Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Daily Piece of Heaven

Way back when I started blogging, I had a comment from a published romance author. I had never heard of her before, but I began to follow her blog. I loved her voice and her humor, and I especially loved how she was so open and honest about her life. Her name is Suzanne McMinn.

There was one post in particular that really hit home with me. She asked herself, "Are you really happy?" and discovered that the answer was a resounding NO. So she packed up her belongings in suburbia and moved to the hills of West Virginia with her three children. A few years later, she still writes novels, but she is also now a farmer. She has slowly built her farm from scratch - literally. She now has chickens, goats, sheep, a sheepdog, and farm cats. She grows a garden. Her children are discovering the value of living and working on a farm. She loves to cook and bake and comes up with the most delicious recipes. Over Christmas, she made homemade crafts and shared it all on her blog. You can read about her amazing journey here.

Her blog, Chickens in the Road, is my daily slice of heaven. It never fails to bring a smile to my face. Suzanne posts pictures of her farm animals, of her children, of the crafts and food she's made, of the beautiful West Virginia landscape, and she continues to entertain with her wit and wonderful view on life.

I owe a great deal to Suzanne. When I read the post on "Are you really happy?" it made me stop and take stock of my own life. Was I really happy? And my answer was a resounding NO. Frankly, I was completely miserable. My toxic marriage had started to take a toll on my health, both mentally and physically, which in turn affected my daughter. I walked around like I had the burden of the world on my shoulders. I didn't smile a lot. I didn't laugh a lot. And I asked myself, "Do you want to live like this the rest of your life?" And again, the answer was a resounding NO.

While I know Suzanne's life is not perfect, I see her joy for her newfound life on every blog post, in every picture. And it is a deep and pure joy. She didn't take an easy path to get there, but the results have, I'm sure, been completely worth it.

Though my journey has just begun, I am already smiling more, already laughing more (though the days when I cry or feel blue are there, too) and I look forward to the future now more than I ever did before. I now have hope for that future, when before I didn't.

So this is to say "thank you" to Suzanne for giving me the courage to make the tough decisions, to realize that we only have one life in this world, and that we need to make the most of it.

If you get a chance, take a moment to visit Suzanne at the Chickens in the Road blog. Maybe you, too, will find your own daily slice of heaven!

24 comments:

  1. Thank you, Melissa!!!

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  2. Anonymous9:58 AM

    I love Suzanne's blog as well. She is amazing and now I have found your blog, I will be back to visit.

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  3. Thank you for that link! My mother lives in WV and we're heading there for Easter to visit her. While I love visiting WV (it's absolutely gorgeous!), I can't imagine living there--there's so much poverty and sadness too. Although, I'm sure wherever we go, whatever we do, we wouldn't be able to experience and know what real joy was without the pain that comes before it.

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  4. What a great site, thanks. I had chickens once and miss them. Like your holiday wallpaper, very festive. I gotta get the girls some eggs to dye.

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  5. That was very touching. I can't remember when I haven't been reading her blog and it always puts a smile on my face. It took courage to do what she did - something I don't have - and I really admire her for it!

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  6. I never post there but I read it everyday. Like you, it almost always makes me laugh. And the mean rooster today. BRAWAHAHAHAHA

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  7. How awesome that such change and such hope can come from another's words! That, in a nutshell, is what writing is all about.

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  8. Thanks so much for the link! I've never heard of this blog, but I'm psyched to check it out. You made Suzanne's journey sound uplifting and wonderful; I can't wait to read it in her words.

    I'm also so glad her story helped bring you healing in your life. You deserve to find total happiness and peace, and I pray that God brings it to you and your daughter. I'm here for you, cheering you on :-)

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  9. Suzanne - You are MOST welcome!

    Anonymous - I look forward to your return visit!

    Jody - I firmly believe that we need to experience pain and sadness to truly appreciate the beauty of life. :-) Sometimes I wish that wasn't the case, but I think it makes us incredibly stronger in the end.

    Catslady - I always save Suzanne's blog for last because I just want to savor it. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

    Arkansas Cindy - Good to see you here! I just LOVE her pictures and the way she tells her stories...wow.

    Janna - EXACTLY. I think writing has incredible power. I know that Suzanne's experience gave me hope for my own life.

    L.C. - Aww, thank you so much for the prayer! Always much appreciated.

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  10. Rebecca - I remember having chickens when I was growing up on our family farm, too. And I couldn't resist changing the blog for Easter - I just love the colors!

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  11. Thank you for the link to this blog. I hadn't heard of her before, but it sounds like a journal I would really enjoy reading every day.

    Your story about her story resonating reminds me of how important honesty is in what we write in our journals. We don't know how our words may impact or change another.

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  12. DKoren - I think honesty is definitely something we always need to keep in mind when we're writing.

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  13. What a wonderful tribute to her! ANd I am soooo glad to read that you are feeling happy and more content with your life's choices:)

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  14. Terri - Thanks! It's a day-by-day thing. Sometimes, I get a "jab" that I wasn't expecting, but I like to return a right-hook to it. ;-)

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  15. What a wonderful blog, thanks for sharing it. I loved her Rooster saga today, really you can't help but have a good chuckle to brighten the day!

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  16. Suzanne is one in a million!!

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  17. Joanne - Nothing like a good rooster saga! ;-)

    Toni - I agree!

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  18. Lots of us know what we need to change to be happy but few people actually do it. Kudos to you for having the courage! And thanks for sharing Suzanne's blog--what an inspiring story.

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  19. Wow! That's such a nice story. Thanks for sharing.

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

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  20. Hi Lynnette! Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. That sounds like a woman I would like to meet. I'm heading over.

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  22. Debbie - I hope you enjoy it!

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  23. Melissa, you too have the great courage that it takes to face some very difficult facts and to break chains that have bound families for years. When I personally look at what my mother lived with, know my struggles and then see the progress for my daughter I know we are blest. We are making a difference for our children and for us.

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