Sit and Listen.

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  • Luke 9:35
  • John 10:4-5, 27
  • Psalm 46:1-3

If you are like me, talking is your favorite past time and not just talking but laughing and joking around in general. I am the happiest when the people I am around are smiling and laughing. You know how Buddy the Elf says, “Smiling is my favorite!” Well, I converted that and made the, Sydney the Elf version, which is, “Joy is my favorite!”

Back on subject here. When it comes to talking, I am really good at it. I should be good at it considering I have spent the last 4 years of my life studying the art of communication. But I used my gift of communicating as a crutch. I grew to hate silence. My quiet time was not necessarily quiet. When I prayed I would fill the moments up with my own ramblings and never take a moment and truly breathe and listen. If no one at small group answered a question I quickly became the person to interject and answer so the silence would be a little less awkward.

And then my thoughts on silence shifted.

I love that sometimes the biggest breakthroughs come out of the most uncommon places or people. A couple semesters back I had two classes on news reporting and interviewing. As a reporter or interviewer you have to be okay with silence. There is a technique that famous reporters and interviewers use to get answers out of the interviewee. Y’all you seriously just have a stare-down with your interviewee (in the most polite/yet stern way of course).

What my professor said next, wrecked my world. She said, “People are so afraid of silence and awkward moments that if you just quietly wait for them, they have to fill the silence with their voice. They can’t stand it.”

That was me. I was the person that was so afraid of silence that I had to interject my voice into anything and everything, even in my QUIET time with Jesus. I slowly began letting go, and listening.

And it changed my relationship with Jesus. Praying didn’t seem like a one way conversation, where I flooded the throne room with my voice and requests. I imagine Jesus was patiently whispering, “Sydney. Hey Sydney. I love you.”

Listening enveloped my entire lifestyle. In situations where I don’t know what to say, I take a step back, and I listen. No, in Sydney’s world, his voice is not an audible voice. It is more like an intuition, a feeling, and I know it is Him because it isn’t what I would normally do.

Right now it can be hard to know what to say.

Do I address this tragedy of people dying on Facebook? What can I say that will actually help the situation? Will it just add fuel to the fire? How can I do anything?

These are the honest thoughts I had. I stepped back and I listened and I prayed and prayed. Father, give me the words to say.

And do you want to know the answer?

It was simple, and perfect. “Love. I have called you to love. Love them, don’t judge them. Love both sides. They matter to me, so they matter to you. Spread the joy I have given you.”

We have the ability to sit and listen to the creator of the universe. He has your answers, He knows what is best. Not that girl’s video on Facebook, not that post on Instagram and not the hashtags on Twitter.

Listen and pray, because He is ever present and near to you.

  1. Do you refrain from sitting and listening because you worry the voice in your head is not God speaking to you?
  2. How often, in a week, do you interject because you hate silence?
  3. What steps do you plan to take to make yourself a better listener to God and for your peers?

Meet me at the well.



  •  John 4:1-42
  • 1 Peter 5:6-7

Sometimes my relationship with our blog name is a love/hate relationship. I love the reasoning behind the name that we want you to be unfiltered and be 100 percent you. But that also means that we have to be 100 percent transparent and unfiltered.

And that, my friends, is scary.

I am writing this on a Wednesday night, the power is out and the only things awake are the chorus of frogs outside my window and me. I am not sure why I decided to write on this subject, because I was planning to write on attitude. I think I would be doing Unfiltered and you all an injustice if I did not write about this subject.

Tonight, I had a panic attack. I sat in my car crying and barely breathing because my emotions had gotten the best of me. No one did anything to me directly. It actually stems from years and years of holding my emotions in and not letting people past my barrier or my “fake self”. I think— actually I know, that panic attacks/anxiety are a little bit of an iffy subject. It is hard to talk about issues that cannot be visibly seen.

Side Note: I have to be honest, I hate the Facebook post that have a title like What it is like to be blah blah (Fill it in)… Please hear me out this is not another Facebook how to be a better you post. This is my honest ramblings that I know can comfort and show a young girl or boy that there is hope, and His name is Jesus.

I think I am writing this because no one other than my best friend, Bre, my hero champion encourager, knows about this. And our pastor, Jonathan Fox, preached on a subject that intertwines perfect with this in our Series Rise of the Imposter, here is a link, check it out. Anyway back to Bre. She has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. She stood by me in the Chick fil A bathroom while I ugly cried and could barely breathe. And guess what, she still chooses to stand by me. Not because I am just the bees knees, but because our relationship is built on the most solid rock, Jesus. She consistently reminds me and holds me accountable.

One of my favorite bible stories is about the woman at the well. Firstly, because LADIES REPRESENT! Secondly, because Jesus came to the unexpected, the scandalous, and the broken. The Samaritan woman was not going to the well expecting to meet a man, and that man be Jesus. She was just expecting to go and get a drink of water, to quench her thirst. I think it is cool that Jesus was just perched up on the well knowing full well what was about to happen.

This woman came to the well broken and thirsty but she left healed and filled. Jesus filled her. He didn’t look at her with disgust because she had been married 5 times. Jesus wooed our woman and told her, “If you only knew the free gift of God” (John 4:10). This was something she had never experienced, it is a pure free gift, no strings attached. She had only known human love and all the strings that come along with it. He did not come to clean her appearance or physical self, Jesus came to clean her soul. I think “Woman at the well” is a cool name because what Jesus did was take her circumstance and situation and make her well. Y’all, she forgot her water, the reason that she came! She was filled and then went. Life in Jesus is never still, it is ever-moving ever-changing.

People, Jesus came to me. He came to my version of the well. To my broken self. The panic-stricken girl and He said, “You are perfect. I love you, now go proclaim my gospel. Yes, you have a past but you are set free.” He did not wait until I was completely freed of panic attacks to send me. He sent ME to ITALY. I mean talk about panic attacks, I think I had an attack every time the plane went through mild turbulence (I’m looking at you Jacob White)! He is faithful and the reward was so much greater than the cost. My heart shifted in Italy, I became less focused on me and my own problems and more focused on Jesus.

Isn’t it beautiful that because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, all of us: the broken girl, the girl who is weary, the anxiety stricken girl, the panic attacked girl, the girl that was married fifty-eleven times, the girl with the attitude and the overwhelmed girl. We are all on a level playing field because of Jesus. It humbles and completely blows my mind that God could look at me and call me beloved, precious, and HIS!


Questions to ponder and then journal:

  1. What is one thing that stuck out to you while reading the verses?
  2. Think about a time when Jesus met you where you were, write it down. Don’t over think this one, because it happens everyday!
  3. This may be simple but do you struggle with anxiety/panic attacks?
  4. If so, what triggers your attacks, and could this be caused by a lack of trust?
  5. When was the last time you left your worries with Jesus? We know this isn’t a quick fix, but constant communication with Jesus the good, the bad, and the ugly isn’t a bad idea!
  6. Journal your thoughts and “Cast your cares unto him.”

Loving through the conflict.

Have your Bible next to you as you read this because this post is full of Scripture!

You know that gut feeling when you are in the middle of a verbal fight? It’s sickening. You know exactly what you are supposed to do, you know exactly what to say, and you just don’t do or say anything to anyone. Why? Is it because I have a fear of conflict? Do I hate admitting that I am in the wrong? What is it?!

Before I begin to answer these questions, I wanna see what Jesus would say. I know He was never the butt of any quarrels (except with the Pharisees, but Jesus was just spittin’ mad truth), but I do know He knows how to fix them. In Matthew 5, Jesus is speaking on a mountain. It’s quite famous, from it we get Beatitudes (which are just eight blessings on the Kingdom’s citizens) and we continue to revisit this conference that Jesus spoke at for days! Chapter 5: 23-24 says, “So if you are offering your gift at the alter and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the alter and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” HOW THE EARTH DO I RECONCILE MYSELF BACK TO MY BROTHER, WHOM I HAVE MADE ANGRY??? I JUST WANT TO FORGET ABOUT IT AND MOVE ON!

But then I go to my friend; I apologize and beg for forgiveness. This is when I usually hear, “Bre, you have to gain my trust back.” Quite honestly, I’ve heard those words a lot. I’m not usually the brother that was wronged; I’m usually the brother that is wronging. I am continually gaining and regaining peoples trust and hoping that I work my way into good graces. There is an amazing truth about our Father: no matter what brother you are, the Lord forgives quickly and you can do absolutely nothing to attempt to gain it back and then….He just forgets about it. He says “Bre, we start a new slate here… in this moment. You are still My beautiful child whom I love. Welcome back home, wanderer.” HOW AMAZING?! But, I’ve still wronged my brother.

Here is what I find interesting, Jesus says “brothers.” If we are brother/sisters, then they must be siblings of the Kingdom, right? So when we hurt our siblings, we hurt a little more deeply because these are the people whom we do life with. These are the people that know some deep stuff about us. These are people that you know how to cut them where it hurts. So, this isn’t some small something a brother has against you. You’ve honestly hurt them and hurt them deeply. I’m just stating the seriousness of my crimes here. As brothers and sisters we are called to love and not just love, but to love genuinely.

I’m going to tell you a quick story of one argument that turned into perfect love:

My best friend and I had our first argument over who sang Reflections in my favorite movie Mulan. I know that is absolutely the silliest thing to argue over, but it meant a lot to me in the heat of the moment! She says its Christina Aguilera and I KNOW that it is not. So, we argue for about 30 seconds before I reached for my phone and let Google have my back. And for the first time in history, I am right and she is wrong. Here is what I did to hurt her: I publicly demeaned her in front of women that we look up to and I showed no compassion or grace towards her. She got so mad that she had to walk across the room to calm down! I can’t blame her, but in the moment I could have cared less. If I was honest with myself, it would have been easier for me to end my friendship with my best friend than to admit that I was wrong and apologize. I listened to the enemy saying, “you don’t need her. She needs to apologize to you. You didn’t do anything wrong. This matters.” So, I gave in and I decided to leave without addressing the argument. My sweet friend scurries across the parking lot and decided to act in love when I was being hateful. We apologized. We cried. And then we prayed for one another. And we continue to do ministry together. No- we didn’t forget this argument, but we use it to point people back to the Father. I don’t want to say that we have the perfect friendship because we are flawed and we are selfish, but we do have the perfect friendship. When we fail each other we look to the Trinity to resolve our sins, we hold each other accountable, we love each other enough help each other grow than to care about “hurting her feelings” when we know it needs to be said, we pray for each other a lot, and that is perfection. I love you, Sydney Jean.

Back to the last question that I yelled at you: How do I reconcile myself back to my brother/sister?

Confess to the Father. Confess to your brother. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. Then love your brother.

Confess to the Father: You might as well because He knows you. Do you believe me when I say that He knew what you were going to do before you ever formed the thought behind the action? As much as I hate to admit it, He does because He made my little brain. He formed my thought processes. I have found more peace and wisdom when as soon as I committed an act against a sibling after I spoke with Him. His word says, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke 15: 7 ESV, emphasis mine).” He also speaks about His patience with you in 2 Peter 3:9. So He wants you to talk with Him first, so do it.

Confess to your brother: This is where things get a little harder for me, I have to face conflict. But here is a disclaimer: your true brothers and sisters are going to forgive you and offer love and if not— love them anyway (Proverbs 10:12). James 5:16 says (one of my favorite verses), “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” If the Word says to love your enemies, how much more should you love your brother? Find their love language and speak it to them even when it is inconvenient for you. Trust me, trust will be regained and you will eventually move on from this with greater understanding of loving one another, but it is a process.

Forgive yourself: I’m keeping this one short. If you can’t forgive yourself then how can you forgive others?

Love yourself: That’s hard to do. We often listen to the enemy, “I’m not worthy of love. Look at all you have done— your unloveable.” That is WRONG! (James 5:7) The Lord loves you and He forgives you, that should be more than enough reason to adore yourself too. Same concept but different wording: if you can’t love yourself then how can you love others? If you believe that there is something that will keep others from loving you, then that same theory will somehow translate in your love of others (Romans 8:1. We can’t be children with dry cups, they must be overflowing.)

Love your brother: You are overcome in the Father’s love that you can’t help but to give it to someone else (1 John 4: 19-21). Paul’s letter to the church of Corinth talks about being able to perform all kinds of gifts but if you don’t love then it is all in vain. Go back to your first love and let Him teach you how to love His children.

Why is it so hard to love others sometimes? My only theory is because the enemy knows that it is the hypothetical blood that flows through the Body (1 John 4:8). I love making the enemy mad because he is dumb, so the best way to ruffle his feathers is love the unlovable, unreachable, untouchable, and the Children of the Living God. I’m not saying go tackle everyone with a giant bear hug, but loving someone may mean just listening to somebody that is hurting, taking someone to dinner, or just sitting with them.

“Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.” – Proverbs 10:12 (MSG).

– Bre

  1. Can you recall a time where you and a friend were fighting? How did you handle the fight?
  2. What is the best way to love your friend?
  3. What can you do to love your friends better?
  4. Try to think of a conflict that you handled wrong? What have you learned to handle future issues?



Resting Points:

  • Psalm 61:2-3
  • Exodus 14:14
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Psalm 55:22
  • Isaiah 46:4

 Feeling spiritually, physically, and mentally exhausted? Worn out? Overwhelmed? Worried? Maybe even a little defeated? Wondering how it is even possible to be a Proverbs 31 woman, tell yourself you are a masterpiece, think you have a purpose, talk about how he is more than enough, all while praising him for everything?  I’m exhausted just reading that. If you answered YES to any of these questions, sister YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Let me start by saying most of these emotions are a result of burdens we were never meant to carry- anxiety, worry, fear, unbelief, exhaustion, unworthiness. This was all made perfect through the cross- we pick them up during times of full schedules, insecurities, tricks of the enemy. We begin to see ourselves as a tired crazy haired gal and we forsake our quiet time with the Lord because, honestly, we are too tired to drag ourselves out of bed in the morning and we are not allowing our spirits to be restored.

| Psalm 23:2-3 |

The good news is there is a solution and his name is Jesus.Before we dive deeper just take a few seconds and whisper his name, even in the stillness of a whisper he is there. And he longs for you to pour out everything that is overwhelming you to him.

“From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”                                                                          | Psalm 61:2 |

You might be thinking okay I have been trying this “Christian Lifestyle” for a while and it’s just to much for me, I’m exhausted. Running/Giving Up/Pulling Back is always easier, but it is time to lay our exhaustion at the foot of the cross and exalt our King. We have to push through to get more of Jesus or we will always be exhausted. When we are so consumed in Jesus and who he says we are, we always measure up… We never fall short… Because that sports team we didn’t make doesn’t define us, that load of laundry we didn’t have time to do doesn’t define us, that boy we dated but know we shouldn’t have doesn’t define us. Jesus defines us, and when he looks at us, he sees himself! Wow, we serve such a gracious God!  I think its so easy as a ladies to feel this constant burden to “do everything”, “keep everything up”, “be all he wants us to be” which leaves us exhausted and we completely forget that Jesus just wants us to “be”, be satisfied in him.

At this point you may be trying to come up with an excuse as to why this lifestyle isn’t for you? Or maybe you have been pursuing the Lord for a while now and have grown comfortable and honestly you are okay with that? Just give me a chance to guess some of the excuses you may have used before or are trying to use now:

There isn’t enough time?

I don’t have what she has?

I just cant?

Just to busy?

Where would I even start?

I am not fixable?

I’ve messed up to much?

I am scared?

How many books are even in the bible?

Majority of ladies are task oriented, we plan months out, we know who’s going where at what time before they even know it; but somehow we are always frantic for time and rest.  Life is FULL , I do not want to belittle that, BUT we have to be fully saturated in Christ or we will drown. We are like a dry sponge that hits a spot of water, we will try to “suck life” out of any area that seems to spare an inch. Which will not feed us, it will only satisfy a corner for a little while. We soon will dry out again, but if we are fully saturated in Christ we have no room to suck up anything of the world… only pour out Jesus.

Now you’re probably thinking who is this girl and why is she going on and on about being exhausted? Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord HIMSELF will FIGHT for YOU, you need only to BE STILL.” So don’t GIVE UP because you’re spiritually, physically, and mentally exhausted it is time to GIVE IN to him. Stop fighting. You might be saying well I don’t even know where to start oyeah I am that girl that has gotten comfortable. Start with truly falling in love with Christ all over again or maybe even for the first time, seek him and he will do the rest. We spend so much time pondering the do’s and don’ts to Christianity that we miss out on the relationship that the Lord wants to have with us. When we choose Jesus he begins to make us more like him and mold us into these beautiful young ladies we’ve longed to be right before our very eyes. So my challenge to you is to fall in love with the creator of the universe all over again… Do you remember the very first time you encountered his presence? Did you know his presence could manifest in your life like that everyday? Falling in love with Jesus is the answer to any question that’s running through your head right now. It is simple, choose to fall in love with Jesus and he will sustain youAnd when you choose to fall in love with Jesus everyday becoming a Proverbs 31 woman is POSSIBLE, being saturated in Christ is POSSIBLE, believing you have a purpose is POSSIBLE.

So frazzled one, fall in love with Jesus.

– Lynlee

 1. What are some things keeping you from fully falling in love with Jesus? Write them down. Tear out the page. And rip it up.

2. Now write down what Jesus defines you as. Read the verses listed. Pray over them. And believe them.