The day has finally come! I’ve been fantasizing about my new online dream home for the past year and a half. A couple of weeks ago, one of my new friends told me when she saw the design of my blog, she thought I was an 85-year-old woman. I told her I was trying to go for a shabby chic look and she jokingly (but seriously) informed me I missed the mark on that one! I had a good laugh about it and my thoughts went back in time to when Andrew first set up my blog. Everyone starts somewhere, which makes it all the more exciting when the opportunity arrives to upgrade!
What made this new website even more thrilling was getting to work with Rob Shiflet of Tailfish Solutions. When I was 13 years old, I went on a junior high school church retreat with Denton Bible Church where Rob Shiflet was the junior high pastor. The retreat changed the course of my life when Rob, his wife Melissa, and the sweet college intern who invited me, Dana Ward, shared the Gospel with me for the first time. Afterward, I made the decision to embrace a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This choice changed my life and eventually the lives of my little brother, mother, and father as they each made their own personal decisions to follow Jesus. Rob was a huge catalyst for that new chapter in my life, so I find it fitting that we reconnected to launch this next exciting chapter in my life after loss.
My hope is this new online home will be a place you can come to feel encouraged, challenged, and inspired to grow emotionally and spiritually as you create the beautiful “Next Chapter” of your life. Everywhere we look there are opportunities to stretch ourselves beyond what we thought was possible. The result of being stretched is growth! Yesterday, I recorded a song called “The Ellie Song” written by a family friend, Mike Metzler, based on The Ellie Project. I was planning on singing a couple of lines and ended up singing the entire song. I had not sung in front of people since high school—talk about feeling stretched! I was so connected to the lyrics (which I learned as we were recording) that I wasn’t thinking about how I sounded. I was present and in the moment and pushed myself to just go for it. The result was an incredible experience that inspired, challenged, and helped me realize how much fun getting out of our comfort zone can be. The song is a passion project and I grew through the process of trying something new.
That’s exactly what I hope to encourage you to do, because it’s in the unfamiliar places we find our deepest inner strength and courage. We then realize we are far more capable of handling whatever comes our way than we thought before. Thank you for taking this journey with me. I’m honored you’ve followed my family’s story and that you continue to support and encourage me and El through all of life’s opportunities. I hope to do the same for you! Make yourself at home in my new home sweet online home! Love and Blessings.
P.S. Headed to New York on Saturday through next Thursday to present The Ellie Project and other Ellie Project products to retail stores across the country. Would love your prayers and well-wishes for our story to connect with retail owners around the country, and for the opportunity to inspire lives through Andrew’s message in their stores.