Thursday, March 28, 2013


This week, we were supposed to share about a typical day for us as part of our weekly sharing time with the God-sized Dream team. As you'll probably notice, it is not Tuesday. It's Thursday evening.

It's sort of ironic, that the week we are supposed to talk about a typical day, my week has been anything BUT typical. I am on a sort of vacation - I was off from the newspaper last week and this week. It hasn't really been much of a vacation though. For one thing, I subbed about four of those days, and for another, I've been really working on my house. For a third, I started a new job at the library a few hours a week. So, this week has been anything but typical.

My main focus, though, has been the house. It's needed it for a while, but to be honest, the job seemed so big, I wasn't sure where to start. So, I sort of put it off, telling myself I'd do it next week. You know how that goes!

Well, I had the time, and I knew I needed to get it done. So my days have been spent cleaning out drawers, making piles to throw away, give away and sell. I spent Tuesday (the day I was supposed to be writing this post) up on a ladder painting my bathroom. (I still have paint in my hair). It's been a little crazy.

But it felt good to get things accomplished. Really good.

I would like to tell you my normal day involves me moving forward toward my God-sized dream, that I sit and get hours of writing done, while reaching out and encouraging others, and taking spectacular care of my family.

But I would be lying.

I shared in a previous post that I was having a hard time because I was confused as to what direction I needed to move.

God has been showing me the where I need to move, but I can I just say that the fog that descended on me the week after I found my path was incredible. I was literally paralyzed. I did nothing but the absolutely necessary. I felt like I was moving through pudding every day. I got very little done, nevermind anything to do with a God-sized dream!

For lack of a better word, I felt oppressed - I just didn't realize it.

As I was walking my dog (thank you Kipper for being my prayer/walking partner - I think we've clocked over 1500 miles together), it was like a light went on. THIS was spiritual warfare. I had been feeling incredibly guilty about my "laziness," and I couldn't figure out why, no matter how many lists I made out, I was in this fog all the time. On that walk, as I prayed about this problem, I realized that this was the enemy trying to confuse me (hey, it's not all that hard).

By the time Kipper and I finished that walk, the fog had cleared from my brain. For the first time in about 10 days, I felt like I could think clearly. It was like when you wear glasses and they get fogged up - there is that moment when it clears. Suddenly things came into focus.

God is always good to speak to me in ways I get - I tend to be a bit oblivious at times, so I always ask Him to be super clear. Well, I not only read a great post by Holley Gerth which was a major "ah-ha" moment for me (If you have time, you really should read it) - I also heard a message on the radio. That message seemed to amplify and clarify what I had just read that morning in Holley's post.

I hesitate to share the rest because, well, it makes me feel rather naked and exposed, but if we can't be real with each other, what good is a blog anyway? So, here goes.

About 12 years ago, I started to really study my Bible and not just know ABOUT God, but know Him in a personal, intimate way. Suddenly, He was showing up in my quiet times, and to be really honest, it sort of freaked me out. I mean, GOD was making Himself known to ME in real, tangible ways. It was a little intense. I'm sort of laid back. I don't usually do intense.

As time went on, I got more and more excited about what God was showing me in the Bible. I loved to share with other women what He showed me. I got almost giddy. I told God I would walk through whatever door and speak to whoever He wanted me to. I got several opportunities. As I got more opportunities though, something ugly started growing inside of me.

It was called pride.

I have never had an issue with standing in front of people and talking. I know fear of speaking in public is a high on the list of phobias for lots of people, but it's not one of mine. For as fearful as I can be about other things, it's sort of ironic that public speaking is not something I've ever struggled with. In fact, when I was still a preschooler, I would stand on a table and lead the singing in Sunday school (usually with a little tap dancing thrown in for good measure). When I was 5 years old, I stood in front of a large crowd at a Word of Life camp and shared my testimony. I think they had to pry the microphone out of my grubby little fist.

I liked the spotlight, and I enjoyed basking in it, getting compliments and accolades. Basically, I wanted to be the next Beth Moore. (I'll pause now while you finish laughing).

This is not to say that if you do something you shouldn't do your best. This isn't about false modesty either. God gives us skills and abilities to use, and acting like we don't have any is sort of a slap in His face. But the purpose of those gifts isn't to glorify yourself.

I apparently hadn't gotten that note, though. It wasn't all at once, and I certainly didn't set out to be puffed up with pride. However, I found myself comparing myself with others, thinking I was all that and a bag of chips. When someone else spoke, a sly whisper hissed in my ear, "You could do better than that. Why didn't they ask you?" I started to feel convicted, but I didn't want to look my sin in the face. Instead, I sort of just glanced at it sideways, justifying and rationalizing my responses in my mind. I mouthed all the right phrases and tried to appear humble, but in my heart, that seed of pride had sprouted into a full blown weed.

After a particular speaking engagement (I use that word loosely), I won't say I heard an audible voice, but God very clearly told me that I wouldn't be getting the platform again until we (meaning He and I) had gotten this issue under control. Pride has no place in ministry of any kind. So, I ended up not teaching anything related to the Bible for several years.

Then a few years ago, my Sunday school class sort of fell into my lap. I had missed teaching God's Word, so I really enjoyed digging into the Scriptures. My joy and excitement in sharing what God was showing me returned.

Still, besides a few devotionals hear and there, I basically just taught my Sunday school class - and I was content with that. I put the dream of speaking aside. In fact, as time went on, my thirst for the spotlight went away. I thought I would much rather write and for people to see my words - not me.

All this brings me to the other day. I was folding underwear, and I was listening to a radio program. As I folded and listened, God handed me back my dream of speaking. I started to cry. (I am not a big crier but when God speaks to me, I become an absolute watering pot).

Then, through my tears, I started to laugh. Only God would choose to give somebody a dream while they were folding underwear. Ah, the divine in the ordinary - God is the master of that. He is the master of taking ordinary people doing ordinary things and using them for extraordinary things.

The idea of putting this post out there, of sharing this dream that I really didn't think God would ever give back to me, is pretty scary. I have no idea what this will look like. I have no idea where or when God will open doors. I know it doesn't replace my writing dream, but will probably come along side it. I'm pretty sure the written word will always be my primary medium. I also know that part of me - a big part, if I'm honest - wants to linger in the shadows and avoid any spotlight. I mean, what if I start thinking I'm all that again? I suppose that is probably what God was waiting for all along though. It's kind of difficult for God to shine through me if I'm full of myself.

So, all this takes me back to the question of what an ordinary day for me look like. The truth is with God no day is ordinary. You just never know when He will show up - it can even be when you're folding your husband's jockey shorts.

~ Blessings, Bronte

Friday, March 22, 2013


Here it is Friday again and time for 5 Minute Friday where we write for 5 minutes (no editing or fretting about perfection) on one word. Then we all link up here. So, let's get started!

I love the Old Testament. It's full of very exciting, interesting and sometimes, downright bizarre stories. It makes me gasp, cry and laugh out loud at times. The people in those stories are so real and flawed and yet God used them anyway.

The one thing I always sort of puzzled about was God's insistence that people build little alters or mounds. I kept thinking as I read - what does a pile of rocks do for anyone.

But as always, God has a purpose in His directions to His people. Those piles of rocks were memorials - we see them all over the Bible. God asked Abraham, Moses and various others to build an alter or a memorial after He did something in their lives - gave direction, provided food or water, protected them.

Why? Was it some kind of ego trip for God or something? Nope - it's because our memories are short. Sometimes, really short.

Right after the children of Israel cross the Red Sea - I mean we're talking a few days at most - they come to a spring of water. They are dying of thirst (since it's a desert, that's not just an expression either), and are bitterly (excuse the pun here) disappointed to find the waters of Mara, well, bitter. Immediately, they start to complain and tell Moses they were better off in Egypt and why did he lead them out here to die next to water they can't even drink. (this is a recurring them - not the water but the "we were better off in Egypt" thing).

Um, excuse me - didn't you JUST walk across a sea on dry ground? Didn't God just defeat the mightiest army on the planet for you without breaking a sweat? Heck, right before that, God got them out of slavery that had bound them for hundreds of YEARS - and the people who enslaved them gave them all of their gold and valuables as a send off.

But God can't help you out with a some drinking water. Really???

I can point my finger all I want at the Israelites. I can sigh and roll my eyes at their short term memory loss. But am I any different?

How many times has God provided what I needed, when I needed it? The answer, in case you were wondering is A LOT. Yet, the next time something rolls around, how many times do I choose worry or fretting instead of faith and trust?

This is one of the reasons I blog. It's one of the reasons I journal. I wanted a written testament of God's goodness and His faithfulness because I too have a very short memory.

A few months ago, I was feeling a bit down and forgotten, so I decided to read over my blog from the beginning. I've been blogging since 2009. Anyway, as I read, tears streamed down my face as I was reminded once again of God's answers, His provision, His guidance, His amazing involvement in my life.

So, I guess God was on to something when He asked the Israelites to build memorials. He knew their memories were short. He knew they needed reminding to remember HIs faithfulness. Just like I need to stop and remember, too.

What do you do to remember how God's been good to you?

~ Blessings, Bronte

p.s. hop on over to Lisa Jo Baker's site and read other people's thoughts on the word "remember."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


One thing I love about God is He often speaks or moves in my life in unexpected ways. During a down day or week or month, or let's face it, a year in some cases, He will show up like a beam of sunlight breaking through dark clouds to shine a spot of joy into my life.

I remember when I was still in school, I would have these unexpected moments of pure joy. They seemed unattached to anything going on around me. I'd just have this moment when I was enveloped in this feeling of pure joy - like a small glimpse of heaven touched my heart. I remember marveling at these moments even then, thinking how cool it was that God gave me those little gifts even on days when it felt like the sky was falling (and honestly, in middle school that was pretty much every day in my drama queen little world lol).

As I went into adulthood, I was often buoyed up by my hope for what God was going to do next. I eagerly looked at the bend in the road, hugging myself with the anticipation of what might lie ahead. It gave me great joy to wonder, to dream, to thrill with anticipation. You just never knew what might be coming.

In the past few years though, slowly, gradually without my even realizing it my expectations have dimmed. Those moments of expectation became more sporadic and tinged with cynicism. My moments of joy came farther apart. Sure, I had moments when God would speak to me or move or show me something and that beam of light would break through into the monotony of the daily grind, but those moments seemed to come more and more rarely to me.

Nothing truly horrible had happened - nobody had cancer or had died or anything like that, but a series of small things combined with a packed busy schedule had chipped away at that spirit of expectation I used to carry into each day, until somewhere along the way I laid it down by the side of the road. Sure, I kept walking the path, but instead of bubbles of frothy anticipation, bends in the road just brought me worry as I contemplated what would be waiting for me just out of sight. Instead of expecting good things, I had unintentionally started to brace myself for the negative.

Not that long ago, I was listening to Alistair Begg on the radio. He was talking about when our hope is in circumstances, then we were bound to be disappointed and eventually lose that hope, BUT to hope in a Person - now that never brought disappointment. It was independent of circumstances or difficulties. Instead that hope was fixed on Christ - who never changes, who is always faithful, who never fails us.

This week, as part of our God-sized dream assignment we were supposed to write about something that brings us joy. As I thought about what brings me joy, a lot of things went through my head - my husband, my children, my family, my friends, finding that perfect phrase or just reading a really good book. But honestly, with out that sense of hopeful anticipation - that expectation of God's goodness, I don't experience a lot of joy.

It's easy to let this world and all the things that come along with living in it steal both our hope and our joy. In fact, it's often not the really big things, but the small, nagging things that suck out our joy. I remember a saying about even though mosquitoes are tiny, they can cause a lot of misery. Song of Solomon talks about the little foxes in the vineyard. Often it's the little things - like pebbles in our shoes - that can wear away our joy and our hope.

But ultimately, my hope and my joy is found in God - not circumstances. When I make the choice to focus on Him, the joy follows not far behind.

"I would have despaired unless I believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalms 27:13

The emphasis is mine - you'll notice David is looking for God's goodness, not on the other side heaven but right here - in the land of the living. It's okay to to wait with great expectations for God's goodness, right here, today. God wants us to look to Him with great, joyful, hopeful expectation so He can surpass it. And knock our socks off. :)

How has God shown you His goodness today?

~ Blessings, Bronte

Thursday, March 14, 2013


In a perfect world, everyone we dealt with would be kind, considerate and sweet, but we all live in the real world. In a perfect world, everyone we interacted with would like us and think we were pretty cool, but we all live in the real world.

The fact is, we come in contact with difficult people every day, people who maybe don't like us for whatever reason or act in a way that is rude or annoying. I'm going to make a confession here - there are days when people's behavior or words annoy, hurt or upset me. I am not always filled with the milk of human kindness.

The thing is though, as much as I'd like it to be different, the only person's behavior I have any control over is my own. So, even when faced with the difficult, I have a choice to make. I can give in to my all too human feelings of irritation and become difficult myself. Or I can choose to be gracious - which in hindsight, I'm always glad I did, but isn't always so easy to do in the moment.

I've come up with five things to do when dealing with a difficult person.

1. Smile and look them in the eye. You aren't responsible for their behavior, so there's no reason to act ashamed or uncomfortable. Let them deal with the after effects of their behavior.

2. Be confident in what you are doing at that moment. Another person's actions don't detract from who you are. Their actions don't define who you are.

3. Be clear on who you answer to (especially if it isn't them!) Especially if it is a work situation, keep it in the forefront of your mind that the person being difficult doesn't have any authority over you. You don't have to answer to them.

4. Be kind but firm - in other words, don't let yourself be bullied. This doesn't mean you need to be nasty, but it also doesn't mean you have to lay down and write welcome on your forehead either. Being gently firm usually works.

5. Keep the overall goal in mind - don't let their obnoxiousness make you lose your focus. What are you there to do? What is the goal? Keep that in front of you and keep heading in that direction.

So, how do you deal with the difficult people in your life? I'd love to hear about it!

~ Blessings, Bronte

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Today's God-sized Dream post is to tell everyone what you want more of. As I thought about this post, a lot of things flitted through my mind because, to be honest, there are a lot of things I want more of - more patience, more graciousness, most listening and less talking, more trust, more stillness - but like Goldilocks, none of those seemed just right for this post.

Then I knew - I want know God more, to experience His presence more.

I don't mean that in a strange, lights flash, angels appearing way (although that would be very cool). I mean I want to KNOW God more. I want to be taken a little deeper into His intimacy. I hesitate to write this because it sort of makes it sound like I'm trying to be uber spiritual, and I am not.

The truth is, in the past few months, my quiet times have not been quiet and still - they've been rushed, harried and sometimes just not at all. I've been in this odd place of hurry and paralysis which you can read about in my previous post - and it made me a little distant from God. He never moved, but I did. I was a little put out that He would let me get on this team and then refused to show me which way He wanted me to go. Even though I asked - a lot!

Turns out He had already told me; I had just figured my way made more sense.

Since I realized how I was insisting on my own way, the way that made sense to me over what God had asked of me, my quiet times have had a new sweetness and well, quietness.

I love that! I didn't realize how much I missed that sweet communion until it was there again. I would like to say that I am just super spiritual, but I'm not. I've just gotten hooked on God's presence in my life.

I love the life of Moses - probably because I can relate so well. I may not have been an Egyptian prince or a fugitive, but I get the whole fear and anger issues Moses dealt with. I can also relate to something else about Moses - Moses wanted to see God.

He craved His presence so much, he asked to see God's glory. God allowed Moses to see the back of Him while God hid Moses in the crevice of a rock and covered him up with His hand. He told Moses that if Moses saw His full glory, Moses wouldn't live through it. Moses came down and his face shone so much he totally freaked the children of Israel out and had to wear a veil. People do tend to look at you a bit askance when God's reflected glory is shining out from your face. Some people will want to know why, but others will avoid you because it makes them uncomfortable.

Another time, God was so disgusted with the Israelites that He told Moses that He would send an angel with them and let Moses claim the Promised Land, but he'd have to go without God's presence. Moses refused to budge, saying he wouldn't go anywhere without God.

Moses had a lot of faults, but the one thing I love about his life was his continued desire to be in God's presence, to see God's glory.

I like to think that at the end of his life (this is just my imagination NOT actual Scripture, btw), as the people he had led so faithfully were preparing to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land, and Moses was headed up the mountain , that the last thing he saw was the God's glory in all its dazzling fullness - that he died having gotten his dearest wish. To see, really see, God's glory and His presence.

So, what do I want more of? I want God's presence, His glory, the intimate knowledge of Him in my life. I want people to see God's glory reflected in my face. Because really, without Him, my dreams lose their shininess, their sparkle, their very purpose. Without God's abiding presence in my life, everything else just doesn't matter anyway.

"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence, there is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Psalms 16:11

Blessings, Bronte

Join us at Holley Gerth's link up and read about what other dreamers want more of in their lives!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


When I was little, I didn't talk very much until I was about three years old. Then, I proceeded to talk in full sentences and paragraphs with quite a good vocabulary for a toddler.

My mom will tell you that she thinks I was waiting until I figured out how to do it the right way before I started to really speak.

I think my mom is on to something. All my life, I have gone at my own pace. I have always hated being pushed into doing things I didn't feel ready for - take those swimming lessons. Being forced - on the first day of class when I was terrified of water - to jump from the diving board into the deep end was the absolute WORST way to get me to learn to swim. Instead, my Dad helped me learn at my own pace, in my own way.

My mom has always said I march to the beat of my own drum - and that's pretty much true. I tend to circle around things, approaching from the side rather than head on. I want to see things from all angles, try things my own way rather than the prescribed set of instructions. People breathing down my neck, micro-managing me makes me want to rebel. Pushing me (even when it's MYSELF doing the pushing which I'm sure a psychologist would have a field day with) just makes me stubbornly dig my heels in or worse freeze in panic.

So, that brings me to an epiphany I had today. See, in December, I found out I had been chosen to be on Holley Gerth's God Sized Dream Team. Holley Gerth happens to be a best-selling Christian author with a high traffic blog and a sought after speaker.

I was beside myself with excitement. At last, my dreams of being a writer were going to come true! It was a God thing that I got chosen out of all those applicants.

January 1st came (coincidentally the first day of our link up on Holley's blog) and I was dizzy with excitement. I was ready to start running the path.

The only problem was, I wasn't sure what path exactly I was supposed to be running. There are a lot of different kinds of writing and multiple means of sharing that writing.

Was I supposed to overhaul my blog and drive more traffic there? Was I supposed to start a new blog with a new focus? Was I supposed to write articles, Bible studies, short stories, essays or even (let my heart be still) a novel?

I felt like I was standing in the middle of a woods with trails leading in all directions into trackless forest and I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to pick one. Right now. But uncertainty made me paralyzed.

What if I started down the wrong path and got hopelessly lost? What if I blew this opportunity?

Suddenly, I could hear the clock ticking in my head - I only had six months on the God sized dream team and I needed to make the most of it. I felt panic bubble up inside me and every day I got up with the intention to be productive.

But somehow, I was getting nothing done besides my weekly articles for our local paper. I felt like a dog chasing his tail - expending a lot of energy getting nowhere and experiencing a lot of frustration in the process.

On the one hand, I had a clear call from God to write and my understanding was that there were two things I needed to write: fiction and about the stories of the daily difference God makes in my life and those I am privileged to meet.

On the other hand, there was one little problem - finances. I felt like I was expending a lot of energy for little monetary return at the paper. Yes, I got some good feedback from people in the community. Yes, I was helping people who had something to share get the word out, but the bottom line was I was tired. Weekly deadlines for years tend to do that to a person. Not to mention, our need for more income continued to nag at the back of my mind. (the amount I am paid is pretty standard for a newspaper stringer - it's just the bottom of the freelance food chain).

Ideally - at least in my mind- I wanted to find a part time job that I enjoyed but that I could leave at work at the end of the day. On my days off, I could concentrate on my own writing. But every place I applied, while I was told I was in the top couple candidates, never worked out.

So, I decided that I would create a freelance career. I could make good money writing and wasn't that what I wanted anyway - to make a living from my pen? Yes, my fiction and other writing would have to take a back seat for a while, but I needed to establish my career. I decided since I love all things dogs, that would be my niche and I'd become a pet expert. I even came up with a cute name for my future blog base - Come.Sit.Stay.

Yet, it didn't feel right to me. I was restless. I found other things to do and procrastinated getting started. I tried to shove away my doubts, telling myself that hey, it's outside my comfort zone - that's why I feel this way.

Then this morning I read two blog posts from fellow God-sized dreamers. One was Laurie Wallin's here and one was Carey Bailey's here.

From Laurie's post I realized that I wanted things to be easy. The newspaper job a lot of times was hard and stressful - people bailed when a deadline loomed, photographers didn't show up, or a story fell through at the last minute - but no matter how many times I have tried to leave, God has blocked my path.

From Carey's post, in which she talked about Sarai trying to force her dream into her own mold, how she thought it would be, a light bulb went on in my head. Because of the things I thought I should do - like make more money and be what I termed "successful" in my writing career - I was trying to force the dream God gave me into a shape that just didn't fit. I was pushing myself in the wrong direction and while logic said that direction made sense, my dreamer heart knew differently.

Earlier this week, I talked to a woman who is a life coach, and when I explained my chosen direction, she said to me, "Honey, don't take this the wrong way, but you need to ditch the dogs. That's not where your heart is." I knew she was right, but I resisted.

It seemed logical - after all, you don't make money writing fiction or even spiritual blog posts. I'm no Anne Voskamp. And I felt this urgency to hurry up and DO something that would give me a tangible return - increased income - before my six months on the dream team was up.

But the thing is, while I could write good, informative articles for pet owners and I do love to help friends with training and socializing tips - that's NOT what God has called me to. That's not really my God-sized dream.

It's hard to give up the safe writing route though - I feel kind of like hyperventilating just thinking that - because it seems a lot more sure, a lot more reliable than writing stories. Writing stories almost sounds childish doesn't it? Not something an adult does as a job, surely.

But, God has called me to write stories - stories that are magical and touch people in a way that even a really good, informative piece of journalism can't. Why? Because, for most of us, we connect with stories more than facts. Let's face it, way more people have read The Chronicles of Narnia than Mere Christianity. Sorry, Mr. Lewis.

Even non-fiction pieces benefit from the true stories that make those facts alive and relevant. Which is why God has also called me to share the stories of how God meets me and others in the ordinary and does something extraordinary through my blog, my weekly newspaper column, and probably a written Bible study someday.

The thing is though, I haven't been obedient to God's call. I've put Him off, saying, First I need to... After I do this then I'll write... I've pushed my calling to the bottom of my to do list.

God showed me today though, that until I start doing what He's called me to do, I'll stay stuck at that crossroads in the woods, bewildered and frustrated and never going anywhere.

Instead, God wants me to start down the path He's already clearly marked - it just didn't look as promising or easy as some of the others.

"Two paths diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference. " ~ Robert Frost

Are you on the path God's called you to? If not, it's time to lace up your hiking boots!
~ Blessings, Bronte

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Today we are supposed to write a letter to other God-sized dreamers. To be honest, when I first saw this assignment, I kind of wrinkled my nose. As someone who hasn't realized my own dream, I was wondering what in the world did I have to say that could spur someone else on?

But then I started to think about how being not just a dreamer, but a dream pursuer is hard. Sometimes, encouragement comes just by knowing you aren't alone on the journey.

Dear Dreamer,
I want to thank you for dreaming in the first place. It's hard to be a dreamer in this world. Either you feel like you are all alone or that you are part of such a big crowd, that you just don't matter.

But you do.

Because the thing is, the world desperately needs YOUR story - whatever it is. God created you; He has plans for you. Even if you failed. Even if you think that your story could never help anyone. Even if you think you are too broken or messed up to ever make a difference, never mind have a God-sized dream.

The truth is, God can use anything and anyone - if they just give it all over to Him. If you look through the Bible, God used a lot of very flawed, messy, broken people to accomplish His will for this world.

Abraham - who told everyone his wife was his sister. Moses - who killed a man in cold blood, hid in the desert and then argued that God couldn't possibly know what He was talking about because there was no way, he (Moses) could talk to Pharaoh or lead anyone anywhere. Jacob - who had multiple wives and was a liar to boot. Then there is David - you know, the guy who slept with someone else's wife and then killed him to cover it up.

What about the women in the Bible? Tamar who seduced her father in law dressed as a prostitute, or Rahab, a real prostitute or Ruth, the Moabitess - all were part of Jesus' lineage. Mentioned by name.

Yet, God used them all. He gave them each a God-sized dream and then helped them to fulfill it.

Each person's dream, the way God made them and the desires He put into his or her heart is different. Dreams come in all shapes and sizes.

But what is the same is that God is rooting for you to succeed. I remember listening to a speaker (and I'm so sorry but I can't remember who it is because it was a while ago) and she had a special needs child.

This child did not reach milestones like the other kids. She struggled to do the most basic of things. One day, the little girl sat up - by herself.

While most children her age had long since passed this milestone, her mom was thrilled with her. She clapped her hands, singing out, "That's my girl!"

Sitting up meant so much to that mom because she knew how hard it was for her daughter. She recognized the struggle this seemingly simple thing was for her little girl to accomplish.

So many times, we act like God is up in heaven, tapping His foot impatiently at our fumbling attempts to get things right down here on earth. When we finally do, we think He sighs and rolls His eyes, saying, "It's about time!"

But no- He's clapping His hands and saying "That's my girl!" Because He knows how hard it is for us. He's aware of what being human means.

"For He knows our frame and He is mindful we are but dust." Psalms 34:14

God loves you. He has plans for you. Nobody can tell YOUR story, and somebody NEEDS to hear it - whatever it is.

And when you finally step across into your Promised Land, rest assured that God will be waiting - a huge smile on His face, saying, "That's my girl! Way to go!"

Blessings, Bronte (a fellow dreamer)

Friday, March 1, 2013


Today, at Gypsy Mama it's 5 Minute Friday - that day where we write on the topic at hand for five minutes, uncensored and unedited. Our word today is "ordinary."

Ordinary is something we all take for granted until things aren't. Last fall, my youngest son suddenly started exhibiting extreme anxiety and OCD-like symptoms. He literally went from being fine one day to being a seemingly completely different child the next.

To say it was scary is an understatement. We prayed. We talked to doctors. We even visited a Christian psychologist. We asked questions and tried to find out what could have happened to produce this drastic change. Nothing seemed to help and he only seemed to get worse and we had no answers.

This lasted for about eight weeks and then it gradually subsided. He got better. He still has moments of anxiety, especially if he isn't feeling well, but overall, he's back to himself.

I remember the day that my hope returned. He had a friend over - the first in a while because you can't have another sixth grader over when your sixth grader spends several hours sobbing every day - and I heard his laughter.

I cried.

It had been at least a month since I had seen him smile, never mind laugh. The ordinary sound of laughter that I had taken for granted so many times - now it was a gift.

During that scary time, I wished with all my heart for the ordinary. It's so easy to take our days for granted - the gentle rhythm of each day, the passing of weeks, months and seasons. It easy to even feel a sense of boredom or wish for things to be more exciting or different. It's so easy to rely on the fact that tomorrow will be like today - ordinary

But then it isn't.

Suddenly, in the face of an accident or a diagnosis or something like we faced, ordinary starts to look pretty good after all.

The fact is, most of life happens in the ordinary. It's a place that can be full of joy and contentment. I know I'll never take ordinary for granted again.
~ Blessings, Bronte

p.s. My son experienced something called PANDA. You can find out more about it here