Dirty Ferraris, a Siren and a Cat in a Bathtub

It all makes sense, I promise.  

No, I didn’t win a Ferrari.  I’ve been down since about 4am Monday morning with that stomach bug plaguing the country.  I read somewhere it has been labeled the “Ferrari of Viruses.” I can’t remember why, but I’m pretty sure it’s the closest I’ll ever get to being related to anything with the word Ferrari, so I’ll take it.  I lost a total of, like, 5 lbs and haven’t been to a WOD since last Friday.  Wishing I could head over to Crossfit tonight, but I’m still kinda weak.  I did  return to work today, which has proven to be a workout in itself.  Getting caught up on 4 days worth of stuff is enough to make anyone wanna go back to bed.

I’m pretty darn excited, though.  I finally got the guts to take one of my passions and make it official(ly taxable)!! I’ve been redoing some furniture for fun and throwing it on Facebook, and buying/selling furniture for some extra cash.  However, I’ve been feeling a new calling that I’d never seen coming until recently.  My business is called The Siren (get it? Police? Siren? Yeah? No? Whatever…just pretend), and I feel like I’m meant to make it even bigger than it has been.  How? No idea.  When? No clue.  All I know is the Commonwealth and IRS now recognize it as taxable, and I’d sure hate to let down Uncle Sam.  So, I’ll be praying about some way to afford a lot more stock and more time to invest in it.  I also feel I should donate 10% of all sales to a police related organization (because…”Siren”…never mind). All this time off on the couch has given me a lot of time to invest in reading up on business tax laws, research wholesale companies and get some things organized. You can find it here.

Which leads me to cats in bathtubs. That’s how I feel right now.  Completely out of place.  I went today at lunch and sat in a Church of Christ parking lot for about 30 minutes.  I’d originally told my LEO to meet me there, and he got a weird call that took him away.  I didn’t really have time to tell him all the things I’d wanted to.  Suddenly, I realized where I was and that perhaps God was clearing my schedule.  So I vented a lot and cried a little. 

Our sermon last Sunday was a great reminder that we can “think” what we want and “pray” something else- but God knows our hearts.  No matter what pretty prayer we piece together, it doesn’t really fool the interpreter, thereof.  I’m reminded of the people wandering behind Moses.  Those guys did NOT mind griping at all and, eventually, it wore on some nerves.  However, what if they hadn’t? What if they’d half-heartedly praised God and, yet, inside felt the disappointment and disdain their short-sighted human minds could only perceive?  Would God have been fooled? Really? Um…I’m going with no.  To me, that’s a blessing.  I don’t have to be fake with God. Can you imagine being obligated to say the right thing to a God who only knew what you told Him? I have enough trouble communicating to my husband what I want, sometimes. Trying to explain to God these life changing needs and wants would be a complete catastrophe.  So, knowing he could interpret my words better than I could speak him, I told him exactly what I was thinking. I whined and told him I needed him to help me out.  

We’ll see.  Still praying for my own cruiser and to see my Siren business lifted off the ground, but well aware that I’m blessed where I am.  What I need is a compass.  No, let’s be honest.  What need is a bright, blinking neon sign.  I mean, He’s done burning bushes before, right? I’m cool with that.  

Just- something.  Would appreciate a prayer for patience, diligence, discernment and…did I mention patience? Yeah. Some of that.

-Brandi

I want it nooowwww!

It’s 9:27.  Not in the morning…at night.  Little man is insistent that the end of the world will probably happen if he isn’t allowed a bowl of ice cream.  I decide to take my chances with the apocalypse.

“But…mama!”
“No.  You’re supposed to be in bed.  Isn’t that where you were 3 1/2 minutes ago?”
“But..MAMA!”
“I want you to have ice cream- but not right now.  Tomorrow.  It’s bedtime.”

My LEO and I have been trying to get a new truck.  He needs something bigger, but circumstances have not been favorable to us being able to afford one right away.  After all, I married a cop and there are trade offs for the super studly duty belt and cool lights on his car.  The day before the Battle of the Ice Cream Bowls, we had found the perfect truck and were so excited to get the news about whether or not we’d be riding it down the highway the next morning.  Well, we wouldn’t be.

That night, my prayer sounded very familiar.

“But GOD… we NEEDED that truck.”

Really? I mean, he has one that currently runs okay, so we aren’t really in need of the truck.

“But we want it now!”

Ah.  There it is.  The root of the actual problem.  What I want and what God knows we need are, often, two very different things.  Much like my conversation with little man, I believe He wants us to have good things.  I believe that because Jesus said so in Matthew:

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing.” I can do that.

(By the way, the next day, little man totally scored chocolate chip cookie dough Ben and Jerry’s at his Mamaw’s. Don’t feel too bad for him!)

Sending love,

-Brandi

Only a Test?

I smile a lot.

Not just because I’m generally a happy person, but because I often feel like I’m on Candid Camera, and I want to make sure they’ve got my best side. Unfortunately, no one has come out of the woodwork to tell me I was going to be a television star.  Maybe my whole life is on Candid Camera? Maybe this is The Truman Show? Maybe I need some chocolate.  Yeah, that’s probably it.

Sometimes, though, you have to wonder.  Are these people for real? Is this how they live their daily lives? Can they vote? Do they really have a drivers license? When do I meet Snookie?  On the other hand, I’ve often found myself in the same herd as “those” people.  Making silly decisions and asking why they don’t salt the inside of a sunflower seed instead of wasting it on the outside.  My poor husband can attest to the many things he’s restrained himself from posting on Facebook.

Other times, the situations aren’t so entertaining. I frequently check in on a blog called Neon Fresh and, a couple of days ago, the author (Roo) posted about an experience she had with a rep from her credit card company that ended up making her lose her patience.  Her Preacher’s wife told her that these moments were to be thought of as character tests, and she should think that her only job is to pass them.

Bam.

Character is defined as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” In the past couple of weeks, I’ve faced a few of these character tests.  Some of them are repeatedly issued. I’d be willing to say we face them nearly daily.  Boss is a jerk? Character test.  Lady in front of you in the 25 items or less line has 43 items? Character test.  Son spilled Kool-Aid on the new white carpet? Character, patience and does-nature-really-make-me-want-to-protect-my-young test.  I’d have to admit, I’ve not always passed these tests (except the last one. His carpet may have some new red tie-dye, but he doesn’t seem to mind).  In fact, as I grow daily, I often find in reflection ways that would have been much more effective in coping with these situations.  I talk about them.  Out loud. To myself in the shower.  It’s not weird.  Right? Totally not weird.

What Roo’s blog didn’t say, but what I was haunted by, was what comes next.  After passing a character test, I think we’re often tasked with a “Grace” test.

The word “Grace” comes from the latin “gratia” meaning “pleasing or thankful.”  In the above situations, being “pleasing” and/or “thankful” are not my immediate reactions.  No… screaming, yelling and dirty looks come so much more inherently. While Christian character is defined by the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23– “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”), I don’t always find my own imperfect heart defaulting to these things.  It’s a process.  As God strips away the old, He doesn’t do it secretly (and, it’s not always painless).  Often, as I’ve heard said, He issues the test before the lesson. And, why not? Shouldn’t we clearly see what we’re lacking before trying to understand how we can improve?

Yesterday, I had a character test and today I’m facing my grace test.  After a terrible day at work, I went home and cried. Like a baby.  I don’t cry a lot, but when I do the flood gates open.  It was loud enough that my husband came running into our bedroom to see what was going on.  He’s the strong, silent type.  So he did what he does best- he listened.

This morning, I woke up with a still heavy heart. I dreaded coming in today and I wanted to avoid contact with the boss all together.  I talked to God on my commute  and whined some more.  “But, I don’t deserve to be treated this way.  I give respect to others, so why am I not seeing that reflected in my direction? What gives anyone the right to be such a jerk?”  I was reminded of someone else that faced a lot of opposition that He didn’t deserve.  Then my prayer changed a bit.  I asked that God give me the words to say as I walked into the Lion’s den.  Make every word count.  Make them a reflection of my status as a daughter of the King.  I prayed for my boss and for his well being.

Today, my task is to be a light and show grace when I have the opportunity.  It’s hard and it’s bitter and it would be so much easier to be hateful.  However, all that does is give way to the snowball effect.

So, today I’ll smile and remind myself to show mercy when the opportunity is offered to me.  I may not end up on some random Camera TV show, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an audience.

Some thoughts:

  • Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:11-12
  •  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, -Matthew 5:44
  •  The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.-2 Timothy 2:24-26
  • Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. –James 1:12

Sending Love,

Brandi

Once Upon a Time…

Isn’t that the way most great stories start out?

I’ve been debating a blog for several years.  This was not a decision I came to quickly, though most of my decisions are (yes, that explains a lot of my adventures of which you’ll undoubtedly learn).  No, this was something I wanted to pray about.  So pray about it I did until, one day, it was no longer something I could ignore.

My heart is here, and I’m glad you’re joining me.

I am a 27 year old mama of one (my little man will be a whopping four years old in July).  I’m married to a police officer in Western Kentucky and I work in radio, currently.  While I’m no longer on the air, I manage the day to day business side of things.  My aspirations include my own pair of cuffs and a shiny cruiser.  That’s all in God’s time.

I look forward to hearing from you as well!!

Hugs,

Brandi

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