This is the blog post that I envisioned writing a year from now. You see, in a year from now, I’d be able to talk about my dreams with the full knowledge that I was successful and I didn’t fail. I would’ve typed this out in my swanky office (complete with some touches of pink and gold) in a gorgeous all-black outfit with perfect hair and nails and would be making a decent living doing the thing I love most. Problem is…if I wait until things are perfect to share that doesn’t help you or me. So with all the sucking up of pride that I have, here’s my current story:
I was driving through the winding back roads of Wisconsin on my way to work when I felt it. The once colorful and scenic landscape that I would marvel at daily seemed dreary and ordinary. I couldn’t help but to feel like I wasn’t on the right path and this road wasn’t carrying me to where I wanted to go. It’s time to move on from your job. That thought popped in my head and I immediately listed the reasons why I couldn’t. I loved my co-workers. I didn’t have another job sealed at the moment. I also placed some of my self-worth in my job title or in the fact that I even had a job title. How would I be okay if that didn’t work out? That’s when it hit me. I felt God’s presence and a clear voice say, “Do you trust me or not?” At that moment I was filled with the gamut of emotions. I was taken back. I was scared. I was happy. I was jumbled. And I was so thankful that God thought to give little ole me a sense of clarity on how I was to move forward with my life. “I do trust you…” I whispered. I didn’t know the outcome, which was the frightening part, but I knew at least the start of what I had to do. That same week I had an interview with a new company and took that as maybe this was the job God had set aside for me to move on to. I don’t always trust myself, but I always strive to put my trust in God. He is a good GOOD shepherd and his plans are always better than my own. If I started to talk myself out of quitting my stable job it was very easy. I found that after some internal mental back and forth, I was able to listen to that voice, and through several tears…and I mean several…and the support of my friends and family, I left. The new job offer didn’t work out, which I found out after I had left…but I think it needed to happen to put me where I was and am now. Some of you might have seen the mug I put in my shop that looks like this and says “Do you trust me? -God?” I created that after this experience as a reminder to myself and as a possible help for others.
What’s happened since then? So much. At first, I took a vacation to try to rest. I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time in my life! I cooked some intricate homemade meals that I’m now wishing I took pictures of. I walked most mornings when it was nice outside and tried to get myself in a good routine. I got job offers that weren’t right and that I turned down. I got an interview with a dream company of mine, and after many prayers on that, I was rejected. I was fearful at times after my failures but I tried to calm myself by trusting God’s plan. It wasn’t until I was two weeks into a darn COVID-related quarantine when I finally picked up the round paper mache ornaments that I bought on sale on a whim from Hobby Lobby and pulled out some paints I purchased over a year ago. I bought them knowing that my normal Christmas fund was going to be spent on bills, and resolved to paint them as gifts for my friends.
I pulled out my paints that day fully knowing that I’m not the best painter in the world. There have been times where I have a vision of a craft in mind and when I tried to execute it, it turned out like garbage. So when I pulled out that first ornament and decided to paint a Christmas cat, I hoped for the best but prepared for less. But when I finished, I smiled. And then I did the next one and it turned out. And the next one. I shared a picture on Facebook because I was happy and my sweet friend JoLynn said she wanted one of the Christmas cats for her tree! And then my lovely friend Marissa wanted some of her two dogs! They trusted me with something I considered so special!! I can honestly say, and still feel, that in the month where I was painting ornaments for people, God was guiding my hand. I’ve never done that many correct crafts in a row and liked them! haha And the time spent painting felt unique to me. If God was guiding my hand, it gave us both joy, and I really felt it. I ended up making several, even for people I didn’t know personally, and it really helped me that month.
The joy, the positive feedback, and the suggestion of others are what had me start to look into opening my very own creative venture as a business. When I had the realization that this could be what God had in mind for me as a job, I broke down with joy. It would be a dream come true. It’s one of my heart’s biggest desires. I’ve always wanted to make something like this happen but wasn’t sure how. I’ve never felt fully capable, but that was when I was used to relying on just myself. Even if I fail and this isn’t the final plan, I still have God.
Looking into opening an Etsy Shop I was guided to a way to logistically have my creative ideas be placed on mugs and shirts for my shop, along with my hand-painted projects. I do think God placed these stepping stones for me to find and just when I would land on one, He would reveal the other. I have so much more that I want to say with this, but I also don’t want to write a novel. It’s been crazy. It’s been scary and it’s been exciting. I doubt myself. I’ve had to learn a lot (especially computer technical stuff.) I know this might not happen. I’m trying to keep myself grounded but I’m also going to give this “Almost Her” blog and shop everything I have in me. To you readers, I can promise you that. I don’t want to look back and wish I pursued my dreams one day. I want to either know I tried and failed or go for the stars.
In the spirit of being completely honest and bringing you guys along with me for the journey- I had something special happen yesterday. As some of you know, the first day of my shop opening went better than I could’ve hoped for. NONE of it could’ve happened without my friends and family and I am so SO grateful that you guys are giving me this chance. <3 The second day of my shop opening I got one sale (and I did a happy dance!) and then not so much. I thought I prepared for this (and I did!) but I had a moment of fear. Did I mess up? Is this not what I should be doing? (That little voice seems to get me caught up sometimes.) And that’s when it went through…I can’t even type this without crying again…My phone dinged and it was a sale. Someone that I don’t know living in a whole different state bought one of my mugs. I looked to see which one. She purchased the “Do you trust me? – God” mug. I lost it.
This post is for anyone else out there that’s caught up in their own mind and might need that little reminder to give your problems, fears, and dreams to God. Give it all to Him. He’s a good shepherd. He’s good.
I love you for reading and for sticking with me through the highs and lows. I want to make my readers proud and am excited to share all of the ideas that have been building up in me. I have so many more shirts, and mugs, and paintings, and writings to come.
P.s. For those that didn’t see my shop yet. Here is a link: www.etsy.com/shop/AlmostHerDesigns