"" Rendition Road: The Beauty is in the Struggle~Personal Post

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Beauty is in the Struggle~Personal Post

It has been many months since I’ve been to this little piece of heaven. I know this is where I should say “I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted”…. but I can believe it. To me it feels like it’s been an eternity. A grueling eternity, away from the very space my creative soul yearns for.
I struggled with whether or not I should write this post. My blog is my happy place. The place I created to share, to inspire & to rejoice in each of our individual talents the Lord has blessed us with. From the very moment I created it, even with trepidation in my fingertips as I typed those first words, I felt a giddy happiness in my heart. It has been the place that makes a hard day better, a challenging project worthwhile & a place where others speak the very language of love for refurbishing & creating that I do. Just a few clicks on the laptop & I was entering a another part of my soul.  

 I’ve been ready to come back for a few weeks now, but I’ve struggled with how. What do I say? How much do I tell? Does it matter either way? Maybe just a quick glossing over of it will do the trick? But that will never do, no not for my blog. I don’t care if it’s which glue I used, which treatment I chose or even if a completely flubbed a project….honesty is something that matters more to me than almost anything else. No matter the situation, I want my readers to know I have been, currently  am & always will be authentically myself. I don’t want readers based on who they think I am or who I want them to see….I want every single reader to know me. The too lazy for make-up most days, screwed up a project, hoard a few too many dressers,  ADHD brain going a thousand miles an hour, sometimes take over my entire dining room with half-finished pieces & forgot to cook dinner….again……ME. I continued to paint, to sand, to wax & beautify piece after piece, although half-heartedly, as I allowed this problem to weigh heavy on my heart. 

 And just as he’s done so, so, so many other times in my life; the Lord placed the answer right there in the back of my little head for me to uncover in my own time. It occurred to me one afternoon as I was finishing up another piece; my furniture was much like myself. Actually, it is so much like all of us. And just like the furniture we lovingly makeover, there is so much more to our stories than the perfect, glossy after pictures.
Life is a journey full of trials & tribulations, ups & downs, victories & defeats, lessons & teaching and many times we come out of those experiences in less than perfect condition. We get dinged, scratched, battered & bits are broken off along the way & sometimes maybe we’re even forgotten about or set aside. We ALL wear the scars of life. Just as the Lord had placed the answers in my little head for me to discover; he also sent the right people, at the right time, to do the right work in my life & the process of repairing, polishing & prepping me for my after photos had begun.
Just as the answer on how to handle this came to me, the words were forming in my fingers to be typed. I don’t like to think about what I’m saying when I’m talking to you guys. I like to just talk…..be myself. I like to envision us as if we are sitting in my living room amongst all the lovelies my very hands have created, throw pillow in our lap, feet curled under us, chatting over coffee. Like friends would do. I’m glad I waited it out until the answers came to me. The words are coming naturally now & I can feel that familiar warmth in my heart that I had all those months ago when I would sit down to write. 
I do not need to make up some poor excuse for how busy I’ve been or some other random reason. I also don’t need to go into long drawn out, painful details either. I can simply tell you that I was away growing, surviving & even healing. I can tell you, my dear friends that I have been busy living during a period of time in my life where just living was all I had energy for. But I did live & I did survive & I’m coming out the other side more aware of who I am & what drives me in this life of mine. I’m becoming more cognizant of my surroundings & I’m embracing every little piece of myself & this journey I'm taking.
 So let me tell you where I’ve been:
I will not say much about this first situation because two individuals are involved & I in no way want to speak for anyone other than myself on such a personal matter. My husband & I have gone our separate ways & I find myself adjusting to a new way of life. We had been working very hard for the entire past year to repair what was broken & reclaim some common ground, but in the end, we just couldn’t find it. Admitting defeat in such an important part of my life is hard to do & it is very humbling, but only by admitting what has happened can I begin to grow & learn. Despite our differences & inability to repair what was broken, I am proud that we were able to handle the ending in such a respectful & amicable manner. It is very hard work; everything about a divorce is emotionally exhausting & physically draining & trying to adjust to new routines, a different set of responsibilities & learning the art of solo balance will just take time. I have been allowing myself that time so that I can do it in a healthy & positive way.
Over the course of just the last few months my oldest has also spread his wings & moved out on his own. As a Mother I expected that day to come & even thought I had adequately prepared myself for it, but I now know, you never really can. It was a big adjustment for us & a period of time where my heart literally ached for his presence. The mischievousness that he had about him & the way he just seemed to bring energy & life into any room he entered. He is my ‘live out loud & make no apologies for it’ child. The one who talks fast, moves even faster & truly soaks in everything. He is prankster, the debater & the social butterfly. We’ve always been the hang out house & I think now that had everything to do with him. He was quick to invite friends over….at any hour so it was guaranteed that when he came in the door there would be a trail of teenage boy’s right behind him.
Senior Picture 2011
 He wanted to feed everyone & never thought twice about a 3 man wrestling match in my living room. You always knew where he had been because you were sure to find socks on the dining table, sweatshirts on the couch, wet towels on the bathroom floor or food crumbs on the counter. Fiercely head strong he could pull a debate from my lips quicker than anyone & one to never lose an argument myself; most of ours ended in a stalemate.  I miss those things now. He challenged me, exhausted me & taught me so very much about living life, grabbing the moment & making no apologies for who you truly are in your heart of hearts.
  I am happy for him & the stage of life he is in & I know he will bring such good things to this world, but I am sad for us & the moments we no longer have. It is much quieter without him here & we are still adjusting, but my youngest & I are settling into a new rhythm & enjoying our own time now.  The ache in my heart is calming…..slightly, as I learn to adjust to quick phone calls an occasional visits. Letting go is hard…..and in a way beautiful as you watch them soar. A big adjustment…….but we are adjusting. 
I also buried a dear family friend who passed on in a violent & unexpected manner. He was Godfather to my oldest & a beautiful man with the heart of gold. A gentle giant in his own right who had a love for all things nature & living. He knitted my son his very first hat & jacket while his 2 pound body was still struggling to survive in the NICU. This broad wall of a man with the long hair & a full beard, who spoke Sioux fluently & could survive in the wilderness indefinitely with nothing but the clothes on his back…knitted for his Godson. I can almost close my eyes & still see his large hands holding the slender needles while he sat & lovingly knitted my son his very first handmade items. He was an amazing man & his absence was felt so far & wide. He touched so many lives with his kindness & generosity & I will miss him dearly. 

Just as I sat writing this over the course of a couple days, I heard of another friend lost. A kind man who has taught me much about the line of work I’m in. Many hours were spent sawing, sanding, gluing & absorbing his words of wisdom. He was a true entrepreneur who had no idea of his true physical age as he bounced around with the energy of a 20 year old. I am so saddened by his passing & will miss our time together in the shop. Loss is so very hard to explain & even harder to accept. 
I have learned a lot about letting go in the last year. There were 2 more situations that required my time, energy & heart during this cold Midwest winter, but I feel as if I have already said so much of loss & sadness. Sometimes it seems as if nothing at all happens or everything happens all at once. This was my moment in time of having everything happen all at once. So, so very much has taken place in this last 8 months that there were moments I just shut down entirely. There were times when I found myself alone in the house & in those moments it seemed I only had energy to breathe…..and just barely. Sometimes our hearts shatter & our souls get bruised in a way we just don’t understand. I was blessed to have a strong faith, bountiful prayer, faithful friends, loving family & a voice inside that refused to give up on me. Sometimes even in the midst of utter chaos & painful changes can come a strength we never knew we had. 
I thank God for that strength & the many blessing I have every single day.
I have learned so much & grown so much during these past few months. Yes, I have been away living & surviving & adapting & even growing. We cannot always control what happens along our journey in life but we are always able to choose how we handle it. 
I took the time I needed to process, heal & become whole again & even though some things are an ongoing process; I am in such a healthy, content, & happy place right now. 
I am in a place where writing comes freely again & paint flows from my brush. 

I came back to my blog one night after many months away & was surprised to see many comments I had not previously read. 
I cannot express how much those words meant to me & as I read them happy tears formed in my eyes.
There it was right in front of me once again; the words of encouragement so freely shared, the support, advice & tips so generously given & the genuine love & lifting up of one another that comes so easily within this community. I have missed this blog so very, very much. 
It is so much more than just a blog to me.
 It was started when I needed an outlet the most & it attached itself to me like a beautiful well-worn glove. Yes, my blog is still small & comments are few compared to others, but it is mine. In my mind it is not about size or readership, it is about sharing; whether with 5 or 500. Numbers do not matter to me. Maybe one day they will, but for now I am just so very happy to be back among others who share the same love & passion for returning beauty to pieces once set aside. This is my place to be free & create. My place to share, laugh & grow. This is the place my heart comes alive in color and this is the place I am so happy to be back to.

If you have made it this far…..thank you. Thank you for being a part of my journey & allowing me to be real & raw &…….me for a moment. Thank you for choosing to read this & sharing in another layer of who I am as a person outside of my blog. This was an unusual post for me & there may never be another one like it, but tonight I needed to speak from the heart. This was also a very long post & maybe I should have divided it into 2 parts, but I'm not going to over analyze that right now. Right now I just needed to turn a fresh page & start a fresh chapter & come back whole & happy & full of creativity. 
I have 83 projects that have been completed & photographed & they are waiting so patiently for their moment in the spotlight. I cannot wait to post about them! I am so excited to see what doors open next & what paths appear in front of me, whatever they are; I’m ready for them & I am grateful to be sharing them among friends. 



  1. Wow, thank you for sharing. Your honesty and faith in the Lord brings such encouragement. It speaks great volumes to all of us who do/will feel any sort of pain or loss. The Lord never fails us, that's one truth we can always count on.

  2. I read every single word. I think I found you while you were away and signed up to follow your blog because something in it sparked. I have walked in your shoes and they are not easy ones to wear-but it does get easier and the silver lining in the dark cloud eventually sifts down and covers you with it glow. You will grow in so many ways that aren't even apparent to you yet and we will all pray you through your journey.
    I just lost my brother 2 weeks ago -very, very unexpectedly and knew that even though I was hurting and crying inside I needed to tell the story honestly o my blog. There is just something cathartic about blogging isn't there?
    I am happy to see you here and I will be waiting to see some of your 83!!!! projects! Life is good- xo Diana

  3. I found your blog while you were away and fell in love immediately with your work! You have so much talent and your beachy pallet coffee table specifically has inspired at least 3 beachy pieces in my house! I so admire your honesty and the strength just to write this post. I hope you will eventually find your way back to sharing your work, you are so very talented. Sending lots of love and prayers and light your way!

  4. (((HUGS)))!!!
    Welcome back and thank you so much for sharing such personal thoughts and moments. Our experiences have paralleled in so many ways. I too am a mom of two sons only raised them mostly alone. Bravo for both of you in being able to end things amiably for your sons sake.
    I still remember when my oldest moved out and if I think about it too much it still brings a few tears. My sons are in their 30's now and it seems we are even closer. I love the way you write and look forward to joining you in your journey. I too am trying to come back to my blog, so thank you for the inspiration. :-)

  5. Oh Stacey, I'm so sorry for all your losses these last 8 months. And never apologize for taking time for your family and you. Especially you.
    You write beautifully, and you sound strong now. I'm glad you have your faith in our Father and support of your family, in troubled times we all need them. And you are right, the size of your blog doesn't matter when you are sharing.
    I'm really looking forward to seeing your 83 projects! I sure did love the project you made the videos on!
    Congratulations on surviving and coming out stronger.
    Debbie :)

  6. Im so glad you are back. :). You are stronger than you think. I'm looking forward to seeing your projects. Megan

  7. What a beautiful post, I am your newest admirer!


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