The January 21st Nutshell

May 6, 2019

  God’s plans are laid out so beautifully in our lives.  Some of His plans go completely unnoticed, others are misunderstood, and there are those plans that stop us dead in our tracks marveling in His amazement.  Here is a story of one such 4 part blessing.  I hope to expand on these areas in future blog entries as they could easily be a book all by themselves. 🙂

   January 21, 1930 was an incredible day.  Granted I was not there but I know of the blessing nevertheless.  On this day a very special baby was born.  He was born in a row-home in Baltimore City.  Present at his birth, was the doctor, a nurse and the grandmother.  He was to be a twin; however, God had other plans.  The first baby was still-born.  Medicine was much different back then so the doctor told the nurse that when the second baby was delivered, throw it in mustard-water, as it is going to die anyway.  The 12 pound 10.5 ounce baby boy was forcefully delivered and placed into mustard-water.  The grandmother noticed that he was alive.  She pulled him from the mustard-water, cleaned out his mouth and nose, and breathed life into him.  Much like how God molds and shapes us, this amazing woman used her hands to reshape his head.  This baby was my dad. <3

  The winter of 1999 was a start of a new season for me.  I was fresh out of a very bad relationship and making slow yet steady progress on my personal healing journey.  I was not ready for anything new much less a man.  Then there he was!  

  I had first seen this amazing man a week before my 22nd birthday.  He was DJing at the restaurant where my friend and I went for dinner.  There was something about him…  During one announcement, he mentioned that he would be back for a Christmas Eve Eve party.  My girlfriend said “Well, I guess we will be back to celebrate your birthday.”  

  A short week later, my parents, a friend and I celebrated my birthday.  After dinner, my friend and I went off to the same restaurant to continue the celebration.  He as there.  The place was packed that evening.  Toward the end of the evening, I made a song request for the specific purpose of talking to him. 

  Fast forward to our first date on January 21, 2000.  My adult faith was new, I was broken, and very distrusting.  I felt much like a new puppy who was growing into it’s body.  I was unsure of myself and very unsure of any relationship.  I was falling head-over-heels and I was petrified. At the risk of sounding completely sappy, I can truly say it was love at first sight.

  Our first date got off to a bit of a rocky start.  After a long day, I came home to my apartment where I found all my water pipes had frozen.  I was not happy.  How in the world was I going to get ready?  I called him and explained what had happened and wanted to know if I could meet him somewhere.  He told me “no”, to do what I needed to and that he would pick me up at 5:30.  I was grateful, a bit panic stricken, and amazed at his calm and patient demeanor.  I called the landlord to explain the issue, went to my parents for a quick shower, and then back to my apartment to get dressed.  My parents followed me back to my apartment to meet and then stay with the repair man.  I got ready.  My mother kept me calm and tried to keep my dad from bothering the repair man who was under the kitchen sink with a hair dryer.  What a fun way for my dad to celebrate his birthday.

  There was a knock on the door…  now remember I said I was fresh out of a bad relationship….  my parents are amazing and very protective.  My father answered the door, looked at the guy standing there and said “What do you want?”  My mother glared at my date and I thought “Oh my, this is interesting.”  I thanked my parents for their love and patience and off we went on to our first date. 

 On the way to dinner, he told me that he had something for me to listen to.  He said “I do not normally record my DJing; however, the night we met I was recording.”  He put the tape into the cassette player.  I could hear his voice and then mine.  He had recorded our very first meeting.  It was incredible.  The weight of the day just disappeared.

  We have been together for 19 years now and married for 17.  My parents slowly let down their guard.  My mom considers him a son and my father and he were like best friends.

  We purchased our first home in 2001.  My husband and I would drive past this incredibly unusual rhombus shaped building on a regular basis.  I would always tell him that one day we would own that building.  He would laugh and ask “What are we going to do with it?”  I would quickly respond “I do not know.”

  As the years went by, our family grew to have 3 amazing children.  I earned my master degree in business and my husband opened his own business.  We would still drive by that same building, now abandoned, and we would have the same conversation.

  As the children got a bit older and more independent, my calling was starting to get louder.  Although I was not exactly sure how to listen, I knew I was on the right track.  Pottery entered back into my life.  My husband and I began looking for a place to house my newish and very messy hobby.  After much discussion, we chose to look at the unusual rhombus shaped building.  How we obtained the building is a story all of it’s own.  The challenges over the property were immense and I look forward to sharing all of the joys and trials that came with this part of the journey.  What I will say now, is that there was not a day that went by that I did not pray over the property.  Every time we would drive by, we would circle the building and pray over her.  We settled on the Under The Horizon studio on January 21, 2011.

   As a child, I used to think that things happened by chance.  As I have matured, some circumstances were just too unbelievable to be left to chance.  In the summer of 2015, a woman contacted me to make arrangements for her and her mother to take a pottery lesson.  She lived in Delaware and her mom lived in Pennsylvania a few hours away from the studio.  They were visiting Gettysburg.

  Their lesson was during the day so the studio was quiet.  It was a beautiful day, the large studio doors were open, and there was a nice breeze.  After a short introduction and a tour, I set them up to play and create on the potter’s wheel.  I can remember the giggles.

  They were gracious enough to write me these letters:  Reference Letter #1 and Reference Letter #2  I was blessed to have them visit once again on August 11, 2016.  I remember the date well as it was only a short 4 months since my father had passed away.  Seeing them was just what I needed.  Our friendship continued to blossom over the years.  Both are such big supporters of my work, and the daughter was always willing to help me grow.  One day I received an amazing offer.  She had thought about it, dreamt about it, and invited me to preach at her church.  Guess what day it was?!  You guessed it – January 21, 2018!

  My team and I made the almost 4 hour drive.  We had beautiful accommodations by my friend and her amazing wife, and had the privilege to share His word to over 700 people in the visible and tangible way of using the potter’s wheel.  You can see the sermon here.  We can be found at the 32 minute mark.

Setting up in Delaware and taking a mental inventory of this blessing.
Momma and I wishing dad a happy birthday in heaven before we leave Delaware.

 January 21st has offered many visible blessings in my life.  The birth of my amazing father, my first date with my husband, settling on my dream property, and sharing God’s word through the love of clay.  This date holds a very special place in my heart.  I am a bit more observant of God’s love and how beautiful His plan is weaved together.  

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