Cumberland

 

Today began just like any other day. The hustle and heavy stuff of the day was weighing on my mind. I ran into the bedroom in a frantic fury looking for the ear buds to my iPhone so I could hear my voicemail’s clearly without the screaming of the diva’s in the background. I happened to shuffle an old pile of magazines on my nightstand to the left and that’s when I saw a bright purple blast of color peeking out from beneath the clutter. I grabbed it quickly, ready to toss it out as I assumed it would be a leftover list from some past grocery run or something.

I decided to read it first.

And I had to sit down.

I looked at it over and over remembering the day I handed this piece of paper to Allen and wrote down the information. I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten this moment in my life.

And then it hit me. I grabbed my phone to check the date.

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Today is August 5th.

Exactly two years ago today I spoke at an event in town that changed the course of my life forever.

Let me rewind…….

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When we moved back to Wisconsin we rented a beautiful home in a small town called McKinley. We came to this place having absolutely no plans of how our future would unfold. We showed up willing for the first time in our lives to let God finally show us what it is we could accomplish if we made the choice to place unending faith in his divine guidance.

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This place was peace personified.

The quiet crisp nights were filled with a gentle spirit like we’d never known. We would sit outside and watch the stars begin to twinkle as we’d sit by the fire wondering who on earth we were supposed to be now. We’d never felt so lost and so found at the same time. It’s a feeling I still have trouble describing. It felt like we were returning to ourselves. Our true selves which we’d been muffling for so many years. We had nothing but blank space before us and we took every advantage of really allowing that blank space to whisper to us. Steph-Farmparty-school 326

Jon began to explore his soul. This “business man” who was used to wearing a suit to work every day and working in an office behind a computer was now discovering talents about himself he never thought possible. One day our neighbor asked him if he’d help him cut and rake the hay for his cattle. If you would have told us a year before that Jon was going to be riding in a tractor cutting hay we would have spit our Starbucks in your face and laughed! Now we found ourselves riding the wave of the unknown and coasting into new experiences which broke us free from our comfort zones.

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Which leads me to a fateful day I decided to bring the girls to the small beach at Grenquist Lake. I remember I almost didn’t go. My anxiety was so high it was all that I could do to keep from crawling out of my skin. I was in the descent stage after our move. The adrenaline of the move was over, we were all un packed and settled in. All the busy work was done and we’d gotten ourselves into a nice cozy stage of still.

We were in that “now what?” stage of the situation.

We were in that “oh GOD what did we do?” stage of the situation.

We were in that “I have way too much free time to think about this terrifying choice we made and now we’re here and I am afraid we aren’t going to make it and we are going to fall even harder” stage of the situation.

And the last thing I wanted to do was go to the beach. I remember Jon told me, “You should go! Just sit and relax by the water. There’s nothing we can do right now anyway- you need to stop worrying and find something to be happy about right now.”

I decided to go to the beach.

I listened to that inner nudge that told me Jon was right and I packed the girls up in the wagon and we rolled down the gravel driveway to the lake right across the street from our house.

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As we pulled ourselves up to the beach I noticed a young woman, her mother and three children playing in the lake. The grandma and mom were on the dock while the kids jumped and played in the water. Immediately my girls began to play with the kids which left the “mom’s” to have time for idle chit chat. We started by introducing ourselves and I just happened to spill our story. Up until that point, we’d been pretty much hiding out in our country house only visiting with family and friends. I hadn’t met anyone outside of our circle yet. I remember I just began to pour my heart out to these sweet ladies. I told them everything. I’m sure it was the trauma and shock still lingering in my veins causing me to unleash it all.  But there was also something else. Something I’d never felt before.

It felt like I was supposed to tell them.

It felt like God was guiding me to tell them.

In the past, when I would talk about our challenges in life with people I often felt like I was burdening that person with my negative “drama’ and I would stop myself.

This felt different.

This felt like I was almost pushed into telling them because something bigger and beyond my own knowledge was at play here. So I did. They heard it all. Every bit of Jon getting fired and my Sugar Wood business and how I love to bake and photograph. I told them how we were starting over and taking a huge risk and depending on God to guide us.

I told them the truth with absolutely no shame about it.

And that’s when the mom around my age mentioned that her father Allen was the president of the Kiwanis Club in Cumberland and he might be interested in meeting me and letting me talk to the club at their next meeting about Sugar Wood.

And there you have it.

The reason I felt so guided to tell them our story was so I could meet Allen. I had no idea of this thread that would link me to them. All I knew was to finally trust my gut and share my heart without shame and God would do the rest of the work. God knew this connection was there at the beach waiting for me. And God knew Allen would allow me to speak at their next meeting in front of 40 business owners in my beautiful town of Cumberland.

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Today I will stop the story here and rest in this space. The connections and people I met that Monday afternoon at the Corner Bar in town have shifted our life in unmeasurable ways. At that meeting I was placed in front of people who have become some of our best friends and we made business connections which transformed our brand. The rest of this story is for a post on another day.

Today I want to hold on to this feeling. This incredible wave our pure love I’ve felt all day since finding that bright purple note on my nightstand. I believe with all my soul I was guided this morning to see that note. I know God wanted to remind me of this day and how I stood in front of total strangers and shared our business and my story of faith with our fellow community members. It wasn’t “random” how I found my reminder note about the Kiwanis meeting today. And I don’t believe anything is. We are all divinely guided. I am hooked up to a central GPS system that is driven by God’s abundant wisdom and I will never doubt that again in my life.

Two years ago on this very day- I bared my soul to absolute strangers, and look at how far we’ve come. Our brand is now in six retail locations, we ship our product across the country and we are still going strong! We are thankful in our Lord who has a bigger dream for us planned than we can even imagine. We’re still riding this wave and turning our sails toward the wind as we trust in where he is leading us.

I’m going to soak up this glory for just a bit longer today and weep a bit while I revel in the grace that is my blessed comfort and truth.

The truth will forever be our road map home.

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