COVID-19 Updates & Encouragements | 3/24/20

It’s been awhile since I blogged. If someone told me the next time I posted here I’d be notifying my community about how I’m responding to a worldwide pandemic, I’m not sure I’d believe it. But, here we are. First I’ll focus on the shop updates, then I’ll share a bit about how I’m personally responding and offer some encouragement to you.

Shop

  • The shop will remain open as long as my health and the government permits.
  • Orders are being shipped from a clean workspace.
    • All products are stored in plastic bins and boxes in my home office, which is in a separate room from my general living space. My desk is always wiped clean and I’m washing my hands before I prepare orders to be shipped.
    • My husband and I are barely going out at all, but if either of us do show symptoms of COVID-19, I will not handle or ship products. I will, however, keep the shop open so customers can still make digital downloadable purchases.
    • My workspace has been reorganized, but if you’re curious to see generally what it looks like, you can check out this old blog post.
  • Shipping/handling times may be longer than normal.
    • You might notice my shipping/handling times are a bit longer, depending on what day of the week you order. I am now only making trips to the post office once per week (instead of twice per week). These trips will usually take place Tuesday mornings. The post office I go to is small and usually not very busy at the time I typically go, so I am able to distance myself from post office workers and customers quite easily.
    • Keep in mind, USPS First Class transit times could be a bit slower as well. You can track your order with the tracking number you receive when your order has shipped.
  • To make shopping easier for you during this time, I am currently offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders shipped within the U.S. and all digital downloads are 20% OFF. Click HERE to shop (no coupon code needed)!
  • For any additional questions, please visit my FAQs page. If your question is not answered there, you can send me an email and I’ll get back to you within 3 business days.

SHOP_ON_ETSY


Personal

For those interested in what my personal life has looked like, it’s just been my husband Luke, our cat Layla, and me in our apartment near Minneapolis, MN. Luke has health concerns that make him higher risk, so we have been social distancing since the beginning of March. We’ve pretty much been sheltered in place since March 12th, even though that hasn’t been a government requirement in MN… yet. Aside from my trips to the post office, Luke’s walks in the neighborhood, and the occasional drive thru/curbside pickup, we have been at home exclusively. So far, we have not even had to go to the busy grocery store, thanks to my sweet friend Alissa who offered to shop for us!

We have been so positively impacted by the kindness of others, who know about our personal needs and have helped, offered to help, or have told us how they are praying. I see so much of God’s provision and compassion through these friends and family members who are so beautifully exemplifying what it looks like to be the hands and feet of Christ. It has inspired me to help in the ways I can – encouraging others with truth, praying with and for others, giving gifts, shopping small, or just simply doing a better job at keeping in touch with the many people in my life I know and love. I may not be able to be physically present, but technology makes communication much easier in these circumstances. Praise God for that!

Luke and I are both still working… again, praise God! My days are looking a lot less structured, but by God’s grace people are still shopping, hiring me for my services, and licensing my designs. Luke’s working from home now too and since his company directly impacts the healthcare system, his job seems to be pretty secure. Of course, we have already learned through this that nothing is certain, so we continue to pray for continued job security.

When not working, Luke and I have been enjoying (and sometimes getting bored) of home cooked meals together, keeping up with our Bible studies, calling our families, watching Netflix and Disney+, and our favorite, loving on our little cat Layla. Circumstances are less than ideal right now, but we are trusting God, focusing on the good, and by God’s grace, the joyful moments have outnumbered the discouraging, fearful ones.

Faith_Over_Fear_Lo_Res

Encouragement

I’m continually praying for my online community. If you’re reading this, that includes YOU! We are all experiencing the effects of this global pandemic, but my heart especially goes out to those of you who are out of work or are putting yourself at risk so others can have access to necessities. I know you are feeling an especially heavy weight from this crisis.

As we all learn to navigate this challenging time, I encourage you to lean on Christ, because it was Him who said in Matthew 11:30, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Pray, read the Bible, memorize scripture, pull out the guitar or turn on Spotify and WORSHIP, journal, reflect, and again, pray. You don’t have to carry the weight of all this on your own. God’s got you. He’s got all of this.

I think it’s great that people are encouraging others to take advantage of this unique time to rest, focus on family, and take care of ourselves, but let’s not forget to also look outward and ask ourselves how we can be a blessing to others. If you’re struggling to know what that looks like, start with what comes easily and naturally to you. Maybe you’re an encourager. How can you encourage others more? Maybe you’re a hostess. What are some creative ways you can practice hospitality without physically bringing people together? Maybe you’re in a solid place financially. Who could you reach out to and offer to help meet someone’s needs? Maybe you feel like you’ve got nothing to give. Don’t forget, prayer is powerful!

shop feature prayer guides

Thanks

Thanks again for the prayers, the support, the orders, for reading, for commenting, for sharing… you are greatly appreciated! Join my mailing list to receive more updates, encouragement, and messages of hope! And when you sign up, I’ll send you a bunch of freebies, including a brand new 8-day eDevotional!

❤ Lauren

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