Saturday, February 18, 2017

Practice the Pause

I'm sure I'm the only human who suffers from knee-jerk reactions. Right?
(Ahem)

 What I mean by knee-jerk reactions is that characteristic or quality we inherited from our parents or other environmental surroundings, that have taught us how to respond in the world. I've discovered the simple solution that helps me face these knee-jerk reactions, such as impatience or anger or even anxiety, which I really suffer from.

For me, I "Practice the Pause".
When stresses, pause.
When in doubt, pause.
When scared, pause.
When angry, pause.
And when you pause, PRAY.

Prayer has been a difficult skill for me to acquire. I wasn't gifted with it, and I went years, I mean roughly twenty years, believing my prayers were either
A. Ignored
B. Not heard.

It was a hurtful twenty years. But I was the one ignorantly causing that hurt. Prayer was just a skill I needed to practice and refine. I was really desperate to learn to control my emotions, my negative ones, maybe even some positive ones. The best way I could do that was to PAUSE. In that pause, it was important for me to pray in the ways I'd studied and practice listening for an answer or watching for it. I studied a lot of psychology, too. Which helped on a mortal level understand the human body and mind. With that, I studied the spiritual side of humans. I learned how to combine them for the ultimate prayer experience.

As with any life change, something that is required is total surrender. It's hard. It's painful. I describe it as walking into a furnace, at your own will and discretion. You know there is fire. You know it will burn. Yet, you also know it is only going to hurt for a moment before you are melted and refined. Suddenly, you are your purest self. In this pure form, you can easily recognize the spirit of God and prayer comes more naturally.

I faced a honest surrender over the last few years. It was a weirdly wonderfully painful journey. In many ways, I "lost" myself. I lost my mortal self, and found my divine self. The self God intended me to be. I know I have many more years to go--AND GROW--but it brings me peace, this new realm of PAUSE.

I encourage you to face the furnace. Be prepared for the sting, but know it is temporary. And the sweet comfort that comes after, and the monumental growth, is beyond worth it.

Share with me your stories of PAUSE!
Brittany Shannon

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Don't Give Up

I tell myself this every day. And every time I face something that seems intimidating.

It's one of the things I love about myself. I don't give up.

Once-just once-in my life, I actually "gave up". On everything. It was a dark time for me. But other than that, I've been a fighter. I've been determined and I have mad crazy self-discipline.

It allows me to succeed, even if the end result isn't success. Does that make sense?
Don't give up. Just don't.

I love that I feel so empowered. On a good day, I picture myself carrying both my kids up the side of a mountain, during the zombie apocalypse, in the rain. And I reach the top hardly out of breath...and take a selfie.
That's me. Brittany.

I'm pretty proud to say there aren't many of my goals I haven't smashed. Sometimes they turn out differently than I had planned, but I simply adapt. Adapt and survive. Repeat.

Life is no fairytale, and rather than be negative and tell you all the stuff that has and continues to go wrong, you need know only one thing about me.
I never give up.


You shouldn't either.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Breast is Yet to Come

If you ask me (and I know you didn't, but you're here, reading this)
Satan's most clever and brilliant act to date has been the defling of the woman.

He has taken the image and use of a woman's body and distorted it so greatly that most people don't even know it's true purpose(s). 

The world views the woman in one way and one way only: from a man's perspective.

And not a holy man, at that.

You never see a woman depicted through the eyes of her breastfeeding son, or through the eyes of her insecure teenage daughter, or through the eyes of her proud great grandmother.

No. We see one thing.
Make that two.
Boobs.

Yep. Satan has taken probably the most pure form of womanhood and love and made it evil. He has turned the breast into a fascination and obsession (for mostly men--and some women)

Let's get one thing straight. We are mammals. Mammals nurse their young. Do other mammals flaunt their breasts? Are certain mammals considered more sexy or better sex partners or more beautiful if they have bigger breasts? Would you get your mammal breasts implants if they weren't up to par?

If those sound silly, why then do you live in a world where it's acceptable to treat human women that way?

Breasts are NOT a sexual object for the pleasure of man.
I repeat: breasts were NOT designed to be the sexual objects to pleasure men.

Women have breasts to feed our young.
Did you know the same hormone that gets released during breastfeeding is the same hormone that gets released during stimulation?
If a WOMAN receives sexual pleasure from her breasts, good on her. But they were not designed for MAN. To be bigger, better, and faker each generation. To determine a woman's value or beauty.

Men (and any woman overcome with a superficial fantasy about breasts) they aren't for you. They're for the innocent children brought into this life. They produce milk. In amazing ways and quantities. They go through HELL feeding those babies. And somehow still make time for those grasping hands of yours.

Satan knew long before we came to this world how precious and valuable women are. He knew if he could take down the woman. Ruin her. Use her. Corrupt her. He would win.

Our God has sheltered Our Heavenly Mother, but I know we have one. And I totally understand why she is so sacred and special.

Satan, you may have conquered the world, and persuaded a goodly number of women to fall into your vile ways. You may have stolen the hearts of good men. You have definitely skewed the beautiful and virtuous nature of breasts. But you have NOT won. There are still some housands of woman who know their worth and who refuse to cave or even bend in the slightest degree.

Just as the temple prayer recites, my breasts will be the receptacle of pure and virtuous principles.

May the obsession with boobs die a peaceful death. I have faith in us, girls. The Breast is yet to Come!!
By Brittany Shannon

Friday, December 30, 2016

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge: Weeks 50, 51, 52

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge
Weeks 50, 51, & 52

The prompt for week 50 is my favorite one yet!! Lessons learned.
Holy cow...where do I even start?
This year was so huge for me. In so many ways, this was a "bad" year. A lot of icky thins happened. And yet, I did something new for me. In 2016, I turned to Christ and my Heavenly Father instead of hiding from them. I leaned into them, trusted in their understanding instead of my own, and put faith in their plan for me. I prayed,..BEGGED...for help at times. For peace. I don't need my problems to go away, but I do desire peace. I also desire such strength and magnitude of self that no one, and nothing, will diminish my sense of value. I believe this year I have achieved that! Finally. But not on my own. So don't give me the credit...but oh, how free do I feel!

So free. And so valued. I see myself now through the eyes of God. I'm not ashamed of it, I am proud. I respect myself. I love myself and I love others with the pure love of Christ better.

The prompt for week 51 is 100 things to be grateful for. I'm still making my list!! But it's coming, and I promise to post it. 

The prompt for week 52 is did this Challenge change you?
Yesssss!
So much.
It made me focus.
It made me realize that while there can be crappy stuff, I literally have the choice to choose how I will react and how I feel. This is a skill, I wasn't born with it. I've spent ALL of 2016 learning--and praying for--it. I feel like it's been given me now, and the more I practice it the better I get at it. I love having a grateful heart. I like trying to pick out the positives in my day. Instead of the negatives. In fact, I just act like the negatives don't even exist, that way my life is as dreamy as I want it to be :)

And that concludes the ENTIRE 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge!!
I can't believe it's over...I'm a little sad. But in a happy way :)
Bring on 2017!!!
Thanks for following along:
Xo
Brittany Shannon

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Review: Bible Origami by Todd Huisken

What a fun idea!

Have you ever heard of origami? The Art of folding paper? Of course, you have. Well, this book, Bible Origami combines the fun of paper folding with stories from the Bible. 

Jonah and the Whale, Daniel and the Lion's Den, and Noah's Ark are just to name a few. There are also tutorials for basic words like wheat and dove.



What is unique about the book Bible Orogami is that many ages can enjoy it. For younger children who need help, adults can assist in the paper folding while telling the story so that it is an entertaining learning experience. Teenagers and adults will have no trouble at all following the easy to read instructions.

I think this book is a good idea for Monday night family home evenings, too.
Bible Origami would make a great gift to any family looking for new ways to incorporate bible study into their lives, with an activity you don't see or hear about every day.

There is a design for "manger" which I did on Christmas for my kids. I really enjoy this book. Thanks, Todd, for Bible Origami!

Monday, December 26, 2016

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge: Weeks 48 and 49

Where has time gone!? I'm not sure. But I've been so caught up in the Year that these weeks have slipped away.
52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge week 48&49 prompts are:
Your job
And
Things you like about winter.

My job, where do I begin?
First, I'm a mother. My job is the best. People say that. It's so ironic and cheesy and predictable. But I don't know how else to say it. I love being a mother. And I LOVE my toddlers!!!! Haha...most people would say they love "babies" and they get "baby hungry" and "babies are so sweet". I have to say I would give birth to a toddler if I could. Seventeen of them!! This is probably a combination of the fact that I had a unique situation with my babies. They were very difficult. Both my babies had severe colic and reflux. The uncontrollable and inconsolable crying of my helpless infants did something wild to my psyche. I would prefer not to do it again. Also, the parenthood skill set God equipped me with finds toddlerhood just dreamy. It is perfection. I can't even deal.

I am also a cosmetologist and a writer. It's an exquisite myriad of introverted and extroverted talents that make my creative heart soar. I'm getting my sequel ready to release. Book one, OG, has been a hit. I'm so glad people like it. I love doing hair. It makes me happy. I think I'm good at it, but I'm putting more time into my writing right now. It makes me happiest!!! (Next to MOTHERHOOD of course)

Things I like about winter?
(Chirp)

Lol, jk. I am such a sun bunny. I live for summer. But with my kids, it is fun to watch them get excited about snow. I also had the most magical Christmas I could dream of. Both mine and my husband's birthdays are in the winter. That makes it fun. And all of the holidays. Being with family, hot chocolate!!!!! With my marshmallows. My favorite food group.

And that concludes Weeks 48&49 or the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge!
Just so happy to be alive and be blessed the way I am. 
Xo
By
Brittany Shannon

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Your Zen Mama

Hi friends!
I am delighted to share with you my article, titled "How to be Sexy as a New Mum" featured today on YourZenMama.com.

I LOVE this site and the community the founders have started. It is all things "parenting" and "mama".

Check out their site and my article in the Mom Love section for some giggles and mommy love. Follow Your Zen Mama on social media for updates, advice, and articles about having little humans around.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy!
By Brittany Shannon