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Investing in Moi-Renee’

‘Ello Young World! I know I haven’t blogged like I should. I actually really enjoy doing it so I don’t know why I don’t blog more often….

But anywho. I’m 32 wks tomorrow and time for the new baby is closing in. Thw first two trimesters dragged but I can’t get this one to slow down!

I’m settled into my new position pretty well and have been there almost a year. It’s amazing what one year can do. I switched jobs, got pregnant,moved, hubby started the business back up.

The only thing I am unhappy about is my socialzing goal. Because I was so sick I spent 6 months in isolation. I had started getting out more, last year I shared my story on Baby Smith attended workshops….and this year not so much.

But…I did join a workshop for writers. It was/is my Mother’s Day gift. It’s the most ive spent on myself in a long time. It was actually difficult for me to actually say, yes. But I’ve had one of the 6 classes and it’s worth the investment.

 

Until next time!

 

 

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Baby bumps, updates and due dates

So……..

I am in my third trimester with my third baby. My Hyperemisis Gravardium eased up about three weeks ago and I am finally off my nausea medication. Im feeling better mentally and emotionally.

LaDarren has started back training…but this time…he has his own PLACE for training! It has been such a blessing and our lives have been so busy working on that…..

And we moved lol….all during the same time. We moved into a bigger space for the kids, we have bigger yard space, more choices for rooms… the big boys had the opportunity to decorate their rooms how they like. Daniel chose space and Landyn chose sonic and ninja turtles.

Radical has turned into everyday lol. Trying to get this house in order, helping hubby with a budding business, growing a human… been tiresome but so awesome .

We’ve also decided that this baby, Darren Wesley Kelley Smith..is our last baby. I’m mourning the loss of never again feeling little feet in my belly, ultrasounds, having my husband rub my belly and smile at me….little snuggles and tiny fingers wrapped around my finger.

But it’s time… I’m 30..and 4 kids under 7…is…ALOT lol so I’m not crazy but gosh it’s weird to think that there will be no more babies ever. I am excited as to what this means for our future, but…can’t believe  how much has changed since I first started this blog.

All the new chapters, new lessons and new blessings.

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Overshadowed **DaniGee**

Source: Overshadowed **DaniGee**

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Excuse the Excuses-Renee’

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.-X

My 20s are gone, I spent a lot of this time making excuses for why I shouldn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t do something.

Time, I mean who really has it?

Money? 😂😂

How? How would I get x,y or z done.

Or worse yet, I’d cheerlead another’s dream while choking on my own. But why? Why would I not do my best? Or take more chances? What in the world stops (or stopped me from moving forward?).

Truth is, I never saw myself as a leading lady, if I were in Destiny’s Child, I’d been Kelly. Id be Ringo, had I been a Beatle. Why? Because I’ve always put myself second(sometimes third or fourth). My pain, my dreams…I always felt weren’t as important as someone else’s and …gosh I dont have it that bad.

I’ve learned to shrink back while others push forward. It’s self taught and I don’t really know when that flip switched for me. As a child and teenager (although yes I had some awkward stages), I always, always believed in myself. Believed that I could and dang it would make a difference…but somewhere after I crossed the stage after graduation….reality and self-doubt smacked me in my face. I don’t think I saw the change in myself and thoughts until recently. Until I stopped blogging for Rad7even(because what radical thing am I actually doing) or for HER (what advice could I possibly give) or stopped attending church…or fellowshiping with my girls. Maybe it was moving to Birmingham and finding out how hard it was to connect to another living person that i wasn’t married to..and heck..trying to figure out how to connect with my new husband.

Somewhere between the move and the marriage the miscarriage and new babies…I dropped something. The past four years I’ve learned a great deal..but I lost myself.

I’ve made excuses for the past four years, I’ve supported other people’s dreams while purposely sabotaging my own……but why??

I honestly dont know, but I’m refusing to let my 30s be another lost path on this journey.

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Loss~Audrey

Author’s Note: This post was begun during the beginning of January to focus on the idea that it’s ok to mourn celebrities but before I could finish it, my whole world change and the post took on a new light.

Maybe Death Gives Me One of Those Fresh New Starts


2017 was rough for many. It saw a lot of deaths for people they personally knew and for a variety of celebrities. I (and others) were heartbroken for the loss of Alan Rickman, Anton Yelchin and David Bowie. There were other people who would make fun of people who were saddened about the lose of these icons. As if not knowing they personally made the loss unpainful. These people were actors and singers who played character or sang songs that we could relate to. Some of these characters and songs we grew up with and some whose lives were cut short.

In December, quietly, M. Lawrence Abrams passed away. You may not have heard of him. He had a prolific career and worked with the likes of Tina Turner. In his last years he was involved with one of my favorite bands: 100 Monkeys. Fans of the band are loyal and had more access to the members than any other band I have ever followed. I have met them on numerous occasions and was very fond of the man dubbed Uncle Larry. He was polite, respectful and deep. He had no qualms being in a band with four younger fellows; he could hang with the best.

He played a variety of instruments and only fronted a few songs for the band. “Invisible Monster” remains a 100 Monkeys classic and only Uncle Larry could give the soul the song needed. The band had some issues disbanding a few years ago due to the band members other projects. But in the last year, they had released new music together. Fans had hope of the revival of the good old days. But then Uncle Larry succumbed to cancer and that hope was shattered. 100 Moneys can go on but it will not be the same.

I cried and I shared the story with my family and friends who knew of him and his music. But I didn’t have too long to grieve; the next group of orphans were coming and I was busy for their arrival. I put away this blog post to post when they were gone once I had time to really give it the thought and emotion it deserved. But what I didn’t expect was that I would be dealing with an even bigger loss: the loss of one of my orphans.

 

It Only Matters if We Care Now

Last June, we brought our first group of summer Ukrainian orphans to Bridgestone. We had siblings, girls and boys of a variety of ages. There were two particular teen boys who liked to push the boundaries and they had to go head to head with me. But a mutual respect grew between us. They understood they were loved even though they had to be told no. When they left we were all in tears and hugging one another. I knew that all these boys needed was to someone to help them get on the right path; they were not lost for good.

A few of the kids were pursued for adoption but these boys weren’t. Sadly, not every child gets adopted but all we can do at Bridges of Faith is try.

Flash forward to this past Tuesday, I am going about my day writing grants and filing, typical things I do when the kids aren’t here. I came across a post by one of my friends that an orphan had asked for her prayers because his friend has died. My heated plummeted. We are connected by the same orphans. I immediately went into research mode to seek out the story. Sadly, I found that I did knew the boy who died: he was the quiet one of the teen duo mentioned above.

Finding out what happened was hampered by language and time barriers. But I knew this much, he was stabbed and fled for help but bled out. His friends are devastated. I connected with the other pair of the above duo; it was true. I found an article written up out the even and sent it to one of the translators know for details.

Sasha. He was quiet and wanted love but was scared because he had been hurt. His best friend was a leader who helped protect both of them. Their rebellion was protection against the harsh realities of their world. At Bridgestone they felt safe. I saw them both smile. These were rare and beautiful gifts which I treasured. This boy had potential and could live a productive life.

I think this is where I was the most heart broken. He was gone at 16. He was killed brutally in what turned out to be a triple homicide. Alcohol played a major factor in the incident. He was gone stupidly. His potential gone. His sweet inner heart gone. And I couldn’t help him. I could not save him from this fate.

I know, I know. We can’t save them all. Days later, I am finally starting to look at this with a clear head. I did help him. I showed him love. I didn’t just talk Jesus to him, I showed him the love of Christ through action. I got to be a ledge for a month when he lived in avalanche.

This is why I do what I do. Just because I can’t save them all doesn’t mean I can’t try.

Loss comes in all forms. Each death of a precious life affects the world and the souls on it. Whether you have lost a sibling,a friend, a member of your favorite band, a student you taught; it’s the same pain. I pray for release of your heart break and a positive outlook for the memories of your loved ones.

 

If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/

And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact audrey@bridgesoffaith.com, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!

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And then there were 4-Renee’

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It’s been a looooooooog time since my last post. Sorry for the hiatus! I’ve been a bit busy housing yet another Smith baby! That’s right for the third  (I’m fertile Myrtle) time in Rad7even history I’m with child. My sweet rainbow baby Lennon was supposed to be the last….but..surprise lol

This pregnancy has been HARD, I  was diagnosed with HG  (hyperemesis gravidarum) 2 wks after my positive pregnancy test. I couldn’t keep anything down. Im now 15 wks and…still on medication. I tried to go unmedicated for a wk…and it was horrible. Im praying this doesn’t last the ENTIRE time..

The boys have nicknamed the baby Tiny Smith and are hoping for a sister. I’m just wanting a healthy baby.

This pregnancy was also foretold to me by an old college classmate. I thought she was crazy lol. LaDarren and I were done with the baby train (in our heads lol) but i was told in August a new baby was coming.  I thought baby  might symbolize a new business venture…not like a real baby lol. But as soon as I got the results i was excited.

Now it’s been a bumpy road. I’ve battled depression a lot, questioned the timing, stressed over the budget….felt like a trash mom because I was so sick i couldn’t cook,clean or play with my kids.

 

BUT I’m hereeeee! Even after all of that, I’m thankful. I’ve been humbled in a way that’s almost unexplainable. Pregnancy is such a God thing. You can plan and plan and still get everything turned upside down. Even with all our medical advances we can’t 100% prevent pregnancy or guarantee it will go full term. You dont know if you’ll have any easy breezy pregnancy or one that is filled with complications…you’re just along for the ride!

So…here’s to a beautiful Summer baby!

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My Blood~Audrey

7c1462d1dc35f8607d759ebb541a59e3I am a huge Ellie Goulding fan. Both the music itself and the lyrics move me. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that one of her songs embodies my feeling about my body and my chronic illness. My Blood helps explain my journey. When I saw her in person tears flowed when I heard this song live. It was a very ethereal moment, and I will never forget it as long as I live.

Let me walk you through the song.

 

That feeling, that doesn’t go away just did

And I walked a thousand miles to prove it

And I’m caught in the crossfire of my own thoughts

The color of my blood is all I see on the rocks

As you sail from me

 

 

These verses capture the struggle as my body was breaking down. I could barely walk or sleep. I was miserable. I had to see so many doctor and travel many miles to even figure out what was wrong with me. I struggled with the idea that my body was fighting. It is literally parts of my actual blood that doesn’t work right. And my blood was all I could think of.

 

 

Alarms will ring for eternity

The waves will break every chain on me

My bones will bleach

My flesh will flee

So help my lifeless frame to breathe

 

Finally I got a doctor who cared and promised he would make me feel better. He did confirm that this was a lifelong disease and there was no cure. But there was a treatment and that helped me breathe and step forward. My lifeless body could actually become something useful again. These promised kept me going.

 

 

The lost dreams I  buried in my sleep for him

And this was the ecstasy of a love forgotten

And I’m thrown in the gunfire of empty bullets

And my blood is all I see As you steal my soul from me

Alarms will ring for eternity

I skip the chorus to get to the next verse for a purpose. I want to leave you with the chorus as that is my hope for my life so forgive me for the incorrect order.

This is my life as I started to heal and fight the pain. I looked back at what I wanted to do and tried to succeed instead of letting my dreams be buried. I refuse to let this disease steal my spirit but it’s a tough battle and I saw my spirit be dragged from me. But no more! I will capture it again and I will be me again!

 

 

And God knows, I’m not dying but I breathe now

And God knows, it’s the only way to heal now

With all the blood I lost with you

It drowns the love I thought I knew

 

 

This is the hope portion of the song. Treatment is the only way to heal. I am not terminal and I can live on. I can find that spirit I lost. I am working towards this more every day! I am so much better that this time last year and that’s just amazing! My mantra? I’m not dying but I breathe now.

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