Shining Stars: Tell us a little about yourself …
My name is Brittany Vawser. I am 23 and I live in Idaho with my sweet husband Andy and our crazy insane cat Annabell. In April we will have been married for two years. That next month, in May, we will be welcoming our first baby. We aren’t sure what the baby is, so we are very excited!
Andy is from Idaho and is the third generation Vawser from here, so we gladly make our home way out here in the west. Because he was born here all his family lives here, so we see them often. Andy is the oldest of two, he has one younger brother who is grown.
My family however is back in Georgia, where I was born and raised. (That good old southern land!) But we will get to the story of how I was transplanted from the South to the West later. I am the oldest of 10 children with the youngest being born just a few months before Andy and I were married. (Six brothers ranging in age from 22 all the way down to almost 2, and 3 sisters ranging in ages from 17 to 4)
My interests are many, some of which include reading, sewing, cooking and baking, talking to my family back home, learning how to be a better wife and someday mother, and of course, spending as much time as I can with my husband.
Shining Stars: What is your testimony (how did you become born-again)?
It was the summer of 1997, when I was 9. I was at a Vacation Bible School that our church had put on that summer. I can remember learning about and being very aware of the suffering that Christ had taken for us. It made me sad to know that He was beaten and was crucified for us…for me. And then I remember the teacher telling us that Christ also had risen for us to save us from an eternal death and that we could give our hearts to Him and live forever with Him in heaven with our Lord. That was what I wanted and so I accepted Christ as my own savior. Now, looking back, that was the most mature decision that I had made as a child. One that I don’t regret!
Shining Stars: We understand that you considered yourself a stay-at-home-daughter while you were unmarried – how did that come about? What led you to that decision?
Well that is quite a story actually. It’s rather a longer one, one that you can read about in an earlier issue of Shining Stars [Volume2 Number2], but to make a long story short …
In 2005, after graduation, I went away to volunteer my time for the Lord but while there I learned what it meant to be independent on my own away from my family. And when I returned home after my time of serving was up, I wanted more. Not more of volunteering for Christ, but more of “me time” and time to be independent of my family. Time to be selfish! For the next year and a half, I was very bitter about having to give up my own time. I wanted nothing to do with being at home. I wanted very much to leave and live my own life away from my father and family. Having a job didn’t help that either.
Finally, the summer of 2007 I had had enough! I wanted out! I felt that being at home was trapping my life style and my parents were just keeping me from being great in the world. So I left my Fathers home with a vow to never ever return! And I fully intended on keeping that vow. For three months, God brought me through some very fiery trials. At one point I had hit rock bottom. I had done terrible things and felt that God was done with me. That He couldn’t fix me, someone so messed up and broken.
But He did. He completely changed my heart. It took me to be falling apart for God to bring me back to being whole in Him. Three months later, day before Christmas, I had made up my mind to go back home and live for the Lord. I asked my parents, on a trip back home for Christmas, if I could come back home. Of course they said yes! So on New Years Eve I returned home.
Coming back home was harder than I thought it was going to be, and at times I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. But God was faithful to me and my family and blessed us and allowed me to learn through my mistakes and problems. I will never regret coming back home.
Shining Stars: What are some ways that you were able to help and serve your family while you were unmarried?
A bunch of different ways actually. I helped my mother with keeping the little kids busy while she schooled the older ones. I helped with teaching the younger ones. Cooking the meals and having a younger sister help so she could learn to cook. (That was a good thing too cause I got married and then my two sisters needed to know how to cook or they might have all starved! Lol. Not really, my mother is an amazing cook! Which is where I learned!)
Helped with the garden and if I needed to help out with taking care of the animals, I would. I would run errands for my dear sweet mother or help my father whenever he asked me. Taking care of the little kids for my mother when she needed me too. That summer my mother found out she was going to have a baby the Winter of 2009. So I am glad that I got to help her out with that pregnancy. It was fun getting to help her and take care of my family once more like that before I married the love of my life.
So those were some of the things that I did. Of course there are many many other ways that I helped and served my family.
Shining Stars: How did you meet your husband? Can you tell us some about the events that led up to your marriage?
Lol … again, like my how I came to the decision to be a stay at home daughter, the story of how Andy and I met and our courtship, betrothal, and marriage journey is quite a long one. And it is also one that I have in an article in Shining Stars [Volume2 Number4]. But, to make that long story short …
My father was actively seeking a spouse for me. I was just impatient for God to bless me with one. I did eventually give that area of marriage up to the Lord asking Him to help me become patient and wait while serving Him. About a month later (at the end of summer) my father started a phone friendship with a gentle man from Idaho. One day my father came to me and asked me to pray for a certain young gentleman, who happened to be related to this man Daddy was talking to. He was his son. I didn’t know anything about this young man other than my father asked me to pray for him. I did and one month later, after filling out a lot of questions and seeing this young mans answers, this young man… Andy is his name…called and asked my father for his permission to court me. Daddy said yes and Andy and I started our courtship.
At this time neither of us had ever met and we didn’t know what the other looked like. We hadn’t seen a picture of each other yet. That would come later. We courted … or rather phone courted, with him being in Idaho and me being in Georgia. Lol … I honestly did not know where Idaho was so I had to go look it up on the internet.
After a month and a half of serious question asking and praying with one another (Andy and I asked all sorts of questions to get to really know who this person was that we might one day marry if the Lord willed it) our parents felt that it was time to see what the other looked like. So finally I was able to see Andy’s picture.
By the time December came Andy and I had been courting for three months and just about had run out of our questions for each other. So it was time for him and his family to travel down to see my family and I. The day before New Years Eve of 2008, Andy and his small family of four showed up at our house of our large family of 12. It was a great week of really getting to meet Andy for the first time and interacting with this young man that I had been courting for the past three months. I guess he really liked me for on the sixth day of their visit Andy asked my father for permission to marry me. Permission was given and the question was asked with a happy answer received. Three months later on the 18th of April Andy and I married each other before the Lord and our family and friends.
Shining Stars: Are there any resources that have encouraged you in your daily life?
Many! Along with the Bible…which is always an amazing resource to go to, I have found much encouragement from the book Created To Be His Helpmeet written by Debi Pearl. That book I have read many many times and every time I read it I find new things to learn. Reading that book encourages me so much and it makes me want to try all the more harder to be a better wife. I know I will never be the perfect wife, but reading that book sure makes me want to strive to try my hardest!
Another book I find really helpful is Passionate Housewives Desperate For God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald. As I write this, I haven’t finished the book completely. My sweet honey surprised me with it one day before Christmas. But so far I have learned what it means to serve God in our daily life even though to the world it looks like drudgery. I pray that as our children come along, I will be a good mother and this book is teaching me how.
One book that my honey and I are reading at the moment that I find so very helpful is Dale Carnegie’s How To Stop Worrying and Start Living. That book has taught me to look past all the mole hills in life and stop worrying when things don’t go as planned. With our Heavenly Father, all things go according to His plan! Not ours.
Shining Stars: Do you have a ministry? If so, please share about it.
Right now I am teaching a girls class in my home every week. I hope to be done before the baby gets here. And when little Baby Vawser gets here, for that time, being a mother will be my ministry. Serving, honoring, and loving my husband is also my ministry. For when I help him, and in turn he can work in his business, I am serving, honoring and loving our Lord!
Shining Stars: Do you have a home business? If so, please share about it.
I myself do not have a home business that I do, but my sweet husband has one and I help him where I can. He is a videographer and films all sorts of things. Most of the events that he films are weddings. He also then edits them onto a DVD. Since marrying him I have learned so much about cameras, filming, and computers and editing. I know that I have been a great help to my husband and I enjoy every minute of it! He also has an outside job, so when he goes to work I help his business when I can while he is away.
Shining Stars: What encouragement/advice/exhortation do you have to share?
Do NOT be anxious to grow up! Stay young as long as you can. Once you are grown and have all the responsibility of being an adult, you will think back … trust me on this for I do this also … you will think back to your childhood days and say to yourself, “ My, how simple and care-free were my days back then.” Don’t try to rush at becoming older. Enjoy this season of life where God has you. Your time for growing up will come, and it will seem like it came to fast. Just be happy with your life as a child or a young adult.
Keep your heart with your family. Let your father and mother hold your heart until it is time to give it away to your future spouse. Do not let your eyes wander and your heart become restless. God will bless you with a spouse soon enough. Enjoy this time with your family, for once you are grown and married … you can never go back to life before you grew up. You will make many new memories as a married woman, but the ones that you had with your family will be just that … memories. Use this time as a stay-at-home daughter to serve the Lord and your family. For in serving your family, even if it means helping with the smaller children, cooking and cleaning, in serving them you are serving our Lord and Savior! And that is something to strive for!!
When you are serving with your whole heart and joyfully, you are practicing what your attitude will be when you become a wife and mother. If you aren’t happily giving of your time to your family, if you do it with an unhappy bitter heart, not only are you being disrespectful to your parents and to God but you are also being selfish, discontent, and you are not honoring the Lord or your family. And guess what? You will do the same things when you are married. Start now and learn how to be a good daughter for when you are a wife, you will be a good one!
And one of the most important things I think every young lady should and can learn now while she is in the stage of waiting and serving … learn how to cook and clean!!! You will never get a better chance to learn these important skills now! Once you are married, it will be almost to late! My mother is the best teacher so I learned early how to cook. It took me a while to learn and there were plenty of burnt meals that my dear family choked down, but eventually I learned how to be a good cook. Not as amazing as my mother or grandmother, but I am getting there! My husband doesn’t complain!