I wanted to share this story , I hope that it will encourage you. This is about a miracle! You will want to take note of the photograph above because it plays a big part in this magnificent story.
I opened Out of the Blue 13 years ago and it has been an adventure and a lesson in faith to say the very least. It was a miracle that I was able to open my shop to begin with and I have to attribute a series of miracles, the grace of God and lots of hard work to the fact that I am still open now (especially this year).
The Mermaid’s Mercantile an extension of my store, began one year ago. My vision was to create a place for artists who love vintage and hand made goods to gather and sell their handiwork. When I set out to begin this new project it was inspired by Somerset Life magazine.
I was looking though the pages of this beautiful compilation of inspiration and art, page after page of shimmering beauty created by women across the world who submit their delicate vintage inspired handiwork to be published.
To me opening a new issue of Somerset Life is the equivelant to eating a slice of the best cake, while curled up in a comfy chair listening to my favorite song with my pj’s on….. Visual Heaven.
My hearts desire was to create a vibrant and colorful market place that would come to life on the last Sunday of every month in the garden that surrounds my shop and name it, The Mermaid’s Mercantile.
I told myself that when I accomplished this goal I would submit photos to Somerset Life with hopes that we would be published in their ‘Locals of Intrigue’ section, a story about beautiful places to shop featured in every issue..
I set out to find the most talented group of artists. I choose them for their kind hearts as well as the quality of their work. The mercantile became all that I had hoped it to be and I found myself surrounded by an amazing group of women who quickly became friends. When all of us gathered in one place we became a creative force of encouragment and inspiration. When my ‘mermaid’s started showing up with their past issues of Stampington’s magazines, passing them around and sharing them I thought OK it’s time to submit our event to the publishers.
I hired a photographer for our October show and put together a handmade scrapbook with stories and pictures about our event and the artists behind them, it was a beautiful presentation that took a week to put together. I hand glittered and embellished the photos and words, added vintage wall paper and snippets of lovely little things hoping to create a presentation that was worthy of the magazine.
Then Deb Hodge helped me send it off to Stampington and included a personal note to Beth Livesay the editor for Stampington’s Altered Couture, Jewelry Affaire, Somerset Home and Haute Handbags.
Not long after, Beth came to visit my shop, during her visit she said that she would like to to come back in a few months to see our Feburary Mermaid’s Mercantile and she also passed the info about our event on to the editor of Somerset Life.
A week before our Feburary mercantile I got an email from a photographer who said she would be coming to photograph our Mercantile for the Locals of Intrigue section of Somerset Life… well of course was super excited about this and so were all 25 of my Girls! I assumed that this was due to my scrapbook and Beth mentioning us. Well …. this is what actually happened……
Claire Brocato is a photographer who lives here in San Diego, she was walking by my shop one evening when we were closed and took a photograph of the vintage bicycle that sits on the porch at my shop. Claire posted this picture to her flicker site along with hundreds of other beautiful photos. A short time later she got an email from someone asking where the picture of the bicycle came from? Claire wrote back and said it was taken at shop in Solana Beach called Out of the Blue. The person inquiring about the photo wrote again saying that she was a publisher for Stampington publications and would Claire like to send more photos of Out of the Blue? Claire then came to our January mercantile and took more pictures which she sent to Stampington. Then Claire got a call … turns out this person’s name is Kellene Giloff! (the president of Stampington ) and she wanted to hire Claire to photograph the Mermaid’s Mercantile as it was just what she was looking for…… to feature in her Locals of Intrigue section in Somerset Life!!!!!
In the natural life… what is the probability of that happening?
This was a big lesson for me about faith, there have been many times when I have worked tirelessly on a new idea and the door just never opens, or I will create something that does succeed only to have it copied by someone else.
I have questioned why things happen the way they do…friends disappoint, strangers take liberties where they should not, some seem to profit from injustice. All of these things have happened to me and many others that I know.
One of my favorite authors, Oswald Chambers writes ,
“Tenacity is more than endurance it is endurance combined with absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. The greatest fear man has is that his hero will be conquered and that God and everything he stood for -love and justice and forgivness and kindness among men- will not win out in the end. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fullfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.”
there are many unanswered prayers in my life, many dreams still waiting to be fullfilled… one thing I know is this….when God wants to do something he will move heaven and earth to do so. A few weeks ago he used a rusty bicycle to answer one of my prayers and I am grateful!
Psalm 46:10 “be still and know that I am God”
in other words … Debi, go ahead give it your best effort, but I am still God and I will do it my way…..
for all who are waiting… trust in what you know to be true, keep working tenaciously, follow your heart …. God quietly preforms miracles every day in his own unique way.
May your life be full of rusty bicycles or chippy furniture, or tattered quilts….or……