A Sweet Aroma

2 Corinthians 2.15

October 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brandy @ 4:12 pm

The blog has moved!!! come check me out at asweetaroma215.blogspot.com

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Getting married… but not consumed… August 15, 2013

Filed under: Jesus,Joy,love,Miller Love Story,Ministry Journey — Brandy @ 3:20 pm

Well the big news is now public…….. I’M GETTING MARRIED… I’m going to be Mrs. Joel Miller. I’m going to be doing a blog series soon of how the Lord sent this wonderful, godly man into my life! But for now… I want to share something Jesus spoke into my heart yesterday.

See we’ve decided to get married on October 26… this year…. yes, I’m well aware that it is only 2.5 months away… and I’m well aware that most people spend a year planning a wedding. But we don’t want to wait! We’ve been waiting on each other and praying for each other for many many years. We’ve prayed about this and are certain that this is God’s plan for us right now. With that being said… I’ve been a busy girl these last 7 days… With only 73 days left before our wedding, my to do list is endless… but I needed to take a few minutes to share this.

You see Joel and I have made a rule that one evening a week we will have date night and there will be no wedding planning. This is simply because we don’t want to be “consumed” by the wedding. We still want to develop our relationship with each other and spend time preparing for marriage not just the wedding.

Not getting consumed is kind of hard though…. I mean with a wedding right around the corner, it’s so easy to spend all my spare time planning and all my drive time day dreaming. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement and wonder of what marriage is going to be like. I can so quickly find myself completely distracted from my tasks at hand and lost in thoughts of lace and burlap and pearls.

The last couple of days the word “consume” has been continually on  my mind. So do I attempt to not be consumed with the wedding so I can be consumed with our relationship? Or do I not be consumed with our relationship so I can be consumed with work? I’m starting my workout program back up this week but the comment I made is “I don’t want to get consumed with it like I did in March.” But yesterday I could just hear Jesus drawing me back saying “Why would you want to be consumed with anything but Me?”

Consume: to engage fully.

I don’t want to be consumed with anything or anyone besides Jesus! I don’t want to think about anything more than Jesus. Love anything more that Jesus. Dwell on anything more than Jesus. Look forward to anything more than Jesus. Cling to anything more than Jesus. Find enjoyment in anything more than Jesus…. Even in this busy time where I’m on cloud 9 and Jesus is pouring out blessing after blessing… I want to be consumed with HIM! His love. His plan. His thoughts. His perspective. His character. His beauty. His grace. Himself!

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.” – Psalm 73.25

I am so so blessed in life right now. I praise God for sending me such an amazing man who pursues me and loves me and leads me the way Joel does. I am in awe of what God is doing in our lives right now. In that, I always want to remember that where my blessings come from and never fail to praise Him for all that He is and all that He’s doing!

I’m praying that regardless where you are in life you will choose to only be consumed with Christ… Maybe you struggle with being consumed by work, ministry, children, struggles, finances, happiness, relationships, school, fitness, popularity, success… I don’t know what you tend to be consumed with… I find so much more joy when I’m consumed with the One who loves me more than I can imagine.

Brandy 🙂

 

 

Reflecting on what could have been and rejoicing in what is… May 11, 2013

Filed under: hope,Jesus,Joy,Ministry Journey — Brandy @ 4:41 pm

Jesus is clear that there is a cost to following Him… He doesn’t sugar coat it and tell you that you can have all of your dreams and this perfect life and follow Him.
Luke 14.26-27: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
Is the Jesus who comes preaching LOVE telling us to actually hate those closest to us? NO. He’s saying that even the dearest people in our lives, those who we treasure the most should pale in comparison to our adoration for Christ. Our love for them should look like hate in comparison to our love for Jesus.
It’s hard truth but it’s truth… Here’s another tough pill to swallow…
Luke 14.33: “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
We have to be willing to give up anything for the sake of Christ. We have to recognize the cost…
Is my life mainly great? ABSOLUTELY! Is there ever a day I regret my decision to follow Christ’s leading to DE? NO NOT ONE. But I feel it’s also important to recognize the cost…
Sometimes the cost comes for me in telling my family goodbye after a visit or having my grandpa say “when are you coming home again?”
Sometimes it comes in missing my friends and feeling like I don’t have time to connect with them…
Sometimes it comes in the frustration of trying to balance my life…
Sometimes it comes in missing my old church family and the youth kids there….
But this past week the cost came first in missing my sister’s junior prom (not being there to get her ready, do her make-up, have my picture made with her, watch her ride off with her charming date)…
And secondly the cost came in this realization…. If I had stuck to my 10 year plan, I would be graduating with all my friends from Milligan College this weekend with my BSN.
This week as I watched status after status about finishing undergrad, pinning, and graduation… my mind couldn’t help but wander… What would my life have been like if I would have never surrendered to this crazy adventure? I would be walking across a stage this weekend with diploma in hand and celebrating with my awesome friends that we had finally made it…
Oh but what I would have missed out on……..
Check this out: Luke 9.23-25… Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” {but the great part is that it doesn’t end there} He continues, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
I could have clinched so tightly for one my year to my life (nursing school, close friendships, being near my family, serving at my home church) but oh the life I would have missed. I would have missed this journey… this new intimacy with God… the joy of being in His perfect will… the fullness of life that only comes in losing ourselves (our dreams, our comforts) for His sake.
The truth is this … there is a cost… following where God wants you to be will never come without a price… BUT the price is never more than the reward!
Would it be nice to be close to my family, celebrating graduation with my friends, still serving in my home church? Absolutely… but even with counting the cost, I wouldn’t trade for one second being where God wants me to be here I Delaware… I wouldn’t do this past year any differently.

So what’s happening now? God’s opening doors! Great ones! It looks like I’m going to be staying in Delaware for a while! I am still working with the church and I had been picking up 1-2 days a week of babysitting on the side. But as of yesterday a new sweet baby girl named Katherine Finn was born and I will now be her part time nanny in addition to my role at the church! I’m so excited for this new part of my Delaware adventure. God is so good and I’m so humbled that He sent me here, that He’s using me. It blows my mind every day!

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For my Milligan friends reading this… CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy for you all and so proud of your perseverance!

To those of you who have kept up and been praying me through this journey or supported me in any way… THANK YOU! I couldn’t do this without you all!

For any of you reading this… don’t be afraid to let go of anything that God is calling you to renounce… My overused phrase that I’ve found so much truth in is this…
You will never ever surrender something to God’s control and regret it later!

 

Define Good March 29, 2013

Filed under: Jesus — Brandy @ 6:16 pm

As I sat with our young adult group last night and watched The Passion of the Christ, one question kept reoccuring in my mind: “Why? Why did it have to be like this? Why did it have to be so harsh? Why?”
God kept bringing back to mind a verse that I read just Wednesday:
Luke 19.10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus came with one mission… it was His purpose statement… His ultimate goal
TO SEEK AND SAVE THE LOST.
And then the relization hit me… I was “the lost“… you either are or once were “the lost“…
It makes it much more personal. Jesus did that to SEEK and SAVE ME! Wow. Talk about a sobering thought.
So define GOOD, God. There are many of you who have probably questioned the irony in the name of this day…. GOOD Friday.
Last year as I sat in a Good Friday service it occurred to me that I often avoid thinking about the cross. Why? You might ask. Why even as a Christian would I much rather focus on the resurrection than on the cross? This was a question I had to ask myself. I realized that I don’t often choose to think about the cross for this reason… When I think about the cross, I have to accept that my sin put Him there. I have to accept that without that I wasn’t good enough. I have to accept that His love for me caused Him to suffer. Paul, likely the most influential follower of Christ ever, said this to Timothy, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
When I think about the cross though my sadness soon turns to many other emotions: gratitude, joy, peace, hope…. I feel so loved and so cared for that I can’t comprehend it. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Praise Jesus for what He did! Thank God He sent a sacrifice I could have never given! Praise God that He loved me in spite of my sin… enough that He would do whatever to seek and save me. To seek and save YOU! Follower of Christ, don’t make a habit of avoiding thoughts of the cross. Think about it. Cry about it. Accept it. Then rejoice over it. Be filled by it. Feel overwhelmed by it! Celebrate it! IT IS GOOD!

The other emotion that my sadness turns to though, is urgency. Urgency to share with others the truth. For others to accept this beautiful Savior of mine who so graciously gave His life for me. Maybe you read this because you know me but you really have no interest in Jesus… Don’t miss it! Message me. Call me. I want you to have this feeling too. I want you to have this hope! More than anything I want you to know Jesus on an intimate level. I don’t want you to waste what He did on the cross for you. I don’t want you to miss it because it is the greatest piece of life. Jesus said “I have come that they may have life and life more abundantly” (John 10.10). Don’t miss it.
Christian… don’t let the people in your life miss it. We should always be speaking of the cross. We should always be testifying to it’s goodness. We should always be directing others to look at Christ.
This GOOD FRIDAY let’s remember the cross, be thankful for the cross, celebrate the cross, and proclaim the cross!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14, 2013

Filed under: encouragment,Jesus,Joy,love — Brandy @ 3:37 pm

As I scroll through my news feed on Facebook this morning most everyone falls into three catagories. People who are happy, people who are upset, people who are upset but are trying to convince the world that they are happy. Notice I didn’t classify them as single or taken. Gifted or giftless. A holiday such as this was meant to celebrate LOVE… not evny or pride. Many people today are insisting that they have “the best”, some share with us pictures of gifts and stories about their love, and many single people are complaining……. Singles, I get it! I used to dread this day of everyone getting flowers and enjoying a romantic love that I had yet to experience. With that being said, in the last few years God has really changed my heart about this day. We have experienced love! We’ve experienced the all-surpassing love of Jesus Christ that is more than enough to satisfy all of our needs! We should also celebrate with our brothers and sisters in Christ. I love hearing all the stories and seeing the sweet ways people express their love to each other. I love it because when two godly people express their love, it glorifies our God! I also love it because I have hope that one day I will have a story to share, a story that I hope screams the gospel of Jesus Christ, a story that I hope others will read and enjoy without being so miserable that they can’t enjoy it. So maybe this Valentine’s your life isn’t where you would want it to be. Maybe you’re still waiting on God to send a special someone into your life, or maybe you’ve found that person but you aren’t married yet, or maybe you’re married and your special someone didn’t express their love the way you would have preferred. Whatever the case my encouragement to you is that today… Celebrate LOVE! The love Christ has for you, the love you have for family and friends, and the love of those around you! 🙂

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resenful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13.4-8)

“Like a fruit picked green or a flower plucked before it blossoms, our attempts to rush God’s timing can spoil the beauty of His plan for our lives.” – Joshua Harris

 

Sit and Enjoy December 26, 2012

Filed under: encouragment,Jesus — Brandy @ 10:34 pm

What a great time of year it is… having parties, giving gifts, singing carols, making candy, decorating trees, seeing loved ones… The goodness goes on and on. Let’s be honest though, most of us probably spend more time being busy and trying to get things done than we actually spend enjoying it. It’s a mad rush to get all the presents bought, wrapped, and under the tree, visit families and friends, get Christmas cards out, decorations up, dinner on the table… and then, (sigh) it’s over. While yes we’re sad that the excitement is over, there’s also this sigh of relief… that our lists were all completed and once again procrastination didn’t totally get the best of us. And there’s hope… that maybe just maybe life will calm back down. The truth is in all of this we often miss the joy and the meaning. There were surely moments where the magic of the Christmas season was all you could breathe in and I’m sure you read “remember the reason for the season” over and over. Most of us would agree that we know what Christmas is all about and we try to think on that as much as possible during the season, but what many of you probably missed and I what I missed was simply sitting and enjoying. Sitting in the presence of Jesus and enjoying that He is with me. Sitting in the company of loved ones and enjoying the blessing they are.
So now what? Christmas is over. Another whole year before it all takes place again. What happens now? I’m going to choose to SIT and ENJOY.
I’m going to spend time the next few days here in the mountains sitting and enjoying time with friends that I haven’t seen in awhile. I’m going to sit and enjoy being with my family and being totally unproductive. But more than that, I want to sit and enjoy Jesus. I want to have a quiet time without looking at the clock. I want to seek the face of the Jesus without being distracted by the busyness of life. Maybe it seems like I’m 2 weeks too late. Maybe I should have spent some extra time enjoying the Lord before Christmas, in preparation for the celebration. But maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe God just wants us, our whole heart, our undivided devotion, our undistracted mind. Maybe the best birthday gift we could give Jesus these next few days is to sit and enjoy. Sit and enjoy Him. Sit and enjoy our family. Sit and enjoy the gift of life.
I had many thoughts running through my head of what I wanted to share in the blog, because in busyness I have failed to write as much as I’d like. As I gathered my thoughts, I made a page full of things I wanted to include. When I actually started typing, all I could think was sit and enjoy. So while this blog seems short with a very simple concept, I hope that somehow it will encourage you to sit and enjoy the important people in life and most of to sit and enjoy the Savior in life! Merry Christmas!

“O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and wearly land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63.1

 

month one… November 14, 2012

Filed under: Jesus,Ministry Journey — Brandy @ 5:44 am

Well, this week made a month since I moved my life to the small state of DE. Its been a month of…
…falling more in love with Jesus
…having to depend on Jesus
…growing in my faith
…desiring to grow more in my faith
…working hard
…enjoying life
…making new friends
…missing friends
…being welcomed as family
…missing my family
…building relationships with my new church family
…missing my swords creek church family
…meeting awesome kids
…missing my awesome kids back home

So you get the picture. It’s a transition. I don’t know that missing people will ever go away… but I am seeing daily that God is more than able to meet all of my needs. I know many have wondered how things are going up here in this new world so here are a few bits of information.

“Where are you living?”– It’s crazy how God works out things for His glory! Joy (my friend from Powerlife who moved from FL to work here at LifeHouse) and I are both living in a townhouse with an amazing God-loving girl name Heather. Heather is a nurse and owns a 3 bedroom townhouse. She had never had a peace about living with anyone else before, but without even meeting us she decided we were to live her. She says that the peace that God gave her about it was so clear! So praise the Lord for that. Not only is she a housemate but she is one of my best friends! She’s such an amazing godly person who has become like a sister to me in a matter of a few weeks. Both of my housemates are such a blessing in my life. They truly are the best people to come home to at the end of the day to talk about Jesus, watch the Duggars, and laugh until we cry.

“What exactly are you doing?” — Well … a little of everything. I am having the opportunity to work with TeamKid (K-6) on Tuesday nights by working on verse memorization, teaching, and simply building relationships with the kids! At least one Sunday a month I work with TeamBaby! Sunday before last I had my first opportunity to be part of the Praise Team! Outside of these, I work in the office 3 days a week helping out with volunteeer recruiting, children’s ministry tasks, and any other jobs that I can help in. My favorite ministry event so far has been the Family Fun Fall Festival. This was a day of reaching out to the community. We had games and food and facepainting. My job all day was to hand out balloons and talk to kids about the fesival, TeamKid, and Jesus. It was such a great day!

“What else is going on in life?” — Well even outside of church most of my time is spent with members of the church. I have been doing some babysitting, which I love. I’ve spent lots of time just hanging out and getting to know people. And of course I am still doing my online classes.  Some specific stand out moments…. The first week we got here, two of the kids had a birthday/costume party. It was great night of me being dressed as Minnie Mouse, having a hayride, and dancing… lots of dancing. The “hurricane”… we were predicted to get it bad here so I spent 2 days at Mark and Tammy’s. It ended up just being a really windy storm but it was a nice couple of days with the Lashey’s. Punkin Chunkin… no, I didn’t mispell that. It’s literally people taking catapults and cannons and shooting pumpkins across a field… It was an interesting day to say the least. And I did get to go to the beach. Even though it was cold, it was still relaxing for the few minutes I was there. It also makes me extremely excited for warm weather and having a beach so close! 🙂

These are the two things God has shown me the most since I got here… (I pray they will be an encouragement to you as well)

1st- It is only through God and by His grace that I am capable of doing anything good for Him. I am so grateful that Jesus chooses to use us and then equips us to be used. 2 Corinithians 3.5 “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” PRAISE JESUS that my sufficiency doesn’t come from me. On my best day, I could never be good enough to work for Him or serve Him but HE is and provides all I need to serve Him! Ephesians 3.20 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Jesus works in us and through us! And He can do more through us than we could even dream up!

2nd- The Power of the Gospel is so much more than we realize. Growing up in the Bible belt, I feel I often missed the power of the Gospel. I foget that the Gospel changes lives, truly turns people around and gives them hope and peace and joy that they can’t comprehend. Seeing this in others also reminds me of that peace, joy, hope, and purpose Jesus gives me everyday through the power of the cross! 2 Corinthians “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” When we receive the gift of Jesus, He doesn’t just take away our sins and sprinkle a little goodness on  us… He makes a NEW CREATION! I believe that when we experience that personal love gift from our Savior, it truly flips our lives around. Romans 1.16a “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” When we recognize the true power of the gospel, we want to share it! It changes us and it is so awesome that we want others to hear it so they can be changed to! The more God shows off His power in the cross, the more I want to share it! The more I can’t hold in what He’s done! The more I want to give my life to spread the news that can change  a heart, a life, and an eternity!