Let me say I never intended on being “one of those” parents. I had a plan. I was going to get married my junior year of college, be pregnant during my senior year, and give birth right after graduation. Or so said my seventeen year old self. What did she know?
Instead, my Bible beating self, went off to seminary, met the man of my dreams—well, not really, met the man I knew I was going to marry—fell in love, graduated with my master’s in counseling, moved in with him, got pregnant soon after and the rest, as they say, is history.
The greatest blessing of veering off the road of my life plan, was having my daughter. I think, at times, that it all happened—all the rough stuff, dark times, and detours—so I could be her mom. She is without question the greatest gift God has ever given me. Not only is she fun and funny, intelligent and beautiful, but she challenges me to be more of the real me, and always has.
I will never forget the day I saw her for the first time, on that ultrasound. As I sat waiting in the parking lot of the unemployment office later that day, I wrote her the most heartfelt and sincere letter. The part I remember the most is this, “I will overcome every fear, to ensure that you have none.” As I look back on those words, I realize I have been on a journey toward fearlessness, or better yet, a journey to “feel the fear and do it anyway” ever since….
So without going into the details, I’ll just say, things didn’t work out between her dad and I. When our relationship ended, I was a stay-at-home mom, with no money of my own. And when I say “no money” I mean NO MONEY. All I had was her, the contents of our apartment, and my family so I gathered those resources, humbled myself and began to rebuild our life….
Most people (I think) would be shocked to know that all my products and my children’s book, I’m Proud to Be Natural Me! were all created during my “bounce back” time. I opened the store with my first product designs two days before the end of my relationship (around this time in 2011). Since then I have designed nearly a hundred products in two online stores. I wrote, illustrated, and self-published my children’s book last year. And I say all this, not to pat myself on the back so much as to let you know that when life knocks you on your… patootie, you don’t have to give up! You make a choice, everyday. You can either lay on the couch depressed or you can choose to bounce back. You can let bitterness consume you, and allow anger to alter your spirit, or you can choose to bounce back. You can destroy your child’s spirit by constantly taking your frustrations out on them, or you can choose to bounce back. We make that choice EVERYDAY to either lay on the mat, or bounce back.
Through tears I sat at my computer night and day, often while she was sleeping on my lap, and created because I believe that this is not the end. I want a better life for my daughter. I want a better life for me. I refuse to allow pain to make this a permanent residence. I want more for us. That’s what drives me. What will drive you?
If you would like to support via a monetary gift (which every single parent can use), please do so via FundRazr at http://fnd.us/c/fXX72.
Check out my promo video for my children’s book below. Thank you for your support!