One of my favorite memories when I was a little girl is playing in my grandmas backyard, climbing trees, picking up leaves, pretending, imagining, dreaming. There were so many giant trees with great climbing branches that served as the playground for all the cousins- one even housed a small tree fort. But my favorite of all the trees was the mysterious ginkgo tree with fan-shaped leaves that stood hidden at the side of the house. It was like a secret tree- MY secret tree.
When I was 10 years old my family went through a tough financial situation. I didn't understand what was going on at the time. All I knew is that my parents, my three brothers, and me- we got to move into my Grandmas house for a season. I was ecstatic that I got to live at my Grandmas house and play in the backyard as much as I wanted to. Looking back, I realize that it was a difficult season for our family, but at the time I was oblivious to the real troubles of life- lost in my own world of dreaming and pretending.
A few years later, life got tough for our family. March 2010 my teenage cousin passed away suddenly. He was too young and it wasn't fair. Just a few months later my Grandpa passed away, followed by my uncle a couple years after that.
Everything changed. Holidays were never the same. There was a heaviness in the air that never left. Grandmas house never felt the same.
In fall of 2012 I got married. The wedding took place in my Grandmas backyard. It was beautiful. And it was refreshing to create new, happy memories in her home for a change.
Eventually my Grandma was forced to sell her beautiful home because of financial burdens. On a summer day in 2014 was the last day I stood in that house. The day of the estate sale. That home was built by my Grandpa's hands and was full of priceless memories- those memories were then covered in silly price tags. It felt so wrong. Before I left the house for the last time, I swiped a small branch of leaves from my ginkgo tree.
The ginkgo tree symbolizes strength, longevity, hope, and peace. The ginkgo leaf is a reminder to me of the resilience and strength we have in the Lord, a reminder to hold onto that childlike hope, a reminder to stay anchored in His peace, a reminder to let go of the old and to continually allow his Presence to lead us into the new.
Longevity. Strength. Hope. Peace. These words continue with me through my business endeavors and give meaning to what I do. Each thing I create becomes it's own symbol of resilience. Each person who wears or owns a piece I've made will have the opportunity to be reminded of the same values.
Rather than trying to create only what's "trendy" or allow my work to be influenced by a daily flood of social media imagery, my goal is to be continually influenced by my own Creator. I want to create things that will last a lifetime- things that hold meaning- things that spark hope and joy in the heart of the recipient. Things that inspire.