Wednesday, April 25, 2007

EVERYTHING by Lifehouse


"How can I stand here and not be moved?"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bye-Bye Bermuda...

I'm a little late on updating our Bermuda trip...mostly because I wanted a little break. One thing has happened after another and I've reached a time where I feel like I can finally breathe.

We officially said "no" to the Bermuda option last Friday. The time we were there proved one thing to me--God did not want us there. I don't understand why, but I've learned it's not my job to desire comprehensive understanding. I firmly believe in a greater plan, and this opportunity did not make the cut.

Bermuda is an amazing place to visit, not a place personally I would like to live
I saw the most amazing beaches I have ever seen. Coral green water, and salmon pink sand...oh I miss it! Wonderful green vegetation, hidden flowers, manicured buildings. Awesome. Is Bermuda a good place to run/walk...defintely no. Since this is a favorite pasttime for Jason and me, it would definitely be hard to adjust to their very narrow streets lacking sidewalks. You have mopeds and vans with horrible exhaust racing past you on the winding streets. Not my idea of a relaxing place to walk. However, the beaches are amazing places to walk, I must say. So coupled with drinking unfiltered rain water, the presence of rats and large frogs (yeah, I abhor frogs...I know I'm weird), concerns about their health care system, and the outrageous living costs, I must say Kansas looks better and better.

I experienced racism, something I've never felt before
This was a big sign, I felt, that this is not the place for us. I had noticed early on in the week that I would say hello to some people and they would just stare at me. However, that was nothing compared to the incident that happened the last full day of our trip. I was out exploring the island and I walked back to Jason's office to meet him for lunch. As I was approaching Seaboard's office, I greeted a lady, and she looked at me and said, "F***ing White Trash!" Hmm...I think she must have gotten kicked off the Bermuda welcoming committee and she decided to take it out on me. To say I was hurt and confused is an understatement. I know I'm a little delicate as of late, but regardless, to be told these words would not make many want to pack up all their possessions and move thousands of miles away from the comforts of home.

However, I did not walk away from this experience without absorbing something. Racism is absolutely disgusting and to think that minorities in this country encounter this on a day-to-day basis outrages me. There is never a time or a place for racism, EVER. This hurt a lot to have a complete stranger utter such disparaging words to me. Yeah, I know I'm not white trash (white trash does not exist by the way...unless you're throwing away white paper), but still to hear someone with such anger unleash on me, definitely hurt my heart. I think what hurt the most is that this lady is holding such pain in her soul and she wants someone else to feel her pain. I have to remind myself not to hate her, but to pray for her that she may know joy and love, not anger and hatred.

So we're moving on...I can't say I know why we were presented with this opportunity to only close the door on it. But I know we can be assured we made the right decision.

Ok, God...what's next???

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The good parts of Bermuda....

So we have a big decision, but we have enjoyed some of the beauty...

Just Beautiful...Horseshoe Beach

I love my hubby :)

There is no question there is a God!

Happy Feet!

Front Street

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones live in Bermuda, and this is her favorite store...Jason's boss's wife sees them a lot at the beach, in fact Michael actually helped her calm her son down one time

We still don't know...

This decision has been a hard one on us. When we tell people we're thinking about moving to Bermuda everyone says, "Of course, you should." When we were first presented the idea, I said the same thing. But I wish it were an uncomplicated decision.

America is a good place to live...and cheap
First of all, I feel like we're trying to make a decision at a low time in our lives...a Pastor said one time, "Don't make big decisions in low times." In this situation, we don't have much choice. I know this is 2 years, but when we start to weigh our lives in Kansas versus here, I know our quality of life will not be as high. Yeah, I know, you probably don't believe me...because it's Bermuda. Well, when you start considering we'd be paying 3 times our current mortgage to find an apartment that is 1/5 as nice as our house, it makes it a little harder to say yes.

Bermuda is beautiful...but you pay A LOT to enjoy it
Financially moving to Bermuda could or could not be financially beneficial. Everything is so expensive...I know I've said that a lot, but it really prohibits your lifestyle. We would want this "sacrifice" to put us ahead financially, and it may or may not.

Most native Bermudians do not like Ex-Patriots (Non-natives who go to work in Bermuda)
They view Ex-Patriots as people who take their jobs...tourists they like because they bring revenue. Ex-Patriots are seen as taking their jobs; however, these are jobs that typically only for specifically qualified people. In Bermuda, businesses are required to advertise job openings locally for a few months before they're allowed to open it up to outsiders. So do we want to move to a place that people don't really like us? I can't say that's very welcoming. With that said, though, there are a lot of really nice and friendly people here though.

We have a great life in Kansas
Do we really want to give that up? We love our friends, neighborhood, house, cheap groceries...this has really made us appreciate the life we have. Part of me thought that this move would be a refreshing start after some difficult times. But I don't want to make our life more difficult by taking us out of our comfort zone at a critical juncture in our lives.

With that said, I wish we knew what to do. Jason and I feel so confused and it's made it hard to really enjoy our time here because we have such a decision weighing on our shoulders. God has not revealed it so clearly to us, and I wish He would say yes or no.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Viewing a House!

I'm to be looking at a house today...this most likely will not be available when we move but from the pictures, I would love to have a place like's in our price range. Hopefully we can find something similar...Oh, and this house has apartments within...we would not have a place this big!
The Exterior (it's new construction, hence the lack of landscaping)

The Living Room (Most homes have fireplaces...guess 55 degrees is too cold in the winter!)

The patio off the Master Bedroom...I could get used to this!

Bermuda... yes or no?

Well, this Bermuda trip has been an experience...and we've only been here a day and a half! When we were flying in, it was a cloudy view, but seeing Bermuda was just amazing. I had never flown into an island before, so it was an awesome thing to see. It definitely felt like we were going to land in the water as we were descending! I think it's so amazing that there's this little community out in the middle of the ocean.

I've learned a few things while we've been here...

1. You need to say "Hello, how are you?" to everyone! It is considered rude here to not say hi. This morning I was walking back to the hotel, and I said "Good Morning" to most people. This, I like.

2. This is the most manicured place I've ever been to! The houses and buildings are immaculate...always painted perfectly. Flowers are everywhere and they are beautiful. The city has so much character with the architecture and style.

3. There is reverse discrimination here. I have never experienced that before! Last night we went to eat with Jason's future boss (possibly) and his wife. His wife was dressed up, but she was wearing jeans. The maitre de scolded her for wearing jeans, yet there were 3 or 4 other people there wearing jeans. It is a strange thing to feel like a minority, yet, I'm glad that I can empathize with those who are discriminated against on a regular basis.

4. Things are expensive, I mean expensive. I knew this coming in, but it's still a strange thing to see tomatoes for $6.99/pound, Wheat Thins for $4.50, 2 liter of Coke for $3.50, etc. Electricity bills (including electricity only) runs about $450/month. It sure makes the Gardner utility bill seem low! The ironic thing is, the coffee prices are extremely similar to Starbucks...guess we know Starbucks really is overcharging! I know why Starbucks hasn't come here...they'd have to charge $8 for a cup of coffee and even the locals wouldn't pay that!

5. There are hardly any commercial restaurants here. I was dumbfounded when we saw there was a KFC opening this week! At least there will be one comfort restaurant if we are ever homesick!

Those were my latest observations for Bermuda. It is an amazing place and I hope we can know for certain if this is where God wants us. We surrendered this decision to Him and I know He won't disappoint if we come here or stay in Gardner. We know one thing for sure, in this decision, we've learned what a wonderful life we have in Kansas. We adore our friends, we love our neighborhood, we love life there. But we can't be afraid to get out of our comfort zone for awhile. In God' hands....

Friday, April 6, 2007

Our little munchkin...

So the doctor told us it's important for us to grieve through this process and truly reflect. This may be cheesy for anyone else, but it's near and dear to my heart.

We always called our baby "Munchkin" and the few things I know about Munchkin are:

1. Munchkin loved fried chicken (definitely got that from papa!)

2. Munchkin loved Country music, got that from momma & papa

3. Munchkin loved ice cream--got that from momma, all our kids better love it, because there's no way I'm getting through pregnancy without it!

4. Munchkin wanted momma to eat all the time, yeah, I'm really ok with that.

Munchkin-Momma & Papa loved you a lot and we can't wait to see you in heaven. :) Save us some ice cream. :)

Typical Kansas...

You know you live in Kansas when on Monday it's 83 degrees and on Friday it's flurrying and 20 degrees!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Possibly our new home...

The Islands
The Homes

The Beach


Fiinancial District-Where Jason would work

Finally...Pink Sand...Why I'm moving there!

A New Beginning...

I must forewarn you...this will be a long post. There has been a lot weighing on my heart and this post will serve to be a little therapeutic.

Do you always notice, when it rains, it pours? Well, this past week it has felt like a hurricane. I'm trying to experience the beauty after the hurricane, but my heart still feels a little cold and dry. How appropriate that the weather corresponds with my emotions. In a way, I feel Jesus saying, "I understand and feel your pain."

Last Wednesday, Jason was formally offered the Bermuda job. Initially reviewing the offer, we did not feel it was good enough. I think we were really optimistic about this job and we had formulated what would be a "good" offer. This did not coincide with our ideas. Dealing with that, and worrying about the next day because I was going to the doctor to see if the baby had progressed...I was exhausted. We went to the appointment and there was some progress, yet no heartbeat yet. The doctor informed us there was still hope, we just had to wait. I felt exhausted, more so-so news with no definitive good news. I asked God, "Why do I have to endure this?"

Well, the Lord in all his goodness listened to my hurt and mad heartsobs and led me to a book I've had for awhile...Praying for Rain, Learning to Go through Desert Experiences. It was honestly a glass of water for my soul. The best thing I learned that day was a part from the book "I believe our response in the desert place is the key. The paradox of the desert is that if you cultivate it, it can become a beautiful, productive garden. Or it can draw the very life out of you and you end up just existing."

There it was, the ball was in my court. How would I respond? Well I CHOOSE to respond and make this time fruitful. God was really breaking my heart. I knew if we would have had a healthy heartbeat that day, I would have left that doctor's office unchanged, content with the present. But the Lord in His infinite goodness, was not pleased with the status quo. He said to me, "Brandy, I love you so much, I refuse to leave you unchanged. You are my precious child and I am drawing you near through good times and even these bad times."

Trusting God is easy, as long as things go your way. Trusting Him when things are uncertain is a whole 'nother ball game. And I was playing in that ball game. I chose to keep swinging.

Though I would find out, you don't always win. This past weekend I start noticing some brown spotting. It continued on and on and I was so worried. I knew this was not normal. Saturday night I started experiencing cramping and more reddish brown spotting. I had always heard this is not a good sign. I experienced cramping all night and I knew in my heart this was the end of my pregnancy. Sunday I had bleeding and extreme clotting. (Sorry for graphic nature) It was the end of our munchkin and my heart broke.

God comforted us through friends and family just being wonderful. There is such a bittersweet love and comfort in pain. The next day I went to the doctor and I dreaded going. I knew I had miscarried, but I didn't want this journey to be over. I wanted to just know some piece of our child was still with us. The nurse performed the ultrasound and showed most of my lining had passed, but there was still some placenta right at my cervix. That was all that was left and it hurt my heart. The doctor was able to remove it, and I knew I was no longer pregnant.

The doctor went through the typical verbage, "It's not your did nothing to cause this. It's ok and healthy to cry...etc." It's hard to not feel like it's your fault. I feel like I was not enough "mom" to our baby.

But in a bittersweet moment I felt such a pain, a mom's pain and I knew this tiny thing that was inside me was my child. I have never experienced a love like that, and it was such a beautiful love. It hurts so much to know that we won't have the chance (on this earth) to get to know our child. This little person we created is with Jesus and I have yet another reason to be excited for heaven, to see our first child.

Switching subjects, Jason and I are very serious about moving to Bermuda. THis just seems like a new beginning that we desperately need right now. We fly out on Sunday to check it out, and I feel like God is giving us our own Easter. To experience a new beginning after some tough times. But God always wins, and I'm glad I'm on His side.

I think about Easter and how Jesus suffered so greatly, yet had amazing victory. I know we will have victory too, but I also know that Jesus' experience goes with Him. God healed his scars, but He carries them to Heaven. I know too we will carry this experience with us.

We always have Easter, we always have victory. We always have a new dawn. Praise God.