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Showing posts from 2008

Post-Christmas Surprise

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In my Christmas post, I wrote about how Christmas takes on a fresh meaning each year as the Holy Spirit puts life anew into its powerful story. Well, this year our family has another added meaning to this special occasion. We were blessed with our best gift the day after Christmas: a positive pregnancy test! The early signs and symptoms had me thinking that we might be expecting, but it was the 2 First Response Tests that confirmed it for us. Being able to share the news of an extra special present after the all the gifts had been unwrapped was something we will never forget!
The nurse in me knows that we are still early in the game and that a lot can happen between now and Sept 5 (tentative due date), but I don’t think God wants us to wait until then to thank and praise Him. After the extensive infertility work-up and treatment we did just before conceiving Dylan, we are in awe of the blessing that God allowed to happen so easily and quickly. With Tim leaving tomorrow to start Army Ch…

Happy Blog-iversary

It has been 1 year now since I started this blog, and I wanted to write a special post in that honor. This blog has done alot for me. At times it has kept me going. At other times, it has kept me in touch with family and friends that I otherwise might not have. At still other times, it has helped me to express the thoughts and stirrings of my heart as God has led us through quite a journey over the past year. It has been great to journal on this journey. Thanks to all of you who stop by periodically to peruse. Special thanks to those of you who occasionally leave comments or send me e-mails.

Christmas Thoughts

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Each year I am amazed at how God brings to light a new piece of the Christmas story and sheds a fresh light on its glorious message. This year I have found myself drawn to the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against the prospect of the Messiah's birth occuring.

Too young - Mary was of too young an age to have been engaging in marital relations with Joseph, and therefore would not have been able to conceive.
Too old - Elizabeth was too old to be carrying and child and had been barren her whole life
Too far - the prophets told of the Messiah being born in Bethlehem, but Mary & Joseph were living no where close to there.
Too crowded - Joseph could find no place suitable for his family to stay and for the birth of the child.
And yet, Mary did bear a child, born of the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth, too, bore a child who would prepare the way of the Lord. And who but God could arrange such a timely census which would bring the gestating Messiah to the proper place? Joseph may have felt …

Commissioning Service

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Today was Tim's Commissioning Service where he took the oath to become an officer in the US Army. His ranking is that of 1st Lieutenant, and he is officially on his journey to become an Army Chaplain. The commissioning was performed at our church by Commander Saunders, the seminary professor that first brought to light in Tim's mind the idea of Chaplaincy as a ministry.
Babe, I am so proud of the man you are and the heart you have. To God be the glory for what He is doing in our lives!

A December to remember

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December 4th hit me hard...like a ton of bricks. Not the kind that hurt, but the kind that definitely get your attention. I realized at that point that we were one month out from Tim's departure to CH-BOLC (Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course). The Lord has granted us the privelege of being able to afford to have Tim quit his job early (the week before Black Friday, none the less!) so that he might have more time to spend with his family and say his farewells. God was so gracious to us through this, as it has proven to be such a beautiful gift. We took Dylan out of daycare for a month to spend time with his dad, and so day in and day out this month they are making memories.


So many things are up in the air right now and my mind sometimes feels like it is swirling. Our house is for sale (great time to be selling Real Estate, huh?) and our possessions are being sold and boxed up. Questions arise like: When should I quit my job? What will it be like to be a single mom? What will …

A Weekend Away

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Tim and I had a wonderful time this past weekend staying 2 nights at Living Waters Retreat in Berryville, AR. It is a retreat for minister's and their wives located in the wooded countryside of Northwest Arkansas. They accept only minimal payment and offer a time of solitude and seclusion to ministry couples who need a restful break. Tim made all the arrangements, paid the fees, and chauffeured me all the way there. I felt so special and blessed. We have a long road ahead of us in the near future, and this chance to get away was much needed and much appreciated. I love those times when he and I can relax, reflect, and reminisce.

I was once again reminded of the many different reasons I love my husband. He is a man of many talents, considerate, firm in his convictions, and funny at heart. He is a simple man, not simple minded, but simple in his ways. He prefers simple clothing over high-fashion. He has one pair of each type of shoe: brown dress, black dress, tennis shoe, work shoe. …

Horizons

Today we got the news that Tim's Army Chaplaincy training will begin in early January. So he will head to Ft Jackson, SC then and we will be apart for some time. And then we will be stationed somewhere far from here. This is what we have been thinking would happen, so it is nothing new; it is just final now. Two words that have been on my heart and mind this week have been "captivated" and "horizons". I don't know why exactly I have been chasing those words in my head, I can only speculate that God is reminding me of how He is the one that has "captivated" me by His love and mercy and brought me to this place of preliminary acceptance. Perhaps "horizons" is supposed to remind me that as we begin to say farewell to so much of the familiar, there are horizons yet to come - reminders of the future that awaits us. A reminder to keep our eyes focused ahead of us on Jesus. A reminder that whatever He is bringing us to is greater than w…

Fall Fun

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We spent some time in our leaf-stricken yard last weekend, trying to uncover the hidden grass and keep it alive this winter. Dylan had a blast playing in the piles and was a "big helper" with putting the leaves in the yard bags! It was definitely a fall fun family affair.

Army Intel

For those of you who have been praying and waiting along with us, I wanted to give you word that we heard from the Army today regarding Tim's Chaplaincy application. He has been accepted for active duty as a Military Chaplain with the US Army! We feel so humbled and priveleged that the Lord has allowed us the opportunity to serve Him through sacrifice. We don't know many details, but Tim is likely facing a 10-week officer's training course in January which Dylan and I cannot attend. After that, we are in God's hands. Well, we are always in God's hands, and have been so for the past year as we have prayed every step of this journey. Continue to pray for us as we seek to take care of details and arrangements that may prove to be stressful. We need wisdom as to the timing of selling our house and quiting/changing jobs. This is not going to be an easy process, but we are convinced now more than ever that this is where God is leading us. Much like Abraham when …

Tate Farms Punkin' Patch

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Today we went to Tate Farms Punkin' Patch in Meridianville, AL. The pictures are proof that we had a wonderful time!

Dylan's First Bible Verse

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As promised, here is the actual footage!!

And a really sweet picture...

Thoughts from The Word

This morning I found myself in I John for my Bible study. I was actually in a hurry to read these verses, answer my devotional question, and move on to the next one in Lies Women Believe. But I found myself drawn to I Jn 1:9, and the more I read it and thought about it, the more it came to life. Now, I'm no Bible scholar (that would be my husband :) or commentator but I do know what I gleaned from this passage.
I Jn 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unfrighteousness.
I think the reason this caught my attention is because it seems to have elements of contradiction in it. Knowing that the Bible is infallible and that it is truth, I took a closer look. The words "faithful" and "just", at first glance, appear to be opposites. Faithfulness, when it come to forgiving sins, tends to imply unconditional love and favor toward us who are undeserving. "Just" or justice, when it comes to…

Prayer for this Fall season

I saw this prayer on the DaySpring site and thought it was too good not to share:

There is so much happening in our world right now. In the midst of it all, it's so good to know You're in control, Your love is never-ending, and You provide for us. As the trees turn colors, and the nights grow cooler, may we be reminded that every season of our lives is a part of Your loving plan. Amen. ~Holley Gerth "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Recent pics

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Here are a few pictures from some recent visits with my parents. This first picture says it all: "From generation to generation -- Roll Tide!"


Update

For those of you who have been waiting, praying, and wondering...I wanted to give an update on Tim's venture into Military Chaplaincy. It has been a month since I last posted about it and I wanted to write something so you could know where things stand...and so I could thank you for your prayers and words of care-

We thought everything was "sealed up" in the envelope, so to speak, and was on its way to the recent Chaplain Accessions (sp?) board meeting. However, we recently learned that a single portion of the paperwork had not made it in time for the board hearing. So...that means that Tim's packet, or envelope, will have to wait until the next board meeting in early November.
We are unsure how this affects his timetable for training, etc. but for now we can do nothing but wait. We are truly on God's timetable. It has been an interesting process to say the least! At times, we sit on 'go' and at other times we just sit. It seems like we stand stil…

Tag, I'm it...Too!

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I've been "tagged" by my blogger friend Laura to post 6 random things about myself. So, here goes. Let's see...

I once survived a tornado that ripped through my hometown. My Dad was actually out on the road when it was passing through our city. I can "smell" a tornado coming, too.
I dreamed of a career in the WNBA, but barely made the cut for the varsity basketbal team...needless to say, dream shattered.
I met my now-husband when I was in high school, but we didn't start dating until my sophomore year in college. We got to know each other while singing in our BCM praise band. We shared a hymnal! :) The most attractive thing about him to me was that he had surrendered to the ministry (and that's saying alot, 'cause he's HANDSOME)
One of my favorite things is enjoying coffee with creamer in the mornings.
My first car was a Chevrolet Celebrity stationwagon...also known as the "cool-mobile"!
If I could have a career that didn't necessar…

Good reading...

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I have started reading Lies Women Believe by N. DeMoss. The title is very catchy (I have left it out on my work desk and have had many inquiries about it!) and after only a few pages the Truth of the Scriptures comes to light. So far, some of the insightful and convicting things that have been revealed to me are:
Regarding God's goodness...Hannah Whitall Smith said: "A great many things in God's divine providences do not look to the eye like goodness. But faith sits down before mysteries such as these, and says, 'The Lord is good, therefore all that He does must be good no matter how it looks. I can wait for His explanations.'" Wow, what a powerful statement that is...if one can even say it! Regarding the way that God loves us the same as He loves His Son... Again, Hanna W. Smith said: "If we believed this, could we ever have an anxious or rebellious thought again? Would we not believe in every conceivable circumstance that…

Pictures as promised

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Here are a few pictures from our Labor Day fun!

Alive and typin'

Wow! I haven't posted since the 16th of August? I'm probably in jeopardy of being fired from my blogging position...good thing it's not my paying job! September has stormed in thanks to Gustav and summer is on its way to a close. This has been such a great outdoor season and Dylan and I have tried to eat it up on my days off - savoring every adventure not knowing where next summer will find us. I made the lady at our water park let us keep our expired punch-card because I wanted it for Dylan's scrapbook. How pathetically motherly is that!!
We spent the long holiday weekend with my parents for Labor Day. We enjoyed their company and their help. We did a few weekender projects and also made time for fun. Pictures to follow soon, I promise.
For those of you who are keeping up with our chaplaincy progress, Tim was recently granted a necessary medical waiver regarding his ear (he had surgery to correct some hearing loss a few years ago). So the next steps he is fac…

Being a mom...

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There are so many things I love about being a Mom. One of them is listening to my son talk, listening to the voice God gave him, and snickering at the words he says. Like "Mommy, me hold you?" (Somedays I think, "I wish you would hold me, I'M TIRED!") and "Mommy I not cake a nap!" Today I was given a new name by Dylan. It's "Sweetheart ElastaGirl Mommy". I LOVE IT!! I was trying to tell him he's my sweetheart and that is what he replied back with "You're my Sweetheart ElastaGirl Mommy!" You see, Dylan is convinced that our family has morphed into The Incredibles (and I do think we have an incredible family :) He is Dash (yes, he calls himself that), Daddy is Mr. Cwedible (the "In", apparently, is optional) and alas I am ElastaGwal. What an imagination!
This afternoon we went for a walk, had a wonderful time at the park, threw rocks in the stream (very boyish!), and spotted birds and planes. As our str…

Trust and obey

This morning in the shower, the words from an old hymn came to me "...trust and obey, for there's no other way...". Having been through what I have this past week, I knew those words came straight from God through the Holy Spirit. And in His usual on-target fashion God spoke to me at Sunday School through Hebrews 11 regarding faith and works (trusting and obeying). A sermon on I Corinthians 15 reminded me that there is a victory to be had in every situation...whether it looks glorious or grim to us, it matters not; God is looking at a bigger picture and is working in us a far greater glory. The Lord has allowed 2 trying situations to come our way recently. Both of which provoke the automatic response of "Why, God?" I think there is no harm in asking this; it places us back in a humble position of reverence - we are acknowledging that God must know the answer, and that is why we ask. Many other questions flooded our minds this week, not the least of which …

A Trippin' Time

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Over the weekend we went to visit my parents and had a wonderful time celebrating Dad's birthday. We had a family party Sunday and then we "did Chattanooga" on Monday. Dylan had a great time and was the life of the party. It was so wonderful to have Tim with us!

Lady-in-waiting

Waiting…it can be such a challenging thing. Not for you, though, God. Why is that? Is it because you know the outcome of each event? You see what has passed, what is, and what is to come, all at the same time. Kind of like a picture drawn on a series of transparency sheets. Looking down at all of them stacked in perfect order, you see the finished product. For us, we are stuck on a single page of that transparency looking at what sometimes in no way resembles its true form…waiting for the next page to come down and help us make sense of what is going on. God, you can look at a pregnant woman and yet see the child that she carries growing up, see the children that child will bear, and even see the elderly adult that child will become. You must wait like a baker who has meticulously and flawlessly prepared the ingredients for a delicious cake and is watching it rise to perfection in the oven. Knowing that in due time it will be ready to eat, admiring your superb culinary skill…

Refreshment

Boy, have I been missing my blog! I have had NO time to write recently and it's funny how I feel so pent up. I guess this posting is as much for my benefit as for anyone else. Work has been such a stressful place for me this week and it has been very draining to deal with. I have sensed an oppressive presence here that has made for a challenging work environment. Each night I have left work, gone home, released the days anxieties, gone to bed, and prayed that the next day would have a better layout. But not so. It seems that each day just got more and more stressful and continued the draining process from the day before. Today all I can think of is "It's the weekend! It's the weekend!" Thoughts of sleep and relaxation are dancing through my mind and visions of me getting my hair done and a pedicure are in my head. I guess I am in major need of some refreshing :) So I pulled out my pocket calendar (that Mom gave me) to make a hair appt and there at the top of the …

Like father, like son

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Dylan's imagination is growing with each passing day. Recently he has begun to imagine that he, too, has a job and has to drive a special car to work each day. Wonder where he gets that idea from??? He calls his dad's work vehicle the "Fire Gog car" and loves to take a turn sitting in it and "driving it" when Daddy brings it home on his lunch breaks. I guess this has the cool-factor equivalence to your dad driving his squad car home from work each day :) He wouldn't let me take the 2nd picture below until he had buckled his seatbelt. He is learning...safety first, Mom!!

Pictures from the fireworks show on the Arkansas River in Little Rock

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America the Beautiful by Katharine Bates
3rd verse
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self
their country loved
And mercy more than life! America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

Happy Independence Day!

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The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774

Pictures from the great North

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Here are a few of the best of the best pictures from our Ohio trip...as promised!

Thoughts from my trip...

My son and I have just returned from a trip to Northern Ohio to visit my dad's side of the family. It was sometime during this trip that I decided that I am a millionaire. (No, I've not been playing the Ohio lotto!) But I don't mean a millionaire in financial matters...I am a rich woman when it comes to the wealth that has been afforded me by the family the Lord gave me. In terms of a family tree, my roots go deep. To this day, I am 29 and I have a great-grandmother (which means my son has a great-great-grandmother) still living who is going to be 97 this year, Lord willing! Until last year I had all 4 grandparents not just still living but still married. Phenomenal! Knowing and keeping up with cousins, and second cousins, and grand-nieces has helped me feel connected and stay grounded. Our family has seen its share of the devastation that divorce can bring, but we have held together to leave a legacy to each new generation that comes along. I feel a great streng…

Little Favorite Things

Today I've been mentally compiling a list of "little favorite things". You know, those things that you find yourself enjoying, even loving, but that aren't big deals like a new car or a job promotion. So, I thought I'd put them in writing for your amusement and enjoyment. My little favorite things list:
Soaking wet swimming pool hugs from a kid with blue lips
That familiar smell of my husband's neckCapri pants, flip-flops, and freshly painted toenailsThe sound of my son's voice in a whisperThe sweaty smell of a baby after a good, long napBelly buttonsA long, hard run - one where your muscles ache but it feels good
Ringtones that let you know a loved one is callingGentle rain falling in the nightMy husband bringing me home dark chocolate from the store, even though he went there to get medicine for himselfA cool breeze on my shoulders on a hot summer dayListening to a Sunday sermon by a loud preacher, but hearing God's voice louder still
As the song say…

Open doors

Sometime back I eluded to the possibility that my husband felt a calling to serve the Lord and our country as a military chaplain. Since then many things have transpired and so far the Lord has not closed any doors in our path. This past Sunday night, Tim had the opportunity to give his testimony and share his passion for the ministry he feels the Lord has called him to. To say the least, I was quite proud of him. He also had the privelege of giving the evening's sermon. The church then voted unanimously to endorse him on behalf of the ABA as a candidate for chaplaincy. Even though doors seem to be opening, we are treading each step with care and prayerful consideration. If you care to listen, this is the testimony Tim gave before he preached his sermon.
http://www.faithcabot.org/archive/sermonseries/2008/june/tim%20testimony%20hi.wma

Memorial Day

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To those who gave their lives in the line of duty;

To those who fought for this country and have passed on;

To those who served us through the military;

Our hands and our hearts salute you.

Enjoy your freedoms this Memorial Day,

for they were bought with a precious price.

"All gave some. Some gave all"

Big Beach, Bigger God

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Our vacation was a wonderful time of rest, relaxation, & refreshment sent from the Lord. The feeling of sand squeaking beneath our feet, the sound of waves lapping at the shore, the wind (and I do mean WIND) flowing over us like God's breath...all of it melted our stressors like falling shackles and made us feel alive. We had 2 days of decent weather to get out on the beach, and then 2 days of storms - and with not much else to do it made us slow down, rest, and just be still.
Tim enjoyed some much needed rest and reading some things other than seminary books! And as for me, I haven't been able to read so much since I was in nursing school! We had quite a host of company with us on the beach...King James, Beth Moore, John Piper and James McDonald, and the complimentary USA today. The bible study "Stepping Up" by Beth Moore kept me engrossed in the scriptures, while Dr. Piper (as always) challenged me in spiritually in-depth ways. When we arrived Monday and f…

Mr. Master Raburn

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HE DID IT! Tim Raburn, BSC, MTh
We are so proud of you. The Lord has blessed all your hard work. Congratulations, graduate!

Cookie monsters

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This is the picture I took yesterday during our cookie-making session. Somebody had dry underpants all day at preschool yesterday (and it wasn't just me) so we had to celebrate the occasion! (Way to go, Dylan!!) On the way home I told Dylan that we would make some cookies in honor of his success. A few miles later down the road he told me "Mommy, we gonna make cookies. You essighted?" (translation: Are you excited?) At home we donned our aprons and pulled out the baking stones. Then, a little later, we savored our sweet rewards. With his mouth as full of oatmeal raisin as it could possibly be, I heard Dylan say "I want summore!" When Daddy arrived home, he walked into a wonderful smelling house and partook of our treats, too.

Happy Nurses Week - 2008

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Happy Nurses Week to all my nurse friends out there! We are making a difference...one patient at a time. Keep up the strong work!

Praise the Lord -- the end is here!

We are praising God and rejoicing in the fact that SEMINARY IS OVER! Tim has faithfully fulfilled all the requirements to be a Master of Theology. His last paper was cancelled, and he was notified 2 days ago that his thesis was ACCEPTED! It has been a long road since January 2003 when Tim first started taking classes. He went in this with the intention to finish in 2-3 years...but then life happened. Life that included youth ministry and a new son. Needless to say, I am so very proud of you, honey. This verse comes to mind when I think of the achievement the Lord has blessed you with:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15

Please continue to pray with/for us as we seek God's will about the next step in our ministry lives. We have some of the answers we need regarding Chaplaincy, but not all of them. God will be faithful to answer; we are trusting Him.

Graduation is May 9th...and then look…

Lessons from the little one

Recently I had the pleasure of doing our bedtime rituals with my son by myself, as my husband was working late that night. A deeply profound thought occurred to me, as it so often does, in the middle of our ‘goings on’. Being a 2 year-old, Dylan has at times chosen to communicate his frustrations through crying and fussing. This of course gets my attention and I intervene as best I can in a timely manner. But on this particular night he chose to “use his words” and tell me what he wanted and needed. I can’t tell you what a difference that made in my spirit and sensitivity. To hear him verbalize to me what his desires were touched me and made me desire to reach out and extend fellowship to him – to let him know that ‘yes, I am accessible and would love to help you, if only you will call on me’. At that instance, I had an “Aha!” moment with God. In my heart, the Holy Spirit showed me “It is exactly the same way with me.” God will answer us even if our cry to Him is an “Uggggh!”…

Top 10 reasons why I love my husband

In anticipation of our upcoming 8th anniversary, I have compiled a list for you, Babe. I am posting it on my blog so everyone else can know the wonderful things about you that I love so much. Happy Anniversary (early)! Here goes...
10. Tim can build a computer from the ground up with just a couple of pieces of conductor wire, a CPU tower, and a processor...and he can fix anything that has a mother board or a memory card in it :)9. He loves Shakey's almost as much as I do.8. He lets me win at basketball ;)7. He tells me I am beautiful.6. He watches chick-flicks with me.5. He fixes my blog when I mess it up or need help with new features.4. He gave me 2 dozen roses for Valentine's Day.3. Twice when I was throwing-up sick, he stayed by my side and held my hair back so it didn't fall in the wastecan. (That is true love)2. He is a GREAT father to Dylan1. He answered God's call to be a minister.

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

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We enjoyed a lazy Sunday afternoon. We spent sometime laying around and watching "Bible Action Songs" video. Thanks Nana! Click the last picture to see a short clip.