The past few days have brought swirling thoughts & unsure paths, so I said, “Lord, please make it clear. I’m so indecisive & I don’t know what to do. I want to make another calendar & keep creating new products here & now but I want to follow your plan even more. I know I need rest. Please send me a sign & make it clear.”
Then a few minutes later in my head I heard, “but you would have none of it.”
So I googled.
“In repentance & rest is your salvation, in quietness & trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
Boom. Called out.
I wanted rest. I longed for rest. I even blogged about rest. I needed rest to regain strength to keep going on this pioneer journey…yet I would have none of it. I still wanted to create another calendar with a very tight approaching deadline. Had I started? Not really. Was I ready to jump in with both feet? You betcha. I was lacing up my shoes again & jumping back on that hamster wheel despite the very things I had been praying & learning about. I was resisting my own advice & the Lord’s direct teachings to my soul. God was waving His banner of rest & I didn’t want any part of it. Deep down, I confessed this resistance to be true.
I prayed for an answer & He gave it. He called me to rest & made it clear. The seemingly easier thing to do was to keep going—the risk to stop seemed too high, & what if I got behind? He put these worries to ease & speaks truth into my heart. Rest is for my salvation. If I stop long enough, putting my deadlines & endless expectations on the back burner, He will stir something inside me that never would have come to boil.
But you would have none of it. These words sting a little, as they should. Who am I to pray for rest, but then pass it off like a gag gift at a white elephant party?
So while pausing to rest is the hard decision, it’s the bold one as well. Psalm 138:3 says, “He made me bold by strengthening my soul.” This past year, this verse became my company’s mission statement. Now right here at the corner of my past and the future unknown, going full speed ahead in same direction I’ve always known almost seems like the weak approach. But pausing to let the Lord guide my next steps takes boldness. Boldness to surrender. Boldness to rest. Boldness to humble myself & die to my selfish ways. Boldness to step out in faith to pursue the Lord who gives me my passions & gifts. Boldness to be still & be content in being still until God says it’s time. Boldness to know He created me for such a time as this, and for every time that comes until the end of time itself.
Praise be to the Lord who teaches me ever patiently. Thanks be to the Lord who holds my future in His hands. Take heart friends—He’s holding yours too. Though I don’t know what this new season holds, I joyfully rest in His presence, knowing full well that He is taking me places I could never go alone.
So what does this mean for Ashley Ink & Paperie? Fear not! Ashley Ink & Paperie is still open & ready for business. We’ve got planners galore & enough local love to spread around to all. Stationery & prints & notecards? You got it! So please keep on this business adventure with me. Will there be a new calendar coming out soon? Not for 2018. My heart has been bursting with drawing ideas & product ventures, but I need studio time to create. A lot of my rest will be time spent in the studio preparing for the future. Jumping off the hamster wheel of selling time-sensitive products is absolutely part of my rest too. But I promise, big things are coming soon! I get ALLLLL the feels just thinking about it. Y’all, this is just the beginning.
Come along on my pioneer journey here & on Ashley Ink & Paperie’s instagram. As always, keep on shoppin with us at ashleyink.etsy.com.