Draw Near to God, He is already Near to You

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Recently I thought I had too much on my plate. I exercised my ability to say “no”, and took my day off seriously. Looking to the future: I tossed the idea of cutting down my hours at work. I wanted to work on future details of our family, make our house a home, and visit my family back home more.

None of that was the plan, for now.

In a recent turn of events I was asked to take on more of a leadership role at the Church, with more responsibility, with pay cuts and budget cuts all across the board for our church.

So. I dropped my plans and fell on my face before Jesus. He has been my Rock. I have peace. I have joy. I am brave.

I know God will make it possible for me to plan our future as a family, cook, clean, plan visits, have people over, take care of our pets, enjoy life… all while taking on this important calling. I just need to listen to His voice.

I’m ashamed to say in these times of turmoil… they are the sweetest times of worship for me.

Why can’t I seem to be this close to my Lord during the good times?

I realized today that I find the most peace and joy in the trials– not because God has changed, but because I have. Tweet this.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you {HE IS already close by}. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8


Make Time


Are you busy most of your days and then you find your free time is either work related, or doing all the things you didn’t have time to do while the work week was going on?

I do. It’s probably not the best idea. Don’t you think? I mean I spend my day off cleaning the house, or sometimes even doing stuff for work. (slap on wrist!!)

God wants us to rest in Him. We need to have time to unwind so our minds can focus clearly on the bigger picture of this short life.

Try to remember one thing that makes you happy that you haven’t done in a long time- and go DO it! Maybe it’s sitting to read a good book. If you’re like me, maybe you need to face a wall while you read with earbuds in so you won’t see the dirty apartment in the background! {Tweet This!}

  • Take a walk at the nature preservation (yes Midland has one! Thanks Benjamin!)
  • Fly a Kite
  • Swing at the park
  • Bake
  • Read a book
  • Play a board game with your spouse, kids, or friends
  • Schedule a movie night with your friends and make popcorn or bingo cards (make a game of it!)
  • Paint a picture
  • Listen to music
  • Look at the shapes in clouds
  • Take a nap
  • Write a song
  • Go for a jog to clear your head
  • Take a swim
  • Go to the museum
  • Go listen to a spoken word or poetry competition
  • (Crashed on the couch watching TV doesn’t count as rejuvenating your soul!)

Give yourself a few hours to do that thing that rejuvenates you– and put the to-do list aside! Make a promise to yourself you won’t look at it.

Meditate on God and all the things he’s done this year. Our Celebrations-jar (from earlier this year) is still going strong- and getting really full! It may be a series of jars because God is always at work in our lives! We tend to be in a better frame of mind to spend time with others, go to work, and even do our daily tasks if we have put our whole existence into perspective! And that perspective is that God is mightily at work– even when we cannot see– running interference for us, as my friend Robert from Our Savior’s would say.

God, are you listening?


I’ve been asking a lot of questions to God lately, writing them in my prayer journal.

One night before I had to lead worship, I was feeling like a piece of crap. Really. Like I couldn’t do anything right, like no one liked me, alone.

The worst part is I was listening to so many other voices that were putting Brittany down that I mistook them for God not listening. I was angry with Him. I begged and pleaded with Him, “Why don’t you speak to me like others? Why can’t I hear you? Why don’t I have what others have?” That night, I cried for a while and finally fell asleep (my husband didn’t know what to do with me). I felt rested when I awoke, but I remembered hearing whispering all night long. Almost like the Holy Spirit (or at first I mistook Him for my subconscious) was whispering all night that I am loved, and special, and cut out to do this. That I do have what it takes. I sat up and started crying and shaking because I felt the presence of God- for real.

And then, of course I was all, “Oh I’m SO SORRY God! No, like REALLY! How messed up am I? How are you even using me. You are so wonderful, and big, and strong.”

I needed major encouragement this week, especially yesterday. I’m still so out of my element in the Texas culture, and the area, the roads, the style of everything that happens here in oil country. I prayed and asked for comfort. Simple.

I kind of doubted and also forgot. I doubted myself majorly as I prepared this week. I doubted myself as I was about to lead. And I just had to say, “God, I know you made me right. I know you made me for this. I know you look upon whatever skills I do posses and think they’re beautiful. It’s just not sinking in to my heart. Please, please– help me.”

And the most wonderful thing happened. God used several different individuals throughout the day to let me know how they worshiped, what they felt, how it spoke to them. The message was cut out for me about growing where you are planted (you ever have one of those days where you’re convinced the preacher’s a prophet who God sent specifically for you?). Then the missionary’s wife seemed to have this God-connection to my spirit and she kept walking around chatting with others and then looking me in the eye and saying, “Sweetie you are great. Be braver. You have a gift. God is using you. And it will only keep getting better, He will keep using you.” I struggled that day, “God, I know I’m supposed to be here but it’s hard. How do I grow where I am planted?”

We need to understand that the Kingdom of Heaven’s work that is being done here on earth doesn’t look like the American dream where if you don’t have a slew of “successful” experiences on your resume, God can use you. God uses the weak to not only lead the strong— but to blow their expectations out of the water and to use that weak one as an example of how truly big God is.

God listens to us all the time. Don’t let your prayer life be like that person who never shuts up about themselves. Tell God some things about how great He is. Recount out loud or in writing all the things He’s done for you.

Most importantly, I’m learning to wait for His response- patiently. I/we are quick to tell God he doesn’t answer when we’re not really listening.

Ask him to do whatever it takes to wake you up to this reality. It’s scary yet awesome what His response is.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-7

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.  Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:19-21