Last week's post about "Broken" (which I forgot to share on FB) got me thinking about an old dream I had. One birthed in the linoleum-tiled halls of Princeton High School.
I was a senior and required to do an end-of-year project as part of the Independent Study program. One of my best buds and I decided to collaborate on a clothing line, since she was studying fashion merchandising and I was studying marketing.
The result of those studies was a brand based on upcycling vintage jeans with hand-painting. We made samples to show the class, but never tried to sell anything ourselves.
It was just a project. A school thing. A grade.
But, it was also the first time "Divine Imperfections" made its way onto paper.
Over the last eleven years so much of life has changed.
I'm no longer interested in painting jeans (thank goodness) for one.
But I've never let go of the idea behind our "brand." I've thought a lot about those words…
The idea of taking old things and making them new.
Taking discarded things and giving them a new life.
Making something beautiful out of something forgotten.
I think it's pretty clear that's a concept dear to my heart.
And that explains why seven years ago (or so) I started a little blog, where I posted Weepies video links and the rantings of a new college grad.
It also explains why a few years ago I took the plunge and updated to a new "website" but kept that same ol’ name.
'Cause that name, those two words, mean something to me.
Together they're greater than the sum of their parts.
Combined they represent life, in all its lovely ordinariness. And God, in all His mysterious glory.
Together they represent a life that is rich and beautiful, not in spite of so much brokenness around us, but because of it.
Every seeming flaw speaks to character.
And that's probably a very heavy-handed way of leading into the news that comes next.
But it's an important part of the story, my story, so I wanted to share.
It’d be really easy to see this step I’m taking today as small, even insignificant. To say, “It’s not that big of deal.”
And in the past that’s exactly what I would have done. Tried to gloss over it, because it seems silly.
But this little step I'm taking today, is not one I'm taking lightly.
Because it’s part of something really important to me. It’s part of this dream. This dream I’ve been carrying in my heart for over a decade now.
The one I tried to ignore, and leave buried in old journals.
A dream to find my own unique way of sharing with the world what matters to me. Namely...
and how they point to grace.
I relaunched my Etsy shop today. That’s the news. The single bullet point.
And while I’ve tried this before, I’ve never done so with this clear a vision. Or this much excitement!
Today I’m opening a store I can be proud of. One more thoughtfully, and meticulously curated, than in the past.
I only posted items I would love to have in my own home, if storage weren’t an issue (and I wasn’t at risk of becoming an A&E special… Hoarders! Anthropologie-inspired edition.).
Every item was lovingly picked by me, saved from a dusty future on overstocked thrift store shelves. (Or from a trash bin after an unsuccessful yard sale.)
I brought these discarded items home, and cleaned them up, then set them up for their own Glamour Shots-styled photoshoot.
Then I settled in with a ruler, and a word processor, painstakingly describing each item, cracks and all.
It’s my hope that these items will now find new homes, where they’ll be put on proud display, or go to good use. Serving as daily reminders that nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Nothing is a lost cause, not when grace enters the picture.
And maybe this seems like a silly hope.
After all, it’s hard to believe an old coffee cup could change someone’s life.
But I never dreamed I’d be where I am, as a seventeen-year-old in paint splattered jeans.
I never knew the impact brainstorming for a class project would have on my whole life.
I never knew how much healing would come to my own heart, or the ways I’d be transformed (am being transformed!) by an unconditional love and an unbelievable grace.
So you never know. Unless you try.
And I’m really happy to be trying this.
If you’ve got a few minutes I hope you’ll visit my “shop.” Maybe someday I’ll have a store front to greet you at, with iced tea and cheesy pop music.
For now what I’ve got is this web link. And a dream.
That and joy at taking one more step on this journey.
Thank you, as always, for sharing in it.
It's so incredibly nice to have your company.