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We had both been pondering thoughts of a Christian gift store (each of us individually). One day Trish stopped in for coffee and in chatting, we discovered we both had similar ideas and dreams. Excitment grew as we talked, until we decided: well, why don't we do it!  And so, the praying, dreaming, learning, and planning began . . .  

    We could not come up with a name!  At one point Trish jokingly said, "Well, maybe we shouldn't go into business together if we can't even agree on a name!" As we prayed about it, I felt God say to me, "It has to mean something". Around that time there was a song playing on the radio by Brit Nicole with the lines: "All this time, from the first tear cried to today's sunrise, and every single moment between, you were there, you were always there, it was you and I - You've been walking with me all this time".  As I was listening to the song, God brought to mind a drawing I had done for my portfolio cover in high school art class. The drawing was of a huge red umbrella and under it sat a girl in a trench coat with tears streaming down cheeks, and the rain falling from under the umbrella onto her.  Though I don't think I conciously would have recognized it then, that girl was me. Haven't we all had moments in our lives where it feels like the rain is pouring down only on us? 

     It was in that moment of remembering that God whispered to my heart, "That's not really how it was you know - no, no, I never left you; I was always there, walking with you through it all."  That red umbrella wasn't faulty letting the rain pour in; rather, it is an image of God's covering: red representing the merciful blood of Jesus poured out for each one of us, and the drops of rain - God's grace and love always gently falling. It was then that I noticed a book I had bought myself recently by Sheila Walsh called "The Shelter of His Promises". Confirming in my heart the truth of that whisper was the image on the cover of the book:  a woman in a trench coat under a big red umbrella being sheltered during the storms of life by the promises of a loving God.  After sharing my story with Trish, she went home that day and prayed and meditated about it . . . she fell asleep and God pressed on her heart that we are all under God's grace (Rom. 6:14). Upon waking up, she thought of the name, Under His Grace! So now you know the meaning of the red umbrella logo!  We hope it will remind you too, that you never walk alone.

Blessings,

Elise & Trish

15 Dickinson Dr. unit 1b Ingleside, ON K0C 1M0 Canada 613-537-2928

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