Monday, June 24, 2013


Hello friends!

Greetings from Clearwater Beach.  Many of you know that I have been swept up in a whirlwind this past week.  I left Thursday morning bright and early for Raleigh, North Carolina where I would celebrate the marriage of my sister Ruthie to her one and only sweetheart, Luke.  It was a precious weekend with my family and a testament to the Lord’s faithfulness to a couple that fell in love in high school (maybe even before) and dated long distance for four years of college, hours and hours apart.

It was a crazy four days.  I landed, picked up a rental car, and drove straight to my sister Rachel’s house.  Can I pause here and be sappy? My 1 year old niece came toddling out the front door with her arms outstretched to me  and I started my weekend with watery eyes (which continued most of the weekend).  Gosh I love that sweet little girl.  Thankfully Thursday day was low key and I was able to have a lunch date with Rachel and my niece Noa, just us three.

After that lunch date however, things geared up quick!  Rachel planned an amazing bachelorette night for Ruthie and I was thankful to be a small part of the day of prep for that.  The food was delish, the panty game was hilarious, the dessert was on point (as it always is in the Breslin household), and the closing of the night was my part.  I was in charge of bringing the serious, spiritual element to the night.  I guess this makes sense being that I am the one working for a church now, right?

As the ultimate charge I read Proverbs 31 – the wife of noble character.  I think we’ve all heard that at some point but how often do we take that line for line and consider what it would be like to be that wife?  Here are a few highlights:

She is virtuous.
She is capable.
She is trustworthy.
She brings good to him (her husband) every day of her life.
She is a cook.
She is a businesswoman.
She helps the poor.
She is strong.
She is dignified.
She is wise.
She is hardworking.

After I read that on my own to prepare for Ruth’s party I thought, man, this is it.  This encompasses all that I could want for her as a believer and a wife.  It’s whole and complete in and of itself.  What’s sweet about looking at this now is as I prepare myself for this life and eventually (not REAL soon, so don’t get too excited) to be a wife myself.  What a goal to strive towards.  And better still?  I don’t have to wait to be married to work at being this type of woman.

We used this as a guideline to pray for Ruth as she transitions into this new role, the biggest one yet.  It was such a precious time for Rachel and I to pray for her and to hear 15 of her closest friends who know her differently than Rachel and I do pray over her.  Is was truly a sweet, sweet time.

I’m really continuing to muscle through this in my mind as I’ve come back to my hometown (and left again, for a retreat across the bridge).  God continues to challenge me every time I start to get a little bit comfortable where I’m at in my relationship with Him and in my identity (hey, did I JUST write about this?).  Obviously I’m not giving you the whole description of my weekend today but I really wanted to share this portion by itself because it spoke to me even as I was the one supposedly leading the charge.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Most of what I know about Disney movies I learned as a result of my baby sister’s obsession with one at a time.  For 6 months we could only watch Beauty and the Beast for example.  But eventually we broadened her horizons (and thankfully moved out of the Holiday Inn we temporarily had to live in… for 6 months).  One of my favorites to this day is the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  I, of course, read the book.

I promise this post is not about Disney movies.  What it IS about, is the concept of sanctuary.  In the days of the hunchback you could claim sanctuary within church walls and you were untouchable – it was a safe place, always.  Within the walls of a church in those days one could not be arrested (which is how it is used in the book/movie) and you could not be kicked out.

When I dream about what my home will be I want it to be a sanctuary.  A sanctuary is a place of refuge or safety.  When people enter my home that’s what I want them to feel.  I had a great chat with my Mom the other day about the book Love Does and how Bob Goff has created this culture of welcoming people into his home that I’m in love with.  The next week I found myself telling my 5 dinner guests ‘my home is your home from now on – show up whenever you need or like’ and meaning it.

Last week I was thrilled as people came and went all week.  Dinners, desserts, movies, and even one ‘I just need somewhere to go’.  After hosting a roommate for a year I really considered whether or not I was going to explore doing the roommate thing again and I finally concluded I would rather make some sacrifices financially and leave that room open and available.  Not only does this allow my home to feel like MY sanctuary but it gives my friends and family a place to run too when they need to clear their heads.  And the longer I’ve stayed put there and worked at that environment – the more people have come.

Sanctuary Sunday’s began a few weeks ago when after a tough couple of days a friend and I decided to literally weather a storm at my place.  We were due for a tropical storm (it’s that season here) and she came over in her comfy clothes to wait it out together.  We lit candles, grabbed throw blankets, and I made a spread of tacos while we watched Netflix.  Eventually we talked through some of the craziness the week had brought (and I cleaned).

The following week we decided we wanted to do it again.  By the third week, another friend popped in and raided my fridge of leftovers and joined us for a bit, eating and talking about his life.  The following week 2 became 3 and so the tradition continues.  I have made Sundays my day of rest at home (I attend church on Saturday nights – for those of you wondering) and my door revolves on those days for any who need a place to veg and seek sanctuary (or food).

Sundays have become my chance to say no my my usual chaos and busyness. To carve out time to just be available...and I'm wow'd by the results of that simple change of pace.

'I use to want to fix people, now I just want to be with them' - Bob Goff, Loves Does

Monday, June 17, 2013


I sit down to write to you this morning feeling humbled. It’s Monday morning and I’m coming off 4 days of being a counselor for my churches kid’s camp.  We took 600 kids to Daytona Beach and on the last day they baptized about 100 of them in the ocean before our return.  It was a powerful week.  But what I wasn’t expecting is the Lord to take me away to Daytona and really open my eyes.

Robert Madu did a fabulous job speaking this week and my biggest takeaway was this: ‘It is easier to walk in what is familiar than to walk in freedom’.  Smack.  This one hit me right across the face.  I have been walking in the familiar.  I’ve been playing is safe and the Lord is trying to pull me out of this place and into what He has for me.

I came home Saturday with my head swimming.  I had some big decisions, some tough conversations, and some changes to make after having my eyes opened last week being away.  I woke up Sunday morning sick and spent the day playing catch up around the house and entertaining three friends who came in and out throughout the day to spend time with me and chat.  I muscled through some of what I’d been thinking with one of these friends and when she left, I jumped in with both feet.  

Today before I head to work I’m reviewing what I will be leading my bible study through tonight.  Our lesson is so fittingly on courage.  She writes that courage is grown in the mundane, small pieces of our lives.  This is where my failure lies.  In the mundane.  In the small, seemingly ‘no big deal’ things in my life I have lost sight of freedom and I have clung to the familiar. 

Later she had us read Psalm 27 and these words leapt off the page to meet me: Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.  Oh how sweet those words rang true to me this morning.  I have to let, allow,  and encourage my heart to take courage and be strong. I am learning to stop clinging to the familiar and walk courageously towards what the Lord has for me.  It is thrilling, exciting, and terrifying in equal measure.  But as Jennie Allen so wonderfully said in this weeks study 'you are going to wish that you had not live in fear'.


Monday, June 10, 2013


Identity is the central theme of this decade of our lives, don’t you think?  In our twenties we’re constantly changing roles from student, to employee, to boss (for some of us), girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife, parent, friend, sibling, bridesmaids/groomsmen, etc…the roles are endless.  It’s a crazy how different the 20s can be for each person.  We’re all finding our way.  So it seems fitting that identity was the second week of our Chase study as I lead these sweet 20 and 30 something’s through this study because who isn’t chasing their identity in some way?

Each week has ‘homework’ which includes reading, projects, and some thought provoking questions. I like to write out my answers in prep to share with my group of course, but also so I have a ‘roadmap to my soul’ if I ever lose track. I love retracing my steps through what the Lord is teaching me.  Which has made this particular study fun – as I compare my answers I wrote in Africa 6 months ago when I first did this study to where my heart is today.

This week she asked, ‘What is your worth built on and how is it working for you?’  Take a moment to process the weight of that.  Along with this we were asked to draw ‘blocks’ and put on each of them you write something you have built your identity on…this could be your job, your family, a relationship, a friendship, etc.  So I sat and wrote five of my own.

Who are you if you lose all of this?, she asks.

Who indeed.

I sat on my red velvet couch in my home that I guess you could say now factors into my identity. This is where I meet the Lord most mornings.  And I stared at my notebook.  I read and reread the 5 blocks I listed, the foundation of my identity and wondered: if you took them all away, who would be left?  Do I know who I am without my Becca-made identity?  The truth is I do.  At the core of me I know who I am in Christ and that foundation is even stronger than this earthly one I’ve built primarily throughout these 7 years of being in my 20s. 

Does the idea of losing each of these 5 components scare me?  Absolutely.  Especially since one of those blocks contains the thing I love most on this earth – my family.  What this means though, is that this study is meeting me where I need it.  It’s getting to the core of what is defining me and by result, keeping me from defining myself wholly in Christ.  Jennie Allen and her description of David chasing the heart of God are challenging me.

She writes, ‘we have an identity crisis because we build our identity on things that move – things that aren’t dependable or constant’.  There’s so much wisdom in that.  While my love for my family never fails to be there – my family could.  Whatever your five blocks say if you study each one you realize that any of them could move.  Could I lose a family member or my whole family? Yes.  Could I lose my job or a friend or a guy I’m in love with? Absolutely.  And if I build my identity on these shifting, changing things then who is left when they’re gone?

Who indeed.

If this idea is panicking you a little bit: take a deep breath.  This study is based in Psalm and if you know me you know that I am in love with this book of the bible written by David who I suspect I would have been great friends with (I like to say he’s fiery and more than a little emo at times).  And in the twenty-third Psalm he writes:

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need. 
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
 will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord 

That’s just the first 6 verses.  If you’re in need of encouragement, please read it all.  And if you’re wanting more keep reading in Psalm – each chapter is truly amazing.  But I love that chapter 23, the one Jennie shares in this identity lesson is full of such rich promises:

I have all that I need.

He renews my strength.

Surely His goodness and unfailing love PURSUE me all the days of my life.

And I, for one, can’t hardly wait to dwell in the house of my God forever.

That is where my identity belongs, in His unfailing promises.  In He who created me to chase something.  In the one who created me to chase Him.  David, God bless him, had a clear picture of what he was chasing.  He was chasing the heart of God.  And we see over and over in the book of Psalm that David knew where his identity was, in Christ alone.  Not in being a King.  Not in being the man who defeated Goliath.  Not in being a murder or an adulterer (though he was both).  Not in being the youngest of Jesse’s sons or a soldier.  David had more labels and titles and responsibility then I could ever handle but he didn’t let any of those define him, his identity was found solely in His relationship with a big God.

Whew.  Only the first real week of study and already we're in the deep end.  Stay tuned, we're just gearing up.