Raising Magnolias

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

About this time last year I had to sit across from a man who I have loved for most of my adult life.

And his attorney.

Whom I have never loved. 🙂

The one he promised not to hire.

And I had to listen to hard things.

And untrue things.

And if I’ve learned one thing from all of this (and good grief, God in heaven, hopefully I’ve learned more than just one thing) but if there was one, this would be it:

When I get sad.

I cry.

(OK, we already knew that).

When I get mad.

I cry.

(And that).

But. If I can’t cry. If I somehow manage NOT to cry by some amazing and uncharacteristic sense of control and shear will, yes if I cannot cry.

Then I get, just a little,

(and by little, I mean extremely,)


And it was across this table listening and answering and feeling an overwhelming sense of anger and betrayal and unbelievable sadness at the scene that surrounded me and I could not cry and I would not cry and God of all glories,  I did not cry, but I did say this:

“I have no job. I can’t find a job. It’s like I’m on some kind of permanent vacation or something.”

I think I also used the word freakin’.

And it was a stupid thing to say.

Not freakin, I kind of stand by that.

But, you know, the whole vacation thing.

Sarcastically and angrily and ashamed-ly (is that a word?) admitting that I hadn’t been wanted-

or hired.

or desired.


And sometimes feelings get tangled. And the rejection blurs between job and husband and, oh.

Never mind.

And I didn’t mean it.

This has been no vacation.

But hearing “no” gets old.

And hearing “it’s really for the best” gets even older.

And oldest of all is that it just wasn’t part of God’s plan.

And sometimes I just want my own plan!

Anyway. Finally. Somebody said yes.

Just before her 70th birthday, a cancer survivor with a heart for Jesus, she calls me and says yes.

To personal training.

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And I panicked.

I mean, I took the tests.

I passed the tests.

And even with all the tricky math problems and sciency-words.

I passed.

The tests.

But the truth is I didn’t quite yet know what the HALE I was doing.

But she didn’t give up and together we got strong.

Together we pushed and pressed and we did not rest and together, we celebrate a year.

And because she said yes. Because she believed more in me than I did in myself-

I was ready.


For all of this.

A few weeks ago another woman on the eve of 70 walked into the gym and with each new thing she would say,

“I can’t do that”

And I would say.

“Well, we’re gonna try.”

And we did.

And last week she swatted my hand away from the controls on the bike. She gets cranky like that. 🙂

And then she saw a cute boy and she asked me about him and I got distracted and I kept pushing her treadmill speed higher and higher and well, too high

But, you know, whatever. I fixed it. And she didn’t fall off.

Just showing her that she’s faster than she thinks!

And it’s hard. Harder than I can really imagine but she’s putting in the work refusing to be “done” at 70 and her goals are braver and more admirable than a smaller tush or a new pant size.

Her goal is to walk independently.

To travel with  grandkids.

To bowl.

(And I don’t really understand the bowling thing, but I’m not here to judge. 🙂 )

And for the first time in more than 10 years.

Her goal is to live.


And I get to be a part of that journey!! HALE YEAH!

I stand in awe of a God who brought me to this place in this space and with incredible people who trust me to help them. And I think how many times did I almost give up, back up and screw it ALL up by trying to be someone I’m not.

I saw a picture recently that said, “I wonder if we ever give God a headache.”

I’m sure of it. He must have had like a God-sized freakin’ migraine the day I walked out of Duane Svec advertising thinking I could sell pens.

And I mean I was excited, right? They were really cool pens.

And I kept just a few.

Which is wrong.

I guess.

I’m kind of on the fence about that.

Anyway, we get out-of-the-way; and hand over our day

Look what He does.

Look what can happen!

I’m so proud of my team and humbled and grateful to be a part of their story!

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And on this day, my kiddos got to join in on the fun.

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And at the end of the day, as I went to hug a friend goodbye, I felt something squishy. Something soft.

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It was this. Emma Claire’s sock. Stuck inside my tights from the laundry.

And that’s when you know you’re a working mom. You can run three miles with a bunched up kid sock stuck inside your pants. And not even know that it’s there.

And when I think of all it could’ve been

I’m pretty thankful for the sock.


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3 thoughts on “

  1. Susie Fangmeier on said:

    Beautiful. Triumphant. Real.
    So glad you persevered until HE revealed HIS plan :). HALE freakin’ YEAH!!

  2. Bo England on said:

    You keep it real, I admire that! I continue to enjoy reading your journey and living mine! You are a true testament to what Christ wants us to do…..LIVE, LOVE and HELP OTHERS….HE gave us the path, and now you are living/sharing it!

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