Strong Women Wednesday – Jessica Freeman
I searched the Internet for months trying to find the perfect web designer. I had visions and ideas and dreams inside my heart that I wanted to bring to life. I don’t even remember how I came to find Jessica Freeman, but I found her. I couldn’t tell you what it was about her website or her work that drew me to her, but I was drawn. I just knew that I needed to work with her. And, she got me. I had this little app on my phone and my laptop with a stranger on the other end who I felt like I have known for years. I would type in my ideas, and in days, sometimes hours my words would turn into pixels on a screen that communicated what my heart has always wanted to say to the world. I never once asked her if her faith was similar to mine, but I somehow just knew. After she spent months helping me to share my story with the world, I’m honored to share a piece of her story with you.
KE: Tell me about yourself
JF: I’m Jess, owner and designer over at Jess Creatives. I’ve been in business for four years, but the first three years, it was a side hustle. In October 2014, I took my business full-time! I live in Atlanta, GA with my husband, Aaron, and our dog, Morgan. Outside of work, we love to work-out, go hiking, hang out with our small group, or volunteer at church!
KE: How do you define strength and what does it look like in your life?
JF: Strength for me means persevering through the hard times. I haven’t had a hard life by any means, but it hasn’t been glamorous either. I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since I was three. I’ve lost close friends. After college, I moved 1200 miles away from my family and friends to be with my husband. And, in December 2014, I lost my mom in a car crash.
So, strength to me is getting out of bed on those hard days and moving forward. There are definitely days when I want to stay in bed rather than have to face the day, but I’m stronger than that. God is stronger than that.
KE: As you know, strong faith is the focus of my ministry. But it can be hard to maintain a strong faith when life gets real messy. What do you do to keep your relationship with Jesus as strong as possible?
JF: Life has been messy this past year of my life. My faith is definitely not where it has been, or where I want it to be. But, to keep pursuing my faith, my husband and I read the Bible each night before bed. I also have a gratitude journal that I write in, to remind me of God’s faithfulness, in a season where it’s hard to see it at all. We’re also active at our local church, and I lead a small group of other married couples!
KE: Managing a household is hard. Whether you work, stay home, are single, married or have 8 kids; women often feel like they are just surviving each day. What advice would you give to women to help them strengthen their family?
JF: I’m not a mom, so sometimes I feel guilty feeling too overwhelmed, when I don’t even have kids yet. But, for me, letting go of certain things has helped with being overwhelmed. We’re not superwomen, we don’t have to do everything.
After telling a friend that I was feeling burned out, she told me that God doesn’t love us any less if we need to stop volunteering at church. Our families and our husbands are our first priority – they are our ministry. I love being a part of our church, but it’s been a long, busy, emotional year. I haven’t given myself much of a break to rest and recharge, until recently, when I stopped volunteering. I will definitely volunteer again someday, but right now, I think God is calling me into a season of rest.
KE: Depending on your definition of strength, “strong body” can mean something different to everyone. What healthy habits do you incorporate into your daily schedule to help keep your body strong?
JF: My husband and I are very health conscious! We work out five days a week at the gym, and we get our workouts from a personal trainer. We also meal prep each week – we buy all of our groceries on Saturday, and cook all the meals and snacks for the week. This helps us stay on track with our nutrition, and makes us less likely to go out and eat. We don’t keep sweets or soda in the house, either!
KE: What do you feel is the difference between relying on your own strength and relying on God’s strength?
JF: I think the difference is when you are relying on God’s strength; you turn to Him, and acknowledge that you need His help. I think we have to lean into Him, by praying and reading His word, and constantly reminding ourselves that it’s His strength, not ours.
KE: Would you mind sharing something you have struggled with and telling us how you used God’s strength to get you through?
JF: As I mentioned previously, I lost my mom in December 2014. I’m only 25, so losing my mom this early in life has been hard, knowing how much she is missing out on. God has definitely given me strength to get out of bed many days, but also is calling me to a season of rest. This past year has really shown me how even though He does equip us, He also works through other people a lot. There have been many close friends who have been a huge support and encouragement to me this year. I’ve always believed that God calls us to be in community (small groups, volunteer groups, etc.), and this year has been a great reminder of why.
KE: If you could share one message with every woman who is willing to listen, what would it be?
JF: Focus on what matters. As a small business owner myself, I get caught up in clients and projects, when I should be spending time with my husband. You can always make more money, but you can’t replace your mom, or your kids, or your husband.
KE: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
JF: When clients hire me to design their website or logo, they’re letting me take that off their plate, so they can spend more time with their family. Knowing that my job is helping others focus on their family is one of my favorite things. If you have any design needs, I’d love to chat with you – just visit jesscreatives.com and click on “Hire Me” to get more info.
Thanks for sharing a piece of your story with us Jess. Stay tuned next week as I have the privilege of interviewing my good friend as well as my church’s Family Programs Director, Ashlyn Roberts.
In His Strength,