Sunday, October 30, 2011

NEW blog!

After a long time of saying I was going to do this... I FINALLY did it!  Since first starting my personal blog, I continuously said I want to do a blog like our photography blog.  The main reason I haven't done it until recently were the costs. Since blogger sites are free... I just kept with it.  But because of the many things I have wanted to do with my blog... I decided this change would be best.

So.... not only does the blog have a new look - it also has an entirely new address!

Be sure to change this in the blogs you follow so that we will show up on your news feed.  And don't worry, for any of those interested in being able to look back - this "old" blog will be linked back here.  So... I will leave this one up - only I will only be updating the new blog!

So, what are you waiting for?  Go check out the NEW blog and let us know your thoughts.  I'm sure I will continue to play around with the design and change things up until it feels perfected.  But for now, I think I'm happy with it!  Enjoy!

Until then... Brantley

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Look what came in my mail today!!!  After reading Katie Davis' book, and committing to travel to Uganda in March - I wanted to show my support towards the Karimojong woman & Amazima's mission!  So... I looked on Amazima's website and found THIS!

I LOVE IT!  And I love the little packaging too!

But what I LOVE most - is that by purchasing this $16 bracelet, I am helping to keep one of these women from turning to prostitution, digging through trash, or even alcohol brewing!  For me... that is BIG!  I love this bracelet so much and its comfortable to wear.  I'm thinking about buying a few more for Christmas gifts!  :)  What do you think?

With that being said... you remember we talked about Richard and I traveling to Uganda in March?  Well, the total cost of our trip is $6,400, but we have been richly blessed and only need to raise $1,200 to get there!  Will consider praying for us, and possibly supporting us?

Thanks for your continued support!

Until then... Brantley

Trick or Treat

Oh how this year is flying by!  My baby girl will be 10 months old a week from today (Thursday)!  We've experienced some good times so far, and I anticipate what the rest of the year is going to bring!  Yesterday, we experienced another "1st", as we dressed Katherine Grace in her Halloween costume and headed to my parent's church - where they put on a BIG Fall festival!

Here are some from our evening!

She's become such a curious little thing, and is easily distracted by what is going on around here.  Therefore, its becoming quite difficult to get that fun smile I love so much!  :)

But we did manage one or two!

Katherine Grace with Grammy & Pop!

They even had goats.  :)  She loves the goats at the zoo... so I was glad they had some here too!

Yet again... distracted by something.  :)

Thankful at least mommy got a couple smiles!  :)

All in all, we had a great time and she really did well!  I was wondering how she would do with her costume and all... but she seemed to embrace it!  :)  We had fun, caught up with some people we haven't seen in a LONG time and enjoyed a fun evening out!

Until then... Brantley

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Love that face!

And this one too!

Okay... and maybe this one too!

Who am I kidding... I love all of her many faces!  :)

I LOVE that we have bonded more over the last 3 months than ever before!  She is my love, and boy does she have a lot of love to give!  Here she is "rocking" her baby!  (her new favorite thing)

I love her curiosity!

I love that she loves to crawl all over me.

And then I get squeeze her and tickle her until she giggles the most precious giggles!  :)

I love that she loves to look at her books, and even understands flipping through each page & flap! 

Just a few of the things I love about this little lady!  And I love loving on her!  Getting excited about the Fall Festival tonight and Trick or Treating!  She's gonna be the cutest bumblebee in town!  ;)

Until then... Brantley

My little Bumblebee!

Is it true?  Could it really be that my baby is less than a week from being 10 months old??  This post is a little late, sorry for that.  This was taken Monday - but I haven't had a chance to post.  :)

We're going to the zoo this afternoon for a fun little day trip - then off to the Fall Festival to get our TRICK OR TREAT on for the 1st time!!!  We're so excited for all of the many firsts with her!  Pics to come from those adventures soon!

Until then... Brantley

Monday, October 24, 2011

One Door Closes... Another Opens

When one door closes, another door opens!  That has been the story of my life.  Just one more reminder that God is the writer of this story... NOT me!  I must always remind myself that He knows what is best for me, and He has my life already planned out.  I must remember to trust Him and his will for my life.

There are so many things on my mind and in my heart.  I'm not a place where I'm ready to share all of the details.  But... I will share some of what has been going on these past few months.

1 Peter 1:6-9

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Voices 4 the Voiceless was something planted in my heart from God.  I FIRMLY believe that, and still do. Unfortunately, we have had MANY ups and downs.  One being where we would serve.  My heart had been in so many places, I couldn't find a way to narrow down our "horizon".  I didn't want to choose.  I wanted so badly to help orphans everywhere!  So, we committed with the first "open door" and ran with it.  There was definitely prayer involved, unfortunately, not complete surrender, and seeking God's will entirely.  Many good things came from our starting V4V, in fact we did accomplish a lot, and gained some good exposure for orphans in the Congo.  Some people didn't even realize the magnitude there.

But... just because we were doing a "good thing", doesn't mean that the Congo was where GOD wanted us.  In fact, even though I fought and battled with what God was trying to show me... I was continually reminded that God had something else.  In my head though, I fought it.  I battled with my own confusion, the fact that many doors had opened for us, and we had already planned a trip!  Why God?  Why now?  I am so confused!  And too be honest, some days, I am still confused.  But the fact of the matter is, God is the author to this story, and I must trust HIS plan.  Even though I don't have all the pieces figured out, He does.  I must go in trust and believe that His plan is far greater than my own.

There is a lot more to this story that I am not ready to share at this time.  Maybe it will come, but for now, I am just believing that my God is bigger than me.  He has NEVER left me in the dark alone.  It wasn't until this past month that God began to reveal many things to me.  Through scripture, encouragement and a WHOLE lot of prayer - God is beginning to show me HIS plan.  Again, He hasn't revealed all of the pieces to me... but I am beginning to see.

God is good [ALL THE TIME].  He is faithful [ALL THE TIME].  Even though His plans are not always my plans, I know His plans are best.  I know that many will be confused by this, and that's okay.  Not everyone will understand, or even respect the decisions made here.  I know many of you who have supported us will have questions, and that is okay too.  Please email me.  I may not be prepared to share all of the details with you though.  For some, that may not be good enough.  But know, I am placing my trust and have completely surrendered this to my Savior. I know that God still has some amazing plans in store for me and for Voices 4 the Voiceless.

Psalm 25:2

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.  Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.

In fact, like I said above, "when one door closes, another door opens."  God has opened a door and my eyes to something new.  A direction in which I never intended, and too be honest, never thought of on my own.  God is calling Richard and I both to Uganda!  Although I struggled with this in the beginning, God has made it VERY CLEAR - THIS is where He wants us.  I can't even explain the overwhelming feeling I have inside of me.  The complete clarity I now feel.  Something is right.  You see, when we SEEK Him with all our hearts and align our hearts with His,  His desires soon become our own desires.

Jeremiah 29:12-13

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God has used me, He has brought me down, brought me to my knees and we have prayed for many weeks now about this.  God is calling my family to travel to Uganda in March.  Through Visiting Orphans - we will be traveling to Uganda for 9 days.  Although I am scared, anxious and nervous - I am trusting Him.  I know without a doubt in my mind that this is where God is calling us.  And although we will not be taking a team on behalf of Voices 4 the Voiceless... God is taking my family.  We're praying daily for God to use us, and for us to be used in such a way that only He is glorified!  We pray for opportunities to be used, to be molded and for ways to get Voices 4 the Voiceless involved!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

So many of the details are still being worked out.  But I can promise you - God is in the CENTER of this!  For all of those who have purchased shirts through Voices 4 the Voiceless to support Project Congo - please know your money be prayed over and still go to support the orphan crisis.  We will be praying as to where it is God has us give.  Will you please pray for us?  Will you pray that we can be used in such a way, that He will be glorified?  Will you pray for Voices 4 the Voiceless & that people will see Him... and not our "failures" - instead, His will!  Will you pray?

Thank you for your support!  Lauren, thank you for sweet encouragement and long talks via email.  The Lord has truly placed some incredible people in my life!  I thank Him daily!  Lord, I praise you even in the storms.  I thank you for the down times.  For the hard days, even those that seem desperate and unbearable.  For I know, that you have a plan.  I trust YOUR plan, and I will trust your path.  Lord, please continue to guide us and continue to love on me - even when I do not listen or obey.  I thank you for clarity you have given our family, and I pray we will be used for your glory!  That people will see YOU in us, and that some may come to know you!

Until then... Brantley

Friday, October 21, 2011


This morning, I wake up thankful.  As of lately, in order to get out of my funk (if you will), I have committed to being thankful for those things I have, and even more thankful for the little things I take for granted daily.  You see, I have grown to learn that being "happy" and being thankful is a choice.  We have a choice to get off our pity party and learn to be joyful and find happiness in life, even if all you can see are the small things.  I will admit, just by doing this and DECIDING to be in a good mood and be thankful, I have in fact, been much more uplifted.  I have been reminded of exactly how blessed I am, and even in those "down times", I have been reminded that I am growing if I allow God to use me during this time.  :)

So... here is what I am thankful for today [in no particular order]

... thankful for my LOVING God, who holds me and cradles me when I feel useless, empty and alone.

... thankful for a roof over my head, food on our table, and heat/air that works.

... thankful for a husband who loves the Lord, and seeks Him daily.  Even though he isn't perfect, he has truly been a blessing from the Lord in my life.

... thankful for this beautiful little girl that brightens my day, smiles constantly and reminds you how short life really is.  She is a constant reminders that I should live with that child-like faith, and brush off the small stuff.

... thankful for my parents.  They help us with Katherine Grace so much so that I can still work, and they have been supportive of us on the weekends when we have to photograph a wedding.

... thankful for the people with whom God has placed in my life for encouragement, wise counsel and a loving ear to listen to my ramblings.

... thankful for clarity during a trying time.  For the love and completeness I feel when I seek a God so great!  For understanding when I seek Him.

.... thankful for living in a place where I can worship freely.

... thankful for coffee.  ;)

What are you thankful for?  Still praying daily about some things, excited to see how God will use us.

Until then... Brantley