Friday, May 22, 2009

Graduation day in photos!

Brandon loves books!!! Commentaries were the popular gift at this party!

Shelly's family minus Bret

I can't resist a great photo of Baby A!!!

Chris mans the grill!

Time to eat!

Graduation weekend in words! Yes world, My husband is Divine!!!!

(I joke that since Brandon’s degree is a Master’s of Divinity, the world must now recognize him as divine... something I have long believed)
Last weekend was one that I didn’t think would ever come, once it came I didn’t want it to end. Many people say that a bride’s day is her wedding day, well I think that last weekend was Brandon’s special weekend in much the same way. After four years of challenging seminary classes filled with papers, projects, presentations, sermons, exams etc... Brandon finished... and he finished WELL!!!! I have never been so proud of anyone my whole live. My eyes just kept watering with joy as the weekend progressed. By commencement I was a joyful mess!
(I must now brag a minute. Sorry for those who don’t like it, but I can’t contain myself just this once! Feel free to skip to the next paragraph. ) Brandon graduated Summa Cun Laude which is the highest honor. Only seven MDiv students received this highest honor! He also received the Pastoral Theology Department’s Pastor-Teacher award and was named in the Who’s Who among students in American universities and colleges. Besides academic success he has faithfully served at our church working with the small groups ministry and with the youth. On top of all of the above Brandon has taken time and energy to devote to our family/marriage. We heard so many stories coming into seminary about couples who leave seminary with major marital strain. Brandon has always made sure to include me and care for me. I feel like we are leaving seminary connecting better than we could have even imagined four years ago! I love you deeply Brandon!
Brandon’s parents, sister and husband, and our dear nephew arrived on Thursday night and my parents came on Friday. Besides attending events on campus we had so much fun talking, laughing, playing games, eating, eating, and eating! We celebrated with a tasty BBQ on Saturday after commencement. The family I nanny for joined us for the special event. We flew a kite and enjoyed the super windy spring day. Since pictures say a thousand words I will create another entry of photos.
Many of you prayed us through this phase of life. Thank you all so much!!!!

When your heart is pregnant with an Ethiopian Baby...

When your heart is pregnant with an Ethiopian baby you begin to care more and more about a country that a year ago you knew only from World Geography class. You follow the news of the country and the people who faces once seemed so different than your own begin to enter your dreams each night. The care grows... the prayer grows... the love grows... the HEART grows!
As some of you might know there are some problems going on right now with Ethiopian adoptions. This week I learned many families with referrals are being forced to wait even longer to bring their babies home. They have been given a face and a real child to love deeply, yet because the child was abandoned the courts will not currently hear their case. Oh how this aches my heart! Many times in the last week I have found the deceiver robbing my joy and telling me, “Shelly, you will never be a mommy” or “Your heart is going to miscarry this Ethiopian baby!” Of course these are not coming from the Voice of Truth, but the pain is real. Friends, please keep praying for Ethiopia. There are so many babies (almost 5 million) who long for the loving arms of a parent! Please pray that the government would begin to hear abandonment cases soon and that Brandon and I could begin the process this year! Please pray that the child growing within my heart will not be miscarried by will result in a beautiful child who will one day serve a mighty purpose for Jesus Christ! As will everything, we can trust in a faithful God who hears our prayers!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Prayer Update and other randomness :)

Thank you all for your prayers! We have felt each one, and some day when Brandon is settled in a position I will be able to tell you just how prayers were answered. Since this is the World Wide Web I am not going to give many details now. I will just say there is a very exciting possibilty right now and so far we think it could be where God is leading. We continue to covet your prayers!
Other news~ Thank you all for Mother's Day prayers for me. I really did make it through most of the day quite well. There were a few tears, but I told Brandon that I never want to forget how this feels because Mday is so hard for so many and I think the obvious reaction would be to go happily about life once babies come home, but I will always treasure this day in my heart and think of the millions who are struggling through!
~Brandon graduates this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Major photo posts will follow after the event as both our families will be in town. Thank you to those of you who have prayed us through seminary! He has two big finals this week and then it is time to celebrate!!!!
~I have been reading some great adoption books lately. I am very excited to write a couple of posts about them soon.
Stay tuned!!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Please Pray

We have some major decisions to make... there is a LOT of cost counting that needs to happen. I can't give a lot of details ... please pray that:
God will open and close door and we would walk as He leads
We would be wise in job decisions, God would direct Brandon's heart and mind
Things that seem impossible now could be possible
That the current stipulations would be changed (I know this sounds confusing)
God would lead us to our children at the soonest available time
I would greive well where I need to
I would live in total surrender

When Jesus was praying near the end of His earthly life he said the much quoted words, "Thy will be done." before this He prayed even through tears of blood that the cup would be taken from Him. Ultimately He was in total surrender, yet he layed His requests before the Lord and that is what we are doing now!
We believe that God can do anything! We believe He will continue to be faithful! We are so thankful that we are not walking alone. We have unity as husband and wife and we are being held and directed by our great God! We covet your prayers!