jesus. husband. babies

jesus. husband. babies

Monday, January 6, 2014

I never want to be a woman I admire.

Gayle Haggard, Shari Dolleman, Rebecca Fisk, Annie Oletzke, Sara Garcia, Tamera Cole, 
Susan Ridout

These are a few of the women that I admire. I admire them for different reasons. Some have dealt with marriage struggles, miscarriages, and infertility, losing children, losing husbands and debilitating sins. But the main theme is they have all had to face awful circumstances and have overcome them. Overcoming is the key.

I could make a list of women that I know, 100 times longer then the one above, of women who have dealt with equally awful circumstances. Horrible things that no person, no wife or mother, should ever have to deal with but they chose a different path. They didn’t overcome. They chose to, truthfully, be a prisoner to their circumstance.

I was in youth ministry for 9 years. It was exhausting at the time to see young girls and hear about their emotional issues, I mean how many times can a person make the same decision (with boyfriends, friends or family) and still be surprised things didn’t work out? Add to that the emotions of a teenage girl (or a handful of them while I was leading a small group) and you just get tired. Luckily, a lot of them grew up and moved onto a different season of life. A handful of them got married and I have loved seeing them grow into adults, people I can call friends.

But with those changing of seasons a lot of them have had some really awful circumstances come their way. Getting phone calls and hearing one is pregnant out of marriage, hearing parents have died, their babies have died and hearing their marriages are literally hanging in the balance. I have cried and been so angry with life and the pain that everyday life brings.

I realized something that really has changed me. Seared my soul and transformed me.


That sounds harsh, I really feel love for the women I listed but if I am to honest I DON’T want to del with what they dealt with. When I saw my own marriage failing and I decided to move out I didn’t want to work on it anymore or believe that God could do something. I wanted to just melt into the failure before me and move on.

The women I listed (I am sure) felt that too, but they decided that they wouldn’t do this by themselves. They decided that God’s grace is bigger than that and that he cares. He cares enough not to just get them through the issue but to heal their hearts from it and create character that they otherwise would not be able to produce.

Last year I miscarried our third baby at around 12 weeks. It was awful, I was so angry because I love being a mama; I love so many things about it. But as I drove away from the hospital, in pain emotionally and physically I was sobbing, crying out to God and all I could end with was saying over and over “God I know you care and you SEE ME, your heart sees me and my baby and you do care”.

So If I am to be totally honest I don’t WANT to lose another baby, I don’t want to lose my mom, I don’t want to see my marriage fall apart but from that, if I chose, I can be a woman I admire. I can be a woman who choses to honor God and be steadfast in his promise. He sees the awful; he lets it happen, why? So I will learn to depend on Him more, all I have is Him and His desire for me is that every good thing and every awful unconceivable thing would remind me that all I have in the whole world is Him.

I was talking with a friend yesterday who has been confronted with a situation that will completely break her life or will produce a marriage that is a testimony to so many women who will be forced to deal with the same sin. I ended with the words “Chose to be the kind of wife that you admire in others”.

So yeah, deep down I never want to be faced with the circumstances I have listed,. I don't want to walk out the day to day of forgiveness and choosing to trust God more than what is in front of me. But I so desperately covet being totally dependent on God so my only choice is to look at women I admire, the ones who have chosen to be victorious over excruciating circumstances and follow their lead. Trusting in a God who cares, who sees and cares.

The Lord is near to the broken hearted and he saves the crushed spirit. Psalms 34:18
He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3
Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. 1 John 5:4

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It all matters so much.

Proverbs 1: 7-9 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father's instruction And do not forsake your mothers teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments around your neck.

Some days I feel like I have 2 babies going through the proverbial "Terrible 2's". 
My sweet boy didn't throw a tantrum until well past 3 and I think Ava's first tantrum was at birth. This girl knows what she likes and more importantly, she knows what she DOES NOT like. She is so very precious.

Some days I feel like I am constantly saying "No" or "Listen to me or I will need to swat your bottom!" and I don't know if either of those phrases have ever come across in a loving voice.

While reading this morning I was so struck by the above verses! God has entrusted me with Tennyson and Ava. He didn't entrust them to Sunday School, pre school, caretakers at the gym, other mommy friends or even grandparents, aunts and uncles. They are given to Daniel and I to raise and instruct.

The question that these verses shouted to me was "As I raise them am I pointing them to Jesus?" My job isn't to list rules and "do not's" but to model and teach a fear of The Lord and in that the grace if Jesus and (As Tenn's bible so clearly states) The "Never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love of God" through his son Jesus.

So today my heartfelt prayer for myself and my sweet mommy friends is that the Holy Spirit would so clearly remind us that our kids are not ours but give to us by God, their perfect Father, to instruct in HIS ways and truth. What an amazing joy and responsibility. I pray that all day long (especially on days that seem SO long) we would remember that every word of encouragement or correction needs to so desperately point back to Him!

Happy Wednesday :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Well, we tried.

We decided to take pictures this year and give them as Christmas gifts to family. On a side note I always feel ridiculous doing that "Hey, Merry Christmas, here is my face to look at"! But lets be serious, grandparents love it.

SO we set out to get it done. Let me show you a few gems:

Let me tell you a few things I notice about this picture:
1. My husband looks weird (this is NOT his smile, I have never seen this smile before and I hope to never see it again).
2.Clearly Ava doesn't recognize him with this smile, notice she is staring thinking "Who is this man and why can't he wipe that ridiculous smile off his face?"
3. Why does my boy look like he is trying NOT to smile?

Clearly at this point Ava just decided the action was better anyplace else than where she was. 

We have over 180 pictures that were taken. In 90% of them Ava is looking at us or the camera as if to say "Who is this freak family and where did they put my real parents!"

There are a lot of things wrong with this one:

Tenn caught the bored bug:

Lighting issues (we will leave it at that):

Everybody seems to be a little worn down, a photo shoot is very hard work!

Again, too many things going wrong here to even begin to mention:

Getting warmer.....


And this, dear friends, is the best you will get with 2 kids that (apparently) were not in the mood for a photo shoot:

Happy 2013 :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer was fun...

Serious Seattle. Get. It. Together. It is August and the high today is (supposed to be) 69. Lame, especially since I just came from a weekend in Yakima where it was 100!

We can enjoy the cloudy days too:

Don't let the smile fool you, she has ZERO desire to crawl or stay on her tummy.

Tenn couldn't stop telling the neighbor kid about us going to Target yesterday. We need a life.

He is smelling it :) not eating it.

"I know milk does a body good but how much milk have YOU been drinkin'"

And a bath after the park is always a hit.

 Happy Wednesday.


I think that the longer I live the more real this phrase becomes: Life Isn't Fair.

As a youth you are VERY aware life isn't fair, well as aware as you can be. Sibling gets something and you don't. Friend gets a new car at 16 and you don't. The list goes on and on and on.

Then you grow up and become an adult and you can still think the same way "So and So got a new car? THAT isn't fair!".

Then the day comes when you realize that life is totally not fair, in the most real and exhausting way. 

In the past 2 months My family has lost 2 very amazing men. And you want to know what? It isn't fair, not at all. They had more life to live, for Grandpa Ridout it wasn't fair that he got cancer, he lived his life loving Jesus and building the Kingdom. For Steve it isn't fair that at 48 he passed away, a healthy man who has 2 wonderful kids and a wife that is amazing, Steve too spent his life building the Kingdom.

 Cole Family at Disney World (Steve is in the front left of the picture)

 Grandpa Ridout (Lolo to the grand babies) with  baby Tenn

So yes, life isn't fair, sometimes it just really really is terrible and exhausting.

But what else isn't fair is the free gift of GRACE and the confidence in knowing that this isn't the last time we will see Grandpa Ridout or Steve. There is peace in knowing that they are in the presence of God.

So yes, the untimely death of people we love dearly isn't fair but salvation isn't either, so I won't complain.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

6 Month Checkup

It has been rough.

Multiple times a day I would ask myself "How can 2 kids, from the same gene pool, be so ridiculously different?". Tenn never cried, never had tummy issues and never left me feeling like he despised me and just cried in spite of me. But this girl, she tested me and my faith in infants. Colic and reflux that lasted until 5 months. A sensitive stomach that continues at 6 months.

But we are figuring it out and getting into a groove, a groove that speaks to my soul and makes me smile (about 95% of the time).

My sweet Ava has an adoring brother and just broke out her first 2 teeth in the past 3 days.

They are fun, they are getting more fun everyday and I am remembering why I always dreamed of being a mama.

I can't wait to see what is ahead :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Game Changer

I feel like a.... a.... Well, actually I feel like a person who is not quite able to put together a complete thought. I was just reading a book (about mothering) and there was a personality quiz with words like "Self assertive", "reliable", "go getter" and "leader" and as I was reading the list of words (which I was supposed to circle if they applied) I realized I was unable to process the meaning of any of the words. I mean, I have heard them, I have used them and I have taken multiple personality tests but I could not wrap my mind around what they meant (or if any applied to me).

Why you may ask?

I am kinda tired and suffering from "Mom Brain", yes, I looked it up (on WEB MD) and I have it.

Mom Brain: The inability to think, process or understand many normal activities due to a recent (or ever) child birth. Usually lasts around 1 to 18 years (has been known to effect a person for the remainder of their life). Person(s) may forget simple things (like how to read an analog clock, or digital in extreme cases, how to remember what day of the week it is or what things may be scheduled on said "day").

Causes of Mom Brain are as follows,  Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:
Yeppers, I had a baby. She is now 4 weeks old and her name is Ava Elizabeth Cole. She is a doll (minus colic)!
"MOM! You are so embarrassing, get this off my head!"
Tenn LOVES to dance for, explain the inter workings of Buzz and Woods and talk to his Baby Sissy. SO sweet.

He loves her.


She has mastered the surprised look:

My sweet babes. It has been quite the learning curve but I am feeling more and more "at home" with my family of four. Oh my goodness, family of 4? What the heck?