A few weeks ago I found a graphic designer on Etsy to do a 'branding package' for the bakery. I have to tell you that logos and branding and packaging and design are things that make my heart go pitter pat. I love this stuff entirely out of proportion to its place in the world. Had I known what graphic design WAS when I was a Young Whippersnapper and also had had a smattering of artistic ability, this is what I would have studied and made my career. As it is, it's sort of too late for me to go into that field and there's also the part where I do not have even a smattering of artistic ability SO.
But this is why it took me months upon months to CHOOSE a designer on Etsy (I needed to see ALL of their shops, and peruse ALL the work they had ever done) and also why I took over a week to fill out the Branding Questionnaire she sent me. What do I want my logo to SAY? How do I want it to make my customer FEEL? What should it make someone think about Katie and me? ACK ACK ACK
Yesterday we received our three promised logo concepts. I was. So. Excited. And I was not disappointed. The first set of images were exactly what we wanted, exactly what we'd asked for, our thoughts about the business in a simple image. The second was another version of exactly what we wanted. Our designer had listened SO WELL!
The third logo was... not what we asked for. It was like the time StitchFix sent me a belted fit and flare dress after I'd written a powerfully emotional manifesto about how belted fit and flare dresses made me look and feel like a stuffed sausage wearing a tutu. In her notes our designer basically said, "I know you didn't WANT illustrations of baked goods and a cliche lady baker feel and, most of all, HEARTS, but... I did it anyway."
And you guys. This logo. It is everything. It is amazing. It is our story in a picture.
I stared and stared and stared at it and in my spirit God said, "I know your business better than you do."
I can't fully explain why this logo is The Logo because I'm not going to show you (yet) and because there are changes happening with the bakery I'm not ready to share (yet), so you'll just have to trust me, that these two minimalist, un-girly, serious, fairly unsentimental, fluent in sarcasm sisters were undoubtedly certain that the logo with the hand drawn macarons and HEARTS was the one for us.
GOD! I said, as I drove to the healing ministry thing last night. GOD! What are you SAYING?
I know your business better than you do.
Because I know YOU better than you do.
And so we prayed into identity last night. We prayed into who we ARE and all that God wants us to BE. In prayer we tore down the identities and parts of identities we'd fashioned for ourselves. We named all the things that keep us from living out our true identities and nailed them to the cross. And we asked God to flesh out our true selves even more. Who did you make us to BE, God? I had a picture of each person owning a dossier about themselves, a thick stack of papers with all the pertinent details about who they were, their gifts, their place in the Kingdom, their sublime destinies. I saw God ripping out pages - the pages we'd placed in their ourselves, pages inserted by other people - and replacing those pages with more of his own. We ended by speaking words over each other about who we really are. Wait, I'll just say it: I spoke words over my prayer team, because that is part of my God identity. He speaks to me about who people really are.
In college, eons ago, I had a picture of myself as a knight on a white horse carrying a crazy lance. I knew this lance was actually Prayer and God called me a Knight in his Kingdom. This was an amazing healing picture for me, as I was wrapped up in questions about gender and femininity. I was confused, but God called me Strong.
This picture has changed. God has been adding and adding to a picture I received during a conference about two years ago, a picture of me and where he has placed me. I walk out of a beautiful palace onto a platform in front of throngs of people. It's Biblical times, somewhere in Egypt. I'm carrying some sort of scroll and when I get to the edge of the platform I unfurl the scroll and begin to read. I know that my Father owns the palace and he sent me out to read his words to his people. The name I've given this position is "press secretary", though I'm not entirely sure that's correct, but that's what it looks like to me and God has yet to give me another term, ha. Everyone listens to me. Then I roll it back up and march back into the palace. I don't know what I do in there afterwards. Maybe hang out at the pool in the back garden drinking cocktails with Jesus. (Right?)
But there are two things I know about myself in this picture. NUMBER ONE: I have authority. NUMBER TWO: I am freaking gorgeous.
Friends, if there are two things I do not believe about myself, it's that I have authority and that I am beautiful. Nope. No on both accounts. Never have, never will. Have made it into my thirties feeling peaceful with my lack of an army to command and head-turning looks.
But God says I HAVE and I AM. <WIDE EYED EMOJI>
Because I am obedient and I say YES and my heart's desire is for the sublime destiny God has for me, I have no choice but to agree with this picture. I have written a lot about the authority piece. And I am a lot farther along. I am believing and practicing and discerning and processing in community about authority. As for the drop dead pretty... well, I've decided that that's what I look like in Heaven and it gives me something to look forward to, eh?
I don't hear God super clearly, I don't receive much in the way of amazing revelation, I do not hold the office of the prophet, I have no healing gifts, and I know that whatever God wants for me in my future requires a lot of learning and humility and practicing right now. But in the meantime, I know that I can see some of what God says about other people's identities and speaking into that place might be my favorite thing to do.
Lots of times this happens in prayer, like last night. As my team shared what bits and pieces they have about their God identities, God filled me with more. More of who they ARE. I could say, "No longer are you named Fear and Pain, your name is Director of Armies!" "You say you've seen a crown in prayer - God is telling you that you are his CROWN PRINCESS and calling you to REST in that TRUTH!" (Maybe I get a little worked up.)
But other times it's just normal life. I have done this with people I've known forever and people I've only met a few times. It seems to be the avenue I use to share about Jesus. You start telling me about your life - REAL life, you know? REAL stuff - and I start hearing God say things about you. I've done this while sitting in parked cars, in hotel rooms, in the middle of parties, over coffee, over EMAIL. As I begin to realize how often I hear God speak about other people, I've started to take ownership of that piece of my identity, as a Reader and Speaker of His Words, and I'm just starting to ask him for more. Can I have more specific revelation about people? Can I have MORE people? Can I be less fearful to say, "So, can I just tell you what I'm sensing as you talk to me?"
Do you know what your REAL logo looks like? Tell God who you think you are and see what he says. (And then tell me.)