Sometimes life takes you a different direction than you ever imagined going. I graduated midway through my senior year of high school and married Keith on March 3rd, 1985 at the young age of 18. Three years later and after several miscarriages we were so thankful to have our first child and begin our family that would include 3 boys and 1 girl. I loved being a mom and considered it a privilege to be able to be home with them full time. During those years of babies, diapers and discipline (which with boys happened quite a bit) I enjoyed escaping to work in my flower beds. It became a time of relaxation and therapy for me and there began my love of flowers. Our daughter Alisha was surrounded by brothers on each side of her and begged for us to give her a sister. I became pregnant and she excitedly named the baby I was carrying Grace, but during the third month I suffered another miscarriage. Our family was so disappointed and even though we never found out if the baby was a girl to Alisha and I she was the “Grace” that we had prayed for.
When our last son was in grade school I was asked by my friend Sheila if I would be interested in a part time job at the flower shop they had opened. I began helping out a couple days a week and loved everything about my job. My love of flowers grew and soon they gave me the freedom to begin arranging flowers. I loved going to work and creating beautiful things. After 4 years they sold the shop to Melody and I continued to work at the same shop. The shop later moved to a new location and we were busier than ever.
In 2015 God began to put on my heart that it was time to pull back from the busy schedule I was keeping. Keith was needing my help during the harvest season but I knew I could not help him and work at the flower shop. I also had become a grandma for the second time and wanted to be able to be available to help with the girls. I spent a year praying about what God wanted. In my heart I felt like God was telling me it was time to quit my job but I resisted walking away from my job and what I loved doing. I couldn’t imagine not arranging flowers anymore but in the end I knew that was what God was asking. It was with mixed emotions and in obedience that I quit my job after 14 years of doing a job I loved.
Soon after quitting my job Lindsey who was a roommate of my daughters at college got engaged and asked if I could do her flowers. I was excited to help her out and to get my hands on wedding florals again. The next week I received another call from another friend about her daughters wedding. After encouragement from my family and a step of faith on my part Garden of Grace was born! I have been amazed at God’s goodness to let me do what I love to do from my home where I love to be. I have had the freedom to help my husband in the field and be grandma to granddaughters that I love while still being able to do wedding florals that bring joy to my life. Isn’t that just like God???? Never in my wildest dreams did I see where quitting my job would bring me to where I am now and doing exactly what I love to do. It has been a lesson that when you follow God’s prompting in obedience He can give you more in return than you ever imagined!
As I began this new adventure I was stuck on a name for my business. Alisha and Whitney had agreed to do my logo and were waiting for a name. One night while getting ready for bed Alisha texted me saying she had the perfect name. So I said what is that???? She said, Garden of Grace!! We can name your business after the Grace we never had!!!! (insert tears) As soon as I heard the name I knew it was perfect. I have to thank Alisha and Whitney at etredesignandco.com for my beautiful logo and my son Austin for creating my website. This had definitely been a family affair and their support and encouragement has meant so much. I look forward to updating you on all the beautiful weddings I have the honor of doing in the year to come!