Deciding to live vulnerable with God
* A little ending that fits on almost any word to increase its cool factor.
Deciding to live vulnerable with God
* A little ending that fits on almost any word to increase its cool factor.
You want to date. You really do. But… *There are no good men in my church to date. They are all taken. *There are no good women out there. All the good ones are married. *The attractive ones don’t have values and the spiritual ones are boring. *Whenever I meet someone who I could be interested in, I find out that he/she is married. *I have yet to meet someone who is interested in the things I am interested in. *I tried online dating and no one returns my messages. It sounds like you are the victim of circumstances. You are sure that if “this” could be changed, you would risk your vulnerability and date and learn more about you and find your love for a lifetime. But are you a victim of circumstances? Your life is not just about these “outside” circumstances. Yes, these circumstances do influence you and put you into situations you do not like. But know this: You also participate in these external circumstances. You may not cause them, but you do have control over how you respond to them. Do not let your defenses and your excuses keep you locked up in a small world. […]
I walk down the street, There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost…I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. (Read the rest of this poem here.) For this week we stop here. There are holes in sidewalks everywhere, some large and deep and some small; some that you can step right over without skipping a beat and some that you can literally fall into; and some of these holes are so large that getting out would seem like an insurmountable task. But for some unexplainable reason your internal GPS always seems to guide you right to and into the deepest of deep holes. You fall in again and again and you are embarrassed, frustrated and lost. Is this you? You tell yourself over and over justifying your embarrassment, frustration and lostness… “It’s not my fault. There are holes everywhere.” You convince yourself that if there were better warning signs on the way avoiding these holes would be simple. If you weren’t so busy handling so many things you would have the time and clarity of the thinking it takes to avoid the holes–or at least that’s […]
Yes, dating is full of vulnerability. This is why so many dread dating so much. It is you meeting someone new who is trying to figure out who you are. That is vulnerable. Who are you presenting to this new person? Do you like this person you are presenting to this new date? There is also the chance to be disappointed. You took a chance on this date and what a dud she was. Or what a mismatch he was. While you are glad to have this date over with, you also find yourself also pulling back because you don’t want to take such a chance again. This is vulnerable. It is easier to not try again. Then there is the risk of a broken-heart. Yes, this person you have planned a date with has the power to break your heart—because you know you may give this person your heart. This is a risk. This is vulnerable. Be brave. One of my favorite (and most-used) Dr. Brene’ Brown quotes is “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” You are worthy of a good match. Bravely walk into this vulnerability. It is just a date after all. This date does […]
We’ve been at this Bravester living conversation for over a year now. How are you doing? What progress have you made? Thank you for staying with me as I continue to provoke your vulnerability. I’m provoking you into a brave life. How is your growth? Where do you fall in this poem today as you start a new year? ______________________________________________ I walk down the street, There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost…I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place, But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in…it’s a habit. My eyes are open. I see where I am. It’s my fault. I get out immediately. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around […]
So you’ve had an ending. Now you are in the midst of a quagmire of emotions. Know this: Mistakes are experiences. What did you learn about you? Too often we use our mistakes to shame us. The voices in our heads that we are not pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, good enough grow very loud when we shame ourselves. Shame is a story stealer of your story. The story of you finding your love for a lifetime. Shame exhausts. Shame is a liar. Shame changes truth into lies. This mistake is not worthy of you shaming you. Of you believing some lies about you. It is an experience. What did you learn about you? Sometimes we have people in our lives who also like to use our mistakes to shame us. Keep your boundaries with these people. They are probably toxic. Sometimes you are stuck with them in your life. You can still have boundaries with them so that their shame of you does not have to be a truth you tell yourself. It is not a truth. This mistake is an experience. Mistakes are experiences for you to learn about you. What would you do differently next time? […]
“I’m coming right back.” I quickly closed the door but I could hear her crying all the way in the kitchen. I had just left the classroom to go and get the afternoon snack like I did every day, but the little two year old was heartbroken that she couldn’t come along. She was being loud during nap time and has lost her turn at being “snack helper.” When I got back to classroom I pulled her on my lap to talk about how she needed to make “good choices” but she was still wiping her eyes and I couldn’t bring myself to be stern with her right then. She looked up at me and whispered “Caroline came back?” Had she really thought that I had left her for good? I gave her hug and told her, “I’m always going to come back.” The second the words were out of my mouth I felt my stomach drop. Without evening meaning to I had lied to her. I wasn’t always going to come back. In three weeks I am going to walk out of that classroom door and I’m not going to be coming back. In three weeks I am going […]
Here’s your New Year’s blessing from this book I love, The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp: There was what an Orthodox Hasidic rabbi had said on a flight westward. He’d put his prayer shawl in the overhead compartment and sat down, sweeping aside the tassels dangling from his pockets. And somewhere over the mountains, the light thick above the clouds, the rabbi turned to me, mid-conversation, “Why do you people always say it’s about having a strong belief in God? Who sits with the knowing that God’s belief in you is even stronger than yours in Him?” I’d put down my Styrofoam cup of black coffee and tried to read the rabbi’s face. He’d leaned forward in his seat and tilted his head so he could look at me directly. “You may believe in God, but never forget—it’s God who believes in you.” He looked out the window and pointed, “Every morning that the sun rises and you get to rise. That’s God saying He believes in you, that He believes in the story He’s writing through you. He believes in you as a gift the world needs.” God’s mercies are new every morning—not as an obligation to you, but […]
Our description of God comes in a variety of adjectives. We need a variety of adjectives for any attempt to use words to wrap around God who is bigger than words. God is our rock. God is our strength. Emmanuel, God is with us. God is our refuge. God is our place of safety. I have loved all of these descriptions of God over the span of my faith life. I have a new and current favorite–God is breath. I could start this description with God is fire because this insight comes out of the story of The Burning Bush from Exodus 3. God became present to Moses by being in a bush that was burning yet never burned up. Here Moses had a conversation with God (as in God initiated and responded, oh how I desire that!) because God was distressed over the Israelites being in slavery. (v. 7). God instigated the discussion because the time had finally come for deliverance and stuttering and exiled Moses was his messenger. In this conversation (an actual conversation with God, oh how I desire that!) Moses asked God, “they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” […]
This is our hope for you. Even as we live broken-heartedly. (Please also read: When Broken-Hearted Love Becomes Beautiful) You may be wondering where Missionary Momma has been since she’s been home on furlough–meaning she’s actually been in time zones we recognize. Just a little over a month ago her daddy became seriously ill, after weeks and mostly hospital stays was finally diagnosed with cancer, and died December 15. Today is the funeral. Sarah was there with him and her family for every step of it. What if she was in Botswana? There are so many raw questions right now… During the Christmas season–which Sarah goes all Christmassy over… Her dad was an anchor in her life… But as she is telling me, she is amazed at the amount of joy she is feeling. She even told me this the day of his death. This is the movement of God. To make beautiful things out of the dust. And out of us. Even in the midst of raw questions. Raw pain. I request prayers for Sarah and her family for the next few weeks. They are scheduled–as of now–to return to Botswana January 9. Sarah does plan to get back […]
Tis the season, huh? My girl posted this on Facebook back on November 20 making this declaration: The holiday season is blanketed as a time of joy and thankfulness. But as some of us deal with brokenness in our families, like me for example, holidays can be an anxiety-provoking time of year. This season, though, I have already decided. I have chosen joy and thankfulness. Despite the grieving that is healthy and required in this healing process, I choose joy. I choose thankfulness… to none other than Yahweh. “Unexpressed gratitude communicates ingratitude. Ingratitude is a subtle form of rejection. It is not enough to FEEL gratitude. It must be EXPRESSED…” – Pastor Eric While we celebrate the birth of Jesus (do not forget that!) and everyone and everything around us is that beautiful Christmas spirit, some of the broken-heartedness of your life only gets magnified. One of those areas is that you are still single–which you think you can do something to fix this area. The brokenness of other relationships you know you can’t fix but maybe you can do something to fix this area. So you contort. May I divert you to read this great article on why you may […]
Brenda has been teaching the messages of Bravester for over 25 years. She is available to come to your group event. People have found her vulnerability and storytelling mixed with the Bible to be inspirational and life changing.
“You have had a significant influence on how I view brokenness, forgiveness, and the role God plays through all of that through a very difficult time in my life. Since that year at CRC, I have taken significant steps to getting bitterness out of my heart… You have had a significant impact on my life. I really do not think I would be the woman I am today if it were not for the lessons you taught me. You are a strong instrument of God and his word.” –Sara, former camp counselor and now inner-city missionary
Brenda can be joined by her husband John. They have a back-and-forth dialog that mixes in John’s beautifully written music. John is also available to lead worship for the event.
From Brenda’s 35 years of youth ministry experience, she has become a Brave Dating Coach. She has a lot of good things to say to help her many grown teens be coached into marriage. She is also available to teach on these many good things for your group event.