The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. ~ 12 Stones And Lavender ~ One Year Later
One year ago today they were putting up our sign on the outside of the building.  Along with that huge accomplishment we declared a soft opening! December 1st was scheduled as our official grand opening date.  I was scared, excited, and honestly, a little bewildered as to where my friends were.

This isn't your average one year post. It's raw, real and honest but I am writing it with a hope of healing some unmet expectations that I had going into this adventure.

Things haven't been as expected and growth has come with a steep learning curve and unexpected realizations about our close personal relationships and friendships. I must say though that God has provided what we have needed every step of the way. We haven't lacked for anything. Not tools, not supplies, not clients, not money. He's provided all of it. He has opened doors we never expected to open. Closed others. However, I have to say He's provided what we have needed in unexpected ways and often through people we barely knew. Perhaps in the future I will be able to tell more of those stories. For now I want to acknowledge that it has been a painful year of growth. At least for me personally. I have grown emotionally, spiritually, and mentally but yes, it's not been without sadness and grief. I also think I've grown a pant size but hey, it is what it is....

I definitely want to give a shout out to a few of those people that matter the most to Bill and I. The kids are an obvious choice and we are forever grateful to them. But they aren't who I'm really talking about today.

And the shout outs aren't necessarily all positive.  I'm going to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. (This would be the healing part for me.)  

I had expectations of where my help and support would come from and couldn't have been more wrong.  It didn't come from friends and family. Not at all.  My dad, Larry, was of course a huge part of it but that was it. This was an unmet expectation and a realization that truly needed to be seen, acknowledged, worked through, and then healed. It took a lot of prayer and a lot of rambling "Marco Polos" with my prayer team but I have come to terms with it and I'm thankful for the clarity and the experience it provided.

Here's a few pics of the beginning stages of 12 Stones.... crazy how far we have come.

Gabbi and Alyssa always ready to helpGabbi and Alyssa are a huge part of helping with displays.
Jessi making the first sign 

It's so empty!

The sign was up and the "soft opening" event was followed up with a grand opening on December 1st. I asked friends and family to stop by during the month with an ornament to put on our tree displayed in the front window of our shop.

Cue the visions of funny, cute, sparkling, or goofy ornaments hanging on our tree for all to see.

Or if people were out of town maybe send one in the mail if possible. This request was in lieu of having a big party because honestly we were overwhelmed at that point.  Planning a party on our own was out of the question.

I asked about the ornaments and explained all of this through Facebook of course. The "likes" on the post were numerous and by all the "right" people so I thought my friends and family would bring or send ornaments or well wishes or something. Clearly everyone saw it right? The ornaments, etc. would give us a way we could remember people and pray for them daily through out the season.

This request turned out to be an unmet expectation as well.  Bill and I thought we would have lots of support from family and friends both locally and from out of state. We were wrong. I was shocked, hurt, and surprised. This unmet expectation is still in the healing stages as it turned my thoughts about every close relationship I had upside down.  We did received one ornament on Dec. 22nd from a friend up North and I treasure it!  

Denita, thank you for the ornament.  This year it will go up on our tree at home and we will continue to pray for you and your family this season. You were a bright light in what resulted in an eye opening and sad situation.

With the shocking results of grand opening and the implications thereof still fresh, with new eyes opened, zero expectations, a new determination to help as many people as we could emerged. We moved forward in January and in the coming months.

We moved at our own pace. We adjusted our priorities and expectations of what we thought business should be and leaned into what God was teaching us.  We let old expired ideas fizzle out and embraced newer bolder visions.

Throughout the rest of our first year in business He continued to slay our expectations and show us a whole new way of thinking. A new way of depending on Him. Adopting expectations that were based on His purpose for this business and not what we thought it would be.  

We let go of caring what people thought or assumed we were doing here and ran head long into the work He offered to us though this idea of 12 Stones and Lavender.  I say moved because we didn't blaze forward but we also didn't go slowly.  We did go in spurts as our faith allowed us.


It's so strange how my expectations of opening a business were so off.  I expected problems or comments from well meaning "church folks" that assume we are doing things we shouldn't. LOL I thought of all kinds of problems that we could have but personal relationships was not on the list. Suppliers, having enough customers, reaching customers, getting the right software, creating the right websites, on and on the possibilities of problems goes but the let down of unmet expectations of people called friends and family was ... well, I just never saw it coming.

Letting go of " what I would do as a friend"  and embracing what has really transpired this year has been the biggest hurdle for me.  So what have I done?  Well, I prayed.  And then I embraced the people that God was sending into my path. I really leaned into the support system He gave me through my thankfully already established prayer team.

I've let go of expectations and I am continuing to lean into being in the present moment.  God started this lesson with me in Jan. of 2020 and I had no idea how it would continue to serve me.  I rarely worry about the future to the dismay of lot of people. I rarely focus on the past unless, like today, it's needed for healing and posterity.  I don't necessarily forget what has happened and I have adjusted the way I do things accordingly but I don't focus on the hurt.  I also thank God everyday for showing me next steps in every area of my life. Including close relationships. 

I'm so excited about where we are going and the community we are creating with the help of others in our area.  Miesje Carlsen, Betsy Bouwhuizen, Lisa Oellerich, Jami McMillan, Francie Klopotic, Hope Seamon,  and so many others are such a vital part of 12 Stones and Lavender. I can't thank you enough for your constant encouragement and support.  Rabbi Robert and Yvette Hevia your prayers and blessing hold a special place in my heart. I am so grateful to you both. 


It makes me so happy to see how far we have come but that wouldn't be possible without a special group of women. I want to give a special shout out to my prayer team Cherie Yarborough, Liz Bourguet, and Becky Denny. These ladies have been there with me through each and every decision that has had to be made. They have cried with me and celebrated with me while bathing myself and this business in prayer. Praying that lives would be changed and God would get the glory from this journey. I can't imagine doing life without them.  Ladies you are a treasure.

God has been so patient with us. Honoring Him has been the goal.  Meeting people exactly where they are judgement free and helping them where ever they have needed help has been our honor. Whether that help has been needed in their faith walk, their health journey, their emotional journey, or providing tools or tips for surviving the ordinary day. Helping others has been our number 1 goal.  Teaching people to use the tools that God gave us will continue to be my passion in the coming year.
Bill, myself, and all of the kids say thank you to God for an incredible 12 months and thank you to those who continue to support us at 12 Stones and Lavender. You are appreciated!

Love and blessings,

Bill and Lauren

1 Comment

  1. Love you friend! So proud of you for following what God placed on your heart with this beautiful shop! I feel honored and blessed to have walked along side you via Marco 😂 and prayed for you and with you! Praying God’s richest blessings on Twelve Stones and Lavender! 💗💗

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