Times of Transition

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I feel like I’m on the verge of something. Like inspiration is just out of my reach but so, so close.  I see things and there is this weird spark of inspiration/recognition, but then it is gone.  This certainly feels like a time of transition and maybe this is an indication that something big is on the horizon.

It has been a long 15 months since we lost Shiloh and 6 months since we lost Jessie. Strange to think I should be due in a month. Anyway, this sent me on a long path of depression & anxiety which led to a season of introspection. It feels like I long ago lost who I am and I would really like to find myself again.

This seeking had led me to several Bible studies, a powerful women’s retreat, personality tests, books, and podcasts. I don’t know if I’m looking for a job or what it will be. We certainly need the income, but we’ve survived thus far. It would be great to find a true calling or purpose that energizes me.  I have started doing a few things to try to see if anything really clicks.

Plaid Pine Rustics

I have always enjoyed crafting, plaid, and rustic things; and I have always joked about selling stuff online. So finally, I started an Etsy shop, Plaid Pine Rustics, where I sell rustic home and wedding decor.  So far it is mostly pinecone wreaths, ornaments, and supplies. I have some ideas about punched metal candle holders and ornaments, along with some other things. Check out my shop or the sidebar here for some of what I have.

I wish I could say that I have put my full attention to this and it is becoming a thriving business, but depression and fear of failure seem to be holding me back. I know I could make this a viable option if I invest in tools and lots of time. But I have to ask myself, is this really it? Is this my thing? Can I stuff my insecurities and let my creativity flow?

Life in the Between

This blog. I have been more of a math person and never considered myself a writer, but I have been told I write fairly well. If nothing else, this is an outlet, as I really don’t journal elsewhere. I hope my words can actually help someone. Plus, this is finally making enough in Amazon referrals to cover about half of its own hosting fees. Thanks for all of your support. It allows me to write more and make this site possible.

But I still ask, is this it? Should I focus my attention here? It is a lot of work and expense to put posts together, does anyone really want to read them? The “how to” sites say I should do several posts a week and I’m just not going to waste everyone’s time with that if I don’t have useful content.

Little Free Library

I’m not really sure how the inspiration struck but lately, I have felt compelled to build and steward a Little Free Library. A couple weeks ago, I found a gutted grandfather clock at the ReStore that we are turning into a little library. It is about half done, but fixing it up and making it weather-tight is a big job. I have been collecting donated books and can’t wait to start handing them out. There is more current info about our progress at our GoFundMe page.

This project really calls to me. It is fun (except all of the sanding and general work). I love giving things away and books. I had actually forgotten how much I like books. My “to read” pile has grown substantially, which is great, but it also slows down progress on everything else. It seems help with finding myself and inspiration, though.

Turquoise Table

I am one of the biggest, painfully shy introvert that I know, so I find this such a funny God thing. I’m really tired of feeling lonely and disconnected and from what I hear, this is a very common issue in our culture. I recently heard about the Turquoise Table movement. The point of it being to live life in your front yard so you can get to know and make connections with your neighbors. Well, we had picked up a set of old metal outdoor furniture from the side of the road. While painting them, I was listening to a podcast about this topic and it occurred to me that it would be so easy to paint the table turquoise and have a turquoise table of my own.

I painted everything and placed it in the front yard. We have spent a little time out there, but haven’t really made any connections yet. The weather hasn’t exactly been cooperative and I have been busy working on the library. Winter in Michigan doesn’t exactly encourage front yard living, but layers and hot drinks are useful and I have snowshoes. Hopefully, the library will bring people in and will help draw people to the table or vice versa.

Between this table and the little library, I seem to be called to outreach and making connections with people. Maybe one of these connections will help me in my search for my niche.

Other “Distractions”

In addition to all this, there are a lot of other things have been taking up my time. Some may be more useful than others, but they are all a significant part of my life right now.

Gardening – I love being outside and seeing things grow. I also appreciate fresh produce, especially when it is cheap and abundant. We have done a lot of work in the garden this year, like expanding and adding a vertical tomato trellis system. Some things worked (tomatoes) and some didn’t (vertical squash in the wrong spot), but we learned a lot.

Canning – This goes with the last point. I have been canning like crazy this year. It is my epic canning year. I really enjoyed it and love all the beautiful, full jars on my shelves, but I also burned myself out on it a little. At least, if the zombie apocalypse comes or the power grid goes down we won’t go hungry for a while.

Volunteering – I have been enjoying volunteering weekly at a local cat shelter. It is fun to play with the kitties and hanging out there is cheap therapy. It is also a lot of work, but worth it. It also gets me out of the house and around people a little.

Garage Sales – It has been so fun going out with my dad and looking for bargains. I have found some great deals on things we actually need for the house and some supplies for my Etsy shop.

Church events – I’m really trying to get involved and show up for things. It is hard, being an introvert, but I could really use some more Christian friends and to feel like I belong somewhere.

Now What?

So, what’s a girl to do? My main issue seems to be what everyone fights with: I only have so much time and resources and I’m feeling spread pretty thin right now. Where do I focus my attention right now? When people ask what I do, what do I want to say? What does God want me to do? What is important enough for me to spend my time and energy on?

For anyone that knows me or has known me or would like to know me, I would really appreciate knowing what you think on this. I can do plenty of strengths analyses, but they will be skewed by my interpretation of myself. Sometimes it takes someone detached to really see what I’m too close to see or remember. I would really appreciate any insights or words of inspiration.

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