brittleeallen

A Safe Place from Wounding Words

A Safe Place from Wounding Words

Have you ever decided to open up to those around you only to have them use your honesty as ammo? What happens when someone who is supposed to protect and love you wounds you so deeply you begin to question everything? Maybe it was a friend, a fellow church member, or even a pastor. You start to wonder who can you trust? Who won’t use your honesty, vulnerability, struggle, or grief against you? Their words may even cause you to question your identity or worse, your salvation. Is there anyone you can run to now?

Friend, there is. You can run to your Lord who sees. More than that, he cares. He knows the nitty gritty details of your pain—the words that wounded you that you can’t share. He sees how confused you are and the questions racing through your mind. The injustice you’ve experienced is not lost on him.…

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The Storms that Flood the Fruit

The Storms that Flood the Fruit

Years ago, on a whim, I grabbed a bag of zinnia seeds and scattered its contents into the empty earth of my flower bed. A few weeks later, after I’d just lost our first baby at 9 weeks, they began to bloom.

The tall sea of flowers became a sort of oasis for me. Bright corals, deep reds, and unique pinks sprung up before my eyes singing songs of life at a time when death felt so close—so, within me. I cherished these blooms, clipped and gathered them to my heart like I would’ve the little one we lost. I stared at them for long moments, savoring the gifts God was giving me through them. Gifts like perseverance, remembrance, and abiding joy. 

That was six years ago and each year since I’ve anticipated the last Ohio frost so I can push tiny seeds into the earth and watch God work.…

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Sin has Stolen Much; Christ will Restore it All

Sin has Stolen Much; Christ will Restore it All

I felt them coming. The tears. The ones that had been threatening to flow from my eyes all morning as we prepared to go to the church we were visiting.

It was there, in the corner of the nursery and surrounded by strangers and small children, that the dam broke. The more I fought it, the more the tears streamed down my face.

Honestly, in the moment I couldn’t tell you why I was crying. But now, weeks later, I’ve realized those tears were a declaration.

“It’s not meant to be this way.”

I transitioned into motherhood just months after experiencing one of the most painful conflicts I’ve ever walked through. Then a few months after our son was born, we entered a never-ending pandemic. I don’t think about it much, but it really has stolen a lot. It was a thief of my son entering the nursery at a less anxious age, learning how to sit still at restaurants, and attending more play dates.…

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Nothing Bitter, Only Sweet

Nothing Bitter, Only Sweet

My view from the couch was perfect. Ahead of me were one set of big arms and one set of little arms, clapping and shaking high above the heads that belonged to each body. Legs jumped and shuffled to the music and an unbreakable smile spread across my face. Joy. 

The arms and legs in question belonged to my dear husband and our sweet baby boy. Only, he’s not so much a baby now. He’s two, and those once chubby legs and arms have lengthened and grown skinnier, reminding me that time flies and everything changes.

Me? Well, my extremities are the same, but my belly is rounding out again, telling to the world around me a story of creation and life and love. In just five short months (Lord willing), another baby will emerge from my cramped and dark womb and enter a bright and big world. Obviously, this is exciting news.…

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When a Writer Can’t Write

When a Writer Can’t Write

I haven’t watered my plants in weeks. As I type, yellow leaves dangle in the wind moving back and forth, hanging by a thread until finally giving up. Next to the leaves, bright red peppers rot right on the vine. Somehow, despite the lack of water, fresh green leaves with tiny buds adorn the top. My half-dead plants remind me of my writing life lately. I’ve got ideas and words and phrases hanging out in my head but no energy to bring them earthbound. Most of the lessons are still being learned and I simply find myself being unable to share much. 

What does a writer write about when she can’t say much?

I could write about grief, hurt, confusion, and discouragement.
I could write about how it feels like my body is failing in my 30s.
I could write about mom guilt and worry over missed milestones and social struggles.…

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Church Search is the Worst Search

Church Search is the Worst Search

Recently, I shared on Instagram that my husband and I left the church we never thought we’d leave and are searching for a new one. A gal who follows me requested I share about our church search in my newsletter. As I thought about it, I realized I don’t have much to say as of yet. The only words I can seem to find are, it’s hard. Like seriously, it’s really stinkin’ hard.

It’s hard to feel peace over leaving but not know where you’re going yet. It’s hard knowing people don’t understand and not being at liberty to provide explanations (We did not leave because of Covid disagreements, I’ll at least lay that potential rumor to rest here.). It’s hard and yet inevitable that assumptions will be made and even gossip could be spread as you make your exit. The hardest part? Leaving a family of believers you love and never ever thought you’d leave.…

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