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

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.

Elevation Update Weeks 1-3ish

     I've started this blog a couple of time, and have erased several times. I simply don't know how to even begin to describe my first, now close to third week as an Elevation Intern. It has been life-changing, intense, sweet, fun, hard, and so much more. I've met a multitude of elevators, staff, and interns. Our intern group is massive in and of itself. We have (about) 27 interns that I get to spend the summer with. Amazing. There is never a dull moment. I live with 2 of the girls at the greatest host home ever. Glenda and Bill (mom and dad for the summer) are truly an amazing couple of God. They have graciously opened up their home to us. My supervisor, Gene Lakey, is super nice, encouraging and a great leader at Elevation. I'm honored to serve under him.
     This week we have: completed a 6 mile history walk, served at One7, dance party for healing, was able to sit in on teaching from Pastor Steven, listened to stories of fellow interns, served at a local high school, hot sauce, and survived Body By Buck.
     The second week began to work on a few projects, moved more pipe and drape, learned processes, helped put on a student event, received teaching from several staff (amazing opportunity), took tons of notes and so much more.
     This week, two days in, still going strong on our no sugar, 5 vegetables, 80 oz of water, 7 hours of sleep, and 30-45 mins of exercise. I'm dropping weight.... this is a good thing. I'm finally getting healthy. :) I have been continuing to work with students, stretching myself to think creatively, sat in on teaching from 6 wise men of God, laughed, built relationships, enjoyed eGroup, seriously the list goes on and on.

     I love waking up in the morning. I love going to work. I love stretching myself. I love that I am being challenged- that people are pulling out the best in me. It's such an intense and amazing summer already. I love this. I love that God is faithful. He is close. He loves me. He cares for me.

     He loves you. He cares for you. Stretch yourself where you are. Grow. Deepen your relationship with your Heavenly Father and with those around you. Be love. Be Jesus to those around.

Love. B.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Interrupting & Bombarding

     One of the jobs that I work is making airline reservations for a small airline. I sit at a desk, answer phones all day, and make or change reservations along with answering many questions for customers. When making a reservation there is a certain process that my computer program makes me go through before I can put other information into the computer. For example, I can't look at the times of flights without knowing if it's roundtrip, the dates, and a few other important parts of the puzzle. Each screen is predesigned and doesn't let me get into the other without all the necessary information.
     I am amazed at numerous customers who will interrupt me walking them through the process to try to speed it up. They want to load all of their information on me at once without me asking for it thinking it will help. Often times, when I try to explain that I can't put that information in yet they go ahead and talk over me and say what they need to say first. 
     Honestly, it's a very draining and frustrating process. Today, I had a customer who consistently would ask a question and before I could get an answer out would interrupt me with another question or some random piece of information. While I was becoming irritated and having to speak a littler more firmly (while maintaining politeness) I had an ephiphany. The lightbulb in my head went off. 
     How often I must be this customer with my Heavenly Father. Asking him question after question after question, giving him information, and bombarding him but never leaving him room to walk me through the process, calm my fears, and speak truth to me. I don't even give him room to say anything to me. I just bombard into my prayer time ranting prayers and frustrations to him and then close him off to run and do the next thing on my list. 
     How differently the process would be if I would be still and listen. I've had several people ask me what the voice of God sounds like...... I would say it sounds like a lot. Sometimes its a quite whisper. Sometimes- it's something that my friend says. Other times, a knowing in my spirit. And many times, it comes directly from His word. We must not allow the busyness of the day to take over the quiet moments when God is trying to speak to us. I must learn to be silent. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Jesus makes us perfect in our weakness. I've never understood this. I've always despised weakness. I have always wanted to be the best, the fastest, the smartest, the toughest, and the one who CAN do it. I've never understood the strength in weakness until this past month. I've learned through myself and also through one of my friends.

I've been in a vulnerable place in my life- with myself. I am finally to a point where I am "over myself" and truly ready to live a life of abandonment to the will of the Father. However, with that comes some hard stuff to deal with. I have realized some characteristics that I posses that aren't holy or pleasing to God. They are characteristics that were meant to bring good not harm and I have thwarted them to hurt and sting people. There are characteristics about myself that I have done a good job at cultivating but have pushed to the side and not let out of me. Life can be difficult and in the past I've made myself look at it as if I'm going to conquer it. In reality- the Lord wants me to learn, grow, nurture, and become who I am intended to be. But a lifelong calling breeds a life long lifestyle of cultivating who I am intended to be by my Heavenly Father. Life is not meant to be conquered, but lived.
     I have had to open myself up to hurt, heartache, and pain to realize some things about myself. I've prayed for certain situations in my life where I was the one who was in the wrong. I've pointed fingers when I truly was the problem. There have been other circumstances where the Lord has shown me that I was "right" but just because I was "right" didn't give me the freedom to use it against people.
     Being in these circumstances has brought me to a place where I truly have to rely on the Lord for my confidence, my hope, my trust, and my strength. This morning I was almost in tears because I was frustrated that I have to work on SO much in my life. The Lord quieted my soul- and told me that His strength will hold me up, will get me through, and that He just wants me to seek Him. In seeking Him I will find Him. In finding Him I will find myself. In finding myself- I will become the woman God has called me to be.

     I have a friend who is the strongest woman I've ever met. She has faced adversity, hardship, unfairness, and hurt with strength and courage. She has taken steps back to take steps forward. Although she feels weak and like she can't do anything right- I look at her with respect and honor. Because she is doing something that is hard. She is facing life- head on. And walking through it to become who she was originally designed to become. She amazes me. She encourages me- simply through her weakness. I truly see the Lord coming through with strength in her life.

If you are facing weakness. It's okay. It's okay to not always be peachy and everything perfect. It's okay to not have it together. It's a lifelong journey of becoming and nurturing who YOU are supposed to be. Keep walking forward. Every step forward is something. It's okay to mess up. Just get back up. It's okay to cry, get angry, and throw a fit. Just get back up.... don't make excuses. Face life and live it. In your weakness He WILL make you strong. His strength will be your source.

His strength is my source.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Midst of Chaos

In the midst of chaos, I choose You, Jesus. Those are the words that are getting me through today. I keep trying to make this blog post something more than it needs to be by thinking of a story- or a connection to somehow make this better. But after several failed attempts this is what I have to share today:

In the midst of the chaos of my life, I'm going to choose Jesus. He is my Rock. My Rescue. My Lover. My Joy. My Peace. My Life. He is more than capable of speaking through the chaos of graduating school, job searching, frustration in current job, stretched schedule, procrastination, life, and my stubborn self. He is not chaos. He is constant. Consistent. Never- Ending. And He loves me and believes in me. He has my life mapped out- He's a gentleman- He will open the doors for me where needed and close the ones where I'm not needed. He is not chaos. And I am thankful for that.

"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand." Ps. 20:6

Hang on to His promises. He will come through. He has your heart in mind. He loves you- even in the midst of your chaos.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Keep Up With God

     "Can you keep up with me!?" is the question God is impressing on my heart and the church in general. I'm not going to lie and say I came up with that question, I actually heard it from the documentary on Elevation Church but it resonated so strongly within my heart. The Lord keeps repeating it over and over to me. "Can you keep up with me!? I can do immeasurably more than you can think or imagine, Brennen. Trust me! I'm capable. Keep up!"
     It's a confirmation that we care called to Heaven's standards and not our own. We are so silly to think that our puny goals are pleasing to God. We are underestimating His power and capability when we limit Him to a "healthy number", average "miracle", or minute progress. God doesn't just want to see someone with a seed planted in their hearts..... He wants to bring them out of darkness, set them free, and empower them to live a life of abundance and impacting the Kingdom. God doesn't just want to see 5 people come to know Him, He wants EVERY person on this Earth to know His name and live a life empowered by Christ. He wants to surpass our "goals" and do so much more. He wants the willing!
     God has made us more than mere conquerors according to His word and we walk around defeated, operating in fear, scared of rejection, and afraid of not being eloquent enough. He has already won the battle. It isn't mine to fight. It's my responsibility to be the hands and feet and spread the news of what the Lord has done in my heart. It's my responsibility to operate in faith and step out into what He is calling me to. He is capable to change the world through us.
     Last week I was praying for a certain situation and asking the Lord's guidance. Not even a week later, He did immeasurably more than I could ever have imagined. He surpassed my plan of action, messed up my agenda, and took it so much farther than I ever thought imaginable. I'm thankful for that. I realized- I'm not God. I can't "make" things happen. He is God, He will use me and equip me to share and advance the Kingdom but ultimately He is God. I am His vessel. It's humbling, overwhelming, peaceful, and overall just wonderful.

     The battle is won. His freedom awaits us. I'm thankful.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Life Changing Moments

     There are moments in life that grip your heart and somehow in one single moment change the entire course of your life forever. It could be something someone said to you that inspired you, a tragic accident, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, or if you are me- a single documentary. Saturday night I came home, grabbed a blanket, and put Elevation Church's "This Is How We Change The World" documentary in my DVD player. I figured I would watch it, be inspired, and that be the end of it. It played for about 2 minutes and then the tears came. I cried through the entire documentary. The story of how God used a chosen group of people to do something amazing in the Kingdom of God impacted my heart in a way I can't put into words. I'm not exactly sure why the tears came. I think, that it resonated within my soul and it urged, convicted, and inspired me to do the things God has called me to.
     Think about it, the core families that faced adversity, rejection, and trials through planting Elevation Church were a part of changing 10,000+ lives. They made a sacrifice, worked hard, seeked the Lord's will diligently, and had audacious faith to see God do something only He could do. Their faith and obedience caused a chain reaction. The lives they have effected can not be numbered.
     I've always said that I want to change the world. Since I was young, I've always wanted to make a difference. I am coming to the realization that in order to change the world- you simply have to do what God called you to do. Think, if every person did what they were called to do. The Kingdom of God would invade the Earth- lives would constantly be changed to a life of abandonment of loving Jesus, and the cycle would continue.
     After watching the documentary, Ephesians 3 came to mind. I sat down and read it uncertain of what would come about it. The verse that stuck out was saying that God can do immeasurably more than we can think or imagine. My dreams for my life can not compare to the Lord's desires for my life. He is capable. He is willing and He can.
     Before Saturday, I was going through the motions. Wanting more, not really for sure how to go about it, struggling to figure out my niche in today's society. Don't get me wrong- I'm still there.... but what is different is I have a hope that has welled up inside me that God is going to bring me to and through it. He is equipping, preparing, and fulfilling me to do His calling that He has placed on my life.

     Take some time today to look at your life and see if you are living a life of audacious faith. A life of living on the edge expecting God to do something miraculous. Then take some time to think of the "moments" in your life that changed it forever. Ask yourself if you are still pursing the things you were after that moment, or if you've gotten back into the cycle of everyday life and have forgotten.

He is willing. Step out. Step up. Live your calling.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Know Him.

     Today, I want to hear the audible voice of God. Honestly, yesterday I was content with just the "knowing" that He knew all and had it under control. Today, I'm still content- but I want to hear His voice. I want to sit in a cozy living room with Him and listen to everything He has to say with me. I want to hear His heart for my life. I don't have to hear the outcome- but I'd love to hear the next step.
     This just occured to me at around 2 this afternoon. Funny how this morning I posted something that Steven Furtick said in Elevation Church's current sermon.

"God wants you to know Him more than He wants you to know the outcome of your story. "

     This morning that quote seemed so simple. Now that my brain has fully kicked in and I'm praying and thinking about options that I have in this critical time of my life. But, Jesus cares more about me knowing Him than knowing what He has for me next. I also firmly believe that the next chapter in my life will be revealed to me as I am spending time getting to know Him. 

     Heres my thought for today. Sit back.... listen to Him.... spend time with Him... even as your so busy- turn on a sermon, your audible Bible, your worship music, whatever it is to surround yourself with Him and get to know Him. Trust Him. He really does have it all under control. He's guiding you and protecting you as you surrender yourself to Him. 

     I just may get to hear the audible voice of God. Or, he may speak to me in an entirely different way. Whatever way He chooses, I'm here. Listening. Waiting. And getting to know Him. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

In 10 Years

     I completed an assignment today for my Interactive Portfolio class that required me to make a list of some goals that I have personally and for my career. As I began to type out my heart for the next 10 years of my life, I realized that everything I wrote for both "sections" was centered around Jesus and Family. I didn't realize that I had those two themes throughout each goal I wrote out.
     "In 10 years I would like to have started a family with one hunk of a Godly man." is an exact quote from my assignment. I went on to explain my goals of writing books, raising a generation of passionate, world-changing people, consistently following God's voice wherever He leads my husband and I.
     Granted, in 10 years, I will be 31 and their is a possibility that I will not have these things. And I'm okay with that. But I do realize that Family and Jesus is what has kept me growing and changing over the last 21 years of my life and I plan on keeping it that way. I tried to refrain from making success my number one priority. I believe that when you follow God's design and plan you are successful. No matter what the bank account or social status says.
     My family is pretty much awesome. They surround and support me with love and prayer and a lot of laughter. There is never a dull moment and they keep life exciting. The way they make me want to be a better me without even saying a word is the most positive and challenging thing. They don't let me slack and they definitely don't let me wander from myself or the things I am rooted in for long. I am blessed and I am thankful.
     I only hope that 10 years from now, if I am blessed with a family to be raising the same type of family my parents have. One that loves, supports, honors, respects, and brings joy to other people. I hope that 10 years from now my knees are worn out from time praying and crying out to God for a revival and hunger amongst the generations below me. I pray that the books I write promote passion, purity, and love for our Abba Father.
      My Jesus continually wraps His arms around me and comforts me and whispers His secrets to me. He constantly forgives me when I fail him and continually draws me closer and closer to Him. He opens up doors and shuts doors for me. He leads and guides me. He romances me into an intimate relationship between Him and I. He loves me.

     Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Personal Life? Career? Think about it, begin to write it out. Define what it's centered around and double check your motives. Writing out my goals today was strategic and needed. We have to know where we are headed to gain ground. Be intentional.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wounded to Loved

     Last night, I had the honor of wrapping my arms around a 15 year old girl who began to share with me her struggles as a high school student. The things boys tell her, how they treat her, and how girls attack her with gossip and hurtful words. I've listened to young girls pour their hearts out to me with tears streaming down their faces time and time again. Lies have been placed in their minds that they aren't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, dumb enough, flirty enough, this enough and that enough. I've seen young girls flaunt themselves at boys just to see if they will be told they are pretty.
     Tears flooded my face last night as I was told these stories. Tears of familairity. I was there. I am there. I know what they are going through. I just face a whole different set of "not _____ enough"s. Once I got home and began to think about the girls that have trusted me enough to share their hearts with- I began to get mad and frustrated at 16 year old boys. But also at 40 year old fathers.
     Our world is flooded with fathers who think that telling their sons a woman on a photoshopped magazine cover with hardly any clothes on is sexy. Young boys are growing up with images in their heads that are not realistic. They think it's okay to have sex surrounding them at all times. Fathers not stepping up and calling out the true beauty in a woman is sickening to me. Fathers, you make a difference in this world. Men- even if you don't have a child- you are a father. Someone is watching you and looking up to you. If you are okay with seeing a woman hardly dressed then they will also assume it's okay. But when will it stop? When will you take a stand for the women who are hurt and bruised by these unrealistic expectations that society places on them?
     13 year olds struggling with anorexia and bulimia trying to make themselves acceptable to men. Men, where are you? Men of God who look at more than just a pant size and bra size. Men who see the personality, the passions of their hearts, their desires, and their overall character of woman. Men who call out the beauty in a woman by allowing them to be themselves. Not having to put on a low cut dress to gain your attention.
     My heart is scrambling for words. This is where I come alive. This is where I have so much to say that I can't put it together. Honestly, as a woman, I would much rather hear a man say to me, "I love your heart and how you love life." over... "You look hott." any day.
     This is what I have to say to the young women that are hurting. You are beautiful. You are absolutely beautiful from the inside out. Never allow a boy to tell you that aren't good enough. Cling to the love that the Savior has lavished on us. Just as Christ loves his church- so a man should love his bride, his woman. Women- hang on to your purity. Hang on to your diginity. Don't allow a man to step all over you and sweet talk you in to giving away something you can never give back. Stand up for yourself. RUN. I've heard it best from Bianca Olthoff, "Girl, I know you think he's hott... but so is hell... RUN!" Everyday work on becoming the most beautiful you from the inside out. "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is greatly to be praised."

Jesus is completely able to take you from wounded to loved in an instant. His mercy is new every day. He is willing and able to nurture your wounds back to health.

     Stick it out. Memorize scripture on how much God loves you, and how He formed you. Do not listen to this world. You are worth it. You are worth the wait. You are worth the pursuit. Respect yourself. Forgive yourself. and Love yourself. And talk to someone about how you've been hurt. Allow them to pray over you for healing. Life is too short to waste it on a perverted, sex-craving boy... wait it out... there are Godly men that are seeking you as well. I just know it. Warriors and Men of Valor.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

He Cares For You

Every now and again I get a little impatient with God's timing. I get ahead of myself and think that I'm ready for "the next thing" when in fact, I am not. I begin to search and reach at things that are not from the hand of God just to cease the hunger that has been placed inside of me for more. Of course, I quickly find that even the things I try to fill that void with only makes me that much hungrier. It's like being sooo thirsty and getting a Coca-Cola to take the quench. Trust me, the Coca Cola tastes amazing- but it doesn't quench my thirst like a glass of water would. It really, just makes me thirstier.
     We all come to a crossroads in our lives where we begin to say things like, "I think I'm ready to go to college.", "I think I'm ready to get married.", "Honey, I think I'm ready for children.". The list goes on and on. But something inside of us begins to tick and we begin to yearn after these things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Where we go wrong, is when we put our desire for these things above God's timing. I am a huge advocate of going after the things God calls you to and totally against laziness in the things of God. There are some things though that the Lord has to allow into our lives for us to be able to step into them. And, it takes time. His time. (Perfect time.)
     Graduation from my Graphic Design Diploma is only a mere 5 weeks away. The excitement that is inside of me is ridiculous. I am not much of a fan of school so I'm ready for the nights of homework and papers to cease. But I'm also ready for "the next thing". I've already been blessed enough to be able to move out of the house this week and push forward. The hang up that I've encountered is I feel like a squirrel racing around the park looking for the PERFECT acorn. I'm scurrying around trying to figure out what God has for me next instead of allowing Him to lead me. Where He is there is freedom and liberty. When I step in and put my impatience before His perfection there is chaos and confusion. I end up saying things like, "There's nothing for me after school." "Internships don't want me." And I totally ignore the Lord instructing me and teaching me because I'm allowing and permitting my worries to overshadow His plan and peace.
     The past few days I keep hearing the Lord whisper to me that He has it under control and it's going to be okay. He has my back and He's watching out for me. He has my heart in mind. How do you figure it out? You press into Him. The further I press into Him the better I can hear and understand His direction and peace. The more rooted I am in the Word- the more His truth will rise up within me and cancel out the lies the world/ satan throws at me. The deeper I am in intimacy and worship with the Lord- the more I'll recognize His whispers.

     This blog is probably more for me to write it out than anything. It's all about coming back to a place of trust with the Lord. He really does care for you.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kitchen Tools.

     Yesterday was a landmark in the life of Brennen Gaddis. I moved out of my parent's house. Took off from the nest. Praying and crossing my fingers that I don't boomerang. Not because I don't like living with my parents, but because it's time for me to grow up and be the woman God has called me to be. :)
     I'm so blessed to get to live with my best friend, Ashley Abney, in the cutest house nestled in the woods. We've been moving stuff in the house for the last few weeks. Saturday, we were unpacking the kitchen. Ashley, is possibly the coolest friend ever. One of those reasons, is she enjoys to be fully equipped & ready in every area of life. For example, this morning, (after my first night sleeping at the new house) I realized I left my toothbrush at parent's house. Ashley, came to the rescue with a 10pack that she keeps for emergencies. So, you can imagine- unpacking the kitchen. Tons and tons of cooking utensils.
     This girl is ready to cook any and every type of food. I kept pulling out all of these utensils and kitchen tools saying, "What is this for?" Most of the time, she remembered...  and the excitement grew for me to cook the greatest meals ever in that kitchen.

     Then it hit me, we have tools inside of us that we never use. Just like Ashley's kitchen, when unpacking it she began to remember the tools and why she bought them... and our anticipation grew to cook/ bake something great. God has placed tools and giftings deep inside of us that we may have forgotten about. The passions and desires you've placed on the back-burner because you didn't think you were good enough or that it was the right time; those are "tools" that God has given you to use and effect the Kingdom of God. Don't hide your passions. Live them out. The world needs you and all that you have within you.
      I'm a firm believer that the things God calls you to he equips and fulfills you to accomplish. Be obedient to the things he is calling you to. It may seem like it would take too much time or be too difficult but press forward. God is preparing you for such a time as this. The time is now. Act upon those giftings. Bring out the tools and cook the most delicious meal ever. :)

     It's said best in Philippians 2:13, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (NLT) version.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Graphic Design Dreams

     I am one month away from graduating with my Digital Design Diploma from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. This is extremely exciting and also pretty nerve-wracking. It forces me into the real world... or at least urges me to grow up and become an adult. I'm thankful that I want to "grow up". Honestly, when I started this program, I really had no intention of using it in the graphic design field. I figured, I would use it for myself with the books I want to write, posters for events I'm involved in, and just being able to say that I can do it. However, through this process I have fallen in love with Graphic Design. I love the field and the challenges that it brings me to. There is always a sense of "I have so much to learn", which pushes me to constantly become a better version of the "Graphic Designer Brennen". The desire for a career in Design has pleasantly surprised me.

     I've been on a job/ internship search for the past month. It's humbling. I've sent e-mails for opportunities and haven't heard anything back. I've looked at my portfolio comparing it to others and felt inadequate. Then other times, the confidence is full force. I'll have someone see some of my work and just stare at it and comment on how much they love it and how impressed they are with me.

     This it what I am learning...... It is okay to be turned down. It doesn't always feel the greatest at the time, but it's okay. I can't let one "no" stand in the way of a possibility for a "yes". When searching for a job- you have to keep pushing forward. Letting nothing stand in the way. One day, I have full confidence, that an opportunity so unique and fitting for me will arise. Yahweh, Jehovah Jireh is my Provider. He has my heart in mind.... and also my career.

     If you are in the same shoes I am in..... Going after your dreams.... Looking for the perfect opportunity.... Press on.... It's around the corner.... I just know it.