This post is dedicated to a remarkable group of women I shared time with a few weeks ago at OnSite; who so graciously accepted me into their group, and exemplified showing up, grace and what it means to “Be.” You know who you are.
-With love and gratitude, Dana
September is almost among us, and we are 99.9% sure we will be ready for clients the 2nd week of October. I have vowed to myself for the past 10 days or so that I am going to sit and write a blog post, and each time I am at a loss.
Now, one would think that with all that is going on, words should just be flowing onto the pages. I certainly thought so. This morning, I sat here looking out the kitchen window; my house as quiet as ever now that the little ones are off to school; and I had nothing.
Then it hit me. Somewhere in all of this, I am ok with just being. Sitting here, quiet house (with the exception of the hum of the washing machine in the background), and a grateful, content heart. Sitting still is not easy for me. I have to be doing something all the time, so moments like this, I have no idea what to do with myself.
How often do we allow ourselves to “just be” and to be ok with it? Sometimes “being” is messy, chaotic, or a downright train wreck. Other times it is quiet, full of grace, and just “is.” If we truly show up and embrace being, one thing is for sure….we are authentic.
Who am I? That is the question I want these women to ask themselves every chance they get. I want THEM to define it. Not their past, not me, not our staff, or society. When they figure out what “being” means to them, they will embrace dignity on a whole new level.
I love looking up words in the thesaurus. So, I took time this morning, and pondered on synonyms of the word “be”: breathe, endure, live, prevail, stand, and have place. All of these stood out in one way or another, but “have place” hit me a bit stronger. Don’t we all long for that? Feeling of belonging and acceptance. Not just with others, but with ourselves.
One thing I know for sure….we all have a place. This last year has taught me that in ways I never knew. It can be heartbreaking and difficult, when we realize we can’t be what others want us to be, or who don’t accept us for who/where we are in life. I choose to love those individuals, while being true to myself. I pray for them, and learn from them.
Then, there are those times when we show up, brave and scared at the same time; willing “to be” – share our hearts, show our messy, NOT have all the answers, cry, and laugh harder than we have in a long time. An incredible magic happens when we do that while others hold space for us to do so, and in turn we do the same for them. That to me is the definition to “have place.” I experienced this a couple of weeks ago with 14 other amazing women. Total game-changer, and I love those women because of it.
Magnolia Landing is where we want women to know they can be, that it is where they have place.
I think back to one evening when Ty and I were refinishing and painting furniture to go in Magnolia Landing. It was late, and we brought the furniture into our kitchen, because it was so cold out in the garage. We were both tired, but there was an excitement about our dream becoming a reality.
As we sanded, painted, and waxed the furniture; we spoke of the women who would one day enter thru the doors of Magnolia Landing. In my heart all I could think about was if any of the women ever thought that they were not loved, or accepted while in our care, then I knew I could sit with them, and I could tell them they were thought of, loved and considered long before they ever walked thru those doors. With each paint stroke, late evenings in our very kitchen where we laughed with each other and our children, they were thought of and spoken about, with excitement, hope and grace.
This may sound selfish, but there is a big part of me that needs Magnolia Landing. It’s where I know I can just be. It’s where I “have place.” It’s where I know others can be, and have place. If the women can see that from the very core of the founders and staff, then our hope is that the women will feel the safety to do the same.
As this post comes to a close, I will share with you photos from last week’s construction, and hope you can see how Magnolia Landing is becoming where healing calls home.
One year ago, she had very little foundation, now she has a stronger foundation, and filled with grace and stands taller with dignity.
Fresh paint on the exterior and interior, and we pulled up the carpet to expose the original hardwood floors in the upstairs bedrooms. Still new flooring to go downstairs.
Brick work to mend the chimney and who knew I could get so excited over new AC and Heating units. (3 to be exact!) A very big thank you to Stallings PHAC for all of their hard work with the plumbing and Heating/AC work.
Our grapevine is abundant with fruit, the pomegranates are coming along, and loads of pecans on the 6 pecan trees on the property. Part of community reintegration will be having a booth at the Farmers Market when we harvest our produce.
Magnolia Landing provides a serene setting for women transitioning from primary addiction and trauma treatment into a graceful, new life.
Our mission is to nurture a loving and compassionate environment where women embrace and trust their inner strength; experience and share grace, and find the beauty in standing with dignity, as they know their worth.