Hello, friend. I’m Brianna
For as long as I can remember my life has been lead by a deep, insatiable curiosity. Like Alice curiously adventuring down the rabbit hole, I have always found a great deal of joy in imagining and exploring all the things. Ok, maybe not all the things, just most of them; from running, to gardening, to photography, to Yosemite, to yoga, to movies, aaaaaaaand, of course, theology. I suppose this natural bend toward the curious is what has guided my path to where I am today – professor of theology and preacher of grace, connector of people and emphatic restorative.
In the collection of grand adventures this life has to offer, a few stand above the rest.
First and foremost, I adore matters of faith. Jesus is scandalous and we humans are a motley crew of broken beauties. I don’t think anything jazzes me more than seeing the scandalous love of Jesus bring forth restoration from the heap of our motley messes.
Secondly, I am a sister and an auntie. Without my sister squad, I don’t make sense. And the countless nieces and nephews I get to love are my heart’s joy. They keep me young and blissfully residing at the kids table.
Thirdly, I am absolutely in love with my faith community. Somehow I’ve been gifted with the space to preach and teach alongside my community. I love preaching. So. Freaking. Much. And teaching? Don’t even get me started. It’s impossible to put into words how much this place and these people have impacted my life. My previous theology has been liberated by a theology of cruciformity, of scandalous love, of women having an equal role in the kingdom. I could go on for days! I sure hope I can inspire, encourage and support them as much as they have me.
My role as a professor is another adventure that stands above the rest. I am fiercely committed to a pedagogy of creativity, whimsy, connectedness and authenticity. My students are more than tuition-paying customers and my classroom is more than four brick walls of cold stoicism. These students are my teachers and some of my favorite adventure partners. My top priority as a theology professor is not that my students can memorize some abstract doctrine. Rather, I long for my students to be transformed by the intoxicating truth that they are loved. Everyday I want to invite them to participate – because theology is not a static story; theology is alive, dynamic and bursting with movement. That is why I believe theory and praxis should never be divorced from each other.
And finally, empowering and encouraging women. Confession: I used to abhor all things women’s “ministry” stuff. Ugh. I’d roll my eyes at flowery women writers and soft spoken women speakers. I’m a middle child with a highly animated flare for the dramatic! (Important distinguishing note: Dramatic. Not Drama. Ain’t nobody got time for drama. But emphatic hand gestures and melodramatic story-telling?? All day, Everyday.). However, as the years went on the Spirit has so gently softened my heart and poked the hibernating bear of desire to be the very thing that once elicited my dramatic eye-rolls. The Spirit has a way of doing that, does’t she? Perhaps it was the grueling battle of simply being a woman in theology. Perhaps it was the therapy I so graciously received during that time because breaking the glass ceiling is no joke. Perhaps it was just the natural process of maturing… whatever the reasons, the Spirit has delivered me to a place where I long to see women empowered, encouraged and inspired to dream big and live lives of grace, beauty, wisdom and connectedness. Women – we are one rad sisterhood squad. I believe epic shit can happen when we band together.
From this humble corner of the blogsphere I say to you, oh lovely reader, Welcome. Here you will find encouragement to choose whimsy, to be loved just as you are, to dream big and, of course, to toss out live and light like confetti on NYE. I am SO very glad that you are here.