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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Learning. Receiving. Ministry.

I just posted a status on facebook and decided that I had more to say on the subject. I get so frustrated with people that can not receive from others. This is probably because I struggle with receiving from others, but with that being said, I'm working on it. My goal in every church I walk in to, every time I spend time with someone, is to learn something from them. I want to be able to be ministered to just as much as I minister to others. We all need time to connect with God. We must spend time in intimacy with the Lord. Intimacy produces fruit. And anything healthy grows. We must spend time with the Lord and with others to be healthy.
     Many times whenever we are super involved in ministry we get so involved in the doing. The to-do lists, what isn't going right, what needs to be fixed, what we need to work on- that we totally view the church as a workplace. Subconciously we come in the doors ignoring the fact that we are stepping on holy ground, that we are entering into the house of the Lord.
     If you are a worship leader- can you go to a church service and worship under someone else's leadership? Same as a pastor? Any ministry that you are in... can you be under someone else's leadership? Are you always the teacher on the subject or do you learn from others? Are you the only one you can hear from? Of course, we test everything Biblically. But allow yourself to sit in the presence of the Lord.
     Have we also become so overwhelmed with ourselves that we aren't even listening to the Lord's input on our ministries? Do we seek His face for where we are in leadership? Or can we get past our great ideas, strategic planning, and overthinked strategies? We must always be able to learn from the Lord. To receive correction from our Savior. Just like a parent- Our Papa God will always encourage us, but there is also a time for correction in our walk with the Lord. And..... it is okay! It's totally fine to be corrected by our Savior. And if you obey him  and change- that shows that you are able to hear God on not only the great things but also on the things that are difficult to change.

So how do we get to this place? Where we can be ministered to just as much, if not more, as we minister to others. Practically..... You can develop a group of close friends that can speak into your life, and not ones that are scared of offending you. But friends that will be a friend and speak truth into your life. And when you step into the house of the Lord don't forget that you are on holy ground. Love on Jesus and allow Jesus to love on you. Make a list of things you are working on. One of the top things that is on my list is this: Learn from everyone. Love while learning. Love learning.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Preview of My Book...

As I write these very words I think about my husband. It’s pretty often that the subject of love and relationships are brought up in my everyday life. I work with the public and many of them ask about my purity ring when I hand them their change. Or they want to know a little about my life and ask if I have a boyfriend. And for some reason I get nervous. I suppose it’s because I think that they won’t think I am “cool” because I’ve really never had a real boyfriend. Granted, I’ve had a few guys I’ve hung out with and spent (too much) time with, but never have I been asked,  “Will you be my girlfriend?”. So when I am asked about this subject I almost cower.  The other day I found myself doing that very thing, when I checked myself. Turned my attitude around and proudly said, “I’m waiting for my husband.”
            There is no shame in your purity.  9.5 times out of 10 after I tell someone that I have never had sex or came close to having sex they react with a great deal of respect. Shock is also normally involved in their response, and some people think I am lying. I urge you, to never, ever, do what I have done; cowering or thinking that you aren’t cool because you are waiting for your husband. You are so beyond awesome for waiting for your future spouse. And if you have messed up, no worries- there is so much grace for you. God loves you and is still proud of you. Stand up, dust yourself off, and stay pure. J
            Growing up I always wondered if something was wrong with me. I was the twin that never had the boyfriend. I would be Chelsea’s third wheel so she could hang out with her boyfriend. I would painfully stare out the window longing to be loved. I wondered if I wasn’t pretty enough, funny enough, perfect enough for someone to care about me, to love me, and to think I was awesome. I so deeply wanted someone to text me in the morning and to tell me Good Morning. And I was always so scared that I wasn’t good enough. Today I am so thankful that I was being hidden during those years (and I suppose still am being hidden). I firmly believe that the Lord was hiding me in His arms because He knew my destiny. He knew that one day I would be writing this page to a girl or boy sitting at home wondering if something is wrong with them.
            Not only did He know that part of my destiny, but He knew how proud I would be one day telling my husband that I have everything to give him. It’s all his, and I have saved it for him. He knew that my wilderness, singleness experience would make me appreciate, love, and cultivate a marriage one day. Even now, while I am in that same stage- I know that one day I will be so excited that I have a husband. And 10 years into the marriage- I’ll re-read this book and think, “I am so lucky to be married, there is someone out there that is pleading with God for this opportunity.”     
            Singleness is not a curse. It’s not always fun, but it is not the worse thing in the world. It can be very rewarding if you don’t mope around about it. Choose to have fun in life even when you are single. Don’t worry about being this perfect person so you can catch someone’s eye. Because if you get married, 15 years later- they will know you aren’t perfect. J

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Modesty 102

I kind of can't believe I did this... but here is Modesty 102 with Brennen Gaddis. :)

 Believe it or not, I decided to show some examples of my most recent modest and "fashionable" outfits. Being yesterdays and todays. (I never dreamt of claiming myself to be fashionable on a blog that is available for anyone to read.) My intent is not to toot my own horn or to tell you to dress like me. My goal is to inspire you to dress in a modest way that will cause people to look at YOU and not your skin. That's the goal right? In life, I want people to know who I am. How great it would be to be known as the most fashionable, prettiest, and Godliest girl... but when it REALLY all comes down to it... I just want people to know me. Brennen Gaddis. The real me. The girl who laughs at inappropriate things and likes to drink Coca-Cola Classic wayyy too much. So with that being said, don't distract who you are on the inside by what you wear on the outside. Show people the real you and dress with class. Be cute, be funky, be beautiful, but most importantly be you. The you with class and integrity.
 Okay, so here we go with Modesty 102!!  I have gotten an abundance of feedback from my first post on Modsety.... and it spurred my imagination on. Here are practical tips of how I dress myself. These first 2 images are the same day- in one I simply added a scarf. Scarfs are always a nice & modest touch to outfits, they also help cover up a good amount of skin while being fashionable. This one is a light scarf since it was pretty warm yesterday. (Well, in the beginning of the day.)

     Even though I wore a scarf I went a head and layered my oversized black scoop neck t-shirt (Walmart, $5) with a pink camisole. It's a higher rise tank and it also is pretty long. Which is great since I have to bend over at work. I was glad that I went ahead and wore this tank top under my shirt because half way through the day I dropped part of my Italian Chicken sandwich on my scarf. :) This would be an outift that I would be comfortable wearing heels with. Be picky... it's a war out there for the men we pass on the streets. 
Layers make life easy... and make modesty easy. Layer, layer, layer. Invest in camisoles. The camisoles that I am wearing in both pictures were under $4. One I bought in Panama so I have no idea what brand it is, and the tan one I bought at Charolette Russe! Forever 21 also has cheaper camis.
Skin tight clothes are not modest. They show every curve of your body and leave men practically undressing you.

Hide your bra straps! This can be a tough one... and sometimes I fail at this... but there is no need for every man you pass to know what color bra you're wearing.

I asked a few guys that go to church with me their thoughts on what women wear. Might I add that these are attractive men of God... I didn't ask geeky guys. ;) These are guys that you'd be extremely blessed to bring home to momma. They are some dearly close friends of mine and have hearts of gold. One agreed that clothes have an affect and added how important it is to not be too revealing.... but the main thing that attracted him to girls is their relationship with the Lord, their laugh, and how their looks. Another one said, "You are worth the pursuit of a man, no one is worth the back burner. And relationships based on competition are not healthy. Don't dress for the world, dress for you, be comfortable with yourself. It's not worth dressing for the world." He also added to not show anything you cover up in front of your parents to any man that isn't your husband. Haha. ;) Another guy added that girls / women who dress inappropriately scandalous look ridiculous. Dress in harmoney with yourself and not try to force anything, style and attractiveness are more an outward symbol of knowing who you are than a physical lure.

     When it all comes down to it, modesty is worth it. Your husband will thank you for it. You don't have to show extra skin to get a man. It's possible to do it. You're saving every man you pass each day the battle that lies within them. Protect yourself and protect them. ;) Be encouraged.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Put Some Clothes On

     The other day I was in a dressing room with 6 dresses. I tried each of them on.... in the appropriate size.... and none of them worked. Why? Because if I bent over the whole world would know what color panties I'd have on. Granted.... if I stood up and did the fingertip rule I would [barely/hardly] pass. But when life would hit me in that dress and I would one day chase a plastic bag in Walmart's parking lot..... or lean down to tie my shoe (Laced shoes and dresses are in style) more of Brennen would be revealed than what is necessary or appropriate.
     The fact of the matter is.... modesty is a difficult way to dress these days. It's almost easiest to cave in wear my dresses a little bit shorter... and my shirts a little bit lower. I mean, what's a little extra skin showing gonna hurt? Let me tell ya...... It's gonna become a battle for a man of God. So beautiful ladies..... take a stand... and put on some dang clothes.
     A few years ago... I didn't care what in the world I wore. I'd run out of the house as quick as I could because I knew my momma wouldn't approve.... but I wanted to be "hot". But somehow, the Lord has placed a passion for modesty, purity, and holiness upon my heart. And I've been silent for far too long. I'm here to say... or write.... Even in 2011 you can dress modestly.
     For what it's worth, I thought I'd share a few tips. :)

Modest is Hottest Gorgeous, Beautiful, and Stunning Class 101:
1. Praise Test in every outfit.
     First.... Lift your hands.... and come on now... lift 'em high. He's worthy right!?    
     Second.... Kneel... do every type of kneeling.... Is yo' booty hangin out? How's your shirt.... can you see straight down it!? Watch out!
     Third... Jump a few times... just in case life hits ya today. Does it swoosh and show too much of ya'self?

2. Layer. Invest in a few camisoles that come up pretty high. No cleavage. Cleavage is simply not fair to any man. Men are visual and as Godly as they can be.... you don't want your cleavage to be their stumbling block. You also want camisoles that are longer. So if your shirt comes up your back, side, or belly doesn't show.

3. Dresses.... pick wisely. Don't buy a dress that's too short. It may be the cutest dress there is.... but it's not worth it. You can always add leggings if it's appropriate.

4. Balance. I am not suggesting that you wear a ugly/ out dated clothes, no make up, and the only thing you can see if your face. You can still be absolutely gorgeous without showing tons of skin. If you're shirt scoops down and shows some skin up top (a Godly amount) then pair it with something that covers you up on the bottom. And vis versa... many times if I wear a skirt- I will choose a t-shirt style blouse or a shirt layered with a jacket. It simply balances you out.... and shows that you can tastefully look beautiful.

5. High Heels. Heels can be hott, but they can also be pretty skanky. If you're wearing a skirt that comes a few inches above your knee.... I'm not so sure heels are going to be the best choice. I would wisely choose a pair of flats or cute gladiator sandals. If you're wearing jeans, or a longer skirt.... go for the heels. You can rock a great pair of shoes modestly.

6. Accessorize. I'm not so sure that this is a Modesty tip... but it is a fashion tip. Many times the only modest things I can find are plain items... but it's totally okay if you accessorize yourself. Change it up with your color.... I always try to throw in a surprise accessory that most people wouldn't think would go with it. :) It's like a game!

7. Be you. From head to toe. Don't try to impress men with your skin. Think if what you're wearing is what attracts a man to you... dress for a man that you deserve. If he is only attracted to you for your mini-skirt, cleavage, and long legs.... I'm not so sure he's the Godly man that you desire and deserve.

Men- I apologize for what you go through every day. I can't imagine the inner battle you go through with the way that we dress. I vow to always keep your inner man in mind when I dress. Always making sure that I am dressed modestly and appropriately.

Girls.... be you. That's the best advice I have for you when it comes to life. Be the best you that God created you to be. Dress modestly and wear a smile and some confidence. ;)

Blogging.... about Blogging. Nitty Gritty Truth.

     As a blogger I sometimes want to just throw my problems out into the world because writing is an escape for me. I want to vent and yell and cry all through my blog with the frustrations of life. I have decided against it. And will continue to. Not because it wouldn't be fun and feel good, but because 1. it's not tasteful, 2. it won't help, and 3. it drives me nuts when other people live their life through social media. So I refuse. But a bad habit that I have developed is not writing what is in my heart- simply because it might step on some toes. What I know as truth, and as black and white, has yet been revealed to some of those around me. (Or they have yet to listen.) I openly admit that I am sure there are some out there that think the same thing about me. And, the best part about it..... it's okay. We're human. We make mistakes. We couldn't be better people if we were already perfect. We have to simply brush ourselves off and get up and try again!
     So, I, Brennen Gaddis, promise to never withhold Godly wisdom or advice because I'm afraid it might step on one's toes. I also promise to not hold back from writing something I'm not an expert on. I have something to offer. Just like every single one of you.

     So be prepared.... my blogs might get a little bit more honest. I might even turn into one of those bloggers that you say, "Did she really write that!?" But... the truth must be revealed. I am a messenger. And a messenger that is learning right along with you. :)

     Modesty, Dating, Marriage, Parenting (I said I wouldn't hold back from writing about something I'm not an expert at.... I forgot to add- not experienced on there as well.) I'm excited to get parts of my heart out there. Even if just one person reads it and is touched.... I have done my part. It excites me to write even this blog. I never imagined I'd write a blog... about writing a blog. :) So fun.

     Hold onto your skinny jeans and grab a Coca-Cola. ;)