2018 Blessings in review

Happy new year!

I’ve never really done a video update before due to the nature of my speech and all, but why not start the new year by trying something new, right? You can watch it below, but if you have trouble understanding my AAC app (or just don’t want to listen to it), just keep reading.

  So, here’s a recap of 2018 and some exciting news about what’s coming up in 2019. The fall and start of winter have been pretty quiet in terms of my workshops and speaking engagements, due in part to having to find new assistants, which is always a stressful process. But, upon reflection, I realized just how many blessings God brought me in 2018. When the year began, my church started a new sermon series through the book of Ephesians, titled “Made Worthy, Walk Worthy.” To go along with that, the 20’s & 30’s lifegroup did a mini series on identity. Pastor Thomas gave a message on not defining ourselves by our “status and stuff,” but rather using our talents for Christ and then asked if anyone would be willing to share how their relationship with The Lord has shaped their identity. I could almost feel Jesus sitting behind me and kicking my tire. “Well… Are you gonna say something?” He asked, reminding me of all the opportunities He’s arranged for me to use my talents for His Glory over the last three or four years. The smart answer had to be: “Alright, yeah, I’m going.” As a result of hearing my testimony, the Minister of Women invited me to speak at her Women’s Leadership Day for all the women’s small group leaders at Highlands in August . Of course I accepted immediately, but then had the panicked thought: What in the world do I speak on? I’d never really spoken about leadership roles before.

While I was mulling it over, I kept circling back to the theme of my testimony: “use everything God gave you to pursue His purposes in your life, even your limitations.” However, I knew this presentation would have to be more than my testimony. I went to bed trying to figure out where to begin. During the night, The Lord woke me up with one word: ADAPT. But, only it was an acronym.

With The Lord’s help over the next few months, not only did I have a message to share with the ladies, but I wrote a  full devotional, titled adapt, which stands for:


The book is now available online at amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also watch the video of my presentation. It was such a blessed experience! In march, I got to live a dream when I was invited to do a book signing at the Arizona renaissance festival. It was so fun to dress in full costume (including giant butterfly wings) and step into the time period that has always fascinated me. I’ll be doing another signing at this year’s festival on March 23rd, so come on out to The shire and be sure to stop by Lady Chamberlain’s bookshop! In April, the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to share a part of my testimony in the main Easter Sunday Services in church. Another dream come true. My heart was overflowing when I saw all the ways God used my story to encourage people. I was also blessed to do a special assembly for the elementary students at Scottsdale Christian on how even if we’re different, we’re still wonderfully made. In May, I was honored to receive the distinguished alumni of the year award from my high school, Scottsdale Christian Academy. The recognition was humbling, but it was even more meaningful because it came during the 50th anniversary celebration of the school and I was able to bless the graduating class of 2018. After spending much of June rehearsing  and performing in “We need to talk too,” with Theatre 3 60, I spent the rest of the summer celebrating my 35th birthday by spending time with friends and escaping to some of my favorite places: Las Vegas, Sea World, and Disneyland! The last big blessing of 2018 came in September, when the Lord gave me the opportunity to meet one of my inspirations: Joni Eareckson Tada! She was so sweet and encouraging, and seemed excited to read my books, which gives so much hope.  And now, as 2019 begins, I’m so excited to speak to the middle school journalism classes at Scottsdale Christian, as they learn how to create captivating stories infused with Godly wisdom in just a couple weeks, as well as sharing ADAPT with all the middle and high school students in a special chapel as they prepare for their annual mission week early in February. I pray they will find new ways to use everything God gave them to pursue His purposes in their lives. I’m also always looking for more opportunities to bring encouragement to churches, schools, and other organizations, so if you’re interested please let me know. Lastly, be sure to keep an eye out for all new content at brookesbutterflytouch.com and StrongFamilies.com. If you’d like me to do more videos like these, please don’t forget to like and subscribe. I’m grateful for your prayers, too! May your new year be filled with all God’s love, grace and peace.

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