Friday, December 22, 2017

This is NOT the End of Your Story

Grands with Santa
As beautiful as the Christmas season is, it can be very difficult for many people to enjoy.  There are those of us who have lost someone close, perhaps a family member or dear friend.  It has been said that the 'first' Christmas after such a loss is especially challenging.  There are so many triggers to the memory of that loss.  

But we pick ourselves up off the ground and know that each year it will be a bit easier.  Or is it?  For some, it is still a serious emotional struggle.  They may hide it well and few people know or understand the pain of that loss.  When my son and his family walked away from our family five years ago, I maintained an attitude of hope that he would return before the year-end.  I will continue to maintain that attitude although sometimes that thread of hope gets thinner - I still hang on.  I will never give up.  I know it is not the end of the story.

What that loss has done is make me more empathetic to those who have lost much more than I have.  We cannot measure the bereavement for anyone other than ourselves because each of us process pain differently.  

But the season of Christmas is a reminder that we have much to be thankful for, to be joyful and enjoy the good memories and new ones we are about to make.
What memories we will make this
Christmas with these precious ones

I did a considerable amount of traveling this past month.  Each day on the road I spoke in a different city which meant a great deal of driving, packing and unpacking my car, and sleeping in a different bed each night.  

Yet, it was one of the most rewarding times of my life.  Sharing with the audiences could not have been more gratifying as I challenged them with the message, "This is NOT the end of your story."  No matter what you may be going through, things will change; they will improve and you will be that much wiser, stronger, and happier than you ever thought possible.

The comments I received underscored the reason I do what I do.  I am seeing lives change, people encouraged and inspired.  It is worth every ache and pain while traveling.  I draw from what could have been many negative experiences in my life to help them understand -- it was NOT the end of the story.  Sometimes the only way out is walking through the fire.  After getting through the tough times, we gain understanding as to why we had to endure some pain in order to accomplish our ultimate goal.

We are allowed to be sad, to cry, and to wish things had been different -- but as long as we know this is NOT the end of the story, we'll make it.  

Never Give Up and Watch What Happens!

Remember how the rat infestation in our store drove us out?  We tolerated the incompetence of our landlady for 11 months and then said "Enough!"  It took over three months to build a new store and we opened the doors a couple weeks ago.  

The other night at dinner my husband asked me if I ever say how beautiful a store is when I go into it.  After thinking about it, I couldn't remember a time when I had said that.  Yet, that is what 90% of the people who walk into our new store say.  The layout is unique.  A shopping area in the front......

Then a 30-foot art gallery -- all from local artists

Then the main store at the other end


We still have finishing touches to do but essentially we are ready.  It is thrilling to have people come in and not want to leave because they are appreciating the artists' workmanship and, of course, all of our custom-made jewelry.  

These pics give just a glimpse so....... you have to use your imagination.  

The rat infestation, as devastating as it was at the time, was not the end of the story!  That story here!

One of the pleasures of being in a blogging challenge each month is to gain new friends.  I love reading about each of these bloggers' lives.  Take a peek into their lives -- you will enjoy their stories as well.

Baking In A Tornado
Menopausal Mother
Searching for Sanity
Spatulas on Parade
Bookworm in the Kitchen
The Blogging 911
Go Mama O

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