go through the fire

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Welcome to the World, Skylar Rain Graumann

On June 29, 2007, I became an aunt once again!!! Michael and April Graumann had Skylar in Omaha, Nebraska. We didn't get to meet her until we went to visit a couple of weeks later, but I loved her even before I met her. I love her name, and when I saw her for the first time, I loved everything about her. She's blessed enough to look like her mother (and not my dear brother), and she has quite a set of lungs!

It sucks that they live 8 hours away. My dad often calls me and boasts about her, but he makes up for it by sending darling photos and videos of her. Like this one:

I barely even recognize her! It is amazing how fast they grow up. Isn't she a doll? I keep telling Mike that I am going to spoil her and that when she grows up, she will want to travel around the world doing missions with her favorite aunt Jessica. Mike doesn't like that, but he will have no choice....

I'm very proud of my brothers. Both are now married and have daughters. Mike and April bought their first house in Omaha and Jon, Brandy and Kaylynn moved back to Virginia (where they met and where Brandy's parents live). I hate that my brothers and their family are so far away, but if it weren't them leaving, it would be me leaving for some foreign country. That's life! So now I live for the pictures they send and the phone calls that I get from them.

Sadly, in the middle of July, my mother's mother passed away. It was a very difficult time, and the only joy that many of us had was that family came in from everywhere. Both of my brothers and their families were here. It was really nice to have both of my nieces in the same room. It was also great to see aunts, uncles and cousins that I hadn't seen in years.

Posted by Picasa

My Calling

From May 2 - 10, I went to Patzicia, Guatemala. As it seems to be with every mission trip, it was a very impactful, God-filled time. We were a team of six - two young women and four men - and the only person that I really knew before the trip was Pastor Alejandro (my pastor).

I can't express how much God impacted our lives! Lauren and I were kind of tag-a-longs, but we were still very productive. We helped teach English at the Christian school we were staying at (we stayed with the live-in missionaries Pastor Gregorio and his wife Nati), we helped Mark and Jack build onto Alicia's (the principal of the school) house, we helped minister at every church that we visited around Patzicia, and I got to help translate between English and Spanish.

I was considerably blessed by the students at this school. They ranged from first to eighth grade and they had an amazing ability of memorizing and regurgitating large blocks of scripture. I was impressed, blessed and convicted to memorize more scripture all at the same time.

The spiritual climate of the churches we visited is tangible and Spirit-filled. Every night we worshipped, prayed, and ministered to the Body of Christ, and I was honored to watch how God moved before my very eyes. We traveled to a different church every night, and each church has its own flavor, but all have a hunger and thirst for God. In one church, we prayed for the pastoral family and for unity of the people. In another, we prayed for the churches' dream of building a bigger church and the pastors that were with us gave prophetic and encouraging words to the pastoral family and the congregation. One night at a youth service, all the youth came forward to be prayed for and I watched as a demon was cast out of a young teenage girl.

Of course, one of the best parts was getting to know people. I have a Guatemalan family now, and they are pictured above. Pastor Julio, Liz, Gabriela and Gabriel are forever in my hearts. They blessed me more than I could ever imagine and took care of me as if I were their own (I was pretty sick the couple of days I spent with them). They are an example to me in that I could see how God intends a family to be. The love they have for each other is real, sincere, encouraging, and edifying. And they met me and shared it with me also! I cannot wait until the day that I can return to Guatemala to see them!

All the people that I came into contact with in Guatemala were an encouragement and a blessing to me. The native Guatemalan pastors, teachers and missionaries are on fire for God and are working tirelessly in the vision God has given them. And because of that, many are being saved! The young students gave me an energy in my soul that I didn't know I lacked. To actually witness several generations being taught the living Word of God and to see and hear how those children live it is something that I will carry with me always. And to come together with 5 other people, 4 of whom I did not know beforehand, and to work with them, to learn from them and to befriend them, is yet another blessing I don't deserve that God has given me.

I thank God that He has reaffirmed once again His calling in my life. No matter where I am sent to, I am simply content in going. Everyday I realize I am a missionary, whether it is to my family, my co-workers, the Hispanics in my community, people in Mexico, or people halfway around the world. I thank God for this calling and that I get to do what I love and enjoy.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 30, 2007

Welcome to this world Kaylynn Lizbeth Graumann!!!

Kaylynn was born on March 27, 2007 at 3:27 PM to my brother Jon Graumann and his wife Brandy. She weighed 7.1 pounds and measured 12 1/2 inches. Even though her head was the shape of an egg and her hands and feet were blue (typical of newborns), she is a perfect, beautiful baby girl. I'm so glad that she is finally here!!
This picture was taken when she was about 30 minutes old. Just look at those proud parents!

Mommy Brandy did a good job!

First time grandmother.

This is my first time to be an aunt. I'm going to be the best aunt ever (to all of my nieces and nephews when they come)!!! I'm going to help Kaylynn grow up knowing God (I know that her parents will also), I'm going to teach her Spanish, take her on mission trips with me, and give her really noisy toys so that can she can irritate her father. She will love being with her cool aunt Jessica.
Posted by Picasa

More of Kaylynn....

The proud grandmother with the proud great-grandfather.

The very protective father.

Baby's first bath.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Glen Fenimore

On December 9, 2006, my mother and Glen were married in Rey de Gloria Iglesia Cristiana. It was the first wedding in English that my pastor did and the first wedding that I have ever planned. But it was a great wedding regardless. My mother is happier than I have ever seen her and I thank God for their matrimony. I love my new step-father and I am very thankful to God that my mother is so happy.
Congratulations mom and Glen!!
Oh, and if anyone would like their wedding planned, I've got one successful ceremony under my belt. If I know you, I'll even do it for free.

More Wedding Pictures

Mike, Jon, Todd (Glen's son), and me were up there with them. My mom's mom was too. She always has to be in the action!!

Two become one....

The bride, groom and all of their family.