Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Here's a piece of my heart. I hope I'm able to communicate my feelings and faith effectively in this post.
How do you walk away from something that you love? How do you stop doing something that comes so natural to you? How do you give up something that you're passionate about?
Those questions have been two fold lately and I've been wrestling with these questions for over a year now. I've been a public school teacher for the past 7 years. I've taught 4th and 2nd grades and loved it off and on for the first 5. Loving and building relationships with the young is why I got into this profession. It's no secret that the public school system has undergone major changes--most of them shifting from emphasis on nurturing and guiding young people to plugging students into a formula to output the highest test scores possible. Any educator I know will say that these shifts have dampened creativity, created an high stress job environment, and fostered a cut-throat profession where many are overly competitive with their peers and themselves. I didn't thrive in this environment. I felt trapped. Confused. and a deep guilt that what I was being led to do was not (in all cases) the best for my students.
Once learning that I was pregnant with Noah my husband and I decided that we would Dave Ramsey the heck out of our finances in order to allow me to stay home for a year while I sorted out my feelings and frustration with my profession. I honestly thought stepping away for a year would renew my excitement for educating the young and I would zap back into Super Teacher and be back in the fall refreshed and renewed. Either that----or I would do lillypie full time.
Here I am doing lillypie full time. YAY! HOORAH! DREAMS COME TRUE!!! Not exactly. I've had this feeling deep in my gut that I needed to stop creating for Lillypie for a while. At first it was just a thought when I'd be up to my ears in beads and fabric scraps. Then it became a big sense of guilt when I would knowingly choose to be filling orders when my toddler was begging me to play with her. When I'd refuse an invitation to sit and unwind with my husband after a long day because I knew I had "lillypie things to do in the studio".
I ignored the feelings and thoughts for a while. Thinking that this was just a season---a creative slump--adjusting to a new normal at home. Then the tap tap tapping became a nudging and later a shoving. In response to those feelings I moved my shop from made to order to strictly ready to ship.
Naturally, the work load slowed down--and sales began to taper off. It was good but I STILL felt this uneasy feeling when anyone asked about lillypie. The passion and excitement I once felt about my business was dimming--and I couldn't really pin point why, other than the fact that I just had this constant feeling that something was off.
So I'm feeling uninspired. uncreative. annoyed. confused. and lost. --- then everything changed.
The Lord showed me where I was to be.
I learned of a part time opportunity planning curriculum on staff at my church for the preschool department. I dusted off my resume and applied on a whim and was blown away when offered an interview and a subsequent job offer. WHAT?!
How do I know that this is where the Lord would place me? There are so many wonderful God-filled moments that cannot be strictly chance.
1. Without the Dave Ramsey gazelle infused kick your butt class that Scott and I participated in a year ago ( to the day) we would not be able to afford me working only part time.
2. My small group, husband, family ,and myself PRAYED for it. and it happened. ( took three years---but it happened)
3. Our daycare/preschool for lilly just so happened to have an opening for Noah open up the DAY I called to inquire about placement for noah.
4. This job uses my strengths, encourages creativity, and inspires me to help create a community of people who are there to serve the greatest kids on the planet. :)
5. PEACE. and this is the main way I know God is calling me here. I'm not a peaceful gal. I'm not. I worry. I stress. I struggle with anxiety. I question everything. but I feel peace. An overwhelming peace that ONLY comes from above when you're walking with Him.
So here I am! A new job. and I still feel a tugging to walk away from lillypie.
I can't keep adding to my life without subtracting. The only thing able to be subtracted is Lillypie. A year ago I would never of been able to close down my shop and have peace. I depended on it too much. It was me. It allowed me a creative space and outlet--filling a void in my life that I needed to feel whole. It brought me happiness. SO MUCH HAPPINESS. and now when I feel the gentle push to walk away and I feel PEACE about it---I know that it's right.
It's right for my family. and because of that--I have to close this chapter. HAVE TO.
Thank you. and ohhhhhh---here come the tears. Thank you for loving lillypie because you were truly loving me. Other than my children there has never been something so much a part of me. Thank you for supporting me. Your purchases made my dreams come true and helped us pay off a car, student loans, and three credit cards---that ultimately helped me be prepared to walk away from my full time position to take this jump into ministry. WOW! Another God Painted moment---right?!
I'm so happy that you loved lillypie. I loved you right back. The friendships started through this adventure will no doubt continue because while I might be shutting down my shop--I could truly never shut down my creative urge to get my hands covered in paint and glue.
How do you walk away from something that has made you so happy? By walking towards something you know you were MADE and CALLED to do.
God is good. All the time.
I love you dear friends.
Thanks for reading. Whew---that was a long one!
I won't be shutting down my facebook page. I love that little community so much. Please continue to hang out and interact with me and each other there. I'll be selling off unused supplies and the remainder of my ready to ship items over the coming days through facebook and instagram.