By Melissa Jones, guest blogger
I would be willing to bet that five years ago, before The Light Blonde was even a “thing,” it took Ali Skogsberg a lot of courage to take the steps to create her first shirt design -- “God is Greater Than” -- (which I own and love). It took guts and people in her corner cheering her on to actually pull the trigger and make it happen.
Jump forward to 2019: The Light Blonde has exploded with its positive, inspirational designs in stores across the United States, a massive social media presence and a growing celebrity following. And it all started with a little leap of faith. I admire and support Ali’s vision and aim behind The Light Blonde: To carry and share the Light and Hope of the Good News and to spark conversation and connection, simply by wearing a cool shirt. This is the same “outside-the-box” approach that I adopted several years ago.
For decades I’ve had the privilege of leading worship in several churches. I love it. It’s where I feel at home and comfortable. Then I was given the opportunity to use my gift in another way; to sing and entertain with some local musicians, performing various genres of music (huh?) in bars, casinos and event centers (gasp!) Although possibly difficult for some to understand, it was crystal clear to me that this was an “outside-the-box” opportunity to connect with new people and “spark conversation.” It’s been proven true, over and over again.
By design, I thrive when I’m in a creative space, musically and artistically. Although I find creating music and artwork very exhilarating and fulfilling, I’ve come to realize that the best thing I can help create is a culture of pointing people toward their Designer and inspiring them to make room for the things they, too, were uniquely designed to do. My pastor and intentional encourager, Ron Corzine, once told me, “If you let anyone but the One who designed you define you, you’ll live a life confined.” How true! God wants us all to live freely and abundantly!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought, “What am I doing with my life? Is there more I could be doing? Am I really making a difference?” Yeah, same. Many times, those questions are brought on when we compare ourselves to others. We compare our educations, jobs, families, talents, accomplishments, appearances and so on. With our vision full of comparisons, it’s difficult to stay focused on our own purpose.
We must put steps to our God-given purpose and destiny or we’ll never get there. We must act if we ever want to see results. If God, the Ultimate Initiator and Creator, created us in His image, then we, too, should be taking initiative and creating. Create encouraging relationships, a product, a service, a small business or an outreach program. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant you think your idea or purpose is. Gather people around you who will cheer you on, and don’t compare it to anything else that’s out there. And as Ali would say, “PRAY. HUSTLE. REPEAT.” I mean, who knows what could happen…
Melissa Jones lives in Paris, Texas with her husband, Cory, who pastors cfParis, and her three children, Jillian, Jackson and Jordyn. She’s a serial chip-snacker, secretly finds joy in paying for purchases with exact change and she’s always up for a round of “Redneck Woman” at any karaoke bar.
Photo credit: Claudia Farr Photography