Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tiny Toes Dancing Down the Hall

When the toys in the tub don't stick to the bathtub walls
When baby dolls are no longer lining the hallway 
Race cars are stacked away neatly
Muddy shoes are clean 
Cheerios are not riddled throughout the house

My heart will ache. 
My eyes will well with tears
The lump in my throat will grow big
My mind will grasp for the memories 
My breath will be taken back. 

My children will be grown. 
I will wish, believing with every once of magic in me, that just maybe I could have the bathtub toys sticking again. And the crackers stuck on the bottoms of my bare feet once more. 
The early morning snuggles that start before the sun rises. 
Today my hugs tighter around my little ninja turtle for afternoon snuggles.
Tonight one more song to sing before we say our prayers. 
In the middle of the night my smile will stretch from ear to ear with each crumb stuck to my feet as I walk through the house to get a cup of milk after a bad dream.
Then 
In the morning tiny toes dancing down the hall will be the most wonderful melody to my ears. 

It's a beautiful way of living. 
To be a mom. 
~brittany 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What If the Truth Stings?

Prior to the IF Gathering the Lord placed Philippians 2:4&5 on my heart. Reminding me to look for ways to encourage others in their callings, gifts, and talents - to pursue a greater portion of humility in life. To have my joy complete in being a cheerleader for others in their goals. It's a direction that my actions and heart were going but when I read this passage everything made sense.

Christine Cain shared a powerful message at the IF Gathering in Austin. During which she made a side statement, "Stop walking into your personal destiny and go into your churches calling, your community's calling..." My heart shouted in joy and my lips agreed with a big ole amen from the top balcony of ACL. 

Community has become an active part of our lives over the past 4 years and serving the church verses serving from my calling is a prayer I've boldly prayed the last few years. Serving from a calling verses serving from a title is what the Kingdom needs. 

This is an area I did not understand or even try to a few years ago. It wasn't on my radar or agenda. That is embarrassing to admit, but I'm thankful for spiritual growth and the freedom to say that is where I use to be - but am not any longer. I'm thankful that the truth stings. My husband has taught me great humility in this area and continues to be an example of what this looks like in day to day life. 

Our livelihood is ministry - but I long to never again see it as a job. For those who serve Jesus-serve the church, community, and Kingdom who do not receive a pay check - you are an incredible blessing and encouragement to the body. You are an asset that can not be replaced. Your rewards are beautiful in glory! But I want to encourage you, right along side of me, not to walk in personal destiny of where your servanthood can lead you but instead lets come together to pursue the calling of the church. The Kingdom.


Ephesians 2:4-22 is a powerful resource for todays church, as believers lets not work separately, please can we stop holding grudges, lets let go of hostility, lets work towards communication instead of misunderstanding, and lets put aside our personal ambitions and work towards the calling of the church. We don't have time for all that stuff.

If you entertain it
and if you have time for it
Then you are making room in your heart for bondage
instead of clearing the path for freedom in Jesus over your life.

You are making room for bondage in your church instead of pursuing freedom for the Kingdom.

Pursuing the call of the church or in your community doesn't mean we can't have goals or dreams of our own but lets not forget the calling of the church in pursuit of those.

Lets value the platform of Christ over the platform of self.

Know that this is for me! More than anything I write to hold myself accountable to what the Lord is teaching me. I share here in the hopes of conversation and encouraging one another. This has been on my heart and in my thoughts lately and today I finally felt brave enough to share it.
~brit

Friday, February 13, 2015

Loving Well on Valentines

DIY Valentines Mini Gift Baskets.

Learning to love well is really wonderful. One of my favorite things is receiving small little gifts in the mail from friends or a drop off on my front porch. Nothing big, just simple. I have been so blessed with thoughtful people in my life to encourage me in the hardest of times or in the best of days - to simply say hi. 

Over the last few years I've fallen in love with gifting. The Lord is just so faithful to my little family & has always been so sweet to us through the kindness of others. One time someone blessed us so big (anonymously) to help with a need so great that it broke me. It made my heart tender. It made me realize that loving well looks different from person to person. That someone with a big gesture is just as valued by as a small gesture of love. For a while I felt that my small gesture of loving someone wouldn't be worth it - until I got brave enough to step out to do it.

I learned that loving well is the heart of Jesus coming alive within us the closer we get to him. 
Your loving well matters. 
Loving well is not about a price point. Loving well is about loving from your heart - reaching out from within to love the way the Lord leads you to. For me, loving well means dropping a coffee off to someone who is on my heart, making a batch of soup for someone whose sick, or baking mini muffins to go in tiny baskets to share with friends just to say hi! It is fun! Not a big deal, no one needs to know about it, just simple. 

One of the fun things is learning how you best - love well. 
I think it looks differently from person to person. 
Happy Friday! 
~brittany

ps. I kinda miss this space. I've been instablogging more than writing here. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Words for 2015.

(I wrote this out last week but just now having a chance to share here)
Have you ever had one of those moments when you know that the Lord is speaking something so clearly to your heart that you can't run from his words?

maybe you try to run but then there comes a point when you know that you will never escape them?

I've been running from my word for 2015 in the hopes that I was hearing all wrong from the Lord. This morning I finally feel at peace about it. Knowing that this word to live by is not just for me; sometimes I'm so naive to think that my life is actually about me. The Lord is so gracious in love to remind me that it is not - when I need reminded the most. It is about others too. Its about his kingdom.

I took a shower this morning and was suppose to be relaxing from all of the chaos of our entire family being hit with yet stomach bug. But all I could focus on was the word and phrase that has been singing in my heart so loudly for a month now.

"Sacrifice. Love well."

I have been terrified of what these words might mean for me, my wants, my needs, my plans, and my desires that I've been incapable of realizing that the Lord holds all of that in his hands. He gives us the desires of our hearts. So the truth is that when we let him lead in our lives that our desires and wants shift. Our hearts align with his plans. 

The shift is so graceful that it doesn't have to hurt much instead it can be some of the most beautiful pieces of our lives coming together. Giving every part of ourselves over to the Lord allows areas of our lives that never went well together before or perhaps we tried to make them work together on our own - finally they all come together. 

His heart becoming ours allows his plans to overcome our lives. 

This is where my faith rest this year.
This is where my trust is this year.

That somehow I can learn to sacrifice, to love well that it becomes something the Lord plants deep in my heart that it will never be removed. A part of my lifestyle.

Last year my words were, Celebrate - Never Silent. Psalm 30:11&12. 
It was an incredible year of learning and adapting that to my life. Each year my hope is that the Lord prunes my heart & life, replacing parts that need to go with these new actions that desperately need to stay.
When I finally got brave enough to say my words out loud to my husband he joked, "hmm too bad it can't be celebrate again huh?" We laughed so hard. Knowing that learning to sacrifice and love well may not be the prettiest of things for this lady of his.

I share my words there to make it a declaration for myself. Not to be boastful. 
Instead to be bold and to uncover some real ugly parts of my heart in the hopes of growing beautiful ones over them, in their place. Im honestly now so excited about this year. 

I've been scared. Scared that I couldn't do it right or well or maybe I didn't understand what these words truly meant. Sometimes all of that is okay. God doesn't need to me have it all figured out because then what would I need him for? He just needs my yes. 

I'm ready to dive into this year. The Lord is moving powerfully in the plans he has for 2015 for Happy Heart Box. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter over there. Many things coming this year that I will want you to be apart of! 

Do you pick a word for the year?

I would LOVE to hear it. It would be an honor to cheer you on this year as you strive to live out the words/goals the Lord has given you. Send me a message with your mailing address at happyheartbox@gmail.com with your goals or words. I would love to send you some encouragement in the mail this year! 

~brit

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thinking of Grace

This morning I woke up early 
I've been thinking about her even more lately because today was approaching.

I crawled over my little Noah, whose nestled tightly between me & Johnny to get out of bed then tip toed down the hall to not wake up my princess sleeping peacefully in her room. 
I grab a cup of coffee then I sit down in my office. 

Two years later on this day
Still, my heart aches for her. 
Still, I can't help but wish I had two little ones to crawl over to get out of my bed. 
Still, I wish I could scoop her up to play with in the mornings. 
Still, I wish I had pictures adorning my walls of her sweet smiles and beautiful locks. 

Still, I still feel this way. 
On January 7, 2013 I wrote this post, Words with a Heavy Heart. 

Then 6 months later, while pregnant with our Olivia I wrote the following post but never shared it until today. I've never shared this with anyone except maybe 3 or 4 other people simply because it was not the time and I know some may not understand. But this morning I've decided to share just how sweet the Lord truly is in every season. 
Good and bad. He is faithful. 

June 2013
One night last week Noah woke up around 2 am. After sitting with him for a bit in his room, I went back to bed. Walking the few feet from his room to ours a great wave of thankfulness came over me, hitting me so hard that I couldn't stop smiling. Quietly whispering to the Lord, "Thank you for Noah and baby Olivia."

Pulled the covers over me then closed my eyes. 
Sleepy but not asleep. I told the Lord that I really miss the little one we had just lost. 
I had been asking the Lord if our baby was a boy or a girl. I was only 11 weeks pregnant and we didn't know the sex of the baby when I miscarried. To me this was one of the hardest parts, I felt like I needed to know this baby's name to help me grieve the loss.

Although I have this incredible baby girl I'm carrying my heart truly aches over this baby. I'm pregnant but grieving the loss of our child I miscarried. This is an interesting place to be as a mother. So I've been asking God to show me, to somehow know if we were expecting a baby girl or a baby boy. In my heart I felt we were having a baby girl.

I closed my eyes and asked the Lord to please reveal this to me soon. 
Laying in bed, with my eyes closed I saw a little girl off in the distance. 
She looked about seven or eight months old with light brown hair, the sweetest rose colored pouty lips, and round little cheeks, just standing there.

I opened my eyes because it was so very real that it startled me.
I was not asleep. I was awake. 
Quickly I closed my eyes again this time asking the Lord, "is this her? our January baby?"
Never did I hear an answer, but that didn't matter.
The peace that entered my heart was everything I needed.
My emotions finally free, my heart felt safe seeing her.

My eyes closed I'm getting closer to her. 
She was just beautiful.
Porcelain skin, brown eyes, pouty lips like Tuckers (my nephew)big cheeks like Sammy (my niece). 
Her little face staring up at me.
Her right hand stretched towards mine. 

Laying there in bed I just began sobbing. Uncontrollably.

My heart finally feeling true joy thinking of this sweet baby we lost.
No longer was my heart so broken at the thought of our January baby, but instead joy. peace. hope.
I'm so thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to have joy restored to my heart from aching the last several months. I've felt guilt grieving the baby we lost while being pregnant with our precious miracle girl. 

Still laying there...
Thinking if I opened my eyes then it wouldn't be real and that I wouldn't be able to see her anymore, I just kept my eyes closed so tight. The most beautiful aspect of this dream/vision is that none of it has left my memory. It wasn't like a dream that I struggled to remember the next day or a week later. It was beautifully real in every way. I can close my eyes to see this baby girl of mine or leave them open to enjoy her precious face and barely there light brown hair.

Johnny woke up because I was sobbing so loudly. Concerned that something may be wrong, I did my best to explain to him what happened. Through more crying & lots of pausing finally I was able to share with him that our January baby was a girl. Holding his hand we just laid there in awe of the Lord for healing my heart by allowing me a glimpse of her.

I told Johnny, her name is Grace.
~June of 2013
These pictures are from last year on January 2nd. We bought some beautiful roses to remember our sweet baby Grace. Today we will add another flower to them. I'm so thankful for my sweet babies. I'm thankful that the Lord cares about what my heart feels. There have been times that I feel like I shouldn't be so heart broken because we have two beautiful children but I still am. At times I have felt embarrassed that I still think of her because we lost her so early, but to me how could I not? I'm thankful that I never have to feel ashamed of my thoughts and feelings, like they don't matter because they always do to the Lord. We serve a faithful God who restores our broken hearts. My journey to becoming a mother of two here and two in glory has not been the easiest but it has been truly beautiful. I look forward to the hope of more children. Our future rest in the Lord and that is the most perfect place for it to remain. 
~brittany 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Faith's Greatest Moment

At times saying yes to Jesus is truly a challenge.
Perhaps saying yes to his direction can cause to you second guess everything.
Feel broken. 
Perhaps the thoughts of making mistakes flood your mind. Of failing. Not getting it right.

This is faith's greatest moment to shine in your life.
The perfect foundation to take root in your heart, to grow abundantly.

As tears from the unknown wash over your face, this is one of the most beautiful moments of your life. 
Take Heart in it. 

Find purpose and seek his wisdom. Don't let this moment pass you by as heartache.
Embrace it as freedom in walking into his plans and out of your own. 

The regret of saying no to Jesus is greater than saying yes. 


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