Looking for something unique and meaningful? Check out this gift set I put together. Read the stories here or at my personal Instagram page. Enjoy!
Backstory for lovely Mexican doily:
I had a really bad skin rash that year. I wanted to stay home but my husband thought a change of weather temperature in Mexico might help my skin.
I made the most of the situation in a foreign place by watching my kids play on swings in the hotel grounds and learned to ask for hot water in Spanish a lot (“agua caliente por favor” 🫖💦. )
On the last day, a side episode happened – totally unexpected. This is a recount of how two women, both two decades older, imparted important lessons on simple joy and gratitude to me. 💐
The first was a local woman, a Mexican lady, who gave me a homemade doily as a souvenir to remember. I still remember the joy on her face as she, a complete stranger, presented me with her sweet gift.
I learned that day how one can connect bridges quickly together even we may not speak the same language and understand each other.
Another lesson learned was a fellow passenger to the airport. She had money, knowledge, power and status, and in spite of having all those things, was not someone I wanted to be around much. I debated quite a while in my head whether to share this part of the story and in the end decided to because I want to acknowledge that we all have been kind toward others as well as being so full of ourselves that we are not even aware that we are unbearable company to others.
Both contributed to me that day. Guess whose example I enjoyed remembering with fondness?
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Backstory for vintage Soul Sisters bag (first shared on my personal Instagram account: @angela_oltmanns).
In a Soul Sisters bible study 📚 I attended at one time, I can tell you I cannot remember the great teaching content that was shared.
But I remember the older lady who sat across my table during our time of 6 weeks together.
I remember her loneliness. With so many spritely younger women swirling around in that auditorium, her white hair and frail skin stood out. I tried to imagine what it must be like for her when she was younger under such similar settings.
I remember her physical pain. Now as I look back, I marvel at her courageous self – that willingness to master up the energy to attend the women’s study group in crutches. I wonder if I would still give community a chance when I got older.
I remember her sadness. How at 60 years of age, she still missed her mother who had passed when she spoke memories of her. I was in my young thirties then and her heartfelt shares certainly helped me cherish my mother more.
I do not recall her name. Even the features of her face are now fuzzy to me, a distant memory. If a tv reporter were to ask her if she knew her simple act of just showing up made a difference in others, she probably would be very surprised.
Yet she did. At least for me.
More Instagram story on My L.L. Bean Potholder:
I made this potholder out of an old L.L.Bean polo shirt I was reluctant to part with. The fabric was sturdy and I wanted a memory of it.
You cannot pay me enough to make another one. The reason? Part of the enthusiastic energy and the glorious passion to create it is no longer there! 💥💥🎇
I made this potholder as a way to challenge my creativity. With scraps of fabric and ribbons around, I created this piece at a time when I couldn’t just take off and leave the house anytime I wish. Those were the years when my kids were little and their feet 👣 so tiny and cute.
I have not decided 🤔 if I want to list it on my @simpledailyjoy_store Etsy shop yet. Please drop a note below if you like it. I know I do ! 🥰
At one point in my life, I cannot fathom creating something like that. I would deem it a complete waste of time.
I now realize how wrong I was. 🥳
Creativity is not linear. 💕💕
Joy can be simple, no matter what, on a daily basis.
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