Welcome to Flourish.
I want to thank Evan and Caylee Connelly at Connelly Solutions, LLC for their expertise, hard work, and patience with me as they designed my new site while I traveled. I highly recommend them for any website and social media needs. They’re an extremely talented team, and they’re just all around wonderful people!
Please, take a look around the site as everything has been updated.
This site has seen a lot of changes over the last 4 1/2 years and so I thought it might be fun to share some of the why’s for all the changes. It’s also given me a beautiful opportunity to remember my own spiritual journey.
ONE MORE VOICE
When I began blogging over four years ago, I knew absolutely nothing and so assumed to get the greatest audience, I needed to appeal to the broadest number of people. I knew I wanted to speak as a Christian blogger, and so that was my only criteria. The blog’s maiden name became One More Voice because I recognized I was only one voice among many proclaiming how amazing Jesus is. Posts included a variety of inspirational and biblical topics. Bloggers became internet friends, and I was able to grow a small audience which included personal friends and family who cheered me on in my new venture. Each of you accepted my run on sentences and awkward wording with grace and seemed to understand my heart. And you still do! Thank you.
Over time, I learned a narrow audience is better, and so after about 2 years changed the name to “EnCourage.” In French, the word means “to fill the heart with courage,” and that’s what my aim became. Life has at times shown me its harsher side, and I wanted to be able to use my experiences to express courage to others going through life’s difficulties. My favorite posts were written during the holidays as I remembered how hard those times could be for me. One Christmas Season I wrote an entire Advent series themed around “When Christmas Won’t be Merry.” Yet, over time I realized I truly was one voice among many talented voices writing to encourage others. I’m so grateful for those who expressed how the posts helped them through difficulties, and trust God used me. With so many beautiful voices, I felt a longing to find my own voice, but had no idea how.
PURSUING GOD’S HEART, BECOMING HIS FRIEND
About a year ago, I attended a week long writer’s intensive by christian author, Mary DeMuth, and learned the importance of writing through our greatest passion. During a session later in the week, Mary gave us an exercise whereby we chose our three greatest movies of all times. After, she asked us to notice the thread weaving through each. My top three movies of all times are: Florence Nightingale, Pride and Prejudice, and Les Miserables. Surprisingly, when asked the thread drawing them together I answered immediately “sacrificial love conquers all.” This and an encounter with the Lord during my quiet time the next morning began to show me my greatest passion.
As my alarm buzzed the following a.m., rather than hit snooze three or four times as usual, I sensed the Holy Spirit ask me to get out of bed and spend time with Him. I immediately went to YouTube to listen to some worship songs, and saw a message alerting me to a new song by Nicole Nordeman, Dear Me. As I listened, I sobbed uncontrollably. This song spoke of my life and struggles as a follower of Jesus!
I met Jesus as a child, excited to be loved by Him. But as I grew in my faith, life taught me I needed to do certain things to be acceptable to God. Many times I felt a failure, as though God was displeased with His errant child. It has taken most of my life to realize I’m more than acceptable I’m lavishly loved. Not because I’ve had a quiet time six out of seven days, daily prayers, or attended church regularly but because that’s who God is.
However, as I wrote posts through 2017 and continued to study the Bible I love, I began to clearly see so many times in scripture where God states, “If you do…then I will.” Years ago, this would have thrown me back into “I must do…..to be acceptable” but because I was learning God’s Word says I’m lavishly loved because of God’s character alone (look at the familiar John 3:16-17 as only one example), I knew I needed to investigate further. My word for 2017 was “Perspective” and a routine prayer became “Lord, I want to see You, me, and the world through your perspective rather than mine or the world’s.”
That specific prayer coupled with the work of the Holy Spirit has been a game changer! This became the foundation for the name, Pursuing God’s Heart, Becoming His Friend.
I’m growing in the realization that God has gone to the greatest lengths for us to experience a vibrant abundant relationship with Him through Christ and His Spirit. Just as every healthy relationship must contain certain dynamics in order to remain healthy, God has left nothing undone to grant us the fullest relationship with Him based upon His grand love for us:
- Consistent and loving boundaries that develop growth in the relationship
- Growing communication between parties
- Mutual love and affection based on a willingness toward self sacrifice
God’s provision for boundaries, communication, and mutual love and affection come through those basics most believers have heard of since meeting Christ: Bible reading, prayer, worship, and fellowship. Rather than these basics being the means by which God grades us, they offer the means of experiencing intimacy with Him. God isn’t interested in our religious duties, but He is greatly interested in our relationship.
These are also the foundations underpinning Flourish.
- Flourish includes posts meant to encourage, extend hope, and point the way to abundant life.
- You’ll discover how to develop a rock solid relationship with God as He communicates to you through His Word – a foundation that allows you to withstand any storm.
- You won’t find a one way street, but rather a discovery of a mutual relationship as you develop two way communication with His Spirit through prayer, worship, and regular time with Him and His people.
- The categories have been simplified to more easily find posts relating to these topics. (Not all posts have been categorized as yet, as there are so many – so it will take time to make the necessary changes. 😉)
Thank you for taking this time with me today! I look forward to more time together in the future.
p.s. Let me know what you think. Take a look @connellysolutions. Follow. Like. Check out past posts.
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