Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wonderful Graces

This is a journal I wrote January 7, 2013.

I write it after I read a John Piper Devotional based on Acts 14:22:
"Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."

"We should not be surprised that God gives us wonderful graces in the midst of suffering that we had asked Him to spare us. He knows best how to apportion His grace for our good and for His glory." Piper

Piper always puts things so beautifully. We did indeed ask God to spare us this miscarriage--we wanted this baby so badly, but God knew better. He knows our desires for He gave them to us. But God knows what we need in this time--He knows how we need to trust Him more and desire for His will more than our own. Through this I do pray that God would be made known and glorified, though how yet, I do not know. Our hearts are sad and grieving.

My heart is also touched when Piper used "grace" in the plural form and that he described it as "wonderful." In the midst of our present suffering, God had certainly gifted us many graces. The foremost being salvation--Jesus who came to save and take our sin so that we can be pure before our Father. Other graces that have also blessed us recently include--God's love and immense comfort, His (our)church, encouraging friends and family, bosses that care, the ability to pray, purpose in suffering--to name a few [and in no particular order :)] Without God and these graces, I can't imagine what my thoughts would be like or how I would feel. Though deeply saddened, I am at peace, and though in pain I am comforted. I do not question this for I trust God's plan. But I do pray for a heart that is genuinely willing to accept whatever plan that will be.

Although I greatly desire to be a mother, I know that it is not the most important role for me to fill. I must focus on being an obedient and thankful daughter to our great King, and a loving and supportive wife to my incredible husband whom I do not deserve. I am deserving of non of these which gives me the reason to be all the more thankful as well as plenty of motivation to fulfill these roles  to my best with joy and thankfulness.

Fulfilling the role of a mother would be a gift; so until then, I wait, and ask you, Father, for the strength and right mind to complete the blessingS that you have so graciously placed before me.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for kmy power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that lthe power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 mFor the sake of Christ, then, nI am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. Forowhen I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Friday, January 11, 2013

Here We are Again . . .

We are in a situation of loss that we were really hoping we wouldn't be in again. But, we are here now, 14 months later, and learning to deal with another miscarriage all over again.

This second time has been different from the first for many reasons. One is that we were more fearful, and therefore had a harder time getting excited about the pregnancy. Brandon and I experienced the most differences here. Because my body was changing and I was feeling sick and so forth, it was a little easier for me to get excited. Brandon really struggled though because he obviously couldn't feel those things and was trying to protect us emotionally. Secondly, we tried to seek affirmation early on in the pregnancy. We were very anxious to see the baby growing a heart beat and probably spent more time in the doctor's office than we should, but God used that, and I will share about that later. Third, the baby only grew to about 6-7 weeks (last time it grew to 9 weeks). And fourth, because of the third reason and because we, again, found out ahead of time that the pregnancy was turning into a miscarriage, we decide to allow things to pass naturally instead of having a procedure. This turned in to being quite a different experience.

Thankfully, though, a huge similarity is that God has again protected us, sustained us, and has and we know will continue to carry us through this loss. Because of all that we've learned and will continue to learn, we would like to share this journey with you--whomever you may be. We pray that God will use this experience to strengthen your faith as He has done to ours, or maybe show you that He is real and powerful and worth following, and also show that how leaning on others is such a huge help in dealing with emotional and physical pain.

So stay tuned, we have a lot to share . . .

" The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him." Psalm 28:7

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Some Summer Crafts

I was very excited to get going on some summer crafts! I really couldn't wait to get out my new sewing machine and put it to work! Here are some of the crafts I have completed!
This took me a long time, but it is my first table runner and matching napkins! I learned much through this process and look forward to many more in the future!

 This was a lovely afternoon watching reruns of I Love Lucy and making table runners for my grandparents anniversary party!
My 4th of July wreath!

 This is a frame that I turned into a dry erase marker board that I will use to remind me of special prayer requests! 

This is a cork board that I covered with fabric so it would look pretty in my kitchen! I needed somewhere to place bills, invitations, etc. where I would see them so that they wouldn't be forgotten about! It has worked great! If you notice in the upper right hand corner, I made a fabric flower out of the same material of my summer table runner so that it matches! I plan on switching it out per season. (We'll see of that really happens! ;) )

I love simply crafts that help to personalize and organize our home!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our Nephews

We are so thankful for the time we are getting with Brandon's sister Ashley and her sweet family. Our 3 nephews are especially precious! I had some fun taking pictures of them swimming the other evening!
 This is Logan. He is 11 months. He is getting used to California and many new people!
 This is Carsten and he is 2 1/2. He copies everything his big brother says and is hilarious!

 This is Rylan and he is 4. He is constantly making us laugh and says the funniest things. Quiet a charmer this one!

We just eat up every minute with them!!

Being an Auntie and Uncle is pretty much the best thing ever!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Currently Reading

 I am really excited about the books I am currently reading! I don't do very well at reading more than one book at a time, but so far it has not been too bad!! These are all wonderful reads that I highly recommend, so I thought I would share!
This is for my Women's Accountability Group. We just started it, and it is quite dense and incredibly rich! Contentment is a topic that always seems to hit at the depths of my soul. The first chapter has completely convicted my heart, but I am so thankful for it and for the amazing women I get to flesh this out with!
This is for our new Sunday School class! Even though we aren't parents yet, we are gaining amazing wisdom that has already been very helpful in my teaching and in spending time with the wonderful children at church!

I am slowly reading through the Hunger Games series with my creative writing class (10 seventh grade boys!). We absolutely love it! I am reading it all outloud so that is why it is taking some time!

This is one of MANY classics I have yet to read! This is my choosen novel for the summer. I hope to read at least one new classic a year. Brandon and I would love to see the play as well!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Easter

We had such a lovely Easter this year! This was the first year that we hosted and we had Brandon's family over and Kristi came too! It was such a beautiful day!

Brandon and I wanted to start a new tradition and as we were thinking about it we realized that all our family members that would be over are Believers--what an amazing thing to celebrate. So we thought it would be nice to take communion together. Before our meal Brandon read that Resurrection story from Luke and we broke bread together. It was very special and something we would like to continue.
I was excited about our Easter decorations! Thanks to Kristi and Jen for helping me put them together!

This is my favorite decoration, a giant (fake) chocolate bunny that my mom bought for me one year!

The other best thing about this year is that I made Great-Grandma Bernard's (my mom's grandma) Ronis!! This is an amazing homemade pasta sauce that takes all day to make. It was my first time making it on Easter and for the Burns. It was really special and turned out pretty well!


I have decided that Easter is my favorite holiday. Besides the amazing tradition that my family has connected with it, the meaning behind it is so important.

"And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:14

Jesus is Alive and our sins have been taken!! The power of that statement is so heavy and because of it, our lives are changed forever.

I am so thankful for a Pastor who reminds us of this truth weekly. Christ's death and resurrection is not something we focus on once a year, we hear it weekly, and we must. What an amazing reason to celebrate. My heart is so full and thankful. Thank you Father . . .

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Resolve

January was a good month. I really enjoyed all the time that Brandon and I took to reflect on 2011 and make plans for 2012--my alone time was just as convicting and full.
I read this the on the great Passionate Homemaking blog and I keep rereading it. I have made it my prayer for 2012:

In her book, Keep A Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot encourages us to focus on the most important of New Year’s hopes:

“Will the young woman find a mate? Will the couple have a child? Maybe this year will be the year of desire fulfilled. Perhaps, on the other hand, it will be the year of desire radically transformed, the year of finding, as we have perhaps not yet truly found, Christ to be the All-Sufficient One, Christ the ‘deep sweet well of Love’” (page 49).

This year, let us ask God to dissolve all our hopes (however good they may be!) into a single hope: to know Christ and to be found in Him. May this be a year of desire radically transformed, a deeper, truer, knowing of Christ as our All-Sufficient One.

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-8a).

This encouragement continues to fill my Spirit, and it is my genuine desire. To attain this goal, I will need discipline and help from my husband, family, and my sisters in Christ. Please keep me (us) accountable to this.