In 2013 I tiptoed into the waters of being a Christian entrepreneur. Over the next few years, I had no idea that God would use that leap of faith to mold me, shape me, and chisel my heart. Owning a small business with the desire to make much of Jesus has proven harder than I thought it would. Since the beginning, I have felt the Lord clearly call me to do things differently, and, instead of following worldly business standards, to follow Him. Dannah Gresh once said these words that have been instrumental in shaping my business, “You worry about the depth of your ministry and let God take care of the breadth.” That is what I strive to do through Life Lived Beautifully. The path He has taken me on has been anything but easy, however, it has been worth every step, every stumble, and every mountain we have climbed. In the end, it has led me to a deeper walk with Him.
I have wrestled with how to be in a business that shares Christ and brings glory to God. I realized how mirky the waters can be and I knew that, as a believer, I have been called to a higher standard because I represent Christ in all I do. I started to study Scripture and pray through how the Lord would have me run Life Lived Beautifully in a way that honors Him (both in my heart and in what I do online). I long to be Spirit-led in everything that I create, as well as running the behind the scenes aspects of the business in a way that honors the Lord. My friend, Val Woerner of Val Marie Paper, shared her same heart with me in the summer of 2015. She also shared her vision to create a community of “kingdom-led creatives” who come together and decide to live differently than the standards of this world.
We prayed and started creating the “Shop Girl Code” that we could both use for personal accountability in our own business as well as to encourage one another as we create and continue to make products that point women to Jesus. Instead of copying, criticizing, or comparing to one another, our desire in the Shop Girl Code is to bring Christian women together to champion one another and commit our work to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3). Ultimately, we will stand before the Lord one day and be held accountable for all that we have done for the Kingdom, and we long to present our businesses as an act of worship to Him.
We pray that the Shop Girl Code would be an encouragement to you in your own personal accountability and an opportunity to live as set-apart Kingdom-led creatives!
Gretchen & Val