Monday, November 15, 2010

swan song

When my second child was born almost four years ago, I was ready for a change. I had been plugging away as a part-time worship leader in my church, but had grown tired and ready to be a stay-at-home mom for a while. I had always had a dream of owning my own redesign business. It was something I was good at and had been helping friends redecorate for years just for fun. I started thinking, "Wouldn't it be fun to give it a shot?" I was blessed with a husband who had a steady job and we had always been committed to living on just his income, so there wasn't a lot of pressure to make lots of money right away. In addition, I had just given birth to my second daughter, and while she is a huge blessing now and brings so much joy to our family - she was not an easy baby! She refused to sleep at night and I was exhausted...I wanted somethiing "fun" to focus on. Thus, Nesting Instincts was born! I began working on a simple website, and when I started blogging in January of 2008, the business just took off! For a year, the business was just above and beyond what I could have hoped it would be. I was having so much fun. I remember saying to my husband, "I don't know how long this will last, but for now, it's just such a gift from God. He didn't have to bless this business, but He knew it was something I really wanted right now and he's brought clients and just really smiled on the whole thing this year."

And it's so true. I haven't talked about my faith a whole lot on this blog, because it's always been about promoting my business, but the fact is, I am who I am because of God. And my faith in Him colors everything about my life. I would be a mess without Him. So when my business started to receive accolades from even the most unexpected quarters, I thanked God, because I knew that "every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above" as the Bible says. While all of this was happening, I started attending a new church closer to my home and, while I no longer had to lead worship on Sundays, God wouldn't let me forget about worship leading. People who hadn't even heard me play or sing kept asking me to join worship teams or to lead worship at women's Bible study or various events. And then, almost 20 months ago, I gave birth to my sweet boy. He has been a huge blessing to our family and we're so grateful for him! However, he's also been an unexpected challenge. He's developmentally delayed, and we've spent the last eleven months in therapy, evaluations, testing, etc. to try and determine what the issues are and what the cause might be. We still don't have a whole lot more answers now than we did a year ago (except we know a whole lot of diseases that he doesn't have now).

And so, in spite of some big challenges and other time commitments, I have continued to plug away at my little Nesting Instincts. Decorating, shopping, bargain-hunting, graphic design, entertaining and throwing parties...I've always loved those things! And I always will! But recently, God's given me a new direction in life. He's shown me that he wants me to focus more on ministry to Him and to others and that the season of Nesting Instincts, the business, is coming to a close. Honestly, if you had told me a year ago that I would be writing this, I would have predicted that I would be feeling very sad and nostalgic right now...that there might be great "weeping and gnashing of teeth" as I close this chapter of my life. Actually, there is some nostalgia, but I am not mourning the end of this season! Mostly because I'm so excited about whatever it is that God has in store for me next. (And in case you ask, I have no idea what that might be.) I just feel like this is the right thing to do. God has shifted my priorities, and I want to be a part of what he's doing in the world. Many would say that I could have still ministered through decorating, etc. And that is true! And there is absolutely nothing wrong with decorating...I will always love it! But I've had a personal encounter with my God and I want to be available for the "something new" that he's going to do next. The when, what, how....I don't know that stuff yet. But I do know the "Who"...that's God...and because of Him, my life will never be the same.

I will always be available to help (and will enjoy helping) my friends and family decorate or plan parties or whatever. But I am going to put my business to bed for now and continue to seek God's will for my daily life and for my future. I have plenty to keep me busy...leading worship, parenting three little ones (one with special needs) and trying to be a blessing to others.

So, my friends...THANK YOU!!!!!!  So many of you have had me into your homes, asked my advice, read my blog, left lovely comments, purchased my cards, inspired me, supported me, encouraged me, blessed me. THANK YOU hardly seems like enough, but there is so much gratitude in my heart for each one of you that has played a special part in my life and in Nesting Instincts over the last three years! I love each one of you and pray that God will reveal Himself to you and bless you in a special way this year.

Hugs, hugs, HUGS!!!
:-) Courtney

PS I will leave NestInk, my Etsy shop, open until Thanksgiving, for anyone that wants to order Christmas presents!