Friday, January 18, 2008

WE WON WE LOST WE WON WE LOST

UPDATE:
WE WON!!! Last night's district basketball game.
WE LOST!!! Today's district basketball game.
WE WON!!! Britt qualified for TAPPS--Texas State Swimming Championships
WE LOST!!! Mom lost the battle with the flu---I am SO SICK with bronchitis!!!
SO I LEFT COMMENTS FOR YOU ALL IN MY COMMENT SECTION...can't get to your blogs tonight but I will SOON...missing you!

"Befriending Brokenness"
It's about 8am and we have another district varsity basketball game tonight. It's a big one that we need to win to get into the playoffs. Pray for Britt---he has been leading his "cinderella team" really well. It is so much fun to go to games like this where the high school shows up with lots of energy, where parents cheer for your kid and make you think he's the best player ever. It's Friday night basketball in Texas and if you love basketball, it is such a blast!!

Something really neat is going to happen for my boy today or Monday---after driving with the parentals for one year, this 16-year-old gets his very own driver's license today. I looked at him yesterday and thought---I remember carrying you to the car in footed pajamas. I remember Britt carrying my groceries out of the car with his little red wagon. My mind was flooded with memories of sitting next to this precious boy for the past16 years. Those days sitting next to me will soon be over...Britt will be seated in my place now. The driver's seat. I'll just have to post when he gets that piece of paper!

But what's on my mind as I leave home this a.m. is that I am loved, so loved by my God. My identity was wrapped up in strong men way too tightly, way too long over many years. My identity was wrapped up in a ministry. And I had no idea how much so until it was taken away. And God never intended for my identity to be wrapped up in anyone or anything but His Love. And, my heart really yearns this year to know in deep places in my soul what it means to be His beloved daughter and find rest.

I am reading Henri Nouwen right now. Three different works of his: "Here and Now." "The Inner Voice of Love." And, "Journey of the Heart."

There's one phrase in Here and Now that just jumped out at me. Jesus knew his core identity was "beloved" and it is transferable to me. "Like a certificate or diploma, belovedness is conferred upon followers of Jesus without formal education, achievement, or evidence or merit. No grades required. No birthright or citizenship papers. No possessions, status, or evidence of potential. No references. As for the Christ I serve, my identity is 'beloved of God.' "

In one of his works called "Being the Beloved," Nouwen outlined three deceptions which are OBSTACLES to the realization of our identity as the beloved:

OBSTACLE #1.
"WE ARE WHAT WE DO...Achievement at all costs. An existence imbued with a haunting sense of partial completion, as if the world were perpetually waiting for me to make good on some undefined and unfulfilled promise."

OBSTACLE #2.
"WE ARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY ABOUT US...The pull of external approval mixed with unrealistic personal standards create toxic waste."

OBSTACLE #3.
"WE ARE WHAT WE HAVE...Although I tried to live a simple life, I wanted badly to be financially stable with rock-solid job prospects. Material objects are not the only objects of covetousness."

Nouwen writes: "Until I embrace my own brokenness, I am unable to perceive the extent of my belovedness. Befriending brokenness is a necessary step toward belovedness."

I am so gripped by this thought of finding from my beautiful LORD how loved I really am. i keep asking Him. I have felt "worthless" way too many years of my life. No more. In some ways, I have believed what my world was saying to me that I didn't have much to offer, so I attached to strong men---a strong pastor, a strong husband. But in the past couple of years, my beautiful God has knocked on the door of my heart and I have opened up that door. Or should I say, my beautiful God has opened a door for me that no man can shut. Rev. 3:7.

My precious friend Fran was praying for me the other day and opened her Bible to find a Scripture for me. She opened right to Deut. 33:12. Laying on her lap were these words:

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in HIM, for HE shields him all day long, and, the one the LORD loves, rests."

I am practicing living over here as a beloved daughter. And I hear Him whispering back to me, "Yes, you are! You are Mine." And so are you! May we all find rest today in those places in our soul that are not at rest as we speak to our husband and children and friends eye-to-eye, as we walk into the unknown or too familiar places, as we live this moment "all in" and deal with the fray of our hearts and follow HIM and honor HIM.

33 comments:

Shonda 1/18/2008  

Oh Bev, thank you so much for sharing what the Lord is doing in you. I needed this today. I need to know too that I'm the 'beloved of God'. I struggled with who am I lately. The Lord uses you to minister to me.

Our children grow up so fast dont they? Last month the voter registration cards came in the mail. There were 3 instead of 2. I was stunned to see my son's name on one of them.

Blessings in Christ--

CrownLaidDown 1/18/2008  

Embracing that brokenness in my life and trusting it to the Living LORd, who is putting the pieces back together--in His time, in His way.

I love you, friend! I pray for your every day and ask Him to come and be so tender with my friend and to embolden her to run and tell all that He has done.

He has been good in giving me a friend like you!

BethAnne 1/18/2008  

This word was for me today too. You are right that our identity should be in Christ alone - I struggle with that. There are so many outside influences that call us away from our "calling". I pray that I will remember that I am His beloved. I pray that for you as well.
I almost cried at your mention of the times when your son carried your groceries with his little red wagon. Makes me want to go and hug my little boys tight because they wont be little boys for long.

Fran 1/18/2008  

I can hardly contain my feelings and thoughts right now. I can't articulate them yet. I sit here with my mouth open, head shaking and fingers all over the keyboard.

He is simply perfection.

We must be broken before Him in order for us to find rest and security in Him.

As bad as that can be, its way better on the other side.

Break me sweet Jesus. I want to be more like you.

You are beloved, Bev. I love you dearly~
Fran

Alana 1/18/2008  

Beautiful words from a beautiful lady! I love reading about what God is teaching you because I learn so much from it!

Hope all went well with the driver's license. You had me in tears over that one!

Kristin 1/18/2008  

Hi Bev! Thanks so much for your words today. God continues to use you in so many lives. I need to reflect on this more, but it definetely has impacted me. I have been in such a funk lately feeling like not even trying anymore (in anything) because I know I probably won't succeed anyway. I think that has also caused some of my quietness in blogland. But God calls me his beloved and I am His. He showed this to me this summer with the verse in Ephesians 3:18 that says "and I pray that you...may have power with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that supasses knowledge..." I had read that verse lots of times before but it just jumped off the page to me, as if God was sitting there whispering those words to my heart. "Child, if only you knew just how deep my love for you was I think you would live differently." And I did for awhile, but then I just let stuff and life and tiredness creep back in and rob me of my worth in Him. Thanks for the reminder today. Nothing else is more important than Him. May you know today just how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for you my sweet friend. I've missed you ~ Kristin

annie's eyes 1/18/2008  

Sweet Bev, I am praying for Britt right now as I read this, and have been praying for you all week. Brokenness is often right where we find the most beautiful part of the Lord--His own Heart for us. There's an old Carly Simon song that says, "there's more room in a broken heart." I pray for your restoration, and for you to feel His Heart this day. You are most dear to me. love, Annette

Laura 1/18/2008  

You are so beautiful, my friend, and your words brought tears to my eyes. I have just discovered you through the P31 blogs, and am so glad I did. Blessings!

annie's eyes 1/18/2008  

How was THE GAME? love, annie

Fran 1/18/2008  

I'm with Annie...how was the game??!! Thought about y'all many times.

Love you~
Fran

Anonymous 1/19/2008  

Hi I read on rocksinmydryer site that you know the secret to scholarship hunting and just wanted to write that I would love to read about that. So if/when you decide to share, please include me on the email list. Thanks. -Jamie
jamiepoole@hotmail.com

Karen 1/19/2008  

My baby will be sixteen in a matter of days and I am oh so strugging with this. I know it's the natural progression of things but it doesn't make it any easier, does it?

Laura 1/19/2008  

Hello, Bev! After your comment on my blog, I had to come back and visit! Yes, it seems our hearts were in tune a bit with our writings...my devotionals this morning seemed to emphasize that concept of deliberately listening to God. How wonderful that He speaks to us! P31 is a ministry that I have followed for some time. Lysa Tyrkerst is the founder and it was through her blog that I found Lisa Whittle's blog which is where I found your blog! Whew! It's blogamania! I just love this community of beautiful women with such a heart for God. I'm so glad to have met you! Stay in touch!

Toknowhim 1/19/2008  

Sweet Bev,

I love the brokenness/beloved connection. I think I will have to read some of the Nouwen (is that spelled right? :) books. I think others have quoted his or her work. He/She (sorry don't know which one) is a deep thinker, but I love reading books that challenge me to think a little deeper. You are sweet and lovely... Blessings my Texas friend...

Janelle 1/19/2008  

Thank you for these words. I need to read them again to fully digest that I am beloved just because I was born. Beautiful!

Hope the game was fun!

Julie 1/19/2008  

Bev, I see that you have sent a child overseas. My oldest daughter left Thursday for a 5 months mission trip overseas. You can read about it on my blog. I'd love for you to stop by.

www.jewelzsightings.blogspot.com

I LOVE Henri Nouwen. I read several of his books.
His words are simple yet so deep and profound. I loved "The Return of the Prodigal Son" by Nouwen.

I see that we share a love for many of the same books. I LOVE Larry Crabb. Have read everything by John & Stasi Eldredge, and also attended The Sacred Romance conference and Captivating retreat.

I am a 50 year old woman with 5 kids.

Your post was beautiful. Embracing brokenness is hard, yet crucial. Didn't you just love Larry Crabb's "Shattered Dreams"?

Blessings,
Julie

Bev Brandon 1/19/2008  

I have been sick this weekend and need to collapse in the bed so I'm taking a shortcut and commenting here to save some time. Also, my internet has been down most of the week along with my body. I can always go to the library for Monday posts but hope this internet problem is short-lived. Kind of major problem, right now.

So, here are some replies before I pass out on the Nyquil.

Shonda - your updated pic is gorgeous. You always are so humble!

Holly - touches my heart when you say you pray every day...I don't know many, if any, who pray for me every day besides my awesome husband and kids.

Bethanne - love your mother's heart...tonight when you pray with your little ones, lay down beside them and tell them what they mean to you...I bet they know!


Fran - you are one of the best things that happened to me in blogland. Can't tell you how much you mean to me. Can't wait to meet you---oh wait, have I ever not met you before? Don't I know you? You bet I do, thanks to our precious Father.

Alana - you have such a gift of administration and such a handle to know what to do with it and such a big God in you...guess what, our precious boy got the news broken to him today that we cannot afford to put him on our car insurance so he can't get a driver's license w/o it...I saw God rising up in Britt to say ---"It's okay, daddy, it's okay. I can wait." Daddy is between jobs and finances are more than tight.

Kristin - my dear friend, you are trying--you are trying to surrender and that's best place you can be...and you do hear HIM, you hear His Voice saying this is the way walk in it and you will! Yes, you will! Praying for you.

Annette - and you are most dear to me, too. It will be too good to be true to be with you this Thursday in Houston if all goes well. I can't wait to drink from your well. It's a deep one.

Laura - you have a way of connecting so immediately...must be your God in you whose Spirit overflows...wow...would love to stay in touch.

Jamie - I was in the process of writing a book last year about this topic and my God stopped me from doing it. It's not where my heart is right now. I do long to help women "be there" for their children but probably will not pursue this anymore. I did a tv segment on it that you can probably access through the web. But, I'll need to check on that to see if it is still up. It was a free online viewing. It was two ninety-minute sessions. I'll check and see for you. My favorite author on all this is Katherine Cohen---she knows her stuff and charges double digit of thousands of dollars per client per year. So the price of her $15 book is best bargain ever. Check her out. Thanks for stopping by, Jamie.

Karen - No, it's not easy. What are we raising them for? To be independent. But, when that starts happening, we see those chapters closed and realize it's over and won't be lived again. Makes me want to live in this moment and not miss the grace of our beautiful God for this moment. Thanks for stopping by.

Hey my Kim!!! Thank you so much for calling me...it was so encouraging to me! Henry Nouwen has a website (except he is with his LORD) and so go there and see what book interests you...you ought to get Inner Voice of Love---it's like a devo that was his secret journals that he wrote when he tanked on a relationship that fell through in his life. Love you my dear!

Janelle, hard to believe that we don't have to "do" anything...I have been so programmed that I am not pleasing God...but all I need to do is repent and think about Zeph 3:17---He is so pleased with you! You're a dear~!

Julie - wow, you are speaking my language. Thanks for the offer and I will stop by in a minute or two. I'm going to Eldredge's Captivating retreat...so looking forward to that. Have you ever been to Crabb's SSD? Just about the best thing I ever went to...will drop by soon. Thanks so much for the comment!!!

Michelle Bentham 1/19/2008  

Hey Bev, Sorry to hear you are sick and not feeling well, our internet has been down, too - so I am on hubby's wireless from work. Anyway, I will be praying for you double time. I am so blessed to know you through our blog. I hope you are back up to snuff very soon. You are a blessing to so many. I will be praying for all that you posted about and that God will bless you in your healing.

Rest, be restored and write soon! Love and hugs,
Michelle

Denise 1/19/2008  

Life is fast and at 60 I am slowing down.......ahahah things here are not user friendly for me right now..... thing are going on with Mom and Dad and with them being 50 feet from my back door it makes for interesting days.... I am now having to cook for them and also fix breakfast for Mom... Whew!!!! what a deal.... BUT I can do all things through Christ.... I can.. I can ... I can... hahahah

My prayers are with you tonight that God will pour out His spirit and restore your health.......

Laura 1/19/2008  

Oh, Bev! I hope you feel better soon! Check out this link for P31:
http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/
All of their ladies have blogs and are wonderful!

Get well, my new friend!
Laura B.

connorcolesmom 1/19/2008  

Bev,
I am so sorry you are sick!!!
I will pray for a quick recovery for you.
Much love,
Kim

Bev Brandon 1/19/2008  

Michelle - Nyquil has taken over...so I'm out but wanted to quickly say thank you to you for your care and prayers.

Denise - My heart goes out to you in what He has called you to...Col 4:5,6 may Grace be all over you!

Laura - thanks so much, my instant friend, thank you so much!

Kim - so good to hear from you! So very good! E-mail me your cell # some time as I lost it or if you don't want to, just call me sometime. I need you.

Julie 1/19/2008  

Bev, Thanks for stopping by. I sent you an email.
I hope you feel better.

You will LOVE Captivating. I went in Feb. 2005.
It was AWESOME! When are you going. I gotta talk to you more about this. Watch for my email.

What is Larry Crabb's SSD?

TELL ME MORE!

Blessings,
Julie

Profbaugh 1/20/2008  

Bev,

My 16 year old daughter just got her license in September, so I'm with you on this one. . . . now my 15 year old son has his permit. Where does the time go??

Thanks, my Siesta for the good Word!!

Much love,
~Cheryl

Bev Brandon 1/20/2008  

Julie, go to www.newwayministries.org and click on SSD - School of Spiritual Direction...probably hands-down it was the best thing I ever went to in terms of finding my beautiful God---if I had to pick just one thing, one author...I don't want to base my life on one man's interpretation of truth so I read prolificly across the board BUT this guy really had something to offer that most people don't quite "get it." I find way too many ministries offering women how to live their lives ---be a better wife, a better mother, a better cook, a better friend and how to make your life work. I am no longer about making life work...it's not about me and my story, it's about HIM and being lifted to His higher story. Because if you are walking in relationship with the Father, then you are going to offer your husband, your children, your friends, a taste of God that they have to do something with that. For example, a lot of people promise if you come to Jesus, He'll give you an unbelievable life...well, that's true, but look at the blind man---he received spiritual sight along with his eyesight---and he lost his family, lost his job, lost his reputation, lost his community support...it costs to follow Jesus Christ and it may not be in the form of things coming together for us. Seems like women today are trying so hard to have the perfect life and if you do, you are a success. Maybe not in God's eyes. II Chron 16:9 - God's eyes run through the earth looking for women who are fully committed to HIM not to a better life, not to the best life I can live for Jesus.

Bev Brandon 1/20/2008  

PS - that's what I love about Beth Moore. It is all about relationship with our Father. It's about the Living Word manifest in us. Like her Breaking Free---dealing with the frightful fray of our heart.

Julie 1/20/2008  

Oh Bev, I can tell we are going to be GOOD friends.
You are talking my talk. Shattered Dreams was powerful in our lives because our dreams were being shattered. It's not about comfort and doing things right it's about weakness & surrender. It's about HIM, removing all that is not of Him so that only what is remaining IS Him.

I am SO there with you!

I spent TOO many years living as a "religious" woman, a Pharisee, the older brother in the Prodigal Son story, working to gain the Father's approval. FINALLY I entered in, like the Prodigal
and lived as a daughter, a bride, His Beloved. One of my very favorite scriptures is in Hosea 2:14-16, where it talks of God alluring us into the desert to speak tenderly to us, turning our door of Sorrow into a door of Hope, taking us from calling Him MASTER to calling Him husband. He took me to the desert. He spoke tenderly to me. He took my shackles off and I am free.

I LOVE Larry Crabb and have read several of his books. "The Pressure's Off, rocked mine and David's world.

YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE CAPTIVATING. Sounds like you are ripe and ready to attend. When are you going????

I couldn't agree more with your post that you wrote to me. We are discovering the same things, it seems.

You can leave long posts on my blog anytime you want!!! Cause you see I leave them for you! : )

I look forward to more!!!

Hope you are feeling better today!

Julie

Fran 1/20/2008  

Can I just say I love me some Bev Brandon?! Isn't she just the most genuine, heart-felt, passionate woman of God you've ever known??

I pray that you are resting well this Sunday afternoon and enjoying some healing time.

I have thought all week long that I want your number to call you but what if I just cry the whole time?!

I don't know if I can wait til August to hear that precious voice.

You are loved. You are His beloved.

Blessings~
Fran

BethAnne 1/20/2008  

YAY on the basketball game!
Boo on the other game!
YAY on the swimming championships! (BTW, could he come and teach my boys to swim - they are hating lessons AND water right now)
BIG BOO to bronchitis!

I pray that you feel better ASAP! Bronchitis stinks! Be sure to take good care of yourself (which means staying home and resting) or you might end up with something worse! ***I scare myself when I sound just like my mother!***

Nise' 1/20/2008  

I am so sorry that you are not feeling well and I will pray for a quick recovery. Congrats to your son on his BB win and swimming qualification!

Toknowhim 1/20/2008  

Oh Bev,

So sorry you are sick... Get better soon, blogville needs you :) Thinking of you sweet friend...

Julie 1/20/2008  

Bev, I think the hardest part of blogging is trying to decide how to respond back to someone who has responded to my blog. Maybe you and I should try email? What do you think? Cause I feel like I just keep coming back and writing, writing, writing.... I am going to make your "comment" section WAY long.

Thank you for reading all of my posts and commenting. That blessed me so much. Now I will try to answer your questions that you left me.

Yes, I know Meredith. We went to Captivating together. That is a story!!! Holly I met through Meredith's blog. I don't know her but I put her blog where I could find it.

Now about finding the lies buried. No, I did not go to a counselor. The Sacred Romance journal and Captivating retreat helped me begin to identify the lies. Heck I didn't even know I had lies buried for the bulk of my Christian walk/life.

God has been faithful to bring up those things where pain is. He has taught me how to follow the trail that He leaves, revealing "what I believed" at that point.

I have been involved in a ministry called Christ-Life solutions at my church. It has been instrumental in taking me back through life and uncovering the false paradigms.

I have been learning how to listen to my anger, pain, etc and ask the questions. Why is this hitting me? What am I hearing? Why am I angry? What am I believing? Why does this hurt? etc.... Ransomed Heart was instrumental in giving me tools to go through the process.

So far I have not had counseling. But I have had people in my life who I tell what is going on and they listen and sometimes discern what questions to ask me.

I tend to be a person who likes to ask questions anyways.

I heard it taught once that your emotions are like the lights on the dashboard of the car. When the lights on the dashboard come on it is an indication that something is not right under the hood. When emotions surface in circumstances it is an indication that something is not right inside me.
If I keep driving the car and never look under the hood then damage will be done to the car. If I keep going forward with my emotions without asking what's up, then I do damage to my heart. Emotions are indicators that more is going on.

So, I have been learning to pay attention and to ask the questions with God, with myself.

Keep asking the questions, I will keep answering what I know.

I have all these word pictures that God has given to me and I feel like my mind is so full of them that I don't know where to start in my blogging.....which one first, God????

You want to email me?????

If so, then send me an email at:
godsprincess1980@gmail.com

Blessings,
Julie

jennyhope 1/22/2008  

BEV I GOT YOUR EMAIL and I am praying. I am so with you on feeling attacked and I mean it. Please know I am lifting you up in prayer. i love you so much and you mean so much to me. I am so sorry that you are sick and I will do some battle in prayer for you...I have cried my eyes out tonight and I am in a lot of physical pain with my neck issues so I will bring you before the Lord in my requests as well. Love you Bev!
ps I still think we should have skipped the Job readings.LOL

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

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I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
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I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.

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