Who is DivinecrossEs®️
“It was never in my plans to become a full time Cross Maker. God had other plans.”
I WAS ONCE A FURNITURE MAKER.
I'd like to say I was a pretty decent one. I even made it in to Southern Living in 2006. But, after 15 years of good memories, great customers, mistakes to learn from, constant finish perfecting, busy months, and desperate times I found myself in the most desperate of times. I was giving up, and I was on my knees in 2015 with $213 in the bank crying and praying for what to do next.
I've never been one to worry or get hung up on making money. But, this wasn't the first time I couldn't pay the bills. I had been there before many times and I wasn't a quitter. In 2007 on New Years night, I had an emergency appendectomy. Then I was hit by a drunk driver within couple of months of that surgery. I weighed 115 lbs. soaking wet . I found myself on my knees then too! It took longer to recover than I ever thought it would. All I had the strength to do was make crosses. So I made some new designs and unfortunately they went in to drawers until I had the strength to make furniture again. "I was a 7th generation furniture maker dog gone it! Not a cross maker!" This was just temporary to me and not what I wanted to do.
I made crosses as long as I made furniture but only maybe 9 or 10 a year. Everything was pulling me towards making them again though in 2012. I was actually hearing the voices or "the Voice." I can remember saying "Are you crazy Lord?!" Make a living making crosses? Well, I tried :) and tried again. I found an awesome web guy to help me build a new website in 2013. We tried and tried some more! Hashtagging and posting for 20 people to see on FB. Posting more and trying again. I went to galleries, art studios, and every place that once accepted my furniture and art, but this time I heard, "This isn't the place or venue for your crosses." They were literally telling me to leave when before I was invited in. I was being cut off and losing so called friends, and I was giving up. "A cross maker, Lord?" "This is stupid!" That's not me. But, for 3 years I pushed to make them in between a table or two. I remember saying to Brandi that the crosses were getting to be more of a distraction, and I needed to be a furniture maker for people to accept me and take me serious.
I think the furniture was the distraction now ;)
In June of 2015 I was done. I couldn't burden my family with "my" dream any longer. We started cleaning out the shop on a hot June day. We were going to put the whole shop in storage and call it quits. It was over. I was beat down and defeated. Brandi was there with me sweating on that hot summer day, and I remember calling out to her from the back room and saying "I'm just gonna give them away!" I pulled out a Tree of Life Cross made of cypress. It sat in that drawer for as long as I could remember. Probably since 2007 or earlier. I held it in the air and took a really bad photo. I was upset that it never sold and that this was really happening. "Here Lord!" I remember saying. I was just going to give it away. I knew It had a purpose, a place to go. Someone to give hope too!
I asked folks to share because I knew that at least it would be shared to someone past the 23 fans we had. Someone needed this cross. I think every one of our fans had one already too:)
Well, overnight it seemed that photo reached about 70,000 people! Then a week later over a million! What??
Suddenly orders for Tree of Life crosses poured in. I had about 50-80 to make within 21 days. I had made 9 the year before. I wasn't prepared for this! "Lord, what is going on?" "What am I to do?" The answer came with more orders and me taking the tops off some benches I never sold to use the wood. I was suddenly working 16 hour days to keep up. I actually worked 38 hours straight once. I was driven by something more than money. I had never made more than maybe 3 of those, and they were all hand carved and I wasn't getting any faster and still refused to rush making them. I had to draw and carve this tree on this cross the same or close each time! I remember pausing one day and saying "I'm a cross maker, huh?
That's not where the story ended. I think it's where it began. :)
We started with 10-12 cross designs on the website in 2015 to well over 100 on it now. My wife and I built a barn in the backyard to keep me from driving 1:45 each day. Yes, just me and her somehow in between making crosses built a Barn! Lol! I don't know how we did it, but we did it with a jigsaw, a chopsaw, and some drills :) We built it to make crosses in and nothing else! It's still not really finished and leaks sometimes haha. We sold mine and my kids childhood home and shop in February 2017. I thought that would've been devastating to me to leave the shop I watched my Father work in and my kids watched me work in, but it wasn't. Bittersweet, yes.
Sure, I still get asked to make furniture and it's sooo tempting sometimes. It's hard to tell past customers no, but I do. It’s because "I am a cross maker" said the Lord from inside me. Period. And now Brandi and the boys are making them with me! Every day I wake up, the story begins again. It's a new day the Lord gave us to work with Him. I can't wait to see what He wants us to make next! I am steadfast to work for the Lord and make crosses and nothing else.
I was once a furniture maker. :)
Thank you Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.