Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Well, what a week! More excitement and adventure going on at the Brawner household. After last weekend's stint in the hospital, being sent home on an eventually modified bed rest, I prepared to sit around until at least October or whenever we decided to schedule our c-section. The reason for the scheduled c-section is because of my lack of progression during labor with Jack (considering his size and also the induction medications) and the probability of that happening again. Even with the strong contractions I was having last weekend, my cervix was showing NO SIGNS of any change. The good news was that everyone is healthy, bleeding had stopped, and bed rest was only precautionary and to prevent any further bleeding or strain. I was released to drive to future doctor's appointments, and even told that I may be taken off bed rest in a week or so, depending, as there was really no sign of risk.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
After a trip home and a quick nap, we headed out to Lowe's. Keith and Jack wanted to get me a flowering plant for the yard! Jack had a blast smelling everything in the store. We ended up settling on 2 Strawberry Sunset Hibiscus plants. Since they are annuals, we decided to keep them in pots outside so we can bring them inside for the winter. I can't wait to see the blooms, and will definitely post a picture.
After that, I prepared the sides for dinner and Jack and Keith got in their swimsuits and tried to clean off the back fence from all of our neighborhood birds. It was awesome watching them out there working together. Then Keith grilled up some porkchops and we stuffed ourselves for dinner. We topped off the night with some popsicles on the back patio. What a wonderful day!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Well, the story doesn't end here! The money was raised, the papers were processed, and The Shorts left TODAY to go to Ethiopa and pick up their son Eli! I couldn't be more thrilled to see all of this come full circle, and it's been great to walk with April at work and hear the story unfold. Thank you Lord for this amazing gift! Check out the video below to see this little boy that gets to come home in a few days!
Friday, April 30, 2010
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
As far as "time spent away from home", this may be slowing down a bit. Thursday was my last day working with children up at church. The spring semester has come to an end, and it won't kick back up till the fall. I am SO SAD to see this come to an end! I really fell in love with all my "little people" and will miss them dearly. I don't think I will be able to help out in the fall. I will be ready to POP when the semester starts and then once I do, haha, I'll have to take the time away with baby B. There is a possibility that I could start back up in spring 2011, but we'll have to see how things go. Also, our Monday night CBS (Community Bible Study) is coming to an end! I am also SO SAD to see this happen! I have never had such an amazing time at a bible study. Keith and I have made some wonderful friends, been in our bibles deeper than maybe ever before, and I also have had the chance to share my music in WORSHIP, which has been incredible. So, that frees up Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Keith's Wednesday bible study has finished as well, so that leaves Wednesday open... Looks like the only truly SCHEDULED event we have is Saturday night church service!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
When I was about 8, my family and I visited a Christian horse camp, Miracle Mountain Ranch, in North Western Pennsylvania. My parents were in a band called God's Country and had a gig at the ranch. I absolutely fell in love with the place and had always wanted to go back. I think I was about 15 when I finally talked my parents into letting me return, this time for summer camp. It was the first and only time I had been to summer camp. I didn't know what to expect, and though camp was somewhat fun (and I won a few riding competitions), the best part of camp was this awesome friendship I made with a girl named Wren.
I was trying to think of a way to describe her, and somehow this is what came to mind. If you haven't seen the movie UP, you need to check out that video. Wren was thin, short red hair, lots of freckles. She was outgoing, funny, adventurous. We just hit it off. At the end of the week we traded addresses and began writing each other. (Yes, writing. Good old pen and paper. At 15, I didn't have a cell phone, or email address. It was definitely different back then. Though there were some really neat things about that, and the excitement of getting a letter in the mail. There is also something great about the quickness of email, and also the fact that no matter where we move, our email stays the same! If I had met her as a 15 year old today, I'm sure we would have never lost touch.) We continued writing for a long time; even after her family moved her all the way out to California. But somehow, over the years, we ended up losing touch.
I always wondered what had happened to her, and about 4 years ago I started searching. The tricky part about doing the typical internet people search is that Wren was Wren's middle name. Her full name was Carol Wren Compton. Can I tell you how many Carol Comptons there are in California? Even searching by age, it seemed impossible. I even used a paid service once to get an address that I thought might be her, but never got the nerve to write. As MySpace became big, and then Facebook, I would always look, but was never able to find her. Every 6 months or so, she would come across my mind and I'd do a search, always to no prevail.
A few months ago I came across a search engine called pipl.com. They boast that they search the "Deep Web" instead of just the "surface web", searched my most search engines. When I typed in Wren Compton, a few things came up. There were some male profiles and news articles, nothing that looked correct. There was an old profile at bebo.com, and amazon.com. They both seemed to have the age and dates correct, but no contact information. There was one other personal profile that came up. It was simply a snapshot of a profile built years ago and amazingly enough had a small blurry thumbnail picture of a redheaded girl. IT HAD TO BE HER! When I clicked on it, there was a short blurb about this girl, that she had been married and also lived in a town called Scappoose in Oregon. Clicking around some more, I ended up with dead ends because the profile was so old there was no current information. Trying to go back and get the married last name, I realized that the profile I originally saw was only a snapshot of the profile from years ago and was no longer there! I didn't make a note of the new last name and all I had was Scappoose, Oregon. I searched Oregon for Wren Comptons and Carol Wren Comptons, and no success.
About a month ago, I thought I'd try again. I wasn't stalking, I swear, but there was something fun about trying to find her and solve the puzzle! I did a search of C. Comptons in Oregon, I forget what website, but I came across a C. W. Compton age 26 and underneath there was a sub name of C. W. Rank. So I decided to start searching Wren Rank and see what would come up. I went back to the pipl.com website because I seemed to have found success there once before. Surprisingly enough, the bebo.com and amazon.com profiles came up again. I had a feeling I was on the right track, but as before there was no way to contact through these profiles. At the bottom of the page there was a "document search" that would pull up any and all documents on the internet that had the words "Wren" and "Rank". There was only one document listed, and this document happened to be a church prayer team memo from December 2009. The church was Warren Community Fellowship in Warren, OR. The excerpt simply said "Ladies who are pregnant: Tracey Newton, Cassie Pousson, and Wren Rank."
This is still a long shot. Who knows if the C. W. Compton/C. W. Rank that I found in the original search was even my friend. I was searching the name Wren Rank completely on a whim. I was assuming that my friend from Pennsylvania, that had moved to California, possibly got married, moved again to this tiny town in Oregon, and was pregnant. There was an informational email address on the church's bulletin and I thought I'd write an email seeing if I could talk them into giving me some more information on this Wren Rank. Sounds crazy, I know.
Can you believe it?? I GOT A RESPONSE! I had said in the email that I was searching a Carol Wren Compton, and thought it may be the Wren Rank on the prayer list. The church's secretary confirmed that a Wren Rank attended there (which wasn't really new news) but that she didn't have her email but a phone number. The secretary said that she would call Wren and let her know about my email. I waited about a week, and when I didn't hear anything else I emailed the secretary again asking if she could make sure to pass my email address and phone number along. Well, one month and one day passed, and nothing. I really had forgotten about the whole thing.
Last night, at 11:30 (way past my bedtime), Keith was going through his spam mail deleting it all. My spam mail is set up with an automatic delete. Every 30 days it deletes all emails forever, I never even open the folder up. Somehow we were laughing about the crazy email subjects that make it into our spam and I thought I'd go to mine and join in the fun. There was nothing really funny in mine, so I just started selecting entire pages at a time, and hitting delete. Page after page, delete, delete, delete, del- ...WREN?? Sure enough, the 4th to last email of ALL THE SPAM was an email with the subject "Shanna, it's Wren!” I had already "selected all" on that page and was literally half a second away from clicking "delete forever". I CAN'T BELIEVE I ALMOST MISSED IT! Then, on top of that, the email was dated Feb. 18, 2010. Yesterday was March 19th, 2010 which means it had been 30 days, and somehow my spam had not yet automatically deleted this email! Then I realized it was 11:40; was I really 20 minutes away from losing this email forever?
Well, after all that, I found her, Wren Rank, living in Oregon, married, and due with her first born, baby Isaac, in June. Now tell me GOD didn't make that happen? How awesome to be reconnected with my childhood friend! Hopefully we can have a phone conversation soon and catch up on what we've missed for the past 13 years. I'm so excited!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The GREATER STORY: CREATION, FALL, REDEMPTION, RECREATION.
He started with CREATION: Genesis 1 and 2; God revealing His POWER (chapter 1), and His PROVISION (chapter 2). At ths point everything was GOOD. "Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. " Gen. 2:15 The words "cultivate and keep it", translated, are always in corolation with priesthood throughtout the bible. In other words, cultivate and keep it, is simply WORSHIP. That is all we were to do. BUT Adam and Eve rebelled. FALL: Genesis 3 it changes, and instead of everything being GOOD, now something is WRONG with everything. In our world today, and in every day of our lives, something is WRONG, sin is here. The importance in this, is that this isn't the end of the story, and of course this wasn't a mistake. God has weaved our sin into His Greater Story. REDEMPTION: Genesis 4 through Revelation 20. With faith in CHRIST there is a conversion from a fallen humanity to chosing to TRUST God to PROVIDE. God, redeeming us to complete His work by RECREATION: everything is BETTER than GOOD. Revelation 21 through Eternity, is declaring our Eternal delight in heaven. God's redeemed creation is BETTER than His sinless creation in the garden. Isn't that amazing?
The part that really made me think, was SIN. I have heard the story since I was a child... Adam and Eve eat the apple from the bad tree, and suddenly their eyes are opened. They have sinned because they did something they weren't supposed to do, and all of their offspring, me and you, are born into sin. I have been missing so much over the years by leaving the story at that. First of all, who said it was an apple? And God created all of the trees and said they were "good". The tree of knowledge of good and evil was never a bad tree, but simply a prohibition. In a sinless garden, there was still something that was off limits to Adam and Eve. Interesting, isn't it? I wonder if there will be prohibitions in a sinless heaven? But what really got me is the sin itself. I always thought of the sin as the "eating". But ya know, Eve had to have sinned in her heart to make the decision to eat. She had to decide that God is NOT GOOD or TRUSTWORTHY in order to choose to eat of this prohibition. So it was a WOW to me, that sin is not simply doing something we're not supposed to do, but SIN is the decision that God is not TRUSTWORTHY. That's what He asks of us in the bible, over and over and over, trust in ME, believe in ME! SIN is the opposite of this. Also, God is GOOD. In our world, something is WRONG with everything. Wrong things happen to everyone! Don't look at the world to determine if God is GOOD, go to the cross! He is GOOD, and has sent His own Son to die on the cross and redeem us. We have the choice; making our own provision, or being broken to realize that we can do nothing without Christ. With Faith in Him, we are redeemed and TRUST God to PROVIDE. One leads to Eternal delight in Heaven, and the other to damnation. Trusting in God is the foundation of our Faith! That makes me look at Salvation differently too! Everytime we sin, we are basically deciding to trust ourselves instead of God. If Salvation is Trusting Him, than it is obvious that we will never be able to save ourselves because daily we choose ourselves over Him. This is where His GRACE, at least for me, IS A HUGE WOW! If we truly choose Him, than we are covered by His GRACE, redeemed and forgiven. Glory be to such a POWERFUL, PROVIDER, GRACEFUL, REDEEMING, LOVING, AND TRUSTWORTHY GOD!
Monday, January 25, 2010
I always hope to post more blogs, and updates, and will continue to try and acomplish that. This year is already looking to be full of creativity, business, love, growth, and of course JOY!