“Where ya joy at?”

I kept trying to rename this post.  But I can’t get past these words. My heart is so burdened for us as the church this morning.

Where.  Is.  Our.  Joy?? 

When the world looks at us, do they see anything that makes them want what we have?  Heck, do we look like we want what we have?

The enemy knows what it takes to bring us to our knees (and I’m not talking about in prayer).  He’s had a bird’s eye view into our lives and into the lives of humanity for y.e.a.r.s.  He knows what it takes to knock you down.  And he wants to use that to keep us down and out.

  
He wants your joy.  He wants you to keep silent.  He wants to make you feel like you’re drowning in your struggle and that there’s no way out.  He wants you to be in a funk.  And he makes sure others take notice when you’re at your worst.

You need to watch this brief video.  God put it so heavy on my heart this morning and I pray it stirs you up.

Don’t let the enemy steal your joy.  The world needs to see this unfathomable, uncontainable joy that we have in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Now go out and spread some joy, guys! ❤

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

To The Barren Woman { Special Guest Post by Loretta Yopp! }

Does Mother’s Day find you in an uncomfortable place?  It is not by chance you found these words today.  You need a few moments to be encouraged, beautiful friend.   Push that darling little brew button on your coffee maker and pull up a seat at the table and let’s talk through this thing.   

Because you are worth it.  And because God knew you needed to read these words today.   

I am so excited to share a letter from a dear friend.  Loretta has shared before and this has come at the perfect time.  Mother’s Day.  Here is Loretta’s heart titled “The Barren Woman.” 

———————-

To the Barren Woman,

I’m writing you this Mother’s Day to encourage you to keep moving forward and never give up on your dreams. I am not just another woman that doesn’t understand your pain. I’m a woman who has walked in your shoes. I’m a woman that has been through the fight of being barren and still battle it today. 

It is a struggle that can’t even be described in words. I’m one of the women that has faced the pain and suffered the loss of not being able to feel life growing inside of me. I’m one that has soaked my pillow many nights crying out to God asking Him “Why me, what did I do to deserve this pain?“. 

Quoting scripture after scripture to God as if God didn’t know what He promised in His Word. I was in every prayer line hoping and praying that someone would speak a word over my situation to encourage me that God heard me. Wanting nothing more to be pregnant, but always ending up empty handed. 

Yes, I have felt the pain and brokenness. I have had well meaning people say to me “how blessed” I was to not have to endure the pain of childbirth. Can I just say please don’t say that to a barren woman, because no matter how much you are trying to ease their pain it’s a kick in the face. 

I know the pain of walking around trying to be happy and rejoice for the rest of the pregnant women you meet. Please don’t think we are not glad for you, because we are it is just the human selfishness that surfaces no matter how hard we try to hide the truth that we face each day. You see this barrenness is a painful battle for us every day of our lives. 
  

I have been married to a wonderful man for 25 years and I am in my 40’s and I must tell you during the intimate moments it’s still emotionally painful at times. The feeling of failing my husband as a woman. The feelings within myself as not being a woman because something is wrong with me. 

It still is a slap in the face for me. I still have a longing for the experience of having a baby. I still cry and struggle with angry and rejection when I hear of or see someone pregnant. I encourage you that you are not alone. 

Don’t ever let someone tell you that you are having a pity party and that you should not feel this way… God made us woman to be fruitful and desire children. Your pain is real and Mother’s Day is a struggle and a grim reminder that you were chosen to be barren. 

But one thing that I have learned is that God knows what He is doing in my life and while I may feel loss and pain He is still God. I trust His direction for my life. 

In my case I changed my prayer for children… In September 2012, me and my husband adopted 3 children that God prepared for us. Katelyn, Victoria and Christian are blessings from God into our lives. I tell my children that while I was praying for children God was working on my behalf. 

  

Is the pain and desire still there to want to be pregnant? Yes, it is! But in all God’s goodness He gave me a blessing far greater than I could have ever imagined. 

So to the Barren Woman who is still Motherless on this Mother’s Day be encouraged that each day is a day closer to your destiny and purpose. God is not punishing you, but He is preparing you for greatness… 

Love in Christ my friend.

From Another Barren Woman

Fighting With Faith

You think it could never happen to you. Until you find a lump. And then everything changes.  

  

This is my friend, Sarah. Her and her husband have a beautiful little girl and two foster children. They also pastor a growing church in Braydenton, FL.  

She’s young. A healthy eater. And cancer doesn’t even run in her family. Yet tests came back positive. For the “C” word.  

Just because you have Jesus doesn’t mean you’ve been handed a ticket to a worry free life. Christians still face larger than life situations. But here’s the kicker – we don’t face them alone.  

There have only been a few times in my life I can say that God has allowed me to “feel” someone’s burden and carry it with them. Feel it to where I physically hurt. Where the tears come in such heavy down pours. When my heart feels like it’s been linked to theirs and I find myself begging God to intervene.  
  
Now I am not rolling in the dough. We are not loaded. I wanted to help but wasn’t sure what I could do to make a drop in the ocean of funds it would take to make a difference.   

  

When praying for a way to help my friend, God reminded me of this pretty cool resource He gave me last year. Real Mom Moments. And immediately I knew that this book project was way bigger than me. That God foreknew what Sarah would be facing and that help was already on the way. And that it would be a double whammy – helping Sarah fight cancer and help moms who would come together to help Sarah.  

I pray that you’re able to help in some way. Whether you purchase a book for yourself to help fund Sarah’s treatment or whether you make it your mission to not only help her, but also find a few moms in your inner circle who could use some inspiration and purchase a hand full of books, every penny of the profit during the month of April will go to Sarah’s cancer treatment.  

Sarah and I both thank you in advance for your support! Here’s to #fightingwithfaith !! 

  

Please click the link at the top of the page titled “Real Mom Moments Book” to order your copies today! Or click here to go directly to the publisher’s website to order! 

Please check out Sarah’s blog www.fightingwithfaith.org to follow her journey! She would love to connect with you! 
  

Thank you for supporting this amazing young woman and her journey fighting with faith! 
Live Life Unscripted, 

❤ Brittany

It ain’t over ’til God says it’s over.

It’s hard calling it “Good Friday.”  Because for what it appeared, it looked to be anything but good.  The Messiah flogged, beaten, spit upon, mocked and his tattered flesh brutally nailed to a wooden splinter-ridden cross.  Sounds more like #worstdayever

Ohhh honey… but I believe Jesus knew deep down, despite the physical agony, despite the vast array of emotions – despite it all, He knew that it was indeed a good Friday.

It was on this particular day, even though it started off on the wrong foot, that He accomplished more than He had accomplished in His life thus far.  Yes He had healed people, yes He performed miracles and brought many into the family of God.  However on this day, the curtain was torn in the temple giving us access to the Father anytime, any place.  He did what no one else could do and became the sacrifice for the sins of the world so that ALL could accept the gift of eternal life.  He took a three day hiatus to show the devil who was boss and that death had no power over Him.  Now them’s shouting words right there!  #itaintover

It ain't over

I don’t know what you’re facing today, but I know who holds you in the palm of His hands.  It may look like it’s anything but good right now, but just wait – Sunday is coming.  Life is coming.  Resurrection is coming!  It may appear that you’ve been forgotten, washed up and left mangled to pieces, but I know a man who has been there, done that and bought way more than a t-shirt to prove that it’s not the end.  It’s instead, part of the process.

We couldn’t have the triumph without the trial.  We couldn’t have the testimony without the test. 

We have hope because He didn’t walk out when it got uncomfortable.  He didn’t throw in the towel and call for backup.  He endured what was before Him and proved we truly are overcomers through Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:37)

It may hurt right now and not make any sense, but there is always a purpose.  Always remember, what the enemy means for your harm, God can turn around for your good.  (Romans 8:28)

Happy Good Friday, y’all!  <3  Just wanted to share my heart in a brief video.  I pray it encourages you like it did me!

(These videos always capture a still shot of the worst facial expressions! haha!)

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

Little Victories

Today, it happened. And I can’t contain myself!  

Today, I stepped on the scale and lost it. It’s not as easy to lose the weight after baby # 3 and God knows I’ve been trying. And today it has finally paid off. I’ve lost…. Not 20.. Not 15… No, not even 10.

 I’ve lost…….5…… Pounds. And I am thrilled to pieces. 



It’s only 5 pounds, you say? I know, I know. It’s nothing “major,” right?    

Well it may not appear to be, but it’s a start. And a start that took me right to this little beauty in Zechariah 4:10. The New Living Translation captures it best.  
  
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..”  

#happydance #yes #omgyes 

This time it’s 5 pounds. Next time maybe it’ll show I’ve lost 7 pounds. Eventually I will be at my goal weight. Eventually is ok. Progress is ok. At least it’s moving forward in the right direction.  

And that’s where I want to encourage you this morning. Celebrate the small victories. The little things.  

The OMG-he-finally-went-potty-on-the-frog-potty!  

The I-haven’t-had-a-cigarette-in-24-hours!

The food-does-not-control-me-when-I-am-emotional-today! 

Have a mini dance party when you experience the small victories! Because they are all blessings along the journey! Don’t wait until the BIG THING you’ve been praying for comes blowing through your door. Celebrate the little things. The things that other may miss because to some they appear insignificant.  

That one kid in your home room who has been on your heart since August who is finally turning the corner. The husband who you’ve been praying about for years who hasn’t picked up a beer in two weeks. That wayward child who has left you sobbing and begging God for when they’re out all hours of the night who came home tonight because they’re craving homemade smoothies.  

  
Don’t wait for the next big thing. Celebrate NOW. Thank God NOW. Because He and all of heaven are rejoicing that the work has begun. And beginnings are required for progress to take place.  

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

No More Excuses

❤ Disclaimer: Pardon my scary no-makeup naked face and hear my heart.❤ 

As a mom of 3 little ones under the age of 7, time fills up quickly. My middle child is up before the crack of dawn each day so that takes my morning devotion time most days. My oldest hates school during this season of her life so once she’s up, many mornings she’s consumed with worries about school from the time her feet hit the cold hardwood floor. Our youngest is 4 months and nursing about every 3 hours and keeping us busy. Between rushing through my morning, work, pumping on my breaks (nursing mom here..)cooking dinner, homework, baths… Oh wait, did I remember to brush their teeth? Hold up, have I even brushed MY teeth?

Girl, time is fleeting and we’re never going to be all that God has called us to be when we aren’t making the most of day He’s given us. We all have the same 24 hours. Are we making the most of it?

God really convicted me this morning. People make time for what’s important to them. If that’s getting your nails done and having your hair fixed, you’re going to make time for that. If it’s exercising in the morning before work so you feel better about yourself, you’ll get up earlier and make time. If it’s busting it at work to rush home to be at practice for each of the kids and have a hot meal cooked for your family, by the grace of God you’ll get it done.

Are we treating our relationship with God as a priority or does it get pushed to the back burner? “Oh, I’ll read my bible when… I’ll go to church when… I’ll pray when…”

I pray you’re encouraged and motivated like I was.  You are not the only one. We all have different schedules and things that buy for our time. Life slows down for no one. But we have to be careful to take every moment captive just like we’re told to take every though captive in 2 Corinthians 10:5 –

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

So thankful for the moments God whispers wisdom to our parched souls.

Would love to know your thoughts. How do you make time for what’s important in your life? Do you keep a strict schedule?

Breakthrough MOMent! #thankyouJesus

Ever have an “ahhh hah!” moment? Well let me tell you, I sure did. And it blew. me. a.w.a.y.

HP-PIC-light-bulb

We can’t assume we’re going to pass a test we never study for. Likewise, we can’t assume we foreknew all there was to know about parenting prior to birthing these little people.

Depending on your career choice, most likely you went through years of schooling and a series of classes that required testing to attain your license in your field of study. You can’t just wake up one morning, decide to be a doctor and proceed to the nearest operating room dressed in clearance scrubs you found on E-bay. Heck to the no.

Then why is it with parenting, many times we’re found with our hands thrown up in the air because we don’t have a clue how to survive this season of insanity? I’ve been praying for God’s wisdom to tackle this thing from a new angle. And baby, He gave me a fresh perspective! I couldn’t wait to share with you!

❤ In addition to this, please take a few moments to watch the video below! ❤

  1. We have got to realize that this in fact a test. Parenting isn’t simply found in changing sweet little tooshies at 1am after late night feedings. Each day holds something new for all of us and we are tested at every corner. If we’re not prepared, we’re going to fail. Over and over and over and over.
  2. We can’t assume we’re going to pass if we haven’t applied ourselves to study. Maybe cram sessions worked well in high school and college before the big test. Whatever works for you, make it work for you. (I know that totally sounds strange, but reread it and apply it.) Carve out some “knowledge and wisdom cram time” once the kids go to bed at night. Ask for suggestions from other parents on great parenting resources. Get Pinterest happy and you’ll find so many helpful resources.  There’s so much out there! (Just be careful and use discretion. You can’t put faith in everything you read/hear.)
  3. Pray and wait patiently for an answer. God hears us and He isn’t sitting up there just twiddling His thumbs. Isaiah 55:9 says, “His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways.” Even though it may make us cringe, sometimes God chooses to teach us through the trial rather than remove the trial. If could be that He is waiting for us to be still, lean in and listen.

I didn’t want to do a long post and a video, so I’ll just let you watch the video for more! 🙂

Hang in there, guys!  God really is for us and speaks to us throughout the day.  Listen for His voice to guide you and stay in His word.  He won’t steer you wrong.

Before we part ways, I want to leave you with one final scripture today found in Galations 6:9.  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 

 

Big hugs!  Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

Just Say Jesus..

Our 7-year-old is having some terrible separation anxiety. She’s very attached to us and though we’re honored she wants to be with us all the time, there comes a time when independence from us is a must. Like when showering. Going to the toilet. And school, to name a few.

It’s been an act of congress getting her to go to school lately. The snow has messed up her routine and set us back quite a bit. She cries hysterically to the point of becoming physically sick thinking about being away from us. She said it’s not a bullying issue. It’s a separating issue. We’re working through this and covet your prayers.


Now this mama knows how to pray and we’ve been doing our best to help her persevere through this challenging season but nothing we’ve said seems to really help.

So there I was in the bathroom taking care of business. The door flings wide open with a very upset little girl crying “I can’t do this! I just can’t, mama! Please don’t make me go!”

So I did what only seemed natural in that moment – I prayed over her. 

She buried her head in my chest and continued to sob. I pulled her close and began quoting the Word of God over her.

“Father God, I ask you to touch her right now in the name of Jesus. Let your perfect will be done in her life. Let her know she is loved by You and that You will never leave her side. She is more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus! She is a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords! I command this anxiety to go right now in Jesus name!” 

Instantly. Immediately. There was no pill needed. No essential oil to be applied. It was simply the power of the spoken Word of God and inviting His Presence to settle an unsettled heart.

Immediately, I noticed her breathing slow down to a normal pace. Her heart stopped pounding and came back to a normal rhythm. Her tears ceased and there was a calm about her.

You see, God designed our bodies and knows what it needs to get a grip and get its act together. Sometimes our lives find themselves on a level of brokenness that’s beyond a tad of duct tape and a whole lot of super glue. And it is absolutely amazing to witness how our physical bodies respond to His heavenly presence.


Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger. So why should I tremble?”

Does fear have you trembling today? Does doubt have you paralyzed? 

Speak the name of Jesus over your situation. Don’t complain. Don’t freak out. And don’t fret. Simply speak the name of Jesus and the Word of God over the larger than life obstacles in your life today. Wait for His peace to settle you. You’re in God’s hands!

I want to leave you with this powerful video today! God will break every chain if you’ll open up your heart to Him!

At His Name, mountains crumble, demons flee and sickness and disease has to go! Anxiety must go, panic must cease and worry must leave! Nothing is too big or small for our God!

Let prayer be a first response and not a last resort!   

 

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

Please join us at the Facebook page Accountability 2016 as we dig into God’s Word together this year!  Click here to be taken directly to our new page!

lawd have mercy.  

Mercy.  

Google defines it as “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”

Can you use a little mercy today?  
Think about this for a moment.  
  
There are 365 days in a year. Take your age and multiply that by 365. Seriously, do this right now. 😀

I’m 27. And 27 x 365 = 9,855

God has given me 9,855 mercy moments. Fresh starts. Brand spanking new opportunities. That’s mind blowing!  

  

Tomorrow is coming and with that new tomorrow comes new mercy. Because God knew today’s leftovers just wouldn’t cut it.  

Each day requires new mercy. And baby that heavenly goodness is better than a gooey chocolate chunk cookie straight out of the oven. Straight from the throne room of a risen Savior with the keys to death, hell and the grave – new mercy awaits you and I.  

So if you feel like you bombed today, wipe the dirt off your knees and the tears of frustration from your eyes. Tomorrow is coming. And so is a perfectly packaged bundle of mercy.  

#lifeisagift
Live Life Unscripted, 

❤ Brittany 

Don’t Hide Your Gift <3

Since the beginning of time, God has been in the fixer upper business.

He doesn’t generally pick those in the front of the line.  He’s known for patiently waiting on those the world overlooks.  The rejected, despised, “too young,” “too old,” inexperienced newbies.  He takes the ones who are picked last in gym class and brings them front and center.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27

David was a smelly shepherd boy.  Sampson had a problem with women.  Moses was a murderer.  Rahab was a hooker.

You are I are no different.  We may not have a track record quite comparable to these celebrities of the biblical era, but I imagine you have a story too.  And it’s one that someone needs to hear.  But let me tell you, that can that be so intimidating.  Especially when we feel underqualified.  Undereducated.  Unprepared.  *insert additional “un” words here ____*

It’s easy to try to talk God out of His master plan when it feels so much bigger than us.  Heck, Moses did it.  God called him by speaking through a burning bush and Moses was quick to attempt convincing Him that He was better off choosing someone else to carry out the mass exodus of letting His people go.  God presented the plan while Moses crumbled under pressure.

gods plan

Have you been there?  I have. 

Can I be real with you?  You are not a carbon copy.  There has never been anyone quite like you.  You are uniquely created to carry out a divine purpose.  And God has something specific in mind for you to accomplish during your lifetime that only you can do.  You have world-changing power living inside of you.  Don’t hide your gift. 

I didn’t grow up thinking I would ever be capable of being a women’s speaker.  (I still don’t think I’m capable.  lol)  Or blogger for that matter.  Or an author.  But God has a way of weaving desires and purpose into our lives long before we were formed in our mother’s womb.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

You have been set apart to fulfill a specific purpose.  No one else can do what God has called you to do.  Your calling won’t look identical to anyone else’s and comparing will only breed jealousy and discontentment.  And a date with a big tub of ice cream and box of tissues.

It’s scary stepping out in faith.  But sometimes the only way to reach Jesus and His divine plan for our life is to meet Him in the deep waters.  Ask Peter.  The waves and wind created fear and havoc around him, yet he stepped out of the boat and walked out to meet His Savior.  (How awesome would that have been to have Instagram back then?  #selfieSunday #walkingonwater #jesusfreakingrocks )

What’s holding you back?  Are you afraid of failure?  Expectations from others weighing you down?  I promise you, there is no greater joy than fulfilling God’s calling on your life.  Is it scary?  Yes!  Will you fall flat on your face sometimes?  Definitely.  But the amazing thing is that God isn’t calling for perfection – He’s calling for obedience. 

plan

I’ve been back and forth about whether or not to share this video, but I feel like someone needs to see this.  Below is a clip from one of my first speaking engagements.  I’m no pro, by any means.  lol  But I have been learning to simply say “yes” to God and trust Him in the unknown.  If you’re encouraged, please feel free to share. ❤

Don’t let fear overcome you and hold you back from walking into your Promised Land.  The children of Israel made that detrimental mistake and it took them 40 years to make a 14 day journey.

When He calls you to walk on the water, remember who created those waters in the first place. 

“Unforgettable” Women’s Conference Message (Click link to watch my message from “Unforgettable” Women’s Conference!)

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.  You are unforgettable.  You are amazing.  And you have a gift that can change the world. 

Live Life Unscripted,

Brittany❤

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