Thursday, June 12, 2014


Well, I'm not too sure how many followers I have left on this blog...but to those of you who are still out there, I would like to introduce you to my NEW WEBSITE!!!

Light, Blessings, & Life can be found at

The website includes a "quote blog" in addition to my "normal blog" and several extra added features.

The site is designed to inspire and I pray that you will find some hope nestled in its pages.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


They said it was impossible.

Jesus knew better, though, and he said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

A lot of people in my class didn't even want to walk. They thought a community college graduation was a joke. They couldn't wait to move on to stage 2. And let's face it, I'm excited for the future too.

This isn't what I pictured. 10 years ago I crossed the stage as high school valedictorian. My future was vibrant. I was ambitious. The world was my oyster. This is nothing like what I pictured for myself.

It's even better.

I have never felt more loved. More blessed. More overwhelmed with joy.

Life is precious and the life I have is truly a miracle.

So for some, yesterday was just a lame day of symbolic tradition. But for me, it was rich with meaning. As I walked across the stage and moved my tassel, my heart nearly burst with excitement. I have defied the laws of psychiatry and the reality that had been imposed upon me. By the healing power of Jesus, my hope was restored and my ability to dream has been reignited.

You'll be seeing more of me, folks. Just you wait.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

an empowering rant.

This is going to be a little bit of a random post.  I have several things to cover:
  • Warning: This is a rant.  People take things too seriously.  Yesterday, I posted something on Facebook.  I recently purchased Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Junior for Skylar to start teaching her about money in a responsible way.  For those of you who don't know, Dave Ramsey believes in eliminating all debt and his big thing is to take shears to credit cards and destroy them all.  So, I found it highly entertaining that his website accepts credit cards as a method of payment for his Financial Peace products.  In an effort to be funny, I took a picture of the kit that arrived at my house last night and put it on Facebook with a humorous comment referencing the credit card irony.  Not moments later, my phone lit up with comments from people saying that Dave Ramsey only accepts debit cards and would never encourage the use of credit cards and blah blah blah.  UGGGHH!!  Seriously?!  Guys, it was a joke.  Even if it WASN'T true, it was just a funny comment.  But it WAS true!  Please don't try to make me look like an idiot on my own timeline.  Out of all the crazy ridiculous things that people do on Facebook.  Spelling words wrong.  Not using proper grammar.  Making impulsive comments on sensitive social and political issues.  This situation made me realize how frequently I attack and judge others in a similar manner.  Let's stop tearing each other down.  We spend so much time focusing on people's mistakes.  Why not channel that energy into looking for the best in people and seeking joy and humor in the simple moments of our lives?  For real, peeps.  Let's get it together.
  • Today is Thursday.  So Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were rough.  I received a lot of news that wasn't exactly welcome.  Things were building up and I think it all snapped into perspective when my physical therapist told me that I needed to be icing my hip during all of my breaks and keeping a steady stream of Motrin in my system.  Then I was told to start using a crutch whenever I'm not working.  Not exactly the news you want to hear 4 months post-op.  There's a lot going on there that I'm not going to get into at the moment.  But the general gist of things is that I am pushing myself WAY too hard.  Physically, emotionally, mentally.  You name it.  I had a few choices to make and it meant putting myself in an uncomfortable situation.  It meant calling my manager, drawing some lines, and setting some clear-cut expectations.  It meant identifying the problem areas and taking a stand.  Since graduating from Mercy, I've encountered a lot of challenging situations.  But this week was the first time that I really saw that I had a defined choice to make and that no one else could make it for me.  I saw where I was and where I was going and I knew I didn't like it.  I knew what I needed to do to stop the cycle and I didn't like that either.  So I got to choose.  Was I going to let things happen or would I take action to change the course of events.  It was up to me.  I'm glad I made the call.  I think I finally have some clear cut guidelines that make me feel more secure in my ability to handle what is ahead.  I was immediately reenergized.  But the success of the phone call is not what sustains me.  It is the security that I have found in Christ.  Because of His strength in my weakness, I was able to stand up for myself and say to the world, "NO!  I WILL walk out my freedom.  I will not be bound and controlled by circumstance.  The price has been paid and I have been made worthy."  No matter the end result, I am empowered, confident, and courageous.  I am able to stand firm in an unstable and uncertain world.  So despite the chaos of life, I'm actually pretty excited.
  • Today marks 3 weeks until the Fall release.  That's 21 days until pumpkin spice (and a bunch of other new goodies that are going to be awesome).  You know you were dying to know.  Bring on September 5th, baby!

Monday, August 5, 2013


There's something to be said about being a part of something bigger than yourself.  Bigger than your world.  Bigger than your reality.

That's what this weekend was about for me.

A few weeks ago I received a call from Mercy Ministries asking me if I would share my testimony at an event at Seeds of Greatness in Delaware.  There was a lot to consider in making the decision.  It involved a lot of discussion with my support system and prayer with my God.  But in the end, I excitedly agreed to share my story of healing and transformation.

I've always loved public speaking, but this was different.  To reveal your deepest secrets and stand vulnerable before strangers is not the same as giving a speech.  Usually, a speech entails some sort of message.  There's an agenda.  A purpose.  A mission to accomplish.

So I guess in that way, a testimony is a speech.  There's a message of hope.  An agenda of healing.  A purpose of transforming.  A mission of saving and redeeming.

But when I give my testimony, it really isn't mine.  It's God's.  My life was, is, and will always be about the greatness of my God.  It is through my story that He is glorified.  His strength is magnified in my weakness.  His victory is displayed through my failure.  His peace is highlighted in my turmoil.  His blessings are abundant in my crises.

Anyone can see God in a rainbow, promotion, birth, graduation, or flower.  We love to get on Facebook and tell the world how God blessed us this week.  And that is awesome.  It really is.  But I often find that this can bring on more jealousy than hope.

But when we stand vulnerable before both our friends and enemies.  When we make ourselves available to God and He shows up in the midst of our THAT'S inspiring.  There's something about the brutal reality of such a lifestyle that DRAWS people.  Even when they don't want to be drawn.

There's no limit to what God can do through us.  Honestly, I was way more excited than nervous about sharing my life story with a few hundred strangers in a distant state.  I have witnessed what God is capable of doing in the life of a broken human being.  To be called upon to be a tool in the process is an incredible honor.  Sacrifices were made in the process, but I have never regretted walking in obedience.  And I've gotta say...there's nothing like standing on a stage next to Nancy Alcorn, opening your heart to the world and your soul to the Holy Spirit, and watching what happens in a room bursting with passion.

In my testimony I talk about all of the labels I received throughout the years.  How I used to define myself by the labels that teachers, mentors, and doctors all gave me.  But how Mercy showed me the truth.  I am not defined by any earthly labels.  I am a child of God.  A daughter of the King.

But, there IS one (and only one) label that I will cling to every day that I walk the face of this planet:

Brittany Bowen
Mercy Graduate


Thursday, August 1, 2013

the story of my nuked chocolate chip cookie.

Several things within the last hour have struck me as noteworthy:

First of all, I'm sitting here at my computer at 11:30 at night and I realize that I really have not been to the bathroom since 11:30 this morning.  This tells you something.  I am so busy right now that I actually forget to go to the bathroom.

Secondly, after the store was closed the 3 of us were still furiously cleaning for half an hour.  I had the trash bag full of expired pastries on the floor and I look over and one of my coworkers is crouched down eating pastries out of it.  He looks up at me with sad eyes and says, "This is not filling the void in my heart.  Is this what it has come to???"  We're laughing hilariously, but something about the whole situation rings true.

Is this what it has come to?

I don't know.  I mean, it's late.  I should probably go to bed.  I have to be back at work in less than 8 hours.  So I limited myself to one chocolate chip cookie.  I even microwaved it so it was kind of gooey.  Microwaving things always makes them taste better.

But despite the fact that I am indeed receiving some sort of comfort in a nuked chocolate chip cookie, the fact is that I will soon go to bed, get some rest, then wake up early enough to renew my mind a bit before heading into work again.  Even though I may rather come down with a severe case of the bubonic plague.  Because I refuse to be the one eating expired food out of a trash bag.  I've been there before.  It's not funny.  It's depressing.  And that is NOT what it has come to.

I knew this week would be a hard one.  I knew that the heart preparation required for giving my testimony on Saturday would leave my physical body and mind vulnerable to attack all week.  I knew that when I agreed to speak.  So I've been praying and I know that I am being prayed over.  I know that I am covered in prayer and that God is my strength in my moments of weakness.

It's easy to get caught up in the madness of the last few hours.  It's easy to forget about the feeling I had in the car.  I left the college just before 1:30 to stop at my house to change and be at work by 2.  I clearly did not have much down time.  But as I was listening to Kari Jobe while driving, I felt a wave of God's presence in my car.  He was there, siting in the passenger's seat.  I realized that His hand has been on every detail of the last several days.  That only He could have orchestrated things to come together as they are.

There's a lot at stake.  But I have to trust in Him.  Because I wouldn't have even realized what was at stake if He hadn't been whispering into other people's ears.  If He hadn't put my face in people's hearts.  If He hadn't planted my name as a seed in people's minds.

His hand is in it all.  So I'll snag my chocolate chip cookie BEFORE it goes in the trashcan.  I'll savor a moment and then I'll hit the rack.  He's gotten me further than I've ever gotten myself, so I think I'll leave the future to Him.  I'll just accept tomorrow as a day to scrub the floors, bathe in bleach, and study.  And we'll just go from there.

Monday, July 29, 2013

...freaky creepy girl listening to sketchy podcasts...

I always write about super serious stuff, so when this happened today, I knew that I had to share my life on a more humorous note.

While on my way to physical therapy, I began listening to a MercyTalk podcast by Nancy Alcorn.  My physical therapy lasts about 2.5 hours, then I get stim and Game Ready for 15 minutes.  Game Ready is this really awesome icepack on steroids because it also uses compression.  It's pretty magical.

But I digress.

Today I decided that I should bring my headphones in and listen to the end of my podcast while laying there with the Game Ready.  Sounds good, right?

The podcast I was listening to was Nancy talking about this girl who was crying.  She was mad at God because she couldn't understand why God would let her get pregnant.  It's actually a really good story that you should listen to sometime, but today it took on a whole new meaning for me.

Last week I got a new phone and it came with new headphones.  This was my first time using the headphones, so I plugged them in and started my podcast, but I couldn't hear anything.  So I just kept turning up the volume on my phone.

That's when I realize that the headphone jack isn't all the way plugged in.

Before I knew it, all I hear is Nancy screaming "SEX" through the entire open gym and everyone (physical therapists, assistants, techs, and patients included) turns and looks at me like I'm some kind of freaky creepy girl listening to sketchy podcasts.

All I could do was stutter the words "Nancy Alcorn," "Mercy Ministries," and "pregnant girl."  I'm not entirely sure that helped my cause, or that of Mercy Ministries for that matter.

Mostly it was thoroughly embarrassing.

What Nancy Alcorn was actually saying was that the girl wasn't pregnant because God "let" her get pregnant.  She was pregnant because she had sex.  It's a good lesson in life and one that I've heard countless times before.

So what's the moral of the story?  Honestly, I think I'm learning not to take myself so seriously.  Because life is just too hilarious to do otherwise.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

patience: not my virtue

I have to be honest and say that the last 2 days have been very challenging for me.  I'm still settling into my new role as shift supervisor at work and there's a lot to juggle.  I've been told that I'm a natural leader, but that doesn't mean there aren't challenges.  I have a lot of new responsibilities and I have very high expectations for myself.  Most managers get excited about these qualities in my character.  But I have to be careful.  Very careful.

Here's the thing.

I move and act with purpose.

This, I am realizing, is not a common concept.

This, I am realizing, is ok.

It is ok for me TO move with purpose.
It is ok for others NOT to move with purpose.

One is not better than the other, but the variance this produces in the execution of work results in a high degree of frustration for me, which whittles down my patience rather quickly.  The store becomes a vacuum.  I step inside of it and before I even start my shift my patience level is virtually nonexistent.

THIS is where the problem lies.

It's funny, because I knew something was wrong last night.  I was incredibly frustrated, but I knew that the circumstances were outside of my control.  I can only do so much.  I cannot clean, run, or train the entire store by myself.  I have to delegate.  This means that I cannot control whether or not everything gets done to meet company standards.  It's just the simple truth.  It's something that I have to accept because otherwise I will be miserable.  And I do NOT want to be that miserable coworker who hates the world and does nothing but complain about policies, peers, and the fairness of the universe.

Then what's a girl to do?

I have to be honest about something else in my life as well.  I've been doing this One-Year Reading Bible every day since Thanksgiving, but recently I've been running a little bit behind.  I still read a little each day, but it may or may not be the entire day's worth of reading.  So, needless to say, I am not on July 27th.  It's so cool to me how God uses every little detail of our lives, even the areas that we view as "slacking off."

I woke up early this morning to spend some time in The Word, and I'm on July 2nd's reading, which contains Proverbs 16:32.

"Patience is better than power, and controlling one's temper, than capturing a city."

Wow.  God might as well have just said, "Brittany.  I want you to show your peers love, grace, and mercy through time spent teaching and encouraging.  This is more important than the napkins being fully stocked and the chairs perfectly placed.  I did not position you here to perfect the store.  I placed you here to influence.  While you are helping others to grow, I will use others grow you as well.  You must have patience with both yourself and others."

The book I'm reading describes patience in several ways:
"...a long holding out of the mind before it gives room to action or to passion."
"...the tenacity with which faith holds out."

You know what I realize when I read these words?  This does not describe me at all.  I do not hold out before acting.  My faith is not tenacious.  And that is not ok with me.  It's not at all ok.

Next, I read my "Love Out Loud" Devotional (this time I DID read the page for July 27th), in which Joyce Meyer writes, "People are hungry and they are looking for something is an amazing thought to me that we are personal representatives of Jesus Christ and that He is making His appeal to people through us.  We are to go out into the world and let the Holy Spirit flow through us to show people God's love--His patience, kindness, goodness, and the other fruit.  Let the way you live your everyday life be a tool that God can use to draw other people to Him."

Now THAT'S what I want.  THAT'S who I want to be and how I want to be remembered.

I read all of this before going into work this morning.  And then I stepped into the store and things just happened.  I like to think I exercised a little bit more patience, but I know it wasn't nearly enough.  I know that in my heart.  I know that God has called out this flaw in my character so that I will invite Him into this area of my life and grow closer to Him.  So I welcome the opportunity, even though it might not seem like it.  And I try again tomorrow.

"O Father, help me to become a person of good temper.  Dwell deep in me so that I shall be the peaceful exception amid the disturbed surroundings that I encounter day by day.  Amen."