Monday, March 10, 2014

Onward and Upward

As I told you in a previous post I would be sharing a variety of things in upcoming posts.  As indicated the past year has been one of grief for Dwight and I.  The loss of the shop and the friends and acquaintances made during the 17 months The Crafter’s Co-op was in operation has been very hard for me.  And Dwight’s job loss was like a death for him.  His job loss was a calculated act by a group of people with absolutely inexplicable motives to have so hijacked his stellar reputation.  The sucker punches dealt Dwight by this group was absolutely heartbreaking.  Thank goodness that our Lord can heal all wounds, as we both continue through our process of healing.  We continually pray for all those that have so wounded us and because of that our healing has been steady in the process.  You can not pray for those that have inflicted such harm AND not have the Lord ministering and healing all the recesses where the deep wounds of grief have settled. 

Focusing on the joy that we shared and the good we did in the community for outreach ministries as well as the ministries within the shop has helped us keep our focus on the Lord and His plans for us.  And even though we could not longer serve in Wylie, there are still many places where we have resumed serving in other towns  and that has been a blessing and saving grace for us as well.  We have done much ministry and charitable work our entire time here in Wylie, as our life together has been one of serving and that is something we can not give up, even if we can not do so in Wylie. 

As we are driving on our treks out of Wylie, there is rarely a place that our eyes may fall that we do not see years of Dwight’s good work that Wylie has benefited from.  Our fingerprints are all over this town and all the maligning can NOT erase the good and positive things we have done in our community.  My fingerprints and footprints (in every creek in this area) have been scattered all over the community since I was a small child.  And Dwight’s contributions have been greater than mine since he moved here in 1996.  How can these people justify railroading you out of town---your own community that is YOUR home?  Trust me it is very hard to have to give up and move under such circumstances.  But neither of us can stay where we are no longer wanted, where we can not serve and work, so we will comply to the demands and take our leave and go, work, and serve in places where we have been known and always welcomed.

As we were searching (before all this happened) for a much larger space for The Crafter’s Co-op we had 17 places on our list of potential sites.  The more we searched, we began to think that Wylie might not be in the Lord’s plan for The Crafter’s Co-op relocation.   And now since everything happened as it did, we have come to realize that His plan was much larger and what has unfolded has been full of surprises that only the Lord could bring us.    As hard as it has been, I am thankful that we stood fast and tried to be obedient in waiting as we prayed for His perfect will for our future. And of course we are continuing the same prayers to be in His will in all of this.  Soon after I started My 57 Cents blogspot, opportunity knocked and I now have the chance to write about and feature many artists and crafters across Texas and beyond.  I very much look forward to this future endeavor of showcasing incredible talents in and around Texas!

Also, it seems as if what happens in Wylie does NOT stay in Wylie as other towns and cities want what Wylie did not want.  One town contacted us a couple of months after the shop closed with an incentive proposal to open a much larger retail store in their town on a major interstate highway and at a reduced rental rate—in fact for even less than what we were paying here in Wylie.  Another city has talked to us about opening in their flourishing historic downtown and in that same city, one of the developers has offered us a building to bring artists and crafters that are funding ministries to their fair city—wanting the same concept we used in The Crafter’s Co-op here in Wylie.  These are exciting opportunities that we are prayerfully considering and once we decide if and when we can relocate, we look forward to see how the Lord is going to use and grow this one!

We have been contacted by two other towns that have Trade Days to let us know that Trade Day vendors are welcomed in their towns in case some of our former crafters might be interested in a once a month venue.  I posted about the Lavon 205 Trade Days and since then Third Monday Trade Days in McKinney contacted us too.  In both cases, the owner/operators were familiar with the shop and the popularity of the concept and knew of our unfortunate closing of the shop. 

It still saddens me that The Crafter’s Co-op as well as the Stained Glass Shop before us was not permitted to co-exist with Wylie’s Gallery.  It was not enough to shut us down, but why be so vocal about Wylie NOT wanting The Crafter’s Co-op OR crafters in town?  We found this out only after the debacle over the Wylie Trade Days efforts to get an extension for future Trade Days.  It was very hurtful to think that months AFTER we closed that they were then saying that The Crafter’s Co-op along with Wylie’s Trade Days was “bringing trash into town”.  It was a shock to think that THIS was being circulated about our incredible little shop and it was probably at least six months after we had closed!   To this day, I would beg to differ with anyone saying this about The Crafter’s Co-op.  It is such a hateful and shameful thing to say about the people that made up our little shop and the customers as well.  There is not a single person that crossed that threshold that I would have ever spoken such hurtful things. Our shop was a bright spot in our little downtown and a huge blessing to Wylie.  Wylie’s loss will definitely be another city’s gain and blessing.  And whoever is spreading such hurtful things should know that such talk is only hurting Wylie’s reputation and their own more than they are hurting those being accused of bringing “trash into town”.  The Crafter’s Co-op and Wylie Trade Days are GONE so why not give up the trash talk?

I would think it would be in Wylie’s best interest to embrace businesses such as The Crafter’s Co-op that are definitely family friendly and easily meld with the character and integrity of what Wylie has been.  I also believe that those in town that are being so vocal and negative about what have been family friendly businesses here in Wylie, should be encouraged by others to keep their opinions to themselves since it certainly is not helping Wylie.  The City needs to remember that the majority of citizens moving to this little town are doing so because it is a family oriented town.  Those questionable businesses that Wylie has started seeking and offering back door deals are NOT the type of businesses that are going to be a draw for families when they consider family friendly towns to raise their children.  The agenda of a handful of businesses and investors that are not citizens of Wylie should not be changing the face of this town and bringing such questionable businesses into a town such as Wylie.  City management may consider this  progressive and profitable and of course, they seem to think they know better what Wylie needs,  but they certainly have stopped thinking of what is family friendly for Wylie.  The question that the people of Wylie should be asking is “Why don’t they take their agenda to the towns and communities that they themselves live in?”  And another question to pose is “Why is the Mayor and City of Wylie upper management so willing and quick to compromise the integrity of Wylie?”

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