A few summers ago, some of you remember hearing about our family trip when we threw together a few free Stickman Concept presentations along the way. One reason I had so much fun doing them was because I intentionally left my suits at home, kept my hair in a ponytail, and said, “not this time,” to all the stuffy protocol of putting on a “professionally impressive, Toastmaster-approved event.”
I didn’t break my neck making sure everything was perfect; after all, we were on VACATION for crying out loud. Some of you may have seen the one I did the following year, because we’ve made it available for your viewing pleasure (for free) here: Stickman Video.
After rolling into town and unloading our things at the hotel venue, I had just enough time to brush my teeth and throw some makeup on in the restroom before racing into the event where about 80 of you waited. In the last moment before meeting you and beginning the presentation, some foundation came flying off my finger and dripped down the front of my sweater. I knew nothing I had was going to remove it, so I wiped it off the best I could, shook my head, and thought, “They’ll just have to take me as I am,” recognizing this as just other test to see if I will press on, even when things aren’t perfect.
When you’ve got something to do, you just can’t get stopped when everything isn’t “just so.” You do the best you can and let it go.
My children helped us set up the room that night. They had a ball doing it, too… running up and down the aisles, and there wasn’t anything breakable in sight, so Mom was happy, too. After setup, most of the kids wanted to go play at our host’s home, but 9 year-old Kayli wanted to stay. She had brought a stack of homemade bookmarks in hopes some of the participants would want some before the evening was over. One older brother had chided her, saying, “That’s so dumb… it’s just paper. Nobody’s going to want them.” But she wasn’t dissuaded.
In fact, she sat quietly through two of our events that week, and by the end of the week she had earned $150 selling “just paper.”
Those of you who were at the events were so gracious and encouraging. I know that your encouragement of this little girl will return to you in one form or another, if it hasn’t already.
Fast forward seven months. Since those events back in July of 2007, Kayli has hung on to nearly every penny she earned. She payed 10% to charity, and with the remainder, she spent $60 on a box of little canvas bags from www.Uline.com. Originally she intended to create little bags of homemade cookie-dough mixes to put in a few local boutiques, or to sell online. But when the bags arrived, we realized that they just weren’t big enough to fit a batch of cookie dough.
At Christmastime, a friend suggested we make gift bags, but we didn’t have time to get the idea well enough developed, before Christmas had come and gone. But by the time Valentine’s Day was on the horizon, she was ready. Spending the rest of her money on supplies, she put together the Valentine’s day bags that we mentioned in one of our last emails, and created 10 to sell.
Her brother again made a cutting remark, which hurt her feelings, but didn’t stop her from following her dream. Admittedly, I had a ton of other things to be doing, but she had been so persistent with me that I couldn’t refuse her any longer. I dropped everything to take her to the craft store for the rocks, iron-ons, candy, and miniatures. I helped her figure out a good way to assemble them. I created a newsletter announcing them, and we took pictures to include in the announcement.
She sold out of her 10 within a day or two. I initially thought that I’d better get onto the website and post “Sold Out.” After all, she had accomplished her goal and was excited that it had all happened so fast. But then I had that second (less convenient) thought that said, “Why not keep going?”
So I dropped everything again and we traipsed all over town looking for all the components to make more so we could fill the orders that continued to show up. We cleaned out 3 different Michael’s Craft Stores of heart iron-ons and miniature stuffed puppies. She was on Cloud Nine. When it was all over, she had recouped her entire investment and, in fact doubled it.
Her brother didn’t have much to say except, “Mom, I want to make something…”
So maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah, well any kid could do that if they had a Mom with a website like yours.” But before you go there, let me make a point:
I have seven children. I have a website and a newsletter. The opportunity is there for every one of my children… but only ONE of them has ever done something about it.
Life is like that. We’re children of God, who has the most expansive distribution network in the Universe. We bring something that we have to offer, and if we bring it with the right mindset: one of expectancy, persistence and determination, then in the right time, I envision God smiling, putting down his work, and taking us under his arm to help us accomplish the thing on which our heart is set.
My kids will often beg for this or that, and they’ll wish for that or this, and quite regularly whine when things aren’t just so… but once in a while, one of them will step forward with a determination to get my help to accomplish something that they can’t completely do on their own, refusing to set it aside any longer. They have a resolved intention to GET IT DONE, whatever it takes. Right or wrong, that’s the child who finally gets my undivided attention and help.
I’ve learned a lot watching my daughter take initiative. She may not know WHAT to do, but she’ll lock on to the vision of what the results will be, and she knows that with my help she can accomplish anything.
If you could have God’s help with something THIS WEEK, what would you have Him help you do? Are you clear on what it is? Are you determined to do everything in your power to make it happen? Are you willing to pray like it depends on Him but work like it depends on you?
Let’s practice operating this week with resolved intention. Decide, first, what you want to accomplish, and then get behind it 100%. Give it all you’ve got, and envision God helping you as a loving parent who can no longer ignore your requests because you’re a determined, persistent, willing and teachable child. Don’t hold back. Throw your heart into it, trust God to provide and watch the results be grander than you’ve ever seen them be.