I just received notice that it is time to “re-up” the shopping cart and the domain. I cannot believe it is getting close to a year since I began this little venture called Fishers Laser Carvers. I have made a lot of nice things over this year. I was just chatting with Miriam, the wonderful designer of Solas Web design who along with her husband Liam helped me so much, about some major changes we will making soon to the web site. We will be adding a gallery page showing some of the hundreds of custom plaques I have made. We will also be adding custom boxes and picture frames and 3D graphics. This conversation caused me to pause and reflect over the past 10 months.

People seem to really enjoy working together to create a special present. The excitement and anticipation of holding something precious made just for them is very rewarding. It has been especially rewarding for me. I recently spent a day with a lovely couple who drove from the Chicago area, just to meet me and share a day. I have shared funerals and baptisms, weddings and graduations with people. I have made humorous things that made them laugh. I have engraved poems that made them cry. I feel I have mostly made friends. These are the times we remember. These are the “tie that bind”.

We live in an ever increasingly impersonal world. We no longer know who grows our food or makes our furnishings. Our lives can be impacted and suddenly changed by events thousands of miles away. Our well being and that of our children can be influenced by people we don’t know. Is it any wonder we feel frustrated and often alone, frightened and alienated?

The ability to work individually with a craftsman on a very intensely personal item is refreshing. I had been laboring at this for more than 6 months before I realized that I am not in the woodworking or engraving business. I am in the sharing business. My customers sharing of their grief has brought me in touch with mine. Their outpouring of their faith and beliefs have strengthened mine. Their joy and celebration has brought me happiness. This is the gift of sharing. I think the reward has been mostly mine.

I have learned so many things during this journey. Some I really never wanted to know about photography and laser spot size and online marketing. I have also learned valuable lessons from the good folks who have visited my little site. Just recently, I was contacted by a client and asked to make a plaque that said only “Ebenezer”. “Hmmmm”, I thought, “Must be rapid Dickens groupies!” My customer explained the troubles they had endured and informed me that this comes from the book of I Samuel. When God had defeated the philistines, Samuel marked the spot with a stone and named the stone “Ebenezer”. This means “thus far the Lord has helped us.” I did not know that fact. I found this wonderfully interesting and inspirational. I learned something new. And so, as I push forward with somethings new, I will retain the things old to guide me. I have no idea where this journey may lead but when I doubt, I will now think to myself “Ebenezer”. Thus far the Lord has helped us.