That smile makes my heart overflow!
That smile encourages me to keep on keeping on.
That smile represents why I started Apple Jacks Photography & Gifts...to bring big smiles to people’s faces by creating little gifts just for them!
That smile inspires me to share my story through this Seeds of Thought Blog.
A quote by author Cynthia Occelli says, “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
Throughout my life, I have strived to grow as a Christian daughter, sister, wife, and mother. My growth has been cultivated by being raised in a Christian home, reading the Bible, praying, going to church, and marrying a Godly servant of the Lord. I did not realize how essential these strong roots were going to be during the most difficult days of my life.
Travel back in time with me to 2013. I was “growing” along, teaching kindergarten, being a pastor’s wife, and attempting to win the title of “world’s best mother to three daughters” who were 12, 7, and 5 at the time. It was April 9th. I had just celebrated my 36th birthday the previous day. I was reviewing the week’s spelling list with my students when the words in my teacher’s manual began to disappear. While trying to remain calm in front of 25 five year olds, I had the following internal dialogue: “This is strange, but maybe my eyes are just dry. I’m sure I’m going be okay. I just need to sit down for a minute, take a deep breath, and get a drink of water.” As I headed for my desk, I realized the faces of my students were no longer visible. Everything was bright white no matter where I looked. Panic began to set it as I realized I was not going to be okay.
That moment will forever be crystal clear in my mind even though the memories of the rest of the day are difficult to recall. I often refer to my life events as occurring “before April 9th, 2013” or “after April 9th, 2013.” Many times, I have contemplated whether it is healthy to let that moment define so much about my life. I finally realized it is much more helpful than harmful to allow myself to acknowledge the significance of it. It IS extremely important because it marks the beginning of me coming completely undone. I definitely would not have signed up to come undone, but oh how impactful it has been for me. There’s so much more I want share with you about the shell cracking, the insides coming out, and everything changing. I’m going to stop there for now, though, so I can look at that smile and celebrate how much growth has taken place. For me to even attempt to start this business with all the physical challenges I deal with on a daily basis is a huge step toward achieving my greatest expression. The flower that is about to bloom is going to be a beauty well worth the wait!
Thank you to Lindsay Wynn for allowing me to share this picture of her Spider-Man with that smile! Also, thank you to all of you who help me grow on a daily basis. My website has had over 100 visits, and my Facebook page has reached 50 likes in 24 hours! Your support means more to me than you will ever know!