Thankful for the year

I get stuck in the weeds.

All too often, my focus is solely on today’s “to do” list, my family’s schedule for the week, or responsibilities I need to get done.  I think more about what’s right in front of me than spending time reflecting on the past or dreaming about the future.

Luckily, God tends to give me circumstances or moments that cause me to pause.  It gives me the chance to see a bigger picture.  This kind of thing happened about a month ago…

The last weekend of October, ETCH had the opportunity to set up a booth at the Imperfectly Brave Conference right here in Kansas City.  The founder, Whitney Putnam, and her team have become some of our dear friends.  So, as the weekend approached, we were more and more excited to see what God would do through our time there (along with the other women in attendance).  The week of the conference, we were busy receiving new inventory for our booth and shop, packaging and shipping an order for Hallmark, and taking care of all the other day-to-day tasks that owning a business requires.  All the “to dos” didn’t leave us much time to realize what was looming on the other side.

The moment came on quickly…so much so that I almost missed it.

We were forced to set up our booth quickly.  Time was not on our side because of the other directions we were being pulled, so we were frantically unpacking boxes and displaying our items around the booth. As we were in the middle of our hot mess on that Friday, it came over me like a breath of fresh air.  I saw Kelsey “fluffing” everything in our booth to make it look pretty…and then it hit me.

It was one year ago — at the Imperfectly Brave Conference in 2015 — that we put our products on display for the very first time.

Last year — at this same conference — we set up a display ladder, put our 16 products on it, and had people place orders.  All we had were those 16 items.  No inventory.  No extras.  Just the 16.  And when we displayed it on that ladder, we felt a mixture of emotions — fulfilled by what God had done to bring about those 16 items, but also nervous about what the response would be.  We had worked so hard. And, we weren’t even sure how people would respond to it. We walked gingerly — confident because we felt God calling us to do this, but timid because of what it might look like…

What made it even more special was that Imperfectly Brave launched at the same time.  While we were dreaming about ETCH, the Imperfectly Brave team was forming and the book was being published. God gave us each other — to cheer, champion, and encourage — from the beginning.

Only God.

As we see what ETCH looks like one year later, it’s nothing that could be accomplished by human hands.  God is at work.  He longs to have a deep relationship with all of us.  One that isn’t compartmentalized, but one where He’s a part of everything.  As God’s plans continue to unfold, we are reminded over and over of the ministry opportunities it provides.  Not only are the four of us ETCH girls growing in our relationships with Jesus, but the stories we hear from you are powerful too!




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