When life hands you lemons…

clearly the saying ends with, you make lemonade. But seven years ago today, lemonade was far from what we were thinking.

We were at one of the lowest point in our lives and our marriage. We were very happy to be seven months pregnant, but everything around us seemed so unstable.  I had just left my job trying to figure out what to do next. Just after that, while Joe was flipping a house, the contractor stole a LOT of money from us (that we had been loaned from a bank) and bought a truck with it. The lawyer said it would be pointless to sue him because the money was gone. Joe then did all of the work on the house to try to keep us from losing more. We were low folks, really low. Hormonally charged, I was so upset. Our marriage took a nose dive and things seemed as if there was no way out. We had no money to buy a crib, a changing table or a rocker for our first born. We even had to turn our dining room into the nursery. Not ideal, but not the end of the world.

My personality is to let myself sink into the reality of the situation for a few days (in this case a few weeks) and allow myself all of the feelings. Thankfully, I never let myself stay there. It is usually after a gut wrenching low that I have my biggest moments of clarity. My way out is always, always to start shouting from the top of my lungs what I am thankful for. It is usually while walking around the block. Clearly not shouting as I am walking of course, but in my head I am. I was thankful for a husband who loves me, the child inside of me, parents who were able to step into the gap and not let us sink, my health, my education and my God-given drive to never settle for less.

God knew my desire to buy the perfect little Pottery Barn Kids nursery that I admire in the magazine, but also knew my financial situation. That is why, exactly 7 years ago, on Martin Luther King’s Day, He gave us a little blessing. Joe’s aunt had been at Salvation Army and called us saying that she had found a rocking chair. She asked if we wanted her to wait there until we could get there.  Joe and I hoped in the car and when we got there we saw a pink slip-covered rocking chair. When we removed the slipcover, it uncovered the spotless cream rocking chair of my dreams. And guess what, when we lifted the cushion, it was made by Pottery Barn Kids. It was $50. But it was Martin Luther King’s Day, so we got it for half off. Originally $975, we got it for $25. That is how God started blessing us. He would show us how He knew the desires of our heart and He was going to give them to us.

The photo on the left is the photo of the chair at S.A. after we removed the slip cover. We stained the base and thought this was the most beautiful chair we ever did see.

Sidenote: That rocker was so well loved for Wells and then when we moved next door, it continued on after we had Brooks. We had a little different taste and photography skills at this point.

Little did we know that the next huge gift He had in store for us was a hand-me down dresser from a neighbor that we painted. This began the furniture painting obsession that has turned into more than we could have dreamed of or imagined just 7 years ago. And you know that house that Joe had to finish because the contractor stole all that money? Well, it was during that time that Joe learned how to be handy. Full circle right?

So I guess, I share this story for this reason. Life is not always instagram perfect. In fact, we all go through times where things are challenging. Nobody is exempt from that. It looks different for all of us. I just hope that my little story of a rocking chair and a hand-me down dresser can give you a glimpse of hope as it did for us in that season.

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