This episode blessed me so much to record it, and I just know it’s going to bless you right now as you listen to it. So, get ready to be encouraged in your faith and in your business! I’m talking to my friend, Gretchen Saffles. Gretchen is the owner and creator of Well-Watered Women, which is an online ministry and shop that reaches women worldwide with the hope of the gospel. Gretchen is a mom to 2 sweet boys and a wife to her husband of 9 years. And, she’s the author of The Well-Watered Woman, which I am totally loving right now! (And at the time this airs, I will have finished reading!) We cover a wide variety of topics today as you’ll see in the title, but you can get a glimpse into some of what we hit on below.
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The evolution of Gretchen’s business
Gretchen and I started this interview off by chatting about the evolution of her business. If you aren’t familiar with Well-Watered Women, you should be! They are an incredible ministry that I have loved as a customer, team member, and client throughout my years. Gretchen shares some encouragement for those who are just getting started with their business through her story.
She says that oftentimes when we are starting out we tend to think that where we are starting is “it” or the place we are meant to be. But the truth is, you and your business will grow and evolve and as you do, you will actually get to where you are meant to be.
She started her business under a different name as an Etsy store and created her products with things she could find at garage sales. From there, she shifted her business a little to start creating prints and stationery in larger quantities with the help of a financial gift from a family member. After that came the first quiet time journals that she created with all of the money her business had made so far and they sold out within an hour!
Gretchen says that this is an important reminder that changes or shifts in your business can be good with you are using your gifts and serving the Lord faithfully. Ultimately, it is not just about WHAT you are doing but HOW you are blessing people.
How to study the Bible and where to start if you feel stuck or out of time
If you have no idea where to start when you pick up your Bible or you feel like you don’t actually have time to study the Word, you are not alone. Many of us feel this way and Gretchen has some really great wisdom that she shares around this! I encourage you to listen to the full episode to hear her answers!
First, she mentions that, especially for new moms, setting expectations for what time with the Lord can look like in your current season is really important! If you are in a transition period, your time will look different in this new season than it did in the previous one and you will need to set new expectations around that. This does not mean giving up on time with the Lord, but simply getting creative instead.
Gretchen says to look at your schedule and figure out when you can make time to open your bible. Also, think about the season you are in and how much your brain can take in at one time. This will help you determine if you are planning to study a more complex book from the Old Testament or if you need to stay in the Psalms for a little while or slowly walk through a New Testament book.
Gretchen encourages you to do a few things:
- Read whole books at a time and not just pull out verses here and there.
- Read through the whole Bible if you never have, even if it takes you a long time!
You do have time, even if you think you don’t. It might just look different than you have envisioned or than it looked at one time. Your quiet time might not ever actually be quiet. And that is okay! Gretchen says to remember that this season will not last forever. As seasons change, God’s word remains the same.
Trusting God in the mundane
Gretchen says that the best place to look for encouragement with this topic is to look at the life of Jesus and how he lived life even through the mundane. While He was on earth, most of his life was unrecorded. He was just living his life through the mundane parts, just like we do. He made breakfast, did chores and he traveled slowly from place to place.
Gretchen says that we look to the life of Jesus and see how he lived a sinless life for the glory of God through all of the mundane things. We do the same. We live our lives in a lot of mundane moments. Most of your life is probably unseen too. You do daily chores and rhythms and if you forget to seek God IN those moments too, you are missing out on what it means to walk with him.
The Bible says to do everything you do to the glory of God. And Gretchen reminds us that this really means everything. Anything that you are doing can be done to the glory of God. Even the mundane. Being faithful in the things that people don’t see is really important. This is the place where your soul and character are being formed.
Boundaries Around Social Media As A Business Owner
I asked Gretchen how she handles multiple social media accounts for herself and her business and is still able to show up in a way that doesn’t feel like Instagram taking over your life. She said that for herself, she shows up better when she is scrolling less. Gretchen says that when you scroll too much, as a creative, it actually steals your creative juices.
She reminds us again that we are meant to be servants and social media has a way of making us look at how others can help us or how we can help ourselves instead of how we can show up to help others. Gretchen says that when you are really showing up to help and love other people is when you really start to see growth.
Gretchen says practically that she needs a lot of time away from her phone and from social media. She puts her phone away outside of her room around 1-2 hours before she goes to bed and takes time away from her phone. In addition to that, Gretchen says that she deletes her social media apps when she is working on a project because it can become distracting. If she needs a break, she chooses activities like watering the garden or going for a walk instead of scrolling social media.
Another tip Gretchen mentions is to be careful of what kind of content you consume, especially as a content creator! You really need to consume less or different content to be able to create more authentic content. She also encourages us to think about the people we are trying to reach and think about how they are feeling.
Gretchen makes a beautiful statement about loving her offline life so much more than her online life and these boundaries help her get to live her daily life freely and not get sucked into the pressures of social media. The squares you post and how you show up get to be the overflow of daily life and not the driving force behind your daily life.
Practical Social Media Boundaries:
- Schedule time for social media
- Schedule time to check and respond to DMs
- Delete your apps when you are working on a project
- Change the placement of your social media apps on your phone
- Consume less content in order to create more content
Jesus + [blank]
“At the age of 26, 5 years into my marriage with a baby and a new ministry to women, I was heading down a path of believing that ‘Jesus Plus’ goals, followers, opportunity, and money would make my life complete... I know what it’s like to chase after what the world defines as the good life and come up with nothing and chase after Jesus and discover that he is everything.” - Gretchen Saffles
Gretchen reminds us that all of these things like goals, followers, and money, will end up disappointing us. Numbers are limitless and reaching goals and benchmarks only mean it is time to set new and higher goals.
Gretchen says that she has learned that when she turns to Christ instead of turning to her phone to escape or to another cup of coffee to just make it through the day, He ALWAYS satisfies and always shows up.
Saying “Jesus + [blank]” is actually equating the creator of everything with the things He has created. And they are NOT equal. We do not need a “plus” anything! Jesus is literally everything!
Goal Setting Without Unhealthy Striving
Gretchen said that while hitting goals will not fill any empty voids, setting goals is still a great practice. It helps us stay disciplined. Goals are actually good! Looking at your heart and motives helps determine if we are doing this right or not. Are your goals becoming an idol or are you deeming yourself a failure if you don’t hit certain goals? These are red flags.
Instead, we want to use goals to help us steward the things God has given us well. We want to be good stewards, but at the end of the day, we realize that it is not in our hands. And then we surrender our goals to God.
Tune in to the full episode to hear Gretchen’s wisdom about comparison and motivations in your business.
How do you balance it all as a wife, mom, friend, business owner?
Gretchen opens this question up with such grace and reminds us that no one is actually doing it all. The pieces that you see online all have a cost associated with them. When you see someone doing one thing, you have to remember that they had to say no to something else or ask for help in other areas. You are not seeing the behind-the-scenes.
The first step in understanding this concept is to take off the comparison lens and say that “they are doing it all” is a lie that we are believing. Then it is time to get back to your life. Ask yourself, “What has God called me to do?” Then ask Him to help you let go of the things that He has not called you to in this season.
Gretchen says to the woman who is on the last straw trying to balance it all, she has tried to do it all, and it is impossible. She says that when she starts to feel overwhelmed, she takes a step back and asks why she is feeling this way. Maybe it is overcommitment or lack of rest and then making room for that. Sometimes you just need someone else to help you.
Gretchen Saffles is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to drink deeply from the Well of God's Word and find their identity and purpose in Christ. She is the author of The Well-Watered Woman: Rooted in Truth, Growing in Grace, Flourishing in Faith, and the founder of Well-Watered Women, an online ministry that reaches women worldwide with the hope of the gospel. Gretchen lives in Atlanta with her husband, Greg, and two sons, Nolan and Haddon. Gretchen loves going on adventures with her family, traveling to new places, daydreaming of wildflower fields, cooking tasty meals, baking chocolate chip cookies, painting, reading good books, and teaching women to know and love Jesus.
November 2, 2021