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  1. Matthew 11:28-30

    Matthew 11:28-30 [MSG]
    Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

    I am a big fan of the ESV and rarely look at other translations these days, but when I do I am reminded of why it is often helpful. A new friend bought the above verses to my attention in the Message translation about a week ago because it had really moved her - and wow has it moved me! Every time I read it, it's like a new refreshing wave of joy crashing over me!

    At this time of year I think many of us would answer "yes" to the questions "Are you tired? Worn out?"! Even if it has been a great year, which for me it has. This year I have seen God do such amazing things with my little business Grace and Salt ink. It's birth in March alone seemed amazing, how God was answering all the prayers of my heart in one place - to have a job that worked around out daughter, that I could freely create and bring people closer to him through his word. It has been incredible to see God answer these prayers and more, as He has led and grown the business. I am blessed beyond measure and thankful daily. Yet still, at points, I have felt overwhelmed in a slightly more negative way by it all - "too many orders" and starting to feel under pressure and stressed. This has never been the idea, mine or God's for the business. ("I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.") I felt Him say more recently I need to rest. Rest in Him. Come and take rest. As many different ways of saying "REST REBECCA!!" and in as many different ways as you can think until I decided to stop and close the shop for December. A bold move perhaps, and I know some people think I'm a bit crazy closing for the busiest time of the year. However I know that is what God has been telling me to do, and I know it is what I needed. After I made my decision and announced it doubt did creep in - the date I closed was just before small business Saturday and cyber Monday - potentially two busiest sales days of the year. I had an article published in a magazine, potential new customers coming to the site after reading my article will find the shop closed and may never return... have I made a mistake?!

    I know I haven't. Firstly, I trust God - He has led this business from the start and I don't believe harm will come to it because I follow what He is asking of me! Also, I have felt a weight lifted and such peace enjoying family time. Celebrating my daughter's second birthday, enjoying family visiting with no worries about orders and emails! I am focusing my eyes on Jesus in the run up to Christmas - as I should be, rather than excel sheets and PayPal! Walking with Jesus and learning "the unforced rhythms of grace". I love this phrase so much ... drink it in for a moment "the unforced rhythms of grace"... Jesus offers us grace and an invitation to "live freely and lightly" and this advent I am doing my best to accept both these wonderful gifts and live in them!

    Happy Christmas to you and yours x