We recently marked the occasion of one official year in business. In many ways it is hard to believe a year has passed but in other ways, we can hardly remember our lives before we had the Mill. I guess it’s true what they say about the days being long and the years being short!
I (Heather) am a very introspective person prone to bouts of (overly) deep thinking, so this seems a fitting time to reflect on what the past year has done in our lives and in this business we are building.
First, it is safe to say we have been on a ride we never anticipated. The past year has seen incredible growth for us, much more than we dared to hope for as a new face on the scene with not much to show except our hearts for people and our combined previous experience in other areas of the industry. We feel blessed beyond measure at the clients that have trusted us with their dreams and have come alongside us as we grew into our space.
Second, if you want to find out if you truly have grace, love, patience, all the things we say we stand for, go ahead and start a business with friends/relatives. Every ounce of what you are made of will be called upon and you will have to dig in and work to show those qualities you profess to embody. It turns out that it doesn’t matter that we actually really do love each other and are each other’s biggest fans. When conflict happens, and IT WILL, you have a choice: you can stand on your pride (substitute this for hurt feelings, offense taken, frustration, need to be “right”) or you can release it, and stand on your convictions to give and receive grace, and CHOOSE to love instead of choosing to be justified/right/the winner. Our feet were held to the fire and even if all this falls apart tomorrow, I am so proud to say that each one of us opened our hands, released our “things” into the mist, turned our back to the negative emotions and decided to love one another. If we never book another client, we can each say that we truly had the experience of a lifetime in working as a team that loves and serves like Jesus does.
We built the idea to begin this business on the foundation that we wanted to make our community, and therefore just a tiny bit of the world, a better place. We thought we would do that through setting aside a portion of our profits to donate to local nonprofit organizations. As life often works, though, it hasn’t happened exactly that way. Instead, we have found the biggest change in ourselves. We have been refined by fire and undergone a deeply transformative experience of change from the heart outward in our interactions every single day. We are still pretty far from perfect, but hopefully the small changes in showing and giving real love and grace are making that difference we wanted to have after all, one little day and life at a time.
We are thankful to all of you that are on this journey with us. Stick around. We don’t know what is coming next but we are pretty excited to find out with all of you.