Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Everything is Different

I think I'm one of those people that wants to journal, does journal (blog), needs to, but then really isn't very consistent with it. Unfortunate. It really is a release of all the thoughts that are constantly driving through my mind. Plus, I totally can be "creative" without having to be completely grammatically correct. I can just...type my mind. Scary I know.

Enough about that.

Back to the title. It's true. Everything is Different. Plus that's new Shane n Shane album...and we all know I LOVE Shane n Shane. And let me just put this disclaimer out there: I DO NOT idolize them. They make it impossible for that. Their music seriously does just stir my heart for the Lord. Few do that for me..and they're def. one of them. I know it's because their lyrics are just Scripture put to song form. Awesome.


My new year started off..not so good. All through December I had been praying over my New Year's eve because I always have bad ones. My prayer was "God, I pray this new year brings new beginnings. " Well..that was answered. Not how I imagined it would be though. But when is it ever?

I spent new years eve in the Hendrick ICU with my mom. She went into the ER on Wed.late afternoon..I had been house sitting for the Krakes from Dec.21st-that very Wed. My mom went in for gall stones. She went home to Jesus in that hospital from complications with pancreatitus. Never. Never. Did I think it would happen so soon. She was only 42. I conversed with her at 2 am new years day..Left the ICU under the instruction of the nurse..and never spoke to my mom again. She went into cardiac arrest at 4am.

Since my parents were divorced, my dad re-married. Out of town. My younger brothers..live outta town. It's on me. January has been whirlwind. So far February has too.

Don't get me wrong. So many good things are happening out of this. God is working them out. I def. don't understand everything. I'm still pretty tender and vulnerable. Confused. and Afraid. But the truth that He is always with us, that we're never alone...I've had to lean on that. Also, my church family. Omylanta (that's a new word of mine). They have been there with me through all of this. Helping me pack up, repair, and clean out this 4 bedroom house we've lived in for 12 years...being there praying for me..loving on me. I just don't see how others do this without Jesus and His Body?? My brothers are somehow doing it though..but I guess they're only having to deal w/emotional stuff while I'm doing everything. And they both have significant others to help them through. Can I just say that I've never wanted to be married more in my life than now? To have a help mate through this? I've leaned so heavily on my good friends for this role, and I feel terrible for that. It's crazy how I've seen how much I'm loved through this.

My family has seen it too. So many have reached out to me from my friends and church. I'm just so grateful.

So now I'm learning a lot about home ownership and adulthood. Good preparation I suppose right? Also made me have to face mortality. Not so enjoyable, but good to do. On top of all this, the same..inspiration..from the previous blog still chained me. But I recently was bold. I stopped it and was gentle, yet straight forward. The words totally came from the Lord.

You know, and it's been hard making a lot of decisions recently because I don't even know what I'm doing with my own life. I have so many fleeting desires and dreams..how am I to know what's best for me? I don't feel like I do.

I def desire to be married one day..but to a very...rare guy. Someone who genuinely loves Jesus. Doesnt play the religion Christian southern game. Ugh. But a Godly man. One who views Jesus as life. And minister constantly. I wished I could go on every mission trip my church offers. To teach Bible studies. Mentor young women. I would love to just that.

But I'm a teller supervisor. at a credit union. that has def taken care of me..and im well compensated for sure. and i've had lots of opportunities to minister to the tellers who come through there. But I feel like something is missing. It's not what I want to do forever.

Or then there's this thought that maybe my vision just needs to change. I feel like I'm missing some huge thing in my relationship with Jesus. So I pray always: "Jesus, grant me the POWER to grasp Your love for me!" -Ephesians 2:18

And I hate hate hate..my lack of trust..faith. I second guess all of my decisions...feel scared I'm not where I need to be.

Like right now. I'm at Mezamis, blogging, instead of scouting the Goodwills for my mom's wedding dress. That accidentally donated. I know. But I guess I just ran out of energy..stupid I know. I'll probably regret it later like i do so many other things.

I pray I can find it though. I want someone to tell me " Brooke, its ok. You've done a lot already." But so many others have so much crap they have to do too. I'm not the only one who goes through this. Then there's the people of Haiti..sorting through the rubble for everything they had. Everything is Different for them too. What about Paul the apostle? He went through hell. But rejoiced through his sufferings. Something..motivated him to keep going. Love? Easy answer in words..but not so easy to comprehend or understand for myself.

This feeling of exhaustion. I feel like I wake up every morning and go full speed ahead into the day...then crash at night. Just to do it again. I mean, I making ground. Getting through this selling of the house business. But it CONSUMES me. I find myself..in every situation..conversation...talking about it. Thinking about it. Asking advise about it. It's just so much. There has to be a balance. People do this everyday. Pack up a house, clean it out, repair it for selling.

Why does it consume me so much? Yet it's getting done. But for what purpose. I'll get it off my back, but am I missing out on life? And what about it when it's said and done, what am I to do then? I'll still be the same person..without my mom..an emptiness. More time to think about it.

Something in my life needs to change. I don't want to focus on the wrong thing. I want to come out of this saying "Jesus made His strength perfect in my weakness."

You know, but I wonder, I have a horrible time disciplining myself to do things I dont "feel" like doing. But when I do make myself do them..it's always a relief.

Guess I should've kept going and looked through the goodwills for my mom's dress. I really do not know how to pace myself. Extreme one way or the other.

I've also realized I can keep going if someone is there present with me.

But shouldn't the Spirit within me fulfill that motivation????

I want to see things differently.

"Be thou my vision.."

Monday, October 13, 2008


Here's some lyrics I just need to put out there. Because I'm so confused in an area of my life. Man, when the Scripture says the heart is deceitful, it sure is. And I really hate writing about this stuff. It seems like a waste of time. But I desperately need to empty my thoughts. I have for so long, wondered if I'm called to singleness. Because when it comes to relationships of the romantic sort, I don't do so well. I want what I can't have, and then when I get it, I don't want it anymore. There's something deeply wrong with that. And with every relationship I've been in, I have felt a sense of disobedience to the Lord by being in it. And well, He was always right about them. I've only considered myself to have had two committed relationships my whole life. One was long distance the other was 2 weeks long. Now you see my issues. Some might say a commitment problem. I guess in essence that's right. Not because I'm afraid of it in general, but because when I give my heart, I give it. All. And people effect me so much. Plus, really, I don't know how to share that part of intimacy with anyone. I feel like it should belong to the Lord. I dunno. This all makes no sense.

I just believe that IF I'm supposed to be in a committed dating relationship, that person should be someone I could see myself marrying. So to get to know them, I would do that through a friendship. And they would have similar goals, visions, passions that I do about life. Our lives would intertwine naturally. We would not have to compromise ministry opportunities for the other, but rather it would be a shared thing. I've noticed something that happens in me in every situation where I've begun trying to date someone, with the exception of the first relationship I was ever in.

What happens is I start to feel pressured, stressed, and smothered. The last two attempts, it caused me to miss the Lord. Because I felt guilty getting into it, because I knew I wasnt supposed to be in it, so I ignored the Lord to a certain extent. THAT SUCKED. I missed Him terribly. That should not happen.

This recently happened again. I was selfish, did not exhibit 1st time obedience, and walked by sight rather than faith. I tried to make a relationship happen when the Lord clearly told me no from the beginning. But I just wanted to see.... maybe I was discerning wrong. Maybe I'm just too hard on myself...

And at that, I probably hurt someone because of my selfishness. Well then it came back at me....
As this was winding down and I surrendered it to the Lord, and let it go... another test came my way.

I fail this particular test EVERYTIME. I've never had victory. Because I was always too afraid to be bold. Too afraid to obey the Lord because I care about what people think too much. As the opportunities kept coming my way, somehow, the Lord gave me the strength to walk away. To be bold, for the first time in my life. I cry thinking of it. Denying self is so painful. But the Lord has my good in mind. And I have to trust that. I'm wanting to see good fruits from this decision. But I haven't yet. Well I have, but there's that part of me that's like, "well, did I do it right this time?" I didn't screw up as bad as I usually do, but was I finally bold and standing firm enough?" Because now I'm being ignored. And well, I was finally obedient in another relationship about 8 months ago because I felt not only was I distracted from the Lord and consumed by it, I believed even as their friend, I was standing in their way of reaching out to the Lord. After we talked about it and agreed to only hang out in groups. They dissapeared. I've been ignored ever since and lost a best friend. Plus, they didn't reach out for the Lord, they reached to another girl.

Here we ago again. Another distracting ordeal. Another opportunity not so be disobedient. God is so gracious to let us re-take tests instead of just being a failure. I finally was bold; transparent and revealed what was really going on in my heart.

I dont know what's to come now. I hate when I get ignored by someone that I care about. Man, you can cuss me out, punch me in the mouth, tell me you hate me and all of that hurts. But ignoring me without a given reason, that will get me every time. Basically going from a spoken desire to spend time with me, to cutting off all ties. Now, if this is someone I haven't grown very attached to, it doesnt really bother me that bad. But someone who's been in my life for years..

That hurts. Being uninvited, unthought about. That's what brings me to hearache. Especially when I thought I was making one of those few efforst of selflessness..trying to see the bigger picture, do what's best for "in the long run."

I guess that's key. I haven't seen why it was for the best, because I'm not at the end of that long run...

Anyway, here's those lyrics, the artist is Need to Breathe. The title is: Again.

I won't be the circus for you to star in
I won't leave you roses to watch them die
You won't be the heartache that keeps me sleepless
You won't be the songs that I could never write

I don't want to stay, I don't want to fall
I don't want to have to see you leave me
I don't want to take, I don't want to lose it all
Maybe I'm a fake, maybe you're a lie
Maybe our last chance died with last night
I don't want to stay, I don't want to fall in love with you again

I won't be a fortress for you to hide in
I won't be the first one you think to call
You won't be the regrets that I can't live with
And we won't be the last ones to ever have to lose it all

I don't want to stay, I don't want to fall
I don't want to have to see you leave me
I don't want to take, I don't want to lose it all
Maybe I'm a fake, maybe you're a lie
Maybe our last chance died with last night
I don't want to stay, I don't want to fall in love with you again

When we're scared and lonely
We will tell ourselves we're only
Just a word from what we needed
But we know that this ain't right

I don't want to stay, I don't want to fall
I don't want to have to see you leave me
I don't want to take, I don't want to lose it all
Maybe I'm a fake, maybe you're a lie
Maybe our last chance died with last night
I don't want to stay, I don't want to fall in love with you again

I can't stay
I can't fall for you again

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

before I fell asleep..

So the other night, before I fell asleep, I was thinking about the armor of God. I'm not sure why, but I was excited that I was actually, for once, meditating on God's Word before I fell asleep as David spoke of in the Psalms!

And here's what I was thinking as I analyzed Ephesians 6:10-18 half asleep, pretty much I wanted to describe each piece of armor..so here is my thought process so far..

The helmet of Salvation: Blog 1
Ok, helmet, protects the head, which holds the mind, and that is the control center of our bodies, and/or the spiritual "battlefield." So Salvation protects our minds or battlefield. Salvation: what is that? "if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved." ok so active belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Saviour..that's Salvation which protects our minds. I always think of a seal, the helmet and seal..When we are saved we receive the Holy Spirit which is our seal of salvation, our promise of inheritance, ..Ok the Holy Spirit, God's presence, dwells in us, our promise of inheritance..Ephesians 1:13In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation—in Him when you believed—were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit., 4:30 and 2Corinthians 1:22.
So we are sealed off, nothing can..possess us if the Holy Spirit is in us, which we receive by Salvation, which is the "Helmet" that protects our minds, the battlefield.

That Battlfied..where we war with thoughts..good and bad. So soldiers wear helmets to protect themselves from head injury..And we all know what that can do..SO in a spiritual perspective, it would protect us from, well, mind injury. And the mind, your thoughts, control a lot in your life. The determine moods and actions, life choices, and can become..influenced,"brain-washed" it can be controlled by outside influences, teachings, philosophies, circumstances..NO WONDER we have to have it protected by our Salvation, our belief in Jesus Christ as Savior.

I could go on and on here, but I leave it here. If you want to see more Scripture, go to this link, and check out all of those passages, and then relate it to the helmet of Salvation..

So how does this change our thought process today? Maybe this something for you to chew on and spend time meditating on today and tonight before you fall asleep..

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What Stirs and Robs

Listen. I was just reading Matt Chandler's blog..and man. The Lord spoke.

He basically said he lists the things that stir his affections for Christ and the things that rob him of affection for Christ...

My list and his had some similarities that were strange...but either way, i thought i would be vulnerable and list mine..not fully because it would be long..but a few.

The things that stir my affection for Christ:
*Early mornings that I'm awake and alert with coffee
*Listening to Shane and Shane, Bethany Dillon, or Jennifer Knapp
*Reading or listening to a believer's testimony of their walk with the Lord.
*Hearing the Word being taught.
*Corporate worship
*Sitting outside (preferably the country) and just gazing. Sometimes writing to the Lord.
*Reading anything by Francine Rivers or Beth Moore
*Being around Becky and Shane and other believers who actively love the Lord.

Matt Chandler said that his list of the things that rob him of his affections for Christ tend to be neutral things, and i agree.. and im going to list his because i share them all but the sports one..and then list some of my own..

  1. Watching too much TV and spending too much time online
  2. Staying up late for no reason
  3. Following sports too closely
  4. Being physically lazy
  5. Empty conversations (talking for hours about nothing)
  6. Idleness
In replace of sports, I would say fashion and anything to do with appearance.
*dwelling on on another's sins.
*listening to music that stirs my emotions anywhere but toward Christ ie: remembrance on a painful situation, wishful thinking, lust.

I'm going to quote him real quick:
I want to pay attention to life. I want to be keyed in to what feeds my zeal for our great God and King and what kills that zeal. My hope is that I could flood my life with Christ-exalting, worship-creating things and avoid anything that would rob me of that.

Amen to this.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Remember that time, when I said no spiritual application could be pulled from the removal of wisdom teeth?

Well, I was sort of wrong.

LISTEN. It's been crazy. But full of the Lord. So I got some anesthetic, an amnesia drug actually, and some pills to take afterward.

I didn't swell or have any pain. What I did have, was craziness in my head. Seriously. I did not feel like myself at all. I thought I was losing my mind for a while there. But the Lord used it in so many ways.

So we'll start with me going back to work 6 days after the surgery..plenty of time right? wrong. Oh my goodness, I could not focus on anything! I felt dizzy, detached, and depressed. It was nuts. Well this particular day I was also supposed to meet up with my sweet cousin that I go over the book of John with. I didn't so much feel like reading words under these conditions though..

Yet I heard the Lord say do it..So I went home after work, prayed, really ..begged..for focus..and read John 4. AMAZING. I literally felt myself physically feel better with every word I read and studied! I never felt better the evening I went over the Samaritan woman and Jesus Christ being our Living Water!! Went home, felt good still. Woke up the next day...and bad again.

I really was thinking, ok, why do I feel like this, it has nothing to do with teeth...seriously. The next day, still felt weird, had to work again, and decided to chop off my hair and dye it darker...

I mean really, what was I thinking?! I wasn't.

Sunday comes around, I'm feeling better, go to church, and the Lord is pressing me to get IN THE WORD! So that afternoon, me and a pumpkin spice latte, get in the Word.

Amazing. Feeling better. He is in me, and LIVING. Snaps, that really sinks in. Go to the evening service at church..the Pastor talks about the underground church..believers who have little access to the Bible and Scripture..and how they HUNGER for it..and memorize it..
He asks for testimonies on how we've seen God move in our lives THIS WEEK...Then, how have we seen the Word of God active this week..I spoke up and testified.

Monday. Back to work. Feeling a lot better and go to my follow-up appt. I ask the Dr. about how long it takes for the anesthetic to get out of your system..he says "oh a week to 10 days...why, have you been light-headed? Oh and the steroid I gave you can make you feel detached.."

I mean, really.

BUT! The Lord ordained that way! If I had known ahead of time, that it was the medicine, I would not have pressed into the Lord like I needed to nor realized the power of His Word like that! How gracious is He?!

WELL. a non-believing co-worker, her husband had the same surgery by the same doctor a week or so after me.

He's been experiencing the SAME things and did not know why..I was able to share what it was, and not to worry, and also testify about the Lord giving me peace and rest through it!

But not only that, a desire in my heart for His Word is growing more and more..and I'm so grateful.Well, in the midst of this..trial? My mom is ..well...being placed in a position that she will hopefully cry out to the Lord. And well, until she does, it's kind of miserable around here as she turns to other things to fill her void.

As I go through this, I realize the days I was in His Word, things are great in our relationship (me and my mom) in fact, one of those days, the Lord granted me compassion with her in her depression because I had just had a small taste of it, BUT go the sweeter taste of the Lord through it..andI got to pray over my mom that night! Though, the days I was not in the Word, were (TERRIBLE). Now, I'm not saying "if you're not in the Word, you'll have a bad day." NO. The Lord allowed to happen to me so that He could continue to CONFIRM the power of His Word in my life. He's so gracious to do this, when He could turn me over to my own desires..Thank you Jesus that you don't..

NOW! Another co-worker emails me at the end of last week about trouble with her grandparents that she's living with..and asked for prayer.

The Lord allowed me to share in her sufferings, give her some Scripture and tell her that I understand..BUT ..and glorify the Lord.

Now I've noticed a pattern here. I'm sure you haven't because I've typed this in such a scattered form..

So here it is. The Lord has allowed me to go through things just a few steps before some one else, and then allowed me to testify of Him and His Word later.

2 co-workers, my mom, and then..my brother.

Yes, in my own house, exists my unbelieving brother. It breaks my heart, literally, to think on this reality too long. But Sunday afternoon, the Lord gave me opportunity to talk of Him with my brother! I got to identify with him in the fear of death (I experienced some of this in my depression/teeth ordeal). But we talked of the afterlife, what we each believed, and I understood the fear, but that Christ has removed that, and I feel assured.

He doesn't understand how I can just believe. And he voiced that he doesn't want me to call myself a Christian because Christians are fake, but that he respects that I do believe in something, I don't need a label though. Well, I said, the term Christian tends to be political these days, so I typically refer to myself as a believer. And when asked a believer of what, I would say Jesus Christ.

It showed me also the high calling to be of good reputation around my brother because he could stumble over any appearance of evil I could portray, and the Lord has been gracious in removing temptations and opportunities for me to be distracted and/or portray a "neat Christian" rather than a godly woman who passionately and genuinely is wanting to fall in love with Jesus.
Also, because of my freak after-surgery experience, I was able to identify with him to a point.

But I would NEVER want to live longer like that..fearful, unsure, distrusting, so you find an "anesthetic" to remove the pain. But man, that anesthetic caused me more trouble in the long run than an hour of pain and a couple days of swelling would have. God uses our pain. He allowed it, He is for our good if we love Him, and sometimes pain, is what He prescribed to become more like Him and lose more of ourselves. And to try and numb ourselves to it, take the easy way (which what i prefer) is worse in the long run.

Like my mom, she is turning to forms of anesthetic to numb her pain over the trials she experienced A YEAR AGO. It's a sick cycle. But if she would let herself feel, push through it with the God of endurance, and soak in His healing Word, she would come out of this. I thank the Lord that He hasn't turned her over to what she bows down to. He has her in this place so that she will cry out to Him and He can show Himself mighty and good to her. I pray she sees it. I beg my brother would trust and have faith in Jesus that He removed the sting of death from us!

OH! and I saw that in Acts 7 in my Monday night study with my pastor's wife! Stephen, looking into heaven, and seeing Christ STANDING at the right hand of God. Crying out the same word to his murderers that Christ did, but Christ doing it not seeing the Father because HE HAD OUR SIN ON HIM!Stephen was redeemed, He saw Christ, He prayed, and died. Christ saw death for us, so that we don't have to!! We have nothing to fear!!! Praise Him!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random Utterings

These are going to make no sense. I just feel like blogging and venting. Just some descriptive words and phrases that I feel blurting out, but are not of the creative nor intelligent nature what-so-ever.

I'm tired of my teeth. What's the point of wisdom teeth and why are they called that? Because you get them when you're older? Wisdom comes through age I suppose, but that doesnt mean you're wise. Wisdom comes from experience, and true wisdom comes from the Lord. So what does any of that have to do with teeth? Especially ones that cause you problems, stay impacted, and then cost you a lot of money to get them removed. How is that of the wise or portray wisdom? As if that weren't enough, I have a molar that decided to have blunt roots and take on the form of a baby molar. Will a root canal save it? Dr. says no, it has come out with the wisdom teeth. So all of the wisdom and the baby are being pulled from my mouth. Then in a few months, I will get an implant tooth to replace the blunt-rooted baby. More money. The implant tooth will be screwed into my bone. Lovely. But sturdy. Very wise says the Doctor. Go with the implant, it'll last you forever.

I wanted to somehow pull some spiritual application from this root and wisdom problem I have.
Nothing of depth was pulled though.

So in a week, I'll be basically toothless. Good weight loss program I suppose.

Teeth talk is done.

Heart talk.
Mine needs to slow down. It overflows too much. I don't particularly like what it overflows most of the time anyway. Very inconsistent, the ebb and flow of my heart. The words I speak appall me most of the time. The thoughts I think are horrendous. What does that say about the condition of my heart? Nothing good I'm afraid. Today it did flips and then grounded. Last night too. I hate that you cause my heart to be a gymnast...still. I pray for the day when I meet you and my heart just takes a nice stroll toward you with a smile and then says goodbye peacefully.
Typically it turns, flips. twists, and then breaks a leg because it doesnt stop rolling. I think it has slowed it's pace. But I'm ready for it to retire and be a marathon runner. Not a gymnast. I hope for you to see what you are made for and to let go of what drags you down.

My house chokes me. My family is crazy and I don't know how to help them. Plus, I'm tired of trying. Except with one of my brothers, I don't get tired of him. I feel like an evil person saying all of this.

Work is a roller coaster. But I love all of my tellers. I need some resolution with one of my employees. I feel bad for her one day, and anger resides in my heart toward her the next. I'm clueless as to what to do or think when it comes to her. Changes are on the horizon though..that's for sure. I hope I don't destroy that place and or leave a bad rep or legacy. Or is that prideful to care about what IM LEAVING. I guess I should say, I hope people see Christ in me. Sometime they do, but like I said, I'm inconsistent, and that, He was not. Maybe He's so awesome that He shows Himself through me, and I just don't see it. Because I know this body His Presence dwells in is not worthy.

That makes me want to go finish my study on the work Kingdom in John 3. I hope my mind is renewed and transformed.

Thanks for reading..I think. Actually I'm embarrassed of this blog.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Day Off..

FINALLY. It's my day off this week and after this, it gets crazy for awhile. Mostly just work. We are revamping my whole branch, turning it upside down, all around, ripping it up, taring it down, people and the building.

Basically without all of my descriptive words usage, we are re-staffing and rescheduling, and this weekend we will be putting in new floors. Obviously the floors can't be done while we work, so I will be in the building after we close both friday and saturday for this endeavor.

I'm thinking about bringing my sleeping bag..

BUT. It's all part of restoration process I never thought I would be a part of. My branch of the credit union is the only one of it's kind.. It's drive-thru only, it's small, and closed off to the public, but very busy. I have a variety of tellers there and i LOVE that. I have one challenging employee, and well..I have to pray for strength to be her boss everyday..But I know she's there for a reason like all the other ones are. I wished I could tell you all of their stories..because their amazing. I LOVE getting to know people. Being a small part of their lives.

Like yesterday, it was a long day. I'm short-handed and my senior teller (asst manager) was off. So that means i work a 10 hour day. Anyway, one of my tellers came in looking really down. I asked her what was wrong, and she burst into tears! I felt awkward and sad all at the same time. I asked her to go into my office and just cool down for awhile. After that "while" had passed, I went in there to talk. I thought it might be work. Because we've been making so many changes, moving people around, hiring, not hiring, and maybe it got to her. But she shared that she got a very broken heart over the weekend. I didn't expect her to share that.

But I felt like an older sister to her. I wanted to comfort her anyway I could think of, but I know the only One who can... So I shared a little bit of how the Lord used my times of broken-heartedness for good. ONE: There's always a purpose behind it. He wants to show something of Himself to us, so look for it! There's where your focus should be. Not on the problem, not on the hurt, but on the Lord Jesus. He loves us and everything is for the good for those who love Him back. I told her how it was during my time of being hurt that I'd never felt closer to the Lord. I grew soooo much in the two major times of being heart-broken.

Last, I asked if I could pray for her..PRAISE THE LORD! Praying over my staff member in a secular workplace! My friend and I prayed over my office when I got the promotion, and the Lord has surely moved in that place! All glory to Him!

It's so amazing to me how INVOLVED the Lord is with us..if we open ourselves up to Him...

So I just love that normally, she would been off that day, but I switched her day off to today, her birthday (ya this hits right before her birthday) and the Lord was able to reach out to her through me! Crazy, confused, irritable me!

I say that because prior to this opportunity, I have been feeling all of those things. Just lost and confused, WORN OUT in all aspects, like I have nothing left to give anyone..

And all of the sermons at church lately have been on prayer.


THEN I left work yesterday and went straight to meet up with my pastor's wife for Bible Study at Starbucks. We're coming up on 1 year of meeting in a few weeks. And I'm producing tears behind my eyes just thinking about God's grace to me through her.

So we went over Luke 21..because thats the book we've been in since December. And the Lord talks a lot about being on our guard, being alert, not letting the world ensnare us and dull our minds! Examples the scripture gave were drunkeness, carousing, and the worries of life.

And the worries of life sure were dulling me!! I was not guarding myself at all. Jesus advises us to pray for strength to escape "these things" and be able to STAND when the end times are near..not be overcome with fear.

That's not the only example of prayer the Lord has put in my life this week. Last Wednesday I was off as well. And I spent half the morning with the Lord. I HAD TO. I was dying of starvation of Him.

Well, my brother, who is not a believer..yet, has been suffering some chest pains that were freakin him out a bit. So he unknowingly to me, made a doctor's appointment for that Wednesday. As he walked out the door, he said "see ya later..I guess you're allowed to pray for me if you want to.." So I sat shocked and said "Ok, I will..Bye" And I did.

A little while later, I received a text message from him as follows:
"last night i prayed for the first time, and it actually felt good. im sry for always calling you brainwashed and pickin on you for that stuff."


And they are again as I remember that.

Man, if the Lord God can change my brother's hardened heart..wow.

I wished you knew him, and how hurt he was from the church. And how angry at God he is. He did always call me brainwashed. He accused me of not thinking for myself, and that it showed my lack of intelligence. It started to ware on me just before that text message.

I had been struggling with my faith, who to trust, what is false, what is true? Hard questions..what if he's right???

My pastor's wife encouraged me that it was a good sign, not bad, that my brother said those things. It showed the light was shining brightly through me to him. The Holy Spirit was moving, and he had said once "Brooke, that's whats crazy about you. You actually BELIEVE this stuff. You have faith unlike the ones who pretend for a spiritual high." He was meaning in for an insult, but the Lord showed me it was a blessing and a "Glory to God!" moment. for sure. That this prideful, judgemental, hypocrite was transparent just enough for him to see a glimpse of Christ.

I never imagined that my brother would apologize for calling me brainwashed. At least not this soon. I thought he was messing with me again actually.

So it's been time of restoration lately. Restoration isn't an easy process I've realized. But it's better than being stagnant in ruins.

My branch getting new floors after 10 years is huge. I'm only the 2nd person to run that place, my boss before is an agnostic and she opened the building. The roof leaked and ruined the carpet, and they could never find the leak for YEARS. I'm not kidding. And maybe a few weeks after she left, my friend and teller found the leak. And the next time the workers were out, I pointed out that leak, and it hasn't let in water since. My former boss has since been promoted and opened our newest branch. IT LEAKED. IM NOT KIDDING. It's BRAND NEW. I found that interesting.

Building restoration in progress.
Family restoration in progress.
Debt being paid off.

It's been so amazing watching the Lord rebuild my workplace with staff and structure. Just watching new signs being put up on Monday after praying with my teller..was amazing. God's hand is there. I'll be in that position one year in June. I can't wait to reflect on it with you at the mark! BECAUSE it's also the marking of my student loan being paid IN FULL!!! The whole reason I've stayed here...Though God had other reasons also..

I'll save that for another blog.

I just hope to encourage you guys to not give up. When you grow weary, pray for strength. Retreat by yourself with the Father. Jesus did that. I learned that in Luke 21 also.

He retreated at night and ministered in the day. And He was God! So how much more should we be retreating to a lonely place to be re-filled?

Prayer unveils so much. I'll ask you what my pastor asked us Sunday..

What is hindering you from praying? Make a mental list of what you won't let go of and repent of as to restore communication again..

Is it worth it?

I'll be transparent here, my struggle with the outward and physical has consumed me.
Whether it be my self-image, my desire for a mate, it all has hindered me.

It has for a long time. The Lord is digging that root up.

I care too much what people think of me. There is a balance. I don't believe we should make people stumble with the appearance of evil, but I believe it all has to do with the motivation of our hearts.

And mine was partly to impress. To catch an eye..
I worried it over choosing an outfit so much, it would make me late to wherever I was going. Because all the different faces would come to mind and what they would think, so I would switch outfits with every face that came to mind..NO LIE. It's sick.

I'm such a passionate person, I struggle with balance.

So I'm praying for some of it.

To just simply have the Lord Jesus as my focus, and all else seems to fall into place.

PRAYER has been the root of this blog and all it's details.

It's been the theme lately.

When you're worn out, exhausted, pray for a time of retreat with the Father. He will provide it. We know this because He did it for Jesus, and Jesus took the opportunities. He had to.

We do too.

Rest and Peace to all of you,