Brandon and I were able to take a week away from work at the end of April. It was nice and much needed. We do have very different ideas of vacation. Brandon likes to go with the flow and relax. To me, having a schedule is relaxing. This wasn’t the first time our personalities clashed, and it won’t be the last. We still love each other and created memories. Here are some highlights in pictures:
We attended Capitol Hill Baptist Church while were in town. The providence of God was evident. The message was entitled Overcoming Unbelief from Number 13-14. I highly recommend listening. From just one visit, we both grew very fond of CHBC.
It was so nice to get away with my best friend. The weather was perfect. I love that it’s a walking city. The monuments are breath-taking. I was able to see stuff with Brandon that I did not when I visited with my family 12 years ago. The only thing I would do different next time would be to visit the monuments at night.
Today is the day. Brandon graduates with his Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies! I have waited years for today! Seriously.
I met Brandon at Bible college 6 years ago. We became an item, as my parents used to say, a month after meeting. The rest is history. God has us all on different paths, all of which bring Him glory. The details of Brandon’s life are his to share; however, I have ‘spouse liberty,’ so I can share a few.
I can tell you Brandon has not been in classes every single semester since 2002. He’s had breaks. He has attended IUPUI, Crossroads Bible College, and Lone Star College. During the pursuit of his degree, he has
- lived in 2 different states
- changed jobs and worked his way up from the bottom to Operations Supervisor
- gotten married
- stayed involved with ministry at church
- buried his son
God’s hand was present in every circumstance, even when Brandon was a teenager and rebellious toward Him. Some of the path makes sense to us; some of it does not, but God’s providence is good.
I feel like I’m getting my second degree, but that takes away the hard work Brandon has put forth. During these last two semesters and summer session, Brandon has been a rock star. I have never seen him work so hard. Finding out we were expecting a baby may have had something to do with that, but his effort didn’t waiver when we found out about Sam’s defect or even after Sam died.
I know I was both a distraction and an encouragement to you, B, but I am so proud of you!
I’m glad it’s over.
I’m a little nervous about the future, but that’s for another time.
The question is weighty and confusing after going through a trial. It’s been almost 7 months since Sam died. I believe we still have many people who think of us and pray for us, but only a small handful relay those thoughts and concerns to us. For many, I believe fear of man trumps vocal care and concern for man. I get it; I constantly battle fear. Sometimes, out of the blue, I will have someone ask me “How are you?” Because I don’t talk to the person often, I assume they mean in relation to the death of my son; however, the specifics are just not usually there. I don’t really know what to say or how personal to get or even what their intentions are.
This post, by a woman whose daughter was born still, is incredibly helpful when you want to ask your grieving friend “How are you?” Actually, the entire series, entitled “How to Help Your Grieving Friend,” is a great resource. I wanted to highlight a few, in case that much reading was overwhelming, but I can’t choose! I can testify that her advice is spot on. If you desire to help a grieving friend, I recommend you put Molly’s series in your resource library.
April has been a tough month for me. My heart continues to ache for my Sam. When these dark times hit, I keep away from social media (baby announcements, pregnancy updates, etc), news (sad stories), and people in general.
However, this post isn’t about me. I say all that to explain my absence and why I’m late to share the following with you.
Late last month, I had asked you to pray for Shawn. It breaks my heart to tell you he is with God now. Please continue to pray for the Betten family.
Today is a much anticipated day. It’s Reds Opening Day!! I love baseball, and I love my Redlegs.
Many people find baseball boring, and at one [ignorant] time in my life, I did too. I love baseball because it’s played outdoors (unless you go to Minute Maid Park with the retracable roof). I love baseball because I can talk during the game and really not miss much. I love baseball because the season lasts from spring til the end of fall. I love baseball because it can be an inexpensive form of entertainment. I love baseball because (MLB) teams don’t go undefeated.
Let me share a story to give you a better idea of my love for baseball: Brandon and I began dating in April of 2007. My birthday, which is in September, was the first gift-giving opportunity either of us had. A mere 5 months after our first date, that wonderful man gave me the best present I had ever received: a baseball hat signed by my favorite player! Shock. My roommates later told me they knew he was the one I would marry from the moment he gave me the gift.
Here’s hopin’ I’ll be hearing “And this one belongs to the Reds!” many, many times this season!