“She thought she could take the ashes and make a masterpiece, but the pieces broke in her hands, she could do nothing. But the Creator, the one who formed her and knew how to bring beauty from ashes, took the broken pieces and formed a dream. One that gave meaning to the ashes and brought forth a purpose that could never die.”
It’s been awhile since I have blogged. Life likes to surprise you and take you down roads you never thought you would go down. But God is always in the lead, pointing and guiding us even through the most confusing of times. He will always lead you beside still meadows if you let Him. Sometimes you have to be willing to go through the brambles and weeds to find the sweet spots. The beautiful gardens God prepares just for us. I must say I’ve gone through those thorny messy moments, many times. But this time, a dream was at the end.
It all started after trying to find a job. I worked third shift at a retail store for about a year and found the job too demanding. I hardly saw my husband, let alone prepared dinner for him. My life had become mediocre, a cycle of eating, sleeping, and working. And the pay wasn’t enough for my troubles. I left and applied at multiple places to no avail. I finally chose something I thought I would enjoy, and at the heart of it, I did. I love children, and at this job, it was my privilege to care for and teach children from infants to 5th graders. I soon realized that even here, much was required of me, and I felt trapped in that I couldn’t do anything that would have a lasting impact. You see I wanted to make a difference somewhere, I couldn’t live with spending most of my time stocking shelves or with having to run circles around a room full of kids.
It had become all work, it was draining and I found myself having to discipline more than simply loving on the kids. I really loved those kids. We had them from sun up to sun down and got to watch them grow up before our eyes. We worked long hours for very little pay and no overtime. And the kids came from many backgrounds, but most came from single parents who had to work long hours themselves. Again it became a cycle, a means to an end…..I was let go.
I had never been fired before. I had a particularly stressful week in a class of 12 two-year-olds and due to exhaustion and stress, I simply couldn’t just go with the flow anymore. I was let go because I said I couldn’t handle them on my own. I had proven myself time and time again, passing all their testing and in-class observations but in a moment of supreme stress I threw my hands in the air and that was that. And a chapter was turned in a moment. Never was it so hard to say goodbye, and partly this was because I didn’t even get to. All those kids I had come to love as if they were my own. And I had to leave their lives without a hug or explanation. I am not blaming the place I worked at…every child care facility is set up in such a way because the state sets the bar high. In the past, that bar would have felt attainable, but today, with so much brokenness in families, every child needs special care and direction, the teacher to student ratios just don’t fit the demands.
I must say I cried awhile. I had planned on putting in a two weeks notice and getting to slowly say goodbye on my own time. I wanted to tell them how much I loved them and that I believed in them. I wanted to say a proper goodbye, and bless them as they entered a new year and class…as I said, life has a way of surprising you. You decide some paths and others you fall down, slipping and sliding. But through the brambles, I saw a glimmer of hope and God awakened a dream that same night. I now own a business called Hope Song Creations.
I grew up loving antiques and watching all the TV shows. The past has always fascinated me, not that I wanted to go back in time but that I wanted to remember their legacies, what they fought for, the lessons learned and wisdom gained by our past relatives. Our culture today is so bent on erasing it all, but this is equally being met by those who are seeking to preserve the past. A lot of old things are being made new again, from old clothing styles to fixing up antiques and giving them new life and function in today’s society.
I started finding antiques and learning what I could do to make them functional and appealing again. I set up shop in my garage, and with each new project, I learned more and bought more tools. Never had I used anything but a hand drill. Now I use it all, grinders, circular saws, axes, hand saws, jig saws…the list goes on. But like any starting business, it’s been difficult. I must find the right avenues, take the right turns and discover what it is that people really want.
This year is winding down though, winter is rolling in and what was difficult before has doubled now. But God has a plan in all of this, and It is my joy to blog again and to share what I have learned so far. So this is the first of many more Hope Song Creation blogs, for anyone who is interested in antiques, repurposing, or starting a business. God bless you all, and never give up on your dreams!