"Life is very much like a game of "Chutes and Ladders." It is filled to the brim with the highest highs and the lowest lows. It's natural and inevitable--that we'll face ups and downs. It is universal. We all have encountered those exhilarating ladders, and have joyously climbed skyward. We've also wept when the slides have crossed our paths, sending us down, and down, and down.
How we choose to handle the ups and downs is entirely individual. Me? I choose to... Accept the slides. Celebrate the ladders."
I have thought about the "Chutes and Ladders" post many, many times since I first hit "publish." The response to what I had written was bigger than I expected, the outpouring of love and compassion (from friends and strangers alike) was overwhelming:
Leisha--"Love this! I need the reminder to celebrate the ladders even when they bring us to another slide. What a good reminder."
Sara--"Love the analogy. We are going through our own speech evaluations for my son and find out on Monday if he qualifies through the board of Ed for services. This has been one of the most stressful times, but I have found such great support through the blogging community."
Emilie--"You can do this! You can do hard things!"
Jewels-- "I love this analogy. My son was diagnosed with high-functining Autism at 4 (he's now 12). Though the slides are breath-taking and frightening, there are definitely more ladders on the way!"
I could not have known how this blog would affect my life when it was created several years ago. One stark and glorious truth confronts me on a daily basis: Blogging has brought many beautiful people into my life. I cherish each of them--each of you--and the experiences I have had. I have read every one of your comments and emails. (Laughing and crying over some!) I have enjoyed all of them. I have spoken endlessly about you to my husband and my mom, and have prayed about you before bedtime.
I am grateful for you. I feel extremely blessed by you.
The love and outreach from my post about Camren, and the message that was imprinted on my heart, eventually led me to the talented and gorgeous women behind The R House Couture. I asked them to create something special for me; something I could wear that would always remind me to "Celebrate Ladders." Here is what they made for me:
Isn't it fantastic?! (Looks like a ladder!) I love it! It makes my heart happy when I see it or wear it. It serves as a poignant reminder to me of the importance of seeking and recognizing joy in my life. It symbolizes higher ground, jubilant moments, and courage to do hard things. It's about celebrating the good. The successes. The blessings.
If you would like to purchase your own "Celebrate Ladders" necklace, you can do so here. The women at The R House Couture have been exceptionally supportive of me, and have graciously extended a discount to Mama Leisha readers. Receive 10% off the "Celebrate Ladders" necklace with the coupon code: CELEBRATELADDERS (Thank you, Kim, Leisha, and Lindsey!)
Won't you celebrate ladders with me? Join the "Celebrate Ladders" movement? Encourage others to see the good too?
I'd sincerely love to hear from you. Please share YOUR ladders with me. Take a picture of a milestone you or a loved one has achieved and tag it on Instagram with #celebrateladders. Tweet about it! Document the goodness around you. Holler for the successes you obtain in the midst of tribulation! Give acknowledgement to your blessings. Send me your pictures and I'll use them in a follow-up blog post. Email me! Tell me your stories. Share your experiences with me. I'll use those in a blog post too! Let me be there for you, as you have been for me.
We are a community. We are strong women, warrior mothers, courageous daughters, loyal friends. We can do hard things. We can do amazing things. Our potential for greatness is astounding. We need to look out for each other, take care of each other, love each other. And mostly, we need to celebrate together.
So let's do it!