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Tonza’s story


I met a beautiful woman the week before Christmas. she makes and sells the most beautiful, simple jewelry. i was curious as to how she began her business and she told me she didn’t know she had this gift in her until her mama died. her story is so encouraging to me. how we walk through our pain to find the beauty god has in us. here is her story:

Tonza’s Story


With today being 12/12/12 and the anniversary of my mother’s birth, I thought it would befitting to tell my story as it relates to the inception of the name Rubie’s Daughters (Hand-made creations).

On June 12, 2011, I received a phone call that changed my life forever. My sister Sherna (the other half of Rubie’s Daughters Hand-made creations) called to tell me that Mama was being rushed to the hospital. The call came in, I am guessing around 11:30 pm. I called my friend Vera and asked that she join me in prayer as I strongly felt that intercessory prayer was very necessary as it related to Mama’s healing. Sherna periodically called to update me of Mama’s condition. She informed me that the paramedics were administering CPR and later told me that they ceased the chest compressions as Mama had begun to breathe on her own (Oh if only you knew how much I praised God). Sherna called me back to tell me that the doctor said that it didn’t look good…. She later reported that Mama didn’t make it. What???? I couldn’t believe she had passed, thinking she only needed CPR. How difficult could that have been, I thought. Oh, how I had pleaded and begged God to totally heal my Mama. I could not believe this had happened-surely not after touching and agreeing in prayer. I wondered what really went wrong. Was it that Mama called for help too late or was it that I didn’t have enough faith for her healing? What was it? I had so many questions for God. (We later learned that Mama’s unexpected death was caused by what the doctor believed to have been a heart-attack. But that did not settle me enough). I still had so many questions within myself). After hanging up the phone with Sherna, I was simply numb. I went to my closet and pulled out a quilt that my Mama made (I later learned after going through some of my Mama’s belongings at her home – that particular quilt was called Seven Years of Trouble. When I inquired about the name of the quilt to Mama’s sister, (aunt) Bernice, she explained that it would often take people seven years to make as it was stitched by hand with very small pieces of fabric). I just curled up in a chair with that quilt like a baby. I was so grateful to God that I had that tangible source of comfort that He allowed Mama to make for such a time as this. You see the last time I had seen my Mama, who lived three hours away; a month earlier, insisted that I take the quilt home with me as she had recently completed it.

Mama transitioned to Heaven shortly after midnight (God’s timing is surely perfect). Mama had a flower that she was so passionate about- that we referred to as the Midnight Bloom as it only bloomed after dark around midnight. Oh how Mama enjoyed watching that flower bloom to the point that she would even have family over to celebrate with punch the blooming of the flower. Oh yeah, back to God’s timing, of Mama’s transition to Heaven; you see Mama bloomed in Heaven shortly after midnight (which was June 13, 2011). Wow- what a sovereign God we serve!

Sherna and I began crafting a lot. I mean a lot. Sherna had already been involved in sewing and some crafting. But I hadn’t sewn or done anything in the area of crafting for years. Looking back, I think Sherna and I both knew that we had to do something with that kind of pain, although it was an unspoken plan. The crafting proved and is proving to be quite therapeutic (And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose- Romans 8:28). So one day Sherna and I were sitting around, probably crafting and Sherna thought it would be a great idea (which later proved to be a God-idea) to start a business and name it after Mama, hence the name Rubie’s Daughters.

So often when I would participate in a craftsmen/art market, people would inquire of the name Rubie’s Daughters and wondered how I found the time to make so many accessories. While shaking my head, I would respond in a manner similar to this, “Do you really want to know? “ I would then explain that the creations were birthed from so much pain and that I really did not know that I had it (a creative side) within me. I would further explain how God took the pain and caused something beautiful to be birthed.

When I initially began creating things, I began with cloth flower brooches that I made from recycled blue jeans and other garments. I felt that marrying two of Mama’s passions were just oh so beautiful; Quilting and working in her flower garden. Hence the flower brooch made of cloth. I would later name one of the most colorful flower brooches “The Midnight Bloom”.

So today on my dear Mother’s birthday, I offer my story to you. I would be remiss not to mention my mother’s greatest passion; to tell others about her Savior Jesus Christ in an effort to win souls to Him. Because of her teaching and exemplary lifestyle, her God became and is my God. Since He is changing the verbiage and manner in which I share my story, I would like to share the scriptures that He has impressed upon my heart:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

God has shown me over and over again that little becomes much, when you place it in the Master’s hand. My heart’s desire is that when others see and admire my work; that they will see His Glory that He might be praised for the wonderful work He has done!


Tonza VaZelle DeBerry

One of Rubie’s Daughters

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Sandra Bracey-Mack - January 25, 2013 - 11:22 pm

Endearing story.

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