Excuse me while I dust off the cobwebs from the blog… it’s been sitting vacant for awhile. It’s not the only thing sitting…waiting..being neglected. My studio, my class schedule, and more have taken a back seat as of this summer. Life gets busy. Life is full. Full in the good, your kids are thriving and going 10 directions, lots of family and friends doing great things full. And bad full, the unexpected trials of this life that show up unannounced and take up so much emotional fortitude and not much is left for things like paint and crafts. I am going to venture where not very many retailer owners/diy bloggers/painting pros dare to go. I am going to say:
“I. Can’t. Do. It. All.”
With the growing rate of stores, blogs, and pinterest-worthy pinning masters, it seems that the super woman cape is being sold at mega stores, and I just can’t ever find it in my size.
Lets go back a bit
I started painting about 5 years ago, while I was nesting for my daughters arrival. Painted rockers, side tables, and homemade mobiles were all on the diy list. A few months after she was born, we were faced with a trial that crippled us. More than we could handle, the dear love of God, through the hands and feet of dear family and friends, we moved on.. and began to breathe once again.
I started painting during that time. It was a beautiful gift from God. A visible way to see how He makes “all things new.”
The Cottage was born out of that- then this little store grew, and we couldn’t keep up.
We moved to Kechi and were open 1/month.
Did I mention in between there my son almost lost his hand, and had 8 surgeries in less than a month? And I began to get seriously ill with a rare and aggressive disease that gave me crippling joint pain and significant hair loss?
Oh yeah. There was that. BUT… because of that- I found Milk Paint. (Here’s more on that amazing story )
Not just any milk paint,-but Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint.
And I loved it.
And they loved what I did. I loved using it.
In the midst of painting, owning a store, and raising three busy kids. I became THE primary educator. What? I know. This self taught girl in Kansas was the go-to-girl for all things mmsmp.
I was traveling, teaching at my new fabulous 1200 sq foot painting studio, and having monthly sales.
And I was tired. Allot.
Every month- ” just.one.more.week.” I would tell myself. The weeks of the sale I was renewed and invigorated by the energy the customers and vendors brought to the store. It was the best kind of high. Then Sunday would roll around and it would take me a whole week to recover… then in the back of my mind I would hear, “you need to get a class on the schedule….”
I love teaching paint. I love laughing with the girls.
If you could run on laughter and joy alone.. my tank would always be full and I could bust out so much more that the huge amount I was already undertaking. But let’s get real. We all need physical and emotional resources to keep going in anything.
The passions of my life became the pressures of my life…. and my body, my family, my faith, all started to take the hit.
My sweet friend (and therapist..yes… I call her a friend! She is really that great!) said words that a 34 year old really need to head as a warning.
“You are enduring your life, not living it.”
I want to live my life. Don’t you? During this time other things have jumped up and slapped me with shock and pain… new waters that take all I have to tread. I have only so much energy to give, and this summer, and early fall, I proudly chose to give them to my family- and not my business.
“If I can’t do it with 100%, I would rather not do it at all. I need to step down.”
About 6 weeks ago I resigned as the Miss Mustard Seeds Primary Educator. My dream role. I mean, I am in the first look book, and have columns titled “Abbe’s Tricks.” Come on! What self taught furniture painter would ever have that kind of opportunity? It was a dream. I have had a lot of big girl conversations with God. “but what if I _________?” “what if you________?” Fill in the blank. I was negotiating like a 9 year old trying to play video games on a school night. It wasn’t pretty. I knew in my heart. I had to step down. It was the right job, at the wrong time. So it was the right choice to say no. Marian (AKA Miss Mustard Seed) was gracious and kind, a true woman of Jesus who knows what is important in life.
But I’ll hold on to this little piece….
I convinced my team, and myself that I could remain just the regional trainer for my area, and teach MMSMP retailers how to sell and use the paint. It’s just fine, I can do that.
I just can’t.
There will be times to do things like this again. If God can bring the opportunity now, I believe He is able to do it again.
I will be teaching my last class for MMSMP retailers as the Regional Trainer at the end of this month.
Another big step
The month of October I am not painting for the Cottage. I have always provided ALL the furniture for each of our sales. (Some of you are shaking your head at me, I know, thinking, That’s allot of furniture!) I like control, and knowing what the foundation of the store would be every month, was my driving force. I have enlisted the help of trustworthy furniture painters, and letting the furniture go in the hands of other repurposers this month.
I have also decided to close the studio, and step away from that space.
Because God is so faithful, he showed me how much he loves me, and how proud he was of my choices, and brought a fabulous woman who is anxious to start her own vintage boutique. (You Cottage shoppers are going to have a ball having 2 spaces to shop in Artisan lane!!!)
And we will now be neighbors! She is taking over my studio space. Where God displaces, he replaces.
No more classes from me for awhile. Just a breather of sorts. My creativity and energy was running on fumes, and I am taking a big crafter/do-it-yourselfer no-no and stepping away for a bit. It will not be a popular choice I am sure, but I believe it is right. I can pick up teaching again, in the forms of private in-home painting parties, etc…. things always have a way of working out. I may possibly take on custom painting jobs when I am ready. We will see.
I can do that any time.
But I don’t get any more time with her home. This it. The last year. She will be in school next year and I will NEVER get this year back with my crazy little Mags.
What I am doing:
I will still run the Cottage Collective 1/month sales
I will still paint- just in a smaller capacity (You can contact me about vending furniture if you are a professional furniture painter)
I will still vend MMS Milk Paint at Country Bumpkins in Wichita, Ks.
I will spend more time resting. Laughing. Healing. Playing. Taking care of me. Taking care of my family.
I have so much peace. So much confidence that this is the right choice for right now. As I pack up the studio, and remember all the classes I taught there, all the furniture I transformed there, and the friendships I formed there, I will be sad. It wil be a battle of tears I am sure. But I am confident that you can’t have Victory without a Battle.
Who knows. Maybe I’ll start a new trend. A trend of women who aren’t afraid of boundaries. Who can say “not now” with no quilt. And a trend of women who are prouder of the minutes shared with family and friends are greater than the likes on their facebook pages.
Grab some bubbles. And Run through them. It’s good stuff.
Here’s to something new…and a God who can do it.