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Tessa & The Rubble - How a Mess Can Turn into a Message if You Don't Give Up.

Have you ever gone through a tragedy when expecting a child? 

Eleven years ago I was so excited to find out I was pregnant with our sixth baby.  Scott & I were running our bookstore, we were homeschooling, life was busy, but good!

Then five months into my pregnancy with Tessa our business…hopes, dreams, and purpose… burned to the ground. 

I can’t tell you how surreal it was to wake up one morning and everything you had worked towards for years was gone in an instant.

Being a mom, I was quickly swept up fulfilling the needs of our five other children, but I was completely exhausted. 

Scott, my husband, went golfing.

For months!

Now before you wonder how that was fair, I have to admit, his life was far more impacted than mine. 

This was the beginning for us. The beginning of a crisis that lasted many years. His worth, identity, and faith were challenged to the core.

To this day I can’t comprehend all he went through, but I sure remember my experience!

Autumn and Tess -

Tessa was born four months later.  We moved to our new home and started over with our business when she was just TWO weeks old.

The pressure was overwhelming.

I was so stressed out over the finances that I was up between five and six every morning consumed by fear. Thoughts of how we were going to make it, pay our bills and support our family ravaged my mind and robbed me of peace.

I would sit at my desk in front of the computer beside our trusted fax machine and literally pray for book orders. 

All the while I held Tessa, nursed constantly, fielded questions from four of the other kids about math, science, and LA and tried to meet the needs of our toddler, Hannah, all….day….long.

I would like to tell you I got by with flying colours, overcame every obstacle, didn’t yell at my kids, and did it all, while looking fabulous. 

But I’d be lying. 

I worked in my pyjamas, wondering when I would be able to escape long enough to shower or brush my teeth, yelled at the kids all the time and depended on my ten-year-old, Sarah way more than I ever should have. 

Then I had an emotional breakdown.

I used to think I could handle anything.  But there are times in our lives that we come face to face with our limitations. My time had come, and it was then that I realized I couldn’t do everything anymore.

I stopped inviting friends over. I stopped volunteering in church, I stopped any optional activities in my schedule, and I stopped accepting invitations… to everything!

My focus was simple. Get up, meet the needs of my family without destroying them, and work.

Our marriage relationship could have easily been mistaken for us being roommates, yet I endeavoured to at least be emotionally available if there was any hope for change.

I’d love to tell you that suddenly, one day, everything turned around and that some spontaneous and supernatural breakthrough made life ‘wonderful and rosy’ again.

But I’d be lying again.

It took me two years before I felt capable of having guests in my home and to feel emotionally stable enough to start giving more of myself.  It took me even longer to grow and change as a mom into someone I could be proud of.  Today, I endeavour to be a place of peace and love for my kids.  A woman who is steadfast and constant.  Someone they can depend on. 

It was a journey.

It took even longer for our marriage to become the place of unconditional love, understanding and respect that it is today. But it got there. Thank God!

So... why am I sharing this with you?

Just to encourage you.


Life is downright brutal and hard at times.  But I believe if you can keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what you are going through, the journey each of us walks, though hard, will make us stronger.

For me, my dependency on God became a lifeline and He gradually transformed me into who I am today.

So, if you feel beaten down, side swiped by life or hopeless, just don’t give up. No matter what you are going through… you can do it.

Better days are just another step away.

Just. Keep. Going.