Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I know you've been holding your breath since my last post. What could Brandy possibly be leading up to? you ask yourself. I'm on the edge of my seat with the anticipation of reading her follow-up post.

I know, friends. I know.

Now brace yourselves because, alas, the follow up must be postponed.

Try to pull yourself together and be consoled by the fact that it will come soon.... Soon I can let you in on the project that has consumed so much of my time and energy... but not today.

Today I plan to blog about housekeeping and schedules and routines. Please try to stifle your collective groans.

So I have been attempting to wake up at 5am each morning. Honestly, most mornings, I am awake before that time anyways. However, there are some mornings when I am forced to drag my tired body and heavy eyelids out of bed so I can stumble into the morning.

Why would you choose to start your day so early? you ask. Especially when you don't have to be at work until 8:30am?

Good question. And one I can answer in three simple words: God said so.

Seriously. No, I can't find scripture to back it up. No, I will not commence a 12-point-sermon on the importance of being the Early Bird (trust me, I have enough worms already... more on that later).

Now you don't have to believe me on this. And maybe you've never experienced anything like this before. But the truth is this: God woke me up at 3am several weeks ago and said, "Get out your iphone. You're going to need to take some notes."


I have only heard the Lord's voice that clearly one other time in my life. The first time it was emotional, gut-wrenching, convicting, and life-changing.

This time it was gentle, almost professional, convicting, and life-changing.

I have held onto His words for several weeks now, debating whether or not I should share it with all of society (or, you know, the 7 people who read my blog). I have, to this point, only shared it with a handful of close friends. But for those who have heard it, they too have been impacted.

So, after prayerful consideration, here is (most of) what the Lord told me:

Your ministry to your home is priority. It is your energy tithe to me. I want the first 10% of your day spent focused on your home.

You are going to have to started getting up at 5am. [5:00am - 7:30am is 2.5 hours, approximately 10% of my day!] Use this time for loving your husband in housework and meal prep, and loving your children in your time and patience. Don't be afraid to read books, go outside and play, go for walks, talk about me, cook breakfast together, or leave the house early and go to the park. These times will become your cherished time with them. Be jealous of this time. Protect it. I will use it and bless it. This small amount of time, when dedicated in obedience to me, will be the greatest display of love to your children. They will grow in the knowledge that they are VIPs. They are loved first, and not fourth or fifth. This is your daily offering to me.

For Brandon, answer his phone calls. Listen to his day. Love and support his job because that is part of who he is. And show him that he is priority by preparing your home for peace.

This home will be a respite for you both. Take care of it. Love it as a symbol of love for each other. Don't keep score. Don't bicker over chores and things that don't matter. Do every chore as an offering to me, not a to-do list forced upon you in slavery. You are free to love me this way. You are designed to love me this way. It will bring you joy and peace and room for love. And I am pleased.

Go to bed on time. Your evenings will no longer be your time to clean or work on your home. Go to bed with a messy house. See it as a symptom of love and memories and a family full of life. Then wake up refreshed and ready to reset the stage in which you will perform the acts of love for your family.

You will set the tone for your home over the coming weeks. Schedules will change. Calendars will fill up. You will be busy. But - this is very important - you do not have to be hurried. You will be busy, but you do not have to be hurried. You will be busy, but you do not have to be hurried. Allow plenty of time for what you need to do. Be early. Start before you think you need to start. This will be crucial to the atmosphere of your home because - hear me on this - you cannot love in a hurry.

Remember to seek me and my Kingdom. Remember the bottom line - to love me and love others. Everything else. Every. Thing. Else. is temporary.

Know your worth. Know that you are called to more. I will set you free. That thing that holds you captive has lost its charm. I have disarmed it. You need only to walk away. Walk into my arms. Let me walk with you. I have given you the power of life and death; so speak love to yourself. Speak love to your body and your appetite. You are created for this - to glorify me with your temple. So speak love. Your tongue is the mighty weapon with which this battle will be won.

Know that I love you. Know that I am for you. Know that these offerings are pleasing to me. Your life is pleasing to me. Walk in that knowledge. Love in that knowledge. Bless in that knowledge. Worship in that knowledge. Live your life - full as it is - in that knowledge.

I. Love. You.

More to come...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dropping Anchor

I have called many places home in my last seven years. Although, I suppose, if my hubby and I ever talk about "home," we're referring to Athens, GA - the place we were raised and where most of our family still lives. But even when we were dating, and in our early months of marriage, we knew we wouldn't be in Athens forever.

All of our "homes" have been transient. For a season. Temporary.

And I have loved this life. I have loved knowing that my family is not called to plant roots in anything (or any place) except the Kingdom. I have reveled in the idea of a new horizon, a new city, a new landscape, a new me.

But the thing about being transient is that it's hard to lay claim to anything. It's difficult to invest in something that is fleeting, you know? I tend to maintain surfacey friendships if I know the person will be leaving me (or vice versa) in the near future. I don't hang pictures on the walls of a house if I have to patch the holes a few months later. I know it's temporary; so I wait. I know it's only for a season; so I watch the seasons change. I don't drop anchor; I just look for the next big wave to carry me away.

That's the safe thing to do, you know. It's easier to never hang pictures than mess with putty when you move. It's easier to leave the boxes upacked than to repack them later. It's easier to love a little than lose a lot.

It wasn't until my seventh month in Korea when I realized how much that mentality permeated every area of my home. My relationships. My life. It's as if the Lord opened my eyes to what I was missing - who I was missing.

I suddenly realized that, with my roots firmly planted in the Kingdom of God, I was free (and required) to love people and places with reckless abandon. It could never be wasted. I might be abandoned by people, but the love that I gave (and lost) would be invested in a far greater place and Person. I committed in those last three months that I would give 100% of myself in those relationships and people. And I have not regretted one moment of that investment.

Fast forward a year (give or take).

It's December 2010.

I'm living in Memphis, my new temporary home. Chick Nite at The Life Church. Minding my own business. Expecting to have some fun. Riding the waves.

Then the speaker began to throw out some random statistics:

"Memphis, TN was recently named the Hungriest City in America."

What's that?

"26% of people in Memphis could not afford to buy food for their families in the last 12 months."

Come again?

"83% of people who come to the Food Bank have to choose between paying for food or paying for utilities."

"32% had to choose between food and rent or mortage payments."

I feel like I can't breathe.

"One area of Memphis has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country - nearly twice the national average."

I'm heartbroken.

Then she told a story that haunted me - that night, and several nights since then.

For Christmas, our church gave out live Christmas trees (among other things) in one of the most impoverished areas of our city. They came complete with decorations and lights - as any Christmas tree should.

When they arrived at one home, the mother said, "We don't need the lights. We don't have any electricity."

Her little boy turned to her and said, "But Mom, can we please get them anyways? It will make it feel more like Christmas."

That night, it was 12 degrees in Memphis.

Twelve. Degrees.

And here is a family without heat.

Only 10 miles from my house.

Where I snuggled in a warm bed.

My heater turned on 70 degrees.

My pantry full of food.

Leftovers in the garbage.

My two healthy, happy children deep breathing in their beds.

I wouldn't have known that it was twelve degrees outside if I hadn't looked it up on one of my two laptops.


I didn't sleep at all that night.

I saw the anchor splashing into the waves.

I felt the ground shift beneath my feet as the roots began to creep their way through.

I knew I couldn't live in this place - in this city - without investing.

Fast forward to today...

(come back soon for Part 2)

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood