It’s the Christmas Season- but seasons are neither good or bad.

We talk about changes- in life, in business, in politics- as ‘ups’ and ‘downs’. It fuels our drive as Americans. Hard work and bootstraps? This is our identity. It’s made us who we are.

But after 30 years of seeing how grace has carried us through tough times, boom times, and crossroads? I can’t look back and see periods of ‘good and bad’, ‘up and down’. 

Instead, we live and work in seasons of growth and rest.

Martin is heading into 2023- three decades of running a family construction business- against headwinds of inflation, housing shortages, and interest rates. We’ve already seen a shift in our conversations with homeowners. Some clients are getting a head start- leveraging their equity to invest in the long-term value of their home. 

But many others are struggling to cover essential repairs.

These conversations don’t feel like a great foundation for a bright and sparkling Christmas. We’ve started to ask ourselves- does that mean there’s a “down” ahead of us?

While our business is strong we’ve heard reports from our suppliers. The construction industry is in a lull and I admit these “what ifs” can be a dull lens covering the joy of wrapping presents or decorating cookies. With the sun setting early? It can feel like literal darkness edging in around the best time of the year. 

My heart goes out to our neighbors and community. The last two years have been boom times for nearly every business- but personally? Our lives have been collectively rocked by pandemic-provoked job changes, divisive politics, relocation, and family loss. 

But there is a light in it all.

When you shift into the mindset of growth and rest? You discover something beautiful about the winters of life: God’s plan has always been seasonal. 

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Christmas nativity

The modern world fights against seasonality (keeping up with the Joneses really means getting ahead of them, right?) It’s easy to get caught in a “more! more! more!” mindset. If we aren’t outpacing last year’s sales, scaling up our house and travel, and continually displaying signs of success? It can feel like we’ve failed. 

But the universe was created in seasons of more and less. It was darkness and light, creation and rest that brought us here- to another Christmas with each other. 

30 years in business has given me the hard-won wisdom to understand this: pushing ahead without rest or reflection doesn’t work in the long term- because the very framework of God’s plan is seasonal! 

There is growth and rest. We all love sunny days! But let’s not undersell the miracle of cold, dark, and silent nights…nights like that very first Bethlehem Christmas. We’re called to surrender to times of peace and reflection, to rest for the promised seasons of growth ahead. 

I don’t know what the year ahead looks like for you, but my prayer for you is this: Whether 2023 is a season of growth or rest? May you be filled with the divine and quiet strength to carry you through. If rest has never come naturally to you, I understand. May this be the year you discover the joy in peace and reflection. 

With love from our family to yours-

Jenny Martin

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13