Monday, September 17, 2012

Contemplating Beauty Sees SO Much Beautiful

See Beautiful Woman of the Month: Gina Norman

We can't recall exactly when or how we stumbled across Gina Norman's blog, Contemplating Beauty, but when we did the world became a better place. Gina Norman is a beautiful woman. Her writing reflects an amazing spirit of an individual who simply and beautifully wants to make life an inspiring place for both her family (including her precious dog, Nells), her friends, and the community. Upon every visit to her blog we learn more about the kindness rooted in Gina's heart. Her reflections about life and living and ways to invite others to see beautiful in the world are real, empowering, and loving. Feeling like you're reading notes from a good friend - someone who cares - you also feel like you're invited to grow as an individual through her writing. We leave her blog thinking, "Thank you so much for that" and we often find her words reverberate throughout our day. We are honored to feature Gina Norman as our See Beautiful Woman of the Month as she embodies this purpose.

By Gina Norman
I am so honored and humbled to be featured this month as Woman of The Month. I can not thank Seeing Beautiful enough. I am also excited to share with you today! I was asked how I see beautiful in the world? In what ways do I choose to see it? How do I live that out?

There were a few things I wanted to write about, but I choose the one closest to my heart, and one that I am still living everyday. I'm going to share about not being defined by our circumstances. About how I choose to find beauty despite the hardship and pain. 
See I have a blog called Contemplating Beauty, and that was birthed because I am viciously searching and finding beauty all around me. And I am not just talking about nature and such, I'm talking about something deeper. 

I was diagnosed initially with Endometriosis in 1996, which quickly took over so progressively that it became a tumor disease. These tumors would fill up my ovaries and attack other organs and on top of that, endometriosis would still be growing and causing problems. To the point where I would be debilitated. Always missing work and taking Short Term Disability. What happens is it cause horrific pain, and the only way to remove any of it is through surgery. Well, to date I've endured 42 surgeries. It has caused me a ton of issues, but in short, now that my surgeries have most likely come to an end, I am living in the after math of all the distress, trauma and complications it put on my body. Not to mention the emotional and mental effects. I remember the months after my hysterectomy in 2007, I had a complete break down; I remember screaming and just being so angry and overwhelmed and I felt like I was drowning. I just wanted to have some sort of normalcy. But this disease had taken so many years from me and recovering from surgery after surgery is no easy task. 

I had so many plans for my life! I wanted to be volunteering most of my nights during the week, but in 2007 I had to quit my job due to my illness. I had very big dreams. I wanted to open a women's shelter for pregnant teens, I wanted to feed the homeless during the week, I wanted to be riding my bike in the seasons I could, I wanted to hike, I wanted to be more involved with my daughter's activities. I wanted to keep my job. I wanted enough strength to clean my whole house in a day and then organize rooms! I wanted to make commitments to friends and go any place I was invited. And the list goes on and on!

So here I was in turmoil with my disease and myself. And I felt like I was a waste. Like I had no purpose. And that there really was no use for me. But when I started fighting back, not physically, but mentally, I started gaining strength emotionally. And I began to realize that even if I was in a wheel chair I would have tremendous purpose. Even if I couldn't get out of bed I would matter. Even if I was deaf, blind and mute, I could be used. I started to gain my perspective back, and it was like a mini revival in my soul! I started to pray and ask God what He could use me for from the couch. What could I do with my time at home? Besides being a mother of a teenager, and basically a mother to a lot of her friends through the years, I wanted to find more ways to be used. Used right where I was at. Not where I wished or hoped I was. But right in the circumstances I was in. What beauty could come out of all of this. In 2007 it had been 13 years of this. And I wanted more for my life. And I was desperate to find it. So out of that breakdown came me finding beauty right where I was. I started to find new ways I could be used, and I found a purpose.
I mentored to a lot of my daughter's friends. I wrote, and because I'm a writer, well, that seemed perfect! I started a blog and I have readers that care and want to hear from me. I believe I am making a difference through my blog. Relationships is one of my gifts, and counseling people, so I use that gift to help others. I also right for another website called Beautifully Rooted, I am a contributor there; they approached me last winter and asked me to come on board! I am learning to crochet and embroider, and I am reading a lot. I am praying a lot and I can see the good work God is doing in my life. If I hadn't made these years useful, I wouldn't be as mature spiritually as I am today. So I know that I am being refined and my character is being built, and that is a beautiful thing!

I am also to do light house work now, as I work hard physically in PT and other treatments. It is an arduous process and I will never be the same I was once was but I am making peace with that.
I can go on about a mile walk, and I road a tandem bike with a back rest on it a few weeks ago! I might not be able to hike, or ride my bike alone, but I am focusing on the wonderful things I can do, and that makes a world of a difference. Life is much beautiful that way. When we are thrown curve balls and things we don't plan to happen, it's ok to go through the trenches and get ugly. It's ok to wrestle with God and to get angry. Going through that process will bring you to a more beautiful place, I promise. 

Learning to accept your situation for what it is, as hard as it is, is key. Your perspective can make all the difference. You may not have chosen where you are today, but you can surely do something about it. You can surely make the best of it and find the beauty that is hiding. Because I guarantee, it's there.

Connect with Gina Norman on her amazing blog, Contemplating Beauty!
Connect with Gina on Twitter HERE.
Connect with Contemplating Beauty on facebook HERE.
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Are you looking for a for a tangible reminder to see beautiful, or know someone who needs one? Check out our See Beautiful products (and feel good knowing a portion of proceeds from every purchase is donated to charity. This month 20% of all product sales will be donated to Advance Humanity. Click HERE to learn more.

5 comments:

  1. Ginas blog is nothing short of amazing, and she is an even more amazing woman. I will be reading her blog from this day forward!

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  2. WOW! What a beautiful woman. Gotta tell ya my MOM kept saying Amen over and over as she read what she wrote. Thank you for introducing us to Gina We will be followers for sure.
    Blessings,
    Goose

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  3. THANK YOU, See Beautiful, for introducing to us yet another amazing woman that has so many gifts and talents to offer the world. She is one Beautiful Woman with the insight of a WINNER! Will certainly start to follow her blog.

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  4. Goose, I Double AMEN your Momma!!!!!!!

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  5. Oh Gina what an amazing, inspirational and beautiful woman you are -- look forward to following your blog. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts & helping others see beautiful too!