When What You Want Isn’t What You Need (From the Midweek Encounter Blog)

Every few weeks, I write a post for my church’s Midweek Encounter blog reflecting on that week’s sermon. We’re in a message series about layovers in life, and I especially appreciated the reminder this week that while God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want him to, he does answer them how we need him to.

 

When What You Want Isn’t What You Need

There’s a worship song we sing pretty regularly at Encounter that I struggle with at times. Called “Always,” it includes these words:

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

 
One Sunday after singing it, I remarked to a friend that I wasn’t sure I bought it. At that point in my life, it seemed as though God was either moving really, really slowly, or perhaps not at all. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe God was there, but it was difficult to see how and where he was working. When we’re in a layover season in life, a time of uncertainty, disappointment, loss, heartbreak, change, or any number of other things that seem to keep us from moving from one place to the next, it can feel like “He will not delay” is a bit of a lie.

 

Keep reading at the Midweek Encounter blog.

How to Make Friends at Church (From the YALT Blog)

A few weeks ago, someone sent me a direct message on Twitter, asking if I wanted to become a contributor for the blog of the Young Adult Leadership Taskforce (YALT), which is a ministry of the denomination I’ve grown up in and still consider myself, though perhaps somewhat loosely, a part of. I’d read posts there, and decided it seem a fine lot to join forces with–so here we are. This is the first of what will be monthly posts from me over there.

 

Making friends is pretty easy when we’re children. We find a few commonalities, such as liking to play in the sandbox or having the same favorite TV show, and away we go. As we get older, it becomes a bit more complex, but often we continue to have the common ground of the same school or at least the shared experience of being a student.

Things get trickier when we reach young adulthood. Some people may be working full time, while others are in grad school. Some may be married with children, living in a house they own, while others may be single and living with parents or roommates. And, in the Church, these differences often become even more pronounced. Some people walk in the door and head straight to the nursery or children’s worship rooms, while others head for the coffee cart or sanctuary. Most of us have probably had conversations where, once we get past our names, what we do, and maybe where we live, conversation seems to lag. With each change of life stage, from single to married and from married to married with kids, the gap seems to widen…and suddenly, greeting time before or after church becomes segmented and kind of awkward.

Keep reading…

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

Seasons of Mommy (A Very Special Guest Post)

Today I have the privilege of sharing an extra special guest post. Tonya is my older sister, and she’s also a wife, mother, graphic designer, borderline Pinterest addict, and for today, a blogger.

I write a lot about being single and the frustrations and joys it brings to my life, so I’m happy to share a bit from my sister’s very different perspective. She recently shared a post with me called, “Mommy, Somebody Needs You.” It is (I imagine) a pretty good representation of what life as a mother is like when your children are small, but Tonya felt like something was missing–because she’s more than mommy. She is now, and she will be when her children are grown. So here they are…some words from my big sister.

~~~~~

In September of 2013 I was blessed with the birth of my third child, my first son. As anyone who knows me can verify, baby stage is not my favorite. I love all my children dearly, but I much prefer a goofy toddler over a ultra needy baby. But knowing this is my last I have been making a conscious effort to enjoy this time with him. It is overwhelming at times when he is peacefully sleeping on my chest to know that this is it; I will never have this day with this baby ever again.

Then I started thinking, “Maybe that’s OK”. Do I love his baby snuggles, and will I miss them when he is older? Will I miss my 3 year old’s hilarious dance that she repeats 17 times a day because she knows it gets me every.single.time? Yes, most likely. Will they come up with other hilarious and adorable things 3 years from now that I love just as much? Almost certainly.

Will I be just as equally impressed and proud of my daughters and son when they have moved out of my home and are successful on their own without my help? Definitely.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,” says Ecclesiates 3: 1-2.

What if instead of being sad of the things we will miss, we all spent more time just enjoying today, knowing that tomorrow might be just as good, if not better? What about taking a break sometimes and spending some time with that guy over there at the end of the dinner table, putting the pacifier back in the baby’s mouth for the 37th time? Or remembering to call that single friend who you’ve lost touch with? Maybe checking up on the grandma in the nursing home who spent so much time with you when you were young? As much as my children need me now, I need to remember that there were people who were important in my life before they came along and who will be with me after they have grown and moved out.

Because no matter how much you love or don’t love whatever stage of life you’re in right now, the truth is that time will move on. If we remember that everything is temporary, it seems to make the hard times more tolerable and the happy times more sweet.

And 15 years from now when my time is not spent with spitting babies and charming toddlers, there will be things left for me to do. Hopefully I will be the older woman at the grocery store who is able to HELP the mom with the screaming child, instead of just giving her a nod in solidarity as I pass by with my cart equally loaded with 3 children and a mountain of groceries.

For as much as I try to teach my children that they belong to the Lord and are here on this earth to fulfill his purposes, I need to remember this for myself. God calls us to different things at different times in our lives. Today that means washing dishes and folding laundry and reading Pinkalicious for the 4th time. Lord willing, 40 years from now that might mean traveling to Guatemala and building houses for the less fortunate, or holding someone else’s baby in the church nursery so that mom can get a much needed break. Whatever I end up doing, I know that I am HIS. Regardless of whether my children need me or not, I will still have a purpose.

~Tonya

Seasons of Singleness: Guest Posting at SingleRoots

Today I have the privilege to be guest posting at SingleRoots, a website that gives a voice to Christian singles. I’ve been reading the site for quite a while now, so it’s an honor to share some of my own thoughts there.

 

Seasons of Singleness

I live in Michigan, the Land of Dramatic Seasons. Winter, and especially this one, usually has snow, ice, and cold that can last for months. As spring approaches, I’m often reminded of the great thaw C.S. Lewis writes of in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as snow melts, grass turns green, and flowers begin to show their heads. Summer tends to be hot, humid, and sunny, and as fall approaches the weather turns crisp as leaves fall from the trees.

Just as the seasons change, I think there are seasons of life as well—such as spiritual seasons and seasons of singleness. For weeks or even months I can be mostly content with being single, reveling in the reasons being single rocks. Then, in other seasons, sometimes brought on by a specific event such as a holiday or wedding, and sometimes coming seemingly out of nowhere, all I can see are the reasons being single sucks. When it’s especially bad, I start down the trail of questioning God, pointing to all the people around me who are in relationships, comparing myself and asking why I can’t be.

Keep reading at SingleRoots.

 

If you’re stopping by from SingleRoots, hello and welcome! You can check out some of my top posts from the past year or so here.

Til next time…

~Brianna!~