Sunday, March 25, 2012

That's What I Like About Sundays....

The body of Christ meeting together...

The Spirit of God present amongst us...

The atmosphere full of anticipation...

The music gathering us in...

The Word of God broken before us....

The Man of God under the control of God....

The power of God filling the space....

The fellowship of family.....

The worship of a Savior....

The blessing of moments shared together.

That's what happened in our presence this Sunday. I don't know if I've ever sensed the presence of God so thick in any one place before. This afternoon I was still talking about it...and now...because it's still fresh on my heart...I'm writing it out. I don't want to forget it.

Ironically, just because I sensed it today doesn't mean it hasn't been there, every single time we meet. But today I paid attention. I tuned in. God had my attention and I am changed because of it.

Thank you Lord for a little glimpse of what heaven will be like. It's going to be beautiful!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

When Fear and Faith Collide

Can you imagine...They had just witnessed three days before the brutal crucifixion of their Savior. The bloody mess of a broken body...cleaned, wrapped and placed in the tomb. They had seen it with their eyes...their worst fears realized...confirmed. Death had stung. Mourning and praying and sadness and sorrow. Their beloved...the one who loved them more than even they could imagine dead.

And then....can you imagine....Coming to the tomb and seeing the stone rolled away...the emptiness of the grace exposed...the absence of a body wrapped. The defeat of the grave. The remembrance of a promise...the promise....the return of life...the Life....the beauty of renewed faith. The moment when onlooker's fear and faith collide.

Things haven't changed much have they? In this world it's easy to be captivated by our fears...even ones that are completely rational. But instead of the fears controlling us, our hearts should be focused on the promise. Does this mean our fears magically disappear? Nope. But it does mean that our heart is fixed on Jesus. You know Him...the one who never leaves us or forsakes us, the one who gives peace beyond measurement, the one who is the vine (our lifeline), and the one who abides in us and we in Him. 

Aren't you thankful His promises are bigger than our fears?  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shopping with a Missionary

So after seven heavenly days in the peach state, we headed to North Carolina to see one of my good friends and her family. They are currently living in Waxhaw, North Caroling at the JAARS training facility. Jaime's husband is doing his final training to be a missionary pilot in the country of Papua New Guinea. He will be helping take the Bible to areas of PNG that do not have a Bible in their language yet. They have an amazing story that has GOD written all over it. You can read more about it at her blog, My Head in the Clouds .

BUT, as spiritual as all that sounds, if you know Jaime, then you also know there are lots of fun moments when you are with her. And that being said, I feel a responsibility to give you an inside peek into what challenges a missionary woman faces in finding the appropriate clothing to take into a country like Papua New Guinea. I realize this is not a struggle all missionary wives have to deal with. But, in PNG it is highly offensive for women to wear anything that is fitted around the hips and waist, so with today's styles, this is a bit of a hunt.

So, when Jason and Bruce offered to watch all five kids for a few hours on Saturday evening, we did what girls Kmart...where they were playing some of the best jazz tunes of the 1980's! Here are a few of the outtakes from our evening:

We decided this might be just a wee bit much for the natives of PNG
We texted Jason about these...his exact words "that's not appropriate for anywhere". Darn.
"Booty" inflatable boot supports made us giggle....
and we decided these probably wouldn't be
 the best use of this missionary's money it is...the fashionable long cotton skirt...
in not just this color...but also blue and black! And they were on sale!
 It was a very profitable night for Jaime's wardrobe!

Pray for the Brewer's as they finish raising their support.
When we left they were at 68%. The goal is to have it all raised by the end of May.
I've never been happier to say goodbye to a good friend.
God has special...wonderful...amazing plans for them!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


When my step dad came into our lives a few years ago, I had no idea what a blessing he would be to our family. I remember meeting him for the first time and loving his sense of humor and his smile. And I still do. I love how he keeps my mom happy. I love how he cares about people. I love how he can laugh at himself. I love how he can tell a good joke. I love how he loves the Lord. I love the way he has welcomed my kids into his life and allows them to call him Pop just like his own grandkids. I love how he gives hugs. I love the way he gets along with Bruce. I love that he welcomes a midnight snack...or meal...(he and Bruce ate hamburgers at midnight when we were there this time). Did I mention how I love how he grills homemade hamburgers???

He's filled a gap that's been in our family for a long time...and I'm glad God is sharing him with us. Thanks Pop for welcoming my family into your heart!

Tom (Pop) and Mom (Jojo)

Pop and Jojo at Krispy Kreme with 4/5 grands...Little Sydney was home with an ear infection.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break Lessons

There were a few lessons that I learned on my first long trip with the kids by myself:

1. How much longer? and are we there yet? sound much better if you (the mom) have earplugs in your ears. This lesson was learned on this trip and will be experienced on the next one.

2. There comes an age when little boys don't want to go into the girls bathroom anymore. I'm guessing the age to be 6. Since that is the age of Tucker and he reminded me very loudly that HE was not a GIRL every time we stopped!

3. All Christian radio stations in the deep south do their Share-a-thons during spring break. Louisiana and Mississippi really need your help to keep Christian radio going....I had listened for so long I almost called in and committed money myself!

4. When the gauges on your car look a little's nice to have a phone so you can send your husband a picture and he can forward it to the man who really knows how to fix your car.
notice left gauge....something ain't quite right...even I know that!

5. Sometimes mechanics are nice....especially the one in Brandon, Mississippi at the Buick/GMC dealership.

6. When a car catches on fire five cars ahead of you, it's going to be a hot, smelly, long delay....especially when the last exit was 14 miles back.

7. Douglasville, GA needs better traffic flow. I do not recommend stopping in their city to use the restroom (super gross) or get a drink. It took us 40 minutes to get back on the road because of crazy traffic.

8. I do not know how to use my defrost properly and should learn to do this before my next long trip. However, I knew there was a reason I had the kids pack their blankets. Sure came in handy when trying to wipe off the inside of the windows.

9. There are some times when jumping on the bed should be after 7 hours in the car.

10. Did you know that if your hotel key card and your cell phone are too close together in your purse that the security strip on the back can deactivate? I didn't know that either. Until I tried to reenter my room and had some...technical difficulties.

Good luck on your next trip!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break 2012

11 days ago the kids and I ventured out on our first ever cross country road trip with out Bruce. He was pretty anxious for us to drive to GA to see my family and after minor car trouble, getting stuck 5 cars behind a car fire in Alabama and horrible traffic, I kind of understand why! But, alas, we made it! Greeting us in GA was the welcoming committee of family...Andy, Amy (siblings), Pop and Jojo (stepdad and mom) and the three dogs...boxer pups Sadie and Clara Bell, and Maggie...the elder boxer.

We ate our fill of Papa Johns pizza and quickly understood there had been a reason my mom had brought all the siblings together...there was family business to take care of. She was ready to distribute the family pictures...our rather...she was ready for us to distribute the family pictures. So we spent the evening hours lovingly laughing as we divided up our childhood and even my parents childhood pictures.

Here's a few...but I assure you there will be more!!!

Here I am as the firstborn and only child...that only lasted 23 I figure this is worth remembering....not to mention my mom's hair is AWESOME! And's all hers...I asked. 

Here I am again...when it was absolutely acceptable to be chubby.

My favorite elementary school picture....check out the tan and those hair ribbons.

And this picture is just wrong. But it certainly explains where my son gets it from....

Gotta love him!

There's much more news from our Spring Break trip. For now...I think I've left you with more than enough...perhaps even too much. Good to be back home!

Monday, March 5, 2012

What Happens When Godly Men Die Young

Today marks the 21st anniversary of my father's death. There's no way to put it gently. It is what it is.

pretty sure my mom may kill me for this picture

But I was thinking about all the things that he taught me while he was alive. Little things that now I know are the big things in life.

1. Treat people with respect. He did...and because of that he was respected.

2. Be generous. With your time, your resources and your talents. He was a great videographer and I can't tell you how many times he videoed basketball games for others so they would have something for their kids to remember.

3. Don't be something you aren't. I loved that he walked humbly. He never pretended that he was perfect, but he aimed for godliness.

4. Invest in your kids. He worked a late shift so he could help homeschool us kids. He taught me all I know about math and science. He made me shoot 50 foul shots a day. He spent time reading God's word to us and pouring himself into his family.

5. Work hard. He did. At home, at church and at his job. From being an awana commander to teaching the special needs adults to carpentry and his paying job, I don't remember too many lazy days in this man's life.

6. Date your spouse. It was not a surprise to us anytime our neighbor girl was called in to babysit. It was Dad and Mom date night. There was smooching at the front door daily...but date nights were dressed up and dad looked sharp.

When Godly men die, their children miss them. Terribly. But it's not without the hope of seeing them again. When Godly men die, the testimony that they lived and breathed lives their children, in their their their the world. When Godly men die....hearts break because we know we've lost a man of God...a warrior in this spiritual war...a protector for a family...a courageous leader. When Godly men die...we don't get over it...we relive the precious days with them over and over in our heads....because it makes us stronger...more sure that their lives mattered and that their message...God's message...the only real message.... is everlasting.