Many of you know that I have been wanting to open a shop for almost ten (10!) years now, but it has been delayed over and over again for various reasons. Well, I am here to tell you that God has outdone Himself on the timing with The Rusty Coop. The amount of joy and relaxation it has provided for me over the past month and a half has been completely over the top. It has given me a place to visit with some of my favorite people in the world. It has given me a place to creatively express myself. It has given old friends and students from Houston a nudge to make the trip to Lexington. It has felt very natural and stress-free at every turn. (The only part that has been a little unnatural is the checking out process. I have to think hard to get the kinks all worked out, but it has been getting easier each week!)
Thank you to those of you who have made the trek to Green Acres. We appreciate your support, encouragement, and love. We have LOVED sitting with you in the shop catching up and reminiscing about family and friends. We are grateful you have made the drive out to the country.
There is no doubt in my mind that the ten years of waiting has made The Rusty Coop even more special. My ideas for the shop itself and the merchandise has changed a lot over the years. I believe it took me that long to figure out what would make it easiest for me and best for the customers. The design of the shop also changed along the way. Over the past year during COVID-19, I realized that our family should benefit from a finished out building on our land even if no one from the “outside” could come here. It went from being a “shop with an at-home feel” to a “home with a shop inside of it”. I blended my own antique furniture with some couches I purchased online to make it as comfortable as possible for my family to hang out in whenever we have a family gathering or event at the farm. So far, it has worked out perfectly. A couple of days before I opened, my parents drove up from Houston and spent the day hanging out with me in the shop. It was perfectly comfortable for them and made that day possible. Since then, my in-laws have also come up here and eaten lunch with us at our huge farm table on a Saturday while I was working. It makes my heart happy to be able to host our parents and friends in there comfortably on the days I am working!
The other factors that have confirmed God’s perfect timing is the fact that our family has gone through some hard times in the past three years and I feel certain that I would not have been able to handle or enjoy owning a shop during those challenging moments. It also saved me from the COVID-19 pandemic that closed down tons of small businesses across America. I am truly thankful for God’s protection during that season.
The final thing God was working out on my behalf was my retirement from teaching. I was able to retire from public education in December of 2020. It took me about 9 months to actually “feel retired” and start realizing I didn’t have to be doing something 24 hours a day to stay on top of things. When I finally relaxed a bit emotionally and physically, the details of the shop literally fell together. I found the right people to do the finishing work in the building. The right companies approved me as a vendor. The right display items and decor fell in my lap. It all came together so quickly it seemed surreal.
This past Saturday, as I gazed at the old and new friends who were visiting my shop, as I ate lunch with my husband at our farm table in the shop, as I drank coffee with my sweet former teaching colleague who came to visit with me, as I spent time with my oldest daughter, and as I watched as God brought those groups of people together to visit with one another, I was certain that God’s timing for The Rusty Coop was absolutely perfect. There has never been a better time in my life when I would be more content visiting with people, hosting people, creating things for people, and sitting with people in the midst of God’s peace and grace than exactly right now. His timing was absolutely PERFECT.