brittleeallen

All My Not-Enoughness

All My Not-Enoughness

I see a post on Instagram from another Christian writer and it’s so beautiful and wise and creative. Wish I’d thought of it. I’m not creative enough, I conclude.

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I’m writing a book and sometimes my brain hurts and the words won’t come. I feel overwhelmed by the phrases in my mind and how I can’t seem to make sense of them myself, let alone for my reader. I’m not smart enough, I send in Vox to a friend.

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My son acts out. I know it’s a cry for attention because his baby brother demands so much of me. I snuggle him, play with him, and involve him in activities, but he still requires more. I’m not available enough, I lament.

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My mind is so full of information that I forget appointments, plans, deadlines, medications, or just simply to drink water. Guilt floods my heart in bed because I forgot to put ointment on baby’s rash again.…

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Seasons of Spiritual Drought

Seasons of Spiritual Drought

If you walked the path alongside our house from the driveway, you’d find a patch of dried up wildflowers. Continuing around the corner and past the blue chair on the patio, you’d notice more dead plants in pots as well as a much bigger patch of dried up, shriveled stalks that used to be zinnias. Ah, winter.

I thrive in the summer. Winter just isn’t where it’s at for me. But as I go on my morning walk, I do appreciate what the brown grass and leafless trees preach to me. It’s easy to feel discouraged at the sight of their dormancy. It’s what is unseen that brings me delight and hope. Underneath all that dryness is a life, ready to bloom—to be revived. And it will be revived, soon.

This ushers in hope because it’s a picture of the spiritual drought many Christians walk through. We fear the winter will never let up.…

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Even When I Hate My Body, God Calls it Good

Even When I Hate My Body, God Calls it Good

I said “I hate my body.” 

The words came out like venom. And in that moment, I meant each one. It’s not even just the way my body looks. No, it’s the way it feels. It’s the persistent bloat that presses tightly against even my sized-up jeans. An ever expanding pressure; a ticking time bomb. It’s the searing, twisting cramps that creep slowly through my entire abdomen as we head back home instead of going to small group. It’s the feelings of failure as I hear my baby cry and can’t run to him. Or the pain of his weight on my stomach while nursing him during a flare. It’s the wrestling with God over withheld healing. It’s the frustration of missing out on another family walk. 

It’s the fact that I can’t even capture all the things it does to me in words. It feels like a prison—a place where pain reigns. …

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But I’m Okay (a poem)

But I’m Okay (a poem)

And ever since that day
when I sat in your cold office 
hands on my lap,
ears hearing wounding words,
heart taking heavy blows,

I’m scared to tell someone when 
I’m not okay.

But really,
I’m okay.

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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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So Does This (a poem)

So Does This (a poem)

A single tear
drips
on the bed
as I stare at the white wall we painted when I felt 
hopeful. 

Depression is a funny thing;
you don’t always see it coming.
But it comes
crashing
like those waves at the Outer Banks
that almost drowned me.
We laugh about it now, 
how silly I looked running from the shore.
But it scared me.

And so does this.
So does this.

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