Dear My Toy Garden Friends,
Who knew such power could be found in a pizza place? Surely not I. My friend, Mary Kaye had invited me to a new adventure of hers and the location she choose was a meeting room at Donato’s Pizza. Who knew? What happened that night has played a major role in my life decisions of the last few months. But before we go there, let me tell you a bit about Mary Kaye.
This woman is one of those women you never forget meeting even it is was for just a brief moment of time. She is always wearing something with a splash of color that announces her arrival and makes dark clouds hide in shame. Her sincere smile draws you in and you know you are in the presence of someone special. Her zest for life is huge and her love for others is a driving passion in her life. In one visit, you are likely to be laughed with, cried over and have her eyes connect with yours in simple understanding. She is one of the craziest people I know and I adore her!
Her new adventure was called the Word of the Year Project. Have you had a word or phrase that when you heard it, it popped out from the others around it? A word that when you heard it, it rang through you to your toes? A word that continued to whisper through your actions for days, weeks, months to come? A word that you needed to pay attention to? The goal of this new adventure was to help people identify what their word is and then to help them create a piece of art that captures the essence of that word. Mary Kaye was just the person to lead us through.
After some quiet meditation steps to center our thoughts and some other guided imagery activities, the word that lit on my shoulder was just the word I’ve needed this year. Patience. Oh so not an easy word though is it? It is only through focus on this word that the events of My Toy Garden have unfolded and led me to where I am now. Patience is truly paying off now!
So where am I now, you are asking? I so appreciate the stalking of the store Facebook page and the messages asking for updates. It’s an exciting time for My Toy Garden! The man who appeared that Tuesday afternoon and I have meet several more times since that day. He is still very interested in buying the store and having it remain as much the same as possible. Let’s all say, “Yeah!” He had been doing planning to open a store in Fishers when he realized that it might be the better option to buy a store that is already all put together and has a fabulous customer base. Smart idea, right? We are working through the details of things and are hoping to announce the official sale of the store within the next week or two. That means My Toy Garden will reopen this summer…one day very soon! Can you believe it?! God is amazing! Thank you again for all your support! Stay tuned for reopening news soon!
The agreement with my husband was that when the store sold, I get to go on an all inclusive beach vacation for a week by myself. Oh, pinch me please! It will only seem real when I sink my toes in the sand there. Now I’m pondering where….thoughts to share with me on that? Comment below!
Dear My Toy Garden Friends,
Friday was the day the tears began and fell through the weekend. May 9th was a date I’d had in mind for weeks and weeks. On May 9th I’d know I’d told myself. On May 9th, I’d know what the next steps for My Toy Garden would be.
For months I’ve felt like I’m surrounded by pitch black darkness. The kind of darkness you can taste…that presses against your eyes in an invisible blindfold. In my hands is a small flashlight that shows me a tiny bit. Enough light to show me just one more step to take. I’ve been blindly following this path wondering where it will lead and trying hard not to worry. Trying hard to trust that His plan is always the best one. The post it on my desk says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light onto my path.” I’ve uttered it many times a day for the last few months.
My steps are quickening right now as I even more tightly focus on today and today alone. Friday, May 9th, came and went leaving me with the feeling that perhaps His plan is for the store to close. My Toy Garden was created in a whirl of magic that sparkled on it’s walls for the last 3 years. Maybe, just maybe, the purpose for which it was created has been fulfilled. Tears flowed for four days as I struggled with wanting my plans to be THE plans in my constant battle for control. Perhaps you have those battles too?
Then at 4 pm yesterday a man came into the store. A man who had been here a month ago in the early stages of the clearance sale. A man who told me he had been planning to open a toy store in Fishers. “You know,” he said. “I’ve been thinking. Rather than create a store from scratch, it might make lots more sense for me to look at buying this one.” Um…yup! I totally agree!
So the conversations begin and my flashlight continues it’s search one step at a time. In a blink that light can land on a pair of shoes that might, just might, allow the store to continue to on. There is still time for other pairs of shoes to step onto the path but not much. I plan to begin to sell the fixtures very soon. (If you have had your eye on any bookcases, tables or other pieces, they might be yours next week.) Now is the time to think who do you know that has had a dream to own a toy store? Invite them to contact me and we can chat. Today, today…where will my path lead to today… Thank you so much for being part of this journey! I will so miss the many conversations I’ve had with you!
Almost 3 weeks ago now I stood atop a cliff with my toes hanging over the edge. Behind me a journey of steps sure and straight at times and wandering and faint at other times. But each with a forward purpose guided by a higher power. As I lifted my head, I saw an endless horizon. Far below, a bottom I couldn’t see or know what was waiting there. A breeze that was faint months before was now whistling past me lifting my hair in ever changing arcs around my head. My heart, while racing a bit, was steady. It was time, I was sure, to take the next step. This one was to be a different from the ones behind me. This one was to be off the edge of the cliff.
So step I did. One last exhale and my finger pushed send launching the “I Have Something to Tell You” newsletter to your inboxes. No returning to the ledge. Trusting that this step was certain. For the last 3 years, the My Toy Garden journey has felt one far beyond my doing on my own but one guided by a higher power. As sure as I was to begin the journey, I am sure that the leap off of the cliff was the right step too. A time to trust in a greater plan than I could ever make on my own.
So now here I am….falling…falling…falling…. For days now….falling…. falling… To my surprise though, I am calm. I am peaceful. I am happy. I am not sure how this fall will end but I am sure that all will be as it is meant to be. The picture of my nephew below has resonated in my thoughts. I have felt since last October when I first listed the business for sale privately, that it will sell. That it will continue with a new owner who has the time and talent to maintain and take it to a new level. To make the next dreams I have for it reality. But who? I can see the seeds that were strewn about years ago blossoming and growing into a beautiful garden. In the center is something missing. It’s time to find the centerpiece that will begin the next season of the store. I need your help to find it.
My business broker has met with a woman who would be a wonderful new toy lady. She is someone who wants to keep the store as it is and sprinkle more seeds to grow it. She is someone with the time, talent and enthusiasm to take over. She is working on the financial pieces of it and that’s where you come in. I feel that it’s not one person I’m looking for but two perhaps: one to run the store and one to invest in the store. I believe I have found one. Now I need to find the other. Who do you know that is ready to make a difference to families in the Carmel community and partner to keep it open? I feel it is one of you or someone you know that we are looking for. Please share the press release below anywhere you can to help us find an investor or a new owner. Time is running short as the shelves empty. I suspect in another 2-3 weeks the shelves will be bare of almost. All things truly are possible though. I believe. If you or anyone you know has questions, please let me know.
I think I see the bottom coming clearer and my parachute beginning to open. I’m looking. I’m listening. I’m trusting. And praying. What cliff are you standing at the edge of? Be brave. Listen for guidance and if you hear that your next step is to step off, then step off and know that you will be caught somehow, someway. The way is not for you to know. Trust. Thank you for being part of this journey. It’s going to be an interesting next few weeks!