Special Blessings


Have you ever noticed that sometimes things just work out beautifully in your favor – when you’re not even trying? I call those instances “special blessings.” To me, they’re unexpected sweet treats from the Lord and reminders that He is in control of all things, large and small. These are not earth-shattering life changes, just special little gifts, significant to me. I’ve had several of those in the past few weeks.

Special Blessings #1:

Recently Val and I attended a terrific Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, touring multiple stops downtown on State Street. Near the end of our route I visited with a young man – a businessman, husband and father. With regard to my business here, he is a solid representative of my “target market.” I was thrilled to pieces to hear that he’d been following our Facebook page and was especially interested in our weekly trips to the Farmer’s Market. I always try to post photos of the beautiful fresh produce and flowers I buy, along with ideas of how I’ve used them. (I admit that it’s like having my own cooking show – challenging myself at least once a week to incorporate my sometimes unexpected Market finds in our guest breakfasts, often preparing and serving within an hour of purchase. That’s fresh food!) We chatted for a while and this young man was a real encouragement. Writing and sharing is very personal and I always want the posts I share to be helpful. In fact, if I’m honest with myself, I want to inspire others.

Special Blessings #2:     

A couple of weeks ago, Brittany from the Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau contacted me to say that she had a volunteer who was willing to record videos to benefit our local tourism as a way to build his skill and serve our community. What an exciting opportunity! I kind of held my breath until I saw the initial videos, then jumped in full-tilt. The video on the top of this blog is Steve’s work. He’s local, he’s flexible on his time, he has a high level of professionalism and I’m in! I now have a running list of topics that I’d like to pursue.

Special Blessings #3:

A week or so after filming here for the JACVB, Steve and I spent about 30 minutes filming at our local Jacksonville Farmer’s Market at Lincoln Square. You’ll see the first segment on next Monday’s blog. Those who know me know that I can get some wild ideas and they all make perfect sense. To me. It’s sometimes hard for me to share my vision with someone who doesn’t know me well, but Steve picked up on what I wanted. His wife was my first reviewer, and her comments were very encouraging. Our first video, now in three segments, was basically an unscripted, fly by the seat of my pants, self-directed first go, but it was fun and we learned a lot! We now know that I laugh at the drop of a hat, I need to have my hair cut and styled before the next time I go on camera, I have a few key words that I overuse, I need to to get a good night’s sleep before filming to avoid “raccoon eyes” and we need to do better with recording others’ voices. Videography lessons learned… and I can hardly wait to do it again!

Special Blessings #4

Jacksonville Farmers Market at Lincoln Square vendors play well with others. I suppose they’re used to seeing me each week, and that made it easier, but I was so thankful that people were willing to speak on camera. The interesting thing that you’ll see throughout the videos is that I don’t always know what’s coming next… like the woman with the largest sweet potato I’ve ever seen in my life! (And the family recipe that goes with it.)

Our first Farmer’s Market episode includes a chat with Yoder’s Meats and Triple Creek Gardens. Along with each video, I’ll be sharing recipes and tips that come up throughout each segment. Please join us on our inaugural three-part Jacksonville Farmer’s Market at Lincoln Square tour, then stay tuned to see what we’re dreaming up for the next videos. I’m envisioning front porch chats, tablescapes, cooking demonstrations, decorating tips, our Christmas Elves…

All of these small blessings are really big blessings when I think about it. These “small” things have given me a boost in my marketing potential. I’m especially excited to share our video work with you. Please stay tuned!

 

About Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast   Experience a stay in our award-winning Bed & Breakfast located in a magnificently restored 130-year-old mansion in the heart of the historic district. Pampered luxury is our goal, to delight both business and leisure travelers. We offer two upscale guest suites, each with private sitting rooms and private baths. We provide multi-course gourmet breakfasts, 24/7 family-friendly hot and cold beverages and snacks, and cookies and milk at bedtime. Wi-Fi is available throughout our home and each suite has a digital satellite TV and all-season fireplace. We are located just steps away from Illinois College, the Governor Duncan Mansion and Illinois School for the Deaf and our neighborhood is highlighted on one of Jacksonville’s historic walking tours. Escape the standard hotel room and enjoy your own private suite in the finest Jacksonville area lodging.

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