I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound…in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:12-13
The last part of verse 13 has been our son’s “verse” for the longest time. For the years that he was wrestling, it was the verse my husband prayed with him before he went to the mat. It’s the verses that come before it that speak into my heart. I feel like I’ve been in this cycle for so many, oh my goodness, so many years.
Heaviness, weariness, burdens…so, so much. My response to this has been to count all of that as hunger and need. Now I’m wrestling with the thought of: was it all?
I can get stuck so easily into a habit: good or bad. Carrying my burden like a trophy. Thinking that our financial struggle is a burden. Never thinking that maybe it’s not. Maybe I am living in abundance, but I’m refusing to call it that. Maybe I am living in plenty, but I sit ignoring it because it’s not the plenty that I want.
I want so desperately to wake up in the morning looking at my day as a day filled with abundance because it is a day I know that He is in with me. The longer I ignore and call a goose what is really a duck the further and further I sink away from the world around me. This cloudiness that sits around my head is so much the result of my sin and failure to live here and now…this place and this season with my words and thoughts to His glory instead of my failures. Knowing that although we live not yet where we are meant to be, we still live in the time and place and circumstance that He is in with us.
No matter what time it is we learn to adjust to it on the basis of hope and purpose that GOD IS IN IT. ~ Z. Eswine
For the past month or so I’ve been working on one of the most labor intensive custom orders I’ve ever taken on. I’ve stitched a few custom wedding vows before, but this one was special.
I got an email from the husband with photos from their wedding and specifically of this huge tapestry in Australia that was an integral piece in their love story. It was also the backdrop for their wedding. From the invitations and programs to the decor pieces images of this tapestry was everywhere. So obviously, it needed to play a big part in this 2nd anniversary gift…aka a cotton anniversary.
I’m always up for a good challenge so I took it on and I’m so excited with the results. While I had a few ideas running through my head of how to best incorporate the words he spoke to his bride and the tapestry, I ended up deciding on recreating a few of the blocks from the tapestry.
I added a some satin stitched text to the piece to give it more texture to go along with the squares.
I have to say that this piece taught me so much though. It stretched me as a designer and as a stitcher, but it also helped to clarify who I am as an artist. I realized while stitching this piece day in and day out for so long that this is who I am. I’m not an embroiderer who can bust out a million different orders a day. I am slow and methodical. I love absolutely nothing more than making one of a kind items for people. Heirloom items that match that picture that they’ve had roaming around in their heads.
As I’ve become more and more familiar with other embroiderers out there in the world, amazing people creating amazing things; I’ve caught myself so often getting down on myself. Down on myself for not creating something like so and so is making. Frustrated because I’ve been working on this one order while nothing else is really coming in. But to be honest, over and over again I am reminded how God truly provides what we need when we need it. Nothing has taught me this more than growing this little etsy shop. I’m blessed to be able to have the space to create items such as this and I’m going to keep looking at it from that viewpoint. As nothing more than an amazing gift.
I feel like I constantly come to this place and say over and again how amazed and overwhelmed I am.
This embroidery pretty much sums it up.
Every month I sit down and do our budget.
Every Spring rolls around and I question the rationality of me continuing to build this business.
And every time I do it seems crazy.
But every time I do the budget we meet our needs.
Every time I start to think I need to find a “real” job the Spirit convicts me.
I hear the words
“do not fear”
and “in all things He is good.”
Like this post I read this morning, I am reminded of all the ways I think we are lacking or will lack.
But when I look back at the past year; when I look back at even yesterday I see where He has done nothing short of supply more than our needs.
I feel like everywhere I look lately I see post after post reminding us as Believers to the realization that God longs deeply for us to follow our hearts. He longs for us to walk His path. And His path often times doesn’t make sense to anyone but us…and many times not even us!
He longs to fulfill our dreams and so often our dreams are tiny compared to how He will fulfill them.
There are so many things I don’t know as I walk through this day. There are so many things in the future that are unknown. The learning curve I’ve been on as I walk this path has been so crazy steep and fraught with so many fears and worries. Yet, the joy that I’ve felt as I’ve walked has been nothing short of amazing. I have walked through so many days overwhelmed with the list in front of me, yet also overjoyed at the gift that the Lord has given me. It’s a small piece, a small reminder, that He does give bountifully and richly and fully.
In His time and in His way.
I am living a God-sized dream.
Probably one of the best gifts we’ve given our kids ever was this little mailbox full of a year of Valentines.
We have made some of the best memories this past year via this little mailbox. The kids have had a blast scratching off the month’s activity. What made it more fun was that I forgot to write down what was coming up each month so some month’s it was as much of a surprise for us too! Directions on how to do the scratch off paint can be found here.
We aren’t going to repeat this idea for 2013, but instead will be building on it and tweaking it just a little bit. More on that later.