Monday, October 15, 2007

The reality is...




I have lost much in life. I have learned to live a life in spite of pain and heartache. But the reality is that I have an amazing, simple life regardless of my past. I see myself as blessed. I live a full life. I have everything I need and more. I am happy and content at this moment. It hit me in a big way this morning. My heart is heavy for a lot of people in my life and the struggles they face each day- some with money and jobs, some with marriages and family, and some with their health or pain of grief.
I am seeing more and more that I have a really great life. Not without scars and not without challenges. But each day I wake and thank God for the blessings and mercy He has shown me. I am learning that life isn't about what we get...but about how we learn to appreciate what we've been given.
That is the lesson I am learning to love more and more as time goes on. This ties in a little bit to the challenge I have posted over at SIStv this week. You can scrap a layout and post a link on the website and be given a chance to win some great prizes. The layout I scrapped is one of my favorite pictures of Teagan- ever. She was so carefree- so happy that Fourth of July- just a couple of weeks before she died. We had no idea what lay just ahead of her- or us. Our lives were really blessed in that moment...and I was happy that we were enjoying our time together as a family. It was a rare thing for us to do so on a holiday in the summer. Golf is a demanding, busy job in the summer.
But that year, Chip had part of the day off. So we went to Mackinaw and spent the day with friends and watched the fireworks. I do recall feeling really good about how things were going in our lives, I was thankful for freedom, and I loved that our kids were growing and so happy almost all the time. Teagan was so into giving hugs around the neck and pouring on the love and kisses really thick.
It still makes me catch my breath that it was all taken away so suddenly- so senselessly- so randomly. Yet here we are- years later- and Teagan is still a part of my memories and the cause for a lot of smiles in my life. I love that my girls are still wearing some of her hand-me-downs and that her pictures are still around the house and little memories- her toys, her books, her dolls- are still getting under my feet and a part of the mess that is much of our house all the time. =)
She's here- in our hearts and lives forever. We will never forget her or 'get over her'. Yet where there once was a huge hole in our hearts, it has been filled with goodness, blessing and Joy. Yes. I may not have the best life, the easiest life, the most glamorous life. But I have peace and contentment and Hope and Joy. I have more than I deserve...and everything I need.

17 comments:

SingerMamaMelody said...

beautiful picture of Teagan & Chip...how cool that you are able to capture just a teeny glimpse of her incredible life in that layout

God bless you today

Sonja said...

What a beauty you are Jody, inside and out:) Sonja

patterns of ink said...

A great photo and layout. The rings in the background hint at both fingerprints and the rings of a tree, which is both very human and very timeless.

Heather said...

breathtaking..
I can't think of anything else to say(and we all know how rare that is!)
Thinking of ya!
~heather

Shaun Paddock said...

Jody, you always have a way of making me grateful for my many blessings. When my MS gets me down I tend to forget that I have the most wonderful husband in the world, and the most amazing children. I always know that if I am feeling down, I can check out your blog and it will lift my spirits. Thank you.
Shaun
www.roomsview.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me how you get so much scrapping done???!!!??? I have 3 kids 5yrs and under and another on the way...and I'm STILL stuck on my first child's "1-2 year" album!!! Do you try and do a page a day or what? It seems so frustrating to be so far behind! What to do???!!!???
jen in indiana

Jody said...

I scrap when I'm inspired. I scrap late at night..often 'into' the night. I use that time as my quiet time- to think, to pray, to dream, to be creative, to reflect. SO to me, it's not about scrapping really. It's just what I do during my 'me' time. Every mom needs this time. I have never tried to 'keep up' with scrapping. I started already years 'behind' when I made my first pages last year, so there has never been any pressure involved with scrapping, for me. When I scrap pages it's because there is a real passion or moment or insight, or sometimes just the sheer thought of having fun is what drives the actual layout and design.
If you think of scrapping as just one more thing on your 'to do list', I think it zaps the whole joy of it right from the beginning. I look at scrapping as a way to get my thoughts and feelings and ideas down on paper and out of me- it is less about preserving memories...but more about pouring myself and my heart out on the page. If I preserve memories at the same time, well then, that is just an added bonus for that page.
Hopefully this will help shed a bit of light on your own scrapping. Everyone scraps for different reasons, in different styles. I am just trying to scrap and love that it actually has proved meaningful to others at times. I hope you can let some of the pressure of scrapping go....and just do it for you. I think you will find it to be much more fun and 'freeing'! My best to you and your growing, busy family. I hope you make a priority of finding time for yourself. If that means scrapping at the same time- then that's good too!
Really, I scrap in spurts too- lately I've been making pages because I've gotten lots of new and free product. That helps. =) But typically I scrap maybe only a page a week. Sometimes more...oftentimes less. No pressure. =)

~*AMY*~ said...

jody you are such an inspiration...such a breath of fresh air...in a world so full of negatives you always find the good. i love the picture of teagan, gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love this post! Given after reading something from an acquaintance who is always, always, always looking at her cup half empty and wishing for the "what if's" of life. Such as..."what if I could have a different job, what if I could have a new house, what if I could have a child---THEN I would be fulfilled and happy"!!! It's tiresome to try to encourage someone with this bent...always looking at the other side of the fence for happiness. To be content is something we all struggle with.....and it generally isn't in "things or people" that we will find it. Thinking this person is wishing her life away and not finding happiness in "the now" makes me so sad. I wish I could hook her up with you...maybe you could be a positive influence to her.

I love that you find time to post your inner-most feelings and that they inspire. I also love that you share what inspires "you"!!

Mackenzie said...

hi jody! i remember talking with you once when i had a different blog, which i ended up deleting because i thought it was too much of a "mom/grown-up" thing to do lol... but then i got to college and decided i really needed a place to put my thoughts, so i made a new one! :)
anyways, i just wanted to drop by and tell u how amazing your blog is! - and how i love reading everything you have to say... you're truely an amazing woman!

Stephie G said...

Just wanted to send some hugs that way Jodi. Beautiful layout and beautiful memory captured.

Stacy said...

Jody...that is absolutley beautiful!

amy said...

great LO...and reminder of what's precious!

it's been forever since i've seen your work - your very first LO i saw just recently at Sis and remembered it very clearly from SBB way back when!

rev said...

your children are so blessed to have a mommy like you. you inspire me to bring the best out of me every single day. just wanted to let you know that you touch so many lifes with your positive thoughts and sharing of your feelings. thank you!

Lisa D:) said...

Hey Jody,
I read your blog every other day or so...always coming back for more because your honesty and faith and belief in the goodness of life (even after such tragedy) totally inspires ME to be a better person and mom.
Sending big hugs your way, and a great big "thanks" for sharing your world with "us".

Laurie said...

What a beautiful photo and layout Jody. I so know what you mean about feeling blessed, even with struggles and scars along the way. God really does show us awesome mercy and I continue to also be thankful for that and for all my blessings even if there are bumps and deep ditches in the road. Thank you for always sharing and always sending up prayers for my little one and our family. May God continue to bless you!

Anonymous said...

Jody,
This photo is amazing! Teagan and her daddy! I love how shes smiling like she always did! This picture definatly shows the best of her! I miss her and all of the family so much! Your words inspire me more and more each day! I love you all!

* Kay-Kay *