I've been eager to write today's post for some time, for your sake and mine. I want to be honest and real about how it is that I'm managing my career and calling: motherhood, homemaking, blog, business, schooling, and hospitality. No one does everything well. I certainly do not, and want to share, lest anyone is tempted to think that I do. I want to introduce you to two new faces to the GraceLaced team that's making all the difference. But, first, a story...
For the past year and five months, I've had the privilege of running an unexpectedly successful and ever-growing shoppe. Mr. Simons likes to remind me that though it has grown rapidly and far beyond what we had anticipated, GraceLaced was not an overnight success but rather the result of consistent writing and creating for almost eight years continually, prior to becoming an e-commerce site as well.
As I've said in this interview and this interview, running an online business from home has certainly made use of all the lessons learned during the years I set aside those dreams and served (often invisibly) within my own home. Those were the years I trained my heart to define what real success is...something I'm now grateful for when the pull and demands of writing, painting, selling, and speaking threaten to redefine it.
Knowing what my most important callings are while running a business of this magnitude in my current season of marriage and motherhood, has pushed me to evaluate what choices I must make in order to do what I do best and what I feel most called to. I spent all of 2014 scrambling and trying to make it all work. With the addition of selling our house last year, I came to the end of the year resolved to make some changes that would bless my family and benefit the business.
At first, I knew I couldn't do it all, but I tried anyway. I tried so hard that there was barely any margin in my life for rest, laughter, friends, or hospitality. I knew that no one could paint for me, no one could write for me, and no one could oversee the vision of the business. And certainly, no one could be Mom to my six boys better than me. I was created for that role, regardless of how hard it is!
However, there were so many things slipping through the cracks that needed attention: emails, shipping, inventory, bookkeeping, customer service....to name a few. And on the home front: perpetual laundry, cooking, cleaning, and the need for a few quiet hours each week to take care of conference calls, writing, and meetings. And on the personal level: too much burning the candle on both ends, too much work, too little rest, too much business in the midst of my marriage.
I soon realized that finding the right people to help with the things I didn't HAVE to do, would help me be better at the things I truly feel called to. And so, it was clear when the Lord brought two wonderful ladies, the first two hires to the GraceLaced team...
Marcie is my personal assistant and the face behind all things customer service at GraceLaced. I love when the Lord surrounds us with those who are gifted in ways we ourselves are not. She is meticulously organized, good with systems, and keeps me doing what I do best. Marcie loves the Lord fiercely and I couldn't be more grateful for someone who so balances administrative prowess with a servant's heart. You will be blessed to work with Marcie if you should need her assistance. You can email Marcie via the form on the contact page or at info (at) gracelaced.com.
Emily is our superstar intern who specializes in maintaining our stock, studio, and shipping supplies. She is also a multi-tasker extraordinaire and keeps up with my littles as she works to keep me organized in my home and in the studio while I lock myself in the office to work or at a coffee shop to write and paint a few afternoons a week. Her presence in our home each week has become a joy and delight...a balm to a mama's heart who is not used to being away from my children any length of time! I'm so grateful for her love for the Lord, my kids, and for the shoppe!
I'm so thrilled to introduce them both to you as they have become an integral part of the ministry that is GraceLaced, day by day. As I learn to build this team and grow this business, I humbly ask that you keep me and my team in your prayers...that we might seek to honor Christ first and foremost...in the little and great things we get to be a part of. Our prayer is that we might make His name great through our words and the meditations of our hearts...and that we'd inspire you to do the same.
Because of grace,
I'm so honored that you are here. If you enjoy this blog and would like new posts to come directly to your inbox, I invite you to subscribe to GraceLaced by email.