Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas 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

27 weeks...


This picture is from Dec. 17th. :-) I am almost 28 weeks now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Six Beautiful Months...


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

And the Blessings continue to pour out...

I am simply amazed by how it just continues. :-)

*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

The Beauty of His Blessings...

Sometimes it is hard to put into writing how God works in miraculous ways... trying to find the words to accurately describe our awe and reverence of His power. So many times I feel that I lack faith and trust. He always comes through, but yet I still doubt.

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

Update on my health...

I went to the doctor with my midwife this past week so I could get another opinion on the swelling and weight gain. He gave me a glowing report and said he does NOT believe I am heading into PreClampsia. Praise the Lord! He believes the weight gain is familial, but the swelling is never good so I still need to be careful but not worry about it (if I know I am doing what i am supposed to). He was VERY pleased at the very strict (but definitely doable) diet my midwife had put me on and told me to keep up the good work. He encouraged me to exercise more, but said that everything I was doing was right on track! I even lost a pound since my last pre-natal on nov. 20th (which is good because it was water weight and I have been drinking 3 quarts every day so it is good! Don't worry I am not trying to lose weight, just trying not to gain anymore weight until the very last.) He gave us the go ahead to travel!

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

Today I am so thankful for...

...Michael
...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
...friends
...food!
...crisp weather
...smiles
...wonderful piano students
...that Michael likes my cooking :-P
...pecan pie
...leaves falling from the tree and crunching beneath my feet
...seeing my breath in the air
...pumpkins
...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

Photos...














Here is one of the amazing photos that Hope Knight took of Michael and I last Saturday...

You can find more on her website or on my facebook. :-)
http://hkphotography.wordpress.com/

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

:-D

23 weeks...

well, I am finally taking another picture of my belly. I haven't taken one since week 18!
I also got a haircut today. :-D

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Studying God's Word...

"We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy."
~ R. C. Sproul

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Urgent Prayer...

I have been struggling with severely swollen feet and ankles for the past couple of weeks. Being that this is my first baby, I just chalked it up to normal pregnancy swelling. I was talking to my sister the other day and mentioned that I was struggling with this. She immediately became concerned, especially since I am not quite 22 weeks. She told me to drink more water, eat more protein, walk more, put my feet up, AND to talk to my midwife ASAP.

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.org/ It is good we caught it now, but I have to be ultra careful to do everything I need to so it won't go into it. Once you get Preeclampsia, you have it and can't get rid of it. You will end up having a premature baby by C-section in the hospital. This is a very very dangerous condition.

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

Sweet Friend...

I went to a friend's house for Breakfast today and really enjoyed our time of fellowship together. She made waffles and we talked over sweet milky cups of tea. :-) I really have enjoyed getting to know her!

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

His Mercies are New Every Day...

Michael and I are both working two jobs each. It is hard sometimes, but I thoroughly enjoy my nanny job (which ends December 18th), and everyone one who knows me knows I love teaching music. I have amazing students who really are talented and doing SO well. AND it helps that they have parents who make sure they are practicing. :-D Please pray for more students for me as I hope to just teach voice and piano after December and not worry about a second job. :-) Thanks!

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

Joy Cometh in the Morning...

I awoke refreshed and ready to move on. I do not like Obama, but I will respect him as our 44th President, even though I cannot agree with his methods or beliefs. God IS sovereign, in control & obviously allowed this to happen. Let us be accountable to each other not to keep hashing out this election (whether we wanted Obama as president or not), but that we will pray for our nation and it's leaders. Please let me know if you are willing to join me in this!

"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5b


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saddened....

I am in tears right now, on my knees for my country. My heart is tight in my chest, as I wonder what will happen these next 4 years. People keep saying "This is God's will". I do believe in God's will... but when His people do nothing, He does allow bad things to happen. That is what I believe is happening.

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!
Amen

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Temporary Absence of a Brain... I hope...

"Oh where is my brain?… oh where is my brain?… oh where oh where oh where oh where oh WHERE?….. is my brain!"Ack… I’ve listened to Veggie Tales one too many times. :-P

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

When I Fall in Love...

"When I fall in love it will be forever
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

See the Resemblance?

I can't believe how much my sister-in-law looks like Sarah Palin...
Sarah Breznau...


Sarah Palin high school photo...
If it weren't for S.P.'s hair, they could at least be sisters... if not twins. :-P

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thanks a bunch..

So 3 year old little Miss Graydon says to me Friday... "Did you know that your belly and your bottom are the same size?"

Um. No. I didn't know.

Thanks Graydon. I really needed to hear that. :-P

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The girls I nanny...

They are so precious and I am going to miss them when I stop working for them in December...
Graydon Elizabeth... 3 years old














Riley Katherine... 8 months old

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Because I love me...

They have a thread on the Crossings called "Because I love me..."

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" Razz
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!

God provides in creative ways...

Today I went into whole foods to get our weekly gallon of organic milk and spring mix for salads. It works great because I HAVE to have organic milk anyway because of getting pregnant and it is cheaper at WF than at Wal-Mart. Try to figure that one out. And we eat on one big container of Spring mix for an entire week and ends up being cheaper in the long run.

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

Baby names...

We have been talking a lot about what we are going to name our little munchkin. This is a big thing! It is something they have to carry with them the rest of their lives. We certainly don't want to dub them something that they will hate... or that others will make fun of. I was reading about one celebrity who named his three girls Pixie, Peaches, and last but certainly not least...Fifi Trixibelle. Goodness, can you even imagine trying to apply for a job with those names?

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

God provides the little things as well as the big...

God is so faithful. With both of us working, God is providing enough each month for bills and food. We don't have much left over for dates... of course every free moment is a date for us because we enjoy being together so much, but still sometimes it is nice to go out and just enjoy a meal at a restaurant, you know? But we just never go out to eat in order to save money and I love to cook for Michael anyway!

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!

The prize?

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

Vote!!!

Go here to my sister's blog and vote on this poll....
YES, they are ALL mine!!! :-D

Thanks!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Adventures wih Graydon...

The precocious little 3 year old I nanny is hilarious. Here are just a few memorable quotes by Graydon Elizabeth...

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

Seeing God's Hand...

Here is something that Michael wrote about God's recent working in our life. God is so good! I know it is long, but may it bless your life and grow your faith as it has ours.

"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

Cute stuff...

So I definitely want to buy one of these for our little peanut when the time comes... it also comes
in pink and blue. We shall see what little Peanut is first. ;-)
And here are some maternity tee's I love...


And my all-time favorite...


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New hair cut...


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. Very Happy 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

In His Strength...

"Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing,
exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit,
then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you."

~ Corrie ten Boom

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One of those days and trusting God through it...

Have you ever had those days where nothing seems to go right?

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.

~He Giveth More Grace~
By: Annie Flint
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
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 love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
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

I went to a ladies crossings gathering on Saturday with a WONDERFUL group! Oh, it was so refreshing and fun. :-D Each girl was just as wonderful as I thought. :-D I ate a yummy greek salad bowl at Mimi's cafe, made some great purchases (it was no-tax weekend), and we ended up at CiCi's Pizza for dinner. Heh, Jessica has a picture of me looking 9 months pregnant with the lovely little pillow you can strap on at the Motherhood. Hilarious. Lots of laughs that day, as well as smiles and heart to hearts.

Friday, August 8, 2008

New friends...

I am loving Dallas... the people, the food (oh the food is heavenly!), but NOT the heat. :-P It hit 110 one day and I thought I was going to die!

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

:-D

It has been a while since I've updated here. God has been so good to us.
His daily provision for our needs and His love for me overwhelms and astounds me.

We have been really busy! I have looking for a job and sending my resume different places. I know God will direct me to the right job.

Our most important news is that come March we will become parents...

We were surprised, but very very excited over the prospect of this immense responsibility and blessing in our lives. A lot of people counseled us that we should wait a couple years. We prayed before we got married, and after that God would be glorified in whatever happened. We feel that God chose to give us little "Peanut" to strengthen not only our faith, but the faith of the people around us as they see God's immense power in how He will provide for us. I always think of Jeremiah 29:11.... "...I know the plans I have for you..."

So other than the wonderful news of our little precious baby, Michael has been busy with work and a one credit (one week) class that he finished up yesterday (still has to do a test and turn in a paper next week), and I have been busy with setting up our little "nest". It really is a cute little apartment that perfectly fits all our needs. I know several people have requested pictures, so I will try to do that soon. The only thing left to buy for our apartment is curtain rods, curtains, and a lamp for one of the rooms. It is comfy, cozy, and so wonderfully shabby chic. :-P

A few weeks ago, we had the wonderful privelege of having a very godly Indian Pastor, Devadas Mekala (Daddy to all who know him) stay with us for about a week. What a special time of fellowship, prayer, laughter, and hearing about God's workings in the Bless India ministry. I have truly enjoyed getting to know Daddy, and can't wait to wear the beautiful red, black, white, and silver Sari he gave me sometime! He then went to Houston for a week and flew back and we drove him to Mississippi (near Memphis, TN and West Memphis, AK). We got to hang out with some amazing friends, David & Jill Denton (love them!), and eat dinner at the Lipscomb's mansion. I was very blessed to hear their testimony of their two daughters dying in a train accident and how so many people have come to the Lord through hearing their story.

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

So happy...

to announce that I have a beautiful new little munchkin niece. :-D

Stats...
Born 11:15 am July 18
9 lbs
21 inches
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

Life is beautiful...

I'm back! :-D

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

Today is the day!

I am getting married tonight. :-D I am so excited! I will be back to update in a couple weeks. :-D

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sisters?

The FUNNIEST thing happened the other day. I am always getting told I look like some actress or relative of someone, but never has it actually panned out in this way. I went into CVS in the little town near us and I was paying for my stuff. The cashier kept looking at me puzzled. She finally asked "do you have a sister?" I said yes I did. She told me I looked just like a younger lady who came in there a lot. I asked her if she had kids... and she said "oh, a lot of them... and she is pregnant too! She is really tall and has long dark blonde hair." I told her that it WAS my sister, and she exclaimed how much we favored each other! Haha, she really did hit the jackpot. I guess Jillian and I look more alike than I thought. :-P I just thought this was too funny NOT to post! :-D
Do we look that much alike? :-P

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chizzy...

Chizzy (Chizziterum) is 5 years old and quite precocious.
She is adorable, hilarious, and very smart.
She loves to laugh, sing, and talk.
I have enjoyed teaching her so much!
It saddens me to say goodbye to each of my students.
I know I will soon be acquiring new ones,
but each and every child that I teach holds a place in my heart.
I will write about more students soon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There Shall Be Showers of Blessings...

God is truly amazing! The shower in Florida was overwhelming. I felt like crying the entire night. There were around 80 ladies who came! I just couldn't believe it. :-D I felt so so so loved. I got there a few minutes late (nothing new there... haha) but it worked out because everyone was already there and when I walked in, everyone started clapping and cheering. It took me almost the entire night to hug everyone I hadn't seen in so long.

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 started opening gifts and during this time I was gearing up for a little surprise of my own! Unknown to most of the ladies, my parents, Grandma and I had bought a ticket for Michael to fly to Florida so that he could meet all my family and friends plus spend his birthday with me. So at about 9:00, Jessica announced that there was a "mystery guest" who would be arriving shortly. People had no idea! When he walked in (with my brother Philip), a collective cheer went up around the room along with clapping and whistling. He is such a good sport. :-P It was awesome. :-D

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

The Dream of a Lifetime...

Last night I dreamed that I was riding in a public bus. Michael was not with me, but waiting for me. As I sat there reading, we made a quick stop to pick up some more people. This man got on the bus and sat in the front. All of a sudden, he jumped up and started screaming and he shot and killed the bus driver. I was in the back and started praying. After he had shot the driver, he started walking towards the back, yelling as he came. He was screaming about how God did not love him so he was going to kill everyone.

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

Target...

I just wanted to let everyone know I am now also registered at Target for my bath and bedding stuff. I looked and looked at the places I was already registered at and I couldn't find stuff that I absolutely loved. Well, when I went to Target and saw this stuff... well, it is just gorgeous!

http://www.target.com/ :-D

Monday, April 28, 2008

He is the God of Provision...

Michael's laptop pretty much went kaput a couple of weeks ago. We prayed together as to what to do next, fix his laptop or spend a little more than he would be spending to get it fixed and buy a new one. It was a nice laptop, not fancy or anything. So we prayed and prayed some more. Michael even went ahead and bought a new Dell laptop. Little did we know what was soon to happen...

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

Seeking Shelter in God...

As I was reading in my time with the Lord this morning, I found these following words a comfort to my soul. I want to always be aware of my attitude in hard times that it might reflect the One who saved me. I don't want to grumble or complain over hard times, but try to grow and learn through my circumstances, whatever they may be. I hope it encourages you as it has me.

"Some Christians treat God as a kind of insurance agent. In hard times, the expect Him to issue a claim check to restore what they've lost. While waiting for Him to change their circumstances for the better, they withhold fellowship from Him. Life's "squeeze" reveals their lack of submission and stubborn attitudes.
It is the heaven-born instinct of a child of God to seek shelter beneath the wings of the Almighty. The tendency to complain or to assert that God owes us something is not spiritual. The godly instict of a child of God is to says with Job, "Oh, that I might find Him."
~Joni Eareckson Tada~
"Seeking God"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

pictures...

Here are some pictures from Crystal's trip... as well as some from my Bridal Shower...

Me with two of my amazing bridesmaids!

My sister Jillian and I

My dear~beautiful~best friend~bridesmaid Crystal

My beautiful Mama and Grandma

Aren't we a little young for red hats? ;-)

Friends for life!

Smile big!
I miss her!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Crystal is coming!

Crys flies in tomorrow. I can't wait. We are going to watch movies, shop, have a picnic, visit the tea room, go to my bridal shower, paint my mom's room and bathroom, and just have a wonderful time together! She is so wonderful! I can't wait to see her again. :-D

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Words of Comfort...

There is no one like Jesus to comfort and bring peace.
Psalm 62
"Truly my soul waiteth upon God:
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
from his excellency:
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.

Trust in him at all times;
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

My invitations came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are beautiful! I can't wait to get them sent out. :-D Yay!

save the date mishaps...

I can't believe some people never received their save-the-date cards. Mail can be so frustrating. I know of a few, locally and at a distance, who never received it. Errr!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

wedding nightmare # 3...

I dreamed last night that the invitations did not arrive in the mail until the day of the wedding so I was going crazy that day addressing invitations. It was really stupid of course, but when I woke up I prayed a little prayer asking God to help my invitations to get here soon. :-P

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools?

So I get a call from the Bridal place telling me the bridesmaids dresses came in (yay, a month and a half early! It is a miracle but one that I have been praying for. God answers prayers!) I then proceeded to call the bridesmaids to tell them to pay the remaining half + shipping.

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

of pictures and randomness....

I haven't posted in a while because I've been busy. I've been to Michigan and back and Michael was here for his Spring Break. :-D We had a lovely time together and had our premarital counseling as well. The Michigan Engagement Celebration/Shower was just absolutely beautiful and I met many wonderful people. :-) It was also really neat to see Michael's home and spend time with his amazing family again. I love my new family!

Here are some pictures from our engagement session with my friend Brent...







Sunday, March 9, 2008

Something for Christ...

~ Something for Christ ~

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

so this is what love does to you....

I ran into a door yesterday and I now have a bruised temple.

I, Stephanie Clayton, will try to watch where I am going from now on. :-P

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Joys of Josi...

My newest little piano student is Josi. She is the sweetest little 10 year old girl and has Down's Syndrome. She is one of my best students, a quick learner and a hilarious sense of humor.

Our conversation today...
Josi:
What is that ring for?
Me: It means that a wonderful man asked me to marry him.
Josi: Oh.
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.

only 8 more days...

till I see my Michael. :-D I can't wait! It has only been 2 1/2 months but it seems like forever!

So this is the schedule for the next four months...
March:
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

April:
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

May:
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.

June:
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

I love thee...

"I love thee, I love but thee With a love that shall not die
Till the sun grows cold And the stars grow old."
~ by Willam Shakespeare ~

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I CAN have my cake and eat it too...

:-D Yep, it is all set with the cake lady. God has blessed so much. Why do I even worry about stuff when God already has it all planned for me? I need to just trust Him more. :-)

"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

the joys of wedding planning....

So I finally went in to get my dress fitted. Things are going so well.

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!

Speak of Christ...

~Speak of Christ~
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!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

bits & pieces...

For the time being this will be my blog as I write about life, love, and wedding planning and then later on this will be "our" blog. :-D Enjoy!

About Me

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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.

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