The Bloom Market is hosted each year by Scott & Katrina Morris (of the @themorrismanor) on their property in Gladys, Virginia. It’s a mini Magnolia Market on their land with their 100-year old farmhouse taking center stage. Imagine rows of vintage furniture, hand poured candles, home décor booths and food trucks. Then when night falls, think twinkling lights and crisp weather! Each event, patrons can purchase tickets to view the Morris’ family home which was featured in a 12-page spread in HGTV magazine! And yall, it really is amazing.
This spring I was invited to be a vendor and speaker at the Bloom Market. This would be my third time to the Morris Manor and I was so very excited.
My best friend Amy @cutertudor came with me. We drove 18+ hours hauling a trailer full of product, stopped to spend the night with my bestie Sarah @ourvintagefarmhouse, and the only problems we encountered were 4 parking tickets for illegally parking across 4 parking spots. No, I never got these tickets taken care of and there is probably a warrant for my arrest in Nashville.
Anyway, we pulled into Virginia on Thursday afternoon and set up the tent and put the inventory in place. The plan was to get up the next morning and tag everything, then change clothes and be back for the VIP event Friday night. Chance of rain… 90 percent.
When we arrived at my booth on Friday morning, we finished setting up and got the tags out to start marking prices on all the décor items. The Design Twins, Jodie @jodie.thedesigntwins and Julie @julie.thedesigntwins, had just arrived and we all exchanged warm embraces.
Then literally out of nowhere the wind hit. A large potted topiary blew over and I lunged to catch it. With wide eyes I watched my tent start to lift off the ground and Julie grabbed onto the center. She held the tent down but another giant gust and the wind ripped through the tent covering tearing it off the frame.
I’m not sure what happened next… About four men, Katrina herself, Amy, the twins, we all ran to try and cover my tent.
“Is there a tornado?!” I cried out.
And then the heavens parted and a torrential downpour began. The temperatures dropped and we all stood there, shivering, holding on to scraps of metal and tarp trying to cover my inventory. It was all so heartbreaking. Turkish rugs, pots, vases, pillows… all soaked.
I was initially told that I wasn’t the only vendor hit by the storm, but it wasn’t until I looked over and saw all the other vendors safe in their tents, inventory in tact, that I began to take it personal. It appeared that my tent was the only one destroyed.
Do you ever take acts of God personal? Do you ever stub your toe and think “arrrr! Why, God?!” Not that a stubbed toe is an act of God, but you know what I mean. I wish I was joking, but it’s true that I do this. Is it just me?
“That’s what you get” is a phrase I refuse to tell my children. Mercy triumphs over judgement, but low and behold, that’s what I told myself in that moment. You must have done something to deserve this.
“What did I do to deserve this, God?” I arrogantly shook my fist at the heavens and He didn’t answer. I think now, perhaps at that same moment some farmer down the road fell on his knees and thanked God for the rain he’d been praying for. I’d bet money that’s what God saw from the heavens- a grateful farmer on one end of the field and an disgruntled Texan on the other.
There was nothing I could do except lay more tarps on more soggy products. By now, my friends had taken shelter inside and so I jumped on Instagram and I cried. I cried in disbelief about my circumstances and through gritted teeth I said “but He is still good.” I think part of me wanted to speak those words into my spirit. I wanted to believe them in that moment, because deep down I do. I really do believe that He is good.
Truth is, I was the only one who cheaped out and didn’t buy a tent with walls. And I was using the broken tent I purchased last year. So did God deliberately tear my tent to shreds and let the rains ruin it all? Doubt it. But keep reading and you’ll see what He did do.
I found Amy and we got in the car and drove to our B&B. “What do you want to do?” she finally asked. “I want to feel sorry for myself, Amy!” I snapped. “You don’t think it’s a little ridiculous that my tent was the only one destroyed?” She didn’t respond. So I told her to just pack a bag of clothes to change into because we might as well go try and dry everything off. So we did. We packed a bag and began our drive to the Dollar Tree to buy some towels.
“You’re not gonna let me be mad about this?!” I asked her. “No,” she said. “God didn’t destroy your tent on purpose and you know it. And I’m not gonna let you feel sorry for yourself either. Don’t go there.”
I stared at her from the driver’s seat fuming inside. But she persisted. “What good is it going to do you to go to that dark place and believe everything is against you? I won’t let you. Suck it up, buttercup. We are dancing in this Dollar General.” Except I should note that she called it the Dollar Gentral after some famous youtube video made that pronunciation famous. I couldn’t help but laugh when she said “Dollar Gentral”.
And so we did. We walked into that store looking like wet rats and we propped up the phone and we danced. What else could I do? We bought a bunch of towels, the 10 balloons Trina needed for the party and we set back out to the Morris Manor.
When we got there Scott was standing under a yellow tent behind the house. “Hey Texas (that’s what he calls me), why don’t you use this tent?” he asked. “I guess I could, but it’s yellow,” I responded.
“It don’t matter,” he replied in his Cajun-Carolina accent. Then 7 men and myself each grabbed a pole and walked that tent over to my war zone. I think we looked like a bunch of Israelites carrying the tabernacle across that field! When we got it there, we lifted it up over the old tent and began to remove the jungle of metal and tarp covering my stuff.
Amy started immediately wiping things down and I don’t know how, yall, but we got it all set back up. It looked incredible. Nothing was priced, but you win some, you lose some!
About this time Katrina’s dad (my favorite man on the planet) walked by and with arms stretched out wide, looking up at my yellow tent, said with his booming voice, “THE YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS!”
I smiled. The Yellow Rose of Texas… of course.
It was an amazing market and sales were fantastic! I met so many wonderful people, all of whom saw my stories on Instagram, and you want to know the kicker?
That next day there was no rain but there was really heavy winds. More than a handful of vendors lost their tents that day. I even saw one tent blow clear across the field. There was nothing we could do so some people just sold their stuff without the tents.
Later that night Julie pulled me aside and said- “you know, today your tent was the only one standing. It was bigger and stronger than anyone else’s and everyone took notice. It was big, yellow and unshaken.”
Despite my initial reaction to the storm, I do believe that God blessed me that weekend…
He blessed me with an extra tent at the back of the farmhouse, already set up, with walls and stakes. He blessed me with men and women, friends and strangers who rallied to help me when things went south. He blessed me with Amy, who would choose to come with me and bring out the very best in me. He gave me extra time to set up my booth, and He brought shoppers by the droves. And He blessed me with all my internet friends who sent me hundreds of messages praying for me and cheering me on!
God is everywhere, friends. He doesn’t cause the bad. He is in the good. He doesn’t stub your toes. He brings you sandals and a robe in the form of Hunter boots and a Homebody sweatshirt (on loan from my girl Whitney @savedbygrace.co). So the next time you find yourself shaking your fist at God, try to look for His mercies instead.
…Also splurge and buy the big, sturdy tent or just opt for indoor markets!