Friday, January 4, 2013

Not A Christmas Card

 I really was going to send out a Christmas/ Holiday card. I even had our family picture taken far enough in advance to write a newsletter, insert cute photos and mail it off to be enjoyed by all. Or mostly all, let's just say many--many people would have enjoyed said card.  By now it would be in the garbage, a stack heading to the garbage soon or on the side of your refrigerator (hopefully for a few weeks).  I would hope for the latter, but the former is probably more likely.

I wanted to mail out a card with our update and fun paragraphs dedicated to each member of my adorable family. I wanted to gush and tell you all the amazing things that are happening in our lives. How we are happy and blessed and how grounded we feel.  How at times Joe and I can't believe our life and how good it is.

That all would be great and true and good.

But it would not be all.

Our 2012 newsletter would leave out the fact that the last family photo we had was taken 3 years before our youngest child was born. It would gloss over or completely leave out the fact that the Cole's haven't sent out a card for years. Hauntingly amiss would be the silence and retreat that we took from most people for 3 years. It would leave out our broken and shattered dreams and the climb out of utter darkness that seemed unending.

It would be a small sliver of where we have been, who we are and the miraculous way God has shown up to change every fiber of our being.

Every time I sat down to write, I felt constricted, suffocated by such a small page.

I muddled.

I prayed.

I ignored.

I did however feel compelled to say something, even if it is too little, too late or too hard.  It is, you see, a new year, a new beginning--the time when everyone sends out a little hello and cheer. I wanted that too. The gory details seemed too gruesome and the highlights seemed too good to be true.  In the middle is: school, laundry, yard work, grocery shopping, soccer practice, trips to the doctor, exercise, drum lessons, homework, food, laughter, tears, basketball, wine, chocolate, apple juice, picky eaters, growing children, walking the dog, and a little sleep.

God has taught us more about suffering, love, sacrifice, hope, joy, sorrow and truth than we could have ever imagined.  Our kids are average, doing great and we love every moment we have as a family, knowing they are growing and in a blink will be gone to their futures and we will be left smelling the fumes of children and longing to hear their feet. Joe makes me laugh harder than anyone ever. I can't conceive of a life without him. He completes me.

In August we moved to Woodlake, California when Joe accepted the call to be the pastor at Woodlake Presbyterian Church.  This little town in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley is our new home.  We love it! Solomon (13), Maddox (10), Judah (7.75), Owen (5) are all boys... still. That comes with all the craziness you can imagine.

love to you all!

the cole-train


  1. this might not be a christmas card...but it's close enough! love love! thanks for the update :) you guys look awesome!!!!!!

  2. I love this. We too felt overwhelmed with just one small, silly sheet of paper to send out, having never sent one before, and trying to sum up all the changes, the highlights, the lowlights, the grace, beauty, and thankfulness we've experienced, etc. So we were satisfied with cheesy pregnancy photos and "Merry Christmas" - so lame, but whatever. So excited for you guys and your life in California. You are dearly missed here in the SLC. Happy that you had a vaca on the beach too!
    Hope to see y'all soon,

    1. Josie,

      Thank you for your kind words and for your unending friendship. Hopefully we'll be in SLC this year to meet your little guy.