Every design in our Grace Thru Faith store has a story! We find inspiration every day in the people we meet, places we've lived and teams we love. And when we can share the love of Jesus with our shirts, we feel like we've hit gold! We hope you'll enjoy reading a bit more about how these shirts come to be.
"The zeal is real!" A direct quote by the vivacious, intense and zealous woman, Elizabeth Tatham, who exclaimed this in our office last year while she was explaining how intentional her, and her family, are about sharing the gospel with others. I wrote about Liz last month and will continue to share her connections to the missionaries we support when you make a purchase with us!
We chose a true red color (Red because Liz is also a National Spokeswoman/Survivor at Go Red for Women), super comfy, soft and longer length t-shirt for our Zeal is Real shirt. Romans 12:11 (NIV) says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord”. What a great reminder to us all that we need to be mindful of our countenance (demeanor) in life so that we can point others to Jesus Christ in a winsome and salty way!
Shiny? Yes. Bold? Yep. Edgy? For sure. You can blame it all on Kimberly Dawn Nyborg who resides waaaaay up North in International Falls, MN. She is an Inspirational women’s speaker and on-air host at KBHW Psalm FM. Kimberly started an online Bible study group (Proverbs 31/First 5 App) and named the group the “Gold Diggers!” My first thought was, cool beans, I would like to join that group; my second thought was…that would be great on a t-shirt! So it began. Kimberly based the name of the group on Jeremiah 29:13. Love that verse! For our t-shirt, we chose Psalm 19 as it speaks to both general revelation (verses 1-6) and special revelation (7-11). And of course, because of the beginning of verse 10, the psalmist is talking about the ordinances of the Lord, “They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold…” YES, they are!! There are many more verses that speak of the riches of God’s word/precepts/laws/commands and statutes being like gold nuggets that we should desire to dig-into daily. The Bible is rich with wisdom and life-giving truth, so ladies (and gents) let’s get digging!
Sunday, January 14th, 2018. Half-watching the Vikings/Saints game, I glance up to witness a last second TD by the Vikings. I honestly could not believe what I was seeing! Screaming so loudly with JOY, the dogs ran for cover. Now, plays like this can get me excited about football! Knowing that the Super Bowl was being held in Minneapolis and that the Vikings had only one more hurdle to get there. To be the first team ever in history to play the Super Bowl in their own town was epic. Yeah, I said it, epic. So, I immediately hop onto my handy laptop and start searching for a Viking purple and gold shirt/sweatshirt, anything to mark this momentous occasion in history. (Full-disclosure, I have been wanting to create some MN shirts for some time now as my heart really does belong in MN.) And, I came across these colorful, soft, fun, quirky, sweatshirts that had that Viking purple color within them. We hope you will love them as much as we do! Even though the Vikings did not make it to the Stupid Bowl (yes, still a bit salty about it), if you love the great state of Minnesota, you can wear this colorful hoodie with your head held high, showing your love for this beautiful state, also known as “God’s Country.”
Another trip around the sun. A friend gifted me custom pints of ice cream and one of the labels displayed this saying: “Another year sweeter” Super cute, however I don’t know about that. 😉 As I look forward to my birthday each year, this one is hitting me a bit differently than previous years.
As I gazed over at the side table in our kitchen that holds several b-day cards received this week, some touching, some funny, all of them thoughtful, and looked at the material gifts that I had received each day this week as the Lord so graciously ordained. My thoughts turned to my dad (and the fact that he is now gone from this earth as of Jan 6th this year) and the thought that the absolute best gift I could receive (from the Lord) was seeing a bluebird on my birthday. I wept at the thought. As, I have yet to see one since dad’s death.
As I woke up this morning (quite melancholy, knowing that this day will not be unlike most others unfortunately) after a restless night of sleep and continued my day as always, feeding the pups, reading devotionals and praying, making coffee, walking the pups etc.…It does hit me that even though my dad, Lou did not recall that Oct 7th was my b-day for many years preceding his death, which was super hurtful the first year that happened, it hit me that no one loves you quite like your parents. And, when they are gone, nothing will ever be quite the same. There is a deep void in our heart and soul that realizes, no one will love you in the same way your parents did. That is my experience now (in this moment) and I realize that will not be everyone’s experience. I was blessed to have parents that loved me despite my flaws, which were truly my biggest cheerleaders in this temporary life on earth. And, when they are both gone from this earth, it changes things, and that truly did not hit me until this week leading up to my b-day.
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.
In mid-March, Kansas declared that schools would close for the rest of the school year. Other states soon made the same determination.
Very quickly we started hearing terms like “Shelter at Home” and “Social distancing.” “Quarantine” was a word seldom heard these days…until now when we hear it daily.
The words “Pandemic” and “Plague,” although foreign and strange to the younger generation, engender memories giving rise to fear in the minds and hearts of the oldest among us.
Businesses and churches closed,
The economy faltered,
Violence at home is increasing,
and Deaths from the virus are reported daily.
Many of us have only seen times like these in movies or read about them in books.
and Discouragement is on the rise, exacerbated by the news reports and accompanied by weather fluctuations from cold and wintry to mild and spring-like and back to wintry again.
And we are all wondering, "How long???"
Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.
I always love it when I read those words “But God” in my Bible. Often they follow bad circumstances or evil, offering hope to a situation that would otherwise seem hopeless.