It's 4 am in the morning and I am going through the logistics of the 1st show of our Show Season 2017. Inventory has been ordered and received. Volunteers have been scheduled. The Set Up/Tear Down Team are ready. But for me, it all comes down to prayer. There is a spiritual battle being fought around The Marketplace. Lives are being changed; women are coming out of prostitution, men, women, and children are being rescued from trafficking, mom's and dad's no longer have to give up their children because they can't afford to feed them, the disabled are being employed, .... Not only are lives being changed abroad, change is happening when a woman enters our booth and hears what we are about. We see many broken people in our community who just need to feel loved. I talk to many organizations and they don't do shows because they are exhausting. I won't lie, they are. But the lives affected in our community and around the world are so worth it. To have someone approach me at a show and say, "You wrote a post the other day that truly touched me, thank you I needed that." Or, "Thank you for taking the time to share the stories of what is happening in Ecuador, I had no idea." For us, we do the shows for one simple reason, that many will come to know who Jesus is. You better believe the battle is real and and very fierce.
It's all going down this Friday at the Southern Women's Show. We would ask that you all would cover the staff, volunteers, and artisans of The Marketplace with prayer. It seriously takes a tremendous amount of team work to do show after show for 4 months! By you praying, you are part of the team. Let's kick this season off with record sales, record attendance, and a record number of new friends! We are the storm!
I am constantly reminding myself that the journey isn't a destination but a process and it is continually evolving. I have spent the last year building a house, designing product, running The Marketplace, training new staff, mentoring existing and new groups, ... I was seriously running on empty. As I recently unpacked my office in the new house, I pulled out a book, Running on Empty. Is this the story of my life? I opened to the inside cover and saw that I wrote January 2007. Serious Marisa?!? You are still dealing with this same issue?
As I sat and reflected on this thought the other morning, I realized how many of us deal with this "running on empty" scenario. We think "when the kids get older I will have more time". Nope- my kids are older and somehow I don't have more time. "If I had another job, things would be different." Nope...nope...nope. I have a different job and have even less time. What I am realizing is that as women we want to nurture and help others, it's how we are designed. But I will be honest, you can't do it all. God doesn't want you to do it all. It's learning to prioritize and setting boundaries. I am by no means an expert on this. I have come to realize it's a journey and I am forever learning. As I say no to things, I begin to realize it frees me up to do what I am called to do. Will this be easy? No. Will people get mad at you? Absolutely. But ready for this- this is the key, I am not responsible for their response. No, I don't want to franchise The Marketplace and have you run it in your town. No, I don't want create a project so you have a place to do what God has called you to do. No, I cannot write your business model and help you create an income generating project. I am not called to these things and how would I do what I am actually called to?!?!
Take a moment this week to reflect on this. Think about your time as this valuable commodity. If you are doing things you have no business doing, you are not doing God's business. Now that's not cool.
Super soft and so much fun, the Pockets Tees that we designed with Three Cords are sure to be a hit!!
For us, it's not just about an awesome tee, it's about the person who created it. In January 2015, I got the opportunity to attend the 5 year memorial of the earthquake in Haiti with 3 Cords and their ministry, Mission of Hope. To hear story after story of people who lived through the devastation and how God showed up was inspirational. It further knitted together the hearts of The Marketplace and 3 Cords. What many wouldn't know is that 3 Cords was birthed from the earthquake of 2010. Many Haitians suffered significant physical injury, and Mission of Hope helped with prosthetic limbs. What they realized is many of the people would not be hired because of their disability and 3 Cords was born. They began making headbands and totes. When we got the opportunity to design with them, it was an easy yes! These tees remind me of my favorite tee shirt that has been washed so many times that it feels perfect...unfortunately it didn't look so great. It looked old! The Pocket Tee offers the best of both worlds- feels super comfy and looks fantastic! Check out the fun pocket patterns; pineapples, sail boats, puppies, fish, stags, and flamingos! It will be hard to stop at just one!!