Fear is having a field day.
We're stuck in our homes, but it's our heads and hearts that are really keeping us captive.
There are whispers of familiarity, but the scale is something else.
Some days feel relatively normal while others are fraught with concerns and uncertainty, both real and imagined.
We feel the rush of energy from scanning the horizon, looking up for what assails us. And, we feel the drain of energy tending to the home-fires we must keep burning at our feet. This exhausted vigilance keeps our eyes focused far away and ever so near that we can easily miss what's happening to the communities to which we belong and who belong to us.
You've heard "Think Globally. Act Locally. ", yes? In addition to the good it does our neighbors to think small and local, it also keeps us grounded and connected to each other. It is an act of agere contra pushing back the darkness of disconnection from God, our neighbors, and ourselves.
There are many ways to help your favorite small and local businesses, non-profits, ministries, and churches right now, but they all come down to three simple things—support, shop, and share.
People in both leadership and support roles are all feeling a bit beat-up right now. We love what they create. We've been evangelical about what they sell or how they serve. Their products, events, and offerings have made our lives better in countless ways both big and small. So let's let them know! Our words can make a huge impact—and we all need a little more joy these days.
Say it with snail mail! Send a card or note sharing what someone's work has meant in your own life.
Drop an encouraging comment in an inbox, social media feed or DMs.
Call to check on—and chat with—that shop owner down the street since you can't make your regular visit.
Prepay for services you know you'll need eventually or buy gift cards now to use in-person later on.
Consider reworking your budget and timeline for future exterior home or yard projects to get them done now, even with social distancing or a shelter-in-place ban in effect (when your local service providers are likely to be otherwise out of work).
We're already being careful and intentional about how we spend. We can apply that same care and intention to where we spend, as well, so that our choices help out the people we love and appreciate—and who need it—the most.
Keep ordering from your favorite small business online, even if you have to pay a few more dollars for shipping. We know survival mode leads us to the easiest, cheapest, most efficient option. Perhaps do the one extra step, now especially?
Find out what your local brick and mortar stores are doing to adapt. Many are offering online and over the phone shopping with home delivery or curbside pickup.
Keep patronizing your favorite local restaurants (and maintain some of your regular rhythms and sanity) by picking up takeout when you can and normally would.
Send care packages through your favorite online shops to people who need a little extra comfort or who you wish you could celebrate in person.
It costs absolutely nothing to let others know how we're supporting our favorite small and local businesses and it returns a double blessing—our friends get to experience the same great finds and the businesses get a welcome boost. So let's get the word out!
Pick up the phone. If one of your favorite local restaurants has amazing take out pizza, don't keep it to yourself.
Forward this email to family and friends (and add your own ideas).
Take to social media to signal-boost the ways your favorite businesses are adapting to meet your needs during this time.
For #kindredteatime this week, we put together a roundup of some ways our team is supporting, shopping, and sharing small and local businesses. We'd love to hear your thoughts, too! In our Instagram stories, you'll find a template you can screenshot and use to join the conversation. Be sure to tag us so we can share your ideas!
Let's lead with love & creativity, not fear. Let our actions be our prayers this week and ever-more.
You can always reply to this email and let me know how you're thinking small and local these days. I always love hearing from you!
P. S. Our 2020 Daily Planners are now just $20 (or 6 for $100) because they are the best tool we know for navigating these days with more peace, presence, and purpose and we want to get them into as many hands and homes as possible.
Not only does our small business directly support incomes for five families right now, but we also partner with a number of other small business owners, ministries, and creative entrepreneurs to carry their work in our shop. Your continued support by shopping and sharing is a gift to all of us.