Life is Not A Magazine Cover

Today is one of those posts that I take a deep breath, click the Publish button and hope for the best.

In the going on 5 years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve shared bits and pieces of my personal life along the way.  If you had told me then that I would be a full time blogger in 2011, single again, without a home of my own, and living with my elderly parents, I would not have believed it.  That would not even have seemed a possibility to me at the time.  You just can’t plan for things like that to happen in life.  Sometimes life takes a sharp left turn and you are not prepared for it.

{Two of my treasures, one of which is never too old to sit in her granddaddy’s lap}

This is not going to be a downer post, but rather one that I hope uplifts, gives glory where glory is due and gives all of you out there the shot in the arm that you might need to believe that things can be good.  From bad.  Faith is the key word here.

As blogging has gotten so popular in the last few years, we are all invited into each others home.  Even encouraged to peek in the windows.  How many times have you clicked on a blog and looked at the pretty pictures of the home, the homeowner, the homeowner’s beautiful children and cute husband and figured she has it all together?  I doubt that is true in  real life.  None of us totally have it all together.

But the blog world sure can paint a pretty picture.  We are what we portray on our blogs to the world.  No one truly knows all that goes on behind the scenes of anyone’s life, but our friends and family.  Those folks get to see the real us all the time.  So, it’s easy to be a little wistful when we see a gorgeous home, beautiful family and think that person is so, so fortunate to be living such a good life.  A dreamy life.  Those glossy magazine picture perfect pics can be deceiving and no one lives the perfect life.

{Mother’s Day, 2011:  my sister, Renee, Mom, Lauren and me}

My life certainly hasn’t been perfect by any means.  I have been transparent at times, but I’ll spare you all the gory details of my bad choices, disappointing failures, and marital non-bliss that have been such a part of my life.  You know from what I’ve shared this year, that it’s been a heartbreaking one for me on many levels.  Life just doesn’t always turn out the way we plan or dream or hope for.  That, my friends, is reality.

But, I’m here to tell you that there is a silver lining to the black clouds.  There is hope in the midst of a storm.  There is a new day and a brighter tomorrow.  We all go through trials and pain and sorrow in life.  There is no escaping that.  The Bible gives us plenty of clues that life just ain’t always a bed of roses.  God allows us to walk in the rain and brings storms into our lives, sometimes for months and we can’t always see where that is leading.

What good could possibly come out of all of the bad?

I do not have all the answers, but I’m here to give some of you hope.  I’m a middle-aged woman in the midst of a life crisis.  It’s not over yet.  I’m in the middle of getting a divorce.  My soon-to-be (I hope) ex-husband is in jail for good reasons, related to, but none of which have anything to do with the financial devastation he has done to me (for those of you waiting for some scoop, there you go!). Maybe one day I will write that book, you never know.  It is certainly an interesting story, one that I am still in disbelief over the fact that it has been a part of my life.

So, life goes on.  I am alone again.  I have no idea if I’ll ever find (true) love again.  Do I hope that there is love for me in the future?  Yes, yes I do.  If God allows it, my heart would be open to it.  In the meantime, I will keep doing what He has allowed me to do and continue on the path He has led me on. I will be patient and wait.

I started my own business about 3 years ago, which grew out of this blog.  I love being creative and always dreamed of doing something other than working in the Corporate world and when I started blogging almost 5 years ago, I had no idea that it would turn into my dream job.  Working from home.  Sharing decorating and design inspiration.  Talking about my travels.  Sharing my family with all of you. Cooking recipes.  Getting to go on fun trips.  Doing life.  I’m so, so grateful that God allowed it to blossom and bloom into what it is now.  I’m so fortunate that He has blessed me so much just since I moved back home with my parents in April.  So many new doors have opened and opportunities have come my way.  It makes me all teary-eyed to think about it.

Is there anything I’ve done to make this happen?  No, not at all.  God has done it for me.  I’m not getting rich from blogging, by any means. But, he has allowed this to become my source of income.  Something that I love to do.  Some days, I will tell you that I get sad and a little down, remembering what I used to have.  I had a nice house, 2 of them in fact.  Now I have neither. I miss having a house that is mine to do with what I want to do.  I miss being creative and having fun with that.  Being a blogger can just magnify that part too.

But, you know what?  That is OK.   I have to believe that I will have a house again.  So many folks in this country are going through hard times.  Many have lost jobs and lost homes.  These are tough times.  I am not alone.  I’m learning to appreciate the small things in life and be content in my circumstances.  Peace and contentment cannot be purchased.  They are priceless.  I may never have the financial security I thought I once had again.  That is up to the Lord too.

I have to remind myself daily that I’ve got SO much to be thankful for and believe me, I AM thankful.  God has allowed me to still have my parents at my age.  They could easily have been gone already, but they are here for me.  They love me unconditionally and give me the emotional support I need all the time, as do my whole family and my wonderful friends.  I am grateful for all of them!

So, if you are going through a hard time, let me just remind you, that God is still there.  He cares.  Ask Him to help you and He will.  He might not do it the way you expect, but He will always, always take care of his children.  I’m a testimony to that.  I have no idea what my future holds.  This whole blogging thing just might blow up and we all may be on the street and if it does, that is OK too.  I know that He will take care of me.

Let me just take this opportunity to once again thank all of YOU out there who faithfully come to visit me.  Each and every day.  Many of you just lurk and never leave comments and that is OK too.  I know you are out there and I’m grateful that you take a little bit of your precious time each day to spend with me.  I don’t take that for granted.

If you have always dreamed of doing something from home (or not from home) and never had the chance, I want to encourage you to give it a try.  You never know if you don’t try.  I started my business with the hopes of having a full fledged decorating business and it has turned out not so much about that as being able to write and share about decorating through this blog.  I would love to develop that side of my business more and maybe it will come with time.  In  the meantime, I continue to do what I’m doing and as long as it is blessed, I will stay on this road.  I consider this blog my ministry of sorts too.

Don’t give up!  If you have dreams that have never been fulfilled, don’t give up.  It’s not too late.  If I can reinvent myself in my mid-50’s, you can certainly do it too.  Follow your heart.  Follow your dreams and do what you are passionate about and I truly believe you will find a way to be successful at it.

So, that’s it!  That’s my pep talk for today.  I hope my being vulnerable will help someone else realize that you, too have much to offer and a God-given talent that you can use as well, to fulfill those long ago dreams that you might have been putting off.  Waiting for another day.

As the old Nike tag line says, Just Do It!

What are you dreaming of?  Please tell me, I want to know.Is there something you’ve wanted to try and haven’t because of fear or uncertainty?

{I’ve been camping out in the old Streams in the Desert devotional this year and there are some great nuggets in there.  Psalms 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy oh Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of your hands}.

- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Evelyn Montgomery says:

    Hi Rhoda,

    Just read your post. What an inspiration your story is. I prayed that God would guide me to make a wise decision. I have been struggling with whether to pursue my childhood dream of fixing up my great grandmother’s 125 year old farmhouse or let go of that dream. Due to my husband’s financial failures over the last three years I have very little money. Well let’s be honest. I have no extra money and I’m not as young as I once was. I know if I let the dream go I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Your story has inspired me to follow that dream. Who knows, maybe I’ll start a blog when I get started on the renovations! Good luck to you in the future. Our God is great.

  2. Rhoda,

    I happened upon this blog while looking for calomondin recipes on Pinterest and what a blessing reading your posts are to me. I, too, have struggles, although not similar to yours, they are struggles no less. I, too, have wanted to start a blog as a creative outlet. And finally, I, too, live near Atlanta. It’s funny how God puts just the right people and situations in front of your nose when you need it most. Thank you for being one of God’s symbols for me.
    Heidi

    • Hi, Heidi, thank you for leaving a comment, so glad you stopped by. I’m so glad this inspired you! God has blessed me SO much the last 4 years.

  3. May God bless you with a special sweetness tonight, Rhoda, as your beautiful faith has bolstered mine!! Our stories have similarities. Thank you for telling of what you have come through! Joys shared are doubled, and sorrows shared are halved, as the old saying goes……

  4. Hi Rhoda, I’m so glad to have found your wonderful site today…I must have needed to read your story as it makes me feel another person with similar life experiences as my self has come to light in a very comforting way. I love your new home..it is warm and safe and welcoming. The comfort comes only knowing that others out there “get it” and understand the ups and downs that are created from major life changes. Thank you for sharing everything – you have a real sweet family … and by the way, I also lived Atlanta – my Dad was born in Kite/Johnson…so we spent summers traveling from Florida back to his families farms to help with harvest…Tobacco, corn, cotton and all the fresh vegetables you can eat – Cured Ham, Chickens, Hogs – outhouses! There was one little restaurant in particular near Jonesboro, Ru-Sa’s – something like that, that had the best southern food ever, like my grandmother and mom raised us on…love the southern food and manners – I will always be a “Grit” and so very proud of that…

    • Hi, Lyn, so glad you stopped by & I’m so happy that my story continues to touch other people as well, since it’s been 4 years ago that I went through that misery. Thank goodness, life is so good now! Always glad to hear from another GRITS girl!

  5. I was thinking of this blogpost about two weeks ago….and I’ll be darned through a series of clicks off Pinterest landed on your blog looking at Bucks living room…(:
    Anyway, long story short our lives have been awful for about 6 years now. Started with a job loss for my husband and proceeded with a cancer diagnosis for him. 3 surgeries and two months of Chemo, several health issues for me that included 6 surgeries and now I cannot function without wearing a fentanyl pain patch because of the botched surgery number 1 ( all of that way too much to detail). We had to sale our house to get high risk health ins. On my husband so he could get his chemo (we had used our 18 months of Cobra). Our mortgage was 1400 a month and his new insurance was 1660 a month, just for him. I had to get a full time job to get insurance for me and my kids. After being at home and taking care of everyone for 7 wonderful years, it was heartbreaking to leave my husband at home to deal with post op and post chemo issues by hisself…it’s an awful memory. Five deaths in my family, including my brother and my father within 2 months of each other, and then my sister and brother blaming me for his death because I gave my father a pain pill after he fell, that somehow that half a lortab made his 80 year old emphysema ridden lungs give out….5 days later. I work in a school and walked in the office my first day back with a “this is going to be a great year if it kills me attitude and then promptly slipped on a rain soaked floor and tore a disc in my lower back. I had surgery about 5 months ago, but it hasn’t seemed to take, as they say. Have been dealing with this for a little over a year. I KNOW my attitude is bad…I don’t recognize myself sometimes…but out of the blue right before summer break I said to my co-workers I’ve gotten to be the type of person that just expects the worst to happen…and I’ve finally started feeling that, yea know, something awesome could happen at any moment. I shocked myself when it came out of my mouth, but I felt excited that maybe I was coming out of my funk. Without elaborating my husband disappointed and disrespected our relationship doing something he had sworn less than a year ago he would never do again. That took weeks to stop crying about. But the worst feeling is realizing the man I have loved and cherished. And who I felt like loved and cherished me, just doesn’t….not like I thought he did…and I can’t leave. We have 2 kids at home and I could never afford to be without his pensions. So I think I’ll wait until the kids are grown and I hate that. I love my husband, but he broke our marriage…I will never feel safe or be able to trust what he tells me. It’s sad..I thought we had this great love, that we were special, so in love we would die in love. Not to be I guess. Anyway, I rambled a little long, sorry. Back to two weeks ago…I was wondering why when I am told that if I ask God for things he listens and takes care of us. I pray and pray for my pain to stop or for someone to figure it out and fix it. And ..nothing. 6 years , nothing. So, something I was reading was talking about trust
    In God to help…that you have to trust he will help. Is this where I am going wrong? I pray please fix my side and my back,pleas I cannot take this anymore….but my next thought isn’t well…I wonder when that will happen…its. I hope he heard me today and understands I am broken and losing my will to struggle with this anymore.
    And I too have always thought I would’ve had one of the best blogs out there…I was just too late to the party and had too many fires all around my family that I was running crazy trying to fix. Maybe someday!
    Thanks for listening and congratulations on your success and coming out on the other end of your tragedy!

    • Hi, I’m so sorry for what you have gone through and are going through. I can only point you to God and Jesus, that you will trust Him to help you. God truly cares about all of our needs and he has demonstrated that to me time and time again. I would encourage you to get in a good Bible believing church and soak up all you can. Life is not always easy, but He is trust-worthy and wants good for his children.

    • Thank you Rhoda, for taking the time to read my long post. It is evident by the length and the time (1:30 am) I was having a “bad night”. (:
      I had really been contemplating the question of having Faith That I will be taken care of…..so I guess it just all came pouring out.
      Thanks again and best wishes!!!

  6. Thank you so much for your testimony and willingness to trust God through the process. God certainly can give us beauty for ashes.

  7. Hi Rhoda, I have read this post several times. Once, about a year ago when my heart broke for you. Then a couple months ago when my heart was breaking, and today- as it continues to break. My three daughters and I have been abandoned by my husband of 25 years. He had multiple affairs and was given grace and mercy over and over. He was in ministry every time, making this even harder. I KNOW God is able to care for us and I have great parents and friends supporting me– but this path is so hard. My daughters struggle with even wanting him in their life at all, but the law won’t allow that. I would love to have your prayers. Your words spoke so clearly to me– I need hope that there is calm after the storm, that we are going to make it. Thank you so much for sharing, I would encourage you to keep it up. Obviously if you are still reaching people 5 years later- it was spirit-led. Thank you thank you!

    • Hi, Sharon, I’m so glad you found my spot on the internet and came to this post. It has been almost 5 years since I typed those very hard words and wondered how my life was going to turn out. I’m happy to say that God has been so faithful to me and rebuilt my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine. He has been with me every step of the way, when I was living with my parents, to finding and buying a fixer upper home, to where I am now, happy and content with life and with finding love again. It was a hard place to be, but there is definitely hope, believe me. It looks bleak when you are walking through a storm, but you’ll look behind you one day and appreciate where you’ve landed. I know I sure have! My life is richer and more complete for all the messes I’ve been through and it’s strengthened my faith as well. I will continue to share as God directs my path, since I do want others to know there is hope in Him if we trust Him completely. I’ve tried my best to do that over the last 5 years and am so happy and content. Life IS hard, but God will be there with you too, hang onto Him and don’t waver in that fact. I will pray for you!

    • Thank you so much! ?

  8. I stumbled upon your blog through Pintrest (liked what you wearing). I love your style and feel even more connected now that I have read your story. I too am looking to becoming single again after 40 years of marriage. It’s very scary, but from a scriptural standpoint, I have basis for divorce (nothing that will put him in jail however). I have forgiven, but our relationship has fundamentally changed. The weird thing is that I know so many women our age, (I’m 59) married for many years, and have experienced something devastating in their marriage. I won’t go on, just wanted you to know that I have been enjoying your posts, and knowing that you are a woman of God makes your blog even more interesting to me.

    • HI, Julie, I’m so glad you found me and stopped by! Life can be so hard and I know there are many of us out there in this age group who have dealt with some devastating things. I’m so happy to be 5 years past my trials and God has really blessed me so much during that time. Hang in there and keep your faith, you will be fine. 40 years is a long, long time, I feel for you on that part. Hope you are getting some good advice and take care of yourself.

  9. RubberChickenGirl says:

    Blogging. I SOOO do not want to start one but it keeps haunting me. I have been gluten free for 20 years, but I am late to the party that is blogging and late to the party that is the gf diet fad. But I have so many hard won good recipes. So here I am again, feeling encouraged in this direction by your life and experiences. Thx! (a lot!!) Sarcastic and serious.

  10. Rhoda, this was beautiful to read <3 Thank you for sharing your heart with so many.. It's amazing to read about what others have gone through, and see they were able to hold on to God and His promises. He ALWAYS comes through for the person that will trust Him.

    • HI, Rebekah, thank you so much! That post was 6 years ago and God has continually proved Himself faithful all along the way. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and feel so blessed to have come through such a storm.

  11. deeheintz says:

    I just found your blog today. This is the first post I have read. Love your encouraging words giving God all the credit. I look forward to digging deeper and checking out your decorating style. Thanks for blogging!

    • HI, Dee, thanks for stopping by! I wrote that back in 2011 and my life has completely turned around since then, but I definitely still give God all the glory. He has been so faithful to me!

  12. Hi Rhoda, I was commenting on your peel & stick and ended up on the about page. I remember I began to follow you a little after this period of your life and would read the occasional references. You should write more about this journey because I hear more and more women over 50 experience this unexpected empty, debt-filled nest. Your honesty is refreshing. how many bloggers do we follow that show perfect images and lifestyles? My own blog came out of that realization. Keep sharing your journey! You have an untapped audience! xo laura in Colorado

    • HI, Laura, thank you, I know you’ve been around awhile, I have seen your name and blog out there. And oh my, girl, that was quite the journey back then. It’s been almost 7 years since I wrote that post and I can tell you my entire life has done a complete turnaround since then. I have shared over the years in my blog story every year how this blog has saved my life and how much God has blessed me through writing this blog so I think that my readers have seen and witnessed my journey to now firsthand, blog post by blog post. I’ve fully recovered in my financial distress and am doing better than ever these days. I owe my gratitude to the Lord who brought me through and now I’m thriving, with hard work and perseverance. I know my readers have enjoyed watching this journey, from my fixer upper that I bought and my dad helped me fix it up, to where I am now, remarried to a wonderful man and making our home together.

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