It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any blogs but I’m going to catch you up on the past 6 months right now. January was my month to regroup, rethink and recharge myself. I took a little vacation to Seaside, Florida which really helped me clear the air on what I wanted 2016 to look like. Most people don’t even realize this, but I quietly divorced my husband in March and am ready to move on. Living in personal turmoil is not something I have interest in doing, so I decided to move on with as much dignity as possible. The critics are always eager to pounce, but I have found solace in the most unexpected places and people. It has actually given me a new perspective on friendship – what it means to be one and what it means to have one. There were many days in March and April that I had to rely on the Lord for strength and patience. I don’t like to show weakness, but I was weak and He answered me in the most beautiful ways.
So 2016 has started off with a lot of change but I’m not afraid of change. I have friends that I have known since grade school that are solid friends, but I also have friends from Texas, Maryland and Florida (all places that I have lived) that I continue to correspond with, pray for and keep up thru social media. I’ve lived in 4 different states over the course of my life, built homes, sold homes, re-established my photography business three times since 1999. I’ve had home studio’s, a converted barn studio, a 4000 sq. foot custom studio, and back to a great home studio that I adore. My current home is on the market and I have found the cutest little cottage that I hope to buy which will make a great home for me and be able to continue to offer great photography services to my customers.
This year both of my children graduated in May – one from Oklahoma State University, the other from Metro Christian Academy. Both of my kids have grown into people I admire, they have a strong love for the Lord and they respect others. I feel I have done my job when it comes to parenting and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
Travis graduating from OSU
Right now, I’m in Vail, Colorado, looking out the window at this incredibly beautiful town while my daughter recovers from another hip operation. The love friends and family have shown us during this time has made both of us cry. It’s overwhelming really, it just reminds me that WE ARE ALL the body of Christ and this is normal in the Kingdom so it’s as close to being on Earth as it is in Heaven that I may see in this lifetime. Thus the overwhelming feelings I get when there are texts offering prayers, hope and love on my phone or FB inbox. It means everything to me.
So, what do I have planned for the rest of 2016? Since it’s almost half over I want to make the very most of it. My plans are to continue with my photography business, because that is my gift and I love doing it. I also want to mentor young women who need encouragement. My life has been full of blessings, but also has had a lot of rough patches in it. I want to use those rough patches to encourage others that even tho someone might beat us down, that we can stand up and be who God created us to be and not believe the lies the enemy is trying to convince us is truth. I’ve not shared much of my past with most of you, but I feel the urge to say this… in 1993 I was at the lowest point of my life. I had a brand new baby boy, but a husband that was abusive in the worst ways to me. He had convinced me that I was fat (at 98 pounds), ugly, worthless and never going to get anything better than the life I had with him. It was a horrible time, yet it was a beautiful time because I was a mother to the most happy little boy who never cried and was always giggling. It was my baby boy who gave me the strength to find a better life for the both of us, to break the cycle that this abusive situation was normal, and once I divorced my first husband I had a very hard road ahead in becoming who I wanted to be. One friend dragged me to Al Anon meetings 4 times a week for an entire year – that changed my perspective to what an addict can do to their loved ones and gave me the courage to be victorious and not have a victim mentality. Another friend convinced me to go to Arizona and attend a one week, in depth survivors workshop, which opened my eyes to what I could become if I let the Lord into my life on a deeper level than just attending church once a week, that week allowed me to forgive and not let the past control my future. Another friend supported me financially so that my son and I could live in a safe place where husband #1 wouldn’t be able to harm us. Eventually, life became more “normal” and life got good. Seeking the Lord with everything you have every day is a must in my life. Without Him, I would be nothing.
I say all this to encourage someone, somewhere to find a quiet place, turn on some worship music and just listen. Let the lyrics wash over you, and let the Lord minister to your heart.
Life is short – live it to the fullest.