Good morning, friends!!!
Today is going to be a treat!! I was so excited when Chloe messaged me about her project, many months ago!! Her vision and heart in this campaign is so beautiful, as is her mission for her blog. She is doing so much good and it just makes me so happy to see other people jumping on board with her!!
+ For those who aren’t familiar with you, please introduce yourself.
Hey y’all! For those who don’t know me, my name is Chloe and I’m a Sophomore in college. I live in Alabama and am double majoring in kinesiology and marketing! I am a firm believer in trying to find the joy in the mundane activities of everyday life & being present in every moment.
+ When did your relationship with Christ first take root in your life? What encouraged you in striving for a deeper relationship with God?
My relationship with Christ has always been a part of my life, but of course, there are times of doubt and I have learned that the times of doubt are when I need to pray even more. I’ve been Catholic my whole life, and I really came to realize the realness and power of God in my junior year of high school at a Steubenville conference. Since then, I have tried to live every day for Christ, and although it can be difficult at times, my life has changed so much since I fully realized the greatness of God! I can look back and see my relationship with Christ changing during every stage of my life. I finally came to accept that the only way I would be truly happy in life is if I let the Lord into my heart and put my life in His hands, no matter how hard it may be.
+ How do you intentionally live out the joy of Christ in your daily life?
One way that helps me try to live out the joy of Christ in my day to day life is simply by smiling at everyone I encounter, and my responding with a genuine “Hi! How are you?” when people say hello. Whether its the cashier lady at the grocery store, the janitor at school, or even the people who may occasionally annoy me, having a genuine smile and conversation with as many people as possible throughout my day has not only helped me become a more joyful person, but has brought so many amazing people into my life as well!
+ You run a beautiful blog called the Simple Joy of Being. What is your mission through sharing on there?
My main goal for my blog is to share with others the joy that comes from Christ and how it has impacted my life. I started this blog as an outlet for creativity to solely write about the things that I find joy in, but it has become so much more. Now, I not only want to share with others all of the things that make me happy, I also hope that maybe someone will be inspired by my words to live their life through Christ and find joy in the little things of life.
+ I love the name of your blog so so much!! How do you find ways to glorify God through every area of life?
I came to realize that I tend to find the most joy in simply “being”: being fully present in every moment. The motto for my blog is “Joy of food, Joy of travel, Joy of life” because I believe that God can be found even in the smallest of moments. I feel the presence of God when I’m cooking my favorite foods, with my favorite music on, dancing around in my fuzzy socks during a break from studying. I feel His presence on fourteen-hour car rides when I see the sunrise over a new city, reminding me that there is beauty in change. Taking these little “oh hi God, thank you” moments and shining light upon them help me to realize that He is always with me and always by my side, even when I’m struggling with various things.
+ Recently, you started a not-for-profit campaign called the Simple Joy of Giving. Whoot Whoot!! Please share a bit about this beautiful outreach.
YAY! The Simple Joy Of Giving is a not-for-profit campaign that directly benefits the less fortunate worldwide and in local communities. Every few months, I will be selling newly-designed t-shirts to raise money for a different cause or organization! One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to that month’s selected cause. In April, my readers raised over $200 for a soup kitchen in my hometown! For the month of August, the proceeds will be donated to a FOCUS mission trip. FOCUS, The Fellowship of Catholic University Students, is a group of people passionate about changing the world and helping college students live a life of purpose through Christ. FOCUS Missions believes that we have a unique opportunity to reach the world and be forces of good, both in uncharted territory and in our own familiar homelands. I’m so excited to help fund someone’s mission trip through focus, and I hope that others are as excited about this as I am!
+ What drew you to start up this campaign?
I started The Simple Joy Of Giving as a way to give back to my local community. My initial thought was to just raise money to fund a future mission trip, but then I realized that I could do so much more with this project! I came to the realization that, since I have this platform of my blog, I could expand this campaign into an ongoing fundraiser for my local community, and will hopefully one day grow to spread the Word of God and to help struggling communities worldwide. I also hope to one day go on a mission trip, and hopefully, this little project can help me reach that goal!
+ Last month’s campaign proceeds went to a soup kitchen local to you. I think it is so easy to forget that there are people in need all around us. How has this outreach brought local suffering to light for you?
In my hometown alone, 18.2% of the population lives in poverty. That’s almost a fifth of the population of Huntsville, Alabama, but it’s a small percentage compared to the worldwide statistics: approximately 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day. Nearly 50% of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day. 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. Researching these statistics and seeing the widespread, but little known, disaster of poverty in this world has helped me realize that people are in need everywhere, every day. I have volunteered at this local soup kitchen many times, and it filled me with so much joy that so many people were willing to help me raise money to purchase meals for the less fortunate in my hometown.
+ After your first month, how has this campaign strengthened your faith?
Before I started this campaign, I prayed that the Lord would fill me with compassion and patience and wisdom to help me with the whole process of this campaign. after the first month passed, I finally realized that so many prayers had been answered! Not only my prayers but maybe even other people’s prayers that I don’t know about. It has definitely shown me that prayers DO get answered, even if not the ways we initially imagine them.
+ What would you say to someone who wants to start something similar for the Lord? How would you encourage them to take the leap of faith?
GO FOR IT! It’s definitely a long process of waiting, praying, and waiting some more, but the results can be so beautiful. Even if you don’t raise as much money as you wanted, or if it doesn’t go quite as planned, Trust in God’s timing and in His will and everything will go the way He planned it to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the people around you, and don’t be afraid of any problems/struggles you may encounter. You are doing good for the world and your community and spreading the Love of God; that is such a beautiful thing!
I hope you all have a beautiful day!!