Grounded Podcast

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Finding True Fulfillment in Your Life’s Work, with Anne Yorks and Shylah Brossier

You don’t have to look far to find motivational phrases shouting at you to “hustle,” “chase your dreams,” or “build your brand.” Today, we want to give you a different message to help you slow down, fight the striving, and work hard for the Lord. Anne Yorks, owner of The Flour Box, and Shylah Brossier, a stylist and clothing boutique owner, use their businesses to glorify God. They join us to share about work as worship, and they’ll inspire you to honor Christ in whatever “work” He has called you to do.

Connect with Anne:

Instagram: @theflourboxshop

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFlourBoxShop/

Website: https://flourbox.com/

Connect with Shylah:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lularoeshylahb

Website: https://shylahb.com/

Episode Notes:

The Flour Box tutorial

Shylah’s website

“A Godly Woman’s Work” episode

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Alejandra Slemin: Welcome back to Grounded. I'm Alejandra Slemin

Dannah Gresh: And I'm Dannah Gresh. Well, Happy Monday friend. Alejandra, you got your coffee?

Alejandra: I got my tea. Remember, I'm in British Columbia.

Dannah: Oh, yeah. You’re a tea girl.

Well, you know what? I don't think people are going to need caffeine this morning with that beautiful, bright, spring-colored yellow blouse you have on. You're going to wake us all up with just that.

Alejandra: Rise up and shine.

Dannah: Now, I gotta ask. What do you pair a blouse that beautiful with? What are you wearing on the bottom, Alejandra? 

Alejandra: It depends where you're going. 

Dannah: I mean today right now.

Alejandra: If you are in a Zoom Room like me, you might wear your pajamas. That’s what I’m wearing.

Dannah: Somehow, I knew that. I just had a feeling. We won't make you show them. But I'm just getting a lot of joy. 

Alejandra: Thank you, girlfriend. I appreciate it.

Dannah: You’re welcome.

Well, as we start another week, coffee in hand, this morning I was on social media already, Alejandra. There are plenty of Monday morning mantras dripping in through social media. Can I read a few to you? 

Alejandra: Please, go ahead. 

Dannah: Okay, here they are. Are you ready? These are actual things that Erin Davis and I found on social media: rise and grind. I don't know what that means. But I don't think it sounds good. Chase those dreams. How about this one? You're allowed to want more for your life. I'm offended a little bit like, is my life not okay/ 

Alejandra: Yeah. 

Dannah: And there's this one: take charge of your life. Here's a promise that I could maximize my productivity in seven easy steps. A very original appeal to build your brand. Oh my, I'm so over the branding thing. But it's a reality of life. And then this one: coffee, hustle, repeat. Honestly, I can hardly get myself to read those. 

Alejandra: I hear you.

Dannah: But here's the deal, Alejandra. I've seen something else on social media and it excites me. It's this. Women aren't buying it anymore. They're not buying it. 

Alejandra: I agree. I agree. This hurry mentality, and this have it all mentality. You know, I think it might be reaching its limits. For some of us, I mean, all these difficult events that we've had in this pandemic have really been, I believe, an invitation to consider asking ourselves a question: What really matters?

I mean, some women found that they like being home more with their kids. Others have lost their jobs. I talked to my neighbor, she just lost her job. So she has to be home with her two children. 

Some see this as an opportunity. Some have lost significant income, and others are just questioning what their purpose is and what impact they are really making in this life. 

Dannah: Yep.

Alejandra: Get a hold of this. Out of every four women, one is actually currently considering their careers or leaving their careers or leaving the workplace altogether. 

Dannah: Wow. One in four. That's a whopping 25% of us who we're tired of the rat race and we're tired of these hyped-up mantras. We want off the spinning wheel, and we want the pressure to stop. 

Listen, friend, if you feel that, we've got a different kind of Monday morning message for you. It won't mean you won't have to labor on this Monday morning. Consider this your invitation to slow down. Today's topic, how to find true fulfillment with your life's work.

Alejandra: On a Monday morning to slow down. I got my thing here to take notes of that, because I need that for this week. Because you know how Scripture tells us how we need to work hard and work hard for the Lord. I want to work hard for the Lord, but it can be such a struggle. I mean, where is the line to work hard and not to default on striving on a lifestyle that is just a little bit too much? You could do that working outside of your home. You could do that working in your home. You could do that in so many ways. It's so easy to strive and fill our lives with things. The world is just knocking on our door saying more, better, more, better, and now. That's crazy.

Dannah: Yeah, I feel it. In fact, I don't think it's slowed down this year. The pandemic has, oddly enough, made many of us work harder. I'm the founder of True Girl, a ministry that helps moms and daughters grow closer to each other and closer to Jesus. And in many ways, we kind of operate like a business. It's been a year where as we were previously a touring ministry, I had to put on my entrepreneur hat, which thankfully, I'm married to a man who never takes his off. 

But I had to reimagine this ministry, what does it look like when we can't tour? I wanted to keep my team employed. I wanted to pay the bills. I wanted to fulfill God's call in my life, to get girls into God's Word. It hasn't been easy. Alejandra, there have been long days. Some of the hardest days of ministry happened this year. But in all of that, I didn't feel striving, I felt sure that I was rooted in Christ. 

Because when you find your work through Christ, not through these hollow promises and mantras, the yoke is easy, the burden is light somehow. Even on those hard days, you find that easiness or that fulfillment. Today we want to talk about how do we as Christian women find that place of working hard for the Lord and settling into a true purpose where the burden does become ironically light?

Alejandra: And you might think, Why are we talking about this? Well, right in the United States there's about 12.3 million women that own businesses. 

Dannah: Wow.

Alejandra: I mean, let's let that sink for a minute. 12.3 million, that represents a lot of women entrepreneurs. 

Dannah: Yeah. 

Alejandra: I wonder how many of them started their business so they could be in control of their time or of their schedule? Maybe they wanted to stay at home with their kids? Maybe they just wanted to own their own business? My question is, how can we honor Christ as we work?

Dannah: Yep. If you're asking that, you're in the right place, and you're asking the right questions. We've got two great guests lined up today. Both women owned successful small businesses. And the first is a really dear friend of mine, I would say one of the women I respect most for her excellence in business, and how she juggles it without sacrificing her family and love for the Lord. 

Ann Yorks as the owner of The Flour Box, that's f-l-o-u-r, as in for baking, and she's usually making cookies so beautiful that I could hardly get myself to eat them. They’re art really; they are pieces of art. And this morning, she's going to be baking up some wisdom about how she left the corporate world to live her dream of being a stay-at-home entrepreneur.

Alejandra: That's right. I love her recipes. My daughter and I follow her too. And they're not just looking-good cookies; they're delicious cookies, too. 

Dannah: Yes. Yes. 

Alejandra: But we're also a little bit more done up today on Grounded because Shylah Brossier is also with us, and she's a stylist. So Dannah, did you wear your best? Because you know she might be looking at us. 

Dannah: I did. I felt a little extra self-conscious about how I looked this morning.

Alejandra: Good girl.

Dannah: That was one reason. 

Alejandra: She's a stylist and also a boutique owner, and she happens to be one of the best friends of our fabulous co-host Erin Davis.

Dannah: You know, that makes me wonder did Shylah help Erin with her clothes today? Because I know she's looking at especially good. Let's get the scoop right now. Erin, did Shylah help you?

Erin Davis: Well, good morning Grounded friends. Shylah did just text me and say, “You look great.” And that's the kind of friend that Shylah is. I'm happy to say I picked out my own outfit today. Although if we asked her, Shylah would tell you that. For many occasions, I have texted her from the bathroom with a shot of my outfit and said is this okay? Should I wear this? Because my personal style is baglady chic, that’s what I like to call it.

So I'm super excited for you to meet her, because she is stylist, but she's stylish, but she's also wonderful. I want you to hear her heart. I think she's gonna have a fashion tip for all of us. Maybe, because who doesn't love those?

Portia Collins: Well, we usually have a little good news nugget for you right here, but I'm going to pause, and we're going to save that for later. You know, we love to share photos and stories that make you smile. So how about some amazing photos of cookies instead? But wait before we jump . . .

Erin: If I can’t have a cookie, I like a photo of a cookie. That’s how I feel. 

Portia: I know. That's no calories. Right?

Erin: That's right. Cookies are the breakfast of second place finishers, I think. Go ahead, what were you going to say, Portia?

Portia: Erin, I was gonna say before we jump in, I saw a comment that I've just got to shout her out. 

Erin: Yeah do.

Portia: Janet Bonnell .We met Janet this weekend.

Erin: Oh, I like Janet.

Portia: Yes, at a conference. And so I was like, we can't go any further without shouting her out. So hey, Janet.

Erin: We told her we would. I'm glad that she's here. I'm glad you're here, Janet. I'm glad you took the time to say hello, Portia. 

Well, I am delighted to welcome our first guest this morning. She wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and she also desires to pursue a dream she had that I think many of us have, of owning your own business. 

So she started baking and decorating cookies from home. We've got some photos of those gorgeous cookies. She loved playing a supporting role for weddings and baby showers and those other milestone events that families all seem to have and that cookies always seem to show up at. She began getting bakers from around the country when she began sharing her cookie art on social media. 

Check this out. People like to look at pictures of cookies, apparently, because she has nearly 2 million followers on social media. She looks at those 2 million followers, and she teaches them how to cook with confidence, which I love. I like to cook with confidence and cookie with confidence and eat with confidence, frankly. So find out how she took the step of faith to work from home. You're gonna want a glass of milk handy, because she's gonna make us all crave sweet treats, I think. 

Welcome to Grounded, Ann Yorks. We're so glad you're here.

Ann Yorks: Thank you for having me. Good morning.

Erin: Good morning. All right, tell us about The Flour Box, Ann.

Ann: So, it is all about the cookies, of course. 

Erin: It’s all about the cookies, so I like it.

Ann: We are an online retailer. We're an online cookie school, too. We teach people how to decorate just beautiful sugar cookies. I've been doing this for about ten years officially, thirteen if you count those few unofficial years in the beginning.

Erin: I think those count.

Portia: Alright, so Ann, let's drill down into the fact that you wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I love that. I recently just transitioned from being out full time, outside of the home working, to inside of the home working. 

I think we share similar hearts. As we emerge from a pandemic, many women are realizing that they are enjoying staying at home during this time of lockdown. They want to figure out ways how to work from home so that they can be closer to their kids. I know that was a huge motivator for me; I have a three-year-old. What was the hardest thing about transitioning from work outside of the home to working at home?

Ann: I think anytime you're starting something new, there's a challenge in that. I almost think just that getting started part, jumping in, having the confidence, and just knowing that there's a place for you, and whatever you want to do is true. You don't have to be afraid that you can't get started. I think sometimes we compare ourselves to others, or compare where we are in our life to somebody that has been doing something for 10 years. I think there's not a place for me there. I think if it's God's will for your life, that He will make a way. So things do start small, and that's okay. 

My business started so small. We still are so small, and I love it so. I think just not being afraid to jump in and get started is probably the best advice I could give anybody that's looking to do something new or different.

Portia: Oh, I love, love, love, love that. I say I love that all the time, because I love everything. But this is like some good stuff. But this resonates with me, because I know that I was scared when I made the decision to say okay. I worked in nonprofit organizational management for 10 years, most recently as an executive director. So I was like, “Am I really gonna say, I'm not gonna do this anymore?” I was like, terrified. And so, I want to know, what role did God play in helping you to overcome your fear?

Ann: We have had as a small business, so there are so many decisions to make along the way. When you have a young family, when we first started, just making decisions, that seemed almost like a risk. Because you don't want to put yourself out there too much when you have a young family. You really do need to trust in God. 

And so, when we first started, we had a good friend that suggested we convert our garage into a bakery. That just seemed ridiculous to us to change our house like that, you know, really commit to this life of cookie decorating. We spent months just praying. And finally, I think God allowed us to let go of that fear of committing to this path in my life and going for it. And then this little bakery, we've met literally hundreds of people that have come to take classes with us. People from all over the United States. We had a woman come from Brazil once for a three-hour class. We've met so many incredible people. I think we've encouraged so many people. 

And I say “we” because my family and our staff are 100% behind this. So just really seeking God's will in my life. There have been times where God’s closed the door where I really wanted something or thought I wanted an opportunity and that didn't happen. And then, with some perspective, I could see that God had something better in store for me. And so, it's okay to trust when things go well, or when things feel like a challenge.

Erin: I love that. Ann, I'm going to read you a comment that we just got. It's gonna edify you so much. I don't know who it is. She says, “Guys, I'm in awe. God just recently began planting the seeds of a desire in me to be a stay-at-home mom and to bake and learn food photography. Not even kidding,” she says. 

I want to talk about, I'm going to use the word balance, and then I'm going to qualify it. This idea of balancing business and family. I would consider myself a small business owner. I teach. I write. And my husband is definitely a small business owner; he has employees. And both of those would take 26 of every 24-hour day that we would if we could give it to them. So, I don't. We have children and other responsibilities. I don't think balance is necessarily possible in that it can all fit equally. But as you set out to be a cookie maker, so you could work from home. How do you now manage? Maybe that is a better word, or I like the word abide. But how do you juggle your family, the business which would take everything from you if you could give it to you? What are some rhythms or habits that you've had to put in place?

Ann: I definitely think that I serve a God of order. I don't think He wants my life, not my business life or my family life to be in chaos. And so, when I'm not sure what’s the balance or what my next steps are, I actually ask God, “Just please help me to prioritize where I need to be today.” And I'll be real specific. 

As far as the rhythms in my life, we have a rhythm to the cookie world because it's very determined by the holiday seasons. And so, things that are normally family times are also our busiest business times. Sometimes it's easy to think that I need to work harder, put more hours in, sacrifice my time in the mornings and work in the mornings before I have my quiet time with the Lord. 

I'm slowly learning. I'm a slow learner. That is just not true that God has given me the amount of time in my work day to get the task done that He has set for me. He's put people in my life, to move the business forward, and that it's not all up to me. So, working harder hasn't really been the solution for me. But what has been really the thing that has kept joy both in my business and in my family is first giving my first fruits of my day to God, spending that quiet time with Him before my children wake up. I'm a morning person. So that's a little bit easy for me. That's when I choose to do that.

Eliminating distractions during the workday and really focusing on what I want to get done. I use social media very little. I really stay focused on my tasks. And then knowing that at three o'clock, that's when it's time to go get my kids get in the parent pickup line and plug the phone in and be done. 

God's taught me that I'm not a good decision maker in the evenings. So I don't do work at night, because that's not when I make good decisions. I actually am more effective when I do it in the morning. So, He's just showing me how to how to work better. And it's been great because there have been hard times running a small business. There have been times where I've wanted to quit or give up and just say, it's not worth it. But this business has blessed not just our family, but so many other people. I really don't think God wants me to quit.

Erin: I love that I'm learning those same lessons, Ann. I also am a slow learner. I become a dry branch very, very quickly, when I don't listen to those rhythms. That's where I feel the hustle pressure the most. I don't really feel pressure to make a name for Erin Davis, but to get up and hustle my day so they can get it all done. I feel that pressure every day, and just can't do it without abiding in Christ and seeking Him. 

So, I appreciate that reminder. Now, you may not personally use social media much, but you have a presence in social media. And let's be honest, social media is the wild wild west, is it not? It's not necessarily all a bunch of Christians who believe like we believe, so I am curious about how you use your business to share the love of Jesus, particularly on places like Facebook, Instagram?

Ann: I think being cookie decorator makes it pretty easy. Because what I do is so joyful, it is so full of hope. It is such an amazing way to encourage people. And so, I tried to show that through everything that I do. I am just appreciating the people in my life that I've met, or just people that I've connected with. I shouldn't say that social media is bad, but I like it in very limited doses.

And so, if there's a way that I can encourage somebody, at any given point, I'm going to take that opportunity to do so. It’s amazing how many people resonate with that and reach out to you to share their story, to ask for prayer. I've had that happen. It's an honor to be honest. So, you know, I feel like this little country bumpkin in the middle of nowhere. And then you connect with people from all over the world. It's a pretty cool opportunity to just share some encouragement. Sometimes you don't know who's contacting you, but they'll share a difficult story. I'll just say, I'm a praying sort of person. So, I'm going to keep the situation, you and your family, in my prayers. People always respond back, thank you. Nobody's ever said please don't do that.

Erin: Yeah. That's been my experience. I've never asked then if I could pray for them and have them tell me no, never regardless of their belief, so in the words of my friend Portia, “I love that.”

Portia: You got it, girl. Listen, I was about to say it, but now I don’t have to say it.

Erin: I know you were, I beat you to the punch.

Portia: You got it. 

Ann thank you so much for being with us. today. You are a joy, and you are my new best friend. I'm going to go follow The Flour Box. And don't be surprised when you get an order for dozens of cookies for me that I'm not sharing with anybody in my household. Take care. Thank you so much.

Ann: Thank you so much. Have a great morning.

Portia: Well, today we have a little gift for you. We have a link to a recent tutorial from The Flour Box in the comments. I want y'all to check it out with spring being in the air. You might just want to bake and decorate these cute birdhouses and spring flower pots.

Erin: Portia, have you ever watched that show, Nailed It? I feel like we should have a Grounded Nailed It. See how good our birdhouse cookies turned out, because mine might not be great.

Portia: Like our muffin bake off? Remember when we made Dannah’s?

Erin: I remember that. They tasted good, but mine looked terrible. I'm not sure I accomplished those cookies, but they look beautiful. 

Portia: Oh man, you cracked me up girl. 

Also, guys, we wanted to let you know that she just wrote her first book. It's titled The Crafted Cookie: The Beginner's Guide to Baking and Decorating Cookies. It releases May 18. So, listen, Erin, there you have it. We can get the step by step. 

Erin: Okay, I'm gonna read the book, then we're going to have a Grounded cookie off.

Portia: Yes.

Erin: We'll see how it goes. Ann can come back and your guest judge. 

Portia: Yeah.

Erin: She's gonna look at mine and go “nailed it.”

Dannah: Yeah, nailed it could have many meanings.

Erin: Like, bless her heart, that’s what it means. 

Portia: Alright. Dannah, let's get grounded into God's Word. You know, Dannah, I'm just gonna be honest. I want to call you what I always call you, Dannah banana.

Dannah: Yeah. My dad calls me that. I welcome it. 

Portia: So, tell us where we're going. I am ready to hear God's word.

Dannah: Matthew 13. So open your Bible to Matthew 13 if you have them nearby. We want to just pause for a little challenge that God's been stirring in my heart for about three weeks, since one of our elders in our church spoke from First Corinthians on an ethic of work. 

He posited the thought that we often believe the lie that what we do does not matter. And this is especially true when we're doing something that seems pretty normal, mundane. And even then, it matters. The things that we do here matter eternally, our work matters, even baking cookies, whether it's to sell them or to celebrate. Balancing the budget of your business or your household, mopping the floor of your school, or your family bathroom, little things can make big Kingdom difference. 

Now, let me read Matthew 13:33 to you. Jesus is telling parables, and there's this really little, tiny one in Matthew 13:33 that hardly ever gets any attention. It reads, “He told them still another parable. The kingdom of heaven is like yeast, that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Okay, and the ESV it says, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour till it was all leavened.” 

It's a snapshot of an ordinary day, a woman working in the kitchen, and that leaven she put into the flour would spread and grow. Some commentators say it would feed 100 people. 

And Jesus said that, that is like the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven was like that leaven or that yeast that a woman put into flour. Now side note here for any good Bible students out there, especially if you've ever done Erin Davis' 7 Feasts Bible study. Usually, the leaven in the bread represents evil or sin. We find that in the Old Testament and New Testament. But in this parable, which follows the parable of the mustard seed, it’s a small thing that yielded a mighty growth. The leaven and the seed are meant to represent small ordinary acts that have big impact for a world in need of Christ's love. 

God's kingdom is like that. Ordinary people doing ordinary things to spread the powerful, all-consuming love of Jesus Christ. And this morning as I meditated on that, I was reminded of in seventh and eighth grade, my last two years in public school, I had an art teacher named Faith. Now, she secretly told me her first name when I went to an after school pottery class. I don't remember her last name. But what I do remember is that she lived up to her first name, because she loved Jesus. And she loved me. So I wanted to be like her. 

Now, we had no big theological conversations, and she never opened her Bible. But when that middle school art teacher pulled out a slab of clay, well, she served it up to me with Great Commission purpose. And it became, well, it became a small piece of my Great Commission calling. 

Listen, the kingdom was never intended to stay inside buildings that we mistakenly call the church. Like that little piece of leaven in that woman's bread, what we put into this earth in each moment, even the mundane ones, has potential to spread God's kingdom. We are the Church charged with the Great Commission purpose in every single act. 

We need to spread the love of God through this entire planet, one little piece of love at a time, like when Ann Yorks answers one of those emails and says, “I'm a praying woman.” Do you think that spreading the Great Commission, the gospel, that it primarily happens to the people we call full-time ministry workers? Sometimes that's where the lie sneaks in, that our work doesn't matter. But it will never spread through just full-time workers. 

There aren't enough pastors and missionaries to get into the schools, into the banks, into the warehouses, and into the power meetings in the way that you can. Spreading the gospel happens through what I call frontline ministry workers—the middle school art teacher, the mom who wins carpool queen, hands down, the pharmacist who holds it all together during a pandemic, or the grandmother who holds everyone together with family gatherings. 

Those things, they're like the leaven in that parable, each small act inside of those jobs. It has great kingdom purpose. Now listen, I love that we commission missionaries and pastors and don't stop doing it anytime soon.

But recently, I've been longing for the day when we bring nurses and contractors and Etsy store owners and hobby farmers to the front of our congregations, to commission them too. I long for putting their names on my refrigerator to pray for them. Why? Because that's the front line of the Great Commission work. 

Whatever work you put your hand to today, your work matters here on this broken earth as we participate in God's great redemption plan.

Portia: Dannah, listen, you already know what I'm about to say; everybody who is watching knows what I'm about to say. I love that. I love that. Such a great encouragement. And you know, one thing that I try to remind myself of daily is that there's no need to segment my work. There's a temptation to place work outside of the home or work that you get paid for in the more important category. But whether you're working inside the home or outside the home, whether you're potty training your kids . . .

Dannah: Yep.

Portia: I just went through your recording of Grounded. All work has heavenly purposes. So, repeat after me, everybody . . . work is worship.

Dannah: Work is worship.

Portia: Work is worship. Yes. Alright, so check it out you guys. I want you to check out this introduction to the latest season of the women of the Bible podcast. I'm sure you'll recognize a familiar face with that reminder.

Erin: We're all called the different kinds of work. Maybe yours is creating spreadsheets, or writing different kinds of reports. Maybe you teach college students or kindergarteners or maybe like Ruth, your work is gleaning grain. 

No matter what kind of job you have. Your work can be an act of worship. This is the Women of the Bible Podcast. I'm your host, Erin Davis. Right now, right this very moment, I'm talking to you, in part, because it's my job. 

But more importantly, because it's one way I can use my life to bring glory to God. What you can't see are the camera operators and audio techs who are worshipping too through their work. We've been walking through the study Ruth:Experiencing a Life Restored. In this episode, we'll see that Ruth worked hard. And her faithfulness, even in the mundane tasks, like harvesting grain, caused others to take notice. Maybe you're listening to this episode as you wash the dishes or fold the laundry or finish that report. As you do, let Ruth's story remind you that it's more than work. It's worship.

Alejandra: Well, our next guest is a mother to five children. And the work that she does on this planet really matters. She sells beautiful clothes. She's also the model for those clothes. She posts his videos and pictures on Facebook. And she uses this forum to share Jesus. I wonder how she keeps from getting cut up in others approval. Welcome, everyone meet please Shylah Brossier.

Dannah: Hello, Shylah.

Shylah Brossier: Hi.

Dannah: Hey, style us up this morning. Give us one simple tip we can use when we want to walk out of the house and feel so good about how we look.

Shylah: I mean, confidence is everything. I think the biggest mistake that women make is getting caught up in current trends rather than what dressing for their body type. So always remember, even if it looks good on the 16-year-old model, dressing for your body type is of the utmost importance. 

Dannah: There's some freedom in that. Yeah, there's some freedom in that I can say no. All right, I gotta say that even as I asked that question on Grounded because Revive Our Hearts is a Bible ministry. We love to be in God's Word. I feel a little self-conscious, like I'm being super worldly when I asked you that question.

Alejandra: Well, we won't weigh that way down. And let's be honest, we know that Grounded hosts. I believe all the women that are booming in this chat on our phones are trying to look our best to help us out. Shylah, can you give us some biblical thoughts of why could it be okay or even important to present ourselves well?

Shylah: Well, I think it's just like anything else. When you when you feel better, you exude more joy. We're going to be more confident when talking to others. I think that goes back to what we were talking about it being the hands and feet of Jesus. When we feel good about how we look and how we're presenting ourselves, we're more likely to talk to a stranger or say hello to someone or step in and give a kind word rather than just like trying to hide. 

Dannah: Yeah. You had to say that because it made me think of something I am trying to hide. The whole Grounded hosts know this that over the weekend, I was texting them. Because I have something growing above my lip right now. I think you were supposed to grow out of this when you were a teenager, but I don't know. Like, somebody please tell me you cannot see the orb above my lip. Please tell me that. 

But listen, we do. I've noticed this weekend that I'm self-conscious, and I'm withdrawn. And yet, when I put on a little makeup for this morning and did my hair, it was like, “Okay, I can do Grounded.” So, touché I believe what you're saying is true. 

Also, I'm intrigued by your social media posts, because I've checked you out. All right, I've been like stalking you on social media. Very fascinating. You actually put yourself out there like big time, even though you're selling LuLaRoe, you're doing it in a way that you are the brand. You, Shylah, are the brand. That's pretty much a given for most business women these days, as social media takes over the brick-and-mortar stores. Our personal pages, ministry, small business, they become the presence for our business, and they require a face to welcome them. And that's not a person you're employing at the cash register or in the store. You are the face. You are the brand. So how do you keep the business brand from becoming your identity?

Shylah: You know, I was reflecting on this a lot this morning. I think the past year, this whole pandemic year, whatever you want to call it or however it affected you, it really allowed me to slow down. I think I’ve honestly taken a look into the fact that I was allowing my business, how other people saw me, to become too big of a part of my identity. And the reason that I started it was to get to spend more time with my family and have more financial freedom so that I could have the flexibility to support my husband and my kiddos more.

And it is so hard not to get caught up in it. I think what Ann was saying, setting those boundaries with social media. Because man, I get on there and I see that Suzy in Idaho with her clothing line has 5,000 likes on her photo, and I'm like, “What am I doing wrong?” And then that defeats the whole purpose of why I've done it right?

So, I think going back to God's Word and being grounded in who I am in Him and my identity. There has to be that guiding truth, rather than what other people say, but I would be lying if I told you, it wasn't a struggle.

Dannah: Thank you for that honesty. I appreciate that.

Alejandra: Yeah. And I like it how you say being grounded in God's Word, going back to God's Word, and how He's our guide. I also hear you have five children. Is that right? 

Shylah: Yes. 

Alejandra: Wow. I have four. I am praying about number five, but I have four very amazing young kids. How do you juggle work and family and everything around you?

Shylah: It's so hard. I hate that word balance, because I mean, what is that? Like, we can't even as women come in from the car without loading our arms a ridiculous extent. So, what would make us think that we could perfectly balance the flow between our family and our business. Again, I really feel like this past year has taught me that I was putting other things in front of the God given purpose for having my business. I was putting other things in front of being able to be that front line for my kiddos.

I kept thinking as they get older, this will get easier, I will be able to work more and they will be able to play by themselves more. I've really found it to be the exact opposite. They are emotionally needing me a lot more and my husband needs more support as his career advances. 

And so, it's been really beautiful that the Lord has given me permission to, again, find my identity in Him, not in my business. My husband keeps reminding me that what success looks like for everyone else is not what success looks like for our family. 

And that we have to put our marriage, God, our children, before any identity and me feeling like I'm popular, or if everyone likes me or thinks I'm pretty or buys my stuff. 

Dannah: Yeah.

Shylah: I would just encourage women to not feel like they need to balance it like they see other people balancing it. Because the social media representation of balance is never what it looks like on the day to day.

Dannah: And it's not really a representation of what God's Word says, which, you know, He is our provider. He is our provision. He is our identity. That's where all that stuff comes not from our own striving, and that's never going to end. 

I'm a grandmother. I thought that this emptiness season was going to be so easy. You know, I only had three children and one family. But now, I have three families that God has called me to mentor and be actively involved in their lives. So you have to find your rooting in God, and you have to be able to say “no” to some things. 

I'm thinking right now that there's a thing on my blog, my True Girl blog, that's driving me crazy. I don't have time to fix it. It wouldn't take me long to fix it. But there are sometimes things that you have to say that the Lord, He's gonna have to compensate for that little not done thing in my work, because I need to be a grandma today. 

So, listen, I want to ask you a question about, I imagine that you have felt on social media, because I have that criticism and praise. You've certainly felt the comparison, it sounds like and our work comes with that. Even the comparison can feel like criticism or praise in our hearts. So as a Christian, Shylah, how do you handle both of those with God's grace?

Shylah: One of the things that I wanted to do from the very beginning was to make sure that I was always building women up. I don't allow people in our group to say anything negative about each other or themselves. We don't allow that word here. We keep it really, really positive. 

I think especially having daughters, I started to really think about the way I talked about myself when I look in the mirror. They're listening to that right. If mommy thinks she's fat, or she doesn't look good . . . What does that say about them? When people are saying, “Oh, you look just like your mom.”

Dannah: Yeah, there's actually incredible research that indicates what a girl sees when she looks in the mirror is what she hears her mom saying she sees when she looks in the mirror.

Shylah: I think we could say a million things about how beautiful they are. But then if we turn around and say, “Oh, I don't have makeup on, or I look so terrible in this,” or I'm constantly looking to other people for that approval. They're going to do the same, right? 

Dannah: Yeah.

Shylah: They're gonna they're gonna mirror that. Yeah.

Dannah: And when we're doing that, we are making this external, something more than it is. This is a show that we're going to zip off one day and walk into the heavenly presence of Jesus Christ, and the character qualities inside of us. I think that's sometimes what we should be talking about to our daughters and complimenting in our daughters . . . It's great that she's wearing a long sweater with those leggings that covers her cute little bottom. But are we also saying, “Wow, you're wearing kindness today. I can see that in the way you're interacting with your brother and your sister.” 

Going back to what you said. One of the reasons we can focus on how we look and doing our hair and our makeup and our dress, is so that we can be confident in approaching people with God's love and God's truth. We want to teach that to our daughters. Right?

Shylah: Right. We have a saying in my house. I'll tell it, especially to my oldest daughter a lot when we talk about our outer beauty, and then I will ask her what is the most important thing? The man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. We have these little songs that Erin recommended. They're just Scripture songs for saplings. And that is one of them. I really just tried to say things over and over and over, and I'm hoping that that really seeps in on a deep level for them. 

Dannah: Oh, I love that, and I love you. I can see why Erin considers you one of our dearest friends. Thanks for being with us today, Shylah.

Shylah: Well, thank you so much for having me.

Dannah: I love that we've been in your boutique and we're gonna drop a link to the online version ShylahB.com, check out for that in the comments. The Lord really has put purpose in Shylah’s work as a stylist, and Ann’s work as a cookie decorator, and in your work, whatever you're doing. We want to pray for you in just a few minutes, but first, next up is . . .

Alejandra: Definitely, we do not want to say goodbye without filling up your toolbox with good stuff. We want to give you some hope to help you keep digging into God's Word.

Portia: That's right. And today we want to recommend a Revive Our Hearts podcast episode. This podcast takes a fresh look at that Proverbs 31 woman, the title is “A Godly Woman's Work.

Alejandra: Here is a little a little sneak peek into this episode Revive Our Hearts founder Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says, “I don't like it when I hear people say to a woman do you work? Now I know that what they probably mean is you have a job that pays you a paycheck outside of your home. But the fact is that any woman who is a godly woman, a wife, and a mother works, a godly woman works hard.”

Portia: Amen, amen. We know you want to honor Christ with your hard work. So, this episode, I'm sure will help you do that. And as always, we'll drop a link to it in the chat.

Erin: We're gonna give you the link man, this has been a full episode full of wisdom. I have a couple more wise friends waiting in the wing that wanted to pop in and say hi. They are good news this morning. Welcome to Grounded, Laura Booz and Staci Rudolph. Here they are, isn’t that fun?

Hey, we are together in Michigan today. Because we are recording the next season of the Women of the Bible podcast. I thought for our good news, we just make a big announcement about what it is. So let's drumroll. Staci, what is the next Women of the Bible podcast? Who's it about?

Staci Rudolph: It is about Deborah.

Erin: Deborah. 

Staci: I’m so excited about that.

Erin: I'm so excited about it too. So you can be praying for us today and tomorrow. We'll be here in the studio recording the next season. The Women of the Bible drops this summer. Well, Laura, if you could describe Deborah, you've been studying her, in one word, how would you describe her? 

Laura Booz: I think I’d choose her own word and say “mother.” 

Erin: Mother. That's how she described herself. I's going to be an awesome season of the women by podcast, an awesome study. You're awesome. Thanks for being our good news. You're bright and sunshiny. 

We feel like the Lord is shining on us today. Because as we were all heading in to the studio here, Revive Our Hearts studio,this morning. I want you to see this picture of what welcomed us. This beautiful Michigan Rainbow is a dose of bright and shiny. Good news. So, we're gonna be talking about Deborah underneath that rainbow today. And we covet your prayers fort his coming out in August.

Dannah: Well, I'll be the first one praying for you. I've been praying for you guys for several weeks now. 

Well, friend, whether you want a small business or not, I want you to know that you are a woman of influence. And that's not the same kind of influence as the world's obsession with being an influencer. No matter what your official job title is or where your office is, or if your office is your kitchen, we want to commission you for Christian service this morning. We're going to read a prayer often used to send missionaries into the field. This is my dream. This is my passion, because you are missionaries, and the field is big.

Erin: So let us read you some of these words that as Dannah said are often used in missionary commissioning services. This Monday morning, we are commissioning you as we take part in this celebration of blessing and commissioning. We are reliving a practice of the early church. 

We read in the book of Acts that the Holy Spirit set apart Saul and Barnabas for the work of mission and the church in Antioch. After fasting and praying they laid hands on those workers and they sent them out. The early church early send its members to assist those who are already of the household of faith, and those who did not yet believe in Jesus.

Portia: Today, we also send our sisters to serve the needs of the church throughout the world. As news of another officer involved in a shooting fills our newsfeed, we are also aware that we need to be salt and light. May the Lord be with you.

Alejandra: Lord Jesus Christ, You stretch out Your arms of love on the hard work of the Cross. But everyone might come within the reach of Your saving embrace. So we just pray, Lord, that You clothe us with Your spirit, that we can reach for our hands and love. May we bring those who do not know You to the knowledge and love of You, Lord Jesus, for the honor of Your name.

Erin: And Jesus, we pray that You would empty in the each of us our need to self-promote, to make a name for ourselves, to elevate ourselves to provide for ourselves. Lord to have identities based in work, Lord, for we know and we acknowledge again this Monday morning that we are hidden in You, that our identity is in You. And so that anything we do is just to honor You and bless You. We pray these things for ourselves and for our sisters around the world, in Your holy name, amen.

Portia: Amen

Erin: I could get commissioned every morning, every Monday morning. I think that would probably be a great way to start my week thinking rightly. And, you know, we're gonna be very back here next Monday, I won't be here. I'll be back on my farm in Missouri. And I hope that you will be right back here with us. Gretchen Saffles will be with us on Grounded, we're gonna be talking about one of my favorite subjects gardening. But beyond that, we're going to be talking about how we can be women, deeply rooted in God's Word. Until then, here's my takeaway thought for this Monday morning. Work is worship. Let's wake up again with hope next week on Grounded.

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About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit www.sheshallbecalled.com.  Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta. 

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, studying the Scriptures, discipling, teaching, and learning alongside women. Currently, she supports her husband as he serves as a church planter in Victoria, BC, Canada. Alejandra loves herbs, designing headbands with her daughter, being outdoors, and serving her community.

About the Guest

Anne Yorks

Anne Yorks

Anne Yorks is the founder of The Flour Box, an online resource for cookie decorating supplies and tutorials. Anne is passionate about helping home bakers find joy and purpose through cookies. Anne lives in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two daughters.