Introduce yourself as if we were on a coffee date! Tell us about yourself. Would you be drinking coffee or tea?
Hello! My name is Brooke and I am the adoring wife of six years to my husband, Josh, and a mother to my two precious sons, Josiah (4) and David (just turned 2). My passion as a wife, mother, and homemaker is to weave a tapestry of grace that points to Christ in every fiber of our daily lives. I love creating a beautiful atmosphere in our home where the beauty and the peace of the Lord is found. And where the hearts of my husband and sons are refreshed and nourished. In addition to being a stay-at-home mom, my husband and I own a photography business together, Living Reflection Photography. Our heart is to capture God-given legacies as they reflect the Master Artist in every frame we capture. I am an artist seeking beauty—true beauty Himself in each God-given moment. I am heavily leaning on Christ for His wisdom, guidance, and grace as I navigate each day for His glory.
If we were to sit down and chat over a steaming cup of something delicious, my first drink of choice right now would be a delicious Caramel Brulee Latte.
When did you start following Jesus?
I grew up in a Christian home, which as a mommy myself I now know what a precious gift that was, and I am so grateful for the legacy my parents have given me. My parents told me that I invited Jesus into my heart at the age of two, but the day I gave my whole heart to the Lord I remember as clearly as yesterday. I was seven years old in Sunday school. I don’t remember exactly what was taught that morning, but I remember the Spirit pressing deeply on my heart in such a beautiful way that it will always be hallmarked in my mind. I couldn't stop crying, tears were pouring down my face. Church was over and I was still on my knees, face pressed against the floor, washing the feet of my Savior with my tears. I couldn’t quite articulate why I couldn’t stop crying at that point in time, but I did know a heavy reality of my sin and the beautiful gift of grace and restoration the Lord was offering me, and I gave my whole heart and life to Him.
It would take such a long time to share my entire journey of faith up to this point but the Lord has been so gentle with me. Tenderly leading me, refining me, and wooing me. It has been a sweet journey and I wouldn’t trade any of it. Even through all the hard moments where the pruning and refining hurt, He has been shaping me into a picture of Himself. I know I have a long ways to go but I am so thankful I get to follow hard after Him and be molded by the Potter’s tender hands.
What is your definition of a well-watered woman?
A well-watered woman is a woman who is deeply rooted by the streams of Living Waters (Ps. 1:3; Jer. 17:8).
She flourishes (Ps. 92:13) and does not wither because she is sustained, nourished, refreshed, restored, upheld, and renewed by the Most High.
She is called an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of His splendor … for His glory (Is. 61:3).
Her delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law does she meditate both day and night (Ps. 1:2). She is fully satisfied and refreshed as she follows in the footsteps of her Lord and Savior.
How do you give Jesus the first moments of your day?
I’m a mommy of two adventurous boys who are not only ready to start the day as soon as they bounce out of bed, but are also early risers. Starting the day in the Word has been a challenge for this night owl. Rising before the boys means being intentional and going to bed on time so I can immerse my heart in His word first thing in the morning. Allowing His vision to be set before me is alway worth it, though. When I have steeped my heart in His presence I can always see it overflow onto my day. Allowing my heart to be tuned and alined to His shifts my whole outlook on that day and strengthens me as the day unfolds.
My days are so busy, and if I don’t diligently guard and intentionally seek His face it so easily gets pushed aside. A quote by Martin Luther that often comes to my mind says, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” This quote challenges my heart and I can attest to its truth. I have so much to do today that I need to spend time in His presence so that my well is full and ready to be fully poured out.
A typical morning for me these days looks like waking up before the sun rises, snuggling deep into our couch with a blanket (since the mornings are getting chilly—hello beautiful autumn that is slowly fading into winter!), lighting a candle, turning on soul-stirring instrumental music, and digging into the book of James. Atmosphere is a big deal to me so I love "setting the stage" for a sweet time of seeking my Savior's face. As I sit at His feet the sun rises—the dawning of a new day greets me as the sun’s rays warmly touch me and dance across my walls. I watch the Master Artist paint a new rose-tinted sunrise causing me to breath in each moment of His perfect grace and breath out His praise.
Expectations aren’t always met, though. Some days I don’t wake up when I should. Some days I wake up on time, but as soon as I am all settled, ready to sit at the Lord’s feet, one of my little men wakes up. I am learning that as I live each moment of my day surrendered to Him, holding my expectations lightly then I am still giving Him every moment of my day. It is all worship.
What sort of spiritual season do you find yourself in now? What verses are you clinging to in this season?
Psalm 23 has been an anthem of my days for quite some time now. It was one of those chapters I almost always overlooked and under-appreciated since it was so well-known and everyone memorizes it and quotes from it. I guess I saw it as a "typical Christian" chapter, thus making me shy away from it. But every scripture is breathed out by God and He has most certainly breathed into my heart through this psalm.
I am “in the trenches of motherhood” so to speak. In a season of selflessly pouring out, the Lord is sanctifying and pruning my heart so I may become a more glorious reflection of Him. I am daily tending to the “garden” the Lord has entrusted into my care. Nurturing my tender shoots: my two boys. Tending, toiling, weeding, planting, loving, and watering. As I daily pour out I need to fill my cup with His refreshing Living Water. The promises I have found in Psalm 23 resonate with my heart deeply in this season. I could probably fill pages with the lessons He has taught me and is teaching me. As I tap into the deep well, His grace and wisdom wash over me in my time of need. My cup overflows because He fills me.
What intentional daily habits help you remain rooted deeply in the Word of God?
Here are a few ways I intentionally invite Christ into the daily ebb and flow of our days:
- Starting my day by tuning my heart to His grace and re-alining my perspective throughout the day is vital for me.
- Prayer is interwoven throughout my day. As I see the sunrise a prayer wells up. When I am tempted to lose my patience with my boys, I pray. I am learning to pray over my boys through the day as well. I pray as I wash their hands, "God, bless the work of these precious hands; may they always be raised in surrender to you.”
- I pray as I do the laundry or dishes. A prayer wells up within me as something He has been teaching me causes me to lift my voice in praise. One of my heart’s desires to become a woman of prayer at a deeper level. I want it to be the very air I breathe. "To be a Christian without praying is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." –Martin Luther King Jr.
- Listening to music that stirs my soul and the heart's of my two little gentlemen in training (such as instrumental, scripture lullabies, worship music, praise music, any beautiful music that stirs my heart to adore my Lord). We also like listening to audio Scripture while the boys are playing.
- In the mornings, as I am getting ready, I like listening to a podcast. A few favorites are: The Glorious in the Mundane, At Home with Sally, Risen Motherhood, and Set Apart Girl.
- Steeping, pondering on what the Lord has been highlighting to me throughout the day. I love what Luke 2:19 say about Mary, the mother of Jesus: "Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” We can treasure the lessons the Lord has been teaching us, pondering them in our hearts and seeking out their truths.
- Purposely and intentionally setting aside the tyranny of the urgent. Living in such a fast-paced generation where we are constantly bombarded with information and things to do we can easily get caught up into the highway of life and feel the pressure of “needing” to do this or that when we are unintentionally sacrificing what truly lasts: that which is eternal.
- Fellowshipping with like-minded women. Women who are seasons far ahead of you, young women seeking after the Lord, and like-minded sisters who are in the same season you are in. I have my own “sisterhood” that has been a true source of encouragement, inspiration, and refreshment. It’s a blessing to be walking through the trenches with others who are going through similar things, so you can stand alongside each other, reminding each other of His promises and praying for each other throughout your days.
- And last but not least, reading biographies of heroes of the faith such as Hudson Taylor, David Wilkerson, CT Studd, Amy Carmichael, Lilias Trotter, Gladys Aylward, Darlene Deibler Rose, or Corrie Ten Boom. Reading their stories always inspires and presses me into greater depths on this journey of faith.
Who is a "well-watered mentor" or example in your life, and how has she helped you become a well-watered woman?
I am privileged to be surrounded by many women to look up to in this journey of faith, including my very own mother, my mother-in-love, and so many women in our church body. Each of them portrays a stunning facet of my Lord Jesus. It’s a beautiful thing to see how, as each woman lives the life the Lord has set before her, she radiates Christ just the way He created her to. They each portray Him differently. Bring the whole picture together and it is breathtaking.
I also admire Elisabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael. Although I never met either of these dear women, they have deeply impacted my heart, my faith, and my love for my Savior. The Lord has used their lives, testimonies, and stories to mentor and shape me into who I am today. He isn’t bound by time. Isn’t that an amazing thing?
What books are you currently reading, or have recently read, and would recommend to our community?
A Passion For the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter, A Blossom in the Desert, and Parables of the Cross. Oh goodness, I could probably share about Lilias Trotter for hours on end. She inspires me, just like Elisabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael. She was an artist, and as an artist myself I feel as if she “speaks the language of my heart.” I am sure that if we were friends we would be “kindred spirits.” Please do read her books—you will be blessed, I assure you. There is also a documentary on Lilias Trotter, “Many Beautiful Things,” which is inspiring and well-done.
And as a parent, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp has been a huge blessing to me, as well as the highly convicting but wonderful book by Paul David Tripp, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change You Family.
If you could tell every woman on this blog one piece of wisdom, what would it be?
"The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived—not always looked forward to as though the ‘real’ living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow." –Elisabeth Elliot
Something the Lord has taught me over the years is that each season of life is truly beautiful. Each season is a gift from the Lord. So dear sisters, live each precious moment you have been given to the fullest. Don’t wish it away or fritter your time away thinking the “real” living will start when you get married, or get you get your dream job, or fill-in-the-blank. Everything the Lord places in your path is building you, perfecting you, and refining you so that you may be a more glorious picture of Christ. Each season is a stepping stone for the next. Every thread is needed in this tapestry of grace God is weaving through your journey. Sometimes the bravest course of action is to implicitly trust the Author, Sustainer, and Perfecter of your life and faith, and joyfully embrace each day and season He has entrusted to you.