Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
What a wonderful and gracious Lord we serve! Every day we find ourselves standing in awe at the amazing works of our Almighty God. It has been a priceless blessing to know that so many faithful friends have been lifting our family, ministry, and education up before the Lord in prayer. All of you have been an immense encouragement to us through your prayers, letters, and phone calls, and we are sincerely grateful for each one of you.
It is hard to believe another year has already come to an end! It has been a calendar of tremendous blessing and change in both of our lives. We had a beautiful wedding on June 14th and a lovely honeymoon in North Carolina and Georgia. We brought all of Stephanie’s belongings with us, including her beautiful piano! We had a wonderful, relaxing two weeks and then headed down to Dallas to settle into our new home and life together.
In July we found out that we will be parents come March! What a delightful surprise and blessing. Children are truly a gift and heritage from the Lord and it has been wonderful growing closer together as a couple during this time of waiting for our little boy to enter the world.
Michael: From January to December, God has been daily increasing our faith and building our trust in His great power. Oh the depths of Christ’s rich love and mercy. Marrying my dear Stephanie is more marvelous than I ever could have imagined. And now to be expecting our very own little son in just a few months! I am simply overwhelmed by the numerous gifts God has bestowed so immeasurably upon us. The past year of education at Dallas Theological Seminary has also been one of exciting concepts and further understanding of God and His matchless Word. Having this opportunity to be trained and mentored by such godly and humble men is truly an answer to pray and a great privilege. My constant prayer is that God would enable me to be faithful to utilize all I learn for His great glory alone.
Throughout the year God has brought along various opportunities for us to reach out with His Gospel. In September I enjoyed sharing from the Word of God and preaching His Good News to those in an inner-city mission here in Dallas. The month of October came with a couple of opportunities to temporarily assist in the music ministry at a congregation located in the suburbs of Dallas, pastored by a friend of mine from school. And earlier this month, Stephanie and I enjoyed leading a large Bible study group in a joyous time of carol singing.
The Lord has continued to meet our needs through several jobs and the gracious benevolence of His people. I have now been working as the security/hospitality coordinator at Dallas Bible Church for more than a year, and also enjoy doing part-time sales work for Tommy Nelson’s Song of Solomon Bible Resources.
Stephanie: I feel so blessed to be married to an amazing, godly man who loves and takes care of me. I never dreamed marriage could be so wonderful. God has taught me so much since June, but the biggest lesson I have learned is living a life of Faith. It is wonderful to see God providing every single day and knowing that He holds me in the palm of His hand and will never let me go. I am blessed beyond measure with my husband and baby boy. We are both so excited about little “Peanut” coming in March and are having fun preparing for him, praying for him, and talking to him.
I started teaching piano in September and all my students so far are from DTS. I thoroughly enjoy every single one of the wonderful children I teach. I also started working as a part-time nanny in September for two little girls, three year old Graydon and ten month old Riley. It has been fun, and an opportunity for me to temporarily serve a family in need. Riley has hip dysplasia and was put in a half body cast in the beginning of October to correct her condition. Thankfully she is a happy, contented baby and has done very well! The job has now ended, and I definitely miss working with these precious girls. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know some Seminary wives and am excited about upcoming activities with the school and starting a Bible study with them.
We are really enjoying getting involved in our new church, Redeemer Bible and look forward to joining the fellowship there soon, and being able to minister in various capacities, including the choir. God has been so gracious and faithful. We both are so very excited to see what He holds in our future and how He will yet again show His power in and through our lives. We thank the Lord for your friendship, love and prayers! May the Lord bless and keep you in this next year as you continue to seek Him in every capacity of your life.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Love in Christ,
Michael, Stephanie, & Baby
Please Pray For:
• A safe delivery of our baby boy this coming March and good health for his mommy.
• The upcoming semester at Dallas Seminary, that the Lord would grant wisdom, focus, concentration, and blessing in all the studies.
• The Lord to open up doors of opportunity for ministry during the next year in abundant ways.
• Much needed financial provision for seminary tuition and related expenses.
3909 Swiss Ave. Box 188 • Dallas, TX 75204 • MBreznau@yahoo.com
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
It is hard to believe that today we celebrate our 6 month anniversary!
I am so glad I married you. You are the one who makes my heart uplift, skip a beat, smile, laugh, and be joyful. I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see you!
You always care for me so much... rubbing my feet, helping me around the apartment, buying me little surprises every once in a while, talking heart-to-heart, giving me hugs, rubbing my neck, and oh yes, I love your kisses. :-D ;-)
I love you Michael with all my heart and I know that 6 months ago was the most special day of my life. I look forward to growing old with you honey!
~All I Ask of You~
No more talk of darkness,
Forget these wide-eyed fears
I'm here, nothing can harm you
my words will warm and calm you
Let me be your freedom,
let daylight dry your tears.
I'm here with you, beside you,
to guard you and to guide you...
Say you love me every waking moment,
turn my head with talk of summertime...
Say you need me with you now and always...
Promise me that all you say is true
that's all I ask of you
Let me be your shelter
let me be your light
You're safe, No one will find you
your fears are far behind you...
All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night
and you, always beside me, to hold me and to hide me...
Then say you'll share with me
one love, one lifetime
let me lead you from your solitude
Say you need me with you here, beside you...
anywhere you go, let me go too
Love me, that's all I ask of you...
Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime...
say the word and I will follow you...
Share each day with me,
each night, each morning...
Say you love me...
You know I do...
Love me - that's all I ask of you
Anywhere you go let me go too
Love me - that's all I ask of you...
Friday, December 12, 2008
*Blessing Number Five*
We found a beautiful Dining Room Set for only $25.00! I will post a picture after we pick it up. We have been eating on a card table, so this is so nice.
*Blessing Number Six*
Someone here at school anonymously put $40 in a card and put it in Michael's school box. :-D
*Blessing Number Seven*
The same couple who are giving us the crib and changing table offered us the 700 square foot apartment above their garage rent free. :-D They have done it for DTS students in the past. We are praying about it and weighing the pro's and con's. Just because something sounds wonderful doesn't mean we want to jump into it without first making sure it is what God wants us to do. I will keep you updated!
*Blessing Number Eight*
Someone anonymously sent me a me a gift card in the mail. I opened the envelope and there was no note or anything, just a gift card for $200 for Destination Maternity! It said Merry Christmas, but otherwise no clue as to who sent it. I had bought a coat at Target, but if I can one at DM later today, then I will just take back the one to Target. :-D Whoever it was, I am VERY grateful!
Isn't the Lord wonderful?
The words to this beautiful Hymn says it all...
"I Stand Amazed"
I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!
For me it was in the garden
He prayed: “Not My will, but Thine.”
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.
In pity angels beheld Him,
And came from the world of light
To comfort Him in the sorrows
He bore for my soul that night.
He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.
When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Let me tell you God's latest working in our life. :-)
*Blessing Number One*
On Saturday we only had a little bit in our bank account and rent was due and we needed groceries. Times are hard for everyone and two of my family's hadn't yet paid me (they are struggling just as much as we are) and Michael wouldn't get his paycheck until the 12th. We started praying and crying out to Him for help. I ended up playing the piano for Lauren and Adam Bell to sing at the Couples Christmas Conference at the Dallas Training Center Saturday night. To my complete surprise, they gave me a gift card to "Le Madeline" as a thank you. We went there on Sunday for lunch and what a treat!
Monday morning came and Michael went and talked to the finance department and asked that they hold our check until our paychecks came in on friday and they graciously agreed to that.
*Blessing Number Two*
Michael yet again won second place at his work and so we got another $50 gift card to a restaurant. :-D We will be celebrating our 6 month anniversary with it. :-D
Blessing Number Three... and what a miracle it is!
We were asked to lead a Christmas Carol sing-a-long at this Bible study that meets at the church where Michael works. Michael led and I played the piano. These people are really godly and truly have a close relationship with the Lord that is so encouraging to see and hear about. About a 100 people come to this Bible Study.
We finished and were about to walk off stage but Mr. S. (the leader) said, "Don't go quite yet, we have a little something for you". He then pulls out a card and opens it and reads it "O come all ye faithful... on your first Christmas together, may you remember His first Christmas". He then says "here is $100 bill for each of you". We were not expecting anything at all so we were shocked!
He then continued... "AND these two young people are really hard working and are EACH working two jobs... here is another $100 for each job" What... now it was up to $600?
And he still continues... "AND she is pregnant, so here is ANOTHER $200" and then he digs in his pocket... and says "aha, another $200 for you!" :-D I was completely overwhelmed and crying at this point. :-) $1,000! The Lord knew our need before we did and provided it for us. We can now pay for rent, AND I can buy some much needed winter clothes. There were so many things I needed...a winter coat, pants, boots, etc. for MI and I idn't have anything...but God knew all along!
*Blessing Number Four*
A lady came up to me after the Bible Study and gave us a crib and changing table! She had some more stuff for us too!
I have never had my faith tested like I have since June. Growing up in a middle class family where we weren't poor, but we weren't rich, my dad had a steady job at (GTE) verizon for 25 years. My faith has increased and grown in boundless ways since June. Sure it is been hard in some ways since June, but I wouldn't trade one single moment of it. Not only have I grown in MY faith, but we have grown closer together.
Thank you Lord for not only your provision, but your great mercy for us! I love you and I praise You!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
God provided money for us to go to Lapeer, Michigan for Christmas! I am so excited. :-D We will be there December 18-Jan.4. We are both really looking forward to it! Praise the Lord for His provision. :-) We hope to see some of y'all while we are there!
Hopefully this will get to be my first White Christmas ever!!!!!
God is so good!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
...our little boy growing inside of me!
...our families in NC & MI
...God's daily provision & faithfulness
...a cute little apartment at a wonderful price
...wonderful piano students
...that Michael likes my cooking :-P
...leaves falling from the tree and crunching beneath my feet
...seeing my breath in the air
...that Jesus is in my life and will never leave nor forsake me!
Are you thankful? Not just today... but every day?
I pray that the Lord makes me grateful each and every day of the year... not just on the day we are *supposed* to be thankful. :-)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
~ R. C. Sproul
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Well, I talked to my midwife today and she was very concerned as well. Her and my sister are both thinking that this is an early sign of possibly getting Preeclampsia. http://www.preeclampsia.or
So I ask with all my heart that you join Michael and I in prayer for this little one and myself. I really appreciate it!
Love y'all! <3
Friday, November 7, 2008
As I was getting ready to leave, she asked me if we could use some chicken breasts. Of course I said yes, and as she put them in a bag, she also included over two pounds of ground beef, a dozen eggs, and a pound of butter. I was overwhelmed and felt like crying! She said to me "we've been there before and we want to give you this".
She didn't completely realize that we have almost no groceries in our fridge right now, and we can never afford chicken breasts either. But God knew!
May I always be as ready to give of what the Lord has bestowed on me. Thank you God! I am so grateful to You and to her. :-) <3
This month we were down to the wire and wondering how we were going to pay our rent, electricity, interent (we have to have it for Michael's job that he works from our apartment), and our phone bill. We kept praying and working. The other night when Michael deposited four checks from my jobs into the bank, we had just enough to pay everything, plus a little leftover for some much needed groceries. :-D
God is SO faithful and has never let us go without. When we put our trust in Him, He will always provide just what we need. We may not have the money to go to the movies or out to eat, or even to travel around... but God has us at seminary and provides our needs, plus a little extra. :-D
Oh, and did I mention that Michael won second place in his work contest this month? That means a $50.00 gift card to a restaurant. :-D Can I hear an Amen??? :-P
This month is going to be busy busy busy. Tomorrow I go out to coffee with a wonderful new friend, make a meal for a couple who had a baby last week, and then we go to dinner with some elderly friends of Michael's from Michigan. On Saturday we are having Dr. Pentecost (the oldest professor here) over for dinner. :-D That should be fun!
Sarah comes next week! Yay for family visits. :-D She will be here from the 12-21st. And she will get to be here when we find out if it is a boy or girl on the 20th. :-D
This baby is a little gymnast I think. :-P Also bouncing around and wiggly. We can feel the baby from the outside now... which enthralls Michael. :-D
We will not be able to go home for Thanksgiving. :-( That has been really hard for me, but I am trusting that we will have a lovely little Thanksgiving here together. It just is definitely a time for extended family, and I will miss that! We are hopefully going to MI for Christmas... if we can swing some free tickets Michael might possibly be able to get with points. Please pray about that? Thanks!
Well, this was just a note chock full of random news. Thank you all for your friendship! I love you guys. :-) <3
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5b
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Obama is against everything I believe in as a Christian. He is pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, etc. People say... abortion is a smaller issue. When did human life become labeled as the "smaller issue"? How could anyone who claims to be a Christian vote for him? I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. All I can say is, they wanted him... and now they have him.
I am also tired of hearing that this is God's will. Actually, I believe that God's will and Him allowing things to happen are two different things. This may not be a popular thing to say but I believe it. , but sometimes we ask God many times for something that He does not want for us. Eventually, we ask persistently so many times... He says "Ok, you can have it"... but it is not what He desired for us. This is what I believe has happened.
Lord, protect our Christian rights!
Help us to continue to worship freely... speak freely against the rampant sin in our day.
Lord, help us to continue to be able to preach and share about You.
Lord, help me to stay strong no matter what may come!
Friday, October 31, 2008
That, my dear friends, is what pregnancy has done to me.
I find that many things have changed. I cannot find anything (for instance... I couldn't find the Lawry's salt for two weeks and then found it in the fridge), I no longer care about asking for help in the grocery store, I talk to strangers like they are long lost friends, I cry over the smallest things, and I even tell anyone and everyone that I am pregnant (if they haven’t noticed yet).
The first stage of pregnancy, before I even KNEW I was pregnant, I was falling asleep all the time. I would yawn consistently when people were over and make them feel like they were the most boring company in the world… or I would just doze off with them there. Thankfully that stage ended with people happy for us and saying “THAT is why you fell asleep when I was in midsentence…”
I am so thankful that I have the dearest and sweetest husband in the world. I remember at the beginning of the pregnancy, I had these two weeks where I cried over everything like it was the end of the world. Poor bewildered Michael. After he realized it was completely hormonal and not him at all, he just went with the flow and held me as I soaked his shirt and left mascara marks.That stage was a short… err, long…. two weeks.
Then came the nauseous stage… constantly nauseous and no throwing up. It was horrid. I didn’t want to see, talk to, or be around anyone. Michael’s shaving lotion, cologne, mouthwash, deodorant… it all made me nauseous. Poor guy… I mean, talk about getting a complex. Think how your husband would feel if you said to him “Please don’t hug me right now because you make me want to throw up” :-P I said it just like that the first time and realized how it sounded… haha! I rephrased it the next time “Your cologne! Ahhh!” haha But it is ok… all my stuff made me nauseous too and I didn’t wear any perfume for about 3 weeks. Michael washed many dishes during this time.
After that, came the throwing up AND nauseous stage… for about a month. Oh goodness, it was just terrible. The worst I have ever felt in my life. Michael was wonderful and would come and hold my hair back. He was so patient, with even more dishes for him to wash.
When that stage was over, the fatigue hit full force. It is a different fatigue than the beginning of my pregnancy… more like, a constant wish to be sleeping. :-P I was so thankful to only be tired, that I was happy and rejoicing! I take naps and try to get to bed early so it is a breeze.
So that is where I am right now… 20 weeks and feeling great! I try my best to eat right (I am avoiding any caffeine… except a little chocolate now and then… MSG, high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, and also trying to stay away from sugar in general… which is hard), and taking my vitamins. It is hard sometimes to remember everything I need to do.
This baby is a little jumping bean! It is the coolest feeling in the world to feel his/her little body swirling around in there. What a miracle! I can’t wait until November 20th when we will find out if we are having a boy or a girl. We have names picked out for either, but you will have to wait until their entrance into our grand world to find out. I love surprises! We call him/her “Peanut” right now.
I am so thankful that God has given us this dear precious little baby. Some random people have said negative comments, such as “that stinks” or “oh man!” but we know that God has a purpose for everything He does. Babies should be a blessing and never a burden. We also know that if He has given us this baby, then He will provide for it… and us! He is like that when we put our full trust and faith in Him and His amazing power. I am so glad I have Jesus in my life!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Or I'll never fall in love
In a restless world like this is
Love is ended before its begun
And too many moonlight kisses
Seem to cool in the warmth of the sun
When I give my heart it will be completely
Or Ill never give my heart
And the moment I can feel that you feel that way too
Is when I fall in love with you."
And that is exactly what happened. I love you Michael!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It means accepting and loving yourself. To give yourself time out of a busy day so that you feel good about yourself. Especially with being pregnant, sometimes I drop into bed feeling worn out, icky, unattractive, and pudgy. :-P Michael is so sweet and is always so encouraging and affirming. I think it is just something that comes with pregnancy. :-)
So here was my "because I love me" day...
because I love me...
I took a nap
I drank a cup of Candy Cane Lane tea w/honey and milk
I read "A Witch on Blackbird Pond"
Crawled in bed early and watched "The NeverEnding Story"
Ate an Italian Ice.
I DID do productive things today such as clean the apartment and teach piano, but I am glad I made myself do these happy things!
Anyway, I was standing there perusing the different kinds of milk when I decided to ask the guy stocking the shelves if their store brand milk had antibiotics and/or hormones in it. We ended up chatting for about 15 minutes about the horrors of antibiotics, hormones, high fructose corn syrup, and even MSG. :-P He was a really nice guy...telling me about his wife when she was pregnant and what she did! Anyway, so I decided to go with their store brand organic milk (their other stuff isn't organic) after he explained that if it doesn't specifically say on there that the hormones/antibiotics are not in there, it is possible it is in there. You can never tell for sure. As I picked up the milk, he said "Hey, let this one be on me!" So he initialed the bar code and I got a free gallon of organic milk, priced at $5.19. :-D
God is so good!
Monday, October 13, 2008
So far our picks are...
Clotilda and Barnabas
hehe, JUST kidding... actually, we both like the name Barnabas... it just doesn't sound good with our last name.
He would probably get Barney... and can you imagine a kid named Barney Breznau? Not only does it sound bad, but it brings nightmarish memories of a certain annoying purple dionsaur. :-P
Saturday, October 11, 2008
They had a challenge at Michael's work last month telling them that whoever sold the most would receive a prize. Michael is a really good salesmen, I think partly because he loves what he does and he enjoys helping people.
Well, Michael won the challenge!
A $55 gift certificate to a restaurant (it gives you five choices, all pretty snazzy: Mi Cocina, Taco Diner, Mainstream, Mercury Grill, & Mercury Chophouse)... AND a $20.00 gift card to the movie theater (we are going to try to see Fireproof). Isn't God just amazing like that? He knew we needed something like this, but also is unique in how He provides. :-D
So we are finally going tonight and are going to thoroughly enjoy God's gift to us... and praise Him all the while.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Graydon: "Oh no, I tinkled in my panties! *pause* But it is ok... there is plenty of tinkle left" as she runs to the bathroom. :-P
Graydon: "Your tummy is really big... what do you have in there anyway?"
Graydon: "If you have a girl baby, then you have to put dresses on her and bows in her hair AND you have to buy her a pink bouncy seat. And if it is a boy... you canNOT put dresses on him''
Graydon to her mom "Mommy, do you remember when I was two?"
Phoebe "Oh yes Graydon, you were a cutie"
Graydon "Well, I just can't wait till I am 11... then I'll be giant Graydon" :-P
Graydon to me "I love your hairdo today... did you just get it cut?" Said with complete animation.
Phoebe to Graydon "Do you want to go shopping with me?"
Graydon "No mommy, I want to go home and play with Stephanie"
She is definitely a character. She has named each of her toes (Mommy, Daddy, Graydon, Riley, and Millie (the dog), loves anything pink, is going to be Snow White for Halloween (and also wants to be her when she grows up), and has me read Sleeping Beauty to her every day. :-D
Life is NOT boring!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
"Have you ever experienced a time in your life when everything was going simply wonderful... and then reality struck a hard blow right at the very climax of your happiness? Or perhaps, have you ever gone through a week of not knowing how you were going to make it through the next? Sometimes the grit of life grinds hard against the oftentimes tender flesh of our humanity. And, it is during periods like these that we often discover the reality of how deep our faith may truly be.
When life stretches our emotions to the breaking point we learn. Yes, we learn through hard times. In fact, I believe it would be honest to say that I have been taught far more invaluable lessons during times of angst, stress, and loss than amidst the soaring times of joy and happiness. But, why must this be so? Why do we have to go through hardship to grow and learn? Why does it take a swelling tear to come a step closer to the Master?
Many days I have pondered this question and for many days I have not had an answer. Yet, eventually by the mercy of God I found that in my questioning, the answer had already been given. The answer happened to lay in the valley itself, and in the swelling tear of discouragement. I found that this answer was simple, yet "hard". The answer is "hard" in that it is difficult to accept from our so-often worldly mentality. And, as frustrating as it might seem, this lesson has to be learned over and over and over again - at least this is true for me. :-)
Falling on Hard Times
Just about one month ago I yet again went through an experience that taught me of the answer to this question. It was not easy or smooth sailing, it was not soaring high with joy and happiness, it was not even fun at all... it was just the opposite. However, after having gone through similar lessons before, there remained a certain level of hope and faith that God was in it all, and in this time I would again learn of the answer to the question.
Upon our arrival back here in Dallas after our unbelievable, "mountain top" honeymoon of bliss, Stephanie and I were presented with a tough dilemma. After settling into our new apartment and finally climbing out of the hills of boxes, we began to discover that we were fast approaching zero in our bank accounts. This did not bode well at all because both of us knew that our expenses were only going to rise (especially once my school tuition bills starting coming in the end of July).
However, with a general budget in hand we began seeking out jobs that would hopefully help us meet our needs. Stephanie applied to more than half a dozen positions around the area, yet after several weeks it appeared that nothing was going to "pan out." More than a month went by and with events at the church running low on my work schedule, I too went looking for something extra to add on to my duties. With many thanks to the Lord, He opened up a door just a couple weeks later for me to do some marketing work for Tommy Nelson's Song of Solomon Bible Resources. This certainly was an answer to our prayers and would definitely help our financial situation. And during this time it was also confirmed to our most pleasant surprise that a little "Peanut" had been planted during our honeymoon in northern Georgia. WOW! What a wonderful joy... yes a mountain top. But over the past two and a half months of scraping by with little work and having significantly increased expenses for rent etc... our situation still looked quite dim.
The past month of August was discouraging at times and even involved some panic, yet we continued to believe that God would provide and keep us out from under the heavy load of debt. I began working on my new job which seemed to be going pretty well, until just as I began the second week of work I came down with strep throat and could not eat solid foods, let alone work for more than five days. And, our bills for tuition, rent, insurance, and others kept flowing in. This was a period of inner strife for me because every other time I had run low I had always been able to work myself out of the hole and get back to "running again." Yet, this time I could do nothing but lay in bed sipping on tea and trying to swallow yogurt. Stephanie did her best to take care of me, even though she herself was severely struggling with morning sickness due to pregnancy. What a wonderful wife God has given me.
As that week came to an end, I slowly started to recover and once again began to look over our finances. Glancing ahead at all the bills due right around the first of this month, I first began to panic... but then as Stephanie reminded me, we again cried out to the Lord for our needs to be met. We both believe that God knows all our needs before we even ask Him, yet felt entirely prompted to ask of Him a specific amount that would cover our expenses and asked of Him that He would be pleased to answer our prayer by the end of that week.
Down to the Wire
By Wednesday I had only $15 in my checking account, yet remained at peace that God would show His power. And show us He did! On Thursday Stephanie had an interview for a part-time nanny job and was offered the position, and that same day she also acquired a new piano student! While these things would not offer us an immediate solution to our pending bills, they certainly brought much needed encouragement from our Lord. That evening we thanked God for the wonderful events of the day and again brought our needs before Him.
On Friday morning (the end of the week) I woke up and decided to check our bank account online to see if my regular paycheck had gone through. As I rubbed the sleep away from my eyes, I could not believe the number that stared back at me from the screen of my laptop. With my heart pounding and tears welling up I clicked on the account status to see if, in fact, what I was seeing was true and not just a figment of my imagination. And, low and behold there was an amount sent along with my paycheck from some dear friends that would meet all the major pending bills that I would need to pay in the next several days...
Wiping the emotion from my eyes I ran into the bedroom and quickly brought Stephanie over to the computer so she could see for herself that our God had heard our prayers. As we both wept and praised the Lord for His goodness that morning, we realized that God had taught us a very important lesson about faith and trust. Yes it was VERY hard to go through such a test, yet we had grown closer to our Savior and to one another as well.
As we hand over our self-trust for belief in God we come to realize that life is not about us, but about Christ and His glory. The events and experiences of this life on earth do not measure one chord to that which is to come in His great Kingdom. Yet, through these days of life that are woven together with hard times and with the good, we see that He is at work and we see His hand. His hand is shown in our lives not that we may have what we want, when we want it, but that He might show the excellencies of His grace toward us who are in Christ.
To know that He is near and to believe that He is sovereign - literally watching over every circumstance of our lives; this is the answer to the question! Life is not learned until there is pain. Until we know the anguish of death and loss we will never know the value of life. Until we have nothing we will never learn the value of one single dollar. And, until we surrender our self-trust into simple belief in the omnipotent Lord will we learn to see His hand.
And then, when all this life is over and we lay our heads to rest we shall enter the streets of gold and cast the crowns that we have earned by our faith through Christ at the foot of the throne of our Powerful God and crown Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords. For it is all for Him and by Him and for His great glory.
May we wholeheartedly say as Paul wrote to the Church at Philippi during his imprisonment (an obvious hardship), "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Phil. 1:21)
Watch for His hand... He is waiting to show His glory.
May His glory be known and His power shown in and through our lives for the praise of His glorious grace."
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I love it! Awesome salon and stylist... for only $20.00 plus tip too! The salon is normally $45 and above for cuts, but it is a mon-thurs deal they have for stylist in training. I felt like a princess... got a scalp and neck massage, she brought me a glass of water with a slice of orange in it, she shampooed my hair and then cut and styled it. It got a little flat by the time I took these pictures, but there are a ton of layers and stacking and it is vavavoom when it is in it's full glory. ;-) Michael loves it! There are a couple more pictures on facebook. :-D
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Where you forget that you are filling the sink and it overflows? Or you dump half your bottle of homemade salad dressing on the floor? When you feel so nauseous and tired you can't pull yourself out of bed but you have to because the bug inspector AND the internet guy are coming? When your husband is sick and feels absolutely miserable? When you can't get the combination to your mailbox to work? This has been one of those days.
But this has also been a day where God has poured His love and mercy on me as well. Life becomes better when I remember that He is always with me and will always take care of me. I know He loves me, I never ever doubt that... but why in the world do I let cares and worries override what He has already done in my life? He has already done so much in tremendous & powerful ways. I need to keep my eye on Him...no matter what! I can't imagine what my life wouldl be like if I did not have Him in it. I need to remember that. :-) He is so good!
So.... even when I don't feel good, or I have a clumsy moment, or the dumb combination doesn't work, or I see my husband so sick... I find something in which to rejoice. :-D Sometimes it takes a little thinking, but there is no circumstance in which we cannot find something to rejoice in the Lord!
I was reminded of the beautiful old hymn "He Giveth More Grace". May you be as encouraged and blessed as I was and daily reminded of His loving grace and power.
By: Annie Flint
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials he multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
I made a new friend today. i was walking to the library, and my eye was caught by the most precious little baby girl... as she grinned and a dimple showed, I had to stop and talk to her and her mother. The baby girl's name is Jean. She cooed and laughed as I talked to her and told her she was a pretty precious little girl. Then I struck up a conversation with her mother. Her name is Elaine... she grew up in Hong Kong, although she is Korean by birth. She lives down the hallway from us. We really hit if off!
So now that is the fourth friend I have made... Liz, Ratna, Chelsea, and Elaine. :-D I love people. :-)
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Some prayer requests:
*That we can find a conservative, bible believing church where we feel welcome and where we can minister to others.
*For my health as I carry this child. I've been experiencing some morning sickness and extreme fatigue. Please pray I feel better soon!
*God's provision for our daily needs.
*That we can be a testimony to all around us and boldly share Jesus with everyone we meet.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Born 11:15 am July 18
Lily (not sure if it is spelled Lily or Lilly at this point) :-P Catherine
I have yet to see pictures, but I am sure she is gorgeous and cuddly. Congrats to my sister and her family on another bundle of joy and happiness! May she grow to love the Lord Jesus with all her heart, soul, mind and strength. :-)
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The wedding was GORGEOUS. I appreciate every single person who did SO much to help. I love all of my bridesmaids and they were are so beautiful in their dresses and their pretty smiling faces and encouragement.
Our honeymoon was relaxing and fun. We stayed two nights at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. It was REALLY nice. The night of our wedding, we got to the hotel and the bellhop was an older christian man and when he took us to our room he said he had never in all his years of doing his job met a couple like us and then he took our hands and prayed a beautiful prayer of blessing on us!
We then went to Black Mountain (near Asheville) and stayed at the Lifeway Ridgecrest Retreat Center for 3 nights. They gave Michael the Minister's discount and we got a two room suite with two bathrooms, a kitchenette, a living room, and a little porch with two white rocking chairs! It was beautiful area and place to stay! We left there on my birthday (the 19th) and then went to Northern Georgia and stayed in a Cabin on 27 acres. It was gorgeous and quiet! The home is owned by one of Michael's former elderly customers. It is her winter home and so she let us use it for free for as long as we wanted and also let us use her little Nissan in the driveway so we could save money on gas (with Michael's big ole' truck). We stayed there a week and enjoyed watching deer in our back yard, candlelit dinners, reading the bible and praying together, bike riding (we went on a 7 1/2 mile bike ride one day. Whoa!), and taking a day trip to the Highlands, NC, which included hiking to waterfalls and sightseeing.
We are settled into our new apartment down here in good ole' Dallas. It is a gorgeous and homey little place with high ceilings and plenty of room for the two of us. I have already started setting up housekeeping. :-D The area is so nice and I am already eyeballing several little bookshops and cute little cafes for possible jobs.
God is blessing us in so many ways. I am very happy for several reasons... being married to the most godly and loving man I know, knowing I am in God's will for my life, and just having fun being a wife and taking care of my wonderful husband!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
We mingled for a while, ate some wonderful food, and then Aunt Mary (Jalbert) gave a beautiful devotion about loving, submitting to, and praying for our husbands. She then had three wonderful ladies (Mrs. Parks, Mrs. Knecht, & Aunt Jimmye (Hudson) pray over me... each one praying for me to love, submit, and pray for Michael. It was beautiful and I did cry! Who wouldn't cry? We then played a couple of fun games and then it was time to open gifts.
I got some truly wonderful items, including a pink kitchen aid!!!! I almost fell over. :-D I really didn't expect to get it!
One thing I appreciated so much was that it wasn't about the gifts! I hate going to showers where that is the priority. I mean, I love the stuff that people have so lovingly given us, but I love the people who gave them so much more! Another thing I must mention, is that those Cardwell ladies know how to throw a party full of elegance, fun, and beauty.
Thank you everyone who came and showed your support and encouragement in my life. You mean so much to me and I love you all! No matter what I do or where I will go, Florida and the people who live there will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I remember sitting calmly as he shot a couple more people and started coming towards me. He still had quite a ways to go, but out eyes met and he came straight towards me. He made me stand up, put the gun in my face, and asked me if I loved Jesus. He also told me that he would kill me if I did. I looked straight at him and told him that yes, I loved Jesus and that I knew Jesus loved Him as well. I also told him that I was not afraid to die because I knew for sure that I would go straight to heaven to live with Him. I remember trembling, not so much with fear, but just the knowledge that I was going to die. As he looked at me, and as talked, he started weeping and confessing. I remember feeling sad for him, but knew that he was in such pain. He put the gun down and left the bus where the police were. I remember seeing Michael and just crying as he held me because I knew that my life had almost been ended and why. I woke up then. Just amazing.
It is amazing to me now that I am awake and can think about it more. It convicted me to always stay strong and NEVER deny my Jesus. How easy would it be to just say, "no, I do not love Jesus". It would be very "easy" to deny Him, like Peter did when confronted if he knew Jesus. He was just concerned about saving himself. Yet, even being denied by Peter, Jesus forgave him and took him back.
Who said the life of the Christian is easy? I don't want "easy". I want to strive and never give up. I want to love my Jesus and serve Him until the day I do finally join Him in Heaven.
I hope this dream encourages you as it did me.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
One day, a man was talking to Michael's friend Alberto and wanted to know if Alberto knew of anyone needing a computer. Of course Alberto told him about Michael! God provided Michael and I with a beautiful brand new laptop through a man he had never met! This man had a ministry of blessing others. Off our little Dell computer (of which we would have been content with) went back to the company. :-)
So yes, we can trust God through any circumstance, whether it be a laptop, a vehicle, a house, which college to go to, etc. He knows our needs and our hearts. He is even providing immensely for our 10 day honeymoon (of which I know nothing about because my adorable soon~to~be husband is surprising me). I love surprises!
I am so excited about how God has already worked in our lives and look forward to continuing to serve Him together. God does amazing things beyond our comprehension!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
from him cometh my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
How long will ye imagine mischief against a man?
Ye shall be slain all of you:
as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.
They only consult to cast him down
they delight in lies:
they bless with their mouth,
but they curse inwardly. Selah.
My soul, wait thou only upon God;
for my expectation is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation:
he is my defense; I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory:
the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
ye people, pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Surely men of low degree are vanity,
and men of high degree are a lie:
to be laid in the balance,
they are altogether lighter than vanity.
Trust not in oppression,
and become not vain in robbery:
if riches increase,
set not your heart upon them.
God hath spoken once;
twice have I heard this;
that power belongeth unto God.
Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy:
for thou renderest to every man according to his work"
Monday, April 7, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
My conversation with Crystal (the only bridesmaid to have already payed for her dress in full so she will get hers shipped right away)...
Me: The bridesmaids dresses are in!
Crys: Yay! *happy dance*
more girly conversation and then we got off the phone... 5 minutes later she calls back...
Crys: Steph, ummm is this an April Fools joke?
Me (laughing): NO!
Crystal and I proceeded to really laugh over that one! I would have asked her the exact same thing if it had been reversed! That would have been a good April Fools joke, albeit somewhat cruel though. :-P
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Here are some pictures from our engagement session with my friend Brent...
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Something for Thee! Lord, let this be
Thy choice for me from day to day;
The life I live it is not mine,
Thy will, my will, have made it Thine!
Oh let me do in Thine own way,
Something for Thee!
Something for Thee! What shall it be?
Speak, Lord, Thy waiting servant hears,
Is it to do some mighty deed?
Is it some multitude to feed?
Is it to do mid pains and fears,
Something for Thee?
Something for Thee! I do not see
A coming battle for my King,
I only see a little cup -
With water haste to fill it up:
Thy love will own this trivial thing,
Something for Thee!
Something for Thee! From self I flee,
What wilt Thou, Master, from me still?
With eager heart I stand and wait,
Longing for work, or small or great:
Let me be doing as Thy will,
Something for Thee!
Something for Thee! On bended knee,
Unseen, unknown by mortal eye,
My soul for other souls shall plead -
As Thour for me didst intercede.
Thy love can own a tear, a sigh,
Something for Thee!
Something for Thee! Yet if for me
It is a useless, crippled hand,
Let perfect patience mark my way:
Since they who silently obey
Are doing as Thy wisdom planned,
Something for Thee!
~ Elizabeth Payson Prentiss ~
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Our conversation today...
Josi: What is that ring for?
Me: It means that a wonderful man asked me to marry him.
Me: Do you like weddings.
Josi: I don't know.
Me: You should come to mine. I am going to wear a beautiful white dress.
Josi: Mama wore a white dress. I am going to wear a white dress when I get married.
Me: Do you want to get married?
Josi: Not today. :-P
Josi: My Nana turned 93 today.
Me: Oh wow. You will be 93 someday too.
Josi: Well, I am only ten so I still have a while.
So this is the schedule for the next four months...
13 ~ leave for Michigan
14 ~ Arrive in Michigan
15 ~ Engagement Celebration
17 ~ Leave to come back to NC, Michael comes with us
18-20 ~ fit counseling in there somewhere
22 ~ Get engagement pictures taken
23 ~ Easter Sunday... Michael and I sing duet at church
24 ~ Michael leaves
16 ~ Crystal arrives in NC
17 ~ Paint house
19 ~ Church shower
21 ~ Crys goes home *sniff*
23 ~ We leave for Florida
24 ~ Arrive in Florida
26 ~ Florida Shower
29 or 30 ~ Leave to come back to NC
Nothing too much scheduled right now, except for a huge family reunion for my dad's family here in NC on memorial weekend. But there WILL be a lot of last minute wedding stuff, packing, shopping, etc going on.
2 ~ Sarah Breznau comes
10 ~ most of the bridesmaids fly in, bachelorette party that evening
11 ~ Last minute details
12 ~ Decorate church & fellowship hall
13 ~ Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner
14 ~ Our wedding day!!!!!
15-21 ~ Honeymoon
22-28 ~ Getting my stuff from NC and his stuff from Michigan and traveling to Dallas.
Yep. It is going to be crazy but I can't wait!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
"There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends." ~ Homer
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
God has provided so much so far! He is so good. It has been wonderful seeing His hand, not only in every step of our relationship, but also in each factor, big and small, of our wedding planning. Praise the Lord for He is good!
by Elizabeth Prentiss
Oh speak to me of Christ!
No name falls on my ravished ear
With half the music, half the charm,
That makes it bliss to hear
A loving voice pronounce that word
As one who holds it dear.
Hast thou not in some favored hour
Beheld Him face to face,
And canst thou not make known to me
Its beauty and its grace,
And lure me on to seek for Him
In some familiar place?
Hast Thou not feasted on His word,
And found it meat indeed
And canst thou not a fragment spare
On which my soul may feed
Some promise, whispered by His lips
To meet my sorest need?
Has He not revelations made
In sacred hours to thee,
That thou canst hold in sacred trust
And yet confide to me
Who love, but fain would love Him more
Have seen, yet more would see?
Yes, speak of Christ! As one who speaks
Of his familiar friend,
As one who sees Him every day
May on His steps attend
As one who oft, on reverent knee
Before Him loves to bend.
Speak with a living warmth, a glow
That shall my heart enflame
And with thy rich and conscious love
Put my poor love to shame
Until I, too, have learned to speak
That dearest, dearest Name!
- Stephanie B.
- My name is Stephanie and I grew up in Florida. I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon. Even though I never had any formal training, I am well known for my vibrant style. I enjoy painting murals, drawing wall art, colorful stationary & invitations, and many other artistic projects. I am currently working on writing and illustrating my first book.
My Blog List
- ► 2009 (31)
- ▼ December (6)
- ► November (11)
- ► October (12)
- ► August (4)
- ► April (9)
- ► March (6)