Friday, December 22, 2017

Good-Bye 2017

What a year 2017 has been.  Some years zoom by with relative sameness as past years.  For us 2017 was not like past years!

We started off the year with big plans for Pear Creek Cottage to attend the Business Boutique one day event in Sacramento, California.  This was Pear Creek Cottage's first "Live Event".  Taking ones on-line business to a "Live Event" is revealing, to say the least.  Learning to display items; engage in conversations that are in real time and not "virtual", and using different financial services for handling transaction were all part of our learning curve.  But, we LOVED it!  Meeting other women who are either in business, or dreaming of starting a business was such and encouragement and inspiration to us.  It was a big booster shot.

After returning home from this event, Terri and I were hustling.  We were super busy through-out the Spring and Summer.  Not only with filling orders and running the business, but we also were planning and creating for the Super Business Boutique Event in Nashville.  The plan was formulated, and to be executed by Jan and her husband Jerry. 

Yet another curve ball came our way in July of 2017 when we were notified of Jerry's pending layoff from his company.  Not what we were expecting as we had carefully planned trip expenses to Nashville.  We had decided to drive and take some extended time traveling since we were coming from California.  As the clock ticked down and the departure date arrived, we had by that time gone back and forth on the practicality of attending the event so far from home. 

The practical side was tugging on us to "throw in the towel" and claim defeat as our plans were shattered.  But, we are people of faith!  We made the decision to step out in faith, believing that this wonderful opportunity that had come to us was a gift given by our Father in Heaven.  So, against conventional wisdom, we stepped out and drove ourselves back to Nashville for the Big Business Boutique Event.

Along the drive, we were encouraged and had our spirits lifted by the adventure of "not knowing" what exactly was next.  Expectancy and excitement were our companions as we literally were moving forward in faith, believing that the risk we were taking was and still is part of our growth process.

Seeing the different parts of America as we drove to our destination was also a moral booster for both of us.  We have always dreamed of driving across country and exploring this great nation.  So, we decided to enjoy the adventure and the scenery, even though some states topography are not our favorites, we did find beauty in the diversity.

There was so much to absorb and learn at the BB in Nashville.  I am still applying the notes I took, and making changes and adjustments to my business to help grow and blossom in 2018.
Needless to say it was overwhelming and invigorating all in one.  To see the power of women believing in their dreams, and the people who are behind them helping them realize their dreams is a powerful force.  Many husbands also attended the BB, which kind of surprised me, but then, on the other hand, inspired me.  Seeing the men, behind the women believing in "the dream" sometimes even more, than the woman herself is amazing.
I had my own support team rooting and cheering behind the scenes and in the grandstands! Thank you to my family and friends who have supported and believed in me, all the way.  Of course, I too had my husband right there by my side. Speaking life giving words of hope and encouragement over me.  Also, I had the very best traveling companion.  My best friend and my soulmate.
As we come to the close of this year, and look forward with anticipation to the faith adventures that await us in 2018,  we especially want to THANK YOU for all your support, belief, love and favor that you've blessed us with this year.  It may not seem like a big thing to you, but by supporting our small business you are believing in our dreams and promoting us to move forward in helping others realize their dreams as well.  So ,a huge big Thank You from the bottom of our hearts.  Looking forward to exploring 2018 with you.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Patches and Daisy's Adventures to Nashville and Beyond

Patches and Daisy's Adventure to Business Boutique was full of unique opportunities to meet new people, and to even go home with their new owners.

As we left California, and drove across Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, I was assembling new brothers and sisters for the original Patches and Daisy's that I made.  I wanted to be able to have as many as possible to take to the Business Boutique in Nashville.  Each time I would complete one of the bears, I would smile.  Hoping that each bear would offer their new owners the same response!  JOY and gladness.  Learning to live as "The Beloved".

What a great time of learning and sharing we participated in at the Boutique.  Laughing with others, and encouraging them in their business endeavors.   Exchanging ideas and contacts.  I am particularly grateful that Jerry, my husband, was able to make the trip to Nashville with me, and all the Pear Creek Cottage goodies that we piled in the car.  Having his stable presence was calming for my excited nerves, and his assistance in set up and take down was so helpful.

It was such a great re-connecting time as husband and wife.  We were both under considerable amount of stress the weeks leading up to the event.  Me, with getting items ready to take with us and sell.  Jerry, with finishing up things at his company, as he lost his job, right before our trip.

This whole year has been teaching and reminding us that we live by faith and not by sight.  When we said yes to attend the conference in Tennessee, we had no idea at the time that Jerry would be losing his job.

We are thankful we stepped out in faith, and followed our hearts, and went on this trip to Tennessee.  We are not sure how God is going to work, but we believe with confidence, the changes we are experiencing and traveling through are for a greater, deeper purpose than we realize.  We are choosing to TRUST, and live in JOY.

We have a fondness for The Great Smoky Mountains.  They have become one of Jerry and my favorite places to visit.  We weren't sure that the trip would allow for extended travel time that allowed us to journey into our beloved mountains.  But, as it turns out, that was another added bonus from our Loving and Caring Father God.

It seemed so fitting that Patches and Daisy were able to enjoy the scenery as much as Jerry and I do.  The musical sound of rushing water over the rocks in the river.  The ever so slight timbre of leaves falling, and the brisk Fall air were a soothing balm for us.

My eyes were brimming with tears of joy and thankfulness for the opportunity we had to take this trip and enjoy the majestic beauty in God's creation.  It seem like a "Shalom Moment" ; all is peaceful and calm, knowing that no matter what happens in the future...we know that we are safe in God's hands and He will carry us through these times of unknowing and uncertainty.

"In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him".  Psalm 95:4 

We don't see all the answers from our current perspective, but we are continually choosing to "walk by faith, and not by sight"; as the journey continues to unfold we will share what we are learning along the way.

"But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1"

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Beloved Bears are HERE!

Ever since reading Bonnie Gray's book, "Whispers of Rest", I have been on a quest, a journey, learning to live as the Beloved of God.  This book, and the process of change, has been eye opening and just what I needed at just the right time.

Like many folks, I've struggled with the need for approval.  Feeling inadequate.  Trying to gain acceptance.  One of the patterns that I've developed has been to work gain more.  The harder I work, the more others will like me.  This has worked like a charm!  It has turned me into a workaholic, an emotional "stuffer", and a stressed out human being.  My relationships have suffered,  my health has suffered, and my soul has suffered.  Not a good way to live ones life.

I really enjoy creating with my hands and my heart.  My head is full of creative ideas and possibilities.  My creative process is usually an extension from what I am learning and discovering, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.  As I've been digesting the truths in the book "Whispers of Rest",  I like to create little tangible reminders of the precepts and truths I'm learning.  This helps reinforce the lessons I'm learning.  A way of reviewing and remembering.

One of the ways I am choosing to remember is through this adorable little stuffed bear which I made.  I named them, "Beloved Bears".  A truth to remind me that God takes the pieces and the patches of my life, and stitches them together with His threads of grace and mercy, to create 'ME'.  His one of a kind creation that brings Him joy.  That is hard to comprehend at times.  I bring God JOY!  Not my workaholism.  Not what I do.  Not what I look like, or what I say.  But me, just as I am...I bring Him JOY!  He delights to be in my presence.  WOW!  Even just typing the words, stops me in my tracks once again.
I have wanted to learn, embrace, and live these truths.  The idea of the "Beloved Bears" came to me as a way I can practice remembering.  I thought, if I put magnets inside the bear, I can stick him on the fridge, in my office....on my exercise bike...wherever I can see him and be reminded of the truth he represents.

Now, you know a little of the back story how the bears came to be.  To me, when I see them, they make me smile.  They bring me joy and hope.  I hope they do the same for you.  You are special.  You are unique, one of a kind...made for a specific purpose.  You are BELOVED!

Patches and Daisy will be accompanying me to the Business Boutique in Nashville, Tennessee.  This is an incredible opportunity that has been opened up to me.  I am still in process getting ready.  There have been obstacles in the way which should prevent me from attending; like my husband losing his job.  However, our God is greater, and stronger, and bigger than the obstacles, and we are trusting that He is leading us, even when we don't understand.
You can use the Coupon Code: PEARCREEK for a discount to attend the Business Boutique.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Learning to Live As The Beloved

I was so excited to be chosen to be part of the new book launch for Bonnie Gray's new book: "Whispers Of Rest".
Everything about this book has drawn me in.  The title, the reviews, the summaries.  I mean, after all, who doesn't want "REST" in their life?  "40 Days of God's Love to Revitalize Your Soul" ???....I'm all in!!

Having previously read Bonnie's book Finding Spiritual Whitespace, and meeting Bonnie at one of her speaking engagements, I was a fan already.  So, picking up her new book, and reading and doing the exercises listed, was thrilling for me.  What I didn't realize or expect was the depth that this journey would take me on.  It is my Love Story with Jesus...from the beginning, and being written and lived out daily.   The journey...the path of learning to live as THE BELOVED...daily.

It's not just a spiritual high from retreat or camp.  It is a moment by moment, breathing, living relationship with my LORD, Jesus Christ.  It is passionate.  It is intimate.  It is life giving, and life sustaining.  It is redefining how I think, and choose to live.

One of the ways I express myself is through gift giving.  As I have been journeying through this book, (now my second time through), I am continually thinking of tangible ways to remind myself of the truths I am learning and discovering.  Accepting myself as God's Beloved, and viewing myself through His loving eyes has given me even greater freedom to express my love back to Him in creative and artful ways.  When I was stitching up this patchwork bear,  I was giddy with laughter and full of JOY as I was creating.  The bear was coming together and I was blossoming in the experience...when I realized, YES!  This is me living as The Beloved.

God made me to create and have joy in experiencing the creative process.  This is how God feels about me when He created me, and sees me "come alive" again in the creating process.  So, I dubbed him "Beloved Bear".  He has magnets in his back so I can stick him on different metal surfaces.  He travels around the house with me as a reminder of how much I am loved, and cherished.  The same delight I had in making him is just a pinprick of the the Delight that Jesus has in me.

I hope you enjoy the photos, and catch a glimpse of what you can discover between the pages of this book.

"Life may seem easier without our dreams.  But we weren't made to simply do life as maintenance.  There are God-Breathed Dreams planted in each of us that are still alive, even if we've left them behind." Bonnie Gray

To pick up you own "Beloved Bear" visit my Etsy shop. (Coming Soon)
Pear Creek Cottage

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whispers Of Rest Challenge and Launch Team

I have been thrilled and honored to be part of Bonnie Gray's new book launch:  Whispers Of Rest.

I discovered Bonnie Gray's writings through the In(Courage) Blog on
Her writing style connected with my heart.  I felt like she was able to put words to my feelings better than I could even express.

Her first book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest; was so life giving and restoring to my soul.  I told everyone who would listen, about it.  I spent time reading and studying for months.  Applying the truths and wisdom of nurturing my soul, becoming all that God desires for me.  So, when I found out that she was looking for people to participate in her new book launch, I was falling all over myself to sign up!  True to Bonnie's heart and style, this new book, Whispers Of Rest is pure refreshment. Click here to buy your copy.

Arriving at just the right time when I needed to move out of "production and accomplishment mode", into a season of restoration and rejuvenation.

I have underlined, and made notations in each section. With Bonnie's gentle, guiding tone, she ushers me into the presence of Jesus, and the amazing journey of living as The Beloved.

I really enjoy how the book is designed.  It truly is like a trail guide.  Helping one to stop and notice how The Spirit of God is intimately at work in our lives. With Scripture, mediation & prayer practices, quotes, challenges, and research information, each chapter guides you through a theme for the day.

One of my favorite readings was day 14. - Choose Grace.

"Your art, your voice matters.  Let grace in, not guilt.
Be present, not perfect
Don't wait until the critical voices die down."

"Grace means we are no longer trying to make up for our weaknesses.  Give yourself permission to express God's beauty in you--fully, just as you are.  Don't wait to be yourself with God.  Not tomorrow when you feel more qualified.  Not later, when you are no longer struggling.  Don't wait until you're no longer broken." 

"Stop thinking about grace and put grace into action.  Start responding to God's love--instead of other's expectations of what is beautiful or good enough."

This continues to be a powerful motivator for me.  Realizing that so often I live my life listening to my critics, or my inner critic.  Having a perspective of guilt instead of grace. I'm practicing this more and more, as I want my life to be full of grace and freedom.  The chapter continues with the following:

"You Are Worth It"
"It's an automatic response when I want to share something free from my heart--when I'm drawn to do something I want to enjoy.  I begin to feel guilty for not doing something earlier--for something I did, didn't do, or did wrong. 
 I beat myself up.  I replay my mistakes.  I waste enormous amounts of energy reenacting how I could have done it differently.  I feel bad.  I feel that I am bad.  
We become afraid to fully lean into that feeling of rest.  And joy.  Or peace.  We might not think we deserve rest or special attention.  We might not think we've earned it.  We may be afraid to give time and attention to nurture our passion. 
 Am I really worth it?  you may silently ask. 
 In the heart of every woman.  God whispers, 
Yes.  You are worth it.  
You are my Beloved.  You are mine.  
One of the reasons we allow guilty feelings to rule is that we feel safe when we don't try.  No one can hurt us if we don't do anything. We can't feel rejected if we never attempt to blossom.  
We won't have regrets , we tell ourselves.  But there is a longing God placed in us that doesn't go away.  Every woman longs to dream, to feed her soul and rest.  Everyone longs to move beyond coping and surviving.  Every woman longs to be loved.

WOW!  This is where I feel stuck.  I continually struggle with feelings of guilt that I put on myself for not "performing up to par".  It is hard to know how to balance "promoting oneself", when running a business, and then "pampering oneself" to become renewed, and rested.

I am learning to view myself as The Beloved.  Asking Jesus how to move forward.  Listening to Him when He just wants me to stop and "play" or "rest"...To be thankful for how He tenderly loves and cares for me.  When I stop, and rest with Him, I am caring for my soul just as He intends.  I am not a machine that only produces.  I am made in His awesome image.  He is continuing to teach me what living in His image and His presence looks like.
I am a creative maker soul.  I love to surround myself with works that I've made from my hands.  The cross stitch hanging behind me is my heart on display.  I always wanted to be a Mom.  God allowed me the honor and privilege to become a mom to two precious children.  What a delight they are to me.  The JOY of watching them grow into whom God created them to be is extremely soul satisfying.  Now, I am a gramma to four lovelies.  I continue to take the scripture to heart: (3 John 1:4
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth").  My continual prayer as I am growing and learning to live as The Beloved, is to help teach my children and grandchildren that same blessing.

Thank you Bonnie, for using your calling, and gifts to encourage other women...even Gramma's on the path of abundant living.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Business Boutique and Planners

What an exciting year it has been so far.  We began the year anticipating our first Live Event at the Business Boutique in Sacramento, California.  Many days were spent preparing, and creating for this fun opportunity.  And what an opportunity it was!  We met Christy Wright, the founder of Business Boutique, and we were challenged, inspired, and encouraged by her.  Dave Ramsey also spoke, in his down to earth style.  Both Terri (my sister) and I were stretched in our thinking. 
We were affirmed.  I definitely received a "shot in the arm" to continue down the path that God is leading Pear Creek Cottage.  I would highly recommend attending a Business Boutique event if you have the chance.  They give sound advice and encouragement to women on how to make money doing what you love. 

Terri & I @ Business Boutique

We have developed some brand new listings in our Etsy shop!  Terri and I, both have re-discovered our love for planners and organizing our days, calendars, and lives.  For me personally, it's like documenting my daily life, and my faith, all in one.  Remembering birthdays, bill payments, commitments, and other life events.  All of this is done in a Scrapbooking style.  Bits and pieces of cute cut outs.  Quotes I want to remember.  Inspirational sayings, and life changing moments are all being recording in my planner/agenda book.  So, the new listings were developed, because I designed them to use them in my own planner!😁

We have three new offerings of planner clips/bookmarks and chipboard dashboards.  The nice thing is, you can use the "dashboards" for templates, for ornaments, magnets and more.  The same with the paper clips.  You can turn these cute images into whatever you would like them to be.  Package toppers, gift tags, pin brooches and more.

I'm including the links for you to view the different styles in the shop:

Coffee clips

Mason Jar

As always, thank you for joining me in this journey of life.

Monday, January 30, 2017

New Year = Brand New Pear Creek Cottage Newsletter

As January is wrapping up, and February close behind, I wanted to share some exciting new things happening at Pear Creek Cottage.

For some time now, I've been wanting to start a Shop Newsletter.  I have met so many great and wonderful people in the almost 7 years I've been open.  Pear Creek Cottage has introduced me to lots of new things that I was not aware of: such as the huge, Tutu craze that was so popular with not just children, but adults too.   Also,  I learned about Scentsy.  Having never heard of the company before, and now, enjoying the benefits of knowing so many wonderful people who sell Scentsy products.
I now know first hand, what neat gifts that Scentsy warmers and wax make as Christmas and birthday gifts.

As a way of staying better connected to my customers/friends, I thought a Newsletter would be a great way to keep up to date on specials, promotions, and just the happenings in day to day life.

So, I'm launching the first Newsletter and asking folks to sign up to automatically receive the latest up to date info, right in your email!

As an incentive, and "Thank You" for being the first to sign up, I have a FREE offer for YOU!

For everyone who subscribes to my Newsletter, I will send you a Coupon Code to the shop.  You won't want to miss this one!  You will receive $5.00 off your entire purchase of $25.00 or more with the Coupon Code!

Once you sign up, the Coupon Code will be revealed.  This deal is a limited time offer, so don't wait to sign up for the Pear Creek Cottage Newsletter.

As always, thank you for supporting me, and journeying with me as we inspire and encourage each other.