Sunday, February 22, 2015

Love Wins!

All this snow takes me back- back to last year's snow storm of February 2014.  The ground was covered in white and so peaceful, yet our world felt dark and was spinning out of control. 

We wore the stress on our faces like make-up and it was taking a toll of our body, mind and soul.  Little did we know then, that we were at the beginning of what would be, as parents, the hands down most difficult year of our lives. 

One hospitalization, two, then three.  Then leaving our son in another city in residential care- all to bring healing to our very broken family.  We were being eaten alive by an illness that isn't easily identifiable or even seen.  We sometimes refer to it as the invisible wheelchair.  But not seeing it didn't mean it wasn't there.  Mental illness is brutal.

We dug out for hours last February to keep our promise to come see him every day.  Rex walked Isaiah through snow up to his waist to drop him off at Uncle Dale & Aunt Brenda's so we could keep our promise.  And within minutes of arriving he sent us away. 

I remember so well the desperate feeling for hope and change as we walked back to our car that very cold snowy day.  And we were at the beginning of one of those roads we didn't want to walk down. 

A year has passed.  The ground is again covered in white and peaceful. 

We've been overwhelmed with the prayers of our friends and family who by name and date lifted our son to God and on his behalf begged for healing.  And God is answering

Our family is on the road to healing- with a better understanding of his needs and ours, his boundaries and ours- more healthy than we were a year ago, when we wondered if love would be enough.

A year ago when I wasn't sure we'd be intact today.  Not that we'd ever quit on him, but coming to the realization that we may not be able to live under the same roof, 365 days a year boiled a hot fear in our hearts. 

And while he was enduring very difficult but much needed days in Richmond, we muddled through our days celebrating birthdays, taking small vacations, starting a new school year and living life burdened by the fear that love might not be enough.

Through our church, family and friends, therapists, teachers and music God is showing us. 

Through Elijah's own life--the one God knit together in Mommy T's tummy before he was born, the one created to walk roads that I wouldn't choose for him- through that little 9 year old life my great big God Daddy is showing us that His love is stronger. 

You went down one of those roads
Nobody should have to go
Life sure got real, real fast
You couldn't see your way out
Your world was under a cloud
All you could feel was helpless
You didn't think you could do it
Oh but you got through it

You kept faith when you didn't have a prayer
Found hope when it wasn't even there
Up against the impossible you
just wouldn't back down
You kept fighting
That heavy cross you carried
Ain't weighing you down any longer
Life is tough
But love is stronger
You're finally facing the sun
Your brighter days have begun
Look at you now, just soaking it in
You're smiling, you're laughing
You're happy, you're living
Every moment surrounded by
All the beautiful reasons why

You kept faith when you didn't have a prayer
Found hope when it wasn't even there
Up against the impossible you
just wouldn't back down
You kept fighting
That heavy cross you carried
Ain't weighing you down any longer
Life is tough
But love is stronger

Read more: Jason Crabb - Love Is Stronger Lyrics | MetroLyrics

And in these days since Elijah has come home, while still challenging and still chaotic and still stressful, the brighter days have begun.

We've grieved that life parenting our sons will never look like we pictured it.  We've accepted that parenting our youngest sons won't and cannot look the same as parenting our oldest or most likely parenting your own kids.  We get that what used to embarrass us and make us feel like failures now reminds us we're on the right track. 

We see hope before us and are able to finally see some of the beautiful reasons why. 



If youre headed down one of those roads and you can't see your way out, don't, I repeat don't give up on hope.  It's there, you keep fighting.  Keep fighting because God's love is stronger and be encouraged my friend, love wins!

Happy Sunday y'all!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Personal Shopper

What's a normally busy but all alone for one more night Momma do in HotLanta?
Shop of course.

I had already hit the usual- Marshall's, TJMaxx, Target and then moved on to the mall near my hotel.

But I knew there was a fancy schmancy mall near me and it was calling my name.
Not really, I was just curious.

Remember your Momma telling you "curiosity killed the cat"--- me too.

After class I set the GPS for Phipps Plaza and my adventure began.  Seriously.  Traffic in Atlanta is CRAZY so driving and surviving is a feat.

P3- the entrance where I parked with not much detail on where I'd be when I got off the elevator.  I put on my big girl panties (meaning I was brave) and chose M2.

I wonder if anyone noticed my mouth hanging open when I stepped off the elevator in front of Saks Fifth Avenue.  I was a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out which direction to walk.  As I love to do, I just kept taking another step, and another and walked in circles for about 20 minutes.  I wanted to go in Gucci and Versace but was intimidated.  The Paul Blart mall cops on the scooters didn't help.  I was drowning in the unfamiliar when I saw it.


Red dot clearance.

And this...


I think they call it an epiphany.  
I'm in this huge awesome mall and scared to walk into the stores.

so i decided to find some "not boring" clothes. 

I decided to play.  

First Stop- Nordstrom. 

I quickly learned that you don't just "try on" the fancy clothes- so how fortunate that Flora D. had time to immediately become my personal shopper and stylist.  For real- I have her cell number now.

I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore, when she started walking me through the store picking out and refusing to pick up clothes.  

"I don't like the wrap for you" she said. "It's not flattering on you- you know through here" she said waving her hand across her stomach area.  Instead of getting mad, I started giggling.  This stranger is telling me like it is, and in a weird sort of way I kind of liked it.  I could believe her.  

After I made a few comments about how "tiny" the dresses I liked were and my unfortunate run in with the mannequin- we were off to the dressing room. Just me, not the mannequin. 

I was expecting the usual number and privacy- but nope.  Not here.  

I guess this is where the stylist comes in.  After finding me some sassy black  heels to try on with my clothes (apparently barefoot or my flats is unacceptable) she left me with the mini stage, platform and mirrored walls.  

try on heels

I tried on several things and she checked in on me between each one.  I was recovering from the wrap comment and found one I kind of liked- enough so that I sent Rex a flirty picture..  

I might have been strutting across the stage, uh runway, uh platform like a super model when my new nothing but honest stylist checked in on me and asked the question.    

"Are you wearing foundation" she asked.  

I glanced in one of the many mirrors-  yes, I've got my makeup on- I thought, and just before saying it out loud it hit me.  She ain't talking about make-up.  

No, not today, I answered.   

"Well, that's another thing to take care of" she replied.  It's a good think I didn't have a Diet Coke with me or I might have spit it all over her. 

I'm not a foundation but more of a let it be free kind of gal.  

She brought in some accordion skirts that even fitting perfectly I refused to show her- I was skeered she might sell them to me.  Then, she brought in the little black dress.    

And it fit.  And it felt good.  And it didn't hold my lack of foundation against me.  And my stylist  ooooed and aaaaahed and went on and on about how it fit nicely and was sleek and I even think she mentioned the "s" word (sexxy) and I was thinking I would purchase this baby and take her home.

Until I took it off and saw this....

I know.  Right.

So I did what we women who can't wear wrap dresses because of our "middle" sections that can't be contained with foundation.

I bought cupcakes.  Yes, that's right, not one but two.  

Happy Wednesday y'all! 

P.S.  No, I wasn't offended or mad.  I am content with my body because it's who I am today and is what it is because I've lived life- birthing babies and major surgeries and age have made me into who I am and I wouldn't go back to the 115 lb skinny girl who graduated high school decades ago and could've worn the wrap.  I believe when God tells me I'm fearfully and wonderfully made it wasn't just for when I was a newborn but the woman I'm made into as I strive to be more like Him.    
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