brittleeallen

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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The Wait of All Waits

The Wait of All Waits

It seems the theme of my life as of late is “wait.” Wait for answers, for healing, for change, for restoration, for desires and dreams. Wait. Slow down. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

Waiting comes in many sizes, shapes, and circumstances. Two people may be waiting for the exact same thing and yet the circumstances and complexities of their lives make for two remarkably different stories of longing. Sometimes God withholds, placing you in a season of waiting as you wrestle to understand why. Other times, we place ourselves there in order to walk in wisdom.

Regardless, waiting can be hard. It makes the heart yearn and long more with each passing day, month, year. Parents might long for their wayward child to turn to the Lord. A wife might yearn for an end to her husband’s suffering. There are women who deeply hope to carry life in their wombs. Others thought they’d have their second baby by now.…

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Unknowns are a Gift

Unknowns are a Gift

I’m not great at a lot of things, but some people say I’m pretty good at planning. I planned my own wedding, I’ve planned over twenty bridal and baby showers. I plan game nights, birthday parties, brunches, and teas. I’m also good at planning out my life. In my head I plan when and where we will move, how many children we hope to have, family vacations, dates, anniversaries—so many things to plan! The problem is, my plans don’t always align with God’s plans (Who knew?!). 

Like the time I became an ex-fiance at the age I’d planned to marry. Or the many times I’ve had to cancel plans due to a flare-up of my chronic stomach pain. Or like this week, when we discovered three (benign) tumors on my spine in the middle of multiple major life decisions. My plans are shifting. 

Honestly, I’m okay with that. I see evidence all around me of how God’s plans are abundantly better than anything I could dream up.…

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Spring’s Gospel Presentation

Spring’s Gospel Presentation

Here in Ohio, we’re experiencing what we like to call “fool’s Spring.” It’s where the weather suddenly goes from wintery mix to blue skies. The warmth upon your face from the sun above might trick a fool into thinking it’s the real deal only to crush your dreams in a few days when the temperature drops again. It’s a taste of Spring, anyway, and I’m not complaining. 

It stirs my mind to ponder the little “tastes” of what heaven will be like, where flowers never fade and life reigns eternally. We see glimpses of it now in the revival of dead grass and baby bunnies due to frolic in our yard in the coming weeks. I can’t help but hear the song of redemption in the melody of the birds. New branches begin to form on desolate rose bushes and all I can think of is the power of the gospel, calling dead sinners to new life in Christ.…

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Stuck Between Sin and a Heart Change

Stuck Between Sin and a Heart Change

I’m in the middle.

I bet you’ve been in the middle before too. That frustrating point between God’s revealing of a need for change and a heart that’s struggling to get there. The part in sanctification where you feel exposed—you see your sin and you’re doing all the right, practical things to grow, but the knowledge is taking its sweet time making its way from head to heart. Maybe you’re even frustrated, like me, that you’ve not grown more by this point—that none of your efforts seem to make a difference.

“Why won’t you just change me God?!” He’s sovereign. He could say a word and make my heart feel differently. And yet, in the middle of seeing my sin and feeling my heart change is where my feet still stand.

I’ve listened to the sermons, I’ve prayed and prayed, I’ve studied applicable passages, but I still find myself at the feet of Jesus, begging for his help, asking him to free me.…

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