Hello again…

Well hello there. Sorry I haven’t been around. You see… the thing is.. well.. I’ve been too busy being offended.

Ok, ok. That isn’t the real reason I haven’t been around. I’ve actually been moving my family from one state to another, and trying to get settled in… but.. if I’m honest.. without really knowing it… I was also carrying around some baggage that had no place being in my life.

Offense is really easy to fall prey to. In fact, offense is the leading cause of church division. It is the ruiner of relationships. It makes us do things out of character, and it usually hurts us more than the person/people/thing we’re offended by.

Offense is really, really ugly. But, grace is a really, really beautiful thing.

If you’re struggling with offense, I highly suggest you read the book “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere.  I just started reading it with my small group a few weeks ago, and it has really opened my eyes regarding living in offense. And actually, even if you don’t think you’re struggling in this area… read it anyway. You may be surprised.

I sure know I was!

Chat soon,
Brittany

 

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Seeing Jesus

Last evening as my friend was beginning to close our youth service down, she asked our students a few questions.

The very first question that she asked them was, “What will you do when you see Jesus?”

So, I pose the same question to you. How do you think you will react when you see Jesus for the very first time?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t even imagine what I would do. I feel like that would be such an amazing and overwhelming experience that I can’t even predict how I’d take it. I do know that whatever happened, it would be an action of joy and love.

So anyway, the second question she asked the students was this.. “Why do you look like zombies during worship then?”

*crickets*

If we cannot even comprehend what it would be like to see Jesus face to face because of how awesome that is going to be, why do we have such a hard time worshipping Him here on earth? Why do we struggle so much to find time to keep Him first in our lives? Why is reading a simple devotion or a few chapters from our Bible so much work?

Is it not true that Jesus is with us right now, even as I type this? Is it not true that He is also right there next to you? This is Jesus we are talking about, friends. Jesus. Our worship and devotion here on Earth should be able to reflect what Heavenly worship is like because even though we are not seeing Him face to face, He is still with us every moment of every day.

During my prayer time, I really felt the Lord sharing with me that the reason this is hard for people is because no matter how many times they read it, and no matter how many times it is spoken to them, they cannot believe how loved they are. They have such a struggle with the concept of love, that they truly haven’t even been loving themselves properly. In the quiet they ask themselves, “How can this Jesus love me? I can’t even love myself. I don’t know how to love myself. I don’t even know how to love Jesus.”

If you’re reading this today, and you feel the same way, please rebuke that lie in the name of Jesus. You are loved. You are worth it. You were created and bought with the greatest price. Satan will do whatever he can to lie to you, steal your joy, and try to rob you of the eternal life you can find through Christ. You are so incredibly loved by a Father who longs for you to love yourself and believe in who He’s created you to be. Let yourself not only begin to love yourself better, but allow yourself to fall deeply in love with Jesus. He can break chains. He wants to break yours today.

God, I’m in awe of how you choose to love and speak to us. I’ll never be able to comprehend the fullness of your love, but I am so thankful that you chose to lavish it on us. I thank you that you are with us every moment of every single day. We cannot wait until the moment we meet you face to face, but until then, I pray that you can help us focus on keeping you first in our lives and showing us how to worship you with our whole hearts. Be with my friends today. Help them feel as special as you think they are. Help them see how loved they truly are.

It’s in your name, Amen.

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EARN IT!

Growing up, I was pretty competitive. I loved playing sports, and being able to earn a spot on the team made me feel amazing. It was even better if I landed a Varsity position.

I’ve earned a lot of things in life. I’ve earned allowance, scholarships, special awards/promotions at work, and even though I could continue on my list, the MOST important thing in my life that I have, I’ve never been able to earn.

No matter how hard I’ve worked, no matter how hard I try nothing I have ever done or ever do for the rest of my life will ever “earn” this for me. Do you have any idea what I may be referring to?

I’m talking about God’s love and grace. I’m talking about salvation.

When I look back on my life, I surely didn’t earn it. Actually, my life looks rather embarrassing when it’s compared to the greatness of God and the sacrifice Christ paid when He died on the cross for my sins.

Isn’t that amazing to you? It’s like, all of our lives we are taught that we have to strive to be our best and to “earn” the next best thing, but when Christ was hanging there on the cross, He was not screaming at us to EARN His love, His death actually was telling us that He ALREADY loved us enough to die.

He died for the sins He knew we’d commit. He died for all of it. The good, bad, and the ugly.

All you and I have to do to have this amazing love lavished on us is to believe in our hearts that He is who he says He is. It’s absolutely incredible. And relieving. Don’t you think?

Do you believe that today? If not, I’d love to talk to you! Chasinghisgraceinfo@gmail.com

Friends, I pray you are able to fully grasp and hold on to how powerful God’s love and grace is. Not only do you NOT have to earn it, but there is nothing that can ever separate you from the Father’s love. He truly is your biggest fan!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1qBg9jtwb4

XO,

Brittany Marie

Faith like Elisha

This morning I was reading about Elijah and Elisha. I’m not sure if you’ve ever read the story, but I was extremely encouraged by the faith Elisha possessed.

Elisha was a farmer, and basically all of his stock and “worth” was found in the family business he ran. When he recognized his calling from the Lord, he made sure there was no way he’d backtrack or change his mind on this call by throwing himself a huge party and destroying his things.

His cattle were all butchered. His farming equipment, burned. Elisha was 100% IN, and was showing his faith by making it that he’d have nothing at his farm to return to. He wasn’t trying to hold onto any “security” he found at his home, he realized that all of his security would be in Christ alone.

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When God called you, how did you respond? Did you write down a pro/con list of following? Did you design an exit strategy incase it didn’t quite go the way you planned? Or did you hear that call and follow Him 100%?

Elisha was amazing. I pray that my faith would be bold like his. I pray that my ears would continue to be open to hear exactly what Christ wants from me. And my friends, I pray the same for you!

XO,
Brittany Marie

Shaken

One of my favorite worship songs right now is “We Will Not Be Shaken” by Bethel.
The chorus starts off:

“For we trust in our God
And through His unfailing love
We will not be shaken
We will not be shaken
We will not be shaken”

Although that alone is enough to get me ready for whatever comes my way, it’s the verse that follows that leaves me feeling strengthened the most:

“Though the battle rages
we will stand in the fight
Though the armies rise up against us on all sides
We will not be shaken
We will not be shaken
We will not be shaken”

SERIOUSLY. WOW.

Knowing that we have a God who goes before us and never leaves us.. and not only that, but is UNSHAKEABLE.. I’m excited just thinking about it.

Just like God is unshakeable, we too can be unshakeable. We get to that point by continuously pressing in and learning about who God is and about the strength He can empower us with if we would call upon His name.

I know it seems hard to believe, but it’s true. If you’re struggling finding ways to strengthen yourself, plug into a local church if you haven’t already, join a Bible study, ask a Godly friend to help disciple you, and pray/ask God to deepen your faith and walk with Him.

If you want to talk to me personally, reach out to me. I’d be happy to talk with you. You can reach me at chasinghisgraceinfo@gmail.com

Scars

The other afternoon, I was shaving my legs, and as I approached my kneecap, I noticed a quarter-sized scar. Immediately I was taken back to sixth grade. There we were. My friend Danny and I had just gotten out of science class, and we were on our way to the gym. For some reason, we thought it would be a great idea to take off running. My feet didn’t quite get the memo, and I proceeded to trip over myself, land on my knees, and hit head first off of the double doors which entered into another hallway. I’m not really sure what hurt worse. My two skinned knees, or my ego.

My left hand tells another story. Right below my pinky finger is a very unique looking scar. It’s one of my favorites, actually. This scar also involves another person, like the one above. This time, it is my older brother.

Shawn and I loved playing in the snow together when we were younger. We used to live on the side of a mountain, and not only was driving up and down the mountain an adventure, but so was sledding on it. One afternoon, we headed outside to go sledding. The very next thing I know, is that we were under a van. I’m serious. It happened that fast.

Yes…Somehow my brother and I managed to actually sled under a van, and the ONLY injury I had acquired from this freak accident is a half inch scar on my hand. It’s actually pretty impressive if you ask me.

Scars are something, I tell ya. Some scars can bring you a chuckle or two when you think about them, and some scars will stop you right in your footsteps and cause your stomach to knot. You see, the scars we bare aren’t always linked to a funny story. Some of the scars we’re left with hurt today just as much as they did when they appeared.

Do any of wear scars that still pain you when you look at them today? Maybe one of you has a scar under your eye where someone violently attacked you. Maybe a few of you have a scar down your stomach from an emergency C-section that didn’t end well. I bet there’s even someone reading this who has a scar on their body from a crazy night out partying.

Maybe you aren’t the one carrying the scars, but you’ve actually left the mark on someone else.

Friends, I want to tell you something profound today. No matter how many scars we are representing on our physical bodies, Jesus can restore any hurt that we’ve received because of the initial blow.

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Let me repeat that. No matter how many scars we are representing on our physical bodies, Jesus can restore any hurt that we’ve received because of the initial blow. Let me spell this out a little easier. I don’t care what scars you have, if you want Jesus to take away the pain, He can and He will.

That doesn’t just go for physical scars.  Some of us are carrying around horrendous emotional scars as well. These scars are not only controlling us, but they’re killing us. They’re keeping us from relationships, keeping us stuck in bondage, and even keeping us out of the church!

Let me ask everyone reading this post a simple question today. Do you want to get better? If you answered “yes” to that question,  all you have to do is simply as Jesus to take the hurt away. I know, that sounds ridiculously easy. That’s because it is.

Jesus WANTS you and I to live a life of joy! And as for those painful scars on our bodies.. well, they can now be used as stories of encouragement. Stories of hope! Doesn’t that sound so much better??!

Each one of us has a story to tell, and when we’re walking with Jesus, he changes what once was a story of defeat, into one of victory. I don’t know about you… but I like the sound of that!!

XO,

Brittany Marie

PS// Do you have a story that you’d like to tell ME about one of your scars? Either a funny story, or a story of restoration? I’d love to hear it! Blessings! ❤

You were there

Dear God,

This weekend we had an Evangelist come to our church. He was a mighty man of God, with great fervor for you. He was sharing with the congregation about your faithfulness, and how through it all, you’ve always been there.

I know that this sounds simple, however, the more that I’ve been thinking about it, the more powerful it has become to me.

With all of that being said, I can think of three times off the top of my head where I felt completely alone in my life. The first instance is from my childhood where I endured sexual abuse. The second, the night I tried to commit suicide, and the third, when I was laying in the hospital bed being told that I miscarried our second child.

Ya know what, God…  I am so glad that we do not base your presence on what we are feeling, but by what your word says, because our feelings can lead us incorrectly, just like mine did in my above examples. I may have felt alone… but I wasn’t alone.. No God, you were there with me. You have always been there for me.

God, if anyone is reading this blog today, can you please remind them that even when they feel completely alone, you are there with them? No matter what storm they’re facing, you are with them. No matter what time of day it is, you are with them. YOU ARE WITH THEM. You will always be with them. There will never be a moment in their lives where you will not be with them.

I thank you, Lord. I thank you for loving us enough to always be there for us.

XO,

Brittany Marie

 

What does that make me?

Let me ask you something…. Do you love yourself?

I’m serious. Do you?

There are some days where I plain and simple don’t like who I am very much. If you’re honest with yourself, I am sure you’ve been there a time or two as well.

Something that is EXTREMELY important to remember when we get stuck in a funk is that we belong to God. Not only do we belong to Him, but He created us in His image.

Have you ever heard the song, “Everything Glorious“?? It goes on to say…

   You make everything glorious, and I am yours. What does that make me?

You and I are glorious. Sure, sometimes we don’t feel that way, but that doesn’t change the fact of the matter. So believe it or not… You’re absolutely amazing. You’re handcrafted by God the Father himself. Isn’t that incredible?

Next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, and beating yourself up over something, imagine God with a paintbrush and an empty canvas. Out of anything and everything in the world to draw, He chose YOU. I hope you feel special, because you absolutely, positively are.

My prayer today is that you would embrace and love who you are. I also pray that you draw closer to the Father, and that He would allow you to see your purpose here on Earth. Every single one of us has a mission, and together we can change this world! Let’s shine for Christ!

XO,
Brittany Marie

This just isn’t working out…

#realtalk

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This past year and a half has been one of the hardest times I’ve ever dealt with in my life. Because of the things I’ve encountered, I’ve struggled in certain areas of my life.

However

No more will I hold on to what was, but I will cling to the truth of who God is, and I will daily strive to choose forgiveness and grace instead of anger and pain. I will strive daily to practice compassion. I want to love the way that Christ loves me.

From this day, I choose to believe in myself and the gifts that God has blessed me with. I will be strong and confident in everything that I do. I will no longer allow Satan to speak lies into my ears, because I am able to do all things through Christ, and he will empower me to conquer whatever road I step foot on.

God has a plan for me, and he’s not finished yet. I’m ready for whatever is up ahead of me.

So goodbye old self, this isn’t working out anymore.

—–

Is there something you need to say goodbye to today?!?!

XO,

Brittany Marie

 

I’m going to give you a Bear Hug

Growing up, I have very fond memories of giving “bear hugs” to my parents, and grandparents. There is just something a little more special about those extra tight squeezes, don’t you agree? Have you ever told your child, or young loved one that you were going to give them a “bear hug”? Did it seem extra special to them as well?

This week, I am going to be reviewing a precious book by Caroline B. Cooney (illustrated by Tim Warnes), which follows a mother sharing in those very special snuggle times with her son. The title of the book is called, “I’m going to give you a Bear Hug!” and it is published by ZonderKidz.

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So, I just gotta say… I don’t think I’ve ever read a cuter bedtime story. Each time we turned the page, we were surprised with a new animal, and a very playful rhyme which fit perfectly with whichever animal the mother was pretending to be.

Whether he was getting a cat hug,
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a wet and drippy fish hug,
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or a soft sheep hug,FullSizeR (6).jpg

you can tell that he sure is loved, and enjoying his mother’s touch.

My daughter absolutely loved this book, and hearing her giggle as each page turned was enough for me to want to make this an every night occurrence in our house. As a matter of fact, she even picked out her favorite animal hug.. and what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t share it with you all? 😉

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I truly think that you’d love this book just as much as we did, and I want to give one of you the chance to win this adorable bedtime story.

If you’d like the chance to win “I’m going to give you a Bear Hug!“, please stop in and say hello in the comment section of this post!

I will select ONE winner on Monday February 6th. The winner will then be sent this adorable book by FlyBy Promotions/Propeller. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Good luck! ❤

XOXO,
Brittany Marie

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.