Hello lovely readers, welcome to Creatively Linked! Creatively Linked is a place where I spotlight women from around the world and share their creative talents and stories. This month I am super excited to share a dear friend of mine named Jocelyn. She is super sweet, talented, gorgeous and she has a huge heart for people! I met Jocelyn a few years ago at an event called Camp Elevate and we were roomies for the weekend. I remember thinking she was beautiful and instantly connected with her the first time we even talked! Over the years I have learned that she is extremely hard-working, intelligent, genuine, and determined. I can’t wait to share her story with you, enjoy!
Those that know Jocelyn know her as someone who loves spending time doing anything from training for half marathons, blogging, traveling, leading her youth group at church and teaching her third graders in the classroom. Yes, you read that correctly this girl is pretty much superwoman — #CreativelyLinked! I love following Jocelyn on Instagram because she is always posting great photos and videos of all these aspects of her life; which is so entertaining! When I asked Jocelyn what her creative talent was she admitted that this question was a little hard to answer. She ended up meeting with one of her good friends and they were able to share some talents that they see in her which helped Jocelyn to ultimately see those talents in herself! She stated “community is so important, because they can see things in us that we don’t even recognize in ourselves.” When I heard this I literally couldn’t stop smiling. I loved to hear that she took time out of her busy schedule to meet with a good friend and talk about her talents. That is what Creatively Linked is all about. I want women to dig deep and answer these questions to ultimately realize they are incredible and their talents and stories are important.
Jocelyn shared that her creative talents are: a heart for service and people, a spirit of adventure, and designing experiences. Jocelyn elaborated on each one of those talents, and I feel blessed to be able to share them with you.
- A Heart for Service and People- “I’m able to show this through serving as a youth pastor and being involved in the different ministries at my church. Whenever a ministry needs help, I love to help! Doing this reminds me that the church is one body, and it takes my mind off of just focusing on the youth department. I also have a heart for my students at work! Helping them learn honestly makes my day, and helps me take the focus off myself and whatever I’m going through in life.”
- Spirit of Adventure- “I enjoy experiencing the world through different ways. When it comes to backpacking, traveling, obstacle course racing, count me in. I love crushing my goals and taking on things that I don’t think I can do. I also love learning more about how I can improve myself and impact the world around me by reading books and listening to podcasts.”
- Designing Experiences- “When my friend mentioned this skill to me, I had no idea what they meant! I don’t consider myself as a creative, but the more they pinpointed things that I enjoy doing, the more I believed them. I love creating spaces that people will be able to enjoy their experiences and create memories. Some of these places include putting together events for my youth and young adult group at church, planning fun lessons for my third graders, girls conferences, and even planning outdoor adventures for my group of friends.”
Lastly she shared that everything she does is all for Him. “I’ve learned that it’s okay to be interested in a variety of things. But I’ve also learned that what’s most important for me, is that each hobby/skill/talent needs to have a greater purpose behind it. I want everything I do to be led by God for the “bigger picture.” One verse that I live by is Colossians 3:23. It says “ Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men.” It’s really easy for me to fall into comparison, and it’s something that I’m definitely working on stopping. That’s one of the reasons why I love this verse so much. It reminds me to focus all that I do towards God. It leads me to do things with excellence, even when I feel like quitting, because it’s for Him. When I’m in the middle of teaching a lesson to my third graders, or exhausted at mile 12 of a half marathon, or completely stuck on my second paragraph of writing a blog, this verse gives me the motivation to keep going. God’s my strength and the one who will give me fresh ideas and endurance to persevere. I want whatever I do to inspire others to live their best life and not be fearful of trying new things. I am a huge testimony of someone who was not interested in a lot of the hobbies I am doing now! Haha. Most of the things I enjoy working on now, I would NEVER have seen myself doing 6 years ago.” Wow, what beautiful words shared by Jocelyn. There is so much wisdom in everything she shared. She is an example to anyone else who may feel the same way in life, I hope you are inspired by her words because I definitely am.
Jocelyn’s favorite quote:
“Progress not perfection.”
Jocelyn’s mission statement:
“To love God and love others.”
Jocelyn shared that fear is something she has to overcome daily. “It’s not easy to ignore, and it’s something that has stopped me from doing a lot of things in the past. I would say the past 6 years have been life-changing for me in that area, because I began to overcome fear by simply doing the things that scared me.” Jocelyn shared some examples are registering for half-marathons and stepping into the weight room to work out. “I didn’t even own a pair of running shoes or any activewear, and I had no idea what I was doing half the time. But I tried to ignore my negative mindset telling me that I didn’t look a specific way or that I wasn’t strong enough. Now, I love training at the gym for my half marathons and spartan races! Knowing that everyone started somewhere has inspired me to ignore the fear of not feeling “good enough.” Jocelyn is not alone with this, everyone battles fear every day and you can either let it win or take control and say NO to fear like she did. Her words are so uplifting!
I asked Jocelyn if what she is doing now what she always wanted to do when she was growing up and she surprisingly said yes! “I knew I wanted to be a third-grade teacher since I was 5 years old. I remember sitting in my kindergarten classroom and looking at a poster on the wall that had a step-by-step drawing of a star. I began to copy the star on my piece of paper and I remember being shocked that I was able to draw it so perfectly. It’s funny, but small moments similar to that one all helped me realize that I loved school so much and wanted to teach students as well.” I think this is so amazing and it literally makes my heart smile! Jocelyn also sells super cute workout clothes with a company called ZYIA, they come out with new apparel every Wednesday. “I feel like it’s important to like what you’re wearing while you’re working out! At least for me, it gives me that extra boost of motivation to hit the gym and feel good.”
Jocelyn’s current goals are getting a Spartan Trifecta, improving her youth discipleship groups at her church, paying off more student loans, writing more on her blog, and encouraging young girls that they are enough and reminding them of their identity in Christ. “Something that helps me with achieving my goals (long-term and short-term) is creating a vision board at the beginning of each year, along with writing them out in a journal. Every morning I look at my vision board as I’m getting ready and reflect on my current priorities and choices to make sure that I am taking steps towards achieving those goals. If I’m not, I try my best to reorganize my schedule or take things out of my life that are not helping me get there.” This is such a great tip about creating a vision board! I am a strong believer in them and as she stated if you put it somewhere that you will see every day it can really change your whole attitude for the day.
Jocelyn’s favorite accomplishment so far in life was when she partnered with A21 Campaign in 2016. “I was able to help bring awareness to human-trafficking by running a “Muskathlon” (half marathon) in South Africa. It’s a topic that is not really talked about, and a topic that many people still don’t know about. I first heard about it in college through a film called “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.” It made me realize how big of an issue human-trafficking is world-wide, but I didn’t know how I could make a difference. A few years later, I heard about the Muskathlon and jumped at the opportunity to be an athlete for them. My passion for training for half marathons, and my desire to bring awareness to this issue came together. It was a very exciting time in life! Being able to raise funds for the sex-trafficked victims, visit the headquarters in South Africa, and running a race with a cause that I believed in was so life-changing for me.” Wow, this is so incredible. I did not know this about Jocelyn and when I found this out I was so touched. This girl has an unbelievable heart, she cares so much about people and it is truly inspiring. I am so blessed to know her and so thankful she shared her story with me.
Fun Facts about Jocelyn
- What skills would you like to master? “I would love to master my communication skills through speaking one-on-one with others, presenting, and writing. Throughout the week I’m either teaching my third graders or speaking to my youth group at church, so learning to communicate better would help me with that! I’ve also always had a heart for sharing God’s word with other girls and young women. I have journals stashed away in boxes filled with devotions and prayers to God, because I’ve always thought that I would be encouraging others through my writing. It’s just been difficult to know where to start or how to start. So, I began a blog a few months ago hoping it was a step in the right direction! So far I’ve only written a few things on there, but I would love to work on my writing style and grammar.”
- What is your favorite trait about yourself? “Perseverance! I once heard a speaker say “Leadership is like stepping onto a boat, once you step on, it’s always going to be rocky.” I’ve had to learn the hard way in my different leadership roles, that working with others always has its ups and downs. It’s a lot of hard work and there are so many challenges, but through it all I’ve tried my best to stay consistent. I’m thankful that I didn’t just give up when leading was tough, because sticking with something has shown me what happens when you are committed! I am JUST now seeing things in my youth ministry, church, and in my classroom at work that I prayed about 5-7 years ago. However, I’ve also learned not to “bottleneck” anything, which means “clinging” onto a job/role/position just because I want to. I’ve learned to understand that whatever God has given me to lead is not mine. He’s just using me in that season. I’m willing to let it all go to the next person so that it can continue flourishing into what God wants it to be. I may not be able to take it to the next level like another person can, and that’s okay!”
- Who is really inspiring you lately? “My amazing friends/sisters who God has brought into my life inspire me daily. I love that each and every one of them are so unique in their God-given gifts, and are stepping out of their comfort zone to show God’s love through their lives and work. My brothers Andrew and Christopher inspire me also. They are both amazingly talented musicians and songwriters. Andrew has a huge heart for worship, and hearing the worship songs he has been writing has sometimes brought me to tears. My brother Chris has a huge passion for producing also, and I love his newest release! If you ever had time, check out their music.”
- If you didn’t have to sleep what would you do with your extra time? “READ more books! I’m currently taking a Bible class and Leadership class, which requires a lot of reading. I enjoy the classes so much, but I don’t really get to read from my book list. One of my favorite authors is Christine Caine, and my favorite topic is self-development!”
- If someone heard your favorite playlist on Apple Music or Spotify (etc) how would they describe you? “ALL over the place! Haha. My music varies from worship/praise to upbeat and fast-paced workout music! I actually spend most of my time listening to podcasts though. A couple of my favorite speakers are Steven Furtick and Michael Todd.”
- If you could go back in time and speak to yourself when you were a child, what would you tell yourself and or what advice would you give? “ENJOY life, and STOP worrying about that boy” (LOL). No, but really I would tell my younger self that God has a beautiful future in store and to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, even when it’s not what I want to hear. Looking back, a lot of my struggles and consequences came from me doing my own thing, even though the Holy Spirit’s voice was LOUD and CLEAR.”
Jocelyn’s story is so inspirational, if you have learned one thing from her I bet it is to not allow fear to hold you back from the things you want to do in life. I know that is one of the takeaways I am leaving with. Her faith is also so beautiful she is a great example of how God loves his people. She is so talented and smart and full of wisdom. She is definitely the type of woman who has looked fear in the face and not allowed it to run her life. She has a heart of gold and that is something that is hard to find. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her, I will be cheering her on no matter what! Welcome to the squad Jocelyn, you are definitely Creatively Linked!