Friday, April 1, 2016

Reminiscing...

Hello friends!

Korin here today with a different kind of blog post to share... 

I will be celebrating my 38th birthday this coming Tuesday so I have been doing a lot of reminiscing these past few days about how blessed I am to be where I am today. I don't typically get too personal in these blog posts, but I thought I would take some time to share some things that are on my heart as my birthday approaches. I hope you'll enjoy this little glimpse into my heart and life.

For those of you who may not know, I started Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps over 8 years ago, in November of 2007. My youngest son was getting ready to celebrate HIS birthday (5th to be exact) and I wanted to make him some special birthday party invitations. I was a stamper, after all. ;)

He was VERY much into knights, swords, & dragons back in those days so that was my theme plan for his 5th birthday party, but finding stamps that would work for that theme was proving to be impossible. At the time I was a Close To My Heart consultant (yes, that's how I came to fall in love with clear stamps) so I had plenty of connections and resources for stamps, but still could not find anything that suited a 5 year old's birthday party invitations. So I did something CRAZY. I sat down and drew an image...the image that started it all...


Hahaha! I look at this image (and card) and I just have to laugh! You know how we grow and learn and improve as we continue doing something, right? Well, I am almost embarrassed to share this card with you because I think it's AWFUL!! At least, it is to me NOW.

Back then, I thought it was pretty cute, and quite frankly so did many others because it was the star of our very first stamp set! I can tell you, I did NOT draw this cute little guy with the intention of creating and selling stamps of him, but that is exactly what happened! I shared this card and image on my blog (which has since gone by the wayside) and couldn't believe the comments and COMPLIMENTS I received. "You should make him into a stamp!" "He's so cute! I would buy him!" One after the other suggesting I turn this guy into a stamp. So I did what any other entrepreneurial-minded person would do and I started doing some research.


Google was my  BFF as I tried to find out just how in the world you have stamps made in the first place. I was fortunate enough to find a woman, who I am not sure is even still doing it, who made stamps in her home. I thought, wow, maybe I COULD make this guy into a stamp. So I started looking for reassurance from those original enablers ;) ...would they REALLY buy him if I made him into a stamp? The response was a resounding YES, so I resigned from Close To My Heart so as not to go against their policy, drew some more images to compliment this little guy and created my very first stamp set. Little did I know that small (yet BIG) step would lead to where I am today. God is SO GOOD!


Now there are tons of other stories I could tell you about things that happened along this journey as a stamp company owner, but all of them would point to one very powerful truth. GOD IS GOOD. He was with me when I had NO IDEA what on earth I was doing starting a stamp company...selling homemade stamp sets on my personal blog. He was with me when I made poor choices and mistakes that brought me to my knees. He was with me in the celebrations and successes. He was with me as I learned and grew and met some of the most amazing people in the world! He was with me as those acquaintances turned into amazing, life-long friendships. He was with me as I struggled to make the right choices for my family and my business/ministry, which was actually His. He was even with me as my family struggled through some very rough times on a personal level, times when we often questioned whether He WAS there. But He was. He is SO GOOD.

Now let me back up a little more...bear with me...

As a child I grew up wondering if God really WAS there. And IF He was, I wondered if He really loved me...if He really cared. How could He to let so many bad things happen in my life? Divorced parents and all the hardship that goes with that, being basically rejected by our church, the loss of our home, depression that led to attempted suicide, hospitalization, two miscarriages by age of 19 and the list goes on... Ya know what? God WAS with me. Every step of the way. Just like He was with me during these past 8 years of business. He allowed those hard times to help be become the person I am today and I THANK Him for them.


As I look back over these past 38 years, all the heartache AND all the blessing, I cannot help but see how He carried me through and protected me!! From more trials, worse trials, consequences of my choices, and even DEATH! I am overwhelmed by His love for me! OVERWHELMED.


So as I prepare to celebrate 38 years on this earth, I thank my precious Savior for every breath I have been allowed to take, every undeserved blessing He has bestowed upon me, every mistake I have made, and every life I have had the amazing privilege of touching for His glory. I pray that He will use the next 38 years of my life (if He grants them to me) to bring good to others and glory to His name.

Thank you for spending this special time with me today. I hope in some way you were blessed by my story, but more than anything, I pray you join me in glorifying our Lord & Savior for Who HE is and how much He loves me and YOU!

Much love,
Korin

21 comments:

bensarmom said...

Korin,
Thank you for your story. I learned a little more about you and I am witness to another person praising Jesus in good times and bad. It's interesting when we see people we don't know, we often think their life is easy and good. Everyone has a story with difficulties, no lives are perfect. Thank you for reminding me there are a lot of hurting people out there who need someone by their side.
Bless you for letting us inside your life.
Blessings

Boopnut said...

Dear Korin,
Thank you for sharing your story. Many people don't realize the pain that lies BEHIND our life story. We tend to think all Christians have always had it together!
Ha! I am so glad to know you and so happy that God has blessed you with this business! I feel blessed to know you.
Deb

Judy Rozema said...

You already know what I think about this beautiful post. I am blessed to have you in my life. <3

Bridget said...

Korin, thank you for your openness which cannot fail to encourage - because everyone is broken and will experience pain and mess living in this broken world - it really glorifies God when we share our stories of His redeeming love. I love you, and I pray for you, xx

Nancy Thomas said...

Thank you for sharing your story. We are all broken in some way and your testimony is one of encouragement, redemption and grace. (and did you have my childhood?!).

Sue G. said...

Korin, everyone has a story and I thank you immensely for sharing yours with us!!! What a powerful testimony to God's Amazing Grace!!!

Mary-Anne V said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It is always uplifting to hear about others experiences of faith and how God has brought them to where they are today. Im thankful He has had such a huge influence in your life. Happy birthday and I pray God continues to bless you in the years to come.

Jackie W said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You are one amazing woman, Korin. You were able to take the 'bumps in the road' of your life and turn them into positive results. You realize that He is always there, and always will be. I, too, doubted at one time. Then I had the opportunity to become the secretary at the church I belonged to.....and just the things that happened during my 13 years at that desk-there is no way I could go home at the end of the day and not believe He is always there for us. His answer may not always be what we expected, or even wanted. But his answer is always what is right for us and His love is never ending.
So, birthday blessings to you, and never forget-His Love Endures Forever.

Marlena M. said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony. It's not easy to open up our insides~but God's grace makes all things new. I'm so glad He has used you in this stamping world~have a blessed birthday!

Elayne said...

So good to hear what God has done in your life, and be reminded that He is not through with you...or any of us! Especially liked the last poster about how many times we blow it, yet His grace is always there. I needed that! How wonderful and loving He is! Happy birthday from someone almost twice your age who constantly needs to be reminded abou these things!

Mary Marsh said...

It's an amazing story of triumph Korin-so blessed to have been a small part of your company for my stint as a DT member

78nsb said...

Dear Korin,

Thank you for sharing your story. We all have made mistakes but God is good. I was thanking God today for being with me and helping me through my struggles.

God Bless you and your family. :)

Julie Gearinger said...

Korin, thank you for sharing a part of your testimony with all of us! The Lord is faithful and it is evident in your life- may the next 38 years (Lord willing) be a strong witness for Him and may He be glorified in all that you do! I am so thankful that I am one of those who can say that you have touched my life..so glad that He allowed us to get to know each other on this side of Heaven :-) Hugs and have a blessed birthday week!!

Susie Moore said...

Thank you for sharing this story. As everyone has said, we are all broken. And the Bible says, Christ was broken for us. That's the amazing and good news. I have a semicolon tattoo on my wrist to remind myself of the times that I thought my life wasn't worth continuing. The semi colon means I paused. I did not end it. My story goes on. And my goal in life is to glorify God. And obviously yours is as well

CherylQuilts said...

Dear Korin, what a beautiful blog post! It's a joy to read something as transparent as this, sharing the joys and sorrows that God has allowed in your life to make you more and more into His image. Oh, that we would all be more transparent so others don't think we "have it all together." Noone does! Yes, we all truly have stories "behind the scenes" of our lives that most people don't know about. When we share them and share the hope of His amazing grace...through it all...He is glorified. I so appreciate reading about your journey and how difficult your early childhood life was. Yet all that was part of God's perfect plan for your life to shape you into the woman of God you are. And yet, as someone said above already, He's never finished with us but is always with us. Oh, what comfort that is to know that God is with us, Emmanuel! May God continue to bless you and your family and business/ministry, and I praise God for you and how you have impacted my life as a stamper...and friend. And don't we love to see how God uses the brokenness in our lives to shine often more brightly than the "shiny" parts that we think are worthy. Oh, may God continue to shine brightly in our lives in all we do and say. Praise God alone! Much love to you and birthday wishes next week. Hugs! xoxo

McStamper said...

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story. I am glad you have done the journaling products - one of my new adventures.

Bobbi Miller said...

A beautiful story, and one that I can identify with. I just turned 66 this month, and I just got Baptized on Easter. I was raised Protestant, went to church as a child, but as an adult, was no longer attending. Five years ago, a friend invited me and I've been hooked ever since. Looking back on my life, I now see that God was there with me as well, during my most trying times, and when I made mistake after mistake. He always knew what He was doing; I just didn't listen like I should. Your story is wonderful and I thank you for sharing it. God IS Good...in fact, GREAT! I am a completely changed person ever since I just sat back and admitted it, and let Him have me like he wants me. I share His love as much as I can with others; it's up to them to listen. Thank you for your wonderful story, and I also think your first stamp set is darling! I would have bought it too... :-)

Natalie said...

What a blessing to read your testimony. God is so faithful and trustworthy! Thanks so much for sharing your heart. May God continue blessing and leading you in every area of your life (I know He will...) Hugs!

Nancy said...

Thank you, Korin, for your beautiful sharing! It was wonderful to get to know a bit about you. I have been, and will continue to be, blessed by your beautiful stamps. I pray you will continue to follow the Lord's leading in your life! :o)

Happy Face said...

Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your story. Isn't it amazing how God takes all the broken pieces and puts them back together in an even more beautiful way! As I look back on all that He has brought me thru, I can't even believe how He has proven His love for me over and over again. I grew up with an alcoholic dad, and a sibling who constantly caused our family heartache. I was made fun of in school because I didn't have the fine clothes or latest trend. I graduated and married a man who was abusive and cruel, lost a precious baby boy, went thru a very frightening divorce, and then my son at 13 broke my heart when he chose to go live with his dad. Never have had much money, and always seems as though we never will..lol. But God has taken care of me thru it all. He has blessed me with a wonderful husband of almost 16 years who is so loving and good to me. He's blessed me with beautiful children and grandchildren, restored my relationship with my son. He used all of the trials to draw me close to Him and have the courage to live for Him each day. I praise Him for all the troubles, cause He has definitely used it all for good! Thank you for your strong faith that inspires others to trust Him more! I am so proud to be your sister in Christ!

Teresa Cassidy said...

Hello Korin, Thank you so much for sharing all of God's faithfulness in your life. I got here by looking into the Sweet 'n Sassy stamps and am so happy to learn of it's beginnings and how God has used you and blessed you through them. Thank you for your sincere heart and faith. I came to the Lord late in life compared to many, I was nearly 50, so I had many years to royally mess up. Now 13 years later I am not the same person and god has been so faithful, I praise Him for grace and mercy. I am so happy to have joined Creative Worship Journaling, to be a part of like-minded sisters, and I am hoping to actually be able to make friends too. God bless you!