By Peggy Ludwig
My name is Peggy Ludwig, a mother of three. This is the story of how the “I Saw Jesus in You” plate came to be.
As a grandma, I love hearing my daughter tell me stories about the grandkids. The stories touch my heart in a way nothing else does. If it’s godly growth, it goes beyond touching my heart and lights up my whole being.
One incident my daughter related to me happened when she and her husband, who is a pastor, were picking up their oldest son who had been at a sleep away camp for the first time. They were talking and laughing about how they thought he would have spent his money at camp. This would have been his first time making decisions about how to spend his money. Would he have spent all his money on candy and toys the first day? Or would he have saved all his money until the last day to buy a sweatshirt or T-shirt?
As they arrived at the camp, they met the camp director, a friend of theirs, and they all wandered into the camp store. They told him about laughing over their son’s spending decisions and the director teased them about Andrew and how he could tell when one of their kids was in the crowd, always knowing and yelling out the answers to all the questions. That’s just what happens when you grow up in a pastor’s house, hearing the same Bible stories over and over.
The storekeeper overheard their conversation and said, “I don’t know whom you are talking about but there was a little boy who came in here the first day of camp and spent most of his money to buy a Bible for his sister. He said she was the only one in the family who didn’t have a Bible of her own. Then he came back the next day and spent the rest of his money on a Bible case for his sister because she needed one of those too.” As they talked about this boy, they came to realize that it was my grandson, Andrew.
As my daughter Leesa related this story to me, my heart just melted. I loved how his young heart was moved to help his sister, even sacrificing his entire week’s spending money. Raising children is difficult at best but when I hear stories about children “getting it”, it makes me realize that these right actions need to be recognized and encouraged.
On my walk a few days later I was thinking about Andrew’s story. I love spending my walking time with the Lord and I started thinking about how much I would love to encourage the kids when they do “get it”. I felt like the Lord directed my thoughts to a special plate that could be used at mealtime to encourage and acknowledge actions that demonstrate God’s love. The idea stuck with me but there was one problem. I had no idea how to even start something like that. I’m a realtor and that’s what I do best. I know a lot about selling a house but nothing about designing and producing a plate.
Since there was no book called Designing, Ordering and Producing Special Plates for Dummies I needed to do some trial and error computer searches. And then I happened on the right combination of words and “how to write on a ceramic plate” came up. That was the exact website I needed. I contacted the owner of the company. He was very patient with a realtor turned plate customer who didn’t even know what to ask. With a little advice from a friend who confirmed I was heading in the right direction, the project took on life.
I am thankful to the Lord for giving me the idea and for helping me to make it a reality. My goal is to not just enjoy God but to glorify Him and to teach others through recognizing and encouraging godly actions.