COVID-19 Update: Fall/Holiday | 10/20/20

It’s been several months since my last update and with the busy shopping season upon us, I wanted to make sure I reiterated some of my covid policies and also make some updates to keep up with the increase in orders this time of year.

SHOP

  • The shop will remain open as long as my health and the government permits.
  • Orders are being shipped from a clean workspace.
    • I continue to keep your safety in mind in storing and handling products to be shipped.
    • All envelopes will be sealed with adhesive and/or water. I’m not licking any envelopes!
  • Shipping times may be longer than normal.
    • I am back to making trips to the post office twice per week, so my processing times are finally back to normal! However, there still seem to be delays with USPS in some states. Please be patient if your order is taking longer than normal to ship.
    • You can track your order with the tracking number you receive when your order has shipped.

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

Thankfully, as of the moment I’m writing this post, my husband Luke and I have remained healthy! A few friends and family members came down with the virus and thankfully only had mild symptoms. My prayers and sympathies go out to those of you who have been impacted by covid in much more significant ways, whether that be through the virus itself or as a result of lock downs and other changes that have put added stress on your lives.

Luke and I continue to work from home full-time. I’m grateful the company Luke works for has allowed its employees to stay home. Layla (our cat) and I love having him home with us during the day! Many have asked over the past few months how my business is going and I really appreciate how much you care. By God’s grace, the business continues to grow and has pretty much been running itself! I haven’t had as much work to do, which has left more time to focus on the ministry side of things and prepping for Christmas.

If you’d like to become a monthly supporter, please check out my Patreon page. If you’d like to support my work in other ways, please consider buying some Christmas gifts from my shop this year!

Encouragment

As we finish out 2020, let’s commit our thoughts and actions to Jesus. Let’s remain grounded in His Word (the Bible) and find the freedom that is available to us through the message of the Gospel! God loves us even though we sin. And by grace, we are rescued from death and hell, and promised eternal life when we put all our faith in Jesus Christ alone. This hope is not just for the future, but is for right now as well. When we put our faith in Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit, who dwells in our hearts and gives us the ability to grow in our relationship with Him, making us more like Christ. We grow in our relationship with Him in many ways, but being rooted in God’s Word is foundational. When our thoughts are shaped by what God says, it changes the way we think and act, how we spend our time, how we treat others, and ultimately, it changes culture.

This is the hope we must cling to. Ground yourself in Him and proclaim the Gospel to those who don’t yet love and follow Jesus. Not sure how to do that? It can be as simple as sharing one of my posts with a friend – I’ve written the Gospel message in many of my captions over the past several months (Here’s a recent post). You can start by sharing your personal testimony – how God has saved you and transformed your life, and what He promises to all who put their faith in Him. If you have not put your faith in Christ, I would love to get in touch! Join my mailing list to receive a bunch of free resources straight to your inbox instantly and feel free to send me a personal email. I’d love to send you a Bible and point you to some of my favorite resources.

Stay well and be bold, friends! Xo Lauren

COVID-19 Update: Moving forward | 5/22/20

It’s been nearly two months since my last update in regards to the pandemic, so I wanted to share once again what shop practices and policies I have in place moving forward as we head into the summer months. And of course, I’m sharing a personal update as well, so scroll down for that if that’s what you’re here for!

SHOP

  • The shop will remain open as long as my health and the government permits.
    • The shop has remained open through Minnesota’s Stay at Home order and will continue to remain open under its Stay Safe order.
  • Orders are being shipped from a clean workspace.
    • I will continue to keep your safety in mind in storing and handling products to be shipped.
    • All envelopes will be sealed with adhesive and/or water.I’m not licking any envelopes!
  • Shipping/handling times may be longer than normal.
    • You might notice my shipping/handling times are a bit longer. I am typically only making trips to the post office once per week (instead of twice per week). These trips will usually take place Tuesday mornings. I wear a mask, clean gloves, and practice social distancing when dropping off.
    • 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.
  • I am currently working on getting a handful of out-of-stock items back in stock.
    • As I’m sure you can imagine, the pandemic has slowed down production all over the world. If there is an item you’re looking for, but it’s out of stock, join my mailing list to be notified when and what items will be restocked. Thanks for your patience!
  • 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

The Ibachs have remained healthy over the past several weeks (praise God)! We have continued staying home for the most part, but as we’ve seen how Minnesotans are responding to social distancing and other precautions, we’ve felt safe enough to run our own errands now. When at the store, we social distance and wear masks and clean gloves to protect ourselves and others. As the weeks go on like this, the more I miss being able to go to the store without my glasses fogging up while breathing through a mask. It’s the little things I struggle with (and I’m grateful it’s just the little things).

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Luke and I are still working, but my workload has gone down a bit, which has had it’s ups and downs. I love having more flexibility, but I also crave more structure. God has been using a lot of the open spaces in my day to teach me more about Himself and grow in my relationship with Him. He’s brought a lot of truth from my head to my heart and that’s what I’m most grateful for in this season.

For fun, Luke and I have tried to keep date night alive by getting takeout from our favorite restaurants, watching movies and TV shows at home… there’s been crafting, dreamy nights on the deck, walks, goofing around with our cat Layla… it’s about finding what’s special in the small things these days and I know learning to keep this mindset will benefit us in the long run.

On my own, I’ve been tending to my growing plant collection, decluttering around the apartment, reading, and drinking lots of coffee from my Nespresso (affiliate link)… which I bought as a quarantine gift to myself. #worthit

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Encouragement

I know many people our age do not wear masks and gloves when going out, but as I mentioned in previous posts, Luke is high risk. We take extra precautions, not just for ourselves, but keeping in mind those who are also vulnerable. I really struggle when others don’t share a similar approach. I’m glad that so many people are not worried about getting sick. I don’t think we should be fearful, but I’m reminded of Philippians 2:3-4, which says:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Now is a great time to learn to make decisions with humility, looking to the best interests of all. I heard a statistic from multiple sources that if we all social distance and wear masks, the spread of the virus goes down by 80%… I’m not sure if that’s still accurate (stats seem to be changing all the time), but clearly it makes a big impact. I also heard that masks help less with preventing you from getting sick, but more with protecting others against your own germs.

I know I can’t control what other people do, but one of the ways I’m learning to extend grace is by remembering a lot of people don’t live with someone who is vulnerable. Why would they share the same concerns Luke and I have? So, this is simply my reminder to those who aren’t reminded daily by a loved one. My encouragement to you today is to keep Philippians 2:3-4 in mind and look to the best interest of others. You may not be worried about your own health, but when we make decisions based on the wellbeing of others, it’s one of the most loving things we can do in a pandemic.

Stay well, friends! Xo Lauren

Faith Over Fear: Finding Lasting Peace In Uncertain Circumstances

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I’m looking at this COVID-19 season as an opportunity: an opportunity to draw near to Christ. It’s my hope that God will use me to encourage others to do the same, so we all can find deeper rest and peace in Him.

I am excited to share this blog post I wrote for The Homebody Society, which includes personal stories, a list of several practical ways to choose faith over fear, and tons of scripture for you to cling to and be reminded of.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POST

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COVID-19 Update: Response to MN Stay at Home Order | 3/26/20

Not much has changed since my update a couple days ago, but for those of you with questions due to the Minnesota Stay at Home executive order, here are the answers:

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  • The shop is still open!
    • All products are still available. Since I run my shop by myself at home, I am able to continue running my shop as usual.
    • I’m currently offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders in the U.S. and 20% OFF digital downloads. Click HERE to shop!
  • Orders will be shipped once per week.
    • I mentioned this in the last update, but I will only be shipping out orders once per week (usually Tuesdays). I do need to go to the post office to check my mailbox, so I will bring orders with me when I do that. The MN government does permit leaving home for groceries, gas, the pharmacy, even to get essential items for working from home, and I believe a trip to the post office falls under that category.
    • I will continue social distancing and following government recommendations while at the post office and avoid contact with others as much as possible. I will do so by visiting at the times I know are less busy, and dropping packages in the mailbox when small enough.

Additional information on shipping/handling, how I’m keeping my workspace and products clean, and even some personal updates and encouragements for you, please read my previous blog post.

Thanks and stay home and healthy! Continuing to pray for this community and for a swift, miraculous resolution to this pandemic!

❤ Lauren

Join my mailing list community for updates and encouragements sent directly to your inbox.

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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.

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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!

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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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How Hand Lettering Changed My Life

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Four years ago, in September 2015, I bought my first brush pen and fell in love instantly. To celebrate my 4-year “calligraversary” I thought some of you might be interested to hear my story about why I got started and how the Lord used what started as a relaxing hobby to change the trajectory of my life.

How it all began

Back in 2015 I was pursuing a career as a contemporary Christian singer/songwriter and had just finished an internship at a local church. My supervisors told me there would be an on-staff worship leader position opening in less than a year. I really wanted the job, so I chose to wait. I began working a few hours a week as a barista while pursuing a solo music career, but still had a lot of time on my hands. So, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill – brush lettering.

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I had been into block letters, cursive, making my normal handwriting as pretty as possible, and “fauxligraphy.” (That’s where you write with a regular pen and go back and make all the downstrokes of the letters thicker to look like calligraphy – see this lyric video I created back in 2013 for one of my songs using this technique!) Hand lettering was starting to become more mainstream when I started practicing, so up until then, I didn’t know what to call it. I just knew I liked creating pretty word pictures of Bible verses, quotes from sermons, and lyrics from worship music in my free time. ❤

A slow transition

I started sharing my brush-lettered quotes on Instagram right away. I knew I wasn’t very good yet, but I loved what I was making and couldn’t help but share! My Instagram account started as a place to share my music endeavors and a bit about my personal life. But, the more I shared my lettering, the more that account grew – if you scroll down far enough, you can see this transition happen! When I look back, it’s almost like I can see my heart begin to shift from music to lettering. It’s pretty cool to have that visual reminder.

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One of the very first quotes I brushed lettered was “how great Thou art.” And I letter it every year to mark my calligraversary and see how my style changes from year to year. It’s one of my favorite little traditions!

My love for lettering began growing and so did my scope of work. I got the job at the church and was doing more and more custom lettering work on the side. I had grown tired of the hustle and challenges that came with gigging as a solo musician singing outwardly Christian lyrics. I loved lettering so much and knew that I was onto something, so I poured my heart into that and less and less into songwriting. I felt really conflicted about it, but still got to sing and lead worship every weekend for my job, so I felt like I was getting the best of both worlds.

After I got married in October 2016 I opened an Etsy shop to try selling some of my own designs. I started with digital prints, then found a printer I really liked and started selling actual paper prints. My custom orders kept coming in, but the shop sales were really slow. (I’m talking 1-2 sales per month for the first several months!) But, in the summer of 2017, things started to change when I decided to turn a personal Romans lettering project into a devotional. When I announced I’d be self-publishing my first book, Romans: A Hand Lettered Devotional, I knew I was onto something bigger than I had planned. Hundreds of people (even strangers!) were getting behind a project that wasn’t even finished yet and I was blown away.

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Going all in

While I was getting ready to release the book, I was feeling more and more conflicted about my job at the church. There were things I loved about it more than anything, but I also knew I wouldn’t be there forever. I told myself I’d be there two more years. (If that were the case, I’d just be finishing! Crazy!) But, a week after I said that, I had clarity that it was time to leave. The timing made no sense. My husband had just decided he was going back to school, my tiny business was not ready… but, God had a plan!

The Lord’s plans

Two years after all of that, here we are, and it’s clear He did have a plan. I could write an entire book about the highs and lows of the self-employed life and the unforeseen trials Luke and I faced over the past two years. But, I’ll attempt to sum it all up in just a few final sentences.

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God turned something I kind of just fell into into something I wanted to put my all into. He has used hand lettering to help me rest in His goodness. He uses it to test my faith in Him, to build trust that He will provide my every need, to teach me about the downfalls of self-reliance, to show me the peace that comes with relying on Him, to humble me… I’ve learned a lot of lessons and in so many ways, I am still in the learning process.

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I celebrate this anniversary, not to just celebrate a great passion of mine, but the great work Jesus has done in my life since picking up that first brush pen. All glory to Him for the work that has been done and the work He will do in and through me! I am extremely humbled that the Creator of the universe wants to use me in this way and that so many of you have been a part of the journey. Thank you!

❤ Lauren

Want to be notified about future blog posts and additional updates? I’d love to have you join my mailing list community! And, as a special thank you, I’ll send a digital download for you to print and use at home. ❤

Grow In Your Faith This Summer

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“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”John 15:4 ESV

This post contains affiliate links.

Summer is finally getting started! Many of our schedules change over the summer and it can be easy to let our spiritual growth become an afterthought. But, what if we made it our number one priority? It can be challenging to know where to start, so I wanted to provide a few resources for you to consider. We need God’s Word, prayer, and community to grow, so I’ve listed some books, studies, accounts, and suggestions below to consider.

The Word

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If you haven’t invested in a good study Bible, there is no time like the present! You can learn so much from just reading from a great study Bible daily. I love my ESV study Bible. I really like the ESV translation because it is more of a word-for-word translation, but it’s still written in language we can understand. If you are newer to reading the Bible, you might better understand a thought-for-thought translation like the NIV. But, I wouldn’t get hung up on the translation. I’ve heard it said, the best translation is the one you pick up and read. 🙂
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P.S. When you’re on the go or needing to quick look up a verse, using the Bible App or Bible Gateway are great options too!

Commentaries

A great way to go even deeper as you read the Bible, is by reading a commentary. I love The Be Series by Warren W. Wiersbe. I’ve linked “The Gospels” bundle, but you can find any book of the Bible. I cannot express enough how much I love these commentaries. I highly recommend these books and know you will grow so much if you use these as companions to your Bible reading. There are even a few questions at the end of each chapter for you to reflect on!

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Devotionals

I would love to help you grow in your faith this summer and I’ve written two devotionals you should definitely check out if you are looking for something less in-depth than a commentary. Ephesians: A Hand Lettered Devotional breaks down each chapter in half, Romans: A Hand Lettered Devotional is broken down by whole chapters, and both include intricate hand lettered art to spark creativity and help with scripture memory,  along with thought provoking devotional content to help you apply what you’ve read to your life and remember the main ideas of each chapter. (An additional perk is you can save a lot by ordering both together!)
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Prayer

Prayer is essential to growing in our faith, because it’s really all about growing in our relationship with Christ and that takes knowledge and understanding through His Word, but also requires communication with our Savior.

Prayer Journal

If you are like me and struggle to sit down, pray, and get your thoughts in order, a prayer journal might be really helpful for you. I recently released my Guided Prayer Journal to help you grow in your prayer life, whether you are a long-time believer or are getting to know Jesus for the first time. I’ve included prompts for praise, gratitude, confession, reminders to pray and read your Bible, and space to write and reflect on prayers for yourself and others. I have been keeping a prayer journal for over seven years and I’ve been working through the journal. I can honestly say, I am so thankful for the balance the Guided Prayer Journal has added to my prayer life.

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Community

Connect with others near you

I have learned more than ever this year that community is essential to growing in our relationships with Christ. When we surround ourselves with like-minded people who are also actively seeking the Lord, we are strengthened! Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17)! Attending church is important (keep doing that this summer!), but right now I’m talking about making room for fellowship outside the Sunday morning church service. You can join a Bible study – look into what your church or other churches in the area might be offering – or it can be as simple as making time to get coffee with one or two friends every other week with the intention of talking about what the Lord is teaching you and praying together. I am involved in Bible Study Fellowship during most of the year, so I usually just get together with a few friends regularly over the summer and making that time a priority in the summer is so sweet!romansdevotional_016 copy

Connect with others online

I hesitated to add this section, but I did think it was necessary. Community online can be amazing, but as much as I love following and connecting with other women who love and share about Christ on social media, I’ve found that it can be harder to get deep and have an actual conversation when you’re just connecting over DMs and comments. If we’re on social media, I think it’s very important to follow, connect, and communicate with others, instead of just scrolling mindlessly through our feeds, consuming whatever comes up. I’ve listed just a few women I have connected with – some have books, some have “official” ministries of their own, some just love sharing the love of Christ, some are close friends of mine, others are friends I only know through chatting here and there online. I hope you’ll be encouraged by what they’re sharing!

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Encouragement

Hope you have a great summer and that even just one of these resources were helpful to you or that they’ll lead you to other great resources. Remember, Jesus wants our whole hearts. He doesn’t want to just be a part of our daily routine, He wants to be the center of our lives! Our time with Him helps us recenter and keep Him first throughout the day and He deserves to be made first! So, especially in the summer when things are busy, focus on the quality of your time with Him. Instead of asking yourself, “Did I spend time with the Lord today?” ask yourself questions like:

  • What is the Lord teaching me today?
  • How is God speaking to me today?
  • What truths are God revealing and reminding me about Himself?

It can be easy for us to worry about the amount of  time spent, but really He just wants to connect with us, meet with us, reveal more of Himself to us, and make us more like Himself. Sure, more time can really be a benefit, but if we focus more on the connection, instead of worrying about hitting a specific time frame, that’s when we will grow and fall deeper in love with Jesus.

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Want to be notified about future blog posts and additional updates? I’d love to have you join my mailing list community! And, as a special thank you, I’ll send a digital download for you to print and use at home. ❤

Recommitting My Work to the Lord

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“Commit your work to the LORD and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3

I shared in a recent Instagram post that I have been feeling restlessness in my life – especially in my work. I’ve been praying my heart would be aligned to Christ and it didn’t take long for Him to start answering that prayer. However, it took a little bit more time and a good nudge for me to really start responding.

The turning point

At the beginning of May, I was a vendor at Minneapolis Pinners Conference. This was a dream come true for me and I saw it as a career milestone. However, God used the event not only as a milestone, but as a turning point in my career and life.

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I met so many wonderful people at the conference and had some great conversations that really got me thinking about my purpose as a creative small business owner. I walked into the event with a new realization that I had been making a lot of decisions based on what other people in the professional lettering community were doing instead of looking to God for wisdom and guidance. But, I wasn’t totally sure what to do with that knowledge.

After processing the entire event and many insightful conversations with other vendors, teachers, and attendees, I realized that I first needed to stop doing what other successful people are doing or saying to do and assuming it will be right for me. I had gotten caught up in the hustle and was starting to realize the things I was striving for weren’t 100% in line with how God wanted to use me and my gifts.

My response

I responded to these new realizations by taking some time off from posting on social media. Planning content sucks up so much of my time, so I knew by cutting that out for a bit, I would be opening up so much more time to pray, read my Bible, listen to sermons, meet with friends, and begin figuring out how God wants to use me. I also knew that I needed to re-evaluate the content I was putting out there and place my trust in the Lord to provide, instead of relying so much on my marketing efforts. Taking a break from posting for a couple weeks needed to happen for a lot of reasons and I’m so glad I took that time to reset.

I am amazed by all the things the Lord has been teaching me in just the past few weeks. The list really goes on and on and I’m excited to share more about those things in future social media and blog posts. I am still very much in the process of discovering how God specifically wants to use me, but what I do know for sure is that He wants me to go all in for Him. He wants me to give up my control, my ideas of what I think is gonna work, and allow Him to show me what He’s capable of. Not just so I can experience His best for me, but more importantly, so I can be used for His greater purposes.

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Moving forward

Like I said, I’m still learning a lot and figuring out where God is leading me. I know it will be a never ending process and I’m excited to see how the journey will impact what I share with this supportive, kind, loving community I get to be a part of.

I was hoping to end this post with what you can expect from me in the future, but really all I can say is, expect change. Expect more Jesus. I don’t want my shop and posts to be about hand lettering or even about me. I want my hand lettering and creativity to be used as a tool to point myself and others back to Him.

❤ Lauren

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2019 First Quarter Wins & Learns

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We are a quarter of the way through 2019 already! I announced at the beginning of the year I would no longer be doing these Wins & Learns posts every month, but would still keep you up to date on the ups, downs, and everything in between – just less frequently. So here we are with my first update of 2019 and just wow! So much has happened!

Wins

I was fully expecting things to slow way down in January, but it was the complete opposite. I got back from Christmas break, opened my email to find some great opportunities, and I continued to stay busy in the best ways! It was an amazing feeling. I got my first magazine commission, my biggest logo commission to date, had some huge orders, launched a new enamel pin… it was such a great way to start the new year and the boost of confidence I really needed!

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At the end of January, I decided to invest in a camera. I ended up getting the Canon PowerShot G5 X, which was not at all the kind of camera I expected to get, but after trying out a bunch of different ones, I decided it was perfect for me and the place I’m at in my business right now. I love how easy it is to use, it’s not so big like a DSLR, and it is inspiring me to really up my photo taking and editing skills. It’s been such a fun challenge!

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At the beginning of February I got signed up to be a vendor at Pinners Conference in Minneapolis, MN! This has been something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now, so I was thrilled to be ready and free on the dates Pinners would be in Minneapolis this year! My best gal pal, Kiley Bennett got so excited, she decided to fly out that weekend to help me and hang with me for a few days. We met on Instagram, but over the past couple years our friendship has grown so much, it’s rare we go a day without talking on the phone. This event will not only be a huge milestone for my shop, but will also be the first time Kiley and I get to be together in-person! (Excuse me while I go happy dance for a sec!)

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I wanted to release something special at Pinners, so I spent the first couple weeks of February brainstorming ideas and then the idea finally came to me: a guided prayer journal. So, I spent the rest of February and March designing and writing prompts for this journal, which has honestly been such a fun, positive experience. I am so fired up about this project and happy to say it’s available for pre-order for a little while longer and is already in production! I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses this journal to bring others closer to Himself.

Learns

2019 has been a rollercoaster. There were so many things to celebrate, but also so many low lows. However, these updates are titled “Wins & Learns” for a reason, so I will do my best to stick to what I’ve learned from the hard stuff and less on the hard stuff alone.

February was the complete opposite of January. It was crazy to go from one of my busiest months ever to my slowest since last summer. I was reminded how unpredictable this creative business life is and how important it is to cling to God and surround yourself with people who will speak truth into your life and encourage you. It’s so easy to forget the good stuff when things don’t feel like they’re going your way – even if it’s only for a short time. And I’m not just talking with my business, but just in general as well.

I’m learning more than ever just how crucial it is to have community. Just a few short weeks ago, I would have said community is important, but I now say it’s crucial. No one is an island. In order to stay an all around healthy human being, we need to surround ourselves with those who will encourage us through the big and small things and we need to be that kind of support for others. I’m thankful to say I’ve experienced some amazing moments of community and I’ve also experienced the result of attempting to do far too much on your own. Again, lean on Jesus. Invest in the lives of those around you and if you feel like an island, pray for community. God doesn’t want you to be alone! He will provide!

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Anyway…

Thanks for joining me here on the blog once again. I am so flattered that many of you care about what’s going on in my life. I would love to hear about what resonated with you in this post. I have found time and time again as I write that there are a lot of you out there learning the same lessons and experiencing similar victories alongside me. So please leave a comment if you feel led. I’d love to connect with you on that! And of course, if you’d like to connect more throughout the month and stay up to date on blog posts, shop releases, and upcoming events, please join my mailing list community. I’d love to meet with you there!

❤ Lauren