It has officially been one year since the desire to "Say Grace" was put on my heart.
I'll admit, I still am not really sure why I am making public an area of my life that so many feel should be left private (my faith), especially on a professional website that centers mostly around another more PC-area of our lives like food.
All I know is that this is an undeniable area God has led me to step out in boldness to include as part of the Veggies & Virtue platform. I know it may not be for all of you, and I am okay with that.
But I still have to surrender to that nudging of the Holy Spirit.
Otherwise, I know I will forever wonder why He laid this on my heart.
So I hope you'll either excuse or embrace what comes for this Saying Grace series.
I know we are at the one year mark of my initial nudging to write posts for this series because it was through the birth of Brooke that God first led me to put to words what was on my heart. Not so much as a dietitian, but also as a mom.
Brooke is a family name on my husband's side. As a third generation family business owner, Brooks was the last name of my husband's grandmother - the founding matriarch behind their business. This was a name contender my husband mentioned with our first daughter, but I quickly shot it down.
While I didn't hate the name Brooke, it definitely wasn't my favorite name while pregnant with either daughter. But as we wrote out lists and lists of name options, I just kept asking the Lord for peace. Peace about the name HE had chosen for our daughter. My indecisive nature felt we may never settle on one and if we did, I was afraid we would do just that: settle.
I wanted our precious baby girl to be named intentionally, with a tribute to family, a life verse or purpose implied, and in a way that could and would honor God to others (whether obviously or when explained). This list of "wants" made me weed through several options with few ever fitting the bill.
Then one day during my quiet time at around 33 weeks, I read these verses in Psalm chapter 1 and it just clicked:
"Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers."
The word Brooke means, "a small stream," "water," and one definition even explains it as, "lives by the stream."
In the moment that I read these verses, I had an overwhelming peace.
Our daughter would intentionally be named, Brooke.
Her name would be a tribute to her great-grandmother, honoring great-grandma Brooks for being a leader, visionary, and provider for generations to come.
Her life purpose would grow forth from these life verses in Psalm 1:1-3.
Her name would be a daily reminder to myself and others to be well-watered in His word, the Living Water.
I knew God was preparing my heart to not just welcome a new child, but a new way of life, one that was well-watered.
What I originally created as a series titled "Well-Watered" (on my old site), has now become this which is called, "Saying Grace." At the root of it all (pun intended), was not just a fading desire but a dire need to myself near spiritual water sources, or brooks.
In life, in marriage, and especially in motherhood, God kept bringing me back to this concept during my pregnancy with Brooke. I had been feeling this sense of being parched - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I would "run on empty" and then "take a drink" so to speak. The problem was, I never felt "well-watered." I knew my ability to carry out my growing maternal role, marriage relationship, professional aspirations, and other commitments were greatly being compromised by such a parched heart.
So I began to consider, what if I walked, I stood, and I sat not amidst the Godless things of this world that exhaust and deplete, but rather near the water source of His word that refill and rejuvenate? What if where I found my delight truly was in Him? What if what occupied my mind and mental space was His word?
Then what would my life and legacy look like?
My life would begin to be like a tree planted by the water. I would bear fruit. I would be able to exude love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control on those around me, most commonly being my young daughters. Rather than "havnig nothing to pour out," I would be able to pour out abundantly on those God had entrusted to me. I needed to have no fear of a second child, a growing career, nor the decades of what ifs ahead. I would have roots in a watering system that would never run dry: His word.
I was far from being well-watered a year ago. Reflecting now, I know it still doesn't look like this to the extend I aim. But what I so loved in this uber-pregnant point of waiting for Brooke's arrival was how God revealed to me such beautiful plans through this sweet baby for what is to become my legacy. While I wish all that the name "Brooke" encompasses to be true for her, my heart has also been opened to what kind of life this means I am to live out on her behalf.
Just as we raise our child to eat healthfully, have manners, and help out in family affairs, I know that teaching my daughters to Say Grace is yet another aspect that is not just taught, but caught.
I want my legacy to demonstrate to our daughters what it means to be rooted in Christ. I want my legacy to prove that where we plant ourselves and what we drink from matters. I want my legacy to remind my girls not of how draining life's messes and motherhood can be, but how to stay unweathered in the face of dry seasons. I want my legacy to be one that is fruitful and finds purpose in pouring out on others. I want my legacy to remind my daughters that even before them, it was in Jesus I found my utmost delight.
Happy first Birthday, Baby Girl.
So today, I say grace and thank God for the life of this precious daughter of mine. More so, I thank God for using her and her name to daily instruct me, encourage me, and inspire me to Say Grace and stay well-watered.