Thursday, September 8, 2011

Be still ...

"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10

This has been one of those weeks that I have felt God carrying me, refining me and whispering to me throughout each day.  And I know it is because I have been so in need of His presence - needing to know He is there.  Needing to know He is in control.  Needing to know that He is peace.  Needing to know that He has purpose in ALL things.  And in one of my deepest moments of need - He brought me back to this quiet verse in Psalm .... "Be still and know that I am God."  What a wonderful place to rest.

God has been tugging on my heart the past few days to update the blog, and I have been pushing back on it because I haven't been ready to share what all has been going on with us.  But He has continued to nudge, so here we are.

This past Saturday we had our first miscarriage.  We were not very far along but were already getting so excited about adding to our family.  It was a hard day just waiting to see what would happen.  But as I prayed, God gave me such peace in knowing that He is in control.  Although I was not fearful, the saddness was more than I was expecting.  That afternoon was when God brought me to the verse in Psalm and it was like He was speaking directly to me, "Corrie, be still and know that I am God."  Thank you Daddy for your precious words for they were my comfort and strength.  By that evening we knew I was miscarrying and we were able the grieve the loss of that little life.  It was just so sad.

After a couple of days, I really felt like I had dealt with the miscarriage and was feeling ready to move on with life (not to sound harsh).  But my body was feeling very off and my stomach was a mess.  I was feeling a lot of the same symptoms as when I was dealing with all the anxiety back in the winter, which was very discouraging.  I got off my anxiety medication in June and had been doing so well.  It was all so confusing, trying to figure out if it was a result of all the emotions I had experienced, the pregnancy hormones, anxiety, or possibly just a common stomach bug.  I was very fearful of sinking back into the anxiety battle which was beyond daunting to think about.

I am thankful to say that I am doing much better now.  I got on some medicine for my stomach which has helped a ton.  And I am fighting off the anxiety well without any medicine.  Every day I am feeling better and that is a huge praise.  My biggest struggle right now is all mental.  It is hard not to think about the "What Ifs" when it comes to getting pregnant again.  But I know I can't dwell there.

I went to a new Bible study yesterday.  We are going through Beth Moore's study of David (she has revised it) and I cannot begin to tell you how timely it is for me.  What better time to do a study of a man after God's own heart, when my heart is so raw and weary.  I feel like it has been used as a punching bag over the last 15 months and I am needing some time of healing.  I am prayerful that that is what this study will bring.  Even this morning as I was doing the first lesson - I was amazed at how thirsty I was for His Word - and how quickly I was refreshed by it.  Oh God - wash me in the water of your Word!

I don't want it to sound like the last 15 months have been bad ... they have actually been amazing in so many ways.  But they have also been some of the hardest of my life as well.  Funny how that works.  God has been refining and molding me in ways I would have never expected.  But when I look at how God is equipping and preparing Bryan for ministry - I can't help but think that God is preparing me as well for whatever lies ahead for us.  God has already used my struggle with anxiety to help encourage other women.  What a creative and mighty God we serve.

In the midst of all of these hardships, we are so thankful to have two amazing children who are a constant source of joy for us.  Drew has been potty training for a little over a week now and is doing amazing!  I cannot tell you how much I was dreading it, but he has exceeded all expectations - praise God!  And Jordan had her first day of preschool today and loved it!  When I picked her up she was glowing.  The only downer was poor Drew missed his buddy all day - it was really sweet.  What a blessing that they love each other so much.

Although these last few weeks have been a roller coaster, we have had so many great things going on as well.  Just to name a few: We got to see all our family in August which was so much fun.  Our boy turned 3 years old - crazy.  We got a mini van from some dear friends who gave us a great deal.  My sister Katherine and Sean are expecting baby #2.  We got to see the Zac Brown Band and Red Rocks - so cool.  Bryan's new job is going great.  And we are all healthy ... God is oh so good.

I would like to share a few prayer requests:

- Please pray for us as we continue to process these last few weeks. Pray for peace both emotionally and physcially.

- We are still raising support which is just hard.  We are so thankful for what all we have been given and we are so tired of asking for help in this area.  Please just pray that God would provide in a mighty way.

- Bryan is scheduled to graduate in May which means that we will need to start job searching soon.  Please pray for guidance in this area.


Here are a few pictures from the last month:

A morning at the park for Drew's Birthday

An awesome day at Breckenridge when my Dad and Nancy were here!

Zac Brown Band at Red Rocks for $20 - awesome!!!!

First day of preschool!

 Rockin' the potty training!

 Ready to do some downhill mountain biking!

Fun at the lake!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer brings change!

It honestly makes me laugh how much things can change between my blog posts!  It is just a perfect picture of our life here - always something around the corner!  Not bad necessarily - just new.

The main thing that has changed for us is Bryan's job.  After a month of training at The Tavern, he came home after his second real shift and said, "I don't think I can do this.  I truly hate waiting tables."  We hoped that a new restaurant would be better, but it was honestly more stressful.  It was causing him to not sleep well and dread going to work - it just wasn't worth it!

But God has been so good and has already brought along another job.  He just started working for a ministry for the elderly.  There are these 6 assisted living homes around town where he will be doing maintenance 20 hours a week.  He is already a handyman of sorts, but he will be learning some new things as well which will be nice when we are home owners again.  He can decide which hours work for him each week and can back off on weeks where he has a lot of tests or papers.  We are amazingly thankful - God is so so good.

Our one hesitation with this job is the fact that we only have one car.  Thus far we have made it work with very few problems, but this job will make it a bit harder.  So we are praying that God would either provide a second car for us, provide money for a mini van, or that He would work out our schedules so that it would not be too difficult.  I know that he can do any or all of the above and we are trusting Him with it.  He has given us a "peace beyond all understanding" - which is just a testimony that it is truly from Him.

On a lighter note, we have had some visitors over the last few weeks which has been a blast!  Bryan's parents were here for a good long visit.  We relaxed, laughed, ate good food and played a lot of cards (which Bryan or Alice always won).  So that was a blast.  And then my Mom just left yesterday and we also had a great time.  We had a girls day where Kat, Mom and I did some shopping, ate at a fun lunch spot and just enjoyed time together.  We also just played and got caught up.  Time with family is always so refreshing for us!

We truly feel like we are soaking up the summer which has been awesome.  Bryan has been playing Frisbee Golf like crazy (I do believe that he is a bit addicted).  There is a course across the street from us so he goes over there most days for at least 20 or 30 minutes - and a lot of time with a couple of buddies.  Nothing like some fun free entertainment in Colorado in the summer!

We also got up to our uncle's condo with some dear friends over Father's Day weekend.  It was stunningly beautiful!  The crazy thing was that one day we were hanging out in the village in jeans a t-shirts, and the next morning it looked like a blizzard - it was awesome!!  See pictures below!

I can tell that my time is limited due to nap time with 3 kids (we are watching our nephew Tate for a few days with Kat & Sean are on a trip).  So here are our main prayer requests!

- A second car.  As I said above - we know God could answer this in many different ways.  But it is a big one right now.

- My anxiety, I am starting to wean myself off my medication so we praying for a smooth and healthy transition!  I have been feeling normal and like myself for awhile now, so we are very hopeful.

- Finances.  We are going to make another push on support raising soon to help us in this last year.  If you are at all interested in hearing more about where we are financially or how you might be able to help - please let me know.  We could NOT do this without help - so every little bit is a huge blessing!

Here are a few pics to highlight the last month or so!

Fun times at the Children's Museum with PaPa and Grammy!

Frisbee Golf with some buddies in the mountains - they were all loving life!

Father's Day Weekend in the mountains

My boys!

The next morning - CRAZY!!  And so beautiful!

Fun in water fountains at such a cool park!

Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs with Nonie

Friday, May 20, 2011

Semester End!

It is really hard to believe that by this time next year, Lord willing, Bryan will have graduated.  My how time does fly it seems.  We are two semesters down here at Denver Seminary and we are so thankful for God's reassurances that we are right where we are supposed to be.  He has continued to break and refine us in ways that I am not sure we would have experienced anywhere else, or under any other circumstances.  He is molding us to be more like Son - and for that we are so thankful.

Bryan just finished his second semester about a week ago and he did great.  We are so proud of him!  It was pretty stressful at the end when he wrote 30 pages in a weekend and had to study for 2 big finals - but he finished strong and is thankful to be done for a little while.  He is taking 6 hours this summer which will consist of 2 intensive classes that will each be 2 weeks long.  One in June and one in July.  So that will allow for some non-school time over the next 3 months which is much needed.

Thankfully, the kids and I were able to go to Little Rock while Bryan was so busy with school and we had such a great time.  Thank you so much to all of you who were praying.  I was a little "anxious" (for lack of a better word) about going home after such a hard trip in December.  But God was so faithful.  I prayed for it to be a FUN trip, great time with family and friends, and anxiety free - and I am so thankful to report that it was all that and more.  The kids had a ball and loved time with their Nonie and cousins.  What a blessing!

Big news - Bryan got a new job!!  He is waiting tables at a really cool new restaurant in downtown Littleton called The Tavern.  They officially open next week so he is training right now which is pretty extensive since it is a brand new restaurant - but he is excited about it.  The best part is that it is about a mile and half from our apartment!!  And with one car, that is huge!  He has already ridden his bike to work a few times which he loves.  We are so thankful.  So our prayer now is that it is a good fit, that he can be a light for Jesus, and that it is a job that he will want to keep until he graduates next May.

We have some great praises in the ways that God is moving and providing for us!  Obviously, Bryan's new job is a big praise in that department.  He also got another scholarship for this next year for $2000 to help with school - amazing!  I am going to start helping out at Jazzercise as a class manager that will allow me to do Jazzercise for free!  And we have continued to be amazed and humbled by the generosity of friends and family who have sacrificed to help us financially.  I think I say this every time, but we honestly cannot begin to express our gratitude.  We could NOT do this without the help of our home church, friends and family.  Thank you a thousand times over!

One of the things we are really excited about for this summer is fun family time.  There are so many things to do and see here in Colorado and we are really wanting to take advantage of that while we are here.  For example, we drove down to Colorado Springs one day this week and just got to explore which was so fun - and everything was free!  We went to the Focus on the Family Adventures in Odyssey area which was so cool and the kids loved.  We also went to the Garden of the Gods and had a ball.  Bryan and I could not stop talking about how majestic it was.  It is so beautiful here and we are wanting to soak it all in this summer.

Well, my downtime is about over!  Here are a few prayer requests:

- As I said before, please pray that Bryan's new job is a good fit and that Jesus would shine through him!

- I am starting to explore a new job opportunity doing some photo editing.  As funny as it sounds, pray that I am good at it and that God would help me make some good connections.

- Finances.  Again, we have been so blessed, so it is really hard for us to ask for more.  But we will still come up short in the end if we don't raise more support.  Please pray that God would provide for us in a mighty way.

Amazed and Thankful,

Here are a few pictures from the past few months:

At the Little Rock Zoo with Nonie and the McConnells

Riding the train at the Zoo.

My little troopers on the airplane.

Fun family day!

The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lots to be thankful for ...

I just reread my last blog post and remembered how I felt when I wrote it ... I am so thankful to say that God has done and is continuing to do a mighty work!

First I just want to thank all of you so much for your prayers, encouragement and support.  This whole anxiety experience has honestly been one of the hardest things that I have ever been through - but I have learned so much.  Bryan and I were laughing the other day when I remembered a prayer that I prayed back in the fall (before all of this started), just asking the Lord to "keep us all healthy over the next 2 years because we really can't afford to be sick while we are here."  That just struck us as funny when we considered how many pills I have taken over the past 2 months!!  Between my anxiety, my stomach, a terrible cold and my first sinus infection - I had never taken so many pills in my life!  But I know that God has been carrying me through every step and is continuing to deepen my faith in Him as my Rock, my Strength, my Portion and my Comforter.  He is so good.

The anxiety has been so much better!  I have been feeling more normal that I had in months and that just feels good.  A huge teller for me was when Jordan threw up the other night and I didn't freak out thinking that I was going to get sick.  Weird I know - but "being sick" was something I feared so much in the midst of my panic attacks.  I have been able to work out at least 4 times a week which has helped so much.  I try to have fun or worshipful music on when the kids are playing around the apartment (music makes such a big difference for me).  And Bryan is only working on the weekends and that has been huge for both of us!  So - I am thankful to be able to report that I am doing much better - thank you again for your prayers.  I go back to the doctor next month - I'll keep you posted.

We have been staying pretty busy around here!  It is hard to believe that Bryan already has midterms next week!  We have had some fun stuff going on lately so the time has been going by fast.  A huge highlight from the last month was when we got to go back to Arkansas to go to Sr. High Winter Chill (the winter retreat with the youth group that Bryan worked at for that last 5 years).  It was a surprise to all the kids which was so much fun - we felt so sneaky!  It was just so refreshing to be around such dear friends that we have such great history with.  Three of my small group girls were there which was awesome, and catching up with the staff and some of the volunteers was amazing.  We miss you all and are so thankful for the time that we got to spend with you.  Thank you FSM - for a great chance for Bryan and I to get away and reconnect with all of you.  We love you all so dearly.

This last weekend my mom came to visit which was great.  We went to the outlets, ate good food, went to the Children's Museum (amazing), and just got some good play time with Nonie.  The kids were in heaven and were so sad to see her go.  But we will be visiting Little Rock the first week of May while Bryan stays here to get ready for finals.

The weather here is amazing today!  It is 67 degrees and I think I got a bit of a sunburn while we were out on the playground.  You really can't beat Colorado weather!

Once again - I am amazed that anyone would read any of my posts, so thanks for caring enough to do so!  Here are a few prayer requests:

- Bryan's Job - he has put in a few applications at some restaurants close by.  He just isn't making the money he could be making at other places.  And being closer would save on time and gas.

- School - as I said before, Bryan is gearing up for midterms next week so he is spending a lot of time at the library.  Pray that he is able to absorb all the information and finish well before Spring Break.  He is doing such a great job - but it is still stressful.

- Finances - I don't know if there will be a time while we are in seminary that this won't be a prayer request. :)  Please pray that God would continue to provide for us.  We have been amazed and humbled by those of you who have given to us financially and we truly cannot thank you enough.  Every dollar makes a huge difference.  One of the things that we are truly looking forward to when we have a normal job again is being able to bless others with whatever we might have.  After being on this end of support raising, I understand how significant even a small amount can be!

We are so thankful for our friends.  So thankful for our family.  So thankful for our life here at Denver Seminary.  So thankful for our Father who loves to lavish His love upon us.  While we were at Winter Chill, we were introduced to a new song that has become a favorite for me, especially with where we are right now.  Here is the chorus:

Oh my God - He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear
His promise is true
My God will come through always

What an awesome promise!

My small group girls and Andrew Glenn at Winter Chill - so fun!

The Hedlunds - we love and miss you guys!

This picture just makes me smile!

Silly girls!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Changes ...

Finally ... I am sitting down to update the blog!  It has honestly been on my to do list for awhile, but it has been a bit crazy around here.  I haven't posted since before Thanksgiving, so I will do a quick recap and then fill you in on what is going on now.

We spent Thanksgiving in the mountains with Katherine and Sean as well as Sean's family which was fun.  It was nice to be with some family.  Katherine and I actually cooked the meal - we were very proud of ourselves.  The next week was mine and Bryan's birthdays and we both got sick - such a bummer.  The upside was that the kids and I watched the entire "Avatar" series that week!!  If you haven't seen it and you have kids, I would strongly suggest it.  Although - I'll admit - I may have enjoyed it even more than the kids!

Christmas ... honestly, was rough.  It was so good to be with my family and see some friends, but the circumstances were hard.  I was really struggling with some anxiety which was totally new to me.  It isn't hard to figure out how I got to that point when looking at the last 6 to 8 months (moving, raising support, doing a lot of single parenting) - but it still really caught me off guard.  So a lot of Christmas break I was processing and learning about anxiety and panic attacks.  On top of that, there was a stomach bug that went through our family which is always lovely.  Honestly - I was just very disappointed with how things played out.  I had been so looking forward to going home - and it turned out to be a really hard couple of weeks.

We got back to Colorado and the anxiety was better, but still an issue.  So Bryan and I decided I needed to see a doctor before school starts up again.  I went last Friday and am now on some medication so we are praying that it helps.  I have had some normal side effects such as fatigue, sour stomach and dizziness - but most of the things I have heard and read is that those tend to wear off as your body adjusts.  And it usually takes a couple of weeks to really start noticing a difference.  So we will see.  I keep thinking about something that I heard in a sermon/talk recently - "If you are struggling, struggle well."  In other words, glorify God in the process.  Easier said than done, but I am trying.  He is deepening me, refining me and growing me - and while that can be painful, it is so good.

I was debating on sharing all of this on the blog, but it is a huge thing going on in our lives right now and those of you that care enough to read this far would probably want to know.  So thank you for caring about us - it means more than you know!

On a lighter note!!!  Bryan's family came up last week and we got to go skiing - we had so much fun!  We skied, played games, ate good food and just had sweet family time.  Bryan and I got to ski quite a bit with our oldest 3 nephews which was a blast - they are growing so fast.  And we even got Jordan on some skis!  She has a free pass and ended up using Eli's rentals skis (he is 6 months older than her) - and she loved it!  It was exhausting for me, but such a highlight.  It was just the two of us and we had ball.

We have been soaking up time together while Bryan doesn't have class which has been so nice.  But everything starts back up next week so we are trying to gear up for that.  With all that being said, here are a few prayer requests for us:

- Please pray for my anxiety.  I am doing a little better every day which is encouraging!  But with school starting up next week, our schedule is going to be kicking into high gear again.  So I need to be feeling good.  And it is hard for Bryan to be gone when he knows that I am not feeling well.
- Finances.  We are still raising support and Bryan is working, but obviously we are having a some unexpected expenses with doctor visits and a few other things.  So just pray that God would provide exactly what we need.

- Bryan's job.  We are praying about if/when Bryan should look for another job.  Things have picked up some at On The Border, but it could be better.  We are just praying for wisdom with all that.

Thanks for reading and for walking this journey with us.  It has been a crazy ride already - but God is at work and we are excited to be a part of it!  Here are few fun pictures from the last few months.

Cousins with their Nonie!  They all loved being together!

Such fun with family!
That's my girl!