Monday, January 6, 2014

It's a New Year

I am not the "blogging" type, so don't come to this blog thinking you will be enlightened by what I have to say :). I just want to share little snippets of our week with you. 

Firstly, I will update you on my decision to do away with Instagram and Facebook for a little while. I'm not sure how long, but I kind of see myself in the new "norm" without it sooner than I thought. When asked by many people who wanted to know why, this is what I shared-- 

In thinking about it, I thought back over the last year and just the time I spent on it. The bitterness and jealously and pride that crept in to my heart (don't make fun, but sometimes if someone didn't like my picture). I have had people come to me and ask why I didn't follow them, like it "meant" something just like I felt like likes "meant" something. 

I am convicted of the lack of communication between family and extended family. I often just leave it up to Facebook and Instagram to update them on life, and they've pretty much accepted that, but how much more a letter or a phonecall would mean to them. 

The amount of time I sit looking through it. How much when life is silent or still, I reach for it and it's only been 4 minutes since the last time I refreshed it, and no new posts ha. Instead of just being silent. 

And looking forward to what The Lord has to show me and teach me this year, and just trying to have one less filler of time and distraction that I can control.  

So... There it is. Nothing profound. And I do still go to my phone and look for my Instagram. But every time I do, I am reminded to either be productive and clean, spend time in the Word, spend time with my ALMOST ONE YEAR OLD 😩, or send someone a message or call them and see how they are doing. And it's been good. 

Here are a few pictures from this week. 

Molly had Josiah over for the day on Friday and she really enjoyed a playmate. 

She had black beans for the first time and absolutely loved them. Better her than me 😖

And the munchkin has been running a fever since Saturday at lunch. When the medicine isn't at its peak, her fever usually is, staying around 101-104. There has been more cuddling this weekend then there has been the last 11 months (which we are not complaining about, even at 3 in the morning). We took her to the Doctor today and she was negative for an ear infection, the flu, and strep. So we are going to keep using Tylonel and wait a few more days for it to go away. Until then, we cuddle and watch Curious George, thanks to Uncle A-Rod. 

Thanks for reading the blog and keeping up with sweet Molly. 

-- CaryAnne

Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes. 1 Samuel 12:16

Friday, February 10, 2012

And We're Off!

Hey friends and family. We are hoping this will be our means of keeping in touch with all of you while we are gone. We are super excited and ready to get going. At the RDU airport now waiting to board our first flight to ATL to meet up with our other partners. Then we will be on an 8 (or so) hour flight to Brussells, Belgum. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Can't wait to return to you!

Much love,
CaryAnne and Brett

(a little late posting, new update soon)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another month has come and gone...

We have had a pretty busy month since our last post.

The first weekend of December we took a trip with two couples from our Growth Group -- Shane and Alicia Shaddix and Cameron and Erica Keith. We rode down to Rock Hill, SC, which is where the Keiths are from, and spent a few days there. We left after everyone got off work that Thursday night and rolled in around 1am (to Steak 'n Shake). 

Friday and Saturday were spent relaxing, playing ping pong, watching football, and even playing some football. It was a lot of fun and was a good time for us all to spend together.

We've had several Imago Dei folks moving lately. In a span of seven days, we helped move four people/families out of and into apartments. It was really cool to see the people of Imago Dei living in community and serving each other when they were needed. That's just one more reason why I love this group of people.

Drew Raynor trying to make it all fit.

Since it is/was the Christmas season, Christmas parties were a regular occurrence for about three weeks straight. Between our two job parties, "launch team" church party, leadership church party, small group party, and I feel like I'm missing one, we had our fill of Christmas parties for the year. They were all a blast, though. 

On Christmas Eve, Imago Dei had a service at 6pm. Donnie led acoustic musical worship and Tony preached on Mary's song from Luke. As usual, we also read Scripture and took the Lord's Supper. It was a really good time of worship. CaryAnne had to work until 8pm, though, so she didn't make it. Fortunately, Tony and Kim had a lot of people over to their house afterward and she got to come there.

Speaking of Christmas, we had the Hollises, Britts, and Shane over Christmas morning for breakfast. None of us were going home to see family, and Shane's wife, Alicia, was working so we figured we might as well get together and hang out for a little while on Christmas morning. We are very thankful for our friends that we have up here.

The Rakes got Izzy a vest for Christmas. She loves it.

Imago Dei also hosted a Christmas Dinner on campus at NC State for people that weren't going home for Christmas. We expected a lot of international students, but there was also a good number of local students. I think it was a really good night and hope we get to go back and do it again sometime. From what I've heard, many people who were there got to talk with and share the Gospel with a lot of the students. Big thanks to Seth and Lauren Brown for coordinating it.

Now for some random stuff.

CaryAnne with the Andruskos' HUGE dog. She is biig.

Audrey Claire in Izzy's cage. It looks like Judah's taunting her.

Judah and Donnie playing "All My Fountains" -- Judah's favorite song.

Well, there's that. Hopefully that wasn't too long, but it probably was.

Since you're reading blogs, may I recommend one for you? My good friend, Cody Cunningham, has been tearing it up lately on his blog. You should check it out.

Also, in case you don't know, CaryAnne and I are going to Europe in February. I went on this trip last year with Pinelake Church and they've asked us both to go back with them this year. We are looking forward to it and would like to ask for prayer from you all. Pray that God would use us for His glory and that the people we interact with would see His love and grace in our lives and theirs.

Hey, since it's almost should come visit us!

"Christ lived the life we couldn't live, and He died the death we should have died."

Saturday, November 26, 2011


We have had some visitors since our last update. My parents came up for 4 days or so a couple weeks ago and Justin, Lydia, Isaac, and Stacy were here last weekend. It has been a lot of fun, but very busy.

The week that my parents were here was really busy before they got here. I think starting Tuesday morning, CaryAnne and I had pretty much no down time, due to work, drum lessons, Growth Group, and a recording session (not to mention preparing our apartment for company). They flew in Thursday evening. I had rehearsal that night, but CaryAnne got to hang with them while I was gone. She worked Friday so I took them around our area and showed them a few different places -- where I work, the church, and of course a couple bike shops for Daddy. We ate at Crazy Fire Mongolian Grill that night and went and saw the Hollises and Britts.

Saturday we did some shopping at a few different places. CaryAnne cooked sausage dogs for supper and Meghan and Judah came over. Then we watched the newest Harry Potter movie that Mama bought from Best Buy earlier that day. Sunday we had church, CaryAnne cooked chicken spaghetti, got Meghan to take some pictures of us for Christmas cards, did a little more shopping and ate some Mexican food. They flew home Monday. We had a great time with them and it was really nice to see them. We wish they could've stayed longer, but hopefully it won't be long before they're (and you're) back up this way.

The next weekend, Justin, Lydia, Isaac, and Stacy drove up to spend a few days. It was good to hang out with them. We got to introduce them to a lot of the IDC people and went over to the Meridas' house to sit in on a meeting with some of the interns going through the Aspire program.

We also played disc golf, sorta. I don't like playing, so I almost never go with them when they play. Since Justin was in town, though, I decided to go and walk with them. On the third hole (I think; things get a little fuzzy from here out), Michael threw a bad shot, picked up a stick, and hit a pole with it. Somehow, when the stick broke, part of it flew toward me and hit me in my head. It hurt a little, then I touched where it hit and realized part of the stick was stuck in my eyebrow. I pulled at it a little and it didn't move, then Justin came over and pulled it out. Michael took me home to CaryAnne and Alex and they took care of me from there. All week I've had a big band-aid on my eye -- thanks, Michael!

For Thanksgiving, anybody from IDC that wasn't going out of town was invited to the Meridas' house to eat lunch. There ended up being probably 25-30 people there. We ate lunch, watched football, and played basketball (until there was a knee injury) all afternoon. For supper, CaryAnne and I ate with our neighbors. I actually didn't eat because I was so full, but it was fun to hang out with them for a while.

We went Black Friday shopping again this year. It wasn't nearly as bad this time, though. Last year, we got up at like 3; this year we didn't get up until 5(ish). We didn't really have anything we needed this year, so we decided to just go see what we could find. There were several good deals, but we only got a few things. We went to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast and were able to get a free chicken biscuit because they were giving them out if you brought in a receipt from Black Friday. It was a nice surprise.

It has been a nice, relaxing weekend and we're looking forward to worshipping with our IDC family tomorrow.

We miss you all. Come visit us.

"Christ lived the life we couldn't live, and He died the death we should have died."

Monday, October 31, 2011

It now feels like we're grown-ups...sorta.

CaryAnne is pretty settled in at her new job (UNC), and so am I. I started last week teaching drum lessons at a music store up the road from us (Falls River Music) on Tuesday afternoons. This week, I have my first recording session at a studio in Wake Forest (PureMix Studios). If nothing else, we're staying busy.

We went to the state fair a couple weeks ago. It was very crowded but we had a great time. We rode two rides -- the thing that takes you straight up then drops you, and the ferris wheel. When we got on the ferris wheel, fireworks went off. I'm not being romantic, there were literal fireworks that started going off as we rode it. We have good timing, I guess.

Last weekend, we went with the church on a "Reformation Retreat" up to Oxford, NC. We got there Friday night around 6:30, ate supper, then had a time of singing and teaching (Donnie and Tony). Tony talked about Martin Luther's life and how God used him to change the Church. Then, we made smores -- inside, around the fireplace, because of rain -- and watched the movie Luther. Saturday, we had breakfast, a time of discussion, then hung out and had lunch before leaving. It was a good trip.

When we got back Saturday night, we went over to some of our new friends' house and played games. It got heated a few times, but it was a lot of fun!

I've recently been meeting with a couple missionaries from a different faith. They stopped by one night and we talked for a while, and they've been back twice since then. We're trying to find another time for them to come back. Through talking with them, I have seen how easy it can be for someone to be deceived. My eyes have been opened to how gracious our God is. That He would take our filthiness and give us His righteousness in return is a mind-blowing thought. Not only has He done that, but it's through nothing that we have done or can do that He does it. We can't earn it, but He gives it to us! His grace is sufficient.

That idea is what Tony has been preaching (from Galatians) since we launched. We are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Pray for those guys -- Perez and Chase -- that God would open their eyes to the truth and give them a new heart.

CaryAnne is a little sick from the weather changing, and I think I'm getting sick too. It's cold. It's a cold.

My parents are coming to visit in a couple weeks. We're looking forward to seeing them.

Imago Dei is going great. We love our small group and the overall attitude and vision of the church.

If you're reading this, we miss you...unless you live here, in which case we probably saw you yesterday. We miss you too, though!

Happy Reformation Day. Come visit!

"Christ lived the life we couldn't live, and He died the death we should have died."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Golf, Jobs, and Ford Aspires

Last week, Donnie, Michael and I decided to play golf. Michael and I had bought a coupon from that gave us a round of golf for 2 for $24. Thursday afternoon we loaded up and rode to Wake Forest to play at a 9-hole course by Southeastern Seminary (formerly Wake Forest College, I think) which is where Arnold Palmer played when he was in college. So, the course has some pretty cool history, in my opinion, although it's nothing special.

We had a great time and all played pretty well, actually. I had my best score ever ( 105 :/ ). There was some drama involved, too. Going into the last hole, Donnie was ahead of Michael by one stroke. Michael, being the golfer that he is, ended up birdie-ing the hole and Donnie made a bogey, making Michael the winner of the day. We plan to play again soon.

Saturday, we went to a driving range up to road and Michael, CaryAnne, and I hit a bucket of balls. CaryAnne got in the swing of things (see what I did there??) and was hitting pretty well by the time we left. I guess she has some of those Gary/Cathy Rake genes in her. She also was giving me pointers when she had finished hitting all her balls. After talking with her mom, I found out that her advice was good. She's just a golfer at heart, I guess.

We ate lunch with Michael and Alex after the driving range. Outside of the Mexican restaurant where we ate, there was a car show going on. I know what you're thinking -- a bunch of tricked out, fancy-looking cars with "cool" paint jobs -- well, you're wrong. There was a parking lot full of '90's era Ford Aspires and Festivas. No cool paint jobs, just straight out of the '90's, or maybe even late '80's. It was pretty incredible. We just had to walk around and check the sweet rides out.

CaryAnne's grandparents from Hattiesburg passed through Raleigh last Wednesday morning so we got to see them for a little while. We ate lunch at Panera Bread on their way out.

We had supper with two couples from our small group last night -- Shane and Alicia Shaddix and Cameron and Erica Keith. We cooked burgers and played a game called Bezzerwizzer. It was a lot of fun, but the girls pretty much kicked our butts. It was embarrassing, really.

Nothing else new has really happened, except CARYANNE GOT A FULL-TIME JOB! No biggie, she's just a full-time CT Tech at UNC Hospital. She started yesterday and seems to be really enjoying it, so far. Maybe I'll be able to talk her into writing a blog about it.

I also got a part-time job this week at a pharmacy in Wake Forest. It's Monday - Thursday 9-2 and I'm basically a cashier with a few other duties. It's good stuff.

Guess I should turn in now. Justin is coming to town tomorrow, so I better rest up.

"Christ lived the life we couldn't live, and He died the death we should have died."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our God is Good

Imago Dei officially launched today. It was a great morning. We had a full band for the first time, so I got to play my full drum set instead of the cajon. We had around 160 people show up. Here's what the service looked like:

- Tony read Psalm 103 and prayed
- We played two songs (Glory to God Forever and Forever Reign)
- Donnie read the scripture for the message
- Tony preached on 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
- We had a time of response (Lord's Supper, offering, prayer)
- We played three more songs (Lord, I Need You, You Alone Can Rescue, and Hallelujah, What a Savior)
- Five new people signed the membership covenant and became members.

CaryAnne and I have been hanging out with our neighbors a lot, lately. They play cornhole outside of our apartment, so we joined them last week and have played several times. CaryAnne is really good. We also had supper with them Friday night -- CaryAnne cooked enchiladas -- then cooked out and played cornhole and poker Saturday night with them. It was CaryAnne's first time playing poker and she won. They came to church this morning and we ate at Chili's with them for lunch.

Izzy got sick yesterday so we took her to the vet. She apparently was a little dehydrated and has hook worms, so they gave her some kind of injection that was like a camel's hump that stores water and disperses through her body as she needs it. It looked pretty weird, but neat. They also gave us some medicine to sprinkle on her food that should help with the worms. Hopefully she'll eat the food. She seems to be doing better already, though.

CaryAnne starts working the night shift this week. She's doing that four nights a week for the next three weeks.

Overall, we're doing great. We're excited for what God is doing in Raleigh and we feel blessed to be a part of it. It is so nice to be involved in such a great church with so many incredible people that are devoted to Christ and the gospel.

You should come visit.

"Christ lived the life we couldn't live, and He died the death we should have died."