Hello, I’m…

My name is Susan Peterson. I live in Atlanta with my husband Todd and we have two adult children. Todd played in the NFL for fourteen seasons, and I am a small business owner of two brands: Relish and Cabell’s Designs. Among other passions, I served on the board of a social enterprise called Karama Collection for about 10 years, a business alleviating poverty through providing creative, purposeful work to artisans in Africa, Haiti and the Middle East. The men and women who worked with Karama melted bullets into beads in rural Ethiopia, made stationery from elephant dung in Tanzania, rebuilt an artisan workshop in Kenya, scrubbed leather bags clean with volunteers in Indiana, and hand-crafted Christmas ornaments for holiday trees worldwide.  Karama was eventually sold to Mercy House and the dream of helping to alleviate poverty continues. I loved using what I’ve learned in my years running a business to help grow a business that had such impact on the lives of the working poor. 


God’s Generosity

The free gift of salvation is enough to show me the generosity of our God! But God has graciously allowed me to travel to places like Haiti, Africa and South America where I am often reminded of how much I have been given.  We live in a safe environment where I don’t worry about my daily necessities. I come away from some of these trips where I am exposed to those whose lives look very different from mine and I feel the weight of Jesus’ words: “to whom much was given, of him much will be required.” (Luke 12:48)



I grew up in a home that didn’t talk much about giving.  I always tell people I learned giving from my husband Todd. People who know him know he is not motivated by money. He’s motivated by giving. It’s one of the greatest joys of his life. Todd has learned so much about the generous life from Scripture. We’ve also been blessed by friendships with older, wiser couples. We’ve watched their lives and seen firsthand what it means to be generous by how they live and steward what God has given them. The biggest lesson the Lord has taught me regarding generosity is that nothing on this earth is worth more than treasure in heaven. Todd and I say that we don’t want to have a single earthly investment that has as its account value a number greater than our giving. We want our giving account to be hands down a bigger number than any of our earthly accounts. We intend to store up more treasure for eternity than we store up here. (Matthew 6:19-20)


Dangers of Wealth

I think wealth can jade our thinking and get us to depend on ourselves and not on God. Wealth distracts us from whole-heartedly living for Jesus’ kingdom to come on earth. I have found I am tempted to be far too generous to myself, to love comfort, and to forget my dependence is on God alone.


Treasuring Jesus

I used to have a Bible study teacher ask us all the time if we would rather have all that heaven has promised for us or if we would rather just have Jesus and none of the promises of heaven. It seems silly to separate the two when we know that they come together, but it does bring some perspective to our personal love for the Savior and not for anything other than Him. I pray every single day that my family and I would love Jesus above all things and that no person, goal, item, or dream would get in front of our love for him. 


I Wish I Knew…

Leading takes courage. In business there are so many challenges, so many variables. It has never been easy to navigate all of the demands while still running a family and being a wife. At 25 I think it would have helped to hear that courage is required. A few years ago someone gave me a plaque with a quote on it from John Wayne: “Courage is being afraid, but saddling up anyway.” I think I would have loved hearing that at 25 instead of almost 50! The very best news I could have heard at that age is that the Lord will be with us in every challenge, no matter if it’s business, family, health or anything else! I can saddle up anyway because I know he is with me. It’s his name and his promise. He is Immanuel, God with us, and he promised, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)


My Routine

Every single day I need to be with Jesus, in his word and in prayer. I began to practice the daily discipline of a quiet time because I knew it was important, but now I get up in the morning and do it because I am lost without him! My Bible study teacher used to say, “the Christian life is so daily” and it’s really true. So much happens when we show up to be with Jesus morning by morning.


Giving Decisions

Todd and I have identified four areas where we know the Lord has called us to give: our church, students, the poor, and Bible translation. Todd and I have been involved in Bible Translation for years through illumiNations and this passion grew exponentially out of our own first-hand experience. Years ago, I was on a trip to Tanzania and at one point the Bible translator we were with asked a group of local people: “Can anybody share the difference it’s made in your life because God’s word has come in your heart language?” The people were shy at first, unsure of the strangers who were joining their Bible study that day. Then finally, the pastor’s wife said, “We used to not have much of a community, but now our families live and work together and our children play together and we have this wonderful community.” And the translator said, “God’s word always brings community. I want to know how your life is personally different because God’s word is here in a language that you can understand?” The woman paused and then said, “Well, my husband used to get drunk all the time and beat me, and now he doesn’t.” I was floored. The word penetrated her husband’s heart and it changed her life and the lives of everyone in that community. God’s word in people’s heart language can work wonders.


My Mission

I’m a small town girl who met the Lord at a Young Life camp at fourteen. I had a really small dream for my life. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the privilege and the honor of giving to and being a part of God’s kingdom the way we have. Because of Jesus our world has grown larger and larger. (Proverbs 11.24 MSG) God used generosity over stinginess to transform our lives and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


3 Words

Three words I’d want to be remembered by are kind, faithful, and obedient.


© 2017 John Rinehart