To me success is measured, first and foremost, by the fact that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It's not always a perfect realtionship (only because I fail at times), but it is a successful realtionship and it provides me with eternal life. I call that success! What about other forms of success? Like friendships and family. I have a wonderful family that I adore and enjoy spending time with. We don't always agree on little and big things, but I know my family is there for me when I need them. I also have some extremely wonderful friends that are as close as family to me. They can be counted on to come out in the dark of night and be by my side if I need them to be. I cherish them.
All of you know that Starla and I traveled to Redding to attend a craft show at Simpson College yesterday. Many of you are probably wondering how we did. That answer is a complicated one and why I started this post with the question of success. The world measures success very differently than Christians do. Also, success is not only measured by the amount of money in the till at the end of the day. Let me tell you how the day went.
We arrived here at about 8:45 yesterday morning.
This gorgeous fall-colored maple was to my right as we pulled into the parking lot.
This is our as yet un-named girl mannequin wearing one of our tutus and holding a couple others and a wand. Behind her you can see that we set up our two tables perpindicular to each other.
As everything was set up, we began to feel calm come over us. We got settled. Starla began making signs for each of our products and I took a stroll around the venue to see what other goodies were being offered for sale and to meet some of the other vendors.
Many people browsed our booth and commented on what they saw. They asked questions and were very polite (what a blessing!). We also handed out several of our business cards. *Side note: I had just gotten my custom business cards from UPrinting.com a few days before and I was so pleased with them. Here's a pic.
Lots of people came by, but none were buying. I began to question our plan to make a go of this. I asked Starla if maybe we weren't really hearing GOD. And this is what she said, "The only thing that comes to me is,
"Be still, and know that I am God;"'
Psalm 46:10a (New International Version).
I agreed that we must go with that then. God has a plan and if I don't know what it is, it's ok. (I have to remind myself of this sometimes.)
We continued to talk and meet several people. Emily, the organizer of the event came over to say hello and we discovered she is such a sweet and laid-back person. Several other college-age women came over and oohed and aahed over our owls. (pics in just a sec). One sweet and beautiful girl, Erin came over several times and each time she brought one or two friends with her. Not the same friends, mind you, a different set each time. They all laughed over the personality and names of each owl. As we got to know Erin we began to realize that no matter the outcome of the day, we were having fun.
I was still worried a little on the inside, though. Starla and I are not about to be homeless, don't get me wrong, but we really needed the money we were hoping to make on this show.
Have you ever realized that GOD talks to us in the bathroom, when we are hidden from all but HIM?
While I was in the restroom a song that I hear often on KLOVE came to my mind. Mark Schulz's song, He Is. How many times have I listened to this song and sung along, sort of thinking about the words? At that moment, as GOD brought them to mind, they gained a real-life meaning for me.
He always will be
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
God knows my financial situation and I needed to let it go and trust Him. I returned to Starla and our booth and told her about my revelation. ( Not remembering all of the song though, I had to try and sing it to her. Yeah, it was the performance of a lifetime!) Within about five minutes of this concert-worthy performance, Erin returned again with two friends and they all purchased owls. Erin purchased 3 owls and 1 tie snake. Each of her friends purchased one owl. Erin also took a handful of business cards and promised to pass them out. As the trio walked away. Starla told Erin that if she got someone else to come over and buy an owl we would give Erin a free one. Within about a half hour we sold one to Erin's friend and I was pleased to give Erin one of our owls for free. Starla also sold a few items to her wonderful Christian friend that lives in the Redding area. Before the end of the day, Emily also came over and bought an owl.
As the day ended, we realized we had made back the table fee and around the amount of the cost to travel to the area. Most people might think that wasn't a successful show. But we know that GOD measures success differently and HIS blessings abounded that day. So if you ask me, it was a successful day.
Erin was kind enough to pose with our remaining parliament of owls before she left.
Isn't she adorable?
As we began to pack up, Starla bartered with another vendor. Starla traded one of her bags for some delicious-smelling soy candles. We started carting the items out to Starla's vehicle and she ended up selling her 2-panel fence for $13 to another wonderful vendor of handmade scarves and hats!
God is so good to us and His blessings abound.
John 10:10 (New International Version)
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."