In no particular order:
~Brandon preached his first sermon as the Sr. Pastor yesterday. I was SOO proud of him! It is still hard for me to believe that he is the Sr. Pastor. I know he is gifted and qualified, but I am still in awe. I truly enjoy calling him "Pastor Brandon" around the house. It feels like the early days of marriage when I loved trying out the word "husband" every chance I got!
~Many people have asked about the parsonage. In the evangelical church world today parsonages are very very rare. We are SUPER blessed to be a part of a church that has one. We essentially live in it like it is our home (without paying rent or utilities) as long as Brandon is at the church. I know, it does sound too good to be true... I keep pinching myself. We are however, developing "sweat equity" through our LONG hours of wall paper scraping, painting, etc!
~Speaking of painting, we are totally done! Only JOKING! Actually, thanks to a great friend we are done with several areas. Brandon and I put two coats of Antique Ruby on one wall of each of the living rooms. It is starting to take shape though at least two more coats will be needed. Red is HARD to paint!
~Speaking of red, I got a MAJOR sunburn on my nose/forehead while attending an amazing outdoor baptism service yesterday. I think it was so chilly I forgot sunscreen. I did not however forget big sunglasses which created tan lines that look so bad they seem fake! :)
~My "two sweet boys" with their mom and dad came and visited on Friday! It was wonderful to hear their giggles in our home. I was showered with plenty of hugs. The little guy was a hugging machine! What a blessing to see them!!
~Adoption News: 1. We are getting very close to choosing a home study agency though still many weeks from starting the process. We want to make sure we are settled in here first. 2. We continue to meet people at church who have adopted or are currently adopting. Yesterday I interacted with 6 families like that at our church! I am serious! In a church of under 200! ONLY GOD could do something so great! 3. I have been connecting with people in our corner of the world who have adopted from Ethiopia!
~Organization Queen: This week I spent one morning at the 3 local grocery stores with a pad of paper. I went down each aisle and wrote down every item we buy, the ounces in it, and the non-sale price. I will now create a spreadsheet so I know where to get the best deals. We found out they are building an ALDI 11 minutes from our driveway so we are thrilled about the money it will save our family! I know it sounds crazy to spend time doing this, but it will save our family $100's over the years! I was also able to have great conversations with people in the stores about what I was doing.
~Friends and family: Getting excited for a fun fall line-up of family visits. We have family coming on 3 different weekends in September and October.
~Quiet times: I have been having an incredible time reading 1Peter in my daily times of Bible reading and prayer. I so recommend reading it if you have not in a while. Honestly, I am thinking of leading a Bible Study on it this fall at church (Yes, I am revealing this for the first time right now... this is not a sure thing and would not start until October).
~Bible Studies: I lead Bible Studies differently than most people. I write a curriculum based on the text using Brandon's Bible Works program, (study the original languages) commentaries, and several looks at the text. I provide questions for the women and we investigate God's Word together. Yes, it is a lot of work, but I treasure learning more about God's Word and empowering women to drink deeply from God's Word! I just deleted the following 3 lines as it seemed a bit like a rant, but essentially I long to see women caring about Jesus and their relationship with Him as their TOP priority!
~Awana: I am going to be a helper with the girls group this year. I have no Awana experience, but am thankful that I will essentially be listening to girls recite and talk through Scripture each Wednesday. I am looking forward to getting to know the girls and the other leaders!
~Blog news: I will no longer be posting comments on the comment section. You may still leave them and I will read them, but not post them. I am trying to keep things confidential for the safety of the adoption process and our future children. I did create a new email address that each of you can use to send me personal messages: firstname.lastname@example.org.
~Huge blessings to each of you this week. God is faithful!
catching up - September
3 months ago