Grateful, One Day at a Time

Gratitude, some people say, stems from how we choose to look at life. So, is your glass half empty, or hall full this Thanksgiving season?

Meet two Garner women who refuse to see their glass as anything but overflowing, despite trials that might have knocked others out.

These gals say “Yes!” to being thankful this holiday season, holding fast to their faith and to each other.

Read on to be inspired:

Longtime business partners Lisa Stanley and Teresa Butler have faced broken-down cars, divorce, sending sons off to the military, and even cancer.

The struggles have made them “closer than sisters,” they say, and their faith sees them through.   

Owners of Studio 121 in Garner, the women were forced to start from scratch when their salon site changed hands after 28 years. Minus capital, they each borrowed $1,000 to create a new home for their salon, on Timber Drive.

“Our credit was not good, but the landlord gave us a chance,” Stanley said. “Then, the morning of our lease signing, the transmission fell out of Teresa’s car. And we found out more money was due the next day.”

“We didn’t have a dollar,” Butler said, “but we laughed till we were silly and prayed about it.”

The next morning came a call to Stanley offering an insurance settlement from a past car accident. That money went straight to the landlord.

They prayed over the site’s glued-down pink carpet, and a local workman volunteered to help replace it. Clients, family and friends provided building, wiring and plumbing help.

And a customer who considered contributing a coffeepot to the salon instead gave the women a $500 check — the exact amount needed to make that month’s rent.

“These are just some of the examples of how God’s hand has been in this at every turn,” Stanley said. “The Lord can bring good out of trouble.”

But the drama wasn’t over. Two days after opening the new salon, Stanley found a lump that led to a double mastectomy and a year in treatments, Butler at her side.

Money was tight, and more than once, the salon’s power and phone were cut off.

“Not even for half a moment did we think to quit,” Butler said. “We knew we had to make it. Failure is not in our vocabulary.”   

Across town another stylist was praying on her own salon situation, hoping to find a new home for her staff of three. It was a match made in heaven as the two salons merged, with even equipment blending seamlessly, right down to suiting two left-handed hairstylists.

Today, Butler and Stanley keep up a lively banter while serving clients, including an entertaining “who’s the queen” routine.  

Studio 121 gives back to the community via haircuts for people with special needs, a cause that hits home for two salon employees. The salon also offers its services to the homeless, and collects food for the needy.

Stanley and Butler say they’re thankful for their customers, the staff and each other. Most of all, they’re thankful to their God, and his faithfulness to them throughout this journey.

“You can’t make this stuff up!” Butler said, “so there’s no sense worrying about tomorrow. Take it one day at a time, and be thankful.”

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