Measuring Success Through Life Skills

By Holly Giles | Family


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Life Skills

The Giles Frontier had a booth at the Gifts of Grace arts and crafts fair.  It was an opportunity for success and teaching life skills to sell our repurposed feed sack totes, lip balm, jewelry, homeschool curriculum, and slingshots.

 It can be a lot of work setting up a display, spending most of the day at your booth and hoping to make a little money to make it a success.  At the end of this day, I was filled with joy and appreciation. Not only for the monetary gain but the people I met and the life skills lessons my boys learned from this adventure. Cowboy spent the week before memorizing the product list, prices and how to run a credit card on the iPad. Yes, he is eight, but he is capable.

Crockett spent the week before honing his craft of a skilled slingshot craftsman.  Cutting branches, whittling them to perfection, tying knots and cutting bands.  He even designed a leather holster to hold the slingshot on a belt.  He is awesome.



When I went to set up the booth at the church on Friday night, I met a wonderful woman at a booth across from mine named Amy.  She had a booth of vintage style finds, and items made from recycled old books. She is a bookstore owner. Brightlight books is her store. We also discovered we have a mutual friend Christine, who was also a vendor for the event. I enjoyed visiting with Amy. I hope we can have coffee soon!
On Saturday morning the boys and I had to be ready to sell at 7:30 am because a radio show event was being hosted at the craft fair.  That was an early call for us all, but the boys were excited to get this show on the road. My friend Christine was there, she sells her amazing jewelry out of an upcycled pop up trailer, so cool! She was set up outside the front doors of the event.

Barbed Wire Browns

New Friends

Across from our booth were two women, young moms who were selling personalized items and monogramming.  They were two spunky girls with lots of pink, Jackie and Kellie!  I knew they must have girls at home. As the morning went on, we chatted off and on across the aisle. They both decided I should open up a summer camp so they could send their kids over to my house!  I took it as a compliment.

By the end of the day, Jackie and Kellie had bought my book and were excited about the summer life skills they could plan with their kids using my guidebook and tools.  I was very honored at their praise of our lifestyle and home education.  Yet, I wanted them to know that they were just as awesome pursuing a passion and supporting their families too!

Before lunchtime another woman from a booth came over, she was intrigued by Crockett and Cowboy’s selling skills.  Bethanne was her name, and she is also a homeschool mom. She hand paints inspirational messages and scripture on wood. As we began to talk, we discovered that both our grandparents and great-grandparents were from the SAME TINY town in Alabama, Opp!  We both used to visit there in the summers! This place is seriously in the middle of nowhere. Isn’t it amazing how God works to bring people together?  We immediately planned a
blueberry picking day for the following week.

life skills

Faith Art Transformations

Our booth was busy all day, we enjoyed meeting people, and the day was an awesome experience for us all.  However, I began to realize that God had more in store for me than monetary gain and teaching life skills.  He brought some magnificent women, mothers, home educators, and gifted artists to me as new friends.  He showed me that the time I pour into my children can have an effect all around us.  He offered strangers who spoke of being inspired by my efforts and who inspired me in return.

You see, I discovered that my measure of success was not in money, although that is greatly appreciated. God wanted me to realize that the path he has laid out for me is on track.  Pursuing writing books, educating my children and exposing them to life skills, is sharing inspiration, and hope for families that need encouragement.

I too need encouragement.  It is a great honor and sometimes a burden to expose our lives in hope of inspiring others.  Is it all worth it? Today, God said yes, keep going forward, sharing, loving and learning with other families.

  • Was our day a success?
  • We earned enough money to make it worth our time.
  • We met some great people who visited our booth.
  • I made new friends with inspiring women.
  • My boys learned immeasurable lessons.


life skills
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About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.

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