Sister to Sister: This and That and 2nd Generation PTP!

Banner BTS 2015

This weekend, just under 4000 people are headed to Sevierville, Tennessee  to participate in a HUGE blessing: Polishing the Pulpit . You can read about it here: www.polishingthepulpit.com. I do not know why or how I get the blessing of talking to ladies in this forum, but I am so thankful that I do. It challenges me, encourages me and makes me long for heaven. I hope you will make plans to come, if not this year, next year. I believe it is the most encouraging thing I do each year, so I want to keep doing it. I want my children to do it every year. I believe it is one thing that helps them grow and be prepared for the parenting challenges they will face in their young families. I want my elders to get to do it. There are rich and practical classes for them. I want my preacher to get to go. In fact, I hope he can ride with me!

My brain is in the overload mode—moving close to the explode mode! I get to talk about so many topics about which I’m zealous.…about being the light in a practical way, about how to have family devotionals in our busy world, about how to build self-esteem in our kids, about how to make them selfless….And I get to introduce the brand new 2015-2016 Digging Deep study. This happens from the ballroom at PTP, but is live to you at http://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women. I hope you will join us next Tuesday at 2:30 EST for this exciting time. Maybe the period I am looking forward to the most is the “Sweet Hour of Prayer” with sisters from all over the world. One room, one God, our Father, listening to his women children as we pray for each other’s most important needs and struggles. This is strengthening and I cannot wait. I have been pretty overwhelmed with the day-to-day time-challenges, which are really blessings, that I need this time with my sisters before the throne. And yet, I am so thankful that I have access to the throne of my Father whether there is a scheduled time of prayer or not. He is so merciful to let me come before Him at any time, much less all the time! (You can email me your prayer requests at this address: ddprayers2015@gmail.com.)

I am leaving behind unfinished business. But I will be praying about studies and visitors and sweet people who’ve made bold transitions in life. I will be praying for my dad and thanking God for my sister, Sami, who will be looking in on Dad and is always so attentive to his needs (and wants!). In fact, I am thankful for a whole list of people who are very good to him all the time! So blessed is what I am!

Lastly, the Back-to-School sale at The Colley house just has one week to go. So order now or forever hold your peace! You can find that here: http://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/~/category/id=7007069&offset=0&sort=normal.

Oh, and finish up that August study. Only about a dozen more days till we kick off a brand new study. Invite your friends to the Digging Deep Facebook page. This next year’s study is great for those who are not yet Christians.

Have a great time at PTP or wherever you finish out your week for Him and live it like you know we WILL ultimately all be at the same gathering!

PS. Did I mention that this will be Ezra’s first year to experience PTP OUTSIDE the womb? Could that be one reason my expectations for enjoyment are high this year? We are definitely into the second generation of PTP kids now! In fact, Ezra’s mom and her brother were the first teenagers ever to attend PTP! Just think of that! =)

Sounds of God

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SOUNDS OF GOD

A basketball bouncing on my drive;

A soft little song from a girl of five;

The buzz of bees, a whistling breeze:

The splash of the shower, the crash of a tower.

Disposal trashing, compactor smashing;

Clocks dinging, doorbell ringing;

Rain falling, children calling;

Vacuum roaring, someone snoring.

CNN bringing the voice of our nation

While Mama is chatting in phone conversation;

A guitar strumming, a dryer humming;

A microwave zapping, a little pup yapping.

Piano scales practiced on old worn out keys;

Fireside conversations of old memories;

The sqeaking of rockers on tired rocking chairs;

The patter of feet going up and down stairs.

The laughter at dinner, the jokes of a child;

The living room wrestling when everyone’s wild;

The squibbles and squabbles of small girls and boys;

My! How God blessed us with all of this noise!

A Father is telling the story of old;

A hymn in the night when the story is told;

The children petition their Father in prayer.

Sweet sounds of our home , for He lives with us there.

Do you ever take time at your house to be still

And listen with ears that are tuned to His will?

To sounds of His blessings…to voices that pray?

Does God live at your house?  Have you heard him today?

Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Don’t Take This for Granted.

10007327_10152819889601062_7042397935088924019_oToday is surely a day when I should just go back to the archived files and throw something in here from an old manuscript or article. Tonight is Ladies Night Out at my house for the women at West Huntsville and the hymn “There is much to do. There’s work on every hand. Hark the cry for help comes ringing through the land…” keeps coming to mind. But the sweetness of fellowship and family in Him also comes to mind.

As I anticipate a time tonight with my sisters, I remember yesterday. As I was traveling to worship yesterday morning, my sister (in the flesh and in the Lord), Celine, called me and asked me to meet up with her to do some swap-offs (She had clothes for Ezra and I had Enoch’s birthday present), so we arranged to meet up at the Mexican restaurant for lunch. When I arrived at the church building, David Freeman hugged me and whispered in my ear the pew location of a sweet family from Missouri that I should go meet. I did. We’d never met, but we had so much to talk about that I had to hurry to find a pew for the opening announcements. When it was singing time, sweet five-year-old Amber, whose Mom, Nuris, comes alone with two small children, came stealing down the aisle to sit with me. She always brings a big hug and she busied herself doing her WINGS sheet, so she could stand in line and hug the preacher and get her sticker for “listening” during the sermon. (I do use the term “listening” very loosely!)

As soon as worship had concluded, the college kids behind me helped me pick up the crayons and Marie rushed up to me to talk about her planned devotional for ladies night out. This is Marie’s very first time to speak in front of her sisters and she has written out her manuscript about Dorcas. I am so proud of her. Then, hurrying to Bible class, I sat down next to Jan. We studied, among other passages, First John one, verse seven:

If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another; and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanses us from all sin. 

The two great blessings of that verse are fellowship and cleansing. The blessings do not come independently of each other. They come in a pair—a set—of blessings.

Class was over and Jan and I visited a bit about the joys and challenges of helping parents who are growing older. She encouraged me. I talked with Betty about her grandson, Liam, and how he’s soaking up Hannah’s Hundred verses. I talked to Holly about new clothes and Hannah’s Hundred (again).  I talked to Maury about a Bible he couldn’t find and to Jennifer about a water bottle she was missing. I got the meat I’d purchased from Carter’s softball team from his mom, Kristi, who had meticulously wrapped it and wrapped it some more, so it would not mess up my car. I talked to Lindsay and Mrs. Glenna and then I bumped into my husband, Glenn, who told me that he’d invited people to lunch, too.

“Great!” I said…”We’ll need a big table, because I’m meeting the Sparkses, too.” Our table was for 17, in the end, and these sweet people, who were traveling through between the great Diana Singing and a visit with my dear friends, the Bakers, in Montgomery, were all mixed up with the Sparkses and it was a great time of fellowship.

It was the kind of fellowship that I take for granted. There were at least 43 people from our assembly in that restaurant. That is nothing unusual. Unless we are having a fellowship meal at the building, we pack that restaurant (and others) with groups of Christians. We are so busy enjoying it that we don’t even stop to think what a HUGE blessing fellowship is.

And then, sweet little Emily and Eva, who were born in Wisconsin (I think) and now live in Chicago, who were also sitting across the table from me, just looked around the room, got VERY wide-eyed and began pointing out all the children in that big room at the Mexican restaurant who were in their Bible classes. They could not believe they were just bumping into kids all around that they’d just met in Sunday School! Their mom said to me, “They have never known what it’s like to have Christians all around. We hope they can know that blessing one day.”

Today I am thanking God for that blessing that I, far too often, take for granted. It is huge. It is life-enriching. It is, most importantly, God’s way of keeping me accountable. I am so thankful for fellowship that comes with walking in the light. I never want to be without fellowship (II Thess. 3:6,7). (Our church family had to experience the pain of withdrawing that fellowship yesterday, as well. But it would not hurt so deeply to do that if fellowship was not so sweet to us. I am very much in prayer for the restoration of that sweet fellowship lost.)

I could go on, but I’ll stop there. The conversations with two women at our lunch table who had worked for the Lord in China, largely without this great blessing of fellowship…the baby shower preparation…all the ladies who came to encourage Tiffany and Curtis and little Raylee, before she’s even been born..the new college student and his mom (who is coming to ladies night out tonight!)…etc…etc…would take too much space. I just want to say that being a part of a family in Him is a huge blessing that I do not want to ever be without.

At the very end of the day, I was in a conversation with the wife of the great preacher we had for evening services. He is a student at Memphis School of Preaching and our congregation is helping with his support while he trains. His sweet wife, Erica, and I began to talk about sisters we both knew from different places in our big family. Then she made this comment that made me thankful for a whole new and relatively recent dimension of fellowship:

“There are so many women here  that I’ve never met, but still I know them because I have studied with them on the Digging Deep podcast.” Don’t you love that?! There is no reason to be a spiritual hermit in 2015. God has opened doors of fellowship that were totally unavailable for John when he wrote those words about walking in the light and having fellowship.

So today. let’s bask in the blessing. And let ME get busy getting ready for another helping of the wholesome blessing of fellowship!

Sister to Sister: Dear Rebekah

Dear Rebekah,

Caleb and BekahI hope you don’t mind that lots of people are reading your mail. It’s just that lots of moms need to know that it’s possible in the 21st century to raise girls with pure hearts and lofty eternal goals. And lots of sons and daughters in our world need to know that finding someone who has this heart and these goals is worth the wait.

I want you to know that Glenn and I have prayed many times for Jim and Debbie Meinsen. Oh, we did not say their names, but we were praying for them. We prayed before Caleb was even born that there were some parents somewhere raising up a little girl with heaven in her heart. We prayed that they were having family Bible times and that they were diligently putting Him in all of their decisions. We prayed and prayed. Little did we know that, when we started praying, Jim and Debbie Meinsen were probably not even married yet. But all of those details—the timing, the circumstances, the places and the decisions being made way back in the 1980’s and before, were the wonderful Romans 8:28 answers to our prayers.

Then later we started praying more specifically for you. Glenn Colley began several years ago praying for Caleb to find a wife…”soon”. I prayed for him to find a wife when the time was right. But we were  praying for not just any wife. We were praying for someone who would be willing to submit to a godly man…someone who would love the Lord more than she loved that man…someone who could appreciate righteousness more than riches…someone whose hope was stayed in the Lord. We were praying for you.

Little did we know that there was a period of years in which he, a college graduate was occasionally, visiting in your home. You were a middle schooler on those occasions when he traveled to Springfield as an Apologetics Press representative to set up an AP table at the homeschooling conferences your father organized. There you were, right before his eyes—his wife. That’s right. Who knew that one day, when you were all grown up, you would be THE one who would have all of the characteristics of a wife for which he was searching, even then? Certainly not the guy behind the AP table at the homeschooling conference!

So he just went right on though grad school…in fact, a couple of grad schools…and the next time he saw you, you were “all grown up.” And the rest is history and…chemistry. =)

Glenn and I are still praying; now in praise and thanksgiving for His great grace given our family through you. My favorite question on Saturday was not the big one…just because I was pretty sure I already knew the answer to the big one. My favorite question came later while we were celebrating your birthday and playing that game where you have to answer Bible questions to open gifts and the people who are not going to get any gifts (like my husband) get ridiculously hard questions like “Quote Revelation 14:6,” and the people who are going to get presents get questions like “Without _______it is impossible to please him…” (And, by the way, you are  tough competition in any Bible game.)

So your question, at one point, when we veered a bit from the Bible theme was “What are your three favorite things about your new fiancé? I will treasure your answer in my heart forever. You said it without hesitating:

“What I like most about Caleb is how much He loves and obeys God. Next, I love the way that he treats everybody…EVERYbody. And then, I love the way he laughs.”

Can I just tell you once more that I prayed for many years, diligently and frequently for somebody who knew how to answer that question; somebody who could appreciate the best things about Caleb? I know you love these characteristics because you have Bible studies with non-Christians every time you can get the chance. You have Bible studies in your dorm room with other Christian women. You, as one of the elder’s wives at Macland Road told me, “are comfortable in conversation with everyone around you all the time. It doesn’t matter how old or young, rich or poor.” I’ve entered the dining room and found you all alone  at our breakfast table on Sunday mornings (the day of the week when breakfast is definitely piecemeal and “come-grab-a-bite-when-you-can”) with your head bowed in morning prayer. I’ve watched you study the Bible, poring over a Greek word or writing a paper about a complicated passage. You are beautiful on the outside. But these spiritual traits are the prettiest thing about you. They’re the beauty that time enhances rather than fades.  “Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who fear the Lord shall be praised.”

See,  I believe you could, without even thinking about it, list the three things you love most about Caleb because you’ve worked so hard to be sure they are in you.

I’ve heard about some mothers who resent the women who come along and take their place in the hearts of their sons. I want you to know that we tried very hard, as Caleb grew up, to keep that heart clean and pure, heaven focused and holy, for you. We’re glad you’ve moved into it and we know you will help Him keep it fit for heaven.

We’re glad you like to hear him laugh, because he laughs a lot. We pray there will always be lots of laughter and few tears. We pray there will be children and songs and homeschooling and lots of visits to grandparents. We pray there will be heaven at the end for all of us. We love you.

Sister to Sister: Guest Writer Sarah Heltsley…Addie’s Mom!

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“IT”S BEAUTIFUL, IT’S GLORIOUS AND IT’S MIGHTY!”

As many of you know, during the month of October, lots of us rallied behind Addie Heltsley whose father is a gospel preacher in Yuba City, CA. Her mother Sarah  let us know that she was hopeful that Addie could be awarded a full year’s supply of Liquid Hope, an organic nutrition supply that would allow Addie, a sweet little girl who suffers from Cerebral Palsy to gain much needed weight and strength to survive and thrive to a greater degree than previously possible. You can read about Liquid Hope and the  Child of Hope contest here: www.functionalformularies.com  As you may have also heard, Addie was the winner, in a close race with a beautiful little boy named Elijah.

Personally, my happiness, while definitely substantive, was tempered by the sweet photos and stories of Elijah and all the other children who did not win. It was no small relief to me when I heard that Elijah would also be awarded this year’s supply of formula and that all of the children would receive a box of this liquid nutrition from Functional Formularies. Now, as Paul, would have phrased it. “My joy is full!” I believe that our rally behind Addie was at least partially responsible for the end result of the contest which was twice as good as any of us expected.

Addie Heltsley’s mom, Sarah has composed a special message for all of the Bless Your Heart readers who voted and shared and contributed to Addie as well as to  the other kids who need formula. For today, let’s share Sarah’s joy. Let’s praise our great God that we are blessed with a close fellowship in His large and amazing family worldwide. Be sure to watch for an update later this week on Bless Your Heart about how you could help another one of the families in need, how you can do this in the name of the church and to the glory of God, and how, in the process, you can receive a free “How to Raise Great Kids” DVD for you or someone on your Christmas list. So keep reading!

Sarah, a self-described introvert, admits she had a hard time pouring out her heart’s gratitude at this emotional juncture. I loved reading her sentiments. Here you go:

Hi Cindy!

I have tried to write this so many times….It’s a LOT harder than it looks. I’m a pretty introverted person so this is proving difficult to express the joy and gratitude I have for the member’s of the Lord’s family swooping down and rallying behind Addie.

Addie (Adalyn Bliss) is our 5th child. She was born at 29 weeks weighing 3lbs 6oz. in a hospital not prepared to care for such an early baby. As soon as she was born they raced her down to Sacramento to a large hospital with a NICU.

I stayed a day and a half after my C-section in the local hospital  before I insisted to leave and go see our newborn daughter. She stayed in the NICU for 8 weeks and we made the two hour trip to see her every other day.

As Addie got older we noticed she was not doing the typical baby milestones and at 13 months she had an MRI that confirmed she had Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy…a form of brain damage that affects the muscles in her body.

By 16 months we could no longer keep her weight up and the design to put in a G-Tube was made (feeding tube). The first 6 weeks was awful and I regretted doing it everyday but slowly it became normal. She gained 10lbs in her first month!!

Last year our entire family changed our out look on food…we decided that we needed to change the way we eat. I have a wheat allergy so going gluten free was an eye opener to me.

Addie stopped gaining weight on her prescription formula, she was having mood swings, constantly severely constipated, and just had no energy. She slept ALL day.

This is where I started putting two and two together about her actual nutrition and what she was “eating” thru her tube..Have you ever seen what is on a label of Pediasure?….the first 5 ingredients are all sugar based. She had been basically living off of sugar for 3 years!

I started researching other formulas to get her prescription changed to, BUT…….her Pediatric GI Doctor had retired and NO ONE to this day has been able to find us a new one. They either 1.) are not taking new patients or 2.) will not take Addie’s disability medical insurance. Her prescription to receive formula runs out when she turns 5!

I took matters into my own hands and found Functional Formularies….a TINY little company that had JUST started making REAL blended food formula that also just happened to be organic and GMO-free.

I was lucky enough to be accepted to be part of an 8 week clinical trial of their product Liquid Hope. It is just that…..hope. Every symptom Addie had from being on Pediasure vanished. She finally gained weight…I didn’t just see her tiny ribs. She was awake during the day….the screaming fits stopped. And she….(sorry TMI) had a bowel movement everyday!! That is huge for kids with CP…..it causes so many problems in their GI system. She also made HUGE gains in all of her therapies.

When I found out about the Child of Hope contest….I jumped on it! Never in my life did I think it would become this big…The other parents and I really wanted to make it easy for other children to have a choice in what they are fed. To be told that your DME (Durable Medical Equipment supplier) will never carry this product because it does not make them enough profit is OUTRAGEOUS!

I figured if we got a 1,000 votes I “might” win. Wow….It became so much larger than that! I remember the first week and we had 200 or so votes and the other children had already gone past 1,000. I honestly thought that was it. There was no way we could compete with numbers like that. I stayed the course and decided to ask a group of preachers wives to vote……Um. Yeah. They did that….and then took us under their wing and they got to WORK!!! I have never seen so such devotion to a cause to a family they do not even know and had not even met! How does one even describe seeing them work in unison?

Like a little bee hive…they all had one goal. For Addie to receive the formula we desperately needed.

We saw the numbers gain, we saw them diminish…back and forth….at one point we had 1,000 votes—only to be behind by 300 the next week. It was grueling…exhausting…so incredibly stressful and even though it wasn’t “their” fight, every day we saw more and more Christians from all over this country jump in to help this little group of preachers wives help Addie get one more vote.

We have had so many people praying for us….it’s OVERWHELMING! To show any level of gratitude would pale in comparison to the effort expended. I wouldn’t even know where to start. Over 10,000 Christians pressed the vote button for Addie, Over 10,000 people now know the struggle that parents of G-Tube fed children are going through on a daily basis, Over 10,000 people have, at the very least, had our “little” family in their thought and prayers!

Over 10,000 people made a difference this month! They made a difference not only in Addie’s life…but Elijah’s and the other 38 children life on that page! Because of you….during the contest, 4 DME’s agreed to carry Liquid Hope and 1 DME has national coverage so that kids in EVERY state will have a chance to have real food.

This is the power of the Lord’s Family….. Sometimes I think we don’t we come together as often as we should or want.

But you should see it from my seat when we do…… It’s beautiful, it’s glorious and it’s mighty.

 

Sister to Sister: Surprise in Atlanta!

unnamedSo I’m in the Atlanta airport, as it seems I often am on Saturday nights. I’m at gate B6 waiting for the late  flight I’m taking back to Huntsville after speaking this weekend in Farmersville Texas (audio here: www.farmersvilletxchurchofchrist.org/). So I got off the earlier flight, glanced at the overhead monitor, and took the nearest escalator to the train, heading to terminal B. Since they had tagged and taken my carry-on, I was texting Glenn, on this very crowded escalator, with someone very close to my back on the very next step, to tell him I would be a bit late getting out at Huntsville, He texted back: “Turn around.” So I did. And there he was!

“What on earth are you doing here?!”

“Just came to Atlanta to see you.”

What fun to find that he’d taken a voucher in Charleston that coincidentally put him on MY flight back home from Atlanta.  I’m good with this!

So that’s a couple of the things I’ve been thinking about lately that I love about my husband. He loves to be with me and he’s good at surprises. For today’s post here are twenty more of my top favorite things about Glenn Colley:

  1. My husband is able to tune out stress better than any man I know. He deals with a lot of it. But when he’s purposefully relaxing,he is very good at putting the lock on the stress box. I need to find the key to that lock myself.
  2. My husband is very good at showing interest in my “projects”, for lack of a better word. He encourages me to invest in and work on the things that bring me pleasure…and then he brags on the finished projects, even if the smocking is a little crooked or the paint is a little smeared or the wall hanging is not quite level. I can’t tell you how much I love this about him. Something about, “I really want you to go to that class,’ or “Go to Hobby Lobby and get the supplies to make that if you want.” is extremely therapeutic for me.
  3. My husband tells me that I am the best women’s speaker he knows. Now, why would he say that, when, of course, he has never attended the first lecture I have ever made? Still, I like it.
  4. My husband never, ever lets me carry heavy things if he’s around. He never sits on the couch and watches me bring in the groceries. Never. He fills up my car with gas, mows, takes out the trash and packages and mails all our books from The Colley House. He is our lifter and mover. He takes care of all the “man jobs”. I am not a feminist. I like that about him.
  5. My husband asks me “How was your day?”…every single day. And then he follows up with questions about the details that I share. He is believable. He makes me think he really cares about those details. If miles are separating us, he still does this by phone. Every single day.
  6. My husband plays “dumb” about cooking and laundry. Now, I know most of you would not like that, but I do. He acts as if culinary knowledge and the work of a laundress are highly technical fields and then he brags when he opens his t-shirt drawer. He says “I love my magic drawer that just refills over and over all by itself.”
  7. My husband is good with children. He always changed lots of diapers, never minded the spit-up, drank after them, bathed them, and disciplined them. Best of all, he listened—really listened— to them, even if their questions and conversation came while he was writing sermons or doing house repairs.
  8. My husband refrains from using electronics—you know, web surfing, face booking, and texting—when we are able to spend time together. He tries to be absorbed in our conversation and I like that—a lot!
  9. My husband is extraordinarily concerned with the downtrodden, the handicapped and the lonely. He has no more inclination to spend his time with or give his attention to the wealthy, the entertaining, or the interesting people in his world than he does those who find it difficult to carry on conversations or those who require lots of extra time and patience. In fact, it often seems to be the other way around. I sometimes think this has to do with the fact that he wore a huge back brace all through high school because of his scoliosis. If this is why he is so kind to the friendless, I am glad he wore it. Clerks at store, waiters, mechanics, and especially the ladies at the post office love him. I get lessons when I go in there about what a great husband I have. (He shows them photos of Ezra, too.) I can learn a lot from him about agape and about just being friendly.
  10. My husband is extremely good to my aged father. I could write a book about barn doors and mowing and buying lunches and building rooms and finding cars and contacting lawyers and equipping Dad’s TV for football games and taking him to gospel meetings. But, suffice it to say, he’s very good to Dad. When I watch him with Dad, I smile and speak silent prayers of thanksgiving. He is faithful to call his own parents every Saturday night. He loves them dearly. Their influence and  importance in his world are unmistakably huge….But to care for  the father-in-law, too? That’s not always in the comfort zone.
  11. Money is far less important than are people to my husband.  I have witnessed him make some pretty big financial sacrifices for the well-being of other people in his world. Sometimes the other people are unaware that he has even made the payment or purchased the medical supply. I love that he uses things and loves people instead of the other way around.
  12. My husband is impeccably ethical in his dealings with others. He’d rather leave the questionable activity off than even take a chance at making a decision he might regret upon reflection. He’s also very logical in figuring out his personal scruples and there are Biblical principles of which he is aware and about which he is diligent in daily application. I’m glad, but I am almost equally glad that he took the time, as the kids were growing up, to bring these ethical dilemmas home to our family Bible times and present the scenarios to them, in words they could understand, and then walk them through the thought process, finally bringing them to the right decision. I think this was Ethics 101 for both of our kids and I think it was far more valuable than any college ethics or values class either of them ever subsequently had (and one of them has a PhD in Philosophy).
  13. I love that my husband is never vulgar. He never crosses lines of impropriety and he never embarrasses me with crude humor.
  14. My husband is complimentary of me, at every opportunity, as he speaks and writes and even in simple conversation. He calls me “Mrs. Colley” and I know something that I don’t mind the world hearing is about to come out of his mouth.
  15. He is sentimental…about things we were given by old family members, about his grandfather’s Bible, about sweet memories and photos of our children and about tokens of our early days together. He keeps things in drawers and in a safe and he keeps notes and cards in his desk at work. He loves the fuzzy picture of our son swinging in his lap more than the expensive and very clear professional shots from their childhood. And he will never, ever part with that baseball Caleb inscribed at age eight with the title “MVD…Most Valuable Dad”.
  16. He is NOT an athlete, but still he was the coach for both kids’ teams when they played in the Park and Rec league. They did not always have winning seasons with him as coach, but his coaching has produced some substantial life wins.
  17. My husband lets me have free rein in our house. I love that! He could be in all the decorating, menu, homeschool details as our home’s leader, but he isn’t. And he always acts like he likes my choices. That’s the best.
  18. He actually WANTS me to read to him—when we travel, when we go out in the Miata, and sometimes just when we go to bed at night. And he wants ME to choose the books. How rare is that in the husband community?
  19. In spite of all the sentiment, my husband is a man. He likes guns, carpentry, knives, cars and  even football (I had to bring him along to fanaticism about the Tide, but he’s there now.) He is the unquestioned leader of the Colley house and he is not a man you would ever even try to manipulate. It would never work.  Sometimes I almost think I do NOT like that, but then I reconsider and I do like it.
  20. Believe it or not, there is a shorter, far less consequential list of things I don’t like as much about my husband. Sometimes he goofs on grammar. Sometimes he drives while he is sleepy. He often—really often—forgets things. (If you have told him a sin struggle you are having or something embarrassing about your life or family, he likely prayed and prayed for you and then he forgot all about it. That’s often a very good thing. But he also forgets to mail things, to stop at the cleaners, to pick up things at the store, to call people back, and what happened in the previous episode of the BBC series we are watching.) He leaves his socks on the floor and his closet is a train wreck. He forgets to brush off the dust and grass before coming in from mowing and he opens a new bag of chips before using up the old one. Sometimes he forgets to cover up the spaghetti he is reheating in the microwave. I like this list about my husband, too, because it IS lots shorter and far less consequential AND because it makes me feel a little bit better about the things I constantly forget, the messes I make and the mercy that I need.