Monday, March 17, 2014

Brave Love the Blog

If you haven't noticed, Anchored in Love Divine has taken on an entirely NEW LOOK and NEW NAME! I have been planning and praying about this for a while and though show week might not have been the best time to do it the time finally arrived! Now it is my joy and privilege to welcome you to Brave Love! What is brave love, you ask? Well grab a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate!), settle in for a bit, and I will gladly tell you :)


Two months ago, I attended a women's gathering called Brave Love Seattle. Around 35 women from all seasons of life, every corner of the city, and different experiences in and out of the church spent a weekend worshiping and welcoming one another into our stories, learning what it means to live a life of brave love. I have been to my share of retreats and conferences, but let me tell you, this was so much more than I ever could have expected! Several young women from my church were also at Brave Love, and none of us knew that the others were planning to be there. Small world, huh?


In the first session, we talked about how one of the most inhibiting things we can face in life is the "endless cycle of me". This includes self hatred, jealousy, distrust, walls, worries, comparison, you name it. It is a vicious cycle that many of us live in and the only way to out of that cycle is to actively love! This idea was mind blowing to me. Some of these struggles (anxiety, perfectionism, comparison specifically) I have walked in for years and often catch myself thinking "Shouldn't I have mastered this by now?" or "I've been a Christian for Xnumber of years, I should be past this..." and so on. 

If I am living a life of active love then these things will be taken care of along the way. When stuck in comparison, if I choose to actively love and celebrate the person I feel inferior to, there is a shift. If I feel overwhelmed by my imperfections but choose to actively love the person in front of me or actively pursue Jesus in the moment, there is a shift. I don't have to conquer the world in a day or even my to do list. A life of active love is what that matters. Why?

Jesus is brave love. 

Jesus is ignoring the nay-sayers and welcoming the children to his lap.
Jesus is speaking life into the woman at the well when others spoke judgement.
Jesus is saying yes to the Father's will first and foremost.
Jesus is sacrificing it all to save those most in need of grace.
Jesus is forgiving past a feeling.

Jesus is brave love.

We are called to be and show brave love. When we are faced with lies or hard times or even surprises, choosing to love bravely and actively will make all the difference. Yes, those things will still happen, but brave love will change the way it affects us and the effects we have on our world. I can internalize and journal myself into the ground on that endless cycle of me, trying to fix me, refresh me, satisfy me, but turning it outward will bless others, please the Lord, and bring the transformation we so desire!

Brave love takes us back to the basics.

"My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of god and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love-- so you can't know him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about --- not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us -- perfect love!"
1 John 4:7-12, The Message

One of my favorite parts of the evening was during worship where we each shared what Brave Love meant to us. It was a beautiful moment and I left feeling so inspired. Brave love is a powerful thing and it means something different to each one of is.

Brave love is...
...forgiveness (the un-offendable heart).
...a celebration (not withholding).
...a rescuing love.
...extravagant.
...fully embracing others.
...repetitive (coming back with joy again and again).
...ridiculous (proposes crazy ideas).
...living in freedom to embrace and accept who you are, giving others the permission to do the same.
...the kiss of God flowing from you to others.
...indistructable.
...assuming the best of others.
...contageous.
...unity.
...intimacy overflowing into action.
...the possibility of unconditional love filling all.
...relational, simple, every day.
...being present.
...surrendering the vulnerable places.
...sacrificial yet fulfilling.
...unstoppable and it permeates through anything.
...not limited by past sin but empowered by eternal salvation.
...anticipating needs and acting on it.
...looking at brokenness and calling it beautiful.
...going after it.
...living in us and will change the world.
...our calling.
...responding to God with a "Yes!" in our hearts, expecting that He will show up in our weaknesses.
...going to take people by surprise.
...a culture shift.
...willing to be transparent.
...loving beyond what's comfortable and taking a big risk.


When it comes to my definition of Brave Love, especially when it is concerned with this blog, brave love is embracing your definition of femininity and using that uniqueness to encourage and empower the gifts and passions of others. Brave love is sharing the deepest parts of me and loving the deepest parts of you. Brave love is seeking Jesus first and sharing the journey. Brave love is messy but sweet and oh so worth it. Brave love is Jesus. 

His banner over me is love, and my banner over this blog is BRAVE LOVE. May we love boldly and bravely from this day forward. And let's do it together, shall we? :)

17 comments:

  1. Ahh I love those Sunflowers and your new name and it's meaning. It's just perfect.

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    1. Thanks girl! Sunflowers are my favorite, and I couldn't leave them out!

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  2. LOVE this whole post from start to finish! I love your heart sweet friend and the new blog name is perfect for you :)

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    2. Thanks, sweet friend! I was scared silly to make the change but I think it will be worth it!

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  3. I love your new lay-out girl...the meaning behind your blog is beautiful...I love how you define brave love too. The first thing I thought of when reading it is this takes such courage on so many different levels of life.

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  4. Love everything about this! The name, the look, and the reason behind it all :)

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  5. Love, love, love the new name, the meaning, and the layout!

    xoxo

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  6. Love this! So great. Love you!

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  7. Love the new name, and the meaning behind it! :)

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  8. You are so inspiring! Love the name change and it looks perfect!!

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  9. I love everything about this! You are inspiring!

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  10. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this and allowing God to work through you.
    Such a blessing!

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  11. Oh gosh, I LOVE this, Bailey! What a statement: His banner over me is brave love! That is TRUTH right there! Wow! I love the new look and I loooove that the name carries so much meaning to you. Thanks for sharing all of that! It was amazing to read through and experience what is meant by that statement, brave love.

    I will be in Seattle this weekend if you have time for a coffee break again on Friday! I'll try to text you tomorrow and I hope it'll work out!

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  12. I'm a new reader to your blog, and this has so inspired me!

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