Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Anniversary, Preparing for One and Other Happenings

Yesterday we celebrated our 3rd anniversary. On Monday, as I was going into B's office at the church for a meeting, I was telling the sweet lady who takes care of the front desk that we were about to be married 3 years. She said, "Oh, isn't that great?! On Thursday me and my husband will celebrate 38 years!" Wow. I look forward to celebrating our 38th anniversary together.

Life has gone by quickly since we've said "I do." 3 moves, a Masters degree, 2 new ministry positions for Brandon, and a baby...we're really on quite an adventure. And there's no one I'd rather be on this adventure with than my precious, and extremely wonderful Brandon. God truly knew best when He put the two of us together.

Also...Y'all, can you believe Ella is about to turn 1 already? Where has the time gone? I always felt like the saying, "they grow up so fast" was a cliche but now I know better! We have so thoroughly enjoyed being her parents...she is just a absolute joy to be around. I am planning a small party for family and close friends and designed this invitation:

The colors of the invitation are from a beautiful dress that Brooke and Craig Caudill gave us a couple of weeks ago that I will have Ella wear for the celebration and some 12 month pictures. It's so cute that I can't wait to put it on her, but I also want to debut it on a special occasion! Oh, the joys of having a daughter! I am also going to take the invitation to Publix where they will decorate a beautiful cake for Ella's party AS WELL AS throw in a FREE cake for her to smash.

Other happenings around the Berry household include a new ministry that I have started in our neighborhood called Boot Camp Fitness. I figured that I need to work out at least a couple days a week. We live in a big neighborhood and there are a lot of people who are home during the day. I see them when I take Ella running in the jogging stroller, but I have had a hard time getting to know them. So I decided to hit two birds with one stone. I passed out flyers, hung signs, got in with the HOA president who gave me a hearty endorsement via email and on the neighborhood newsletter and hoped that at least one person would come and take advantage of what I thought was a good opportunity to gain health and build community.

The first day we had 2 adults and one kid (who came with Mom), the next we had 9 adults! woohoo! Today we worked out our legs with 7 ladies. I'm excited about this opportunity to love on my neighbors and pray that it will be a blessing to them as well.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Thoughts on Last Week...

First of all, I just wanted to say how encouraged I am when I hear from long-lost friends and family and they know what's going on in our lives because they say they read our blog on a somewhat regular basis. That's so awesome, and I'm thankful that you would take the time to do that. If that is you, feel free to comment (you don't have to be a member of blogger to do so) on any of the posts periodically or email me here to let us know what's going on in your lives. It's sometimes funny to get in a conversation with people who know about what's happening in our lives and we know nothing about what is happening in theirs!

Anyway, that being said, I'd like to share with y'all about something that our family has been going through this last week. Some of you had seen a short-lived previous post of Ella in her "I'm gonna be a big sister!" shirt, and may be wondering why it isn't there anymore. We found out on Sunday, June 22 that we were expecting another baby...and couldn't be happier. After a few pregnancy tests, we felt like it was official.

Romans 12:15 tells us to "rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." We have always believed in sharing both good and bad news with our friends and family because 1) we have been so blessed to be surrounded by people who love us and support us through prayer and encouragement and 2) we just want to be real...and this is a way to show ourselves to be just that...real people with real triumphs and real let-downs. We shared our rejoicing over new life and expectation for what was to come. Now we share our hopeful frustration...

On Friday, June 27 we woke up and I found out that I was bleeding pretty heavily. We called the doctor and got in to see them as soon as possible. They did ultrasounds and blood tests and later confirmed what we already suspected, that a miscarriage was happening.

We have had a mixture of emotions:

On one hand, we understand that the statistics say pregnancies spontaneously end almost half the time. We know that so many miracles have to happen to have a normal, healthy pregnancy and deliver a normal, healthy baby. On the other, we serve a God of miracles, who we believe made our bodies to reproduce normal, healthy babies. We see His hand in everything. We know that He is the author and sustainer of abundant life. We have seen how prayer changes things and how He has given us authority through Christ over things in our world. We are in the midst of learning how to have heaven on earth. Our faith has been growing to believe God for crazy things, and we've seen them happen on many occasions.

So when this happened, we were confused. We had prayed, we had believed for this baby and for a healthy pregnancy. But it wasn't what happened. In the midst of this we are confused, but we are realizing that it's not always for us to understand, but to trust. God didn't bring this about, but He knew about it and has been close to us throughout bringing comfort. Of course, we're disappointed, but we also have a residing peace inside of us. We rejoice in trials...that God would allow us to go through them so that we may be made mature and complete...not lacking anything. Like Job, we have been found worthy of a test, and pray that we make it through it bringing glory to God.

We're even more thankful for the perfect angel that graces the posts of our blog and the days of our life. In the midst of this, we are reminded what a miracle she is...a precious gift from our Heavenly Father. Let us fall more in love with You through this, Father. Let our lives be for your glory and your fame, Lord.