I used to live in the world of being in a full on run mode, 7 days a week. The more I could check off my list, the more effective I felt, the happier I was. Or so I thought. I pretty much kept this up for years, since I started The Marketplace. Even when I took the requisite "once every 3 year vacation", I wasn't on vacation. Then something happened in year 4, I started getting angry. The more I worked, the further behind I got. Don't get me wrong, The Marketplace was experiencing incredible growth but why wasn't I happy? Heck, I was effective and checking off a crazy amount of tasks off my list. To the outside world, I looked happy but inside I was becoming bitter and angry. I just never seemed to get ahead. The more I did, the more work I had to do. I was the hamster in the video that keeps flying off the wheel and hitting the window. Something had to give.
I went away on a retreat last January and had spiritual counseling. The counselor saw right through my "I am good" exterior. What she saw was a person running on empty. She said, "You serve out of your overflow. Make sure you are filled up." Excuse me? What does that even mean?? Who has time for this?!!!
Fast forward one month later, I am in Bolivia. I am burning the candle on both ends...still. I hit a wall...yet again. I realize if I do not take care of myself, I will burn out. I put all these things on paper of what I needed to do to take care of me and did I do any of them? Of course not!
Fast forward one month later, I am the only staff in The Marketplace!! I would love to say I learned at that point, but no. I told myself I will just work harder. I look back at myself and thought, "Girl you are insane!!!" God and I wrestled and let's just say He knocked some sense into me. I created a plan that gave me boundaries. No more writing right off the page, I had margins. A light bulb went off! "You serve out of your overflow. Make sure you are filled up." I made time for others and never gave any thought to me. I lost my joy and almost lost my mind. I am happy to say, I am honoring my boundaries and I truly am loving what I do. But the crazy thing is now I am more creative in my writing and in my design.
Why am I becoming so transparent? Because there are others who are like me, they are on a spinning hamster wheel that is so unrealistic. No one put that pressure on me to succeed,I put it on me. No one can exist at this frenzied pace. God didn't create you to love like this. I had to take a look at my life and create systems to give me breathing space. It was baby steps but I have to tell you, I can now breathe. If this is you, take the time to "do you." Cause if you don't, you are about to hit a wall and I can attest it will hurt. Have a great week guys!
The Marketplace not only designs but we also help our partners market their products. I know when you all shop, you love reading the tags. You like to know where it comes from and what the ministry is about. Many of you have told us how you love when you can see a picture of the artisan. Personally, I think it helps people connect. We launched our Fresh Water Pearl Collection with Samaritan Creations in Thailand in February and it really has been a huge seller. I am so proud of these ladies! But one thing we noticed is that their products were now so beautiful and modern that their tags needed to match their product line. So we got our design team on it. Just so you know, that is me and Michelle and design is nowhere on our formal training list. So what did we do? Threw up a quick prayer and drew on our experience with our customers.
I gotta say, I love this card. It is simple and elegant just like their new collection. Mimm is the artisan on the card and she is 19 years old. We have gifted Samaritan Creations with these cards so they can brand all their jewelry the same! So guys, do you love the new card?
Check out our new store card, what do you think? What makes this card special? It tells the story of The Marketplace. It's about collaboration. There is a deep friendship and mutual respect. It has been such joy to get to meet these amazing artisans and learn their stories. Top left: Tsering from JOYN from India. Top right: My girls from Samaritan Creationsfrom Thailand. Bottom Right: Cara and Abrahm from SutiSana from Bolivia. Bottom Left: Bensen from 2nd Story Goods from Haiti.