South Strand Moms

Christmas has just begun…….

Christmas has just begun….. by: Lauren Winslow Did you know that the 12 days of Christmas have just begun.  Christmas day marks the first day.  There is meaning behind the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” And a reason that it repeats over and over again.  This Christmas season is the period in Christian theology that marks the birth of Christ on December 25th and the coming magi on January 6th, also called Epiphany.  Epiphany is the sudden manifestation or meaning of something.  It’s when the magi (wisemen) revealed who Christ was – fully human and fully divine.In our household this year we have some small gifts we are opening each day of Christmas until Epiphany on January 6th. They are not much, but just enough to remind us of the gifts the magi brought Jesus – Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. We don’t take down our decorations until Epiphany. Christmas music is still playing. Cookies are still being eaten. We are still celebrating. To us, this 12 days of Christmas is the Christmas season. Don’t get me wrong, we look forward to all the Christmas things before December 25th also but we have saved The Night of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen for this week after Christmas and a few other things like some gifts to open each day. It seems once Christmas day comes and goes, the world has moved on already, but it is just the beginning of the greatest celebration. So keep those Christmas movies going, drinking the eggnog, opening gifts and remembering what this season is all about- God coming down to us in the form of a human. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” What greater reason could there be for a celebration than that? BIO:Raised in Irmo, SC, Lauren Winslow met her husband, Tom Winslow in high school in 1994. They moved to Georgetown, SC and married and had 1 child before moving to Murrells Inlet where their second child was born. Lauren homeschools their 4th and 1st grader while helping with bookkeeping at Tom’s law office, Winslow Law. Lauren loves to read, travel and aspires to grow anything in her garden that produces hardly anything.

A Miracle out of a Mistake

A Miracle out of A Mistake By: Sudha Patel Several years ago my favorite son, Nicholas, who is also my only child, asked me a brilliant question, “Mom, if you could go back in time to relive any part of your life, which part would it be?”  This is probably one of the common questions most of us could relate to or at least, have come across.“Absolutely nothing. I don’t care to go back.” was my quick response.   “I am perfectly happy where I’m at in life.  Look how far we’ve come together.” I reminded him.After a brief moment my mind started overthinking. I couldn’t help but to ponder on his question that took me back to memory lane. While thinking logically, I continued further explaining myself to Nicholas listing in a chronological order all of the possible reasons why I did not wish to go back in time.  First, I didn’t want to go back to childhood to relive the trauma of the third world poverty in India.  Second, I didn’t want to return to school only to struggle to learn as a bilingual student where I had to work harder than my peers to keep up. College was very challenging!  It was all hard work and the pressure I put on myself to secure a future career didn’t come easy.  Hard work paid off immensely past college and I did fairly well in the architecture field.  Third, I didn’t foresee myself holding a typical nine to five job again after a long break.  Last, “As much as I would like to. I cannot even go back and remove your abusive father out of my life,” I joked only to get a great laugh out loud together.  “Without him, I would not have you in my life.”  That would be a tragedy.  There’s no turning back! I started having a baby fever when I reached 30.  While I was deep into my career, I couldn’t stopped dreaming and it was more like obsessing over wanting a baby.  I wanted to hold, love and watch my child grow.  I was ready.  I couldn’t wait to be a mom.  A part of my prayer was answered, but with a wrong partner. I made an error in choosing a life partner, who left me with a priceless gift.  A baby.  My pride and joy.  And the incredible strength that God instilled in me to keep fighting injustice for Nicholas. After the divorce, his father abandoned me and Nicholas when he was only eight months old.  He remained absent, deadbeat, and was not involved in helping me raise Nicholas whatsoever.  This alone was an eye-opening experience for me as I had never imagined my life as a single mother. Nicholas is a big part of my life.  He brings me pure joy and happiness and at times, some challenges. His existence alone has brought me so much clarity in my own life.  It wasn’t until after he was born that I finally learned to consciously practice self-love, self-acceptance, to live happy, to truly appreciate life, and to completely experience the journey as it comes.  There was something special about holding and nurturing an innocent newborn baby.  I was able to look outside of myself, care for another human life who was part of me and was now my sole responsibility. I accepted God’s challenge to raise Nicholas solo and fully focused. Giving up my original career after fifteen-years practicing in architecture design was a rational choice.  Taking over the hotel business from my parents when they retired naturally allowed me the perfect opportunity to care of Nicholas and to run a business fulltime. Motherhood changed my life and for the better.  Some of my best qualities as an individual unfolded. I learned to be responsible, nurturing, caring, giving, supportive, and I often found myself sacrificing so much putting his needs above mine.  Each day, I enjoyed watching Nicholas grow.  He had my undivided attention, complete support and unconditional love.  With all the difficulties and hardship that confronted us in our single parenting household, the natural bond between a mother and son kept growing stronger. We are there for each other. My son is a true miracle out of mistake.  He is God’s miracle.  I am grateful for my life, appreciate my own unique journey, and feel very blessed to have my only child and favorite son, Nicholas in my life. I cannot stop counting my blessings and imagine my life without him. BIO:About the Author: Sudha Patel was born and partially raised in the third world poverty in Tithal, Gujarat, India until age 9 is when she and her two siblings immigrated to the United States to join their parents a year later due to financial difficulties in Andrews, SC. Patel is a Clemson graduate from the College of Architecture. She holds more than fifteen years of experience in architecture design, construction management and planning. While caring for her family and son as her first priority, she currently manages a hotel in Andrews. She is a senior fellow of the Waccamaw Community Foundation American Leadership Forum. She is a two term past Andrews Rotary Club President, also a past board member of Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce, the Cultural Council of Georgetown County and the chairperson for the Town of Andrews Anniversary Celebration and the Andrews Heritage Festival and a volunteer to Georgetown County Family Justice Center leading a speaker’s bureau on domestic violence.

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