Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

The End That Became the Beginning

Two years ago.

It was beautiful. And warm.

At least for February in Nebraska

And exciting.

Change can be exciting.

And we moved into the little yellow rent house.

And I knew. I believed. I hoped.

That this was a new begining.

And it was.

The beginning of the end.

And I remember how I hated. Really hated.

That little yellow house.

The way it smelled.

The way it looked.

The way it felt.

And then we found our house.

And we built a new kitchen.

A lovely home. With room to move and room to play and room to grow.

And I knew. This was it.

This was a new beginning.

And it was.

The beginning of the end.

And the end came.

And I started looking for jobs. And applying for jobs and interviewing for jobs. And I tried to be something I’m not and become something I can’t and in God’s grace I was told no and I was told no and—

Oh. My. Gosh! He kept saying no.

One year ago.

It wasn’t a beautiful day.

It was cold. Even for February in Nebraska.

And change was no longer exciting.

It was scary.

And I sat alone in our big, lovely home in my big leather chair and I sat.

And I sat.

And I sat.

Without smalls ones around; with small ones no-where to be found, I was paralyzed.

When you spend your days giving and loving and holding and singing and feeding; when your day is full and your heart is full because your job is wiping tears and bottoms and faces and hopefully not all with the same cloth and when you are the Mom, you don’t get to be alone.

Because in the becoming, you chose. A life with them and for them and yes, somehow in them.

And yet there I sat.

And I thought what can I do for them when they are gone? What I can do now—

For them? For then? For when?

And I know I’ve read it somewhere. “In a year from now, what will you wished you had started?”

And so I started.

And I learned words like vastus intermedius and trapezius pars transversa.

Which is a pretty big deal for someone who planned her entire future around not having to take science in college.

And I got this little card that said you are a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer.

And then I lost the card and now the Y really needs a copy of the card and it’s probably with my CPR certification card that I also can’t find, but what has me really frustrated is that I have a full Jimmy John’s card good for a free sandwich and I can’t find that either.

My husband would tell you they are tucked in Galations somewhere.

And again, he’s quite possibly right.

So here we are. Two years later. And it was the beginning of the end.

And in the end came a new beginning.

I have struggled and I have fumbled and tugged and torn and I think of Joseph or Isaac or who the heck was it that wrestled with God through the night and I felt like that has been me. Wrestling with God.

For two weeks I was a sales associate. That’s a fancy word for, “you will drive around in your car in the snow and the ice and you will walk into buildings where no one will want to see you and they will hide their face and shut their doors and….”


When you try to sell pens because you seriously just want to make a living for your children but you don’t give a flying flip about pens (and seriously, who does?) then it doesn’t work.

Then you seriously make like 18 cents in a day. Because seriously who the HALE cares about pens?

And seriously, I may have just discovered why Emma Claire says, “Seriously?”

All. the. time.

When you ignore the voice of the Lord and you ignore the gifts and you try to define who you are by what you do instead of letting who you are define what you do;

Then we wrestle.

I’m done wrestling.

Last week I wanted to run into the Y to pick up my paycheck. Well partly because I wanted to pick up my paycheck and partly because it was Valentine’s Day and I had actually showered, applied make-up and wasn’t wearing yoga pants. So in short, I wanted my check, but mostly I kinda just wanted my little Y family to know that occasionally I can kick it up a notch. I didn’t really run into anyone who cared, though, cause I still spent Valentine’s Day with my Mom.

And of course, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Anyway, Emma Claire was confused. “They pay you?”

“Well yes, honey. They pay Mom to help them get healthy.”

“You don’t pay them?”




And then, totally astonished that these people pay her Mother, she says—

“Alrighty, then! Let’s get this party rockin’!”

And then I opened up my check.

And I looked at the number.

And I looked again.

And I felt lighter. Literally.

(And yes, I know the difference between figuratively and literally.)

And I breathed quietly,

“I am a Personal Trainer.”

And then even more quietly, not audible for her, I whispered—

“HALE YEAH, Emma Claire! Let’s get this party rockin’!

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One thought on “The End That Became the Beginning

  1. Read this quote in a newspaper article this morning and thought it was a pretty powerful statement that could apply to many people in many different situations. From Andy Rooney: ” Closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and comfort-the opening, terror; conversely the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing-the opening a wonderfully joyous moment.” Wishing you many joyous moments with your work, with your writings, and your special mom moments. pw

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