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Overheard conversation, and divine grace, guide Colorado Springs woman's path

April 21, 2017 Updated: April 21, 2017 at 9:17 am
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Air Force veteran and former Texas police office Yvette Trevino said she feels like a kid on Christmas morning when she unwraps items to sell in her store, Windows of Heaven in Old Colorado City. She took over the shop last year when the owner decided to retire and Trevino overheard her talking about it, while shopping at the store. Trevino unwraps figurines from Colombia at the store on Tuesday, April 12, 2017. Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette

Former Texas police officer and Air Force veteran Yvette Trevino sees the hand of God in all things, guiding her life in subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, ways.

A mom of four whose two older sons are active-duty military, Trevino long had been pondering the idea of starting her own business when she found herself in Windows of Heaven Christian book and gift shop in Old Colorado City.

There, she overheard a conversation. The owner was looking to retire, and recent plans to sell had fallen through.

"I asked about it and she said, 'Are you interested?' I said, 'I think I might be,'" Trevino said. "I don't know what to say. Everything just fell into place."

The diminutive, soft-spoken business owner grew up in an entrepreneurial-minded family in Texas, stocking shelves, cleaning up and helping customers in her parents' hardware store.

"My father was the dreamer and Mom was the doer. Everything that Dad dreamed about, Mom did. She had no education, but it was just her thing I guess," said Trevino, whose parents ultimately grew the store into a modest empire of successful shops and rental properties. "I remember my mother would sit in there all day long and she'd come home and say, 'Well, I sold a pound of nails today.' That's how that started."

When the time came to decide careers though, Trevino chose a different path, serving six years in the Air Force, then finishing her schooling and entering the police academy in McAllen, Texas, where she began work as a patrol officer after graduation. She loved the job, but it took a back burner after she met her husband, Adolfo, and began caring for a growing family.

"That's the hardest work I've ever done. You never hear your name called unless something's missing, dinner's not ready or there are no clean socks," said Trevino, mother to three sons and a daughter.

When Adolfo found work in Colorado as an MRI tech, the family moved to Alamosa, where they lived for eight months before moving to Colorado Springs. That's when Trevino began volunteering at Holy Apostles Catholic Church, where she eventually was hired in the office.

The dream of running her own business still simmered, and after her youngest - who's now in eighth grade - started school, Trevino began work as a linguist for a translating service, a job she continues on an occasional basis. She was commuting to Denver in a snowstorm for that gig last year when she decided it was time to get serious about finding a place to dig in, closer to home and to her heart and faith.

"I told my husband, 'I'd love to have my own business. If I could, I'd just have this little Catholic store ...'" she said.

As she sees it, how Windows of Heaven opened to her is nothing less than divine providence.

Fellow Texas transplant Lucy Tanner founded the store 20 years ago in Houston before relocating to Woodland Park and then the current location in Old Colorado City. Her plans to retire seemed on the verge of stalling before that fateful day last year, when Trevino said she decided to check out Tanner's shop on West Colorado Avenue.

"People say, 'It's always on God's time, not on your time,'" Trevino said.

Sometimes, though, those schedules align.

Trevino took out a small loan to buy the business and was able to make the change in ownership without closing the doors. Since taking over last summer, she's transitioned the shop to focus more on the Catholic faith, selling a selection of rosaries, scapulars, candles and other devotional items, as well as books and gifts including a line of body lotions and washes made from the blessed, healing waters of Lourdes.

"My goal was to have something for our Catholic faith because options are very limited. When you go to the big Christian stores, they have such a tiny little section for Catholics. I wanted to have that here - items to grow your faith," said Trevino, a parishioner at St. Peter Catholic Church in Monument. "The thing I say everyday, from Colossians 3:23, is 'Whatever you do, do it with all your heart as working for the Lord.' That's my goal."

The shop is a daily reminder of her blessings and the many hands - human and divine - that played a part in bringing her dream to fruition.

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