A few years ago my mother and father in law were talking about selling their home and building a new one in a site condominium a few miles down the road from where they live now. The home would have been smaller, not as nice, and away from their twin daughters. Plus, my mother in law loves her flower gardens, and they really like their home.
I spent 20 years working in the land title business and saw this same scenario with other elderly people many times. I started crunching numbers and was showing my husband, Brian, what those numbers looked like. We took the estimated sales price of their home, plus all the closing costs and realtor fees. It was sad, because they would take all of their net proceeds to build their new home in this site condominium. It would be smaller and not as nice as where they live now. It would be away from their daughters.
I remember talking to Brian and I told him, “If I was in a position to have 2 of my children so close to my home, I would not want to move away from them.” Also, I am the type that I like to put down roots and make a place my home, and when I do, it is heartbreaking for me to leave. I knew for my mother-in-law, Dorothy, it would be hard for her to leave her home.
I kept thinking about it and talked to Brian. I suggested that maybe we could offer to move in with them and help take care of them. That way they could stay in their home.
We started talking to his mom and dad about it as well as praying about it. We felt like we should do it; that it was the right thing to do.
My daughter Charlotte and her husband Mitch and their son Emmanuel, (or as we like to call him - Manny), came to visit for Christmas. Charlotte is a talented artist who has recently illustrated her second children's book. (almost published, I will post a link to it once it comes available). Her first book that she illustrated was titled "Dunkin on the Move". Charlotte like me has a website for her art and is also doing a blog. We both want to be more consistent and intentional with our blogs but are having a hard time doing it. We are both a bit competitive….. okay a lot competitive, so we decided to make it a challenge between us two in posting new blogs. But right after Christmas, Charlotte texted me and told me she posted a blog…. How dare her get one out before me….just like her to get a jump on it…so here I go trying this year to be more consistent with my blog…
When Charlotte was here for Christmas she brought that pair of earrings (above right)…she had dropped it on the floor and they broke….well they are glass. If they hit tile or cement, there is a chance they will break, and this pair did. She was so sad as they had become one of her favorite pairs of earrings to wear. While she was here, I tried to fire them in my kiln, twice. I was trying to repair them. But glass has a memory…at least that is what my aunt taught me when I was apprenticing with her to blow glass. She told me every time a tool touches the glass it leaves its mark…..kind of like a scar.
More of HIM, less of me - MOHLOM
I would sign my letters with More of HIM, less of me…
When I ran into some very tough financial times with a business that I was partners in, when the real estate market tanked back in 2007, it rocked my world. As one of the owners you are the first to go without pay. And that is what my partners and I did, trying to help the business survive. In the meantime, since my income and my husbands, was wrapped up in this business we had to do something else to supplement our income. All I had was my art…. But could I make any money at it, that was the question.
I would draw with graphite and my focus was unborn children, babies and toddlers. But to complete a single drawing it would take me around 13 hours. Which was time consuming. I had to figure something else out to make money.
I had this kiln that a friend gave me years ago, a renter had left it in the house they rented from him. I had always wanted to do pottery and so I was excited to take the kiln. I moved it from house to house never plugging it in….
But now I wondered if I could melt some cullet in it. Cullet is the scrap glass from a glass blowers’ pipe. My aunt at the time was blowing glass and she gave me some to try. I had no idea what I was doing or getting into. I checked a book out from the library on kiln formed glass. I read it and read it over and over again. Taking notes.... and finally came the day, to try it out. It took me several tries to get something worth keeping. But I logged my times and temperatures in my trusty spiral note book and then had a guide to what wasn’t working……. I just had to figure out what would work.
It took many failures and almost but then I finally had a success! I was so excited. During this time I was trying to come up with a name for my new art business. I decided on MOHLOM. When I shared the name with my husband, he was not too thrilled. But when I explained it was an acronym for “More of HIM, less of me”……. then he loved it! You see that is how I would sign my letters. It was my hearts cry to have More of Jesus in my life. If I had more of HIM, then there would be less of me and that is a much better way to live life.
We started selling the fused glass at art and craft shows and sharing my story and love for the Lord! It provided us an income to put food on the table and make it through that very tough financial time. Fast forward…… we are now debt free and currently on “baby step 4” of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Plan. Thank you Dave!!! I will share more about that later in another blog.
But right now…… I am so happy to be working on expanding my art and developing other mediums that I can add to my website and my art shop MOHLOM.
I would love to have you visit my shop and get to know me through my blog!
More of HIM, less of me,
Mary Catherine Jackowski
A picture from one of our local art and craft shows.
Mary Catherine Jackowski
MOHLOM is more than a shop or a business it is my hearts cry. MOHLOM stands for More of HIM, Less of Me. As I grow older that is my desire for God to fill me and overflow to those around me.