Thursday, March 31, 2011

Show us Your Life- Tell us about your church

So today on Kelly's Korner we are talking about churches. I feel like I could definitely say a lot about our church, from a couple different perspectives. I may kind of focus on our church from a minister's wife/preacher's kid {since I am both}. So here goes.

First Christian Church

Our mission is simple: To obey Christ by helping others Know, Love, Serve and Share Him

So first a little background-
My home church {the one I mostly grew up in} is First Christian Church of Owasso, OK. We moved to Owasso when I was in 2nd grade {1994}- my dad was the Children's Minister. After a couple of years he became one of the "interim" preachers... sharing the pulpit with one of the other ministers. This lasted a couple of years. Then we moved to Burlington, KY for a year. In that time the church in Owasso went through some major changes and decided they wanted my dad to come back as the preaching minister. So we moved back in 2000. He is still the preaching minister in Owasso. The church has gone through more major changes and is growing. God is absolutely moving in the life of this church.

For a lot of people preacher's kids have a bad reputation. People always say how crazy they are and how they usually go off the deep end when they leave for college. But I am proud to say that out of the four kids in my family... all four of us are well-adjusted people that love God. Two of us have even married ministers. I think this says a lot about my parents first of all, and secondly our church. My parents always made it a priority to instill in us our own need for God. It was so important to them that we make our faith our own. My relationship with God is not automatically there just because my parents are in the ministry. They constantly worked to help us be authentic in our faith. They did not expect anything more from us because my dad was the preacher- they would have wanted/expected us to act and be a certain way because we love Jesus, no matter who our dad was.

For the most part, I would say the same about the church congregation. I would say there was a small group of people that did expect us to be "perfect" and more behaved, with all the right answers. But overall I think everyone realized we were just kids and would act accordingly!

This being said. I had zero desire to marry a minister. I did not want to go to a christian college. I wanted to go to the University of Arkansas, become a teacher and just do whatever came after that. And then I got to know James and things started to change. I think I realized a few things in my senior year of high school that changed everything. First I saw James passion for ministry and realized that if we were going to be together- I was going to have to get on board. Second, I really thought about and looked at the people who had the most impact on my life/faith up to that point. My parents, my grandparents, my youth minister and his wife {who was also my small group leader for five years}. With the exception of my grandparents, all of these people were in vocational ministry {although my grandparents may have well been because they love Jesus so much and want so badly to be in Heaven with Him ... like yesterday- they can't help but show Jesus to those around them}. Anyway, I had to decide why I didn't want to be in ministry. And my main reason I think was just because. I wanted my life after college to be different and just to go to church and not have major responsibilities and be able to sit and worship with my husband. But really? That was it. When it comes down to the salvation of other people and the ability to help others come to know Christ... how could I not want to do that? Yes, that is everyone's calling anyway- but I was going to NOT do this so that I could be comfortable basically. So I got over myself and all the petty reasons that I didn't want to officially be in ministry and here we are. My husband is now the Junior High Minister at our home church in Owasso.  
James' ordination
Don't get me wrong. I don't just love everything about it- and it is definitely not always nice and peachy. Ministry is messy but wonderful. I know we haven't done this very long {going on 4 years} but I think I have grown up a lot since we started. 

Now, something my mom and I recently talked about is how my older two siblings may not say the same thing. Which she thinks is mainly because they really "grew up" in a different church, where things were very different. They were expected to always have the answers, be involved in everything and basically be perfect kids. It just is interesting how the church can really impact your life, whether you are in the ministry or not!

One more thing on this subject. I really appreciate that even now, our church does not expect all the minister's wives to be a certain way. Of course, there is some expectation to be involved and a part of their husband's ministry but, they do not expect me to be some overachiever that serves in every ministry, every Sunday. Our church really understands that even when you are a minister, your family comes first {I think this comes from the leadership}.

Some of my favorite things about my church...
1. God is the head of the church. The staff and elders are led by God in every decision they make.
2. We believe the Bible is the inherent word of God. It is God breathed and relevant to our everyday lives.
3. We preach the Word of God, not what is popular but what is true!
4. The staff have been led by God to the position they are in and work each day to reach people for Christ.
5. Small groups. We love our small group! We have really become family. I love that our church understands that it is so important to make connections with other believers on a personal level!

Needless to say- I love our church!!

What I'm Loving Thursday??

So I missed it yesterday! I was doing sooo good! But I guess when your baby girl decides not to take naps everything changes! On the bright side, she started sleeping much better at night this week! Probably because she hasn't slept more than 30-45 minutes each day! But oh well. The past couple of days I have not been feeling so great {just a cold I think... } and I actually think Brynlee might have a bit of a cold too. She is pretty snotty {especially when she cries} and has been sounding rather raspy the last couple of days. But I think we are both feeling better today- and she is down for a nap, in her crib! So today is looking up!

I really wish I could post all these adorable pics of my chick pea. But you see, we got this fancy new camera. It has decided it doesn't like my computer. So when we hook it up to load pictures it pretends that there is nothing on it! So I don't have any pics... and my other camera has a dead battery {can't find the charger}. If I had a fancy phone I could upload those pics, but I don't. Sad.

However, I am loving a few things... am I allowed to share them a day late??

1. My sister's baby shower is this weekend!! Baby Graham is so loved already. I can't wait to meet him!!

2. Answered prayers for my sister and her family! A great reminder that God always provides!

3. Crafting. Those of you who have known me a long time know that this is a new development! I NEVER did anything creative or crafty until I began making things for Brynlee's room. I started making something for my sister this week and I have missed it! It has been a good stress reliever {especially since my usual release of running is impossible in this cold, dreary weather!}

4. Family. I honestly do not know how people have babies when they don't live near family! I cannot imagine doing all of this without them. I seriously admire all of you who go it alone, in a sense.

And there she is! Awake again... until naptime, whenever that may be!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

So it is time again for some Wednesday loves linking up with Jamie {notice how this is sometimes the only time I post...?? Oh well!} Here goes...

Our new camera. I think this has been on a list a couple of times- but it is AMAZING!! I wish I had pics on my computer to show you how wonderful and clear the pictures are. And not to mention that it takes them SO stinkin fast, you actually get a good picture when Brynlee smiles! 

This tiny tent! I have decided that it would be a great addition at our house. I was thinking it would be nice to set this up outside to play in when it is nice, but super windy {which it is a lot in the Spring in Oklahoma}. This way I could go outside with Brynlee without her constantly sucking air!

they are having fun....
My wonderful family. This weekend we had an awesome time all hanging together and celebrating my parent's 30th anniversary! It is an amazing thing to be married that long- especially in today's world when people make it okay to just walk away at the sign of trouble. Around their actual date {April 5th} we may talk more about this subject!

My puppy Hadlee. Poor dog had no idea what hit her when Brynlee was born. To say she was demoted would be an understatement. Of course we still love her {those of you who have known me a long time never thought you would ever hear me say that!} but her life has dramatically changed since Brynlee was born. She will be so ecstatic the day Brynlee actually stands up and plays with her!

Cookies. {Here is the food of the week} The past month or so I have been loving good ol' chocolate chip cookies/cookie dough! Actually, I think I may make some later for my small group girls tomorrow night!

And because I am a nerd and need things to be even we will stop there!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Today I am linking up with Jamie on my Wednesday loves!
That my husband will be home the day after tomorrow {he is in Chicago for the high school missions trip}

at the Cubs game on our 2nd anniversary!
My entire immediate family will be together this weekend!! This has not happened since June. My brother and sisters {and fams} are coming! To say I am excited is a complete understatement! I love my family and have so much fun when everyone is together. And my brother Joel will be meeting Brynlee for the first time! 
Twizzlers. That's about it. {I think I include some kind of food each week... oops!}

The weather! For the next few days will be in the upper 70's! This is wonderful news since it has been too cold for me to run with Brynlee this week. So for the rest of the week I can take her out!

Spring Break. While I am currently on Spring Break all the time. My mom is not- so this week is fun to get to hang with her more! We had a fun day of shopping yesterday and will probably hang more later this week!

On a side note... apparently since I am home all the time- I now eat like a toddler! My meals mostly consist of chicken strips and fries, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese and that's basically it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More than genetics

So today me and Brynlee did some shopping with my mom. It was super fun and wonderful, especially since I was itching to get out of the house. On the way back to my mom's Brynlee was getting pretty restless. She was tired and hungry and just sick of all of our shopping {although she always perks up when we go to Target!}. While she was crying and we were trying to console her, telling her everything would be alright, that we were almost there; my mom had this to say:

She said {not word for word, but you get the idea}, "I bet this is how God feels.  He knows everything is going to be okay and that we are almost there, or almost through a tough time. Yet, we continue to cry and say 'really, do you really hear me? Do you really know how I am feeling?'"

That really hit me. I say to Brynlee all the time that "everything will be fine," or "we are almost home" and she continues to cry. I know she just doesn't understand, but sometimes I want so badly for her to know and be overcome with peace and a sense of calm. I am sure that is how God feels. He knows everything will be fine and He has the whole situation under control and yet I am still cry just to make sure He is really hearing me. I pray that I can have a sense of calm and peace after lifting up my prayers to God, knowing that He has it all under control.

I have more in common with Brynlee than just genetics!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Our new super fancy camera. I have no idea how to work it, but hopefully I can figure it out soon. It is so easy to take pictures and is never blurry {which James loves, because he does not love our other camera}. I actually love our other camera, but this one is way better!

My mom and her availability to watch Brynlee every Wednesday night so I can continue to lead my small group girls! I know she loves having Brynlee in the house and I know Brynlee loves hanging with Grandma! 

Cheesecake. Enough said really but I will explain. Last week we finally bought a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake from Sam's {I have been wanting one ever since visiting Elizabeth over a month ago}. I also made homemade whipped topping to go on it... top that with a little chocolate syrup and you have a masterpiece.

Running. Now it has been very difficult getting back in the groove of running, but for the last week or so I find myself getting upset if I can't fit in a run for the day. This means I am actually starting to enjoy it again! I can't tell you how excited this make me! After completing the 5K last Saturday {with minimal walking} I am excited for the next one! 

Budgeting... this may seem a little weird, but I actually love to do a budget! I don't always love sticking to the budget, but having it all down on paper truly makes me happy! I am looking forward to going back to cash next week so we can start saving for fun things again {like maybe a vacation- like how I seem to fit this in to almost every post???}

Of course my amazing hubby and beautiful sweet pea! I love them... but how could you not?? 

3 months old

Brynlee Anne-

Today you are three months old!! I can hardly believe it has been that long since I first got to hold you! You are such an amazing little girl and a blessing to us each day! Some highlights of your life so far...

- You are getting teeth!! Although none have come in all the way, you are still working on three or four right now. It is crazy to me that this is already happening!
- You wear 3-6 month clothes... and even some of those are too small! I just love our chunky monkey!
- You are starting to really laugh! It is pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself!
- Sleeping is a little touch and go right now- all due to the teeth. You are back to sleeping around 4-5 hours at a time. So we are getting closer to sleeping through the night again! Although soon we will have to figure out how to sleep without being swaddled.
- You love to play and talk on your blanket, but the changing table is still your favorite place to be!
- You still roll over from back to front, and can get up on your side if laying on your back.
- We are still working on a good, solid nickname for you. Grandpa usually calls you dude {dudette}. Mommy calls you anything from cuddle bug, sweet pea and occasionally snicker doodle {maybe this means you will love sweets as much as your momma}. But nothing has completely stuck yet!

All in all you are super healthy and happy! We love having you around and can't wait to see how you will change in the coming months! Love you baby girl!

Monday, March 7, 2011

new toy

So because James is trying to get Brynlee to sleep and I need a distraction from the screaming... I will blog.

Tonight we bought a new toy. Let me preface this- James told me maybe one year into our marriage that when we had kids he really wanted to buy this. So when we got our tax return we started talking about what we would spend it on. Of course we wanted to mainly save it and beef up our savings, but I kind of wanted to do at least one fun thing with some of the money {a vacation possibly...?} But no, we would do the responsible thing and pay off the hospital bill and put the rest in savings. Well then I came with this brilliant idea that we should buy this one certain item and it would count for birthdays, Christmas and our five year anniversary. I had no idea James would jump at the chance and find this certain item for an amazing deal, in less than 24 hours! What did we buy you might ask???

That's right folks... a Nikon D90. I honestly can't believe this camera is sitting on my coffee table right now. But it is. So it is time to learn how to really take pictures my friends. Of course, I will still be carrying around my Cybershot for everyday use... but this will sure come in handy when we need some good family/Brynlee pics!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Show Us Your Life: Family

I would love to spend hours writing about how amazing my family is... but Brynlee is starting to wake up from her nap, so it this will be short and sweet!

My wonderful family is comprised of my parents: Pam and Charlie, two sisters: Elizabeth and Abigail and my brother Joel.

A little tidbit about each of them. 

My dad: There is so much I could say about my dad. Ever since I was little we have had a special relationship. We have always just gotten along really well. We really are pretty much opposites in a lot of ways but yet it just works. Anyways, more about him. My dad loves us kids, loves my mom and most of all loves God. He is an amazing preacher and leader within the church. He is surprisingly tender hearted and just loves people {although he doesn't always love being around people!}. He is a leader by all definitions and a "lion" {personality trait}. He likes being around family and loves to be with his grand daughters! Although his temperament has changed quite a bit in the last five years {due to a "moderate" stroke} he is still one of the people I look up to most. I value his opinion above almost everyone else.

Fun Story: When I was little I sometimes had trouble sleeping, my dad did as well. So he would go to the living to watch basketball when he couldn't sleep. Whenever he would, he would come see if I was asleep... and if not I got to go hang with him and watch late night basketball together. One of my favorite things about growing up.

he loves to make anything but a serious face in pictures
My mom: My mom is a mom by all accounts. What I mean is that she loves to take care of and be there for her kids {and my dad, but that's understood}. She always remembers and notices the little things. For instance, her tiny refrigerator in the garage is always stocked with like 12 different drinks, because she wants to have what each person is drinking when everyone comes to visit. One of the ways she takes care of us. And she will notice if you change from drinking coke to pepsi! But that is kind of a different subject. My mom is a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. She is always one of the best prayer warriors I know. To say that my mom and I are close would be an understatement. We are so much alike, it kind of surprises me that we get along SO well. I guess we just know and understand each other because of it. She loves having the whole family together... if even one person is missing it isn't the same! She is one strong woman too. {while I tear up...} I can't even begin to talk about the changes her life has gone through in the past five years, and how one event has changed her everyday because it changed the person she chose to walk through life with. But she has dealt with all of it and has glorified God for everything she has. Oh and she is an encourager... although I am not sure this is by nature {because I am not this way} but she is known to walk around singing "Rise and Shine" at 5 in the morning on youth camping trips!

Elizabeth: Elizabeth is my older sister by four years. We really weren't that close until the last maybe 3-4 years. She is amazing. I envy her confidence and independence a lot. She is one of the most intelligent people I know. I love that she has all of these qualities, that can, in some people, come off as pushy or superior, but she uses them to build relationships and care for her family. I love that her life now, is nothing like she expected while still in high school. One thing that has never changed is her love for God. She is diligent in her relationship with God and uses her outgoing personality to push others toward God. I also love that our husbands are friends. I know that is off topic but this means we get to hang out even more, because they enjoy each other so much! 

Joel: Joel is my older brother by two years. Joel and I are both middle children... although he is special because he is the oldest boy. Something I love about my brother is his resolve to kind of let things happen. Not that he is lazy or doesn't work hard, but he makes a decision, goes with it and let's it all play out. I love that while he is not that outgoing he can be friends with anyone. While I don't get to see him nearly enough {because he lives in Oregon}, I love that when he does come home, it's like he never left. Everyone just picks up where we left off. I think that says something about his ability to make people comfortable and at ease around him. 

Abigail: Abigail is my younger sister by 2 years. Now, there is a lot I could say about Abigail too. Growing up we had our times. We really got close my senior year of high school and have remained close ever since. I have to say that she has changed so much in the past few years. {and she would say the same thing} She is has such a passion for ministry- especially to young ladies. Her heart just aches for woman and girls who need love and protection. She wants to be that for them and wants nothing more than for them to find love and comfort through Jesus. She is a dork and I love that about her. She loves to have fun but also works so hard at everything. She is so strong and confident in her faith. I envy the way she has blossomed in ministry. She took on such a different role when her husband became an interim youth minister at a very large church {in which previously he was a part time associate}. The whole time they have been there she has poured into the girls of the youth group and I know her faith has grown because of it. 

There are a few things that I love about my family as a whole. I love that we all have grown up to love Jesus and we still do {which is not common of preacher's kids}. That is a huge testament to my parents {which is a different post that will be coming in the near future}. I love that we all have fun together and truly get along! I love that even if they weren't my family, they would still be my friends!

So not so short. But that is the Curran family. Love them all!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I am definitely loving the weather this week!! It was about 75 last night...

I am loving that I was able to run longer and further last night than I have in a really long time {making me think a 5k on Saturday would be possible, if it were 75 and sunny instead of 45 and rainy}

 I am loving that Brynlee is starting to enjoy her bouncy seat! 

I am loving that this weekend we have a birthday party for my best friend's son who is turning two!

And as always I am loving my amazing husband who continues to get up in the middle of the night with Brynlee! He's a keeper!