Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My ongoing praise list...

* A couple of housing possibilities
* Food in the pantry and refrigerator
* Gifts from dear friends (some anonymous) to pay for necessities
* Health insurance
* A wonderful church with a Godly Pastor and unified congregation.
* Encouraging friends in the area.
* An amazing godly family on both sides that encourages and supports us!
* A beautiful marriage of communication, friendship, and love. I am so grateful for my husband!
* A laptop where I can keep in contact with friends and family far away!
* My piano. It not only is wonderful because I have it to teach, but it adds joy to our household as well.
* Freedom to worship God and to share about Him with others.
* Gift cards
* Michael winning random contests and getting a gift card and movie tickets
* Clothing to wear
* a music book as a surprise gift from my sweet sis-in-law :-D
* Luke’s Ministry to us DTS students (the school has a food pantry and clothing closet)
* Michael's job at Interstate Batteries. While so many people are out of work, he has a job that has full benefits. Not only a blessing, but a miracle!
* A beautiful, happy, content son
* Amazing friends and prayer partners over the world.
* Believing and knowing that God is good, He loves me, and I am His.
* The possibility of going home to NC for Christmas and New Years
* The beautiful Fall. It makes me so happy to eat pumpkin flavored yummies and step on crunchy leaves as I walk.
* Hearing my son say MaMa and DaDa. :-D
* Friends who brought meals and groceries when I was SO sick a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

True Love's First Kiss...

Some people have been asking how Michael and I met. I wrote up this little testimony and hope that God will be glorified and His power shown in and through our lives.

~ Learning to Surrender ~
Life does not always go exactly as we plan… and thank the Lord for that! When I was twelve years old, I compiled a list of qualities I wanted in my future husband. The first quality on the list was, of course, “A Christian Man”. My lovely little list also included many other things like him being “debt free” to “having all his own hair and teeth”. It was pretty detailed for a twelve year old to say the least.

Then at the age of fifteen an extreme change happened in my life. All of my friends were “dating” but no one was interested in me. I knew that God and my parents would not be happy with me being “boy crazy” but I did not consider myself to be so because after all, they were just “crushes”. After attending a week long seminar, my heart began to soften and I made a commitment that I would not date and I would let God chose my future husband. Of course, I said to myself “I will do courtship, but I probably will be married by twenty.” Well, twenty came and twenty went and as the years flew by, and me not being interested in any of the guys who were interested in marrying me, I began to worry. Now I knew that worry was a sin and I sure did give Satan a lot of ground in this area. As I watched my friends falling in love and marrying, I would tell Him “Don’t forget about me God… I want to get married too!”

It was finally at the age of twenty-four that I gave this worry to God and experienced freedom like I had never known. At that point of surrender, I told God that even if I never married, He was all-sufficient for me. I then had this refreshed and renewed desire to serve Him wholeheartedly with everything that was in me. God started blessing me in innumerable ways; a dream job at a music studio in Tampa with a wonderful Christian boss and opportunities all over the place to sing and share about Him.

~Trusting God~
In 2005 we moved to North Carolina, and I again struggled with worry… not so much about marriage this time, but about my future. It was definitely a time of not trusting God. Why would He bring about this amazing job in Tampa and then have us move? I clearly know the answer to that now. He wanted me to “trust and obey” for there really is not any other way but Him. I then attended a small Bible College near our home for one semester (and God used that time to draw me even closer to Him). In June of 2006, the Lord clearly led me to return to the Headquarters of our home education program and work there.

~The Courtship~
Michael and I met in Flint, MI at the Riverfront Character Inn (a ministry of the Advanced Training Institute International). He was running in a race and I was working in the kitchen and he came to the Inn to help out. I had already met his wonderful sister Sarah and found a kindred spirit in her. Unknown to me, she had gone home and told Michael that he needed to meet this girl Stephanie! He came by the Inn after he ran in the race to help out and we hit it off immediately with a definite spark. I called my mom and told her I had met an amazing guy but that he would never be interested in me (unknown to me, he thought I would never be interested in him). So we both put anything more out of our minds and he became REALLY busy trying to apply to grad school and traveling for ministry and I was teaching and busy with family and church.

Occasionally I would read his blog and remember how impressed I was with him and his love for God and passion for ministry. We didn’t get back in touch till March, which unknown to me he had already been praying about me and wanting to get to know me better. In April, when my Granny died… he was there to encourage with prayers, scriptures, and a listening ear. He sent me Psalm 121 and that passage became very dear to me during that difficult time. One little story of God's amazing power is when at the beginning of April I knew that I needed to share with him that I did not email guys without them talking to my dad. In my fear that he would run the other way, I hesitated about it for a couple weeks until one night I finally surrendered it to God and prayed and told God that I would wake up in the morning and tell Michael. I knew that if he was serious, he would contact dad and be completely fine with it. When I woke up the next morning, there was an email from Michael telling me that he felt prompted by the Lord to contact my dad. See, when I let God do the work He takes care of me.

In May he went to Glacier Park to work and intern and because of limited access to email, we started writing letters to each other and then in June started talking on the phone (he would drive 30 miles once a week to get a signal and we would talk for a couple hours... although it progressed to talking for hours on end). After starting to talk on the phone, it opened up a new level in our relationship. We started to grow closer as we shared our hearts, faults, thoughts, opinions, and joys with each other.

In July I went to Journey to the Heart and knew that I really needed to pray intensely about Michael while I was there. Even though I had already been praying about our relationship, I wanted to know for sure it was God’s will and not just my own will. I also did not want him to come to visit me in August without knowing for sure if it was exactly what God wanted for me! On our day of prayer and fasting, I took several hours praying primarily for confirmation and peace about Michael. I layed Michael down on the altar which was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Telling God “here is Michael… I give him to you, even if it means giving him up forever”. As I was praying, I felt the presence of God and through certain scriptures, He released me to love Michael. I knew then that God would take care of me and of Michael. Never have I known such peace and contentment in my life… and the assurance that he was God’s will for my life. Even though I had already gradually been falling in love with him throughout the spring and summer, I left Journey to the Heart with a deep love for him, even though I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen.

It was a blessed day in August when he came to visit. We enjoyed being with each other, talking and laughing. He gave me a beautiful necklace that he had bought for me in Montana. He officially asked my dad for permission to court me on August 25 (which he had already sort of asked permission for in April, but my dad (and Michael) really wanted us to develop a deep friendship first).
As the months flew by, we became even closer through email, phone conversations, skype, and letters. I think our record for one phone conversation was 8 hours. We never ran out of things to say (and we still love to talk with each other)! In November I finally met his family and got to see Michael again. I knew that the time was getting close for engagement but I didn't really know when or how. I just knew I was ready to say yes to this amazing and wonderful man whom God had brought into my life.

~ The Engagement ~
Michael had flown in on Saturday Dec. 29th and we had a wonderful weekend together with my family, celebrating my mom and nephew Cade's birthdays and going to church together. On Monday, he told me to be ready by 3:00 and to dress up! Of course I was so excited to be going out to dinner with him and anyone who knows me knows I love to dress up! My Grandma even let us borrow her Cadillac for the evening! We went to a quaint little restaurant in downtown Raleigh that was in an old restored bungalow. As we enjoyed our amazing dinner, we chatted over dinner about God's working in our lives and our love for each other. What a wonderful time of sharing with each other! After finishing our meal I noticed Michael stalling for time, and as I was wondering… he led me outside to a gorgeous "Cinderella" carriage! I had never ridden in one before and I was completely pleasantly surprised!
As we rode on our romantic ride, Michael read me letters that he had written to me over the last few months that shared all the reasons why he wanted to give his life to me. The carriage stopped in front of the magnificent Governor's mansion, and we walked to a nearby corner in front of the home. At this point, I knew what this was all leading up to and had to maintain the tears of joy that I felt coming. My heart was full to overflowing at this point!

He read me the very last entry in the journal and then finished with Psalm 128:1-6: "Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel." He read this beautiful Psalm to me, bent down on one knee, and asked me if "I would be his beloved forever". After I finished gasping over my gorgeous ring, I joyfully replied "Yes Michael Breznau, with all my heart!!" He then spun me around for what seemed like forever as we laughed and shouted with happiness at God's many blessings in our lives!
But the surprises of the night were not over yet! We made our way to Mimi's Cafe to get some muffins and coffee and lo and behold... not only were my parents, brother, and Grandma there, but all of Michael's family from Michigan! I was shocked and very happy! We had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year together... two families about to merge.

~ Happily Ever After ~
It is amazing to see God's hand in our relationship. It hasn't been easy for either of us waiting all these years for God's best, but with His help we have waited. Neither of us have dated around. I knew what convictions I had about guys, and I had committed when I was young to remain pure for my future husband. I thank God for all His protection me through all these years. There have been times of wanting my own way and it has only brought along problems for me. I have many testimonies in my life of not trusting Him with my future but God has blessed me so much as I have seen that His way is best and fully put my trust in Him. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

I don't regret these past years of singleness one bit. I know God has blessed me in so many ways because I have waited on Him for His best. These past couple of years have been a journey for me… of faith, trusting in Him, of finding a deep and pure love that is truly amazing. God does bless those who wait on Him. I can assure you of that. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine God bringing me such a godly, pure, amazing, strong, and wonderful man... not to mention handsome! And another wonderful blessing is that he accepts and loves me exactly the way I am. I never have to worry that he won't love me or that he will laugh at me when I am silly, discouraged, or upset about something. It is a wonderful think to be unconditionally loved. Neither of us is perfect, but God has brought together two imperfect people who are just right for each other and help build up each other and not tear down! And meeting his family and feeling accepted and loved by them (I love them too!) is even another step of confirmation with us (not to mention how much my family loves him too).

Our wedding was beautiful and I hope it showed how important God is to both of us. On that special day when we became one in Christ, we shared a gift we saved for the one we would marry…our first kiss ever was given to each other!
I now see that everything that has happened in my life has been ordained of God in a sequence of event that has worked together for His good. I would not be sharing this testimony of various things happening in my life if it were not for the work of Jesus. I could not do anything a part from Him. We both know that this uniting together was and is His will and we both love each other tremendously. We are committed that nothing but death will separate us and we will be together through the thick and thin of life. I cannot imagine my life without Michael in it. He is truly a gift from God and I look forward to serving the Lord together as ambassadors for Him! Proverbs 13:12b says “…a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Our longing has been fulfilled, in each other and in Him! Praise the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hudson William...

Can you believe he is already 4 months old?
He is 25 inches long and close to 15 pounds.
The doctor is very pleased with his progress and
says he is very bright for his age

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hello 28...

27 has been a hard but good year for me. I am now ready to see what God has planned for this new year. :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Faith Like Potatoes...

Michael and I watched this movie this past Saturday as we were celebrating his birthday. I was just gearing up to watch the typical *trite feel good* Christian film that seems to infiltrate our society today. But I was very surprised by the message of this film (beside the fact that I personally thought it was well acted and well made, though a little slow paced at times).

Here is a brief synopsis from imdb:
Angus Buchan, a Zambian farmer of Scottish heritage, leaves his farm in the midst of political unrest and racially charged land reclaims and travels south with his family to start a better life in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. With nothing more than a caravan on a patch of land, and help from his foreman, Simeon Bhengu, the Buchan family struggle to settle in a new country. Faced with ever mounting challenges, hardships and personal turmoil, Angus quickly spirals down into a life consumed by anger, fear and destruction. Based on the inspiring true story by Angus Buchan the book was adapted for the big screen by Regardt van den Bergh and weaves together the moving life journey of a man who, like his potatoes, grows his faith, unseen until the harvest.

There is a moment in the movie, after Angus has come to Christ, where he is burning some brush on his land. The fire spirals out of control and starts heading towards his crops. He looks at Simeon (his right hand man) and says "we must pray for rain" Simeon responds "it will not rain" and Angus repeats "we must pray for rain". Simeon again says that it will not rain because it is not the rain season. Moments later, it starts pouring and puts out the fire. That is faith.

What is faith?
Faith is the confident belief in something unseen.
I believe in Jesus, even though I can't see Him.
I believe He can heal.
I believe He can provide for my every need.

How do I know this? Because He has done both of these in my life. Many fires have come into my life lately, but God has brought cooling rain and put them out every single time. I sat there watching this and realized how little my faith really is and how He is helping it to grow constantly. God has shown His power over and over since we were married. Every month when the bills need to be paid and groceries need to be bought, I worry... and then I remember His goodness and His mercy.

I want faith like Angus. I want faith like George Mueller. I want faith like Hudson Taylor.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Preservation of Life...

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2

As most of you know, we walked through a certain fire in mid March when Hudson became very sick. It was the scariest moment of my life when, while nursing him, he choked on his congestion and stopped breathing. Michael had left for work only five minutes previously, so I was all alone. For a brief second I just did not know what to do and just stared at his ashy grey-blue and limp body and all I could do was scream “Jesus: help!” It was then that God said to me “Call 911: Now.” I did just that, and the lady told me to lay him on the floor or a table so I put him on Michael’s desk and she walked me through Infant CPR. I had done First Aid stuff in EXCEL but it was almost 10 years ago. He was steadily breathing again when the ambulance arrived.

We arrived at the hospital about 15 min. later. They struggled to get an IV in him because he was so dehydrated. They put it in one hand and the vein collapsed. They finally got it in the other hand, and the nurse tripped on the IV cord and ripped it out of his hand! That was very scary! The IV team had to come in and put it in his arm and thankfully that worked so they didn’t have to put it in his head. We finally got into our room around 2:00 am. Michael left to go back to the apartment about 2:45 and at 3:00 they decided to deep suction him because he had such bad congestion. I was sitting on the chair/bed and all of a sudden I heard the one nurse tell the other nurse to push the code button. A bunch of doctors and nurses rushed in and got him breathing again. God is so amazing… right as this was going on the chaplain walked in to see how I was doing. What timing!

His visit last a total of 10 ½ days after more coughing and blue episodes. He finally was released after being able to do good without the oxygen! It was so nice to finally leave the hospital. One nice perk is that because I was breastfeeding, I got all my meals free.

Thank you everyone who prayed, sent gifts, called and prayed with us, came and visited in the hospital, came over after we got out of the hospital and helped me around the house or just held Hudson so I could catch up on some needed sleep, and brought meals. Between our church and the church Michael works at, we had dinner every night for a month! That is so amazing! We also were very happy that my in law's came down. It was sad that the first time they got to meet their first grandchild was when he had oxygen tube in his nose and wires all over the place. But we loved seeing them!

I honestly do not know how people get through trials and tribulations without Jesus Christ in their lives. Without Him, I know that I wouldn’t have had the clarity of mind to call 911 or even the ability to perform CPR on my own child. I look at Hudson every single day and as I kiss his chubby cheeks or watch his beautiful smile, I thank God for preserving his life. I know this child, like the man he was named after, has a great purpose in his life and I know that God will direct Michael and I in every step as we raise him. I pray that Hudson will learn to love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength and that he will serve Him all the days of his life!

Praise reports:
*We have been getting random gifts from people in the mail and that has been used for bills and food. We appreciate it so much. We are overwhelmed by God’s goodness to us!
*We are feeling much better, in regard to the whooping cough!
*Hudson is doing well and is 11 lbs 1 ounce as of this past Monday. That is a four pound gain since the hospital. :-) He is also 25 inches long. I think this is going to be one tall skinny kiddo. :-)

Prayer Requests:
*Hudson and I both have Thrush. I am unable to nurse him at this point because the pain is unbearable for me, so I am pumping and using a bottle. I really want to nurse and refuse to give up easily. Thankfully my milk supply has only increased from pumping. I am on an anti-fungal med (as is Hudson), as well as an antibiotic for a bacterial infection.
*That it would work out for us to get away for a couple of days in June for our first anniversary. I think we just need a break!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Defining Legalism...

By Charles R. Swindoll

Galatians 2:19 NLT

In contrast to yesterday’s thoughts on liberty, what does it mean to say that legalism puts people under bondage? Legalism is an attitude, a mentality based on pride. It is an obsessive conformity to an artificial standard for the purpose of exalting oneself. A legalist assumes the place of authority and pushes it to unwarranted extremes.

In so many words, legalism says, "I do this or I don't do that, and therefore I am pleasing God." Or, "If only I could do this or not do that, I would be pleasing to God." Or perhaps, "These things that I'm doing or not doing are the things I perform to win God's favor." They aren't spelled out in Scripture, you understand. They've been passed down or they have been dictated to the legalist and have become an obsession to him or her. Legalism is rigid, grim, exacting, and lawlike in nature. Pride, which is at the heart of legalism, works in sync with other motivating factors. Like guilt. And fear. And shame. It leads to an emphasis on what one should not be and what one should not do. It flourishes in a drab context of negativism.

Let's get specific. The one place on earth where we would most expect to be set free is, in fact, the very place we are most likely to be placed into slavery: the church. What happened in the first century can surely happen in the twenty-first. Paul writes to the Galatians of his surprise: "You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?" [5:7].

Allow me to amplify his thought---"When I was with you, some of you were into the 100-meter dash, others were doing the 440 with ease. Still others were into much longer distances . . . you were marathoners. The truth freed you, and I distinctly recall how well you were running as well as how much joy you demonstrated. Who cut in on your stride? Who took away your track shoes? Who told you that you shouldn't be running or enjoying the race? Some of you have stopped running altogether" (Swindoll paraphrase).

How many Christians do you know who exercise the joy and freedom to be a person full of life, living on tiptoe, enjoying spontaneous living---as opposed to the numberless hundreds of thousands who take their cues from the legalists and live life accordingly? Isn't it surprising to anyone who has been set free that anybody would ever want to return to bondage? Surely, that must grieve our God.

Adapted by permission. The Grace Awakening Devotional, Charles R. Swindoll, © 2003, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Copying or using this material without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited and in direct violation of copyright law.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Go here for a fun giveaway!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hair cut...

So I *finally* got my hair cut after 5 months. :-D I feel like a new woman!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter 2009...

Story behind the Easter Angel onesie, one of my bridesmaids, Jessica Cardwell, bought it as a bacherlorette party gag gift. Little did we know we would be using it for our honeymoon baby. :-P

Thursday, April 9, 2009

All smiles...

Hudson's second real smile (we didn't have a camera handy when he smiled for the first time!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hudson is HOME!

Dear Family and Friends,

After more than 10 days of testing, "code-blue" moments, medication, rest, and recovery, we are finally and safely home. For both Stephanie and I, there were times of great fear and anxiety over our little son's condition, but the Lord graciously gave us peace and comfort in our times of need. Almost every day we were pleasantly surprised by visiting guests who offered their prayers and encouragement. We are so very grateful for each dear one who stopped by during this ordeal. We cannot thank you enough for your smiles, care packages, and thoughtful words that ministered to our hearts during this time.

Each card, balloon, email note, flower, and gift uplifted our hearts and brought joy to our long days. Over the past ten days we have felt overwhelmed by the love of Christ more than ever before. Thank you all for your constant prayers. We are so thankful to the Lord for each one of you.

Children's Medical Center of Dallas did an excellent job treating Hudson and their conscientious care was greatly appreciated. Hudson is doing much better now, and although he still has a cough, the frequency of his struggles has significantly decreased. He is VERY hungry all the time, and this morning he let Mommy and Daddy know this dozens of times through the effective use of his strong lungs and vocal chords.

He is now resting peacefully at home with Stephanie and I. What relief we find in simply seeing him rest soundly with good color in his little, pudgy cheeks. Please continue to pray that he completely recovers from pertussis and is able to regain the weight he lost over the past two weeks. Also, please continue praying for Stephanie's cough as well. She suffered some bruising of ribs due to her coughing and this pain is still hard to bear. For us as a family, please pray that the Father continues to physically recover us, and unite and ground us in the love of His Son, Jesus Christ. Also, the pressure of finishing this semester of seminary will be particularly heavy on my shoulders over the next four weeks, as I try to desperately catch up with all the assignments - I would covet your prayers in this regard.

Thank you for your loving support, prayers, and thoughtful exhortations. We are sincerely grateful for all of you and pray that the Lord blesses you with His peace and grace.

"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever." ~ Psalm 121

In Christ Alone,
Michael Breznau

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pray for Hudson William...

Dear Family and Friends,
The last week has been a whirlwind of activity, stress, and no sleep. On Monday the 23rd, Hudson came down with a cough that increasingly worsened over the course of Wednesday and Thursday. We tried several homeopathic methods recommended to us by our midwife and pediatrician, but his situation came to a head at 5:30pm, Thursday night the 26th. Five minutes after I left for evening work, he fell into a coughing spell and stopped breathing. Stephanie quickly tried to help him, but then decided to call 911. Through the instruction of the 911 attendant, Stephanie successfully resuscitated him after 4 attempts. His body had turned very blue and completely limp during this time.

Moments later, the EMS team arrived and rushed Stephanie and Hudson to the Children's Medical Center of Dallas. I got a quick call from Stephanie and immediately left work and headed to the hospital. Between 6:30-10:00pm they performed several tests on him, included a chest x-ray, spinal tap, blood tests, etc...

After receiving oxygen help, he started to regain his color and strength. However, by this time he had lost 1.5 pounds and was severely dehydrated. At first his chest x-ray showed evidence of neo-natal pneumonia, but now the official diagnosis is "pertussis." This is more practically known as the Whooping cough.

Around 3:00am he had another episode and went "code blue." Praise be to the Lord, he recovered fine and now is resting well. To say the least, we need your prayers. Many, many wonderful, loving people have blessed us with their visits and prayers and we are so grateful to the Lord for their care. The doctor said that he has never seen I child with this leave earlier than 4 days or later than 34 days. So, it may be a while. He was supposed to be able to go 12 hours without artificial oxygen before he can leave and is now officially off oxygen, but still has coughing episodes and turns blue so they don't want to release him until he stops doing that.

We do ask for your prayers during this time. Please pray that Hudson will recover thoroughly and quickly, without any lasting side effects. Also please pray for my dear Stephanie, that she would also heal from her sickness (she also has the whooping cough) and is extremely exhausted. Please pray also that I will be able to balance my school work (that is rapidly piling up), work, and family.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. We love you all!

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flame will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ~ Isaiah 43:2-3

In Christ Alone,
Michael Breznau

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Our Beautiful Birth Story...

I want to share our miraculous (or as my midwife Donnellyn says, record-breaking) birth story. It may get long so bear with me, k?

Sunday, the 1st, was a wonderful day. We went to church and they had planned on having a get together for our SS class at our SS teacher's house. Well, at the last minute (or so I thought) they changed the plans that the girls went to one house and the guys went to another. Michael drove me to the Howard's house where he was going to drop me off. Lo and behold, he walked me to the door where I was greeted by "Surprise!". I was completely overwhelmed by my loving friends and the beautiful baby shower they surprised me with. The food was delicious, and the cupcakes were the best EVER! We got some really nice gifts, but my favorite part of all was sitting around talking and getting to know those lovely ladies better.

Sunday evening I went to bed not feeling the greatest, but I chalked it up to being tired and knowing that I WAS almost 9 months pregnant. After all, I wasn't due for another 2 1/2 weeks and was hoping that he would wait to come until my mom could get here! Around 1:15 am I woke up feeling a gradual gush. I thought I was wetting my bed!!!!! It was the weirdest feeling ever. After three times of heading to the restroom, I realized that this was not normal so I called my mom and she immediately told me to call my midwife. Michael called Donnellyn and told her some of my symptoms and about me leaking (well, more like gradual gushing). She decided she definitely needed to come and check it out. She lives close to an hour away, so she needed time to get her things together and get here. Michael called her again as she was driving because I had started having regular contractions 3 min. apart. I then talked to my sister who also said it probably would be a while so I needed to go back to sleep. Thankfully Jillian had sent me my birth kit and I had gotten it only days earlier.

When she arrived, she tested the fluid to make sure it was amniotic (which is definitely was) and by that time I was already dialated to a two! Most everyone still thought though that this baby probably wouldn't arrive before nighttime (at the earliest) so everything was pretty laid back. She also told me to try to sleep, but I just couldn't!!! I was still gushing amniotic fluid and having contractions so I couldnt relax enough to go to sleep. Donnellyn then had to go back home to check on her little granddaughters who were visiting and get the rest of her stuff together. Her Apprentice (and my doula) Laurie came a little before DOnnellyn left and stayed with me till Donnellyn was able to return (Laurie was amazing btw, and very calm). Michael held on to me and told me how much he loved me and was so encouraging!

At this point, facts become hazy. The next thing I remember (a few hours later) I told Laurie that I was experiencing pressure in the front and then a few min. later told her I felt the need to push! She of course told me not to push but to try to relax and helped me to the bed. Donnellyn then came back and checked me and I was dialated to an 8!

Donnellyn called my friend Hannah (Chapman) Tallo, who I had planned on getting together for lunch that day, and asked her if she wanted to joing our birthing party. Well, Hannah, who wants to be a midwife and just needs to get her license, automatically said yes and came right over. So I had three wonderful ladies all encouraging and coaching me through it.

I got on the bed (at this point I had been laboring in the shower, and in different positions with the birth ball on the bed) and they propped me up with pillows behind my head. Donnellyn then started working with me to make sure I was breathing correctly and "singing my baby" out (meaning, making low moaning noises instead of using a higher pitch groan or a scream). She then told me I could push, but to make sure I used my lower body to push, not my face and neck. As things progressed, she told me she could see the head. Here I was in the middle of labor, hurting terribly, but when she told me that, I just couldn't wait to see him! I continued breathing and pushing over and over again trying to make sure I did as she told me to.

Little by little he inched his way out, and I felt this incredibly painful burning sensation called "the ring of fire" and with a final push, little Hudson rushed into his new world and into my arms at 9:45 am. All I remember at that point is a rush of emotions... relief that the pain had ended, happiness that he was here, and joy at how God had given us such a precious gift. Tears ran down my face as I looked at him laying on my tummy and marveled at his beautiful little self.

I was so happy that both sides of the family were able to hear the birth over the phone. As soon as he came out, they had to do a couple of stitches, but I was starving! Michael went and got me a sirloin steak burger and a strawberry shake from Jack in the Box. I couldn't finish the burger, but I sipped every bit of that yummy shake down.

So here I am... a mother. It is such a beautiful feeling. I remember my mom and sister telling me there is no other love like it in the world and I completely agree! I knew there was a little life inside of me for 9 months, but it wasn't until he rushed out of his former home and they laid him on my chest that the full reality set in. I was a mom and here was my beautiful son.

Watching my wonderful husband cuddle our son and talk and sing to him, and seeing Hudson respond with cooing and baby talk less than 5 min. after he arrived was amazing to me! We have been reading scripture and singing songs to him for the last 8 months and he definitely recognizes our voices.

My homebirth experience is one I will never forget. God truly blessed me with a beautiful birth... 3 hours of active labor and 56 min. of pushing! These ladies are amazing and I will definitely recommend Donnellyn as a midwife wherever I go and to whomever will listen. Please pray for me as I continue to recover from giving birth.

Through my labor and delivery, I learned to rely even more on God, plus I saw the amazing strength of my husband as he cared for me, and helped me through a really hard time. I praise God every day for keeping me safe as well as all the blessings I so undeservedly have received from Him.

Dear Father, I thank you with every breath that is in my body. I thank You for being there for me with Your loving hand on my shoulder as I labored and was in pain. I thank you for my amazing husband who loves me so much and is constantly giving of himself for me and our boy. I thank you for my precious son. I thank you for his good health and that he came into our world in Your timing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Some Pictures...

Pictures by Laurie Campbell (my doula)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Announcing Hudson William Breznau...

I am now the mother of Hudson William Breznau!!!!
Born this morning at 9:45am, 7 lbs. 14 oz., 21.5" long!!!

My water broke around 1:15 am. I am so amazed. Three hours of active labor and only 56 min. of pushing. The worst pain I've ever experienced, but oh so worth it. Normal amount of bleeding and I did tear a little, but only two stitches worth. My midwife Donnellyn was incredible, and the two CPO's Laurie, and Hannah (Chapman) Tallo were wonderful as well. :-D The funny thing is that Hannah and I had planned to go to lunch today. Instead, she came to my house and helped deliver a baby. ;-)

He is so beautiful and nursing good. It is so funny to hear him gulping away. :-D

We named him after Hudson Taylor the Missionary, because of how he encouraged us with his work to live a life of faith. The William is after my wonderful loving Father who, other than Michael, is the most Godly man I know.

i feel like I got hit by a truck, but am so happy. I will post pictures soon. Thanks for prayers y'all. I am so shocked I went so early, but I can only imagine he would have been a lot bigger if I had gone all the way to the end. We both feel very blessed with our precious son and pray that God will help us to be good parents to him!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yummy recipes...

This is for you girls who love to cook! These are easy and yummy recipes!

Whole Wheat Popover
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
t tblsp. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Thoroughly mix all ingredients together in order given.

Pour evenly into greased muffin cups at least 3/4 full. Keep making sure you stir the batter in the bowl as the flour has a tendency to settle at the bottom.

Bake at 450 for 15 min. Turn oven temperature to 350 and continue to bake about 20 min longer until golden brown.

Cool 5 min. before removing from pan. Serve immediately with butter, any flavor of all-fruit jam, and homemade honey sweetened whipped cream.

Easy Quiche
4 eggs
1 1/2 milk
1 tsp. salt
2 cups cheese
2 tbslp. flour

350 oven
Combine eggs, milk, and salt. Toss cheese with flour. Add cheese mixture to egg mixture. Pour into pie shell or if wanting low carb, just pour into greased dish. Bake 40-45 min. Let stand 10 min. before serving.

You can add any cook veggie or meat to this dish. :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My ABC's...

A- Age: 27 (almost 28! Does time flie by or what?)

B - Bed size: Full

C - Chore you hate: Dishes

D - Dog's Name: don't have one.. wish I did! We want to get a lab someday!

E - Essential start your day item: Michael's good morning kiss!

F - Favorite actor(s): It's a tie between Gregory Peck and Jimmy Stewart

G - Gold or Silver: Silver! or White gold

H - Height: 5'7"

I - Instruments you play(ed): Piano, Clarinet, and I sing. In fact I consider voice my first instrument and love to sing all the time (although it makes it harder when baby is kicking my diaphragm)! :-P

J - Job title: wife, voice and piano teacher, sales rep.

K - Kid(s): soon will be one little boy!

L - Living arrangements: A one bedroom/one bath/kitchen/dining/living carriage apartment on the back of a mansion.

M - Mom's name: Dawn

N – Nicknames: Honey, Princess, Punkin', Aunt Steffie, Kim

O - Overnight hospital stays: None

P - Pet Peeve: Picky eaters who say they don't like something but haven't ever tried it! People who are rude, and chalk it up to it being their personality like it is an excuse to say whatever comes to their mind.

Q - Quotes you like: "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

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 1 sister Jillian (31) and 1 brother Philip (24). We were all born in June and our birthdays are within a week and ahalf of each others. I so enjoyed sharing my birthdays with them growing up! My favorite birthday as a child was when we had a joint b-day party at a park and a neighbor made a huge cake with three sections of decor on top... a huge ice cream cone made out of cupcakes for Jilian, ballet for me, and dinosaurs for Philip.

T - Time you wake up: usually around 7 when Michael gets up and I then will make his breakfast and pack a lunch for him!

U- Underwear: of course!

V - Vegetable you dislike: Eggplant *shivers*

W - Ways you run late: getting distracted too easily

X - X-rays you've had: arm, leg, chest, stomach, hip

Y - Yummy food you make: Ask Michael! He seems to like anything I make. ;-)

Z - Zoo Animal: Monkeys and Elephants

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Will You Be My Valentine?

Growing up, this day was always something that I remember as getting festive candy from mom and dad and giving my friends and family little "love" notes. As I got into my teen years, I still enjoyed sharing notes and giving (and getting) ;-) candy on this day. Finally, as an adult woman I still continued this tradition, even though I didn't technically have a Valentine.

Last year was my first time with my very own Valentine but we spent it a 1,000 miles apart. So, today as I finally spend this Valentine's Day with my dear Hubby I am again reminded of God's faithfulness to me in bringing me a man who is true to God's word, who does not compromise what he believes is right, and who loves me steadfastly and truly. He never gets angry with me, raises his voice, or ignores me. He isn't perfect and has his little quirks and annoyances (as do I, and I am sure I have many more than he does) :-P, but I could never have dreamed up a husband who is more and more like my Knight in Shining Armour. God is the perfect and ultimate matchmaker. I am 100% convinced of that!

I have seen that my life was not empty without Michael, but He has given me Michael to complete His plan in my life. I have had Jesus in my life since I was 7 years old. He is enough for me. It wasn't until I fully relinquished all rights for marriage that God gave me complete peace. I was never what you would consider marriage obsessed, but I still wanted MY way about it. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done saying to God "If you want me to remain single the rest of my life, I will do it and I will serve You." It was two years later that I met my husband. Now, I am not saying that these are some magic words that will bring a husband to you single girls. I said it thinking that it may be what God wanted for me and I believed and lived it. And you know what? I was so very happy to be that way until I met Michael and then I knew (with much prayer mind you) that God had this as the next step in my life.

If I had married Michael because I thought marriage would solve all my problems and fulfill all my needs, I don't think we would be very happy right now. We both know that God brought us together in His timing and in His will. We ARE blissfully happy, though we may be barraged by me not feeling well, Michael being in school and working, bills, etc. God has consistently provided for us and has given us a deeper love and understanding for each other in these last 8 months.

Lest I sound preachy, remember that this is my story. :-) You may very well have already done this. I am not telling you to squelch your desire to be married or giving you a formula for what to do in your life. God works in different ways in different peoples' lives. This is just my life and how He has worked miracles with this little girl who is full of faults. And who says you have to listen to me anyway? ;-) *grin*

So, to my married AND single friends, may this day be a reminder of what Jesus did for us, and may we tell our husbands (or sweethearts, or just some little children who may not have encouragement in their lives) today what they mean to us and how much we love them.

I love you Michael. Happy Valentine's day AND 8 month anniversary. :-D
<3 <3 <3

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Sound Kick in the Ribs...

This baby loves to kick me… which is probably indicative that he is one energetic little boy. :-P He does NOT like the Doppler and it will usually jump and try to kick it away from him. He is moving a lot more and it has been thrilling for Michael and I to watch my belly shift as he does his little gymnastics. It is such a wonderful thing to see! By the way, his is not going to be a itty bitty boy. My midwife told me that she thinks he will be at LEAST 8 ½ pounds. I will be 32 weeks on Wednesday (yep, thus starts the 8 week countdown!), and was measuring 34 weeks this past Saturday.

As for my health, I am being very careful of my sugar intake (I don’t eat any processed and refined sugar… but I am trying to watch my natural sugars as well) and am also not eating any breads and stuff except for an occasional whole wheat pita or tortilla. I am also staying away from any corn products because it is an inflammatory. I can’t believe how my energy levels have dropped in the past week, resulting in TWO days where I had two naps (one in the morning and one in the afternoon and still went to bed at a decent time and slept good)! It must just be pregnancy, because I am taking Supermom, cod liver oil, vitamin C, chlorophyll, and calcium.

BTW, any of you pregnant ladies struggling with heartburn, you do NOT have to take Tums! I had it horribly and started using raw apple cider vinegar and papaya enzymes and it has gone away for the most part, unless I eat something I shouldn’t. When that happens, I take a few enzymes and it vanishes within minutes.

It has been SO much fun preparing for his arrival. Since my mother is making beautiful baby bedding, I don’t have to worry about registering for any (I never could find anything I really “loved” anyway until she showed me the fabric and asked what I thought. It is perfect.) God has really been providing... baby clothes, a bassinet, a crib and changing table, a pack n’ play, etc. I m so grateful to Him! I don’t have to put any of these things on my registry and can now put other smaller things like diapers, a diaper champ, etc. It does seem funny to be registering again, considering I was just registering for my wedding eight months ago. :-P :-D ;-)

The apartment is coming along, and I was even able to teach lessons on Saturday! It has been wonderful putting everything in order. The bathroom and kitchen are pretty much in place, but our bedroom, closet, and knowing what to do with all the boxes of books (there are probably 400 books in all!) is proving a bit challenging.

I am excited about all the people who have said they want to come and visit this summer and meet Peanut! :-D Any and all are welcome, though you will have to get a hotel or stay at the Dallas Training Center.

The Lord has been really good to us and I praise Him for His goodness and mercy!

Prayer Requests…

* More voice and piano students for me.
* Either free or REALLY inexpensive bookcases!
* Michael’s school… that he would grow in wisdom and understanding AND get good grades and be able to do all his assignments in time. God has really blessed him with almost perfect grades so far and he wants to continue to do his best in all that he does!
*That baby will continue in his head down position and continue growing healthy and strong.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Very Special Day...

"The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him."
Proverbs 20:7

On January 4th of this year, I celebrated a very special anniversary day.

25 years ago, a wonderful man who I call Daddy officially gave me his last name and I legally became his daughter. Since the moment he came into my life when I was 14 months old, he has been a source of love, joy, peace, wisdom, caring, and steadfastness. He was a 32 year old bachelor when he married my mom and took the responsibility of two little girls. Up until Michael came into my life, Dad has been the most godly man I have ever known. He has also loved my mother unconditionally, which has been a great example to me!

Someone recently asked me to sum up my relationship with my dad and this is what I said...
My dad has always been constant and consistent. He knows what he believes, and always had certain rules but they were given because he loved me. He always took the time to listen to me and never discounted anything I ever said to him and tried to always understand me. i think the key to our relationship was showing genuine love and understanding and him putting my life, feelings, and well being before his. I didn't ask him to do that, but he did it anyway because he is unselfish. As you can tell, I love my dad very much. :-)

I love you Daddy!

Life is Splendid...

30 weeks. I am now 31 weeks, but there isn't much of a difference. :-P 9 more weeks until D-Day! :-D I can't wait to meet my little man!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 in a nutshell...

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Got married, moved to Texas, got pregnant, was a official nanny, had a white christmas, made a snowman, ate some new things (scallops, crawfish,

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I made a goal to eat healthier, get in shape and lose weight. I lost 25 pounds by the time my wedding came around. Of course, I've now put it all back on but with good reason. ;-) I also resolved to grow closer to Jesus and He now means more to me than ever before!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister had my niece Lilly in July and Betsy just had little Jack this week!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
None this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
a lot of things

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 14th when I married the love of my life!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Being pregnant and working two jobs... AND making dinner for my hubby every night!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Worrying way too much about what people think of me and trying to keep way too many people happy and pleased.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Morning sickness :-P

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My maternity coat! It feels so nice to have a warm belly.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband for taking care of me so well when I was so sick!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
a lot of unmentioned people

14. Where did most of your money go?
wedding, bills, rent, food

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting married, getting pregnant, and all the ways God has provided for us

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini... the song I walked down the aisle to!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder?
much much happier (not that i was unhappy before, I am just ecstatic now)!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
spent even more time with my family

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
worrying over little stuff

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With family.

21. How will you be spending New Years?
We are just spending time as a family... eating pizza, popping popcorn, watching a movie, and then ushering in 2009 with some yummy Wildberry pomegranate non-alcoholic bubbly!

24. What was your favorite TV program?

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
The Woman in White

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
can't think of anything new

28. What did you want and got?
my hubby

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Prince Caspian

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
we were on our honeymoon and michael got some sparkling non-alcoholic grape juice from the Blltmore and we got chinese take out and a boston creme cake and had a fun evening talking and eating. :-)

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not worrying so much about pleasing people through the whole wedding process.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
I decided to wear what I wanted as long as I felt pretty and wonderful in it! Therefore, I wore extremely feminine dresses and tops. Loved them!

34. What kept you sane?
Jesus, Michael, and much prayer

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I love Tony Shaloub... though I wouldn't say I fancied him. :-P

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
the whole presidential election... sigh

37. Who did you miss?
my family

38. Who was the best new person you met?
hmmm... I have met a ton of new people... would have to say Jen Bullinger.... but i also have enjoyed getting to know Shanna R., the Knight girls, the girls I met in Arlington from the Crossings, Michael's friends, the Daughtry's, Joe and Joanna Howard and their little munchkins, the Armitage's, and so many more!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
letting go and learning how to live a life of faith

Happy new Year everyone! May this next year bring you closer to our Lord Jesus and may you find many opportunities to share Him with others. Love y'all!

About Me

My photo
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.