Thursday, July 5, 2012

On Being Brave

Today has been a momentous day for me. Not only am I working on setting up my very first shop to sell my handmade polymer clay and origami jewelry, figurines, knitting, and whatnot, but I also submitted a story to Stuff You Should Know's Halloween Horror Story Contest. ( You can read the story I submitted here, as well as a link to the contest in case you're interested in being my competition!)

The good news is I found an ear model. My friend who lives down the block offered to do it, and I see her almost daily, so it works out well.

The bad news is I'm losing resolve.

I was so excited yesterday about setting up my shop. I even managed to put together ten sale items in one day! I think that's some kind of record, for me anyway. But then the novelty of the concept wore off, and I was faced with the intimidating task of actually starting up the shop. I was hoping my Naming Contest would have a little more attention, but so far only one awesome lady (the same one who inspired me to go for it in the first place with her blog post on taking risks) has commented. And I suddenly realized not only did I have to make the items, but then I had to worry about pricing them fairly, and shipping, and making business cards, and find artwork for the logo and banner, and even maybe some legal issues regarding making Star Wars- or Star Trek- or Firefly-themed things. My head is spinning!

Also, I kind of used up all my ideas yesterday. I know, making ten items in one day is kinda crazy, and probably mostly to blame for this particular issue. Most likely I'm just mentally exhausted from a manic bout of creativity. But, silly as it is, I fear that now I've actually decided to pursue this dream, it's all going to fall apart on me and I'll just hit a mental roadblock when I try to think of new things to post.

Just now, I was trying to do my Bible study to distract myself from all my worries, and I was sort of desperately looking through 1 Corinthians 4 for any encouragement, when a verse from a whole different book popped into my head:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

We used to sing this verse in a song during worship at the Baptist school I used to teacher's aid at. I always liked that song, and just now, as it's dusting itself off inside my head, I'm starting to really remember why.

Notice what the first sentence says? “Have I not commanded you?” This reminds me of a parent asking the question. They told their kid to do something, and naturally the kid muddled along until they forgot what they were supposed to be doing, and the parent pulls them aside to reiterate. But they don't say “Hey, Christy, remember that I requested that you clean your room?” “Hey Billy, I'm pretty sure I suggested that you take out the trash!” No, it's not a request or suggestion. They were told to do something, and mom's gonna make sure they know it. “Have I not commanded you?”

And what was it He commanded me to do? To be strong. To be brave. Not to give in to fear or discouragement. I like how he puts fear and discouragement in the same sentence. I rarely think about myself as being afraid to do things. Rather, I am discouraged; by the sheer amount of work to be done, by the measure I am holding myself to, by the chance that I might fail... But He has commanded me not to fear those things, not to be overwhelmed and driven into submission by those things. And why?

For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” How true this is! He gave me this initial talent at artwork and sculpture. He gave me parents and teachers and a grandmother who all encouraged me every step of the way. He gave me the financial blessings to afford the materials and the little moments of peace in which to hone my craft. He even provided the seashells I found on Chincoteague and Assateague's beaches that match so perfectly and are already pierced and ready to be strung, as if saying “Here, I think you could do some pretty fun things with these!”

If He has been with me through all that, why should I fear? Surely He will be with me through setting up a shop and making my stock and advertising and whatnot. What's more, He will quite possibly even bless me in my work, maybe make this something I could rely on for income in lean times. And even if He doesn't, what's the worst that could happen? So I don't sell a single thing: I have ten Christmas gifts already made! What am I afraid of?

With the Lord my God with me, I shouldn't be afraid of anything. He will carry me and bless me and keep me in His arms every step of the way, and honestly, that's all I really need.

Want to win a pair of free earrings? Check out my Etsy Shop-NamingContest!


  1. Take a deep breath and do ONE thing at a time. Make yourself a list of what needs to be done. Then choose one thing. Work on it. then move on to the next. You don't have to get it all going overnight!! :) My suggestion on the copyright issues is to find another crafter that uses copyrighted stuff and ask what they do.

    Thanks for the shout out! :)

    Mary Beth

  2. Hello Captain! My name is Cassandra.

    I saw Rachel Ann's shout out and want to pop by and say hello! I absolutely LOVE your Miss Leia Piggy and look forward to see the rest. Quiet as it's kept I am a major scifi fan so I started thinking about scifi-ish names just for fun:

    The Shiny Vulcan
    Klingon Couture
    Jedi Boutique and Hardware
    The Space Jewelry Continuum
    Fashion Gate (I'm a Stargate fan)

    Of course this is all nonsense and I'm sure you'd want a wider appeal but I wanted you to know we're out here cheering for you.

    God Bless and Live Long and Prosper!