Possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do…
“His power is made perfect in weakness.”
A friend reminded me of those words who knows just how much I hate admitting weakness. Honestly, I abhor being weak in any sense, but perhaps that’s why this all has been allowed to happen…to remind that I don’t have to always be strong physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Perhaps it’s alllll unraveling and falling apart to show me that it’s OK to admit weakness, and *gulp* ask for that four letter H word I vehemently despise asking for, as I’d rather be the one offering it….Help.
It’s been a melancholy sort of day as I’ve not taken any muscle relaxers, migraine meds, nor pain medication. While my body HATES me right now I’ve gotten a lot done. I NEEDED to get a lot done.
It’s amazing how much staying “functioning” while trying to manage chronic pain and migraines actually slows you down.
It’s even more amazing how EXHAUSTING just hurting is as it physically exhausts yours body while doing NOTHING.
I never knew I had what’s referred to as “An Invisible Illness” until this year, nor the mind-boggling toll it wreaks on the body (especially when you IGNORE IT for over a decade and a half! *face palm*).
For those who haven’t been keeping up (because F B just doesn’t show us many of our friend’s feeds anymore), and because it all ties in to the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT here’s a little update:
The last decade and a half I’ve battled migraines, neck, & back pain. Long story short a car accident where I was sandwiched whilst sitting still in a turning lane left me with a reverse curved neck.
‼️VITAL Side Note: despite the local ER advising I was “Fine” I BEG of you to NEVER trust that first diagnosis after a car accident!!!!!! EVER!
Go see an Orthopedic Specialist ya’ll and get checked out throughly before you ever settle that Pain, Suffering, & Inconvenience part of their Insurance Settlement!!! Also, get a lawyer if it comes back there’s going to be long-term problems from the trauma…$1,600 back then *seemed* like a lot, oh but how little did I know. ‼️
I have an extremely high pain tolerance as it would turn out, but in February of this year my body started a revolt against me.
It could no longer handle the pain I was pushing through (did I mention I also LOATHE taking any kind of pain medication…or any medication at all really 😦 ), and started affecting my Blood Pressure in crazy ways.
I wound up in the ER more than once, and the last visit, where once again “Nothing” was medically wrong with me, would start this financially, physically, Spiritually, and emotionally devastating rollercoaster.
Now, 9 months later from that 1st ER trip, I’m facing Neck Surgery #2…just under 6 months from the last one in the Summer that was supposed to last “2-4 years”.
It was a miracle the “Irreversible Reverse Curvature” of my neck went from reverse to straight after surgery, but that unexpected correction created a bigger problem in doing so.
It was corrected so much that it has now worsened than before the last surgery. The last surgery was expected to “decrease pain 50-60%”, and now I’m praying that one more time our God will show out. I’m BELIEVING for 100% pain reduction in my neck after this one! Then next year I’ll get to start on the Lower Back.
Then End of A Dream I Didn’t Know I Had…
“The old must pass away so that new can burst forth.”
It’s been an insanely hard few weeks as I’ve realized I have to let go of one of my dreams I never knew I wanted, but it turned into an immense blessing.
Letting go of one of my businesses (at least until I’m physically able to manage regular life once again without a myriad of medications that just subdue me) is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.
As much as it stings to utter, even just type, the words, because I know my amazing Curvy Clients especially that I’m going to let down (as I remember too well what it’s like not finding clothes at all in your size or just not in flattering fits and patterns) I have to let go of my beloved Clothing Boutique, for now.
December 31st will be the last day Buxom Boutique by BraskaJennea Photography officially will run.
****JUST the Clothing Boutique Add-On…NOT Photography! Just to be clear 😉 ****
Why closing? Well, honestly, because I simply cannot afford to keep it going by myself any longer, and with December 6th as my 2nd surgery date I know this time I HAVE to sit still longer.
I can’t really work for at least 6 weeks so I won’t repeat the horrific scar trauma that my “I have bills to pay soooo I have to work as long as I can move” dealt to me this last one. 😦
Legit Petty Confession: I HATE HATE HAAAATE this awful looking scar!!! I’ve CRIED over this hideous thing that I tell people I got into a fight with a One Clawed Bear, and they should see the Bear! Lol!
It’s all I can see when I look in the mirror, and what I dread most about the hopeful Wedding Portraits I dream of having someday. No one else’s scar looks anywhere near this hideous who’ve had this done, and it’s painful and uncomfortable all these months later.
God though…He loves us even when we’re vain…
He’s heard my pleas, and one sunny side to this second surgery so soon is that I’ll have a chance for a SCAR REVISION!!! Yup, I get a “do over”, but it comes with a price…
Instead of 2 weeks and returning to work “as tolerated” with my camera I’m going to need to have no “BLT” (Bending, Lifting, Twisting) for 2-3 times longer so I, and my new scar, can properly heal. Side bar: Who knew you bent your neck so much up and down shooting that it’d actually repeatedly pop open a scar?! 🤷🏻♀️
THIS is where I need you all….where I must ask for *gulp* help!
With the ending of my beloved Buxom Boutique for income, and not being able to photograph for so long to top it off, I needed something to fill the gap. Financially AND creatively.
I was a mess. Feeling like a failure. Then Abba Father swooped in…
I didn’t know what to do, I was honestly panicking, doubting His plan…”Did I hear you right?”…but like in 2010, when I made the self employment leap He called me to with Photography, He provided, as He always does, once again️
It’s amazing how God weaves pieces together when we’re not looking or paying attention.
When we’re focused on the problems, the lows and woes, He’s weaving it out right before us reworking the unraveling into a new tapestry.
No coincidence Isiah 43:19 is one of my favorite Scriptures…He’s always working behind the scenes, when we don’t see it, and can’t begin to fathom it, He’s making a way in the wilderness.
You see as hard as it’s been being a single income, self-employed woman these last several years He spoke recently through the doubts and questions that it was ALL for THIS! He saw it all coming, and made a way…
What other job could I have that’d work with a crazy schedule like my body and medications have me navigating?
As awful and expensive as not having insurance was for 7 years, and as little as it’s covered this year leaving mountains of medical bills that I finally qualified and could afford basic coverage, He whispered recently… reminding what He was doing January 2010 when He called me to jump full time self-employed.
He whispered what other job would deal with so much off time for Doctor’s visits, therapy, massage, Chiropractic care, NAPS during the day, laying down to work, sitting in a recliner to work, constant stretching, constant trips to swap out ice packs and heat packs, almost daily Epsom Salt and Essential Oil baths, plus even more NAPS because muscle relaxers apparently relax more than just muscles?
What job and boss would accomodate nodding off at the computer because your medications make you crazy drowsy, or an inability to work through sobbing crazy tears because you’re just SO TIRED OF HURTING that it’s all you can do when medications stop working too?!
A Blessing Not In Disguise…
I was a FRACTION of this mess when I left my last regular job. A fraction of the broken I am now when God plucked me from a SECURE payday and benefits job for Single, Self-Employment.
I was on so much unpaid leave in 2009, as I’d burned through all my paid leave in the FIRST HALF of 2009, that it wasn’t doing me any good to be there as it stressed me out even more than just being in pain.
It took a *few* years, but now, yes even now, I am GRATEFUL for the burden of Self Employment because no other employer would dare touch this schedule or this mess that I need to just be able to work.
A Stirring for Something New and An Unexpected Answer…
In the last year my Creative Bones have been aching along with my physical bones.
In the excessive need for downtime and rest I still needed to create. A means to do *something* while still doing not much of anything between Photography Sessions, Weddings, and Curvy Coaching that I needed to save all my energy for.
When the Clothing Boutique burst forth into the world it was a means to answer a problem…lack of truly flattering and affordable Clothing for the almost 70% of us who are considered “Plus Size”/Curvy at 16-18 and larger when only 30% of the World’s Manufacturers make anything over a 12.
Alas, I didn’t know then that it was only meant as a short-term solution and fix that would light new fires, and illuminate new paths.
As saddened and heartbroken that it has to conclude, for now, one day in the future I hope to resurrect her when I’m more able (and to hopefully someday DESIGN flattering Clothing for Curves as well!!!), as my bigger calling is documenting the beautiful curves of women of EVERY beautiful shape and size…and educating my fellow peers on how to do the same because it’s a horrible epidemic in the Photography Industry what awful things we, as a whole, do to especially a Woman’s Self Esteem when she dares to step in front of our lenses. <<<——-Click that link if you want to know more about THAT Vital Mission!
New Missions and Means to Ends…
A strong personality trait burned deep within me is that I am a “fixer”. I look for the problem first, then work out the solution.
In the realm of “fixing” what’s broken many times that’s meant providing for myself. Especially when I want something, NEED something, that’s not available for me. Thus came the creation of my own Luxe Nickel Free and Sterling Silver Jewelry that’s CURVY FIGURE FRIENDLY with LONGER NECKLACE CHAINS and Bracelet Lengths available!
Jewelry fit for ALL…
Ya’ll, maybe it’s TMI, but I have an 18″ neck, yes, I measured ;-p , so the industry standard 16-18″ chains are CHOKERS on me! And the “long” necklaces get lost in the buxom bosom of we Curvy Women because a 30″ chain just isn’t long enough to go over the girls bahahaha! Don’t get me started on bracelets 😦 !
Unfortunately all of the expensive, and even most of the cheap, jewelry MLM’s and manufacturers use the cheapest, Nickel laden (even LEAD laden…”Compliant” or “Not for Children under 13” means it contains LEAD just so you’re aware when you see the labels), metals possible.
I, of course, am severely allergic to Nickel! Ha! Go figure right? 😉 Everything happens for a reason though…even a metal allergy!
Enter the last year of creating my own Authentic Gemstone, Curvy Friendly, Nickel Free, and Sterling Silver Jewelry pieces (Funny enought though I’ve just gotten so used to not being able to wear jewelry that I haven’t worn many of my own pieces out of habit HAHAHA!), annnnnnd an answer to “WHAT am I going to do for a month and a half to not only not go insane, earn income, but to also let loose the Creative Juice?!?!? (Because if you’re a Creative then you know its true…we Makers gotta MAKE!) came forth 🙂
“Love, B Custom Creations” was born!
Every piece is designed by me, B, with crazy care, and while I do offer cheaper non-Nickel Free options my heart is for the Sterling Silver and Gold Plated Sterling that Nickel Allergic women and girls everywhere can enjoy!!
The COOLEST part is that almost all of my pendants for necklaces are interchangable…so you can buy one quality Sterling Chain and change out your pendants with it!
SO, there it is. My new “pay the bills and not go crazy while fully healing” adventure to solve a couple of problems in the Jewelry World! Curvy friendly longer lengths, AND metal allergy friendly pieces!
Below is a preview of a few of the pieces I’ve created to give you a taste, and I’d love for you to join the Facebook Group to get more info on how to order your own CUSTOM Creation, HOST A “MAKE IT and TAKE IT, Wine and Wear Jewelry Event”, OR buy one of the pre-made beauties waiting to come home from B to YOU!!!
You’ll not only give me something to do while I’m taking it “easy” and healing, but more so you’ll greatly help bring in income while I’m down to help conquer all the debt this past year’s, literal, pain in the neck has accrued 😉
To join in on the LAUNCH FUN join the FB Group above, and then head over to Instragram to follow Love, B Custom Creations there for the Launch GIVEAWAYS coming next week!!!