The Great Unknown

Adam's residency graduation program was held on Saturday.  It is only fitting to update this blog as we transition into our next season since I wrote my first blog entry while driving up to Pennsylvania for Adam to begin medical school back in 2007.   At the graduation ceremony, I sat there and realized how quickly these years have marched by us.  Say what you will about graduation or any traditional rite-of-passage ceremony, but they do cause you to sit and reflect on what you've done, where you've failed, what you stand for, what you believe in, and what you will leave behind.

We feel like different people than those punk kids driving 23 hours with a u-haul and a dog.  We were naively moving into a charming english cottage with 80-year-old, single pane windows and no garage in a city with 150+ inches of lake effect snow per year.  But, mostly, I look back and see the kindness of God through the seasons of being overwhelmed, through moments of comparison, through times of sorrow and pain, through pity parties, through seasons of zeal and seasons of apathy, through the mundane moments and through the tears of celebration and exhaustion.  He was there and He was good and He never withheld love from us.

I have dreamt of and put so much hope into this next season: having Adam home more often, paying off student loans, going on a family vacation, at some point.  But I already feel the need and conviction to hold my expectations loosely.  I've already seen that this year will not look the way I had always planned but it can look better.  The same daily fixing my eyes on Jesus is needed lest I despair, lest I have a pity party, lest I forget my purpose on this planet, lest I become a slave to my comfort.

I look towards this next year knowing that God is stirring our hearts and asking obedience from us in ways that were not our plans.  Yet I know that His ways are always better than ours, his thoughts far above our own.  The things I look to for satisfaction always run dry and leave me weary.  His burden is easy.  His yoke is light.  Here's to the next adventure.


Hometown Prophets

I am following along with a bible study online and today's reading came from John 4.  It was the story of Jesus healing a royal official's child.  Before this occurs, though, the text reads:  "After the two days he (Jesus) left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his hometown)."  The story goes on to tell of Jesus healing the child but the part about Jesus knowing that a prophet has no honor in his hometown really stood out to me.

I think it really exposes our hearts.  If someone is from your hometown, you know them.  You have seen their humanity. We are all sinners and though Jesus lived a sinless life, even he was a babe in diapers at one point. Not glamorous.  But we want glittery prophets...not human ones.  We want rockstar prophets, teachers and leaders that we can worship. Instead, God uses broken, imperfect vessels to speak his words and he wants us to draw near to HIM not idolize the teacher or prophet.

I felt convicted reading this verse that I often dwell more upon the vessel than the Creator.  I am thankful that God uses people to speak his word and I have gained wisdom through others' revelations but it's all for nothing if I, myself, do not draw towards Jesus.  We're just like the Israelites...it seems easier to just follow a king or a prophet than to actually work out our own faith and draw near to God.

I am thankful for prophets but they all have a hometown.  Let us draw near to Jesus, He is our rescuer and our righteousness.  Let's take the words of today's teachers and run towards the creator and sustainer of all men.


Looking Back to Smile.

I am very excited about 2014 and I anticipate that it's going to be a great year for our family.  Adam will finish residency  in June!  I am so proud of him.  He has worked extremely hard for years and years in order to accomplish this dream.  Also, I am extremely happy that he has signed a contract and we are staying in Fort Worth! Praise God from whom all blessings flow because we have three grandparents that live in this area and that is a priceless gift.  

Looking ahead to 2014 is exciting but 2013 was a great year too.  One last picture reflection with a picture from each month to recap our past year.  We are richly blessed and pray that 2014 is full of more fun and adventures together, more love in our home and relationships, and more purpose and life!  













You are One, Son.

Yesterday, Collin turned one.

Fastest year of my life.

Collin is a happy, social, meddlesome & active boy. He likes to climb onto chairs and tables and fireplaces.

He will eat anything and always has some memento shoved into his cheek like a squirrel.
(P.S. This is how my sweet 3rd  child gets to eat his birthday cake in our family.  On a towel.  On the floor.)

Collin is the biggest that any Jennings boy has been at age 1 and that's probably best since he has two rowdy brothers.  Collin adores his brothers.

Collin likes to "sing", lift up his hands and dance.  He is so much fun.

We had a super low-key birthday dinner with my mom & my in-laws.  I made chili & we enjoyed cake.  Before my mom and my in-laws came over, the boys played in the driveway and scaled Adam's truck.  Overall, it was a pretty fun day!

Collin is a delight.  I am so thankful that I get to be his mama.

A Year Ago, Yesterday.


Elliot Is 3.

Spunky little sweet heart.  Elliot has brought so much joy to our home and he can make people feel so special and loved.  Our nickname for Elliot is Ferdinand because he is a stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of kid.  He really likes trains, play dough, coloring and"teaching" me things.

He has also learned to punch his big brother, so our home often feels like a cage match.

Happy birthday, Ferdinand.  You're teaching us how to enjoy life more.  We love you so much.


Collin at 9 (ish) Months

For my records...


Little sweetheart.
crawling everywhere much to the detriment of his big brothers' train tracks, block towers & perfectly lined up cars.  Lucky for him, he is the darling of the family and everyone dotes on him constantly.

21 lbs.
Just got his 3rd tooth.  Man, his gums bled like crazy!
I have never seen that happen before but he had a mouth full of blood and then, Voila!  3rd tooth. 

people lover.  especially other babies.  He crawls towards the girl babies at the church nursery and pulls their bows out.  That's game, son!

He perpetually has something in his mouth.  I know, I know that I should keep all choking hazards away and I really do try but he always finds a leaf or something like that and has it shoved into the side of his mouth like a chipmunk.  

3rd child has to nap on the fly most days (I try to offer him a good afternoon nap at home but sometimes a car nap in the morning funks that up).  He is finally sleeping better at night (Hallelujah).  Some nights he makes it until morning and other nights he still wakes up for a 3 or 4 a.m. feeding.  I'm cool with that.

Eating table scraps and baby food but still mostly just nursing (it's convenient).  
Says a lot of Ma Ma Na Na Da Da Ah Ah.
Precious child.  Delightful baby.  Wonderful gift.  


Tuesdays with Duckies

We have a great city park about half a mile from our home.  I love it because you see people of all ages, colors & sizes exercising on the walking trail or playing with their kids and grand kids.  If you ever find yourself becoming hostile towards mankind, this would be a great place to visit. It brings great hope to see all types of people enjoying nature, laughing, playing, visiting with loved ones and it becomes clear that we are all more alike than we are prone to believe.