Connection is the cornerstone of this company, and the story of pendant 103 is a story of connection. This was the very first pendant that I ever made…and to be honest, I never intended to part with it, but sometimes connection happens and plans change.
We were living in England when my daughter got very, very sick. While in the hospital a friend I had only met once reached out to me to let me know she was thinking of us during such a difficult time.
From that day forward this old, new friend and I continued to write to one another about motherhood, work, daily struggles and joys.
And this is the beautiful thing about connection. When two people are willing to be real and raw and reveal their brokenness to one another, connection can swoop right in, traveling across oceans and through computer screens to heal wounds. And that’s just what happened.
As we continued to write to one another, her struggles were my struggles; her pain was my pain, and I could see so much of myself in her despite the fact we had only met one brief time. I was moved to pass my pendant along to her so I packed it up and sent it traveling over the ocean from Salisbury, England to Dayton, Ohio.
When she received it she wrote me the following:
“NOTHING feels like it’s going right. I needed something, ANYTHING and then there, right on my table was a little gift. I didn’t know what to expect…And suddenly I knew what it was. It was the strength to…get through everything in good time. A reason to dust myself off and remember I will always have my strength. I truly cannot believe it came today. A little miracle in my chaos.”
That’s connection at work – a circle of safety for our souls.
After six years as a “boy mom” to my two little guys, I was excited to welcome a baby girl to our family. Life was grand. Three healthy kids, a decade long marriage, and so many blessings. But something wasn’t right. And I knew exactly what it was. Postpartum depression. Lack of sleep. Loss of identity. It’s a slippery slope that I had previously been down after the birth of each child. Fast forward to February of 2018, she was 8 months old and still waking every couple of hours. I was a mess. Between big kids, a feeling of disorganization, a horrible body image, utter exhaustion, a new baby, walking away from my career, working on my marriage, and just about everything in between. One day I decided I was tired of cooking and I was going to make enough chicken soup to feed my soul and my family for an entire week. I cooked all day, turned the heat down low, and went to bed. When I came out the next morning I saw that my husband (probably in attempt to ensure that I didn’t burn the house down) had turned the burner off. The soup that I had spent all day on, with all homemade ingredients, was left out all night and completely spoiled. I absolutely lost my mind (and my temper) on my husband. It was on that very day, I opened my mailbox to the sweetest surprise … all the way from England. My dear friend Lesley, who was living in England temporarily and had been talking me through my new state of madness, had gifted me my very own necklace. But it wasn’t just any necklace. Lesley happens to be the creator of Strength for the Journey and it was the FIRST necklace that she ever created. The one she had worn since she decided to start her business. The one that gave her the strength she needed until she was ready to pass it along, and for whatever reason, she chose to pass it to me. I was moved to full on ugly cry tears. I ripped that sucker right out of the package and wore it every single day. That necklace became the strength I needed to not only get through the chicken soup fiasco, the sleepless nights, and that first year of motherhood, but also through my life.
I’m passing this necklace to my sister who lives in Arizona. It is my hope that she will feel me with her every day as she finds the strength to navigate some health issues, a child with type one diabetes, her two first-born children (twins) flying the nest, and entering a decade she just doesn’t quite feel ready for, but will embrace with grace.