There is Beauty in the Chaos, Comfort in the Change

Changes. The word either invokes fear or adrenaline. Nothing in between. Usually, I settle for the fear. Because navigating a life filled with changes can be hard.

Like, really hard.

It causes chaos, confusion, and a lot of unknowns that can make even the strongest of people to back off and not accept the change.

The snowstorm that hit in January of 2019 was chaotic. It made me change. I had never used a snowblower before, my faithful “I’ll figure it out for you mom” son was gone, and I had two foreign teens living under my roof. Both from warm countries. With no snowblowers ever used. I was feeling squeezed. Defeated. Because I needed to clear my driveway. Which, at the time, was on a slight incline. 

Great. 

I had to change in that moment. I had to accept the chaos that I was surrounded in. That was my first big lesson on seeing the beauty in chaos and finding comfort in change. 

Metaphorically speaking, the snow was pure, white, no blemishes, which I looked at as representing the season I was stepping into. Pure. A fresh start. Blemish free. It was then, that I found comfort in the changes that were taking place around me. I had a decision to make, grow or wither. Accept the change, make the best of the situation, or push the change away, not accept it, and struggle. 

I won’t lie. I yelled. I cried. I got angry. Then I found the beauty and comfort in the chaos and change. The beauty in all of this, is that I got the driveway cleared, but I discovered a little more of myself that I thought I had lost. I discovered my strength. I discovered my capability. I found purpose again. 

Life goes on. 

There have been more changes and chaos that have taken place, but they all have been beautiful and comforting changes. They have had the ability to put my heart and soul at rest. To find my inner peace. Most of all, the changes and chaos have allowed me to find myself again. The changes and chaos are giving me another chance to raise happy humans, live a fulfilling life, and thrive instead of surviving. I had to be the change I wanted to see in the world, one small beautiful chaotic change at a time.

A Daisy in a Field of Roses

I came across a saying the other day while I was cruising on Pinterest, because, well I’m a mom and a teacher, so Pinterest is sometimes my saving grace when it comes to food and lessons. This image and saying I came across was not quite earth-shattering news to myself, but I felt it, in a big way. It was me, how I have always felt about myself summed up in two short sentences “and if you don’t like me, as I do you; I understand. Because who would really choose a daisy in a field of roses?” 

Wow…now, I love roses. They are one of the most beautiful flowers creation has blessed us with. But they have these pieces to them, thorns, that tend to hurt when they are touched. Sometimes, the most beautiful things we see, hurt us. Sometimes we choose to see the beauty in something, even though we know that it will eventually destroy us if we choose to hold on to it too tightly. That is a rose. Beautiful to look at, but it will cut you if you touch it the wrong way and all of the beauty that was once seen is reduced to nothing more than something that hurt us. 

For many years I had this mentality that I would never be considered a beautiful rose, because for years I was told I was not beautiful. For many years I was told that I was less than, that I was not smart, that I was only good enough to cook meals, do laundry, and make sure the functions of a house ran smoothly so that my counterpart could live freely and reap the benefits of my misery. Then I discovered something. I discovered that while I may never be considered a rose, I was a daisy. 

You see, I am a simple person by nature. I am the person who will choose themselves last every time to choose someone first. I am that daisy in the field of roses, nothing special to look at, but filled with simple details that fill my soul with joy, pleasure, and fulfillment. I am that daisy, who is constantly trying to bring a smile to others by being bright in color and personality. You see, I discovered that the best thing about me, is being that daisy in the field of roses. Different. Simple. Unique. When I discovered that about myself, I was able to be okay with that. I was able to accept myself, love myself even. Then, I was able to accept love from others. You see, I always felt less than because I compared myself to everyone else. Part of that has to do with self-esteem on my own accord, but the other part of that came from never feeling like I was enough for the person who was supposed to cherish me. You see, once I discovered I was enough and decided it was okay to be a daisy instead of a rose, I found myself and stopped letting others beat me down with words and actions. I stepped out and didn’t look back. I embraced the details of me that make me simple compared to others. I embraced being a daisy in a field of roses. Sometimes the best things in life are the simple things.

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

It wasn’t until recently that I realized there are a lot of things that I don’t know about. There are many things that I need to teach my children, and as a mom, that’s a hard revelation. There are just things I don’t know about.

I don’t know how to teach my son how to change oil in his vehicle. I don’t know how to teach him how to do basic home repairs, beyond changing a furnace filter, light bulbs, and using putty for a small nail hole. I don’t know how to teach him to be a “man” in the sense of what he will need to be when he enters the world as an adult. I don’t how to teach him to lead a household in the way men are called to lead their household and family.

I don’t know these things, because I am a woman. Not a man. I wear many hats on a daily basis. Mom, teacher, nurse, doctor, chauffeur, referee, and counselor. The one hat I lack though has the title of “dad”.

But as I sit here writing this, I realize, it’s okay. I am not supposed to know these things. That is where my tribe of people come in. To fill those gaps that I lack. These are the reasons why people say “it takes a village” when it comes to raising children.

My kids are incredibly lucky that they live in the era they live in. They have access to so much technology that they should be able to find a YouTube video on anything they would ever need to know how to do. The things that I cannot teach them, I can help them problem solve to find the right resources and tutorials for them to figure things out. Those tangible, hands on things that my “mom” hat prevents me from knowing.

But what I can teach them are lessons on how to treat people. How to be compassionate towards people. I can teach my son how women should be treated. I can teach my daughters how to be picky when it comes to men and what attributes to look for. I can show my children how simple kindness is what makes the world really go round. I can teach them how to set healthy boundaries so they never have to settle for less than what they deserve. I can teach my children about perseverance. That sometimes life will inevitably knock you down, sometimes making you feel like there is no place to go and there is no hope, but when that moment happens, that’s when you can dig deep into your soul, discover your worth and value, and that is when you rise above it. That is when you discover the inner strength that comes from God depending on your beliefs. That is when you discover what you are made of and how every lesson, big and small, prepared you for that moment.

The moment to rise

The moment to conquer

The moment to believe in yourself

That is something that my “mom” hat allows me to do. But, it doesn’t have to be a “mom” to teach these things. Anyone can teach anyone these things. These are life lessons that any parent can teach their child. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom, a dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle. Take a minute to teach the children the importance of being a kind human in a cruel world. Teach them to not give up when things get hard. But most importantly, teach them they have value and purpose. Because if you don’t, who will?

Make Them Strong by Being Weak

My one wish for my children is that they are stronger than I am. A lot of people that know me personally have made comments about how strong I am and how much strength it took to walk away from a destructive relationship. Well, that might be partially correct, but it is also partially wrong. I had to be weak before I could be strong. I had to become completely broken before I could muster up the strength I needed to walk away. To stop a cycle and prevent my children from repeating the cycle because it was considered “normal” in our home.

My children have always viewed me as strong. My daughter has told me many times “mom, I can’t find your weakness. I mean, I know us kids are your weakness, because if someone hurts us they hurt you, but you come out swinging with all your strength that you have to protect us and fight for us.” Well, my sweet daughter’s perception is correct. New Years Eve gave me an opportunity to speak to my daughter, who is in the formative years of her life, developing her own personality, figuring out her future, and what she wants. We had a very raw conversation about the relationship her father and I had and my wishes and worries for her, her sister, and her brother. She asked some hard questions, made some quick and wise observations, hopefully realized that the by her mom being weak, she will be stronger because of that.

My daughter, because I was weak, realizes that she can set healthy boundaries for relationships, friendships and romantically. Because I was weak, my daughter knows that life will knock a person down, but that weakness eventually turns into strength and the person gets up, dusts themselves off, and goes forward in life. In my weakness, I made my daughter strong because she will know how a woman is to be treated, how a woman is not to be treated, and she will find a person that is set apart for her that will fulfill the desires of her heart in a relationship. My daughter saw me weak, and stay in an environment where it was not healthy, and because of that, she knows she does not have to remain weak and stay. She will be stronger and walk away sooner, to preserve her spirit, her heart, and her soul. In my weakness, my daughter saw me lose my identity, my passions, and myself. But my daughter, she will be strong and never lose those parts of herself and have to rediscover them.

Being weak, while most view it as a negative characteristic, really is my greatest strength. While I was weak, I was teaching my children how to be strong. Strong for themselves. I was given then one, big life to impress upon my children life lessons. I hope a life lesson they take from watching their mother be weak, was that while in her weakness, she found her strength. The strength to pull herself together everyday, to rediscover her passions, find her own identity again, rise up with a renewed strength. I am grateful for the weaknesses that my children have seen in me, because they will be stronger than I ever could be. I made them strong because I was weak. There is something to be said about finding your strength in your weakness, because it is utterly true.

Hello, 2020

Welcome into a new year, a new decade, a new chance for 365 opportunities to live your best life. Or, well, at least live life. Closing out a year brings up a lot of emotions and memories for people. Facebook is amazing for reminding you of your “memories” every day. Every. Stinking. Day. Sometimes, opening those memories cause great excitement, sometimes fear and trepidation, sometimes it brings up an “ah-ha” moment that you realize you learned something. Or grew in some way. I took some time yesterday to be reflective over the year that was known at 2019. “Healing” was the word I had focused on for the year, and the word “enough”. Both of those things happened for me. I healed from a divorce, I healed from financial concerns, but most of all, I healed my heart. I discovered that I am enough, that my God is enough, and that He has equipped me with enough of what I need to thrive and succeed.

I took the last couple of weeks in December, as I have done for the last few years and was intentional about listening to the things around me to discover my word for 2020. My word for 2020 is “bloom”. It seems fitting for me. My children and I are in a new spot in life, new schools, new city, new people, and for myself a new job. The guidance to this word, “bloom” was evident in all things. From hearing messages at church to fulfilling your purpose, following the calling on your life, landing right where you’re supposed to be, and to not surviving, but thriving and blossoming into the person Jesus has set you apart to be. Scripture verses that have been prayed over me in recent weeks, that have been completely connected to what I was seeking answers to, but not telling the person what I was seeking out. In speaking with an older couple at church, I was asked “what can we specifically pray for, for you?” Well, those questions are incredibly awkward for me, because many times there’s a lot or something big. So I was elusive and vague in my response and made it very general, just that I am wise with my family. This gentleman begins praying out and says “wait! I have to stop. You need to understand that this is your verse for the year. Isaiah 43:19 says ‘I am doing something new’. God wants you to know that your past has shaped you and molded you, but it’s closed and over and He has a new path for you”. Mind blown. Here’s why, that was my verse when I accepted a new job. That was my verse when we moved to Cleveland. I clung to that verse and a verse from Esther, “for perhaps this is the moment for which you were created”. Well, I’m a crier. So I cried. The message spoke to me. What comes “new” in the new year? New life, new plants, new growth…the blooms that come up after the winter, signifying new life. So it only seemed fitting that my word would be “bloom”.

Just a couple of days ago, a sweet friend reached out asking if she could pray for me going into the new year. Look, I’m not one to ever turn down a prayer, so of course I said yes. This sweet friend of mine is so intuitive and aligned with God, that it shouldn’t have surprised me when she responded back with her prayer that specifically mentions Deuteronomy 8:7-9 about going into “a good land” and mentions how the plants in that new land are abundant with blooms and growth. I had not said my word for the year, but oh my goodness how her prayer straight up aligned with my word.

Now that I have had divine healing in my life, it’s time to bloom, to arise and shine. Not because it’s a new decade, a new year, but because it’s a new opportunity. 365 chances for new opportunities to be exact. Which means 365 chances to bloom, to grow, to do great, and to learn great. As I walk into 2020, the vision is clear. 2020 is about a clear vision and clear growth. Blooming exactly where you’re planted.

About

The “about me” sections of the blog…I’m Ronette. A mom to three and teacher who is fueled by all things coffee and grace. I live in NE Ohio, Cleveland with my three kids and doing what I call living a dignified and graceful life with dignified freak outs. Because, let’s face it, life can cause waves, turbulence, and lemons, so if we’re going to freak out, let’s freak out in a dignified manner. This is where I’ll live out my life, the trials, the victories, and chronicle how God’s grace got me through the roughest moments of my life thus far. Hopefully, I can make someone feel less alone in this crazy world. My mess has become my message, my test has become my testimony, and my trials have become my triumphs.