunday can be much more difficult.

I promise I am not trying to hate on college football… because everyone knows that I LOVE college football.  I just think it’s become a socially acceptable form of idolatry for our world.  We worship the players, the field, the coaches, the history, the game day experience, the tailgating friends/family, the FOMO, the clothing/gear, the tailgate food, and so much more.  Most of this is ok… until we put it on a platform above God.  Until it prevents us from tithing, from committing to consistent worship,  and more importantly, until us Committing to the G is more faithful than Committing to the GOD.

What other worldly idols do we have to rethink while transforming our minds?