True FreedomThis morning, I pondered life's schedules, routines, chores, etc. and I realized how much God wants to bless me. He wants to give me true freedom. He wants me to live a fulfilled, satisfying life. He wants those things for me, because He loves me.
I was at the Pasadena Bead & Design Show yesterday, to take some classes instead of offering some this time. I had a blast!! I saw a couple of my favorite vendors, (Beads U Need manager, Iqbal Esaf, his brother, and his employee Lee) and Eriko Page of Heart & Hand. Eriko is an amazing Polymer Clay artist and is doing Demonstrations & a Make & Take at the Show. Art Clay World is also there offering some free Make & Takes, Demonstrations & Classes. (Bear with me, this all matters. Oh, and the links are there in case you want to check them out. FUN!!!) So--I planned out my schedule so I could do the FREE Silver Pendant Make & Take at Art Clay World, see the demos they and Eriko were offering, do Eriko's Make & Take & get to 2 classes! A whirlwind of fun, with a few small windows of time to get lunch, shop, etc. So, I'm sitting at Eriko's booth, watching her demonstration & listening to her tips and up walks Maria E. (I won't use her last name, as I didn't ask her permission to talk about her in my blog, but she knows who she is!) She looked really familiar, but I didn't say anything to her at this point. (I'll get back to her in awhile.) Others came up and were watching & working as we went from demo to Make & Take. I was wearing my Sundress Necklace in Tanzanite Swarovski Crystals and some people watching asked me about it. I told them it is a class I teach and they want to do it! I got that response all day! It was very exciting! I ran into a customer Patti K. who was looking forward to seeing me and taking classes from me this weekend, and was disappointed to find out I was only there to play. While I was still doing the Make & Take, a man was watching and overheard me talking about the classes I offer, locations where I teach & events I in which I participate, like the LA County Fair as a DIY Studio Instructor. Some had asked for my business card, so I started passing it out to people who asked about me, including this man. He said, "You're Misti? Who does your marketing? I see your name & picture all over the place!" I was thrilled, to say the least, and told him I did. I really don't do much marketing, I'm not good at it. I just use the standard social media outlets like Facebook & Pinterest and am myself! That blew me away!
Then I go to my next demo and there sits the lady I thought I had recognized, Maria. I told her I recognized her name & said she must be on my mailing list. She replied that she had met me at my Make & Take booth in the DIY Studio at the LA County Fair! It was so cool to see her again.
Okay, so you're probably wondering how the subject of True Freedom has anything to do with this. Well, this morning I opened my Bible to Isaiah 31, a very familiar passage to me. "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel nor seek the LORD! Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster, and will not call back His words, but will arise against the house of evildoers, and against the help of those who work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out His hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down; they all will perish." (verse 1-3). And another very familiar verse popped into my head, "Some trust in chariots, and some trust in horses, but we will trust in the Name of the LORD our God." Psalm 20:7 These verses are saying that man's power, power created by man (chariots), and the power of even mighty animals (horses) will ultimately not help or save us. Now, I have been praying a lot about my business because I have been having such troublesome issues with my neck, back & shoulders. I took December & January off so that my chiropractic adjustments had time to take affect without being aggravated by beadwork. I was feeling lost, unsure of what shows to continue to do, what teaching venues to continue to utilize--just how much to work at it. I was about ready to scratch participating in the Beadagio shows altogether, then all this happened. So, I realized that as I trusted in the Lord to market me and bring me the clients I need, He really was at work behind the scenes doing that. He is hearing my prayers and sees my heart, that I really want to serve Him. He really does want to bless me. I can be free to be myself, do my business as the Lord directs me, even if it isn't "standard practice", and not worry. (I mean, what retail seller takes off December?!)
The next verses I read that stuck out to me are in Acts chapter 3, verse 19 & 26, "Repent therefore and be converted, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the LORD" and "...God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." God gives us refreshing times when we repent & are converted (become a servant and child of His), and He BLESSES IN turning away from our selfish, lustful, arrogant ways. Good comes when we do the right thing! Good comes when we trust in our Maker! He WANTS to bless us! He WANTS to bless you! What are you stressed about? What are you struggling with? I encourage you to trust God with whatever is weighing you down. He WANTS to set you free from that weight, to bless you & refresh you! If you haven't been converted, it is as simple as asking Him to forgive you and to become the Lord of your life. He will do the rest! John 8:32 "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Blessings on you as you give Him a chance!