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.
We are in year 2 of a seven year prison sentence with one of our sons. In year 2 we are seeing an increasingly amount of growth in him! We’ve been through prison sentences with him before but never one this long. But this is what happens when he chose to self-sabotage his life instead of dealing with the shame that has been the voice in his head most of his life. And the secrets that were strangling him. This 7-year sentence from his self-sabotage has cost him quite a bit plus he’s not a young thing anymore to bounce right back into his life. This is his story to share. As he is putting words to the shame and the secrets he is beginning to put truth into his life. He has started to share some peeks of that with John and I, the parents who took him in at age 12. And he has given me permission to share it with you all. Because this is the beginning of how you live a real brave life–to stop allowing the shame to keep your life a secret. Just four days ago I listened to a sermon on this very […]
I realize this is a bit of a play on words, but what do you think of this statement from Myles Munroe from his book, Single, Married, Separated, Life After Divorce, pp. 42-43 There is a difference between being single and being unmarried. Most unmarried people consider themselves to be single. I have been married for almost 25 years, but I am still single. So is my wife. It is our singleness that makes our marriage so successful. The more single we become, the more our marriage improves. The average person has never been single, even though he or she may be unmarried or divorced. Unmarried means to be without a spouse (so does divorce, in the legal sense), but single means to be all one (alone)—a separate, unique, and independently whole individual. Many marriages fail because people get married before they become single. They latch onto a spouse, identifying themselves with someone else before they have come to terms with their own identity. They marry expecting marriage to make them single. In other words, lacking a personal sense of completeness, they look to marriage to make them whole persons. People who are truly single don’t pursue marriage; they are […]
When I flipped the calendar over 15 days ago, my heart hurt. November. In years prior, it’s always brought feelings of gratefulness over my heart as I love thinking about Thanksgiving and then Christmas just around the corner. Even while overseas, we still managed to have some pretty fun Thanksgivings. This year though, November brings with it ALL THE FEELINGS. Last year, November and December were game changers in my life. I still remember laying in bed with a horrible case of bronchitis when my phone dinged with a message from my sister. “Don’t freak out, but Dad’s in the hospital.” Little did I know, those words would start this whole process that ultimately lead to me losing my dad less than a month later. Thanksgiving would be the last holiday that our family would spend with dad. How my dad managed to make that day I am sure was an act of his own sheer stubborn will, as he was not well. His body was so full of medications that were making him feel so bad, but yet he came. Because that was my dad…..he showed up even when he didn’t always feel like it. In Thanksgiving’s past, the […]
Like back in 1986 days. Like when it was first released in June of 1986. And I laughed and laughed and laughed. I have such great memories of that afternoon matinee. Yes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a very funny movie, now deemed a classic. My memories are correct to remember how funny it was to see it for the first time. How we got the extra gut laugh by seeing Ferris tell the movie audience to go home after the movie’s credits rolled. But the best part of my memory of that day comes from the circumstances surrounding that movie. I was in the midst of a painful season in my life. I was on staff at a church and one of the other staff members was working very hard to disparage me. Actually it was his fiance’ deviously working behind-the-scenes to destroy my job at that church. Jealous girl petty stuff playing out badly in a church leadership setting. Jealous girl petty stuff over a guy I was never interested in, who I encouraged him to date (my mistake!), and who he married and eventually divorced, and sidetracked his ministry for years. I was weary of standing in […]
There are so many blogs here on Bravester on having a broken heart. I should have named this the Broken Hearts Club. Who knew that part of living a brave life is walking into the vulnerability that allows your heart to get broken. That that is the brave thing. But even more importantly that heartache is a signal to you that you’ve stumbled upon something or someone that makes your heart beat. That this is who you are. A broken heart is always a beginning. Yes, that means pain. Pain is your beginning. We have our beginning so how about a list to help you with the what’s next? I’ve got another one for you. These come directly from Dr. Brene’ Brown in her book Rising Strong. I find them useful and profound and true guidelines to apply to my life. Maybe your life too? Maybe these will help you choose a braver life? Maybe these will help you see the possibility of embracing your vulnerability with bravery instead of numbing it? Note: This list is not my wisdom. It belongs to Brene’ Brown. Though I do add some thoughts. You will notice clearly what is mine and what is […]
Flowers are beautiful. You are beautiful. Because you have grown through your dirt. Have you noticed that there are two sorts of people when it comes to pain? There are those who have had the worst of life given to them yet they continue to live bravely and overcome and not let their past define them. And then there are those who may or may not have had a lot of crap to overcome but almost seemed determined to not progress past the first chapter of their lives. We all have dirt to grow through. Some of us more than most. Some of it feels at a very unfair level of crap. Yet you can grow through it. Growth looks like this Poem of Growth which we did a whole series on some months ago: 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, […]
I have always struggled with the idea of God feeling any real love towards His creation. Through the influence of certain churches and individuals, I have always seen God as a toymaker; He creates us for his own personal pleasure, but feels no genuine love towards us, and does not see us as having legitimate feelings or emotions. I used to worship a toymaker. Today, I worship a Father. It’s funny how it happened. In early August 2017, I experienced a crippling depressive episode. This is something that strikes me about once a year, usually without an obvious reason or warning. My usual way of dealing with it is to simply ride it out and wait for it to disappear on its own. Since it always has no clear trigger, I assumed it had no clear solution, either. This time, however, I chose to fight it rather than surrender to its influence. I decided to keep my mind stimulated with something that would not only distract me from the negativity, but replace it with something that made me happy. The choice was clear: I could be depressed, or I could go to war. I chose the latter. I chose the […]
Two years ago as a single mom in my mid-thirties I fell in love, head over heels in love. I can’t say it was unexpected, I was a broken person searching for love. I had accounts on several dating sites, trying to find my Mr. Right in MrWrong.com world. Maybe I was on the verge of giving up, maybe my realization of finding a needle-in-a-haystack difficulty was kicking in and I was feeling helpless. It was the holidays, I was lonely. I watched as friends went to their spouses’ Christmas parties, and spouses came to my work party. Here I was alone, wrapping gifts at midnight by myself…alone. There is no worse time to be alone, no time that weighs heavier on our hearts, our broken hearts. Then it happened… I met the man that I would fall in love with. I met the man that would take my broken heart, my broken soul, and with his gentle but masculine hands he would hold it all together. Or would he? Who or what was I falling in love with? Was it his hands that had me head-over-heels or was it his reassuring words of how he could single-handedly mend what […]
“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” ~ Oscar-Claude Monet About a month ago I shared with everyone that my husband Zane was laid off from work and during this time, he and I were hunting for houses. We had and still have a desire to grow our family, so we felt it was time to look for a bigger place to live. However, losing a full time income put a halt to all of our house hunting and thus put our pursuit of guardianship over our nephew to a halt as well. This was heartbreaking. Just as we were getting ahead, we’re set 3 steps back. I’ve been working 2 jobs since the summer and that job sometime requires me to work on Sundays. So when I have a Sunday morning off I’ll sing, play guitar, or play the drums with the worship team every chance I get. One particular Sunday morning, my personal in-ear monitor was not connecting to the main system during our morning practice making it difficult for me to […]
I’ve heard this one so many times, “He’s been unfaithful to every woman he has ever been with. But I know for a fact that it’s different with me.” Oh really? I read this in an article about open relationships. One lady gave this reason as to why she allows her relationship to be “open” even though she didn’t want it to be. She said it wasn’t because she wanted more variety or sexual adventure in her life. She said, “I feel like he’ll probably cheat anyway and at least this way I’m controlling it.” Yet she stays in the relationship. I’ll make a guess as to why (and I don’t really know why). She has trust and vulnerability issues and since she’s already invested in this not trustworthy relationship it is easier to stay than it is to vulnerably try again in a new relationship. For those of you reading this also with trust issues is that also your guess as to why–because you have those same issues? Have you also thought that even though you have chosen a significant other who has a history of unfaithfulness that you would be the exception? Here is the trick you are […]
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.