Friday, September 18, 2009

Out Came the Sun

"Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:16

I figured it fitting, after my post yesterday, that a Rainbow is what I chose to giveaway on Julie's blog today. It was after all, agreeing to be her Giveaway Guest, that started the flood.

It began with a tweet Wednesday afternoon. Julie needed a last minute fill in when her scheduled Giveaway blogger had to back out. Haute Tots had been incubating in my mind and heart for over a year, and just recently I'd felt I had the extra time and energy to bring it to life. But I wanted to do more than just open a shop. I wanted my shop to matter. I wanted my crafting to have purpose. I wanted my profits to make a difference. When Julie's plea came through, and I realized the Giveaway would be happening exactly one month to the day until the CHOC Walk, my heart told me this was a radtastic opportunity too good to pass up!

Radtastic because Julie and her blog are kinda a big deal. You don't have to jaunt around the blogosphere long before stumble upon Joy'sHope. That colorful button is everywhere and it's too beautifully enticing not to CLICK.

Before you know it, you've fallen in love. You're inspired by a quiet, graceful strength that grew out of a painful dark place. Moved by the honest spirit of a woman who actively chooses everyday to make her life matter. To see the good, find the love, be the beauty she's looking for in this world. Before you know it, Joy has given YOU hope, just like she did her beautiful Mommy. And I love that.

Apparently a lot of other people love that too! Because, like I said, Julie's kinda a big deal. I knew being a Giveaway Guest on her blog would mean traffic. And traffic would mean a greater voice. Greater voice = more opportunity to make this little place of mine on the world wide web matter.

Sprinkle. Sprinkle.

Later that day, as I was in the trenches of constructing Haute Tots and facilitating the ever expanding team of Etsy Crafters for Carter, I was contacted (for the third time) and invited to become a Featured Blogger for

Pitter. Patter.

I had put off accepting Wellsphere's invitation twice before. First, merely because I didn't think it was sincere. I thought the email was one that probably appeared in every blogger's inbox. It wasn't until 2 weeks later, when I was contacted again, this time by Dr. Geoff himself, and his email wasn't generic, that I realized maybe they did really want ME. Maybe they did see something special in Bringing Up Burns. Maybe, just a little of what I had learned from Julie and Joy, was shining through, and making people fall in love with me too!

Tappity. Tap. Tap.

That's silly, I told myself. That's conceited, I told myself! Just chill and blog. Wait and see.

So on Wednesday, when Dr. Geoff contacted me for the third time, you can imagine the thoughts and emotions that began to rain down inside me.

Plip. Plop.

You can imagine how I felt the water level break the surface and begin to flood when I learned is visited by over 4 million people each month.

Splish. Splash!

You can hear the storm that followed when in just 24 hours of becoming a Wellsphere Blogger, Bringing Up Burns' average daily readership had doubled. In 48 hours it had tripled. And I hadn't even been a guest on Julie's blog yet! I hadn't even announced Haute Tots or Etsy Crafters for Carter to friends and family yet! What would happen then?

Lightning. Thunder. Kerplunk!
I began to take on water.
I began to lose sight of the shore.

Somewhere in between Sprinkle and Kerplunk my rain had turned from refreshing and sweet to torrential and bitter. And down it came. I began to panic. I use our real names. My children's real names. My contact info is my real contact info. I've posted pics of our cars, our street, our schools.

I began to drown in information of copyrights and trademarks, image captures and captchas, stat counters and trackers, blog analytics and analogs.

I was this close to being washed out when a ray of light pierced the water and caught my eye. I recognized this light as one of the first sunNIE places I felt at home on the web. The water broke this light into a million tiny pieces and it was breathtaking. A rainbow of colors suddenly here for me to see, because of the water. I understood that it wasn't the water that was making this light beautiful. She had been beautiful all along. But without the water, she never would have caught my eye. For sure, she'd still be burNIEng vibrant and white as ever, but too far off for little ol' me to see. I remembered her middle name is Aurora. Fitting I thought. Goddess of the Dawn. First light of day. Had the water muted her spirit or put out her fire? Heck no! Not even a plane crash could do that. The water had made her light possible for me to see. The water had bore wittness a testimoNIE.

The panic began to wane. My frantic flailing slowed. I could feel myself leaving the deep dark behind. Warmed by the light and beginning to tread.

My heart settled into a hum that lulled me towards a sense of calm. I recognized this beat as one of the second places I felt at home on the web. The water amplified it's intentional rhythmic pattern and it became impossible for me to remain still.  A powerful and intentional dance suddenly here beckoning my soul to join in because of the water. I understood it wasn't the water that was making this beat move with purpose. She had been purposeful all along. But without the water, she never would have turned my ear. I remembered her name is LOVE. Fitting I thought. A strong positive emotion of affection and regarrd. Had the water weakened her passion or derailed her devotion? Yeah right! Not even the Atlantic Ocean nor the Continent of Africa could do that! The water had made her heart possible for me to hear. The water had Let Love Grow.

My muscles relaxed. My strokes began to come with ease. I could feel myself remembering how to swim.

There were parts to the water that were still scary and deep. But I decided to look for the beauty in the darkness rather than blindly get swept into it's abyss. In doing so, I was filled with an unusual peace. I recognized this peace as the most recent place I've felt at home on the web. The water helped dissapate her fears and questions, her pain and anger until all that was left of her unusual peace was HOPE. A personal journey, battle and triumph suddenly here for me to feel because of the water. I understood it wasn't the water that made her peace hopeful. She had been working at it all along. But without the water, her journey never would have crossed my path. I remembered her daughter was named JOY. Fitting I thought. The emotion of great happiness. To make glad. Had the water robbed Peace of her JOY? Squashed all that was happy and faithful and fun in her? Yeah right! Not even having to wait until Heaven to hear her daughter's voice could do that! The water had allowed her journey to be mine too. The water had taught her (and she me) that even in your darkest hour to look for the rainbow. There is HOPE. There will be JOY again.

So here I swim in the rushing, rising tide. I am no longer scared. The water is no longer cold. I actually almost feel like I am home. Like the deep end of the ocean is where I was always meant to be.  After all, I was lead here by light and love and hope. How could that be wrong? This conclusion makes me smile. Almost giggle at the change in my perspective this week. Gone from black and white to Full Color. Like a rainbow. I've come full circle and it's funNIE. "What's In A Name?" EVERYTHING.

Come shop Haute Tots HERE 10% of our total sales until CHOC Walk on 10/18 will be donated to Carter's Crusaders

AND... is an awesome site. I rarely ever think this - but THEY SAY IT BETTER THAN ME - so click the link to learn all about 'em. The more I familiarize myself with the place, the more I believe this is the (not so distant) future of Health care and management.  I love how they combine medical expertise with knowledgeable and compassionate social support all in one personal, individualized place.

While it's still a little hard for me to wrap my head around,  the possibility of 4 million visitors a month is no longer scary. When I think there are women from all over the nation (and Canada too!) crafting for Carter, even tho the only place the've ever met him is on Bringing Up Burns....I say bring on the rain.

Post in the AM linking to all the Etsy Crafters for Carter. We're talking jewelry, hair accessories, stationary, party favors and more. Time to get your shop on!


Mommafo said...

Love it. So excited for you and WITH you!

krmccord said...

I was referred here from Joy's Hope. The stuff is your shop is so cute and what you are doing for Carter is fantastic! You are truly an inspiration:)

Vindiciti said...

I came over from Joy's Hope. Wow. What an inspirational post. Your shop is full of very cute items. If the Lord is for it, no man can oppose it! Praying for you and your son.

Anonymous said...

Great post sweetie :-) Love the shop!! So exciting!

Carla said...

Wow, I think you used more energy in one day than I will use in a lifetime. Good luck and God bless as you work to raise money for such a worthy cause. I hope more blogs like Joy's Hope feature you to raise awareness. If I had a blog, you'd be on it.

Polka Dot Moon said...

Simply blown away! Your meaningful and powerful!!

YOU ROCK my friend! YOU are an inspiration!!

Aubs said...

You amaze me and inspire me...i am beyond blessed to call you my friend! Thank you for being you and for sharing that with me (and so many others). God has huge plans for you! HUGS!!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

You are an amazing writer. Praying for Carter. He looks like such a sweet, happy little guy!

Chad & Bonny Day said...

I have a 2 year old son, can't even imagine what it is like to go through what you are going through, but your strength is enlightening! Makes me want to be more grateful and happy throughout my normal, stressful days of being a Mom to 2 toddlers. I will be praying for your baby Carter, and for you to find more Strength.

Polka Dot Sally said...

You captured why we visit Joy's Hope beautifully. Now I feel blessed to have your shop and blog on my favorites list. You are quite a writer yourself! Thank you for sharing Carter's fight with us, I would love to help. God bless!

Amy Croley said...

I lovr your shop and what a good cause!

Amy Croley said...

I blogged about Carter's Crusaders
Hope it helps spread the word about this brave boy and his wonderful crusaders!
my blog

Anonymous said...

HOLY MOLY ERIN! I'm not sure what it all means but I couldn't be more excited for you! You are such an amazing writer and your words touch so many on a daily basis...I'm soo happy 4 million (!) more will get the privilege to get to know you and your family through your stories!

PamperingBeki said...

You rock my socks.

I'm honored to know you. Party in the Bringing Up Burns blog!

LauraC said...

Loved the link on Joys Hope! I got the invite to be a wellsphere blogger but did not reply bc I read about some scam stuff with copyright and no time to do more research. But hope it works for you, can't wait to hear more.

mel said...

Here from Joy's Hope, but I have been following your blog for a few months (we have a mutal blog friend - Wendy Hagen) I won her car contest & you won the cluttered purse contest. Wendy & I grew up together & live in the same town. Anyways, love the blog & what an awesome thing you are doing for Carter!

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