“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24-25
On vacation the year, we discovered God’s movement in downtown Hamilton, my oldest daughter Ella, looked at me and asked what she could do to help raise money for the Hose House and the ministry beginning there. Having just resigned from my job on staff at a mega-church and walking away from all the ways I had been “instructed” to “do” ministry, I felt compelled to ask her a simple question.
“Ella, what do you love to do?”
She took a deep breath like it was a majorly complicated question and answered me, “I don’t know mom, I love crafts. I love making things. I love these beads as she picked up the new beads we bought as a rainy day distraction.”
If Colossians 3:23 is right and we really can do whatever we want as long as we “do it unto the Glory of the Lord,” then Ella could take these beads and make them into something beautiful both as a form of worship and a way to do ministry. I grabbed her hand and excitedly drug her to the car. We drove downtown to a little store I ran past almost every morning. Inside we found the inspiration needed to birth, “Hope Jewelry.”
Walking through the clunky, glass door our heads started spinning. There were bracelets and necklaces everywhere. The place was a complete wreck. I nervously spun in circles. Take the mess and add the loud, crafty lady in the corner with her pinned up hair, eccentric glasses, and bright red pants and suddenly, I was having a hard time breathing! But not Ella. Ella was in her element. She didn’t see what I saw. She wasn’t focused on the millions of useless necklaces I focused on. What she saw, gave her hope. In her minds these millions of beads needed just one thing, to be broken apart from their current place of being and replaced into something new.
She made her way through the entire place and then stopped, turned around and looked right into my eyes. I had no idea where she was going, but I knew she was going somewhere. “Mom,” she squealed, “What if I bought a bunch of these old necklaces, broke them apart, then used the beads, along with my beads back home, to make new bracelets?”
Ella really knows how to speak my love language. Take the old and make it new. Sounds Gospel enough for me. In my opinion, there isn’t a better way to make jewelry. Brokenness leads to bigger. Nothing goes wasted when put in the hands of the Redeemer. He sees the beauty in every piece. He knows the proper placement and alignment. He sees past the pain of the broken and into beauty.
We spent the rest of our vacation visiting thrift shops and next door neighbors, collecting old jewelry in great expectation of what was to come.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” (Zech 4:10 NLV)
As a mom, I’m so proud of Ella. God birthed a small dream in her heart one rainy day in Florida and she has allowed Him to turn it into so much more. Her jewelry has helped the ministry at the Hose House in so many ways. And better yet, it’s not only us benefiting from it (the Kingdom of God is way to big for that!) she’s benefiting from it too. She beginning to recognize what it means to live life for something other than our own enjoyment and satisfaction. She’s learning about calling and sacrifice, about passion and ownership. She’s learning how to wait on the Lord and trust in His timing. She’s pursuing Jesus, His mission field, and His heart. I see the fire in her eyes. Her bones ache to tell people about the Mighty One, who knows her by name! She’s partnered with God and that’s an unstoppable force – especially as a child!
It’s time to bring the rest of our family and friends in on this movement. Hope Jewelry is now available online.
Your money goes to support the radical ministry unfolding at Anthem House in Liberty Township, Ohio. Check out Hope Jewelry on Facebook to order by Paypal account or you can email me directly. There will be a small charge for shipping.
“Small things, done with great love, really will change the world.”