So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what i please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which i sent it. ~isaiah 55:11
How It All Started...
I have always loved being creative. My mom was always doing fun crafts with us as kids growing up and my Dad is a sign painter. Like - the man can do real fonts by hand! I journal and take notes in church just like I write on my canvas’ to help me capitalize on the theme of what God is speaking to me. I had never thought much of it. One day I posted a picture of my giant "3x5 scripture note card" in my living room. Its a chalk board that I write whatever truth God is having me focus on for the day. A friend called me up to tell me how much she liked my "art." I have never once in my life considered myself an artist – not with a dad and older brother who usually bore the title in the family. This friend asked if I would write out some scriptures for her so she could frame them and that she would pay me. I was about to say of course I will write them out, but no way are you going to pay me when the Lord whispered to me., "This is Me saying yes." He was saying yes to a very short very simple prayer from the day before. "Lord is there a way I could make some money for my family." We have had extremely hard financial times, like so many other people, and extra's are just not in the budget. My friend also had the idea to have a showing of my art for me at her house. I prayed much and believe God was leading me in this direction. So, nervous but obedient I started painting scripture on canvas. I have never had more fun creating. It is so natural and calm when I am doing it. My favorite part is that I get to pray over each piece and for the eventual families that may hang them on their walls. I have heard wonderful and hard stories and have had the privilege of partnering with these families in prayer.
After one year of business God made a major change...
If you have bought an Abide Scripts painting I want to start with saying thank you. I never would have imagined that I would have the privilege of doing something like this and I have been so blessed with getting to hear your stories and pray over you and the people you love.
Painting was a “yes” to a prayer I spoke to God while taking the dog out. I wanted to earn a little extra for my family as we were entering into the hardest financial season of our lives so far. That season ended with us being homeless and then blessed with the nicest home we have ever lived in. Then my husband finally got a full time position as a fire fighter. Our budget is still not stable but my man puts in every extra hour he can and God has faithfully sustained us in unexplainable ways.
Every family looks a little different. God has made it clear for our family that I am to stay home full time so as to keep the home, educate the kids, work out, and have energy to love on my man when he is home. Paul and I agreed that painting scripture was a welcome add on to my other rolls. In the beginning, we carefully set priorities and boundaries. All my rolls with my family were to come first and then I would paint. I have fought hard this last year to keep these priorities straight. It has been a growing experience. By Christmas of my first year I was a little burnt out. I still loved to paint but something was off.
At the very beginning of January (year 2 of painting) I sat down with the Lord and took a good look at my calling. Wife, Mom, Homemaker, Educator, Painter and so on. God was so good to give me renewed and refreshed vision in every area but Painting. I still wrestled with it for several weeks wondering what was up. As we completed our taxes for the year and I could not have imagined what would happen! When we looked at the actual financial profit of Abide Scripts over the year and broke it into how much the family had extra a month, it wasn't very much. I painted something like 400 or more canvases and as far as money goes, there wasn't much to show for it. Owning a small business for me meant paying 40-50% in taxes. (Now, remember I am only talking about an earthly economical benefit. The real and lasting benefit of getting to paint can not be measured with this world’s currency. Not because I am anything, but because God promises that His word accomplishes what He has planned for it. ) So, bottom line, it’s not worth it. EEK! I know. I wasn't bad at being a business woman. I didn't loose money and I am not going to raise the prices to make more money. I absolutely do not want to paint more than 400 canvases a year as painting is like fifth from the top of my priorities. So what do I do?
As Paul and I sat on the ground in front of our couch looking at Turbo Tax, the tears began to stream hot and steady down my face. I went through a whole gamut of emotion very quickly and one very powerful conversation with the Holy Spirit.
Me: Lord, this isn't worth it! I don't want all the stress of invoices, deadlines and so on! But how do I keep painting?! I WANT TO KEEP PAINTING!
Holy Spirit: Are you willing to trust me with everything "money" for your family?
Holy Spirit: I have not made you to be a business woman.
Me: OH GOOD! Cause it was really stressful and I want to give that part of me back to my family.
Holy Spirit: Paint for free
Me: Seriously! OK! How?
I came away from my encounter with the Lord over Turbo Tax with a million pounds lifted from my heart! I don't have a passion to run a business. I just didn't know any other way to paint. It was a great experience for that season but that season is clearly over. Abide Scripts as a business was a perfect way for God to get me going on this adventure. Honestly it was a desire for "extra" that made me even ask and get the yes answer. I had to trust Him SO much with every aspect of this business and I was so very blessed in the process. The money I did make was great and timely for our family but God is changing things up. He gets to do that when it’s His thing to begin with. NOW WHAT?
Now I paint for FREE! I want to keep painting. I want you, my former clients to keep requesting painted scripture to encourage yourselves or the people you love. I do need you to pay for your supplies. We, as a family, don't have the extra to pay for supplies or we would (maybe one day!). I don't want you to feel weird about continuing to request paintings from me because you feel bad that I'm not making any money! I do want you to consider yourself an extension of God's work through His Abide Scripts.Pray before you call or message me. Together let’s get God's word up on the wall in a way that matches existing decor. Lets keep customizing encouragement and color together for God's glory.
Now one of the things I am so excited about is NO dead lines! I will do my best to get the scripture painted and in your hands, but I will also enjoy the freedom to put my family completely first. YAY!
I know this may seem totally backwards. I JUST HAVE TO OBEY! Thank you for reading. Please pray for me and my family as we obey. Pray for provision that I may keep painting God's word for free.
What does Paul think? Easy, when I asked if he was OK with the whole thing he said he was ready to go this direction with it last year! OK!
My Beloved Family
My man Paul, is my most valuable treasure in my life. He is my rock, my best friend and a fun and constant Dad. He has the privilege of serving our community as a firefighter. Our oldest is Troy whose name means “foot solder.” He is just that. Troy is reliable and steady, well beyond his almost seven years. Our next child is Bear who is almost five. His name (Baruch) means blessing and that is just what he is; compassionate and tender like no other. Abi girl, age three, is our big surprise who has added much laughter and completion to our family. How appropriate since her name means rejoicing! I have the joy and challenge of educating our three blessings at home. These four are my first ministry and my life to the fullest this side of heaven. Don't be fooled by the beautiful pictures! We are regular sinners who desperately need God's healing grace to function in our day to day.