Today we have a very special guest post from Rachel Woolard from You’re 2 Kind Hand Stamped Jewelry – complete with a giveaway – a set of 2 beautiful hand stamped bracelets (one for you, one for a friend you’re praying for)! Rachel tells us more about her business and the inspiring idea behind the complementary bracelets in this post. Enjoy, friends! And read all the way to the end – she’s got some lovely pieces that would be perfect for Valentine’s gifts! ~Kristen
Have you ever had God answer a prayer that you had not even known to pray yet? Sounds crazy, right? I feel like the past few months have brought an incredible awareness to me of prayers that have been answered before I even knew to pray for them. In Romans 8:26, Paul says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
I had that verse run me over like a bulldozer only a few months ago. God answered a prayer 10 years before I even realized I needed to ask for help. You see, about 10 years ago I was stuck in high school and I pretty much hated it. I took so much joy in crossing off another day from my calendar until graduation. I couldn’t wait to leave high school, but for some ridiculous reason when the election came for senior class officers I decided to run for president… and for some ridiculous reason, I actually got it…
I remember the excitement when I heard the news over the intercom that I had won the election. I also remember, shortly after, the horror when someone informed me that I would be one of the people in charge of planning the reunions. REUNIONS?!? What had I done?!? I’m trying to get away from this place and these people who weren’t like me and I just locked myself into high school mode for the rest of my life?!? Nooo!!!
For the next 9 1/2 years, late at night when I couldn’t sleep, my mind would wander to random weird things, and before I knew it, thoughts of the reunion I was supposed to be in charge of would pop into my head and make me feel sick to my stomach. “I’m horrible at planning things and I’ve lost touch with so many in my class. Why did I do this to myself?… ”
Finally, this past summer was time for the “rubber to meet the road” and for a reunion to come togeth- er. There were certainly times of frustration in the planning process, but with some hard work, things started to come together – and then the week of the reunion it hit me like a ton of bricks what the purpose of this 10 year journey was.
I admit that one of my struggles in life has been loving people like I should. They say “hindsight is 20/20” so I try not to beat myself up with this, but I do regret not loving people more back in high school and beyond. Even though I didn’t agree with many of the decisions people in my class were making, I do regret just cutting myself off from so many instead of working to build a meaningful relationship that could have helped point souls to Christ. Some people may seem surprised at this since I do feel that I make an effort to come across as a friendly person. I loved people, but not enough to sustain meaningful Christ-like relationships with them.
The thoughts of this reunion had made me feel queasy for the past 9 1/2 years, but in a sudden moment it seems that Christ opened my eyes to the purpose of what caused me so much distress for so long. I knew that I had a weakness with building meaningful relationships, but it took me years to realize it, much less pray for it. Thankfully the Spirit made intercession for me and answered my prayer through what I viewed as a curse for 9 and a half years. I needed to learn to genuinely love people more. This reunion forced me to get involved with peoples’ lives…people I hadn’t seen in forever…people that I didn’t think I really had anything in common with. The reunion came and went. It was a small one, but such a blessing I never saw coming. It gave me a new love for people that I hadn’t seen in forever and gave me a desire to share joy in people’s live. Ten years ago I was in the thick of my weakness, but it seems intercession was made and God knew exactly what I needed and filled in the blanks to my prayers.
With the answer of that prayer came the realization of another more recent way God was continuing to work to answer that need of loving people more. One day He pretty much just dumped into my lap a jewelry business. I had not even thought of making jewelry until the day that I, by unknown fate, received supplies to hand stamp metal jewelry. I received the supplies as payment for helping a sweet lady learn how to paint signs. It was the morning I was to meet with that lady that it occurred to me to just ask her if I could have her jewelry supplies she was already trying to sell. It was just a random idea that had popped into my head. On the 20 minute drive to where we were meeting, I couldn’t help thinking about the possibilities of what I could do with the jewelry supplies if she did give them to me. In just that short drive my business name, logo, and mission for my business came to me. As a graphic designer, I don’t know if I have ever had something come to me that quickly with such certainty.
I chose the name “You’re 2 Kind” because I wanted to make things that would leave the recipient of the jewelry saying, “Oh, you’re too kind.” I used the number “2” in my logo with the two interlocking circles to represent the relationship between two people and the hopes that my jewelry could strengthen the bond between people through the gifts I had to offer. Without even realizing it, God was helping create a way to strengthen the relationships I have and create products for others to do the same. He was continuing to fill in the blanks and meet my needs without me even realizing it.
One of my favorite things that I have made was actually one of the first ideas for jewelry that popped into my head. It is based off of I Thessalonians 5:17. “Pray without ceasing.” This is a set of friendship bracelets. One bracelet says, “You are not alone” and the other bracelet says “Pray without ceasing.”
The “You are not alone” bracelet is for that friend you have that is struggling with relationships, health problems, or just day-to-day stress that piles up and overwhems. We can all relate to those times and how important it has been in those circumstances to remember that we are not alone.
The “Pray without ceasing” bracelet is for you, the giver. It is a proactive way to share your sister’s burden and help her to know why she is “not alone.” You allow her to see the symbol of unity you share together, and are able to let her know you are praying for her and that not only are you on her side, but the Almighty Creator is watching over things and constantly hearing from you on her behalf.
“Pray without ceasing.” I admit that the verse has baffled me in the past. How do I possibly pray nonstop? It’s through this 10 year journey I am just now starting to learn that I do the best I can and take comfort that God will fill in the blanks with what I need because He knows me better than I know myself and the Spirit is always making intercession for me. I am so thankful for the ways He has worked to help me learn to love others more deeply. He is continually guiding me to reconcile relationships in my past and has given me a way to forge closer relationships in the future. I hope you can find joy realizing how God is working behind the scenes in your life to fill in the blanks of what you truly need.
To enter this giveaway, simply visit Rachel’s Etsy shop and then come back to comment below with your favorite piece! This giveaway will run through next Thursday, February 9th. (And we wouldn’t blame you if you also sent her Etsy store link to your husband with a “hint, hint, Valentine’s Day is coming up!!”)
There are TONS of sweet gift ideas in her shop – my personal favorites are the anniversary bracelet, the FHU necklace (but maybe not for Valentine’s Day! Ha!), and the “God gave me you” necklaces. But I also love, love the idea for the friendship encouragement bracelets. You’ll love her selection! ~Kristen
You can contact Rachel through Facebook or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel is from Jacks Creek, TN. She was a high school art teacher just down the hall from her math teacher husband, Brandon, before she became a stay at home mom to her two boys, Enoch and Elijah. To retain a little sanity, she has a stamped jewelry business where she is able to fulfill her need to create pretty things in the midst of a home of all boys.
Want to share this inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook? We’d love that!