An open house Christmas craft sale:
my friend does this every year.
She empties her house of her furniture
and sets up shelving and displays.
She creates things to sell and lets her friends sell from her home
(The above picture was of her friend's things to sell. My friend paints a lot of the rustic furniture
and signs and things you see in the following pictures or at her BLOG.)
We've been friends since we were teenagers;
she is one of the few friends I have had through most of my life that I've stayed in touch with
since the day we met who has also kept the faith.
But it seems we've been crafting and painting for about as long as we've been friends.
She started a blog around when I did,
so we enjoy sharing in that experience,
emailng helpful ideas and encouragement.
It is a grand thing to have such a friend!
However, as I've worked on things to sell this fall,
I have questioned whether this is something I should let go of.
I am almost 40, and something about this birthday has made me look at myself...
what it is I want to accomplish in life,
what are my real goals,
praying for God to show me what He wants me to pursue and do with the next phase of my life.
Introspection seemed necessary;
life has varying stages, and I found this stage very hard for some reason.
Home-schooling has been much more demanding this year
and I don't want to feel so stressed with trying to be with me kids,
and then work so hard on things to sell.
I enjoy making things to sell and feel good about contributing to the family purse.
But there comes a time when you have kids that are so needy of your attention and time
that the financial contributions seem to be teetering on the scale of what is most important.
I find that my kids need me more now at this school age,
much more so than they did when they were babies
because they need me as a person, somebody to talk to and interact with them;
they need to know I am really here for them with my heart,
and I don't want to miss that buried under a pile of pots of paint.
It is hard to let something you love go,
especially when you've put years into it.
The first week my friend was open,
things didn't go well this year.
Items weren't selling.
People weren't coming quite as much as usual.
I have to admit,
as much as I know I need to let this go,
it is hard when you've invested so many hours into something
and you wonder if you're going to make anything for the sacrifice you have made,
especially when the sacrifice has seemed so high this time around.
I had a goal this year,
as I do every year.
My husband gave me money for a new camera for my anniversary gift
because he knew how much I really wanted one.
It is a nice camera, one I never dreamed I'd ever own.
I hope to use it for a lot of things in the future.
But my goal for the craft sales this Christmas
was to make the money we had used to buy the camera.
With home-schooling taking up so much of my time, this seemed like a pretty large goal;
but I wanted to use up a lot of the supplies I had waiting in the attic
since I knew that this might be the last year I would put this much into the craft sales,
at least for the years to come that I need to have my attention here, in my home.
I tried to not let it bother me.
"It's Yours, God," I prayed.
"I'm willing to let this go and do whatever it is You show me I need to do.
Just show me what that is.
If this is your way of showing me it more directly,
I admit it will be hard, but I'll deal with it."
my friend sent me an email in the evening.
"This was one amazing Day! We had over 100 people come through today--which is a high for us.We had a record high of sales for one day today. We made more today than we did the last 7 days!"
She told me my total earnings.
It was 4 times what she had told me 2 days before.
My sales at both her sale and the other open house I had crafts in
would make the goal of the money for the camera.
I have heard people question the reality of God.
Certainly creation shouts his praise
and the Bible spells out His story.
But sometimes, in the little details of our lives,
the small trials we face, the questions that invade the little spaces of our moments
when the face of God appears through the fog and you hear His whisper in
to the quiet recesses of the soul,
to those places that weigh heavy but very few people even know they are there,
it is these peculiar treasures that invite the realization of His intimate care.
The Grandest of fine artists feels the joy of creation, the mixture of the hues,
the satisfaction of feeling that the work done is a worthy effort,
and He cares.
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