Monday, December 29, 2014

The wild adventures of 2014

The year of 2014 has been an adventure.

The year began with my baby turning 18. When your baby girl turns 18 and you aren't sure you are ready for it.....
It was not as challenging as I anticipated.  We were able to have a small family gathering.  She had some girlfriends stay the night in motel suite.  They wanted to do their nails and pedicures and sit in the hot tub and just be girls.  They were unable to sit in the hot tub because it wasn't hot and they had some other issue in the room. They had a good time despite all that.

I found the end of January to be an exceptionally difficult time.  I had to leave my husband for a short separation.  That was so difficult.  His actions had become out of control.  My girls didn't understand.  They thought I was being unfair. It was a decision that had been thought about and prayed about for a very long time.  It had been threatened on numerous occasions. It was time to follow through. The separation was not long and I had tremendous support from my church family and those that were close to me and involved in the situation.  We were being bathed in prayer. The hardest part was leaving my baby girl.... and having her be so angry with ME. It didn't make sense to her. But it was necessary for me.

My daughter was named the Future First Citizen of Roseburg. She received a $10,000 scholarship.  It was such an honor, such a tremendous blessing. She had worked incredibly hard. Despite the turmoil in her home, she was thriving.

The remainder of the spring consisted of a lot of "lasts".  This was going to be the last banquet for her sports team, the last Mother-Daughter Senior Tea, the last time...... fill in the blank.  It was full. She was involved in everything!  What a roller coaster of emotions that I went through those last few months leading up to graduation.

Graduation..... she was the Valedictorian, the Class President and ranked number 1 in her graduating class.  She would be delivering the speech and calling out all the names.  What a day!  I knew I would be an emotional wreck, but God was so good to me, I didn't shed a tear on Graduation! The party the day before was a huge success, she was showered in love and Mom and Dad's place looked fantastic. We had been turning their backyard into a new place for over a year.  We finished just in time.

We found ourselves traveling to Hawaii in the later part of June.  It was a first for many of us.  We met our daughter and son in law and his family there.  We all stayed in the same condo resort, but different condos! There were 12 of us.  It was a fabulous trip.  Memories made to last for a lifetime.

September found us taking our baby to college and facing our empty nest. Again, I was sure that it would be incredibly emotional for me, as my husband had his annual hunting trip to Eastern Oregon.  I only shed a couple of quiet tears on the way home from leaving her there.

She is doing fantastic, she is involved in some awesome church groups called "Fight Clubs" after the good fight analogy. She is involved in the student association in the Honor's College and even gained a position in the leadership of such.  Her roommate is a doll and they get along fabulously.  They were well chosen. They are sure to be friends for a lifetime.

The end of the year has found me spending quite a bit of my time with my parents.  My mom was found to have severe arthritis in her hips and required a hip replacement. The surgery was scheduled for Christmas Eve, as this was the soonest available slot for the doctor.  I spent many moments trying to be of help to Mom and Dad, as Dad was getting more and more stressed as the time approached.  Thankfully a cancellation happened and we were able to go a whole week early.  It was a blessing to be able to do it early.  My girl was home from college and she has been a HUGE help in being with Nana at home and getting her to do her exercises.  She has her first therapy appointment outside the home tomorrow!

Grateful that over the weekend we were able to have EVERYONE home.  My oldest and her hubby were able to come down on Friday, as well as my sister and her family, my youngest and her boyfriend. It was such a great weekend.

I am blessed beyond measure.  I know that we face trials of many different degrees, but God has continued to provide for every need and continued to bless every difficulty.  I am praying that 2015 brings a new set of adventures.  That I will continue to see the hand of God in all that transpires and that I would be more disciplined in sharing those moments on my blog.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy New Year????

So many months have gone by.  

So many things have happened this year.

So many opportunities to write about Jesus and the work He is doing in my life.

But, my blog is empty, sans the post from the beginning of the year.  

I have decided to start blogging again, if not for anyone, but myself.  I notice that those friends of mine that were blogging haven't done so for a while either.  That's OK.  With the ways of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, life seems too busy to stop and put words on a page. I would like very much to connect again through blogging.  I so enjoy reading other blogs that I think it is time for me to continue my own.  Margaret Feinberg, has been a very big influence on my devotional reading this year.  Of course, so has the fabulous Ann Voskamp,, and Liz Curtis Higgs,  These women are treasures to be instructed under.  I am in awe of them and their inspiration on a regular basis.  

So with this short little note, I pledge to begin again.  To fill in what has happened over the last 10 1/2 months and to open my heart to the promises that God will reveal to me while blogging again.



Friday, January 3, 2014

I haven't been on here for quite some time.

That is OK.

I needed time to find myself.

I recall that I posted 2013 was the year I find JOY!

I also recall saying to one of my Doctor colleagues, "this is my year"!!

So, did I find JOY in 2013, was it "my year"?

Good questions, let's see if I can explain those answers.

I began mid year seeing a counselor. That has been the biggest and best gift I can and have given to myself.  There is so much inside my head, that at times I think I will explode.  I was so numb for so long, I bottled up my feelings, my thoughts, my self, for so long that I didn't know what feelings were any more.  I remember one of the first few times with her that she brought out this "feeling" sheet.  5 columns of "feelings", could there really be that many?  I had only felt one, numb! Now there were 5 columns in front of me and one column of anger.

"look at the words there on the page..... go ahead Brandi, look at them."  

She would encourage me to seek the words for which I had pushed aside......

"How about this one?", I pointed. 

 She peered over the paper, "you can't start with the anger column, that column is off limits for now".....

Wow!  Overwhelmed, I sat and stared blankly at the page for what seemed like an eternity.  I looked up at her and said, "I don't like this sheet".

"why?" "what makes you not like it?" she chides

"I don't want these feelings, I like being numb."

"Do you? How is that working for ya?"

I can look back over those first few months of counseling where she would try to get me to pull out that sheet, look it over and find a word (s) for what was running through my head.  After many visits with her and the tears streaming down my face, I would say again, "I don't like 'to feel' any more"..... and she would gently remind me, ever so kindly, "an how has that been working for ya?"

I am not finished with counseling, nor do I think I will be any time soon, but, I know that she has laid a solid foundation with me.  She always, always brings me to Jesus, what would he like me to do?, and always lets me make my decisions.  She constantly reminds me that she is only there to help me along and not make any decisions for me, but I am receiving the tools I need to take care of myself.  Self care is a huge "catch phrase" that she uses, but she reminds me that Jesus took care of Himself, He had feelings and He was sinless.  So, I have a long ways to go with that. But, I am a work in progress.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6

The other thing I was working on was my devotional time.  I have continued to read and be awed by Ann ( )Voskamp.  She is a gifted writer, speaker, blogger, Bible teacher.  She inspires me in new ways every day.  I did a few online Bible Studies with ( Curtis Higgs, who is the other author, speaker, Bible teacher that I sit in awe of.  These ladies are so imbibed with the WORD of God that you can NOT help but be transformed by their writings.  Such a blessing. I did the entire JOY DARE that Ann writes about on her blog, every day for 365 days find 3 things that bring joy, she gives hints for each day. Some days I would get behind, but I would catch up.  That was a gift in itself. Especially through the counseling process.  The other writer, speaker, author, friend that I follow is Rivera Douthit (  She has become a friend to me, even though she lives in S. Carolina!  Amazing how God works.

Now, it is 2014.  What will my word of the year be?  I am not quite sure.  I'm looking at assurance, because I will need assurance, daily as I send my baby girl off to college.  I am not ready for the "empty nest", I am not ready for the lonely house.  I am not ready for the "find yourself, because you won't have your girls anymore to keep you busy" way of life.  I am struggling with that! A lot!  My hope is in the Lord, creator of Heaven and Earth to fill me with assurance that I am where He wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do and being who He wants me to be. 

So, that is where I am.  Praying diligently for my little girl as she prepares to jump head first into the real world, praying for my older one as she and her husband find their selves in a tiny town in Washington. 
Also, praying for myself, that I can do all that I have set out here to do.

May you be blessed this 2014.  Find yourself, your purpose, your gift, knowing you are loved by the One who created the Heaven and the Earth.