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Hobby Lobby, Life, Teaching, Uncategorized

Making a Difference in Women’s Lives

March 8, 2017
In honor of International Women’s Day, I wanted to share this article that was posted on the Hobby Lobby Newsroom! I love that Freedom Yarn is loving and serving women so well.
This article was originally posted on newsroom.hobbylobby.com

Hope, love, and dignity. These are a few of the values that Hobby Lobby customers support when they purchase Freedom Yarn. The eight unique Freedom Yarn colors found in stores are beautiful products with a life-changing purpose. The packaging label explains their mission: “Bring freedom, hope and sustainable income to the marginalized, including those rescued from or at great risk of human trafficking.”

John and Brenda Flower became aware of the desperate needs of local villages through their visits to India. Because of the caste system, women are forced into trafficking with no way to escape.

With their business backgrounds, John and Brenda looked for a way to serve these local communities. The idea for Freedom Yarn came when they realized they could recycle fabric and teach the women to make yarn from the material.

Freedom Yarn is unique, made from strips of fabric instead of a more traditional wool, cotton or acrylic fiber. Manufacturing Freedom Yarn provides a long-term solution for women who are coming out of trafficking and enslavement. This new means of income means younger women can avoid being trafficked.

Mariya Doss is the buyer that orders Freedom Yarn for Hobby Lobby. “We are grateful we can offer this unique product to our customers,” said Mariya. “This handmade product used by knitters and crafters is making a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable women and girls.”

“Seeing the women’s hope and joy makes all the hard work totally worth it,” said Brenda Flower. “Purchasing Freedom Yarn helps ensure these women’s freedom is not short lived but will be sustained for years to come!”

It is an honor for Hobby Lobby to partner with Freedom Yarn in making a lasting difference in the lives of women.

Read more about Freedom Yarn at www.ThatTheyRemainFree.com

Hobby Lobby, Theology, Uncategorized, Work

Three Reasons to Live Generously

February 13, 2017

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Generosity toward others is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. You may have heard that it is more blessed to give than to receive and wondered if that is really true. Most of us enjoy being on the receiving end of someone’s generosity, but could it actually be better to be on the giving end?
Generosity is defined as showing a readiness to give more of something than is necessary or expected (such as money, time or an action). Recent studies show that living generously can positively affect us in many ways. Here are three reasons why it is a good idea to make generosity a habit:

1. Generosity makes us healthier, happier and less stressed
Let’s be honest–who isn’t looking to be healthier, happier and less stressed? Research shows that making a habit of living generously can reduce blood pressure, lower the risk of dementia, reduce anxiety and depression, improve chronic pain, lower stress and more. With schedules that are more fast pace than ever, this simple practice can bring great benefits. (Read more at Michael Hyatt’s blog)

2. Generosity is contagious
The winter season often carries with it the flu and cold season. In fact, I am getting over a cold right now. So, naturally this time of year we want to run from anything considered “contagious.” But what if instead of the stomach bug, we saw an outbreak of generous acts? Our workplaces, families, and communities could be transformed.
One act of generosity can go a long way. Generosity often sparks other actions of generosity and can lead to a chain reaction of impact far beyond the initiator. Even when we don’t get to see the chain reaction, each act of generosity still comes back as a blessing for the giver.

3. The greatest model of generosity encouraged us to do the same
It was Jesus himself who told us that, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). But beyond this direct encouragement, Jesus was also the ultimate example of generosity.
Jesus Christ spent his life serving others, and in the end was the ultimate example of generosity when he gave everything– even His life–for us as he went to the cross so that we might have a relationship with God (John 3:16). Jesus modeled generosity so we too could live generously toward others.

As my grandpa, David Green says: “We are put on this earth to give, to devote ourselves to a radical brand of generosity that changes lives and leaves a legacy. Generosity begins with an attitude that extends into every aspect of life, not just money.”

Generosity begins with an attitude that extends into every aspect of life, not just money. -@DavidGreenHL Click To Tweet

Consider today how you can show generosity. The benefits might surprise you.

-LM

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Hobby Lobby, Uncategorized

Book Review: Giving It All Away

January 25, 2017

Giving It All Away…and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living GenerouslyGiving It All Away…and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously by David Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book. And not only because my grandfather, David Green, is the author. This book has years worth of wisdom on important topics such as family, work, and long-term vision.
The book begins by challenging the reader to live life intentionally: thinking long term. It encouraging the idea of leaving a legacy long after we are gone. Through the pages, the author walks through stories that shaped his life, such as the struggles of the Supreme Court battle for Hobby Lobby, an experience in the 1980s that almost brought the company to bankruptcy, and the path that lead the family to sign away the rights to the company. Even though I have lived the stories in this book, I still gained much wisdom through its pages! I highly recommend it!

View all my reviews

A legacy of true value is a legacy made of more than money. -@DavidGreenHL #GivingItAllAway Click To Tweet
Hobby Lobby, Life, Uncategorized, Work

New city, new job…

December 13, 2016

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I am so excited to announce that I am beginning a new job as Corporate Ambassador for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. I am passionate about this company, its values, and its purpose. What an honor to serve the company where my working days first began.

It feels like just yesterday I was starting my first job at Hobby Lobby. It was unpaid, but as an eleven-year-old, I didn’t mind. I began the day after Christmas, and I was awake before sunrise. The Hobby Lobby stores were going to open in a few hours, and I had a job to do: assist the Hobby Lobby gift bag buyer in counting the Christmas gift bags that were left after the holiday.

My dad was the gift bag buyer, and because he needed to visit a few stores to get counts on the bags that were left after Christmas, it became a tradition that my siblings and I would join him to help his work go faster.

I remember getting to the stores before they were opened, and seeing the manager welcome us all in from the cold – my dad, and his four little assistants bouncing behind him, eager to be a part of his work. It felt so special- helping my dad, and working alongside family members while being a part of something bigger than us. That’s when my love for working at Hobby Lobby began.

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Throwback to when I was five years old – a few years before I started working with dad. 😉

So, after about a year living in New York City, I said goodbye to the Big Apple and moved back to Oklahoma City where the Hobby Lobby Corporate office is located. Michael and I loved our time living in Manhattan. I am convinced that the hardest time to move out of NYC is right around the holidays when the city comes to life with all of its magical decorations. What made this transition easier was knowing that it was God leading this change.

As I step into this new role, I can’t help but look back and remember those early days working with my dad in the stores. I never could have dreamed that so many years later, I would have the opportunity to serve as Corporate Ambassador, sharing with others the purpose and values of the company that I hold so dear.

New York, you will be missed. But here’s to another exciting adventure.

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-LM

P.S. Check out Michael’s latest blog post on the top 4 things he learned while living in NYC.

 

Family, Hobby Lobby, Life, Museum of the Bible, Uncategorized, Work

Latest interviews

October 29, 2016

Hey! If you would like to see my latest interviews, you can find them here!

IF:GATHERING

I sat down with Jamie Ivey while at If Gathering, and we discussed Museum of the Bible. The interview can be found here:

ifgathering

“Our hope and our mission for the museum is that we will invite ALL people to engage with the Bible.” @LaurenAMcAfee… Click To Tweet

 

SONDER PODCAST

I had a chance to discuss Hobby Lobby and religious liberty with my good friend Kirsten Haglund on her podcast Sonder. Our discussion is in Episode 4, found here:

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CALLED2BUSINESS 

When I spoke in Greenville, NC for a Called2Business luncheon, we filmed a quick segment on faith in business, and leaving a legacy. You can watch the short interview here:

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Our family has tried to be intentional about the values we hold as a business, and a family. -@laurenamcafee… Click To Tweet

-LM

Bible, Hobby Lobby, Work

My Reflections on the Supreme Court Ruling

June 30, 2015

SCOTUS

June 30, 2014 changed our nation and my family forever. For me, the week leading up to that day was one of the most anxiety filled weeks I can remember.

 

My family was in a lawsuit against the HHS mandate because of how it would impact our privately owned company, Hobby Lobby. My family waited not so patiently at the end of June for the Supreme Court ruling.

 

Because of the significance of the case, we knew the ruling would likely come at the end of the SCOTUS term. I tried to seem calm, cool, and collected, but my mind wrestled with fear about the possible outcomes of the case. In the midst of this uncertainty, I was afraid, but I knew that I could trust God with the future.

 

Journeying to the Supreme Court to live out our deeply held religious beliefs was never something our family imagined doing. We did not desire the media attention placed upon us. It was discouraging to see the amount of misleading information concerning our case spread, but what made this difficult journey easier for my family was having each other. We were in the prayers of many, and constantly received notes of encouragement and care. It was a blessing to know and to hear about those around the world praying with us. I will never be able to return enough thanks to them.

 

Today is the anniversary of that ruling handed down by SCOTUS. I have been reflecting on our experience, and thought I would share a bit out of my prayer journal from one year ago today.

 

June 30, 2014 I wrote:

“…it still just seems surreal, but I am so grateful for the win! Thank you Jesus! You are good no matter what- whether win or loss- but I am so grateful for the favorable outcome. I want You to be glorified in everything through this. I pray that we would move forward in ways that honor you. God I don’t know what you are going to do with my family or with our company, but we place it in your hands again. And God I pray for love and compassion for those who may not agree with us. Amen.”

 

Looking back over this past year, it seems like this ruling happened so long ago. Time seemed to move slowly in the midst of the storm, but quickly now that we are on the other side. Our family business is one of the things I hold onto as most important to me. Throughout the journey, I had to come to the place where I was willing to open my hands and let go of Hobby Lobby. I had completely surrendered it to God. It is a lesson I will cherish forever. Our family does not own Hobby Lobby. We are only stewards of the things God has given to us.

-L. A. Green McAfee

 

Photos are from Oral Argument day at the Supreme Court (March 25, 2014)

Waiting to go in to the Supreme Court for Oral Argument

Waiting to go in to the Supreme Court for Oral Argument

Walking down the steps after Oral Argument

Walking down the steps after Oral Argument

"We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey" -Barbara Green (Grandma)

“We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey” -Barbara Green (Grandma)

www.hobbylobbycase.com

Family, Hobby Lobby, Uncategorized, Work

Three Secrets to Success

June 17, 2015

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Do you ever feel like you are being pulled so many different directions, and you don’t know what to focus on?
I sure feel this way at times, and I appreciate being able to look to examples in my life of people that live life with a lot of focus and intentionality.

One example of razor sharp focus in my life is my grandpa, David Green. This guy is seriously focused. This will blow your mind:
-My grandpa doesn’t have a computer.
-He doesn’t have an email address
-He doesn’t even have a CELL PHONE!

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Now, I am not saying that having those things is a bad idea. It’s actually probably quite helpful to have those things for your work. But the point is, my grandpa has seen success without those things, and he is able to stay focused because he keeps out the distractions.

“Wherever you are, be all there.” -Jim Elliot

He focuses on the things that are most important, like faith, family and his business, Hobby Lobby. He doesn’t let things get him sidetracked. This takes a lot discipline in a world where we all have so many different opportunities in front of us. We all have so many things pulling for our attention.

How can you keep focused in life?
Here are some questions I have been working through:

  • What are the most important things in your life?
  • What are the areas of life that you want to influence or impact in your lifetime?
  • Who are the lives that are most important to you?

These may not be easy to answer right away unless you have already spent time thinking through them. Take time to process through these, and write down your answers. Don’t get bogged down by feeling so committed to your answers. Write them in pencil. They can always change as life continues forward.

It took a lot of time for me to process through those questions for my life. I spent time in prayer, in the Bible, and in conversation with those close to me.

Once you have your answers, invest only in things that can help develops those important people and goals.

-Lauren A. G. McAfee

Jim Elliot Quote