First, let me say welcome and thanks for stopping by. I hope that you will stay a while. DIG IN… Maybe you will find yourself a little curious about me and what I do. I hope that you will reach out so that I have the opportunity to get to know YOU as well.
This blog has been an on again, off again space for a long time now. I trust that you have found it in God’s timing. His is always better than mine. It’s a place where I will share my passions, my hopes, my dreams and yes even my failures.
Most of my life has been filled with much fun, great friendships and MUCHO “happy times”, but I want to talk to you for a moment about the times when my life met many challenges. I’m going to start here cause I want you to know what drives me. I want to share with you just how good God is.
It’s funny how life can change in the blink of an eye.
I Lost my birth father at the young age of 15 but was given the wonderful gift of an amazing STEP FATHER many years later. I had the privilege of caring for my mother and my step father in their later years yet experienced the anguish of losing them both. I lost my sweet sister to cancer eleven years ago and in December of 2014 – I lost my sweet husband, Dennis. During the 23 years of our marriage he taught me many things. (story for another time) I know the pain of miscarriage and the agony and judgement of divorce.
I’ve never felt the kind of emotional pain that comes with the GRIEF of losing a husband. It has been the hardest challenge of my life. As I have walked through this valley i’ve learned that being transparent about it is very scary but it also has brought me new strength and has given me life lessons to share with others.
My grandmother taught me years ago that the simplest pleasures in life make the fondest memories. That could be baking a cake, playing cards, planting flowers, catching lightening bugs, reading a book and many other things. Losing those you love makes things seem pretty simple.
His unexpected death changed me.
Grief taught me that I am broken but brave, hurt but hopeful, and sometimes fearful but always faithful.
I hope as I share parts of my “life” journey that you will find hope from my lessons of loss and learn to truly love and live life thru the plan that God has for you.
The journey of the last few years has brought me back to my love for wellness and writing. The ultimate goal for each of us should be to live WELL from the inside out. The first thing I’d like to share with you is to know that GOD has created us to thrive, not just survive. I hope that as you hang out with me you will find encouragement and inspiration for your life.
A Little Preparation….
I believe that hindsight truly is 20/20. I can look back and see where God had been preparing me for my Journey. I continue to learn that I don’t need to keep looking for the perfect life, but just keep whole heartedly seeking the perfect God.
Over the past several years I stopped making New Years resolutions. I found they usually faded away. Usually around July I begin praying for a word from God, a word to apply to my life for the next year. It may sound odd but it has held true. If you’ve never tried it I challenge you to do so.
In late 2013 God had given me the word simplify. ( for 2014) I thought, “Now God that is such a crazy word for me.” My life was anything but simple.” I was bouncing many balls at that time being a full-time wedding photographer, still caring for my step-dad, serving at my church, serving on community committees and spending time with grandkids. Little did I know just how simple life would become.
In December of 2013 I lost my step-dad and then in February of 2014 I had a retinal detachment. After an emergency surgery and the two others that followed, I realized that my days as a wedding photographer were coming to a close. I was heart broken.
What was I to do??
I have worked in some form or fashion since I was fifteen. It started out as an after school thing then years later I found myself raising my son alone. At one point when he was little I was attending nursing school and working at night to make ends meet. I was meeting myself coming and going and found myself very stressed. I was met with a lot of challenges during those years and learned to become an overachiever which then led to becoming a workaholic. I knew I only had ME to depend on. A survivor if you will.
Moving forward through the years, working at that pace, became a stumbling block for me. I became very self sufficient, didn’t trust anyone and pushed myself to the point of exhaustion. I did so in fear of ever being in a helpless financial situation again. Something I had to work on through the years.
WHEN THINGS CHANGE…
In late November of 2014 Dennis left for work… His usual hitch off-shore. Nine days in I got the call that he had been air-lifted off the rig for a medical emergency. ( what do you mean… he wasn’t sick) Long story short two days later they were flying him from Trinadad to Ft. Lauderdale Florida to a medical center for what they called ” a chance of recovery”. His company had flown me and his Son to Ft. Lauderdale to meet the incoming plane. His five hour flight turned into an almost 9 hour flight. Finally at approximately 11:46 pm we got word they had landed. They placed us in a small side room by the ER entrance and said to make ourselves comfortable. They should be arriving soon they said. I will say here that some time passed. They brought him in and everything seemed to go into slow motion. The next thing I really remember is the medical team coming in and telling me he didn’t make it. My body went rigid, my mind began to spin and I was screaming from my inner core, “someone please wake me up and tell me this is a dream.” “Someone please make the madness STOP.” In that instant, I can’t ever remember feeling so alone and scared in my life.
GOD SHOWS UP BIG…..
During the heights of my grief journey I struggled for several weeks with praying and talking to God. I wasn’t mad at God but I found myself paralyzed and simply trying to breathe. One Sunday afternoon after going to church I found myself in my big ole quiet house alone. I mean really alone. Truthfully I felt pretty hopeless. I remember making my way to my bed and climbing in. I remember gathering up my pillows, burying my head and sobbing for what seemed like hours. My grief was so deep and I began to cry out to GOD. It was a personal time with God that I had never encountered before. In that moment God began to open my heart and minister to me.
He showed me in my minds eye a picture of me standing on the edge of a cliff. I was looking into a pit, an abyss if you will. I remember it looked deep and dark. In that moment I only saw darkness. I’m sure there has been a time in your life when you might have felt that same way.
Standing there feeling helpless and hopeless I knew I had a choice to make.
Almost immediately this still soft voice said, “So My Dear, you think you might jump? You think you might fall? I remember there was a pause. Then the voice said, “But My Dear, what if you could fly?” That was my word for the next 5 years….. “FLY”. Sometimes we build wings on the way down and God rushes in, rescues us and teaches us to fly. It was the first time in almost 12 weeks I felt a glimpse of HOPE. Fly will always be my word truthfully.
They say when God closes a door he opens a window and he has BUT don’t say that to people when they lose someone. HONESTLY…. those cliche’s were like a burr in my saddle. Not being able to work for 2-1/2 years made way for a lot of personal growth and deeper faith. I obtained my Certification as a 200-Hr Yoga Teacher with a speciality in Trauma Sensitive training, lead a couple of women’s bible studies, spent time ministering to people, life coaching and began writing again. Writing is actually something I’ve loved since I was a little girl.
I purchased a “giving key” after some time had passed and I wore it around my neck with the word “FLY” engraved on it. I wore it for five years. If your not familiar with giving keys you should be. You wear them UNTIL you cross paths with someone who needs the “key” more than you. God allowed that opportunity to come along after some time, so I gladly gave the “Key” to a friend of mine. I know that in time she is going to fly as well.
Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favorite bible verses. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
YOU ARE SPECIAL…
I want you to know that God has a purpose for your life and that there is nothing too big for God. I’m still claiming “FLY” for myself but have also found new “JOY”. If you don’t have a word, I’d love to help you find a one for what ever you’re facing right now.
I hope that you will join me as I encourage you to create more in your life by becoming your happiest, healthiest, authentic YOU.
Come Back Often… XO XO XO