Monday, July 16, 2018

A Letter to NewSpring Church

I posted this on my private blog a few years ago. I feel like this needs to be public now though. I was saved during a service at NewSpring Church so I will always appreciate and hold dear the memories I made there, but that church is not the same without Perry Noble. I initially did not share this publicly in order to protect the church, but I feel like I'm doing a disservice to them by not sharing my experience. I hope this helps the leaders change some things at NewSpring. (ahem...cease on the cliques)

This was initially written to Perry Noble so I'm just going to leave it as it is but essentially it should be to NewSpring Church.


Dear Perry (or whomever actually reads these things):

I don't actually think you will ever see this, as I know you receive hundreds of emails a day, but maybe someone who can make an impact, will see it.

My name is Brittan and I am the girl who flew to Kenya with NewSpring back in June of 2013 and came home immediately after getting there. I'm assuming you heard about this as I'm sure I'm probably the only person in America to ever do such a thing. Getting through Customs certainly wasn't easy. Ha!

I want to tell you that leaving and not following through on my commitment to God's plan for me is the biggest regret of my life.

There has not been one day since I came back that I didn't think about what would have been, had I stayed.

I'm hoping that since you too struggle with anxiety that you will understand what I went through. I had one of the worst panic attacks I have ever had, once we got to the hotel in Kenya. I could not use the phone and that was all I wanted to do. It had been 30 hours or so since I talked to my then 4 year old daughter, but it felt like days. I hadn't slept in those 30 hours and I know that had I just gone to sleep and waited to make such a big decision, I wouldn't have left early. But that is not something I can change. And in the midst of a panic attack I wasn't exactly thinking logically. It was a full blown attack - I couldn't breathe, I couldn't focus, I couldn't stop shaking and I was feeling 100% trapped.

My point of this post is to tell you that I love NewSpring. (I was saved at NewSpring in October of 2009 and since then I have seen numerous family and friends be saved.) I truly do. But I think there is room for improvement. Important improvement.

I signed up to go on a trip across the world with a group of people whom I'd never met. We had two meetings before the trip, but those were informational meetings without any encouragement to get to know one another. There were no emails from the leader, as I've heard there have been on other trips. There was no preparation really. The day of the trip, there were no introductions. The trip I went on had a lot of staff and so there were basically cliques - staff, people who had been to Kenya before, and newbies. Staff didn't associate with anyone else. It was very uncomfortable.

So, when we got to Africa, to say I felt alone was an understatement. I did have my cousin with me and thank goodness for her. We did not pray along the way, as a team. We were not given information that some of the staff had (i.e.: safari cards so that panic-ridden people like me could have a phone connection anywhere in Kenya). It was just overall, not a very welcoming environment. I know I wasn't the only person who felt this way either.

When I was having my panic attack, the leader and another staff member were understanding and helpful. I will say that. But once I got home - no one checked on me, no one reached out to see how I was emotionally or spiritually - or if I was okay with my decision. I didn't hear from anyone. To me, this was very disappointing. I realize that 410 Bridge had to jump through some hoops for me and I sincerely appreciate it. But for me to call NewSpring my home and not have anyone show they truly cared about me hurts a little. Actually, it hurts a lot.

The truth is, I want to go back to Kenya some day. I am too embarrassed to probably ever follow through with it, but it was laid on my heart by God and that desire has not gone away. I can't help but think that if the experience leading up to the trip included more spiritual readiness and team work that my trip would have lasted longer than 48 hours of plane rides.

I hope that this information is helpful in preparing for future mission trips and I also hope that you understand that the crazy girl who left Kenya, wasn't actually crazy - just severely anxious and sleep deprived.

My heart is still in Kenya and I thank you for all that NewSpring has done there.

Brittan Morris  (at the time)
Columbia Campus

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

To Remember...

I saw this on a friend's instagram and decided it's something I want to do too. I figured doing it in a blog post is just as easy to track.

To Carson:

I want to remember...

that every single night for the past 176 nights, you have fallen asleep on my chest.

that when I try to sing to you, you pop your little head up and give me the biggest grin.

that the minute your clothes come off you kick, smile, and wiggle like all is right in the world.

that when you nurse, you prop your foot up on my chest like it's a foot rest.

that you rub my arm at night when you're falling asleep.


Additions as of 6/20/18:

that your Dada lights up your whole entire world.

that when you see your sisters you smile and laugh like you do with no one else.

that you are so full of life and energy and personality.

that every time I am on the phone you say "Hi Dada!" even if it's not Dada.

that you rip off your diaper any chance you get.

that the only time you sit still is to read a book.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Answered Prayers!!



Many of you have been praying for Madi over the past year or two, so I wanted to let everyone know the latest update on her health issues.

If you haven't been keeping up with it on FB, I'll give you a brief overview. Madi was diagnosed with asthma when she was two years old. She has had pneumonia twice, strep throat three times, and other various illnesses for the past 5 years. Madi missed 19 days of school last year due to wheezing and coughing which we assumed was part of her asthma. She has been on many, many variations of medications to treat her asthma, none of which have helped.

Finally our Asthma/Allergy specialist referred us to a Pulmonlogist. That has been a God-send! After a bronchoscopy, blood work, and a CT scan - we have a diagnosis!!! Y'all - I have been praying for this for years. To say I was elated is an under-statement. After reviewing her CT scan, Madi's dr informed us that she has an illness called Bronchiectasis (I didn't even have to use spellcheck!). Bronchiectasis is not curable, but it is treatable and very manageable. I will give you the American Lung Association definition:
Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition where the walls of the bronchi are thickened from inflammation and infection. People with bronchiectasis have periodic flare-ups of breathing difficulties, called exacerbations.
So, all of those weeks of uncontrollable wheezing and coughing were actually exacerbations and not asthma flare-ups.

Thankfully, we have a wonderful doctor and he had already started Madi on one of the medications used to treat this, even before he knew what she had. That medciation that we had trouble getting insurance to approve - that is the one that is helping. After a month and one week of being on the medication Madi's lungs sound GOOD for the first time in a year!! We went to the doctor on Monday and left without doing a nebulizer treatment or even checking her pulse oxygen levels. That is HUGE. Typically a simple doctor's visit lasts 2 hours for us because we never get out of there without at least one, usually two, nebulizer treatments. Praise Jesus for her new medication!! (OH! And on Wednesday Madi had tennis practice - I have never seen her run so fast and so freely!! She could BREATHE y'all. I wasn't worried about getting her inhaler to her or her being out of breath. It was amazing!!!)

The other course of treatment will be a vest that she has to wear. The vest will stimulate her lungs and push the mucus out which is not currently happening on its own. Her doctor did say this would also be a fight with insurance but he's ready to fight for us so please keep this in your prayers.

Unfortunately, she will still need to continue taking her steroid inhaler and her rescue inhaler (prior to exercise) but we are hopeful that once this condition is under control we will be able to ween her off of these.

We do still have a few other things we have to do though in order to find the cause of the Bronchiectasis. This condition is cause by an under-lying condition. Her doctor thinks he knows what that is but wants to be sure. She is seeing an ENT in a few weeks and he will do a biopsy of her nose to look for cilia. Cilia are the tiny hairs on your nose and your lungs that push mucus/infection out of your body. If she does not have this, that would explain the Bronchiectasis. There is not really anything they can do if she does not have it but it would simply give us an understanding of why she has this condition.

SO if you made it through all of that - good job! We are really blessed and thankful that it is not something more serious. We are all tired of doctors visits and hospital trips but are so glad we have answers. This will be a continual effort - especially because this condition does cause her immune system to be weaker - but we are going to do everything we can to keep her healthy! Thank you again for all of your prayers and concern. We love y'all! <3

Friday, October 21, 2016

To My First Born


You may or may not have noticed that we have not posted any pictures of Madi and Carson together, or a family picture. I see all of the sibling and family pictures on Facebook when newborns arrive and imagined we would be posting the same. However, Madi is not ready to take pictures with Carson. She is not ready to kiss Carson or hug her. She is not ready to share her mommy. This letter is for my first born - the baby girl who taught me what unconditional love feels like - so this is for her and my keyboard is already almost soaked with tears.


Dear Sweet Girl,

The picture above is one I took of you last night after you fell asleep. It was the first time I put you to bed since having Carson and it was wonderful, yet painful - for the both of us. 

I knew that having a sibling was going to be hard on you. You and I have been inseparable since you were born. We have spent so, so many moments together - just the two of us for almost eight years. These past nine months have been hard on me - because I didn't want our special times to end either. I cried many tears thinking about it not just being you and me anymore. But I also know that Carson is a gift for both of us. You and I will always have our special time together. We can still be best friends. But maybe some times Carson can join in on our fun. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but she will be your best friend for life. She will be there for you and you will be there for her. 

I wish I could make you feel the depth of love I have for you. I wish I could make you believe me when I say that having Carson has not changed that depth of love or how I love you. Mommy has enough room in her heart to love you and to love Carson - to love you both with every depth of my soul. 

I pray that you will warm up to having a sister very soon. Not for any reason other than I don't want you to miss out on this time with your baby sister. I want to put you to bed even when I have to feed Carson. I want to hug you even when I'm holding Carson. I want you to be okay with that, but I can be patient. I can wait on you to be ready. I just pray that God will give me the tools I need to help you through this difficult time. 

I am so happy that you have Paul in your life and that you are trusting him to be there for you right now. Lean on him as long as you need sweet girl. We are all here for you and always will be. And when you are ready, I know that your little sister would love to be hugged and held and kissed by her big sister.  

I love you more than french fries sweet baby girl. And I always will.

<3, mommy


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sick of Sick.

I probably should not be blogging in the mood I am in but so be it.

I am so so so over Madi being sick ALL the time. I know she is too, poor kid. I need to talk to other mamas who deal with this stuff. Madi is constantly sick. We are at different dr's offices at least twice a month, every month. Oh and these appts aren't quick appts. We spend hours there while they do breathing treatment after breathing treatment even though that's what we do at home. It's a temporary fix so that they feel okay letting her leave. The poor child has been poked so many times. Heck, I even have a stethoscope at the house.

I feel like there is no light at the end of this very long tunnel. She missed 19 days of school last year due to asthma issues. (Don't get me started on how this affects my job...) We give her the medicine/action plan as prescribed and nothing. She's been on prednisone like 8 times in the past 6 months. I finally said NO MORE! It doesn't work. NOTHING works.

She does FINALLY have an appt with a pulmonologist in September, but I'm starting to think her issues don't even stem from her lungs. Maybe I should go back to school and be a doctor so I can figure this out on my own...

Anyway, I just needed to vent and where else is better to do that than on my blog?

If you have words of wisdom or similar experiences, please share!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Culclasure's Move Again!

Anyone remember me???

Goodness life has been crazy! I bring you this very unexpected blog post to share our past weekend with you. We MOVED! We are still renters, but hope to stay in this house for quite a while...probably until the owners make us leave. :) We really did not want to uproot our lives yet again, but this move was definitely for the best. Paul's commute to work went from 30 minutes to well, 1 minute and mine went from 45 minutes to 15!! And those are both one way!

So to say we are excited is an understatement. This move means more family time, less money spent on gas, and less stress over-all.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend. We can't wait to get everything set-up but right now we are just recovering from the task of moving - me at 7.5 months pregnant and Paul using his only day off since June to move.

Ready to load 'er up!

First car load. Whew!

Sneak peek of Carson's room

In love with this kitchen!!!

Can you spot Madi?? {I packed this load all on my own. Pregnancy doesn't stop me!}

She's a little excited about the big bathtub.

First meal at the new house! 

First meal...yes, it's take-out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ice, Ice...

I have a little announcement to make! Baby talk is coming soon... :)


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