• The Poplar Family

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Sometimes we complain about the things we have the power to change.

For years I've complained about my undergarments and last night I actually did something about it. As much as I encourage others to practice self-care I am guilty of self neglect in this particular area.

Photo by Camil Potts

A Shady Bra

A good bra is a staple in a women's wardrobe. And a shady bra can make you feel like your world is privately unraveling. An unreliable bra can influence your posture, what you wear, how attractive or confident you feel, and even alter what you decide to do throughout your day.

That got me thinking about how unresolved internal issues impact how we show up in the world.

Change Starts Within

Is there something hidden within your heart that is hindering you from being your best self? If so, why complain, when you can change? If you change what's on the inside the outside will follow.

Enlist Expert Help

If you're living in bra poverty check out soma to get the "support" you need.

Notice & Nurture

If your heart is hurting and you are longing for a safe place to,

  • learn new skills

  • make new friends

  • heal from past hurts

  • be handled with care

The Notice & Nurture ladies' care group is the perfect place for your presence to be noticed and your relational needs to be nurtured. We meet remotely, so wherever you are, we can find you the support (group) that is the right fit for both you and your schedule.

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  • The Poplar Family

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

When our family increased our invitations to events decreased.

On January 1st, 2020 we hosted 101 people in our home. I know it might sound crazy, and perhaps it is, but we sure had crazy fun.

Photo by Sophie Young

A Friendly Disclaimer (This was before COVID-19)

No one got injured, everyone got fed, and some of my introverted friends probably got fed up with my foolish antics. But, based on the feedback I’ve received, everybody had a great time. This was the sign that was posted outside our door.

Rules of Engagement

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the big family breakfast. Here are some rules.

  • no eating or drinking upstairs. Only eat in designated areas

  • no playing with the lights off or playing with the doors closed (unless children are watching an age-appropriate movie in theatre room)

  • no tree nuts or peanuts, please

  • please remove shoes if going upstairs

If you would like your family portrait taken please sign below. You may now

  • worship freely

  • make friends

  • eat good food

  • and let the games begin

We all followed the rules and all was well.

Our 11-year-old son Nehemiah typed and posted the rules on our front door. He and his two brothers wore matching shirts, and special sunglasses, and worked together doing security/welcoming committee as families arrived. Dads prepared waffles, bacon, and heated up casseroles in the kitchen as moms made new friends and bounced babies on their laps.

College students led us in worship and our friend, Jamah Myhand of Myhand Media did family photo sessions in the yard. The weather was perfect and so was the atmosphere. I'm not saying this because I'm the hostess, I'm sharing this because you know an event is good when as the host, you feel like a guest.

Mama Lela & Dad Timmons Bush
Special Thanks To Myhand Media Photography

Origin of the Big Family Breakfast

Have you ever experienced a sting in an area that inspired you to become the aloe in someone else's life? When we first adopted our boys we noticed a decrease in invitations to social events. And occasionally, when we did receive an invite, we could feel the host brace themselves as if we came to kill, steal, and destroy.

Over time, I noticed a pattern, many of our most gracious hosts were large families. There was an unspoken understanding kind of "it takes one to know one." Our families marvel at how well the children play, the food seems to multiply, and the house somehow manages to be cleaner than normal. Most would have to experience this phenomenon in order to believe that it's possible. As we connect with other adoptive families they too share similar stories. There is a sense of relief, and a refreshing relational bond that big families offer one another. So too, there is a kinship that comes from facing similar circumstances and hospitality that is unmatched.

God has since surrounded us with wonderful widows, awesome adoptive families, superhero parents of children with special needs, supportive single parents, and incredible empty nesters who aren't intimidated by our big beautiful families.

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  • The Poplar Family

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Our love story isn't glamorous but it's ours

"Don't despise the day of small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin." Zechariah 4:10

My husband and I got married at the Davidson County courthouse in Nashville, TN. I was 22 years old. Our oldest son was 16 months old, and my husband was in the fifth year of his four year degree. We had met in high school. I was the new girl who had good grades and a troubled past. He was a popular guy who was an undercover nerd. We had been together for six years by the time we made our way to the courthouse to tie the knot. It was a far cry from my childhood dream of having a shoeless ceremony on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. We didn't tell a soul. He came home from class on Friday, December 17th, and said, "Do you want to go get married today?" I said yes, and we made it there just before they closed for the day.

Photo by Lia Ross

It was not glamorous. It would not have been something worthy of posting on social media. We weren't wearing fancy clothes, hashtags were unheard of, and if we weren't already late enough, my then Fiancee made me repeat after him in the parking lot, "Divorce is not an option." I said it real quick because I was afraid they would lock the doors, and we'd have to wait until Monday before we could make it official. He asked me to say it like I meant it. Over and over, I repeated the words, "Divorce is not an option."

This was important to him because we were both by-products of divorce. He loved me and knew early on that I was going to be his wife, but like so many young men feared the unknown. He didn't want to get married before graduating from college. He didn't want to marry until he could afford to buy a home. He didn't want to marry until he had secured his dream job, and most of all, he didn't want our relationship to end in divorce. He was very vocal about what he didn't want as I internalized what I wanted.

Simply stated, I wanted to be married. I wanted to be his wife. I wanted to share the same last name as my son. I wanted to stop coming up with creative ways to explain why we were still engaged. I wanted to be free from the shame, condemnation, and frustration of things not going as I had previously planned.

I relinquished my dream of being a barefoot bride and settled for being his courthouse queen. I was relieved that after all the prayers, tears, conversations, and fears, we were officially becoming husband and wife. After I finished repeating, "divorce is not an option" after him in the parking lot, and we finished repeating after the judge in the courthouse, my greatest desire since 1993 had come true. I was officially "Mrs. Melvin Poplar Jr." All I needed was a photo to commemorate the occasion.

Old Soul Ross Photography

This was before digital cameras or smartphones so I asked him if we could go to the mall and take a photo in a photobooth. Not wanting to contend with Nashville traffic, he said no. We drove home, put our son down for bed, and began our life together as husband and wife. I cried myself to sleep that night because memories mean so much to me. My dad was a photographer, and my favorite aunt, who had passed away the previous year, was a memory maker who caught so many of my milestones on camera. It felt like all the people who would've captured the occasion or advocated for me to have my picture taken had passed away.

I had no evidence of one of the most important days of my life. All the people who would be proud of us for making it official would have to take my word and use their imaginations to fill in the blank on how extraordinary our special day was. Like I said before, it was not glamorous. But it was significant. It was a decision that we made together solely independent of anyone else's influence. And we were determined to make good on our promise. Divorce was not an option then, and it's still not an option today.

Old Soul Ross

Here we are 20 years and six kids later. We've experienced varying degrees of success, and we have the photos to prove it, but there was one moment that God must've looked from eternity into time and said, "I haven't forgotten their humble beginning." A few months back, we were trying to decide how to celebrate our anniversary, and just when we thought we knew what we wanted to do, we received an invitation from a college friend to attend her destination wedding in Negril Jamaica, on December 17th. Our actual wedding date! We knew God was up to something. But there was no way we could've ever guessed that He was setting us up to have the barefoot beach ceremony we dreamed of having when we were 16 & 17-year-old kids.

On December 18th, 2019 (20 years and one day after our anniversary), my husband and I retied the knot along the Caribbean Sea. It was a perfect day in every way. Our ceremony consisted of us exchanging our vows in the sand, a cocktail hour in front of the sea, a honeymoon dinner at a Venetian Restaurant, a decadent red velvet wedding cake, and my favorite feature of all, a photo of us as husband and wife. #Poplarsinparadise

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