Today is known as Small Business Saturday, and in the spirit of celebrating and supporting small businesses, my friend Amber Scott from Mt Nittany Creations answered a few questions about her local business.
Amber started her business a year ago, and it is my pleasure to share with you more about this maker and dear friend.
What lead to creating your business?
Over the last several years I went through a period of struggling with depression. I had started going to counseling and learning about the person whom God had made me and learned that it is ok to embrace and love the person whom God made me to be. Part of that was reconnecting with the creative side of myself. So I started making again and at one point took a jewelry class with some friends and fell in love, so I started making jewelry for everyone. With my confidence and love for who God had made me to be growing I started toying with the idea of opening an online ETSY shop. After researching and seeking out advice I took the leap.
What inspires your art and creativity?
My love of creating beautiful things. I guess emmulating our Lord. Obviously I cannot create in the same way He does but there is such beauty in making patterns or ideas come together. It brings me lots of joy. I especially love custom orders. Making something for someone is challenging and exciting.
How has being a Christian affected the way you view being an artist and a Maker?
As I mentioned before watching a creation come together brings me such joy and makes me think of our Lord. Knowing that I am this way because God made me unique and will use these unique abilities to bring Him Praise.
How has your art opened up doors to love people with your talents?
There is a huge community of "makers" out there. Through Instagram and Facebook I have made all kinds of friendships where more than once I have had the opportunity to point people to the Lord, share godly wisdom and just loving on others. It is such a joy to be able to bless other makers and try and help them succeed as well. So I even started a second Instagram feed just so I can love on other makers more and not loose my jewelry business in the process.
What would you share with someone that is a Christian and wants to invest time in their art and creativity?
Go for it. God has made you unique, embrace that. God will open up so many fun and unique opportunities to express yourself and love for the Lord through your creativity. Its ok to be creative. There is also such a need for more believers in the "maker" community. Come join us.
If you're looking for a small business to support this Saturday, I would highly recommend Mt. Nittany Creations. Amber has an Etsy shop and you can connect with her via Facebook and Instagram. I particularly enjoy seeing her work via her Instagram account.
Mt. Nittany Creations Etsy Shop
Are there any small businesses that you're supporting on this Small Business Saturday?
Giving The Gift of Good Reads
One of my favorite gifts to give for Christmas are good books. Books carry entire worlds within them and I think that books offer something far beyond the moment when we gift them. As a result, I love when there are book deals around Christmas time, so that I can buy a favorite or two to give away or a new book to personally enjoy.
Amazon has a Black Friday deal right now where you can get $5 off a purchase of $20 or more. It's a great coupon for a new book or two. Below are some of my recommended reads. As well as some other book sellers that I recommend below.
If you're looking for a good book to give or to read, I would highly recommend these.
Also here are a few other book sellers, that I highly recommend and have great deals going on right now:
I hope this blesses you as you seek to bless others this Christmas season.
The links to the books above are affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing a book or other products She Laughs Without Fear receives a small commission. When you buy books, you allow me to buy more books for review. Thanks for helping to fund my reading habit and supporting She Laughs Without Fear at no additional cost to you!
Making Time For Rest
I've found that most people don't think about their need for rest until they have abandoned making time for it in their lives and suffer the consequences. I've found this to be true for myself, and for those that I see around me. We are busy people, living busy lives, and while there is nothing wrong with being busy and fruitful, it is something different altogether when our busyness actually becomes a god in our lives. The problem happens when we bow down to the god of busyness, making sacrifices to it at the expense of worshipping the true God by enjoying his good gift of rest.
We see this in many ways in our lives: when we forsake sleep to finish that project, scroll on our phones into the wee hours of the night, or binge watch Netflix. We see this when it is unthinkable in or minds to take a rest, say "no" to doing something that is not a priority or unessential in our lives. We see this when we don't rest even when we're sick. We see this is the way that we move from one thing to the next without margin to breathe.
I was reading Psalm 127 this morning and it struck me how applicable this psalm is to work and rest, particularly the first two verses:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Unless the Lord does the building, our labor is in vain. We can't do anything apart from the Lord being in the labor. Ultimately, we can't do everything either. We are finite beings with clear boundaries placed on our lives, like our weakness in our flesh in needing sleep. In fact, humans spend a third of their lives sleeping. It's a humble reminder of our weakness in flesh and our dependence upon the Lord.
It's striking even in this psalm that the author reminds us that it is in vain that we rise early and stay up late, and being anxious because the Lord gives his beloved rest.
I don't often think about how the Lord has given me the good gift of rest and how that gift often comes in the form of sleep. It's a good gift that we should embrace far more than we consume the bread of anxious toil.
As busy people, let this psalm encourage you to take time to rest physically (in sleep, recreation, and refreshment), but ultimately take time to rest in the Lord's work. Even when we labor, unless the Lord labors, we labor in vain. So let's look to the Lord to be central in our labor and embrace his good gift of rest by making time for it.
October was a month full of life, events, and fall festivities for Brandon and I. It's one of the busiest months out of the year, but this year it was a sweet and full month. As a result, I wasn't able to write a 31 Day series this October as I usually do. You can see previous 31 Day series here. BUT ( spoiler alert) you can look forward to a new 31 day series starting January 2018. It's something that I've been thinking about for a while and I'm excited to share it with all of you soon.
I thought I would share a few favorite things from the interwebs that I stumbled upon in October. So without further ado, some link loving for your reading pleasure:
Rotted Fruit of the Urgent // Lore Ferguson Wilbert
We don't often think about our means of communication and the demands that they make upon us.
The Next Right Thing Podcast // Emily P. Freeman
If you're looking for something to listen to on your ride to work, while on a walk, or while washing dishes, might I encourage you to listen to this podcast by Emily P. Freeman. I've been listening to this podcast on decision making while washing dishes, and it has become one of my favorite rhythms of rest.
Enneagram Personality Assessment // Your Enneagram Coach
A friend shared with me about the Enneagram personality assessment, and I took, the test. Friends, I'm so surprised by this personality exam and the things I've been learning since taking it. I'm a 7 and it's fun learning more about what this means. Have any of you taken it before? What is your number? You can also take the exam for free through the link above.
iPhone iDentity: Smart Phone Use In a Tech-Saturdated Age // DiscpleMakers Fall Conference
A workshop from my ministry's fall student conference that I had the privilege to teach with a team. It's a collective of some of the things that My co-workers and Ihave been thinking through in terms of honoring God with our smartphones.
These are just a few of my favorites from October, and some photo favorites as well. God made fall such a beautiful season!
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