You can feel God’s peace when you meet Rachel Butler of Southern Grace Creations in Macon. She grew up singing with her family. On Tuesday and Thursday nights singing at different nursing homes and helping shut-ins became a part of her childhood. Singing is in her heart and part of the calling on her life.
Her father was a minister and preached different places. She grew up being a part of Real Life Church of God. Worshiping and giving God the glory are some of her favorite things to do. She has raised her family in a similar fashion.
Sometimes we start down a path and think this is the only journey we will walk. Rachel spent seventeen years in the medical field managing doctors offices and helping them open new ones. She always thought she would retire in the medical field. God surprised her with a completely different path.
After being laid off when the office closed, she leaned even more on God for wisdom and guidance. We can become lulled into complacency as life rocks along its merry way then something jolts us into a different reality. A path we never expected to take. Rachel shared “This was when my faith became more intimate. I knew God would take care of me not through the job, but through Him. No matter what I went through. He would always be there to help me. It wasn’t stability in the world, but stability in Him.”
Growing Pains Deepen Faith
Her faith expanded and grew as she ventured into new territory. She was helping a friend with his practice, and on the side started a monogramming business for fun and extra income. She set up a simple website and rented some booths in a few places.
He son-in-law called her to tell her there is a shop space available at the mall and says it is perfect for a boutique. He encouraged her to check it out. Rachel thought the idea was crazy. She was not in a financial position to open a store. However, the idea wouldn’t go away.
Be Strong & Courageous!
Before she took the leap of faith, a friend called and said, “Pray for three days and read Joshua 1:9 you will have your answer.” She did and said “I stepped out in faith. To be honest, I did not have a lot of money to open the business. I made due with what I had. Bought things I needed to sell.”
This was a big moment in her life because she knew it was going to be strictly God. It wasn’t her. When she signed the contract, she prayed fervently about making a big commitment. They worked with her on the rent starting out. She had never worked with a retail space lease before. “But if this is what God wants me to do I will do it.”
As far as displays, a friend who tore down old houses gave her old screen doors and doors to use. She scraped them and made them into displays. She use old columns salvaged from old homes and used the curtain rods to display items. Many friends and family helped her prepare everything.
She only had three weeks to sign the lease and set everything up. It was the old Build A Bear location with all your primary colors. Yellows and blues, and pretty hideous. They worked days and nights preparing everything. She could not have done it without God and friends and family helping. November 1st will be four years since she opened.
“God has provided. Have there been trials and tribulations? Yes, there has. The enemy has continuously fought.” However, Southern Grace is a light in a dark world.
Ministry Driven Retail
I believe God can use you whatever you do. God is definitely using Rachel’s store and all the people who work with her to be an encouragement and help to others. Many of their product lines give back to different causes around the world.
Wall Art is handprinted by missionaries. They started doing the Wall Art because they lost their jobs, and were missionaries too. They give 10% to missions to an orphanage.
Her daughter is a missionary. The women make bracelets to create income to send their kids to school.
Good Works creates wrap bracelets, necklace & earrings, and 25% goes to the homeless and underprivileged communities. They provide book bags to students in need. They arrange proms and make the girls feel special by doing their hair and makeup. They feed the homeless as well.
When Rachel and Miranda, her daughter, go to the mart, they are always looking for products which give back and they are not easy to find.
Headbands of Hope – Headbands are given to the children at Navicent Health.
Bridgewater Candles – Every candle purchased feeds a child for a day.
Handmade wooden signs made by Mennonites are Christian Signs of the P. Graham Dunn line.
Mud Love bracelets – Bracelets made from mud with inspirational quotes or verses like Joshua 1:9. Profits go to Clean Water
A large portion of what they offer is personalizations within their shop; T-shirts, bags, mugs and more.
They offer Kitchen Towels with custom print designs or quotes, and 10% goes to Real Hope to feed the homeless on Saturday which a part of her church, Real Life.
The Prayer Jar
A prayer jar in the store is the place to put your prayer requests. They check it periodically. When we do receive a prayer request, they send it out to Rachel’s church at Real Life. Her pastor, Bo Turner, loves receiving them. They pray over them at the staff meetings.
Rachel sends the prayer requests to friends and her sisters who are true prayer warriors. Her sister writes them down and puts them in her Bible. They take it very seriously. It is an honor for someone to ask you to pray for them. Not something we take lightly. We definitely consider this a top priority.
You can make prayer requests on their website www.SGraceC.com.
All the girls when they are interviewed are asked if prayer is something they are comfortable doing with and for others. Praying for others and giving back is the foundation of Southern Grace Creations.
He will direct your paths!
God works through Southern Grace Creations. When God sends you into unknown territory, it can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. God can use you anywhere you work. Focus your gifts and talents on Him. He will direct your paths. The best paths are the ones he created for you.
A passage I often pray for my life and career is Psalm 25:4-5 NLT, “Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.”
Maybe you are restless, and God is sending you in another direction, or God wants to use you right where you are now. Spend time with Him daily, and he will show you clearly the right path to take. Ask friends or Southern Grace Creations to pray for you. Post in the comments if you would like Middle Georgia Christian Voice to pray for you. I love the Prayer Jar idea! MGCV needs to create a Virtual Prayer Jar!