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

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.