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So This Is What Happened

I am back. I’m really not a flake. I promise. This season was particularly full. Our little family lost two jobs in September. One of my sons got married in October. In the same month, I also started designing jewelry again, and I re-pulled a muscle that was just starting to feel normal again. The pulled muscle has been brutal. This kept me from even spending Thanksgiving with my son. He had a cough, and I was just well enough that in the last week or two I could get up from a seated position without having to use two hands and every tiny bit of strength I had. I don’t even want to think what a cough would have done to me. I was pretty sure after being out shopping for food for Christmas that I was going to have to call the boys to come get me. It took everything I had to stand.  I watched 90 year olds sail past me. I thought I had a handle on the holidays, but I overestimated myself and underestimated the busyness of the season. When the holidays were thrown on top of what I was already doing, plus my hosting company decided December was a good time to tell me I had 7 days to delete excessive files, or they would deactivate my site, I began to feel like I was swimming upstream. No amount of begging or pleading got me an extension until after the holidays. Then after I took care of that, they piled more on me and told me I had too many database tables. I had no idea how to find these tables and how to figure out what could be deleted. They gave me about 3 days for that. That was fun. Let’s just say that I am no longer an affiliate for them. Did I mention that I had just started designing jewelry again and was trying to market and fill Christmas orders, not to mention everything else that went with starting a new business? Then the week before Christmas, since I had so much free time from everything running so smoothly, my router/modem quit working. No warning. Nothing. I know how it felt. I was about there myself.  It’s been really helpful that I did not completely lose my sense of humor through all of this. This was a two day ordeal with getting it setup again and getting my wireless printer and other devices reset. And trust me…the list just went on and on. But I survived it all. And by December 24th, I was completely calm even though I was still finishing my daughter-in-law’s gift, and I was waiting on my sons’ gifts to arrive via UPS, which they did about 7 pm Christmas Eve. I was so calm and peaceful by then that I am sure everyone had to wonder what I was on. I have no idea. I think I was numb.

But I just wanted you to know that I definitely didn’t flake on the whole blog thing because I’m just a…a flake. I was in survival mode. I had to take a lot of really great stuff off my plate, to get rid of the things trying to threaten my very existence.

But this brings up a great discussion on how we deal with life when this happens. Honestly, the last five years have not been too different from the last few months. In a way, that is part of what inspired this blog. That along with the fact that I saw others go through worse like rock stars. If I wanted to have a beautiful and happy life, that was going to be up to me and not circumstances. That is really cool when you think about it. Life does not dictate our beauty and our joy. That is up to us. We can all live beautifully. Some days, it is back to basics…remembering to breathe…baby steps. Sometimes it has to be about not trying to do it all. It is about making good choices and thinking good thoughts. I have also realized the importance of taking every thought captive. When you are having months like these, it can be easy to watch your thoughts begin to spiral. I had to be very intentional about what thoughts I would allow myself to think on. I want to focus even more on that for the new year. It is one of those things that keeps coming to my mind. I’m going to follow that. I’ve also learned to try and simplify my life as much as I can. Life usually laughs hysterically at me when I try to do that one. I do not want to even tell you what we had for Christmas dinner. But it’s all good. We had a fabulous time. We ate way too much, had wonderful conversation, watched movies, and played a great game. Our little family had a beautiful Christmas.

Ticket to Ride Board Game

As posted on my Instagram…
Fun game! Had a wonderful Christmas with the family. #blessed #goodtimes #family #boardgames #christmas #makingamemory #artofabeautifullife

Ticket to Ride Board Game

As posted on my Instagram…
Ha ha! You had to be there. #nothowyouplaythegame #funtimes #makingamemory #christmas


This fun, family time was so needed. As much as I love this season, I am finding it gets harder with the extra things that must be planned and done between the weeks just before Thanksgiving and up to Christmas, especially when you are just not feeling your best physically. That is a LOT to do for two of the biggest holidays. We might be ordering Chinese next year. Ha ha. No one is going to want to eat here for Thanksgiving if I do that. I might have to save that for Christmas. But I have learned to let go…yes, even let go of some dearly loved traditions. And maybe this isn’t such a bad way to be. It’s OK if it’s not perfect. It’s OK if it’s different than we have always done it. It’s OK to travel light and let go. It’s all OK.

We change when we grow through these seasons. Through all the years of squeezing…pressure…stress…we have the opportunity to grow. My head did not spin around even once through all of this. Maybe the past few years is what made me so calm. I shall not be moved. Just like a tree that is planted by the waters, I shall not be moved. Another thing I have realized is that no matter how old our children are, they are watching us and how we live life. Think about how much we observed from your own parents, conversations that we never had, or maybe only  a few passing thoughts were said, but we were watching and learning. My sons are watching me. I want to teach my sons how to shine (even when the sun is not out), how to thrive, how to have an indomitable spirit, and most of all, I want to teach them to rely on God and to stay close to Him during all seasons of life. We teach them these things by living them.

I do not know how I would get through these times without my faith. The day I was not sure how I was going to make it home from the store, there was some serious pow-wowing going on between Jesus and me. God is my rock. And that, my friends, is a beautiful way to live life. We never have to walk it alone. I read a quote on Instagram today. I cannot remember it exactly, but it went something like this….

“I am a princess not because I married a prince, but because my father is king.”

I know as Christians we have a head knowledge of this, but when you really think about it and let those words wash over you, it’s pretty mind blowing.  We are royalty. Our father is the king. You can just call me Princess Topaz from now on. Ha ha.

It’s good to be back. I’ve missed you all. I cannot wait to see what all of you have been up to and see if anyone remembers me. It feels like its’ been three lifetimes. But here we are once again with a new year and new possibilities ahead for us. We have no idea what amazing things this year may hold for us all.

I look forward to a wonderful year ahead designing jewelry to inspire and encourage while we connect and share here on the blog.

What has been happening with you?

Writing on the wall of life,


***Disclaimers*** I am not a health expert. Please consult your own physician for health or exercise advice. I just share what I am doing or things I have found interesting. This is in no way considered to be advice for what you should do. Affiliate links are included on this blog and in this post.


Topaz is an inspirational blogger and photographer building a tribe of beautiful souls creating a beautiful life. Find me on Instagram: @artofabeautifullife


  1. I am glad to see you are back. Sorry to hear about all of your troubles. Isn’t it funny how we seem to survive when we look back. And how things work out.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • Art of a Beautiful Life

      That is exactly what we need to remember, Kathy. When we look back at all we have survived and how things always have a way of working out, it makes worry seem totally senseless. It’s so good to be back. I really missed blogging this past month. Happy New Year to you, too!

  2. I’m glad to see you back too. Sorry that things have been rough – but you have handled them beautifully, and I love how you were calm! I want to work on being intentional in the new year – very hard for me because my anxious mind starts to wander. Have a wonderful New Year!

    • Art of a Beautiful Life

      Thank you, Lana! I love how I was calmed, too. It’s like it just washed over me. Everything seemed clear…what was really important. I hear you, though, on the anxious mind and thoughts. And it really can be hard sometimes. I think this is why God has been putting onto my heart about taking every thought captive. I am still working on that. Or should I say that He’s still working on me. There is a quote by Peace Pilgrim that I love…

      “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”

      I am beginning to realize just how true this is.

      It’s so good to see you! I can’t wait to visit everyone’s blogs this week and catch up! Have a wonderful New Year, my friend!

  3. Oh wow! That is A LOT!

    Praise God that he carried you through and look at you, coming out on top with a smile on your face. We are so blessed to have Jesus to turn to when things get rocky like this.

    It’s good to see you back and know you are well.

    Blessings and Happy New Year!

    • Art of a Beautiful Life

      Indeed we are, Jennifer. I just do not even know how I would handle everything on my plate if I did not have Him in my life. I would be no good on my own whatsoever. lol Thank you so much for the sweet welcome back. It’s funny. It seemed like three lifetimes, but it was only a month. It’s just really good to be back. I need to write like I need oxygen. And I missed my blogging friends. I look forward to really connecting more with everyone in the new year and deepening these beautiful friendships. Happy New Year, my beautiful friend! xo

  4. So…. I wrote you this LONG comment, and then apparently, I added the math wrong and lost the comment. LOL Crud.

    I love your precious faithful heart Topaz. I hope and pray you are feeling better now?

    Girl, me and you both. I have had a horribly traumatic and painful Holiday season starting before Thanksgiving… too much to bear. BUT, I survived. Thank God for His strength, because I couldn’t do it myself- oh no way.

    I’m just so glad to be through a few crises now… and trying to heal.

    I love this post… your genuine heart… and your beautiful soul.

    • Art of a Beautiful Life

      Oh, that makes me so sad. I KNOW what that feels like. I turned it off. My spam was out of control, so I turned it back on, but I don’t think it helped much.

      Thank you so much. I am feeling a little better. I’m taking it slow and easy…still got a ways to go. I guess the upside is I’m not feeling well enough to do any real damage to myself. Ha ha. But I am feeling well enough that I’m not in constant pain when I’m not doing anything at all. Just trying to get in a lot of doctor appointments now before my health insurance goes bye-bye in March.

      I am so sorry your holidays were so painful and hard. What a beautiful soul you are to carry your friend’s burden with her. Be sure to take care of yourself, too.

      Do you know what I want more of in 2015? Laughter. We all could use more laughter this year, the kind where we laugh until we cry. Laughter is so healing. It’s truly good medicine.

      I’m so thankful for you, Chris. xoxoxo

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