24 Things to Do Instead of Getting Married Before You’re 24, a response

justaylored

Get lost in a city where you don't speak the language. Get lost in a city where you don’t speak the language.

I recently read this article titled, “23 Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23”. Normally, I don’t read these as they are usually written in an in-your-face-I-can-do-what-I-want tone. For whatever reason, I read this article, perhaps because I am 24 and not married and I was curious as to why 23 was the magic number. Unfortunately, the article is pretty much the same, lame advice for twenty-somethings, written by twenty-somethings whose sum total of advice is “17. Eat a Jar of Nutella is one sitting.” I didn’t think much about it until I saw at least 3 people repost it on Facebook.

I don’t know about you, but if the highlight of my life (outside of marriage???) before I’m 23 is to eat a jar of Nutella or “22. Be selfish” then I think marriage to…

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LET IT GO.

LET IT GO.

You know what I’m talking about. That secret you keep deep inside, hidden from the world. The sin that leaves you feeling satisfied for a few minutes but leaves you feeling guilty and disgusted with yourself before you fall asleep.

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel no guilt or shame? To be able to look Jesus in the eyes and say,

” At the end of the day, I choose you. I choose you…because your love is far greater then any earthy desire I may have. I. choose. you.”

Let it go. God is waiting…to forgive, to forget, and to welcome you home.

Aside

Faithfulness.

Contentment: a state of happiness and satisfaction.

 

Easily said,right? But we all know there’s a quiet whisper we hear in our darkest hours.

The moments when a word triggers your negative thoughts.

The moments when you run and run and run, to look back and only see that you’ve not moved an inch.

And simply the moments when your heart can’t handle the heartache anymore.

 

It hurts, a lot. You know the routine, we push it off and say it doesn’t hurt, as if it were truly possible to hide our feelings from the Creator of all. In denial, we hide in the dark, in our darkest hour.

 

Faithfulness:  having or showing true and constant support or loyalty

If you were to ask me the faithfulness I experienced growing up, the first thing I would of said is the faithfulness of darkness. When life became tough, darkness would shortly follow me wherever I went. The darkness was loyal to me, but to say it was supportive would be the complete opposite. I questioned the existence of God, but cried out to him anyway,

“Fix this God..God take this pain, if you’re truly out there..somewhere… save me.” 

             Over the next few years, my prayers went from: “Fix this God, fix my life, God save me.” to “Take this pain away from me, God comfort me in this darkness.” and then eventually, “Merciful God, thank you for saving me.”

 

We must remind ourselves constantly that we are not alone. Though darkness is present, the light will always shine a little brighter.

I truly believe that it takes time, sometimes years, for us to fully began to grasp the understanding of God’s faithfulness.

 

At difficult times, we question where God is in our tragedy and why we must endure the hardships and burdens of others. But we should feel comforted by reading and reflecting on: Romans 5:3-4

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

Character produces hope. Though trials come, we must find something within us that presses us on. We must believe that there is a purpose for our pain, and that God is greater than  any darkness we may face. An easy way to put this into perspective is to consider all of the people you see every day. If as Christians, we were given easy lives, how are we to relate to those who are lost? The needy and broken would never consider consulting us, and to be honest, in return, we would be hesitant to begin our attempt of helping them. It may be cliché, and you have all heard it before, but it is incredibly true that God gives us trails and struggles to bring him Glory. Did you catch that? By experiencing hardships, we receive an opportunity to give God glory.

Ask yourself this question:

In what moment of my life, did I feel the farthest away from God?

Can you see it?            Do you have a vision of it in mind?

We are quick in response of relating to our trials, but slow to seek where God was within them. I think at times we tend to dwell more on the absence of God, rather than when He has been faithful. We cry out in desperation pleading for God to come near to us, when all the while, we are the ones who are running away from Him. I have no right as a Christian to question God’s faithfulness, when I haven’t been faithful enough to God. As humans, it is by our nature that we are “I” oriented people, but as Christians, our lives are no longer about our business, but rather the Fathers business. For God’s wants and desires to become our own, we must remember His Will for our lives. The Will of God will never take us where His grace will not protect us.

As a child, I spent many nights in the darkness, but within that darkness I discovered a faithful light. I found comfort. I found Jesus.

 

Micah 7:8- “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”

 

   God replaces your fear with faith, your pain with purpose, and your obstacles with opportunities.

 

When you reflect on your hardships, struggles, and bad days, what will you see? Will you see burdens, or will you give God the glory? The decision is yours, choose wisely.

A Daughter of the King

We started out Monday morning in Balaclava, Jamaica by driving 30 minutes up a mountain to Lalor Primary School. Lalor Primary School consists of 25 students, a few teachers, and a principle. The grades are separated by 2 grades sharing one classroom. (1st & 2nd grade together, 3rd &4th grade together, and 5th & 6th grade together) We split up into different classrooms and I was with the 5th graders. We did a reading lesson and the difference in educational resources instantly became evident to me. There were some 5th graders that struggled to read a simple childrens book..While in comparison, in America we are blessed with an abundant amount of resources to further our education for all different age groups.

After reading the kids had free time to play outside. Playing with the kids brought such amazing contentment to my heart. Their smiles were contagious and I instantly got attached to a little girl named Breanna. Breanna is 9 years old and one of the 3 girls in the 5th grade. Hugging her reminded me of why I love the kingdom so much. She hung out with me the rest of the morning and I left a little part of my heart with hers when I told her goodbye for the day, and that I would return tomorrow. As I embraced her goodbye I wondered how many people before me have come and gone to never return again. I prayed that God loves and protects her and reminds her daily that I will never forget my wonderful little sister in Christ.

Never in my life did I expect myself to love a little girl as much as I grew to love her. Breanna’s laughter was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. In 3 days I learned to love a complete stranger with my whole heart. In 3 days I saw the true joy of a daughter of the King. And after 3 days I said goodbye for now to this sweet little girl who wept in my arms and said “Please don’t go. I love you. Take me with you.” 


And on day 4, I saw her outside of a gate at a different school, in a different town, and watched her run into my arms as we were both in shock to see each other one more time. My heart aches at the thought of her in pain or tears and I’m not there to help her feel better. But then I am comforted knowing her last words to me were “Brooke loves me and God loves me too.”

 

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Strangers React: Would you do the same if you saw this boy shivering in the cold?

KFOR.com

What would you do if you saw this boy shivering in the cold without a coat?

Would you have the same reaction as these strangers captured on hidden camera?

Do their actions surprise you?

The Huffington Post said the Norwegian branch of the SOS Children’s Villages International charity conducted the experiment to see how people would truly react.

According to KTVI, the experiment is part of a campaign to provide warm clothing for displaced children in Syria.

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Why I Wait…

We’ve all been asked it,

“So, why aren’t you in a relationship?”

I would describe my response to that question as anything but simple. I used to always hesitant with my reply, sometimes resulting in me questioning my own sanity… I mean really, why was I single? For the next ten minutes I would find myself feeling lonely and picking at the things that I didn’t admire about myself. In case you were wondering, that’s NOT how it’s supposed to be.

There are two parts to my thought process when I ask myself the question, why are you single?

Through many heartache situations and unfulfilled promises, I decided to give up on dating. Okay, now you might be questioning my sanity…but please, bare with me.

In my previous years I was always the girl in a relationship. And when I say always, I mean always. I had the mind set that many people face today. Society has convinced us that if we aren’t in a relationship,we’re not doing it right. Well let me assure you, society is wrong.

Within my trials of relationships I was searching for my worth and identity and always found myself coming up short. After constant battles of trying to figure out who I was, I discovered who I didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be defined as someone’s property. I didn’t want to become needy. I didn’t want to be the girl who’s happiness depended on someone else. 

If I said the journey after that decision was easy,I would be lying. Daily I faced the battle of my head fighting my heart on what each thought was best for me. However, somewhere along the way of rebuilding myself to become the woman I wanted to be, I found my worth, identity, and happiness fulfilled completely for the first time.

My heart began to feel contentment and I was joyfully craving more of this love and affection that I had never felt before. How could this be possible? I wasn’t in a relationship, I didn’t have a boyfriend telling me the wonderful things us girls enjoy hearing…but somehow,in someway, I was complete.

Then, one night as I laid in bed with tired eyes it finally hit me. Jesus. 

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Pslam 37:4

When I stopped searching for my worth in boys,  Jesus showed me that He alone is enough to satisfy my heart. 

When I quit seeking my identity in boys, Jesus told me I was beautifully and perfectly made by the Creator of all.

When I sought after God’s heart and not the heart of boys, I experienced true love for the first time.

I wait because there is no rush. 

My heart is content and I am loved.

I wait because everything is perfect in God’s timing, even true love. 

Jesus died on the cross for me, a sinner who daily disappoints my God, but he loves me anyway.

If you ask me,

I wait because I’ve already found the greatest love story of all. 

You don’t always have to have it together.

You may think the title says it all, but there’s much more to it than that.

This is my first blog post, and I’m here to say this:

My name is Brooke, and I’m broken. Yep…you heard me right. I am broken, and I am not the type of person to usually say that. But today I sit here with the cold creeping in from the window, and I’m tired of pretending to have it all together. The earthly ways of this world have captured my heart, and I am on the journey to take it back. It has taken me many wake up calls to realize that my heart has never, and will never be my own. I gave my heart away to its rightful owner when I was twelve, and I will not rest until it is His once more.

Have you ever poured your heart into multiple material things and each one has left you in devastation and no where near fulfillment? You are not alone.

Join me on my journey of letting my heart be captivated  by nothing but Jesus.

Today begins my journey of becoming a For His Glory Girl.