Easy Cherry Limeade Smoothie for Summer {Vegan, Dairy Free, Sugar Free}

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I consider myself a foodie. I love really good food. Really good food that was prepared with heart and soul and with the freshest and most beautiful ingredients possible. But in my everyday life of prepping and cooking food for my husband, my two daughters and myself, plus striving to stay within the budget my husband sets for us, those amazing gorgeous fresh-from-the-farm exotic ingredients simply never make it into my home- they’re often just too expensive. Cherries are one of those amazing seasonal ingredients I adore, but rarely buy. But on a recent shopping trip I found a can of pitted tart cherries in water and brought it home. At less than $2 a can I knew I could make something delicious, and I could actually afford to make it again and again instead of just once a year as a special treat.

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With the can of cherries plus ingredients I almost always have on hand, I threw together this inexpensive sweet and tart smoothie that is perfect for our hot humid Texas Summer days. After an initial spin in the blender I realized this smoothie really shines with that extra bit of tartness provided by the fresh lime juice. And if you’re really a fan of tart flavors you could even try reducing the amount of banana in the recipe. Trust me, you don’t want it to be super sweet. That zing on your tongue is what makes this smoothie amazing!
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Easy Cherry Limeade Smoothie (Vegan, Dairy Free, Sugar Free}

You will need:

1 cup frozen peaches (can substitute frozen nectarines)

1 fresh banana

1/2 cup canned pitted tart cherries in water (do not drain) + 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid

1-2 handfuls of ice

1/2 – 1 whole lime + lime wedges for presentation

Combine peaches, banana, cherries and reserved cherry liquid into the blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Squeeze the lime directly into the blender and continue blending. Add desired amount of ice and blend until the smoothie is creamy and very cold. Add a couple of lime wedges to the side of the glass or right in the smoothie. Enjoy!

 

What’s your favorite Summertime smoothie?

 

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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What Is Our Hope in Jesus?

I am expecting. Full and round and ripe. Stretched tight, growing fuller everyday. Feeling the joy and pains; bearing the weight of hope. Not in my belly, but in my spirit, I am full of eager expectation and hope.

I am not alone. There are many of us who groan and wait, and our time to give birth is almost here.

Do you know what I am expecting? It is what all believers in Christ Jesus should be holding tightly too. It is the unifying hope of us all who call ourselves His followers.

I am expecting the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am expecting Him to snatch me and all His followers from this life in “the twinkling of an eye” changing our bodies meant for death into glorious eternal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:52). I am expecting that when I see Him, I will be like Him (1 John 3:2). And I am expecting Him to purify those who are His, in ever increasing amounts, until that Day appears (Malachi 3:2-5).

…Were you expecting me to say something different? That my hope was a life of relaxed pleasure in heaven? Maybe that God would spare me from the woes of this life? Maybe that God would grant me my desire for popularity, ease, comfort or wealth here- on this earth? God’s word reveals to us our true hope:

“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.” Titus 2: 11-13 NLT

“…even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope…” Romans 8: 23-25 NKJ

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1: 18-20

“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:19

This truth of our hope in Jesus has been muddied with fear, diluted with apathy, covered by lies from the enemy and all but forgotten by many of those who believe in Jesus, and hidden from those who have yet to believe. But it need not be this way. God’s word shines as a light, showing truth and revealing what can confidently be our joyful, hopeful expectation. God desires for us to have hope. Hope that is sure. Hope that does not disappoint. He desires that we should wait eagerly for it, watching for it, squinting into the distance, searching for hope’s appearing. And this is what we can be sure of: Jesus is coming. Believe in His words and fully rest yourselves on His promise.

He is coming to redeem us. He is coming to change us. And He is coming to conquer.

“Behold He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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This Moment

It’s the little moments…IMGP6551-002

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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Springtime at Home

Growth. The definition of springtime. There has been more than a little growing going on around here this spring and in many different ways…

It seemed all in one day suddenly we looked, and poof every plant and tree awakened into green glory. We were glad to welcome it and bid farewell to winter. And now one very rainy week has turned into two and the rains keeps coming. Lush is one word to describe it here… Muddy is another.

IMGP5884-001 - CopyAfter my husband cleared out a small plot of land behind our house I couldn’t help but dig my fingers into the black, moist earth, smell it in, breathe it in- life. The stuff life is made of. Soft and silky, the once bare earth is now a space filled with things wild and growing.
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I couldn’t resist joining in nature’s chorus “life!” it rang out everywhere we turned. We bought a metal bucket, and filled it with things to grow. It’s a small beginning, but they are thriving and we love looking at them.

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Lantanas and Dusty Miller

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And then at the farmer’s market, the herbs, freshly bathed from the owner’s watering, made their way into my car, ready to find a new home and new life in my cooking. IMGP6369-006

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We planted the Rosemary and Thyme outside. The Thyme, almost completely dead, sprang to life and the Rosemary is thriving. How wonderful to snip off a bit of fresh Rosemary, feed it to the chickens or use it in dinner and then all day long my fingers hold that glorious perfume.

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There is much more growing going on here in many other ways. We invited a family we know to live in our (large) attic temporarily. They are a sweet family of eightthey love Jesus and they are excited about being in close fellowship with other believers- as are we! It took six weeks to finish out our attic- floors, dry wall, plumbing, electrical, bathroom etc. And just last weekend they made it out with their things (despite the rain) to call our land and house “home.” We’re not sure how long they will be here, but we know that the Lord has a lot of good things in store for us all. Our hearts are willing, yes fertile, before Him and we long to grow up in Him. Each new phase of this life we experience is doing exactly that.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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Our Growing Nest: Backyard Chickens!

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Our family has grown significantly in the past two months. We have added eleven more little girls to our “nest”! Eleven new chicks that is!

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to surround myself with farm animals. I couldn’t even tell you why. When I was young I collected stuffed animal pigs and I thought they were just about the best creatures that could exist. I had a pile of pink pigs and pigs painted on my wall. Chickens and goats, I thought, would be the perfect companions to my one day pig friends. My husband and I have talked about this for quite some time and this spring, when the local feed store was boasting of new chicks, we decided to take the plunge and just do it.

We talked to some friends of ours who have about 20 laying hens and they assured us of their ease and fun in raising them. We then decided to get 11 (10 and 1 spare “just in case”) instead of the 4 or 5 we were thinking of before.

We converted a barely used storage tote into a perfect brooder box, set it on a desk in the corner of our living room, hung a heat lamp in one corner, placed food and water in the box and bought a massive bag of “Koop Clean” for the bedding. We carried our little girls home in a cardboard box, set them in their new plastic home and watched their little bodies huddle together in a heap and fall asleep just like newborn babies exhausted from an afternoon walk in mama’s arms.

Preciously fuzzy, they acted much like human babies: taking naps, rising and eating, drinking, poking around for a minute then falling right back to sleep, sometimes right where they stood. Upon waking they would even stretch their little legs and shake their heads. And oh, how they peep and cheep! Adorable, yes, but loud when they want be!
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One by one, we’re getting to know them, understanding that they will give us much more than the hoped for fresh eggs, but they will give us amusement, education on animal life, and a deeper appreciation and understanding for the animals who contribute to our nutrition, and indeed our lives.

“Blondie” (above picture, the lower chick on my husband’s arm), a Rhode Island Red, immediately stood out from the rest because of how affectionate she is and how much she likes attention. She also was the easiest to identify because she has blonde fuzz on the top of her wings.

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Soon, we named others- “Big Bertha,” because she quickly grew above the rest (we’re hoping she’s not actually a rooster); “Buttons,” a black Australorp, who became obsessed with the buttons on Hannah’s shirt, and “Whitey”, Blondie’s twin-like companion. But we’re still getting to know them all and some are still waiting for the perfect name! And look how they’re growing!

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Finally it was time to build the coop. They are still small, roughly 7-8 weeks of age (not exactly sure) but the day one flew out of the brooder box despite our attempts to cover the opening of the box, we knew it was time to give them a little more room.
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They sure do love it! For now, they do not leave the coop, but when they are full grown we are hoping to let them roam the yard in the daytime feasting on their natural diet of plants and insects.
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Life with chickens is proving to be interesting, funny, and rewarding!
IMGP6506-013Home sweet (chicken) home!

 

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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This Moment

It’s the little moments…
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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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Naming the Beautiful, Finding Glory in Motherhood

I stayed up late last night pouring through old blog posts, searching, looking, reading, trying to remember what it was I felt when my daughter was small enough to hold between the palm of my hands and the crook of my elbow. For some reason, the memories that most often surface are the hard, long, dark lonely nights of holding a inconsolable newborn against my chest, against my heart, and wondering how the heck I even got here. How did I get here? She’s four now. Breathtakingly beautiful. I mean, the way her cute little cheeks frame her smile, her perfectly spaced little teeth, the twinkle in her eyes when they light up, and now her new bangs hanging imperfectly across her forehead. My heart skips a beat just looking at her, and I can’t believe she’s mine. Surely, there had to be some mistake somewhere. How could I have been entrusted with such a gift as her?

After those first few difficult months of life with a fussy newborn, the clouds really did part, and the sun really did shine, and I really did drink in all those perfect, warm-fuzzy, I-have-a-baby-and-its-heaven moments. I must have taken a thousand pictures before she even turned 6 months old. The first belly laughs, the wonder of bubbles, and bath time, the first steps and the melt-your-heart hand holding, her whole chubby hand to my one finger. Discovering caterpillars and cookies. The sleeping on my chest and the way her chubby thighs gave way to slender little legs and I knew she wouldn’t be my baby much longer.

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But then something happened.

I lost sight of something very important. Something changed in my mothering heart, and I stopped seeing the world through joy filled eyes. These past two years of her turning from a toddling babe to a sparkly 4 year old have been so different from her first years as my little baby. Ominous warnings from friends and strangers hung over my heart as my daughter entered her two’s and three’s. I didn’t want to agree with the idea that my daughter would become “terrible” when the sun rose on her second birthday. Of course, things did change in my mothering. A baby becomes a toddler. Cries for mama’s milk turn to temper tantrums in the toy store for meaningless stuffed animals. Falling asleep on my shoulder turns into not sleeping at all and protesting bedtime just because she can. And I stopped naming the beautiful. I started telling myself this was too hard and I didn’t think I could do it. As much as my newborn was dependent on me, I feel with every month and year that pass she actually needs me more than she did then. She needs me to teach her and to really accept her, to feel her hurts with her, to cheer her on, to really see when she begs me to watch her twirl on the living room rug just one more time. And it seems meaningless to me, but I know it’s not. And as she grows she’s going to need me even more. She’s going to need me to tell her about this invisible God, the one that loves her so much, but sometimes is really hard to understand. She’s going to need me to tell her how wonderful it is to be a woman, and how it is such a gift. And…I’m scared. Scared I will fail, and scared because I know in many ways I already have. The giving of myself, my heart every day to my little girls is sometimes beautiful, sometimes painful, sometimes gut-wrenching. But I keep going because it is the only thing to do.

But now I know. Just because the soft cotton sleepers are stored in the attic and no one is telling me “Congratulations!” and discipline is a reality every single day, and sometimes I want to walk out the door and just not be a mom for a little while, I know I don’t have to stop naming the beautiful. I don’t have to stop calling out the preciousness of each new day with them. and that is exactly how to have the beautiful, in seeing it, is to call it out from the places where it’s hiding. Because it really does hide. The beautiful hides in the back-breaking messiness of this existence. It’s all tangled up and if I leave the mess in search of the glory, I will absolutely miss it. The glory has been here all along, waiting for me to call it out…

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And so I will name…

 

 

 

 

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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Healthy Valentine’s Day Breakfast~ Strawberry Banana Oat Heart Muffins! {Vegan, Fat Free, Wheat-Free, Egg & Dairy Free}

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These adorable heart muffins are going to do double duty come this Valentine’s Day! February is American Heart Month as well as home to my favorite love-filled day, February 14. But this year I’m doing things a little differently. Instead of fussing over special restaurants and fancy dresses, I’m dreaming of how I can surprise my littles with something sweet and fun on Valentine morning.

These oat muffins are a tried-and-true recipe of ours that I got from a good friend. They are slightly sweet, filling, full of fiber and free of fat (good things for the heart!). All they needed was a little Valentine flair- a heart shaped cookie cutter, pink sugar for dusting the top and some heart shaped sprinkles just for fun!

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If you’ve never done any vegan baking, it’s really not a stretch from regular baking with eggs and milk and oil. Here are some details about the ingredients used in this recipe.

- Oat flour is used exclusively. If you don’t have any, you can grind up whole grain oats in your (cleaned) coffee grinder to make a flour. (Look for gluten-free whole grain oats to make gluten free oat flour).

- 1 mashed ripe banana replaces the 2 eggs usually called for in muffins.

- Unsweetened applesauce replaces the oil. You can easily replace the oil in any recipe with applesauce with a ratio of 1:1.

- Any non-dairy milk replaces cow’s milk. I used soy milk. I like the thickness and creaminess of soy milk as opposed to almond milk. I don’t recommend coconut milk if you are trying to protect your heart. Even though coconut milk is vegan, coconuts are full of saturated fat. (I realize there are quite a bit of disagreement on the healthfulness of saturated fats, but I steer clear of them).

- One half cup of diced strawberries are included. You can omit them, but they add a wonderful pink color and added fruitiness!

- One quarter cup of white sugar is all this recipe calls for. Use whatever kind of sugar or sugar substitute (like honey) you prefer that would replace white sugar.

- Instead of greasing an 8 x 8 pan with oil I lined it with parchment paper and poured the batter right on top. When it’s done cooking and cooling, you can simply lift the parchment paper out of the pan and the muffins come right off.
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Strawberry Banana Oat Heart Muffins

Makes about 12 2″ heart muffins

Ingredients:

- 2 1/4 cup oat flour

- 1 TB baking powder

- 1/4 cup white sugar or honey

- 1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk

- 1 mashed ripe banana

- 2 TB unsweetened applesauce

- 1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.

2. In one bowl, combine the oat flour and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except for the strawberries, making sure they are all incorporated well.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and combine. Fold in the strawberries. Do not over mix.

4. Pour batter into prepared dish. Sprinkle top with pink sugar. Bake about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

5. When it is finished baking, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully cut out the muffins with a heart shaped cookie cutter. (Save the scraps- it’s still yummy!) Arrange them on a plate and toss heart shaped sprinkles over them. Enjoy!

IMGP6088-001Be warned…you might have little muffin stealers sneaking bites before you are even done!

What are you baking this Valentine’s Day?

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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I Want Life in My Life! {A Look at John 10:10}

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“The thief does not come except to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

We all want life. Abundant life. I think for many of us that means life without sickness, pain, or poverty. And while I believe God cares, sees and heals us in these earthly bodies, and I believe God loves and desires to lift up the lives of His beloved children that are hurting on planet earth, still I believe,

There’s more to the story…

Much more.

There’s so much more and it is thrilling, exciting and better than we could have ever imagined. I think it has gotten lost behind well meaning and God loving Christians, lost in the pages of Scripture that sit in so many homes, unread. If only we would pick it up, blow off the dust and see afresh the glorious hope meant for those who would believe in Jesus Christ now, and fan the flame meant to ignite the whole world with His glory and love, it would absolutely change the world. This hope is life more abundantly.

See, what I believe Jesus is telling us in this well known passage (John 10:10) is something altogether different than what we normally hear echoing through church walls today. Instead of promises of abundant things in this life, I believe Jesus is simply promising more of life itself. Real life. More aliveness than we could possibly experience in this broken world. I believe Jesus is promising an eternal resurrected life! And this life begins and continues only in the Spirit of God (John 6:63, Romans 8:6, 2 Corinthians 3:6).

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25-26

Jesus is saying if you believe in Me and are in Me, when your body fails, your spirit will live on in a transformed, resurrected body, and if you are alive when I come again and believe in Me, your body will not die but be transformed into a new resurrected body. Here, Jesus was addressing a believer (John 11:27) and I believe He is asking believers today...do you believe this? With all that is said about Me in the world today, do you believe what I say?

Echoing Jesus words, Paul says:

“For we who are in this tent [our earthly bodies] groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 5:4 (brackets and emphasis mine)

Who isn’t burdened in these bodies at some point walking on this earth? And we are groaning. Not to attain more flesh, more earth, more mortality, but LIFE. And life is only found in Jesus. Life is Jesus. (John 14:6) When we believe in Jesus, the Spirit of God comes to live in our spirit, and that is where true, living, refreshing, life flows into our every situation and relationship. When we stop operating out of our own ideas about what we should do and how we can improve things, and when we humbly come to God and allow Him to do what He desires, obeying what He commands out of the power He supplies, that is where we find peace, love, joy, and goodness filling every one of our needs and desires.

We take up the life of Jesus when we yield to Truth: He is our salvation. We are sinners in need of a Savior and He is that Savior (Romans 3:23-24). And as we are being conformed to His image on this earth, we wait. We wait for our glorious hope- a truly resurrected life. We wait to see Him, for when we do we will be like Him and that is exactly what these bodies, bound for corruption, are aching for (1 John 3:2)

Our nature as sinners is to take spiritual realities and conform them to the images of earth. We take spiritual realities for life and make them to mean God wants us to have more things. We assume God is like us and He is not. We assume God wants what we want and He does not. We are the ones who must conform, by the power and grace of God, to His image, to His reality, based on Scripture alone.

Are you aching today for life? Are you finding this earthly life often disappoints and hurts? Self-improvement is not the answer, my friend, Jesus is the answer.

 

 

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

Categories: Deeper faith | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Ocean of God’s Character {Part I}

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The sun shines bright in the new day’s sky. The salty air blows over white dunes, and the sand sparkles under your feet as you walk down the glistening clean beach. The wind blows gently, combing through tall beach grass, and rustling the towels of the patrons walking with you. Clutching your beach bag, you temporarily place your sunglasses on your head to take in the breathtaking view. It’s a beach like you’ve never seen in your life. The sea, in hues of bright bold blues, greens and turquoise shimmer underneath the yellow sun. Its clear water reveals silvery fish and gem-like shells in magenta, light blue and aqua green hidden in the sandy bottom. Harmless waves playfully toss to and fro across the surface, crests break and foam laps at the shoreline, licking the toes of the people gathered there. This ocean, stunning in beauty, bright in purity, goes on for miles and miles, as far as your eye can see until it sinks seamlessly into the horizon.

You breath in the clean fresh air letting it fill your lungs. The sun warms your skin, your feet sink into the sand with every step, and you make your way towards the shore. Remarkably absent is the resorts and buildings, noise and traffic, on other beaches you’ve visited. Here, all is peaceful. You carefully spread your beach towel near the water’s edge but not close enough to get wet, and sitting down you notice all the different people around you. Some people are sitting along the beach with you, sun bathing, reading, relaxing, even sleeping. It seems most of these people near you have no intention of going into the ocean. Others, mostly children, are playing in the shallows kicking their feet and splashing, tossing the water into the air and laughing, discovering the little fish that slip between their ankles and the shells which they carry like gems in their pockets. A few adults wade ankle-deep or even knee-deep with them, helping these younger ones to their feet when the salty water stings their eyes. But even when they fall, they get up again. You smile at them, they are certainly having fun in the safety of shallow waters. Then there are people farther out, shoulder deep, swimming in the ocean, still bright and sparkling as ever. They’re smiling too, playing in the water. Sometimes they dive beneath the surface, then bob back up holding larger, brighter shells. One carries a child in his arms, letting her delight in the deeper waters from the safety of his embrace.

But something else catches your eye. What could that be so far from the comfort of the beach?

Yes, there are people even farther out, where the blue colors deepen and the shadows of the clouds overhead sometimes hide the light reflecting off the waves. Yes, there are just a small handful of brave souls wading out in the deep where they cannot touch and they cannot feel anything except the rhythmic rocking of the water. There the ocean is all encompassing, the deep pressing into their bodies, the salty taste of the water saturating their mouth. They are all in and all wet. You can barely make out their expressions, you raise your hand to your forehead like a visor, shielding the sun’s rays from your eyes so you can see more clearly.

The waves are much bigger out there and you wonder why anyone would want to venture that far. Out there are people riding the waves on boards fitted for them. They fly through the air, hovering in perfect balance on top of powerful crashing waves. Thrilled with the joy of such adventure they quickly get back up from where they tumbled into the water. Others out in the deep are swimming and diving with protective gear. They sink under the ocean and much time passes before you can see them pop back up to the surface. You can only imagine the sights their eyes get to behold swimming near the ocean bottom, so far from land, things you’ve only read about in books. Perhaps coral big and small, in wondrous colors and fish beautiful, odd and curious living, sleeping and eating there, and a part of you begins to long to see what they see. The people swimming out in the deep are strong, you can tell. When a few come back to shore their confident shining faces tell you that their experience out in the deep provides them something others do not have- strength of character, a knowing, a joy, and a part of you begins to want what they have too.

You stand and walk toward the beckoning ocean. You call me out upon the waters… You reach the water’s edge and it tickles your feet. With closed eyes you breath in deep the warm air and take a sure step into the water. You pass the toddling children and the adults in the shallow. You wade out farther, the water now waist deep then shoulder deep. You stand on your tip-toes as the ocean rises and the bottom sinks farther away from you. It’s colder than you imagined but as you keep walking steadily into the sea it begins to envelope you and warmth surrounds your body like a blanket. You’re treading now and the gentle waves rock you back and forth with its current. 

A smile spreads across your face, “I’m here,” you think, and suddenly you realize just how far you are from the comfort of your spot on the beach. The moment seizes you and you begin to panic. Can I stay out here? Do I have what it takes to keep swimming? What if the waves overtake me? But then you raise your eyes to the sun. And keep my eyes above the waves…You realize out here you are closer to the sun, its warmth and its light. Out here you can see clearly. Out here the horizon doesn’t seem so far away and obscured. Your grace abounds in deepest waters…Out here a hundred dazzling fish dance around you in the water. Out here thousands of  undiscovered rocks and shells are waiting to be revealed. Out here ocean plants thrive and grow away from the traffic of people. Out here the once comfortable and beautiful beach now pales in comparison to the glory surrounding you.

Out here treading in the deep, you realize, is where you discover what you are made of. You discover your strength and your power. And it is here, only here, in the deep, that you find the real treasure you’ve been searching for.

There I find you in the mystery. In ocean’s deep, my faith will stand.

 

 

*Selected lyrics taken from “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United

 

 

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Welcome! I’m Brittany, wife and mama to two little girls Marlee and Hannah (3 yrs and 1 yr). This is where I tell you what I’m about and what I love, but honestly that always seems to change as time goes by. For the most part, I’m a mama just like you. My goal is to live as authentically, imperfectly, passionately and naturally as possible and to inspire you to do the same! I'm so glad you're here!

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