Friday, January 8, 2010

There's a time to dream... and a time to just START!

Little Girl Dreams
Since I was a little girl I have always loved dreaming and creating. 

I started writing and illustrating a book at the age of 11 or 12.  I called it "The Lillifoot Club." I smile when I think of the name of its pivotal character "Heckett."  I remember how soft and romantic that name sounded to me at the time... "H-e-c-k-e-t-t"   It doesn't seem to have the same sweet ring to it now that it did to me then.  :) And I never finished that novel but I do remember the joy creating it gave me.  Whistfully, I imagined someday my writing would be discovered and my novel would be there right next to "Little House on the Prairie" books in my hometown library.


Young Woman Dreams

Over the years I have achieved some of my fondest dreams.  I married my high school sweetheart at just 19 and I have loved him for over 32 years now.  I have 4 kids who love God and are really great people.  I not only love them but I like them.  I always wanted to be a Mom.  My two daughters have married good and godly men and I now have 3 sweet grandchildren to spoil.  
I've also had the chance to fulfill my dream of writing a book when in the 1990's my sister-in-law, Ruthann, and I were published by Harvest House Publishers.  Ruthann, who now writes the inspiring Sugar Pie Farmhouse, had a great family oriented product that God used to open the door for a book deal.  The books were beautiful and I'm proud to have had the honor of working with her to fulfill that dream.



My little girl all grown up...  
Previous picture is our first born, Brianne, on the day she was dedicated to God in church. 
Above, Brianne is all grown up holding her little girl Ailish.  


Vintage Dreams
In the course of living I have grown in many ways, some of which I am proud of and others not-so-much.  


I've grown to be more FORGIVING of others.  I've also grown a fluffier shape.  lol.  
I think I'm a more THANKFUL person but I've always got too many things on my wish list.


One thing that hasn't changed fast enough for my own good, is a fair assessment of myself.  Unfortunate experiences early in life created in my mind a negative image of self that is still hard to shake.  


I love cheer leading others and find myself an eager and ready fan.  But when it comes to me, I am harsh, cruel, and even a bully sometimes.  It is an inner voice that conflicts daily with what I read in God's Word.  


He says I am His child.  His precious one.  His little lamb.  




And I'm created in His image.


It was on a Sunday morning this past December, that I was made aware again of how unfair my thinking was.  I was getting ready in front of the mirror criticizing everything I saw... name calling at the image in the mirror... it was a comfortable routine and seemed quite justified and rational at the time.  


I'm overweight, I have wrinkles and cellulite, my energy level is waaaay too low, I'm not a great cook or housekeeper. I'm not the best knitter, or crafter.  My wardrobe is unimaginative and if you could see inside me you would cringe to know how flawed my spiritual life and character is.  I'm not the daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend or child of God that I should to be.  


I asked a sincere question of God that day that I have asked Him before... 
"God what were you thinking when you made me?"


This time, I got an answer... In my heart I heard him say... "You say you love me and that you are a thankful person but you criticize me for my judgement in making you."  


The truth of it stung my heart.  I was being unkind to myself but I was being most unfair and critical of GOD.  I was focusing on every negative thing I could think of about myself instead of getting excited about the great things God had planned for me before I was even born.  I was treating myself in a way that I would never let my kids treat each other. And I was insulting God by telling Him that He didn't know what He was doing when He made me.  Somehow, I knew better than He did who needs to be on this earth.  The minute I heard it I knew how wrong I was.

  I'm not a mistake I'm a child of the King!


I've been thinking.  I know something has to change.  My thinking has often kept me paralyzed from stepping out and following the dreams God's put in my heart.  I've lived in fear... afraid of not measuring up, afraid of failing, afraid of rejection, afraid of being found out. 


Fear prevents God from blessing me with the truth of knowing why He made me.  Why He wanted me on this earth.  


So, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone.  I'm going to stop making excuses and just START!  I'm going to abandon caution and embrace the dreams that God has put in my heart.  I'm going to live a more thankful life starting with not judging my success by what other people say or think but on how obedient I'm being to what He lays on my heart.  Any success is totally His.


Starting this blog for Stoneybrooke Cottage is one of my first steps in living a life that is more thankful to God. It is the dream that has been in my heart for the past year.

I have designed a line of magnetic vintage style Portuguese knitting pins that as of TODAY are for sale at www.andreawongknits.com.  I also have a line of jewelry and fun vintage style treasures for knitters that will be debuting in my www.stoneybrookecottage.etsy.com Etsy store in the next month or so.








I'm going to use the blog to share my journey of starting up my dream business.  It won't be all serious and long every time.  In fact, I hope you'll find lots of occassions to smile.  Either way it will be from my heart.  I don't know how God is going to use this for His glory but I trust that He will. 

I've asked knitting mentors Tabitha and Andrea Wong, sister-in-law Ruthann and other member of my family for advice.  They have been kind enough to share their wisdom with me.  It's such a blessing to have friends to walk with me as I take this new path in my life.  And I'd love it if you would join me too.


Perhaps you've been thinking that you need a little encouragement to follow the dream God has put in your heart.  Maybe you needed to hear that you are no mistake, but God WANTS you here for His purpose.  Let's encourage and support each other.  I'm a little bit "skeered" and maybe you are too but I'm also excited to see what God has in store for us.  


Step Number 1... Send magnetic Portuguese knitting pins to Andrea Wong. (Done)

Step Number 2... Post a blog.  (Finally Done! Look what progress I've made already!)


14 comments:

  1. How I appreciate your honesty and sincerity. You have real courage. I find myself relating to much of what you shared. Your venture looks and sounds so unique and interesting! You go!

    Chris Carder

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  2. Woo Hooooo! You did it! I am so proud of you sista!! I've believed in you all along...you are so talented and full of wisdom and humor I am so glad you are sharing these gifts with the world! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! Get ready for big blessings for being obedient to what the Lord has spoken to your heart! You go girl! We need to celebrate! How about next week we go to some of our fave vintage shops ...take in a yummy lunch at Spring Creek Tea Room and of course have cake for dessert...thats a given! The best is yet to come!
    Love you!
    Ruthann

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  3. Mom, I'm so proud of you and the amazing woman you are. Thank you for being such a wonderful example of a Godly woman, wife and mother. I can't wait to see what life holds for you in this new and exciting season!

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  4. I cried through all your heartfelt, emotional blogging, and want to tell you how much of an inspiration you are to me, and now to others! You are a BEAUTIFUL person, inside & out. You can't hide these things, they are there - in you! You've always been there for me, ESPECIALLY in the cheerleading department and I truly LOVE you for that. It's a special gift that God has bestowed on you. I love your jewelry and crafts! I know you'll do exceptionally well. CONGRATULATIONS!
    P.S. I want to go to the Spring Creek Tea Room, too!!!

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  5. I am proud of you and blessed to know you. :-) One of the things I heard at church last week has really stuck with me, and it's this: "God doesn't just love ALL of us; He loves EACH of us."

    Congratulations, and I pray that this will be a divine expanding of your territory.

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  6. I love it Linda! Great job! Your pictures are awesome! Thanks for sharing your life...very cool!

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  7. You are all such great encouragers. I am thankful for each of YOU!

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  8. small world..i love Ruth Ann and look forward to her posts..I am also portuguese, although i forgot the portuguese way of knitting..My mom used to do it that way..
    take care,

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  9. Hi LuLu... glad you stopped by. I love Ruthann too! :) If you decide to pick up portuguese knitting again (my favorite) I recommend checking out www.andreawongknits.com. She has great instructional dvd's that make it easy to pick up the skill.

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  10. Every warm and loving memory from my childhood starts or ends with you. You have always been my big sister, my mentor, my encourager, my comforter, and so much more. I'm more of my true self when I'm with you, than I am with anyone else. You prayed for my existence, and you pray for me still...and I feel it everyday. What ever you love about me is really a reflection of the love you poured into my heart staring right back at you. I treasure you so Linda. Holly

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  11. That is so sweet Holly. You always have made me feel so loved. (I may get a tattoo your words so I will NEVER forget it. :) You have always been a blessing to me and always will be. Thanks God for answering that prayer. Love you always. Linda

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  12. What a lovely blog! I've added you to my blogroll and I added your etsy shop to my favorites. I'm looking forward to seeing what you put up there, and reading more about your journeys!

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  13. Thanks Sheri! I keep seeing and hearing such glowing reports of your creative endeavors. You definitely have the eye for great style. I admire your ability to juggle it all. Blessings to you. I'm trying to figure out how to link to you right now. Wish me luck. lol

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  14. Linda - I just received my new Portugese knitting pin from Andrea's website. I ordered the Cotswold and LOVE IT!!! I somehow found her TV appearance on YouTube and was "bitten" by the need to learn the Portugese way of knitting. It is amazing! I have read every word on your site and you truly are an amazing woman. Thank you for putting God at the center of your life and success, for without Him, we are nothing. Beautiful family, by the way.

    Jennie G.
    Newnan, GA

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