18 Apr Mother Creative Interview: Jess Connolly
Today, I am excited to share the next interview for our Mother Creative series. This woman, Jess Connolly, has been such a light to watch from afar as she has grown creatively and spiritually. It has been refreshing to hear what God is sharing through her life and a faith builder on what can come from living a life dedicated to Him. Jess Connolly has always done a great job of being transparent through the process in sharing that its hard at times, but so worth it as we live a life dedicated to sharing the Gospel. I hope you enjoy this short and sweet interview in this series.
Mother Creative Interview: Jess Connolly
Jess, I have followed you for a while now and love your boldness in sharing your life with others! Your path to becoming a speaker, author and print shop owner has not been traditional, which I think is refreshing!
In the beginning of following your creative passions, what challenges did you have face?
Hmmmm. Such a good question. I feel like my story is so different from most because most of the creative endeavors I’m involved in, I sort of fell into, they weren’t necessarily things I set out to conquer or create in my life. Rather – in a lot of areas I felt like God was kind of dragging me into things and I was always the last to catch up. For instance with our business – I never actually thought it would be a business, just me selling a few prints per month to help with finances and maybe pay for a date night or two. So my biggest challenges were really getting equipped and seeking wisdom to catch up with what God was doing.
I always joke that I’ve now written two books and am currently writing two more and I’m still not super sure what an adverb is or what proposition is and why I shouldn’t end a sentence with it. So, yeah, I’d definitely say that: getting the wisdom, training, and equipping I needed to do what God was calling me to has always been the challenge.
What impact has motherhood had on your journey – good or bad (or both!) and how has this helped shape the way you live today?
In my case, if it hadn’t been for motherhood, I wouldn’t be doing any of the creative endeavors I am now! Motherhood led me to being a mommy blogger which led me to opening a print shop which led to all the other things. If it hadn’t been for the constant weakness I experienced in motherhood, I’m not sure I’d have really needed to cling to God’s Word and make prints of it all over my house. Motherhood has been the lifeblood of mission in my life, and my creative work has always been the worship that comes out as I process and pursue that mission.
You juggle a lot of hats on a daily basis. Many moms struggle with balance. How do you balance, manage, or create margin in your life for what God has for you even with 4 little ones?
My answer may not be that typical. 🙂 I kind of say, what’s balance? When we see the disciples in the New Testament, very few of them had balance. They literally left their work to follow Jesus and give up their lives for his mission. Jesus had healthy rhythms, but he didn’t have a whole lot of balance: He was solely devoted to His father’s work.
So I believe in rhythms. But not so much the American version balance. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and have people say: wow! She lived a really tidy, balanced life where all the pieces fit nicely and nothing ever got dropped. Instead, I want to get to heaven and have the Lord say: DAUGHTER! You were wrung out for my glory!
So yeah: healthy rhythms! What do I need to do to make sure we’re all healthy? Eating well, exercising, clean clothes, semi-organized home, good friends, life giving family time… these are all things that matter to me.
But I genuinely believe we can trust Jesus in Matthew 6:33 when He says, “Seek first the kingdom.” Everything else will be added on after that.
How has following your dreams + calling impacted your faith in God?
I’m not much of a dreamer, but in the last few years I for sure have felt a calling in two different areas. One has been to lead and love in our local church alongside my husband and the other has been to use my words to write and speak. Both of those callings are much larger than me and I’m basically mush when looking at them. I’d much rather just read books and watch The West Wing and do the laundry. That sounds easier.
So I feel like my faith has absolutely been impacted because I look at the Lord about once a day and say, “If you’re not real and if you don’t show up – this is going to be super bad.” Jess on her own really has nothing sound or wise to say and shouldn’t be trusted to lead ANYONE. Jess on her isn’t very loving or sacrificial, she isn’t encouraging and winsome, she can barely attend church – much less lead one. But Jesus in Jess is a different story. The more needy and dependent I am on Him, the more I realize it’s only Him doing anything good all the time. And that seriously increases my faith.
Do you have any advice for those who are just starting or on the fence about going after their creative passions God’s way? What is something you wish someone told you when you began?
I wish I could tell every gal with a dream and a passion to:
a) seek first the Kingdom and
b) obsess over why she’s doing what she’s doing.
Ask yourself again and again, day after day, WHY am I doing this? WHO am I doing it for? Is it for my glory or His? Is it to serve me or someone else? If it’s for His glory and to serve someone else, you’ll power through any hard day. You’ll keep your eye on the prize and be able to worship while you work, no matter how hard it is.
Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us today, Jess. I pray that this is helpful and a blessing to many others who read today and in the future!