It’s all about perspective.
So y’all know a little bit about my story. I started blogging almost five years ago. The situation that precipitated my doing so was the loss of my 28-year-old son-in-law. He had a short battle with cancer- fewer than five months from diagnosis to his death. When people say, “Life is short” they ain’t lying. I learned a lot about myself in the ensuing months.
In a world where it seems like no one has time for small kindnesses, I learned that some people take the time. The best people do anyway. We spent weeks on end in Birmingham and Houston. I spent hours on the phone with my boss Jana (who has always been more like a friend). She did the hard thing; she listened. Listened to me continually question the circumstances. Listened as I lamented the unfairness of it all. Listened as I cried; listened as I rationalized. Mostly, she was just… there.
See, that’s a problem I have. I’m really good with people, but people tend to exhaust me and so I’m not as present as I actually should be. You see, I’m an avoider of people; there I said it. The Mean Man is one of those best kinds of people; if you need him- he’s there, physically, there to help at your point of need. I’m more of the “How ’bout I write you a check” type of person. That doesn’t make me a “bad” person, but it does make me an “easy way out” type. And I realized, that’s not who I want to be.
So this tragic, awful thing happened to our family. Tragedy is unavoidable. This is a fact that I understand; we ALL understand. We know tragedies are a part of life, we just don’t want them to be a part of OUR life. We know that people have to die; the world cannot sustain itself if nobody ever passed; I get that. I’d just rather keep MY people.
Trying to Figure it all out
Forget it. You ain’t gonna figure it all out. It happened. I guess really, you have to figure out what you’re going to DO with it. Learn. What about this tragedy made it bearable? As a person of faith, I believe the prayers of friends and even strangers are what sustained us. My personal faith, however was shot; it’s still wobbly. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in Christ, His resurrection, and grace to save us. I’m saved. I believe that to my core. I believe God is good because I truly believe in Heaven and believe our son-in-law is there and cancer free. Shaken faith isn’t a sin and God knows my heart and my actual feelings on the matter, there’s no point in trying to act like I’m some pillar of unshakable strength. I guess learning to be ok with that is also a big lesson. God’s grace truly is sufficient. It got us through; it will get you through too, if you let it. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you have wobbly faith. Even wobbly faith can move mountains.
Back to the beginnings of Under a Texas Sky. After losing Aaron, that was his name, Aaron. After seeing my oldest daughter (who has the most beautiful of souls) suffer a grief that might have ended me, I decided that I’d like to do something big. Big is a relative term, how ’bout different, new; exciting? That’s what Under a Texas Sky was/is to me.
I started crafting when my daughters moved permanently away from home. And I mean, seriously AWAY. I knew that my dreams of Sunday dinners after church and grandkids constantly at our house was not going to happen. I’ve always been extremely close to my girls. Having them gone, for good, rocked my world. I needed something in my life and so I started crafting. There were little things at first. I found that this outlet for my creativity was great for my mind and my heart.
Remembering how much creating beautiful things helped me get through the huge life change of having an empty nest, I knew I wanted to make that happen for someone else. So I hauled off and got a domain name and started posting little projects. I started making YouTube videos of tutorials and have been amazed at the response.
Now Y’all Keep Me Going
Now here we are all these years later. Life has gone on and boy have there been changes. Our projects have gotten increasingly more interesting; some still easy, some more difficult. But my goal remains the same. It sounds so cliche to say we really just want to inspire you, but it’s the actual truth. It doesn’t have to be crafting or furniture painting, or interior design. Maybe it’s traveling- encouraging you to take that dream vacation you’ve always wanted to take. How about writing that novel whose pages you’ve already written in your mind? It can be volunteering for Meals on Wheels, reading to children, learning to dance, or growing a garden. Whatever it is, I just want you to try something; do something. Something you’ve never tried before. Live the life you have to live while you have it.
If you’re alive (and you’re reading this so…) even if life isn’t so beautiful at the moment, don’t give up. Give it a chance to get better and do what you can; learn what you can during this time. From my experience, I can tell you, life goes on- what we do while we’re living it is what matters.