We’re Open and Now We’re Closed

It all started with a few successful craft shows. A couple of hundred dollars here, a couple of hundred dollars there all added up to being able to donate a few thousand dollars to area organizations that encourage, serve and nourish those in need. Friends, family and customers really liked the things I was making. So many times I was asked where my items could be bought and do I have an Etsy shop. “It’s easy”, they said. “If you have an Etsy shop, then the whole WORLD will be able to buy your stuff!” Well, needless to say I got all puffed up and feeling pretty good about myself. So I bought a few books, read oh-so many blogs, listened to small business podcasts and “pinned” a whole bunch a “how to’s” and “Top 10 Things One Must Do To Be Successful On Etsy” from Pinterest. I was determined to do this right. So, in August of last year, I took my phone (camera) and a load of craft items outside to take pictures. I wrote about My Fear here. My friend Angie came over to help with the technical stuff. I took many pictures of each item…front view, back view, inside, close up details, with props, without props. I edited each photo and then put it in the right folder in order to find it later (which, let me tell you was quite frustrating for me. I’m not the fastest computer gal, if you know what I mean.) I cataloged each item, wrote cute descriptions, weighed the items, plugged all the information in and then posted online. I’m a cutting, sewing, crocheting, glueing, painting kind of gal, not a png., folder, and all of that computer stuff kind of gal. But I was determined to figure it out.A darling, smart and super talented young lady contacted me. Eileen was Mary Claire’s best friend when they were growing up. Eileen had graduated with a degree in Creative Marketing and wanted to donate her services to me. She admired what Merry Mary Studios was all about and wanted to create a logo for me. How awesome is that?!? After sharing ideas, she came up with several logos and banners that I could use for my business. Here was the banner for the Etsy shop, I had a logo for a stamp and stickers. I had a business license and thinking I was pretty profesh…professional. I was full on baby!

I even sold my first bag online to a gal in the United Kingdom! People. I was ready to take on the handmade market. I was ready to bring this all to you, sharing the site with everyone, but then life happened. Thomas went off to college. Superman and I went on seven states high point trip. I had to make things for the Christmas Market. I had to make a quilt for Tyler for Christmas. We found out we were going to be grandparents. Then there was the madness getting ready for a spring craft show. Add in there beekeeping, filling crochet orders, cooking, cleaning….just every day life.

I neglected my Etsy shop. I neglected my blog. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

People do this all the time. They have successful craft businesses. They create, write blogs and build a thriving business. But I just couldn’t do it. I was feeling like a loser. If only I was more organized, more efficient, then this would all go just like those gals in the blog world.

One day while I was preparing for my bible study “No Other Gods”, by Kelly Minter, it hit me. I was trying to force something that wasn’t God driven. It was “world” driven. I wanted to be like all of those other crafters out there making it look so easy. I made the hard decision to shut it down. And can I tell you? It felt so good!

Almost immediately, I mean like within hours, notifications started pinging in telling me of new followers to this blog. People from around the world, that somehow linked up to this crazy little place where I chit chat about life. Ok, let’s get real. I have like a couple hundred or so followers. So then all of a sudden, on the day I close the shop, I have 10-15 new followers to my blog! (For someone like me, that’s a LOT) Why? Why are people all of a sudden interested in my thoughts? Each day I get more and more followers. Why?!?

Honestly? I think it’s God’s way of telling me to stick with Him. Go where He leads me. Should I keep on making, selling and giving away? Absolutely! But do I need to have an Etsy shop to do that? Nope. In fact, I’ve got more orders than I can keep up with. What if I were to show you a few things here that I’m making? I hope you wouldn’t mind.

Friends, God has a plan for all of us. We can choose to do it our own way, following the crowd and trying to please the world, but I promise you, that in the end, there won’t be joy. By giving up the reigns of control, handing them over to God in prayer, we can live a life full of joy and contentment. I still have to do the hard work. I will come up to many obstacles. But the fruit of my labor will not be in vain.

I so appreciate you choosing to read this little blog of mine. It isn’t going to change the world, but I pray it can bring a bit of joy into a moment of your day.

When is Enough Enough?


Lake Murray at sunset
Enough: adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire.

Is it ever enough?
Me and Michael's dog, Idgie, enjoying a boat ride

Sam and I walk four 2-3 miles four times a week and I play tennis, is it enough exercise?On Michael's boat with Mom and sisters Annie and Jane

I do my best to cut out sugar, drink lots of water and add more fruits and veggies to my diet, but is it enough?Enjoying the cool marsh breeze at my sister Sue's house

I read and study my bible daily and pray fervently throughout the day, but is it enough? Lunch by the beach with Annie (photographer), Sue and Mom

I open my house on Wednesday nights for a ladies bible study. I make things to sell for various missions. I volunteer time, skills and money for the poor. But is it enough?
Waves crashing over us at Fernadina Beach

I've struggled this summer with feelings inadequacy, that I'm just not enough. No matter what I try to do it just never feels enough. I go around and around with feelings that tie my gut into knots. I've been walking on a very thin tightrope, always on the edge of falling over into the depths of crying my heart out.Ahhh the cool ocean

I've actually sat in church and compared myself to the women sitting around me. I've asked myself "Why can't I be as skinny as her?" …"Why can't I dress as nice as her?" …"Mary, why don't you give more of yourself like her?" …"Why can't your marriage be like theirs?"And the biggest lie I tell myself is "If you were a better Christian, you wouldn't be having all these crazy thoughts to begin with!"

Oh sweet Jesus, save me! And He does. Getting my hammock on at Folly Beach

He comes to me in the quiet moments when I cry out to him. He reminds me that I am enough.Big beach umbrellas and low chairs on the beach with some of my favorite people

He tells me he thinks I'm beautiful just the way I am. Sipping and rocking on the big front porch of our house the beach

God doesn't judge my curves, cellulite and aging skin, but looks at my heart. He sees me trying to love, share and serve. He thinks that is enough.God made me in his image, not as an exact copy. He knows I am flawed, emotional, ditsy, dented, forgetful, self-centered. He knows my mistakes, my thoughts and my desires. And he loves me so much just the same.
God speaks to me through that friend who grabs my hand as tears are flowing and calls out to Jesus for me. He speaks in that quiet moment of the day when I least expect it. He speaks to me through the pages of my bible. And every time he says "You are enough for me."Oyster shells outside Bowen's Landing

I know I'm not alone in having these feelings. We are bombarded with ideas that we should have bodies that look like this; we should think like this; we should accept this and but not that; we should strive for more; we should pack more in our days; we should eat this, but not that; we should act like this and more "shoulds" than should ever be allowed. It can make a person crazy. It has me. You?
Honestly? The only "should" that should be in our life is to give our lives to God. That's it. Completely and totally give our lives over to him, because that is enough.

I have enough. I have more than enough. I have family, friends and purpose. Even when my circumstances are more painful than perfect, I have enough. I have all that I need. I have Jesus. I have a hope for the future. I have a power greater than me, that is in control. I have another day. I have everlasting life. And that is more than enough.

Thanks for dropping by!