breabird breabird

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Breanne  where imagery & story unearth joy. my online course: Hearken, coming 2019 to teach you how to do the same. mamabird || nky-cincinnati || more here! ⤵️

Hey, I'm Breanne and I'm so glad you're here. I try at least once a week to host a conversation where I learn about YOU! I've found this app is way more fun when I show up to connect. So, let's get to know one another a little better via this post, whaddya say?

I'm 29 years old. I'm socially awkward (always have been) but I dearly love deep conversation. I spent my childhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains daydreaming of dragons and sweeping battlefields. I used to say I was a photographer/writer but now I know I'm just a simple story lover. These days, you'll find me working from one of my two "offices" (an old ikea desk in our livingroom or the passenger seat of our cluttered up minivan). Jonathan Lee is my lover, fellow introvert and best friend. Behr and Scout are our two little sleep-stealing, joy-givers. Our biggest dream is to one day run my business from our home. Yes, we like each other that much.

And because I never want this to be unclear: Jesus Christ is the reason I'm able to keep rising each day. Galations 2:20 sums it up best: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Without Him, I'm lost.

Now, it's your turn! Jump in the comments share about yourself, ask me a question, or tell me about something you've needed another person to listen to this week. Just type it while drinking coffee and we'll pretend we're on a friend-date, ok? I'll be replying to anyone who joins in throughout the day. 🍃

Look how much they've grown since this picture was taken. All three of them. ✨ #whereImother

what if
you believed
for just
one moment
this day
your life
intentionally written
a wanted chapter
in the
Grand Story
would you
take a breath
become still
to give
it the
of your full

What is it? I ask no one. What is it about the fistful of notes from that song at exactly three minutes and twelve seconds? My skin becomes a lake and the notes are wind and everything in me ripples alive.

What is it about when Jonathan were long distance for three years, I finally wept that time he left because it felt like my heart was rending (it was). Was I sad? Or was my soul overflowing with gratitude for having found someone who’s separation from me hurt so deeply? Maybe that’s why the bitterness of it was a sweet taste in my mouth.

Or that time I sat on the granite coast of Maine with our firstborn swimming in amniotic current under my heart. I can recall sharply how I knew then that what was would never be again. Jonathan promised me that we’d figure it out together. And we have. But what is it about the grief of that moment that still feels so familiar to me?

Why do I look up at an orchestra of clouds singing their harmonies during sunset and feel a physical ache in my chest?

Why, when sadness lingers, is it less like a haunting and more like walking with an old companion?
Why does it hurt to behold beauty?

I have no answers but I do know this: I was made for a Far Golden Land. “...He has put eternity into man’s heart...”. I was made for Jesus Christ and my heart will never be whole until I see His face.

Perhaps then, this isn’t an ache of sadness after all. It's homesickness.

I grew up hiking in the Smokies. Parenting can feel like that. "Wow! What a view! Isn't this great?!" But also, "I'm tired. How much further? How much more will be required of my emotions, will and body to do this right?"

We are their Safe Place. We are their first tangible experience with unconditional love. We're the one's proving they were wanted and believed in from the moment they showed up (no performance required!). We *get* to show these two souls--in how we mentor and discipline and play and cut up their grapes and sing them to sleep--what the gospel of Jesus Christ looks like when lived out for others. It's both a weighty responsibility and golden delight all at once.

Sometimes, after those hikes as a kid, I'd wake up the next morning with a sore body; my only souvenir for what I'd put myself through the day before. Sure, it hurt but I didn't regret it. The best adventures always have a way of marking you, of making you stronger. I know parenting won't be any different. 🏞 More in my stories!

My entry for @instagram's Weekend Hashtag Project, #whpuptome.


Cold hands opening from fists. Once, I watched a jellyfish swell and small itself into the ocean, our hands look like that. Open, close, open. Blood pumped to the fingers, a warm red current.

Mochas and lattes at sunset. "Decaf for me, please." (thanks, anxiety) Her slung on my chest, yes still. Rocks tossed by his tiny hands in the sluice of the swollen Ohio. Plop! The water swallows it whole. I felt like that earlier.

Our favorite river city is rending like swords into the sunset. A sharp inhale in my gut. How can beauty and pain both cut so deeply?

We only stay for minute or two but it's long enough. Long enough to breathe in the golden air before the night. Long enough to remember what hope tastes like.
And that's what matters.

Rules for my Weekend Hashtag Project: share through pictures and words what keeps you going; keeps you coming back up for oxygen. Show (and tell) others what brings you joy. Because knowing what matters can change everything.

The secret to our relationship: we've accepted that we'll never figure it out.

Saying we've "figured it out" implies completion. It communicates finishing; a problem solved. But this is a marriage, not a math equation.

There will never be a one and done formula for the process of two people becoming one flesh.

As we walk our adjacent--but individual--paths of sanctification with Jesus Christ, we are constantly changing, failing and becoming new creations. We're maturing, and "being sifted like wheat". What didn't work for us then (in our communication, in our bedroom, in our day-to-day) does now but probably won't in the future. And that's ok. In fact, I think that's pretty dang exciting. There are few things more terrifying to me than the possibility of complacency.

We know that attempting to put a check mark next to, "figure out marriage" is a time-wasting goose chase that keeps us from the glorious, heart-pounding, perplexing, pleasurable pursuit of one another.

We won't ever have it all figured out. So instead, we're committing to always rise to the good, good challenge of learning and loving another as long as there's breath in our bodies and blood in our veins.

Consider this a dare from us for you to do same. You in?

"This isn't supposed to work. To love (meaning to sacrifice, help, pursue, learn of) one person until death and beyond, regardless. The commitment to find one another under the stress, the bills, the bedcovers; it's both a solemn joy and a continual death of self. The world would say that marriage is where the freedom to passionately love goes to die. If only they knew." •
Words I wrote about our relationship three years ago that I understand even deeper than I did back then. Happy Celebration Of Love Day, to my forever one.

Holding hands while life's mountains rise and fall under our feet. I couldn't ask for more. I'm so glad it's you, Jonathan Lee.

Falling in love with my life, as is, changed everything.

I'm not saying there aren't days (and weeks and years) that get labeled under the 'survival' section of my memory file cabinet. I have whole drawers that are thick and varied with many such stories. And I know Jesus is big enough for me to wrestle out questions of, "Why couldn't things have been different?" in the sovereign space of His mercy.

But what I've stopped doing is wishing my life looked liked yours or hers or anyone else's.

It's my job to embrace the life I have with all it's highs and heartbreaks. And it's your job to engage in the hard and holy work of doing the same.

Our time here is too finite to waste precious hours comparing or wishing we had what other's have instead of what we've been given.

Maybe it's not so much about 'falling in love' but instead, 'fighting to love'. Allowing God to equip us to fight for the joy in our lives-- regardless of circumstances--isn't some random happenstance we stumble into, it's a battle in the war we can't afford to lose.

Thank you for not doing it right. As in, this whole social media gig. You've been throwing the "right" way to do Instagram for a loop here and I'm loving it.

There's a lot of noise right now about "working the algorithm" and formulas to "keep followers engaged". It's a long, long list of shoulds and sure-fire ways to get ahead of the game for the "instagrammer" as well as the "audience." It's a polarizing message to buy into because you and I can start to believe that one of us stands on a podium while the other has been asked to be seated at a lower level and not speak.

Then, there's this space. This quiet corner of the wide, weird internet where we both show up and give. It feels like we've pressed mute on all the racket here. My heart--and hopefully yours too--feels immensely relieved by that.

Truth: there's no social media strategy that will replace the magic of *actually* listening to one other. I've stopped focusing on engagement or vanity growth and committed to listening instead. Listening to Jesus Christ, to His inner workings on my soul, to you. And then, make time to do the hard, good work of creating something here that meets you where you're at to offer His love, help and hope.

But, do you want to know the best part? You've turned right around did the same thing for me (if we were talking together in person right now, I'd awkwardly clear my throat and kind of cough and blink really fast when I say that). You'll never know what it means to my still-healing heart to be supported in the ways I have been by you.

So, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to share parts of my story and be warmly welcomed, regardless. Thank you for teaching me that social media status is laughably irrelevant. Thank you for challenging me to show up to serve, not show off to be seen.

When the world shouts at us to keep clambering to the top, we can choose to clear off the table, sit down and commune.

They'll say we're doing it all "wrong" and I couldn't be more grateful. Thank you. 🍃

The earth stretches wide, births a bloom and we call it Spring. A woman does the same in childbearing and our culture calls her body's after-shape, Shameful.

The sagging, striped evidence of the most significant physical feat I have ever accomplished is supposed to be sheepishly labeled a "mom-bod" and hurriedly cloaked underneath a flowy shirt before anyone notices.

I will always be marked by the truth that I grew my son and my daughter in this body. My youngest is nineteen months old. I am no longer in the tender postpartum phase. I never bounced back. I am not a rubber ball. I am a mother.

A storm ripples into a smooth sky and we gasp in awe. The moon grows large and round and we marvel at it's luminosity. A river swells, scarring the red-brown land and we call it breathtaking.

By God's sovereign grace, I partook in all this and greater; in the miraculous act of creation itself. Tell me, why would I ever be ashamed of the way my skin remembers that?

"Christians hold fast to the conviction that 85 years of protection, shelter, food, clothing, health, peace, prosperity, social justice, comfort, and happiness, followed by an eternity of misery, is not a good life. And we know that real love will not settle for such a tragic life. It prays for more." - John Piper • Conversations between Jonathan and I lend towards the future a lot. "What are we hoping for? What do we want life to look like?" It's strange to define it and work towards it all while holding things loosely and saying, "If the Lord wills." God's ways are not our ways and, as much as I wrestle with that truth, I'm still undone at the mercy of it. I don't know which doors we're knocking on will be opened by Jesus, but my prayer is that we continually surrender our limited earthly vision and make room for Him work.

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