The More Personal Side of Soap
Crossing the Ocean is Easier Than You Think December 12 2014
In life I have realized that you can't be shackled to what's comfortable. It may be comforting that you go to the same restaurant every Friday night and order the same Chicken Fried Steak meal. The 20 or so times that you have ordered it in the past have never disappointed you but what are you missing? Are you missing the best tasting Shrimp Scampi the world has ever known? Maybe you're not missing anything at all. That's the beauty of it. Stepping out on a limb and reaching for a different goal can end in overwhelming success or catastrophic failure. This has been the case many times in my soap making. I have made a batch of one of my soaps and it turned out good. Actually it turned out great. Great was the reaction that I wanted and the reaction I received. Internally I said to myself, "Don't change a thing.....it works!" But then in the true art of this craft I decided to figure out a way to make it even better than "great." Let me tell you the first few batches turned out horrible! I mean they looked terrible in my eyes and didn't have the same pizazz as what I hoped for. My gut told me to just keep it simple and go back to the original version. But I kept plugging away. After several redo's I finally nailed it. The soap was even better than the first version. I got more compliments, accolades and testimonies from customers. Now if I would have stayed on the shore only letting the crashing waves flirt with my ankles what would have happened? I can't begin to tell you because I will never know. What I can tell you is the journey into uncharted waters was worth the price of admission. Yes the journey was hectic and manic at times. Of course there are some soaps that no one will ever see besides my husband. But that journey to improve what was already good taught me so much. It taught me that even though the shore is part of the ocean that the ocean is far more majestic than the shore. I had to lose sight of what I was comfortable with. I had to venture into deep waters and not worry that my feet couldn't touch the bottom. Yes I have had failures as well. But when you cross the ocean for the first time and survive you don't harp on what didn't work because what DID work is so much sweeter. The courage is within you. I love you all and have a blessed day
Move Out of Your Comfort Zone October 27 2014
My son has been telling me that I need to do more craft shows and bazaars. He's always giving me compliments telling me that I have a great personality and that people want to hear what I have to say. I'm being honest with you when I tell you that I'm not a real social person. So it's been hard to grasp that concept. It's not that I don't like people or anything it's just that I consider myself more of a reserved person. When I started my business I had this picture in my mind that I would just make soap and the "talkers" in my family(my son and husband)would be my voice. I felt like I could be in my zone in my soap kitchen stirring, cutting and wrapping and everything else would take care of itself. I have since learned that I NEED to be on the front lines. That I will not have my finger on the pulse of my customers if I sit in the shade and rely on conversations of conversations to inspire me. I do get nervous sometimes with talking to new people but it's getting easier with every customer I talk to. In life sometimes you have to jump into the pool without dipping your big toe in first. You can't let your thoughts go rampant pigeon holding you into what's easy, comfortable or just plain simple. You can sit on the edge of the pool watching everyone else make waves in the water but you will never get the joy, the rush or the cooling effects of water rushing over you. Comfort zones are just that....zones! Perimeters around you that confine you to the ordinary. These perimeters are anchored in fear and fear is not of God. I'm making it a habit to ignore my fear and just jump in. You will feel awkward because it's new. I know I do. But with repetition comes comfort and with comfort comes growth. So when you see me strike up a conversation with me.....the waters fine.
What Doesn't Kill You WILL Make You Stronger! October 23 2014
2014 has been a year filled with fabulous highs and cavernous lows. I was devastated when I got the call that my mother had passed this year. I knew that no one lives forever but I didn't conceive that the day would come to reality that every season must change. My mother had always been there for me and she was my biggest supporter but the day had come when I couldn't hear her voice any longer. I couldn't tell her my woes or feel her motherly comfort. Somehow I had to keep going even though part of me was lost forever. My husband was my rock during my season of despair, supporting me, consoling me and showing me in not only words but also in comforting silence that he was there for me in more ways than one. Several months passed and then we got a call. My husbands mother was no longer with us. "Lord how can this be?" I have to not only empathize with my husband but swap roles and try to give him the solace that he so desperately needs. To look in his eyes and see that emptiness that I could not fill for him was almost to much to bear. These tragedies made our hugs tighter, our love deeper and our commitment to one another even stronger. Masking the pain while trying to run not only a household but also a new business was the epitome of a struggle but we carried on. We put on our boots, laced them up and were determined that through this struggle that their was glory awaiting us. So we got back in the saddle and kept trucking. The pain started to subside, our business started to grow and life after several months started to find its rut of routine. Then....the phone rang. My beloved sister had gone home to be with God. I will not lie to you and tell you that I took this in stride. To this day the amount of grief within such a short amount of time took its toll on me. I thought to myself, "How can I even stand the thought of making soap anymore when every time I look at bar it reminds me of the years of me packing them into little care packages to send to my mother, my sister and mother in law?" All I could do is feel that deep empty feeling inside like when you go too long without eating. Your thoughts are unassembled, your energy nonexistent and focus has vanished. My struggle was all to real. But I will tell you what happened. I was overcome with a overwhelming tsunami of peace....rushing over me like a flooded Niagara Falls. Clarity struck me like the brights bolt of lightening in the Grand Canyon on a moonless night. "This will not break me!" "This will not defeat me!" I found my strength in my husband and my son and his family. That we are closer than ever before. I found my peace in knowing that this bar of soap that I cut with my hand could feel the skin of someone who has their own struggles. Life has its ways doesn't it? It will throw the Great Wall of China in front of you in various forms. It will want you to look left and right as far as the eye can see to remind you that IT is bigger than you and that there is no way you can get around it. But I want you to know that you can stumble upon YOUR strength and realize that you can climb that wall! It's not insurmountable and it's not impossible and when you look back and realize that you overcame you will realize that all the pain, heartache and struggle did not define you. It did not deter you...it only slowed you down and made you stronger than you ever thought you were!
With all My Love
Life is a Journey October 13 2014When I first started making soap it was to fulfill a need. My son's eczema was out of control and I couldn't take his discomfort anymore. As his eczema started to disappear and he had outgrown it I didn't really know that my "soap" had a purpose. It was just a fun hobby after his eczema was gone and I chose to make soap for my own personal reasons. I've always loved pretty soaps and in my house you can find decorative soaps in just about every room. When I had enough of a soap stockpile I just decided to give it away to family, friends and coworkers. I looked to no one else for advice on which kind to make, what color it was going to be or what size it'd be. I just made soap! Now that I have a soap business...my have things changed. I realize that there is a deeper meaning to me making soap than just catering to a customers needs and wants. I read comments from customers about how my soap has helped their young child with eczema or acne and it takes me back to the days when my son was just an infant. Then it all hit me! My soap has a divine purpose. God has blessed me with the talent of making soap to make a difference in this world. Their is a mom out there at this moment that just wants her baby to sleep in peace at night without scratching himself or a teenager that doesn't want to be made fun of because he has acne that he or she can't control. 30 years ago I didn't know that my path had already been set before me and that everything that I was going through wasn't just to help me but to help others. So don't take any thought, talent or idea for granted. It might seem minute in your life right now but it might change someone's life the future.
Who's Going to Fight Your Battles October 09 2014
I know we live in a time were so many topics are passé including GOD. But when you need the muscles to make it through a situation.....God gives you the strength...regardless if you give him the credit for it. When you need answers to questions that plague you...God gives you the wisdom to make the right decisions...you may not take heed to that wisdom or you may decide that you have a better idea but he gives you the wisdom and discernment you need. When the weight of the world squeezes you until you feel like you can't breathe God offers peace to you. He declared it when he said that the reason why you see only one set of footprints is because he is CARRYING YOU! You make the choice if you would rather walk that dark path alone or not. God wants to be there in your life. God wants to carry your burdens for you. God wants to give you the peace that passes all understanding. You just have to want it.
If God is for me...Who can be against me? October 06 2014
I came across something today that made me get chills all up and down my body! Sometimes you are getting ready to get something good and the "world" seems to want to put a roadblock in your way. DON"T LET IT! You are a creature of God. He has given you all the power to perservere through anything that life throws at you! So know that when you wake up in the morning and put YOUR feet on the floor that the devil trembles in his little Osh Kosh boots! YOU are MORE a conqueror and he KNOWS IT!