It’s time to renew! This month marks the anniversary of this website as well as the chapter of my adventure story with Jesus which inspired it. Both this website and my first year back “in the world” have definitely been learning processes. Even if it has not always felt like it, I've grown.
(The Rose of Sharon seedling from last spring is growing tall to the left of Saint Francis.)
First experiment: starting this website
My first thought had been simply to post to Facebook to share my faith and the fruits of my
contemplation and creativity, but truth be told, just after leaving monastic life, I found the platform a bit overwhelming—sometimes I still do. My website in all its various versions has tried to present a simple, beautiful online atmosphere for sharing what I learned living a religious, monastic life or letting others share when an opportunity presents itself. Accomplishing this has definitely been an experiment in trial and error and continues to be. After several times feeling ready to give it all up (I cannot say how often I have felt insecure that I don’t have anything to say that is not being said better elsewhere), I finally feel like I am starting in the right direction for the blog and have just renewed the website for another two years! I’ll take this moment to thank you all for reading, subscribing and journeying with me (and now also with Mary Rose Kreger)!
The online store, on the other hand, has been something of a failure, but I’m not sure
I’d call it an error. My three customers definitely made my day when their orders came in, and arranging everything needed to have a store was exciting. I discovered years ago that a crafter needs an outlet for crafts. I certainly don’t want another drawer jammed with completed latch hooks, but I am quite certain after this trial run that I do not like selling my crafts, unless it is to cover the costs of the project. Plus it is much more meaningful and engaging to craft with a purpose and/or recipient in mind. Last week, before downgrading my subscription, I converted my store to a gallery. The current “Craft Corner” is just version one, but this way my ideas might inspire fellow crafters or anyone can contact me about something they see there and want, custom crafts or even monastery in my heart cell phone covers. I really did enjoy designing Printful products using my flower photography. I have just learned that I can still make orders without actually having an online store. My phone cover has held up well and I would sell at cost+shipping+sales tax. (Printful designs are not in the gallery at the moment. It takes a long time to put content on webpage and I had been on the fence about still offering them.)
I have many more lessons from this year of trial and error guided by grace to share in upcoming posts. In the meantime, I jump to the conclusions.
At the end of year one, shapes are beginning to form as to what Jesus had in mind when he invited me out of the monastery onto a new chapter of this lifelong adventure. I am eager to continue, knowing that God, who is patient, merciful and loving, works even with my mistakes.
I really believe and have experienced that all things work for good for those who love God and put our trust in His Providence.
So here we go with chapter 2, year 2. Ahead lie a full time job (as a housekeeper at a local Catholic retreat center), a car, a boyfriend, vaccines so we can go out with more freedom to an increasingly reopened world, and a lot more trials, errors and experiments, not to mention torrents of mercy and grace to lead moment by moment, choice by choice, step (a few
forward) by step (sometimes one or two backward) to God and the eternal happiness He plans for us in his Love. Alleluia, Jesus, I trust in you. I surrender everything to you.