Friday, December 28

My Thoughts on the Christmas Season

It has been a busy season for the Tennants. We have driven countless miles to see family and celebrate the holidays over the last month. We've gotten to see all of our families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and Elwood got to celebrate his first holidays with everyone.

It's been such fun, special time for my sweet baby to experience this season.

In the midst of celebration I found myself getting so caught up in the logistics and timing and how things should look rather than my heart.

I feel like I missed out on God's blessings because I was so busy making sure we saw everyone, got the right gifts, and got to everything on time.

Ben, Elwood, and I spent Christmas morning in bed reading the book of Luke's account of Jesus' birth.

It was refreshing to open God's word as a family. Something that we don't get to do as often as I'd like. I'm making it my goal and resolution for 2013 for the following things:

1. Spend more time with family with no strings attached.

2. Open the Word as a family every day.

3. Say "no" more often. (We are WAY too busy.)

4. Spend more time in nourishing relationships.

5. Take time to grow spiritually, physically, and emotionally more healthy.

6. Invest in deeply rooted relationships with other women.

7. Take a beach vacation!

And lastly, to blog more often. To put more of my thoughts together and explore different avenues of writing.

Until next year...

Tuesday, December 4

A Heart of Thankfulness

I'm sitting downstairs with a beautiful Christmas tree lit on a rainy Monday and my sweet baby has been snoozing for 2+ hours.

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. Being in the midst of a tough church season, a busy family schedule, and financial strain, God has blown me away with His incredible provision.

He has stunned me with His promises -- renewing my faith each day.

It's easy to get caught up in the "storm" of life. In the little things that swirl in our heads when we lay down at night -- keeping us awake. Keeping us from seeing true reality -- the world through God's eyes.

I desire compassion. The kind of compassion Jesus has. Compassion that confronts issues head on with love and humility. With grace and truth.

I wonder what it would really look like for me to see and treat others & myself the way God does. I would never doubt my mothering abilities. I wouldn't look twice in the mirror before I leave the house. I wouldn't think over what I'm going to say one hundred times before confronting an issue. I would never see myself as a failure.

How would my world change if I saw others the way God does? I wouldn't judge others. I wouldn't compare. I wouldn't desire what others have -- knowing that God has me right where He wants me. And I definitely would not speak harsh words to anyone if I saw them how Jesus does.

God, cleanse my heart. Forgive and help my unbelief. Teach me to put myself in the grave and to live fully in your Spirit.


Wednesday, October 31

Love to Life

It's 3:15am and I haven't slept at all yet.

I couldn't sleep and conveniently neither could Elwood. He's been up every hour or so wanting to be held and poor thing has a cold that he's fighting and he just doesn't feel well.

So I finally get frustrated that I can't sleep so I come downstairs and do the dishes. Yes, at 3am I'm downstairs scrubbing pots and pans and loading the dishwasher. And as I'm doing this, Elwood is crying upstairs. I run up and grab him and we rock.

We rocked in his room and the closer I held him, the more calm he got. For about fifteen minutes he just stared at me. He used his hands to feel my face and look in my eyes. *This one of those mama moments you never forget.

After about thirty minutes he finally gives in and lays his head on my chest. And I hum a lullaby until he falls asleep. But as I hum I can't help but get teary eyed just looking at my beautiful son who sweetly needs his mama tonight for reasons I can only guess.

I crept downstairs and decided I was going to catch up on my reading and blogs that I follow. Tammie Head is an amazing woman of God that has written a bible study and speaks around the country. I read her blog often and tonight I sat down to read her latest post (found here).

Can Jesus handle your pain? Tammie answers absolutely.

I love the point she makes that the modern church tends to glaze over pain and tell us that Jesus conquers it and that we can live victoriously in Him. (Which is true!)

But then she says what I know God really means -- 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30

Crawl into the lap of Jesus and let Him LOVE you to life. What sweet words from our Savior. He desires to love us deeply, not just skip all the details. He wants to know everything. He wants to heal every part of us.

This encouraged me so much as a reminder that as I rocked my son who I love more than I can even describe in the middle of the night; Jesus desires to do the same with my soul.

So I'm downstairs with a cup of hot tea at 3:30am letting the Lord love on me.

Let Him love you to life. What a sweet, precious, intimate, and holy God I love that will sit and be with me.

Tonight I'm thankful.

Saturday, October 13

A Day of Remembrance

Two years ago we say goodbye to Aiden.

Our hearts sank to the lowest it will ever be and we said our final goodbyes to our baby here on Earth. Time stood still as we grieve the most horrible thing anyone ever could -- losing our child.

I wish I could say that two years later we have all the answers and that we have peace. But there is no peace in death on this Earth; only in Heaven.

So today we grieve as we do every day -- missing our son and wishing we had more time with him.

We are blessed by the outpour of support and love. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us.

Today we grieve.

Today we remember.

Today we stand broken, yet redeemed.

{The Lord is close the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18}

Wednesday, October 10

Happy 2nd Birthday, Aiden!

This year looks much different than last year.

Today our first son would have been 2 years old.

How I wish I could see him running around, talking, giving us kisses, opening presents, eating cake, and having fun with friends.

But today we grieve and celebrate two years since I became a mom.

Aiden, you changed me forever. You made me a mama. And I miss you more than words could ever say.

Today I remember such sweet moments with you. I reflect on God's glory that He showed me through you. You are a piece of the Father.

Thank you, God, for creating Aiden. We are so grateful to have met him and spent three breathtaking days with him.

Tuesday, October 2


I'm on the most important journey of my life.

I'm at a pivotal point where I can choose healing or I can let Satan continue to attack me.

It's been almost two years since my world got turned upside down and I'm just now beginning to unwrap the situation. For two years I've delicately decided when and how to "deal" with my grief. Really when I feel it to be convenient or when I'm feeling inspired to "get better" or "be better".

Grief doesn't work that way. Grief is a moody, unexpected, all the time, in your face kind of emotion. I used to think it was something that was always in the back of your mind, but that you can return to normal life and deal with it when you feel like it.

When the reality is that grief affects every single move you make. Every conversation, relationship, decision, and emotion. Grief is the thing that if you don't confront it, it may slowly destroy you. {will destroy you...}

I have gracefully walked out the last two years strongly with a spiritually sound attitude and positive outlook.

Two years later, I can say that I am now in a more realistic and even more spiritual walk.

Grief is ugly.

I can tell you that a lot of people around me say that I'm strong, positive, put together, and even normal. But the truth is that I'm broken.

Brokenness is where God found me. It's where He can deal with me. It's where He can start.

I feel like I'm raw. The past two years has beat me over and over again with no break or chance to recover.

{I've been going back and forth and writing and editing this particular post for about 3 weeks because I didn't know how much and what I wanted to share. Because the truth is I don't even want to write it. But I'm even more scared of what will happen if I don't.}

So here I am. Broken. Raw. Hurt. Depressed. Sad. Mad. Constantly anxious. And everything in between.

I don't want Elwood to live in the shadow of my grief.

I think that's one of my biggest fears. That he will never have a normal life because of my grief. I know I'm not "normal" anymore but I don't want to inflict all of my anxiety on him.

Will you pray with us?

We need good listening friends that can bear some heavy weight. We need encouragement. We need prayers.

We're at a loss of where to go from here. We're seeking God like crazy; going to any measure it takes to know Him more deeply and to feel His embrace.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 28

Running Wild

The past few weeks are one big blur.

I feel like absolutely nothing of substance has happened but that things have dramatically changed all at the same time. No earthly events have shattered apart and my days haven't shifted but things are different.

Emotions, my journey with the Lord, and my mind have all changed directions and a new season has begun.

I've gone through a lot of growth over the last couple years. First I went through a big change when I got married. Then I had a baby and lost a baby. That will definitely change you. Then I went through an emotionally hard pregnancy. And now I'm a "new" (but not new) mom and life is completely different. I'm no longer working (after 8 years) and yet I'm still pretty busy.

I've found myself to be strangely lonely. With my schedule being dictated by nap and bed times, feedings, and a tight budget I haven't been able to keep up with friends or go out and do things. I've been forced to hunker down at the house and truly be at home.

My idle hands (well, at least during nap time...) have given me a run for my money.

I'm so looking forward to the fall when I'm adding a couple things to my schedule and I'll be out of the house more often hopefully. 

I know that most moms will say that it gets easier when they get bigger and you are more accustomed to having children and learning how to get out. But the older Elwood gets the more I realize how much he needs his mommy and that I'm terrified to leave him.

This is a learning process and letting go of control and fear are definitely obstacles I'm going to try to overcome.

Elwood has been struggling with separation anxiety to the max and it of course hurts me just as much as it hurts him. I was reading and talking with our pediatrician and babies at this age don't understand that when you leave a room - you are simply disappearing to your baby. They don't know if/when you're going to come back. Ouch! It hurts my heart to even think about what goes through his mind when I leave the room or put him down at bedtime.

So for now the best thing I can do as his mommy is to limit time with "strangers", get him good rest with naps, and ride out this phase.

In the meantime I'm enjoying investing in our home, my marriage, my son, and my journey with the Lord. God is definitely trying my patience and teaching me grace through all of this. I'm so grateful for a God who prepares us for things in the future. I know that one day I will look back at this time and thank God for teaching me now and that I am more prepared for whatever comes along.

Parenting is one of the most selfless blessings.

It requires you to fully clothe yourself in His righteousness and His armor to be able to parent well. On my own accord I would be an awful parent. In my flesh sometimes I just want "me" time away from everyone and everything. But my spirit wills me to gently love my child effortlessly.

Oh, how the Creator loves us. He has shown me His humility and His kindness over the last few weeks more than I have ever experienced. I am so thankful.

Until next time...

Monday, May 7

After a long break... Q&A

Welcome back!

I'm so happy to be back in the saddle after 8 long weeks away from blogging. I've had some people ask why I stopped writing since Elwood was born and the answer is simply this: I couldn't jumble all my thoughts yet.

I've had some good downtime that I probably could have used to put everything together but I've just really enjoyed every moment I've had with my sweet baby and haven't wanted to try to get things together yet. Elwood is truly a blessing and I have been soaking it up!!!

I'm going to use this first post to let everyone how Elwood is doing but also to answer some questions! I'm going to start with some of the most common questions I've been asked but I want YOUR questions! I don't get a lot of comments or emails but I'd really like to hear from you! So get creative and ask away!

1) How are you doing? How is Elwood doing?

There's not an easy answer to that. Overall - we are doing SO well. Ben and I are still learning how to balance our schedules and we're trying to figure out how this parenting thing works. Elwood is doing well after some weight issues. He lost a lot of weight his first two weeks and had a very slow growth rate for a couple weeks after that but we are thankfully on the up swing now and he's doing great!

2) Are you still nursing? What happened?

Yes, I'm still nursing! We went through a scary 48 hours where Elwood wasn't doing well with eating and having no BMs. We were at the doctor's A LOT! We did have to supplement with some formula and I was pumping and feeding him a bottle to make it easier on him. After weeks of mixing nursing, pumping, and bottle feeding I am so happy to say that he has been exclusively nursing for about a week now! I couldn't be more happy about this! I finally feel free! It was so tough to make sure I was home to pump and to keep track of milk intake and to keep milk fresh.

3) How is being a stay at home mom?

You know... it's so funny how life ends up. I've been working like a crazy woman since I was 15 years old and for the first time in my life I am just at home. (Well... it's not "just at home" because it's a lot of work. But not having a paid job.) I really thought that I would get a little itchy for something to do and that I would want something else. I have LOVED being home with Elwood. I've enjoyed being here with him 24/7 and having the chance to sow into him and my family. Will I ever go back to work? I have NO idea. But for right now I know the Lord is calling me to be at home and I am definitely ok with that :)

4) How did you guys do with the first week? (in regards to your loss)

We had the BEST doctors in the world. Both my OB and our pediatrician were so sensitive to our loss and our emotions. We stayed an extra day in the hospital (5 days total) just to be cautious. It was wonderful to know that Elwood was being watched 24/7 and that I didn't have to worry. We put Elwood in the nursery at night (which we didn't with Aiden) and we were blown away by the nurses in there. They reassured us emotionally and with his health all the time. We felt like they were our family for that week and they cared about Elwood just as much as we did.

The 3 day mark was hard. I was emotionally hurt thinking about that day with Aiden and just spent the day a little more attached to Elwood. I wasn't worried for him, but I couldn't help but have some scary thoughts and feelings. I got to tell Elwood about his brother and it was actually really helpful to just talk about it.

Our first night at home with Elwood was very sensitive. Ben and I were constantly checking him to make sure he was breathing and we just prayed over him all night long.

The next day took us by complete surprise. Just as we thought we were out of the woods we had a big scare. Elwood turned blue while I was nursing him. I immediately saw it and put him up and patted his back (while crying) and freaked out. He of course turned back and had his coloring and was totally fine but I totally lost it.

I called my friend Kim (SO thankful for her!) because she had this happen with her daughter and asked her what to do and what it meant. She assured me that he was ok and that he just forgot to breathe and that it does happen. She was a wonderful friend and stayed calm for me while I told her all my fears. I can't tell you how good it was to talk to someone who knew what I was saying even though I couldn't verbalize it completely.

The next 24 hours was when Elwood wasn't having any BMs and he wasn't eating. He became lethargic and sleepy so that's when we called our pediatrician and had to begin formula every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Ben and I were an emotional wreck. Our best friends packed up their two boys and came over to just sit with us for the night. We didn't sleep at all and were just sitting there watching Elwood breathe. It was the most terrifying 48 hours of my life. I felt like his life was hanging by a thread. I know in reality it wasn't, but all our emotions and grief kicked it into high gear and we were scared.

That's probably the biggest reason I stopped blogging after he was born.

Before all this happened I simply didn't have time. But after this, it took me a long time to recover. And then I didn't know whether I wanted to talk about it or not. I didn't really tell anyone about it and I was just exhausted.

Thank GOD for my mom who spent the first two weeks with us and supported me more than I could have ever imagined someone could. She was my rock.

5) What is Elwood doing right now? What's the latest development?

Sweet Elwood is SMILING!!! Oh we are so blessed by his precious smile! He is also cooing away now and telling us all sorts of stories! It's neat to see him look you in the eye and coo about I don't even know what but he is so happy!

He's starting to not only recognize people but he gets very excited to see certain people and will zero in on them while they talk even if it's not to him. He loves listening in to conversations.

This baby LOVES music!! He enjoys worship at church and wiggles to music at home!

He can now turn his head from side to side while laying down when you call his name or have something he wants. He also is holding his head up for periods!

I was very impressed when a woman met him the other day and guessed he was 2 1/2 months old when he is only 7 1/2 weeks! I think he's an over-acheiver :)

My goal is to post at least once a week from here on out! Hopefully this was a good summary of everything and you feel caught up!

Ok the floor is open and I would LOVE to hear from you! You can either comment on this post or you can email me at I'm excited to answer some questions! Ask away! :)

Thursday, March 15

Meet John Elwood Tennant!

We are so beyond blessed to share the news that our sweet son, Elwood, was born this morning!

8 lbs 12 oz
19 1/2 in

We love this boy already :)

Friday, March 9

38 weeks & feelin' it!

Well we are 6 days away from our c-section and life is crazy! I don't know that I've ever been this excited, nervous, anxious, or worried. I wish I could lie and say that I'm over the moon excited and that I think this is going to be perfect and that everything is going to go smoothly.

I will fully admit that I've spent the past few weeks worried sick that something will go wrong or I won't be a good mom or that our baby won't make it.

Ben and I both dreaded putting the nursery together thinking "what's the point?" when we don't know if he'll be using this nursery or not. I know these are terrible thoughts and that they probably scare some of you, but after you lose a child that you put all of your time, energy, love, and affection toward it can be quite a gloomy vibe to attempt this again and fear you won't have the turnout you had prepared for.

I know that when the time comes and Elwood is born, I will fall madly in love with him. I know that my heart will melt and that I will dream BIG and love passionately and care for him sweetly. But 6 days away from delivery and I'm just not quite there yet. 

Ben and I are just praying like crazy that God would flood over us and that He would smooth out our fears and help us to fully engage. God has been so good to us and when I look back I am absolutely amazed at His grace and how He has tenderly brought us through so much.

But there is still a voice of fear.

I wish I had some perfect ending to this post. A glimmer of hope. A message of peace. But my heart is restless and my mind is a battle field. I know that God is FAITHFUL. I know that He will and has conquered this.

Thursday, February 23

Elwood update & lots of pictures!

Over the past few weeks we have seen God transition our lives. Last week I had my last day at my job and trained the new person and began my life as a stay at home mom. After working hard for the past 6 years in administration, I have found that working at home will be a challenge. I absolutely love working around the house, cleaning, organizing, shopping, cooking... But my days of busy work around the office are on hold for now.

We went to the doctor yesterday for a growth ultrasound to check on Elwood and see how big he is measuring and how far he is developed. Our sweet boy is weighing 6 lbs 7 oz and will be growing roughly a pound a week for the next 3 weeks before we deliver! Woah! We will probably be having ourselves a 9 lb baby! It was so fun to see Elwood on the screen and see his very, very adorable face with big Buzza cheeks.

We are very excited to spend the next 3 weeks preparing and resting before our world gets turned upside down. One comforting thing is that my OB says she doubts I will go into labor early because Elwood's head is already too big to go down and cause labor. It's kind of nice to not have to constantly be "on call" to pick up our things and head to the hospital. We can truly relax and enjoy this time together.

We were honored to have our dear friend Amanda Lipscomb (You can check out her stuff here) take some maternity photos for us! Here's a preview of our shoot!

Also, we finally put the finishing touches on Elwood's nursery! It has been so fun to decorate and nest into his room. Here's some photos of his room!

Yesterday while we were waiting at the doctor a couple went in for their first ultrasound. After just a short couple minutes we heard the tech give this couple the bad news that there was no heartbeat. And immediately we heard sobs of sadness. My heart immediately jumped to the bottom of my stomach and I was crushed for this couple. It wasn't even that it reminded me of my loss, but rather than I hurt so badly for them. Ben and I wanted so badly to go in there and embrace this couple and tell them that it was going to be okay and that God was with them.

I sat in the waiting room sobbing for this couple as I am constantly reminded that loss is all around us. It can be so easily hidden but on days like yesterday, loss is very real. God reminded me that our story has made us tender and that He has designed us to pray and be there for people who have experienced loss. I will be praying for this couple as they start the journey that I know so well and pray that they would know God and experience His love, comfort, and peace.

We are anticipating these next few weeks as we welcome our next son into this world and get the opportunity to raise this child.