As soon as I read the subject line in my sister’s e-mail, I couldn’t help but let out a whoop of sheer delight!
Opening the message, I skimmed through Jenny’s words, until I reached the link that I’d been waiting for months to receive.
At long last, Brendamor was on-line and had opened its cyber-doors for business! With one click, I was finally able to see the end result of the months and months of hard work that had kept my family in Queensland almost completely absorbed.
Believe me; what I saw was well worth the wait!
Although I’d been privileged to be given a sneak preview while we were staying with them last October, there was no question in my mind that the now published website truly surpassed the earlier prototype (which in my opinion, had been pretty good all on its own!).
As I visited the pages of the Brendamor site, I could almost feel my chest explode with pride at the achievement of my Dad, Step-Mother (Dorothy), and two younger sisters, Jennifer and Susan. It had been a long and, sometimes, bumpy road to bring this dream into reality, and I know that at times they’d felt a little disheartened by the delay. However, through it all they’d stuck firmly to their vision to be excellent in everything they did – and now they were seeing the first fruits of all their effort.
They say that from tiny acorns mighty oaks are grown, and so it was with Brendamor. It all started when Dorothy and Jennifer made a very casual comment about the less than impressive cross-stitch kits they saw for sale when the family was visiting a local tourist attraction.
“We could do better than that,” the two avid cross-stitchers grumbled after browsing through the very limited and disappointing range.
Hearing their complaint, my Father immediately laid down a challenge.
“Well then, why don’t you?”
Now I’m sure that many such things have been said by many people throughout history, and the majority probably never got past the “possibility” stage. However, for Dad, Dorothy, Jenny and Susan, those words ignited a flame of vision that would not be extinguished.
Even so, having a dream and a vision is one thing. Seeing it come to pass and having the “tools” to make it a reality, is another thing altogether!
That’s where I truly do marvel at the way this branch of my family seems to have been put together with the perfect combination of natural talents, life experiences and qualifications, to be able to make it all happen.
You see, first of all there’s the one who really has the pivotal role to play in the business, and that’s the cross-stitcher, Dorothy.
However, there are thousands upon thousands of devoted stitchers all around the world, who know what they like and don’t like about available designs, but that definitely isn’t enough to spur them all into the business of creating and marketing their own creations. As a quite addicted cross-stitcher myself, I know my own limitations; and I imagine that Dorothy would have said the same thing about herself if fulfilling the dream of Brendamor had relied totally upon her.
But it didn’t.
As well as Dorothy’s skill with the needle, there was also the creative talent of my sister, Jennifer, who had just finished her University Degree in Multimedia. Jenny’s ability to manipulate images and create amazing graphics using video, photography and artwork, always leaves me in awe! So when you combine these skills with the fact that she also enjoys cross-stitching, there’s really no doubt that Jenny was the ideal person to create the designs, packaging and web-site.
Then, added to this dynamic duo of Cross-Stitcher and Designer, came a third member to turn it into a tremendous trio; and that was my youngest sister, Susan – the Programmer. Susan has been using computers almost her entire life and has a mind that, when unleashed in conversation on the topic of her field of expertise, leaves my poor brain reeling!
Susan completed her University degree in programming at the same time as Jenny finished her course, and was without question the perfect choice for programming the Brendamor website, as well as maintaining the database and shopping cart system.
From what I can gather, she’s also pretty good when it comes to putting kits together.
But that’s not all! The tremendous trio became the quintessential quartet by the addition of one last member, and that was my Dad.
With his decades of experience in business ownership, management and sales, Dad brought into the team all the business know-how that was essential for their venture to be a success.
As I browsed through the Brendamor website for the first time and saw what this dream team had managed to create, I really had to resist the urge of giving them a standing ovation.
Instead, I grabbed my credit card and placed an order, with the hope that I’d be their very first customer.
And I was!
Because Dad, Dorothy, Jennifer and Susan are all committed Christians, I just know that our Heavenly Father has been leading and guiding them throughout their lives, so that every talent, skill and ability was honed and ready to be used for this hour and this place. After all, God does care about every aspect of our lives.
So what a wonderful thing it is to see this family combining their unique individuality, skills and talents, for the purpose of achieving something great for their common good.
The same is just true for all of us who are members of the family of God.
Although there are many times when He’ll use us individually for His plans and purposes, there are also many more times when He combines our gifts and talents with those of our brothers and sisters in Christ, to do even greater things for His glory and, again, for the common good of the “family” generally.
After all, the Church is the living, breathing example of this very fact. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome:
The gifts and talents that God has entrusted to us are not for our own benefit or personal ministry alone. In fact, as Paul so very clearly put it, our very lives are actually meant to be shared with our brothers and sisters in Christ, so that our strengths and abundance will fill in the gaps of their weaknesses and lack; and vice versa.
There’s something about working as part of a healthy team, that’s just incredibly uplifting. I think it comes when we recognise the value of the part that we play within the life of that group, and rejoice in the value of each of the other team members’ contributions as well.
When it comes right down to it, we all need each other in order to fulfil God’s perfect plans and purposes for the Church. So let’s set aside our egos and need for recognition, link arms with those who are heading in the same direction, and together we’ll get God’s glorious work done!
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