Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

Should have...

Could have...

Would have...

These statements haunt me.

They are stifling to me. Make my mind go in circles. A lot of circles.

And I live in this imaginary world of embarrassment and humiliation when I am going in these circles...even though no one is aware of it!! It doesn't matter to anyone else. No one else is thinking that I should have/could have done something differently than the way I did it...and even if they are, it's not a big deal!!

Yet, I allow these words to stop me.

It's that thing of me having to feel like I'm perfect. I just need to get over myself. And that is easier said than done.

I trap myself, though, by focusing either on the past or the future. It causes me to take my eyes of off what is happening now.

Sure I can change things next time around, but I don't need to focus on it to remember it...or spend my time waiting for that next time to come around.

Today is calling me. I am still growing, changing, developing, learning...

I cannot go back to change something that has taken place.

I cannot zoom ahead either.

I have to live today. I want to live today - I don't want to miss out on it.

Dr. Best (a psychologist) once told me that I need to lighten up. To not be so serious. To play more.

I waste so much of my time taking myself too seriously. I really do need to loosen up. There's too much happening around me that I need to start enjoying.

So, I will leave my imaginary world of embarrassment and humiliation and embrace today.

(I didn't realize Dr. Les Parrott had an audio book about this!! - may be looking into it soon!!!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

During the Delay

Today in church, Pastor Jeff talked about the rainbow being a reminder of the promises of God...

He gave a few examples of things that God promised in the Bible for all believers.

Then he talked about the things that God has promised to us personally...

I don't know if God has promised you anything personally, but there are dreams in my heart that I just know are supposed to happen...and they haven't.

And these are not the kind of "I had too much pizza late last night" dreams...

These are real dreams, desires, visions that we know are from God.

They are too big to be just made up on my own because they are way bigger than I could imagine. They are the kinds of things that I don't want share with just anyone because I don't want to be laughed at...or given the opportunity to be given more fuel for my doubts. Some of these I've only shared with Lee...

And I cannot make these things happen on my own either.

The only way is if God makes them happen.

And they haven't happened yet.

I mean, some of these dreams are going on 10 or more years now.

What? 10 years? Then it's never going to happen, right?


Pastor Jeff pointed out that there may be a whole season of life that takes place while a promise is delayed.

I know that there are many stories in the Bible of people who were promised something...and for some of them, it took a lot of years...

For Hannah, she wanted a son. She promised she would give her son to God if He would at least let her have a baby. Not long after she was promised that she would have a son, she got pregnant.  And she fulfilled her part of the deal by bringing Samuel to live at the temple when he was just a very little boy.

For the people of Israel, they traveled in the desert with Moses for 40 years before they reached the land that God had promised to them.

For Anna, in the New Testament, she was promised that she would see the Messiah before she died. She was a widow...and it doesn't say how long she waited for this promise...but it says that she was old when this happened.

Story after story, God's promises are true.

When I'm at a place where it seems like these dreams will never happen, I just have to remind myself of the rainbow. That means God is good for it. I just need to trust Him during the delay. Just keep looking at those rainbows.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm Not the Life of the Party

I don't always have a good perception of myself.

The Bible says to "love your neighbor as you love yourself..." It doesn't say don't love yourself...don't think highly of yourself...

No, it's important to love treat yourself take care of yourself.

When I have a lower moment of being hard on myself, I look back to a few conversations I've had with's almost like opening a scrapbook and looking at the pages.

I can distinctly remember a conversation I had with my friend Lauren several years ago.

I had given an idea for a girls' night would be for the married women in the church. I was really excited about it...and then I realized that Lee & I had double booked ourselves, and I wasn't able to make it to the party.

I figured it wouldn't be a big deal. Sure, I would miss the fun and the laughs, but they wouldn't miss me much...

Afterall, I'm not the life of the party.

So, Lauren and I were in a 15 passenger van for an hour trip to go to a night of worship at another church. Lee was playing on the worship team, so he was already there, and I rode in the van there and then would just ride home with Lee from that church.

Lauren said she missed me at the party. I told her that I was sad that I couldn't make it, but I knew they would still have fun without me...after all, I'm not the life of the party.

She told me I shouldn't think like that. My presence was missed...and throughout the night she kept thinking, "Bri would enjoy this...Bri would laugh at this..."

I don't think I've ever had anyone confront me like that. She was lovingly convincing me that I did have something to contribute to the party...and to life!

As we kept talking, she told me that she had never met anyone who displayed such quiet strength. Most quiet people she knew were shy, and that she didn't think I was shy...just a quiet demeanor. She said I wasn't a push-over, and I didn't run my mouth like her...

That was one of the best compliments I've ever received in my life. She helped me feel good about being who I was...and not trying to be something or someone that I'm not. I didn't feel like I had to change to impress her...or be like her to be her friend.

Every once in a while, that conversation will play over and over in my mind. It's like I'm sitting on the bench of that 15 passenger bus...feeling the warmth of my friends words wash over me.

Words are so powerful. They can bring life or death to someone's hopes and dreams in an instant - It's like building a sandcastle...the words can be like a pounding crash of a wave or a super-mega shovel pouring sand into a bucket...

The next time you are in a conversation with someone...think about what you say before you speak. Your words will be carried with them...and if they provide hope...they may be the newest page of their mental scrapbook that they take a look at for years to come...the words that changed their lives.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Don't Have All the Answers

So I don't plan on my blog becoming book review central here...

But I'm really enjoying reading again.'s like a long-lost love has come back into my life.

And I love it that Lee and I read the same books at gives us so much more to talk about...besides kids and work. Yes, we enjoy filling each other in on what is happening in our daily lives, but it is wonderful to have other ideas and experiences to share.

And the books have been so encouraging. So challenging. They are causing me to reflect on my personal faith and walk with Christ...

And it has been awesome that Lee is walking along beside me in this new journey. He encourages my reading times...and he doesn't show any disappointment if I haven't quite done as much around the house during nap time because I was reading...(yet amazingly, I feel I'm a little more productive in my house-cleaning efforts since I've started reading if that's really true or not is a different story)

I'm also completing 2 Bible reading plans provided by This has been awesome for me as well. I'm reading the New Testament and then the chronological Bible in a year. I get daily reminders on my phone to read it. And since I'm using my phone to read it, this will be a first for me. To read the whole Bible in a year on my phone. Welcome to the age of technology!!!

I feel myself growing. Not that I haven't been growing and developing in the past 3 years since I've had kids. It's a different kind of growth.

And I am also seeing an opportunity for my pride to get the best of me. Reading provides knowledge, and the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 8:1-2: "1 ... But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much." [NLT]

I remembered the KJV of this verse "knowledge puffs up..."

I don't claim to know all the answers, but sometimes when I feeds my opinions...or even gives me newer ones...and it can really "make me feel important..."or puff me up...

I do love sharing what I know. But I don't want to ever get to a point where I feel like I have all the answers. I don't want to fall into that trap. I want to stay humble and love people as they are...not thinking that I'm better than they are because I have "all this knowledge..." 

And I don't want to have a false sense of humility either. I want to be humble. And this blog seems to be helping me. It is forcing me to be real with myself. To present my real victories and struggles. It's not my deep thoughts like in my journal...but it's helping me share who I really am...and not just who I think I want to be.