Perhaps I’m showing my age or affinity for this David Bowie classic, but its title seemed to be the perfect choice for this post. Given all the recent events taking place in my life, I keep replaying the chorus of this song in my brain.
Anything to drown out the whispers of doubt, fear and anxiety that creep into one’s subconscious when life gets a bit stressful. I know I’m not alone and sweet reader, neither are you. I hope this blog post helps others who are also struggling with the useless chatter of negativity that does nothing but rob us of joy in our lives. And just like the noise of unruly hotel guests that I had to endure last evening, (if you see the dark circles under my eyes, just pretend they aren’t there:) I’m investing in some seriously good earplugs to muffle the annoyance of others once and for all. Read on and perhaps, you too might make this peace-seeking choice.
Change can be exhilarating and full of great hope and expectation. It can also be scary, panic-filled, overwhelming. I could add a zillion more adjectives that would all hit the bull’s eye to my heart as of late, but I’ll spare you from reading the explicatives. If you’ve been on my new website, you know there’s been lots of changes going on and we still aren’t finished. Enchanted Woods Wearables is no more. As the company has expanded and refined it’s product offerings, we made the decision, with the help of professionals in the industry, to use my name instead. We found that customers often thought “enchanted woods” had something to do with crystals, supernatural beliefs and even an elf or two thrown in for good measure. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth of what our company strives to be. We found that unless one lives in New Mexcio, many don’t realize that our beloved state is commonly called The Land of Enchantment. So, we went with Plan B: Angie Spady. The company felt many women already knew me through my children’s books and devotionals, so I hope we've made the right decision.
While I’m honored my name is being used on the jewelry I painstakingly design, there is great responsibility involved. My name and my reputation is on the line every single day. Whether it’s a blog you read or necklace you purchase, if you don’t like it, it’s a reflection on me. Yes, just a bit of stress is involved. But friends, I consider it a privilege to be a writer of words and designer of jewelry for you. Regardless of my career as a teacher, pharma rep or artist, my goal has always been the same: to uplift others and leave things better than how I found them. Thank you for your support and prayers as I continue to wave this banner that shapes my life.
Regardless if it’s a divorce, car accident, a health crisis, or a death that’s taken us to our knees, most of us try to always come up with a plan B. On more than one occasion I could have chosen to give up, lay on the sofa or scream up at the heavens “Why is this happening to ME?!” Oh, I’ll admit, I’ve been tempted. I even jumped head first into a pit of self-pity for one dark and confusing period. However, my gracious God would not allow me to stay there for long. Yes, my hands and heart still have scars from clawing their way out and wondering why other’s couldn’t understand my weariness, but I always knew the one person who had my back: my Heavenly father. When life gets complicated beyond all comprehension, I try and remember that He's here with me. Trust me, on some days that's difficult. I know you agree.
But like one my favorite song, "Defender" says,
You go before I know, that
You've even gone to win my war
You come back with the head of my enemy
You come back and You call it my victory...
God goes before us and paves a way. It may not seem like it at the time, but with faith, we must pray and trust that He will. Sometimes it seems as if there’s those that almost want us to fail. I’ve never understood such individuals and I try to stay as far away as I can from them. Perhaps you do as well.
But nevertheless, God allows them onto our path for a reason. Remember the story of Joseph? He was despised by his brother’s, thrown into a pit, and sold as a slave. Life had to have seemed so bleak for him. This type of change was not at all what he anticipated. But He had God’s favor. He had faith, loved the unlovable and went forth trying to make the best out of his situation. If you’ve read the book of Genesis, you're aware that Joseph became an advisor to the Pharoah in Egypt. When famine struck the land, Jospeh's brother’s wound up coming before him begging for mercy and food. Depending on your own hardships or the mistreatment you’ve endured by others, your first inclination to Joseph’s story might be “Take that, brothers! What goes around comes around! You had it coming to you!” But friends, if that’s what you’re concluding, I fear you’re missing the most important part of this lesson: it’s about a word calledMERCY. Sure, Joseph could have said, “Hey guys, remember me?! I’m the brother you treated like dirt and I doubt you loss a wink of sleep over it! I’m the one who you never apologized to and now you’re showing up asking for help? Get on your horses and go back to the village you came from.” Sound familiar? Yeah, me too.
But Joseph didn’t do that, did he? He knew the blessings that God had provided him as a result of his misfortune. He knew a God that bestowed mercy and grace. Quite simply, Joseph knew that he’d have more peace if he obeyed the Golden Rule. That choice served him well. I want to be like Joseph, don’t you? For sure, it’s way easier said than done. It’s tough whether we’re struggling with difficult family members, running a business or trying to remain calm as we are mistreated or watch the mistreatment of someone we love. Bestowing mercy is TOUGH. But if we are to follow the numerous examples God gives about mercy and forgiveness, we must cling to Romans 5:8: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That fact should help us endure almost any obstacle.
Change is hard, faith is required, and a heaping dose of pride-swallowing is often in order. Sometimes it’s all I can do to stomach it, but I know it will dissipate eventually and I’ll feel better inside. Perhaps you can give it a try as well.
Change is also taking place on another level at our house. In less than 4 weeks, my youngest daughter will be wed to a wonderful gentleman and she will assume a different name, while also acquiring a new role: wife. As many are already aware, such an event comes with a bit of melancholia for the mother-of-the bride, amidst a vast assortment of other emotions as well. Since the wedding is in Pennsylvania, we had no choice but to hire a wedding planner who’s been absolutely outstanding. Corrine, at Stroudsburg Inn, here’s a shout out to you and your team. You’ve made this extremely easy and may God bless you!
But with these upcoming nuptials comes a type of worry that goes way past the concern of it raining on the outdoor ceremony, or if the floral displays are just right. A mother knows that following the nuptials and clicking of champagne glasses, a great deal of prayer, patience and compromise is needed to make a marriage work. And since my daughter’s father and I are divorced, I naturally pray that their marriage doesn’t end up a statistic. To all of the mothers who have been in my pink high heels and reading this blog, I know you’re nodding your head. Thankfully, my daughter and her fiance were wonderful friends before dating and have a great deal in common. They have mapped out their future plans so thoughtfully that I question if they're 10 years older than their birth certificates indicate. I certainly wonder if my youngest came from my loins, as she has psychological insight that I’m still striving to attain. Sheesh.
However, as parents we know that the lid to Pandora’s box will force itself open and reveal its contents whether we like it or not. Unexpected events arise and we pray to God that we did a sufficient job in equipping our adult children with the coping skills necessary to navigate the unexpected storms.
Change is hard for all of us.
As I conclude this post, I’m getting ready to change planes in Houston and head back home to New Mexico. I miss my husband, my friends and my grandcat, Mr. Bingley. I’ve been in KY this week riding an emotional rollercoaster that, in fact, inspired this blog entry. If your stomach feels queasy from ups and downs, know that this writer of words and polisher of wood understands you. Together let’s be like Joseph and extend mercy to others. God will extend favor as we strive to do the right thing and do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Thank you again and I hope you enjoy the new website. May you find something in which you can identify as you wear it, and that it blesses you immensely. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me your own story. After all, we are on this journey together.
Brightest of Blessings,