Answered Prayers

A lot can happen in six months. One minute you can be on top of the world and the next minute your world as you’ve known it may no longer exist.

When I last left you, I was on top of the world. Riding the high of seeing all my licensed products in the Creative Co-op showroom in Atlanta. Dumbfounded and bleary-eyed but elated by the scope of this unexpected opportunity.

In the months following the debut I was a proud mother watching all my little baby products go out into the world, following their journey to little gift shops and boutiques throughout the United States…

and even popping up online on One King’s Lane…

I was getting calls and texts and emails and facebook messages reporting little e studio sightings all over the country. I was still selling originals faster than I could paint. I was offered my first solo show (summer of 2013 at the Town Centre Theatre!). I got into my favorite gallery at the beach, The Blue Giraffe. I celebrated my 40th birthday in my favorite spot on earth, Seaside, and was planning my daughter’s 3rd birthday trip to Disney. On top of the world.

Except this one little thing. A lamp next to my bed had a wire that was bent or crimped like a garden hose, possibly compressed under the bedside table leg. The wire was building up heat over time much like that garden hose builds up pressure if it has a kink in it. Could have been a month. Could have been a year. But it finally couldn’t take the heat any more and it caught fire. Burned a hole through our floor, hit an air duct and basically engulfed our house in flames. We were enjoying a leisurely dinner and an art crawl in Franklin. We pulled in as the first engines arrived to see fire erupting from our bedroom and smoke billowing out of our roof. We weren’t home. We weren’t asleep. We weren’t in the basement glossing paintings with a sleeping baby upstairs, which was our original plan for that night. Praise God.

My daughter’s crib was filled with insulation and rafters from the crumbling roof. Our bedroom was nothing but unidentifiable charred fragments. Our white walls were black. My recently remodeled studio, sodden and smoky. My paintings, wet and filthy or broken and burnt. Clothes, books, toys, furniture, memories, heirlooms…gone.

Everything stopped. A seismic shifting of perspective. A window opened which finally cleared out some of the smoke that had been clogging my vision. Because being on top of the world is a precarious position…especially when your foundation has been a bit cracked.

It has been almost two months since the fire. I can say without any hesitation that it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have gained far more than I lost. Prior to the fire, I had been reeling in anxiety and depression and loneliness surrounding the death of one of my dearest friends, the pressures of balancing motherhood and a successful new career and moving to a money pit of a new house. Doubt and insecurity. Isolation and co-dependence. Fear and perfectionism. Social awkwardness. Time management issues. Pressure. Busy-ness became my solution. Pour all my time and energy into the one area that is experiencing success and let all other relationships, responsibilities, and opportunities fall to the wayside. Let my world shrink until it is just me and all my lovely fears. Listen to the lies whispered in my ear telling me that I am stuck in this pattern. Pray the only thing that I can even muster energy to say to God…”I can’t do this anymore.”

And then wait for God to light a match.
Watch your neighbors shelter you. Watch your friends keep vigil. Watch your church feed and clothe you. Watch your colleagues rally. Watch your family surround you. Watch strangers respond. Watch your fears recede as your worst fear unfolds. Watch your loneliness contract as your community expands. Watch your stress fade as your priorities realign. Watch doubt ebb while your faith flows. Watch your wants disappear and your needs shrink. Watch your world explode for the better as you see the hands and feet of Jesus in beautiful action.

My family is ensconced in a sweet little rental with a huge yard and a driveway perfect for riding tricycles. We have clothes, toys, books, furniture, toiletries, food. We even have amazing art on our walls thanks to sweet fellow artists who showered me with beauty, encouragement, and offers of studio space.

This weekend marks my re-entry into the world of art. After the fire and lack of inventory forced cancellation of my fall shows, I couldn’t be more excited! The contents restoration company managed to save a miraculous amount of my work so I get to honor my invitation to participate in the Fine Art in Brentwood Show and Sale this weekend. http://www.brentwoodacademy.com/page.cfm?p=3586

Friday, November 30, 5:30-8:30…Opening night with free food and beverages
Saturday, December 1, 10-6:00
Sunday, December 2, 1-5

If you’ve ever wanted to see what an answered prayer looks like, come see me and my paintings this weekend.
We have been restored.

with a heart filled with gratitude to all who have prayed, encouraged, and lavished me with love and donations,
little e

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12 Comments

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  1. Greta November 30, 2012 # | Reply

    Great blog post! What a beautiful testimony of the power of God in a willing instrument! Only He can turn ashes into beauty.

    • Emily December 10, 2012 # | Reply

      Thank you, Greta! I completely agree!!!

  2. Donna Stoddart December 16, 2012 # | Reply

    Wow! When you stop to think about how bad it could have been… Glad all are safe!

    Congratulations on your re-entry into the world of art! Prayers that your restoration continues.

    • Emily January 17, 2013 # | Reply

      Thank you so much, Donna!!! We are slowly but surely rebuilding but we are well provided for in the meantime!

  3. Rhonda Dunn January 6, 2013 # | Reply

    I will always remember this story when I look at your painting hanging on my wall! I bought the brown and gold heart from the Blue Giraffe yesterday! I absolutely love it! Thanks for the testimony that I can share through this painting! You are so talented!

    • Emily January 17, 2013 # | Reply

      Thank you, Rhonda!!!! I love knowing that piece went to such a good home and that it was purchased at such a wonderful store! I’m hoping to visit the Blue Giraffe with new paintings in March!!!!
      Blessings,
      Emily

  4. Elizabeth Aviles January 17, 2013 # | Reply

    Amazing testimonial of strength & power from God’s amazing grace. Your journey has touched my heart and it just has shaken me to the core in heart, mind, & soul…

    Thank you for sharing your journey Emily Little…


    Elizabeth Aviles

    • Emily January 17, 2013 # | Reply

      Thank you, Elizabeth!!! I’m so glad that I’ve had a way to share what God has done. I’ve not always trusted or been faithful, but he has!!!!!

  5. Velvet Lime Girls January 24, 2013 # | Reply

    We were so touched by your transparent blog regarding the fire and then the love you experienced during your fragile transition. How strong and secure you sound in your new found joys of abundant simplicity. Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding us of the true treasures from God that surround us each day.
    The Velvet Lime Girls… Laura, Marybeth & Rebecca

    • Emily January 24, 2013 # | Reply

      Thank you, thank you!!! Some days I am stronger and more secure than others but I am learning that God is in control, not me, thank goodness! Now I have to go look up Velvet Lime Girls because that sounds too fun!!!
      Emily

  6. dana bauguess January 25, 2013 # | Reply

    Oh my. Your words are as inspiring as your art. Thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you at BA. The basket of daisies and green cross were perfect Christmas gifts, and well received. Hope to see you at Lipscomb.

    Dana

    • Emily January 25, 2013 # | Reply

      Thank you, Dana! I’m so glad that you were able to get the daisies for your mom! I could tell she really liked them! Love knowing when my pieces go to a good home!!