How An ‘Aisle of Shame’ Brought Me Closer to God’s Word

I love it when God plants a humble seed.

The seed He planted that turned into the Scott Ink Scripture Calendar started at Aldi of all places.

Yes, you read that right. 

Aldi, the supermarket chain.

I told you it was humble. 

‘Aisle of Shame’ Christmas Shopping

In December 2020, I was shamelessly shopping at Aldi’s infamous “Aisle of Shame” (AOS), and I came across these calendars — see the picture below. 

For those unfamiliar, there is a shopping aisle in Aldi that peddles every type of home goods, clothes, shoes, small appliances, rugs, seasonal decor, you name it. 

Christmas was around the corner, and I was looking for a cute and practical gift, and the price point was right. So I picked up several to give as presents to friends and family. I liked it so much that I even purchased one for myself!

Working from home, I thought the calendar would be a nice size for my dining/office table. I also liked that it was portable and could take it from room to room. It checked a lot of boxes. 

My favorite calendar – gone!

When I went back the following December to purchase some more calendars for 2022, they were nowhere to be found. I even went on an Aldi Facebook Group to ask if they were available elsewhere in the country but no one had seen them. Maybe it was a supply chain issue?

Having taken a visual design class from former graphic designer Pamela Wilson, and with several years of desktop publishing under my belt (as a journalism major), I decided to design my calendar for 2022 using Canva, a desktop publishing tool for those who are not professional designers. I printed it at the local Staples and recycled the wood base from the previous calendar. Here’s the one I designed for 2022.

out of sight, out of mind

For 2023, I once again scoured the AOS for the calendars but once again, they were nowhere to be found. So I decided to design another calendar but for this year, I wanted to add a verse to each month. For the past couple of years, my spiritual goal has been to memorize scripture more and be intentional with what I surround myself with. 

You’ve heard of the phrase out of sight, out of mind

This calendar – with the verse – would be in full view and top of mind. Since the calendar is right by my laptop, it’s in front of me for at least 8-10 hours a day or more. 

2023 Scott Ink Scripture Calendar

Being intentional about what I see regularly, and surrounding myself with God’s word, would help me in my spiritual goal of memorizing scripture. During the day, our mind gets cluttered with many worldly images, voices, words and influences, not to mention negativity. If we’re not careful and intentional, it’s easy to get discouraged by worldly thinking.

Having this simple, 6×4-inch calendar right in front of me allows me to focus on key verses from God’s manual for life – the Bible. 

Being intentional with spiritual goals

Over my lifetime, studying scripture, praying God’s word, and claiming the promises found in the Bible have allowed me to undergo transformations and metamorphoses like that of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Memorizing scripture transforms and renews my mind, allowing me to shed old ways of defeatist thinking and embrace a life lived with greater peace and clarity. Like that butterfly, I can break out of the chrysalis of sin, shame, doubt, fear and worry and take flight to experience true freedom in Christ.

What we think matters. Filling our minds with God’s word and meditating and reflecting on it change our thinking. You replace the old, destructive thinking patterns with new patterns that offer hope, promise and guidance for daily living. 

A humble seed germinates

I thought other friends and family might benefit from memorizing scripture, and I thought of offering the calendar to them so they could be inspired and encouraged, too.

I reached out to my friend, Christie Hayes, who works for a local printer to get a small batch of the calendars professionally printed. Next, I needed to get the wood stands made. That proved to be a more difficult task. When I went online to purchase the stands, the most affordable stands I could find were in China, and the earliest they could be here was at the end of January. The ones I found on Etsy and Amazon were at a much higher price point, boosting the price of the calendar beyond what I wanted to charge.

Freshly printed copies of the calendar turned a vision into reality.

With the clock ticking (this is a calendar after all!), I knew a late January arrival wouldn’t work as I didn’t want the calendar to become outdated. So I sprang into action and did what isn’t always a first and natural response – I prayed.

After praying, the Lord brought two men to mind from my church who were wood craftsmen. I reached out to them – one of whom was in my Connection class – and they got on board with my idea and agreed to help. A huge thanks to Brian Wilson and his dad, Don Wilson, a veteran! They are so kind and easy to work with and understood the project’s urgency.

The local Woodcraft store had these beautiful walnut blocks on clearance. We were able to make three stands from each block of wood.

The Lord continued to guide our path as we searched for affordably priced wood for the stands. We found some beautiful walnut wood blocks that had been marked down at the local Woodcraft store. After purchasing the wood, the Wilsons got to work and made a prototype of a walnut stand to hold the calendar. Christie gave me the paper sample to ensure the calendar fit into the stand. Everything fit perfectly (whew!) and off we went to get started on production.

Looking back on how quickly the calendar came together reminds me of this verse that encouraged me from Proverb 16:3: Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

We got the calendars printed within 10 days and the wood stands made.

Above, our girls, Ellie and Priya, helped stain the wood with Danish oil, while Jaia worked on address labels.

That’s how this very humble seed sprouted into the Scott Ink Scripture Calendar. I’m reminded of this passage:

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
— 1 Corinthians 3:5-8

Why memorizing scripture is powerful

Thank you to my family and friends who have supported and believed in me as I turned this idea into a tangible product. A special thanks to Susy Eversull, my aunt-in-law/love who helped me to proof the calendar and has been my biggest sales gal! 😘

Whether you purchase the calendar or not, I hope you will intentionally decide to memorize God’s scripture more in 2023. 

Don’t know where to start? Select a few of your favorite short verses from the Bible. The Psalms are my go-to book of the Bible for finding encouraging, uplifting verses. You can also find some of my favorite verses in this blog post, Are You Spiritually Fat, But Not Faithful? God’s word never returns void meaning it produces good things as Isaiah tells us:

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
— Isaiah 55:11

Whether you read God’s word, memorize it, reflect on it or even apply it, why not let it prosper in your life? I look forward to hearing about the fruit it produces! 

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