Friday, December 19, 2008

The Story Of My Daughter

Growing up not being the child that dreamed of having babies and being a mommy, God had a lot of preparing to do to get me ready to enter into this sacred thing called motherhood. And how blessed I am by His faithfulness to do so. It all started with a dream:

After my grandma (my mom's mom) went home to be with the Lord in March 2006, my mom was at her home going through some of her things when she decided to take a nap in her room. That afternoon she had a dream that she was in a hospital lobby. She could see me in the distance being wheeled out holding a newborn baby. The message of her dream was the generation continues.

A few months later she had another dream that she was holding a baby that had a really round face.

November 2006...Vox Dei retreat (voice of God retreat)...Perry's cabin: During one of our morning worship sessions I noticed Matt across the room in tears. He didn't look sad, but he was covered in tears nonetheless. Later on he asks me if I wanted to know what he was crying about. Of course I did! He said that the Lord told him our daughters name (which, by the way, I wasn't pregnant)! He said her name is Alyssum. Of course, I had no idea what the name meant or where he had even heard of it before. He explained to me that it was a beautiful flower, typically used as ground cover in gardens because it grows in bunches. I knew exactly which flower he was talking about because my grandparents (from above) always had Alyssum growing in their garden and it smelled wonderful. He continued by explaining to me that this was her name because just as the Alyssum flower is very small and often not noticed its fragrance is so wonderfully strong that you can't help but take notice.

After we shared this with my parents my mom had yet another dream, except this one was more about her name. She saw a picture of a big bushful of Alyssum flowers in the ground. She could see its roots reaching down into the earth. However, these roots weren't just going straight down, they were reaching across and springing up new Alyssum flowers all across the meadow. Meaning: Alyssum's roots were reaching down into God's soil and therefore it was springing up new life. Amazing! If you've never been over to our house my mom painted a huge mural on her wall with this picture.

Late December 2006. During a time of prayer the Lord told my mom that something significant would be happening in my life in 10 months.

Beginning of January 2007. Last dream. This one actually woke my mom up and caused her to look around... She dreamt the voice of a little girl full of spunk and life saying to her, "Hey grandma, I'm on my way!"

A couple of weeks later my parents came up to visit us and it was at that time we shared with them the good news! I was pregnant!

So her name is Alyssum Angela. Angela was my grandmother's name...the grandma whom she apparently crossed paths with on her way down to us! She was born 10 months later from the December prophesy at a whopping 5lbs 12oz. She was and still is very petite. Her personality is also as strong as the fragrance of the Alyssum flower. God knew her before the foundations of the earth and I feel so blessed that He introduced her to me before she even came into this world!
Although her strength can be very challenging at this point I can't wait to see how God uses this to further His Kingdom!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Wonderful Night

Last night was my wonderful night. Not only was it 8 blissful hours of not having to utter the words "no bite"; "no, that's not yours"; "get out of the water bowl"; "that's not your toy that's Alyssum's"; "that's not your toy that's Sugar's"; and many others, but it was 8 hours alone with my husband...2 1/2 hours away from our normal life...and 2 1/2 hours of amazing culture and entertainment. On one hand, it stinks that we have to drive that far to experience good culture, but on the other it's kind of nice to get away for just a little longer because of it.

Back in July, I found an amazing deal for floor seat tickets to see Sarah Brightman in concert. For those of you that don't know who she is (which I'm finding out is quite a bit of Redding-ites), she was the original Christine in the amazing Phantom of the Opera. More than that, however, Andrew Lloyd Weber actually wrote/composed the part for her voice specifically. So her voice is phenomenal...especially live! Because of her theatrical background, her concert isn't just her singing, she puts on a very theatrical show which makes it very entertaining, even if you've never heard one of her songs before. Her costumes, backup dancers, and special effects makes her show one of the best I've ever seen. It was a very "Lord of the Rings" style show, which of course is wonderful to us. Plus, just to hear her powerful voice belting out sounds I didn't know were humanly possible made this a jaw dropping experience. Oh, and what other kind of concert can you sip on a glass of red wine while you watch? Amazing! And because of the great seats, I could see the sparkle on her false eye lashes. I was also glad for these seats because she had so many cool special effect stuff that there was no room for the usual big screens that they usually put up on each side of the stage. Oh, and to top it off, she sang a David Crowder Band song! I didn't even recognize it...Matt gets props for that one.
So after the show, we went and grabbed some coffee at our favorite coffee shop in Sac and headed home. It was fun to talk, laugh and dream about the future again with my very romantic husband. It was really nice to create a little margin for that. The cherry on top of our cake was to come home and hear that Alyssum had a great night too! This was the first time we have been away from her for this long (our options are slim) and thanks to Emily and Sarah, we now know that she can do ok without us for an extended period of time. That's HUGE for me...whether I actually use it or not, just knowing that the possibility of more freedom is there frees me up in my mind.
So, something you might have learned about the Brams: we love to dress up and do rich people the symphony, fancy dinners (like the Equinox in San Francisco), amazing concerts, theatre, ect...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bram Pics

Well, it's done! We have beautiful Emily Faulknor Photography family pictures. She makes us all look amazing...thank goodness! I tried to narrow it down to the favorites and still ended up with 30 it's up to you if you want to scroll through them all. Have fun :)

She is so beautiful!!!
In this next one Alyssum is doing the famous Magnum pose!This next one made me cry!After being together for 10 years we're still in love...sigh!

The scrunched nose will now live forever!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Keep It Going

Six different elephants in the church we've talked about. All of them very important. I think the two that carry the most shame and embarrassment, especially for women, is the "Sexy Elephant" and the "Porn Addicted Elephant". If you have no idea what I'm talking about go to and listen to the podcasts.

These messages at church have finally opened the door for us women to talk about this bring everything into the light...whether hurts or sin...God wants it all...He wants freedom for us all. I've already been apart of many conversations with single and married women and we must keep going. Just because it's not being talked about in the front of the church anymore doesn't mean we stop talking about it. All of us have been affected by sex. So instead of just keeping it to ourselves because of shame or guilt, lets talk about it and live in freedom. God wants and has always intended for this area to be a blessing in our lives, not a source of pain.

So let's talk about it! Talk to with a with someone you trust...just talk and allow the Lord's light to fill this dark place!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Alyssum

My dearest Sweet Alyssum,

Well, we did it! We survived this first year together. Not only did we just survive, but we embraced this life together. I have to say that it was one of the hardest years of my life, but it was also by far the most rewarding. You have introduced me into motherhood and all of the joys and struggles that come with it. God has used you so much already to impact my life and help me grow. My biggest lesson so far came to me on the nights that you were so sick you couldn't sleep. The Lord taught me that as you relyed on me during that time I needed to rely on Him for strength, courage and hope. Not an easy lesson to learn, but I did!

You've also impacted me with your joy! I never thought that I could have so much joy with someone's smile and the sound of another's laughter, but you have given me that pleasure. Also watching your passion and zest for life has shown me how to see life in a new way. You are so full of energy that before you could crawl you would sit there and twirl your hands and feet at the same time. Now those twirls have moved into the rest of your body. Every time you here music or the word dance, you dance. You shake your hips and move your head side to side. It's amazing to see your own style already. You scream with excitement when we play and I can't wait to hear those shouts of joy as you get older.

You are also so full of strength. Even though you were so tiny at birth, somehow we knew that you weren't as fragile as you appeared. With all of the prophesy that God gave us about you before I was even pregnant, we felt like we already knew you. God knew you before the foundations of the Earth and He felt it appropriate to give us a glimpse into who you were before we had even met you. You are very much like another woman who's strength was known by all. It is your great grandmother who's name you've been given for your middle name. Your great grandmother, Angela, was also small and petite, but was also strong and passionate. One her biggest passions was love. She saw the love between your father and me and knew we had something special and told us to never stop loving each other. I am happy to say that your coming into our family has only made our love grow stronger and deeper. I pray that we continue to create an environment for you that will help you grow into the woman that God has created you to be. I pray that He shows us how to build up your strength and confidence in Him. I pray that you always feel our deepest love and respect.

Happy birthday, baby girl!!!

I love you,

P.S. Even though you are God's daughter, I feel incredibly blessed that He chose me to be your mom during this brief period on Earth!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Day

It's my 28th birthday...

I'm sick...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Homeless sign

Today I read a sign that a homeless woman was holding. Nothing unusual, right? Except this time I was overcome with compassion because she made herself vulnerable...not in the typical way we are used to seeing...but truly vulnerable. This is what her sign said:

Anything helps.
Even a smile.
God Bless.

I smiled!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life Group Lesson

Love our life's going to be awesome!

Anywho, we spent some time praying/thanking God with our eyes open which was to represent that He was sitting with us in the room and we were just talking with Him...amazing. While we were doing that I thanked Him for teaching me that Alyssum throwing her food on the floor is just a tiny part of her life...that I needed to get my eyes on the bigger picture (read previous blog). I thanked Him for continuing to teach us how to be parents. Then Aaron brought up that God often sees us throwing our food on the floor...of course it looks a little different...but the acting out is the same. When we do that He is so patient with us...He might discipline us, but His loving correction grows us so much.

Thanks again, Lord, for teaching us how to be parents!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Bigger Picture

Today I had a huge lesson that brought me to tears.

While attempting to feed my pre-toddler dinner, I was increasingly becoming very frustrated. She wouldn't eat pieces of food, only pureed food. She would just throw the pieces of food on the floor. All I could think was that I was going to have to spoon feed her the rest of her life. Ahhhhhhhhh!!! I had reached my limit. Thankfully I had an errand to run, so it was time to get out of the house and have some alone time.

On my way home I switched the radio station over to KLOVE. I heard a woman who had called in to share her testimony of how a particular song was ministering to her. She proceeded to say that exactly one year ago her 19 year old son came back to the Lord. God had already told her that he would be her prodigal son and 9/9/07 was the date he came back. He had left his life of drugs and partying to return to the Lord; to become a better person for the Lord. One month after he did this, he passed away. She later found a written statement from him declaring his new commitment to Jesus Christ on that date one month before he passed away. She celebrated for one month and has been mourning for the past 11 months.

My heart broke. Being a mother now I am better able to understand what that kind of relationship entails. He had left her by his own choice, to live in sin. Then he came back totally sold out for Christ. Then the Father took him home so soon. Although God had taken him away so soon, He still gave her a month to celebrate with her son and restore their relationship. God also gave her confirmation of his heart for the Lord. Her son's salvation was in writing!

All I could think about was the bigger picture of my daughter's life. Who she would be...her relationship with me...her father...her Father in heaven...

All of a sudden I didn't care about the little pieces of food that were thrown on the floor...the food that she refused to eat. All I wanted to do was hug her and hold her tight...even if just for a moment... I don't know what the next moment holds...not that I'm living in fear, but I'm just seeing the right perspective; the bigger picture!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Still Listening

I'm still listening for the Lord's whispers in this dark room I'm in. I think I must clarify that this isn't an attack of the enemy. I hear his attacks and they are quite different. This place that I am in is a place that God has me. So because of that I don't need to be sad or depressed. I admit that I'm not jumping for joy, but I am content. I'm quiet. I'm still. That's all that I can be. Every time I think about the future with regards to ministry, serving, a career, or my passions my mind gets fuzzy or like static on a t.v. It's kind of weird. But since I'm here, no matter what I do, I may as well rest and trust that the Lord's presence is surrounding me. The amazing thing is that because I have to focus so hard on God alone I'm able to hear Him when He tells me to pray for someone and what to pray for. He is still using me in the present moments. Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Alone In a Crowd

Have you ever felt that way: alone in a crowd? I have. And it's happening again.

I'm a stuffer...I stuff my emotions. I don't even realize I'm doing it until I start to notice physical symptoms appearing. Apparently, Saturday was a good day to display some physical symptoms. I felt so depressed, hopeless, lifeless. My patience level was way too low, which isn't a good time since my daughter is learning how to throw an Oscar winning performance of the all time favorite temper tantrum. The hard part is that although I see these symptoms it is still so hard to figure out what is really bothering me. There were no obvious thoughts in my head that I could take captive to release me of these feelings. It got so ridiculous that Matt and I started joking about making my life into a movie titled, "What's Wrong With Sarah Bram?" The movie would be so unsatisfying to the audience because the entire movie would be trying to figure out all these possible reasons for my feelings and in the end we still wouldn't know! I suppose we have a weird sense of humor, but we got a good laugh out of it.

So as the next few days went on my display of symptoms went way down..."oh good, I must be feeling better..." or so I thought. I was excited because I had energy for mom's group today. But little did I know that even amongst all my friends I still felt so alone. It had absolutely nothing to do with was another fun day of chit-chatting about life while the kids played. Friends were open with me...I was open with them. So why this feeling. On my way home I pictured myself in a dark room having NO IDEA where I was going or what I was doing...I was just completely lost. Then, one of my favorite songs came on the radio. It's called Whispers In The Dark by Skillet. The chorus goes like this:

No, you'll never be alone
When darkness comes
I'll light the night with stars
Hear my whispers in the dark

No, you'll never be alone
When darkness comes
You know I'm never far
Hear my whispers in the dark

Awesome! Instead of frantically trying to find my way around in this dark room looking for a light switch or an exit or even just trying to figure out where I am, I will let my heart be still. I will quietly and calmly sit here knowing that the Lord's presence is the only light I need...even if I can't see it with my eyes. I am going to sit here in the dark and listen for His whispers.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Note Worthy Blog

An old friend of mine from the church I grew up in started a blog for moms. This blog, spiritual walking, is meant to be a place you can go to for encouragement, devotions, Bible verses, etc. It has already encouraged me right when I needed it. So I just wanted to pass this resource on to all of you whom might be interested.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane

In good ol' Pecaut fashion, in celebration of our anniversary that was yesterday, I thought I'd share our past with you...through pictures. Since most of you didn't know us in those days this should be fun...and embarrassing! Of course, these aren't the best quality pictures considering they were all scanned onto the computer, but you'll get the idea.

Since we met in high school, these next two photos are of us during that time.
Yes, this is Matt with his rocker mollet!!!

If we ever had engagement pictures, I guess the next 2 would be them...

Next is our one wedding photo I'll share.

This picture was just months after we were married at another friend's wedding.

This is the view from our first apartment. It is also where we first saw and met our dear cat, Cookie.
The next 3 pictures are during our first 2 years of marriage...right before Matt's back injury when he was working for Pacific Bell. It is also the beginning of my "fat pictures".Notice how skinny Cookie is!

Don't you just love the hair!

This is us on top of Mt. Diablo

This is a picture of my awesome car. My 2001 Firebird. For not being a car person, I sure loved this car! It was the perfect color and it was a T-top!
This next one I've dubbed our "Mormon Picture" (sorry if this offends any one). Yes, Matt's ear is pierced and I'm really that big! This is obviously before we met Emily Faulknor!!!
The next 5 pictures are some recreational pictures of us. Skiing, swimming, hiking.

During this trip to Yosemite, I had to fork out $300 at the only store for miles around to buy these snow pants (which are really winter rock climbing pants) because mine were about 3 sizes too small...this was one of the first moments that I realized I wasn't the size I used to be.

The next 5 pictures are during our mission trip to Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia in 2002. It was the year before we moved to Redding and the year that I lost 60 lbs.

This is Matt preaching the Word of God in the streets.This is me dancing in the streets to bring in the crowds to hear the Word.
We're having some down time on the coolest playground equipment ever.
This was Christmas 2004. Matt was walking death at this point...he is so pale.

The next 2 pictures are of us camping, but it really looks like I met a homeless man and took some pictures with him. Matt was still walking death because of his pain medication and he also took a break from shaving and cutting his hair.

The next 3 pictures are of us on different backpacking trips. They're all after Matt's back surgery.

I thought I'd finish this stroll down memory lane with a picture from my 25th birthday party. The party was at my brother's house which just happen to have the same view as our first apartment in Pittsburg (California). Plus, you've probably already seen all pictures from that point.

I hope you have enjoyed a little of Bram history. This now begins the countdown to our 10th anniversary in which we are going to have a vow renewal ceremony and party to which you are invited!