. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Monthly Archives: September 2013

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The Only Shadow That Does Not Change

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty . . . He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. (Psalm 91:1,4)

If we let Him hold us between His two wings, we can rest. Right inside His shadow.

And His shadow is huge.

My daughter reminded me how big our shadows sometimes are. You know, depending on which side of the sun we’re on.

photo shadow

I thought about that truth and remembered the promise somewhere in the Bible about God and shifting shadows, and I had to use the cross reference guide in the back of my Bible to find it.

. . . the Father of the heavenly lights . . . does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

So there’s plenty of room to rest. And we don’t even have to hurry it up before the sun switches sides and His shadow gets tiny.

Because it never will.

Remembering that today. This week. These last few months as we deal with things we sometimes feel like God forgot to filter out.

As we let Him guard us with His great big wings even as He continues to strip us of the stuff that we don’t need.

And we are clinging to the promise that if we rest, His shadow will not change. He will hold us fast. Keep us near His breastbone, between His shoulders, under His wings.

In Honor of M.D. Robinson and To The Praise of God

I last saw my grandpa almost two years ago. I would be leaving for Germany soon, and I really wanted to see him before I left. He’d had a stroke not long before, and God had done something inside his heart that made him turn to Him and follow Him. Even though he could no longer walk.

I needed to see him before I went. Because I wanted to tell him how I’d prayed for all those years. Prayed he would know Jesus. Prayed he would know His undeserved grace that looks beyond all the crap and sees the adoration of His love — even Grandpa. Even me.

But my grandpa was two flights and about two thousand miles away. It wasn’t in the budget to buy me a plane ticket before moving across the world.

So I prayed.

Two days later, God gave me an editing job in the form of a friend’s book that would pay for a flight to California. A trip to see my grandpa in person.

A gift from God.

My grandpa passed away two days ago. Somehow I’d thought he might live forever in that bed. Even though I knew he wouldn’t.

I haven’t seen him in almost two years, but I already miss him terribly. He was an amazing man full of strength and courage. He taught me so much about being confident and knowing what I want and knowing what’s important and loving life. He held my hand while I cried at the side of my cousin’s grave six years ago. That big, tall man held my hand and hugged me and told me he loved me. And I will never forget him.

I wrote what follows that week I was there with him two years ago. I wrote it as a sort of praise offering to God. To thank Him for the heart-change I got to see in my grandpa that week. To praise Him for the gift of that time with him before I moved across the world with my family.

Today, I offer it again. In honor of my grandpa. In honor of my gratitude to God because I know where Grandpa is right now.

Grandpa and me

I sit in awe as he ponders life from the bed he lays in.  A stroke put him here, and it’s not been easy.  Unyielding, in fact.

For the breaking of a man is never painless.  And the breaking of this man, especially.

I prayed for him as a schoolgirl who wanted to know she would see her grandpa in heaven someday.  The prayers never stopped.  Thirty some years I prayed for his spirit, for his faith in Jesus Christ.  Many of those years I wondered, not knowing, only hoping.

But praying just the same.

I sit with him now and marvel at his spirit.  The faith that God has sparked in him.  The depth of genuine sincerity with which he now expresses his care about the deep things of life and the searching of the soul.

I love this man so dearly.

And I catch myself surprised at God’s very real answer to my thirty-year prayer.

Thank you, God!

That Almighty Maker of Men and Healer of Broken would hear my cries and finally answer simply stuns me.  I am honored to know this God.  I am honored to know this man.  And now they know each other.

A simple answer to the simple but long-lasting prayer of my heart inspires a certain praise in my soul that will quite literally last much longer than the 30-years from which it came.

From the depths of my being, my soul cries out astounded gratitude.  But the only three words I can get my mouth to form are quite simply

Thank You, God!

Four Ways To Help Find The More That Jesus Promised

Every day last year was a first. An exclusive. The sole September 6th I would spend living in the Land of the Deutsch. The only December 1st, April 13th, May 20th, I would spend in residence in the foreign land called Bayreuth, Germany.

Every day was an adventure.

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And it was easy to  recognize. Because, well, I was living in Europe. An American mom finding my way through a foreign culture filled with tiny refrigerators, screen-less windows and cashiers who cared nothing for the speed at which I could bag my own groceries, as long as I got them out of her way.

But last year is over, and we are now back home. Back to life inside the comfortable.

Where I know how to do groceries and banks and post offices. I have no problem answering  simple questions from strangers on any given topic. (Where is Chipotle? or Do you know what time it is?)

And it’s easy to forget my life is still an adventure. Because it feels a little less than when I wake up to boxes that (still!) await my motivation to unpack them. Every day seems a bit too normal to feel like adventure.

As I wrote through the journey of our year in Germany, I often wondered what might happen when it led us back to Ohio. Would I still have stuff to write? Would you still want to read it? Would it still feel fresh and interesting and new every time you visited this cyber land place that bears my name?

Deep down, I knew the answer. Because I started this blog long before we ventured into the land of unknown on the other side of the world. I wrote here for years before the everyday held something so new it had the potential of breaking me into pieces.

It’s all a journey, isn’t it? Every. day.

and. then. some. more.

But sometimes the living feels less than more. (Man, I hope that makes sense.)

The truth is sometimes the wake-up in the morning is all it takes to feel alive and find the more that Jesus promised when He said He came so I could really live.

So I could have more and better life than I could ever dream up.

Then other days, it just feels like survival. Many days, in fact, the living and the more He promised looks like a bit of a farce. And it’s tempting to watch other people who seem to have grasped the adventure He promised and settle on living vicariously through them.

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That’s why I prayed for you every morning when I walked that Richard-Wagner Strasse after dropping off my kids at that Germany Montessori Schule. I prayed that as you read about my crazy mishaps and hilarious mis-speaks you wouldn’t settle for the idea that I’m the lucky one who gets to actually live.

I asked God to show you the more even as you drove your kids to school each morning. As you dodged cars in the Walmart parking lot while pushing your 300-pound shopping cart with the wobbly wheels that face four different directions.

And I asked Him to show me how to find the more even after I got home to Ohio.

So here I am, exactly three months after landing on this side of the Atlantic, looking for adventure of a different sort. And asking you to join in.

It’s taken on a different flavor than the one that smelled like bratwurst and beer and apple strudel. And lots of bike rides and walking and German-speaking bus-drivers.

But it’s still the flavor of living more. Still the finding and the wanting to know Jesus so well that we can’t help but chase Him hard into whatever He leads us into.

Finding the more. In Jesus.

And here’s how you can join in…

Join in the discussion right here or on the facebook page. Let’s help each other find the more and better life Jesus promised by talking about it when we catch glimpses.

What’s the more Jesus showed you today?

What adventure has He led you into? What’s He showing you about Himself that has you floored? Confused? Amazed? Enamored?

Maybe it’s in the form of  holding a barf-bowl for your 9-year-old. Or remembering the way your dad always pointed you to Jesus.

Maybe it looks like quiet morning coffee alone on the back porch. Or a 15-hour drive to a friend’s lake house in Montana.

Maybe it’s in tears shared with a friend whose husband just left her with three kids and a hamster.

I do not know what it looks like for you. But I do know this:

Jesus promised more and better life when we follow Him. And I believe Him.

So I’m gonna’ search until I find that more and better. And I could really use some company. Because sometimes the search gets hard and dark. And I’m going to need reminding sometimes about the promise and the chasing and the finding.

How about it? Will you join me? Here are 5 quick ways you can help find the more Jesus promised…

1. Ask God to show it to you. Then commit to looking.

2. Join the discussion here by leaving a comment or sending me an email.

3. Come over to my facebook community page and talk about it over there.

4. Tweet it or Instagram it and us the hashtag #moreinJesus.

Let’s search for more in Jesus. Together. I know we will find it. He promised.

What Brianna R Wasson Is About

I’ve been planning and praying and planning some more all over this place called briannaRwasson(dot)com. This place in cyberland that bears my name and resembles who I am and what I’m about.

I mentioned last week that I’d been planning to plan. If you’ve been hanging here for a while you might remember my affinity for all things calendars and notebooks and empty paper that screams fill me up with dreams and hope and whatever else might come out of that brain and through those cool German pens you now own.

You might remember I started praying for some clarity 40 days before we flew home from that year-long vacation from comfortable my family enjoyed in the land of Deutsch. Started asking God what He might want to do through my little home on the web.

So I was super excited when I got my Blog Planning Kit from How They Blog and then signed up for Kat Lee’s Blog Planning Boot Camp. Because I believed it to be a place I could start writing down the dreams and figuring out how to actually go get them.

I was right to believe that.photo (8)

See, God’s got me in a spot where I know He wants to do amazing things with every bit of my small obedience. With my thirteenletters and a little dot com. He wants me to point to Him.

One word at a time. One smile, one step, one prayer at a a time.

There’s a lot going on in the dreaming and the planning still. But one thing is clear. The purpose of this place. 

Every day when I walk away from this computer, I will have fulfilled my purpose if even one of you can honestly say . . .

I want to know Jesus more.

I want to point straight to Him with my words and my life. Want to know Him in such a way that my passion for Him can’t help but spill over right out of me. Right out of everything I do. Every word I say. Every look I give. Every text I send. Every post I write.

I believe with all my heart that everything about Jesus is better than anything you or I could chase or grasp or even think we want. That’s why He promised life to the full, more and better life than (we) ever dreamed of, when we follow His way. Because He is so much better. He gives so much more. His way is so much more full. So much more amazing. Such greater adventure.

It’s tempting to believe the adventure’s on hold. I mean, I just spent a year with my family in a foreign land learning words and culture I knew nothing of, travelling roads and train tracks I hardly knew existed and facing fears I thought I would never, ever conquer.

But the adventure of every next small step, whether in the Land of Deutsch or the hills of the Amish, can only be awesome. That’s what He promised.

So, how about it? You in? Come back on Friday, and I’ll tell you how you can help. How we can be partners in this great big adventure.

Question for you: Do you tend to see life as an adventure or more as a bunch of days strung together to get to the other side of something?

 

**Here’s where I tell you there’s an affiliate link in this post, so if you click on the Blog Planning Kit link, I’ll get a little bit of cash for Panera. And when I go there, I will think of you and thank God for you. And then I’ll probably write another post. A fun little circle that will then be complete. 🙂