|She included some lovely perfume bottles, which I arranged with some lace in a small tray I had in my "tickle trunk" and displayed them|
For those of you not acquainted with Felma's lovely Blog Dollhouse Miniatures by Felma you must pop by for a visit. If you pay close attention, I would even mark it on your Calendar, she gives away one of her beautiful miniature gowns every single month.
I'm going to go off on a tangent, but after rereading what actually became the bulk of my post, it actually has everything to do with why I became a Miniature Artisan. So please, bear with me. NOTHING is too small to pray about. I pray about everything, and I mean everything. I pray for help in finding a parking spot, I pray for calm and assistance in that God will ensure that things will work out when I am dealing with a rude and difficult government clerk, postal worker, plumber, the list goes on. About a year ago, I started keeping lists and praying even more in earnest. I prayed that I would find work and be successful at a job that I was passionate about. I started keeping a list every month of my prayers and goals. Even I was amazed at what started happening. If you have been following along with my journey on Miniature Maven Diaries, I think you will agree, that as hard as this year has been for me, in many ways (God never promised us an easy life, in fact I think he pretty much promised us exactly the opposite), that miracles happen every day.
I started noticing, as I looked back through my journals, that help was being offered. I won 3 blogger giveaways in a row. (Starting with Jane's, from Minifanaticus, followed quickly by Drora's, then Jen's February giveaway at Plushy Cat Blog). I continued to be offered amazing help and opportunities presented themselves. My Dad offered to build me shadow boxes where I am planning to display miniature scenes that I will customize for my customers. He also dove into carpentry as a hobby with great enthusiasm when he retired. He astounded me a couple of weeks ago when he told me he is planning to build 12 display shelves based on the one that I found at an antique shop two years ago. I can charge between $80-100 for these at the Miniature Show and Sale, and tell my customers they can order more from me. He is also planning to make empty shadow boxes for customers, which I can sell at the mini show for $50 dollars each. Did I mention he only wants to recoup the costs of the wood he is buying to make these things? He wants me to keep the profits, because he has watched me fight to stay employed, and eventually give up and admit that I had to go on disability because I could not hold down a regular full time or even part time job. Since his offer, the local art supply store where I go to buy most of my supplies (to avoid Michaels Craft Stores, because I personally loathe that place), offered to display my miniatures. If I sell my work, they will take a 20% commission, which is a very generous offer.
I have actually had an extremely stressful month, which has included several very serious health issues, and there are many times when I have wanted to give up and just rest for awhile. But if I look at the big picture, my prayers have been answered in so many ways. I owe it to God, or the universe, not to mention the huge number of people whose prayers and support I have asked for over past year (and been given) to keep at it. This post is a reminder (if you're feeling discouraged) to keep at it. There is no doubt I have struggled, felt despair, wanted to give up. For over a decade I have fought with every ounce of strength I could muster with a very difficult illness. My grandmother that the same illness, and she didn't survive it. I've known of and seen many others who have been swallowed my this dark beast of an illness. Everyone tells me I'm a fighter. Even when I've been at my lowest point, I think there has always a tiny glimmer of that stubborn fighter inside me that refuses to sucumb to despair, and won't give up until I find what I have spent so long searching for: peace, a life filled with meaning, and eventually, I am going to become an advocate for this illness. I learned have how to navigate the health system and the extremely aggravating government run disability system, where the staff often treat you like you have the intelligence of a gnat. Advocating for yourself is a learned skill, that others need to be taught. There have been many times when I have been so angry that I have spent so much time struggling with being sick and feeling helpless. Eventually, I want to channel that anger into energy that will help me teach others to help themselves.
As always, I feel honored that you have taken the time to read my blog and for all of you who leave such kind and loving comments each time I post.