Happy Nooniversary to me, y’all! WOOT WOOT!!!! I’m publishing on Tuesday instead of Monday this week because TODAY MARKS ONE YEAR SINCE I SIGNED UP TO BE A NOONDAY COLLECTION AMBASSADOR! I think. I’m not sure. But August 9 sticks out in my head and so that’s what I’m going with.
One year ago, I responded to a nudge from God that I did NOT see coming. I wasn’t looking for something to sign up for, I didn’t identify as a “jewelry person,” I didn’t host or even attend “jewelry parties,” and yet here came God, whispering into my heart. Then speaking. Then shouting. And I knew better than to ignore Him.
ALMOST NOTHING about the Ambassador Opportunity felt like it played to my strengths. It didn’t make a single bit of sense to me that I, a teacher-turned-SAHM who was feeling more frumpy than ever, would be called to this. I thought I knew who I was, what I did, and what things were “for me.” This wasn’t something that looked to me like it belonged in the story of my life. But God told me in a rather indignant tone that reminded me slightly of my grandmother that FOR PITY’S SAKE this wasn’t about *ME* and what *I* thought I could or should do. So bless my heart, I went from, “Oh, isn’t that nice what they’re doing over there at Noonday” to clicking “choose your starter kit” in, like, a week. Here’s the story of how that all went down if you haven’t read it.
It’s pretty amazing to look back on that post now because those early weeks turned out to be a pretty accurate reflection of what this whole year has been like. It has been a year of struggling and working hard, but it has also been a year of chains breaking and the glass box I had built around my life shattering. I’ve had to work HARD at this Ambassador thing, but it has also shown me that I can do hard things. To be honest, this was probably the first brave and “out of the box” thing I had ever REALLY done in my life. I had done things that were perhaps bigger and more challenging: college, masters degree, moving out of state for a job, buying my own house and car as a single woman, summer jobs in other locations, getting married, having a family, leaving my career of ten years (and my income!) to stay home with my babies…those are all BIG things, but all of them made sense and fit with what I thought The Plan was for my life. To step into something that I felt God calling me to that didn’t fit with what my perception of The Plan was- that is what makes this the bravest thing I’ve ever done.
Noonday has disrupted my expectations for my life and put a definite crack in the glass box that I had put around God and me and my assumptions about who I thought He had made me to be and what He had planned for me. I’m still struggling with this Noonday thing, a year later, I still feel like a first year teacher at it. I still feel like the bottom could drop out, people could stop booking shows and buying the stuff, and this could be a spectacular failure. But there is so much bravery in DOING IT ANYWAY, and that isn’t something I understood before. To me, bravery was folly. If it didn’t make sense, if it didn’t seem like something I should do, then to do it would be irresponsible and I mustn’t. I don’t think I realized until this year what a perfectionist I was with regard to my life choices and how while I thought I was honoring God with my prudency, I was really limiting His power to work in my life by putting my own limits and expectations of what *I* thought was acceptable.
So while I still feel like I’m vigorously treading water business-wise, I’m on a whole new level in terms of self-confidence and believing that I can spread my wings and run after God into bigger things than I could ever ask or imagine. Because of Noonday, I am starting to believe that I can do big, hard, important things that a year ago I would have thought were for others, not for me. I’ve started this blog, I’ve applied to be a blog contributor for a mommy blog AND WAS ACCEPTED, I’ve tried stepping more into leading worship at my church- I’m open to all kinds of things that are outside of the box I built for myself, because I have realized that God doesn’t do boxes, at least not mine. He may have a box, but it looks way different and better than anything I could have asked or imagined.
So bring on year 2! And I as I march forward, I have taken on a new challenge: I am going to try to qualify for a trip next summer to meet some of Noonday’s artisan partners, men and woman who have also believed that they can do big and brave things and whose bravery and trust is going out in ripples of goodness in their communities- and in lives around the world like mine! I have to sell almost as much as I ahve sold this entire first year in order to do it and right now, my business doesn’t have the capacity to do that. My sales pattern will have to change hugely and I’m not sure how to do that, I’ve already been giving it all I’ve got.
But I believe now that I can do big, brave, out of reach things and that even if I fail, I will be better for having tried. So here goes! Bring on year, 2! Let’s do this, God. I’m following You to have absolutely no idea where. It’s Your show, God. Equip me to be ready!