Happy New Year, Balance, and why I don’t do custom stamps anymore.

Happy New Year!!! Wasn’t it just, like, 2 weeks ago when everyone was running to Costco to stock up on jugs of water in preparation for Y2K and the end of the world? Man, time flies! This past year was one that was full of change. I’ve loved watching Eva Love grow into the hilarious, cheeky, funny, smart, and entertaining little 2 year old lady she is! D and I’s marriage has walked through valleys, but it continues to bring us even closer to each other and to God on the other end. Plus, there are raging bursts of laughter and hilarity in between, which is always helpful, mid-valley. LL as a business is growing by leaps and bounds, and in unexpected ways. I’m continually so grateful for your support, and the support of this incredible online community of other female artists I am thrilled to be a part of. And I’m thankful for Grace, and the way it makes my failures smaller. We moved across the country this year, and that move was harder than I thought it would be. I love Arizona… so many amazing things to do! I love the warm sun on my face and playing at the park on Christmas Day in a t-shirt. Heaven. But we are really missing family and friends, among some other comforts. 2013, I loved you. However, I’m happy to move on. Praising Jesus (!!!!!) that we are all healthy, and looking forward to what 2014 holds for us. I’m praying for balance. And, unashamedly, some sort of comfort and getting to feel settled. I want to put so many freaking nail holes in the wall that it would make any landlord crazy. I hope 2014 brings a more defined sense of mission for our family, a place we can begin to feel at home, and tons and tons of nails. Amen.

Q: Where are the address stamps?

When I first opened the LL shop, as most small business owners do, I put it all on the line. I left a job I loved, with a comfortable salary, took out a business loan, prayed, and googled until 6 in the morning. That’s how I spent most of 2012 & 2013. I laugh to myself when people write to ask how I did it, because I have no freaking clue. Lots of support from people I love, lots of phone calls to tech support, and lots of praying. And caffeine. And more Grace. Truly, all I can account it to is hard work and God’s favor. (Praise Jesus!!!) One of the first products I offered was custom address stamps. The first 20 I made, I loved it. But for some reason (God’s favor), I was getting a TON of orders. The orders were piling up so much, that I didn’t have time for creating anything else. All I had time for was address stamps. While I do love making them once and awhile, I don’t love doing droves of them. Truthfully, addresses are hard for me. I’m not that great a speller… it’s like my mind can’t process the image I see into letters. I can look at a name or a word and envision it as a calligraphed shape, but I don’t see and “L–i–n–d…” like some people do. This especially happens with numbers. I’m not sure if this is making any sense… maybe to someone with ADD or dyslexia… maybe you understand? Anyway, sitting down for hours and hours on end doing the same task is really hard for me. This is one of the reasons I stepped away from envelope addressing, and started my shop. Some people are amazing spellers, and great at looking at a list and copying things, I suck at it. Some people are awesome at repetition, I also suck at that. I would mess up more envelopes (spelling… zip codes…) than I was comfortable with, and never felt like I could devote as much time to each as I liked. SO when I got tons and tons and tons of orders for address stamps, it felt super similar to the envelope problem. I was SOOOO grateful for all the business, but if I was going to put everything on the line to live out my dream, I had to be true to that vision. And being a stamp artist (although an awesome dream), was not MY dream. I wanted to create art that said things that spoke to and inspired people. I knew that was my calling. And so, I had to take the big leap of faith not to offer the stamps anymore. Every day when I get emails for them, I have to recheck my vision. My mission. There are lots of people who excel at making stamps like this. Hopefully, who love it. I hope you can find someone whose address stamps you love. But for now, I am a slightly dyslexic, slightly ADD artist who feels like God is calling her to make a different kind of art. I’ll possibly still offer them maybe once over the summer for a limited time… it just depends on where my family and the business is at. Hard to say for sure. I leave the product up on my site so that people can see that yes, I did used to offer them and read that I’m not anymore.

Thanks for your time, and for letting me level with you. Maybe you’ve got something in your life, like an address stamp? Is there something you’re doing because you know you can, but you know your time or your focus is supposed to be elsewhere? If yes, then my heart is with you. Let’s try to make 2014 the year where we all try to streamline our focus, and do only what each of us can do. No more, no less. Bring it, 2014!!! #whatmattersmost xo, l

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