The Process of Refinement


Since officially launching the business last year, I’m often asked about the name. People want to know how I came up with Linen & Flax and what exactly it means. Believe it or not, it’s one of my favorite questions to be asked! Because the story behind our name is the story of so much more than the business. It’s really the story of my life and all that God has done for me along the way. And that’s a story I love to tell.

I grew up in a waterfront town in Connecticut. My family lived in a real life old farmhouse near the beach that my dad was always renovating and changing. I think that’s where my love for design and renovation really started! Even though our town was known for its wealth, my family was not. There was a certain pressure to keep up with everyone else, but unfortunately for our family, we could never keep up—we didn’t have the means to!

I remember being told over and over again as a child, “Just smile and look pretty.” That was the only way I was going to keep up with everyone else. Eventually this phrase became so ingrained in me that it began to define the direction of my life. It took me down a path to bad relationships, difficult situations, and tough choices. And it resulted in a lot of heartache. I had dreams of bigger things, but with little confidence, I didn’t think I could ever achieve them. In short, I didn’t think I was enough.

After relocating to Florida, I got involved in a local church, and my life really started to change.  Eventually I met and married my husband Stuart, and we started our family. Life was settling down, and it looked like everything was coming together. We soon made the move to Georgia for my husband to start work in the ministry. I was raising my kids, and, though I loved being able to be home with them, I wondered if there might be more I was supposed to do with my life.

During this season of change, my husband and I met with a woman who offered to pray for direction for our lives. I thought I was there to support my husband so you can imagine my surprise when she started praying for me. She spoke of the woman in Proverbs 31, telling me she saw me working with “fine linens and fabrics.” All I could think while she was talking was, “I could never be a woman like her. That’s not my plan. That’s not my purpose.” So I kept her words and my dreams tucked away in my heart.

But what I love about dreams is that they always seem to have a way of coming to the surface. As we started building our house in Georgia, I took a job at Pottery Barn to help with the expenses. And the doors just started opening for design. Soon I developed a waiting list for design work and started to think maybe I should step out on my own and start a business. But the more I thought about it, the more I struggled. All those feelings of doubt and insecurity kept resurfacing. And I quickly realized that if I truly wanted to pursue any of my dreams, I would first have to find the confidence to do so.

That began the long and laborious process of healing in my life. With a lot of prayer and guidance, I walked through a process of refinement in my life to get to the place where I could be free and confident to step into my dreams. If it hadn’t been for the laborious process of healing my heart, Linen & Flax wouldn’t be here today.

I stepped out in faith after that and Linen and Flax was officially born. We have an incredible design business and were blessed to open our storefront in downtown Roswell this year. But this is so much more than a business to me. It’s really the story of God’s refinement and redemption in my life.

And that’s why we named the company Linen & Flax. Linen is made from the fibers of flax. The flax has to go through a long, laborious process—a process of refinement—before it can turn into a beautiful, timeless, extraordinary fabric. And I really believe the same is true for us. If we want to get to the “linen” of our lives, then we have to be willing to be refined as flax along the way.  And when we do, we’ll be able to walk freely into the plans and purpose for our lives with confidence that we are enough.

 

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