The days of autumn have quickly turned to winter and Christmastide is drawing near. Fallen leaves have ceased their dancing, accepting a blanket of snow ... except for the few leaves that have made their way onto covered porches and into little nooks and crannies sheltered from the wind.
Young hearts are wondering if Santa Claus is real. Eyes old and young gaze on the Christ Child in nativity scenes dotting the landscape. Words from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew come alive in our hearts and minds, filtering through model figures in settings of straw and hay, delighting the hearts of those who believe ... and stirring the hearts of those who wonder if He is real.
As snowflakes drift like feathers, my heart is filled with certainty and peace that the season upon us will bring “good gifts” to those who seek the One whose birth we remember and celebrate ... another year closer to His return.
I suppose that, much like that season I didn’t want to stay in St. Cloud, Minnesota many years ago, I also was hoping for a different address for Ruby Buckle too. From the time of its inception, I had a sense that I was to partner with someone. I didn’t know exactly who they were, or where they’d be, but I believed they would be found.
Out of the gates, there were many things that I felt I needed, but that I didn’t possess. I didn't own a printing press, a straight truck, or a warehouse. I didn’t have an accounting degree or a business degree, for that matter. I wasn’t even certain that the available finances would be sufficient to launch and pay for the rental and usage of these things, let alone the human resources needed to accomplish the task. (And let me not forget to mention that I doubted if I possessed the courage and talent for such an undertaking!)
I suppose the most beautiful thing about the journey thus far is that each closed door led me to believe that the right and most perfect door was still waiting to be opened. I believe the words in Ecclesiastes 4:9 are true: Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
My belief in those 14 simple words kept me searching, always looking to see who I might find to join me on the journey. On the threshold of 2018, I felt that I was to stop looking elsewhere and go forward, right here in St. Cloud. Shortly after I made that decision, a friend of mine stopped by my studio to share a bowl of soup for lunch at the great big gathering table there. On it was a sign with a quote by George Mueller that I love ... “I am His darling child.”
As I shared with her that I was going to keep Ruby Buckle right here at home, she looked at me and said, “Oh, Colleen, you are such a hopeless romantic for the things of God.”
It took a few seconds for it to register that it was positive. The word that rang out to me was “hopeless” -- and I was anything but. My heart was filled with hope for the journey!
Shortly after saying yes to God, a beautiful team of friends and family members stepped up to partner with me to launch the ministry of Ruby Buckle. In addition to sharing their gifts, talents and resources, they have prayed for me and with me. Now two months underway, a whole legion of “angels” have helped me. They daily remind me to delight in that single sentence spoken over me and to own it:
I AM A HOPELESS ROMANTIC FOR THE THINGS OF GOD.
Thank you to each one of you who have joined me on the journey and are reaching out to the people in your lives with encouraging words of FAITH, HOPE and LOVE! I will be forever grateful.