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Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Lie of "Do what makes you happy"

Scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest and even Instagram, the message I continue to find is "Do what makes YOU happy". Or one of these other takes on it, "Do what you love." "Do what brings you joy." "Do what makes your soul happy". And I must admit, done up in the fancy script with the flowers or the beautiful scenery behind it, its aesthetically pleasing. The idea behind it is tempting as well! To live life in a way that it brings me joy, makes me happy, and involves what I love... I can't deny that it is very tempting.
The draw to live for one's self is very prevalent in the North American culture today. Within Canada, the sad decline into narcissism has just started to be more noticeable as it seemed to sneak into our society without people really noticing. Such a me centered world creates a bounty of problems and surprisingly, increases the amount of depression within society. One would think that if they were living for themselves, doing only things that bring them joy, that they love and what makes them happy, that they would be truly happy, but this does not seem to be the case.
Within my generation, there is a rise in depression so much so that specialists are actually concerned with the leap. And yet, these are the people who live by the "Do what makes you happy" mindset. How is it that the people who live to be happy and do what they want can be some of the most depressed, anxious and mentally messed up people out there?!
I have a theory, and you can take it or leave it. Those who focus mainly on themselves find life to be lacking and develop problems. Those who take a God focused mindset, while they may still struggle, tend to find true and lasting joy. Now let me unpack that a little bit for you.
Life is filled with wonderful things, things that bring joy, make you happy, make your heart smile or whatever you want to describe it like. But caught up in an imbalanced proportion, those things make you un-healthy or change from making you happy to making you unhealthy. When you live solely for being happy, the ability to handle things that will make you sad, will hurt, and will happen because its life kind of depletes. Narcissism tells us that we have the right and the obligation to only feel happy, joyful and good. But that truly isn't reality. Reality says that pain happens. Reality says that you have to go through hard times. And God says that HE WILL CARRY YOU THROUGH IT! Those who choose to live for God choose to live in the joy of the freedom He provides. When hard times come, when they have to do the things that they may not exactly want to do but it needs to get done, when days are bad, the joy of those living in freedom does not fade. God's joy is freedom. God's joy is not self-serving or binding. It isn't a trap. It doesn't force you into un-healthy habits. The freedom in living for God means that life has a purpose.
Think of chocolate chip cookies! How many people love chocolate chip cookies?! They make people happy! But if people only ate chocolate chip cookies, how sick and disgusting would they feel? The things that make people happy, may not be healthy when they are serving what they want. Serving God means that even though the chocolate chip cookies make you happy, you also know that a salad, chicken, and rice would make your body feel better for supper instead of only eating things that make you happy.
Realistically, life does not allow you to do only the things that make you happy. And living out the "do what makes you happy" mantra leads to a very disappointing life. Living for God and the freedom He provides leads to a joy-filled, fulfilling life.
Be careful what lies you believe. Be aware of Narcissism and how it sneaks in to kill, destroy and wreak havoc on your life. Set your heart on things greater than yourself and find a truly happy life.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

He Trusts Me

One year, two months and one day. That is how long I have been married for as of today (the day this blog is written). It seems like time has flown by! I cannot believe we have been married over a year already, and yet it seems as though I have been married for forever, in the most wonderful way of course! Through this first year of marriage I have grown so much as a person, and we have grown so much as a couple! We have been incredibly blessed to also have some married couples that have been willing to walk through this journey side by side with us. Together we are learning SO much about what God has designed marriage to be, about the ways we as wives can come beside and encourage our husbands, about financial planning, healthy living, and basically, learning to live as couples who daily strive to honor Jesus with all we do and say. It isn't easy, we aren't perfect, but it is a journey that is totally worth it!
One of the areas that I particularly have been growing in this year is in being a woman worthy of my husband's trust. Throughout this year I have been studying Proverbs 31 and what it means to be a woman and a wife who brings honor to God. Within the first couple months of married life, God placed a part of this passage on my heart. This verse has since then become one of my "life verses", through which God has continued to push me to grow and become more and more the woman He and Caleb need me to be. Provebs 31: 10-12 says, "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life." Wow! I so desire to be the excellent wife that is more precious than jewels. And if we are all honest with ourselves, as wives, we all want to be thought of as the most precious thing that our husband has in life. But in my mind, the next part is the kicker! That is where God tapped me on the shoulder and said "Daughter, take notice of what an excellent wife does." An excellent wife does her husband GOOD and not harm! Right now you might be thinking well, duh Breanna. If she harmed him how could she be excellent. You're right... but there is more! Just hang out a sec and hear me out.
"The heart of her husband trusts in her...". Oh how I long for this. For Caleb's heart to trust in me. To know beyond a doubt I will not bring him harm. And truthfully, this harm I believe God is speaking of isnt just a simple thing... it can be a combination of many little things that are SO easy to do as a wife. Here are a few of the examples I can think of:

Breaking budget- Men are innately providers. God has placed it in their heart to provide for their families and they do this by daily working their butts off for us. As their wife, we are given access to their money to pay for groceries, bills, and everything else. But often times we become selfish and want to buy new clothes we don't actually need, extra treats we crave, top comforts to make our homes perfect, but by doing so we break the budget they have trusted us with. We harm their trust. We are devaluing their desire to provide for us by constantly seeking "more" and "better". We harm them. Now I'm not saying its always a bad thing to buy new outfits, treats, home-making things ect... what I am saying is if we break the "budget", if we make ourselves go farther in to debt, and if we don't seek out their opinions on larger purchases, they are hurt by us. We lose their trust in our abilities to respect their hard work and manage our homes well.

Bashing- If you're in a relationship, dating or married, you've probably been around a group of women/girls that all they said about their man was negative. From what they dont do, to what they do actually do, these poor guys seemed to never catch a break when it came to pleasing their woman. The gossip about their men seems to spread and soon, everyone within that circle of friends knows exactly how terrible of a boyfriend or husband that guy is. Because all that they ever hear is what he does wrong. Eventually this gets back to the guy himself and his self-esteem takes a plunge... sometimes so deep the guy will never recover and believe he can be a "great guy" again. I absolutely despise this habit women have. It is SO harmful to a relationship and to a guy in general. Not to mention that God calls us to respect our husbands! We are to be under them, which requires respect. If the words we say when they aren't around are not respectful, we truly are NOT respecting our husband. This bashing habit is so harmful not just to our men's self-esteem, but it will long term affect his reputation. It also creates a nasty habit in ourselves as wives to assume the worst about him. If we constantly assume the worst, instead of purposely thinking the best, we build ourselves up to be bitter women indeed. Their trust in us disappears, along with so many other good things. They are harmed.

Sex talk- This one might seem a bit random to some of you, but I have found that this is SUCH an important part of a healthy and trusting marriage. Sex details and talk should NEVER be a public topic. When you got married your bodies became one, as did your lives. "the two shall become one flesh" (Mark 10:8). Only two people became one. That doesn't mean all your friends, acquaintances and everyone else became one... you and your husband. Just you two. The world doesn't need to know details of your sex life. Intimacy is made to help strengthen a marriage and the trust between a husband a wife. When a woman (or husband for that matter) goes around sharing explicit details of their sex life, it is like emotionally placing their spouse naked in front of all that they are talking to. It is exposing the depths of their spouses heart for the world to see. Oh the pain it can cause. The utter agony of being completely and fully exposed by the one you trust with not just your heart but your body. How much harm can come from this nasty worldly habit of sharing too much. Not to mention the horror at arousing desires for your spouse in other people by sharing too many details. There are so many terrible relationship and trust wrecking side effects to this. I'm sure you will think of more as you truly ponder this. Sex talk to anyone other than our spouse harms them.

I know that there are more harmful things that wives can do to their spouses, but these are three that I feel as though God placed on my heart to share. They are by far the three most common ways I notice wives breaking the trust their husband has in them. We need to cut them out of our lives, out of our marriages, before it causes irreparable damage. If we truly desire to be more precious than jewels to our husbands, if we really want them to trust us, we need to ensure that we constantly bring them good things, and seek to never harm them. I know that deep in my heart, my greatest desires I have are to be everything Caleb needs as a wife, to be the woman God calls me to be, and to create a marriage reflecting Jesus. But the only way I will ever succeed in bringing God glory as a wife and as His daughter, is if I live out being called to be the woman my husbands heart can trust in. The world will see I am different through this, "He trusts me".

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Deal With Dating Well

Well here it goes! I'm about to share with cyber-world more about my relationship. So let me start back at the beginning. I met Caleb during my first year of college, but not at Bible College (no, we weren't one of those couples), we actually met as lifeguards at the pool. At the time I met him, he was dating someone else, and I wasn't really interested in dating. Not long after meeting him, Caleb was single again and began to pursue me. I was under the mind-set that I was NOT going to date again for at least a year after being dumped. Now what, you ask, changed my mind? Well, I had been praying that the right guy, when he came into my life, would pursue me differently than I had ever been pursued before. I desired romance and to feel like a princess, I am the typical romantic girl, who melts and flowers and walks through the trees at sunset. Not long after meeting him, Caleb was single again and began to pursue me. Caleb fulfilled all of that, he left me cute notes in my work locker, he figured out my favorite chocolate and left that in my locker, he purposely sought out my favorite things and asked to do them with me or for me to do them with him. It was very very hard not to fall for a man who truly wanted to know me and let me know who I was mattered. Eventually, he caught my full attention and I've been head over heels since then. Now comes the tricky part, actually surviving as a couple through dating.

Dating can be some pretty muddy waters sometimes. Don't get me wrong, dating is wonderful! It was and is fun, brings us joy and expands on our friendship and trust of each other. However, dating also gets your heart more involved and thats when you can end up in trouble. "Above all else, the heart is deceitful, who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). This is truth guys! Your heart will tell you so many things that you may want to hear, but may be complete lies. The biggest lie that is faced in most relationships is the lie of "this is totally okay to do". As you are dating and your heart gets more involved, and it starts to long for closeness with the other person. It tells you that a simple kiss is okay, but then later will tell you that making-out is totally okay. Then it will say that your hands can go where they shouldn't, and it continues on from there. To date well, to understand dating, and to live out Christ within dating, one first must understand that the heart lies.
Second, a person must understand that "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23. If your heart is pure and has good intentions, if you guard your heart from the lies it may try to influence you with, if you rest your heart in God's hands by studying His word and seeking Him, you will reflect what is in your heart to every aspect of your life, including your dating life.  You will be able to romance your boyfriend or girlfriend and show them love in a God honoring way. You will be the person that they need and that God calls you to be, because you are first loving God in your life. This is the ultimate key to dating well that Caleb and I found. To properly love one another, we first had to fully and whole-heartedly love God. It took us a while to figure out the key to dating well was to not trust what our hearts said but to instead dig way deeper into God and find what He calls us to do. But once we learned that, our relationship grew, it had foundation and we could stand without being shaken. My desire is that you would be able to avoid the shaky times, and start out your relationship by knowing that your heart will lie, but God always tells us the truth. Knowing that through Him, your dreams for what love is like and your deep desire to be loved and romanced will be fulfilled, and He might just add a boyfriend or girlfriend into the mix too.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Me, Me, Me, Me... oh and Me

One of the things that has struck me deeply during my Theology course is the incredible self-centered mindset of the post-modern age we are living in. This post-modern theology has seeped into our churches widely among the young adults and youth, but even in some of the older members. It has become all about finding a church body that fulfills "my" needs. That serves "me". That "I" feel at home in. That sings music "I" like. That agrees with "my" views. No longer has it become important to serve the body of Christ. No longer is it all about "Him". People leave churches and even Bible schools all because one time, someone says something the disagree with. Instead of learning about it and growing in their faith, they leave. The desire to serve God by loving the church body and serving them has left. It is all about "me".
Friendships are broken because people don't show up to baby/bridal/whatever showers because they have to work or have prior commitments. People fight because the worship leader played too many hymns or too many modern worship songs. Or even they have a different style of leading than the team is used to. All hell breaks loose if the pastor shows any intolerance for any type of people group, even if what the pastor says is based on Biblical truth. Churches fight and divide over small disagreements that are blown up into a big deal. Different denominations think everything about the other one is "wrong" because it doesn't agree with what they think. The body of Christ is smashed into a billion pieces who are constantly fighting against each-other. How then does this look to those outside of our faith? How then does the world see Christianity? As a bunch of hypocrites who can't even get along with their friend in the church and are so easily offended when someone can't make an event that they leave? Or they hated the way the music sounded so they wont have anything to do with that church anymore? How is that what we want to show people? How is that okay?!
The body of Christ is ALL believers. It is all churches. Across the whole world. When we fight, when we hurt, when we ignore, when we gossip and lie about the people in our churches, the people in other churches, or any believer, we are breaking apart the reflection of Christ we are supposed to be. We are bit by bit tearing apart Christ's bride. All because of "me". Because "I" didn't like that. Because "I" wasn't pleased. Because "my" party wasn't full of people. Because the worship leader played music "I" didn't like in a style "I" find annoying. Because this Sunday "I" don't agree with the pastor.
When has being a Christian been about "me"? When has Christ dying ever been just about "me"? Yes, Christ loves me. Yes, He died to save me, but He also died to save the pastor I disagree with. The family who one Sunday didn't say hi to me. The worship leader who can never please everyone by his/her music choices. Christ died for them! That we as a body of believers might bring glory to Him... by fighting?! Because of "me"? No. By placing Him in the place of "me".
During this Christmas season, I am again blown away by God's incredible trust of humans. That He allowed a human girl to carry Himself in human form. That humans raised Him. That He believed a human capable of raising God as a child. And then I look around now and I see no reason for God to choose to trust us, or love us because of our selfishness. How sad is this? That we are so selfish that we don't even see the grace of God through all of the "me"? I encourage and challenge you readers to take time to look beyond the "me" in your life, and to see others around you that perhaps need you to be with them during this season in their lives. Maybe it will mean sacrifice on your part as you lay down the "me" for "Him". But in doing this, maybe, just maybe, we can slowly piece back together the body of believers and actually work together to reflect Christ to a world so broken.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Intro To My New Blog Series

Hey all!

It has been absolutely too long since I have been posting on here and I have seriously missed it. There has been so much happening in my life in the past two years. Currently I am finishing my last course for my Diploma in Youth Ministry (WOHOO!), working as a swim instructor/lifeguard, oh and I GOT MARRIED! Surprise! haha Yes, I have a lot of blogging to catch up on! And that is one of my reasons for my new series of blog posts. I have had a few friends ask me to blog and document my story and journey through dating, engagement, and the first few months of marriage and just continue on with that. My goal with this is, that I would be able to help as many men and women, young and old, as I can to ensure you all have an idea about the struggles, challenges, joys and fun that dating properly can bring. That living out a God honoring engagement brings. And with God's help, being a God honoring spouse in a strong marriage can bring.

Right now, I am preparing to be a speaker for a jr/sr high youth girls retreat where I am supposed to share with the girls what is so important about dating well. So my first post in this series will be The Deal With Dating Well. I will give a bit more background to Caleb and my romance as well and share a bit about the challenges and joys we found through dating. I pray these posts will be a blessing to all of you who are reading them and that you will be encouraged to stand true to God's Word and live out His love in your relationships.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

For the Love of Gifts! Use Yours!

Throughout my first semester of Bible school I have been studying spiritual gifts a lot. And today I realized something I never had before. 1st Corinthians 13 is about spiritual gifts. Like WHAT?! I thought it was just saying that if you don't have love in your life then you really have nothing... but nope it is a lot more than that! First lets look at some of what spiritual gifts are and why you have them.

So basically God gives believers spiritual gifts in order for us to go out and to love others. They are given so we can better fulfill the great commission to go out and make disciples in all nations. Everyone who believes is given a spiritual gift and some are given many gifts but few know what their gift is and even less use their gift to its fullest potential. This to me is not exactly a great thing. We are given these gifts not to keep to our selves but to bless others with. And THAT is where 1st Corinthians 13 comes in. I encourage you to pull out your Bible or go onto and read over 1st Corinthians 13. As you read it, look at what it is really talking about. Take for example verse 1. If I speak in the TONGUES of man or of angels. Oh! Tongues! That's one of the spiritual gifts! Wait... what does verse 2 say? Prophesy and faith... hmm those are also spiritual gifts! Verse 3? The gift of giving. Yep! Keep reading! 

Finished it now? Well to summarize, it basically lists some of the spiritual gifts... and then goes on to say that if you do not have love with them, then they are not helpful... in fact they become useless or annoy and hinder others from knowing God! Kind of crazy? Well what exactly does this love have to include? Well for us to use our spiritual gifts with love, we must use the love that is described later in the passage. 

(4-8a) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

While we as believers are given spiritual gifts, we are to use them in love for others. They are not to be horded away and used selfishly, they are not to be used to boost our ego and become prideful, and they are not to be used to belittle others. As part of the Body of Christ our gifts are to be used along side each other to draw others to Him. For us to be an active body of Christ, we must be using all of our gifts, and that means knowing what they are and how best to use them.

I really encourage you as a follower of Jesus to use the gifts you have and to nurture them so that you will be able to use them to the best of your ability. And when you use them, remember to do it in love. Because with love, nothing will fail.

God Bless,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Update On Me :)

Hey all! Sorry I haven't posted in like... forever!! :( Life has been pretty busy! So here's an update to catch you up on everything that's been going on in a very... general way. ;P

I AM DONE HIGHSCHOOL! Yep! I graduated! As of June 25th 2013 I was finished all highschool exams and classes. :) Only very exciting! Exams and homework kept me super busy for many many months. I am so thankful I am done with them... at least for highschool.

I am moving! Yep! You heard me right! :P My family is staying where they are, but I am moving for school... which brings me to the next thing!

I am going to Bible college! :) Yeaah... in case you hadn't figured it out by now I kind of am crazy about God... so am greatly looking forward to digging deeper into His word and learning more about Him. :)

What am I going to take...? Well so far my plan is to for sure do a one year program which will get me a certificate in Bible. However, my hope is that if after the one year I will be able to continue on and get a double Bachelor of Arts, majoring in theology and possibly youth ministry! :)  I am so very excited about this opportunity I have been given and ask that you would pray for wisdom and direction for me as I continue to seek after God. Pray also for my family as we are not used to being apart and it will be a huge transition to have me not at home.

Thanks so much for being patient with me as dealt with all the craziness in my life. :) Hopefully I will be able to post more often!!

May God bless you greatly!


PS if you have any prayer requests, be sure to comment below!