Monday, November 21, 2016

#sistersofinfluence: Jenna Griffin

Today I get to introduce you to my new friend Jenna of Gold and Bloom. She and I have actually never met in person, but we have several mutual friends, and we share the same birthday! We've got a lot in common- Jenna is a teacher and a blogger, but she also owns a floral design business. Her work is stunning, y'all. Too bad I already got married, because I kind of want to have an occasion where I need flowers so that I can use her. I love flowers so very much! I reached out to her to be a part of the Sisters of Influence series, and she kindly obliged. You will be encouraged by her story; I know I was!


{Carrie Joy Photography}
Tell us about yourself. Who are you? 

My name is Jenna, and I am a born and raised Georgia girl--a little bit outside Atlanta. I've been teaching elementary school for six years now, but one year ago I started my own floral design business. My husband and I were married three and a half years ago, and now we are expecting our first child in April! It's a boy!

How did you come to know the Lord? 

I grew up thinking I was a Christian, but I had no Christian community. I knew very little about God, except that if you didn't love God you went to a very scary place. In college, I made some pretty poor choices, experienced some depression, and realized something was missing from my life. I did not like the person that I was, and I was allowing some things to happen that were putting my life and well-being in danger. A childhood friend who lived hundreds of miles away who knew the Lord with her whole heart was used to point me into the right direction. She encouraged me to find a campus ministry, which I reluctantly did. That decision changed my life forever. Within 2 months of joining the ministry, I was part of the welcome team which helped me find purpose and gain confidence (I had some social anxiety). Within four months, I was baptized and began raising money to go on my first mission trip. My life was changing rapidly, and God was revealing Himself to me in amazing ways. I never knew that having a close and intimate relationship with God was even possible. Those years were some of the most difficult, yet beautiful years of my life. I wouldn't trade them for anything!

What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are? 

No matter what situations we find ourselves in, we can look for ways to show God's love and bring glory to Him. Sometimes it's difficult to allow ourselves to be used by the Lord, and it's much easier to retreat into ourselves and not reach out to others. God didn't call us to do the 'easy' stuff, though. You just never know who you will be able to influence with your actions and your words. Honestly, I struggle with this in my workplace and it's so easy to get wrapped up in the negativity. So I pray every morning for my school and it helps start my day off with a focused heart and mind, which makes it easier for God to use me to influence others. 




How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through your teaching and floral design? 

Like I said, this has been a difficult one to navigate. I'm extremely busy working two full time jobs (although I don't consider floral design a job, because right now it's my passion). I've struggled using being busy as an excuse, which has taken away from my ability to be used by God to reach people in my workplace. When I hear gossip or experience negative attitudes from other teachers, I try to remind them that God's got them. I offer to help them become less stressed out, send encouraging texts, and surprise them with gifts. I also pray for them on my own time, but I need to be better about this part. There is so much power in prayer! In floral design, I recognize that God paved this pathway for me. I couldn't have done this without Him! I know there is a greater purpose than just designing flowers, and that God truly wants to be at the center of my business. I'm still praying about how exactly to keep Him at the center and what that looks like. While I design flowers for my brides, I pray for their marriage and listen to God and what He is speaking to me in those moments. On wedding days, I mentally have to make my heart a "yes" heart. Business people can often have the mindset of "if they didn't pay for a service, I'm not doing it." I want to be the opposite of this. I try hard to say yes on wedding days to serve my couples, their families, and to make their day perfect. I'm still looking for other ways to keep God the center, though. I feel like there needs to be more of Him in Gold & Bloom. 

What is the best piece of marriage advice you've been given? 

Serve each other with a happy heart. It's simple, but I think about it almost every day, and it reminds me to serve Lamar in a way that would please God as well. 

What is one thing you want the women of our generation to remember? 

You have purpose, you are enough, and you can do anything you set your mind to!


{Hannah Forsberg Photography}

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture? 

Right now, I'm really leaning on the verse John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to? 

We can absorb lots and lots of information, great verses, and connect with God on so many levels. However, it's so important we go out and serve and influence others as well. Your voice and your heart matters!

And last but not least: coffee or tea? 

Definitely coffee! Panera Bread's caramel latte is my guilty pleasure right now!

4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me today! It's an honor to be on your blog! Your questions were really thought provoking and helped remind me to keep God at the center of all things. Thank you for all of your encouragement!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for agreeing to be a part! I loved getting to know you more. :)

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  2. Jenna is very sweet. I also taught in the public school environment and having a coworker like that would have made so much of a difference- love that she uses her light and talents like that.

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