Looking back over this past two years has been a nice reminder to me of when God said how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those that ask him! The truth is, when the Lord led me to reopen Treehouse Gift & Home, he really knew an unspoken desire of my heart. I'll tell you the real reason the Treehouse Reopened...the newspaper hinted at the full story...
It all started with a prayer. My family and I were returning from a weekend away in the Wisconsin Dells November 13, 2016, when we decided to stop by the Culver’s in Mauston, WI. Next door to the Culver’s at that time, I ventured inside a small shop called the Red Geranium to spend a little time shopping while waiting for our food. While wondering through this gift shop, I was praying for direction from the Lord.
I had a great job as the Senior Store Manager for the La Crosse Helzberg Diamonds, where I had been working for the prior 10 years. I really enjoyed helping couples get engaged and celebrate anniversaries and birthdays, but I had begun to wonder if God wanted to use me in any other way over these next 10 years. I had not seriously asked him for direction in some time about my job, so I decided to pray while wondering through the Red Geranium. I just prayed, “Lord, I have enjoyed my time with Helzberg Diamonds, and I would do it for another 10 years if that’s where you want me, but if you have any other way that you want to use me, please, let me know.” In my heart, I really committed myself to whatever he might throw my way. Half of me thought he would send me on an African Missions trip or some other place half way across the world, but whatever it was, I was really wanted him to lead me and had committed in my heart to wherever he would take me.
As I was checking out at this adorable shop, I got to talking retail with the owner a bit. She was very friendly and mentioned she loved what she was doing. Then she said to me, “Well, you’re from the La Crosse area, and you know, I’m friends on Facebook with businesses like mine, and it was so strange, this morning, the Treehouse Gift & Home over by where you live announced they will be closing.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I had lived in La Crosse for over 12 years by then, and had always loved shopping at the Treehouse for all my gifts and home decor finds! In fact, the Treehouse had begun their legacy way back in 1998. On my drive home, my wheels were spinning about this recent information I had been given five minutes after praying for a new direction. I asked my husband about what he thought after I checked the Treehouse Facebook and read the closing letter to their followers. He said to ask if it was for sale. So, I reached out to them on Facebook, and they said it would be for sale after their going out of business sale that Christmas. So I thought, fair enough, I would never want to leave my employer right before Christmas anyway. They had been far too good to me. Treehouse had a huge going out of business sale, while, I finished out 2016 with Christmas at Helzberg Diamonds. In February, my husband planned to go ask our banker about a loan for buying the Treehouse. I thought to myself, well, I felt like God had answered my prayer question back in November with this opportunity, but then again, that was a long time ago. I thought I had better pray about it again.
So, on a lunch from Helzberg, while walking down to the Barnes & Noble Starbucks, I said another 2 minute prayer. I thanked God for what I thought was his direction back in November, but I told him that I could really use one more confirmation before I uproot my entire life’s career since college. Sure enough, as I’m standing in line at the Barnes & Noble Starbucks, I noticed a mother with several kids running around trying to decide what they wanted, and several more ladies in front of them. I started looking at the time, and thought, I only had 30 minutes for this break and began to leave for the food court instead. Just as I turned to leave, this nice gentleman asked me if I was on a lunch break. I said yes, and that he should go ahead, I didn’t have time to wait. He said to me, “No, no. Why don’t you go ahead of us. This is my family here in front of you. They will take forever to decide anyway.” I thought well, that was sure nice of him. Normally, I wouldn’t budge ahead, but this time, maybe I should just accept his kind gesture. So, I did. While I was standing in line ahead of this husband-of-the-year, I overheard his wife ask him what book he had brought to read for lunch today. He said, “Oh, I found this really good book called, "How to Build a Treehouse!” I turned and stared again at him in awe. God’s timing truly is perfect. I couldn’t believe my ears. Of course, I quickly called my husband on his way to the bank and shared the story with him about the unique timing and the situation.
We then discovered, the Treehouse building was tied into a pending bankruptcy and foreclosure sale. It was a long drawn out process for it to shake out. Even my husband’s lawyer told us to just wait it out. By July, I was losing hope again that my prayer would ever come to fruition. I had also become unusually sick that year. I hadn’t used but maybe a day of sick time in 11 years with Helzberg, but 2017, was quite different. I had come down with an infection that needed surgery to find and fix, twice. Even after the surgery, I had to revisit the hospital weekly for special maintenance to get rid of the infection for good. Then I came down with pneumonia for two months and thought I was truly dying. I could feel my dreams just slipping away from me. Looking back, that sickness did give me a lot of separation time from the job I was so used to going to for 11 years.
I explained the situation to my pastor and asked him to pray for my health and for direction with this business, and he did. The next day, he sent me a text message at 7:20 a.m. saying, “I’m praying for you to get healthy, and for you to have very, very clear direction with this business venture.” My husband and I were headed up to Minneapolis for the day, and on the way we stopped at a gas station to fill our windshield washer fluids. While we stopped, he was checking some of his emails, and he found this one from the prior owner of the Treehouse. The prior owner went on with a one page long email about how he knew the pending lawsuit would settle in our favor, and he just decided he would give us keys to the building to go in and store some of the props we had purchased at the Macy’s going out of business and then just get immediately started on prepping for the holiday. I looked at my husband, and said, that’s strange, we haven’t even bought anything yet, and he wants to give us keys? So, I asked my husband, what time the that email was sent. My husband said, “The email came through at 7:20 a.m.” Wow, God had just given my 3rd confirmation, and his timing was so perfect. Since then countless prayers have been answered for us to move forward with God's plan including us bidding on and receiving our building at the Sheriff Sale six months after stepping out in faith and moving into the building that was under foreclosure. I have never been surer that God has me right where he needs me for now. God really does know the desires of our hearts, and he writes an even better story for us than we can imagine if we just ask for his guidance. So, I would invite you to come visit us and see what God is doing with Treehouse Gift & Home! Come see the prayer corner and pray for our communities needs when you come.
May God Bless You with Answers to Your Prayers,
We're Celebrating 2 Fabulous Years! Come SAVE on our Top 3 Christmas Gifts during the Treehouse Anniversary Sale, Nov. 14th - 16th. Thank you for all of your support! Come enjoy Buy One Get One 30% OFF ALL LED Glitter Water Lanterns, 10% OFF Lifetime Candles & Flames Waves! Also, buy 4 for $20 on all Dip Mixes & Cracker Spices! Happy Treehouse Anniversary!