finding magic in the mess

photo by Heather Gray

Earlier this week, a friend asked me, “What’s the most magical thing that’s happened to you this week?”

I immediately thought of a moment the morning before. I was buckling David into the car and I was caught up in a moment of worry. The left side of his face was swollen and while the doctor was hoping it’s a sinus infection that could be easily treated with anitbiotics, he was concerned it may be something more serious like an abscess. So there I was, buckling David in the car, staring at the swollen side of his face and lost in thought—when our eyes met. David has a disability he doesn’t often make eye contact, but in that small moment, our eyes met—and it was magical. I got a little peek into his soul. I got to really see him. My heart swelled with love and I got a lump in my throat. Dang, I love that kid so much.

The twinkle lights are beautiful, the wrapped gifts bring wonder, the smell of cinnamon feels like home—and yet none of these matter as much as the love we share. We walk side by side on this journey—with ups and downs, joy and grace. There it is—beauty, even on a regular Thursday morning, even in the midst of worrying about a swollen face.

Sometimes the most magical moments are unplanned—when we’re all relaxing, there are no expectations, no stress. Sometimes magic happens when we let each other feel whatever we feel—when we’re willing to laugh together or cry together or just sit side by side on the couch and watch a movie.

Brave Love is me being fully me and you being fully you. We don’t have to prove we’re good enough. We don’t have to pretend to be happy. We can let things me magical or let them be messy. We can let them be whatever they are—knowing we are loved.

I’m giving myself permission to let go of perfect this Christmas–and if you want it, I’m giving you permission too. Although really, just give yourself permission because you have the power to do this! You are amazing. You are imperfect. You are loved.

Let’s just let this season be whatever it is–and find magic in simple, unexpected places.

PS We’re still watching the swelling in David’s face to see if it will respond to antibiotics. I’ll keep you updated!

I love this brave love ring from my shop.


  1. Lisa, I received the jumble of love necklace. I have had many ups and downs thru the years just like everyone else. It seems my place in life has been to take care of a lot of terminally ill relatives and what a job that is. Not one I’ve wanted but don’t regret it for a minute. Now my husband and I are having a lot of health issues our selves. A few years back my parents were killed by a 17 yr old texting on the phone. They were from another country and didn’t pay a bill. My father lived two and half days. He knew my Mother was gone and I wiped his fears for those last days. He knew everything that was going on. There wasn’t anything on him that wasn’t broken or torn. I had left the hospital to get shower,ect. They called said he was on life support which he didn’t want. I go back. Said Hey dad ,it’s Janice. He opened his eyes and pulled on the tube. I said you want to be mom don’t you? tear rolled down his cheek and he shook his head yes. You have no idea how hard that was for me to do. Even though I knew in my heart that’s what needed done. So when I wondered what words to put on necklace ,I chose love because that is the first gift That God has given to us. then I chose faith ,then peace. Because if we have enough faith in the end we shall have peace.

  2. I received the “It is Well with My Soul” necklace the other day and it is beautiful !!
    This has been my favorite song since a child …when I hear it or see it printed on something it takes me back to our Church where I was raised. Great great memories.
    Thank you for such lovely Memories. God Bless you and your family.

  3. Dear Lisa,
    Please help! I ordered a necklace and never received it although I was charged 70.40 on my charge card! Was the order incomplete?
    Sincerely, Angie Kelly

  4. Hi Lisa and beautiful family! Your artwork/ jewelry captured my eye yet your story captured my heart. Our daughter faces numerous challenges and I know you share your strength through your work. My wife will cherish your “Let Love Grow” cuff. Best wishes for smiles, laughs, and joy from VT.

  5. Lisa, I don’t know you if you will personally see this! I’m hoping you do! I got the birthstone ring from my husband and kids. I have had nothing but problems with. I have bought several pieces from you and love your work, but I have been so disappointed about the frustration of this specific ring style. I’m now on my second ring and the stone fell out AGAIN. Hopefully you can help me.
    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family,

  6. Thank you for sharing your oh so special magical moment with your oh so perfect son. Thank you for giving me permission to just be. To just love and not stress that everything is not perfect, because I am not perfect. You see, I too have disabilities and just can’t sometimes. Actually, a lot of the time. But I have love. Thank you , Lisa. You are such a beautiful and amazing person! Love your story and I love your jewelry. I purchased a necklace for my amazing daughter in law this Christmas and a necklace and bracelet for my husband to give me for Christmas! (That way I know I will like what he gives me! Ha! I do this every year)
    I hope you have the best Christmas ever!
    With love,
    Liza Ducker

  7. I love this. The unexpected from a child. Many times it is something others take for granted. A moment of eye contact, a first step (equally as important, cherished as much even though taken at age 3 and not age 1 and braces supporting the legs) my child is now 23.

  8. Thank you so much for this! I have been following you for the last few months since my oldest son, Caleb, 16 years old passed away in April of this year (on my birthday) after a 52 day battle with the flu of all things. I have found so much encouragement in your posts. My husband and my other two boys (ages 15 and 13) just decided on Friday that we will not even decorate for Christmas this year. We just cannot bear to do it as a family of four instead of 5 this year. We just think it is going to hurt too much. I want to thank you for your words. We worry about what others will think about us being such scrooges this year. I hope that they understand, but then again, what do I care if they don’t. We have to do what is right for us during this very difficult time. I LOVE my brave love ring that I purchased from you this summer. I am hoping to get the sunburst birthstone ring with my son Caleb’s birthstone (January) as a Christmas gift this year. I dropped a hint that the rings are 40% off today. 🙂

    Thank you again for the encouragement. I cannot wait until the book comes out.

  9. Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!! I will be praying for your precious David. ??♥️?? I pray more magical moments come your way!! God bless you and your family!!

  10. what a beautiful story …you are an inspiration and I love the message of this holiday does not mean everything has to be perfect. God bless you, your son and family. xoxo Michelle

  11. I have emailed you before and ordered, however, I just need to share with you that the blogs are very meaningful to me with the recent loss of my husband and as I move forward some of these really hit home and make me feel ok! So just a simple “Thank You”

  12. Thanks for reminding me that things will just happen on their own. The love that we have for each other will just grow if we just let it happen.

  13. Thank you for sharing your little heartwarming story. David is a lucky little boy to have you as his mom.❤️❤️
    I now see where your jewelry creation ideas come from. Straight from your heart as they are so beautiful and touching.

  14. Magic in the mess. Says it all. There’s no avoiding the mess. Life is messy. The question is, can you look at it as magical vs. mundane? I acknowledge the mundane but I still see the magical part of it. It’s the big picture part for me.

  15. You are the epitome of Brave Love ❤️ God bless you and David. Have a beautiful Christmas ? whatever it may be…continue to stop and enjoy every mother moment ❤️

  16. Dear Lisa,

    Your blog about David is so touching. May you have many moments of eye contact with your son. Each of your beautiful designs takes on a deeper meaning because you shared part of your soul.

    With brave love during this season and always,

  17. Lisa, I read your blog and tears roll down my face. It’s hard to be strong all the time and so lots of times you have to give yourself permission to let some of the emotions come to the top and to let them boil over. All I can say is this, it’s only by the grace of God that gets us-me through each day. Each of us has something going on in our lives and so when I see some one struggling, I try to reach out and let them know they are never alone. I just want people to know that with God in our lives, we are never alone, all we have to do is make our selves open and available for Him to come into our life and give us strength to make it through this day that he has given us. May God bless you and your family this day and always, In Christian love…….

  18. Thank you for your beautiful blog Lisa. I love you’re Brave love ring. I bought it for myself shortly after I lost my only son to a tragic freak accident. I ordered it with 3 gold rings. One for each of the 3 beautiful children he blessed me with before God suddenly took him from this Earth. It is soon coming up on the 2 year Anniversary of his passing. It is a brutal time of the year for me. The anniversary of his death & 12/25 the morning my Daddy was called home. Christmas is not always joyous for everyone. For many it brings sad memories. God is still good to me every day & continues to bless me & for that I am truly thankful for <3

  19. Lisa, this brought tears to my eyes. May your son and your family follow through with that moment of love, sparkle, and connection. God Bless All of You.

  20. Please keep me involved in you and your beautiful sons resolution to this swelling….our prayers are for complete and swift healing…..and that part you mentioned in the above story of this Christmas season, giving yourself permission for not trying to have a perfect one…..I so appreciate and Love and Plan myself to be able to do this as welll…thank you for sharing both…….ps I bought my wife a necklace with all the grands put on it , she rarely takes it off…….From our family to yours …may the PEACE OF CHRISTMAS FILL YOUR HOME!

  21. Lisa,
    Your words are so honest. My second granddaughter was diagnosed in July,several weeks after her birth with Cri du Chat . It is a very rare chromosome deletion disorder that will have serious impact on her development. In a heartbeat my family became ” the other people”, the recipient of the words ,”I’m so sorry”. I realized then that all of us have stories of heartbreak and joy, times of calm and times of strife. The sea is fickle.
    I love both of my granddaughters un conditionally for who they are and the beauty they hold. …Eliana Honor and Liliana Grace. I am blessed.

  22. Beautifully expressed wishing you and yours a Magical Christmas and to remember the true meaning of ChristMas It all started with a Blessed Mother, Father and Baby Son. SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT.

    Christmas Love
    Martha Baker

  23. Thank you for your beautiful and timely posts, change is hard is great! Also love your approach to ( life) and Christmas! ❤️❤️❤️

  24. Thank you Lisa from the bottom of my heart, for sharing that magical moment with your son. I have a grandson , with mental disabilities, the ups and downs, can take its toll-the countless worries will control our daily lives- BUT only if we allow it too.May your Christmas be blessed with magical moments.Gods Blessings to you and your family.

  25. Thank you Lisa from the bottom of my heart, for sharing that magical moment with your son. I have a grandson , with mental disabilities, the ups and downs, can take its toll-the countless worries will control our daily lives- BUT only if we allow it to.May your Christmas be blessed with magical moments.Gids Blessings to you and your family.

  26. Brave love …simple words that reflex our hearts. I was just diagnosed with a stage 3 bone cancer and the words that came God is good, time for God’s work and me to obey…brave heart.
    Unsung warriors joy in knowing the Lord His will. Blessings brave heart shining our faith outward to know the Lord how He blesses us.
    In prayers for son
    God is good
    Hilda Lone Jack Mo

  27. I have a granddaughter with multiple disabilities. When I walk into my daughter’s house and Cady looks at me and smiles, my heart melts. She now calls me Deedee. She is so special.

  28. Lisa,
    I really enjoy your products. I am a mother of one (wish it were more!] and have your nativity set. I do wish for an angel though. Would love for a extra add-on.


  29. I love my new necklace. I was wondering, can you help me make a better choice for my son & husbands charm. My son’s name John Patrick
    My husband’s name John Henry.
    When I ordered everyone’s charms for my necklace: Amanda, Melissa, Tara
    John & J Henry. Can I return John’s and have you add Patrick on the opposite side and I can order another charm with my husband’s name John and Henry on the opposite side? I love your designs, your talent. Please let me know. Also I received the Navtivity pieces, perfect❤

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