Raising Moments

ribbitI was a little girl when my grandma, Rhe, started a frog collection for me.  By the age of ten, I must have accumulated over one hundred frogs — metal frogs, paper mâché frogs, plastic frogs, tall frogs, chubby frogs and lots of Kermit the frogs. You name it, I had it in my prized frog collection. It was a collection that I kept stored in a box that I’d lined proudly with floral wrapping paper as if to mimic nature. 

I took my frogs out from time to time to polish them, parade them around the house and to make sure they always looked shiny and new.

frogsIn addition to my wide-assortment of frog figurines, I had a real frog, Hop-along Cassidy, whom I’d named after the fiction cowboy hero I admired. That I called him that, still makes me laugh.

One night, our family went to see a movie. Upon our return, we found our house had been burglarized and ransacked. When I entered my bedroom, I discovered my entire frog collection was broken and smashed to pieces. 

I WOULD NEVER COLLECT ANYTHING AGAIN.

A little over five years ago, my life was smashed and broken into pieces by a failed California economy, job losses (plural) and a cancer scare. What I hadn’t lost in that season of life, I loaded into a 14-foot moving truck and blindly hauled to Austin, TX along with my dog, The Judge. (Read more about that HERE)

I arrived in Texas with new-found perspective and fresh hope, ready to tackle the world and create new memories in this phenomenal land.

And I have done all of that. 

And much more.

I’ve met some of the nicest people on the planet in Texas who’ve made my side hurt from laughter and cupped my tears whenever they fell. 

I made a best friend in Austin who taught me to celebrate every moment that we’re given…until one day, all of her moments came to an end.

And, I fell in love with a man from Amarillo who taught me that just because we create perfect moments together, doesn’t always mean we are capable of gripping them the same way. And our relationship slipped out of grip.

The truth is, what we each do with our moments — whether we choose to toss them or hold them, trash them or cherish them, degrade them or honor them — is entirely up to us.

And so, my adult life has been a slow-churn of relinquishing plans, repurposing dreams and learning to honor and uphold ALL of the moments I’ve been granted — even when they don’t look the way of my dreams:

Where I once dreamt of being a wife, I now simply pray for more moments to demonstrate faithfulness and dependability.

Where I once dreamt of being a mom, I now pray for more moments to be nurturing.

Where I once prayed to make a home,  I now pray for more moments to welcome strangers.

I have no husband, no kids, no home to call my own. But I do have some phenomenal moments etched deep into the lining of my soul.

And before you start thinking “Oh what I’d give to have such freedom,” realize that I NEVER wanted a life void of a family, particularly a life partner, to call my own. But believing we ought to celebrate every season of life that we’ve been given, instead of focusing on raising kids, I focus on raising moments.

EVERY TINY MOMENT TELLS A STORY ALL ITS OWN.

me and my sisly

a special moment with my wombmate

These last five and a half years in Austin, Texas have been the most extraordinary years of my life.  

I have swum in a veritable bowl of queso-filled joy in this place. I’ve had rambling conversations with strangers, took road trips to nowhere, learned to two-step under the stars and loved passionately deep in the heart of Texas.

The people,

The smells,

The flavors,

The sounds of this place,

I have raised unmatched moments here that I will never, ever forget!

Even as I type this, all the special moments I’ve collected are circling in my mind — and starting to run down my face. 

Texas, you’ve welcomed me with open arms and I remain overwhelmed by the love I’ve received here. 

But now, it is time for me to be on my way to my next adventure…

“LIFE IS AN INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE OR NOTHING AT ALL.” — Helen Keller

Adventure quote

We raise moments, incredible moments (holy moments even) -when we seek God’s face and move in the direction of His voice. When we agree to meet Him in unexpected places and make ourselves available, God uses that movement forward for our growth and always does immeasurably more in us.

They say that without action, you aren’t going anywhere. So for me, adventurous faith means moving to a new town and knowing that, just as it was in Texas, I will find Jesus unexpetedly hiding in the people and the moments I will soon know in the place they call Georgia.

As I prepare to leave Austin, I am frightened and amazed at the same time. I am truthfully scared out of my ever-loving mind to take yet another step alone, but somehow I’m able to rest in confidence knowing Jesus, who goes before me, will greet me when I arrive.

MY PRAYER AS OF LATE HAS BEEN THAT MY LIFE WOULD BE MARKED BY HIS GLORY. 

Sure, I’ve spent seven years recapping the disheartening show that is The Bachelor and penned many a snarky story about my jigsawed love life. But were I to die today, I wouldn’t want to be remembered for any of that.

I want to be known as a follower of Jesus; a daughter of Christ who exuded courage, adventure, and faith as she danced forward in life, raising moments of glory as she went.

And so, as I take another spin across the dance floor of my unpredictable life, it is with complete giddiness and delight (and a few tears in my eyes) that I tell you that I’ve accepted a once in a lifetime opportunity to write full-time. I am joining a digital media company, Ghost Post Media, located in Atlanta, Georgia, Y’all!

Georgia
One of my favorite things to do is to venture somewhere I’ve never been.

Thus, I’m seizing this opportunity to explore a new state, to raise new moments in the south and to follow the Lord’s leading.  And as an added benefit, I’ll be closer to my extended family and friends who live in Virginia and the Carolinas. Yeehaw!

alone

MY LIFE HAS BEEN A SERIES OF MOMENTS STRUNG TOGETHER BY ADVENTUROUS FAITH. 

I can’t pretend to know what path I’m on in life. I certainly would not have anticipated moving to Aspen, Austin, and Atlanta in the last six years. But boy, oh boy what a wonderful ride I’m on! Some roads have been long and windy and have threatened to completely halt my journey altogether. 

But as for all the other roads? Well, to all the roads that led me across the path of pain that turned to peace,  loss that turned to wonder, and trouble that turned to triumph, I want to thank thee. Because of you, the moments I’ve raised since have been more vivid, rich, enunciated and glorifying.

So, cheers to the moments we will each raise from this “moment” forward.

And may the good Lord continue to “turn our wailing into dancing, clothe us with joy, and may our hearts sing to Him and not be silent. Oh Lord my God, I give you thanks. Forever!” (Psalm 30:11-12)

raising moments

This is not goodbye for I will see you when I see you, Texas.  And I will carry you in my heart. Forever.

Until then, please come visit, y’all! (and bring breakfast tacos!)

All my Love,

“Debra Jean”

Comments

  1. Jen says

    Damn you, now I’m crying! You are remarkably courageous. The way you live your life with passion and zest for life is to be admired. But the way you live your life for Jesus is to be emulated. Blessings to you as you go on your way. Enjoy every “moment.” xo

  2. Michelle Pollock says

    Inspiring post!!! I love everything about this. Debbie: You’re one of a kind and an incredible person. I wish you so much good luck in your new, EXCITING adventure!

  3. Scott G says

    Very excited for you! I recall thinking when we first met at the Four Seasons that you were special (and I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way – ha) You cracked me up then and every time I saw you after that (which has been way too long btw) Your way with words is crazy good – Austin’s loss, Atlanta’s gain. You’ll make a great Southern Belle though!! Best wishes.

    • Debbie Smith says

      It has been way too long. I blame all the music festivals. HA! Thank you, Scott. I feel the same about you. You are one of a kind and I am honored to have met you in Texas and will look forward to knowing you from Georgia.

  4. Steph says

    Life is an adventure Deb and you live it to the fullest ! I love you girl in every stage of your adventure, lets find some Deb/Steph fun in Atlanta 🙂

    Cheers to you & next Amazing experience
    Steph

  5. Becky dunham says

    Wow! How great for you. We will definitely miss you here on Fairmont Circle. Georgia is an amazing place, the birthplace of my mother and our roots run deep there. I have a friend who is from Atlanta and has moved back recently, Austin was his adopted home for several years as well. I know you and he will be fast friends and he would love to show you around. He is amazing, young but amazing! His name is Jack Chapman and his number is 404-641-4708. Please give him a call, he is so cool. I will give him a heads up and if you want to give me your phone number I can pass it along! Till we meet again sweet girl…

  6. Anonymous says

    Wow! That’s beautiful writing my dear niece. So, off you go to a new adventure. We will be about 4 hrs away, a nice weekend visiting with us. When does your new job start, where are you living, details please Love, auntie linda

  7. Jenny Sepulveda says

    You brought tears to my eyes Debbie. May this journey provide your best moments yet! I am so excited for you!

  8. Happy says

    Well this is beautiful. You inspire me Deb, thank you for sharing your heart and soul. What a journey this life is! I love how you embrace it. I will be praying for your new adventure and that you find the best new places, people and memories!!

  9. Greg Schroeder says

    You are an amazing woman Debbie! To take on all that you have and to express what you have here in this love letter to Texas – is admirable. Your focus on Jesus is the right thing to do – again. He won’t let you down – ever.

    I envy, admire and salute you. Can’t wait to hear how this unfolds. God’s speed!

    Greg

    • Debbie Smith says

      Thank you so much, Greg! Your encouragement and support of me through the years means the world to me, I am truly honored to know you and call you friend! – Deb

  10. S. Pie says

    ❤️

    – great first date, best ever!
    – let’s dance like a stripper!
    – let me smack you in the face!
    – do a split on the wall and leave a mark, like you have left on my heart!

    I love your basket, Debbie Pie!

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