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Catching Up...

Well, we have successfully completed four days in business and I'm overjoyed to say that all four days have been great! Yes, we have had a few glitches with the computer, printer and other things but, for the most part, everything has been running pretty smoothly. And, because of all of you who came to support us, visited the store and shopped over the first four days, we are off to a great start! Setting goals, making spreadsheets and all of that financial mumbo jumbo that I had to do was boring but being able to open those doors each day and see your smiling faces, and get those hugs and moments of fellowship with each of you, has been worth all of the "blood, sweat and tears" I have put into this building and this business over the last month preparing it to open. My family has been so helpful and support, my best friend has been here late at night helping me put tags on things and arranging displays, friends (new and old) have stepped in and helped, offered advice, given me "things" for the store and so much more. I could not have done this without all of you. And, my consigners and vendors. You all have been such an inspiration to me and so kind and helpful not only to me but to each other. I love our "family" here at Dothan Mercantile and look forward to working together for good for a long time.


The night before we opened I was exhausted and, as we say in the south "worn slap out!" When I'm tired, or stressed, I often melt into tears. I don't think it is a sign of weakness to cry. I actually think it's a sign of strength. You know when you have had enough and you just need to let the tears flow. I am reminded of Linda Prescott-Precise's Book, Tears in His Bottle, which I read a few years ago. If you haven't read it, you may want to pick up a copy and read it. You can find it on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and others.


"The God of all comfort keeps watch over your weeping. He gathers up all your tears and puts them in his bottle ( Psalm 56:8 ). Like a mother sitting beside her child’s sickbed, God marks every sigh of discomfort and pain."


I believe that God does gather up our tears, and that, through releasing those tears, we have the opportunity to give over our stress, anxiety, fears, discomfort and pain to Him. We just have to surrender it all sometimes. And, on Wednesday, August 31, I did just that. I was tired, I was crying and I was anxious. The store was opening in just a few short hours and I was working late (left the store at about 1am and returned around 7am for the first day!) and was operating on little sleep over the previous few nights. I walked into the back room here at the store to get a notebook, and when I reached for it, I saw a Bible laying on top. This Bible was an "extra" Bible that I had at home and had brought to the store with plans to one day gift it to someone who came in and needed one. I don't know why but something just said "pick it up, open it and read the words." I will admit I thought for a second "I don't have time to read the Bible right now, I have so much still to do, I need to get finished and go home, I'm exhausted!" But I stopped in my tracks, left the notebook where it was and held that Bible in my hands. I said "Okay, God, I know I told you that I wanted you to lead me in this business, and if it was your Will for me to be successful to guide me. Well, I need you to guide me now, and tomorrow, and forever. I opened that Bible, with no predestined intent of certain place or verse, and Proverbs 3 was right smack in my face. The first verses I read said:


"My child, don't lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way and your feet will not stumble; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap."


I stood there and cried more tears. I said "God, why did I let today get me so upset? Why am I so anxious about tomorrow? Why am I worrying so much?" I knew the answer -- I had lost sight of what I know is true. Even though I knew that God had been with me in this whole process, I let fear and doubt in and lost sight of common sense and discernment.


I was worrying "what if nobody shows up tomorrow?" and "what if I fail?" But, once again, God showed up, showed out and sent me in that back room, right where that little black Bible was laying, waiting for me to just pick it up and read His word. He has guided me this far; He is still guiding me, and I am confident He will never let me down - and will keep my foot from being caught in a trap.


I read a few more verses in that chapter and I found comfort that night.


"My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the Lor with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones."

Proverbs 3:1-8


I hope that you'll read Proverbs 3. Start at the beginning and read the whole chapter. It's good stuff! And I hope you'll be blessed and find comfort in the words you read. I know I did.


I welcomed God into this business from the beginning and I still do. If He wants it to prosper, it will. I am but yet a sinner, saved by grace, no better than anyone else. I have made mistakes and will likely make more. But I know one thing and that is the Lord is my security.


Things happen, all of us have rough days. But never doubt, God never leaves us. He's right here, collecting our tears, and helping us get through the rough days. Don't give up, spread some love by telling someone you love them, and you care. You never know just how much that might mean to that person.


Thank you for all the love and support for my business. And, to the sweet lady who came in today and quoted some scripture, shared some stories and glimpses of her life with me, you will never know how much your visit meant to me today. It was perfect timing, and no doubt, orchestrated in God's perfect plan and timing.


Goodnight, friends.











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