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    Speak Soul Grateful

    My Miracle Babies

    My Miracle Babies

    It was just the other day, at 8:00am I was on my way to the pediatrician's office with my 9 month old for his check up. Of all days it was like a monsoon outside. When I opened the garage I was met with pouring rain and howling winds. The roads were difficult to navigate and quickly flooded from the acute torrential downpour. Apparently it was a tropical system passing through and all I could think of was 'why now?' and 'how am I going to keep us from both being soaked and not be late?' It was raining sideways.

    As I continued on down the road peering at the opaque view through my windshield, it made me think of a not so distant past, when I felt in and surrounded by storms and the torrential downpours and devastation that came with them. I didn't know how I was going to make it through or when it was going to end. I just knew I had to keep going.

    We arrived to the pediatrician's office and I parked my car. In that moment the automatic window shield wipers stopped and I looked out through my side window to witness the sun peering through the dark clouds, directly onto the parking lot I was in. The rain had stopped and the worries were gone in an instant. That moment of clearing made me stop and thank God for the small orchestrated moments of comfort like this and also for the momentous, miraculous wonders He's blessed my life with.

    I then looked into the rear view mirror and caught the sweet smile on our baby boy's face in the backseat, as he looked up at me. In that moment I didn't just gaze upon him as simply my child. There's a story to him and each one of our children. A miraculous story...of God's mercy and faithfulness to us.

    You see, there was a day when I thought I'd never bear a child of my own. The words spoken by my doctor crushed me to the core. I can still feel myself in that place, sitting in the chair in the office, hearing those words spoken from her mouth. I cried out in desperation and was cast into the deepest valley I had ever known.

    My husband and I struggled through many storms to get to where we are today. Ours happened to be with infertility. We met while I was in college and I remember telling him that I'd go on a date with him but nothing serious because my studies came first. I was and still am a very goal-oriented person, somewhat of a perfectionist one might say. But lucky for me, he was a patient man, and still is. He was not like most guys and it intrigued me. His quirkiness and love for thinking outside the box was pure attraction. He kept me always wondering what what we would do or where we would go next. I knew our life together was going to be an exciting adventure and I was passionate about our future.

    We had the most beautiful wedding, down to every tiny detail, nothing was missed. We worked hard to make it as such and it was truly a magical start to our now 13 year marriage. Looking back at our first few years of marriage it seemed so blissful, as cliché as that may sound. We had flourishing careers, we traveled the world, we had done everything together and shared some experiences that some could only dream of. But there was a point after all of the wanderlust that I knew it was time. It was time to expand upon our love between each other and have children of our own to love and to hold. My lifelong dream was to become a mother. It was a dream far greater than my dreams of higher education, career, or travels. The epitome of a family I had always pictured was a little blonde boy and a little blonde girl to be sweet siblings to each other. Never did I realize that the beautiful dream I had would become the most daunting undertaking and experience I could have ever imagined...

    Both my husband and myself had undergone several surgeries and technological advancement procedures in medicine and had put our trust in our physicians and the divine physician, Jesus, for years, who ultimately gave us the miraculous life of our precious son, now six years old. I don't for a second take that for granted. His young life is an invaluable gift to us. This week I will attend his chapel at school where he's earned the student of the week for being "always on task and a good friend to all" according to his teacher. I'm proud to be there and even more proud to be called his "mom."

    I then thought about our sweet little girl, now four years old, that was just twirling and showing me her best ballerina dance moves this morning before school. Her smile is infectious and she's filled with profound joy and a sweet, tender spirit. She melts my heart...every last piece. When I had suffered multiple miscarriages after several Invitro-fertilization attempts, we were told that was it. Our chances of having a second child were fading. I was crushed...broken. It was literally the darkest time in my life. My dream of a sweet beautiful daughter had drifted far far away from me. But I trusted God, even when I didn't understand. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And He proved to me that nothing was impossible. The following year He gave us our precious girl...naturally conceived, against ALL odds. Our second astounding miracle.

    And now...looking back at this sweet baby boy in my rear view mirror, I think how God continues to shock and amaze me with his miracles.

    It was over a year ago when I wasn't feeling well. I was light headed and nauseous every day, really feeling terrible. My husband teased that I was pregnant, but we both knew the odds of that alone, and now even more so since he had a vasectomy over 3 years ago after our daughter was born. He told me to go see my doctor and maybe there was an issue I was having and should get checked out.

    But...there was no issue, it was in fact, our 3rd amazing miracle!

    Our doctors were stunned again, but even more so than before. We both went back for testing and they said, 'we can't believe it, your surgery had reversed itself, which is rare, but there is still no way you should have ever gotten pregnant naturally. The data and numbers show that no way this could have happened, it's impossible! Only a miracle could explain this!'

    God did the most amazing miracles in our life that even I didn't expect to ever happen. Only He can do the impossible. He gives us hope when no one else can. Realize that God doesn't spare us trials, but He is there to help us through them, even when we feel alone. Never give up! Sometimes you have to go through the storm to get a rainbow, one of God's promises that puts a smile on my face when I see it in the sky. The rain may be heavy, the clouds may be dark, but keep looking up and try to find that tiny glimpse of sun peering through the clouds. Know that God is always with you, you are never alone. For that promise, I will be forever "soul grateful." 

    What is Soul Grateful?

    What is Soul Grateful?

    This is always the first question I hear, and it always makes me smile and take a deep a breath while my head begins to swirl with thoughts like, “Oh, where do I start…?!” According to the website and the description on our hang tags, ‘Soul Grateful was created to inspire you to live a life led by Gratitude. For every item you purchase, Soul Grateful will donate a portion of the proceeds to help end human trafficking and modern-day slavery.’ But, wow – how, when and where did this all begin to come together to create this powerful message and mission? Sit back, grab a cup of (insert what you want here) and allow me to introduce myself…

    My name is Amber Rose (yes, that’s my birth-given, legal name… unlike someone else very famous… we won’t say who, of course) and a couple of years ago I was your average working professional with a demanding schedule. I channeled my daily stresses through running, yoga, prayer and meditation. During this time, I stumbled upon mala beads and immediately became infatuated. I decided to take my long-term dream of fashion design and began creating one of a kind jewelry. In the meantime, my company name organically began to work its way into my everyday life. It became my daily mantra. I got it tattooed on my forearm (and then I trademarked it.) I became obsessed with this daily reminder to live every moment of my precious life, Soul Grateful. Now mix in my past love for fashion design, workaholic tendencies, an “I can teach myself anything and everything” attitude, endless creative ideas and designs, and I began to phase out of jewelry and into lifestyle apparel.

     My designs are centered around what I call, ‘The Soul’s Daily Chants’. “I am Soul Grateful. Live Soul Grateful. Be Soul Grateful. Speak Soul Grateful. Breathe Soul Grateful. Think Soul Grateful. Pray Soul Grateful.” Did I say, I am Soul Grateful?! That’s my personal favorite and another tattoo!


    (Soul's Daily Chants Tank)

    I know what you’re wondering, so let me answer that for you. No. Being grateful doesn’t always come easy for me. Honestly, it’s something I have struggled with. No one has had a perfect life. NO ONE. Every single person you know has experienced hurt on some level. No hurt is greater than another hurt. Hurt is hurt. Trauma is trauma. Disappointment is disappointment. The majority of people you interact with on a daily basis are currently struggling. It’s difficult at times to look at scenarios life hands us like that. We get so involved in fixing our own issues that we have pity parties for ourselves when life hits a speed bump. I have said hundreds of times: “I don’t have TIME for this today!” “Ohhh, they are barking up the wrong tree today!” “You have no IDEA the day I have had!” When in reality, yes someone else out in this big beautiful world has gone through EXACTLY what I am currently experiencing. And you know what? There are plenty more that have experienced it in worse environments and with no support system. But we don’t share our stories. We claim we don’t have the time, we claim we don’t want to talk about our hurt and dark secrets and we claim we aren’t ready to share. I know all of these excuses, because for the past 16 years I have told them to my closest family and friends. However, the older I get the more I realize that I cannot move forward if I keep running back to hide the past.

    Transparency is beauty. Truth is beauty. Acceptance is beauty. Gratitude is beauty. Who doesn’t want to be beautiful?

    For the past decade, I have felt led to get involved with an organization that aids individuals recused from sex trafficking. Rebuilding one’s spirit takes time, patience, love, faith and Gratitude. Being grateful doesn’t come easy to me because I have been deeply hurt by trauma and disappointment. When I was 17, I was a victim of sexual assault. When I was 19, I married a man that over the next 5 years emotionally, verbally and eventually (ending the marriage) physically, abused me. At 33 years old those are still very hard things to type, and to this day only a small handful of people know.

    Every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted, 2/3 are committed by someone the victim knows, 97% of the assailants will never spend a day in jail and yet this topic is taboo and females cringe at the thought of exposing this horrific crime happening to them.

    What followed after was such a dark time in my life and I HAD the unconditional love and support from my family. Parents that could afford to put me in counseling 3 times a week for God knows how long. I discovered running, and ran till I would come home sobbing and my toes bled. People experience this every two minutes and don’t have the support I did. It took me a long time to love the woman I am today, and I still work extremely hard on that every single day.

    The International Labour Organization estimates that globally there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking. Of these, 26 percent are children and 55 percent are women and girls. The average age for a teen entering the sex trade in the U.S. is between 12 and 14. Many of these teens endured sexual abuse as children.  The global sex trade is the fastest growing form of commerce, worth 32 billion annually. It is also the fastest growing area of organized crime and the third largest income revenue for organized crime.

    My goal is to show love and support through our donations and by empowering individuals through Gratitude. My goal is for Soul Grateful to be a powerful force in helping end this horrific epidemic.

    I envision Soul Grateful to be a platform for individuals to share their souls. Each of us has a story, few are ever shared. We present ourselves to the world free of blemish and heartache. Filtered photographs to hide our physical imperfections, smiles to hide our broken past and dark secrets. I look forward to the day when we empower and embrace one another, regardless of our race or religion. There is so much power in sharing, and healing in acceptance of oneself.

    GRATITUDE IS MAGIC. I believe that when we believe something, we virtually make it true. I don’t believe Gratitude should be reserved for birthdays, holidays and special occasions, I believe expressing it in the current moment creates a more positive experience for yourself. Studies of personality traits show that Gratitude may have the highest connection to mental health and happiness! I believe through Gratitude we can heal ourselves and in turn, heal the world.

    So, what did I do? I KEPT LIVING. The point is to live everything. Let me say that one more time... The point is to live everything. The heartache, the tears, the laughter, the struggles, the feelings of defeat, the moments of success, when you accomplish your goals, and the tender moments that bring you pure joy. My life kept going, whether or not I wanted to enjoy the ride was up to me. “Find that magical place in your world… and live there.” Yeah, Soul Grateful is that magical place in my world.

    Oh, and if you were wondering – Soul Grateful is a one-woman business. I am the artist, designer, writer, website builder, social media marketer, and model (oh, and my fiancé, because I am not a beautiful chocolate man!) My incredibly talented sister is my photographer. All of our photo shoots take place in South Florida (unless I am traveling solo, in which I have become a little pro at my GoPro selfies.)

    Soul Grateful was created to inspire you to live a life led by Gratitude. For every item you purchase, Soul Grateful will donate a portion of the proceeds to help end human trafficking and modern-day slavery.