Friday, May 28, 2010

Briar Allen...

I know it hasn't been almost a week since I've posted. But it has. I guess in my mind I posted what I have been thinking and going through, but it never actually made it to my computer :)
Ps...if you are new to reading my blog....this is not me and my husband...this is a great friend of mine who I happened to get a bunch of cute pictures of. I feel like I need to show you these before I show you the pictures of the baby that was in that belly :)

In the last week I have started and finished my last week of school(!), I have watched a friend deliver the most beautiful baby girl (well, not watch the birth, but watch labor and then see them afterward...), I have spent quality time with my husband (Crammed into the short times I was not busy with other things school and baby related), I have edited pictures (because when the baby comes, you really should finish editing the maternity pictures), and we went to the lake with a sweet family we love, who also happens to be our pastor's family

Before we move on, I want to show you some more pictures from Rebecca and Travis' maternity shoot.
And now for EMMA JANE...
(to repeat...she is not mine..if you cannot tell by the lady in the hospital gown that is not me....!  A couple people got confused on facebook)

We have also decided on a boy name for our baby. Brandon always used to have a name in high school that he always said he would name his first boy. I always thought (to myself), "you won't be naming him that if you marry me". I later voiced my concerns and the name was dropped. When we found out our little sweet baby was a boy,the name resurfaced in my mind. I secretly always thought it was cute...but he (when he put on his country accent...we are from Eastern KY!) pronounced it "Brrrraarr".  Can you even figure out what it would be?  It sounds horrible in the accent. But kind of cute if you say it normal. It's like the bush.   It's Briar.  Brandon's middle name is Allen. So we decided on Briar Allen.  I almost put our last name, but I suppose for the safety of the internet I will not do so :)  

And back to Rebecca and Travis and sweet Emma Jane for a moment. I won't share the struggles they have been through to have sweet EJ....but it has been a long has taken heartache. It has taken an unfailing faith in a creator who forms life. And I feel blessed to have walked the path with them. It has not been easy. But they have a sweet little miracle now. And it offers me hope as much as it does JOY :)

The lake was a good time to feel encouraged and loved by our pastor and his wife. I would count them close friends in Columbus...and luckily we have similar interests...God and Boating.  :) So...some pictures...
Below is Jeff, our pastor. crazy husband who has to jump off  of or out of SOMETHING to make a day worthwhile.
Ashley (one of their daughters) was so grossed out by Brandon's feet. He should be embarrassed b/c we just got a pedicure. That is right. I dragged him in.  Ashley told him she couldn't help it....when she sees gross feet she just had to pick them :)  She gave mine the okay....

Those are the things I am proud of from the week.

The things I am not...
Well, I'm pretty mean. By mean, I guess I just mean that I am confused and frustrated as I battle through this journey and poor Brandon sometimes gets the rush of emotions all at one time. Luckily he is a wonderful listner and his feelings don't get hurt when I'm not nice at all. The Lord knows just who he pairs us up with. (Caveat: It doesn't mean he doesn't drive me crazy, I just know I am matched up with the person who best loves me and I him....despite our craziness)

I am fearful. I guess that's normal. But I know that the Lord is bigger than fear. He can comfort me through that. I am fearful Brandon will return overseas. I am fearful of what is next in our journey. I am fearful of beginning to cook dinner again (I took a break when Brandon left and I can't seem to get back in the swing of things! ;) I am fearful of getting to be a big, ginormous blob...with no baby, I am fearful of not hearing God...or being too influenced by others. 

Okay, well, as I allowed all of that to come out, I want you to know that I was reading my devotional today and the title was, "Fearful first steps". (I love when that happens. Sometimes the devotional is wonderful and insightful but not necessarily in tune with what my life is going it was right on the money) It was based off of
2 Corinthians 5:7  We live by faith, not by sight.
As we walk through this journey, I am continually reminded that this is not something that we can control, nor is it up to  me where we are going.  If it were up to me, I would know the entire picture right now. I would know exactly what Briar looks like, how long he would live, what his legacy will be. I would know what our future children would be, because that would comfort me. I would know the joy that is to come. But right now I don't know that by sight.  But by faith, I BELIEVE that those things will come and I will know them as the time is right. If i simply knew all there was to know about my life, why would I cling to God? Why would I need an unseen God? God has a mystery about him that is intentional, in my opinion.  The God who created the universe did not make any mistakes when he revealed this condition to us. Nor is he making any mistakes as he guides us through this journey. I will be honest: It is tough. We are crying...myself much more than Brandon.  We are struggling. But we know that this baby exists to bring Glory to God. And that might mean carrying this baby until the Lord shows us something different.  We are praying...and waiting for God to open and close doors. We feel encouraged by the path he is taking us on. But there is fear.  There is doubt.  

"When we live by faith, we are at first uncertain of where we're going. We can't see very far in front of us. And our family members and friends are watching.  While we're barely understanding our next steps, they can't understand them at all.  The principles of this world are all based on sight.  Our human culture likes tangible evidence..."
This  made me think of us. If you see us going a little crazy and going up and down throughout this journey, it is probably because we are trying our hardest to walk in faith....and we have NO CLUE where we are going. So forgive me if I don't take opinions that well....because EVERYONE HAS ONE....and THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT!! The Lord knows what he has for us....and it is not something that anyone can tell us.  That has been a hard lesson for MR. and MRS. PEOPLE PLEASER.   

Walking by faith bring me to think about characters in the bible who did so.....
Mary...carrying Jesus in a quite unconventional way.......
Moses.....having faith in front of the red sea as an army advanced on him....
Abraham....who was promised an inprobable son...

All that we know to do right now is sit in faith. And not take any of this lightly. And take it straight to the Lord as we continue to discern and hear from the Lord.

"The essence of faith is being satisfied with all God is for us in Jesus"  -John Piper


  1. Walking by faith is rarely easy my brave friend. I'm, as always, praying for you.

  2. Briar Allen...just perfect. Thanks for being such a great friend. I know acting on pure faith is very difficult-my only opinion would be fear and doubt are normal-not a bad thing. Like you said, it makes you cling to Him. He will bring you through this, He will bring you the joy you & so many others are praying for you. You are a great example for others-knowing you are not in control and praying to God about your struggles. Turning it over to Him. Love you!

  3. Love the name SO MUCH! I remember Brandon talking about the name "Briar" and remember your response! ha! Glad you thought it was cute all along :) I love you and praying for you daily. Thanks for sharing your heart and life with us even when it's tough. You are a strong woman of God whom I truly admire B! Love you!

  4. Love the name- SOO cute! =) And the pictures you took! You are very talented! Wish you all lived closer- we'd be calling you up to take some pics of us for sure!!
    Just wanted you all to know that we are praying for you and share a verse that has been encouraging to me lately as I realize how much I fall short... "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9). Love you guys!!

  5. ASK....SEEK....KNOCK.....(Matthew 7:7)
    I really like the name - but more so with the Eastern KY accent (I can "hear" Bran saying it!)
    A precious baby deserves a precious name - good job!!
    An old German proverb says that "When in prayer you clasp your hands; God opens His!"
    Know that MY hands are clasped in prayer for you all, trusting that God is opening His...
    Keep your chin up, cry all you want, but laugh a little, too (it helps!) Enjoy each other, give each other space and make time to be together, and love and let love - each other, Briar, family, friends, the dogs, and the wonderful future God has planned for you both!!
    FAITH IS GOOD!! - it can get you through the BEST of times and the WORST of times, but without it, it can't get you through anything at all!
    Love you both!