“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Scrubbing Hands.

     Tonight I got a little adventurous and finally decided to paint my jewelry case that has been sitting on my dresser unpainted for months (not holding any jewelry). (My sister's awesome father-in-law made it for me.) I bought red spray paint and headed to my apartment. Which, is on the 3rd floor. I considered taking it to the grass and decided that I could make it work on the patio.
     I cut trash bags so it could act as a paint trap and ignored that it was not in abundance once the case was on it. And off to spray paint I went. Didn't even think to put on gloves.
     15 minutes later, I'm at the sink scrubbing my hands with bleach and wondering how to remove mists of red spray paint from the patio. (The patio is really not that bad. Definitely not as bad as my hands.)
     Why did I not take the extra time to put on a pair of gloves? Why didn't I put down just one more trash bag? It would have saved me tons of time from scrubbing up my mess.
      Somehow the Lord spoke to me in that moment. So many times I go through life just trying to get things done- that I don't take the adequate time to prepare what is needed. I then end up wasting more time. I'm learning the principle of first things first. What needs to be prepared first before I can get started? How do I need to prepare myself for the meeting? the relationship? the task?
     God is a God of preparation. He has prepared a place for us. He has prepared us for the very thing we are going through that we see no end to. And He is preparing us for what is ahead. He has equipped you. Are we walking in it? And are we doing our part?
     Preparation allows you to have freedom. And it allows you to breathe. Instead of standing at the kitchen sink scrubbing your hands.

Monday, November 12, 2012


     I don't know why God chose me, but He did. 
I don't understand why He would want to use me, but He does. 
I don't think that I'm good enough, He doesn't care about my qualifications. 
I don't think I'm worth it, He died on a cross because He thinks I'm worth it.
I don't think I'm pretty enough, He is enthralled by my beauty. 
I don't think I'm eloquent enough, He knows that the Christ in me can work through me. 
I don't know why He chose me, but He did, and what am I going to do with my calling?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Freedom Bringers

     I realized something today about people in my life. I am surrounded by talented, gifted, anointed, creative, intelligent, and amazing individuals. They set the standard high in my life. They make me want to be a better person. Some of them make me want to be a better person out of fear. I fear failure. I fear that they won't like me if I mess up. I fear rejection if I don't measure up. And I end up living life around them walking on eggshells trying to people please. But then, there are a special group of people in my life that give me the freedom to be all that God has created me to be.
     There presence doesn't frighten me. It actually encourages me. They don't have to say a word and I know they are rooting for me- even if I fail. Their authenticity allows me to be open and honest about my weaknesses and mistakes. Their boldness allows me to be excited about victories in my life.
     When I am in an area of leadership and I'm vocally the one leading- these people are the ones who are watching with love in their eyes. I know that they believe in me, and they don't even say a word. I know that they aren't reading into every word I say looking for failure, but they are silently encouraging me to be bold, courageous, and passionate.
     They allow me to be passionate. They allow me to be obedient. They allow me to be me. They bring freedom.

     I now have to ask myself if I am the kind of person that scares people into being a better person, or if I am a person that brings freedom for my friends & peers to walk out who God created them to be.

     I also can't leave out that Christ came to bring us freedom. He died on the cross and rose again so we could live in freedom. Freedom of guilt, shame, and sin. He came to bring us life. Not a life lived in fear. But a life lived in confidence. Confidence in the one who created us. Confidence in the One who created us: our gifts, our uniqueness, our passions, our heart, and our desires. He's our biggest fan. He's the best freedom bringer.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


     There is something greater inside of you. Not better. But greater. Pastor Steven recently released an amazing book, "Greater" and it is ruining complacency in my life. It is a book that calls potential out. Kicks "good enough" right on out of your life. And gives you the courage and biblical principles to walk it out in life. For the releasing of his new book we're doing an entire series on Greater at Elevation. Pastor Steven is preaching sermons that will change your life if you implement the practical steps. The subtitle to Greater is "Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's vision for your life." And it's incredibly true. Small steps will pave the path to Greater.
     Dream Big. But you have to start small. I've always dreamt of these huge dreams where I'm the super star. But somewhere in those dreams I never matched up the work to go with it. How crazy am I? I've always wanted to be an author... but I haven't been writing. I've always wanted to speak and teach, but I'm hardly making time for God to speak and teach me personally. How could I teach others? Small steps are big steps in God's eyes. Every step forward in obedience to God is monumental.
     I want the glamor- but what I need to do is put on a bandana and start digging ditches and prepare for God to send the rain. This series is hitting home in my heart. It's causing uncomfortableness- because I know that God is calling me to do what I am doing in a greater way- but I'm going to have to put the work in it to make it such.
     Tonight Pastor talked about how God is not our shortcut- He's our solution. I need to quit looking at God as an excuse for not doing anything. I'm not "waiting on God".... I'm being lazy. You change the world by getting your hands dirty. Tonight, I felt a tug on my heart to start taking those small steps. And to push towards a greater life. (Not better, greater.)

If you would like to listen to the sermons visit www.elevationchurch.org and click on "Current Sermon". You can also listen to past sermons as well. And you can pick up Pastor's book anywhere!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer 2012 Elevation Internship Wrap Up

     Tomorrow I was supposed to have my Honda packed up and heading back to good ol' Owensboro. Today marks the last day of an amazing summer interning at Elevation in Charlotte, NC. However, Jesus pleasantly surprised me and I have fallen in love with what God is doing through Elevation. I am also honored to have the privilege to stay on as a lead intern with eStudents for the fall semester. Kentucky- it looks like God has me in North Carolina. And I'm okay with that. 

     This summer has been absolutely amazing. Words really can not do it justice. I have had a phenomenal summer of hard work, fun times, serving, worshipping, learning, being stretched, slurpee runs, late night fun, amazing friendships and watching God work. It has been crazy to hear life change stories directly from guests & volunteers at Elevation. Having the opportunity to intern at Elevation is incredible. I am surrounded by top notch people who will do anything to get the job done so that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ. I have never met a more talented and passionate group of people. Waking up on Monday mornings is a joy... going into work expecting God to do something amazing everyday never gets old. 

     I have created relationships within my internship family that will last me a life time. Several of them- I was by no means ready to let go of. (I still secretly pray that they'll be back!) My intern family meant so much to me- they were there when tragedy hit me twice. They sent me home (on intern budgets- this means THE WORLD) to be with friends and family when Michael passed away. They were/ are my prayer support. They have taught me so much about myself,  life, and Jesus. They have shown me Jesus in their daily lives. We've walked through an intense season of life together. I'll never take that for granted. 

     When writing this blog I keep thinking that I need to put what "I've been doing" while I'm here. But that really isn't the point.... Being an intern isn't about a list of accomplishments. It's about being involved in something that is greater than the part I play. It's about in all of the normal day to day tasks- I am doing it for a greater cause. So that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ. When you fully grasp that in your heart- you suddenly don't care what you're doing..... you just want to play a part. 

     I will say that I'm sad to see this season end... watching some of the people that mean the world to me get in their cars and head to their homes/ colleges was the hardest thing I've done in a while. But I rest assured that Jesus is constantly doing immeasurably more than I could think or imagine. (Eph. 3:20) He has a plan for their lives that will impact the world. He also has a plan for my life... I will step boldly, confidently, and humbly into this next season. Ready to learn, be stretched, and pour myself out so I can be used by God. Another 16 weeks as an Intern sounds like a wonderful plan that was handwritten from God. I'm excited to see what He does. :) 

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Being separated by a 10 hour drive, I thought I'd get creative on my Daddy's Father Day gift. As you can now tell, it's a blog post. A post that I will struggle to find the words to do my father justice. A post that may cause me to be a little homesick tonight. A post, that I'm sure my dad will read and have tears running down his face. (Real men cry.) A post that one day my husband will be forced to read. A post.... for him. My dad. My favorite man in this entire world.

Background on my dad: Billy Joe Gaddis. Loves the Lord. Love my mom like CRAZY. Loves his beauty queens (this includes my brother). Loves people. Loves dirt work. HILARIOUS.

When I look back on my childhood the thing that has remained consistent is this: my dad is hilarious. He can make me go from ticked off to cracking up in  a matter of 10 seconds. He can brighten my day with one corny joke. He has this unique ability to make anyone he comes in contact with laugh.

     Except: the nurse at Dr. Yeiser's office... when he took me to the doctor. I think I was around 16 years old and mom was busy with work and couldn't take me to the doctor. So dad came and got me and took me. We were called back and I had to get on the scale. I weighed around 130 pounds at the time and so when I stepped on the lady took the weight to 100 and was moving the smaller scale down, she got to 150 and had to move the bigger weight up. At that point I looked at dad and he was about to burst. I then looked down and realized dad had his foot on the scale the entire time forcing the weight to be incorrect. Him and I start to laugh (Gaddis style laughs: loud) and looked at the nurse..... who was not laughing. :) Dr. Yeiser thought it was historical.

Another thing about my Dad is that I never asked if he had to go to work. I always knew he would be working. He is the HARDEST working guy I've ever met. When he had his own business he would leave way before I woke up and would come home later at night. I'd hear his truck (always red & only a Ford) come up the driveway and he'd stop and let me ride on the side of it. He always provided for us. Even when work was slower he would find jobs to provide for his family. When he shattered his elbow- he still goubd ways to work when he could and provide for his fanily. He ruined my ability to think a guy was a man if he didn't drive a big red truck. I'm finally realizing that men can drive cars. :)

My Father is also one of the most caring men I know. He has taught me to love unconditionally and give generously. I still remember the time him and I jumped in his truck (I was in elementary school) and we went and bout 100 hamburgers at McDonalds. I was amazed that this man was going to feed all of these kids at our house. But it's how he is. He loves to help others out. If it's not giving away something then it's helping them with his time and his abilities. I have learned to pick up other people's checks and always ask if I can get something for someone from my dad.

My Dad is also stubborn. And I've learned from him well. While this isn't always a good thing..... it can definitely be a great thing. He never let me quit. (Except for violin.... which I don't blame him... I sucked and he had to listen to it.) But, he always pushed me to keep going and to never quit something I started. He taught me to be stubborn with the right things. To be unwavering in my love for Christ.

He has taught me that I am a princess. Always opening my door. Always dropping me off at the front door. Always telling me that I look pretty. I never wondered if I was enough growing up. My dad constantly told me. I always knew he loved me. For that, my husband has big shoes to fill. I remember I rode with a friend to a restaurant and I asked if he was going to drop me off at the front door, and he laughed at me. I told my dad... and my dad laughed at him. He has set the bar high and for that I am grateful.

All of the things I've shared are awesome... but the best thing he has ever done for me is this. Love the Lord with all of his heart and then love my mom as Christ loves the church. He has set an example for loving Jesus and showing Jesus through every day life. And he loves my mother. I never worry if they will separate. He is intentional about spending time with mom and encourages her. I've never heard him cut her down or yell at her. Through him doing this- he has provided stability and comfort.

So Dad, thank you. There's so much more that I love and appreciate about you. Words really can't do it justice. Happy Father's Day to my favorite man. Love you always. Bren Bren.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grace Beats Accomplishments

     I was driving in my car and received some exciting news from a friend. News I should be excited about. And I was. But I was also pretty jealous. After ending the phone call, I started thinking/ praying, "Lord, Why don't I get that? I've done....." And you can fill in the blanks. I gave my list of "accomplishments" to the Lord wondering where my reward was. My competitiveness came out.
     His still voice rang in my head, "Brennen, when are you going to realize that I don't base rewards off of performance. You don't receive from me because of what you've done.  I give because I love you, not by your accomplishments." He continued to confirm that He will provide in His perfect timing and that He has my heart in mind.
     Even when it seems that everyone else is getting their perfect life together and you feel like you are failing or that God isn't providing... that it isn't based on what you've done. He paid it all on the cross. We can't "pay" for anything. It's already done. We live by grace. (Honestly, we would't want it to be based on fairness. I'd be hell eternally separated if that was the case.) The Lord's timing is perfect. He brings us through seasons of times.. there will be trials and temptations... but that never changes God's capability to provide for his sons and daughters. Grace beats accomplishments any day.

     Rest well that He cares for you. He hasn't forgotten you.