Downpour

Last November my husband and I decided to have a pop-up sale for our furniture business. We were pumped. I was marketing every day for 2 months on social media and telling strangers all about our event.

We had over 300 people respond to our event page on Facebook. My soul was on fire. This was it. This was that thing that was going to score us our own shop downtown. I was ecstatic.

I spent the days and even hours leading up to the event painting, sanding, drilling, and graciously sharing my anxiety with my spouse. We would have 3 loads with the trailer, so we had to have an early start. My mother even joined the team. We looked so legit, y’all. We had matching Trembley’s Upcycle tees and everything. Our buddy, who owned an antique shop, was kind enough to let us set up outside his store. It was perfection.

A darling, local photographer agreed to be a vendor at our small event and we had some local goodies from 2 other crafty women in our area. My mother-in-law even had her gorgeous quilts ready for purchase. We were so prepared with price tags and signs (Thanks, Mom). I was ready.

And then it happened: the worst, most despicable joke played by Mother Nature. It rained. I am not talking drizzle, I mean downpour. I was so disappointed. The furniture was getting wet and my hair, which had originally been at note-worthy heights, was glued to my scalp.

Over 300 people had responded, so I threw on a ball cap and sat in the car waiting on a break in the rain to set up our sale. We did our absolute best and I tried to muster up a positive attitude. I really wanted to cry like a toddler.

I think, maybe, 20 people actually showed up to our event. I reminded myself of the networking that occurred and that because of this event, we were invited to sell at other events. I told myself that we should be proud of the sales we made with such few people attending. I didn’t want to think that all of that work and preparation was for nothing, but deep down, that is exactly how I felt.

When the sale was over, my heart overflowed with self-pity. I can work self-pity like a boss and boy, did I ever! I looked at my husband, who had truthfully been my champion that day, and said, “I think this just isn’t my thing, like, just because you enjoy something maybe that doesn’t mean that you’re really any good at it.”

He grabbed my hand and very calmly said to me, “Or, maybe it just rained, babe.”

Way to bring me back to reality and squash my self-pity, homes. I swear God made that man for me and all my crazy. My mom was full of next-time-ideas and my friends came to support my dream. That photographer saw my disappointment and chuckled as she said, “I had no clue this was your first event. Girl, that is how they all go.”

I could have hugged her precious neck.

That shop-owner sweetheart even said we could come back the next weekend to get rid of some inventory. There was SO MUCH inventory! I freaking love my village. They are just so incredibly insightful and objective. When I am struggling, they surround me with love and encouragement. When I parade my truths and imperfections around, these people remind me of my assets and strengths. They even lovingly laugh at me WITH me because I love to pick on myself.

Sometimes life shows up. Sometimes it looks at your vision or your dream and sticks its hateful, little foot out. Sometimes you trip. The one thing driven or even successful people will tell you is that failing was not the end of their story. The conversation was not done. Their dream’s dialogue wasn’t over and, in fact, it was heading towards an hour-long monologue smack-dab, in the center of Broadway. Their shining moment was just ahead.

All those winners had to do was get up and keep moving. Did I score my own show on HGTV? No. Did the inventory sell out completely the next weekend? No. What did happen was I learned a lot about event planning and marketing. I learned more about who our real audience was and what kind of pieces we wanted to sell.

A few weeks later, we were heading out of town to a craft event. My husband decided to try something new and made tailgate benches. We sold out of those completely and came home with an empty trailer. We made some very dear friends, including the creator of the event. That woman just fills my heart with admiration. She is brilliant!

Had we not taken that chance, had we not tried again, we would never have discovered what would become Robert’s jam: tailgate benches. Had we called it quits at that first downpour, we never would have known success. We would have never met these amazing people and would have never experienced the satisfaction of hard work paying off.

Five months later, that ridiculous amount of inventory, is basically gone. We even have items in a shop downtown! It may not be our shop, but, that is a huge leap from where we were! Things are selling too!!! I am so grateful that a little rain did not stop me from throwing my boots back on, getting my hair back to epic volume, and hustling to accomplish something that mattered to me.

God doesn’t give us gifts, so that we never use them. He doesn’t applaud hearts of gratitude and acceptance, so that we never aspire for more! You can have acceptance and be overwhelmed with gratitude and still have a goal. God wants us to glorify Him in the successes of our lives and to cast all of our worries on Him in our moments of failure and defeat. So many times in my life I look up and I say, “Ooooh! I see what You did there.”

God was there when it rained. He was there when items sold and didn’t sell. He had a hand in our networking and a smile on His face when we were high-fiving and laughing at how far we had come. What a God we have.

I’m tearing up now just feeling His love. Open your heart, friend, can you feel it? Did God give your soul a dream? Don’t ignore it. Listen to it. Have gratitude for what you have, but know that it is okay to aim for more. God may just surprise you.

Psalm 20:4

May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed

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