Woven Blessings
Spring 2010

by Sheri L. VanDuyn


I was in Florida in January to open up my parent’s condo when my sister Kathy flew down for two weeks. She was also going to help take care of our mom. We have never spent this amount of time together, so we were excited about taking a day to shop in Fort Lauderdale. We headed 25 miles south to the Sunrise Flea Market. On this day, besides all the regular vendors, there are literally hundreds of others selling wares out of their cars, vans or trucks.  

After paying our entrance fee and finding what seemed to be the last place to park; we were off on our treasure hunts. The weather was sunny, but not too warm and a fair crowd. One never knows what you will find! I suggested starting on the outside as the inside and canopy spots are open until late afternoon. My sister kept saying, “What time did they open?” and I said-“Sunrise- thus the name! We should have started out earlier!”

 Feeling overwhelmed, we finally found one huge booth that kept us going through boxes for hour. We met several ladies doing the same thing. Nothing was marked, but the guy kept saying, the more you buy, the better your price! By this time, it was already noon and his helpers were already consolidating and loading up his box truck. I found some great new art books and paper for school. I brought my stack up to the head young man and said, “$15.00!” He laughed and said, “One book alone was $30.00!” “I know, but will you give me a receipt?” “No!” he exclaimed. “I teach at a small Christian school and I will not get reimbursed for buying all this for my classroom. Are you a believer?” With that he looked at me and said, “Pay me what you offered!” My sister was in shock, “Boy, are you good!” “No!” I said. “I just saved the school money and I just witnessed to this young businessman!”

 We continued shopping with my sister purchasing beautiful fabric from Haiti. I just love talking to the people and searching and having the art of the deal. We even drank from a chilled coconut and had a wonderful Oriental lunch. We both bought jewelry from an Iranian gal. I love shopping this International market.

We left the Flea Market and traveled to the Salvation Army Shop on Broward Avenue. I had spotted this last year when my husband attended a meeting in this area and I saw so many people waiting to go inside. So now we went inside to shop checking out books, clothes and anything else. While shopping, Kathy needed to use the bathroom so I pointed towards the restrooms. Waiting for her to come out, I found several items to try on that said off! These would be great school clothes because I usually ruin them teaching art during the year. Coming around a tall rack I saw an employee sorting clothes and I had heard her earlier as she was singing hymns. “My, aren’t you doing good!” “Well, I am, but I want to try on these clothes, but I cannot find my sister.” “Does she look like you?” I chuckled because at the Flea Market we have been told this several times while shopping!” Then she said, “I stopped her from going into the men’s bathroom as she was looking at the pictures on the wall!” I laughed and said, “I’m definitely going to ask her about this when she comes back.” “No! No! Then she will know that I told you!”  

She continued working across from me and singing as the Christian music played. I exclaimed, “You have such a beautiful singing voice and share so freely. Can I ask your name?” “My name is Geri with a G and I just love singing God’s praises! It’s a wonderful day and I have a job; plus, I’m getting ready for heaven because when I get there I’ll be singing all day long!” Wow! That’s a great verbal witness from such a young black gal. I continued to try on clothes and then make my purchases. Of course, I had to tease my sister about going into the wrong bathroom, but that’s what happens when you are a bit overwhelmed in a new store. When I went out to my van, I grabbed a couple of my Just Patterns Magazines (for the Devotionals) and added a note for Geri to continue to sing daily to God. When I went back in, Geri was gone on break, but another gal would give her the Issues. I continued to think about this young gal and how blessed she was to have her job and her Savior and a song in her heart. What more could you want? Than to share which she did so freely and openly! 

Sometimes we are so absorbed in our daily routine that we forget to share our faith with others. Make a goal this year that wherever you are and wherever you go to be more open and vocal about your love of your Lord! Yes, it can be hard, but…


“I have strength in all things in Christ who empowers me.”
-  Philippians 4: 13

palmtrees.JPG (9220 bytes)
musicstaff.JPG (4030 bytes)

Return to: Just Patterns Magazine

Just Patterns

The Idea Magazine for Basketmakers

(616) 846-7926 *