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August 29, 2018
I had to ask a friend this question, because I really wasn’t sure. She was super kind and said, generous, creative, and persevering. I would say I’m just hardheaded.
I have an appreciation for all styles and love seeing how designers bring ideas and themes to life, but for my own home I want it to feel super comfortable and welcoming to my family and guests, so I lean more french country/transitional, with a splash of glitz and glam here and there to satisfy my love for all things shiny and Hollywood-inspired aesthetics. I also like the pieces I choose for my home to have meaning and purpose, which is why I’m so happy to have my sign with my song lyrics made. It is a daily reminder on how life can be hard and lonely at times, but that if I just keep holding on a new day will dawn.
This is such a great question and one I get often, and I always go back to a quote I read in a Bible Study once called The Quest. In that book the author discusses how life brings us such incredible challenges and how we can at times feel defeated, lonely, bitter, confused, etc. However, the author beautifully explains how we should see these challenges and struggles as God simply developing our character to catch up to our calling.
I read this question and immediately started laughing knowing what my friends would say. My husband can say things that will make me laugh so hard that I hurt. He is very witty, and when you combine that with his dry sense of humor, it makes for the perfect combination to send me to the floor laughing. I tell him all the time I wish my brain worked like his because his thoughts about things are quite enlightening. He is the King of metaphors for sure.
Wow! A perfect day for me would be walking in my daughter’s room and watching her breathe, watch her laugh at her favorite TV shows, and seeing her reaction to my music. After that it would be singing or speaking at an event somewhere encouraging others through our life’s story, and walking off stage to be greeted by my husband who is my biggest cheerleader and fan.
In 2005, my daughter, who was 2 years old at the time, was diagnosed with brain cancer, Optic Glioma. Three days after her first brain surgery in 2005, she completely lost her sight, and since then has had to undergo 5 rounds of chemotherapy, proton beam radiation, 2 major brain surgeries, followed by 4 strokes, all of which have caused her to also lose her ability to speak, walk and the use of the left side of her body. Over the past 13 years, we have had some very difficult and almost unbearable days, and every time we seemed to make one step forward, we would take 5 steps back.
Being a vocal artist and passionate about music, I use it often, together with the Bible, to help me navigate this incredible life and find the courage to make it through difficult days. Because of the grief and agony my family and I had been experiencing, I found myself beginning to write songs as a coping mechanism and a way to express what I was emotionally and physically going through. One particular day, I remember passing a playground where kids were running, jumping, and laughing together while their mother’s were on the park bench enjoying each other’s company and watching their children have fun with their friends. Instead of this scene bringing joy to my heart, it actually brought sorrow because I knew unless God performed a massive miracle, I would never get to be one of those mommy’s sitting on the park bench watching my little girl run and play with her with friends, if for no other reason than she couldn’t see it. Sadness filled my heart for my girl and anger took over my thoughts. I went home that afternoon and remembered the story of David and how he encouraged himself in one of his darkest hours. I grabbed a pen and paper and became raw and vulnerable. I began writing words to encourage and remind myself that it’s always darkest before the dawn. That’s when the thoughts it’s O.K. to cry, it’s O.K. when you feel defeated, it’s O.K. to feel frustrated, and it’s O.K. that your prayers haven’t been answered, came to mind because it is nature to feel that way at times. We unfortunately don’t always have the mountaintop experience in this life. But thankfully, when we do have those valley experiences, we can reflect on Psalms 30:5 and remember that it may be dark and lonely at the moment, but soon a new day will dawn. This is how the song, “It’s O.K.” was birthed.
Without God, family, and friends, I could never make it. I know that is cliché and maybe expected, but nothing could be more true in my life. It has been amazing to watch how God has, and continues, to strategically place the right people in our lives at the right time. Most anyone that has gone through any tough season would say that it’s virtually impossible to make it without a support system of friends and family.
I would say to every mother going through a similar situation to work at viewing difficult days/moments as God setting you up for greatness. Out of all the women in the world, God chose you for your child. You are a warrior and a fighter, and there is no better caregiver in the world to your child than you. I believe all mothers should practice 2 Corinthians 10:5 as well. There are a lot of voices, inside and out, that can cloud your mind, so we must be diligent in taking captive our thoughts and never allow disbelief or discouragement to live there.
Watching people read and relate to the lyrics on the sign fills me with tremendous joy. I love how it gives me an opportunity to share our story and hopefully encourage others through whatever struggles they may be facing as well, and I love how it reminds me daily of how life can be hard, but that if I hold on, a new day will dawn.
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