See a need, fill a need

The little boy I babysit LOVES the movie Robots. He watches it almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day, which I don’t mind because it is actually quite clever, funny, and entertaining. One of the catchphrases of the movie is “see a need, fill a need,” as the main character tries to take care of robots in danger of being outmoded. Tucked inside this quirky movie is a beautiful lesson for people of all ages to learn.

Today, I experienced this first hand. A member of the youth group reached out to my husband, the youth minister, and the church elders a week or two ago with a need she saw in our community and she acted on it. We rounded up a group of teens and headed to work today, in 90 degree heat (over 100 degree heat index…) for around 8 hours. I never heard a word of complaint, or even a look of dissatisfaction. They never wavered. Our entire group exuded energy, joy, hard work, and I believe, the light of the God who was working through us. It was a beautiful experience.

Our host, who needed help due to a bad knee, exuded hospitality, preparedness, and friendliness. She made us lunch and dessert, provided countless water bottles and cases of Gatorade, and had all of the supplies we could ever need to be successful with this project. It was great to spend the day with her and get to know her as we fellowshipped.

All in all, it was a day of filling needs and taking care of one another. I feel blessed to have witnessed it and to have these young people in my lives.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Matthew 25:34-40

My favorite snack mix (Gluten Free!)

If I had to choose a favorite snack, I would probably always pick homemade snack mix (Chex Mix, Crispix Mix, party mix, what have you). My grandmother makes homemade snack mix, my mom makes homemade snack mix, and my friends and I made homemade snack mix while we roomed together in college. I’m obsessed with the stuff. And while there are many different varieties, I have finally pinned down my favorite, based on my mom’s recipe, the original recipe found on the Crispix box, and the original recipe on Chex boxes.

My mom’s snack mix is the stuff of legends: Chex, 4 types of Goldfish, Cheerios, Cheez-Its, mixed nuts, pretzels, and more, depending on what she has available or buys at the store. And while I love this mix, it can be pretty expensive to buy all of these ingredients. I narrowed it down to my very favorites and kept only 3: Chex, Cheerios, and Cashews. Mmmm…

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What the World Needs Now

Today I’ve been struggling with the dichotomy of the human existence. 

(This post does contain more mature topics than those I usually write about, please use discretion.)

A few hours ago, I was sincerely contemplating how people could be so terrible, in light of the events that have struck America and its families this week. Then this evening, I genuinely asked myself how people could be so good, after experiencing loving interactions with my family members in Christ.

I feel confused and I also feel clarity. I feel sadness, but also joy. Anger, but also love.

So I wanted to write a little bit about what we are to do with this confusion, clarity, sadness, joy, anger, and love. I want to recommend four things that are so easy they just might save us all.

As a follower of God, an educator, a musician, and a friend, I might be a little biased in thinking that the four things the world needs now are God, education, art, and friendship based in genuine, self-sacrificing love. But as this is my blog, you are stuck with my opinions! However, I hope you might agree with some of them as we all strive to make this human experience more joyful, peaceful, and full of trust and cooperation.

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Music Mondays: Savannah

Today’s Music Monday is really special – I feel honored to share it with you, friends. About a month ago, I posted about having guest musicians share on this blog and today is the first Brianna Branches Out post not written by Brianna ;).

Savannah has graciously written about her musical experiences below, as well as shared a video of her and some family members singing together. It’s awesome, please enjoy:

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Music is Fellowship

Happy Monday everybody!

First, I want to acknowledge my month-long absence from blogging. I had some very busy and stressful Mondays, which is no excuse, but I also struggled with and was defeated by my consistency issue. Something happens, and has happened in many aspects of my life, when I miss one time and stop doing something all together. I am working on it 😅

I’m going to ease back in with a short post, because once again, I had a hectic Monday coming off of a very busy week and weekend. Caleb and I spent Tuesday through Saturday in Malibu, California at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures. We were joined there by his parents, who made the week all the more special. All of us were physically, spiritually, and mentally encouraged by the lessons, worship, and fellowship we experienced.

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Calling all Musicians!

Good evening readers!

Last week I wrote about music being a community. This week I’d like to give you the opportunity to be a part of my Music Mondays community! Although I am still trying to find my voice as a writer and blogger, I would also love to share the thoughts and words of fellow artists. My stories are limited to my experiences, and I know there are so many other musical and artistic viewpoints out there! If you are interested in being featured on Brianna Branches Out one Monday and would like more information, please contact me at briannabranchesout@gmail.com with the subject line Music Mondays. I would love to hear and share your stories, insights, and talents!

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