Tuesday, October 27, 2009
So in our study of Genesis we've been in depth about the whole creation story, and God's purpose for us, life, this planet, and eternity. It really makes you look at the entire Bible differently when you can start at the beginning and see the POINT of it all. This is the foundation of everything that happens, the basis for all that is to come throughout the bible and well into our future until Christ comes again. So many questions have arose. About 3 weeks ago, Keith and I were on our way home from church and somehow the mention of dinosaurs came up. I had mentioned to Keith that there was talk of a Levaithan in the bible and that there is theory that these were dinosaurs. I had glanced in his concordance while we were in the car, but didn't see the word Levaithan listed in there and couldn't remember off hand where it was in the bible.
We had just left an awesome message by Bill Wellons about Creation Day 3, and he had really elaborated how GREAT God is, and just how BIG! The thought of us leaning on our own understanding is just ridiculous when GOD is all powerful and sovereign! He had mentioned the conversation that God had with Job when He said "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know." (Job 38:4-5) This really stuck with Keith. The feeling of having that question asked to you by God! Wow, talk about feeling small... Keith mentioned wanting to study Job. He has never really read it through. So I flipped over to Job and started reading a bit through there. I skimmed a few chapters to the verse where God is questioning Job and started to read... I came upon Job 41 and it's mention of the Leviathan! How amazing that it was RIGHT there! Just when we were talking about it! Irony? I don't think so.
So this past week on our way into church, not sure why, but the thought again crossed my mind about the Leviathan. I pulled Keith's bible out and started to read aloud through verses 40 and 41; all about the Behemoth and Leviathan. How massive they are, and how our God commands all of them. It had been a long time since I had read through these, but happy that God had reshown them to me.
We got to church and Lloyd was teaching about Creation Day 5. It is amazing how he showed how much Day 5 related to fear. The culture at that time was terrified by things they did not know about or could not control. Because they feared these things, they in turn would worship them. Today I feel we somewhat do the same thing; worship our fear. The things we fear are what fill our thoughts and a lot of times they are what our days revolve around. Think about if we feared GOD, and filled our thoughts and minds with HIM! That is where our worship should be, and that is where our days should revolve! How Moses was not only writing this as a creation account, but also in purpose to demolish the idolistic religion of that culture. He writes that "God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves..."(Gen. 1:21 NASB) This was something that the culture feared and worshiped, and Moses' God, our GOD, had created them and is all powerful, over all things. What a true and awesome statement! God is powerful over ALL fear!
At the end of the message Lloyd referred to a few places in the bible showing God's power in the description of these creatures that caused so much fear in that day, and how these things were so small in relation to God. And of course, he told us to take some time to read through Job 41. And wow, Keith and I had just done that on the way IN to church that morning. Isn't it neat how God ties things together?
**UPDATE: Keith just found this online today... CLICK HERE!!**
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I love being a mom... I love raising Jack. I look forward to see where God's will takes my life, and I hope it is a life with more children and more family! Keith has been talking about baby number 2 for some time now, and it has also really been on my heart lately. The question is WHEN? When is the right time for me, for us, for Jack...but more importantly, when is GOD's timing, and have we asked Him? Then at CBS (Community Bible Study) we have been studying our lineage. It is so interesting to see where we come from and how much we are all in God's perfect plan and design. He had our heritage so detailed and organized from the beginning, as well as He has planned it out into our future. My sister and I had conversations about dreams, and children, and adoption. My husband even shared an emotional video with me about a small child this week. It is OVER AND OVER that this theme keeps coming up. Well, tonight it is yet again brought full circle by our sovereign God. Nothing is chance, nothing is coincidence. It is amazing to live each day open to Him and allowing Him to just take it and move it to where it is to be.
So, something had brought me back to Katie Davis' blog this past week. I was so touched by this adoption story. I immediately wanted to share it with Keith. My timing was bad and he didn't have a chance to read it right when I mentioned it. Throughout this week I had read the entry a few times, emailed it to family, even told my sister about it and copy and pasted the text to her in an email since she is unable to open blogs up at work. Again, yesterday, I asked Keith if he had read it. We have been so busy, and he had a lot going on and didn't have a chance. We both decided on just spending some reading/blogging tonight. And about an hour into our own "digital" worlds, it came to me and I asked him again, "Have you read the Amazima blog yet?" He goes "Ok! I'll read it right now." So then, a few minutes later, he goes OH MY GOSH! I know them! That's Mandy's brother! You'll have to read about the Mayernicks or Katie's blog to understand, (and yes, there are links all over this page... *hint hint*) but here the adoption story is about Keith's childhood next door neighbor and his wife! He had known about this story through reconnecting with Mandy, the sister, who is also in the midst of an adoption from India. It's such a small world. We have been so touched and challenged by Katie's message, and even posted it all over our Project Disconnect blog and facebook page. And here, in the midst of it all, it comes full circle as Katie's close friend is married to Keith's childhood neighbor.
It is truly amazing how God intertwines our lives and brings us right to where he wants us to be. Keith contacted Mandy, and now it looks like we will get to meet Mandy and her new little daughter Mia who should be here in TN at Thanksgiving.
So THIS has been on my heart. Children, family, adoption, LOVE. I have that, I long for that, and in some way or another God will provide that. He is sovereign, He is Love.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I then removed the belt loops, and VOILA! A cute little puppy costume! I tried it on him just to see how it would work, and he happened to be wearing blue pjs. I think I may even dress him in the pjs, like longjohns, under the costume to keep him warm. He loves this lil outfit, and it cost me $0!!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
So where did I leave off? I think I was mentioning Jack's possible tooth coming in, and our ministry being unveiled! Well, it turns out that Jack's "tooth" still has not completely poked it head through his gums. I can still see it under there, and now his two front ones are visable, but still no hard proof! I hope that it isn't causing him too much pain, as it seems that these "teeth" have been "coming" since he was 4 months old! At least that is when the doctor first noticed them and said they were "on the way". Can you believe Jack is 7 MONTHS OLD?? He turned 7 months old yesterday. It is ridiculous to me that it has flown by so fast. He has started to kick , scootch, and pull himself across the floor, so I can see crawling in the near future. We stopped up at Target and bought some outlet covers yesterday as we noticed him reaching for an uncovered outlet in the nursery. Wow... I love it, but I miss the "little" guy. We're getting to "big boy" territory. Ya know, that leaves me with a small predicament. Halloween costume. I'm torn because a) Keith and I don't have any big plans or desire to spend the extra cash on a costume for Jack. but b) he won't be this tiny forever, and by next halloween he will have outgrown the cute infant costme stage... I'm not sure what to do. I'm afraid by the time I decide, all costumes will be sold out anyways.
So our bible studies have been going GREAT! On a whim, I volunteered to fill in for the worship leader the DAY OF at our Community Bible Study. Well, a week later, the DAY OF, I got a call asking to fill in again. It turns out they now have asked if I wanted to do it FULL TIME, and I agreed! So after a year of not playing, or singing, I now have a full time music gig, and with realatively no preparation. It's awesome! God has put the one thing I really thought was missing from my schedule, right into the middle of His plan, and on top of it all, it is WORSHIP! I've never done worship music, and besides a one time duet performance at 4 years old, I have never ever sang at church. Isn't that unreal? I can't hardly believe it, but it's neither here nor there at this point. I can't wait to start writing again!
Our Community Group on Thursday nights has been amazing! There are 6 couples including us; 3 pregnant (well, one has a week old baby now!), one with no children, and one with a 1 and 4 year old. That is amazing because 4 of the 5 children are in 6 month age increments. That means they will grow up with each other, and have birthday parties together! Oh, I'm really looking forward to this! (ok, must be a mother thing... I feel really cheesy... or maybe it's because it's now almost 11) We are pretty like minding in what our passions are, and what we want out of meeting each week. We all are wanting to GO OUT, and DO SOMETHING! It's awesome.
Keith and I started up Project Disconnect. It is our pledge to live IN the world, but not OF the world. We are making a stand to put the money we would otherwise use to pay cable companies to fill our homes with garbage, and use it to GIVE AWAY and glorify HIS kingdom! We are looking at hosting some workshops to show people how to go about "cable-free" life. Where they can help donate, but also how they can use their TVs without the high priced monthly bill attached. This is something that is really on our hearts, and we look forward to seeing and hearing the others that are impacted by this stand.
Keith and I have attending a few charity type events this month. We went to a benefit concert that was put together within a week of the tsunami that hit Samoa. The Katinas (5 brothers, and also a music group) hosted this concert with some of their local friends in order to raise money for a relief effort in their homeland of Samoa. Their "friends" included Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, Melinda Doolittle, Calvin Nowell, Jeremy Camp, ColmanBlue, and Michael O'Brien. We are so blessed to live right in town with these artists... Wow, what an amazing concert. I have to say, from an artist point of view, Natalie Grant and Jeremy Camp BLEW ME AWAY! Wow... they were INCREDIBLE!!! We also have been able to serve with our local ministry Grace Works here and there. We helped out with a food drive by handing out need lists and also collecting food at the Kroger up the street. It was great how many people donated! Almost everyone walking out had something to put in our basket, even if it was one item! Every bit helps! We took Jack with us to both of these events, and he has been really loving his time with dad in his baby Bjorn. He is MESMERIZED by music, and never makes a peep. Just stares in awe, or bounces and shakes his arms around. He was also a hit at Kroger hanging off his dad. he's quite the flirt with the ladies!
Well, I'm sure there much more to share, but I must go to bed! Tomorrow is Monday, and a new week begins. I love our busy schedule, but I also enjoy my sleepy nights. I will post some recent pictures below.
The three of us at a wedding in early October.
Jack dressed for the occasion.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Jack is almost 7 months old! I remember not too long ago blogging about him being 7 weeks old. Wow, time flies. He can sit on his own, and is lining up everything to start crawling. He just needs to work on the coordination, but he's almost there! He has begun laughing, and talking, as MAMAMAMAMA and DADADADADADADA are part of his everyday jargon. He can give kisses (really drooly ones), and even raspberries on our cheeks. He is also getting his first TOOTH! What a big boy. He can hold and drink his bottle alone and basically doesn't need me anymore. If I'm holding him, he reaches for dad... but then again, as soon as dad takes him, he reaches for me. This little boy is ON THE MOVE. We dedicated him to the Lord on September 19, 2009 at church. It was an awesome day. Our verse for him is Colossians 1:9-10:
Keep checking back as this fall unfolds a bunch of new things for us. I can't wait to share our ministry with you all, and hope you will participate!
Jack Raymond Brawner - Dedication September, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
WE DID IT!! We had a successful first yardsale! We got rid of a TON of stuff, and actually made some CA$H!! (I won't say how much, but I will say it was in the hundreds!!) We feel blessed that God gave us BEAUTIFUL weather, and lots of traffic! I will say that the success of the sale was the least of the day's blessings. God taught me patience, love, and humility. And allowed us to even give some of our things away to help others!
One of the neatest things that happened that Saturday, happened to our neighbor Todd. He is finishing up electrician school, and with 20 days remaining, his old truck (which he has been trying to sell for months) blew the transmission on Friday night. Keith was on his way out to get some change and post a Yard Sale sign, and was able to help Todd tow his truck home. Todd tried to stay optimistic as he knew a girl who lives nearby that could drive him to school for the remaining days, but he was confessing to Keith how broke he was and how he didn't know how much more money he wanted to dump into his truck. Well, Saturday came along, and though he had his eye on a few things in our sale, he failed to get up early to come out for the sale. By the time he came outside, quite a few people had already been through our "junk". He part jokingly made a comment "Man, I should just put a sign up on my truck '$1000.00 cash, today only!'. " Keith and I laughed, and I mentioned I had one piece of posterboard left in the house. (it was pink, but it was at least BRIGHT!) We all agreed he should give it a shot. Soon enough, all of our "shoppers" were over at HIS truck! There were quite a few checking it out, and within the hour HE SOLD IT!! He was a little sad at first, being that it was his father's truck who had passed 9 years ago, but it was such a blessing that he finally sold it and can now buy something more dependable and less gas milage! We are thankful for a great day!
Sunday evening we got together with some friends in Lebanon. My dear friend Roland and some of his co-workers and their kids all cooked out and played some music. Jack LOVED this, and started DANCING! (bouncing)... and this is where it all began...
We got home last night and I put Jack in his saucer and he was JUMPING! Up, down, up, down, just going crazy, and smiling like crazy! He went down at 8:30 and didn't wake up till 8am... and I'll tell you, he's like a different child today! I think he had a growth spurt overnight or something, because he is so new and different today! He has been rolling over onto his belly throughout the night, and this morning, like usual, I found him on his belly, but he actually ROLLED TO HIS BACK to give me a big morning smile! He then proceded to bounce all morning, and talk, and is really really close to sitting! No more baby! He's at least so happy, smiling more than I've ever seen... He grabs for things right out of our hands now. He grabs for daddy's drink, and grabs for fruit from me. No solids yet, but soon enough little man! We have been giving him rice cereal for breakfast and dinner, and he loves it! I can't believe he is growing up... Today he is 5 months old. wow...
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The Greater Story - David Arms
Saturday night was Jack's first time to be in the nursery at church. I kinda chuckled when Keith told me it would be hard, but MAN IT WAS SO HARD! I almost got teary, and had so much trouble concentrating on the service. They matched his name with a code when we checked him in. If this code pops up on the screens during service, it means that there is a problem. Well, let me tell you... I could not keep my eyes off of the screens. I even had trouble during prayers keeping my eyes closed. After the service was over, Keith and I peeked in through the window at Jack before picking him up. He was just smiling and playing... completely content. Hah... It's funny how we were so anxious, yet he didn't even notice the difference!
I also had an interview at church this week to do some part time childcare during the fall and spring months. They have had a lot of people interested in this, but if I have the opportunity I think I'm really going to enjoy it. I will get to meet so many other people and moms, and it will be great just to get out of the house once in a while. I hope they consider me, because I would really love to do it.
Keith and I are also planning on doing CBS this fall.; Community Bible Study. It is a non-denominational bible study. My dad and stepmom do this down in Atlanta, and have just raved at how awesome it is. We also are hoping to get together with a few neighbors we know, to get to know them even better! How awesome to be able to incorporate some sort of bible study with them too! Through I'm extrememly busy being a "mom", I want to use any free times that I have to follow what my true desire is; to know God more and live an obedient life glorifying Him. I want to really dig into the Word and get out into the community and join together with other believers.
My "meal plan" has also been working out. We have had some great meals the last few days. Pork Sirloins, Beef Enchiladas, Tomato and bacon marinated chicken... My husband was right in suggesting that we plan this out and food shop accordingly. We've had enough for what we want, need, and are even going to hopefully share some by having some neighbors over for dinner. We were also able to help out Grace Works who recently had a food drive at a local Kroger. It was so neat because they gave us a list of needs at the door, and we got to go shopping for the full purpose of helping those in our community that are less fortunate. And on top of this, everyone in the store that we saw had those lists, and were activlely using them! You could really tell which things would need restocked after this food drive. It was awesome to see empty shelves, and know that so many people would be blessed with this food.
I love working at home, as I expected, but it has really opened me up to new creative ideas and the ability to expand on the ideas I have. I have completely redesigned and organized our bathroom, entertainment area, part of our garage... and so much more to come. It is awesome what a little time and reorganization can do. I feel like I'm living in a different place! We are continually blessed, and knowing we have made the right decision for our family. Thank you LORD!!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We had a wonderful weekend in Charlotte and Atlanta. You see, Atlanta is 4 hours from us, and Charlotte is 4 hours from Atlanta, and we are 8 hours from Charlotte. So it works for us to drive 4 hours to my dad's in Atlanta, take a break, and then continue on another 4 to Charlotte before turning around and doing it all over again. This time we left in the evening and arrived in Atlanta just to stay the night, and got up at 4:30 EST (3:30 our time)to head to Charlotte so that we wouldn't miss any of the festivities planned for Saturday. You see, my nephew turned 1 last Wed. and my sister had a bunch of stuff planned on Saturday to celebrate. We went on a safari/wagon ride at the Lazy 5 Ranch... (it turned out pretty well, had its ups and downs, it's a long story, but we got some really great photos! ...somehow we managed to take 600) we grilled out for dinner, watched Dylan care less about the gifts we all brought, THOROUGHLY ENJOYED A NIGHT OF SLEEPING ON A MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS, and enjoyed a Sunday service with the family before heading back to Atlanta. My brother-in-law's mother, sister, nephew, and niece were all there for the weekend, it was fun to see them all. They all loved Jack, and Jack surely loved them. You could just see the gears in his head turning, thinking about the days he can get in just as much mischief as the older children.
When we got back to Atlanta, around 6pm, we enjoyed spending some time with my stepmom for her birthday. Her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and their 4 boys were all there for the party. We had a great pizza dinner, and the best CAKE ever!! There is this special cake that my stepmom's mother has been making for her every year since she was 17. It is awesome... Keith laid down for about an hour before we headed back home, and got in around 1am CST. Long and tiring weekend, but we like to cram in as much as possible on these visits. Family all lives too far away, and we get to see them far to little.
Our next trip is August 7-9 as we head to Pennsylvania to mom's farm for a weekend. It will be great to see everyone, and hopefully Jack will get his first horseback ride! We are super excited for this. Then we'll probably just stay home until Christmas... We promised the Jeep we'd take a break.
Jack had his 4 month checkup on Monday. He weighs 13lbs 6oz and is 25.5 in. long. This was all good news, he is growing nicely. She also commented on his BEAUTIFUL sking and AMAZING head control! Yay, my strong and beautiful little boy. He has been changing so much, even over the last weekend. I see him watch this other kids, and then try to imitate things. He has gotten so strong and is almost sitting now on his own. He had to get a zillion shots along with an oral vaccine, we've never done that many at once before. He is also getting one bottom front tooth in, so he was quite fussy. It isn't a whiney type fuss though, more of a "mom, I'm sore and feel yucky" type whine. I felt bad for him, and gave him lots of cuddles (and tylenol).
Today I went grocery shopping again. And though no one that reads my blog may care, I feel proud and excited to announce what I saved with coupons. Mainly I do this for my own sake, because it takes a lot out of me to do this and if I feel like I can somewhat "report" what I save, it gives me the motivation to do it all again the next week... haha...
I spent $130.00 at Kroger, and saved $70. This was including a $20 box of diapers... So $200 worth of stuff for $130.00, I'll take that! :)
I spent $24.oo at Walgreens and saved $18. That's $42 worth of stuff for $24... I'll take that as well.
I tried something new this week by planning out the next 10 days worth of meals. This way we won't eat all $200 worth of food the first day... We tend to get excited with all the goodies, and we eat them all. Now that I have it planned out, we should be better about knowing what food is for what days, and it will hopefully last a little longer.
Anyways, that's what's been going on with me. Laundry, dishes, cleaning the floor, taking care of the zoo, feeding baby boy Jack, and grocery shopping. All in a days work! :) Love it Love it Love it!!!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
It took Keith and I lots of thought and prayer to come to this decision, and through God's abundant grace and blessings, we will confidently make this step of faith. Already, God has begun to show us how right we are in this decision. That feels good, well, GREAT actually.
Giving it all up to God. I remember trying to make things work for myself for a month or so, and then finally asking God one night to take it all... I knew that His plans for my life would, of course, be much better than mine. I had been broke for a month, going on my second week of eating nothing but oatmeal, and finally getting a call from a "Keith Brawner" to set up an appointment based on 1 in 36 emails I had sent out begging for work. The blessings began with my first time office job, then a surprise "employee of the month" $25 kroger gift card; after only being there for 2 weeks... I would walk past Keith's cube everyday and say "thank you for saving my life..." It's true what they say; it is in hindsight that we learn God's will for us. I was still so oblivious to everything God would have in store for me!
This job, it has brought me a beautiful home, an amazing husband, a son, and now given me the opportunity to leave it to go be with all of them. What an amazing journey... Now, yet again, Keith and I have come together and decided to let God do His will in our lives... I'm SO EXCITED to see where it takes us next!!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Jack has had numerous visitors to the house, and a few in house guests that stayed for a while! Gramma Seeber was the first visitor and stayed for an entire week. It was awesome to have her help as it was MUCH needed. Jack loved all the time he got with her, and I loved all the advice and support. That first 2 weeks were really tough and it was amazing to have her support through it.
Aunt Mandy also came and stayed for a few days. She brought her cooking expertise and made us food to last for days, LITTERALLY! We still have some of the amazing chicken soup she made in the freezer, and I just ate some of her fancy waffles this morning! We had a great visit with her and went on our first walk around the block in Jack's stroller, as well as taking him on his first public outing to Beef 'O' Brady's to watch the Kansas Basketball game. (Here we are in crimson and blue. ROCK CHALK!)
Jack has also taken trips to Hendersonville to meet great gramma Kathy and to go to his first Big Bubba's Bash (Make A Wish softball tournament fundraiser).
Daddy and Jack at the ball fieldSorry Bill!! Uncle Jon and Aunt Telcia also came to stay and visit with Jack. We got to see them two weekends in a row when Jack took his first road trip down to Roswell, GA for Easter. Along with his uncle and aunt, he got to visit with Grampa Muretisch, RaRa, Nonna, Don, and the Wright family. Easter Sunday we visited Roswell Community Church, and this time was awake and happy the entire service! It wasn't till AFTER the service during picutres that he decided to scream. All in all he has been one happy baby! At his last Dr. appointment he weighed in at 8 lbs 14 oz, and he's graduated to size 1 diapers. They are still kinda big on him, but the tiny ones don't hold enough, and this boy can eat! He's starting to really enjoy bath time now, and is smiling more and more. He knows our voices and follows us with his eyes. He was actually able to roll to his side at 2 weeks old, and is getting stronger and stronger with each day. We're sure this baby will be up and about in no time! We are still working on naptime during the day, he really only likes to nap when he's in mommy or daddy's arms. At least at night he sleeps good with no fussing at all! I have added some additional pictures to the Brawner Family photoalbum, if you're interested. This boy is just growing up too fast, but we are DEFINITELY savoring every minute!