Hello all! Join me again and bring your coffee (or whatever you prefer) as I share a little more in this space. Today I wanted to formally introduce myself. I am Marlise, aka the face behind the leather. I am a SINGLE twenty-some-thing year old (closer to thirty than 25) who strives to live my life for Christ. I feel very blessed to be a child of God and sister to Christ. The last 13 years of my life have been a journey since I turned my life to Christ and repented for my sins. Today I felt I wanted to share how I got to this point where I have a side hustle. It is a long story but yet one of redemption and God’s grace. I do not intend to make anyone feel guilty with this post. Its just to share my heart and there are not any hidden messages between the lines.
Like I said 13 years ago I choose to live my life in service to God and repent for my sins. I graduated from high school 12 years ago. If anyone would have told me I would still be single, living with my parents and working a job with an associates college degree in my upper twenties I would not have believed you. My initial vision was to be a nurse. God had other plans. I felt I should not continue my college career after doing a couple years at the local community college. I got a job in an environment that I soon learned is where I didn’t want to be as a believer with the type of coworkers I had. God shortly thereafter opened the door to my current job as a Scribe for an OB-GYN that I began 8.5 years ago. The years 2013-2017 were a blur and mostly left with poor, discouraging memories. Approximately 4 years ago I began to have the desire to have a Etsy shop. I made my logo, purchased some lace which all sat for over a year before I did anything more. By 2018 I had resigned to where God had placed me and life and became content. 2018 was a year of growth and restoration. I was determined to not just be content but to be COMFORTABLE as a single person, overcome the stigmas I felt as a single person and truly determine my purpose since I was having a difficult time discerning where I should be. I was blessed to develop friendships with a couple of married women who brought me much encouragement and a good example of being joyful in the lot we are in. These women demonstrated to me how it is possible for single and married women can relate, encourage one another spiritually. I was able to overcome stigmas I felt as “singles are selfish,” “how can you be tired after a day at work,” “it’s got to be nice when you can my new clothes whenever.” The book “Ordered Steps” by Jessica D. opened my eyes and changed my perspective completely. This book I could relate to 100% as many of the stigmas I listed she addressed and had similar experiences to I. Jessica gently encourages women in her book on contentment, creating relationships with all, tips on creating space a single for growth and maturity.
After I reconciled much in my mind I began to feel a deep peace, joy, contentment, comfortableness and purpose developing as a single person. I realized through much encouragement from married women that not all single women are immature. Early 2019 I felt the strength to gain the perspective that I am COMFORTABLE being single the remainder of my life as the Lord wills. I began to feel my duty as a daughter of God in a different and positive way. Through all this I felt freed to dream about my future. Dream about vacations, having a side hustle and the list goes on. I applied for my DBA 02/2019 with the State of IL. I was able to purchase a better sewing machine in my price range in March of 2019 and create a box of sample veils. Early 2020 I purchased a partial leather hide to make a leather clutch for myself. The rest is just history now with the leather work. I had met with friends for dinner and took the clutch with me. They encouraged me along that a clutch like I had would sell. March of 2020 COVID-19 shut down IL temporarily. My work hours were reduced but I always thanked God for that time as I was able to develop leather products for my Etsy shop.
I just wanted to share this story that I feel is a personal redemption in how I view my life. I once viewed my life through dim, dark lenses but now I view it through positive lenses. I pray often that all women can feel a purpose in serving the Lord then in their earthly duties. That women can be Single and Content or Married with children and Content or Married without children and Content or Widow and Content. God has a purpose and plan for each of us. I do want to be realistic for a moment. I do have times of discouragement, frustration and loneliness when I let Satan get the best of me. Often these are triggered by certain circumstances I now have identified and can mentally prep for but not always. God is Good, God is Great and to God be the Glory.
I feel blessed to have Leather and Linen Co. I have met so many women who are also creatives which has been enjoyable. Below are pictures of random times in my life and of things I enjoy like travel, being a foodie, being in nature, with family, adventures in Chicago with my sis, Tea (huge David’s Tea fan), hanging with my friends and leisure prayer walks where I can pour my heart to God in the stillness outdoors.