Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fireproof Your Marriage

We're a Netflix family. We rarely go to the theater to watch a movie, because we find it hard to fit into our budget. In light of our current financial situation, it's especially difficult to justify spending money on a movie at the theater. But God blessed us last week with a $20 gift card to HEB (our local grocery store) - a reward for giving blood twice in the summer. We used it for groceries, which freed up $20 cash from our grocery budget. Make sense? I tell you all of this so that you will know that it is worth your money and your time to go to the theater to see this movie.

We've been anticipating the release of Fireproof: the Movie for a few months. We really wanted to support this movie on its opening weekend, and were delighted when we had the financial opportunity to go see it. Let me tell you, we are so glad we did! Brian and I have a good - a blessed marriage. We are grateful for God's hand in our marriage. It is not without struggles, and it is hard work, but God had made our home happy, even in trying circumstances. Still, this movie was such an encouragement to me to continue to seek ways to bless my husband. We both laughed, and were both moved to tears (though Brian fought them and gave himself a headache!). And we were not alone. Men and women throughout the theater were both laughing and crying. Kirk Cameron stars in this movie, and he was spot on. His acting really elevated the quality of the movie.

Fireproof is the story of Caleb, a fireman, and his wife Catherine. Their marriage is struggling, and they are ready to give up. Caleb's father challenges him to a Love Dare - 40 days of acts of love toward his wife. Given the quality of their marriage, each day is quite a challenge, and Caleb is discouraged. But he sticks with the challenge, and ultimately learns a true, sacrificial love for his wife. I don't want to give too much away, because I want you to see this movie and to experience the blessing for yourself!

We spent the rest of the evening talking about how moved and blessed we were by the movie. We thanked God for our marriage and prayed for marriages of our loved ones.

This is an excellent date movie. There's plenty of manly-man testosterone fireman stuff, including some gut-busting humor. But girls, you'll find plenty to cry and sigh over. Please make plans now to go see it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is Anybody Out There?

I don't know if anyone besides our family and a few close friends is reading this blog...but if you're out there reading, would you please pray to the Father on our behalf?

Brian was laid off today. His company has been losing business and has had to start layoffs. We know that God is not surprised by this. We believe and have faith that He has a plan for our good and for His glory. We trust that He will provide for all of our needs.

We are praying that He will help us to be faithful to seek Him and watch and listen to Him, and alert and aware as He directs our paths, so that we do not miss His direction. Would you pray that with us? We're hoping for a new opportunity that will make the most of Brian's skills and gifts.

In the meantime, we are grateful for the severance package he was given, and for the small savings we had. We weren't up to 6 months emergency savings, but we can last for 2 - 3 months, and we're really hoping it won't take that long!

And here's a testament to the goodness of God: Brian had the opportunity to point to God on the way out the door, and each conversation was well-received. May God receive all the glory!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh Brother!

Originally uploaded by thingspondered
Here's something else that's new to our home! It has taken up residence in my craft room. It's a Brother Innov-is 1500D. I'm just learning to use it. I will be taking some classes on Machine Mastery in October, and will follow those up with the Embroidery Mastery classes. But I've already been working on it.

Jamie embr
I did this little bit of embroidery last weekend, and later attached it to a cute shoulder bag for a friend's birthday. I'm very pleased with the new machine and I'm looking forward to creating some items to sell, to help pay for it!

An Heirloom Prayer

Lord's Prayer
Originally uploaded by thingspondered
Look what's (sort of) new in our house! Well, actually, it's not new at's just sort of new to us. And actually, we've had it for over a year, but it looks new. Well...oh, let me just start over!

This needlepoint Lord's Prayer was stitched by Brian's maternal grandmother at least 60 years ago. Brian's mom remembers it in her childhood home. We received it about a year ago, but it was in a different frame, and the glass was broken. It had been framed simply years ago, and the colors and material were deteriorating. Brian's parents offered to pay for us to have it reframed, and here is the beautiful result. I chose a pewter-toned frame because we have pewter accents elsewhere in our dining room. We're so happy to have this special family heirloom protected and prominently displayed. It brings back special memories of family time with Grandma Swanner. Thank you, Linda & Bobby!

Where Were You?

It was less than 2 months until our wedding, so that season was especially vivid for me. 9/11 is bookmarked in my memory of our wedding plans. I was standing in my bedroom, curling my hair, when I saw the first report on Good Morning America. Just a little later, I was in the office when I heard on the radio that Building 2 had collapsed. Brian was working upstairs, and I called him. He came down the stairs, and we both stood there, with tears streaming down our faces. I remember vividly the shock and horror as each new report came in. My whole family worked together at that time, and we spent the day listening to the radio and joining together for frequent and fervent prayer for our nation, for the families of the victims, for our President, for the emergency personnel and others who were on the scene helping.

I have not forgotten that day. I am grateful for the relative safety I enjoy as an American. I am grateful that God has allowed me and my loved ones to live in a land where terrorist attacks are not a daily occurence. I am grateful to the men and women who give their lives to govern our nation, to protect us from attack. I am grateful to the men and women who give their lives to fight for the safety and freedom we have. I am grateful that our nation so values life and liberty that we memorialize the day when life and liberty were stolen. We must not forget.

In the days and weeks immediately following 9/11, I remember watching people turn to God. I rejoiced to see people seeking the One who is bigger, the One who is Sovereign, the One who is Mighty to Save. Let us not forget that Jehovah God is still the protector. He is still the One we must turn to in our distress. And if our shores have been peaceful these 7 years, we must thank Him above all. We must not forget the One who holds ALL of our days in His hands.