Author: Briana "Symmie" Simmons
•1:21 PM
Cooking is so enjoyable. My favorite part is knowing others enjoy what I have made. Now if I make food for only myself I do enjoy it but it is quite different. It's more like a chore that I don't mind doing than something to plan for and get excited about.

Writing is similar for me. I do enjoy writing for myself but when I know others will read and find pleasure in some of my random thoughts I get excited and want to write more.

The problem with this scenario is that my enjoyment is not in the art so much as others enjoying the art. But writing is not like cooking where you actually see others getting pleasures out of what you have created. It is private and quiet. Others enjoying it often do so in their own quiet moments.

So, I want to learn to take pleasure in the art of writing itself. I will still always enjoy knowing I have brought some joy to someone else's life but if that is not my goal then I will be able to write so much better. I do believe I have some silly stories in my future. You may or may not get to read them. But I will definitely have fun writing them.

Author: Briana "Symmie" Simmons
•10:26 PM
A short time ago the Lord gave me such a precious picture to help me through a difficult situation. The situation was mostly mental but sometimes those are the most difficult to overcome, this was such. It was because I have often struggled with it, overcome, struggled, and overcome. I was tired of the cycle.

As I was heading for bed I was praying through it and asking for God's help and He gave me the most beautiful vision that I wanted to share.

Picture a field, filled with flowers, all different kinds and colors of flowers. I was standing in the midst of the field and Jesus gave me a painting, in that painting was a close up of a particular flower. It allowed me to see in detail the beauty of that particular flower. All the intricacies could be appreciated in this picture. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw another girl with a painting and I started to catch a glimpse that her flower was a different color so I realized that her picture was different. I was jealous, I wanted to see her flower. I no longer wanted the painting that I originally was so amazed by.

That's when God showed me, He has given me gifts and talents, He has placed me in particular situations in life specifically to show me the particular beauties of that particular flower in the way that He wants me to see it. I cannot be jealous of someone else's painting because they don't have my painting. So if I had her painting I wouldn't learn to appreciate God in the way that He had chosen. He gave me my painting specifically for me. It's personal. So if I am jealous of someone's ability to do something, their affluence, their popularity, I am literally saying, "I don't want this painting, I want that one." And God says, but you are all standing in this field, you all have the same view, I am just giving you a specific close up that that was created personally for you.

I don't want to exchange my painting. Now when I feel the same battles rising in my mind I imagine myself, in that field, hugging that painting to my heart and saying, "this is my painting Lord, I love it, I will appreciate it."
Author: Briana "Symmie" Simmons
•12:15 AM
The whole book craze drove me crazy. I am naturally critical so I never believed the truth of the stories. I can't help it. They are either cheesy or unbelievable. But don't worry, this is not a post about a story that I know to be true or how my mind was changed. I am just stating this because of the title I picked.

I picked this title because I made chicken rice soup from scratch today and I am very proud of myself. I used what I had on hand and some fabulous spices and it turned out pretty good.

I actually used the giblets to make a kind of soup for Calvary. Cooked them in some water, chopped them up and put a little of it in her food. She loved it!

My soul was not affected by this chicken soup but my stomach sure was!!!

If you do not believe this story then you are a skeptic like me.
Author: Briana "Symmie" Simmons
•9:58 AM
You are at a crossroads, your thoughts are scrambled, jumbled. How do you decide? There are clear reasons not to make this decision hastily or emotionally but you cannot disconnect from the choices. What do you do? You see the pros and cons of each branch in the road but neither obviously outweighs the other. So you pray.

You are still at a crossroads, your thoughts are more peaceful, trusting God will show you, but there are still no clear options. Each option is equally weighed on the balance of pros and cons. Those around you have opinions and guidance but nothing outweighing the other. So you keep praying.

You are still at a crossroads, your thoughts are much more anxious. Will God ever make this path clear? Will He show you what He wants? How am I ever going to make this choice? I have to move forward sometime! So you keep praying.

Sometimes I wonder if God places us at the crossroads without clear direction just so we will seek Him. There we learn to be on our faces before Him. There we learn to listen and be still and hear His voice. There we learn to be patient and wait. There we learn that it truly is best not to make a move until His guidance is clear. There we learn to depend on God.

I am at a crossroads.
Author: Briana "Symmie" Simmons
•6:43 PM
Time is not necessarily my friend. When I don't have enough it is stressful and life is full of frustrations stealing more of it from me. When I have extra then things like this happen, I start writing. Who in their right mind would allow me to share the nonsense in my head with the rest of the world? Who in their right mind would read this nonsense? (My apologies to anyone who might be reading this right now).

Regardless I have decided to start blogging again. Giving the writer in me a chance to giggle as I tickle its fancy and the fanciful in me a chance to stretch and yawn and say, "its about time!"

So, perhaps, its not that I have extra time, or not enough time, but just the right amount. Perhaps, this will turn out to be the beginning of an amazing journey.

Or it will just be another blog of nonsense.
Author: Briana "Symmie" Simmons
•11:49 PM
Many of you are wondering (at least my facebookfriends) why in the world I am switching lenders. Here's the story:

In 1996...can you believe I am starting my story with those two words? But actually something did happen in 1996 that messed up my loan today, 14 years later. Back to the story:

In 1996, when I was only 16, my parents had a credit card that was in their account but under my name for convenience sake when I would run errands for them and such. Someone stole their identity so they did what everyone should do when your identity is stolen, they disputed the charges and fixed it all.

Fast forward to 14 years later, today...

So on my credit report it shows that I had a disputed charge...let me say it again...FOURTEEN YEARS AGO!!!

This flagged underwriting and they went from doing an automatic underwriting to a manual underwriting. Apparently once you do that you can't go back. So for some reason this made them want me to show 3 months of reserves in my bank account. The problem with that is that it can't be a gift, it has to be my own money reserves. So, needless to say I don't have 3 months reserves of my own money and I can't get it anytime soon.

The good news is that this is totally not normal and I already have a new lender lined up.

The bad news is that I may close a week later (at least I will still close!).

The good news is that I get the same rate of interest which was a good rate.

The other good news is that my previous lender is very cool and told me not to give up pursuing this and said, "you are very lendable." Apparently my credit is very good and other than this still hiccup I should be good to go. Praise the Lord!

So keep praying!
Author: Briana "Symmie" Simmons
•11:28 AM
This first list are the things that bless me because it allows me to afford this house which was at the top of my price range. It is what makes this whole thing worth it or even cheaper than I thought!

Top 10 House Blessings (in no particular order):
1. Neighborhood out of my price range
2. House out of my price range (everything is redone and updated)
3. Low interest rate
4. Low home owners insurance as well as car insurance
5. Cheaper taxes equaling more money monthly
6. Internet costs of moving is $0 plus I get a rebate!!!
7. Parents who will let me live with them to save 1/2 month's rent
8. All appliances are included or donated
9. The house is move in ready
10. Money from the government for buying a house

This second list are the icing on the cake so to speak (dairy free icing of course):

10 Little Bonus Blessings:
1. Laminate flooring
2. Granite bathroom countertop
3. Slate kitchen/dining/entry tile
4. Real tile in the bathroom
5. Remodeled bathroom
6. Dining table and chairs I can borrow until I buy my own set
7. Extra rooms!!!
8. 5 Closets!!!
9. Christian Lender and Realtor
10. Packing and Escrow is on schedule with the potential of ending early (that was 2 blessings packaged to look like 1!!!)

I cannot even begin to explain how much my parents, my brother and sister, my grandparents, my pastor, my mentors, and my friends, have helped and supported me through this. I could write all day about each of you. I love you guys!