I feel like I owe you a considerable explanation and apology. 🤷🏽♀️ I'm writing this from my desk, and I have a view of my kitchen. On my counter is a favorite inspirational sign that says, "laugh." What can I say? I'm a sucker for encouraging words on things. I'm intentional about surrounding myself with inspiring and uplifting affirmations. When I was little, my sister bought me a little sign to hang on my bedroom wall that read, "Determined, energetic and born to succeed." I didn't know entirely what those words meant then, but somehow I knew they were powerful and motivating.
So about that apology. I want to be super transparent with you. To say that these last two months have been challenging is an understatement. In April, my family suffered the unexpected loss of my brother, Glenn. He's a year older than me. When we were growing up, everyone thought we were twins. Then, one week after Glenn's memorial, another brother was involved in a horrific accident. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, three surgeries, one being 15 hours long. He's scheduled for his fourth surgery next week. Your prayers are welcome.
So if I've been missing in action, this is the reason why. I took time to focus on my family. I felt Holy Spirit leading me, so I followed. I have been overwhelmed by the prayers and support—the little gestures that turn out to be the most significant. Friends, colleagues, coworkers, family, and extended family wrapped around us with love—sending messages on social media, dropping words of encouragement, cards, and virtual hugs.
When I started Blessed Home & Body, I was frustrated by the lack of beautiful, inspirational scripture gifts, as I desperately searched for home decor, bags, candles, anything that had words of affirmation. Words are powerful. Proverbs 18:4 says, "A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook."
Running an online business isn't for the faint of heart. But, I choose to give you my best. I love being a small business because I can give you extra special touches and personal one-on-one service. But, it also means having to make the hard decision to step away to be my best. Yes, there is a real live person behind this business, and her name is Glenda!
So what did I do? I trusted God. I trusted Holy Spirit that everything was going to be okay. My operation, my orders, my inventory, my community. Oh, was I worried about my absence, albeit a temporary one. And God never fails. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." So, honoring my goal of consistency, I continued with "Hello Monday!" my weekly Monday morning live devotional on Instagram. It was so incredibly fulfilling for me. Having all of you show up to share God's word, our challenges, and our wins were life-giving!
I told hubby the other day, "I feel like I'm coming up for air. I'm finally breathing again." He nodded in a way that he's affirming me. But I knew that he was not entirely understanding me but not wanting to ask a question either for fear that I may keep talking about my feelings.
And just like that, I was energized and motivated to pick up where I left off. So it began with looking up, getting back to my daily journaling, speaking my affirmations out loud, and taking 30 seconds to read my affirmation notifications on my phone. I'm gratified that I had systems set up in my business, allowing me to take a step back when my priority shifted to my family. I can step away, and my business is still running! Who knew? So I want to pause for a celebratory moment. I'm learning to take those opportunities when I can get them! Doing a little can go a long way, sending a quick text message, making one phone call, responding to one email. Before, I would've berated myself for not getting enough done. Quality over quantity is now my new motto. I'm learning to lead with love and give myself and others abundant grace.
All in all, these trials have proven what I've known but perhaps taken for granted. Community is everything. Community is laughing in the midst of suffering, believing that there is a way of escape even when you don't see it, feel it, or believe it. Good community is the good soil to cultivate support, strength, love, hugs, correction, silence, grace for us to grow and thrive. We can grow together, or we can grow alone. Growing together is better. 🙏🏾
Proverbs 31:25, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."