Small Town, Big Events

Our cup overflows!  It’s been one year since we started Acres of Hope, and it has been an incredible journey.  This past month, by far, has exceeded our expectations, not only in orders received, but in building relationships with new friends.  We started out October a little discouraged to be honest.  We were all caught up  and had no pending orders.  Dexter used his time very wisely and began to get ready for the annual Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair.  In keeping it real, I have to say, I was not as optimistic.

But with the encouragement of a few sweet friends, I picked up my bottom lip and was reminded  that this whole business is about God’s perfect plan, not mine and to trust Him.  So I headed to the shed to make myself useful.  My sweet, patient, husband taught me how to build boxes, knowing that he could have probably gotten it done a lot faster himself.  Sound familiar to you mommies out there with “little helpers” at home.  All was going well until…….

Nail Gun Injury

Yep, you guessed it, or maybe you didn’t 🙂  I shot my finger with the nail gun!  Remember a few weeks ago when I shared with you about Uncharted Woods.  Well, once again, I was traveling through them and didn’t realize that when a nail hits a knot, it changes direction.  The direction this one went in was the joint of my index finger.  I’m not even sure there is a word to describe how that felt, so I’m not even going to try.  Needless to say, I was not allowed in the shed for a few days!  BUT in my stillness, there was much activity going on in the heavenlies.  I received a Facebook message from Layla Palmer over at theletteredcottage.net  inviting us to come and join some other incredibly gifted women at The Chapel Market in The Waters.

Excited about The Chapel MarketThis was my reaction to seeing the awesome space we were blessed with.  Yes I’m a goof ball, and yes I used to be a cheerleader, but at 46, my form is a little rusty!  We worked fast and furiously to complete as many projects as we could in 2 days.  We were welcomed by so many that did not know who we were.  We met people from all over the country and learned a lot about the blog world.  Thank the Lord, our friend Colby was visiting for the weekend. We could not have accomplished what we did without him, and you would not be reading this blog he created for us!  With only two weeks until the Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair, we had a lot of work to do.

It was all hands on deck in the Watts’ house.  Let me just say, our children are amazingly flexible.  Sometimes dinner was on the table late, laundry got left in the washer, our 16 year had to be the taxi driver, but they never complained.  They understand that this business is what allows mom to stay at home and be available for them!  Dexter and I are in awe at the children the Lord has given us!

Pike Road Arts & Crafts 2013We made it! All set up and ready to bless many people with our hand crafted treasures!  It was a beautiful day in Pike Road, AL.  It was estimated over 12,000 people came out.  We sold our tables and most of our specialty items.  In addition, I have been quite busy this week taking custom orders from clients we met on Saturday!  Our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness for how God has provided for us once again.  He sees the big picture!

We thank Him for guiding us each step of the way.  Our prayer is that we will be  followers that “can be trusted with very little and in return trusted with much” Luke 16:10  We are a small business in a small town, but we serve a Big God!  “Who dares despise the day of small beginnings…” Zechariah 4:10.

Pull in a Little Closer

Watching the Pig Races
Watching the Pig Races

Who would have thought a simple day at The Pumpkin Patch would have so many teachable moments. Now if you are thinking I had teachable moments with my 5 year old daughter, Maggie Mae, think again:) It was me that was being taught. So many lessons the Lord has taught me in 3 short years from this  little girl, and oh how I am eternally grateful.

Living with someone who has been legally blind since birth has revealed to me so much about the other 4 senses. Close your eyes for a few minutes……… Listen for sounds close by and way off in the distance. Now take a deep breath. Is there something cooking, a fire burning, laundry washing, or just simple fresh fall air? Now walk around… be careful… and touch things. How do they feel?… soft, sticky, wet, cold….. Here’s the hard one. Let someone feed you some things with your eyes closed (find someone trustworthy;). How does the texture feel in your mouth? Is it sweet or sour, spicy or salty? All these senses are heightened when you are visually impaired.

Does not being able to see clearly stop Maggie Mae from living? Absolutely not! You know what she does? She just Pulls in a Little Closer . If you know Maggie Mae, you know she does not let her “weakness” dictate what she can or cannot do. Simply because, she has yielded her weakness to the Lord, and in her weakness, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9). It is no longer a weakness, it’s just a different way of seeing life. So here’s where I learned more about this at the Pumpkin Patch.

You see the grand finale of the day was the Pig Races! Most of the children were sitting in the bleachers ready to watch the race. Maggie Mae was on the fence waiting in anticipation for the pigs to come. Now keep in mind, she probably has no idea what a pig is from our perspective. This is what happened when the race began……

Pigs came by

Look! She was in aw. She probably saw some shadows, but….. She felt the breeze go by, she heard them snort when they jumped the hay bails, she’s cheering along with the crowd and of course she smelled them. These were the things that I experienced too! For the first time, I “watched” the races from her perspective. All I had to do was Pull in a Little Closer.

When I can’t seem to find my way, I need to listen and my “ears will hear a voice behind me, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it”(Isaiah 30:21b).
When I’m weak, I need to rejoice for “The Lord is my strength and my song..” (Exodus 15:2).
And when I think I have it all figured out, and my plans fail me once again,  I must humbly ask God to see things from His perspective,  “Show my Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5)

A Mommy date at the Pumpkin Patch

“We live by Faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Uncharted Woods

A path well traveled

A path well traveled

Beginning a journey with map in hand and a clear cut path is where I am most comfortable.

Uncharted Woods

Uncharted Woods

However, looking through the thicket with briars, stumps, fallen trees, and no path is where I stand.  It’s exciting, yet I’m a little apprehensive.  So instead of trying to make sure everything is perfect on this blog, I am choosing to forge ahead into Uncharted Woods.  It’s the unbeaten path, listening for the next step, a place of discovery.

Thank you for joining the journey with me.

Our Home

Our Home

First of all, our motto for our home is “People Live Here!”

It has been the most freeing 3 words I was ever taught in a bible study.  Our home is not a “shrine” to be worshipped and adored by others.  It is the place where we gather around the table and share stories about our day.  It’s the feeling my children get when they drive down the driveway and know they are finally home.

The Fragrance of Home

The Fragrance of Home

The Fragrance of Home

The Fragrance of Home

It’s the smell of candles burning, something baking in the oven or frying bacon for breakfast that draws them all to the kitchen.

A cozy bed with lots of blankets and pillows, or multiple Enos hanging up around the house as if we live in the jungle.

The boys in their Eno

The boys in their Eno

The crackling of the wood burning fireplace, and the occasional smell of smoke when we forget to open the flue.  A cowbell that hangs by the back door to call them in for supper, and if that doesn’t work mom just yells at the top of her lungs.  The multiple tree houses and shanties out in the woods built by boys being boys, which means an endless amount of dirt in the house.

Selfies!

Selfies!

The girls, taking pictures, making videos,  listening to music and having dance parties upstairs, but it’s so loud they sound like they are downstairs.

The sound of some power tool coming from the shed would be Dexter handcrafting the next custom farm table for a client.  Big dogs barking at anything that moves. Little dogs barking because the big ones are.  Kids jumping like Superman out of the tree house onto the Trampoline.  And the list goes on.

Hope in the darkness

Hope in the darkness

Yes, this is our home, and people really do embrace life here.  We don’t try to attain perfection, but our goal is to mature and discover, daily. Feelings get hurt, sharp tones are used when frustrated, dishes don’t end up in the dishwasher,  the lid does not get closed on the washing machine, etc.  But at the end of the day, we all know we are loved unconditionally by Jesus and one another.  There is nothing more important to us than that.

So take a little walk around our blog.  Get to know a little bit about Our Story, Our Family, Our Business, and coming soon, you can shop online with us!  I look forward to forging ahead into this blog world with you guys and share a little about our life, our business, and our everyday walk with The Lord.  Following Jesus in this world every day is a journey.  As we approach those Uncharted Woods, we can stand boldly before His throne with this prayer,

“Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5

A special thank you to my friend Tara over at Between You and Me for inspiring me, and to Colby at Triumph Fitness for helping me design and set up the site.