It seems now more than ever there is an overwhelming need for humans to interact genuinely with other humans. The pull for our attention, the horror stories that get played and re-played on social media leave us feeling empty and angry. Amongst all the noise, there is a desire that never goes away – the desire to feel loved, to feel accepted and to feel protected. I believe that we as humans have a responsibility to step up however we can – to use whatever God has given us to bring light into the lives of others.
Let’s use the tools we have
How do we begin to do this? How can we make a purposeful difference? It’s simple – look around you. Wherever you are right now, you have the two things so beautifully designed to bring hope, light and joy to others.
When I heard that someone in our tight-knit church family had been diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma, my heart sank. I learned he was a husband and a father of three young children, about the same age as my husband. It hit so close to home. I didn’t know them well, but I felt a pull in my heart to prepare a meal each week for this family.
Now, you should probably know I’m not in the kitchen unless I have to be – my husband will tell you it’s rare to find me scrubbing dishes, mopping floors or running the vacuum. It’s true, I’m not very domestic, but I do have two working hands.
Go beyond what’s convenient
I didn’t cook for this family because it was convenient – we have four kids now, but had three kids at the time and one was an infant. I barely cooked for my family (thanks to my amazing husband for always picking up the slack) and yet, I prayed, I cooked, and I crafted. Most of my stuff was still in boxes from our move back to Wisconsin, but I took out what I had – some tags, markers, pens, a few stamps, and I made something to encourage this family each week to go along with the meal I made or brought.
When making becomes so much more
Sometimes all I created was a hand-lettered scripture on a note card, other times it was a little doodle on a tag. It would have been easier to buy a card – and truthfully, there’s nothing wrong with that, but something told me I needed to extend beyond what was convenient and put my heart into what I was doing.
I wasn’t sure what would happen, but I never lost hope. And the only way I could extend love and hope to a family I hardly knew was to simply do what I felt called to do – cook and create. This had nothing to do with how good I was, it had everything to do with the power of kindness and love. It has the ability to change so much. SO very much…
The vision for Crafted in Joy is a result of doing what I could
I’ve had the vision for Crafted in Joy for a couple of years. I’ve attempted to blog a few times, made some fun prints, but still, I felt like the direction wasn’t fully clear. It wasn’t until I heard a little voice telling me to “Go. Do.” that I began to put the pieces and purpose together: Make something. Give it away. Spread Joy! Fortunately for me, I’ve had some incredible people come alongside me that believe in this mission as well, and I’d love to introduce you to one of them today!
Nicole Bergeson is a mama-to-be and the creative genius behind Creations Galore in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – isn’t that close to where I live? It is – which makes her addition to the team incredibly sweet! Nicole is joining Crafted in Joy as our Marketing and Creative Coordinator. She’ll be putting her amazing skills to work styling our photos, posting to the blog, and curating our social feeds.
Please join me in welcoming Nicole to the team! You’ll be blown away with her talent and no-nonsense way of getting projects done. I love paging through her Project Life albums and the interesting everyday moments she documents. I’m in awe of how patient she is when I have questions about how products work and the innovative ideas she has when it comes to using whatever you’ve got in your craft room. | Connect with Nicole on her blog and Instagram.
I’ll be back soon with part two of this story, and in the meantime, I would love to hear your stories. Let me know in the comments below: What are some ways you’ve jumped in with a handmade gift for someone? What was their reaction? How did it feel to make it and give it away?