I grew up in a family of 6. I have 3 siblings; two brothers and a sister. I was the youngest until I was about 10, when my little brother, Sam came along. (Finally another redhead!) Anyway, I thought we were normal. I didn't know we were poor, and we went to church. It seemed like what normal was.
My Mom was raised by two alcoholics, that were also distant and stoic parents. What I didn't know is that it was because of generations of the same. What I learned later in my life, when I was struggling at life, had many broken relationships, and found that I was extremely co-dependant, and that was the reason why.
I had not been shown how to live and be healthy. Emotionally, relationally, or how to communicate with love or boundaries. This lead to a lot of different areas of my life.
I got pregnant at 19.(1993) Amanda was born when I was 20. She changed my life, forever. She made me a mom, and I grew up instantly. Fast forward...a few years later I found out that I was pregnant again. I was (still) not married, her father and I were not "together" and he didn't want any more children. I made a VERY hard decision at 23 to end the pregnancy.
My life changed over the next few years, my career took off and I moved on, shoved that decision down and didnt think about it because it was easier to stuff it. What I didn't realize is that I was hurting and sad that I made that choice. Did I make it for me? For Amanda? For him?
What I know now, is that I didnt make it for me. I thought I did. But when I really looked at it, I made that decision because I didnt know what else to do and it was the easiest way to get his approval and for life to go on. I hated myself for that choice. I did the same thing a few years later in a different relationship.
I eventually got married. I had a miscarriage just before the wedding. But a year later, Zach, was born. When he was 2 we divorced. I met my 2nd husband and got pregnant twice before we were "ready" and ended those pregnancies.
Sarah and Michael were born in 2005 and 2006. I shoved all of the pain and decisions down into a black dark place and moved on every. single. time. It was the best thing to do, after all. I could keep moving and never feel. So I thought.
Eventually, during my 2nd marriage, I began to seek help and healing. My life was unmanageable, but my career was amazing and I was a mother of 4 with 2 babies an 8 and 14-year-old. My marriage was hell and I was falling apart. I was angry and had to control everything.
During that time I found Celebrate Recovery and that lead me to find Surrendering The Secret. This changed my life in so many ways. The healing was unexpected and amazing and the experience was nothing short of a miracle. I was able to learn to forgive myself and eventually feel the weight of these decisions become lighter and even though there were still many years of difficulty that I lived through and more healing to come, it changed me.
I learned about succulents from my mom. She had lots of them in her yard and little leaves everywhere. When I asked her about the leaves she explained to me how they can grow a new plant from a leaf. That a broken plant, that separated from its mom, could grow NEW LIFE. propagation became something I had to try and was immediately infatuated. Ok, the truth is, I was addicted...
Other than during a short period, I have not stopped playing in the dirt with plants and specifically succulents and cacti. I found that doing this gave me a new focus on brokenness and healing, I felt connected to something greater when I was in the "garden" or designing arrangements. People asked to buy my arrangements so I began spending more time doing what I loved, at night and on the weekends. I noticed that I felt different when I spent time doing this and I found that it was becoming a part of my healing journey, which I shared with my sponsor in Alanon. I began to realize that this was where God had led me. He brought me this amazing art, of gardening and succulent therapy.
My small venture to learn how to grow succulents from a leaf and design gorgeous planters became something completely different through several different events, and now it is what it is today.
I don't share this with everyone, but I wanted to share it with you. I still struggle with the choices that I made that changed my life, my family and never knowing those babies. It still hurts. But I know that I have worked to forgive myself, that God has forgiven me and that there is still so much life to live.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
~ Love, Lisa