Muscadine Press: A New Name for the LAJ Shop

Hello friends! I've got some really BIG news today that's been in the works for quite some time. Months, even. I've kept it under wraps while working out the details and kinks, but the time has arrived to  make it official: The LAJ Shop is now Muscadine Press.

What? Why would you change the name?

Well, it's kind of a long story. Let me start at the beginning. When God first led me to shift from custom stationery to creating resources and tools to equip women for faithful life, I never landed on a name that felt right. So I just opened up shop under my own name and called it good. 

But as time went on, something felt...off...about it. Promoting the shop always felt a little funny because I felt like I was promoting myself, and it made me feel gross. I didn't like it, but I still had  no clear direction for the name. So I waited, and I prayed.

Then, last spring, as I was studying the book of John with a sweet group of ladies at my church, I couldn't walk away from chapter 15. In it, Jesus calls himself the Vine. If that's true, then we're the branches, and we're called to bear fruit. Lots of it. As I mulled over the chapter, I felt a rightness about it that had been missing. This, I knew, was the heart of my work. Every single item I create is carefully designed to cultivate faithfulness day in and day out, and I wanted to tuck that idea into a name. Finally, after months of stewing over vines and vinedressers, vineyards and gardeners, grapes and fruit, I thought about muscadines, and Muscadine Press was born.

So What's a Muscadine, Anyway?

Now, if you're not from the South, you may be wondering what a muscadine is. Don't worry, you're not alone. Muscadines are a distinctly Southern variety of grape. They're happy to grow on their own in the wild, but they also flourish in cultivated vineyards. With a sweet flavor and tough skin, muscadines love the sun and produce more grapes than anyone knows what to do with.

Muscadine Press is a name rooted in the gospel, but I also love that it's a little nod to my Southern heritage. It reminds me of the beautiful diversity of God's people. Some of us are muscadines. Some of us are concords. Some of us are lembergers. Some of us are sweet jubilees. Some of us are rieslings. But we're all his. And we're all called to cultivate a faithful life.

So, what does this mean moving forward?

Well, I'll continue to offer the same products that you know and love, but the shop now has its own identity apart from me. This is a GOOD thing! The shop has been relocated to muscadinepress.com. All shop-related news and content now resides there. 

This site (leslieannjones.com) will remain a place for me to write and share about faith, life, and whatever else happens to be on my heart and mind. This comes as a great relief to me. SO many times in the past couple of years, I've held off on writing about something because it was "off-brand." And that's no good.

There's so much more to say about this change, but this blog post is already long enough. Thank you for sticking with me over the past few years as I have navigated all these changes. When it comes right down to it, changing the name of the LAJ Shop to Muscadine Press feels like coming home.

And for that, I'm grateful. Until  next time, grace and peace.


LET'S CELEBRATE WITH A SPECIAL OFFER!

Thank you so much for your faithful support and encouragement! You're the reason that I do what I do, and I couldn't be more thankful. To celebrate our new name and to say thank you, we have an offer that's just for you. Use the code LAJBLOG to save 20% off your ENTIRE purchase from Muscadine Press. Hope to see you there sometime soon! Offer valid for one use only. Expires 2/14/18 at 11:59 p.m.

Introducing Known: A Study on John

I've spent the past several weeks in a new Bible study with a wonderfully beautiful and diverse group of women here in Brandon. Known is a chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse study on the Gospel of John, and it's been so sweet to open up the Word with these women each week.

John (along with Matthew, Mark, and Luke) is all about the person and work of Jesus Christ, so there's really no better way to prepare our hearts and minds for Easter than to spend the weeks leading up to it meditating on his life and studying his words.

We're about halfway through the study, and a beautifully honest picture of Jesus is emerging. He works wonders and wields words with the power and authority that belongs to God alone. He is unapologetically truthful, using truth both as a sword to cut through false assumptions and as a balm to soothe weary souls. For those who would look past his human exterior and behold the glory peeking through, he offers grace, truth, and a wellspring of eternal life.

My prayer for this study is that God would make himself known to us—that by gazing upon the Word that became flesh, we would see his glory with wonder anew. That is, after all, why he came. That we may know him, and that we may spend our lives making him known.

If that sounds like something you're interested in, you don't have to be local to take part. That's the beauty of the internet, friends! You can find everything you need to get started, including the learner workbook and weekly podcasts, on the Known Bible study page.

I hope you'll join us! We'd love to have you. Until next time, grace and peace.


Sharing Love & Sending Joy the Old-Fashioned Way

A few years ago, an acquaintance's husband suddenly died in the night. My heart broke for her, but since we weren't very close, I didn't know what to do. I wanted to express my condolences, but I felt totally awkward calling or texting her to say something, so I did the only other thing I could think of.

I wrote her a note.

In August, I ran into her for the first time since her husband's death, and she told me that the simple little note I had written meant the world to her in the days after he died. She told me how much the prayer I included had encouraged her, and then she thanked me for taking the time to let her know that I was thinking of her.

I was shocked. It's been three years since I wrote that note, but she still remembers it. It took five minutes of my time, but it became a bright spot to remember in an otherwise dark and dreary time.

That experience served as the inspiration for a new line of stationery in the LAJ Shop. Sometimes God uses something as simple as a handwritten note to encourage and uplift us, and these notes were designed specifically with that purpose in mind.

Do you know someone who could use a little extra encouraging? What better way to share a little love and send a bit of joy than to mail a handwritten note? I don't know anyone who doesn't like getting mail. It's easy to send a text these days, but a card delivered the old-fashioned way speaks volumes. When we take the time to sit down and pen a heartfelt message, we become avenues through which God blesses others. Who wouldn't want that?

I'm celebrating the launch of these pretty little cards with a sale! Use code SENDJOY to receive 30 percent off all stationery in the shop and get busy sharing love and sending joy. Code expires November 7, 2016 at 11:59 pm CST. 

Introducing the Printable Dwell Journal™

Hello Friends! Today, I'm excited to share a new collection (and a little freebie) that I quietly launched a couple of weeks ago: The Dwell Journal™ Printable Collection.

From the beginning, I had a long list of ideas for features I wanted to include in the Dwell Journal™, but putting every single one of those ideas into a printed format would result in a HUGE journal at an equally large price point.

But I didn't stop dreaming or designing. I kept working on pages for my own ideal journal—pages for sermon notes, scripture memory, and gratitude. I also needed a place to keep track of Bible reading and prayer requests, so I laid those pages out as well. And I knew I needed a place for general note-taking and written prayers, so I went ahead and developed those pages too.

The result? A printable Dwell Journal™ collection that you can build into your own perfect quiet time notebook. Each Dwell Journal™ printable will guide you through your time alone with the Lord. Whether you’re using the Dwell Daily pages for your Bible study, the Be Grateful pages to record blessings, or the Pray Often pages to note prayer requests, it’s my hope and prayer that the simple act of writing things down will help you remember the things that matter most. 

Since the printables are sold both separately and as a package, it's simple to put together a Bible study notebook that works for you. Each printable is available in both letter and half-letter formats, so you can easily print, punch holes, and place in a binder. You can print as many copies of the pages as you need as long as it's for personal use, and extended licensing is available upon request if you need to print copies for your entire Bible study group or Sunday school class.

Sound good? Visit the shop for a closer look at the individual pages. AND because I love you, and because you've made it this far, I think it's only fair to tell you that for a limited time, I'm offering the Take Note page (pictured below) as a free download.

The Printable Take Note worksheet for the Dwell Journal™ is a plain and simple lined page to use for note-taking. Sometimes you just need a place to write things down. The Take Note worksheet is perfect for everything from grocery lists to sermon notes. Download it today and get a feel for the printable Dwell Journal system.

I hope you love the printable collection as much as I do! What else would you like to see in a quiet time journal? Let me know in the comments, and I'll see if I can make it a reality.

Until next time, grace and peace.