Archives for category: love

EINE GUTES NEUES JAHR meine Freunde und Familie!

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Ich hoffe euch allen sind gut und gesund! Mir geht es gut… Ich nehme jeden Tag nach dem anderen.

Okaiiiiii, jetzt auf Englisch…

Time escapes me quickly here, so these are raw and unedited thoughts coming from me to you.

It’s been a really good, extremely blessed, interesting and somewhat complicated time so far.

The process of moving to another country and getting all of the logistics completed is a drawn out process. I can’t accomplish some big/important tasks without first some very small yet key details. For example, I have not yet been able to open a bank account because I first had to get proof of where I am now living. I can’t get a new SIM card until I get a German bank account with a German Visa card. I’m still waiting to get a response from the bank. In addition, so many German holidays in the past week have painfully slowed this process. Ein Tag nach dem anderen – one day at a time.

For the next three months I am living with my friend Melina’s family, in Reutlingen. I have been beside myself with how incredible and generous they have been in helping me with EVERYTHING. For an independent gal like me, I have been repeatedly humbled several times in each day and deeply impacted by the abounding love and grace I am immersed in.

A very unexpected surprise came to me when Papa Martin und Mama Dani said to me, “Lindsey, instead of you taking the bus to the train station, and the train to another bus to get to school, you take one of our cars!” Yes, I have a car to drive back and forth to school for the next three months, which not only saves me money, but also at least 2 hours of commuting a day! Simply, WOW.

I am moved by the true love in this family. I am transformed by how they include me so naturally as one of their own. It is something special to eat breakfast, lunch (on the weekends) and dinner together every day, and for Papa Martin to lead off in a time where we all pray, give thanks and acknowledge our Lord before we embark upon each day. Family is so uniquely different in Germany. As I continue to spend a lot of time with the Link Family, I experience the gentle touch, endless love and holistic healing of Abba Father through them.

Yesterday, I received an email from the police station in a different city, “Dear Ms. Brunsman, Your wallet and passport were found in the “Ranitzky” restaurant in Tübingen. Now it is at the police station…” WHAT?! My heart stopped – I had no idea that it had fallen out of my purse, and I have absolutely no idea how that could have happened, but it’s a true miracle that it was safely found and given to the police with nothing missing from it. Colossal provision and protection from the Lord.

Today was my first day of German class at the Sprache Institute in Tübingen. It went very well, although it was also very difficult. I really like my teacher. I definitely have my work cut out for me the next few months… and actually this will be my next to last English communication for a while (I have another post almost complete) because many people have advised me to have very limited English communication while I am learning German. Today my German teacher told me absolutely no English. Going back and forth between the two is a huge set-back and prevents me from being able to excel in learning, thinking, listening, writing, reading and speaking German. So I told her that I would send a long English message to all of my friends and family today, then follow her advice. I will STILL be in touch with all of you, aber auf Deutsch, and you can translate with Google, ja? And please, it fills my heart with a sense of home and encouragement to hear from all of you – so be free to get in touch with me (in English).

Here are some photos of where I am now living, of my time here so far, the city where I’m going to school and a photo from my last trip with the Link Family.

I mean this with every bit of my heart when I say that I miss each of you greatly. Your absence from what was my normal-daily-American-living life is deeply felt. It’s definitely a vast challenge stepping into a new country, culture, language, but everything is more than okay. Ich nehme jeden Tag nach dem anderen mit meinem Gott. Er ist genug.

I send much love, hugs and smiles to you all. Sei gesegnet.

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I have been profoundly blessed with a home that I call my place of peace and refuge for the last three years and two months. This particular spot will forever be etched into my heart and my story… countless hours of sitting before the Lord: undergoing radical surgical procedures of my heart, soul and spirit, releasing buckets of tears, fighting to let go, observing and smiling in awe at the beauty, movements and sounds of nature, receiving endless healing, hope and empowerment, engaging in hours upon hours of prayer and basking in the embracing warmth of His glory. I have been so romanced and amazed even on the most overcast of days by the sun, who always found a way to peek through the clouds and shine in on those moments, even if only for a few seconds.

In exactly 14 days, I will continue forward in my journey, letting go and flying free out of this nest of a home, with many tears of joy intertwined with tears of grief that come with change. I am reminded that for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬-8)

My heart is full of endless gratitude for these 1,171 days of goodness and blessing. May it be doubly so for the next young gal who is coming in right behind me.

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…I recently had a vision for a brother of mine who is across the sea and in the land of Germany, so I decided to pull out my old books, paint, wood stain, brushes, pencils and erasers and go to the drawing table.

Through the duration of working on this piece, a few of the powerfully prophetic lyrics of one of my favorite songs by one of my most-liked artists kept repeating in my mind along with this vision:

when the night comes, 
and you don’t know which way to go 
through the shadowlands, 
and forgotten paths, 
you will find a road  

like an owl you must fly by moonlight with an open eye, 
and use your instinct as a guide, to navigate the ways that lays before you, 
you were born to, take the greatest flight…

—White Owl, by Josh Garrels

Another year quickly gone by… today my dear brother, Chandler, would have been 21 years old! Today was perfect, beautiful and truly the BEST day ever!

I am so tickled to have spent this day with two of my favorite people, my second parents – Mark and Dianne. We adventured to one of the most gorgeous land-locked bodies of water I’ve ever seen – Crater Lake National Park. We hiked to the top of one of the points for an incredible view and couldn’t take in enough of the beauty while being mesmerized by the refreshing tones of blue. If only we could have dived off into the water… perhaps next time.

Amazing dinner at one of my favorite spots, topped off with sweet beats, fire pits, friends and a toast in honor of Chandler’s 21st. This day couldn’t have been any better.

Brother, you are SO ALIVE in my heart! I cherish and am honored to carry your legacy with me every single day… infinitely thankful to our Heavenly Father for you and your life and that I was part of it, and that you are a part of mine forever and always…

I raise my glass to you. Love and miss you TOO much! xoxo

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35 hours of airports and airplanes… let’s do this! done & done.

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Thailand & Cambodia

Off I go for Thailand and Cambodia…

I will arrive Bangkok, Thailand on the afternoon of the 9th, and continue on to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the 12th thru the 23rd.

My purpose in Bangkok is just to explore and experience some of the city, sights and culture.

My purpose in Cambodia is to do photojournalism for a non-profit called Steps of Justice; a justice based organization that partners with local churches, communities, and activists to bring awareness, education and practical steps that help people engage in serving the poor and oppressed of the world. I will be with an international team of about 20 other’s.

My primary focus is to capture photos along subject matter of: human trafficking, poverty, clean water, orphans, education and more. These photos will be used by Steps of Justice for a 30-day prayer and action guide as well as for their marketing purposes.

I would really value prayers for:

safety and protection – of myself, the team I’ll be with and equipment/belongings,
health,
discernment and sharpness,
peace and assurance,
insight and wisdom,
that my hands and eyes would be anointed to see and capture God’s story and His heart…,
and that I would be Spirit filled and led,
that the Lord’s glory, love, truth and healing would triumph and shine through us to every person we encounter.

If you would like to stay updated, I will be posting photos daily on Instagram & FB!

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, 
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.—Is. 61:1-3

Here I am Lord, send me —Is. 6:8

lettinggoisloving

A lot of unfathomable change can take place in just one year… in just one day, one hour or even one second. In so many ways I’m not the same person from one year ago, notably in how I relate to others and walk out in relationships. It seems unreal and is crazy to me.

I’ve gained self-revelations that have been profoundly humbling and life-giving, and at the same time have grieved my heart and soul beyond words. If only I had known and seen what I know and see now five or ten years ago… but I cannot dwell upon that wish. Thankfully my Lord and Savior has granted me much grace and mercy with myself as I humbly look in the rear-view mirror and recognize the path of devastation I caused upon myself and others. He has given me so much grace and mercy for myself because I was, at a time, blind and plowing through everything and one around me like a bull in a china shop.

I literally didn’t know any other way.
I was operating with dysfunctional and toxic tools of relating that I was trained with and raised to use.
I was surviving in self-protecting habits formed from childhood trauma.
And I was drowning in a roaring sea of fear and lies.

The truth is, I have never known what love actually looks like or how it rightfully and healthfully operates.

I’m speaking of true love, the love of my Heavenly Father… the love He speaks of in His word and commands me to have for Him, myself and my brothers and sisters. The love that triumphs over and destroys fear. A love that is selfless… and I could go on with a long definitive list.

One year ago marks a pivotal point in my life that I now commemorate. A point where I exploded free from cursed walls that I had exhausted myself and failed continually at getting past. My eyes and heart were blinded by ebony veils that kept me stuck in an unhealthy and vile pattern I detested. Long story short, those veils were miraculously and thankfully removed by my Redeemer, and over the course of a year thus far, my life has been a healing process of being completely stripped bare and learning for the first time what true love is and how to walk out in it. What does being stripped bare look like, you may ask? For me, it was being stripped of all relationships and being hidden quietly with Christ in solitude for nearly a year, so that He could gently open my eyes and heart to one revelation at a time. Hours adding up to days, and days adding up to months of painfully sitting alone and still to be “re-programmed”, while filling up countless buckets with tears. I’ve not wept more in my life than I have these past 12 months.

I believe I have enough words to write a book about the refinement, goodness and truth I’ve gained in 365 days, but to highlight and extend upon one personal revelation out of the many I’ve come full-circle on is…

Letting go is loving. 

Before I share thoughts on this idea, I would like to acknowledge that I don’t have this all figured out – these are my personal revelations up to now. I am daily being enlightened to additional truths of what letting go looks like, and further challenged to continue risking steps forward in doing so.

Letting go has been the theme of my life for three and a half years now, and only recently have I begun to embrace the heart of what it means. It is the single most courageous act of love I am challenged to walk forward in every day of my life. Simultaneously, letting go is the most devastating, painful and seemingly impossible deed I’ve ever been burdened with, yet doing so is radically liberating.

The tighter and longer I hold on, the more I’m vying for control and my will be done, while creating greater heartache for myself and all who are involved. When I openly let go, I am freely able to  give and unconditionally love. There are many scenarios of letting go, but one example to follow this thought is:

 Think of when someone hurt you intentionally or unintentionally. As you hold onto that hurt, bitterness takes root, pride is welcomed and encourages you to judge and avenge yourself, and fear invades and locks you in to withholding love. On the contrary, if you let go of and forgive the wrong, it is a true act of love. It is a humble acknowledgement that we are all human and the one(s) who have hurt us, as well as ourselves, are broken human beings coming together from different walks of life, doing the best we know how with what we’ve been given and trained to use. Letting go in this scenario is a willingness to see beyond ourselves, admit that it’s not about us, erase all debts and expectations and confess that we hurt people too. We need their grace to let go and forgive just as much as they need ours.

Letting go of wrongs incurred upon you from others is one scenario; letting go of lost/ended relationships and of desires, hopes and dreams are two others. There are many detailed scenarios of letting go that I believe (at this point in my revelation) would nest under one of these three.

To let go of a desire, dream or hope does not mean that I stop desiring, dreaming or hoping; it just looks different. It’s difficult to put into words this idea, but desires, dreams and hopes that I’ve let go of, remain alive in my heart, but they are held loosely in the flat palms of my hands pushed upward as far as I can reach towards Heaven. It’s being okay if I don’t see or experience the desire/dream/hope come to fruition in my life on earth. What if God has something beyond my limited capacity to dream that is better than what I believe to be good and desire?

All together letting go is creating room for something new to be birthed. It’s respecting God’s will, in addition to other’s free will. It’s acknowledging that it’s not about me, and that it’s okay to not be in control. It’s radically liberating (to illustrate this point: I exhaust myself when I fight against a current and still end up moving with it in the direction I don’t necessarily want to go. When I let go, my perspective takes a 180º turn off of myself and I’m able to freely move forward, take in the beauty of everything around me and give to others). Letting go is a monumental leap of courage and a sprint of faith and trust towards what is uncomfortably right and true.

So as my story proceeds, I simply take each day one at a time, seeking to be educated, refined and strengthened in true love. May I freely and unconditionally love my God, brothers and sisters with everything in me as I wait patiently for my ultimate desire to be fulfilled – Heaven. Until then, my God alone continues to be enough for me even through letting go of all of my unfulfilled desires, dreams and hopes, lost and broken relationships and woundedness. May His kingdom come and His will (not my own) be done in my life on earth as it is in Heaven. Thank You, Abba Father.

{{psalm: one o’seven}}

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{love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination} —voltaire