5.04.2014

The One Where I Get Personal~

Helping others create beautiful homes is my passion.  I feel that the homes we live in can greatly influence our lives.  They can give us a sense of security, they can bring us joy.  But that's not what I want to talk about today.

It's not often that I share things about my personal life here on the blog.  But today I have a few things that I want to talk about...mostly because I'm hoping that by sharing, I might be able to help someone else out there that's going through something similar.  After all, if I can't use a platform like this to help others, what good is it, really?


Photo by Saundra Savage


This last year has been incredibly challenging for me and for my family.  A lot of people have asked why John has been absent from the blog lately...and from my Instagram feed...etc.  I've always tried to avoid the question.  But I guess it's time to answer it.  The truth is, we are now divorced.  The divorce was actually just recently finalized.   And because I respect his privacy, and the privacy of my children,  I won't share any of the details.  Suffice it to say that there have been challenges for several  years,  and - although it may sound strange - divorce really was the best option for our family.

Read more after the break...




Because of these difficulties, I had major anxiety issues last year.   My doctor prescribed me some anxiety medication.  It helped get my emotions under control, but it also caused me to start gaining weight.  In the last year and a half, I have gained 25 pounds.  That has been challenging for me as well.

With all of these things going on, I started to feel sorry for myself.   But then things changed, with some simple words from a dear friend of mine.

My friend Rowena is an interior designer as well.  She and I have known each other for several years.  She knew John and me when we were living in Massachusetts, and she was aware of our challenges.  Her house is one of the homes that I feature in my book, and the day that I was there to photograph her house, she and I were able to have a heart-to-heart.  She asked me how things were going, and I confided in her that we were in the process of getting a divorce.  She could sense my sadness and my feelings of failure, but she said something to me that has made all the difference in my attitude.

She asked me if I could see the blessings.  Could I see the blessings?  I wasn't sure what she meant at first, so she started to point them out to me.

  • I have a beautiful family
  • I have a good job
  • I was in the process of writing a book (something that had been a dream of mine since childhood)
She didn't really need to go on, I could see where she was going.  I was being extremely blessed.  The hand of The Lord in my life was visible in everything.  I just needed to open my eyes to see it.

And since then, whenever I start to feel the weight of my life - the weight of being a single mom - the difficulty of being the sole provider for my family - I start counting my blessings.  There are so many. The Lord is never invisible in anyone's life.  Sometimes we are just blind to his blessings.  

picture courtesy of Matthew Mead


I am so thankful that I had a friend who helped me to open my eyes so that I could see my blessings.  So now as I move forward through this new life, as I start working on my next book (yes, I just signed another contract!),  as I start to lose this weight, I won't allow myself to get discouraged.  I will remember that I have been blessed beyond measure.  

And please, my dear readers, if you are suffering discouragement, I urge you to open your eyes to the blessings in your life.  They are there, I promise.  

xoxo
Wendy




28 comments:

Lena said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Wendy! I've been a quiet follower of our blog for a few years. Last year was the hardest year of my life for many reasons. There were times when I didn't know how to scrape myself off the floor of despair. It took me months to see the blessings that were there, mixed in with all of the trials, but when I did, it made this burden so much easier. The Lord is definitely on our side. Temple also gave me a great comfort. Hugs to you!

Aimee at Refresh-Renew... said...

Your words are an encouragement to many I am certain. I takes courage to stand tall and be willing to show the world the side of you that isn't "perfect"...life is hard on us all...we all face areas that are broken...and that is indeed why we need a savior and friends who show us how to lean on our blessings and our savior to get by every day. thank you :o)-aimee

Entirely Eventful Day said...

You're an amazing example of strength and beauty.

Michelle Lunt said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us Wendy. I love the part about seeing the good. May the Lord continue to bless you & your family.

Love, Michelle
Honey I'm Home

Anjanette said...

Sending love and prayers your way.

Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com said...

Love you Wend. You are so sweet, and I and so proud of you for sharing your story. You are beautiful inside and out! Xoxo

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

Wendy I'm so sorry. And I'm so impressed you were willing to share your story. Props to you, and I hope this year brings peace and happiness to you and your family.

Heidi @ Honeybear Lane said...

I love you Wendy!!! I think you are so beautiful and amazing and admire you so much, especially for your fortitude in the burdens you have borne (and still bear.) You work so hard and always do what is the best for your cute family. So glad we are friends xoxo

MamaBug said...

Although we haven't been able to keep in touch the way I would like to, I want you to know that I still love you (and John) very much and I pray that you will find peace and hope. Thank you for sharing. Hugs!!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

thinking of you and so glad you shared! i have been counting my blessings lately and staying positive through a lot of "stuff" that would upset me in the wrong state of mind- it makes getting through the hard times easier and happier!

Melissa said...

I love you, Wendy! And Rowena. :)

Beth Hunter said...

YOU are a blessing, and I applaud your courage to tell your story in order to bless and encourage others. May this new chapter in your life continue to be filled with a waterfall of blessings! Xoxo!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Oh, Wendy, I'm so happy you shared this with everyone. It will make them love you even more. Life is so hard and sharing those personal things are so difficult, but once you do, it frees you to really make an impact. Hugs my friend, life is not over. The blessings are there and you'll find even more, as I have in my situation.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I'm so glad to hear that you can talk about what happened and begin to heal. I too am divorced; and I know that when my husband and I separated, we both became better people. He became an amazing father rather than the Dad that seemed to be always hiding; and I became a better ME rather than fighting against what I thought I should measure up to. As heart-breaking as divorce is, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Just an unfortunate thing. Welcome back!

- Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl said...

Wendy, thanks for sharing. I'm so glad you are able to count your blessings right now. AND, I can't wait to read your next book!!!

Finding Home said...

Wendy - I am so sorry for the road you have had to go down but so thankful you are willing to share your beautiful heart and be an encouragement to others!

Barbara Matson said...

I have been following your blog for quite some time and I am sorry to hear your news...but I wish you all the best. Life likes to throw us curveballs - I sure have gone through many! I wish you all the best! Sending hugs!

arkie said...

How hard that must have been for you to share! When counting your blessings, don't forget to count YOU! Thanks for caring enough to share such a personal thing. Congratulations on your book!

Crafting Chicks said...

You are amazing! Thanks for reminding me to count my blessings. Sending love!

Michelle Barneck said...

I love you so much! I'm glad we got to spend some time at SNAP. You are so talented and your smile and attitude bring such a light to the room. I am blessed to know you.

Elisha Albretsen @ Pneumatic Addict Furniture said...

I should have given you a big hug at SNAP! You are so brave! My husband and I have been in marriage counseling for over 2 years and we're still not out of the woods. We still have a very rocky marriage and I can understand the overwhelming despair it can cause. You are just awesome! To be able to grow your business as much as you have in the past year while your personal life was so challenging, is just amazing. Thank you for being such a good example of strength. Also, thank you for being honest! Especially in the church, struggles and divorce are rarely discussed. You have a bright future, I know it!

Rhonda Vaudt said...

I'm sorry to hear that you are going through a tough time. My prayers are with you that God give you the strength you need to move forward.

Mindi Carwin said...

Hi Wendy, I am so sorry to hear about this. You are truly an amazing woman, and I wish you the best. What a great example to remember your blessings, for truly that is so very important, thank you!

Maureen Wyatt said...

It's a tough thing to go through but many of us have done it and come out better people for the experience. The tough days will come but you will be just fine in the end. Hugs.

Patricia Krank said...

Thank you for your authenticity Wendy. I've been down that road so I do understand. You are indeed blessed to have God by your side though. What is your book? Would love to hear more!
Big hugs,
Patti

T Sorber said...

Extraordinary people don't live ordinary lives. You are extraordinary and are so very loved by many, many people. Your talents inspire and beautify our lives. Many, many prayers have been offered in your behalf by those who care and love you and your family. When we last visited, your positive energy and optimistic outlook on the situation touched my heart. xoxo

Vicki Ashby said...

I think your sharing this was the BEST thing you could to do help you move on. I too suffered a divorce 3 years ago after 33 years of marriage. I felt at first like I had failed and everyone was staring thinking " you poor pitiful person". I trusted the Lord with all of it since I was too devastated to handle it myself and always took the high road even when I really didn't want to. Today, I could write a book on the blessings that have come from both the marriage and the loss of the marriage. I have done things I would never have had the courage to do before and my friends and family ( especially my 3 amazing sons) were unbelievably supportive. I am truly living a wonderful life, free of lies and for that I am grateful. You will find the same blessings as well. I will pray for you and your children and just keep doing all you are now. Thanks again for sharing.

Jane Craske said...

Wendy, so kind of you to share and give your strength to other women. I divorced in my 20's and with time, and perspective it turned out to be the best thing I ever did. Have faith (which you do), give yourself time to mourn and enjoy this next phase.