Life has been a little unsettled since we got home from China. I guess we thought we would come home and everything would be clear regarding our future direction. We found some amazing products that we would like to import into New Zealand, and we had the trip of a life time. It’s a funny thing when you go on a wild adventure – you come home thinking everybody will want to hear about the amazing things we did, and we were on such a high after seeing and experiencing beautiful scenery and meeting interesting people along the way. But in reality, not that many people really care, or are that interested.
China was OUR experience, and it’s something very unique and special to those who shared that experience with us. So after a week or two of being home, life has moved on, and it almost feels like it was just a dream. Did we really do all those things? Our photos and our memories are the only tangible proof that we actually did. However, I do know things will never be the same again. Nor will we.
When we got home it became very clear that our online shop needed to step up a notch, and we felt that the products we want to stock needed to be seen, touched and experienced in a tangible way. The sense that we need a physical shop has been getting stronger, and so we have started to poke that concept with a stick to see exactly where that might be. Living out in the country is all very well, but it doesn’t exactly bring customers to your door, unless it’s the washing machine repair man or the postie.
Before we left for China we did feel that we would be moving on, but the timing of that is totally up to God, and He doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to move us on. In some respects we feel like the brakes have been put on, but we also understand that is for our protection, so we don’t make a big mess of it all. We are serious about launching The Eye Of A Needle as a physical shop, but the location and the timing of that shop is dependent on where and when God would have us go. We have walked through the streets of Cambridge and can say quite clearly it’s not there. We have looked further north and it doesn’t seem to be there either. We’ve driven around a few places and wandered up side streets looking for the perfect shop space. In doing this we have determined in our hearts what we think our shop looks like, but we are constantly reminded not to lean on our own understanding, because His plan is much bigger and better than ours.
We believe we have found the right place for our ‘shop’. In the past week I have been absolutely buzzing as I have stepped in to administration mode, checking out suppliers and filling in application for wholesale forms. I have at times felt quite giddy, as the prospect of having my own shop starts to become a reality. The delight and anticipation of finally getting there is exciting. This is a dream I have held on to for many years, and it looks like it might actually be really happening.
I can’t tell you where yet. The bummer of this story is that we found what we thought was the perfect building to lease. The forms were ready to sign… and we were all prayed up with great vision of how it would all look. And then yesterday there came a clanger. Just a lunch time conversation around was this really the right place? Was it too big for a starting out business? Too costly? Our doubts were confirmed after a visit from our trusty accountant. And 5 minutes after he left we had a call from the real estate agent to say the property we were looking at had just been signed up by someone else.
Our natural tendency is to think we had it all wrong, but in actual fact that’s not truth. We believe we have the location right, we just don’t yet have the right building. So it’s back to the prayer room again, because we know that God has exactly the right place for our little shop and we can still plan like we are moving in sometime soon. Our foundations must be firm and the basics have to be fool proof. It’s not the first time that we’ve been discouraged by a red light. Each time we’ve been knocked down it’s an opportunity to reassess certain aspects of what we were thinking, and to do it a better way. After all our Heavenly Father only wants the best for us. Call it ‘fine-tuning’.
It can be quite discouraging going through this fine tuning process, but this morning I was very encouraged by an article I read on ‘The Elijah List’, and so I’m sharing it here. We all need encouragement when the chips are down. I’m not giving up. I will remain focused on the goal and know that it’s for my own protection that this part of the puzzle didn’t quite come together as I thought it should. Clearly God has a better plan. And a better shop space. And even though I wanted to open my shop yesterday, He knows when the time is right, and the place is right.
‘Don’t focus on your lack, focus on what God says about your situation. He says that you are the head and not the tail. He says you are the victor and not the defeated. He says that He is your provider and that He will care for you. Decree and declare these things over your life.’ It’s amazing how that in itself can change your attitude
I am blessed • I am prosperous • I am healed • I am victorious • I am creative • I am successful • I am powerful • I am wise • I am positive • I am valuable • I am free • I am redeemed • I am resourceful • I am smart • I am handsome • I am beautiful • I am gifted • I am anointed • I am equipped • I am determined • I am a force to be reckoned with!
And so my revelation for the day is that I will not let a little discouragement stop the bigger plan. I will proceed with certain aspects that can be done no matter where we will be. I can order stock and patterns. I can set up systems and get suppliers. I can make a few more things that will be my templates for sewing classes down the track. And I can pray – for me that’s the basis of everything, because ultimately…’Unless the Lord builds the house, we labour in vain. (Psalm 127:1)
Any guesses for where ‘The Eye Of A Needle’ will have its physical shop?