Monday, June 21, 2010

The Indian Serenade...

This poem was read by Josh's sister Jaimee at our wedding. Josh had originally laid out rose petals and marked the poem in a book for me one night when I came home from work. He wasn't even there to watch me read it. He knew I had had a long night and wanted to cheer me up, it worked. It is gorgeous and full of passion. It reminds me of how amazing love is and how much I love him.



by: Percy Bysshe Shelly (1792-1822)

ARISE from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright.
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet
Hath led me -- who knows how?
To thy chamber window, Sweet!

The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream--
And the Champak's odours [pine]
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart,
As I must on thine,
O belov├Ęd as thou art!

O lift me from the grass!
I die! I faint! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast:
O press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Picture of Young Love

This is Annie and I on the night we got engaged. Annie had no idea what was going on. It was her birthday and she thought that the candles, flowers, and Proverbs 31 were just gifts. Then I popped the question.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Passion and Providence

I didn't know that Annie still had those emails. When you read something like that it takes you back to when you originally wrote it and the first response is always "Wow I cannot believe that I was that dorky." But after the initial shock of my complete un-kooleness (read my email to Annie, towards the bottom. Terrible!!) I am brought to one place, I LOVE MY WIFE! I have so much passion for her today, right now, even though I am thousands of miles away and we have been married for almost 7 years. I love her more right now than I ever have before, because I know her better. I have always loved her spirit and her love for God and her beauty, but as the years have passed I have seen these things in practice.
I have seen her spirit in being willing to join me in the painful ministry of Navy Chaplaincy. I have felt her love for God grow through the difficult times we have had with Bella. And I have seen her beauty increase as she has gone from being a wife, to a mother and a wife. Annie is more beautiful to me now than she ever has been before, and she is my treasure, and she is the greatest friend that God could ever give me.
To change subjects now, I have been having difficult days here on deployment. Many of my fellow sailors have made it a point to inform me, in a myriad of different ways, that they think I don't really do anything and that I am basically a waste of a uniform. This is easy enough to laugh off at first but it begins to gnaw after a while.
Today in my bible reading and prayer time I came across some crumpled up papers in my backpack. They were all part of a letter that my friend Joe Gahagan had written to me before I left on this deployment (Joe forgive me for letting them get lost and crumpled). In the letter, written 6 weeks ago, Joe encourages me for the ministry that will come during the deployment. He also encourages me to not be discouraged by the assaults of others who seek to demean the Gospel and my working for its spreading.
The providence of God is so good. If you don't think much about the providence of God YOU SHOULD! My heart and my faith have been greatly encouraged over the years by keeping an eye out for the providence of God working in my life and in the lives of others. God has promised that He will work all things out for our good and for the Gospels good (Rom 8:28). And that good is to know HIM more. To feel God more through His son, to know of His work in our lives through past experiences, and to have hope and joy in the blood bought redemption of Christ.
Joe's letter was a providential expression of God's commitment to be for me. He will always be for me. Thanks Joe for writing the letter, but utmost, Thanks Be to God.


Young Love Part Deux...

So if you read my last post, you got to see the first email Josh ever sent me. He was attempting to get my number and take me on a date. The boy knew what he wanted and went for it! Once I had decided to give him my number, clearly I was all about it. I am realizing now that I am one aggressive chick when I am "about someone"....

Oh-and am I really that cheesy?? Yikes.

Here you go:

Josh Earls

So that 's your name.....Let me start off by saying thankyou for introducing yourself I've wanted to meet you -so I'm glad I finally got the chance:) When you walked away I almost turned around and gave you my phone number. I never, ever give out my phone number because I haven't been compelled to but, I really wanted you to have it. Neways... your email was so sweet... it made me smile:)

Let me tell you about me now.... I grew up in Oceanside, California (of course that's where my heart is) I have 4 brothers and sisters the two older ones Jen and John live in CA and the younger sisters Katie and Candace are in Michigan with my wonderful parents (let me tell you we are a loud and crazy family.... I love them so much). I went to High School in Michigan and came to Liberty (because God had it in my plan and I am so thankful for that). Yes, I'm a Junior and my major is Communications. I do a radio show here in the mornings on Monday and Wed. (are you going to listen?:) oh-and I love my roommates off campus.

That was short and sweet huh:) ok this feels so weird... did it feel weird for you? I really hope that we can start to get to know eachother... you say you are afraid when it comes to "women" and all I have to say is...well, don't be afraid of me...I'm a nice girl (don't bite:) Maybe we could get together sometime (soon) What do you think Josh?

I'm so glad you did write me... oh here's the most important part are you ready.....

My phone number .... don't lose it Mr.!!! 426-XXXX that's my cell phone... I always have it...

Ok I'm gonna go... be good and keep in touch ~ Annie Koole

Wow:) Young love....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Young love....

So, as I am in full blown "missing Josh mode" at this point, I found something that brightened my day. It is the first email he ever sent me. Yes, this email was sent to me after he had literally chased me down the halls of Liberty University and asked for my number (and I turned him down of any lady would). You'll have to ask Josh about the entire story. He thought I had given him a fake email address after I had refused him of my phone number. So, this was sent the night he met me in hopes that he would get my number eventually.

Dear Annie,

Well what do you say to some one that you met for 5 minutes, awww maybe a little about myself. As you already know I am from Fresno. My whole family lives in the surrounding area of Fresno except for my cousin in Holland and myself. Currently I am really enjoying it out here. The students here are the reason I like it so much, and I can see myself staying here for four years, but its all in Gods hands. Umm shall I ramble some more. I took a year off from school last year, because I felt that God wanted me to stay in Cali. so there I helped as a youth pastor at one church and then later in the year I took a youth pastorate at another church. And lots of other interesting fact that I would enjoy sharing.

I must say that I feel bad for waiting so long to talk to you. One thing you must understand is that involving an interest in a women I am scared to death to talk to them. So I can think of a few times when I said to my self that I was going to talk to you but just kept on walking.

I really respect how up front you were about the relationship that you were in and how it might still be touchy. I will say that I definitely have an attraction to you, but first and foremost I would love to get to know you by talking with you, but most of I just want what is in the best interest for all. So I want to be up front by saying that i am attracted to you and would like to get to know you.

So i kept my promise, I emailed (kinda feels like I am on a date with my computer, but koole ) so hope to hear from you soon.

Josh Earls

So, all I have to say is thank goodness that boy was persistent. I had made up my mind that I wasn't going to date for a while (per I was still trying desperately to get over my boyfriend at the time). I had told myself I didn't want to give out my number - no matter who asked so I could get my mind focused. Then there was "Josh Earls". He was so cute I literally had to at least give him my email address. I had seen him in the halls before and almost ran into the wall looking at him. Next time I'll post my response;)

Young love.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Home is where the heart is....

"Home is where the heart is"...

I've found, in this short time that Josh has been away, that his voice is home to me. When he left, it felt like a piece of me was missing. I've explained this to a friend like the feeling you get when you go through your first break up. That dull and painful ache of knowing that you have been cut off from something you adore. In my case, I still get him back in the end though:) Yesterday was one of those days that I wished I could just call him and tell him how hard my day was (as if this would make anything better). As if "just telling him" would magically transform days of frustration. Most of the emails I had sent Josh weren't getting to him and his emails weren't getting to me. I felt like I was sending out emails to the vast abyss with no response and I was trying to not equate this to Josh "just not responding".

Thankfully, God is good. I went to bed for a few nights praying for mercy and joy (I literally fell asleep praying) and woke up still praying (ever had that happen)? Why is it that we wait until we are dead tired to try to speak to our creator? Doesn't He deserve more than our last second of consciousness? Well He does, of course, but thankfully He knows we are weak and selfish-yet still blesses us with his mercy and joy. I woke up and felt joy. I later received a call from Josh that rejuvenated my soul. Lesson learned: I must rely on God for joy, not Josh's voice (as wonderful as it is).

Really, everything that belongs to us on earth is really not ours. Josh and Bella are on loan to me from above:)

On a brighter note, I love my family and Josh's too! Without nanny's, poppa's, and all of the Koole and Earls siblings, I would be sitting alone somewhere trying to make money on the streets. he, he, he.

On an even brighter note, Bella decided to dig out some of her "poopoo" and smear it all over the crib the other day. It was awesome! No really, I think it was hysterical and it kinda made my day better---yes, I said it---poop brightened my day.

Thanks for listening:)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

To my baby girl

Dearest Bella,

Your mother told me that you are having a difficult day today. I am so sorry that I cannot be there to hold you. If I was there I would sit down with you on the couch, get your blanket, and turn on Tinker Bell for you.
I look at pictures of you all the time. I love you so much honey, and I miss you so much. I miss putting you down for naps on the weekend and then waiting for you to wake up so I can run up stairs and get you. I miss your smile when I open the door and how you laugh at me when I roll around on the ground before I get you out of the crib. I miss trying to feed you only to have you throw your food all over me and all over yourself. I miss trying to get you to kiss me only to have you run away from me. I miss you Bella!
Even though I cannot be with you for a little while never forget that your Daddy loves you very much. Have fun with your cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, because when I get back you and me are going to hang out for a long time. Don't worry about Daddy, Handy Manny is taking care of me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Home! For now...

Hello Blogkers (Blog-stalkers) ...

I just made this up and am quite proud of myself. Lets be honest, reading a blog is like secretly stalking someone. I fully condone this of course because I myself have done so from time to time. :) It's nice to be able to keep up with someone's ENTIRE life (what they eat, where they go, how they slept last night ect.) even though you hardly know them. Don't try to tell me you don't do this?!

I only mentioned that you are my blog-stalker because I think it's funny that someone might read my thoughts about absolutely nothing and find them entertaining.

So, here goes and just remember that I warned you. My mind works in different ways than normal people. For instance, I find many things funny that others might be repulsed by... gas, falls, awkward moments. In fact, without these moments, life would be so boring to me. I just got off Skype after FINALLY talking to my husband face-to-face (which I will only get to do a couple times in this deployment). While on Skype, I made sure to embarrass my Josh on every occasion possible (since he was surrounded by his shipmates). I love making that boy squirm--there's a special look he gives me that reads "Oh my goodness, my wife is crazy...but I secretly love it". No, it really was a wonderful talk. I felt like I could reach out and touch his face. It was almost hard to see him. I wanted to jump right through the screen! I must admit, technology is amazing. I was walking around a hotel room in Europe while sitting here in Grand Rapids, MI!! I keep him on his toes though. Yes, without me, Josh would be literally buried in theology books, sitting alone in an old stinky library. I have nothing against theology, I just think he is too cute to be sitting alone in a stinky place. Why is the library stinky you might ask? I don't know, in my vision it was dark, and smelled like moth balls.

See, told you I was not normal.

P.S. Today I got to hang out with an old friend, and Bella got to hang out with two Nanny's and a Poppa. Good day.
P.S.S. Check out some pics of my hubs on deployment

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Most Excellent Adventure...

Well friends...

It is time for one big crazy trip (and it has nothing to do with drugs). Yes, we are about to embark on a "most excellent adventure" (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure referenced here). Tomorrow we will load up the Xterra and "try" to drive straight through to Grand Rapids, MI (well Hudsonville to be precise). If you've ever tried traveling with a toddler you understand the word "try"--worst case scenario would be a huge "blow out" (Joe Gahagan should understand what that is, he was with us last time this happened), vomiting, or full melt-down---best case would entail---14 hours of pure tranquil bliss (this would mostly be due to Tinkerbell DVD's and an amazing mother-in-law-Carol). So, I am thinking positive and hoping for a one day road trip. Oh, and be sure to add into this scenario a little bit of tonsillitis--not sure how it fits but, that's what I have right now;) Awesome right!?

Many of you keep asking what our schedule is while Josh is gone and all I can say is that it's busy and full of family and friends (just the way I like it). Once I leave Norfolk, I shouldn't be back until before Josh returns in December. I will head up to Michigan tomorrow and be there until June 16th. We will then fly to SanFran and head straight to Josh's family in Merced, CA. I will then head down to SoCal to meet my mom and dad (and siblings) and be around that area until mid July (I'll be sure to call all my old buddies too). Then we'll head back up to Merced for a while to get some good "Earls" time and then back to Michigan until December. Whew--I got tired just writing that:) Lots of traveling but, totally worth it. I'm especially excited to see family and friends who I rarely get to hang out with!!! Bella is excited too--even though she has no idea what's about to happen:)

Life as a nomad is actually quite nice. I'm hoping to actually become homeless at some point and live out of my car. Then Bella and I can write music and play for money. Ok, that's not true but how funny would that be? Bella could make some good money as a singer. We'll have to wait until she learns more words though because right now her song would go like this, "Leedle, deedle, peese, babba, no", which I know seems pretty catchy:)

We have talked to Josh a few times and he is doing amazing. He gets to be on land in the near future and cannot wait to spread his legs. The boy has not traveled outside the U.S. at ALL so it will be a great experience for him. We love you daddy.

Annie and Bells