I’ll be honest. I’m not having a very productive day. Yesterday was a big day in our world…the WHO declared a pandemic, toilet paper became a hot commodity, and Covid-19 became a household term. As for today… the fears of the future are hitting close to home for my small business friends. “Spring at the Silos” was cancelled in Waco and many of our fellow “maker” friends who worked immensely hard for countless weeks and months to prepare had to tear down their booths right after setting them up. My heart absolutely aches for them.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand all the measures taken to protect our communities and our nation. But I suppose that’s a conversation for another day.
I have to admit as a small business owner with a “baby brand”, it’s scary. No one can prepare you for this reality. As some of you faithful blog readers already know, I’m a “six” on the enneagram personality test which means I’m especially adept at predicting worst case scenarios. It’s my superpower. I both embrace it and fight it with a passion. Ask my husband. You know, when I predicted all the worst-case scenarios—all the things that could go wrong—when I quit my corporate job to start a creative brand, this was no where on the list. But I suppose if it HAD been on my list, I think my friends and family would have put me in an asylum.
But here we are. Fighting off a pandemic from taking hold in our communities. We hope and pray that smart actions on a small scale prevent larger scale issues. But in the meantime? We small “experiential businesses” (retail, dining, theater, etc.) are trying to come up with a plan to weather this with grace and come out stronger on the other end. Eric and I were just talking over lunch today about how much value and life these businesses add to our communities, and how much work and grit it takes to keep them open in GOOD times. In a time when we are urged to stay away from crowds, these businesses could suffer the consequences.
I think we should all seek to be community-minded in this. And keep a long-term perspective, as best as we can. If you still have the ability to shop online or in-person with your favorite brands, know that it may make the difference between them staying in business or not. If you have the ability to buy a local restaurant gift card to use later once this has all passed, it may help provide them with the cash they need to keep their staff together and their building rented. If finances are tight, we can ALL like and share their social media posts to help spread word for them. What would you miss if it didn’t exist in your community? Find and share ways to show them your support.
As for Pressed, we have some BIG, BIG launches coming in the coming weeks and months. We’ve been busy behind the scenes planning a kiddo apparel launch, adult apparel launch, two new custom necklaces for Mother’s Day, a letterpress launch, and renovations underway in the space above our store (that we will tell you about SOON)! I’ll be honest—someone put the coronavirus on our radar way back in late January. It’s been SO, SO, SO hard to have an expansive mindset that dreams for the future, but also a contractive mindset that recognizes we need to batten down the hatches for a season. But we’ve put one foot forward, one day at a time, and continued to create “reminders pressed on the heart” that we will be bringing to your lives SOON.
A Scripture that helped carry me through some previous uncertain times has returned to the forefront lately:
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3.
We used to have a necklace in our collection that was inspired by this verse because it meant so much to me personally, and I really think it needs to make a comeback. It’s the reminder I need “pressed” on my own heart right now. I have to trust that God didn’t bring us this far as a brand just to wipe us out in an economic downturn as a result of a pandemic. It’s not hard for me to admit that God is in control and working in ways I don’t always see. But I need reminders that He is looking out for my good personally. He calls me to trust. He calls me to be patient, and He certainly calls me to keep my mind “stayed on Him” rather than the bad news all around me.
This next little blurb is a bit “heady”, but for those of you who appreciate deeper dives into Scripture and theology, here are Alexander MacLaren’s thoughts on that verse:
“…And if we break up that complex thought into its elements, it just comes to this, first, that trust makes steadfastness. Most men’s lives are blown about by winds of circumstance, directed by gusts of passion, shaped by accidents, and are fragmentary and jerky, like some ship at sea with nobody at the helm, heading here and there, as the force of the wind or the flow of the current may carry them. If my life is to be steadied, there must not only be a strong hand at the tiller, but some outward object which shall be for me the point of aim and the point of rest. No man can steady his life except by clinging to a holdfast without himself. Some of us look for that stay in the fluctuations and fleetingnesses of creatures; and some of us are wiser and saner, and look for it in the steadfastness of the unchanging God. The men who do the former are the sport of circumstances, and the slaves of their own natures, and there is no consistency in noble aim and effort throughout their lives, corresponding to their circumstances, relations, and nature. Only they who stay themselves upon God, and get down through all the superficial shifting strata of drift and gravel, to the base-rock, are steadfast and solid.”
There’s a phrase that rang true for me way before any of us had to prepare for a new virus. A phrase that helped me stay steadfast and consistent when I didn’t know how the future would unfold. “Just do the next right thing.” I found so much truth and guidance in it that we designed a new tee with this phrase. And—WOW—do those words make so much sense right now. I find the timing of the launch of this new tee quite fascinating. (Thanks, God!) What better practical advice could we be taking right now than “just do the next right thing”? (This design is set to launch April 3rd).
It’s not ours to know the future. What IS ours is to trust that God’s got us and to “just do the next right thing.”