Monday, January 11, 2010

Crazy Times

It's been a little crazy for the Brays lately - some days were good, and others were not so good.

After Daniel's friends left it was back to not having plans and just sitting around the house doing a whole lot of nothing so we finally decided to check out Beautiful Feet. BF is an organization that serves the homeless community in Fort Worth. They provide breakfast and lunch daily as well as a devotion/service before each meal. If you want food, you have to go and listen to them first. Mike is the mastermind behind this ministry and he is actually from MS and his wife is from AL - they started this ministry in the 80s I believe. But not only do they minister to the homeless, but also those who have maybe gotten into some trouble and are working off community service hours by helping in the kitchen and around the church. We went on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. On Wednesdays they offer a free clinic and I was able to help that day. Daniel ran errands for Mike and picked up donations from restaurants and took a few people to the eye doctor. He also did the devotion on Thursday. We had every intention of going back on Friday.... but...

Thursday night after Alabama dominated, I got a phone call from my mom. Long story short, dad was having problems breathing and was in pain and was going to the ER by ambulance. Longer story shorter, he had a blood clot in his leg that broke off, traveled up to his heart, THROUGH the right side of his heart, and got stuck in the pulmonary artery where blood flow splits to provide oxygen to both lungs so they can in turn reoxygenate other blood. He should have died according to the doctors. They say he is a miracle. So, prior to most all of this knowledge other than dad had a possible blood clot, Daniel and I loaded Jackson in the car and we set out for Alabama on Friday morning. Dad is fine, recovering well, and other than the initial pain and shortness of breath, hasn't had any other problems. He still has a clot in his leg and the one in his pulmonary artery, but they put him on lots of blood thinners and those will hopefully begin to dissolve and disappear on their own. Daniel and I returned to Fort Worth on Sunday night because I started orientation at Baylor today.

So today I head off to the hospital to start orientation. I was almost to the hospital and looked at the sheet of paper with all my information and realized that I was supposed to be in Irving, TX. (Baylor has about 10 hospital campuses around the Metroplex area) The good thing was that I left early that morning. The bad thing was that it was still 30 miles away and traffic was terrible. I was about 12 minutes late, but they didn't seem to mind. I think I am really going to enjoy working with the Baylor Healthcare System. It seems like an amazing organization that is "patient-centered" and they truly care about their employees and making Baylor the "best place to work."

Then I'm on my way home from Irving and Daniel calls to tell me something has happened with the washing machine (which is in the garage) and the carpet in the living room is wet (on the other side of the wall). Our landlord game over tonight and pulled back some of the carpet and is bringing a plumber over in the morning to look at the damage. Evidently this house has had some foundational leaking in the past. Oh joy. So we'll find out tomorrow if the culprit is the washing machine, the hot water heater, the pipes in the wall, or the old foundation.

I'm still working on the book I'm reading and have lots to share but it will have to be part of another post. I hope you've thanked God for the many blessings he's given you today and please pray for my dad and my mom. My mom has been very stressed by all of this and is also dealing with my grandmother who she moved into assisted living last week.

Love and miss you all.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year - A New Challenge

Happy 2010! We had a very uneventful New Years Eve. We did get to go and visit with some friends from Columbus and meet their son who is also starting at the seminary this semester. It was nice to see some familiar faces. I ran into a girl that we met in Sunday school at Wedgwood Baptist and she invited us to a party that night with some seminary students, but Daniel and I decided not to go because we had to get the house cleaned and looking nice for his friends that came into town today. I now have 4 boys in the house. Want to know what they are doing at this very minute? Playing Super Mario Brothers on the Wii. This is only after they watched college football bowl games for the past 4 hours. :) Oh boys. We're glad to have them here though. Jackson isn't as glad because he had to give up his warm bed in our guest bathroom for the cold garage.

A lot happened in 2009. Daniel and I both graduated with our bachelors degrees. I passed the NCLEX. Daniel started his own business doing consulting work for a start up company. (Summit Consultancy can help your business needs!) I started a new job, quit that job, and got a new one. We got married and got a dog. We moved into one house, moved out of that house, and moved into another really far away from the first one. We said goodbye to a lot of friends as we all parted our separate ways. (Thank goodness for Facebook!) We watched many of our friends get married. We celebrated with other friends at the birth of their babies. We prayed for miracles for our friends Dan, Jeremy, and Ryan. We've watched God answer prayers for the boys, and we continue to see God's hand at work in the Vangsnes family. (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/vangsnesboys/journal). We praised God for the blessings He brought us in 2009.

I've never been very good at New Year's Resolutions, but continuing to seek God and become the woman that He is preparing me to be has always been at the top of my list. I am a sinner and I have fallen very short of His glory, but through his grace and mercy I persevere each day. Part of my goal this year is to read. Daniel will be reading a lot through his seminary program (someone told him that it is not uncommon for each class to have 50 pages assigned each night - and he'll have 4-5 classes) so we can spend time together while reading and growing in the Lord. Daniel and I have so many books that we have collected over the years and I haven't had the chance to touch half of them. I want to start reading so I can start sharing and encouraging others with what God is teaching me along the way. I'm going to use this blog to help me. I want to share with you the things that God is laying on my heart so that He might possibly bless you in the way that He blesses me.

So, first book of the year is The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns. (he's the president of World Vision and has quite a story of how he got to that position)This book was given to us as a wedding gift from a good friend. I'm only in the introduction as I'm writing this but there was one paragraph that stood out to me and I wanted to share it with you.

"...we are the carriers of the gospel -- the good news that was meant to change the world. Belief is not enough. Worship is not enough. Personal morality is not enough. And Christian community is not enough. God has always demanded more. When we committed ourselves to following Christ, we also committed to living our lives in such a way that a watching world would catch a glimpse of God's character -- His love, justice, and mercy -- through our words, actions, and behavior. 'We are...Christ's ambassadors,' wrote the apostle Paul, 'as though God were making his appeal through us' (2 Cor. 5:20). God chose us to be His representatives. He called us to go out, to proclaim the 'good news' -- to be the 'good news' -- and to change the world. Living our our faith privately was never meant to be an option."

Obviously this book is a challenge to our faith and how we live it out. I think this book will help me have a great start in pursing my desire to live my life out for my Heavenly Father. May God bless you this new year!