July 14, 2015
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 ESV
God sees you in your wilderness and does a new thing that you were
totally not expecting. Those dreams He placed in your heart as a five
year old may still come true after all….
the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of owning a store. I would set
up shop in my bedroom and advertise to the rest of the house. My
offerings consisted of pencil sketches, and various knick-knacks. At the
same time, I was growing up in a Christian home that was nestled on my
grandparents’ farm just outside of Raleigh, NC.
grew up loving Jesus and gave my life to Him in a Baptist church at the
age of nine. I was sold out for Jesus and would share Him with anyone I
knew. Music was an important part of my life and by the time I was in
High School, I played piano and several band instruments. I often
dreamed of attending Julliard, but I also dreamed of making big bucks in
the corporate world.
High School 7th in my class of almost 300. Multiple scholarships for
academics and volunteer work sent me to NC State where I majored in
Textile Materials Science. God gifted me with a brain that loved
chemistry, physics, and math just as much as I loved literature and
music. Perhaps this lethal combination of being technical AND artsy led
to me turning away from God….
1994 I graduated with a B.S. in Textile Materials Science and entered
Graduate School in the same major with minors in Economics and
Psychology. By this time, I was also unfortunately “majoring” in boys,
alcohol, and partying. I was receiving a stipend to go to school, and
was also cleaning the men’s department at a local department store at 7
AM every morning.
partying…there are literally moments of my life that I don’t remember….I
had been given SO much, and I was throwing it all away.
met my future husband while in graduate school. That is a story in
itself. He was not a believer and had barely ever attended church. And
obviously, I wasn’t walking with the Lord as I once had. With only one
semester of graduate school left, I dropped out and Chas and I were soon
And it was not
“happily married” for at least the first 8 years. We did everything we
could to destroy our marriage because obviously we had not invited God
to be a part of it. BUT GOD kept us together, kept us from killing each
other, and kept us from talking about our problems with others.
the eyes of the world, we were both hugely successful in the corporate
world. God moved us to Rockingham County where we both found lucrative
jobs and moved up the ladder. I began traveling to companies helping
with product development and machine set-ups.
We had everything but the One thing we needed…
had lots of time alone in the car to think and to listen. And God was
talking. He was telling me to get back to church, and more importantly,
to Him. My upbringing was coming back to me.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
verse doesn’t say that we will not EVER leave what we have learned. And
I was coming back and going to bring my husband with me. We started
attending church, Chas got saved, and life started to become different.
a period of weeks, I felt God telling me to quit my career. I
approached my husband who was in shock. He reminded me of the bills we
had to pay and the serious debt we had. So, I prayed and prayed hard.
And Chas’s heart softened. He told me I needed to do what God was
After eight years
of being on the road and working out of my home office, I asked for my
first face to face meeting with my boss. He was a very tough,
regimented boss, but a believer. I talked to him for a few minutes about
things that concerned me in the company and then I handed him my
resignation letter. What happened next totally caught me off guard. He
begged me to stay for at least 6 months to help find and train a
replacement. And he offered to continue my pay and let me work just two
days a week. This would free me up to start volunteering at church
immediately. I prayed about it with my husband over the weekend and took
his offer. And in those 6 months, we got out of debt.
months later, my husband walked away from his career and joined me.
After a few years of serving on staff at a church, we left and went on
the road. We traveled throughout the southeast helping churches with
administrative and marketing needs. Out of this, our criminal background
screening company was birthed.
God called my husband to plant a church in Greensboro. Calvary Chapel
Greensboro is a wonderful place of come-as-you are people, contemporary
worship, and verse-by-verse solid teaching.
meant I became a pastor’s wife. Wow. Didn’t see that coming. Lots of
work there including, up fitting a building, counseling, playing piano
for worship, leading a ladies’ Bible study, and supporting my husband.
I started using my hands and my artsy side. And collecting vintage. I
started participating in craft shows and renting spaces in antique
Then one day, I was in
the little town of Madison, NC where our “careers” had started. After
having a doctor’s appointment, I was looking for a little consignment
store in downtown. The building they had been in for years was full of
primitive antiques with a little “for sale by owner” sign in the window.
The store had moved across the street and this building was empty. My
husband called to see what I was doing and I told him about the store. I
had no idea what God was working on…..
have held investment properties for several years and my husband
informs me that this very day, we had gone under contract on an
apartment complex. We would need another investment property very soon.
My heart was flooded with emotion. I had tucked that little girl’s
dream so far away, but it was still there…..
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 NKJV
called the number on the sign and got a voice mail which opened with
John 3:16. When we met with the owner, he dropped the price LOWER than
what we were planning to offer. And then we stood in this 95 year old
building and prayed. We went under contract and were given a key before
we closed so we could start cleaning, measuring, and planning for
artists and collectors. The day we closed on the property, we prayed in
the lawyer’s office. How often does that happen??
took a few weeks to get things ready. We would be in the store late at
night and folks would drop by and share their testimonies. We often
heard “I have no idea why I’m sharing this,” but I knew. God gave me my
dream so He could get the glory. He reminded me of this through each
testimony I heard.
just before Thanksgiving in 2013. I started a weekly ladies’ Bible
study in April of 2014. Several ladies come each week and one
grandmother has given her life to the Lord that had never even opened a
Bible. People come in throughout the week that are beat up and broken.
It is an honor to stop whatever I am doing, lay a hand on their shoulder
While I love to
receive compliments on the art and vintage collectibles in the store,
the biggest compliment I have received has been from multiple people
telling me that Jesus is in this place. As long as I am here, He is
welcome. And He will get the glory.
made this all possible. He gave me brains to get an education which
gave me a great career and enabled me to get out of debt when He called
me. And after all those years of finally realizing that it is all about
HIM, He gave me the desire of my heart that I had as a five year old
little girl in her bedroom.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV
And, oh, how I love HIM.