Sunday, November 14, 2010
One thing that I am processing is the number of gray hairs on my head!! They have probably quadrupled over the past 8 months! But it isn't the actual hair that I am processing ... it is the reasons for it. If you would have told me last November that one year from now we would be living in Littleton, Colorado I would have laughed and said that was crazy. If you would have told me that the reason we moved there was for Bryan to attend seminary ... I would have said that YOU were crazy! This was not our "plan." But God has a great way of lovingly (and often times not so gently) redirecting us to where we need to be. The circumstances around our decision to come here were hard, but so so good for us. We loved the people we were with and that was, in our minds, reason enough to stay where we were. But God had more for us - and I am so glad that we didn't miss it! He is deepening and sharpening us in totally new ways ... preparing us. We don't know what for yet - but we are excited for the ride!
Another thing that has probably caused a few more gray hairs is a little man named Drew! I cannot express to you how much I love that kid. He is a true JOY! But he keeps me on my toes and is teaching me to go with the flow more. We had some rough/frustrating spots this year - but I feel like we have turned a corner. Although he still isn't talking much (at least not words I can understand) ... he is understanding tons - and that has made all the difference. I am learning a lot about parenting and am so amazingly thankful to be surrounded by so many incredible mothers that I get to watch in action on a daily basis. And I pray that am a better mother because of them. Thanks DenSem mommies!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
First - and most importantly - our baby girl turned 4 years old! Her birthday weekend was so much fun. My Mom and Cade (our nephew and Jordan's buddy) came to visit and Jordan was in heaven! As if that wasn't enough fun, we had a birthday party at the park and all of her new friends were there. It was a beautiful fall morning which was a huge answer to prayer. And although we had to relocate at one point, it turned out to be a perfect picnic and the kids played, fed the ducks, ate doughnuts and chocolate chip pumpkin muffins - and the adults got to just relax and visit. All in all - a success on all counts! Here are a few pics:
Sunday, September 26, 2010
With all of that being said (and here is where my heart starts racing as I type) ... we still need help. Bryan has been the one that has been writing our support letters and meeting with people to ask for help, but this is the first time you are hearing from me - and my take is a little different because for one, we are actually here now ... and for two, I am seeing the burden that Bryan is carrying. And it is just really hard. So ... I have been told that in support raising it is best to just lay it all out there ... so here we go (deep breath Corrie).
If we were to raise 100% of what we need for the next two years - we are only about 37% there. With that being said - we have raised enough to pay for tuition and books which is AWESOME!!! What we still have to pay for is rent, health insurance, car insurance, groceries, electric bills, etc. All the regular day to day stuff. And please trust me when I say, that we are trying to cut wherever we can. But living costs money as we all know.
Bryan is working at On The Boarder waiting tables. He feels real purpose in being there and is excited to see what all God has in store. But he is having to work a lot to make the money that we need (and to be honest we are still coming up short). Supposedly this is the slowest time of year for restaurants. The last number of weeks he has worked 5 nights in a row with a double shift on Saturdays. And he has class on Monday nights, so we have had him home one night a week. Thankfully, we do get to see him at random times throughout the day and at lunch which is a blessing. But he is having to spend numerous hours a day at the library to study and get all of his school work done. So needless to say ... between school and work, he is one busy guy.
We honestly hadn't planned on being able to raise 100% of what we need for the next 2 years - not that God couldn't do that!! We did expect that we would need to work some ... just not quite this much. The pace has been a bit nuts to say the least. And that is why I am writing this - to ask for your help to ease Bryan's load. If he could work more like 3 or 4 shifts a week, it would make a HUGE difference in not only his life, but our life as a family. Here are a couple of ways that you can help:
1. Financial Support. We have a scholarship fund that our home church has established for us where donations to our account are tax deductible. Monthly or one-time gifts are huge. Simply make checks payable to Fellowship Bible Church with our name in the memo section and mail them to:
Fellowship Bible Church
attn: Rosie Stephens
PO Box 7123
Little Rock, AR 72223
2. Resolve to pray! It is so exciting for me to think about how God might surprise us in this way! I want to ask that you would pray specifically that God would bless Bryan financially at work. One night he had a table that gave him a $50 tip from a $45 ticket - it was amazing. When Bryan told me about it, I really felt God saying, "Corrie, I have got this. You just have to trust me." Oh how He loves us!!!
Well, thank you for reading this. I literally just let out a deep breath ... this is just hard stuff for me. Bryan said it best for both of us in one of his support letters. He wrote, "I hate asking anyone, for anything, ever. It exposes my pride and humbles me at a real level. But God has convicted me that I often don't have because I don't ask him or his people." I couldn't have said better. Again - thanks for reading and for loving and supporting us. It honestly means more than you could ever imagine!
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen." Eph 3: :20-21
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur. Bryan started training at work last week and worked 5 nights in a row - with a double shift on Saturday. So I was pretty burnt out on motherhood by the end of the weekend to say the least. But alas, Monday came (which may be quickly becoming my favorite day of the week - weird!) and I had my husband home for a few days. So nice! Then he went in last night for his "final exam" and he passed with flying colors! Woo hoo! It was a bit overwhelming for him to have to study for work (learning the menu) and study for school - so we are so thankful that training is done! And now he is working for the next 4 nights with a double shift on Saturday again. At least now he will be making tips! I think they are trying to give him the best shifts since this is a slower time of the year for restaurants and they know that he has a family and is in school - such a blessing in that respect. But for Mama and kiddos - we are missing him. So we are trying to fill our time with fun stuff until sweet Monday arrives (Bryan can't work on Monday because of his night class).
So you might be asking, "Corrie, what do you and the kids do while Bryan is studying or working?" Well I can answer that in one word ... playground! Jordan has made some really sweet friends here and loves to play outside with them. Most of them are boys - so one game she is getting really into is Star Wars! That's my girl! I think we are going to have to have a Star Wars movie night soon so she can have some context and know that she can be Princess Leia. =) And check this out, her birthday is coming up and she is asking for "a gun, a guitar, a puppy and chocolate." Thankfully, the dog that she wants is a stuffed animal. She cracks me up!
A fun trick she learned from Daniel.
This is Daniel Chapin - such cute friends!
Drew may be the one that is missing Daddy the most. He is always really upset when Bryan leaves and asks for him a few times throughout the day. Thankfully, he is being a bit of a momma's boy right now so that is actually helpful. He has started to say a few more words this week which is really encouraging. He has just been so much slower to talk and it has made me curious about this hearing - but I have talked to a number of people who say that can be pretty common in boys. It just makes this stage harder when he is frustrated that I can't understand him - which makes me frustrated. So we are working on that.
This whole blogging thing is still a bit funny for me because a number of people have said that they are keeping up with us through it - which is awesome! But it is just cool to me that friends like you actually read my scatterbrained thoughts and care about what is going on in our lives here in Colorado. It honestly means more to me than I would have ever thought it would. So thank you for caring and praying for us. We love you all so dearly.
- Please continue to pray for us financially. That God would provide exactly what we need in mighty ways.
- Pray for Bryan as he in now "on his own" at work. Pray that things go smoothly.
- Pray for Bryan as he is trying to balance family time, study time and work. It is a LOT!
- Pray for the kids and I - that we would make the most of every day.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Yesterday was the first day that I really felt homesick. I think some of that is because I was looking through some pictures from our home church that someone posted on Facebook. A number of our dearest friends either help lead worship or are campus pastors - so it was so fun to look through them. But I found myself sad afterwards. We also found out this weekend that a woman that Bryan worked with for 4 years passed away very unexpectedly. It has been kinda hard being here when so many people we know are grieving that loss. I also found out that one of my small group girls is going to be on the homecoming court which is awesome - but I am just sick that I am not going to be there. So yeah - it was a weird day yesterday. Not that I am not enjoying it here ... I truly am. But I found myself missing my friends and family in Little Rock ... and I know that that is ok. It just made me sad.
Ok - let's move on to the more fun stuff!
I LOVE the mountains!! The are just so majestic and stunning! One of my favorite things that we did in Keystone was go on an 18 mile bike ride from Copper Mountain down to Dillon! The views were amazing and the weather was perfect. Bryan is the biker in our family - but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it (although my rear was telling me a different story the next morning - haha)! We had the kids in a "basket" that Bryan pulled behind his bike and they loved it. Jordan has not stopped talking about it. The only bummer from the day was that my Dad took a fall and had a minor concussion. We are pretty sure he fainted after going up a hill. He is doing well now - but it was a little scary! Here are a few pictures.
This is where we started - beautiful!!
The kids just got to sit and enjoy the ride! Way to go Daddy!
The rest of the weekend was great too. We watched football and cheered for our Razorbacks as they won their first game - Go Hogs! We ate good food. We did some shopping - great outlets! And Kat, Sean, Bryan and I played one of the longest games of Spades ever! But there is something about being in the mountains that is so peaceful to me. It is just one of those places that God speaks to my heart - and just tells me He loves me. What an awesome God we serve! I hope that we get to spend a lot of time in the mountains while we are here - Bryan and I both love it!
I need to go for now. They kids are down for their naps and I need to take a break! But here are some cute pictures of our kiddos - don't they look so Coloradoan!?
He is getting to that age where it is hard to get him to stay still for a picture!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Here are a few pics from the week!
First day of school picture! Love it!
PaPa is such a fun toy!
A great visit with Grammy and PaPa!
Monday, August 23, 2010
And with that in mind I can share how God has been loving me in such sweet ways this week. Just to mention a few: Our external hard drive crashed and I thought we lost ALL of our pictures over the last 5 years - but when I pulled out our old computer, every picture was there ... and I could have sworn that I had deleted them. Not to mention the flash drive that had all the pictures that my friend had given me to do a scrapbook for her. I don't remember putting them there! I truly believe that God restored it all. It was awesome. We got a check from our mortgage company that was very unexpected. And God has blessed us with meeting so many great new people that we forming great new friendships with. He cares about every detail of my life ... and I am amazed by Him!
Our boy turned 2 last week!! I still can't believe it! We had a fun family morning going to Chuck E Cheese for games and then Chick-fil-a for lunch. I made some yummy cupcakes for that night, so after dinner some friends came over and we sang to him. Then we went outside and let the kids play and gave people cupcakes. Very fun! And then more friends came over that night and they stayed up late playing together. So Drew had a great day which made me happy.
Jordan helped me make cupcakes! Love it!
This weekend we got to go to Estes Park with our friends Nick, Sarah and Evie which was a blast. It was so beautiful and our first real adventure since we moved here. We all packed lunches and didn't really have an agenda. It was just nice to get off campus with friends and have some fun. We still can't get over the weather and the beauty here. It is truly marvelous! Well - just check out the pictures!!
The kids were not too thrilled to take pictures - they just wanted to run and get in the water!
This is Sarah! Already such a sweet friend! And did I mention they are from Australia - I could listen to them talk all day! =)
Jordan and Evie - precious!
I mean really!?!?!?
See what I mean - BEAUTIFUL!! And so much fun.
Well - the kiddos are waking up and we are excited to see Kat, Sean and baby Tate since they just got back from a trip! Please continue to pray for a job for Bryan - he has been applying places but hasn't heard back from anyone yet. We know God will provide just what we need - we are just trying to be patient.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Right now, everyone in my house (apartment) is napping. And for those of you who know me well, you know that I am not a napper. So I thought I would try and catch everyone up on what all has been going on here in Denver!
It is hard to believe that we started our journey here one week ago today. It has been a whirlwind to say the least. It has had its emotional ups and downs - but all in all, it has been better than we could have hoped. And can I just say that the weather here is AMAZING!! I walked outside this morning at about 7:45 and it was really chilly ... in August!!! I still can't get over how beautiful it is here.
Then Tuesday came - probably the most emotional day for me. I drove my Mom to the airport that morning and we both were teary most of the way. I hugged her goodbye, drove off, and started sobbing. It was a 40 minute drive home and I just asked God to hear the cries of my heart because I didn't quite have words to give at that point. Yes it was hard to say bye to Mom, but I really think that that is when reality started setting in. We live in Denver, Colorado. Nothing is familiar. Bryan is going back to school. We live in a two bedroom apartment where my son is sleeping in a storage room (which he loves by the way). We are raising support. Bryan is going to have to work and be a full time student. Our lives are changing ... and although I am ok with that ... it is still hard.
2. Please pray that God would provide for us financially. Depending on how much support we are able to raise will determine how much Bryan has to work. And being a full time student, it is going to be a challenge. So the more support we can raise the more time Bryan will have for school and family.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
The kids did awesome on the plane! I cannot thank you all enough for your prayers! We actually got to have 3 seats which was a huge blessing! Between Cheez-Its, apple juice and the Backyardagains - we were good to go. Going through security was a bit of a task with Drew running away from me every 30 seconds - but we got it under control. I basically just let them play as much as possibly before we got on the plane so that they enjoyed the down time once we were seated. Honestly - the biggest hurdle was changing Drew's diaper in that crazy airplane bathroom!! Talk about NO room. I mean come on people - if you are going to put a changing table in a bathroom, make it wide enough to actually change a diaper!! It was pretty hysterical. And the moment we landed - Drew feel asleep on me and was knocked out!
My sister picked me up at the airport and we are just chillin' at their apartment - which is right next door to ours! We move in tomorrow morning at 9am! I'll post more about that in the days to come. It feels so surreal being here ... but it is time. We are ready for the adventure to begin!
7:30 this morning. Ready for the day!
Heading out! See you in Denver!
Get that energy OUT!
Troopers! Jordan was holding ear phones to her ears. I was SO thankful that it wasn't a full flight.
We made it!!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Our last night in Little Rock. So hard to believe. G'night.
My messy boy at the birthday party today. He was in heaven!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Let me just say ... if you have never been to Colorado in the summer, then you haven't seen it at it's best!! We went without much of an agenda which was nice. We ate good food, went on a hike, did some shopping, drove around a lot, went to a movie and got some much needed R&R. I actually took a nap 2 of the days we were there - and I don't take naps. It had been a long and exhausting few weeks, so it was great to get away. But the highlight of the trip was our time at the seminary.
Look at my man on campus!! We still can't believe that he is about to be a student again! We got to go on a tour of the campus - which didn't take long. We met a number of the people on staff and Bry got to register for his fall classes. We got to see where we will be living which is just bizarre! For those of you that don't know, we will be in a two bedroom apartment on campus. Bryan will have about a 30 second walk from our front door to the main building where he will be having most of his classes - which means we will probably get to see him more - such a blessing. And another INCREDIBLE blessing is that Katherine and Sean are literally right next door to us! Our Father is so creative! It was a great trip - but we missed our kiddos and were ready to see them!
We got back to KC and had more time with family, including the Gaffs which was awesome! They are some of Bryan's cousins who live in Denver - we will be living about 10 minutes from their house! It was fun to get to talk to them about our trip. We are so excited to get to spend more time with them over the next 2 years! (See you soon Rob, Amy, Caity, Dale and Andrew)
We all went to Worlds of Fun on Friday and rode tons of rides! Jordan rode her first roller coaster and LOVED it - I was so proud! (Believe it or not - I am more into theme park rides than Bryan) The kids went home with Grammy after lunch and all us "big" kids went back to the park and rode all the grown up rides - we all had a blast!
So after a week of traveling, we finally got home to our clean home (spotlessly clean since we had to make sure it was ready to show). It was a little weird to be home at first to be honest. After being where we are going to be for the 2 years, and then coming back to where we are currently - it feels like we aren't settled anywhere. It may just be like that for the next 2 months and that is ok.
And in other news - WE SIGNED A CONTRACT ON OUR HOUSE YESTERDAY!! What a huge relief. The market has obviously slowed down since the tax credit ended - so we are just thankful that God brought a buyer. Now we are just praying for everything to go smoothly.
Ok - long post! Sorry! Swim lessons post coming soon - our girl is a rockin' it!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
For those of you that may not know the whole story - here is the VERY shortened version. Bryan has been with FSM for 5 years - but over the past 9 months or so, he has felt God calling us to something new ... we just didn't know what that was. Through a number of meetings with godly men that have helped him process what his giftings are and what his passion is ... seminary kept coming up. Bryan actually asked me one night, "Will you at least pray about the possibility of seminary?" - I said I would - but my prayer was something along the lines of, "God - Bryan asked me to pray about seminary - so ... I really don't want to go. There I prayed about it."
Boy God must have a weird sense of humor!
A few days later, the two of us were in a meeting with Tim Lundy and Brandon Barnard - two men that love us and that we have a lot of respect for. Tim started asking Bryan some great leading questions about what he wants to do. At the end of it he ask, "Bryan, when you look around you, what job do you see that you would want." And Bryan said, "A Community Group Pastor or a Campus Pastor ... something along those lines." And both Tim and Brandon said, "YES - you would be amazing in that role!!" And as we talked about that it became very clear to me that seminary would be the next necessary step for Bryan to get to where he truly wants to be ... and to do what he is so designed for!
So after that meeting, Bryan and I went to grab lunch and I said, "Bryan - is this what you want to do with your life?" He said yes. And I said, "Ok - so where are we going to seminary?"
We considered DTS, but Denver was the only place we ever got truly excited about. Not only is it a great school that is in Colorado (as if that wasn't enough) - but my sister's husband Sean will be starting classes there in the fall as well! So we will all be there at the same time ... isn't God creative!? You should see the way Bryan's face lights up when he talks about being around mountains for the next 2 years - he is like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve!!
Now we just have to sell our house, raise support and get moved ... just a small 'to do' list!! It is easy to start feeling overwhelmed ... but it gives me great hope seeing the way God has led us to this point - He has led us this far, so I know He will get us there!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Jordan and Piper just enjoyed the adventure!!
Jordan wanted to be in all the pictures - she has become a big fan of the camera!