My Story

Dave and I wanted to change the world in good ways and we went “all in” to help develop people by purchasing a manufacturing plant and moving it from Cape Cod to Cookeville, TN. Newly married after divorces where we had left all savings and possessions behind, at a point in life where most people are thinking about their retirement, we felt so gifted in love that we needed to do something to give to others. We were long standing manufacturing geeks, so purchasing a manufacturing operation and moving it to an area of economic need became our mission and quest. We thought it would be tough — but it was a lot tougher than we imagined. Duped in the purchase, we learned “trust but verify” has consequences as we started at the bottom and then dropped.

We moved from Cape Cod to Cookeville in 2 weeks — that’s 50 plus flat bed trucks and a whole manufacturing operation out of 40,000 square feet into 55,000 square feet of an old manufacturing building in need of much. Afloat through SBA loans and signing away everything, we were treading water and bobbing for air. Many experts looked at our books and said “there is no way you’ll ever climb out of this… leave this, now… know when to quit.” And then, Dave found out that he was very sick, draining him of energy and requiring much attention from doctors and such.

We have a tradition on 11/11 — we go away for a strategy day and plan our future with fun, reverence and prayer. By 11/11/2017 we had been struggling weekly for payroll for two long years. On this day, we asked the question of God — “Are we clinging to this for You or for ourselves? Do You want us to lay this down? If You want us to continue, please give us a sign.”

Pic taken during our prayer and strategy meeting — when we came home from that meeting, ready to give up, that’s when we got the check

And we went home — and in the mailbox there was a sign. Dave had received a check from a previous employer that was at best unexpected and at worst a big error. It was a big check — nearly $90,000. It would have been enough for us to shuttle into an account and begin again… walking away from our little manufacturing plant where 30+ families depended on us.

Our friend and coworker, Sandi, could see the books and talked with the hungry suppliers daily. She loved us and it took a strong stomach to look at those books every day and summon a smile. But she did that, most days. But on the day that we came back from our retreat, she met me with a frown. “It’s time. You both have tried — but Dave is sick and you guys just can’t do this. It’s time to give this up.” I told her about the check. “This is an answer for you — take it — put it in the bank and start again.”

And this was the check your game moment. Our mission was unchanged. Our faith was intact. And we had asked for a sign and gotten it. It didn’t feel like this was our money, but money for the thirsty business and the people counting on it. One of them was a surly professional who didn’t respect us at all and let us know it — but we respected him and felt like part of our mission was to help him leave his legacy. “That money won’t last two weeks here” Sandi said. And she was right. But it provided two weeks of payroll, two weeks of payments to suppliers and two critical weeks to get funds and customer deposits to keep going.

We took that check and put it in the business. We continued to live on Dave’s social security which he had started drawing early to give us income. And we had faith.

Our goal of God’s Light streaming through us daily

That faith wasn’t immediately rewarded with more raining business and cash… in fact, we went through even deeper dips after that moment. But putting that money kept us “all in” in this game. And it helped strengthen our faith. We couldn’t do this — it was an impossible business model. An impossible recovery. But God makes the impossible, possible. And in giving everything up, He has provided each week — exactly what we needed. Not much more than a dollar more, but every thing we needed. And we’ve learned to trust Him and enjoy the ride.

Jeff Kinney (the world’s most highly paid author and creator of the Wimpy Kid Diaries) in his store in Plainville, MA — example of our work

Today we’re not making ten year plans or even forty year plans, but working on 100 year plans that will employ and bless people for generations. Our check your game moment — holding a check and deciding to run for cover or using it as a very temporary umbrella — was a pivotal one.

A pic of Dave and I on the factory floor in a magazine article

We were bold that day. And we’ve been bolder since. Because we walk by faith and not by sight. Because God has planted (given) these dreams in us and we can depend on Him, who began this good work, to actually do it. We’ll keep paddling and enjoy and learn as we go.

Click on book below to purchase.

Lisa has Nominated (N) or Introduced (I) the following:

  1. Andrea Burckhard (N)

My Advice

Recently I met with another small business person -- "You've been through it haven't you?" "I felt like I'd made myself a prison with no escape." she said. "But now you're on the other side of it aren't you?" I asked. "I'm getting there." she said. Faith. One step at a time.

And if God has planted a dream in you, claim it and never give up. Count on Him to do the good work that He has started in you. Don't be afraid of anything -- but greet each challenge with gratitude -- the Great Trainer is giving you the chance to build some special muscles.

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Franklin Fixtures, LLC


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Your heart for God and people is so evident in this story. I love how you said that the surly professional let you know that he didn’t respect you, yet you both respected him- what an incredible display of love and humility. Your story inspires me to continue on when things seem impossible. It illustrates that when God has assigned a purpose, He’ll provide the path forward. Thank you so much for sharing!

Lisa Uhrik says:

Thank you Staci… it’s not about the respect we get, but about the respect we give. Not about the love we get, but the love we give. It’s so great that you picked that out of the story. And it has been a scary stretch…and continues to be… but God keeps giving us more to chew on, taking us up this mountain where the views include meeting loving and insightful people like you. You’re amazing.

Lisa, Wow! This story is amazing!! I love how you asked for “a sign” and you received the check! What a blessing! Even more, I love how you stayed true to the plans that God had placed in your heart and kept on moving in faith! HE definitely brought you too it, AND HE brought you through it!

Beautiful story!


Lisa Uhrik says:

Thank you Stacey – at every turn, God has been teaching us like a private tutor attuned to our every step. He does that for all of us, doesn’t He? I don’t know if I wrote it well, but when we got that check, it was barely a moment’s hesitation — it was all about continuing the business. Thank you for taking the time to write this response… it means a lot.

What a powerful story! It takes a lot of faith to keep pursuing a vision in the face of impossible odds. I’m so grateful that God has provided exactly what you need in each moment and season.

Jean+Rogers says:

Wow! What an incredible faith journey you have experienced. As you have persevered, your story unfolds to realizing God’s amazing protection and provision.
While reading your story, I kept thinking about the scripture that says. “Nothing is impossible with God” and how “He can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine”.
Thank you for sharing.
Blessings to you for what’s next,

God bless you both for sharing.
May you continue your good work as you give God all the glory.

Gary Rogers says:

Lisa, I am so thankful for our friend Staci and her introducing us! Isn’t it a small world? I’m sure we crossed paths at Vandy on the sidewalk or in a cafeteria. I just loved reading your story Lisa! I always reflect on your story and that check and what I would’ve done! You and your husband were faithful and just trusted the Lord. So thankful for your story and I know in the right time, it will continue to encourage others. So thankful for you and looking forward to getting to know you better in the future. -Gary

Those financial times of less cause so much distress. God saw you and your faithfulness during that prayer and planning time away. What a great story of faith. I met Jeff Kinney at a writing conference several years ago! Congrats on your book, also! You are blessed!

Lisa Uhrik says:

Thank you Darci — I love that you used the term “blessed” and that when those words are attributed to Jesus in the Hebrew Bible it generally means you’re carried or enabled through life’s difficulties…those who mourn, who suffer… God certainly carried us and taught us that it’s not about us at all — we’re just participants in the plans. Appreciate your encouraging words and interest in reading…trusting that you are being blessed in some way even as I write…