My name is Shannon Brasher Ritch. I am an ordinary, fun loving, small town girl from deep in the heart of Alabama the Beautiful. I love the smell of rain and the sound of laughter. I love the sweet innocent smell of puppy breath. Even more, I love the comforting sounds of my husband breathing softly in the night. I even love to awaken Saturday mornings to the sound of my neighbors cutting their grass and the sun shining fiercely through my windows. I feel closest to God when I am standing barefoot in the sand on a stunning shoreline, feeling the sting of summer on my skin, a warm breeze blowing in my hair and the untainted smell of salty air. I am a girlie girl and I still wear ribbons in my hair around a loose side ponytail to watch my children playing sports. I love flip flops, pedicures and Summer heat! I frequently quote Audrey Hepburn. Almost half of my Facebook posts are about Jesus and shoes. I love college football and I believe the Lord graced me with dark hair just so I would look good in my school’s colors! I can frequently be found with hot pink toenails accented with flowers. I consider myself a Fashionista even if I am the only one who does! I find joy in the simple gifts of the day and when I fall I make sure it is forward and never backward. I love to serve the Lord with all that I have within me although I fall short of His glory every single day.
You see, I am no one special; unless of course, you ask my Father.
I am a dreamer. Somewhere along life’s path through the mountains & valleys, in both light and darkness, my heart and my mind made a radical connection. I suddenly began living a life of freedom and abundant joy. It was not always this way, I assure you. You see, when you realize that life between the Cross and the Crown matters, that people matter and that what you do with this appointed time matters…your life takes on a greater meaning. Things can change in a whispered breath, in a flutter of an eyelash, or in a single tear. In my own anguish, torment and tears, I discovered that I am a Princess. Please, you must first understand in what context I claim to be a Princess. I do not show up for work in a Cinderella dress, nor do I look like Snow White. I am not a mermaid who married a handsome Prince (although I do think my husband is a handsome prince indeed!) Rather, my Father is the King of Kings; God Almighty Himself and from His throne knows the number of hairs upon my head, who knit me together in my mother’s womb and who has chosen me for such a time as this. My life suddenly became EXTRAordinary rather than ordinary. I was not so carefully crafted and born to this earth at this very time in history simply to take up space. My little dreams became big dreams and now, having wasted enough of my Father’s time; I must get busy! There is much work to be done. Encouragement, laughter, hope and joy needs to fill the corners of the entire fallen world, for my sisters in Christ are hurting, lonely and defeated. There is hope in this life between the Cross and the Crown. There is hope in the comforting arms of my Father. There is hope in His Extraordinary Love. It is my greatest dream that you come to know this love; that you too can live abundantly in freedom and joy. It is my dream that my words reach the far corners of your heart and change your perspective. Perhaps you dream small as I once did; perhaps you no longer dream at all. Please join me on this journey; let us dream big together. Because you see, you are a Princess too.
A Call to Lead
I believe in Spiritual gifts. I believe we were created for a divine purpose and called to reach the lost in a broken and suffering world. I believe that “today” matters. I believe that people matter. Paul warns us in Romans 13:11-14 to wake up! It is time for us to get up and act fast; today matters. We must lay aside the undisciplined patterns of our flesh and to “put on” Christ; for He is inside our hearts and we must adorn ourselves with Him. We must reach lost and hurting people for they not only matter to me, but also to my Father in Heaven even more. Personally, I attend what one might call a Mega Church. It was here several years ago that I learned of my spiritual gifts of administration, mercy and leadership. Mercy is a gift that can tear through your soul and spill from your heart if not properly channeled. I have learned that lesson through many heart wrenching life experiences. I jokingly wondered what in the world I could do with an administrative gift; that is not the least bit glamorous in the Kingdom Career Track. Quickly though, did I realize that my skills of organization, careful planning and meticulous attention to detail have shaped me into a patient, stable and secure anchor in an otherwise stormy existence. And finally, I lovingly embrace and cherish this gift of leadership. What a gift indeed! I do not take lightly the immense responsibility that comes with such a divine calling. The Lord Himself has entrusted His daughters to my heart and hand; and for this little shy Southern Belle who lacked all traces of a confident heart and body to be so called; I stand in awe. I honor my Father with every word, every prayer, every breath of life committed to this ministry. For you are a Princess also, living under the cover of an extraordinary love, created not to simply endure this life but to dance in victory until the moment you collect your Crowns. I have been called to show you the beauty of the Crown. So what are we waiting for?
This moment matters.