#916 - His Dreams

I was first introduced to this book in the summer of 1998 when I served for the first time at the Florida GA/Acteens Camp. Each night before bed we would read a story to our campers, and my co-counselor had this one, among others. I fell in love with it. I later bought a copy for myself so I'd have it "one day" when my own children came along.

I read this to Riley this afternoon. He and I have read it together before, but today the last page jumped out at me.
In case you have trouble reading it in the picture, it says, "Sometimes, the dreams that we have for ourselves are much smaller than the dreams that God has for us. The three trees' dreams came true, just not in the way they imagined. And so it is with each of us. For if we follow God's path, we will travel far beyond even our greatest dreams."

And this is where I find myself right now. I had dreams for a family - a husband and some children. I even thought about adoption. I never dreamed of fostering to adopt, though. I never dreamed of the ways God would use this process to refine, stretch, and draw me closer to Himself. I never dreamed of the FAITH journey He would take me on throughout my relationship with Him thus far.

I never dreamed of these things, but I sure am thankful He did!


#917 - "Ice Skating"

Riley amazes me when he watches something on t.v. and then immediately enters the incredible world of his imagination and attempts to recreate what he saw using materials we have in the house. The other day he learned about ice skating on Sesame Street. This occurred right after...

I pray he and Ella never suppress their imaginations like so many of us are guilty of doing! Thank you, Lord, for creating our intricate and amazing brains! May we use them for Your glory!

#918 - OBU 10-year Reunion

My husband attended and graduated from what I like to call the "other" Baptist university...

For those of you who didn't know, I am a proud alumnus of

Daniel graduated in 2003, so when he realized his 10-year reunion would be this year, he made it pretty clear we'd be attending. Daniel had an incredible college experience, including a large group of friends that he still stays in touch with. Many of them are now my friends, so I was excited about getting to see a few of them at the reunion. I didn't do a very good job of taking pictures, but I did get a few.

Daddy showing his son around his college campus

The enclosed marble statue of a tiger. In case it's not clear, they do not want anyone getting near this thing!

The library is named after one of Daniel's relatives (great-great-great-something), so we got a picture of all of the boys with the name Riley. (L to R: Jack Riley Day, Riley Whitlow Bramlett, and Daniel Riley Bramlett)

As we were walking around campus we found this sidewalk with students' names etched into it. Daniel said it wasn't there when he was a student, so it's been done pretty recently. Look beside the arrow and you'll see his name. :) 

 Future bears or tigers??? Or neither? With the cost of private universities these days, they'll be future wherever-they-get-amazing-scholarships!

Daddy and his girl (sporting a Ouachita onesie thanks to Aunt Debbie!)

Daniel and some of his college friends

We had a great time at OBU's Homecoming 2013 and Daniel's reunion! Hopefully next year I'll be posting about our trip to Waco for Baylor's Homecoming! :)

#919 - Dancing Skills

These children make me laugh all of the time when they randomly bust out dancing! While watching Riley, remember he is his father made-over...dancing and all! :)


#920 - Pure Joy

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted. There's so much I want to catch up on, so I'll be attempting to do that as much as possible. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways, and I want to be sure to record them before too much time passes! If you haven't read my blog before, or it's been a while, early in the year I challenged myself to write about things I am thankful for. This came after reading part of Ann Voskamp's book, "One Thousand Gifts," in which she makes a list of 1,000 ways the Lord has blessed her. So, I am counting down from 1,000. 80 completed so far, 920 to go.

Two weeks ago we went on a mini-vacation paired with Daniel's 10-year college reunion. A church member let us borrow an amazing camper (HUGE blessing in itself!), and we set up shop in the middle of the trees at DeGray Lake Resort State Park. If you've never been there, I highly recommend it! Our last full day, it rained the entire day. Daniel and I knew we'd go crazy if we stayed inside the camper all day with two littles, so we loaded up and headed to nearby Hot Springs for some indoor fun. We spent the morning at Mid-America Science Museum. It was really neat, but a little too advanced for sweet Ella. She spent most of the time in the stroller, and I could tell she just wasn't too impressed. We then ate lunch at McClard's bbq. Daniel raved and raved about it, and they really have been named best bbq in Arkansas. I guess I'm just used to Floridian bbq... Anyway, after lunch we found an awesome indoor playground. And the reason I titled this post "pure joy" is because of the look on Ella's face when we walked in. She absolutely lit up! I took her shoes off as fast as possible (no shoes allowed!), and she took off running! So precious! It was as if she was thinking, "Finally! They finally brought me somewhere I can play and have fun!"

At one point I was sitting on the floor watching her. I teared up because of how much joy I felt just seeing her have such an awesome time. And then God whispered to me, "that's exactly how I feel when I bless you with something that makes you so excited!" What a moment! I will never forget hearing His voice and catching a small glimpse of our Father's HUGE heart for His children! Thank you, Lord, for once again using my children to teach me such priceless lessons!

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:9-11