Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Creating A Cottage Business {Proverbs 31}

I never thought I'd be a woman with a "cottage business", but here I am.

While on maternity leave last spring, I began to re-read a favorite book of mine.

This book is all about Proverbs 31.
{my favorite}
I had read this book several times, but with fresh eyes as a new mother and contemplating a new work schedule, I gleaned new wisdom.

I've always had a heart to be a stay-at-home-mom.
However, with Mr. Free following his calling and love of being a teacher, we couldn't feasibly afford for me to quit my job to be home with Levi.
We had been approached with an opportunity for me to take a part-time teaching position, and even that was scary for us financially.

In "Beautiful in God's Eyes", Elizabeth George very much encourages women to be keepers of the home.
That even if they have to work outside the home, God's calling is still for our heart to be about ministering to those precious to us in this space that God gave us.
She also talks about how the Proverbs 31 woman is an entrepreneur as well.
She doesn't just sit at home and not contribute to her family.
No siree.
She is quite the business woman.
But her heart, and time, is still to be with her home.
Thus, the "cottage business".

While I read through the chapter about cottage businesses, it was like God hit me over the head.
"Get our your sewing machine and sew."

I hadn't sewn in a couple of years, and even then it was for very basic items with the help of my mom.

But, the message was clear as day.
This is what I am to do.

So, with that, I took the part-time position....leaving me many hours home to enjoy and raise my little boy and keep our home.

And during naptime....build my cottage business.

I opened {Free Style Textiles} in May.
I've sewn my little heart out.
And I've loved every minute of it.

I have absolutely no business, graphic design, marketing or photography experience.
But by God's grace and other's wisdom, I have meandered my way through starting an online business.
I've learned quite a lot (and continue every day!).

But this little business has been an incredible blessing to our family in several ways.
One, it's been an incredible creative outlet for me.
As my identity has changed from Jenny, to Mrs. Free, to now Mommy, this allows me to still do something for my creative side.
Second, it has been a blessing for our family financially.
The Lord has provided just the right amount of sales to help my family out in needy times.
I haven't been so busy that I am swamped and away from my family (my highest priority!)
But, I'm never without an order to be working on, which is wonderful.
Third, I have learned so much about sewing and business, that I am able to bless my family by creating and mending things we need.

So how would this look for you?
The topic of woman working in the home vs. outside the home is incredibly difficult.
There is no right or wrong.
Many different families have many different circumstances, and the Lord knows them all.

However, scripture is clear that our heart is to be in our homes while be contribute financially.
My little cottage business, and the opportunity to work part-time outside the home has allowed me to do just that.
And it has given me such a peace, joy and balance.

But I can't sew....
Each person has incredible gifts and talents!
Maybe you are fantastic at math and can help during tax season to bring in some extra money.
Maybe you make incredible homemade greeting cards you can sell online or at craft fairs.
Or maybe taking photos is your thing?

The possibilities are endless.

So ladies, pray, ask God to reveal your strengths and gifts and a way you can be a blessing to your family financially.

How many of you have a 'cottage business'?
How has it blessed your family?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments! Thanks for leaving me one! I read each and everyone one! xoxo Jenny Free