March 9, 2012

How Delightful!

In July of this past year I began my little hobby of hand-illustrating suede jackets, vests and boots.  Some will remember "the coat of many colors" post.  This led to me opening a shop on etsy.  Since opening my shop, 10,965 people from around the world have viewed my shop; with over 2,028 indicating that they "favorite" my shop and the items in it, and yet I have only sold 4 pair of boots.  The reason I don't sell more boots and jackets is because, although many people admire the art work; very few people would actually wear the boots or the jackets in public.  I knew that, before I even listed my first item for sale.  I knew that I would probably not sell much; but I also knew that etsy was a wonderful way to connect with people from all over the world and a means to share the Word of God, the Gospel message and even introduce other professing Christians to the Puritans and to Spurgeon.  God has used my shop on etsy in wonderful ways for His glory and for that I am truly blessed. 

This article, however, is about Elle Mae.  Two weeks ago, a lady from South Boston decided that she wanted me to hand illustrate a pair of her boots with her favorite passages:  2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." and 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.   She shared with me that she and her husband are teaching bible studies (Tuesdays and women on Thursdays) in South Boston, which is mostly Irish Catholic and not very open to the Word.  They have also started a new church right in the center of South Boston.  She indicated that it's been tough; but, they are persevering.  Her husband is from Northern Ireland and she is a Boston native.

She shipped me her boots and I went to work.  We dialogued , back and forth, regarding design ideas, colors etc.  I finished her boots this past Saturday and shipped them back.  Her birthday is on St. Patrick's day and she was hoping to get them to wear in the St. Patrick's day parade as part of their ministry outreach.
I was so nervous, not knowing if she would be pleased with them or not.  Well, she received the boots and she was delighted.  In fact, she emailed me and told me that she decided to not wait until St. Patrick's day; but to wear them to a women's retreat that she was attending this weekend, which began today and that she would send me pictures.  Well, tonight I got to see Elle Mae in her boots.  She had her girlfriends take pictures at the retreat on an iphone and emailed them to me.  I played with one of the pictures.  The boots were not in focus; but, Elle Mae is and it is so clear that she loves her boots.  Look at her finger pointed down at the boots.  What a cutie pie she is!

These boots definitely draw attention and I have no doubt that Elle Mae will take full advantage of the opportunities that the Lord opens up for sharing the gospel with others.  And, for me, that is where my true joy comes from and my motivation for doing this type of artwork in the first place.

THANK YOU LORD, for women like ELLE MAE! 

Day Two (The story continued):  I wake up this morning to another email from Elle Mae...Day two of the women's retreat.   She shared the following:  "We had a Jehoviah's Witness there by accident last night.   She was bringing a woman to an AA meeting (they thought). She accepted Jesus as her Savior!  My girlfriend Joan was ministering to her throughout the night."   Elle Mae also sent a "day two" picture.  I just had to make another card out of it and here it is.  Notice her quote, "These boot's are made for talking; and that's just what they'll do".  Love it!