Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thanksmas 2011

just a few pics from a few weekends ago...






Saturday, December 24, 2011

wishing you all a....



Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Years!
We are dreaming and wondering what this next year will be like for us Bromleys...



Love to you all,
jess



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

new music



Dia Frampton was on the show "The Voice". While she did not win the show, she did become good friends with Blake Shelton who was her biggest fan. Dia came out with a new CD that is awesome and her friend Blake is also on it. Dia has a really great, deep, chill, folksy kind of voice. Check her out!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

So I don't know how religious I will be about posting every Thursday.... but I'll try to do at least every other Thursday...maybe. hehe!

More October Gifts...

151. onion tears
152. aroma of onion
153. indoor laundry
154. homemade chilli dogs
155. my husbands, "I'm checking you out" look
156. nap
157. husband napping with an eye mask aka diva mask
158. dishes to clean
159. dave's car getting broken into- has helped me to talk with God more today.
160.  Emmi licking her chops after eating her food.
161. bright flowers
162. smell of eucalyptus
163. clean windows
164. early start to my day
165. not feeling rushed
166. Emmi laying on our bed on her back- like a human
167. poppy and gram
168. pedicure with gram nancy- her very first one!
169. listening to gram nancy tell about her family and childhood
170. great grandpas beautiful headstone that Poppy made
171. making poppy and gram happy with some home cooking
172. lots of spiritual/Bible discussions with poppy and gram
173. lost of laughs with poppy and gram
174. Gram and I having a nice visit with Aunt Twyla
175. Family Night...  a full house!
176. sweet memories made with poppy and gram
177. the feeling of having a full house
178.  the precious thought that the young kids in my family associate fun family memories and our home.. just like I did with the Bluegum Home when I was young.
179. thoughtful canned good gifts
180. new house lights
181. Poppys smell and voice... like a teddy bear.
182. Poppy and dave chatting about theology and Bible
183. Poppys tearful praying before they left for home.
184.  Missing family that is dear to my heart.... makes me realize how dear they are.
185. Gods goodness in creating humans with the capacity to have memories.
186. Coming from a godly heritage
187 . being able to have deep love for my family- however imperfect.


lots of love,
jess

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday


So as you guys know, I've been writing down a list of all of God's gifts to me as I notice them. So I thought I would try to make a weekly post listing all the things I'm thankful for.

September Gifts...

1. long walks with husband
2. fluffy pancakes
3. 72 degree weather
4. Saturdays that are slow and unhurried
5. squuuaakkking bird in the yard
6. sweet emmi girl
7. peppermint
8. red polka dot dress
9. blow dryer
10. enough hair spray to finish the job
11. butterfly at queen bean
12. baby Finn in the clothes basket aka make-shift play pin
13. sunday nap
14. neck massage
15. minty mouthwash
16. thai chai tea
17. sleeping in w/o setting an alarm
18. open window in the morning while doing my devos
19. birds singing
20. sun shining on the tree leaves
21. the muscles burning from running
22. emmi panting happily on a walk.
23. chats with grandma on the phone
24. anticipation
25. short but oh so sweet phone calls from husband
26. vanilla
27. chiptole
28. gardening... when its less than 90 degrees out
29. matt chandler
30. rum + 7up
31. unexpected love
32. sizzling sound of dinner cooking on the stove
33. dave doing dishes
34. late night summer walks
35. moth flying in the moonlight
36. sleep.
37. comfortable bed
38. crazy morning hair
39. big gulps of water
40. the sound of water splashing in the sink while brushing teeth
41. water bubbles in the sink
42. crocheting
43. Jesus... always here and listening.
44. cheesecake
45. not having a full time job
46. humming of the AC
47. Ireland's smile and sweet voice
48.  thrift store finds
49. the feeling that mint brings in my throat and nostrils
50.  the sight of loose leave tea- its so organic and whimsical.
51. emmi at me feet in the kitchen
52. the thought of a friend
53. clean hands
54. water moving down
55. crackling sound of a candle wick
56. the way candle wax drips down the candle ledge
57. the dancing light that a lit candle produces
58. silent prayer at the prayer bench- candles lit and Bible open.
59. goose bumps
60. water reflection in my cup
61. summer dress
62. sandals
63. sparkles from my wedding ring
64. not getting hit by 2 cars as I absent-mindedly ran a red light, that I thought was green.
65. fancy tea party at Kates Tea House with Lauren.
66. lauren- a down to earth friend.
67. satisfaction of a clean home
68. soap bubbles popping out of the hand soap refill... unexpectedly leaving a smile on my face.
69. Gage, humming the Indiana Jones theme song at 7:40 AM
70.  the sound of brook and gage giggling and playing outside.
71. a headache- gone away.
72. texture of shortening
73. rainbow jimmy sprinkles
74. the loud ring of the red kitchen timer
75. the smell of cake fresh from the oven
76. piano lesson cancellations on an already busy day
77. floral fabric
78. the sound of emmis nose working hard to smell
79. the sunlight in the piano room at 1:30 PM
80. a good hair day
81. ribs hurting... makes me depend on and talk to Jesus more.
82. dinner smell in the crockpot
83. community group
84. a cold beer after a long day
85. a new day
86. prayer with Casey
87. husband hanging laundry on the line
88. cream cheese frosting
89. emmis happy look while at the park
90. emmi happily chasing balls
91. drinking tea with my husband
92. yesterdays sunset
93. health... what a gift!
94. memories of having Valley Fever
95. putting away clean laundry
96. having a husband that I can put away clothes for
97. curly hair
98. finn ebersole
99. fluffy clouds
100. the way Alexa says her 'Rs'
101. sleeping on a bed and not the ground
102. having food readily available to eat.
103. crisp fall morning air flowing through our home
104. rice porridge breakfast
105. Lila smiling at me
106. long fall walks
107. spider web
108. note from Pips.
109. Husbands job, that God has used to cultivate strength in my heart.
110. hard reminders to pray for husband
111. mix matched tea spoons in a jar.
112. cat and dog cuddling
113. the fight for joy
114. new necklace
115. shopping with casey
116. pumpkin candle
117. granny square circles
118. early grey
119. tuesday 2 hour nap
120.  finger prints
121. the way air fluffs the duvet while bed-making
122. books that make the heart think
123. pumpkin vine field with millions of pumpkins
124. breezyness
125. anticipation for Fall

October Gifts....

126. tomato soup... homemade
127. phone call from Tammy Miller
128. grocery shopping
129. legs... tired from walking
130. washing machine and dryer
131. again... pumpkin candle
132. first apple of the season
133. brown rice and stock... for a yucky tummy
134. the "snap-click" sound of the camera shutter
135. dried apricots
136. windows open all day
137. a stomach free of hurting
138. emmis breath sounds while she sleeps
139. my heart beat... only beating because He wills it to.
140. thoughts of my husband.
141. a full night of sleep
142. the sound of water pouring from the kettle to my mug
143. yarn rainbow
144. a cappella... specifically The Sing Off
145. fragrant peach rose
146. Ireland's beat boxing
147. first rain of Fall
147. raindrops on roses... and on everything else
148. anticipation of Civil War concert in November
149. a baking day
150. feeling sprinkles of rain drops on my face


Have you started recording God's gifts to you? You should! The WHOLE earth is FULL of His glory! Oh the joy that can be found in being thankful for the gift of His glory in all things!

love,
jess

Sunday, September 25, 2011

captivated by the crisp

This morning is the first morning that it has actually felt like Fall. There is a crispness to the morning air that is quite lovely... its a snuggle up with a large cup of tea and stay in all day sort of crispness.

God is a good God. All He gives is good gifts- always. I love that about my Jesus. I deserve death and He gives me nothing but mercy and His goodness. Some days His goodness doesn't look good to me... sometimes it feels painful and hard... sometimes His goodness feels like He is giving me a stone instead of bread. Oh Lord, let me not believe the lie that you give your children stones... open my eyes to see that the bread just looks/feels like a stone. Most days, His goodness feels good to me. When Jesus opens my eyes to see His glory around me... to see the good gifts (even the ones that don't feel like gifts) that he lavishes upon me... I don't just see the gifts anymore, I now see the giver- Jesus.

Crisp, fall morning air and crunchy fallen leaves are such gifts from God. The WHOLE earth is filled with His glory! Praise His name!

I wish there was a way to capture the crisp chill of the fall air so that I could share it with you. So, I guess the photo of crunchy fall leaves below will have to do for now :-)

love to all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

endless gifts and life


Hey Friends,

Well, it looks like it has been a while since I have posted. I am so sorry for that! To be honest, I have been busy living life instead of just blogging about it :-)

Summer has been good, slow and full of sunshine. Our days have been spent working on our house, being out in the garden, reading, eating good food, spending time with good friends and new friends, and long evening walks. One of my best and most favorite summers ever!


Physically I have been feeling great! There are still those days that my ribs flare up with pain, but those are really very few. I have been off of my Valley Fever medication since July, and I just seem to keep getting better. I have an appointment with my pulmonary Doctor in October in which he will test my blood one more time to make sure that the Valley Fever hasn't come back since stopping the medication. I really think that God has healed me completely, and so I'm trusting Him for that. Thank you so much for your prayers, my friends. It has meant so much to me know that you all are praying. I will be forever grateful.

I've recently started reading a book from Ann Voskamp called, " One Thousand Gifts". Can I just say WOW!? Like any book, there are things I disagree with in it, but there are more so things that I agree with. Ann write poetically about learning how to live in the moment and how to be always watchful for God's gifts. In her own life she started practicing this 'sleuthing of God's gifts' by listing the gifts as she noticed them... her goal being to list 1000 of God's gifts to her. This book has been such a huge challenge to me (and I haven't even finished it yet!)  I started my own 1000 Gifts List the other day and it has been so good for my soul! So let me take this moment to challenge you to grab this book, read it and then make your own list of 1000 Gifts.

Lots of love,
jess

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Testimony

Hey Friends,
The following is what I shared today at church. This is what God has been doing in my heart the last 10 months. I pray that God might speak to you through this story.
love.
jess


Main point: The most loving thing that God can do is to give me more of Himself— at great cost to Him and sometimes at great cost to me.

Creation:
In August 2010 the Lord was really stirring up my affection for Him. He was giving me the desire to seek Him earnestly and to know Him deeply. Jesus was drawing me in closer to Him, and I wanted to be even closer. As Jesus drew me close to Himself He started revealing to me some sin that was in my life… an idol that I had let take residence in my heart- the idol of healthful living.

***Matt Chandler’s explanation of an idol***

Healthful living is not a sin. But it became a sin for me. I was constantly thinking about cooking, healthy eating, supplements, and meal planning…. Healthful living consumed me. It became my god.

Anyway, God was gently making it clear to me that my desire to grow closer to Him wasn’t going to happen until I was ready to bring my health idol to Him. God desired for me to be closer to Him by way of dealing with my idol. I wanted to grow closer to God, but I didn’t want to talk with Him about my idol. So, what I did instead was… I acknowledged the idol and said, “OK God, I’ve dealt with it now.” It was as if, in my mind acknowledging my idol was equivalent to dealing with it. I sounds silly for me to say that now because I think we can all agree that acknowledging a sin a definitely NOT the same as confessing and repenting of it. I like the way the book of Ezekiel talks about idols;

“Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols.
(Ezekiel 14:3-5 ESV)

God was saying, “ You want to come near to me? Well, what’s in your hand?” I wasn’t ready to open my hand and give my idol to the Lord. In His sovereignty, before the world began, God knew this and had already orchestrated a great and gracious plan for my life that was going to make me work through and deal with this health idol.

Fall:
The following month, September is when God began to reveal this great and gracious plan to me. On September 12, 2010 while sitting in church I began to feel slightly ill. I had a pain deep on the right side of my chest. I felt achy and had a low-grade fever. At first I just thought that I had a weird flu bug, but when I woke up the next morning the pain in my chest was worse and was accompanied with a rattling wheezy sound. I went to the Doctor that day and was sent home with a diagnosis of pneumonia and an antibiotic. That night I couldn’t sleep because I was in such horrible pain. I was also having trouble breathing. So at 6:45am Tuesday September 14th my husband took me to the Kaiser Hospital emergency room. That is where I spent the next 16 hours.  The Doctors no longer thought that I had pneumonia. They did X-rays, blood tests, urinalysis, a ultrasound and two CT scans. They were checking for kidney stones, kidney infection, a hole in my lung, a blood clot in my lung, a blood clot in my leg. It was so scary. While they didn’t see anything on the X-ray of my lungs, they did find a mass on my lung when they did the CT Scan. So after all of the testing, the 3 bags of IV fluid and a couple doses of some good pain killers they sent me home with a miss-diagnosis of atypical pneumonia…and told me to keep taking my antibiotic that had been prescribed previously.

Let me tell you… those 16 hours were LONG! I was so confused and annoyed at God for allowing me or dare I say planning this sickness for me. I was confused because I was a healthy person- I made sure of it- how in the world could I get sick? I was annoyed because I put so much effort into being healthy that it consumed me and God had let me down by allowing this sickness. In a way I had tried to put God in my debt. Let me explain what I mean by that. While my actions were showing that I was just trying to be a healthy person, my heart was saying something entirely different... something so wicked and ugly that it makes me cringe repeating it to you. My heart was saying, “ God, I treasure health more than I treasure you. I eat healthy food and I avoid junk food as much as possible so… you have to keep me healthy… you owe it to me.” My journey towards being a healthier person had started out as a good thing. But oh how it had spun out of control. It had become an idol so quickly that I didn’t even notice it until it was already too late. Health was precious to me… I treasured it more than my Savior. Health was my god.

For the next two months that I spent in bed, I went from being angry with God for allowing me to get sick, to being angry with Him for not healing me, knowing that He was able to do so. While in bed for those two months, Jesus not only revealed to me the fact that I treasured health more than Him but also that I had been trusting in healthy foods to keep me well, instead of trusting in my Creator. I remember having thoughts like, “God if you really loved me, then you wouldn’t have allowed this.” And “God, I was getting to close to you, and I wanted more of You in my life and then you let THIS happen.”

Come December I was able to get out of bed for long portions of time. I was feeling better but I still felt sick… I felt like there was still something wrong with me. So I was given a referral to go see a Dr. Patel- a lung specialist. Before I even had an appointment with Dr. Patel, he took one look at my file and ordered a blood test for coccidiomycosis-, which is also known as Valley Fever. Valley Fever is a fungal infection of the lung. Once inhaled, the fungal spores produce lesions on the lungs. If not treated (and depending on how many spores were inhaled) the lesions can spread to other organs in the body and can eventually cause meningitis and even death.
So anyway, the blood test came back positive. In a way, I was relieved because it meant that I wasn’t crazy! There was a real reason for me not feeling good for so long! Dr. Patel got me started on an antifungal medication and told me that while he was confident that I’d only be taking them for 3 months, there was a chance that I could be taking them for up to 1 year. This was a bummer for me. It meant that recovering from Valley Fever wasn’t something that just happened over night or within a week like a cold or flu.

During this whole time God had still been working in my heart regarding my health idol. He finally had softened my heart to the point where I actually surrendered to Him and repented of my sin. I chatted with the Lord and told Him that I was sorry for treasuring my health over Him and asked Him to help me to love Him more than health… more than anything. It was such a relief to be honest with God about my idol. I was so tired and weary from trying to keep my hand so tightly closed around my health idol, and God was right there… ready and waiting to be gracious to me, and give me rest.

The day after I repented, Jesus spoke to me through my scheduled bible reading for that day. It was a super special moment. I couldn’t hear Jesus’ voice audibly, but I knew He was speaking to me. The passage was Isaiah 30:18-22

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
            and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
            For the LORD is a God of justice;
                        blessed are all those who wait for him.
            For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction (or Valley Fever), yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”
(Isaiah 30:18-22 ESV)


Redemption:
As I read that passage, the tears flowed. I felt like God was slowly freeing me from the bondage that this idol had put me in. While being sick this whole time, I had felt that God was not being loving towards me. I had thought that if God really loved me He never would’ve let me get sick…if God really loved me then He would have healed me ASAP! God made me realize something crazy… He made me realize that He gave me Valley Fever because He loves me. God is the most beautiful, glorious treasure that a person could ever have, and He wanted to give me more of Himself. In His Sovereignty He knew that the best way to do that would be to allow me to inhale fungal spores so that I would get sick.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking “jess, don’t you think that is a little over board saying that God caused your Valley Fever? Don’t you think you’re taking it too far in saying that God directed the fungal spores that made you ill?”
My answer to that is NO! I absolutely do not think that I’m taking it too far. The Bible doesn’t minimize human responsibility but is very clear that God is directing and orchestrating every detail of our lives.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
(Ephesians 1:11 ESV)

Proverbs 16:33 says
The dice is cast into the lap,
            but its every decision is from the LORD.

If I believe what this verse says- that God is sovereignly directing something as random as which way the dice fall- then how can I not believe that He is sovereign over fungal spores blowing in the wind? Randomness is not random to God.
Charles Spurgeon is one of my favorite authors, and I want to share with you a quote in which he speaks of dust particles.

“I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens—that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche. He that believes in a God must believe this truth. There is no standing-point between this and atheism. There is no half way between a mighty God that worketh all things by the sovereign counsel of his will and no God at all. A God that cannot do as he pleases—a God whose will is frustrated, is not a God, and cannot be a God. I could not believe in such a God as that.”


Restoration:
God was not surprised by my Valley Fever. It didn’t catch Him off guard. In His sovereignty, He planned my Valley Fever for my good and for HIS glory. He lovingly directed the fungal spores into my nostrils and allowed the lesions to grow on my lungs. Getting sick showed me that my idol had failed me. Getting sick showed me that health is a good and blessed thing, but that Jesus is better.
Eating healthy is good, but it is not ultimate. I can’t trust in healthful living to keep me healthy because… it can’t. At some point it is going to disappoint me, its going to fail me…it DID fail me! Instead I need trust in the Lord and know that He is in control my health. He is in control of whether I am well or whether I am ill. So I eat healthy not because I find my security in it, but rather I eat healthy to be a good steward of this body that God has given to me, and I trust that He will take care of me and do what seems best to Him- for my good, and for His glory.

So that brings us to the present.  My doctor took me off of my medication two weeks ago.  I thought that by this time I would no longer struggle with this idolatry.  Honestly, I’m still struggling with it.  Thankfully, God is working on my heart and breaking me of this.  It’s been a hard 10 months and I don’t want to go through another illness like this, but I also wouldn’t change any of it.

Sometimes it’s hard to think about God ordaining my Valley Fever.  In those times, God has to remind me of what I told you in the beginning.  That first and foremost, God giving me more of Himself came at great cost to Him in the sending of His Son to die on the cross in my place. This is where I have to ground my thoughts; otherwise I would go crazy thinking that God was out to get me. Its only in starting here, that I can see that God giving me Valley Fever is something truly loving.




Thursday, July 28, 2011

God controls all... even the dust motes.

I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens—that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche. He that believes in a God must believe this truth. There is no standing-point between this and atheism. There is no half way between a mighty God that worketh all things by the sovereign counsel of his will and no God at all. A God that cannot do as he pleases—a God whose will is frustrated, is not a God, and cannot be a God. I could not believe in such a God as that. 
-C. Spurgeon


If God controls the dice and dust motes... do you think he can control fungal spores that blow in the air that make people sick with Valley Fever? I sure hope so.

I'm gonna post my testimony here in a few weeks. I'll be chatting about what the Lord has taught me over the past 10 months. I'm really looking forward to sharing with you.

Love to all,
jess

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

valley fever update

Hello Friends!

It is summer so my posts on here have been few. I am sorry for that, but California summers are just too beautiful to stay inside and blog. :-)

Anyway I just wanted to give you all a very quick update on my valley fever sickness. I went a few weeks ago and got another blood test to check my valley fever fungus levels as well as 2 tests to check to see how my liver is functioning while on my medication. All 3 tests came back with normal results! Praise the Lord! On the 25th of this month I have an appointment with my lung specialist to find out if I can finally be off of the valley fever medication. Once I stop taking the medication I need to watch out for any symptoms indicating that I could be relapsing. Dr. Patel told me that in about 10% of patients Valley Fever returns, and then they have to go back on medication.

Obviously I do not want to get sick again, but I'm trusting that God will do what seems best to Him... maybe it means healing, and maybe it means more sickness, but I trust Him.

There are still those moments (even as I typed the few sentences above) when I panic a little about the thought of possibly getting sick again, but in those moments He reminds me of the past 10 months and how faithful He has been to me. He reminds me of how I can trust Him and how He is always working for my good and for His glory. Jesus is better than any pleasure, wealth or even health. I just want more of Him in my life, and I want God to accomplish that however He sees fit to do so. The most loving thing that He could ever do is to give me more of Himself... at great cost to Himself and (sometimes), at great cost to me.

Christ be lifted high!

Thank you for your continuing prayers,
jess

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SF trip

As you may remember, the Hubs and I were going to San Fransisco for a weekend. We spent a lot of time chatting together, saw The Civil Wars in concert (AMAZING!!!) and ate tons of good food. Here is some photos from our trip....

View from our room on the 43rd floor at The Hilton! GORGEOUS! We could see the whole bay as well as Coit Tower! 
We had dinner at this cute Italian place called 'Amarena'.


This was the venue where we saw The Civil Wars

The decor of the music hall was super tacky and over done and I loved it! I would NOT like it for my home but for the music hall it really looked awesome!

<3 him 

The Civil Wars: Joy Williams and Jon Paul White

View from our room at midnight.
handsome man.

Britex: a sewers dream.

Bread and Cocoa: This cute lil place is where we ate breakfast. I highly recommend this place! 

Dave's Cocoa Mocha

My lovely London Fog- which I must add was the best one I have ever had. Ever.

smoochy.

trying to get a pic of the both of us. hehe!

toms.

we drove Lombard street and then decided to walk it as well..

pretty house, flowers and lighting on Lombard St.

us.

handsome man... again.

Coit Tower


Cool colors

love the brick

golden gate

Fallen soldier cemetery in the Presidio

21st Amendment:  we ate lunch here. They have awesome burgers and their ginger beer is really refreshing. We bought one of their house brews for my Dad for Fathers Day and He seemed to really enjoy it!
Us.
The End.