Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “God”

My Daisy

My Daisy

I have found joy in the form of a bouncy white fur ball of a friend.  She’s deliciously rowdy, mischievous and super naughty.  My daughter asked me why I love her so much.  I responded simply, “Because she loves me.”  She pursues me, literally – underfoot, constantly…watching my every move, howling uncontrollably when I leave and shrieking hysterically when I return.  Her name is Daisy and of course, she has a story.

…And her name shall be Dazey and she will be dressed in pink. – Posted on 12/6/11

I’m one of those girls who is simple enough to believe that God cares about every single thing that I care about; that He delights in my joy; desires to bless me and because I’m simple enough to believe that I am His favorite, 🙂 He hears me when I cry, when I call He answers and when I ask, He responds.  And so it was last December, 2011 when I began talks with my husband about my desire to add to our family a “Daisy.”  He scoffed and
reminded me how busy we were; how big a responsibility a dog would be; how he would definitely be unavailable to dog sit, dog walk, dog feed…you get the picture!  He was not into it at all. Days later, he ran into someone whose grandmother raised ’em and I knew my honey was on the ropes when he handed me grandma’s name on a piece of paper.  I was gonna win this heavyweight fight…I knew it, I just knew it!  While he shook his head, later that day, I downloaded the above picture of my dog-to-be and plastered it everywhere…on every screen…mobile, computer, i-everything that I owned.  I posted her picture on Facebook with a proclamation on that day in December…”And her name shall be Dazey and she will be dressed in pink.”  Each time I logged on to anything, this picture would pop up causing me to want her more; to solidify my decision.   I contacted the breeder to test the waters and she informed me that she didn’t have any pups available, but would contact me as soon as she did.

Now, I know God probably has much better things to do than to hear my continual plea for a puppy, but as I said, I am His favorite and so I know it…I just know it…He heard my plea, heard my daughter and I come into agreement that should it be His will, He would bring us the perfect puppy and my honey’s heart would soften to the idea.  So it happened, on February 11, that long awaited text with a picture attached was received.  I opened it and she had me at the “ding ding” of the text.  I told Vali that I needed to seal the deal with my husband, but I wanted her.  I had already named her Dazey (I had to change the spelling when Vali dropped this next bit o’ info on me).  She was amazed at my choice of names and explained that my Daisy would be a third generation Daisy, since both Daisy’s mother and grandmother shared that name.  What????  She’s gotta be mine, I know it…I just know it!  Would my husband dare go against God’s will?  Nah:) 🙂 🙂

On February 26, 2012 Daisy joined our family and as she settled in, I thanked the Lord for my little blessing.  I noticed her birthdate and was once again reminded  how much He loves me…How much He is in the details…How He really cares about my joy. You see, Daisy was born one day after I made viral my desire in early December (see picture above).  Her birthday is December 7, 2011.  He is never late…always on time…His time!

I love my Daisy and she loves me…I know it, I just know it!! ❤

I Know You

I know…

I know what it’s like to dream; to prepare; to envision; to want; to feel

I know… 

I know what it’s like to be told you can’t have something you’ve dreamed of; prepared for; envisioned…something you’ve wanted all of your life…something so seemingly simple for others to attain…so natural to everyone else, but me.  Why me!!!???

I know…

I know the feeling of despair, disconnection, despondency; that of sadness and shame; of loneliness of dis-repair…I’ve been there

I know…

I know what it’s like to deny, distract, run away, stay away, put away, hide away…go away

I know…

I know physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual longing, mental fogging…or is it mental flogging?…I know…

I know silence, I know the wilderness…been there, lived there, settled for a time there…

Like an old friend…always there, like my favorite chair…waiting there…

I know… 

I also know the sound of hope found in sunshine, in the words of a mentor, a letter from a stranger…the eyes of a friend…

the laughter of children..the peace found within

I know…

I know rewards come through patience; that joy comes in time; that yes follows maybe; that

no is never final…when you know the originator of time

I know…that dreams can come true…

I know…because

I Know You

One of the sweetest moments of my life!!
When I said yes…He touched my soul; renewed my love for Him and made my body whole…
When I said yes…I was brand new..and in His perfect time…He gave me you! ~~ Thank You God for saying YES!!!

Things and Stuff

Earlier this year, I had an “Aha” moment during a small group bible study.  We were discussing storing up treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19-21) when one of the ladies told of a young man who had amassed a great fortune and had acquired a great many things. She said that he had recently lost a cousin to suicide and was questioning the importance of “things” in light of the loss of life which was so much more valuable.

As she and the other ladies spoke, I was struck by the number of times they referred to things as “stuff,” — things which were once priceless and much sought after. (“He wants to get rid of his ‘stuff’.” “This ‘stuff’ isn’t important.” “My husband is getting on me to have a yard sale. We gotta sell some ‘stuff’ in order to make room.”) You know, at one point that “stuff” was important enough to have names.  Stuff that we buy, stuff that is given to us, stuff that we want…stuff once so important, so seemingly necessary to ensure happiness, now not so much!  True enough, most of my stuff which has been demoted and relocated to the garage was once in the category of “I have to have it — I need to have it.”   Matthew 6:33 encourages us to seek Him first and His way and all the things we NEED will be added. Note: need versus want!!

So, here’s what I’ve concluded…What we need is promised; what we want is just “stuff!!”

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 NLT

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV

The Best Place to Be

Summertime is here and the race is on for fun…fun times, great memories.  I keep seeing posts about Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth.  Not meaning to sound like Debbie Downer, but I wonder if it’s the happiest place on earth, why on earth is everyone so rushed and unhappy; impatient and so pushy?  Got me to thinking about my happiest place to be; not just the happiest place, but the best place to be.  It’s nowhere fancy most of the time, may not be exciting all of the time to everyone, just to me because it’s only for me…it’s free and it’s approved of and validated by the One whose opinion matters most to me besides me:).

The best place for me to be is in His perfect will…not good which is okay or acceptable which passes, but His perfect will for me.  To be able to hear from Him clearly; to receive my daily instructions from Him and to follow them willingly; to continuously flow in His peace; having joy be my strength; with my power twins, faith and patience at hand and their cousins, goodness and mercy following me, with the Holy Spirit leading the way, dropping a trail of love for me to follow.

Lord, I want only what You want for me….nothing more, so that I do not dare get ahead of You and nothing less, lest I’m shortchanged.  As I decrease, I give You permission to increase in every area of my life, filling it as You wish…as I allow; transforming me into who You want me to be; having what You want me to have; being where You want me to be.

That’s it, that’s all…the best place for me!

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Think About It (The power of words)

My honey asked me to do him a favor and type out the lyrics to the songs for his new cd. As I was doing that, I got stuck on the fourth song…”Think About It.” The memories once again flooded me as I revisited what I know without a doubt the Lord had given me on that day.

Johnny wanted me to write a love song. He parked the car at the beach (for inspiration, I guess) and cued the track as he and the kids got out of the car to go play while I wrote. I was not in a “love song” kinda mood. I wrote this song from Johnny’s standpoint about me/us/our relationship at the time. It was on the rocks and I was on the verge of checking out emotionally (and had the Lord not intervened, a physical disconnection would have surely followed). Johnny was hanging on and trying to keep it together. I know the song is special, because I recall my state of mind as I put pen to paper, and how I could have written it, and why, was indeed a mystery that unfolded only after the last line had been written. After it was written, I read it, then realized how much that man loved me/us/our family and how vital our union was. He never had to say a word…

We must talk about it…what’s your take on love
We shouldn’t have to do without it baby
Tell me whatcha thinkin’ of
We shouldn’t have to fake it…no
Nothing more is true
Coz since we’ve been together
There ain’t nothing we can’t do
And all I ever do is think about you
No one else will do
I love you
All I think about is what you mean to me…oh yeah
We must think about it
The writing’s on the wall
What should have been forever
Is not lasting at all
And all I ever do is think about you
Everything we have shouldn’t drift away
All I think about is what you mean to me…oh yeah
I could never live without your love
I can’t exist without your love
Don’t wanna be without your love
I know that I can’t make it without you
My love for you is real
A love so strong I can’t reveal
The depth of feelings that I feel
I want you now…I need you now
The only thing that matters is..
That we give our all, you see
We are only human, and
It’s okay to fall, but what we gonna do about it baby
We are all we have
Let’s keep our love together
A chance to make it last
A chance to make it last, babe

I thank God for the gift of song, words, family, love and Him.

(“Think About It” from the ‘Feels So Good’ CD due out this summer
Artist:  My honey:) Johnny Britt)

My Name is Arlene Britt and I am a Flag Pole:)

In my effort to become all that the Lord would have me to be, I have sought to uncover who I am. I do so hoping that others can see the power of God at work in the lives of His kids; how He loves us, pursues us and never gives up on us! Today, I share what I used to be in order for you to celebrate with me whom I’ve become in the Lord.

I was born into a loud, funny and fighting family. I am the sixth out of seven children born to a hotheaded Puerto Rican man who loved and served the Lord, who was sweet and generous, compassionate and kind, responsible and committed and to a hotheaded Puerto Rican woman who was hard-headed and strong willed. She was a nurturer, a comforter and an encourager and she was very funny. I believe that I am made up of some of their best qualities, but along with their strengths, came some of their weaknesses, namely the hot temper, the strong will and the hard head. (And I love how the Lord takes our weaknesses and turns them into our strengths. He’s just like that!!)

I was sandwiched between three older brothers and one younger and in order to thrive in this birth order, I had no choice but to be tough. I had to be loud and dramatic so that I’d be noticed. I had to have the last word…always. I learned to run fast to get away from them; to climb a tree in order to hang with them and to fight in order to survive among them. When I couldn’t whip ’em (which was never, although I tried), I was able to get the best of them verbally. Being around the boys all of the time made me tough and so I built a wall around me, refusing to show any weakness. To be vulnerable was to be weak and I wasn’t having that around my brothers or anyone else for that matter.

I was raised Catholic and while I’m grateful that my parents introduced me to the idea of church, commitment and God, I never really knew about the need for establishing and maintaining a relationship with Jesus and I really didn’t know much about my religion either. I went to church because I was forced to and when I was grown up enough to make my own decisions, I went to the occasional midnight mass or Easter service driven by guilt or the need to make an appearance. There was always a softness within me for God, however. Now that I look back on it, I clearly had opportunities to discover Jesus but I guess the timing was never right (my timing, that is). It was like I had the key and knew where the door was and time after time I would try the key, but it wouldn’t turn. I would continue my attempts to use that key because I knew that it would unlock mysteries that I needed to be privy to. And then finally…at my lowest point, when I once again stood at the door with my key something incredible happened. This time when I turned the key, the door opened and instead of having to walk through the door, God’s love rushed out and covered me, meeting me right where I was.

And so our relationship began…

Once, while waiting for someone, I found myself staring at a flag on a flag pole.  I watched as the wind took hold of it and caused it to whip around. I noticed the sound it made and how it stretched out when a strong wind took hold of it and how it drooped and remained still as the wind died down. As I was considering the thing, I heard the Lord say “Arlene, are you a flag or a flag pole?” I thought that was an odd question and naturally I looked at that flag, all pretty and bright and thought, of course I’m a flag, but before I responded I needed to think about what a flag represents and does (not just the way it looks — God is so much deeper than that) and then do the same with the flag pole. Here’s what God showed me…

  • A flag is moved by its circumstances and in doing so changes positions effortlessly and often. It changes with the wind…(Mmmhmm, I’ve been that flag.)
  • A flag demands attention; it’s saying something – always; (That would be me.)
  • A flag is high and proudly lifted up ; (Who has not thought they were all that at one time or all the time? OUCH!!)
  • A flag is raised up and brought down; it’s also folded and put away! (That’s been my experience too!)
  • A flag is easily replaced and can be discarded, is disrespected and sometimes stepped on! (hmmmm, no comment!)

What about a flag pole?

  • A flag pole stands tall;
  • A flag pole is steady and remains so no matter how hot the sun or how strong the storm. Why? Because it’s firmly planted;
  • A flag pole is consistent and reliable – it does its job;
  • A flag pole can go unnoticed by everyone except its maker who knows that the flag is nothing without it and so the flag pole does matter.

I told the Lord that “yes, I’ve been a flag but I choose to be a flag pole.”

I surrendered and started living for Christ in 1996 and at first I believed my “job” was to be good, read the Bible and God would do all the rest. My heart was in the right place, but I went about it all wrong. I read the books, bought the tapes and heard the sermons but I still flagged around quite a bit trying my best and collecting all of this head knowledge along the way. Oddly enough, I wound up filled with blessings from the miracle births of my children to my ability to stay home with them and so much in between because the Word works – but I was still feeling pretty lost. Why? I know now that it was because I was inconsistent. I was pretty movable, allowing circumstances and people to distract me; allowing pride to be an obstacle to my growth. I still possessed elements of that flag.

Eventually I had enough. I couldn’t help but feel that I had accepted Jesus as my personal genie – getting what I could from Him only to put Him back in His bottle and on the shelf time after time. I began to cry out to the Lord and slowly I began to transfer that head knowledge south to my heart and the Word suddenly became alive to me because it is living. I started to walk the Word out.

God is an “if” and “then” God. If we do our part, then He does His. If we draw near to Him, then He draws near to us. If we would just delight in His commands, then He would give us the desires of our heart. How then do we take on the characteristics of a flag pole? How do we stand, remain steady, remain consistent? How do we become confident without being arrogant? How do we stop the tapes that play reminding us of our past and past mistakes; how do we heal from those situations and people who have hurt us (some by mistake; others on purpose)? I had already discovered that it certainly was not by doing it or going it alone. I can tell you for sure that it is not by memorizing scriptures and trying to be good or by hoping time will heal all — because it doesn’t! Time just covers the wound with a bandaid which when pulled off creates a bigger sore!

I did it the old fashioned way. By recommitting to my relationship with Jesus; by falling in love all over again – allowing that transformation to begin by renewing my mind with His Word; by giving myself to Him completely and by the application of the Word to everything in my life. I found that the process of falling in love with Jesus was a choice and it’s no different than falling in love in the natural. I made a commitment to Him and spent time with Him and those past thoughts and ways began to change as I began to be more like Him…walk like Him, talk like Him, think like Him, love (me first) then others like Him.

And so….here I am today standing tall (all 5’2″ of me), steady and consistent, unmovable, unshakeable; confident, but not arrogant; noticed and approved by the One who knows me the best and loves me the most. Yup, Lord, I am that flag pole!!!

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