Tag Archives: ideas

I Started an Etsy Shop!

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art drawerThe idea to sell my artwork and some of my other creative projects through Etsy has been in my head for over a year. But I immediately faced discouragement when I first began vocalizing it, so I mostly shoved the thought away.

In November, however, I was given an opportunity that I so wanted to take hold of. It was going to cost more money than I had (or would have any time in the near future), but I had such a desire for it that I was ready to start taking the idea of an Etsy shop seriously and see if I could raise funds that way. I began to research, ask friends who had experience, and work on what I was going to be selling.

But because my situation is unique (living with my family and working on creative pursuits from home, with no income to speak of), I faced a lot of setbacks during the process. Starting a business was intimidating. Okay: it was terrifying. I was determined to push through the fear, but running into roadblock after roadblock was becoming more spirit-crushing with every instance. And when the opportunity that had spurred me to start working on this in the first place fell through… I just kind of left everything alone. I didn’t intend to give up. But I did give up.

When I had been working to build the business and began facing discouragement, the Lord had been so clearly and openly supportive of me. He pointed me to the story of the Eiffel Tower; when it was being built, the art community in Paris was circulating a petition to stop the work, claiming it would be an ugly mark on a beautiful area in the city. The builders continued anyway, and created a piece of artwork so widely loved that it has become an icon. He told me this story, and encouraged me to keep building. I wanted to listen. For a while, I did. But eventually I let the discouragement get to me.

Lately I have been revisiting some of our conversations from that season, and seeing what He said and didn’t say… and what I did and didn’t do. Etsy was something He said was good. And something I have ignored. I don’t want that to be the case anymore.

Last week– I opened my Etsy shop. Tessa Maye Makes Things is alive.

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I know I will face challenges. But I will face them, as they come, instead of letting them cripple me or keep me from something that could be good. I am nervous. But when I put the final piece of information in and saw my shop go live for the first time? I took a deep breath. I felt relieved, and I felt hopeful. I’m not going to ignore that.

If you want to check out my artwork/projects, feel free to visit the shop! I am brainstorming more ideas for it already. But, if nothing else, I want to urge you: that thing that still invades your mind sometimes? That He placed a desire for in you? That maybe He’s even told you He’d support you in?

Keep building.

Starting Over: What Jesus Taught Me in January

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Lesson 1: Every breath is a chance to be new. I know it’s only a month into the year, but I’ve already made a plethora of mistakes. I messed up pretty badly on January SECOND! I honestly do treasure 2011, it was wonderful, but it was a very difficult year inside of me. That’s why I was even more excited than usual to start a new year! A chance to try again, to be better. But, like I said, I am not even close to perfect. I did “little” things, I did “bigger” things, but they all broke my heart. I was incredibly upset with myself. Why wouldn’t I grow? Why was I the same as I was three years ago? I felt stuck, utterly stuck, like I could never be different. I told Jesus, “I’m so sorry that I ruined another chance.” I didn’t expect what He replied: “It’s okay. I’m giving you another right now.” He has continued to say that everyday. He was saying it before I heard Him! I don’t need a new year, a new month, a new week, even a new day to start over. Jesus promises that when I delight myself in Him, the desires of my heart will be fulfilled! Every breath He gives me comes with a choice, to let Him in or to push Him away. Even when it seems I’m stuck, I can choose Him. I can choose to let Him change me. I can start over in the middle of the day and turn it all around, just by talking to Him and being positive. I’m not stuck! Although, with Him in my heart and life, I wouldn’t mind the world stopping. “Staring Over”, both the concept and the Audio Adrenaline song, was my theme this month.

Lessons 2 and 3: “Fear is easy, love is hard” and “There’s no thief like fear.” Both of these are songs from Jason Gray’s “A Way to See in The Dark” album, and rather than try to explain how the concepts came alive to me, here are the songs for your enjoyment and pondering, so they can come alive to you!  

Lesson 4: Passion matters. It dawned on me after I wiped away my tears. I had just finished watching “Finding Neverland”, the touching tear-jerker based on the life of James Barrie, the playwright who created Peter Pan. Mr. Barrie had been struggling within himself; it seemed that he would never be able to produce a masterpiece of a show. No one, not even his wife, supported him. However, when he made acquaintance with four young boys and their widowed mother in the park one day, the wheels began to turn. He didn’t realize it right away, but the friendship they forged and the games they played inspired him. The words and concepts and love poured out of him into the play that would become “Peter Pan”, named after the boy he touched the most. He introduced love and laughter to them and all of London once again. It’s such a wonderful story! The inspiring thing to me was that Mr. Barrie simply WROTE. Even when he wasn’t literally writing, he was living with creative, poetic eyes. Am I making sense? He didn’t search for inspiration; he waited for it. He saw things the way they could be, instead of simply as they are. I’m a writer, too, and the way he found his ideas is beautiful to me. He had passion, and because of that he was who he was. It was a gentle reminder to put my heart into what I do and open my eyes.

Lesson 5: Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change himself. For the past few years, I have had to entertain someone I didn’t like. I could smile and pretend like I was enjoying myself, but I was grumbling inside the entire time. I kept praying, “Can you get them away from me? Change them or do SOMETHING? I can’t take another day!” But recently, I tried something else: “Will you help me to love them today?” I soon learned that they weren’t the problem– I was! I had never tried to love them! I completely ignored the opportunity God gave me! They love me, look up to me, and call me their friend; they love better than I do! Now everyday before I see them, I pray for love ideas. And– they have not annoyed me in over a month. Funny(but not) how we think everyone else is the problem.

     Lesson 6: I really do live in a cold, cold world. For those of you who don’t know, I am homeschooled. I always have been and always will be. I love it and would rather be homeschooled than not, but with it comes being a little “sheltered.” It’s not a bad thing at all, it means I’m protected, but sometimes when I see something happen or hear what some people say, I suffer from shock and extreme sadness. In this instance, I was at the library using a computer, and for the entire two hours I was there, a high school boy and girl had a conversation that made me hold back tears. They broke my heart further and further with each passing minute. I won’t go into the nitty-gritties of what they talked about, but I do ask you to pray for them! Apparently, they had just met that afternoon, yet were sharing these deeply personal secrets with each other! Maybe they weren’t even secrets, which would break my heart even further. Before I left, Jesus beat my heart, asking me to give them the gospel. I was completely willing at this point, because they needed HELP! I always have a few booklets of the gospel of John in my purse (you can get your own at http://www.ptl.org/), so I pulled out two and asked if they wanted them. He looked amused, and she was mirroring him with a little surprise behind her eyes, but they did accept them. I pray for them whenever I remember. It was a wake up call: this world is oh-so cold, and I’m surrounded by opportunities to shine Jesus’s light in the coldest of places.

For Lessons 7, 8, and 9: Check out my post all about my experience at Generation Unleashed 2012!

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You fill my brain with words,
Words in beautiful, clever quotes,
An array of wisdom I adore,
Nearly drowning in Post-It notes.
 
You fill my heart with ideas:
Say hi to him, say a prayer for her,
Smile, write a song about this,
Tell the story of where you were.
 
You fill my life with love:
Through the gift of people though they go away,
And your song in my head,
Where you promise You’re here to stay.
 
You fill the world with YOU:
You’re always so far yet still so near;
Your love reaches everyone you find,
And when you know it’s time, You whisper,”I’m here.”

“You Can Always Choose to Do What’s Right.”

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     It’s kind of hard to know what the right thing is, isn’t it? It should be obvious, but for some reason we often go on quests to find it. Why? Maybe we do know what’s right, but we’re afraid of it. A question I ask myself all the time is how to love a certain person. Sometimes we’re close friends, sometimes we’re our worst antagonists, and one of the biggest burdens I carry is how to love that person. I ask God all the time to fill me with ideas and wisdom in loving them, but what if He’s already given it to me? What if I’m just too afraid to actually do what God tells me I can do? What if I could change my entire relationship with them just by being courageous and saying “yes”? 1 Timothy 5:25 says, Good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden. Let’s say “yes” to what’s right, despite our flesh wanting to hold on to what we think we need. I’ve been there countless times: almost seriously HEARING God tell you what you can do right, but not being sure if you want to lose what you’re doing wrong. Man, have I been there! Regret ALWAYS comes if you say “no”, I promise you! Will I say yes next time? Will you? Will we say yes to thinking what’s right? Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,”This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

     Since I wrote the above, I’ve been praying for “love ideas”, that God would beat my heart when one of His suggestions popped into my head. I pray especially for love ideas for that person I mentioned, and guess what: God is giving me a genuine love for them! It’s incredible! He told me right after I committed by life to Him that I needed to minister to them, but somehow I said no; I just kind of forgot about it, or maybe I was afraid and TRIED to forget about it. Either way, I didn’t do what He asked me to. Recently He began reminding of what He’d asked of me, and after much hesitation, I said,”Okay. I’ll try, but only if You’re in it with me.” He was totally fine with it; He actually loved that I knew I needed Him. I don’t even know what happened next, but there is such a difference in how I treat this person! I genuinely try to understand what they tell me, I’m more gentle in how I speak to them, I’m more willing to do what they want than sticking to what I’d rather do, I think of them with affection, and this is just the beginning! God has shown me that I can do what He asks me to do, especially because He’s in it with me. If you’re struggling with something, ask God to be your partner in change! He knows what you need in order to grow! I also recommend sharing the areas you struggle in with a select few of your close, godly friends. Their prayers are not only comforting, but powerful. You can accomplish anything, but not alone. We need God and our brothers and sisters to be in it with us!

     And yes, the title is a Spiderman quote. Oh yes I did!